Feeling lazy -- 07/13/02

I've been so lazy today.

Just resting and relaxing and taking it easy...

I think I totally exhausted myself with all of that physical work I did (in record-breaking heat) back around the 4th of July because I've just been goofing off this weekend.

I was very busy at work on Monday, trying to get as much accomplished as possible because I was signed up to take a class that began on Tuesday. It was a course covering the installation, configuration and administration of IBM's WebSphere Application Server. I normally deal with the application development and architecture issues and not with administration... and, in addition, this is the third major version of the server since I began to work with it and there have been a number of changes from those two prior releases. So I was quite eager to have this class being taught at my site. (In fact, the class was made up of four of us from my department plus one person from a different site.) The only problem is that (except when dealing with mainframes) I am accustomed to working in a Windows environment and this course was on installation and administration on a Linux platform, not on Windows. Okay, so the actual administration is the same on any platform, but I had no experience with Linux (and have had only the most limited experience with Unix and AIX).

Well, Tuesday morning I found myself wiping out Win2k and installing Linux (using the Red Hat distribution). I must admit that it wasn't as much of a nightmare as I had anticipated, although I'm still not at all comfortable with those weird 'nix type commands like grep. Since I have always considered VI to be short for "vile" (VI is what Unix lovers think is the world's best editor... and everyone else thinks may be the world's worst editor) I tended to use gedit when using the Gnome desktop, but apparently there were some situations where the Gnome command window screwed things up so I switched from Gnome to KDE (where the names of just about everything begin with the letter "K" -- sometimes computer geeks can just get too nauseatingly cute). Well, anyway, getting to work with Linux was interesting. I don't think I'll be loading it on any machine at home anytime soon... I'm interested in computers as tools -- I want my computers to perform useful tasks for me; I'm not interested in having to become a 'nix guru in order to get anything useful accomplished. (Okay, at some point in the future, if Bill Gates and the big music and motion picture companies and their paid lapdogs in Congress (like that pile of Southern pond scum Sen. Hollings -- the Senator from Disney) have their way with their proposed Palladium chip (Yes, I Love Big Brother) I may have to switch to Linux so I can avoid having to buy a computer that determines what files I will be allowed to open (all for my own protection, of course).

It was supposed to be a three and a half day class, but we managed to finish by the end of Thursday afternoon. This was great because it gave me all day Friday to configure a classroom for the class I'm teaching next week. That's a four day class (Tues thru Fri) and installing all of the needed software can take many hours so I was prepared to come in to work on the weekend in order to avoid a time crunch on Monday (and to avoid having to cancel my Monday afternoon dentist appointment), but I was able to get the student machines done on Friday, so on Monday all I have to do is configure the instructor workstation, etc.

So, here I am on a lazy Saturday. On weekdays I'm usually up around 5:30 (and always by 6:00) but this morning I didn't get up until 6:30. I went outside and turned on sprinklers to water the sod we had put down (it has to be heavily watered on a daily basis for the first couple of weeks), then fixed coffee. Nancy had asked me to get her up early, but when I brought her a cup of coffee she begged for "just ten more minutes." So, after waiting those ten, I started fixing fried eggs and toasted English muffins for breadfast and woke her up again. After breakfast I went out and moved the sprinklers... a process I would repeat over the two hours or so that it took to thoroughly soak all of the new lawn.

There was a special recycling center set up this morning for computer equipment (computers can contain a lot of stuff that is bad for the environment, need to keep them out of landfills, etc.) -- so we loaded up the trunk of Nancy's car with an almost sixteen year old DOS machine... and its monochome amber monitor... and an old scanner... and two malfunctioning printers. Then a stop at the public library. We came away with a big stack of books, mostly for Nancy. School may have ended in June, but she just finished a summer grad course (cram a semester worth of work into less than two and a half weeks) and after writing a term paper this past week and writing and delivering a half hour presentation as a final project for the now-completed course, she was looking forward to some relaxed summer reading. Then a stop to check out a new store in town -- Town Meats -- a combination butcher shop and deli. (I bought some boneless chicken breast and also picked up some sliced roast beef and turkey breast.) Then home where I made sandwiches and we sat on the back deck and ate our sandwiches and read books. In fact, I was enjoying that so much that I took my book out to my hammock and read lying down in the hammock... and even closed the book for a while and just relaxed there, enjoying the light breeze and the changing mixture of shade and dappled sunlight

Eventually I forced myself to drive into town to do some real grocery shopping... We had been planning to go over to Narragansett Town Beach for the annual Rhode Island Philharmonic's Concert on the Beach... but as it got near time to go (we were planning on picking up sandwiches from Subway, just as we had last year) Nancy said she was just feeling too tired to go, that she'd rather spend a quiet night at home. So, instead of the concert, we got on our bikes and went for a ride around the neighborhood and then came back home for dinner. (A fresh green salad from my guarden and some leftover lasagna.)

Like I said, a lazy and relaxed Saturday. Tomorrow will start the same -- watering the lawn -- and in between moving the sprinklers I will be reading the Sunday paper. Nancy has an eight a.m. tennis match. Later in the morning we plan on visiting the annual Wickford Art Festival, spend a couple hours wandering around looking at paintings. I might go lawnmower shopping after that; now that we have such a beautiful (and expensive) new front lawn, I'd hate to ruin it with a broken-down old cheapest-model-in-the-discount-store mower. Other than that I think we'll do like today, mostly try to avoid the traffic (this weekend is also an annual youth soccer tournament, bringing more than three thousand young soccer players, plus coaches, parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. to South Kingstown, adding all of that traffic to the summer tourist congestion).

Hope you are having a relaxing weekend.

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