Fiona and me in the snow

Entry on Smartphone rambling and other assundry things

In the grand scheme of things, today was humdrum. I worked, played some audio games on my hone, and ... that's about it really. Why write you say? Because I'm trying to get in the habit of writing by gosh so there.

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Holly and her Mom took John to EFY and have safely returned via a pretty big storm they crossed somewhere in Southwest Virginia. They just canceled the Severe Thunderstorm Watch for us, and though I hope it will happen, I don't have much hope that we'll get much rain. Who knows, rain chances should continue throughout the week, so though the severe threat may not be there, I'll keep my rain hopes high.

I have EEO training tomorrow which I've already attended. It's required to attend however as they're forming a new Special Emphasis Program's committee at work, and I'm on it. I'll be there to cover the disability angle of things, and hope myself and my friend James can fill in the gaps as far as advisement about disability issues. We need to understand the whole picture of diversity and how we can hire others of diverse backgrounds and help them as they work, and that's why we have to take the training. I'm hoping I will be able to stay awake. Training lasts tomorrow and Wednesday all day and Thursday for half a day. I think I'm taking half a day off on Thursday so we can go swimming. Again, we shall see.
Fiona and me in the snow

swimming weather

It was definitely swimming weather out there today, and though we did not do too much in the way of swimming, at least we felt like we were swimming through the hot humid air. High was 104 today, yet another record, and the thunder and rain we're receiving now is welcome. We have slow, heavy, summer flies all over the place, and it has become Julian's sport to go around, flyswatter in hand saying, in a really sweet innocent voice, "commeer bug. Comeer bug." I don't think he's actually killed any flies, but it's sure darn cute.

Holly's brother, Mom and Dad came yesterday so they could take John, her brother, to a week-long church summer camp called EFY about two hours away from here. Her Dad left today to go back home, and her Mom plans to stay here for the week awaiting John's completion of EFY and Holly's Dad's return. They got here later than expected due to a flat tire before leaving, but they seemed to enjoy themselves. Consequently, we didn't go to church, but stayed here this week.

Holly's Dad seems to like to fix things when he comes here, and today was not an exception to the rule as he didn't have too much time. When we had the earthquake last year, it seems to have helped or caused the deck to twist slightly to the right. this encouraged the gate we use to keep Julian in and me from falling down the steps to be about an inch and a half from true, and therfore unable to latch. Turns out, the hinges got torqued, and we had to replace some screws, but we seem to have it working now so there's a correct latch, and so we don't have to use a bungee cord to keep the gate closed. Definitely more safe, and more convenient, a win win. Hard to imagine that a 5.8 earthquake could do that, but it sure makes sense. Being 40 miles from the epicenter, we definitely felt some rockin' and rollin' out here, and it seems like our deck got in on the action. though settling does occur in this part of the country, it seems to have been accellerated, and we saw more cracks from the paint in joints on the walls etc. after the quake.

We also got my HF antenna restretched, and I'm now pretty certain I can get back on the air without too much difficulty. I haven't made any contacts, but I am glad to know that our landscaper didn't cut the actual wire portion of the OCF (Off-center fed) dipole, but cut and/or untied the cord holding it. This is good, especially since the Antenna costs like $200. We're still going to have to untangle some things with a reaching pole he'll bring when he comes back next week, but I'm grateful for the quick fix, and glad to be back on the air.

Despite the heat and my misgivings about grilling in high temps, dean and I cooked burgers and hot dogs, and, that hellish task completed, we filled up the two inflatable pools we have. the burgers were good, and after eating, the pool was even better. The big inflatable apparently has a leak because after we filled it, part of the pool started to sag, and we lost water. We still had fun though, even with Julian shooting me in the face with a hose. He seems to think that that is a sadistic game, and that it's fun too.

I've been trying to stay awake since then by doing dishes and staying generally active, as I'm worried that if I go to bed too early, I'll wake up extra early and be totally screwed. Of course, my trusty cat alarm clock named Tippy will wake me up without fail at 6:30 or thereabouts wanting food. I'm working from home tomorrow, so whenever I start really doesn't matter. The later I start, the later I have to work, so I try to start early, right after the cat wakes me up, so I can get done early and possibly take a nap.

We went outside to watch another small storm move in, and that was nice. I liken storms to food. My favorite part of a storm is when the air turns from being a stagnant soup with rumbles anticipating what is to come, to a cool alfresco, turbulent and exciting, to the calm fresh end, the dessert of the storm. More soon, I don't think I can force myself to stay awake much longer. *big yawn*
Fiona and me in the snow

musings on mind-bending anomalies and asymetric science ... among other things

Mind blowing.

Lots of things are mind blowing this afternoon. Let me expound.

  • Higgs-Boson Particles

  • Why I am at least partially coherent this afternoon upon waking up at 4:30 A.M. after not getting much sleep.

  • The state of my work inbox and the easy day I've had today

  • The size of this journal if printed in a book. With comments and table of contents, it would, in a standard hardcover book size be approximately 1400 pages. I know I have had the potential to be wordy at times, but wow, did I along with my readers write approximately 630000 words? Probably considering my average entry size is over 500 words.

So I woke up this morning to Velvet throwing up. I needed to start the dryer anyway, so I decided to forget it and get up early. I'm paying for it now, and am trying to employ the strategy of writing to stay awake since I'm finding stimulating things to do here at work somewhat of a rarity. I think it was really something that Velvet ate in the yard, but the golden sounds of a dog barfing is never a good thing to wake up too that earlyin the morning.

It continues to be hot. At about 7:15 when I got to work, it was 84, and the cicadas were active at 5:45 this morning. This kind of thing is supposed to happen in Arizona, not in Virginia. It feels like a tropical beach outside with none of the benefits and definitely no drinks with little umbrellas in them.

The steaks turned out good. I used three different rus on the different steaks, and liked the ones that I put on my steaks. Holly seemed to like her sirloins, so it was definitely worth the evil hot temps with accompanying sweat for the tastiness I enjoyed last night and for lunch today.

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Finally, I was looking back at previous entries in my pdf journal copy and was amazed how, in the past, I had people actually reading this thing and commenting on my entries. I have a feeling that the use of livejournal is most definitely decreasing for more popular Wordpress or blogger-like solutions. I never wrote exclusively to an audience, but now that I'm writing, I wonder if anyone has picked this tome back up? I post this to Facebook and Twitter and have heard from others, but wonder what detriment happens to one's social network if a blog or journal hasn't been written in for four years.

I came into the office today, but sure dread waiting for the van in this heat. A couple of weeks ago, I had to wait from 4:00 which is my normal pickup time until 5:30. At that point it was close to 100, but now we're dealing with a heat index, so I hope I get picked up relatively quickly this afternoon. If I could wait inside, all of my problems would be solved, but that's not possible since the entrance to the building is not in clear line of sight with the place where teh van comes to get me. Luckily there's a bench to sit on and that I have a book to read.
Fiona and me in the snow

workday musings of apple, bone conduction, and other things from hot Central Virginia

They say it's hot. Check, definitely hot. They say it's 99, check, probably 99. They say it feels like 101 F, buzzer. The complicated mathematical formula used to calculate how hot it feels based on humidity and temperature lies today though I'll give NOAA props, it does feel a shade, get it--shade, cooler than it did when the heat index was 113.

So I've finished all I can do with work, Julian is laying downstairs watching a movie, and as I wait for more work to miraculously appear, i thought I'd write. I had forgotten how much I actually enjoy writing, and wish I had continued over the years. Time, being the enemy of all things, continues and continued to move forward, and I was just too busy to write. This was probably a valid excuse on many an occasion, but I probably could have written something at least once a month.

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I continue to eagerly await the release of IOS 6.0 and the iPhone 5 in whatever form it projects itself. Collapse )

I didn't do too much in the way of Fourth of July celebrations yesterday, but did do a hech of a lot of shopping yesterday on my day off. We got some steaks from Target which were on sale because we just got groceries in our Traget, so I'm grilling them tonight when it gets less insindiary outside. Which reminds me, I need to go downstairs provided my work box remains barren and marinate and/or season. Holly wanted sirloin, and I got ribeye. Julian will eat whatever, especially when catsup or salsa is involved, and all will be happy at the Romey house tonight. We had a few rogue fireworks in our neighborhood, but most people respected the ban on fireworks in the county, and layed off. I watched the Capitol Fourth from the cool safety and security of my couch, and didn't wish too hard we'd made the trip to DC to attend.

And with that, as I wait for my LJ book to generate, I'll sign. I remember generating a pdf of my journal before, but can't find it right now. I'd like to put it on dropbox so that I don't lose what I've written should something happen to LJ. Thank goodness I have AC in this office, it hasn't turned off yet this afternoon. Guess I"m going to continue to enjoy it and be grateful that I have it.
  • Current Mood
Fiona and me in the snow

tap tap, is this thing on?

Well ... it's been almost four years since I've written an entry. Sad, shocking, and amazingly interesting considering how much ahs gone on in life since August of 2008.

I'm now married, live in a house--have been for almost three years almost, and have been working at DLA for near on the exact amount of time since this last post, four years. It's quite funny that full college degrees could be earned in the time it ahs been since my last post. Oh well, all I must do is write as if I haven't written before.

I've been more active socially on the internet lately as I discovered my Twitter account which I created in ... you guessed it 2008, near the beginning of the twittervers. It's weird not having to limit myself to 140 characters. It's interesting to me that I have embraced Twitter as most of my previous livejournal entries average 500 words or more. But life is a maze of inconsistencies and oxymorons isn't it?

Julian, my son, is now two. He's saying all kinds of crazy things, and from what I understand, taking crazy pictures of me with my Holly's iPhone. Apparently, he camera caught me with peanut butter slimed sunglasses which he'd given me to wear, and I didn't even know it. Guess I missed the camera flash. I had a smile on my face, a can of Dr. Pepper in my hand, and Julian had introduced some artsy blurriness, making me look ultra cool. See and be amazed. Facebook seems to like it, and my son is becoming a new photographer apparently.

It continues to be really hot here with temps in the upper 90s with heat indices even higher. There are sporadic power outages around, some caused by the storms we had this weekend, some unexplained. I worked from home today, and at about 0900 (9:00 A.M.) the person I am Training told me that the power at the office was out. Apparently it was base wide, and for those who weren't scheduled to telework and were at the office, the base closed. I wasn't scheduled to telework, but I was teleworking, so I figuratively stared at a blank work computer screen all day as my support staff weren't there and work was a bit on the lacking side. I'm not complaining, it's been almost four years since I've been in this position, so am enjoying a bit of a break. I read some scientific articles on random things, checked out some AT related podcasts, and thought up ideas for articles and/or publications I could participate in. Not particularly exciting, but ... so goes my new life as a married father of one.

And that's about all I can think of to write about at the moment. 30% chance of rain tonight which this probability has spelled really big storms the past couple of days. Who knows. Time for mindlessness and/or listening to Julian jabber. Both passtimes are enjoyable, except for when he growls at random times and for no reason. No Julian, I don't want your half-eaten peanut butter sandwich thank you. Yummmmm.
Fiona and me in the snow

two constants, the good and the bad news, tech, what's been going on, and positively elemental

There are two constants, at least two that I can think of now, that, like the setting and the rising of the sun, prevail always; today I got to experience both. First, government plods along slowly, deliberately, cautiously, bureaucratically, and in most cases, forward. Secondly, Wednesdays are and hopefully will always be fried chicken day at the DSCR "Center restaurant" i.e. the cafeteria. I've been working with DLA now about 13 days, and just got word that all of my adaptive technology has now arrived and I will, god willing and red tape notwithstanding, have computer and network access. IN my job, it is necessary to have network access because all that you do is done on the computer, a military computer. So while waiting, I've pretty much finished a phone list for our devision chief, made lots of friends and got to know others around the workplace, ane read five maybe six formidable books. Currently, I'm finishing the third Twilight book by Stephenie Meyer, and though the series isn't something I'd normally read, it's sure peaked my interest and made my netless days slither by more quickly. It will be a welcome surprise to start my training. They say that I'll wish to remember these days of doing nothing but reading, and I will, but I've been doing nothing much of importance in the last six or mor months when it comes to being productive, and I'm looking forward to becoming a productive member of the American workforce. I was slightly worried when Cathy, the EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity Office) came down, I assumed to tell me about the technology. "Well, I have some good news and some bad news. What would you like to hear first?" I asked for the bad news first. She told me that it would be four more weeks until I got my technology. All I could think was a series of thoughts--darn ... well, I guess I can read more books ... oh well. So straight faced, I said "OK, so what's the good news", and then she relented and said that it was all here and that she wanted to mess with me. I guess I've played too much poker in my day to give Cathy and the two other bystanders who are also my friends from near her office the thrill of watching me peel myself off of the ceiling with rage. It was still funny though, and I'm getting tech, so it's all excciting.

I continue to take the van service to and from work, and besides the few times that I have to wait for the van in the heat, it's been an enjoyable experience.

I've met some really nice people at work, and they will probably make the working day much more barable. They alerted me about fried chicken day today in fact, because they knew that fried chicken was my favorite. Because I don't do it often--eat fried chicken that is--I dashed down there and got it to take back to my desk. The chicken was pretty good--expensive but good--and I'll have to do it again sometime soon.

My writing is extremely disjointed right now so I'll close soon, but the person who shares the cube with me to my left has a periodic table hanging up on his bulletin board. WThere's so many chemists and chemical engineers that work there, that we find humor in odd ways. So it's with this little tidbit that I close my entry. My cube number when equated to an atomic number on the periodic table equates to elemental symbol PT, platinum. My cubemate's element is platinum, and the guy across the way in our setup is herbium. I think that if I have more spare time in the coming tdays, I'll include elements with everyone's cube number--just because I can :P!
Fiona and me in the snow

The maze becomes clearer

Well it's now been seven full days that I've worked for the Federal government. I still haven't gotten a computer or software to use the computer, but that has finally been ordered today, so perhaps I'll actually be able to do more than read books and meet people soon. I've been tasked to do some time studies on processes that they use in the office, so I've been filling my time keeping and recording it, all while wasting time watching people do their work. Actually it's been pretty educational, at least on the little I've been able to accomplish, and I can't wait to get my hands on a working computer so that I can input something into the system. The people here are very nice, and I'm learning from everyone, especially in the department of keeping a positive outlook in the workplace. Someone tole me that "this is the best place in the world to work" and that made me glad I accepted the job and moved all the way across the country to take it.

Today's major highlight at work was getting my CAC (Common Access Card) ID Card. It basically is your passport to the federal and military world at the Department of Defense and allows you to not only get onto the center (and any other military installation) but also allows you to get into your computer. It has your picture, finger prints, demographic and personal data, encryption data, and other info stored on its computer chip. Lose it, and it's apparently an act of Congress to get it back. It's going to stay in it's little holder when I'm home, and I'm going to try really hard not to lose it because when a Federal employee tells you that it's going to be an act of Congress if you lose it (I've heard this twice), it probably will be. Plus, losing it means that you probably won't be able to do your work or get to work for that matter. It's a rite of passage for any new employee, and though it didn't involve initiation or strange rituals, it was still neat to give up my visitors badge and become a real employee.

The Seeing Eye rep came today for my followup visit to Richmond. We walked from the front door to my desk several times and it's all become more clear as to how the building is layed out. There are multiple ways to get from the front door to my cubicle, and Velvet likes to cut through the middle of the building sometimes to get me to the door, but Dave and I are working on getting her to pick one way and stick with it. That's why we've been doing it over and over again, and why she's dead tired tonight. Her taking different and less obvious routes to places within the building but still arriving at the correct destination reminds me of the circuitous routes my GPS tells me to go when I'm trying to play navigator to Holly when she's driving.

Tomorrow we're going to work on some work here near the complex--walking to Food Lion, and the shopping center that has several other places in it--and then we'll go to the center and work there for a while.

It's maddeningly quiet here now. Holly and her brother left on Sunday afternoon, and now I'm having to do the lonely bachellor thing. She's planning on coming with her family to go to Washington D.C. for the day on Saturday, and it will be really good to see her. It's amazing how much you miss a person when they've been with you--uninterrupted--for a couple of weeks, and then--loneliness. I'm managing though. I'm not sure I'm eating as healthy as if I had Holly here to keep me eating more vegetables and healthy foods--I ate Hamburger Helper today--but I try to hit all fouor food groups with every meal, and that's a start. I shudder to think that I've probably got four meals of Hamburger Helper left. So who can guess what I'll have for lunch tomorrow?

Well, I guess I should get to sleep before I have to get out and travel in the concrete jungle of bureaucracy and hazardous material logistics. More soon, and sorry to have not answered comments until after I post this entry. When I get to actually do my job, perhaps my entries will become more interesting. Perhaps they'll just get deathly boring depending on how mind numbing my job is. Time shall tell.
Fiona and me in the snow

Virginia finally, and my first couple of days

I've been so busy with moving etc. that I haven't written since finally finding out that I'd be moving to Virginia. Trust me, you wouldn't have wanted to read about my apartment hunting and subsequent move. I can distill it all down to "moving sucks" and continue onward. Suffice it to say, I've found an expensive but nice apartment (what's not at least marginally expensive in the Richmond area), and I am officiially employed by the Federal government.

My Mom took me here to VA and had to leave two days after getting here because of a training thing she had to do. It was surprising how hard it was when she left, not because I was not going to be with my Mom anymore, but because with this move, it was a permant thing. I'll go home, but I don't know when that next time will be. I still miss things at home, but as I've started working, I've become a bit less homesick. When Holly and her brother leave on Saturday, it's probably going to get harder again. I've dealt with harder things in life though, and I'm sure I can handle it. Being alone will truly suck, and I'm looking forward to the day soon when I'll have a lifelong companion in Holly to be with.

Yesterday and today have epitomized the fact that days like that allow you to learn lots, but also are very sucky, especially when you get lost as much as I've done. Holly was with me yesterday to help me fill out forms, try to orient me to the rat maze that is the building that I work in, and just generally be supportive. Today, she just dropped me off, so it was all me, and boy did I pass the getting lost test with flying clors. Each building here has been converted from being a huge long warehouse to an office building. All they did was pretty much take the 1000 foot warehouses, put carpeting, air condition, system furniture, and some permant walls and rooms in, and voilla, an office building. Each building is divided into bays for organizational and sanity purposes, and each bay is divided up into an insane grid of squares, which is then divided up with four desks in each square. What makes this setup hard is that as you travel down the building's length, it's hard to tell where to turn to get to your particular row of cubicles, and then finally find your cubicle, so I spent lots of time today telling people where my cubicle was (building number, bay, and cubicle number), and they'd direct me. I felt like a lost child sometimes. People that have been working there for twenty years or more say that they still get lost. I just find it amazing that I can walk (and I've never done this yet) through the whole building from end to end, from the most part, going inside. My building, building 33 is geek grand central for DSCR (Defense supply Center Richmond) (we have IT, engineering, and other departments I haven't discovered yet), and it's also got the cafeteria and fitness center in it, so it's actually pretty neat to be in a relatively central location. If I can map the building in my mibnd, I should start to get an idea of where I am in space and in the cube grid, but that will take time. At least there's a grid of cubes now, apparently in the past, there was an 1000 foot building with row upon row of desks.

Velvet has been turning heads and continues to amaze me and otherse. Because I have no idea where I'm going, she gets confused along with me. It's useful for the dog if I can give her firm commands, but if I have no idea where I'm going, I generally don't do too well with that. I'm hoping that the Seeing Eye will come down to do a follow up with me at some point soon, so that maybe I can try to orient myself and Velvet to the building's insides and the surroundings of the base. I think we'll do OK, but the school's followup services would be greatly appreciated right about now. I'm just thankful that they exist, and that they are so willing to come down to help out.

I can't do any work at all until I get security access to the system, and then after that, get an access card which is both your id and has a computer chip in it that allows you to access the computers. Without that card, there's no way to get any work done. I'm also waiting for JAWS and Kurzweil to come, and then I'll have to wait to get the IT people to install it all. So I went to the new employee orientation class today, and I'll be attending it for a short time. It's informative but boring at times, but it's better than sitting and doing nothing.

Before I go, and I need to go soon so I can get to bed and get up tomorrow for my first ride with the van service that the county provides (Holly took me in and back today and yesterday), I had a funny experience in my inprocessing to become a federal employee. At the end of filling in all of the forms etc., you have to be sworn in. I went through the process with about seven or so other new employees, and when we got to the swearing in part, they told us to read aloud the swearing in session. It wasn't until Saturday that I got my cable turned on, so I didn't have time to fill out the forms or put them on my Pac Mate. So though I paid complete attention to what was said, I so just moved my lips like an idiot to it all. They said they't just trust me that I'd defend the Constitution etc.

I'm ceasing to make sense, so I'm going to post this and get to bed. 5:30 or 6:00 will come very soon. I think, I hope, that as I get into a routine of work, that I won't be as tired as I have been when I get home so that I can write more again soon.
Fiona and me in the snow

job things, Fiona's missing tooth, and the weekly summary

We took Fiona to the vet yesterday to get her heartworm medicine and have her yearly vaccines. The vet told me that she needed to have her teeth cleaned, so she went in to have them done. Seems that one of her premolars was cracked, so it got pulled. Poor Fiona is very groggy, tripped up on morphine and laying in my bedroom. I have no idea how the tooth got cracked, but the vet thought it was a good idea to have it removed, so I'm glad we had it done.

I got word from DLA about my job. Seems that the step increase that I requested because of my masters degree and extre experience was disapproved. What does that mean? Well, I come in on the lowest step possible. Though there's room for promotion, I jump two grades per year, it was still kind of sad that I wasn't able to come in with the added value of having my masters. I thought about writing a "what am I really worth" or "what worth can I put on myyself" essay but then decided against it. I know that I learned a lot while getting my masters. I also know that this is a good starting job, I hope, and that Holly and I will manage with the starting salary I'll be making. A job making some money is better than doing nothing, which is what I've been doing for a while. It's a job thab that I know I will be able to do and do well, so I decided to officially try to throw my money hungry side away and take the job so that Holly and I can move forward with our lives. Thinking positive is the only way to do it I think.

My voice continues to be MIA, sI I went to the doctor today. Got some antibiotics and cough syrup, and so I'm hoping that I'll feel better soon.

haven't been able to work with Velvet much lately because my Mom has been moving to a new classroom, and my Dad has been busy working and cleaning up the yart which, with our recent rains, seems to grow in feet per week rather than some more sane unit of measure.

We're still planning to take a trip to Richmond to check things out. Still need to firm up the details of our trip.

Well, that's all I have the energy to write about. More soon.
Fiona and me in the snow

(no subject)

I feel ok, I've been better, but my voice has gone downhill. DLA HR called me, and I could hardly talk. With the EEO (Equal opportunity Office) called me to talk about what equipment I wanted, I could hardly talk to them either. And when we went to the Texas Roadhouse with some friends of ours, I had a really hard time communicating. I also had a hard time communicating to Velvet that eating peanut shells on the floor isn't what I want her to do. I managed to extract a few before I put her into a virtual headlock with foot on leash, and hands around her nose, and she got the picture. I'm currently living on Musinex, Benedril, and lots of liquids. The annoying thing is that I have energy to do things. I have to teach Sunday School at church this Sunday, and I hope I sound, and feel better. I'll push through--I always do--but it may kind of be painful.

Like I said, I talked with EEO and they're going to talk to the IT office to see if what I requested will be able to be used on the computer system. I still have some time to pick what I want, but I'm thinking that I've got at least an initial idea of what I need. Then I can think of other things that won't necessarily be essential, but would be useful to have later on as I go to my training duties every month.

Tomorrow, I don't have anything huge planned except for remaining as silent as I can and planning my lesson. I might create a phone post just to demonstrate my patheticness, but that might bring people glea to make mun of me. I talked to Holly today, and she said that I sounded cute. My throat sure doesn't feel cute, but whatever.

More soon.