Winter Cleaning -- 12/29/03

Winter Cleaning?

Well, people always talk about doing Spring Cleaning, right? So since Nancy and I both have time off during this holiday break, we have been doing some Winter Cleaning, getting the house cleaned and organized.

I've even had a list of things I want to accomplish during this time and I've been making some good progress.

One of the key things turned out to be quite easy. My laptop has refused to communicate with my home LAN, which means I could not use my cable Internet connection with it; instead, I had to connect via the telephone. Obviously that is a considerable reduction in bandwidth, causing me a great deal of trouble when I would be working from home, slow download times, slow email loading, slow intranet access, and telephone line tied up all day if I wanted to keep messaging available. Toward the end of the last day I worked before the holiday, I was talking with my manager on the phone and I mentioned my connectivity problems and his voice lit up -- he began in this business as a network guy -- and he began to give me all kinds of technical advice and then he asked me about the version number of my network client code. I did not have the latest version! He told me that the latest version cured a lot of problems. So I downloaded and installed it before leaving that afternoon and last week I tried it out. It worked perfectly. What does this mean? It means it will be a lot easier for me to work from home -- I'll be able to download large files (i.e., all of the material for a course that I might be reviewing/editing) and send and receive e-mail with large attachments (many megabytes) and be able to access the corporate intranet and be able to keep our instant messaging client active to be available to send and receive quick text messages from co-workers. This probably won't make a big difference in January -- I have a two day workshop (on new tools and templates for course development) for local people next week and the following week I'll be at a technical conference in Las Vegas and then later in the month I'll be in Pittsburgh and then Toronto (or vice versa) repeating that two day workshop. However, after that, it means I could work at home at least as often as I go to the office. (There are three of us doing this course review and editing work: one works from home every day, the other seems to divide her time between home and our Pittsburgh office. Our manager also seems to divide his time between home and office -- but with the network and instant messaging, you never really know where anyone is located.)

Nancy and I have been working on the basement -- migrating lots of stuff to the garage where the next step (to be done later this afternoon) will be for Jeremy and me to load it into the pickup truck and take it to the town dump. We still have many hours to put in down there to get things cleaned up and organized, but we are making great progress. Yesterday I attacked my dresser and organized and discarded. Sometime later today I want to attack the den -- especially my desk. I had cleaned and straightened the den just before Thanksgiving, but my desk is disorganized and needs to be de-cluttered... and the den in general shows the results of too much use. (Friday night Jeremy had several friends over with their computers -- mostly laptops with wireless cards -- one of them brought a wireless router which they plugged into our router (and used three of our ethernet connections for machines without wireless cards) and then split between living room and den, playing networked computer games for hours and hours. There was an awesome amount of computing power in this house that night.)

Nancy re-organized the kitchen yesterday afternoon -- removing a bookcase that had held cookbooks and boxes of pasta, and assorted photographs and knickknacks, etc. (the bookcase is going to the basement) and moving the wine rack to that corner -- setting up two white wicker chairs and a small round table in front of the windows (which are semi-bay windows) to be a small eating area (worked very nicely for sitting and sipping wine after dinner last night and for eating breakfast this morning). Tiger is always curious when furniture gets moved around, but since the stool he likes to sit on is still in front of his favorite window he seems satisfied.

Saturday night Nancy and I went out to dinner and then to see Trinity Rep's "A Christmas Carol" -- a Christmas present from Jill -- and had a marvelous time. It was a very imaginatively staged production, with Scrooge's bedroom being hauled up into the air and the Ghost of Christmas Past (a woman) flying along high above the audience on a tire swing... and then another tire swing appearing for Scrooge and they are slowly lowered down into the Christmas scene from his school days. (Thanks, Jill!)

Winter Cleaning will continue, along with other activities. This afternoon Tiger has an appointment with his vet. Tomorrow I'm going to drive over to the middle of Connecticut to meet my brother for lunch (sort of about halfway between where we each live). Wednesday will be shopping and cooking day (plus a front end alignment on my car) -- doing our usual New Years Eve gathering of Nancy's mom plus her sister Janet and her family. Lasagna is on the menu due to popular demand. New Year's Day Jill and I will be running in a 5k race (and I'm also planning on repeating last year's plunge into Narragansett Bay).

previous entry

next entry

To list of entries for 2003

To Home (Index) page