The Last Few Weeks ….

Caught in a titanic struggle between “busy” and “sick,” the last few weeks have been somewhat less than enjoyable. Nevertheless, a few items of note are worth passing along.

  • Malaise.  Last weekend was unhappy; by Friday afternoon I got clobbered by some sort of stomach ailment that didn’t clear up until Sunday night, although it came back for a mini-encore on Wednesday. I ended up missing Mega 80s and the TGIO party last weekend (sadness) and scrubbed a planned site visit to Zeeland on Wednesday.
  • Cigar Night. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I hosted another monthly cigar night. Tony, Rob and Brad attended. We shared Tony-supplied Gispert robustos and I made bison grass martinis. A pleasant way to unwind before Turkey Day madness, even if Tony’s intervention led to a few of the martinis being more olive than alcohol. Next event is planned for this coming Tuesday, at Chop House.
  • Thanksgiving. This year’s holiday was fun … the festivities started the Friday prior, with an office potluck. My sausage jambalaya went over well — cutting back on cayenne and adding more red curry and chili powder led to a more flavorful but less intense spice profile. On Thursday, the family assembled at my mom’s house. Brian, grandma, and Sue/Robert/kids attended for a lovely meal.
  • NaNoWriMo. I didn’t “win” but I learned a ton about novel-writing, and had a blast at the twice-weekly write-ins. Kudos to everyone who made it so enjoyable, especially Duane, Jennifer, Adrianne, Liz, Nicole and Mary. This year, I discovered that it’s a bad idea to try to force-fit a character story on top of a genre template. Next year, I’ll be more ready. At Duane’s suggestion, I bought a Kindle copy of Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. The book is a largely unstructured and informal reflection by this popular Japanese novelist about his lifelong loves of running and writing, and how the two intertwine throughout his career. I’m up to the third chapter.
  • Interface Rejections. My team at the hospital grew by one member and one huge pile of work. We are now cleaning up all the daily rejections between two of the hospital’s primary systems — the facility clinical environment, and the facility billing system. Yay us.
  • Walking. I’ve driven along Butterworth Avenue often enough that I decided it was time to start exploring all the trails in Millennium Park. From the trail head near the Coke plant at Butterworth and O’Brien, I walked along the trail that hugged Butterworth, crossed the new elevated pedestrian bridge over Maynard and then skirted the lake along the park proper before looping back to the trail head by means of the Grand River path. It turned out to be a nearly 6 mile circuit — quite refreshing. I’ll have to walk (or cycle) this more often.
  • TV. I don’t watch too much television, but based on Sondra’s recommendation, I watched both seasons of Better Off Ted on Netflix. The show featured a deliciously sociopathic Portia de Rossi and the suave Jay Harrington as two of the main characters. If you seek a TV show that mixes over-the-top satire with wickedly funny dialog, you’ll love this program. It’s what The Office should have been.
  • Phone.  This week I managed to drop my phone into a sink full of hot soapy water. Although it took a few days to completely dry out, the HTC HD7 survived with no apparent problems. Yay. And even better — last week I received a Windows Phone upgrade that, inter alia, included a new Wi-Fi hotspot feature. Which works really well, although it is a bit of a battery drain.

All for now.

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