mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Summer Projects...

Working in IT for a college, one of the terms you hear thrown around at this time of year is the term "summer projects" - without students around, it's a good time to do things that you can't do during the academic year. This applies less to the departments I've worked for - helpdesk and desktop support - than to, say, the people who lay cables or install technology in classrooms, since many of our users are around year-round.

Still, in the last few months, I've been tied up with a couple projects at work that have made it difficult to get much accomplished in my personal life, and I've looked to summer as a chance to make up for this - to take some time off, and get some of my personal goals accomplished. I'm not sure if I can make this happen - every time I think I'm getting somewhere work-wise, something else comes up, and I tend to be kind of paranoid about taking days off - I want to get ahead career-wise, and I feel like taking time off hurts my changes.

But hopefully I'll be able to get some stuff done:

1)Get Built

I go to the gym pretty much daily, but I just do cardio. For a while, I've been saying I'm going to start doing weight training, but I haven't. This summer, I hope to make good on this, and hopefully look and feel a little better. Summer is a good time to do this, since I work out at the gym at the college I work for, so I can learn the machines without being surrounded by 50 college students who can bench-press a Buick.

2) Get paid

I've got a couple hamfests this summer, and I'm hoping to use them as a chance both to make some money and to unload some of the junk in my house - I'm trying to reduce the amount of junk that I have around.

3) Get organized

Tied to number 2, I'd like to get rid of some of the random stuff I have, and get the stuff I'm keeping organized. I have a spare bedroom that I use as an office, and a basement/laundry room that are both full of "stuff", both junk of mine and stuff purchased for resale. I need to make it go away, and get what I keep organized and stowed away.

4) Get another pussy(cat)

I've been considering the idea of adopting another cat. Since I don't always have a lot of time to play with Nibbler the Cat, and I'm not home all that much, I've considered getting another cat to keep her company - plus I like the idea of rescuing another cat. If I do this, it will probably be after July, since I'm going up NJ for the 4th of July, and don't want to get a new cat and abandon him/her. I'm not sure if this is a good idea - I know getting two cats to get along can be tough, especially since (in the words of my friend bsom) "your cat is kind of a dick".

5) Find true love, or accept not finding it

This is on pretty much every new year's resolution list, but I haven't figured out the how. I've tried internet dating without too much luck, and I'm getting frustrated with it to the point that I'm considering giving it up. I haven't found a meatspace way of meeting women that works, though. I'm wondering if giving up looking - if considering that I may be alone for the immediate future, and figure out how to accept that - might be my best bet.

6) Take some trips

I don't travel much - I'm cheap - but I enjoy driving, and finding cool places - although some of my cool places, like the Staples Outlet, seem to go away as soon as I find them. I'll probably do a factory outlet trip to Lancaster, maybe another one to Reading, maybe tour some breweries or wineries or something.

7) Get a new computer

I'm thinking it's about time to retire my nearly 4 year old, $200 Celeron, and spring for what I really want - a Mac Mini - now that it supports dual monitors. I'm thinking I'll drive to the Apple store in Delaware to save sales tax (and take a trip). I qualify for educational pricing, plus my employer offers employees an interest-free loan for computer purchases, which will make it a little more financially acceptable.

8)Home improvements

I have a bunch of stuff that I'm hoping to get done around the house. Much of it is going to require some professional help, which is kind of a pain since I don't really kow reliable contractors, and I don't like spending money. It includes

- Replacing my toilet - my toilet in my master bath broke a few months ago, and my attempt to fix it didn't. I now have a partly disassembled toilet that needs to be replaced.

- Electrical - When I bought the house, a good friend suggested replacing all the outlets, and so when I painted, I painted over the outlets. He was able to help me replace some of them, but then life got in the way, and I still - 3 years later - have outlets that need replacing. I'm going to have to either learn how to do it myself, or pay someone. I also have a light fixture that needs replacing, and I need someone else to do it because it's in the 1.5 story foyer, and I have no idea how to reach it.

- carpet - when I bought the house, I had the house recarpeted. Unfortunately, I also discovered that the air conditioner was leaking, so I had them skip it. I still don't have carpeting there. I have the carpet, cut to size, but no idea who or how to get it down.

- fence - my back yard opens to the street behind it, and I'd like to get it fenced in. Which means I get to pay someone for several feet of fencing. I also have to get HOA approval, which I'm not looking forward to.

- gutters - I haven't been good about keeping my gutters clean, so I'm thinking a set of gutter guards like Gutter Helmet might be worth it. I also have some soffit damage I need to get fixed.

Hopefully, I'll get at least some of this stuff accomplished before the school year starts again, and I'm once again awash in work - assuming that I'm not awash in work all summer.


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