I had a brilliant, if unoriginal, idea yesterday. We need to clear everything out of our living room and dining room by Monday so that the floor refinishers can do their thing. The books are mostly taken care of, but there’s much more to deal with, including a big rug, and we were despairing of finding a place to put it.

Then inspiration struck: have the rug cleaned.

So this morning, the rug left, to return after the floors are ready. If only the rest of the stuff were as easy to deal with.

Got spare time?

Then try this. [Link via Jenny]

Saving space

My A/V (err, Home Theatre) furniture is full. I want to get a HDTV-ready TV, which won’t fit in the cabinet we have — but most of the ones I’ve seen for big TVs don’t have as many places to put other equipment as I’d like. But perhaps I can give up on at least one technology. [Link via Garret]

And I’m suddenly very interested in having a DVD Recorder; that would let me dub my LaserDiscs and put that player away (and, over time, I could get rid of my stock of VHS tapes, too).

Game 7?

I expected to write this entry on Friday, while waiting for my flight home from Chicago. But ETP was down, so I did other things.

This week’s trip (which, I hope, will be the last one for a month or so) was to Montreal for the IBM Academy of Technology Annual Meeting, followed immediately by my first Official Meeting as a member of the Academy’s Technology Council (a three-year gig, with three-day in-person meetings six times a year, and early morning phone calls another six times a year). The trip was busy and productive and busy — if I weren’t a rebel, I wouldn’t have been outside the hotel at all from Monday at 1pm until the TC dinner on Thursday night.

But I was. On Monday, I took a quick morning walk, then joined friends from Israel for lunch at an Indian restaurant (apparently, there aren’t any Indian restaurants in Israel). Then I spent the next 34 hours in the fray, finally going out for air (and coffee) late Tuesday evening (instead of going to the Birds of a Feather sessions which were happening at the same time). On Wednesday night, I decided I couldn’t stand another big hotel meal, and convinced a colleague to go out for a walk with me; we wound up at a Lebanese fast-food place (where I had falafel, spending $5 Canadian in the process). Thursday night, the TC went to an Italian restaurant in Old Montreal…everyone chose to walk. Then on Friday, it was a quick dash to the airport when our meeting ended, a brief stop in duty-free (icewine is interesting stuff), and then home!

For some reason, I had no desire to turn on the computer yesterday.

Bar Mitzvah planning is continuing; we went tallit- and invitation-shopping today, with what looks like success.

Now to watch Game 7, which should not have been necessary.

Progress, but in what direction?

I admire people who can keep up a steady blogging habit, come hell, high water, or work. I’m clearly not one of those people. Not unless you define steady as “a few times a month”.

This week has been busy, both at home and at work. The home stuff is marginally more interesting — our decorator visited us again and we’ve ordered (as in “made a deposit on”) window treatments in five rooms, a new sleeper sofa, new chairs, and probably some other things I’ve managed to forget. We also had a floor refinisher give us a bid on refinishing the living room and dining room, and someone will be by soon to bid on door work.

Our living room is looking bare; all of the books are elsewhere (some at the library, some in the office, and a few old textbooks in the landfill, since hardbacks aren’t recyclable). And most of the furniture is gone; New Start Furniture took a sofa, bookcase, typing table, and lamp, but they wouldn’t take the old sleeper sofa because it needed too much repair, so we dragged it out to the curb last night, and it should be gone by the time we get home. I was hoping someone would scavenge it overnight, but no such luck; we’ll have to pay for disposal.

We have to completely empty the living room and dining room before the refinisher starts, so I guess we’ll have a one- or no-car garage for a while.

But next week, I’ll be away from the scene, at the IBM Academy of Technology meeting in Montreal. I will not have a chance to go ice-skating this time, though.

Shabbat Shalom!

And home again

Well, it seems that getting up at 4am to make a 6:30am flight to the East Coast is a sovereign remedy for jetlag; I fell asleep about 10:15pm on Monday night and had no trouble going to bed (or rising) on Eastern time all week.

Flying home late yesterday wasn’t so effective — by the time I got home, it was 11:30pm Pacific and I was wiped. Too tired to sleep well, in fact. Maybe tonight will be better.

The class was quite interesting — I learened a good bit about IBM and executive development, some of which even applies to me. I also discovered that the IBM Learning Center’s cuisine has improved remarkably since they switched the contract from Marriott to Dolce; it was a broadening experience.

Today’s been a slow day. Which, after all, isn’t a bad way to lead into the weekend.

Shabbat Shalom!

00 dark and early

I had to choose between waking up real early this morning to make the 6:31am flight out of San Jose, or travelling at a civilized hour but losing Sunday with my family.

I’m at the Admirals’ Club waiting for the 6:31. It was the right choice.

It is amazing how little e-mail arrives between 10pm and 5am, though!

Time to wander down to the gate….my mind is wandering somewhere, too. Perhaps I’ll meet it on board.


I spent most of the flights reading yesterday’s New York Times dessert sections. I couldn’t quite finish the puzzle (I hate when that happens!), but I decided to save weight and leave the paper behind, rather than try to finish it.

Class starts tomorrow morning early; I got the binder full of material when I checked in. Oy.

And on that note, g’night.

The weekend approacheth

And I’m ready for it.

And Torah Study and Minyan start tomorrow morning, which will be good.

And we have more schlepping to do on the decorating project (boxes and boxes of books to donate to the library, for one thing).

And I’ve got homework to do to get ready for the class I’m taking next week.

And to get to that class, I have to take a 6:30am flight on Monday (I decided that was better than losing Sunday; I don’t know if I’ll believe that on Monday morning!).

So it’s going to be a busy weekend. I’d better get started on it!

Shabbat Shalom!

Technology is not always not our friend, either

After last night’s final entry, Verizon eventually answered the phone (note to self: Don’t try to read a book like Hyperion while listening to music on hold, even without continuous interruptions), and I spent half-an-hour with the technician, while he tried different things. Nothing helped much, not even when he “rebuilt my line”, but at the end of the session, my link was, once more, faster than dialup, and Verizon was going to dispatch someone to my house today to work on the problem from outside; if they wanted access, they’d call me. And they’d call me and let me know what was going on.

When I came home, there was a doortag from Verizon, saying that a tech had been there and hadn’t found any trouble, so they’d need access and to call them to arrange it. So we had dinner and ran some errands (including an emergency trip to Costco to replace our electric blanket, which failed sometime during the summer); then I came home, prepared for a long wait on hold.

I decided to call my DSL provider first, and much to my surprise, the phone was answered by a human being instead of the automated attendant. I resisted the urge to blast Touch-Tones in his ear, just out of habit, and told him what the current status was. He put me on hold (what a surprise!); while I was holding, my cellphone rang, and it was Verizon. I asked them to call back after 8pm (so I’d be on night-and-weekend minutes), figuring I’d be done with my provider by then.

They took me off hold and asked me to try a speed test. No joy. Back on hold.

Off hold — please try another speed test. No joy. “Wait a minute; we’re going to rebuild your line.” Try again. No joy. Try one more time…and suddenly, it’s fast again!

I have no idea what “rebuilding your line” really means, but it seems to be a magic cure.

So far, anyway.

Technology is not always our friend

So far today…

  • I’ve been told “accounting can’t find that check”
  • I’ve been told “your license plate application never got to us”
  • My DSL download speed dropped to 9kb from its usual 1.5Mb (but the upload speed didn’t change)
  • I got a new wireless phone, and the activation process isn’t working

I think I’ll do something non-technical the rest of the day.


I had a pleasant workout (talk about oxymorons) at the Y, a nice dinner, and now I’m waiting on hold for Verizon DSL support. Their system was courteous enough to warn me that I should expect a 40 minute hold, and their music-on-hold is not too bad — and it’s mercifully uninterrupted by “your call is important” announcements or other commercials. So I can do other things while I wait and not be distracted every 45 seconds by what might be (but isn’t) someone to help me.

And my wireless phone activated itself eventually, so I guess I’m making progress.

Now I have three

I was right, they shouldn’t have

So it’s already Tuesday, and I’m not nearly finished with Sunday’s New York Times. I did finish the puzzle, though I had to go to Google for some of the clues. And I haven’t even started the Iron Chef book yet.

Decorator’s orders

Our decorator came by on Saturday to show us fabrics and furniture possibilities; she noticed that we hadn’t done anything about clearing the books from the small bookshelves in the living room (the goal is to wind up with only large bookshelves in the living room, with nice books visible through the glass; the paperbacks and SFBC books will be elsewhere), and explained that we needed to get moving on the project. So I spent the rest of Saturday removing the junk which had settled on the bookshelves in the computer room, thereby making room for the books in the living room. And Diane spent all of Saturday clearing shelves in other rooms (and has continued working on the project since); we will have a lot of recycling this week.

The larger goal of this phase of the project is clearing out the living room and dining room so that we can have those floors refinished; time to call a furniture donation group and have them take our old sofas (and whatever else we decide we don’t need). After the floors are fixed, it’ll be time for window treatments (and new furniture). Then, it’s on to the bedrooms.