History never repeats...or does it?

The last of my major projects with my client comes to an end today. My contract still has another month on it, but with no projects as such, I will be able to use the time to get new clients and new projects in the pipelilne.

I've already made contact with various people I have worked with before and have two projects in the pipeline, both with a client who is likely to have more small projects for me as their big projects move along. The first of these projects is going to be interesting and will require some research on my part, which I am looking forward do. But first we have to get a Master Services Agreement in place and then the Statements of Work.

I'll also have to make contact with some of my current client's competitors. I know people at the two main companies, as I have worked with them before. And they are not really my current client's competitors any more, since my client has decided to quit operations in the US and Europe.

Still, I do need to put some work into marketing materials, and should plan on getting up to Chicago in September for the main vending industry trade show.

I've also been doing some programming, working on a little software that might be useful in the future. Maybe.

I've been getting some work done around the house (finally). I've laid some brick along the side of the driveway to give a little more room for people getting out on the passenger side of the car. I want to do a bit more landscaping around the pathway from the driveway to the front door, but the earth is really hard and the sun gets awfully hot.

I also got some patio furniture and have painted the chairs. I need to clean up the rust off the table before I paint that.

My little garden has been quite remarkable. I pulled out the monkey grass and weeds from the planters at the front door and planted various herbs, peppers and tomatoes. The tomatoes look good; I'm just waiting for them to change to red. I've made use of the peppers (green and Anaheim) in a few dishes. And the fresh herbs have been wonderful (parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, sage, basil).

That's about all I've got to share for the moment.

Checking in

Still alive. Reading but not writing. About to enter a transitional period. You may continue with your regular Live Journal experience.
  • Current Music
    Sonic Youth - Malibu Gas Station

Fuck Man U

So Arsenal couldn't score. And Man U now equal the best football team in England in League titles.
Well done. I wish Liverpool could also draw from a pool that includes players that cost 30 million pounds each.
Not bitter. They're good players.
I wish we could have the depth on the bench that means we could sub a 30 mill player for a 30 mill player that was sitting on the bench.
But there are only three teams in England that can afford that luxury, and two of those teams are in Manchester. (The other Manchester team didn't work out so well this year, for the record).

I had a conversation tonight with a Wolves fan that sounded more like a United fan than a Wolves fan. His comments sounded like he was practically sucking on Fergie's dick. And he was all about ignoring the gains that other teams (particularly Liverpool) have made. Pissed me off somewhat. Anyone who thinks that United are unstoppable needs a kick in the balls. United got lucky in several games. But that's football.

Liverpool got lucky on several occasions, and they also got unlucky. So did United. Just so happened that United got a bit more luck. It's not always about strategy. It's not always about tactics. Hell, it's not always about the players. Sometimes it comes down to basic luck.

Anyway, in less than eight hours I shall be at the Brewhouse, watching a game that won't decide the winner of the Premiership. It never was going to.

At least the bottom of the table will make for interesting football next week. Newcastle or Hull? Bye bye 'Boro. Bye bye Albion. Or something completely unexpected?

And as for the fans. United fans are the second worst fans after Chelsea fans.

Life as we know it

Liverpool won today, which was great. Unfortunately, the Mancs came from behind to spank Spurs. Not so happy with that.
Went to Lowe's and spent boatloads of money. But I now have herbs and peppers all set to grow and feed me for the next few years. I'm quite happy with that. I also dug up the side of my yard to replant monkey grass (which I don't like) and prepare for pavers.
Now I'm sleepy and need a shower. I'll wait a while and deal with both later.

The Economist

As most of you are aware, one of my favorite things to do is read The Economist. There are many reasons for this: our politics are similar, their articles are insightful, and the writing style often includes gems of deliberate understatement.

As to the last, case in point is from the issue of March 21st. There is an article in the Books and Arts section about Handel, who is being honored in April on the 250th anniversary of his death. The second to last paragraph talks about how his operas have had a resurgence recently, in part due to the rise of the countertenor: the modern equivalent of the castrato without the unacceptable job requirements.


In other news, there is no other news. I did nothing this weekend because I was ill. My annual spring-time chest infection.


Hello everybody. Just letting you all know that I am still alive and partaking in the LiveJournal thing, even though it was allegedly going belly up a few weeks ago.

I'm keeping fairly occupied, if not busy. Work is steady. My contract has a month or so to go and then will continue to roll-over every three months unless the work runs out. So that is good. I have been approached about my availability from another client, but I don't think I'm really going to be able to pick that up as well. Too much opportunity for conflict of interests at the moment.

The football has been awesome. I haven't been posting football updates, but I shall get back into that after the international break. But in the last three games, Liverpool has scored 13 goals and conceded only one: 4-0 against Real Madrid, 1-4 at Manchester United, 5-0 against Aston Villa. Unbelievable. And we looked pretty good doing it (even if the manager thinks we should have done better). The two league results puts us one point behind Manchester Untidy, with eight matches remaining (United have nine left). The biggest disappointment in the football has been that we were drawn against Chelsea again in the Champions League. Fourth time in five years - ridiculous.

I'm going to see Glasvegas tonight at the Loft. That should be a fun show. I saw Flogging Molly earlier in the month and I've got tickets to see Ladytron and the National in upcoming months.

The house is coming along nicely. The office is mostly equipped now. It needs a bit of a tidy up and a bit of rearranging, but is looking like an office. The library/spare bedroom had a bit of a rearrange last weekend and is now more functional and looks less like a room to just throw stuff in. I still need to get a couch so that I can actually use it as a reading room. In the living room, the TV is now on the wall. I still need to get another set of speakers to get full surround sound, but the 5.1 is good.

I've got some plans for the outside of the house that I hope to work on in the next couple of months. I need to level some earth along the fence line, and I still need to deal with a deadish tree. My rosemary, oregano and sage survived the winter, but the basil did not. I need to get parsley in as well.

Okay, back to the semblance of work.

This is why I hate people

I'm an engineer.
I have a degree in Science and a couple of degrees in Engineering.
Granted, I don't do a lot of hard science or real engineering any more.
Most of what I do these days is trouble shooting, problem solving, and project management.
Occasionally I build something to solve a problem, but it's not what I consider real engineering.
I'm often really impressed with what some of my friends in the "soft" sciences are doing (the quotes are important there).
And I'm very proud of the people I know who are doing real engineering.

I went to trivia tonight. I didn't know lots about pop culture. I knew a bit about American presidents. And about English history. And about art history. Our team came third.

I contribute money every year towards science education. I think there needs to be somewhere that I can contribute money towards arts education.

Why don't people know stuff? Why are people so insular about knowledge? Is the American education system really that bad? Are people really that disinterested with understanding about the world and themselves?

A question tonight was "Who said 'If it wasn't for priests, there wouldn't be heretics'?". What a great question. I took a couple of wrong guesses (Martin Luther, Voltaire), but the answer was Thomas Jefferson. Another great thinker (well, Voltaire was great, Luther was simply an important rabble-rouser).

The question is important, both in itself as well as being a defining piece of America (can you say separation of Church and State?).

This post is turning into babbling so I think I shall leave it. As an interesting diversion, here is a questions: Given that my atheism would prevent either thing coming to pass, should I become a teacher or a politician when I become jobless?
  • Current Mood
    drunk drunk

Happy Darwin Day

In October of last year I went to the doctor for a physical. I hadn't been to the doctor for a check up in a couple of years so it seemed like a good idea. The general physical went well - aside from being overweight I was in good health. Then came the blood work, which indicated that my cholesterol was extremely high. This isn't really much of a surprise.
So the doctor put me on a statin to address my cholesterol. It's been just over two months since I actually started the medication and I went for a check up and new blood work. The results came in the mail yesterday and my levels are all where they should be. So quite pleased - better living through chemistry.

Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago today, and On The Origin of Species was published 150 years ago this year (November). His contributions to our knowledge and understanding of the world should be celebrated by all.

Six Nations rugby has started. Last weekend I watched Wales beat down Scotland. This weekend I'm going to try to get to the Wales v England game at 12:30 at Fado. The cost is $20 per person (Setanta charges ridiculous pay per view rates for the Six Nations).

I've been to Chattanooga twice in the past two weeks for work. This week had an overnight stay, but I had a killer headache and got an early night rather than catching up with people.

This morning consists of preparation for probably three hours of conference calls this afternoon. And releasing reports. I find that I write lots of reports. I write wordy reports and I create data reports. I need to convert my Access databases to SQL Server and rewrite my processing code. That might make some of my data reports come out quicker. The wordy reports can't be hastened in such a manner, unfortunately.

Last night was tasty dinner and fun TV with friends: US vs Mexico football (2-0), Lost, and Life On Mars. With respect to the latter show, I prefer the British version but don't hate the American version.

I'm sleepy. I think I shall try to get an early night tonight.

Ich hasse die Kälte, aber ich liebe Berlin

Finally got to do some proper sightseeing this afternoon. Stopped by Checkpoint Charlie and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Then went by the last remaining part of the Berlin Wall and the exhibition there about the Nazis and Soviet occupation.
Next was Potsdammer Plaztz and the Sony Centre. From there I went up to Brandenburger Tor and the Riechstag. It's all pretty amazing stuff.

I've enjoyed the food over the past four days, and, of course, the beer. Unfortunately, where I'm staying is an area where most of the restaurants are targeted at business people. Hence, also, the large number of fancy hotels. The best meals, though, were at what seemed to be local establishments that are not targeting tourist/business clientele. Weiner Schnitzel last night; Jager Schnitzel tonight. I still need to have some good sausage. Maybe for lunch tomorrow.

Lots of beer has been consumed. Mostly pilsners, and some dunkels, and weissbier. I had a good Reisling with the Pike Perch that I had for dinner on Wednesday.

One more day of wandering around and then back on Sunday. I'm going to miss all the important sporting events and the Super Bowel. I mean Super Bowl.

Damn, it's just about 1:30am. That's okay, I need to stay awake so that I can get back into EST when I get back.