Blah blah blah, fourth day

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On the fourth day of Christmas, I went back to work.

Kate, Liza, Maeryn, Mike and I went out for breakfast this morning early (where 9:30 is defined as early when you're on vacation), before Mike and I wandered to the colo to do some server swaps. You know your mind is still on vacation when you get the drill wedged between the rail and a server because you jammed the drill into the rack to unscrew a screw and forget that the act of unscrewing the screw will increase the length of the drill, making removing said drill impossible without screwing the screw back in.

Fourth day. Christmas. Vacation. Remember?

Clearly not.

The other thought that popped into my head was why, oh, why, must everything at the colo take three times as long as expected? Why?

We went to install an Apple X-server Mike had, only to have to install it three times, each time learning something a little different, a little new about the box we were trying to install. Like, the width of the head is 2 millimeters wider than the rack space opening. We had to shove the box in at an angle, then rotate it into place, then screw two shelves into place to hold it, as screwing it in was impossible since we rotated the box into place, blocking the mount bracket openings with the rack wall.

Uh, yeah.

I then spent another hour server wrastling, attempting to beat down the two new servers going in for a client. Beat down, indeed, as I left the colo unsuccessful in the installation of the site onto the two new servers. Something about a 10000 volt power box thumping behind me, and thw whirring of hundreds of fans, and insistent beeping of hundreds of unloved servers disrupting my concentration, or something.

That, and insight when I tackled the problem at home.

On to other work now. Or, time to finish up this syncing daemon of joy.

On the third day of Christmas

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On the second day of Christmas

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On the second day of Christmas, I was completely embarrassed.

We started out our second day of Christmas in a sleeping contest that, yes, once again, Kris won. I'm not quite sure how he does it, but he managed to out sleep even Bella this morning. I managed to wake up all of 3 minutes before my mom called to wish me a Merry Christmas (phew! maybe she didn't notice I had just dragged my sorry butt out of the bed).

Life's been pretty good for Mom. She's been hitting the gym and loving how good it makes her feel. I'm so incredibly happy that I can finally say to you, "My mom can kick your mom's ass."

My parents did a good job of making me cry today, though. Mom commented that life really is good for her, that she recognized while driving home recently that, should life end at that moment, she could say, "I'm doing what I want to be doing, and I'm happy." Not many people can say that, and I'm thrilled that she can say it. The best part is that, since my life is following the arc of Mom's life (about a year delayed), I have about 11 and a half months before I can say the same thing. Whoo!

Eventually Kris dragged his slow-waking bum out of bed and into the living room, to discover, no, Santa had not brought more presents for him, and yes, he had only 7 boxes left. Aw, boo! Only 7 more gifts!

I'm a firm believer that the best gifts are the ones that someone wants, but won't buy for himself. In that frame of mind, Kris did an incredible job of getting Christmas presents for me. I received not only a earphone for my Treo (having lost my original one, and too cheap to spend $20 for a new one), but also Edward Tufte's two design of visual books: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. I'm so very excited about these books! They're at the top of the pile o' books to read this vacation

After the gift exchange wherein Kris managed to rake in the socks booty (getting nearly as many many pairs of socks as I have domain names, close, but I still win), I went to make breakfast. I asked Kris if he wanted to help. He agreed, so we made breakfast together. Sorta. Maybe. "Huh. The consistency of this batter is odd."

We were making pancakes and somehow in the relaying of recipe ingredients from the cookbook to me to Kris to his hands, the amount of milk dropped from two cups to one, and we had really, really thick pancake batter I was happy to go with it and plopped a couple lumps into the pan when Kris pondered out loud if the flour should have been only one cup. I responded, "No, it says here two cups of flour and two cups of milk." "Two cups of milk? But I put in only one."


I recovered by adding the other cup of milk to the batter, dumping the two partially cooked lumps of batter from the pan back into the batter bowl, and shooing Kris out of the kitchen. He left laughing that maybe he won't be my sous-chef after all.


They turned out really well. I made three pancakes. Three really big pancakes, and they were dee-lish-shush!

We played with the gifts for a while (in particular Kris' new Pedalo). I read a bit from my books, found the Napoleon's march / army size graphic that is so famous, tormented the dogs with some treats (they hate that, getting food and all), oooooo'd and aaaaaah'd over Kris' three new books on CDs, which included Wicked and the Chronicles of Narnia (all unabridged, of course). The C of N are read by seven different authors, of which we recognize only four. Kenneth Brannagh is the reader of the first book, so I might steal the book and listen to it first (KB being one of my favorite actors).

As in all good days, Kris fell asleep on the couch next to the dogs while I putzed around the living room for a few hours. Laundry was done. Papers were scanned. Pancakes were packed up for the fridge. Gift wrap picked up and thrown away. Boxes thrown into the garage. Eventually Kris woke up, and we finally took the dogs for a walk.

Well, we tried to. The day was mostly sunny, until just before we headed out. As we stepped out, the rain started. Slowly, ever so gently at first. Careful. Caaaarefullllll. Let them get out far enough. Wait for it... wait... for.. it. The farther we walked, the more the rain came down. Until, just as we turned a corner and pondered continuing or turning back, the skies opened up and the rain came dumping down.

Giggling and laughing, we ran home.

Dinner was two of the steaks we received yesterday, and very, very tasty. MmmmmmmM! During dinner, I remarked, "Good lord, it's 5:30! Can you believe it? We're having dinner at 5:30." "This is lunch, dear. We'll be eating again at 9:30."

After dinner, as we were talking, oddly enough in the bathroom, Kris looked at me when Bella bayed (I, being unable to use the bathroom without doggie supervision, recall). "That's not Mike is it?" "Sounds like Mike and Liza." "But I haven't showered since Friday."

Mike and Kate and Liza and Maeryn came over for Christmas greetings. As I met them at the door, I turned to look at my living room, and so wanted to cry. The house is a complete wreck, with laundry piled up on the couch and on the coffee table, papers piled up on the dining area table, dirty dishes in the sink, ultimate gear piled up the next to the door, dog toys everywhere. The house was a complete disaster, and the neighbors were coming in the front door.

Did I mention the embarrassment? Yeah, thought so.

Kris' family called just as the Gulls arrived, so he talked to them while Mike, Liza and Kate all tried out the Pedalo, and I held Maeryn. I hereby declare Maeryn to be the cutest baby I have ever had the joy to hold. Oh, someone guarantee me a kid like Maeryn and I'll have one! I'll have three!


But she is damn cute.

Dad called later in the evening and we talked for a while. He managed to make me cry with a compliment. Every kid wants to hear praises from her parents'. I happen to be lucky enough to have them be told directly to me.

So, this Christmas was very low-key. We didn't head up to the City for Teh Langpad Postmas holiday. Nor did we make Julie's Channapork dinner. I think if Kris' work hadn't been so stressful, and he didn't need so much rest, we would have been more social. Instead, we had a pleasant, slow, quiet Christmas. The calm before the storm, I'm sure, of the next three months, when I travel about 70% of the weekends. Until 2006, though, there's the rest of the nine days of Christmas...

On the first day of Christmas

Blog entry

Freakin' Mozilla! Grrr! I had this nice, long, lovely post about my first day of Christmas and all the nothing we did today, only to have my system lock up and complete witch's tit freeze up.

And eat my post for Christmas dinner. Must have been tasty. So, the not-so-fabulous repost, minus all the humor and graphics, to be sure. I am so switching to Firefox this vacation.

We managed to completely miss the morning by fighting the dogs for the last one awake award. Annie barely missed the award, but Kris' sleeping endurance is matched by no man. Not even Bharat.

Our first adventure of the day involved taking the dogs up to the school for a run, run, run. Bella spent the time barking at trees, er, squirrels in the trees (but, really, just the trees), while Annie ran around chasing her red bone. I tried to get some pictures of her, but managed the butt of the beagle, when I was lucky. I did find some entertainment with the video of Bella barking up at the squirrels, when I played it back hours later: it triggered both Bella and Annie to join in, baying in the living room.

After running around, I lured Bella into the shower with Doggie X, also known as Snausages. When I mentioned to Kris that Bella prefered Snausages (X) over Greenies (crack), he didn't believe me. Oh, Kris of the clueless dog owners, how little you know of your two doggies. Try spending every. single. day. with them following you around all. the. time. The worst? I cannot go to the bathroom without a beagle accompaniment. You read that right: I'm unable to poop without a dog witness. Joy.

Bella proved me right, and Kris shocked, when given the choice between a Greenie and a Snausage, she chose the Snausage. Well, the half a Snausage, which should say something. How else can I lure her, nominally willing at this point, into a bathtub with running water. She actually bathes without barking now.

After bathing both the dogs, I settled down to finish the Penultimate Peril, by Lemony Snicket. In my attempt to catch up with my reading, I've been reading like a mad-woman. Mad! I say, Mad! Tragically, reading five books at once means none are finished, so I finished this one. It was remarkably thick reading, so I read more quickly than normally just to get through it. The style of writing has become tiresome, and I'd just like to read the end and be done with it at this point.

Kris started playing the latest version of Axis and Allies at some point when I was bathing the dogs. As soon as he started, I knew I'd be all set to putz the entire afternoon.

Which I did.

For five hours.

A long while ago, maybe 10 years ago, I read the suggestion of "tear out the articles in magazines you like, and throw away the rest" to help get rid of clutter. I am, admittedly, a knowledge and information junkie, and like to keep the information I find interesting. Tragically, in paper form, having ten years of magazine articles lying around isn't particularly practical. I recall back in 1996 when handheld scanners had just come out, that I scanned some articles to save on my computer. I have no idea where those images are now.

I now have a spiffy Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner and it is the most awesomest scanner ever. It scans double-sided lickety split and automates batch scanning. I've started scanning all my torn out magazine articles. Well, those, and bills, receipts, letters, cards and any other paper items I have. Scan them, then toss them. I spent most of the afternoon sorting, scanning, tossing, and programming (as the scanner is relatively automatic, it needed little help). Slowly, the pile is disappearing. Mount Paper in the office is next.

At some point during the day, we received a box on the front porch. When Bella and Annie started howling, we noticed it, and went to retrieve it. Inside the box was dry ice. WhoO!

Okay, okay, inside were some filet mignon from Kris' dad, but they were packed with dry ice. Through a communication mix-up between Kris and me, Kris dumped the ice into a bowl of water (I wanted to share the experience with Liza, but my timing was bad and all I managed to do was interrupt the Gull Christmas Eve dinner). We enjoyed the mist show, even if the dogs were less than thrilled.

After dinner, we wandered over to the Gull house to see Liza in her awesome green jammies. Maeryn has a pair just like them, and they were soooOOOooo cute. Talked with Kate, too. Wonderful to see her and talk to her. I might have convinced her to play ultimate next Thursday at the Beware-o the Sombrero hat tournament in San Mateo. Not sure, but I hope so. Mike's rendition of Twas the Night Before Christmas is not an event to be missed, BTW. A tear-jerker rendition of the fabled tale.

We wandered back home after brownies with the Gulls, wondering what we should get Liza for Christmas. I'm never sure what to get kids. I'm in such a de-crap state of mind that I can't imaging getting more stuff for other people. I'd rather cook some fancy meal, or help them clean out the garage, or take the dog for the weekend than buy something. I keep thinking I should be a good little consumer and spend spend spend, but I'd really prefer spending time with people.

Stupid getting older crap.

After four days of asking if we could open a present in the evening ("Just one little present! Just one! You have ten boxes here, Kris, will you miss even one?"), Kris relented and we started opening up gifts tonight. I realized after he opened up two of his gifts why he didn't want to open any: once he started, he didn't want to stop.

Eventually I managed to pry the remaining, unopened gifts from his hands, and we settled down to watch Dodgeball and Firefly. Mike's been telling me I need to watch Firefly, I need to watch Firefly, and I'd been pooh-poohing him. Television, bah. Who needs more television?

Well, I watched them. They're awesome. Mike's right (aggaaaain).

A little cooking, a bit of cleaning and a quick write-up of the day that became a freaking long write-up of the day when my system crashed, and I'm thinking this was a good day of nothing. I wonder how the second day of Christmas will go.

Here we go!

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The holidays are here! The holidays are here! I have nine days (nine days!) to complete some contract work and work on some personal projects. I am so unbelievably excited at this moment.