Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Sum of A Day

It was a pleasant and simple day.  Breakfast with Bob (and a late Tony) at the Hickory Pit, then "The Equalizer" at AMC 14 with Tony. Strange movie and not good. 

Act One was a great movie with quiet intensity from Denzel Washington and quiet desperation from Grace Chloe Moretz.

Act Two was long and meandering and never really went anywhere.

Act Three was simply a rather dumb shoot out in a home depot clone store. 

I would not recommend it, except perhaps on cable.  Watch the first third and then turn it off.  After the movie I stopped at Hawg's Seafood in Campbell for an excellent bowl of clam chowder and some cheesy garlic soup.

Following up on that I did some shopping, then stopped to visit Bob, then came home for dinner. I've spent most of the evening watching Henry Rollins "Ten Things You Didn't Know", which I find very enjoyable - count me as a big Henry Rollins fan. 

Now, I am about to settle in and spent some time reading "A Clockwork Dagger", which, so far, has been pretty good.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Eureka Moment

I had a Eureka moment today that was pretty nice.  For the last couple of months I've been working intermittently on a data analysis problem at work (two sets of data that should match up but that weren't).  Today was the first day in a long time when I actually had the time to just sit and think and work my way through the problem and at about 10:00 AM I figured it out - suddenly, I was able to account for the anomalies and create a predictive algorithm.  It was one of those true Eureka moments when I was elated by the solution, so elated that I did the "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" dance from Ren and Stimpy in the living room.  It gave me a high that lasted through the entire day. I think that is one of the intangible rewards of working, one of those things you cannot quantify.  It also speaks volume of what makes me what I am - that I so love solving problems and that I get a high from that Eureka moment.  Totally awesome.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Fan of the Hidden World

I stacked up a pair of busy days, working virtually.  The race to go live is running full steam, so it has been a succession of ten to twelve hours day.  Moving forward, surely and steadily, though I have a couple of things that are falling slowly behind.  The next couple of weeks are going to be a repeat.

On the personal front - I just finished reading Dean Koontz's new novel "Innocence", which was an excellent read - I did not expect the twist at the end (though the ending itself was typical Koontz.  A very enjoyable book, with great characters and an interesting storyline. I'd definitely recommend it.

That is about it for the night, I think I am going to watch a bit of television and then start again tomorrow morning and see how much I can accomplish.  There are still some tall hurdles between here and the finish line and I am hoping to cross some of them in advance. Quite often though each piece of work unwraps another piece of work that was hidden underneath it.

I have to say though I am a fan of the hidden world in all it's forms.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Odds and Ends on A Monday

I never made it out to the movie Sunday, instead electing a quiet afternoon with reading and napping, which is what my body told me it wanted.  I am anticipating a very busy week at work up ahead since I am behind the eight-ball on a couple of different projects.  I thought about doing some work today but ultimately decided not too, especially since I am going to be bearing down in the coming week.

I've been reading a great poetry book that TR suggested called "chasers of the light" by Tyler Knott Gregson. I would definitely recommend it to people - it is an interesting book both in content and construction.

Monday was pretty busy at work with most of the day spent in meetings, except for a few hours where I managed to get a couple of things done in the course of a 10 hour day. I am anticipating a week full of 10 hour days for the next couple of weeks as we move toward a major release.  I have a tall stack of things to try and get done so I worked virtually today and I am planning on working virtually tomorrow. I am a little more productive at home especially since I am able to skip the whole commute, which shaves more than an hour off the day.

My step dad has been in the hospital with cellulitis, which they now have under control, however he is still having trouble walking. They are talking about releasing him tomorrow and moving him over to the convalescent hospital so he can under go more physical therapy to see if he can get a little steadier on his feet. I worry about him of course, but it is well out of my hands and he is getting excellent care, so the prognosis is good.  He has been doing PT at the hospital and has had good days and bad days.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sparrow Rules

I'm easing into a fairly productive Sunday here.  I started with paying bills - always has to be done - and then segued into breakfast with Tyrone and Bob at the Hickory Pit (ham steak and eggs). We interspersed good conversation and laughter to round the breakfast out.  After that, I dropped them off and then headed home where I have been watching the US Open men's mixed doubles and sort of plotting out the rest of the day.

I am planning on going out this afternoon and seeing "Calvary" with Brendan Gleeson, but it doesn't play for another three hours or so, so I think I am just going to tinker around the apartment for a while, watch some more tennis, read the Sunday Mercury News, and maybe do something more productive, like laundry. I've got a bit of work that I would like to do today, but I think I will do that a little later in the day.  It is a beautiful day, which makes a low key easing through the day work very well.

I've got some laundry to do, but I also have enough clothes to make it through to the end of the week, so I might hold off on  doing that.  I am going to make a phone call to my step-dad in a little bit, just to check up on the folks and see how things are going. My step-dad is going through a good little bout of cellulitis. He appears to be on the healing side of the process, but reports that he is still unsteady on his feet. He's getting good care though, so that is good.

I'm also tempted to take a nice hot bath shortly, that is a nice way to enjoy the day as well.  Right now, the living room is filled with the conversation of a small group of sparrows who are occupying the patio and spending their time eating and loudly discussing current affairs - sparrow style. The bird denizens of my patio tend to be endlessly amusing, especially the sparrows.  I think there is a social law among the sparrow tribe that if you are coming in for a landing, you must land on top of another sparrow.  That's the rule!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


A few weeks ago I downloaded a cool app for my iPhone called Blinkist.  It basically provides you with a fifteen to twenty minutes summary of non-fiction books. I really like it because it serves a need that I have wanted fulfilled for a long time. I've already gone through a couple of books at the summary level and then went on to buy two because the summary was interesting.  If you like non-fiction but can't really decide what might be work buying, then I would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The November Man

I did make it out this afternoon to see the new Pierce Brosnan and Olga Kurylenko action film "The November Man".  I would recommend it as a pleasant diversion.  It is well written and well acted and I enjoyed it overall.  It was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. After the movie I grabbed a bite of dinner and then settled in for some incidental cleaning and alternately watching episodes of "Black Jesus", which is pretty entertaining.  I am headed to bed in a few minutes with the plan of curling up with a book and reading myself to sleep. All in all it was a nice day.

Soft Green Moss

This morning, in the early hour before dawn, I noticed a carpet of soft and delicate green moss had sprung up overnight in the areas of exposed earth around the apartment complex. It was beautiful and unexpected, the result of a late night summer shower, scarcely enough to wet the ground, but more then enough to breath the moss to life. It struck me how beautiful, unexpected and delicate the vast array of life is.

I took the day off from work as vacation to extend the weekend. I am enjoying the morning watching the history channel and just relaxing. I'm hoping to spend some time today doing some incidental and overdue house cleaning.  Nothing is dirty, it is just the side-effect of being a little bit too busy in the last couple of weeks - things are in a general state of disarray and I would like to get them straightened out.  Mostly small things that have to be picked up and put back away.

I might swing out this afternoon and see the new movie "The November Man", but then again I might not. Over the last two months I've been trying, with some success, to just relax when I have time off. I'm also recharging my savings account from buying a new car, a Jeep Cherokee Laredo that I already have fallen in love with.  It is a great car and I've been wanting to get back into a Jeep for a while now.

If the day flows right I am going to meet up with Tony for lunch today, maybe I can convince him to try someplace new and different. I'm often amused by how easily people are trapped in their social map - the tendency to go to the same places and do the same things over again. Among my circle of friends I am the most exploratory, the most willing to look for and experiment with new places and events. I like that aspect of myself.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Lazy September Day

The last couple of months have been pretty lean on entries from me.  Nothing major going on, just a normally busy life.  I thought I would refocus a bit here in the month of September and see if I can't write a little more.  I enjoy writing, I just don't always make it a priority. August was filled with work related stuff and with the beauties of late summer in California.

I went up to the Highland Games with Tony on Saturday and had a good time, eating food, wandering the fairgrounds and listening to music.  The music was a mixed bag this year - there were some good acts and there were some acts that mistook "loud with bagpipes and drums" for quality. One of my favorite acts is "The Browne Sisters and George Cavanaugh" and though they were good, their sound mixer was not particularly on the ball and oft times during their show the music was being drowned out by the crowd noise.  I think that is always a risk at any festival.

Yesterday was almost entirely a restful day.  I had breakfast with Tyrone at the Hickory Pit and then wandered home.  Something I ate didn't sit right and my stomach was churning (I suspect the fruit), so after getting home and watching a movie, I settled in for a two hour afternoon nap. For there, I spent a lazy afternoon watching assorted movies on the DVR and on cable, and then went to bed early.

I laid down at about 7:00 PM to read for a while (Dean Koontz's "The City") and fell asleep by 8:00 PM, which led to my waking up, wide awake, at about 3:00 AM.  I managed to fall back asleep after about an hour and then woke up at about 6:00 AM.  I haven't done anything today either, mostly just reading, surfing the web, and watching incidental television.  I am going to make a couple of family calls this afternoon and then meet Tony & Bob for dinner at El Burro at 4:00 PM.

I am going to take a run at house cleaning and incidental crap sorting today. I took tomorrow off from work because I could and because I needed it - and as a side benefit it will also give me a two day work week next week, which is going to be nice as well.

August was a pleasant month.  In August I focused on just making sure that I spent some of my time off as true time off - doing nothing. (Hence the need to devote some hours today to house cleaning.) I think I am going to carry that trend on through September.  A few restful weekends makes me hungry for a few more restful weekends.  It the fast paced sweep of modern life is it easy to lose track of the need to take time to yourself.

T.R. is on her extended vacation right now, which is something I have always envied. She should be wrapping it up shortly soon and I am looking forward to spending some quality time with her and catching up.  I have undertaken a small personal project that during that time frame that I will share when it is complete, for now I am enjoying it and curious as to where it will go.

Well, with that, I am going to slide back into the rest of the day.