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Archive for December, 2011

2011

Not entirely a bad year…  lots of big things happened.  A few ups, a few downs.  Anticipating quite the big year in 2012.  Hear it’s a Year of the Dragon… apparently pretty good for a Rat.  Hope so!!

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The Holidays

This time of year always tends to be a little hard on me in Wisconsin.  It was the exception if I was dating anyone this time of year so I usually spent it alone, save the occasional invitation to a friend’s house on Christmas Eve or the big day itself.  Of course, it was easier during the marriage, as there was always somewhere to go with the big Italian family… but now that’s all over.  This year I’m saved once again by Paul, who invited me along to his in-laws for some holiday cheer and hard partying, Polish vodka style.

It’s not going to be a white Christmas this year according to the meteorologists.  Bummer.  I do hope it gets colder (and stays colder) soon and we get some snow, as I’m anxious to hit the slopes and snowboard again for the first time in four years.  I’ve slimmed down enough to fit back in my gear and I’m exercising and working on my flexibility so I don’t get injured the first time I go down hard, as I inevitably will.  I really wish Little Switzerland was still around – that was my favorite place to go.  Alpine Valley’s not bad, but it’s no Little Switz.

Work rewarded us with quite a few days off around the holidays, too, so I’m actually not sure what to do with myself.  I don’t think I’ve ever had so many days off around Christmas and New Year, as I never tended to take vacation days this time of year… two four-day weekends in a row, which of course adds up to a super-short 3 day work week next week.  It helped that the holidays fell on a Sunday.  January is going to be somewhat hellish with the big production roll-out of the systems we’ve been developing for the past couple of months, so I’d better just enjoy this time off and shut up about it!

Racing tonight at Trackside.  This scene just isn’t what it was back in the heyday of carpet racing, despite being very crowded and raking in way more money for Scotty than on-road ever did.  This is such a wacky hobby with some really wacky people participating.  At least there are a few of my old friends from carpet racing days here who have, like me, converted partially to running off-road.  I haven’t gotten too buddy-buddy with any of the true off-roaders, though.  It’s like mountain bikers vs. road bikers, mimes vs. clowns, and Oracle DBAs vs. SQL Server DBAs.  You just don’t mix.  Nobody does both.  Well, except me.  I have to be different!  (I’ve never been a mime or a clown, though.)

That’s all for now.

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Winter

Winter seems to have arrived with the first snowfall of the season yesterday morning.  It was only about a half inch, and was mostly melted off by noon, but it was enough to set the initial tone for the next several months.  Every year it gets a little more difficult to deal with the cold.

I’m going to start posting out here a bit more again, too – at least once a  month.  After taking a look at several blogs on my favorites list for the first time in a while, my interest in keeping it updated is rekindled once more.

Work has proven to be a difficult environment to stay sane in.  I’m finding ways to cope.  I can’t remember ever being this busy before in my career, either.  I’m frequently working 45-50+ hour weeks and the entire month of January is going to be shot with doing overnight deployments of the systems we’ve been developing for the past couple of months.  That said, I’ve met some really interesting people and have risen from relative new-guy obscurity to become a key player in the environment – all this in four short months.  I’ll probably be a Director by my first year anniversary.

I’m starting to eat smaller/healthier and am losing weight on my own again, without the assistance of something like the HCG diet.  I’m guessing maybe the work and divorce stress lately has just killed my appetite, but I’m not complaining.  I don’t get the frequent cravings for junk food anymore… I think that has been the biggest contributor to my success.  I shot back up to around 210 by early November after hitting a low of around 190 back in mid-Summer.  Now that it’s more of a lifestyle change, I think I can hit 185 and stay there this time around, perhaps even for the rest of my life.  It would probably help even more if I would do a little exercise.  Gym membership?  Probably not.  I could at least use the free “workout center” here in the Astor until it’s Spring again and I can get out and jog and ride the bike again.

It’s been nice reconnecting with a few people I didn’t try very hard to keep up with during the marriage, some I never thought I would see or hear from again.  Some people’s lives have really changed.  The inspiration I was seeking back in August has finally started to arrive, too… I really need it now.

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