Friday, January 14, 2022

First Post of the Year

 At the start of a new year, thousands of bloggers rediscover their dormant blogs and make a promise to start blogging again.  I'm the opposite. Every January I ask myself, is this the year I quietly end Mysteries of Life and not post anymore.  The answer is, as long as I have this space, I will continue to post from time to time because I can.  I enjoy writing and doing good or at least consistent writing takes practice.  Also, I love looking back at a post from years ago and remembering something I forgot.

So how is it going?  Well, I'm still working that contract gig.  I'm doing one repeatable task over and over.  There really shouldn't be any drama.  And yet, the Project Manager has come out of the Sanity Closet and gone into full-fledged lunatic mode.  I've bounced my thoughts against the other consultants and we agree that the PM has burnt through all the goodwill we have available and is just being annoying, oftentimes on purpose.  I will try to do a separate post about this because as I mentioned above, it's good to come back in a few months and see how far you've come.

My weight is gradually and consistently getting lower.  I'm at the 210 - 212 lb range this week.  When we can, NG and I take laps around our subdivision.  One lap is 1 mile if we start from the top of our driveway.  When we do two, we have to remember to add the climb up the driveway as well.  We are still on track with Dry January.  In February, I hope to go Mostly Meatless to see how that affects our weight, diet, and overall energy levels. 

$6K and they have only used it for 30 minutes

Some days are harder than others to get our laps in.  Yesterday we were expecting delivery of an Ultimate Playset.  We were told it would arrive at 11 am but they did not get here until 1:12 pm and it took 2.5 hours to put together so it wasn't quite ready when the kids got home from school.  It's mostly pre-assembled but the components have to be connected and it has to be leveled and a few more minor things.  Still much better than the two weeks my neighbor and I spent putting their much smaller playset together from scratch last year.  I will try to do a separate post on this one too, but for now every time I start writing about it, I get a little stabby.


***************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook, or subscribe via email. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A little late to the steps game

Recently, reluctantly, I enabled the step counting or tracking features of my iPhone.  In my running heyday, I never cared about getting in a certain amount of steps per day (and it wasn't a thing that I recall anyway) because I knew that even my easy mileage would knock out 10K steps.  not to mention going over it so much that my rest days would be covered as well.

Alas, I'm not running as much yearly as I use to do weekly.  According to Strava, I've run just over 20 miles this year, and the bulk of that came in October when I decided to do a virtual 10K.  The Michael Meyer's Virtual run.

This step tracking comes in conjunction with the purchase of a new scale.  It's fancy.  It tracks all the stats, except maybe one or two that you'd need an even higher-priced version.  Anyway, the first time I step on the scale, Dec 1, I weighed in at 220 lbs.  Five days later, without doing any exercise or diet modification, I was at 216 lbs but went back up though never reaching 220 again.  With some intentional running, walking, and eating modifications, I've managed to hit a low of 213 lbs.  Weight fluctuates.

Back to the steps.  Nightingale agrees with me that the steps probably aren't accurate unless you are wearing a Fitbit or Apple Watch or other such devices.  Most mornings I do the same thing in the first hour of the day.  Fetch coffee from the kitchen, feed the cats, and pace the house while getting Moose and Squirrel up and to the breakfast table.  Yet the difference is astounding.  one day I hit 1000 steps by 8 am, the next it's only 500.  Today it was 2000 but that's because Friday is garbage day and i have to walk our cans down the driveway to the road.  Granted some days I forget to carry my phone with me all the time so I miss a lot of steps.


***************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook, or subscribe via email. 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

An unfortunate set of events for New Rigel

My desktop, New Rigel, has finally bit the dust.  it seems like every time we move into a new house, one of my computers breaks a few months later.  Okay, I only have two data sets for this and both machines were already pretty old before moving them around several times.  But I had just sunk a little over $100 into upgrading the memory because it was giving me some performance issues when I tried to work with remote Citrix for my contract gig.  

I ordered a new computer desk in November.  It took two weeks to arrive via some crappy Amazon issues.  I actually had to reorder it but got a $40 credit for my troubles.

After building the desk, I powered down the PC and put everything on the new desk.  I didn't power it back up because it was evening and I didn't need to do anything computer-related.  The next morning it wouldn't turn on.  Something must have happened during the night because the UPS device I keep my PC plugged into was off, and out of backup power.  

As I had to start work, I borrowed Nightingale's laptop and was able to find most of my URLs through the power of Chrome.  This has been a decent short-term solution but Nightingale really wants her laptop back.  

I did some troubleshooting and found that if I removed the ATX CPU cable, the computer would power on, but of course, nothing would boot up.  The next thing to try was the Power Supply.  I ordered one off eBay and there was drama with that because I had my old address in my account and didn't notice until I hit Purchase.  eBay has no mechanism to change an address after an order has been placed, and the seller was less than helpful.  

The new Power Supply didn't make a difference so now the best, and really the only course of action is to get a new computer.  I'm not ready to purchase my next Forever Computer so I'm looking for a cheap but serviceable one.  My current gig goes until January 28th and I don't know when the next gig comes along.  

My dead desktop was pretty robust and it had built-in WiFi.  The cheapies I'm looking at on Woot either don't have WiFi or come with a USB dongle, which isn't ideal but I'm warming up to it. 

I considered buying an exact version of my old desktop off eBay so I would just swap out hard drives and reuse the RAM I just bought.  But as Nightingale pointed out, why would I want an 8-year-old computer?  And as some friends on Facebook pointed out when I bragged about upping the RAM, solid-state drives are where it's at, man!  

There are some cheap refurbished desktops on Woot but many of them do not come with built-in WiFi or optical drives.  Some do not say how much RAM They support.  I think I have found two that might suffice, but I'm torn between going cheap or going for the long haul. 

Lenovo M900 Small Form Factor Desktop, Intel Core i5-6400 2.7GHz Quad-Core, 16GB DDR3, Solid State Drive, Win10Pro (Your Choice: Model) -$359.99

Lenovo M900 Small Form Factor Desktop, Intel Core i7-6700 3.4GHz Quad-Core, 16GB DDR3, Solid State Drive, WIFI, Win10Pro (Your Choice: Model) - $529.99

Note: I know these links may disappear but I've basically shown them with max price options on Woot.  

The major difference is the processor and each comes with different SSD size options.  Basically, I either buy the i5 with the half-terabyte SSD or I get the i7 with the 1 TB SSD.  none of the options in between are worth it.  I'm hoping that I can reuse my optical drive from New Rigel.

I'm leaning toward the cheaper option.  If it fails, i won't feel as bad knowing that I save $200 which can be used to buy the next desktop, a gaming machine perhaps.  


***************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook, or subscribe via email. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Gig Work

 When all was said and done, and Nightingale gave notice at work, the plan expectation was for us both to be unemployed for a little while.  We would use the time to get the house in order and exercise every day after getting the kids to school.  

As luck would have it, I landed a contract job that started on her first day of her being unemployed.   It's doing one repeatable task that doesn't require a lot of brainpower, but the pay is decent and there is overtime if I want it.

It's been a long time since I was paid by the hour.  The contract goes until late January but given how the work has slowed down, I wonder if that end date will come sooner.  

I'm not sure what to say about this project.  From conversations with the other two contract consultants, I'm vindicated that:

  • the data isn't well organized;
  • the workflow could be improved;
  • and the PM is a flake.

I admit that I'm bringing with me the Ghosts of Jobs Past and I'm trying not to let it cloud my judgment.  I'm not always successful.


***************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook, or subscribe via email. 

Friday, November 5, 2021

so we moved to the South

I’ll skip the whole I want to blog more and sorry I haven’t blogged in such a long time diatribe.  I’ve literally been so busy with other things and so much has been going on that I had paralysis when it came to writing.   

We didn't decorate as much as back home

In June we came down for a visit and Nightingale got the idea to buy her folks' house so they could downsize and we could enjoy a lower cost of living. 

Obviously, I wasn't crazy about the idea.  But I didn't have a new job, our house had some warts and our school system wasn't the best.  Also, Nightingale was hating her job more than ever, and not just her lousy commute.  She supported me when I chose the Portage Park neighborhood, which we grew to love.  It was time to give this a chance.

Of course, we did it in the highest difficulty setting possible.  We had to scramble because they start school earlier in the South, because of the weather.  We had to keep the move a secret because Nightingale couldn't quit her job before we closed on the house and once that happened she felt she had to give as much notice as possible so as not to burn bridges.

There's so much more that I'm leaving out and I hope to write more in bits and pieces so that I can look back on these in the future.  Meanwhile, I'm hitting the publish button so that I can write more mini-posts now that the scene has been set.


***************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook, or subscribe via email. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Feeling powerless and out of control

 sometime in the middle of the night, I realized today would have been my 5th anniversary at Big Audit.  Alas, that didn't happen thanks to being laid off 10 months ago.  I had wanted to make it to at least Year 5 because that is when the full 401K matching investment kicked in.  As most Corporate America entities write their benefits packages, if you separate from the company even 5 minutes before a milestone year, you get prorated benefits.



I'm still going through some depression and PTSD, the effects of my office nemesis.  He really did a number on me.  Looking back through the lens of time, I see things I didn't notice at the time, that I should have done a better job of confronting things head-on and standing up for myself.

It's been a rough few months in the land of job seeking.  I've probably talked to over a dozen recruiters.  A few have brought promising opportunities only to ghost me after I send them my resume.  Sometimes I get feedback like "strong on client-server technology but not on apps" or "not enough Cloud Experience".  

In my industry for my particular skill set, you either worked at the No-Name Software or were at a company that was an early adopter of their software solution.  If you couldn't make it work at No-Name (say for instance you were not part of the cool clique) you found work at a Partner integrator company or a law firm.  All these people use to call me at the support line asking for help and I got them the answers they needed.  But now suddenly I'm not good enough to work for them.  

I once said that dating and job interviewing are similar in that you can have a great first, second, nth date/interview, but until someone gives you a job, you got nothing.


****************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook, or subscribe via email. 




Monday, March 22, 2021

Something is always breaking around here

 In what I call the Parlor, which is really just the backend of our long living room, we have this full-length mirror covering one wall.  It's obvious that at one time a window was here, looking out on our neighbors' gangway.  I'm sure there was a practical reason for covering it up with a mirror inside and siding on the outside.




Last Sunday it broke.  We don't know how or why.  That is to say, we cannot pin it to anything.  Just one moment it was fine and the next we noticed a crack.  We did have Katness' kids over, as well as our neighbor's girls, but they all appear as shocked as we were and at their respective ages, lying isn't quite a thing yet.  



I don't think anyone was the explicit cause.  Maybe a large vehicle drove by and caused some vibrations?  or maybe it was just the mirrors time.

The irony is that when we first bought this house, I said I was gonna see what was behind that mirror and even get rid of it.  Instead, we put a bookcase in front of it, and then later my secretary desk and called it a day.  As we got rid of furniture and as the kids grew, it was nice having the open space.


****************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

Happy Reading!  Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook, or subscribe via email.