Weekend!

Holy cow, is today Friday already?

Indeed it is.

So I’m going to Maryland for a month. Sigh. It’s, apparently, a new guy thing. I am allergic to shellfish so when pretty much any given person brightens when I tell them “I’m going to Maryland”, and they say “You should try these little blue crabs they have there!”, I just think that there’s no way that I can afford that many “I got crabs at fisherman’s wharf” t-shirts.

“I saw this and I thought of you.”

So this weekend will be devoted to squeezing out the last little bits of datenight with Maribou, travel preparation, and general panic.

I’ve never really travelled anywhere alone, you see. I’ve been places as a son and places as a husband and a few places as a visiting friend/relative… but never anywhere as an employee. Well, I went to Fort Collins for a week back in 2000. I wasn’t counting that.

Anyway, I’m sure that you have some work travel horror stories. The weekend before I get on a plane is the best time to share them.

So… what’s on your docket?

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67 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. I’m going to be taking it easy, checking with you to see if we already have somebody lined up for the next Babyonia and taking the scheduling of that back over, celebrating passing the screening exam, going to soccer, and maybe watching some football.

    There are a ton of other things I should do, but I think this weekend I’m going to not do them.

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  2. First, a question: Did Maribou give you all those birthday kisses she promised us she’d give? Inquiring minds want to make sure you got all your birthday gifts.

    And weekend. I had four (not on, but four!) designs accepted yesterday. This is a BFD for me. All due by the end of November. That’s an even bigger BFD. I will be very, very busy for the next six weeks making a baby blanket, baby cardigan, cowl, and mitts, and writing the patterns so that others can also make them.

    Supposed to have a photo shoot this afternoon, but my camera will no longer focus.

    There will be bread baking and apple-pie making and leaf-crunching-underfoot.

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  3. Preparing for Haiti.

    There will also be two thanksgiving dinners this weekend (a big ham on Saturday, and a turkey on Monday when my aunt and cousin come for dinner), because my mom is awesome. I’ll probably be helping with the pumpkin pie. After two weeks of being away from home for Thanksgiving, this is very nice.

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      • Thank you so much! Right now I could really use advice on buying an e-reader – having one would be really handy since I can’t bring a load of books down with me. I need something that’s compatible with my Mac and that lets me get a good selection of classics (i.e., out-of-copyright books – Les Mis, Shakespeare, Jane Eyre, Dracula, Austen’s books, etc.) for free.

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      • Oh, right, details. I’ll have a 3-year position as Planning and Reporting Assistant for Mennonite Central Committee. That means I’ll be helping with keeping track of what the projects have actually achieved, whether they’re meeting their goals, what’s working and what isn’t and what can be changed. Since the 5-year earthquake relief project wraps up in 2015 (other long-term programs, especially reforestation, will continue), I expect I’ll be helping with the evaluation on that. I also might be helping train some of MCC’s Haitian personnel in reporting and evaluation methods.

        I’ll be in Désarmes, a town ~40km north of Port-au-Prince, in the Artibonite Valley. There’s eight other MCCers there, all Haitian, as well as people who work for our local partner organizations. MCC hires local people rather than internationals as much as possible – which is a mark of a good development agency, because the locals will always have a better understanding of the context and issues than a foreigner will, but also means that I may be the only non-Haitian in the town. Fortunately, I get several weeks of language training in Creole (which, from a cursory first look, has a lot in common with French, making things easier) as part of a home-stay in Haiti before I begin work, and can continue getting language training after my work starts. The Desarmes office will have internet access, thanks to solar panels installed by MCC, so I’ll hopefully have some ability to stay in touch.

        It’s not a salaried position, but MCC funds living expenses and travel and provides medical insurance.

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      • Nice. Sadly, I cannot advice you on e-readers; but my son took a black and white 3g kindle to Alaska, when there was wifi available, could use it to download all the amazon free books, to use gmail, and wikipedia.

        But that was, technology speaking, a lifetime ago.

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      • The Paperwhite won’t read plain text?

        Anyway, download Calibre (free) onto your computer. It will convert anything (text, html, epub, pdf, mobi, lit, etc.) to anything else, so you can convert anything at all to mobi (Kindle) format.

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      • Mike – Can you explain a bit more about how that works? I downloaded a couple of Google Books, but they just show up for online reading rather than in any downloadable format, and Google’s information on them says they can’t be used on Kindle readers. If I could read Google Books on a Kindle that would be a great option.

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      • zic, I don’t think it’s very different other than a) the date, and b) football is not a big deal. oh, and of course there’s not aaaaaaaaaaa black friday factor.

        otherwise, i haven’t seen anything here that wasn’t within ‘how some family might celebrate’ back home. we… don’t generally have marshmallowy yams?? and people often don’t eat turkey, but instead ham, chicken, goose, or even lasagna – some big feast is required, and turkey is most common, but not required.

        in my neck of the woods, it was more likely to be small and intimate than Christmas dinner (which was more of an extended family thing), but I think that is PEI specific rather than Canada specific. Or maybe even just specific to my two different families.

        We still gather up the “Thanksgiving orphans” though. I was so gathered a couple of times when I was at McGill and couldn’t afford to go home.

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      • Cranberries with the turkey?

        That is the taste of the northeast — cranberry and turkey. Cranberries even grow in the tundra and alpine zone in the Presidential range.

        And I’m curious about pine nuts; also called Indian Nuts. The native scrub pines, mostly coastal, have edible nuts similar to Pignolia. I don’t know how far north they range.

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      • zic – For my family’s Thanksgiving, we get together for a big meal that usually centres around turkey (occasionally we’ve had ham instead), plus my mom’s wonderful dressing, yams, green beans with Swiss cheese (my aunt brought them one year, and we all loved them so much that we’ve demanded them every successive year), probably some mashed potatoes, other vegetables, and pumpkin pie for dessert. It’s always delicious.

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      • Thanksgiving with the other true north folk: turkey, stuffing, yams (no marshmallows), lots of wine and champagne.

        Our ski club holds a ski swap this weekend as well all the beginning of the season meetings. We have a house of people and food but I’m spending most of my time showing up to stuff I have to…. ugh.

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  4. This week I accepted my relocation offer, so I will be moving to Houston at the beginning of next year. This weekend, I will attack the junk room and figure out what I will get rid of. Maybe.

    There should be some time with Dominions 4, and that is a game that can easily suck away the hours.

    Perhaps some general housecleaning.

    Probably watch a few episodes of The Wire.

    I may try to watch last weekend’s Battleground PPV, or at least some highlights.

    I want to get back to painting some miniatures that I got.

    I need to get in some serious guitar time. I have been neglectful this week.

    I have feeling this list is going to get truncated before the weekend is over.

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  5. I’ve finally gotten moving on getting the downstairs organized. I may have isolated the problem with one of my computers, which is great because a computer that crashes twice a day is almost as bad as not having the computer to begin with. I swapped the RAM out and it’s only crashed once since.

    I’m also starting to plan my post-XP era. I installed Win7 on one of my XP machines. I need to finish nipping and tucking the OS. As soon as I find a good hard drive to use, I’ll be installing Linux on a different machine.

    Seven weeks without a cigarette.

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  6. I took a much-needed day off today. It is 11:45am and I am still in my PJs so we’re off to a good start. The wife is also off so we are going to go get a good lunch somewhere and maybe run some errands.

    Tomorrow is my annual scouting trip to look for new hunting spots. I will be driving backroads, scouring satellite maps and talking to landowners.

    Sunday night is the premier of Walking Dead so I have a feeling I will watch 4-5 hours last season during the day just to get me fired up for the new episode.

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  7. My own Memphis Tigers are coming to town! And I think we have a shot at taking out Houston. Last week, a blown call lost what would have been a great upset against UCF. So I think the boys will be hungry. The Cougars won’t know what hit them.

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  8. A bit of shopping for stuff I’ve been putting off shopping for, a bit of sitting on the patio with beer and a book.

    Oh, and I just learned that next week, we’re going to see Boy George do a DJ set. File that under sentences I never thought I’d type.

    You know, a month away is a long time, but I suspect you’ll find that after the first week, you’ll settle in, you’ll feel really free in the evenings when you’re not working, and it will be a good experience. Just make sure you ask, “Does this have crab in it” before you eat anything, even at McDonald’s, ’cause those people are crazy about their shellfish.

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      • I do not doubt, given your general outlook and temperament, at least as I’ve discerned it, that it will be a positive experience for you. It will suck to be away from friends and loved ones, but you’ll make new friends, see friends you haven’t seen in a while (or perhaps in some cases ever), see new places, avoid eating crab you haven’t had to avoid eating before, drink some microbrews you haven’t even heard of because they never make it out of the Delmarva and adjacent areas like Annapolis or Baltimore, hear some music you haven’t heard, and then spend a lot of evenings lying around on a hotel bed with not just anything to do, but without anything that you have to or need to do. Then, after a month, you get to come back to your friends and loved ones, and seeing them will be all the sweeter.

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  9. Converting a bunch of coder music for Just Me to take to work in her iPod Touch. Stuff I listen to when I’m coding. Goldberg Variations by Simone Dinnerstein. Eno’s Music for Films, that sort of thing. Too many gabby people at work, she says.

    Going to a pig roast tomorrow night. I’ll be baking bread and sweet rolls to bring along. Hopefully the weather will hold up and I can make some more autumn pictures.

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  10. Hanging out at a friend’s place while she comes up with stuff to do with copious green tomatoes. Hopefully getting our new kitchen counter in before Mrs. Dragonfrog gets back to town (though, honestly, not likely). Volunteer shift at the community bike workshop. Thanksgiving dinner at our usual Monday potluck destination.

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  11. Joining friends & taking all the toddlers to the pumpkin patch for the first time, now that everyone is walking.

    Some Borderlands tonight. Maybe get around to post processing my fall color photographs.

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  12. Catching up on sleep (the commute from Marin to the South Bay sucks rocks [1]), doing some internal training classes, teaching myself a new programming language, etc. All part of the fun of changing jobs.

    1. This is only temporary. Soon enough, I’ll be back riding the ferry to The City every day.

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