Wow! I should have updated this blog several times since the last time I did, so now you’ll just have to suffer through a post of lengthy proportions!
Cats

Kim and I saw Cats (the musical, as opposed to the critters we see every day)  last Thursday.  Apparently (I find out later), it was Kim’s 5th time seeing it, but my 1st.   For both of us, it was the best performance of Cats we’d ever seen!  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a Cats devotee, but there’s something about watching theater in person (any kind of theater, really) that makes it special.

Goodbye, Mori Luggage & Gifts (sort of)

Last Friday was my last day working directly for Mori Luggage & Gifts (I say “directly” because I’m still doing a bit of contract work here and there until they can get someone in to replace me, and I’ll probably spend some time training that person after they start).  We planned out a little last-day lunch fling with a few people at the office, but it escalated until almost the entire office went!  (I think everyone that was there would have gone, if we didn’t need someone to take phone calls.)  It was pretty touching, actually – a number of people remarked that it was a really big turnout, and even John came and bought my lunch.  I’m missing several people there already.

Snow

Just like Mom, we had snow over the weekend – our first in the new house! Kim and I were pretty excited, and we took plenty of pictures, but I haven’t gotten around to uploading them to flickr yet.  Cause I’m lazy and stuff, and other reasons.

New Job

My new job started this last Monday!  My job is wiring dispatch, which means essentially this:  When a company like Mori Luggage & Gifts sets up a new store, they need someone to come in and run phone lines, ethernet, speaker wire, security system lines, etc.  Now they could either do it themselves (Mori often does, most companies don’t), or try to find a local low-volt wiring guy to do the job for them.  The latter option can be problematic if the company doesn’t know a quality wiring guy in the area, or if they have stores scattered all across the country that all need work.  In comes Snider Services (i.e. Russell Snider, for whom I’m an independent contractor), who has a list of quality technicians all around the country, who can help write and manage scopes of works, who provides a single source for billing.  It’s not all that dissimilar from what I did when I worked for Netifice a few years ago.

The real upshot is that I get to work from home, which means goodbye commute, goodbye khakis (and goodbye regular human interaction).  The first couple of days were a little overwhelming as I jumped into the workload while learning how to use new tools (Thunderbird/Lightning instead of Outlook, Google apps, etc.) pretty much on my own.  But the rough bits smoothed out relatively quickly, and I expect a lot of smooth sailing ahead!

My Back

Once again I seem to have tweaked/thrown out/messed up my lower back.  It seems to happen about once a year, and often for stupid reasons – sneezing while bending over, crouching over legos for too long, or this year: attempting a regimen of push-ups and sit-ups (10 each every hour).  It’s already begun to heal – I can tell because I no longer look like a letter Z when I stand up in front of the mirror, but it usually takes almost a full week to get back into tip-top shape.  It always gets hurt in the exact same way.  Maybe I should see a doctor about it someday.

The frustrating part of all of this is that it’s happening the first week (the first day, even) that I’m at home at my new job, so it’s making it very difficult for me to really focus completely, or to utilize breaktime to do things that need to be done, like raking or doing dishes or even just cleaning up my at-home office.  Soon, though…

His Dark Materials

So that I don’t end on a sour note, I’ll also mention that I’m almost done with The Subtle Knife, which is the second book in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, made especially famous in the US in the last year when The Golden Compass came out as a movie amidst hype and scandal.  (I really liked the movie, though no-one else that I saw it with did.  However, now that I’ve read the book, it falls heavily into the “The book is better” cliche.)

In response to Tej Dyal, who told me 4 or 5 years ago that I had to read these books, because they were among the best ever written, I say, “You’re right, and I wish I would have listened sooner!  At the time I wasn’t interested in reading ‘children’s books’, which these aren’t. ”  In response to Mark, who wanted to know what I thought about the world the stories took place in, I enjoyed the steampunk environment of the first novel, and it was rather thorough and clever and engaging if not unique (at least not now – I don’t know about when it was written), but coming into the second novel and all of the twists and scientism that it adds on: I’m floored!  I don’t want to give the story away now, but the first two books are finding a place right up among my favorites, which have been mostly Heinlein novels to date.  I really hope they make that second movie.

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