haardvark: (my idol)
"That guy was higher than a giraffe's vagina."

Hey, my mother in law's on there!
haardvark: (my idol)
A lot of you made helpful and thoughtful commentary when I posted this. It's been a long weird couple of years. Of the original three, one has been laid off, I am in charge of the team, and am managing the third largest project in the firm. (I am also losing my shit as a consequence, but anyway.) We have two new hires and eyes on a third and have blown away our revenue targets two years in a row. Also, losing the guy we just lost has been a loooooong painful process.

In other words be careful what you wish for. I haven't slept right in many many months.
haardvark: (my idol)
I am sitting in the Newark airport across from a men's room, in full view of a men's room door on the main concourse. I have watched three separate people stuff their coats into the folded up baby change table, (presumably) go do their business, and come get their coats out again. Is this a thing? I never got the memo.

Newark airport has a lot of whackjobs and sad specimens on the open side of the terminal, I tell you what. I am listening to a lone woman argue with her mother ...and I am not sure she has a phone anywhere near her.
haardvark: (my idol)
Epic gaming day yesterday with my best friends in the world. I've known these guys since about the 8th grade and we still fall into a lot of the same patter we did then. My chest hurts from laughing. If only I didn't live an hour away from everyone else...but then again this beats the 5 hours diff when we were in Kingston. Still haven't tried the benelux power grid map. Also fighting the urge to run out and buy Quarriors and/or Arkham horror for the next go round even though it may well be 3-4 months away. (NancyPaul's fault!)

I have been reading a Beethoven biography I got for Christmas ("the Man Revealed" by John Suchet) and it's well written enough...but there's so much conjecture especially in the early years, since there's so little documentation, it just ends up reading like a Robert Massie style historical narrative with the added annoyance that the author keeps apologizing for his shameless guessifying. I've gotten mostly out of that section so we'll see if the improving trend continues.

Random Netflix pick by my kids earlier today "Raising Hope"; I've never heard of this show, thought I was going to hurt myself laughing. But it's horrible! and potentially not kid appropriate. Reminds me a lot of My Name Is Earl which I also LOVED.

Snow continues to fall here and the nights have been bitter cold. I wouldn't want to live in Sandie Go or another consisitently warm place, but I confess the novelty of this weather is starting to wear a bit thin.
haardvark: (my idol)
Brass monkey time out there. I don't think I've been this cold since I worked up near the tree line.

This was my first full day back at work since the 20th. Man, I have a LOT to do...next week, this month, this year. Breathe.

I picked up a Samsung galaxy 3 over the break to play with. Pretty slick little thing. I've only ever used a blackberry and don't bother to futz with any of the settings. I confess it's a bit personally troubling how unfamiliar the interface is but it's been fun to try and sort it out. I did have to break down and read the manual once or twice. As part of the same NewEgg order I picked up a NAS for the home network; I am hoping it will help us to organize all the various digital effluvia we have scattered across 4 machines.

Finally, I will point out that roasted rutabaga, beets, and pulled pork on a taco shell is a mighty fine combination.
haardvark: (workstressworkstressworkstress)
Been home sick for two days, and that after having spent the weekend moderately laid out by, a rhino of a virus. I am feeling mostly on the mend now...so naturally my mind turns to the amount of work I have missed and what a fustercluck it's going to be in the office tomorrow...
haardvark: (my idol)
1. as previously noted in FB space, Clan Haardvark will be in your fair city from approx sat 27th Jul to Fri Aug 9. some of that second week I will be flying solo while C visits her sister in Indy. Would love to meet/get together with whoever's around and can pry the time loose, although if Erica sends me to a pizza joint in the NW suburbs again I'm gonna phone ahead and make sure it's really there.

2. Not quite concurrently with this, a colleague of mine is considering a trip to Chi with her family (hubby and 3 kids aged 1.5 to 7). Knowing that I've been to the city a billion times she's asking me for advice on where to stay neighboorhood wise for reasonable cost, safety, and access to amenities. I had to point out that 90% of my chicago experiences have been day trips from Cary or Harvey by car or onna train (and the few times I've stayed overnight in the city it's in a condo in Old town), I've never had to consider booking a hotel or what might be a reasonably family friendly area to use as a home base. If in-city options can't be found are there any suggestions for first ring burbs on transit? (clearly not oak park!)

I would guess they'd like to do all the standards: mus campus, MSI, art inst, grant park, lincoln p zoo, navy pier, maybe wrigley field etc.

Any suggestions / advice would be greatly appreciated.
haardvark: (library)
I gather from all the froth I see on the net that the Horrible Thing happened in the last episode.  I threw the book across the room when I read it...and then went back weeks later because I wanted to know what happened to the other threads.  Still haven't had the stomach to pick up book four, though.

(also, there are so many possibilities with the "game of rhymes with" shtick, why have I not seen more of this?)
haardvark: (workstressworkstressworkstress)
I have been working my way through HIMYM on netflix, and have "Let's go to the Mall" stuck in my head.
haardvark: (my idol)
During a long series of conf calls yesterday, I took a business card and started running it through the gaps between the keys.  Probably not  a good idea.

This keyboard was not originally mine, I inherited it out of a pile of spares.  No idea how old it really is.  The excavation produced the usual crumbs and dust and alarming amounts of HAIR, short pieces about half an inch long, like the former owner had a crew cut and a sudden attack of alopecia.  Having yielded what I thought was most of the schmutz, I sought out one of those wipes to clean the key tops (I figure, once every 5 years, what the hell).  There were no wipes in the new stationery room but there were a couple of packets of this stuff.  So I spent the next hour of my NEXT conf call mashing this green shit into my keyboard and pulling it out again, and rolling the resulting crap and corruption inside until the ball was so hairy and dirty and gross it finally crossed my threshold and I had to throw it out.

My keyboard has never been so clean.  The thing is, though:it feels completely different, and it's driving me nuts.  The key travel is deeper than before, there's less resistance, and no reassuring crunch.  The feedback is totally altered.  It's affecting my typing speed!

Maybe I'll eat a couple of cookies over top and scratch my head for awhile...


Apr. 8th, 2013 08:41 am
haardvark: (my idol)
I am at a borrowed desk today with one of these split/angled ergo keyboards. I am a pretty fast typist but apparently I cheat over the centreline a lot.  also can't see how this position is better for my wrists?  Madness.

eta:  couldn't do it, had to go dig up a normal keyboard.
haardvark: (my idol)
"The Sharper your Knife, the Less You Cry" by Kathleen Flynn.  A memoir of attending the cordon bleu school in paris by a corporate refugee from Seattle, featuring travelling the city and a luuuurve story thrown in.  I was surprised to see some low rankings on Librarything but I really liked it a lot.  I'd almost put it up against "the making of a chef" by michael ruhlman, and I REALLY loved that book.

Recommended for fans of Paris, cooking, and small scale non smarmy luuuurve stories.  This is the book I wish I had read instead of J&J.

Anyone else got any food writing to recommend?
haardvark: (library)
I've been reading Julie and Julia and I think I kind of hate it.  The angsty New Yorkishness, the neuroses of the main character, the infidelity subplots...none of this stuff holds much interest and causes me to feel quite unsympathetic with the author.  My main beef, though, is that the joy or simple pleasure derived from the cooking and the food is so often weak or absent, it's written like the woman is punishing herself.

It's audio in my car, not that long, and I'm past the halfway point now, but blurgh.  Not recommended.


Nov. 29th, 2012 10:03 pm
haardvark: (my idol)
I came across the comic strip Frazz last week for the first time, I think on someone's FB link.  Being the absurd completist that I appear to be, I have been reading the backlog on line. 

I really enjoy it.  Very reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes.  My girls would LOVE it.  I can't buy the books in cananandanada without cray-cray shipping.  Boo.

See also:  ozyandmillie.org
haardvark: (Default)
I figured out how to fool itunes into letting me access the US store....and the ream of gift cards I have are only good for Canadian store use.  I suspected as much...back to the drawing board I guess.
haardvark: (Default)
Finally watched Coraline last night, having read the book 8 or 9 years ago.  Amazing animation, fairly faithful interpretation of the story (although as usual I don't understand WHY certain elements are added to a screenplay, they don't seem to assist in any meaningful way...) 

Super duper hooper wooper creepy.  (The fact that I hate dolls does not help),  No way is that a kid's movie of any stripe, at least not MY kids; not if I don't want them trying to sleep in my bed for the next 2 months.

Keith David as the cat's voice was particularly inspired...but then again, Dr Facilier has always been my favourite Disney Villain.


Oct. 7th, 2012 08:35 pm
haardvark: (Default)
Turkey coma commence in 5, 4, 3, 2....

Oh, and if you ever find yourself needing to make a pumpkin pie, I highly recommend starting with a Long Island Cheese pumpkin.  The flesh is so sweet I think I would take sugar out of the recipe next time.
haardvark: (food!)
7 qt tomatoes jarred, 7qt more about ready to go.

While I was doing that, ms'v went out and bought another bushel.

If you can get San Marzanos over Romas   I highly recommend them.  They make thicker sauce more quickly, and they are long and narrow so they fit well into the grinder without jamming or needing to be forced.

We had 36qt up last year and ran out in early summer, so I suspect we ain't done yet...
haardvark: (Default)
Parti Quebecois victory.  x more years of pandering from the Fed vs unrealizable(!?) separatist spear-waving.

haardvark: (Default)
When Naomi was 6 months old we decided we wanted to have cats again.  Spike, the cat I married into had died of cancer a few years before at 14 years.  We got two tabbies (love tabbies) about 6mo old, unrelated, from the Humane Soc.

Pepper has grown into a furry purring lap-cat, attention demanding but of the sweetest disposition you could possibly imagine.

Ollie was always a bit more of a loner and a far ranging explorer, but with a self destructive streak. He'd climb into parked cars and delivery trucks (esp the UPS style ones with the passthrough doors), get locked in trunks if you weren't paying attention.  He went into other peoples' houses, once to spectacularly bad effect when the owners were refinishing their floor.  He'd follow us around the neighborhood:  he once got onto the bus with me (I had to chase him down and throw him out the door with the driver's cooperation and timing), once followed me into a variety store.   For the last few years he's been following my wife to the schoolbus stop every morning and tracking her back after she drops off the kids, always maintaining about 5 yards of distance.  If you stop walking, he'll sit and wait for you to start again.

He's sat in the middle of the road  more times than I can count, including on the double yellow of a 4 lane road I had just crossed when I was taking Naomi to the park in her stroller.   More than once he flopped down in front of an oncoming car on our street, and woudl just glare and swear at the car while it honked and swore back.  He's been a regular visitor to the pound, including once when we picked him up with lacerations and a broken fang.  (He wouldn't tell us what had happened).

This Danger Cat streak led us to try and keep him inside, but he would aggressively run at the door any time it was opened, scratched the living hell out of the door trim, punitively pissed in things (mostly large planters) and when he started taking speed runs at the second floor windows when the sashes were up, we knew there was no hope.  We started sending him to "camp" at Grampa's farm in the summers, and he loved it there.  By now I have figured he's more their cat than ours, and he put up with us looking after him for a few months in the winter when his new hosts were travelling in warmer climes.

Ollie was hit by a car last night on the road in front of their house.  He's generally been quite timid of that road, seemingly knowing that the big trucks, farm vehics and high speed backroad commuters would grease his furry butt in a blink.  For whatever reason last night he challenged this and lost.  Neighbor brought him over in a box; I'll spare the details but it was pretty bad.  I put the box in the car for ms'V to take him to the vet but they took one look and advised us to give him an easy end, which was what I figured would happen.

In a lot of ways I am surprised he lasted this long, but needless to say we're all pretty broken up about it.  Pepper got extra cuddles last night.
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