I have many things I meant to write up, but never got around to them, and then *did* write up a long post, and lost it while I was at my mom's house.

Following up my post from before Christmas - on the topic of company Christmas parties - I count myself lucky that I look forward to spending time outside of work with my co-workers and bosses - at this time of year, I hear/read of many people who feel obligated to attend their company party, and don't enjoy it at all - and I'm fortunate that I'm not in that position.

With respect to vacationing at home - even my mom admits that my brother and I really shouldn't come home for as long as we did - we get bored because we have nothing to do. This, of course, was exacerbated this year by the Great Snowfall of 2008, but in general, I always talk myself into staying 7-10 days when I really should only go home for 3-5 days at a time.

Even with all of the bad weather and horrible airport delays reported - both my outbound and inbound flights were on time! I had no delays, did not end up stuck in lengthy lines or even have much trouble getting to the airport. My poor mother ended up parking in a foot of snow at the Vancouver airport to pick me up, and trekking cross country through unplowed drifts - the first thing she said to me when she got to the terminal was "we have to find a *different* way back to the car". We did, and the roads back to her house weren't bad - Vancouver got a lot more snow in the first dump that we did - our road was clear up until the 23rd, when we got 10 inches overnight. The morning of the 24th was a scary concept, given that I had to go pick up my brother at the airport on the 25th.

Per usual, Sat, my Polish "brother" (he has no siblings, and he was good friends with one of my brothers in high school, so we "adopted" him) was a flake, and his suggestion was that my brother "take a cab" from the airport - that would have cost probably 200$ - assuming he could even find one who would agree! His next theory was that he could go in to Vancouver, but he'd have to come to our place to get my mom's car - since the whole reason we wanted him to go, was that we weren't sure we could get my mom's car *out* of the cul-de-sac, that wasn't a useful idea either :)

But, I shovelled the snow, we got the neighbour to drive back and forth on it with his SUV, and my mom used her ninja snow-driving skillz honed by growing up in Saskatchewan, and after only 40 minutes we made it the FORTY FEET between where I shovelled and where the snow plow had gone by on the crescent outside our cul-de-sac.

Honestly, it might have been easier for me to just shovel the cul-de-sac :)

Was supposed to try to meet up with my friend in Richmond, after failing to do so in November when I was last home. Unfortunately, she had a major water problem - 2 floors above her, the sprinkler system broke and water was coming in her walk-in closet. That was on the 29th, she finally got someone out on the 2nd to get fans and dehumidifiers in place to dry her out - they were understaffed over the holidays, but it looks like things are moving along now.

The downside of being in Canada for Christmas is that I missed out on the Boxing Day sales at Target :) I wanted to pick up some more ornaments - I did get a bunch of the flat silver metal snowflakes on sale for 30% off before Christmas, but I was going to pick up a few more if they had any left. Boxing Week sales in Canada were meh this year - no good ornaments at Zellers, Walmart, London Drugs or any of the other places I checked. Seriously - Zellers had a whole WALL of *pink* ornaments with *feathers* and *pearls*. And everyone had a ton of cheap ornaments covered in glitter - I'm not a fan of the glitter.

I did stop by Target on the way home Wednesday from the airport, since I was on that side of the hill - no more snowflakes, but I did find 5-6 boxes of glass icicles on for 75% off - score! I also picked up a container of metal Christmas cookie cutters, which has all the key ones - candy cane, gingerbread man and woman, star, tree and bell. In addition it has a snowflake, holly leaf, reindeer, mitten, snowman, angel, sleigh, santa hat, wreath, gift box, and ornament - all for $3. Strings of lights for $0.49, plus I got 3 packs of blue replacement bulbs ($0.12 each) which I will use to fix the string of lights that I bought this year - it is blue and white lights, but there are 2 white lights for each blue light, and I find it to "white" - so I will replace a bunch of the white bulbs next year and tone it down.

Work was *quiet* during vacation - no crises, no panic - just a couple of minor things to keep up with. It was very nice!

I am ready to go back to work though - if only to keep me out of the stores - I'm *done* shopping for bargains now - time to save save save.

I started feeling sick on Tuesday and it developed into a full-fledged cold complete with nasty-sounding cough and a stuffed nose. So I didn't go into work on Friday - I napped instead. Hopefully by Monday the worst will have passed and I'll feel better.

I bought a ton of veggies and chicken and am planning on taking lunch to work again - I do much better at saving money and eating better when I take food to work. I bought chicken breasts on sale for $1.88 a pound, and cooked them in the crockpot today with a half bottle of salsa - pulled it all apart and now I have delicious, moist chicken to put on salads, or wrap in tortillas with some veggies and cheese.

As for resolutions? I need to cook more and eat out less. I am going to keep a journal of what I eat - it definitely keeps me on track for making healthier choices - haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it on paper, the way I did it before, or if I'll do it on lj with filters, as it's seriously boring :) I might set up a different journal on the south beach forum, but that's two places to go read and post in...so we'll see.

My other resolution is the same as last year - work less, take better care of me - I did *better* this year - I took a lot more time off, and went home a lot. But I still have a ways to go, although it's harder now, since we have fewer people to share the work, but I need to keep at it.

(no subject)

Nov. 30th, 2008 07:32 pm
spiffikins: (Default)
Holy mini-vacation!

I *like* this 4 day weekend thing - definitely something I want to do more often.

4 whole days of not working, not thinking of work, not talking to co-workers - that never happens.

I feel sooo relaxed right now - I'm even ready to face the world tomorrow.


update time

Nov. 23rd, 2008 11:15 am
spiffikins: (Default)
Feels like I haven't updated in *ages*

vacation != work )
coding! )

I have no idea how people wrote code before there was the internets. I guess there were books? I have no books, I have google.

Although I'm not supposed to use google any more - my boss is on a tear about how google has a monopoly on search and therefore it costs our company *way* too much to advertise on google. He wants us all to use other search engines, to break google's monopoly so that they are not able to charge so much for ads.

I'm not sure I fully agree with him - I've never once clicked on a google ad - when I search on google, I don't use the advertised links.

But I tried yahoo search for a while - I just didn't find my answers.

housepainting FAIL )

My DSL saga, I will document another time - suffice it to say, even though I have serious reservations about switching to cable broadband, I'm getting to the point where it may be my only option. AT&T can't fix things, and every person I speak to there, gives me a completely different phone number to use to call back and find out what's going on - half of them do not work. Hello - phone company!

Today I have been productive - I have laundry in the dryer, and food in the slow cooker!

I may buy some yeast and bread flour and try the bun recipe that I saw on lj last night.

catching up

Aug. 31st, 2008 10:42 am
spiffikins: (Default)
got back from vacation )

Amazingly, I only had one phone call from work - and that was on my first day - after that, they actually left me alone! When I got back, I mentioned this to my boss, and he was all "well you had sort of said you wouldn't be available, so we just sort of suffered and waited till you got back for stuff".

Now I know the magic words!

Thursday, D. and I caught up - he comes out to the office when I'm away, but we arranged for a day of overlap. Went over to the colo facility to do some maintenance and had lunch across the street. It was all good, until I found a tiny shard of *glass* in my coleslaw - well, I found it in my mouth :( As terrible as that sounds, I was so relieved - I thought I had broken a filling or a crown

Friday was catch up day, and I'm planning on taking at least part of Monday off, then back to the grind on Tuesday - my new server is here and I have to install the O/S, and Oracle so I can get back to setting up the standby database test stuff.

Yesterday I went to look at more houses )
Craziness galore!

technical gobbledygook )

in minion-related news... )

pointy haired boss...no wait, he's bald... )

So, fly to San Diego Sunday evening. Training Monday. Dinner with the two guys who are onsite there, with possibly Much Drinking. Training Tuesday, then flying home late Tuesday night. Back in the office Wednesday and Thursday part of the day. Fly to Vancouver Thursday night. Take the public bus to some random art gallery in downtown Vancouver late Thursday night/early Friday morning, to meet my brother, who is having an art show that night. Wait till art show ends at 2am, and then brother will drive me home to my mom's house. Spend next week ignoring email and phone calls because Dammit I want a Vacation. Marred only by 2 chemo treatments for mom, but whatever.

When I get back in July, I'll probably have to decide what to do about Minion number 2...not looking forward to that at all.

Can it be vacation time now plz?

(no subject)

Apr. 8th, 2007 09:28 pm
spiffikins: (Default)
I made it through my first week back at work, after vacation - and it was okay!

Talking to a co-worker of mine last week, I mentioned that I *really* needed a break, because even though I was *coping* with the stress, I was definitely not in a good place. I definitely am much more relaxed and interact with people at a much better level - amazingly enough, after a week off, the world became filled with much fewer stupid people!

Or maybe part of it was me.

My co-worker, who still needs a break, agreed that we definitely work ourselves into a negative place - but at the time, it's difficult to see that a *lot* of the problem is our own stress levels, and how we react to things that happen.

So - note to self - take vacation more often - try to be more self-aware and identify when I need a break before it gets so bad again!!

In other news, I went to Ikea this weekend (all hail flat-pack furniture!) and bought 2 dressers. I've only put one together so far - but it's lovely! I'm going to fill these drawer with all the stuff that is sitting in my room, making my room look so messy!

Also, Walmart Supercenter is open on holidays, unlike many other stores. I picked up a bunch of groceries, came home, cleaned out the freezer (whose door my part-time roommate left OPEN an inch for 3 days until I finally noticed, and everything was wrecked) and put my food in.

Still need to clean out the fridge of scary things (like a month-old taco bell soft taco my housemate left, the last time she was here - ugh) but that can be done tomorrow.

Also, Happy Zombie Jesus Day to those who celebrate!
So I'm back home from the "out of town" portion of my vacation. I got in late Tuesday evening, and have been catching up on all the computer-related things that came up while I was away and offline.

Spending a week in Austin, Texas was really good for me - work had been so crazy that I actually wasn't sure I'd get to leave until I actually stepped on the plane. I had to be at the airport at 7:30am on Wednesday, and Tuesday night I was at the office until 9:45pm, getting the final functionality written for the code that was to be delivered while I was away.

I barely got packed that night, and had no chance to set up a rental car or make any type of plans for the week. When I arrived, my friend that I was staying with, picked me up at the airport. He took one look at me and said "you *really* need this vacation".

I was completely out of it - my brain just stopped functioning. I felt wrapped in insulation - nothing really impinged on me - time to get on a plane? Ok, I'll follow the people now... time to get off the plane? Ok, I'll get off now. What do I want to eat? I dunno...food?

Thursday I spent just hanging out - really not doing anything, just decompressing. Friday I rented a car and drove to Corpus Christi and Padre Island, then back to Austin. Long drive to spend 3 hours driving along the seashore, considering I *live* by the beach, but it was about what I could handle :)

Saturday I stayed in Austin, and drove around looking at the town - it's a very *green* town - lots of humidity and moisture makes for lots of vegetation. Not at all what I really expected from Texas. I didn't get going until nearly noon, had a laid-back afternoon, and went out for a really nice, really expensive dinner with my friends that night.

Sunday I headed to San Antonio, but never really made it - I stopped at the outlet mall in San Marcos and hit every shoe store looking for a particular pair of Converse, (didn't find any) and then just sort of had a leisurely afternoon, came back and had a late dinner with my friends.

Monday, I planned to go to Fredericksburg, which is west of Austin - exactly in the path of a giant thunderstorm. Being from BC, I scoffed at my friend who warned me to "be careful" driving in the rain. An hour later, I decided to heed the town's motto "Turn around, don't drown" and stopped driving directly into the path of the storm - I've never driven in rain that heavy, and never had the experience of hydroplaning quite so badly on highways. I couldn't see *at all* and the ditches were filling up so quickly with water, that sheets of running water were coming across the road. And of course, being brain-dead, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and hadn't even taking a jacket with me, so I'm not sure what I was expecting to do if I *got* to Fredericksburg anyway...

Tuesday, I had returned the car, so I just hung out reading a book until lunchtime. My friend decided to play hooky from work, since the weather finally cleared up and we went for pizza for lunch, and then he drove me around some of the ritzy parts of Austin, and up to a park where we could look out over the town lake and the city.

At that point, his cell phone rang, and he didn't know the answer, so he passed me the phone and I walked my co-worker through recovering the Oracle database, since the office power had flickered on and off all day and the server hadn't come back up this last time. Vacation over, we drove back to the house, picked up my suitcase and he dropped me off at the airport.

I think overall, while I didn't exactly do the efficient tourist thing, I did accomplish what I needed in this vacation - I relaxed, de-stressed, and stopped thinking about work every moment of the day.

Of course, since I've been home, I've talked to my boss 4 times, worked on a couple of tasks, and can feel myself coiling back up, but hopefully I'll keep *some* of this relaxed feeling for a couple more days . I'm not going back into the office till Monday - and we have 2 new tech support people starting Monday! Not that it will alleviate any of my workload, but it's a start!


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