Some Days, Your Eye Just Pops Out

So today my eyes were a little dry because I put my contacts in this morning before I had a shower an hour and a half later  (mental note, shower first, then eyes).  Later, I’m at work, I rub my eye, and out pops my contact lens.  Crap.  I quickly put it back in, but kept bugging me.  Later, it pops out again–turns out I had put it in backwards.  Ouch.  No wonder.  Smooth move there, Chuck.  To top off today’s awesomeness, I get the sore throat, fever, aches thing this afternoon.  Awesome.  So much for hitting the gym tonight.

So, I came home, hit the Dayquil, and popped in the Watchmen DVD.  Good movie, quite true to the book, all-in-all, well done.  I figure if I’m sick, I can afford one night off.  Tomorrow, it’s gym and studying for the next IT certification.  Really.  I mean it this time.

Alert readers will be wondering what I was doing up a full hour and a half before my shower.  Ahem.

The Case for Working With Your Hands

This article by Mathew B. Crawford in the NY Times Magazine stuck a note with me as Dad and I have been discussing the subject of “College For All” lately.

The Case for Working With Your Hands – NYTimes.com.

It’s a great (and long) read, and oh-so-true. Simply put:  Skilled, hands-on-trades should have just as much value in our society as those that require “college learnin’.”

I remember when I first got down to the farm here after leaving the big corporate job.  I enjoyed mowing 30+ acres of grass, a job that took almost two weeks with the equipment we had available.  In some cases, it almost seemed when the job was finished, it was time to start again.

Someone asked me why I liked such a mundane task.

I responded, “At the end of the day, I can look behind me at all the mowed grass and be satisfied at the sight of a job I completed.  I know ‘I did that.’  No manager is going to come along and invalidate the work.  It’s done, and it’s mine.  No one can take it from me.”

4th of July

I’m writing this at the end of yet another too-short weekend (on my iPhone, by the way). The 4th of July (more appropriately called “Independence Day”) weekend is winding down. Despite my intention to be in the old Oshkosh neighborhood this year as I was last, it was not to be. While I did miss being at what is always a great reunion of childhood friends, life kept me home this year–and I mean that in a not-so-bad connotation.Photo of Downtown Nashville Fireworks

Perhaps I’m getting old, or perhaps social networking tools help “take the edge off” needing to see everyone in person, maybe I’m just more determined than ever to keep costs down, but the “need” to get back home to Oshkosh isn’t as strong as it was. Perhaps this is just a melancholy phase that will pass in time. Perhaps having certain people here makes it easier to stay south of Indianapolis now. Or…maybe I really am starting to despise air travel and the Jetta isn’t getting any younger. Alternators aren’t cheap.

Anyway, I had an enjoyable weekend. I got to spend some time at the lake and hang with Mom and Dad. I got to spend some quality time with @janeqpublic, both at home and in Nashville. We watched most of the Nashville fireworks before we finally could not even see them through the blinding rainstorm. I managed to snap a photo from our vantage point before things got really wet and we had to run for the car.

We then proceeded to get stuck in the post-fireworks traffic, which was exacerbated by the Steve McNair crime scene investigation– we ended up going right past it in the bumper-to-bumper crush. Speaking of the Steve McNair murder, chalk that up to yet another news story I learned about on twitter first–something that happens with increasing frequency.

On the professional front, I’m still very much enjoying using open-source tools to solve business problems. You know I’m in deep when I’m stopping to take notes when I get a flash of inspiration at odd hours. I find myself thinking in SQL code snippets, too. It’s exciting when projects hit this kind of critical mass. I’m excited to see where it goes from here.