Thursday, May 31, 2007

I might have to kill the boy

Today I got a call from one of Maverick's teachers. He's in a reading group for advanced readers. They've been reading a cool book and he was asked to do a report of some sort. Which he never told us about. Apparently, when the time came for the group to give their reports, he stated he'd left it in class but could recite from memory. The teacher politely asked him to go and get it.

So he goes back to class and brings his folder, proceeds to look through every paper in his folder, then announced he must have left it at home. Teacher says no biggie, turn in next day. Next day, still no report. So in front of the entire group, he tries the old "well, we just got a new dog and....". Not only was the teacher not buying it, the other kids in the group told him it was an old one.

Next step was the teacher sent home a "blue slip". The can get "green slips" when they've done good things, and a "blue slip" when they've done bad things. Apparently, the teacher wanted a parent signature. Which is why I got a call. She asked me if I had seen and signed the blue slip.

No I had not. I had however, signed a test for Maverick that didn't have anything on it from his regular teacher to sign and return. However, he asked me to sign it so I did. It appears the little snot used this sample to forge my signature on the blue slip. And according to the teacher, he did not a half bad job. Which normally might be amusing.

Except that Dad don't play lying, dishonestly, lack of responsibility, and especially forging my signature. So Maverick is really in for it tonight. I have yet to decide what his punishment shall be, as I haven't talked to the Wife yet, but rest assured it will be severe and unpleasant.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Babelicious

So, I just have to mention, yesterday, the Wife was kind of crouching down playing with the dog outisde and the back of her shirt rode up a little so I could see the small of her back. Damn if she didn't look sexy as hell. Just wanted to reitereate what a hottie of a babe the Wife is. A small flash of skin fills me with desire and makes naughty thoughts run through my head. But before we dive into the realm of TMI.....

I feel good about this weekend. I pretty much accomplished all the things I wanted to do, and even snuck something in on the side (and no, I don't means sex. I can neither confirm nor deny any sex occuring this weekend). Basically, the things to get done this weekend were housecleaning, landscaping type stuff, and grocery shopping.

Friday night we did a little shopping for camp related stuff for Maverick. We've been looking for a pack for him and wanted to see if Eastern Mountain Sports had one we'd seen on line. While they didn't have it, they were very helpful. We also checked Dick's Sporting Goods but didn't really like the selection. We're still looking and need to check the Scout Store downtown. We did get him a pretty good sleeping back for a reasonable price.

Saturday was to be the "landscaping" day, but the day was pretty much taken up by just going to the garden store and looking around, and taking Maverick to golf lessons. While he was at golf, the Wife, Grasshopper, and I went to the nearby cemetary where the Wife's grandmother is buried and did some upkeep around the grave and planting. That pretty much ate up our day.

Sunday after church was spent cleaning the house and on the actual "landscaping". I had orginally wanted to landscape the front of our house, but we haven't decided on a tree to put in the corner and I had no way to fit a large tree in the truck, so I'm going to have my bro help me out. He's in the landscaping business anyway and has a trailer as well as getting contractor discouts. I saw him today and we're going to do it in about 2 weeks. I did put pavers on the long and short side of the patio so we have a proper step off of it (which I'd intended to do) and I built a large box and filled it with about 5 wheelbarrows full of top soil and planted a proper garden (also which I'd planned to do and with the help of my mom). We now have tomatoes, beans, rhubard chard, and cucumber growing.

As an amusing aside, as we were finishing, we had a guest come stroll into our back yard. Our neighbor at the end of our street grew up two houses down from the Wife and she used to play with his sister. We always thought it was quite amusing that someone that lived two doors from her now lives down the street. Anyway, the Wife's cousin turns up in our back yard yesterday with the neighbor's partner (yes, it's what you think). It turns out the neighbor's partner is the brother in law of the Wife's cousin! So we spent a little time chatting. The Wife's cousin lives in the country and doesn't get out this way too often.

Today, Grasshopper's cub scout pack marched in the town's Memorial Day parade. I had completely forgotten about it when making weekend plans. Afterwards, I did the grocery shopping which took us to lunch. After lunch, the Wife decided she wanted to take a trip to the cemetary that's about 45 minutes away where she has a cousin and uncle buried. We spent a litte time there and then went to my sister's for an annual Memorial Day picnic. We took a chance and brought Buddy with us. He loved it. There was like 4 other dogs there and he got to socialize. He was very good with all the other dogs and didn't fight with a one. It was quite the nice time, though Grasshopper stepping on something and cut the bottom of his foot. It was a small cut but bled like crazy. We got a bandaid on it and he was fine.

Now that the day is done, we're chilling and watching Tora! Tora! Tora! on AMC. We just love WWII Navy movies. Hope you had a nice weekend. Mine was busy, but a satisfying kind of busy as it was mostly just my stuff.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So much time, so little to say

There just seems like not a lot worth blogging is going on right now. Buddy is coming along. We're still working on his schedule. He's had a few accidents in his crate. The vet checked him out and he seems fine. The Wife is going crazy on doggie toys and accessories. The cat still views the dog very suspiciously and mostly stays upstairs.

Today I had a team meeting with my new team in Syracuse. Overall it went well. Lunch was fun since on the way out to the car, we bumped into one of the salespersons from Rochester. We invited her out to lunch with us and it was a wonderful time. Nothing like an attractive blonde to make lunch pleasant. We went back to the Irish pub an everyone agreed it was fabulous. Our waitress even had a Irish accent and red hair. Talk about atmosphere.

Grasshopper had his first soccer game of the season. He did quite well and remembered what he was supposed to do. A huge improvement over his first game last year where he had a melt down because he had no idea what he was doing. His team even won. Plus it was like 83 degrees and not humid so the weather was perfect.

We currently don't have any plans for Memorial Day weekend, and it's kind of nice. I think I'll be doing some landscaping this weekend, as it really needs to be done. A good excuse to be outside with the family. Maverick starts his golf lessons Saturday.

Lately I've been too tired to turn on a PC or laptop after getting home and I've been busy during lunch at work, so I'm behind checking all my fave blogs. However, I'll try and catch up tonight. At least hit up all of my important ones (if you're reading this right now, that probably means you!). Otherwise, I'll catch up tomorrow. Sorry I haven't stopped by in a while!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

First Weekend with Buddy - Updated!

So,

Before I get into how our first weekend with the dog went, I want to say that I'm really damn tired today. Yesterday, after getting all the things done that needed doing (karate, cleaning, grocery shopping, change oil, fix mailbox), there was enough time to get 9 holes of golf in, so Maverick and I went and had a nice little time. We both did fairly well for our first outing of the season. However, hitting all that grass really aggrevated my allergies. This time of year is when it really bothers me. From now until about 4th of July. Because of that, I had trouble breathing last night and slept like shit. So I've been dragging all day. Just so you all know.

So anyway, the Wife brought Buddy home of Friday and then prompty went out to Petsmart and began stocking up on doggie supplies, most important of which was a crate. We thought we'd have some work to do with him, but to make a long story short, it appears his previous owner had crate trained and house trained him. The entire weekend, he's had one accident in his crate, and that was only today when the Wife came to 5 pm mass followed by dinner. She'd fed him and taken him out before coming to Mass, but I guess he wasn't ready then. He's been going to sleep in his crate around 9 pm and holding it until around 8 in the morning when the Wife took him out both days.

When you walk him, he's pretty good on the lease. Inside, we've mostly kept him leashed to the table in the kitchen or to the handle of the chest in our family room. Today we've been letting around the downstairs off the leash (supervised of course). So far our biggest problem has been he likes to get up on things: climb up on you with his paws, or get on the couch. We're pretty sure his previous owner let him sleep off the furniture. We won't let him on the leather sofa (though he's snuck up there a few times), but we'll let him on the old sofa in the living room. It's pretty beat anyway so there's no problem. Overall he's a fairly well behaved dog. He really likes to go on walks and be outside.

The cat is getting used to having competition in the house. When the Wife first introduced them, the cat hissed at the dog. She's spent most of the time upstairs either under the couch or sleeping on the Wife's clothes. She probably hates losing her lap at night. We keep bringing her down and holding her while we're near the dog. I think we're making progress as the cat came down on her own to go in the basement to use the litter box, though she kept close watch on the dog. Buddy seems to want to play with the cat and whines when she's around, but we don't think that would be a good idea.

Grasshopper asked me how I like the dog. Contrary to some of the predictions, I haven't fallen in love with the dog and we're not best buds. I will admit we got very lucky (meaning the Lord really answered the Wife's and Grasshopper's prayers) and got a dog that seems to be just right for the family. I like the dog well enough, so that's probably about as good as can be expected. The Wife has been good about mostly caring for the dog, though I've taken him on walks with the boys and just brought him outside. When the weather's good, it's a nice excuse just to get out. So we'll see how things go. He's still kind of scrawny so we need to fatten him up a little.

Grasshopper took some nice pictures of Buddy so I'll get them posted one of these days when I can be bothered to get them off his digital camera.

Update: I've uploaded some pictures to Flickr for the Wife. Go here to see them.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Can you say..... Buddy?



Meet Buddy.

Our new dog.

(sigh) Good Lord what have I done.....



I Wanna Rock

Last night was weekly band practice. I didn't realize it, but I really needed a night like last night. The band was just so tight and ON with every song we did. Very satisfying musically. Also, it was just plain fun. The guys (and gals) in the band are like part of my extended family. We joke around and poke at each other, small digs here and there just to get a rise out of each other. The teenagers like to throw around the sexual innuendo. I go easy on them cause with an addition 20 some years experience that I have over them I could crush their little spirits like bugs under my feet. But it's all in fun.

The Wife went to see the doc yesterday and was told she has allergies, not a sinus infection. She's not convinced yet as she still feels miserable. However, she got a prescription for Alavert (I think that's what that stuff is) and some over the counter stuff. It may take a couple of days for her to feel better. I can sympathize as I've been dealing with allergies for years now. We had rain last night so hopefully they won't bother her much today.

On the pet front, we find out today at 2 pm if we'll be adopting a dog. The Wife is number 4 in line to adopt a really sweet beagle. According to her, the dog is perfect. The deal is that she needs to show up at 2 pm at the animal shelter. If persons 1 to 3 do not show or decline to adopt, then she can adopt the dog. We found another very good beagle mix that could have been a "backup dog" at the shelter, but it was a stray and the owner claimed it. Good for the dog, as it looked miserable in that shelter and really wanted to go home, bad for us. So we'll see. Stay tuned.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Learning from Noah

There's been so much going on in the last few days it'll be hard to get it all in one post. But I'll try.

Work has been totally stressful. Part of it has been my righteous indignation at the treatment of my peers. It may have resulted in some snotty sounding emails to one of my new staff (with my new boss copied in) in Schenectady. Thursday evening I checked my work email while sitting at karate with the boys (hey, it's good laptop time) and there was a meeting request with just me and the new boss "to discuss my project management roll/status of the Windows XP rollout in Schenectady". Oops. That either meant that I was taking over the project instead of sharing responsibility, or I had gone to far and was going to get my ass chewed. More in a moment.

Friday morning, I had an email in my personal email account that had "Everything I need to know I learned from Noah". It was cute stuff I'd seen before, but one thing jumped out at me: Number 5 was "Don't listen to critics: just get on with the job that needs to be done." That became my mantra for the day. And it made a difference. I started making some calls and talking to people and doing my usual thing to get things done, namely, ask for a favor and try and cut through the red tape. As for that call with the new boss, he cancelled it as a previous meeting went long. He later scheduled a new meeting with myself and another supervisor for next week. I called and left a message asking if there was anything we needed to discuss prior to that meeting and he emailed me back saying nothing big that couldn't wait until next week. Sounds like crisis averted.

The rest of the weekend has been crazy, but oddly satisfying. We got almost no housework done since we were so busy, but no big deal there. Saturday morning the boys competed in their first karate tournament. The both competed in a kata competition. Maverick placed first in his division, which made him proud. Of course, the announced the placement's in Grasshopper's division next. He too placed first! I was proud and relieved. If Maverick came in first and Grasshopper did not, I would have never heard the end of it.

Maverick also competed in the sparring competition but Grasshopper did not. I brought Grasshopper home and went back to the competition. Maverick did well, but a couple of his matches were more brawls that actual karate. One kid just kept swinging haymakers and there was little control on any of the younger kids. One of Grasshoppers best buds took a clean (but hard) roundhouse kick to the nose and just dropped. No blood and the other kid was disqualified for the match, but there was a lot of kids of all ages taking shots, low blows, and fingers in the eye that were not meant but hurt none the less. Maverick came in third in his group, which was great considering it was his first time.

While I was at the tournament with Maverick, the Wife took Grasshopper to the animal shelter to look at dogs. And found what may be the perfect dog. A beagle mix that was very mellow, incredibly well behaved, and very sweet. They'd gotten the dog the day before, and it will be available for adoption on Wednesday at 2 pm. Sound to good to be true? Perhaps it is. She's number 4 in line. So persons 1 to 3 have dibs if they show up on Wednesday as well. She's not sure if we'll get the dog or not. I suggested either bringing a really big friend to scare away the other three people or using the sob story about her autistic child and how this is the only dog she's been able to find that is good with him, etc. She wasn't hip on either idea. So we'll see what happens.

Later that evening we went to my cousin's house for his daughter's 30th birthday. It was a nice (if crowded) affair. My cousin (the one having the birthday) lives in Augusta, GA. Her husband is in the Army and deployed in Iraq. He's home for 2 weeks so we got to see him. He's one of the soldiers that got screwed when people got extended. He was supposed to be out of the Army last month, but now he's getting out like next March. They're not happy about it but what can you do? It's one thing to hear about it happening to soldiers, it's something else when it's family. He's done his duty and paid his commitment to the Army. He should be able to go home when his contract was up with them.

Today's been a fairly mellow Mother's Day. After church, we went to some sporting goods stores to look for camping stuff for Maverick for Boy Scout camp. We looked at backpacks, water bottles, and sleeping bags. We did pick up a cool water bottle for him, but are still looking at the backpacks and sleeping bags. We ran another errand or two before going to my mom's for dinner (true Italian dinner, we ate at 2 pm). After that, we basically came home. Maverick got himself a new driver at the sporting goods store, so he and I went to the driving range to let him work with it. He was hitting some practice balls at home and was getting very discouraged. I figured he needed to hit some real balls with it. He felt much better by the time we were done. The Wife didn't have to do too much today. Which is good because she's fighting a sinus something or other so it's been wearing her out a little.

Anyway, as you can see, things are pretty normal around here. I'm going to kick back now and just jam on the guitar a little while the Wife watches Desperate Housewives.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Buzzed blogging

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers for my dad and my pal. My dad is home now, he came home yesterday. He's doing well and is recovering quickly.

Today and tomorrow, I'm in Schenectady at "headquarters" to meet with some of my new team members and start doing some planning for projects. Things went decent for me. I also came out with my soon to be ex-supervisor and a peer that handles the servers and network infrastructure. We chatted when we went out to dinner and I was flabbergasted. Today has been a "Are you fucking kidding me" kind of day. When meeting with my new team members, I was just amazed at the lack of progress on some issues I thought were further along. Not to say they've been slacking or anything, but being as this particular project has been in the works for 18 months, you would think we'd be almost ready to go. I have so much work to do.

But what really REALLY PISSED ME OFF is the way my two buds that came with me were treated. We (that is they) thought they were coming out here to help organize the new teams in their area. As it turns out, it appears (we don't know completely for sure yet) that their organizational structure was decided for them, without thier input, and without thier knowledge. My current supervisor has basically been stripped of all responsibility and give a throw away job. My direct counterpart has been relegated from running the entire infrastructure for our location, to managing a few servers with little importance to the organization.

They would never have known if they hadn't asked for a "current" org chart to get the names of personnel in the department. They were inadvertanty given "draft" org charts that supposedly are going through HR to finalize. In other words, they were going to get royally fucked and would have found out after the fact. They're going to talk to the CIO, but if this is how our "new, combined, ONE ORGANIZATION" is going to work, I don't want to play. I've got problems with it on so many levels that I don't want to go into all the detail.

As I said, I was really pissed. However, after dinner (and a glass of wine to go with it) we retired to the bar at the hotel, and I got me a nice glass of Amaretto di Sorrono on ice, and after that, my outlook REALLY REALLY mellowed. We got some heavenly cheesecake, and another glass of wine later, I'm not toasted or anything, but just very very relaxed. I called the Wife (almost drunk dialing) and chatted for a little bit. I miss her. I spoke to the boys earlier and they're treating Mom well. I was going to do some work tonight, but fuck it, I'm going to go catch up on everyone's blogs instead.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Update

Just wanted to let everyone know my dad came through the surgery fine. They only ended up bypassing one vein instead of the original 3 planned. There was a minor issue after the surgery where his oxygen level was low and they had to keep him intubated overnight, but the tube's out and he's looking a lot better. Yesterday he even got out of bed on his own. He should be transferred from ICU to a regular room today and be home in 3 to 4 days.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Say a little prayer

I got a call last night from my mom. My dad went in for a routine angioplasty kind of thing and started having chest pain. They admittted him and today he's having bypass surgery for it. This is the second time he's had surgery like this. I'll know more later tonight and will update.

While your at it, also say a little prayer for someone I know going through a tough time. I don't want to give any details out of respet for thier privacy, but if you could send some good vibes, I know they'd appreciate it.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Latest work update

Before I get on with the post, I wanted to share a picture from our gig this weekend (like the feather?). Someone was nice enough to send them to us from the rally:


All of the pictures from the gig can be found on my Flikr account here.
So today I met again with the new boss and my counterpart in Schenectady. We discussed our thoughts on how our piece of the new organization should be run and who would do what. Without boring you with the technical details, we broke out duties of all technicians to "1st level" and "2nd level". First level is more phone support and break/fix, while second level is more advanced technical skills and creating all the systems the team will use to get things done. Myself and my counterpart were asked which we thought we wanted to manage.
I said that my counter part was probably stronger on the 1st level stuff and I was more technical and probably should manage the second level stuff.
And the both agreed! The takeover plan has begun. As soon as we finalize the structure, I'll have personnel in all 3 major locations in the organization reporting to me. I can then implement phase 2 of my master plan where I start getting my team access to things outside of our normal area of responsibility. Like a virus slowly but insidiously spreading through a network, we will infiltrate the IT organization until I and my minions rule all!
I mean, we will build a team atmosphere where members across responsibilities can work together seamlessly and are cross trained on other areas of operation. Yeah, that's it.
On a total side note, we went to a kick ass place for lunch. Last couple of times in Syracuse we've gone to the Dinosaur BBQ. A good BBQ place, but it was getting old. This time, we went to a genuine Irish pub. I knew it was genuine because it was 2 blocks down the road from St. Patrick's church. And they had pictures of the parade on St. Patrick's Day culminating in everyone gathering around the tanker truck full of green beer. I kid you not. Though something tells me they don't need to unload the truck. Just turn on the tap. It will be empty soon enough.
I had a beef stew in a bread bowl that was simply heavenly. And the atmosphere there was awesome. It was one of those places with a lot of dark wood on the walls and low lighting. A true pub atmosphere.