Monday, June 30, 2008

Jay: I Keep Forgetting

That I haven’t posted anything else today.  I’ve thought of it a few times and meant to, but nope, still the same birthday post.  Nothing about needing to examine and update my resume for a recruiter I talked with today.  Nothing about the need to raise money rapidly for one more major hurdle or still risk being being homeless (and we may have two vehicles now, but the car still isn’t as good as the van would have been for that).  No pictures from the ones pending.  Nothing about trying dairy with Henry to see what happens, starting with Deb, then him if he doesn’t react to that.  I think the dairy thing may have been a red herring, between the cheese being histamines and the milk containing strawberry syrup, which is more suspect than it might be since we know he can’t drink any Kool-Aid flavors due to something in them.  We’re also not convinced beyond a doubt about bananas, which also don’t fit the primary issue and which he loves enough to have begged for by name today.  Which doubles as practice of his mastery of the “n” sound.  As in “no.”

All the quickie items have gone elsewhere, where I can post more easily.  And not even all of those there could have been.

Sadly, it feels like it should be 4:00 and I have several hours ahead, so it’s shocking to see it turning 9:00.  The girls are fighting on my office floor, while Henry cheers them on gleefully.  Guess I should break it up, but it’s kind of funny.

11:45 PM | BloggingCarsJob HuntingKidsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jay: On The Agenda

Herding kids per usual.

Making beans to supplement leftovers.  I love cooking two nights and then having two nights of the leftovers making it easier.

Dealing with bureaucracy.

(Pause for literally hours to do aforementioned herding and post a couple items that were easier or whatnot...)

Nursing my hand that’s too sore to want to use the mouse and isn’t so thrilled about typing.

Work on composing and preparing a bleg, of it can be called that, for work, in context of explaining what we have in mind and why, subject to possible change or serious traditional offers considered, depending how serious and what happens with Deb’s career.

Work on the same basic thing to mass quantities of contacts, some of whom may not know even peripherally about the situation, and many of whom would be well aware my abilities.

The usual dishes and cleaning and organizing.

Work on a more traditional bleg on the possibility there might be any additional sympathy when I explain the next major hurdle we have to get past in order not to be completely screwed.  The PayPal button is still here, in any event, and won’t stop being useful for a long time, or appreciated ever.

Look at the washing machine, which seems to be acting up, and try to find the info for the service plan we paid for, if needed.

Test our electric usage to see if something is draining excess power, including the possibility that something not in our apartment or on our cellar outlet might be tapping it.

Clean the office.  Still.  Again.

Clean the bedroom.

Go through our stuff to purge/segregate/organize for sale more of it.

Run the car before the battery has a chance to fade out again.

Find a plate holder for the front of the car without spending any money, since there is none to spend.  Don’t want to drive it too much with the front plate sitting in on the dashboard.

Backup some pictures.

Reorganize some site hosting stuff.

Post ad info regarding our sites, maybe try to sell more to existing accounts, and pimp that further in any event.

Put together a “back from hiatus” fundraising Carnival of the Capitalists edition, speaking of raising money and advertising.  A couple people donated to us a while back and mentioned it as a thanks or hoping for return of CotC, so it’s partly for them, but also both to let people put their money where their interest is, and help me determine whether that site should remain ad-free or ad-limited, or whether I should load it up or seek sponsorship more vigorously.  In any event, that’s been part of my plan for trying to raise about $3000 in the next six weeks, some of which would be needed no matter how much I can make conventionally.

Update my LinkedIn profile and my resume and extend some of that to other networking-oriented sites.  Update the business site to reflect what I actually intend, until such time as someone makes me a serious enough offer to back off of that.

Probably a slew of other things I’m forgetting or that are trivial or that are implicit.

04:58 PM | BloggingBusinessCarsGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jay: Them’s The Brakes

We have the car back, thanks to my brother.

He’s very thorough.  The brake line was bad around the area where it sprung a leak.  It was worse on the other side.  He replaced all that needed replacing.  He also did the front pads, as they were close to gone, and the bleeding valve broke, so the part that’s in had to be replaced.

I spent $16.99 of the $13.75 from the yard sale for brake pads and lubricant.  He spent $32 or so on the other parts, so we’ll have to pay him sometime.  My nephew did a ton of running and also drove my brother home, which was awesome.

Now it’s going to need a couple tires soon.  Otherwise it’s in good shape.  When I drove it home, I wondered aloud if he’d tuned it up or something while he was at it, because the car sounded like it was running dramatically smoother and quieter.

Yay for having two cars!  And being able to transport kids!

04:24 PM | Cars • (1) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Jay: Today’s Order of Busy

Today I’m participating in a yardsale in what should be a better location than my own would be, on a busy road in town.  I dropped stuff off last night, wishing I could come up with even more, despite filling the truck.  Well, I add what it’ll fetch and wish I could come up with more.  I may yet grab more small stuff.  My nephew is giving me and the brats a ride there between 9:00 and 10:00, and my brother will be working on my car nearby, so later there will be some shuffling along those lines.

I started typing this before 8:40, now it’s 9:03.  Sadie is up but the others are still sleeping.  I have to wake and dress them and have everyone ready ASAP.  Looked in on Valerie and went to snap a picture of her sleeping angelically.  Dead batteries.  Apparently every AA battery around is dead too.  We haven’t been able to afford new ones, and no longer have a BJ’s card to get the very best price on lithium ones that actually last.  We’ve been using up my “buy in bulk so you never don’t have batteries” supply of standard ones and nursing them.  Unfortunately, batteries are a necessary business expense and some must be bought.  Apparently right away.

Okay, off to torment sleeping children so we might be ready to go on time.

11:37 AM | BusinessCarsKidsMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jay: No Birthdays

No birthdays I know of today, a rarity in June, so this’ll be my obligatory post for the day.

The car remains stranded in Sharon.  I called my brother and left a message last night, as it was rumored he could help me with it today, which is possible because Deb is on all early shifts now.  Meanwhile, I suppose I really ought to work on getting stuff for the yard sale ready, even if I have to drop it off and have it sold by others, or get a ride, or whatever.  That all hinged on having the car, but I also needed to spend pretty serious time working toward preparing.  If we can’t do much with this one, we may ask the landlord if he’d object to our having one here.  Probably not, as he seems to object to little besides having a pool for kids.  But then we’d feel like we had to ask the neighbors, too, see if they wanted to participate.  Damn politeness!

I’m trying to organize the whole “do what I can to make money from home” thing better, with some explicit unfettered time allotted me evenings and Deb’s days off.  Some things can be done in those minute or two or five interludes I get between kid demands, but I need to have them listed and planned out enough so the whole effort isn’t wasted on “so what did I need to do next?” There’s a lot more ad revenue available, and while we won’t live on that, not without serious content and traffic buildup at least, managing that is one of those little things, and boom, there’s the money for, say, utilities each month.

Posting more actively, even if it’s quick links to interesting stuff, makes the blogs more viable for ads, so you’ll see more of that.  At least on the WordPress ones, since I can post so quickly via w.bloggar, which doesn’t work with Expression Engine.  That’s about the only thing it doesn’t work with, and there’s even a version now that doesn’t use Internet Explorer in the background.  It was always annoying, that links in preview in the editor would open in IE, and of course IE was used programatically for the HTML rendering in the editor.  There’s now a version that uses Firefox instead.

One of the reasons Carnival of the Capitalists went on hiatus was the time it took me that was annoyingly uncompensated.  I miss the structure it gave each week, with a publishing schedule, but TANSTAAFL needs to rule.  I’m planning to revive it, starting with a fundraising edition, the success of which will help determine to what degree it continues, and the amount of advertising I deploy at that site.  Another project, which isn’t impossible to do in small chunks so much as it’s annoying.

Anyway, off to it.  Need more coffee, and a glass of water.  Have to keep drinking to combat the gout, which seems to go hand in hand with some swelling and water retention, duh, from getting underhydrated.

10:51 AM | BirthdaysBloggingBusinessCarsFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Jay: Yay

We drove the Buick for the first time today.  All the way to Sharon.

At Central Street and route 18 in Stoughton, the brake pedal went to the floor while I was stopped at the light.

The brakes work marginally so it’s not impossible to drive, with the right caution, traffic, etc.  However, the brake line is leaking near the passenger side rear wheel.  Feels like it sort of rusted through.  It was fine driving the rest of the way up near Cobb’s Corner, with caution.  The emergency brake has more stopping power than most I’ve ever seen.

I got a ride home from one friend, after they convinced me not to nurse the car home even alone.  Turned out the back road I was going to take is closed and I’d have to have driven in real traffic, which is annoying.  Deb and the kids are riding with another friend, who fortunately is going by here on her way back to the Cape, and who fortunately has a borrowed car that fit all the car seats.  Which the Buick only barely did, and that by not using Sadie’s good one.

Now I need to recruit my brother to help me get up there and patch it, say, tomorrow evening or something.

Kick.  Kick.  Kick…

09:29 PM | CarsMoney • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Busy for Someone Lazy and Broke

Wanted to toss out a quick post before I hang out and vegetate for another day.  Heh.

Cross your fingers that the car from my aunt works okay, since it’s registered and having a shakedown today when we go to Sharon to see friends, including one who is doing her lucky if it’s annual visit from Oregon.  Can’t afford the gas, but we didn’t have to fly across the country.  As such, we have to get the car seats in and so forth.

This morning at 10:30 there’s some kind of mortgage inspection the landlord has to have done, and they might need to come in here in the process.  There’s the tail end of making the place look more respectable in anticipation of that.  We’re curious what in the world it’s about, as that could mean a sale, which would suck.  And be a silly time for it, in a down market.  Then again, if you bought in the late seventies, down relative to peak, even by 30%, is still going to be a nice cashing out.  More likely it’s a refinance or leveraging this property to buy another because, hey, it’s a down market so good time to buy.  Or it’s a stealth excuse to inspect our apartment and find a reason to throw us out, but that’s just the paranoid outlook.

The baby isn’t going to let me type much more and I rilly rilly need to get to work on stuff, but…

In 1998 I went on a vacation to Canada, my first and last in forever.  Well, 5 1/2 years, if you could California to meet Deb, while still monitoring work and directing someone designated to be my hands back at the office.  But anyway, on the way back, I stopped at LL Bean in Maine and bought a T-shirt, among less memorable clothes.  It was never my loosest shirt, smaller for its size than they should run.

That shirt is, I am pretty sure, looser on me than it has ever been, which is an interesting anecdote about where my weight was when, given the stretches of time when I didn’t monitor it.  I peaked at 308 and had a stable high of 298.  Yesterday I hit a not yet stable low of 253, and am solidly 255 wanting to be 254 this morning.  Counting to the low yesterday, that’s 55 lost, 45 of it this year so far.

All apparently a metabolism thing by going off drugs that make you gain weight so you can get sneered at that you wouldn’t need the drugs if you’d just lose weight, because only fat slobs have high blood pressure.  With a bit of atavistic eating thrown in for emphasis, since apparently eating like someone pre-industrial food, if not pre-agriculture, agrees with me.

Okay, time is flying by so I have to get another coffee (sugar, no artificial sweetener to confuse the body about calories consumed) and see about cleaning and organizing more.

11:12 AM | BloggingCarsFood & CookingKidsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Jay: Today, Maybe

Looks like we’ll participate in a yard sale on the weekend of the 14th.  I probably have stuff in storage that can be sold that way.  We’re constrained by what days Deb works, and the weather, and an expected function on the 8th, and the need for me to run around and register the car because even though we can’t afford it, we can’t not do it.  On the far side, we’re constrained by the prepayment on the storage running through July 16, and my not being sure how I’ll make that $40 a month payment once it does.

So I need to go open the storage unit, which is packed like a cartoon closet that sproings out onto the floor when the door is opened, and at least get sort of an inventory of what is there that can be sold or otherwise disposed of.  Maybe I’ll take Sadie along.  Probably I’ll bring some stuff home for the kids to destroy before it can be sold.

Trouble is, some of that is stuff like the little refrigerator, which might be Craigable, if the smell is gone.  Other than something left in it too long, it’s pristine and works great.  If our circumstances were different, we’d probably keep it as an office or cellar fridge, maybe store soda or water or unopened juice there.  Except we don’t drink soda, can’t afford it, and I think limiting helps me lose weight.  And we limit juice, since Henry can’t drink it, it’s suspect if probably OK for Valerie, and it’s expensive.  And we drink tap water, except as a matter of portability when needed with work lunches.  Where I was going with that is the size.  Some of it’s big, and if I am to sell it, it has to come here and go...?  At least comics are small, and lucrative for their size.  And seriously buried.  The storage contents is like a giant 3D puzzle crossed with a house of cards.  Which makes me not want to touch it…

I could potentially save some of that for tomorrow or Tuesday, when I am out for other things.  It’s just… I am sure there are things that can sell, one way or another, or that I put there and aren’t worth keeping.  No extracting the value without diving into it.

01:49 PM | BusinessCarsMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jay: Betrayed By Weather!

Oh wait.  I mean, what a wonderful day it appears to be, and how nice it got for a large chunk of yesterday.  Hooray for sun and warmth, and their power to dry previously soaked grass.  Yeah, that’s it.  Assuming the 50% chance of precipitation, focused in the afternoon and beyond, is worth the risk.

Which means it’s looking sadly, I mean happily, like the family gathering Easter egg hunt thing will happen today.  That means getting a ride, which appears to be all set.  That means preparing and bringing something the baby can eat.  That means getting cash I can’t afford to contribute to the purchase of pizza, which means dairy, which means “hey, what’s Deb going to eat?” That means sitting here trying to remember what lyrics my brother wanted me to locate online and print for him, so I don’t have to be like “oops, forgot” or whatever.

But hey, it’ll make my brother and the other kids happy, so it must be worth it.

If it’s happening, and we have no idea for sure yet.  As of yesterday it was completely up in the air.  Not only does it depend on the lack of rain long enough for the grass to be dry, it also matters whether the grass was cut recently enough, or couldn’t be because mumble mower fixed mumble come do the lawn mumble, or it was too wet at the wrong time.

We also have no idea what time it is scheduled, since nobody in the family who schedules these things ever announces a time for them.  Apparently naming the date is considered sufficient.

Oh well.  Guess I’d better start frantically scrambling to be ready to go, rather than taking advantage of what for me is a work day with someone else to help redirect the kids.

I relaxed when my look at the weather told me it’s likely to be raining again by 2:00, but I’m told we should show between 12:30 and 1:30, so I really do have to scramble.

12:04 PM | BusinessCarsHumorJob HuntingKidsMoneyNewsWeatherNothingTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jay: Thinking Aloud

This is an exercise in helping me figure out what I am going to tackle today, and beyond, and wrap my head around what awaits my attention before I get all scattered.

I probably don’t need to mention the usual dishes to wash or load into dishwasher, of which there are relatively few because I’d caught up.  I’ll want to just almost from this post right to the shower, so Deb can do laundry if her back is up to it.  Poor back.  (Sounds like it’s not.) Going to the store simply is, without option to avoid it.  I could go to the bank while I’m out.

I have to take the registry thing to the town hall for an abatement on one of the excise tax bills, and pay the two of them.  That needs to precede any visit to the registry, which needs to be preceded by contact with the insurance company.  In Texas.  Which probably means simply not possible to register car this week, before the gathering Sunday.  Annoying.  Also annoying that said gathering is at the same time as something else we were invited to first, which worst case I could have gone to with Sadie alone, since she’s the one near Dale in age, and it’s his birthday party.

I have e-mails to answer.  Some are going on two weeks old.

We’re expecting my father to swing by late in the day, so I have to plan around that, even for a quick drop off of some stuff.  That influences the timing of errands.

Yesterday I discussed a web site update with the former big client, who has realized that my original preference on something was right.  I’d proposed to them a month to month flat fee for site maintenance and updates covering most anything short of a complete redo, since it’s not covered under the current support contract they have and I did the original based on their marketing/design person’s plan.  They managed to get me to do a one shot update for the monthly rate, which ended up working out to no more than $12 an hour and required a ton of waiting.  That’s long paid, but the last tiny bit is still not done, waiting for a photo.  Obviously I am not going to make another change, which could involve changing every page, without another modest fee.  I suggested an additional change to include and will hear back eventually.

I did site backups across the empire and was going to update WordPress on all the blogs that use it, starting with Dan’s, which I didn’t update last time.  I was falling asleep at my desk last night when about to do that, so figured I’d better wait.  I’ll want to do those before much time passes, so I don’t feel like I must do the backups over again.

I have some paying work I need to get cracking on, which among other things will require me to get more familiar with RSS.  I have dabbled with RSS readers myself, but none have “stuck” and I always revert to reading from links.  How 2003 of me!  I guess I need a reader I like enough, and then to be careful what I include, or to be able to categorize it well.  I could almost see an automated system being useful, so your daily reads would appear every day, keyworded stuff would appear daily even if it’s not a daily read, and a measured amount of “check weekly” and “check monthly” stuff would automatically be included in your daily reading, perhaps varied by day, so if you want to do more reading on the weekend, it can play catch up then.

That probably exists.

I also need to learn all there is to know about measuring RSS feeds subscribed/read for a given site.  Heck, I have no idea how many people read us that way.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?

Perhaps I can fit in some of that project today.

I also need to work with/learn more about Facebook and some of those.

I’m still on the office reorganization, which spills into the kitchen, where I still have stuff on the table that was once in the office.  That seems to work okay by pecking away at it, like when I crave physical work and need to get up from the computer.

Shoot, that about covers today, doesn’t it?  Not even getting into posts to write, my book/series of posts idea to work on while timely, CotC, the business site needing updating, etc. and so forth.

Well, off to it.  Don’t be alarmed it there’s a lack of posts or if I revert to drive-by commentary.

12:56 PM | BloggingBusinessCarsGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMoneyTotally Random • (4) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Jay: Busy Today

In an odd sort of way.  It’s so nice, I should probably take the kids outside, but I think Deb may do that for a while to help along my attempt at productivity.  At the same time, I’d wanted to try to give Deb some less encumbered time to work toward restocking the shop, which did land office business the last few days.  We’ll get there.

I’m writing thank you e-mails to people who donated, as a big priority.  We’re still just blown away.

I have a bit of work lined up for tomorrow, late afternoon.  The rate is reasonable, as far as a flat rate that makes it worth an estimated 2 hours or so, plus a half hour or so round trip.  However, there’s a huge amount of time involved in reading and digesting the red tape to be handled, and the instructions for something unfamiliar, easy as it may be (swapping POS system components).  It’s probably closer to 4.5 hours total work.  Reading that material is on the agenda, though I relaxed when I became reasonably sure I did not have to call anyone involved until I arrive on the scene.

I have a smaller bit of work at a time to be determined the first three days of the week.  It’s pleasing that between them it’s most of a week’s rent, or enough to put the car we all fit in on the road, or whatnot.  The smaller bit of work is likely to lead to a little more of the same, when every little bit matters.

I managed today to get back to the guy I’ve been discussing a different sort of work with, involving blogging, social media, and business development types of activities on a tentative, exploratory basis.  I’m psyched about the possibilities.

There are some WordPress sites we run that I need to upgrade.  One needs a different template, as I suspect that specifically of being a security hole.

Then there are other work-seeking efforts to be done, and so forth.  I may be a little scarcer about posting here than otherwise might be the case, though I may put some pictures up, as it’s been a while and there’s an accumulation.  Back to work…

05:44 PM | BloggingBusinessCarsGeekeryJob HuntingMoney • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jay: Tuesday

In case I don’t get time to post in the morning, I do have a couple birthdays to post later, and will presumably have an interview experience to mention retrospectively.  I’m due in Needham at 10:00 AM for one, where I should also get to see the former colleague who has been responsible for getting me two interviews so far.

The truck is gassed up.  It’s about 38 miles each way, which is expensive these days.  It’s momentum, anyway.  Temporary or not, I feel good about it.

I also have at least one tiny bit of client work expected next week.  A little grocery money, anyway.  Speaking of which, tomorrow I need to stop on the way home for Benadryl for Henry.  He needs some most days.  At least today we confirmed he is bothered significantly by the bath.  Even Valerie seems to have been affected by it.  Either there’s residue or growth that’s not obvious and hits hard, or something about the water itself, or something about the tub itself.  In retrospect, this started when he started bathing in the big tub.

Tonight no soap was used while he was in there, and the temperature was reasonable.  He went in there fine.  He came out as rashy as he ever gets, which is in proportion to the length of time.  It seems worst where he most touches the tub, counting that he gets on his belly and crawls/swims around.  The thing is, his very worst spots are where his face gets washed regularly, usually with just a damp cloth - water with no soap, plastic, rubber, etc., and a cloth that shouldn’t hurt him that gets laundered in detergent we have no evidence hurts him, as it shouldn’t.

Further experimentation will follow, obviously, including no baths some days, either at all or going in the shower with one of us instead, and the cleaning to end all cleanings.

It remains clear that he handles bananas badly.  It remains clear that something happened that was most likely related to dairy - probably a specific package of cheese and its histamines - or eggs, and was more topical than internal.  It’s unlikely now that either Deb eating eggs or him eating raw pears was a factor recently.  It’s unlikely he was bothered by anything he might have ingested in trace amounts yesterday.  It’s clear that washing his hands with Dial was bad.  It’s clear that he reacts either chemically, texturally, or both to some of the screen printing on my T-shirts.  He can eat rice, oatmeal, apples, butternut, carrots, and unofficially peanut butter and raisins with no apparent issue.  He’ll probably get to eat sweet potato tomorrow, as I made extra tonight to save for the purpose.  That’s likely to be fine, too.  But you can see how confusing it would be to feed something, then have him broken out in rash in the evening… after a bath.

Stay tuned for another exciting episode of As the Rash Reddens…

02:32 AM | BloggingCarsFood & CookingJob HuntingKidsMedicalMoney • (3) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Jay: No Birthdays Today

Well, not in my calendar.  Surely there are some, somewhere, for someone.

Today I am going to attempt to take Henry to my grandmother’s with me.  Valerie had a recent turn.  Sadie refuses to learn to use the big toilet, even though she’s getting too big for the potty, and we’re requiring her to do that before she goes visiting where that’ll be the only option.  He can eat regular food, for limited values of same, so it’s his turn.  This is the obligatory one for birthday cake for me and my mother, since ours were on Thursday.  I need to get moving soon, as it’s starting to be late.

Ah, I hear kids.

Speaking of which, Sadie thought not being able to drive our new car until we “pay tax on it” (registration) was about the craziest thing she’d ever heard.

12:56 PM | CarsFood & CookingKidsMassachusettsTotally Random • (2) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Jay: Birthday and Many Things

So yesterday was my birthday.  And that of a lot of other people, now up to a total of seven on that day in my calendar.  That may be the largest number on one day.  (Pauses to check, because he’s such a geek, finds that it’s tied with July 28, but no other day has more than five so far.)

It would have pretty much sucked - well, it did - apart from getting a car, and a substantial donation.

My left knee, and to some degree my thigh, have been killing me beyond all reason.  It may or may not be connected to gout, which had been quiet recently until today, when I seem to have a minor touch of it in my right foot.  Nothing like it was.  The knees have bothered me before, over the years, and can be sort of twisted easily, or hurt by kneeling on a hard surface, or standing in place too long (I tend to need to sit, or move around extensively, after sufficiently long food prep, for instance).  This has been unusual, and tough to keep away because of the kids and the need for activity that stresses it.

Ironically, sitting in this chair tends to bother it, while taking a walk tends to help it.  Stairs?  Excruciating, once it’s flared up, bordering on impossible.

That was making me extra cranky.  Part of today it was better, but we have kids and stuff.  They are pretty much a guarantee I can’t take it easy on the thing, and Valerie managed to add a bit of back to the mix yesterday by doing a backward somersault off my lap and being prevented from landing on her head.

Speaking of Valerie, she needs to learn to tell us when she’s bleeding, rather than being fascinated by the artistic possibilities.  Keeping a bandage on would be good, too, once Dr. Dad has ruined her fun.

So yeah, a car.  My aunt got this silver/gray 1994 Buick Century with 86k miles on it in 2003 at a good price.  She drove it to 174k miles, replaced it yesterday, and brought it to us.

She seriously downplayed its condition and overstated its degree of foibles, I think.  It’s beautiful, body looking at least as good as he one on the ill-fated van of the same model year.  The foibles are things like a fan blade on the AC being broken, so you have to turn it off and back on strategically.  I seldom use AC, even in a vehicle that has it.  The trunk apparently can leak some in heavy rain.  There can be a little trick to opening the rear doors.  There are rear doors!  And room for three carseats, of which they left an extra, a spare of my mother’s, in the car.  It uses a quart between oil changes, and she keeps it to 65 on the highway.  We’d mainly use it on local roads, very limited driving to places we’d need to go together.

The trick now is to be able to afford to register it.  That’s a tough one.  My aunt is getting the form to declare it a gift and save us the sales tax, so that will help.

I’ve always been particularly fond of my mother’s sister, who is only 17 years older than me, but this is just amazing and a huge surprise.

Anyway, I parked it where we’d been parking the truck, moving the truck up into the main part of the driveway.  We’d been using two spots deep in the driveway, then hogging a third, spare spot with the Sentra.  That wasn’t considered a favorable spot due to the mulberries, and really neither is at least one of the others.

Today I got home from dropping off a trickle of rent to the landlord, ran into the gal upstairs, and she had moved her car so we could have our other space back, having seen that we got a second car.  The very same day, they swapped his truck for something better, very nice.  Funny how things synchronize that way.

I was amazed, as I figured we’d lost that spot fair and square.  The spot we’d hogged with the old Sentra has a trailer in it now, which works out perfectly.  They can be funny sometimes, in their youthfulness, but once again, the people upstairs are great.

What else?

I ended up doing a lot of dishes and cleaning.  I took Valerie on errands with me, to the post office, Benny’s, the bank, and Stop & Shop, where her bladder almost made it through the entire lengthy trek.  I was threatening to make myself birthday brownies, with a mix on hand, but never did get around to it.

That would have been no fun for Deb.  On the off chance stuff bad for the baby translates into breast milk, she’s been off the likely suspects, bringing them back until it’s just eggs and dairy.  She ate a single egg, in a sandwich with ham.  He got rashy the next day.  It’s back off eggs long enough to let him clear up and test it again.  It could have been random environmental, or something stray he ate courtesy of the girls.  He also tried pear, and while there’s room to wonder, that’s one of the least likely problem foods.  I’ll give him more this weekend and see, maybe.

I did splurge on flour tortillas, so we had chicken burritos for supper.  That was popular.  He’s had seasoned chicken since we started reintroducing stuff, but I cooked a little chicken by itself for Henry, just salt and a little pepper.  He loves chicken.

For that I pulled out a tiny frying pan I never use, big enough to fry a single egg, and now I want to use it again and own more like it.  It’s stainless steel with a thick copper bottom.  Yeah, I needed more oil than I am used to using, because the second I turned on the burner, it seemed, the pan was sizzling hot and the meat wanted to stick to it.  But oh, it cooked so nice.  I think I’m in love.

And hey, the non-stick pans are starting to lose their mojo.  They end up with a spot in the center, where the heat focuses, that the coating loses its ungrip.  Once that gets serious, you may as well have a traditional pan.  The really bad one is Deb’s deep frying pan with a glass cover, which gets used constantly.  I wouldn’t mind having more than one of those, including a larger version, if I were outfitting the kitchen more completely.

What else?

Today was better.  Overnight was weird, in that I was up most of the night, but during that time the knee was better, after a couple hours of sleep.  The very best thing for it is to lay down a certain way on the bed.  I can coddle it some laying on, say, the floor, but the bed is better, and then sleeping while it rests is better still.  It got worse again as the day progressed, but it does that.  While it may be nauseating at times today, last night I experienced a revelation of understanding how someone can pass out in response to pain.

Ibuprofen is shooting up the “must buy some” list.

I have an interview Tuesday in Needham.  That’s a Good Thing.  Same former colleague who landed me the main interview Monday got me another, but this time it’s his own employer, for a 2 - 3 month contract supporting a new software rollout.  Beyond that there hasn’t been much activity, besides a ton of additions in LinkedIn and correspondence stemming from that, including with my last manager from VB support, who was awesome.

I did up the root of to be a resume links and simple supporting text page, to give it the shortest possible URL without setting up a new domain.  Plus is more memorable than, say,  Which stems from when I was going to setup a new business as “Geek Practitioners.” The HMO in this case, besides a play on the medical theme, stood for “home, mobile, office.”

Still have to do a blogging-oriented resume.  Still have to retrofit the blogs with “hire me” sidebar sections prominent.  Still working on the odds and ends side work, but that’s going a little slower than expected.

Anyway, off to bed, I guess.  Wanted to do a post for the day and talk about the birthday and the car and such.  Got delayed and now it’s after midnight, but oh well.

03:23 AM | BirthdaysBloggingBusinessCarsFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (4) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Jay: Happy Birthday

To me!  An amazing 47 years ago, near this time, a modest walk from this place, I was born on my mother’s 26th birthday.

Apparently I was born hungry, because at 5 days old they were supplementing me with cereal.

At 17 days I went into the hospital in Boston with meningitis, for 11 days, and unexpectedly lived.

Henry is a mirror in more than appearance, as I apparently had a similar personality.  I also talked fast, walked fast, and was apparently way ahead until about four years old, when I slowed down to the point it seemed there was nerve damage.

Anyway, mostly to me it’s another day, though there’s a brownie mix I’ll probably make in lieu of cake.  I might try making a scratch cake, but we’re low on flour and it might have to wait for me to buy more, and someone gave us the brownie mix, which has been calling to me.

I am getting one big birthday present, the timing of which is coincidental.  My aunt is picking up a new car today, and is giving us her old one.  She says it’s big enough to fit three car seats in the back.  If I keep feeding Sadie like yesterday, perhaps she’ll get to 40 lbs soon and be able to get a booster instead.  A shame we lost one of our parking spots to the upstairs neighbor.  And that we can’t afford to register it until whenever.  Then again, the neighbor is using the two spots most directly in the line of fire of the mulberries, and the big car will be easier to get in and out of the driveway near the street.

That should be good enough to do what the van couldn’t even handle, simply getting us to my grandmother’s or brother’s or other local places as a whole group, without heavy driving in between.

Anyway, enough with the post.  I need coffee, and to work on the “how to pay some rent next week” project.

11:16 AM | BirthdaysCarsFood & CookingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoney • (3) CommentsPermalink
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