We just got back from Allen v. Pocono Mountain West in the season-opening basketball game. The Canaries scored off an inbound lob with 0.8 to go, giving them a 1-point win and setting the crowd into a fuh-renzy. It was a game that made me want to go to more games; well-coached players who played fundamentally sound hoops under the watchful eye of capable officials. It felt kind of like the gym at RRHS, just without Mr. Majestic sitting at halfcourt barking insults at everybody.
The news has been pretty benign this week but I'm pretty upset about the idea that the government might lock adjustable-rate mortgages. Don't get me wrong, I think it is sad when people can't keep up with their mortgages and am sure that in many cases predatory/unethical mortgage bankers pushed unreasonable products on under-informed consumers - here, some relief is fine. However, if a person making $85k bought a house in 2003 in Sarasota with a jumbo, interest-only ARM and is now forced to move out of their $795,000 house because they can't make the payments, I don't see where the government should lend a hand. If it does, where's the incentive for anybody with a conventional mortgage (ahem!) to stay away from the ARMs which are wreaking havoc?
We used the balance of Buck Day to paint the ceiling in the loft. Working way up in the top of the house, with work lights and two humans, got hot and unpleasant quickly, but we kept pushing and got a first coat on all around. Today was the opposite of this motivation; I couldn't get going on anything and that colored our evening pretty dull. Perhaps tomorrow night we'll finish this ceiling and move on to other things.
posted at 9:44 PM - comments
Monday, November 26, 2007
"Buck Day" is a regional colloquialism that probably has little meaning unless you live in a place where it's a holiday, ie Michigan's Upper Peninsula or Pennsylvania's rural countryside. In the former, "Buck Day" is celebrated on opening day (and the day after, depending on timing) of firearm whitetail deer season. In the latter, it's celebrated during firearm whitetail deer season on the Monday after Thanksgiving. To wit, I have the day off today - how perfectly odd. Equally odd was that I celebrated by trucking down to Knoll for half a day; that is the total of today's urgent business and enough time to get ahead on this week.
The balance of the weekend went thus: Saturday was a trip to NYC and Sunday a trip to Allentown, kind of. New York was with Bill and Sharon - after breakfast at home and a birthday celebration. We saw as much of the city as you can in ten hours: SOHO, Central Park, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Macy's Herald Square, Chelsea Market, Bleecker Street, Little Italy, and Times Square. We had a great, great dinner in a slammed Little Italy eatery. They left early Sunday morning after helping put up a new dining room light, leaving us with a day for work, new tires and state inspections, and a couple of Sopranos episodes.
It's been almost a week, and a busy one at that. At work I took some initiative and was prompted to run with things - since 'business process' falls neatly into my job description that was my focus last week and will be my focus this week.
Significant preparations at home on Monday before Bill and Sharon's arrival on Tuesday. We went on 'the tour' and had fondue for dinner; Jenelle and I went to work the next morning while they went to Queens to see about a motorcycle. You can't make this stuff up. When everyone was home, we made pizzas and then Jenelle and Sharon baked pies. Thanksgiving Day was similar, with a traditional meal that had a great number of little surprise improvements: glazed carrots with maple syrup butter. A wine reduction to baste the turkey. The finest bread in all of Lehigh County for stuffing. It was all very, very good. And then, pies - pecan, apple, and harvest moon, each topped with a dollop of Dominican vanilla-infused whipped cream. It was truly a meal to be thankful for.
Today we went for a mid-day walk along the Little Lehigh Parkey, then drove past WAHS on our way to Bethlehem. There we did some window shopping along Main Street before a great celebratory dinner in Sharon's honor at Bethlehem Brew Works. With some (more) great food to work on, we came home and caught "White Christmas" on tv... this seems a more abrupt transition that in years past, but I guess you can't fight the holidays.
I'm blogging from home on my work computer; with the program that I'm working on implementing there is a weekend component to the effort that requires some connectivity and productivity from home. Dovetailing this with blogging seems perfectly legit.
Yesterday was a pretty good day, except that Michigan lost. Again. This is one of those situations where you feel like your (ok, my) beliefs are right and that your team should prevail, but instead they just can't get it together. Good guys finish last, I guess... doubly so when they can only put together 91 yards of offense. Around the game, we had a trip to Jersey to pick up furniture, then home with it lashed to the top of the truck. In the evening we rented a movie from Blockbuster - what? - and enjoyed Shrek 3. I also made a couple of trips to our East Greenville mixing center; it was important to show support for this operation and that means work on both weekend days.
Our second weekend day has been about two things: preparing for T-givings and snow. We woke up to snowflakes out our window, which was a great surprise. Then we spent the day getting ready for guests, cleaning, and organizing. In the middle of the day we went to Wegman's and were astounded by the number of people and just how much food Thanksgiving seems to require. I can't believe my mongol horde of cousins and I didn't eat Grandma & Grandpa out of house and home. By the time we got out of the store there was an inch of wet fall snow all over. It will be gone in the morning but it's beautiful now.
That was a long week. I wasn't as busy as I've been, though there were still plenty of things to chase down and plenty to be alternately nervous and excited about. The weather was kind of London fog cold - that wet, windy chill that cuts any garmet you might choose and goes straight to your very core. It was like that at my desk, too, which leads me to think I may need a space heater or a sweater.
At home we hauled employee sale stuff to the loft, garage, and basement. We're still getting set to use what we got, but we're excited (as usual) about the quality of the merchandise and the ridiculous value. Reeeediculous. Jenelle also focused on the curtains and I helped hanging curtain rods. Now we need to shorten them and we'll be ready for AD or Dwell. Now it is the weekend, kind of. I have to check in on MCE tomorrow and be around via Blackberry all weekend - my brief glimpse of being a doctor. We're on for a trip to a warehouse in Jersey, too, and then there's a football game. Everybody is hoping for the best for the superstars who we've come to be fanatics about, yet who have not yet bested tOSU. Oh, to be at the Big House, Maized Out and cheering myself hoarse and not even being able to hear my own voice. GO BLUE!
Big day, of sorts. Another week's worth of transportation solutions optimized. A staff meeting with all of the Operations staff. And then, at home, carrying rocks for our little landscaping project, the Jimmy rolled over 100,000 miles. I suppose that was the high point. Either that or Jenelle making scones. Both highlights.
Funny thing about the blogosphere today: Mgoblog announced that there were confirmed rumours inside the Michigan athletic department that Lloyd Carr is retiring after the season. NBD. But, everybody in the MSM - mainstream media - is all up in arms about a lowly blogger having a better story that is more widely read than what they produce. In a way, this is the first time that I think the MSM reports on what blogs already know, based on the blog itself. And, same as ever, doesn't give any credit. Brian is defining the sports blog of the future (seriously, an impressive body of work @ Mgoblog) but is also consciously framing the discussion over the balance of media in the future.
This was a significant weekend at home and at work, even though I was only at work via BlackBerry. The first live trial of the project I've been working on went off with few hitches at our DC in MI and that was a relief that kind of cleared the sky for a fun weekend.
Saturday we went and got Maya's booster shot taken care of and then cleared our schedules for home cleaning. For the first time, the house was really and truly clean. Around dinnertime, Pat rolled in from VT. We enjoyed hot bacon dressing over spinach salad, then spanikopita, and finally peach cobbler ala mode. In betweeen courses was our first house tour... it's pretty short but lots to see and share, which was way more fun that 511 or 409B.
This morning we all got up early, had waffles, and Pat got underway. Shortly after he left, we followed, piling into the truck for a trip to cb2 in New York. It's so awesome that we can just take a Sunday afternoon and go shopping for housewares in Soho - this was a huge part of the reason we chose the Lehigh Valley and it feels especially fun to take advantage. It's also really awesome to be back at home, where it is dark and quiet, after spending the afternoon in Manhattan.
Blogging at lunch is something out of my past - the past where I didn't have internet at home. (coughSarasotacough) Now we do have internet at home, there's never enough time to blog, and I'm back to rushing together a post at lunchtime. Last night we had a kind of first-floor convergence: our new rug matches the walls, which are accented by the chairs. We moved the bookshelves, which tie to the chairs which tie to the stitching in the sofa, which will never tie to anything, and found that the results are a much bigger-feeling room with a more connected feeling. I like it. It finally feels like a place we'll enjoy spending relaxing time when we have some.
The details of the evening were like this: we had the rest of some awesome canneloni that Jenelle made Tuesday while I worked late getting the logistics project off the ground. Ollie and Maya roamed free while I roamed with the cordless driver putting faceplates and handrails back on the wall. We put the mirror back up in the bathroom and cursed builders' grade lighting. Then, we organized in the loft, which needed organizing like whoa.
Tonight is 'hanging stuff on the walls night' and then cleaning. Our first overnight guest arrives Saturday and that puts some pressure on to make sure the house looks the way we want.
It takes good music to work all weekend, so we gathered our CDs and lined them up in front of the stereo downstairs on Friday. Then we painted the first floor. First the ceiling, then the ceiling again, then taping, taping, taping, up a borrowed ladder to paint in the foyer, and on to put Ostrich Fern (a first coat, at least) on the walls.
We took a break in the action on Saturday to head to J Birney Crumm Stadium in Allentown to watch Allen versus Deiruff in high school football. This is Allentown's big cross-town rivalry (the two public high schools in the city) and apparently people really get in to it. Jenelle had a bit of a wild week leading up to the game, but the atmosphere of a high school game at noon on Saturday was a little subdued; it got even more subdued on our side while Allen fell further and further behind. In the later afternoon we did some errands and looked at ceiling fans and lights, which actually made us miss Northern Lights in Rapid River. What? Didn't see that one coming.
Then back to work. We're down to the last coat and I'm hopeful we'll finish tomorrow.