Dog Days

‘Tis the dog days of summer. The heat and humidity have been consistently, oppressively high in Grand Rapids this month, punctuated only by the occasional thunderstorm. This has led to a wonderful case of the blahs.

A few reflections and updates, in no particular order:

  1. Technology. I continue to be frustrated by my lack of data synchronization across  platforms. My primary computer is an HP laptop, and my traveling machine is an Asus netbook. The laptop runs Windows 7 and Office 2010; the netbook runs Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS with Evolution as the default mail client. I lease a private Exchange server with SharePoint services, but Evolution cannot speak to Exchange 2007 or higher. I’m stuck in this horrid limbo where unless I wish to use a Web application for consistent PIM use (which, I really, really don’t — especially when I’m running the netbook offline), then I’m screwed. I have Hotmail, Gmail, a personal web host running Horde, a business Exchange server, and a BlackBerry that talks to the hospital.  And none of it will just work. As much as it pains me to say it, I may just wipe the netbook and install Windows 7 and Office 2010 and hope for adequate performance.
  2. Writing. I am being evaluated for a position as the media guide for The position pays pretty well — a monthly stipend of $675 minimum for the first two years, with additional bonuses for increases in pageveiws — but I have to do a fair amount of work to be considered a finalist.  Today I wrote a 950-word article on branding strategies for newspapers, which was the first requested work product.  I should know more in a few weeks. Additionally, some of my DS work is now showing up on the Small Business section of the Houston Chronicle‘s
  3. Work. Hospital life is interesting. The transition into a pseudo-supervisory position has been successful so far, but a lot of work remains and we are likely going to have additional changes in staffing over the next six months that will color how things unfold.  On the bright side, I do have a nice new office with a door and my own pet giant orb weaver outside the window (I call her Bertha, and I would NOT want to be a fly on her web).
  4. Friends. Social life has been somewhat sedate. Last Friday, I had a meeting with Alaric that transitioned to Cambridge House. It was quite nice chatting business while sipping a Johnnie Walker Blue, and I even had the high privilege of seeing the lovely and gracious Sondra again for the first time since the wedding reception.
  5. Family. My brother is home from Iraq, although he is returning soon for a second year-long contract. Oh, and my mother’s kitchen renovation is moving along nicely. And Gradey had a nasty bacterial infection earlier this month.
  6. School. People seem to be doing well in school.  Ryan and Jess are doing great in their classes this semester (and they both got solid A’s in anatomy!) and my mom rocked out her American Government class. Almost makes me want to go back to grad school.
  7. Physical. My weight continues to be stable. I still think I’m about 40 pounds too heavy, but stability is good. I can go down from there.
  8. Hair. I dyed my hair yesterday. I was going to have it done the last time I went in for a trim, but the stylist nearly decapitated me so THAT was out of the question. The last time I had color done, I went a few shades lighter than my natural brown. Unfortunately, some gray was appearing and the old color was fading and I though I looked like some sort of queer calico cat, so it was high time to fix it. I went darker this time, a deep oak brown, and I did it myself. And I didn’t even stain anything, woohoo.
  9. Politics. I have been trading emails with a woman about the governor’s race, presumably off the “Vote Hoekstra” post (which was cross-posted to Red County). Interesting how diligent she has been in tracking down who supports whom. Speaking of the governor’s race, I still encourage support for Pete Hoekstra. Of all the candidates, I think he is the best choice for Michigan.
  10. Transportation. Looks like I’ll be getting a new car, as soon as next weekend. That will be nice. I think I’m going to just buy something outright and avoid a payment, so I may go the “short-term beater” route for now.  I’m sort of in a bind, insofar as I am now expected to do a lot more traveling for the hospital (e.g., to Freemont) and can’t spend as much time in transit as I used to.

All for now.

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1 comment

  1. Wow! It looks like you have a lot going for you. With a new office, greater responsibility, the possibility to be part of, a new car, renovations, a homecoming, now that’s a lot of exciting things coming. Glad to hear everything is going well for you. I wish you all the best!

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