Author: Chuq Von Rospach

Mom’s Christmas Cards

Over the holidays I spoke of a few secret projects, and now I get to tell you about one of them. When my mom retired, she took up painting and enjoyed it immensely. Being who she was, she decided to start hand painting the family Christmas cards every year, and to her, that means painting every card individually, so imagine what it might take to do 50-60 cards every year and do it for 15+ years, since she started this in the mid-1980’s and continued it every year until almost 2000, when her arthritis and growing vision problems robbed...

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Leading my first birding group: Merced National Wildlife Refuge

So on Saturday I led my first birding group, leading 11 on a exploration of Merced National Wildlife Refuge. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years, but this is the first year my schedule has cooperated. I did this trip through the Santa Clara Valley Audubon group that I do volunteer work for. Since this was my first group outing, I wanted very much to make it a success for those coming to visit, so I did a lot of preparation. That included two scouting trips, one three weeks ago and one a week ago,...

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Checking in…

I’ve found there’s one true fact about writing: once you get out of the habit of writing, it’s a lot easier to continue not writing than it is to get the writing back on a schedule. “Oh, it can wait one more day” is a terrible excuse, but it works. I’ve been trying to figure out how much time I know I can spend on writing every week, and what that means for the blog. What I’ve decided to try, at least for now, is to get back on a three day a week schedule. It’s a change of attitude — rather than try to push stuff out as I write it, try to build up a queue of material ready to go, allowing me to put more time into more complex writing (and non-writing projects) rather than trying to feed the grind. Of course, if I get too long a queue, I can speed some of it out the door, too. Now wouldn’t THAT be a good problem to have. Another thing I’ve decided to do is try to make sure I keep a variety of material going on the blog. I’ve found, for instance, if I write a few reviews in a row, people tend to zone out and there’s a lot less interest in the later ones. It seems the best way to keep things fresh...

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Continued excavation in the room of death

I meant to get some more writing done this week on the blog, but between work and the room of death, I simply ran out of time. The photo at right shows the pile of boxes I’ve moved out of the room in search of the floor, which I’ve actually found (for those curious, that’s 59 boxes). They’re currently living in the room we call the library with the treadmill and the cat box. Still to do are seven boxes of hockey jerseys, six boxes of books, and 8 boxes of ancient VHS tapes that are going to be landfilled since there’s no useful purpose to them and it’s unlikely they’re usable even if we had a way to play them. And then there are two sets of filing cabinets (probably another 12 boxes) of Laurie’s hockey program collection and research material that’ll be boxed for now until we get this all sorted out and can get stuff into their new home (the hockey stuff will ultimately live where those boxes in the library currently are). it’s going to take me at least a week to get there, because this week is also in-office meetings for my team at work, and so I’m going to be actually driving to a building to work instead of wandering to my desk, and they’re going to be full days. So I’m guessing...

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Entering the room of death….

I apologize for the lack of blogging, it’s not for lack of things to talk about. The new job has been eating my brain and by the end of the day, I’ve been mentally tired as I soak everything in and start figuring out where I can be most useful. I’m happy with where things are at and we’re showing some results, so that’s something. I’ve also started a project that’s been on my todo list for a long time, which is I’ve entered (DUM DUM DUUUUUMMMMM) the room of death. Okay, let me explain. We have a spare room here that at one point in its life was where the servers lived when we ran plaid works and other sites out of the back room (this was back in the age of MacOS 8 and the Apple Network Server AIX box, so it was a long time ago). When we moved all of our stuff out to hosted services, the room turned into the “put it here until we get around to deal with it” room. And as the room filled up, it went from being a storage room to a room we simply never opened the door too any more. I’ve long thought to move my office into the room; I like the current location, but it’s open to everything, so even if I don’t mind that...

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