Archive for November, 2006

Short and quick…

This one shall be relatively short and sweet… more short than sweet, but, well, you know…

I’m trying to finish a few items from my list that were left from yesterday (it takes time to pick out good pictures for gifts…) and reconcile some notes and information here at work…

So, hopefully I’ll pop some more words later this afternoon.

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Well, the day is moving along steadily… no issues with lunch today as the “other 12 o’clock” person actually called out sick. (Of course, that means that there has been a lot more calls for each of us that are here… wahoo, right!?!)

I have pretty much chalked up NaNoWriMo this year to nice thought, good start, good starting effort, but poor planning and weak follow through when I was not able to push as many words at work. (Yes, I know that TECHNICALLY there is still one day left, but I highly doubt that, even getting no sleep and not working tomorrow that I would be able to make 50k words, as I am still looming down at the 4,000 word range).

So, here is the reevaluation of things, and my plan for future progress: The NaNoWriMo pace is 1,667 words a day. My new target is to aim for a regular output of around 1,000 words a day. However, those words need to be USEFUL words (in other words – actually building a story – notes do not count, and blog entries do not count), while working on a project. If I am “between projects”, then the goal of 1,000 words still stands, I just need to be creative about things (using writing prompts and exercises) to keep juices flowing.

I do plan on participating next year, and hopefully spending time generating text will set me up with some chops to plow through the increased numbers (maybe I can establish some routines and be able to hole myself away a bit more often, without some of the trips to help through off my numbers).

But I have a list of things for today (split – some for while I am here at work, and some for while I am home tonight). So far, I have most that list completed… A little bit of progress, there. Also, a little progress each day (they say it’s 21 days to make/break a habit) with the writing will be a good thing. I revisited and rekindled this, with the intention of making the habit of entries and writing something… and at two months later, that appears to be a habit that is taking hold. Here’s the funny part – I go through the day and think, “Maybe I should write (blog) about this,” and I tend to feel guilty when I haven’t written an entry on the normal schedule (M-F, so far… maybe I’ll add the weekends, but I cannot maek promises as weekend travels may limit ISP access). A little bit of progress each day, and a mountain of scenes and ideas will be gerated. A little each day, and I can send manuscripts to potential publishers.

Three cheers for progress…

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What happened to Tuesday…?

I’ll tell you… here, it flew by: steady streams of calls in the morning, slowly tapering down going into lunch. Then there was lunch – a whole other world (read: fiasco) unto itself…

Here’s the lunch details: I’ve been going to lunch at 12 since I started here (back in August). We recently lost someone from the office (right before I went to New York)… All told, including yesterday, it has been eight (8) work days that everyone has been here since losing the other person. Shortly after I started “free-roaming” (taking calls on my own) there was a discussion about lunch times, and there were two that stated they preferred lunch at 1pm, and one person that took lunch at 11am (and nobody else seemed interested in tht slot anyway). Which left me (and by default, the now missing person) in the 12 o’clock jump.

Short version: apparently, I have been out of some loops… it turns out that one of the 1 o’clock people decided they wanted to go at 12 as their preferred lunch slot and had “switched” with the now missing person… I have continued going to lunch at 12 (on the 8 days that we have all been here) – and on most of those days there has been conversation about lunch plans (generally, since we are running a bit short someone opts to “take a late lunch” and leave at 4). Since my wife is in the same building, there is usually no benefit to me leaving early…

I digress – here is the really short version: I didn’t know that the lunch preferences had been switched. The person grumbled about it (at 12 as I was getting ready to go), and I had to turn tables around. I knew they had switched a few days, but was unaware that it became a permanent thing. In the grand scheme, both of us were at fault (that lovely “assume” word), but I had been operating on what had been the existing conditions. If there is no communication, nobody wins.

So, that was my vent during lunch (it gave me a headache, then), but the rest of the day went about normally – taking calls and answering questions. My wife and I (eventually) went home, and while she wasn’t feeling well and slept early (around 6:30pm) while I rearranged the kitchen (incorporating some “early” Christmas presents from my mother and step-father). I eventually called it a night and went to bed around 11:30, but watched a little tv until about midnight before really zoning out.

So, that was yesterday… we’ll see what today brings.

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Gobble, Gobble…

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we have entered the oft maligned “Holiday rush.” Radio stations here have been playing Christmas music since last Tuesday (23 Nov), and decorations were being put up over the weekend.

I’m not (entirely) a hum-bug. I like Christmas (and, for the record while I respect those who practice different faiths and their respective holidays, it is Christmas… as the holiday as we know it was created as a means for the early church to help in converting pagans – note how it falls in line with the Winter Solstice, which was a time for celebration among pagan cultures), and thoroughly enjoy celebrating with my family, it does bother me a bit that everything Christmas themed is starting before Thanksgiving (geez, I mean, even Wal-Mart had Christmas candy out 2-3 weeks ago).

Another point of frustration – I remember all of the holiday specials that used to come on (regular tv – ABC, NBC or CBS) when I was a kid, but they would all be within a week or two before Christmas. Now, unless you rabidly watch the television listings, one is more likely to miss the “good” specials, unless they have a selective cable channel that runs nothing but Christmas shows.

Thanksgiving is past, Christmas is under a month a way with 2007 looming at just over a month… in the meantime, we have become reduced to grovelling at the altars of corporate retailers and spending way more than we earn over the next few weeks to pamper our loved ones with gifts… Unless, of course, you are like me and my wife – we’ve already completed most of our shopping and only have a few items left to get… maybe next year we might even finish shopping before Thanksgiving. Of course, there is also some prime ocean front real estate in Montana that may be available, if you’re interested.

Yes, today was random… and also busy at work. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, and that you are closer to being in the black than in the red for your holiday spending…

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What a day…

After several attempts during the day yesterday, I scratched any hope for an entry. Whenever I attempted to access the site to post, I could only receive an error message. Oh, well…

Today continues another trend that started developing yesterday – bad weather! It has been getting chilly as a front has been moving through, but it began raining last night (and as of 8am today is still going steadily).

What make it even more interesting is the office if located near an interior corner, and the wind has been howling since yesterday (to be more accurate, and for a better understanding: Imagine a storm sweeping around you – you are safe inside your home or place of work – but you can hear it outside. Strong winds are blowing so that any rain that may be falling is not falling down, but across, and you feel as if you have to lean into the wind to avoid being blown over. You want to use an umbrella, but you feel that as you open it you are likely to have to struggle with the device as you hear a loud “thwomp” as the wind blows the umbrella inside out.)

So that is how the day is starting, and likely how it may end… a wonderfull start to what is considered a holiday weekend.

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Another Monday..

Here at work it is another busy Monday – busier than most, probably due to the nature of the week (short due to Thanksgiving). As far as work is concerned, I am actually rather excited… this is actually the first time in several years that I have not had to (or felt compelled and/or obliged to) spend time working on Thanksgiving… but I also get the following day off (without having to ask for it!)

On the writing front, there has been no significant (read: none, period) change in my NaNoWriMo word count. I’m feeling bummed out about my faroy into the project (much less output than I was anticipating), and I am thinking that I may just need to “skip ahead” in the story line a bit to jump start the engines… Not too much, mind you, but just enough to be past my curent sticking point (get into some of the action, then fill in the background details to lead into the landing from the “jump point”)…

But a slew of intermittent calls beckon, and only a short time before the end of the work day…

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New York Trip – Day 4 (The Return)

Ok, so it was a real, traditional train, not a monorail – I did it for the poetry and alliteration of the word combination.

We were up early – around 4:30am, to put the finishing touched on our packing and to allow plent of time to stop by the bakery (previously visited on Saturday) before descending into Penn Station to wait for our train. We camped out in a corner to await the train departures, securing a spot in the quiet, early morning – it was about 5:30, the first trains didn’t start rolling until 6am, with ours not leaving until 7:15am. It was interesting to see the flow of people, swelling numbers that seemed to flow like waves to the gates as trains were called to board (the station was using gates on opposing sides, so it was like watching a miniature wave pool as passengers would swell to each side every few minutes, only to fade as they descended to their trains before swelling again a few mintes later).

We boarded our train and found seats that were together (on the trip up, we were split two in the front of the car and two in the back of the car), and also not near the front (no annoying drafts this time), where we settled in for some napping for the first part of the ride.

I spent most of the return trip connected to my iPod, switching between three different travel activities – napping, reading, or watching the miles go by. When we arived at our home station, we had a small group of family members waiting for us. We claimed our luggage (mine, it seems, was a bit overzealous and boarded an earlier train – it was waiting for me at the station when we arrived), and drove back to the house to begin the process of unpacking and unwinding. The next day was going to be busy at the house (cleaning and rearranging our living room) so we needed all of the rest we could get.

Post trip thoughts: There is never really enough time to do what you want when you are visiting New York over a weekend. I had a list of places I wanted to try and get to, but realistically only made it to 2-3 of those places. Things change quickly… during my previous trip, there was a large bear in front of FAO Schwartz – this time the bear was gone (along with an anticipated photo op for a Christmas picture), and some of the restaurants had changed hands (The World – a WWF/E themed location in Times Square was now a Hard Rock Cafe).

All told, however, the trip was a good one. Planning a few months in advance helps with getting better rates, but weather can always change. The weather gave us two great days in the city, with Sunday being overcast and cool but still a great morning.

You know, I just may try to make plans for a trip next year… hmmm…

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