A Snowy Day at Home -- 01/13/00
Well, as I mentioned yesterday my plan for today was to work from home, spending my day studying java programming. As I assured everyone at work, this had been my plan prior to and independent of the weather forecast calling for snow today. After half a century of coping with upstate New York winters, a three to six inch forecast in Rhode Island is not about to give me pause.

It has been especially pleasant to work at home today. I spent much of the morning in a comfortable chair in the den, reading my two new java books, cup of coffee at hand, cat curled up asleep on the other easy chair. Snow began to fall within minutes of the kids leaving for school, so if I looked up from my book I could see the snow coming down, turning the world white. Maybe would have been happier with having had more than three and a half or four hours of sleep, but I did have my coffee...

Eventually I came into the kitchen to boot up the computer (each of the books comes with a CD filled with examples, etc.) I took a break to check email, check some favorite journal sites, and start this entry. Having saved a half an hour or so by not having my usual commute to work, I've gotten in a good solid morning's work, uninterupted by telephone calls or questions, without being distracted by anyone with a conference call in his office on a speaker phone with his door open...

I had been wondering what to do about a workout, because the streets are unplowed and the snow is still falling so it's not a good day for a run... when I realized that I am about to have an opportunity for some aerobic snow shoveling... our driveway is, well, wide enough for a two car garage, as wide as the entire structure, not just the openings, and it is perhaps fifty feet to the street... plus the walk to the front porch plus a sidewalk the full frontage plus the rear deck and a path to the bunny's yard... hmmmm, I think perhaps I should save this and get myself outside with a snow shovel.

---- a brief interval (oh, okay, about seven hours later) ----

Got my exercise, shoveling snow. It wasn't that bad, three inches, maybe a little more, not like trying to move a foot of snow, but this was our first snow storm since March so I am a little out of practice and I can feel some muscle soreness. Only about half an inch or so has fallen since I shoveled, so maybe it will be easy to clean it up in the morning.

Sean needed to get a physical for wrestling, so I drove him to the doctor's office (reading Jackson and McClellan's Java by Example in the waiting room), then stopped by the supermarket -- to pick up some food and to get my signature notorized on his wrestling permission forms -- the bank we use has a branch office in the supermarket and usually someone there is a notary. (I've had to get more signatures notarized in the four years I've lived in Rhode Island than my life time total had been before we had moved. Rhode Island has this peculiar combination of useless bureaucracy and petty corruption; actually, I guess those two thing go together... the more arcane rules you have for tying procedures up in knots, the easier it is to solicit payments to get things done. I think people in most states love to tell horror stories about their state's motor vehicle dept.... oh, but the joy of attempting to deal with Rhode Island's Registry of Motor Vehicles, I could fill pages with my experiences, and I've only been here four years... ah well...)

Sean managed to annoy me in the supermarket by saying "I'm going to have to get a good job so I don't have to keep looking at prices to save a few pennies." Had to tell him that those pennies add up to dollars and eventually the dollars add up to real money. I think this was prompted by my comment that the six ounce bag of cheese flavored popcorn that was on sale actually cost around four dollars a pound... and compared that to the cost of popping some popcorn and sprinkling some grated cheese on it.

Okay, so I'm cheap.

Actually, I enjoy being able to spend money freely, but having the money to spend freely comes, in part, from being able to save it elsewhere. I'm not big on buying no-name merchandise. I want Hellmann's brand mayonaise, not the store brand. But I love it when a supermarket has my brand on sale and I have a fifty or seventy-five cent coupon and that store has a policy of doubling the value on manufacturer's coupons. Yeah, I like that. I'm not going to waste ten dollars worth of my time redeeming a fifteen cents off coupon, and most times I shop without coupons, but once in a while I do enjoy running a hundred and fifty dollars worth of groceries through a check-out and then using doubled or tripled coupons to end up getting ten or fifteen bucks off of groceries I needed to buy anyway.

Nancy came home from work feeling sick... she passed up dinner (the kids and I were finished with dinner by seven o'clock) but I brought her some tomato soup and a mug of tea a little while ago and she said she thought she might be a little better. I hope she isn't coming down with this flu that seems to be everywhere. She was sick in the fall with what seemed to be flu or something like flu, so I hope this isn't flu and she will feel better in the morning. At least tomorrow is a Friday, TGIF, and it will be a three day weekend (schools closed Monday for Martin Luther King Day).

I've been doing laundry this evening, the last washer load just finished but it has to wait for the previous load to finish drying. In theory I'm cleaning the kitchen but obviously I can't be making much progress if I'm typing on the computer. Quarter past eight, get the dishwasher going, pick up the mess, empty the dryer, fold stuff, load the dryer, make lunches... and then I can go to bed and maybe read a few pages of something that isn't about java before I go to sleep.

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