Posts Tagged ‘project’

Time Thief

7 June 2012

Dear J-

One of the things that I always forget is that if I’m having trouble with it, chances are that someone else has struggled with it too and there’s an answer somewhere on the internet. For instance, I put a new wi-fi card into my eBay laptop and promptly got the Thinkpad 1802 error (unauthorized card, I will go no further). It’s not borne out of me being overly cheap and stingy (okay, I didn’t read all the fine print about the card when I saw it on eBay for a good price) but nevertheless, the problem has been well-documented to the point where you can actually burn your own live CD and patch your BIOS to remove that check.
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So long live problem solving and operating experience; I probably made a mistake in not verifying the part number on the card, but it’s easily fixable and I’m looking forward to (sooner or later) being able to fiddle with the computer more in order to get it running. All the little parts tend to add up, so you’re better off sourcing a more complete machine when you can, though, especially if you plan on taking it on a trip soon. The more I fiddle with it the better I understand the credo that you need to be able to build it to say you own it. I know, it’s a stupid pride thing, but that’s where I am.

Lately I’ve ended each day past midnight; there’s just not enough time it seems, between getting the kids off to bed and doing a little light browsing on my own. Throw in a project machine and there’s little point in even trying to sleep, right? I’ll have to stop a lot of the browsing, though, as it’s just mostly idle window shopping until I find something that’s such a good deal I’d kick myself for passing it up so I don’t, of course. Fun to window shop; nice when packages arrive in the mail, but all I’m doing is taking time away from us and them.

Mike

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Senior Year

20 September 2011

Dear J-

One of the reactions that gratified me in that first week of Leadership Academy last year was when I made the confession to the class — people I’d known for maybe three days — that I’d been taking pictures and posting them to the web via flickr. My excuses were many but boiled down to (ultimately) that I missed my family and this was the best way I knew how to keep in touch, given that my relatively cheap phone provided no coverage out in the boonies where we were. The response was swift and immediate: they copied down the websitie address and hastened to share it with the rest of their families so that they could see what they were doing on their week away from home. Unexpected, but gratifying.

I told them that whatever photos they didn’t want to see I could take down, but no one raised huge objections. It’s something I’ve been wrestling with a bit lately as we’re headed towards reunion times: first theVet hits her ten year veterinary school reunion in a few weeks, then I’m going to be twenty years out of high school next year, and then theVet hits her twenty year HS reunion the year after that. Man, twenty years out of high school sounds like an impossibly long time, inconceivable in 1992 — here’s a date to keep that’s out further than you’ve been alive. So quite separately from any official preparations I’ve been digitizing some of my old diary/journal entries from twenty years ago. The plan is to have that senior year online by publishing one a day until graduation or soon after — right now I’m thinking beginning of September 1991 through the end of March 1992.

I’m in the unique position of having kept that journal and its equisitely embarrassing entries senior year in high school (this is rich: one of the ones I worked on last night questioned that if I became famous inside of ten years, would I still make time to go to the reunion? Oh, the arrogance of a sixteen-year-old, convinced that fame is what’s most important). The question in my mind is whether to use names or initials. At the moment I’m sticking with the convention that my sixteen-year-old self has given, first names only and I think that’s probably fine. Without a frame of reference strangers aren’t going to be able to connect the dots while my graduating class will almost definitely be able to pick out who and what. Now what I need is to do something about the hormone-charged ogling that really makes me come across as something more crazed than I let on …

Mike

Monday Ambition

21 June 2010

Dear J-

It’s both early and late to be talking about goals, but this summer — not officially starting until tomorrow, of course, and arbitrarily extended to Halloween in my mind, based on the weather patterns of San Diego — is going to bring around a bunch of changes nearby. For instance, I have several on-hold projects that will need to be pushed forward, including convert-the-last-bedroom-into-a-nursery, study-for-the-Engineering-license, finish-the-floors, and my favorite, get-poop-into-the-toilet-consistently. Each of these is worth a summer on their own, I judge, but work and life march on without much direct control.

If I were to apply recently-learned principles, I’d set out a plan of attack and brainstorm steps and dependencies, estimating durations and blocking out my now not-so-free time as needed; it’s hard to imagine that I’ve already frittered away half the available time doing nothing but staying awake and entertained on the weekends. I have learned that TV isn’t the universal soporific — once we got her a vacuum, she prefers vacuuming with me on Saturdays to sitting down, so that gives me hope that I’ll have some help, though I’m still not quite sure how I’ll fit shopping trips in (perhaps snacks and bribes would help).

By the time I was a teenager, my folks would ask me to write out plans for the summer — make out a schedule and stick to it, rather than find something to do as the day wore on (which generally meant asking them if they had anything for me to do — the utility of the schedule is immediately apparent, in retrospect). If I didn’t have this gaping twelve-hour hole in my day from work and commute, I’d now have a perfect fit for those long hours and then some. Everything falls under the name of improvement, though all I might want is another nap or two.

Mike