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3rd-Sep-2015 11:13 pm - Sooner or Later
Sooner or later, I will get to the bottom of this mass of C++ changes that need to be ported to Java.

Sooner would definitely be better than later...
2nd-Sep-2015 10:56 pm - Blargh
This is being an extremely annoying day.

That is not to say that it has not had its occasional redeeming points, but overall it probably just needs to end.

Oh, look! Only an hour to go!
1st-Sep-2015 10:49 pm - Unpacking
Unpacking will commence in earnest tomorrow.

So we have a landline from AT&T. It has been getting progressively more expensive, which is fairly easy to ignore.

Except that we've been getting long distance service via Sprint. And Sprint is discontinuing their long distance business, which means that we need another long distance carrier. After some investigation, I conclude the best option is to get the AT&T $5/month even if you don't use it plan.

About a month ago, I tried to change this on-line, but their systems were down for maintenance. Today was bill paying day, so it brought it back to the top of my to-do list. Off to the AT&T website, log in, finally manage to navigate to the right page link, click --

And the screen comes up telling me that I have to call them.


So I call the number. It says that all representatives are busy and that my wait time should be about one minute.

After more than 10 minutes, I give up and hang up and start over.

My wait time should be about one minute.

After 15 minutes, someone finally answers the damned phone. I inform her that the scheduling algorithm is completely broken and that they should consider telling someone about this, as I gave up on the first call -- which was no doubt the intent of the evil individual who wrote it, or at least so I suspect.

I tell her that I want to drop call waiting, for which I am now paying the stupid amount of $10.99 per month for a feature where little girls can not be counted on to hit flash on the phone, and that I want to add the cheapest long distance plan that they have, which I believe is $5 or $7 or something. I am put back on hold.

Eventually, she comes back and lets me know that she has removed call waiting and signed me up for the $7 / month long-distance plan. I don't know what that plan would be, as I went back and checked their website and the plan seems to cost $5 / month. There is apparently no $7 / month plan, although I have been signed up for it. Maybe it's the "donate $2 / month to AT&T for no good reason" plan. I dunno. So I suggest to her that I would like the advertised $5 / month plan.

I am told that I now have it.

Of course, at one point during the call, I was told I would be given a confirmation number and I don't seem to have gotten that either.


In the meantime, while seemingly on permahold, I spent time trying to figure out if I could bundle some non-POTS telephone service from AT&T with my existing DirecTV account. That appears to be impossible unless you want AT&T's wonderfully slow U-Verse Internet service, which I do not. There's also the question of whether or not this would work with my alarm system which I suppose I might find on ADT's website, but assuredly not on AT&T's.

There is also the option of giving up and going with Comcast. However, I have a Business Class Internet service from Comcast and it doesn't appear that it's possible to bundle a consumer class phone service with it. There is the Business Class phone service, but -- although the website says that incoming calls are free -- it doesn't say anywhere what outgoing calls would cost.

Because, you know, that would be too simple.

I could consider trying to downgrade my Comcast service from Business Class to consumer. Of course, I have become accustomed to actually having it work and since I'm working from home, that is a major plus. And then there are the burgeoning data caps that Comcast is rolling out around the country.

However, my employer has stopped paying for more than half of what I was paying for the Internet connection, which is pretty much like an almost $1000 / year after-tax pay cut, so maybe I need cheaper Internet service.

Or maybe I need a drink.

If I drank. Which I don't.

I think I'll just order a pizza.
30th-Aug-2015 02:03 pm - All That Political Jazz
It strikes me that the Trump and Sanders movements are both fueled by the same sentiments, just manifesting themselves on different sides of the political spectrum:

  • The government is being run for the benefit of well-connected individuals.
  • The government is surely not being run for my benefit.
  • The other candidates have some severe flaws.
  • Dear God, not another Clinton or Bush!

    Personally, I agree with at least 3.5 of the statements above. (That would include all of the fourth one, just for reference.) I don't believe that either Trump or Sanders is the solution, but I certainly sympathize with people who have had quite enough of this, thank you very much...
  • 29th-Aug-2015 11:34 pm - It's Still Rock and Roll To Me
    Two thoughts after the Billy Joel concert on Thursday night:

  • I really need to get my guitar out and write something.
  • I really want a horn section. :)
  • 29th-Aug-2015 10:46 pm - Time to Unpack
    It's done.

    At the suggestion of the flooring guy, we sent two chairs with carpet casters down to the basement where they could roll around on carpet and not scratch up the floor. Then we brought up the old This End Up love seat to put in front of the window, as Gretchen and I had been discussing the reasonableness of getting a love seat to put there and the fact that we owned one and had someone to move it seemed like a reasonable indicator that we should take a run at it.

    Julie was way less than pleased by this development, as she is tired of changes to the house. I think she has finally decided to accept it as a fait accompli, but this does not mean she is happy about it.

    In any case, we have started to unpack boxes. We have even hung the curtains in the living room.

    It's progress.
    28th-Aug-2015 11:19 pm - Fin
    Well, more or less.

    The last coat of polyurethane went down in the back room today. Tomorrow morning, they will come back and put all of the furniture back in place. Then we get to start unpacking.

    There will be a lot of unpacking. :)

    And then we will be done.
    27th-Aug-2015 04:28 pm - Back In the Office Again (Redux)
    It took a bit of doing, but I am back in the office upstairs with everything wired in -- except for the home phone, which I forgot in the basement and can be easily retrieved later. All of the rooms upstairs have been more or less put back together. I still need to move and wire the bedroom computers, but that is going to wait until tomorrow, as I have tickets for the Billy Joel concert tonight down at Wrigley Field.

    (Yes, I cleverly managed to buy one ticket for tonight's concert on our anniversary. Gretchen has approved of this, as she would rather be at home than have me drag her to the concert. :) Also, we went out for a nice lunch today...)

    The floors are looking much better. Sanding is now underway in the dining room, library, and connecting hallway. When that's done, all that's left is the family room through kitchen section in the back of the house and our long national nightmare will be over. :)
    27th-Aug-2015 10:31 am - One Chaotic Anniversary
    As of today, I have been married to the lovely daisy_knotwise for 21 years.

    If we survive the home renovation project, we should be good for at least 21 more. :)

    I love you, Gretchen.
    26th-Aug-2015 09:33 pm - Moving Day Tomorrow
    We should be able to move back upstairs tomorrow.

    And there was much rejoicing.

    The whole process (not the actual sanding by the guys who are here and doing a fine job) has left everyone pretty ragged and on edge.
    25th-Aug-2015 07:11 pm - Progress
    Two days into the project and the living room is looking good. Not done, as more coats are needed, but it's progress.

    25th-Aug-2015 03:18 pm - Chaos
    The sanding appears to be going well -- they sanded the living room this morning and I no longer see the water stains from the Christmas tree stand. I'm assuming that polyurethane is going down on the 2.5 rooms that are sanded upstairs.

    Change, however, is not Julie's friend. Yesterday, Gretchen took her to the hair cutters because she had complained of her bangs being too long. Sadly, she did not want any of her other hair trimmed, but that was what was done, because paying for a full haircut to have her bangs trimmed seemed like a bad idea.

    Julie was not in any way happy about this. The unhappiness continued into this morning. I am dearly hoping that it will have abated when I pick her up from school.

    24th-Aug-2015 04:14 pm - Ingress and the Bad Song Parody
    The local Enlightenment team (read "frogs") have a park about a mile from my home where they like to establish a farm for gear. As the newest level 8 Resistance agent in the area, I am now on the list of people who get asked to make it go away. :)

    I hit it today on the way to lunch, so the timing doesn't quite work, but...

    Dimucci Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet green icing flowing down.
    Firing off my bursters like the rain
    And I think I'm going to take it
    And they took so long to make it
    And I know they'll have this recipe again.
    Oh, no!

    Hey, another day, another 40K AP... :)
    24th-Aug-2015 04:07 pm - Dust in the Wind
    I slept really badly last night, not because today was the first day of school for Katie and Julie, but because the folks sanding our floors were due to arrive today and I still hadn't dismantled the computers upstairs. (Well, I'd moved the work computer to the basement, but nothing was hooked up.) The result is that I'm pretty much exhausted today.

    On the other hand, the guys sanding the floors have shown up and the amount of dust that has been scattered about the front of the house and the amount of noise coming from upstairs suggests that progress is being made. I poked my head through the plastic tarp a few minutes ago and the sanding of the staircase seems to have proceeded at frightening speed. :)

    Our bed is in the family room. The girls are going to be sleeping in the library. Their bunk bed has been disassembled and is hiding in the guest bedroom, along with the rest of the furniture from their room and some of the furniture from our bedroom and/or the office, I think.

    And the big ginormous desk has been pushed to one side of the office, as it doesn't actually go in and out of the door in any sane fashion.

    Oh. And I disassembled the computers and brought them down to the kitchen table.

    Now I just need to wire them back up...
    23rd-Aug-2015 10:25 pm - Ingress Is More Fun Than Packing
    Hearing that I was a bit short on gear, Peter Heltzer invited me up to an Ingress farming session in Vernon Hills. I brought Katie and Julie along and they had a fine time playing with the Heltzer boys (for the most part -- any interaction between young children is subject to sudden change :) ). And I have a great deal more gear.

    We grilled steaks and had them with baked potatoes and sweet corn for dinner to celebrate the end of summer vacation. Then we went out to Dairy Queen for the same reason and I used some of the newly acquired gear to take out a portal next door...

    Now, we are trying to get little girls to bed. And finish packing everything up. Foolishly, I thought I could get all of the files in the office into four bankers boxes. This might have worked, except the large filing cabinet is full of legal-sized files.

    Ah, well. There are more boxes in the basement...
    23rd-Aug-2015 01:53 pm - Excavation
    The guys are coming to start refinishing the floors tomorrow and they want all of the heavy stuff emptied out of the furniture, mostly the remaining "small" bookcases. We are endeavoring to oblige, although we have concluded that any more boxes of stuff that are packed out of the upstairs are going to be stored in the bathroom, partly because many of them are full of heavy, lovely, clay-coated paper stock. (Mostly songbooks and high-quality comic reprints.)

    In the process, I have found a great many things. I have found the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans graphic novel, "Games", which I bought many years ago, misfiled, and never read. (I have now started reading it.) I found my father's typhoon journals. I found two copies of the same Crosby, Stills, and Nash songbook.

    I have found a huge stack of comics semi-pro zines such as Alter Ego and Backissue which I have never gotten around to reading. I am out of magazine-sized boxes. *sigh*

    And photographs. I have found photographs, including a color laser-printed image of my mom and dad holding one of my nieces and nephews as a tiny baby. All of those nieces and nephews are in or through with college at this point.

    More stuff for recycling too, mostly old convention program books and manuals for equipment that we no longer own. ("Oh, look! That garage opener broke down five years ago.")

    On the other hand, the manual for our Sleep Number bed may come in handy when we move it tomorrow...
    22nd-Aug-2015 03:54 pm - Meanwhile, In Happier News
    I'm slightly late (but only slightly) in saying how delighted I am to be nominated for a Pegasus Award in the Best Time Related category for my song, "One Last Dance". Thanks to everyone who thought of me! (And it's going to be a tough little category, as is the rest of the ballot, which you can find here.)

    In related news, let me shill again for Barry Childs-Helton for Best Writer/Composer as he is, in my opinion, the best fannish songwriter to have never won the award -- although there are some other folks I can think of who are in the running. :)
    22nd-Aug-2015 03:48 pm - Lovely, Heavy, Clay-Coated Stock
    That's what they make textbooks out of. Or, at least, they used to.

    I just cleaned off the "small" bookshelf in my office and filled three small boxes which have gone down to the garage. This doesn't count the approximate one shelf of things that were no longer of any use that went into the recycling bin with the help of Katie and Julie.

    What I forgot about is the compartment under the return on my desk that would hold a small inkjet printer. We don't have a small inkjet printer, so I filled up the space with paper. Reams and reams of bright, colorful paper for making flyers and such.

    Oh, joy.

    All The Fun Of Moving Without Actually Buying a New House! (TM)
    22nd-Aug-2015 02:42 pm - Aha!
    In the interest of peace and harmony, when I unplug the computers in the bedroom before the floor sanding starts on Monday, I am going to carry them down and put them on the kitchen table where I can hook them back up for the girls to use while this is going on. Since they connect via wireless dongles, this isn't too difficult.

    There was something niggling at the back of my mind about my office computer, so I opened up the box to see the label that says Wi-Fi connection. Look at that! My system has a built in wireless adapter.

    We'll see if it will let me connect...
    21st-Aug-2015 11:21 pm - There's 104 Days of Summer Vacation
    We are down to the last two.

    Much of this weekend will be spent getting ready for the opening of school on Monday and the contemporaneous arrival of the floor sander.

    But there will be a trip to the big pool in there somewhere.
    20th-Aug-2015 11:46 pm - A Better Result
    I returned to Wrigley Field tonight and saw the Cubs beat the Braves by a score of 7-1.

    That's better.
    19th-Aug-2015 10:59 pm - Take Me Home From the Ballgame
    Due to a bad scheduling confluence, I ended up planning to go to both tonight's Cubs/Tigers game and tomorrow's Cubs/Braves game. Sadly, I couldn't find anyone to go to the game with tonight. This turned out to be just as well, as I left with the Cubs trailing by four runs in the bottom of the fifth when the Tigers starter went down with an injury. The replacement pitcher was going to be given as long as he needed to warm up and it was already nearly 9 PM.

    I was really tired and I figured that it would be just as well to go home and put the girls to bed and try again tomorrow night.

    Given that the Cubs lost 15-8, I think this was a good decision.

    However, I did score 50K AP in Ingress on the way to and from the ballpark. And I created the largest field that I'd ever created linking off Ernie's statue. And I upgraded my first portal to P8.

    That last means that I finally made it to Level 8 a couple of days ago. :)
    19th-Aug-2015 02:27 pm - On the Floors Again
    We accepted a bid from the flooring contractor who was here yesterday. If I understand correctly -- I need to double check with Gretchen -- he'll be starting work on Monday.

    I guess I know what I'm doing on Sunday.

    (Honey! It's time to move the office again!)
    19th-Aug-2015 02:24 pm - Listening to the Morning News
    Did you ever think that Subway and Jello need a joint marketing alliance for damage control?
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