Friday, September 25, 2009

i'm still not so sure

We're in the middle of a product delivery at work. Anyone in IT knows what that means: crunch time. Anyone working with the gubmint also knows: documentation. We do IT for the gubmint, so we've got the worst of both worlds. Too much to do, and too much to doc, and nowhere near enough time for either.

The first part of the delivery is a whole test cycle. A bunch of (mostly) non-technical people review and evaluate the software. I've been working at a remote site all week, coordinating the test environment, doing docs, and working with the test team.

I've been getting in before sunrise, working in the dark dingy dreary blah government facility all day, and getting out late in the evening. I'm starting to feel like a vampire. My normal too-pale complexion has faded to almost clear. I snuck out a bit early this afternoon, and my arm started smoldering when the sunlight hit it thru the truck window.

Anyway, enough whining. I wasn't sure if I was going to survive the week, but I made it. Everything is in place now, and things should be calmed a lot next week during the actual test process. The biggest worry is that some of the test team really don't fully understand what we do, so we're not so sure they can provide legitimate review. It'll be a pain if we're jammed up over some imaginary issue.

Outside of the office things have been rather uneventful this week. I'm really happy that the heavy workload at the office happened to fall between semesters at school. I've got one more week off before classes start up again. Things should be back to normal by that time.

We did get a chance to hit up the VA State Fair last weekend, and it was a really good time. We met up with my sis and a couple family friends, too. Mother Nature tried her best to send us home early, but she didn't know who she was dealing with. That little bit of a rainstorm didn't do anything but get our socks wet. By around 9pm, we had most of the fairground to ourselves.

There was all sorts of rides, attractions, freakshow stuff, sales shills, and a whole slew of 4H farmland stuff. The most entertaining part of the day was the pig races.... for real. They loaded up a few gates of pigs, then released them to run around the track to the food dishes at the finish line. A few sets were fast & loud, then they brought out these HUGE potbelly pigs that barely fit into the starting pen. The race started, and they barely moved. Two minutes into the race,they were rounding the first corner, and 4 of the 5 had to stop to relieve themselves on the track. A pavilion full of rednecks, moms, kids, and babies got to see pig poo. That's quality entertainment!

We also attended BackToSchool night for Kid4. It's cool to see the teachers face-to-face, and the kids are happy to know they were represented, but the whole evening is rather bleh. The teachers meet 250 parents in two hours, which is completely overwhelming, especially after they've already spent the whole day dealing with 250 students. Each class visit is approx 8 minutes of auctioneering speech about the syllabus and homework and grading structure and overall class direction.

Kid4 is in 8th grade now, high school freshman next year. All the HS BtS nights in the county are held on the same day, so for the rest of their times Kid3 & Kid4 will overlap. This translates to only having to attend FOUR MORE BtS NIGHTS EVER! Ever ever ever!

A science project comic for ya: (click to enlarge)

This weekend I'm looking forward to a bit of grown up time. We're taking my father-in-law & his wife to dinner at the Occidental in DC. Whoooohoooo for dinner in a suit! I'm totally stoked about it; never been before, but it looks awesome. After dinner, we've got tickets to see Jersey Boys at the National Theatre. Not the Jerky Boys, JerZEE Boys. Stage show about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

BTW, since Frankie Valli was one of the four members of the group, shouldn't it have been FV and the Three Other Seasons? I know that sounds 'tarded, but it's bothered me for a long long time.

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Trippy wobbly line drawing stuff.

Max Connect laser puzzles.

Name that Band Logo. I thought I had skillz, but daaaaamn was I wrong. I suck.

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Thanks, Jacob, I really don't like Bono either. Not since he started wearing the buggy glasses. Ugh.

WIN (almost) then FAIL:

More fail!

This may be the most intellectual analysis of why marijuana should remain illegal.

In case you hadn't realized, there are at least 15 basic variances between men & women.

The whole entire internet in 4 minutes:

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

good news from the tri !

My sister's new house in Richmond is really, really nice. It's an old 1920's home in a cute little neighborhood, with a storybook fence along the front walk. The house has a had a big remodel, and is just gorgeous. She's done well.

The move itself went off without a hitch. We had the truck fully loaded Friday night. Saturday morning, the moving crew was in top gear. Lots of fam was there, along with a team of good friends. (Much love out to Jacob, Cheryl & her mom, Tyree, Becky, La & his cuz) We had the truck emptied in just a couple hours, with plenty of time afterwards to do a bunch of organizing and maintenance tasks. I kinna like busting out a job like that sometimes, but I sure am happy that's not how I earn my paycheck every week.

The Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon kicked off bright and early Sunday morning. Actually, "bright" is a poor choice of words. We had to be on site by 530am to get inked and checked in, and it was definitely still the middle of the night.

This was my second time running this race, so I was pretty excited to compare this year's performance to last year. I remarked last week that I was nervous about my preparation. The nerves got tighter & tighter right up until I got in the water. Once I kicked off the wall to start, my brain cleared and things fell right into place.

I couldn't have been happier with the results! The only number that got worse was my age! Swim & bike both kicked tail, but as you can see below, my run still sucks (pic of my bad form).

Start position (based on estimated swim time)
2008 - 157th
2009 - 116th (out of 330 people)

Finish position
2008 - 79th, 24th in the 35-39 age group
2009 - 54th, 16th in the 35-39 age group (next year I'm with the really old guys)

Swim - 300 yards
2008 - 12:24
2009 - 6:47

Bike - 17+ miles
2008 - 1:04:00 - 16.7mph avg speed
2009 - 0:57:09 - 18.5mph avg speed

Run - 2 miles
2008 - 18:58 - 9:29 avg mile
2009 - 18:04 - 9:02 avg mile

Total Time (includes transition times, like putting helmet & shoes on after swim)
2008 - 1:36:32
2009 - 1:25:17

Next year's goals (publicly shared, which makes it a lot harder to back out)
- Race in minimum three triathlon events
- At least one of those three is Olympic distance
- Get my run down to 7:30 / mile

Other news...

School finished up last week. Banged out both classes with an A. I'm on a break between semesters until the second week of October. It feels really good to have a bit of free time in the evening, especially since football season has started eating my Monday nights.

Kid2 abused her cell phone privs and got on her mom's bad side, and earned a restriction from text messaging for the past year or so. I think it punished me more than it punished her. The ban was lifted this week, so now I can chat with her while she's in class again.

Weekend plans - heading back down to the Richmond area again tomorrow. This time, we're checking out the VA State Fair. Rain or shine, no worries, there's a lot of indoor stuff to do, too. Last time we went was about 8 years ago, and we found a bunch of firetrucks at my house when we got home. The three cripples had a chimney fire at home while we were at the fair. (I'll tell that story sometime soon. It's worth the wait.)

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I really have no idea what to do with this one. The title makes me giggle like I'm 13 years old, though. The Glean of Glob.

Get high, without losing your clearance or going to jail.

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It Made My Day - Like Texts From Last Night, but with less embarrassing entries.

Top 10 weirdest moments from The Muppet Show.

Basic science info - This should be a pre-req for spawning or voting.

Facebook brings all your worlds together.

How throwback jerseys are hurting the NFL.

No comment.

Oh, my. Looks like someone shared a bit too much info about Josh's aim. (Headphones REQUIRED!)

Al Franken is a breath of fresh air in politics. So many of those jackoffs are so far removed from the real world, they've totally forgotten what their job is supposed to be all about.

Boom with the muay thai!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

totally unprepared

What would Tyler Durdin do if he started a band? He'd name it Fight Cloud, and enter the Gorilla Music local music contest. Then he'd tell all of you lemmings to go cast a vote in their favor. Do it now. I'll wait. For real, I'm not writing another word til you do it.

First rule of Fight Cloud is that you don't talk about Fight Cloud. (I stole your joke, Steve.)

OK, thanks for voting. Love ya long time for it.

So I've got another triathlon coming up on Sunday morning. This is my second of the year, and third one ever. I've been training most of the year for this one, and I was going to be in top shape, ready to kick some tri-tail. Since the title of this post is UN-prepared, you can guess where this is going.

I'm more nervous about this one than either of the two prior. I think bc I have my expectations set pretty high. Up until quite recently, I was feeling totally on point. The past couple of weeks have kicked my confidence in the nads though.

My pool closed for 2 weeks for an annual cleaning. Morning swim regimen broken.

I've been working at a couple remote sites this week, which broke both my ride-to-work and eat-a-healthy-lunch habit. I did manage one ride down to the lab in Merrifield, but no way I'm riding all the way to Bolling AFB. Screw the distance, no way in Hell am I taking my bike into Anacostia.

On top of an overloaded week in the office, I had all my final exams too. I'm feeling good about the results, and feeling better that I'm on break before the start of the next semester, but dammmmmmn I just want to get back on my bike.

Now I feel fat & lazy & unprepared & out of focus & pretty much just scared of effing up on Sunday morning.

BTW - The tri starts early early early on Sunday. The finish line is in the parking lot across from Jimmy's Old Town. Here's your open invitation to join us for liquid lunch after the race and before the 1pm games kickoff.

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I haven't shared a racing game in a long while. Maybe bc a lot of them suck.

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I bet it doesn't start laying cash on the table after a few beers, either.

Chris Coooooooley has a great story about football, punters, stadiums, and urination.

Barstool Sports celebrates all of the assclownery of this past NFL off-season.

Whoa. Trippy. And the blues & greens are actually the same color. For reals. Still don't believe me? Check it here. (click pic for full image)

Best vids of criminals getting whipped by their victims.

Highs & lows of becoming a man. I still haven't figured shit out. (click pic for full image)

(graph was found somewhere on MadAtoms)

Little dude is a little bit ahead of the curve in becoming a man:

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