(13-22 September 2005)

22 September 2005
-ProStores makes many things easy, but just a few things very difficult.  Almost all of those few things relate to shipping.  But we're doing the best we can.  & fortunately all that data entry for the shipping is DONE!
-Poker night was back in full force this eve as I was dishing out puns left & right, & cleaning money off the table to boot.  We even had a couple new folks grace the table & so it looks like our future is secure for a bit.  Just plain old good times.

21 September 2005
-Uh oh.  It looks like that Houston thing I was talking about 2 days ago might really be happening.  If only there were some sort of well-known phrase indicating anticipation of trouble involving Houston...
-Jury duty!  I have no idea if I'll get on one or not, but I'm being called to actually be potentially on a jury tomorrow morning!  I'm not quite as excited about serving on a jury as I was a year ago, but it'd still be a great experience methinks.
-Well I didn't make it on the jury, but I spent many hours observing the whole process without actually getting to answer any questions myself.  It was very slow & deliberate, but interesting in part because we got to see the actually pre-emptory challenges as they alternated from prosecution to defense.  The thing I learned about most, however, is how universal car accidents are in the American experience.  Lots of them.  It's a scary world out there.

20 September 2005
-Back after another wonderful train ride, in which I read a great deal & cursed the abundance of bright lights on a night train.  I love little so much as nighttime scenery from a dimly lit train.  But if the lights are bright, of course the scenery is invisible & one is confronted by one's own reflection.  Regardless, the train ride really was great aside from these trifles, & it's always nice to not be in a tremendous rush to be anywhere.  Much work was done while in the Fresno area, & the head honchos at RMI seemed pleased with the progress.  We'll probably actually launch before the week's end.  Things really seem to be falling into place all around.  & where there is some upheaval, there's the chance for new hope.  All is well.  Though mayhap so much time with trains is tinting my glasses a tinge pink.

19 September 2005
[from Clovis, California]
-Came down here on the train early this morning, which is really the only civilized way to go.  So much better than driving in so many ways.  I've been plugging away at the data entry (59% done) & preparing for a meeting tomorrow where I'll apparently show off the features of the new e-commerce site, with or without complete shipping tables.  It's mighty strange to be here without Emily, but I actually had a great talk with her mom, so things are pretty smooth so far.  It's warm here, too, which is a nice change from the impending fall back bayside.
-So they might be calling off the re-entry of Nawlins due to the oncoming Hurricane Rita.  It occurred to me that in thinking about the long-term hurricane season, relocating everyone to Houston may not have been the best plan ever.  Dallas, while a bit more of a haul, might have been a safer bet.  What happens if Rita lands on Houston with similar strength to Katrina?  I'm not saying no one can ever live on the south Atlantic coast of the US anymore, though that may start to seem like the case if this trend keeps up, but for those who already suffered one of these, I just don't know if shipping them to a coastal town in hurricane country was a brilliant move.
-Victory!!  I have finally defeated Jen in Ticket to Ride!  It was on the Europe board & it was a decimation that included 43 consecutive pieces of track.

18 September 2005
-Exit Emily, stage Beantown.  It's going to be a long week.
-Saw "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" after a fair amount of trepidation, & even managed to drag Fish with me against his better judgment.  Not really that scary at all.  If you're even a little on the fence about this one, you should check it out.  Very thoughtful piece on an interesting & spooky issue, well acted, & most of the scary stuff is already in the preview if you've seen it.  You should NOT, however, go see it with 4 obnoxious 14-year-olds in front of you who are clearly bored by courtroom scenes, talk through the whole movie, & then scream every time a pigeon flutters its wings.  I don't know how many times the theater told them to shush.  They were sitting directly in front of us, too.  & I can say all this without prejudice, because I was 14 once & I was never that obnoxious in a movie theater.
-Headed to the Albatross Pub Quiz on the invite of Peter & Jacqueline.  'Twas great fun & team Roswell Believers (Fish, Gris, Anna, & myself) brought in 3rd place out of about 15 teams, which wasn't bad for a rookie performance methinks.  We were leading with two rounds to go, too, but melted down in part on answers that we changed away from the right ones.  Anything to get the competitive juices going again!  Yet once more, I lament for my lack of something a little more serious & sustaining as an outlet for all this competitiveness.
-I think today was the first day that New Orleans was not the top story on since it happened.  That's quite a run.

17 September 2005
-Had a pretty good one today, with some bridge, some mini-golf, & even some air hockey.  I am no good at mini golf or air hockey.  But still, fun was had.  We even wound up at Chipotle before day's end, after touring many haunts I knew only because of my time at Seneca.

16 September 2005
Happy Birthday to Ben Brandzel
Happy Birthday to Greg Wilson

-So... much... DATA ENTRY!!
-But seriously.  10,950 individual pieces of data entry.  Just to set up the shipping.  It's absurd.  As I post this I'm 32.88% done (who's counting?), after working all day long on it just plugging in numbers.  Suffice it to say that while it seems good for some things, ProStores is not good with independent shipping tables that have any complexity to them.  Sigh.
-Listening to Mark McLemore commentate on ESPN & tell stories of the old days reminds me of thinking about & telling stories of old debate days.  If only debate needed commentators.  Though it does need good judging, so I guess it would be like old ballplayers becoming umpires.  That would be interesting indeed.
-Congratulations to Fish on getting a job!  He'll be working at The Next Generation, which I will have a VERY hard time not calling StarTrek.  Already we had a small discussion about how he'd feel about me referring to his work as "The Enterprise" on a daily basis... his reaction was not stellar.  He actually asked me how much he could pay me up front to prevent me from ever making a habit out of calling it that.  Ah well.  Now just Gris & Anna need jobs to get the Big Blue House up to full employ.  But what fun will that be?

15 September 2005
-Things are moving forward full steam ahead on the RMI projects.  Hopefully there will be linked news to check out soon!
-Congratulations to Russ on a 5th place finish in a major tournament on PokerStars, netting him close to what I made in a similar tournament about 7 months ago!  'Twas great fun watching along at home.
-Ah, opportunities, they seem to be a-knockin'.  I've always said that if one just gets enough traffic, good things will start to happen.

14 September 2005
-Hopefully things will work better with ProStores.  After spending a good bit of time with their phone customer support, I'm still not sure why I don't have a welcome e-mail.  But lest I feel jinxed about e-commerce, I'll just hope for the best instead.
-Meanwhile, Emily has told me that she's not so sure about the current way of archiving the Duck and Covers.  While it's simpler to not have a page trying to load 60 comic strips at once, there's still a lack of "jump-around" navigation with the current system.  Ideally, I'd put in a clickable calendar for infinite choice in reading comics from any time to any time, but I'm not sure there's an easy way to do that without having to edit every archive page every day.  I guess I could do it with frames or an image map.  Any thoughts from D&C readers?  How do you like your archives?
-I'm thinking about changing my ad strategy on the quiz pages & front page, & have come across things like this that look enticing.  For one thing, the poker thing just isn't working.  For another, I feel a little queasy about it at times, even though I'm a big fan of online poker.  It's very very neutral at best.  So I expect to make a change as soon as I get some major work tasks completed.
-The same goes for the 101 in 1,001 project, as well as a few others.  Is there irony in the fact that I can't launch a to-do list of 101 things to do on time?

13 September 2005
-Time to refocus on work!  With any luck, we'll have operational e-commerce & the full Trains and Railroads Quiz up by the end of the week.  That's a lot to do.

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