The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

Personal Ramblings of the Techhouse Admin

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Old Business

24 January, 2009 (10:33) | Family, Hockey, Life In General, Lynn, Music, Work | By: Brian

Rumors of the death of my blog have been greatly exaggerated! Well, maybe not greatly. One of my new year’s resolutions was “to blog more,” and by “blog more,” I really mean “start blogging again.” But, the after-holiday schedule was almost as bad as the whilst-holidaying schedule. Now things have seemed to calm down a bit and I’m getting into a regular mode again. I know that I kind of fell off the wagon with the blogging, which was due to a combination of time, lack of personal interest in telling my silly stories, and a perceived lack of external interest in my silly stories. But, as time went on, I continued to receive complaints from people to start up again. So here begins another “I’m going to try to blog more often post,” which I seem to do almost as often as I just regularly blog. I’m also going to try to get away from just the usual story posts of how my life is going and try to come up with something either interesting or useful or amusing to blog about in addition to those. I don’t know what those somethings are, yet, but suggestions are welcome.

I’m going to attempt to catch everyone up in three separate posts, old business, new business and upcoming business, to make reading a bit easier. Get some coffee. First, all of the usual things in my life.

First, my family are all doing pretty well, except for my mom who is a little sick right now. She’s in the middle of a long dental replacement process which is more annoying and scary than anything else. She also, just recently, had to have some minor invasive tests done for some stomach issues she was having and there was a slight complication from that test. But she’s doing much better now and should be feeling well enough to make me dinner tonight, I hope. ;-) I’m pretty sure the results of the test itself were fine, so I’m not sure what’s next for the original problem. My sister and her new husband are doing well in their new home down in Lexington Park. My B-i-L is a marine stationed at Pax River Naval Air Base (or something like that) and is/will be working on the JSF-35 jet…when they get one. I helped them move in and got a horrible cold from it, and I visited them last week and had fun playing video games and watching TV and wrestling with the twins and relaxing. I still visit my brother every other week or so out at his place and he’s doing well, too. He wants to take me to a huge restaurant food and supply show in NYC in March, but I’m not sure if I’ll be available, yet. I saw my Dad at Christmas, for our yearly visit, and there will be a little more about that in the “new business” post.

I’m still playing hockey once a week. I’ve been playing defense for our “organization’s” lower level team and occasionally forward on the mid-tier team. I haven’t been doing much to practice outside of the games themselves, which I used to do more of. But there’s only so much time. I did get myself a new pair of shin guards and elbow pads last weekend. The old ones were starting to fall apart in the straps. I want to take them to Mom and see if she can stitch them back up in her spare time, and then I can loan them out to tall people for broom ball.

I’m still playing a lot of guitar, and even formed a fun cover band with some of my coworkers. A few of us had been joking about starting a band almost since I started the job in June. I play guitar, another guy is a great drummer, another guy is a great singer and good guitarist, another guy can sing and does a bunch of sound engineering, another guy used to play bass and wanted to get back into it, a wonderful girl plays the saxomophone, etc. The company announced that there would be a big holiday party and it was going to be at a private boat house in Philly on the river. So we decided, let’s stop talking about it and do it. We put together a core group of me, another Brian, Ian and Rob and brought in a couple of others for various songs. We practiced about 8 or 10 times and then put on a show for the whole company. It was the first time that I had played for more than six people or so, and it was really fun. Sadly we only were able to get down one song with the awesome Daralene on sax, but we hope to add more. Our CEO took a half dozen videos with his iPhone and put them on youtube.You can search for more videos by lmikles and find us. One of the videos caught our lead singer cleverly changing the name “Brian Wilson” to “Brian Williams” in our Barenaked Ladies cover, which got a nice chuckle from the crowd. We’re definitely going to pick the band back up in another couple of weeks and figure out where to go from there. We may keep doing covers, we may do more of Brian’s original work, maybe a little of each, who knows? The name of our band “Lorem Ipsum” comes from our company’s work in designing web pages. The phrase refers to the dummy Latin text that you insert into empty page layouts to see what an area would look like with copy in it. The problem is that if the text is real, the person looking at the design will be distracted and try to read it. But if the text is very obviously not real (just random “adsfhkjasdflk” stuff), then the client will be distracted by that as well. So you stick a bunch of Latin in there and it’s somewhere in the middle. If you do a google search for “lorem ipsum,” you’re sure to find a bunch of examples, and somewhere there’s a site that will generate paragraphs of fake text for you. One of the guys in our office was designing the flier for our party and asked me what the band name was. I said, “Do you just need a placeholder for the flier design?” and he said yes. I told him to just stick “Lorem Ipsum” in there until we thought of something better and we decided we liked it enough to keep it! In order to accommodate the band, I ended up buying a new acoustic/electric guitar. It’s similar in style and shape to my older acoustic, but this has the electric plug and equalizer built into it and sounds terrific. And now that I have two acoustic guitars I can teach easier, or I can keep one in a non-standard tuning for those damn Weezer songs! I also got my electric worked on at a shop in Newark. It needed the frets redressed and the nut refiled and the neck straightened and a bunch of stuff, but now it plays fantastic and holds tune much better. Can’t wait to get back into our practice space with that.

Work is going well, too. I’m mostly working on the architecture and design of a big business web application for an auto insurance company. It’s dense and complicated and pretty interesting. It’s still an amazing, fun place to work and I love my coworkers.

Lynn and I are doing fantastically, and just hit our ten month anniversary a few days ago. She’s currently in northern Africa for winter session on a study abroad program to Tunisia. You can read more about her trip on her blog, which I am kind enough to host here on ;-) Since either Monday or Tuesday she has been in the middle of the Sahara, so she hasn’t been able to update her blog. But I’ve been exchanging text messages with her and she’s doing fine. This week she’s been on camels, a huge Arabian horse and four by four dune buggies. I still worry about her safety and have trouble sleeping sometimes, but the experience she’s getting is amazing. If you’re reading this, Lynn, I miss you and I love you and come back to me quickly!

I think that’s about it for this stuff. On to new hobbies and things!


Comment from Petunia
Time January 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm

In response to your loving concern, yes, now that my oxygen level is generally over 90%, I will get off my deathbed and cook you dinner. Geez!

Love, Mom

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