Friday, December 02, 2005

Why I suck

I missed November. There's no excusing that, but it was an exciting month with thrills and chills, and honestly I found very little time to update this thing.


Amanda and I took a month-long class called "Confident Childbirth". We learned all kinds of things that we'll undoubtedly forget, including what can go wrong or right in childbirth, relaxation techniques, breathing methods, and a wide variety of things to keep you from sleeping at night (with pictures).

We also took a one-day class called "Newborn Nuances", where we learned how to change diapers and basically tend to a newborn.

We received our child-seat and its two bases (thanks, Randy!). We learned from fitting the child-seat that we won't be coming home from the hospital in the MINI. It forces the passenger-seat all the way forward, which will not be comforable for a woman who's just given birth.

We also found out last night that our preferred crib and furniture are no longer being made. That's fun. Every time we find something we like, if we don't buy it that day, it gets sold out or discontinued (or both) before we get around to buying it. I think it's a government plot.


I got new wheels and tires at the beginning of November: Kosei K1-TS 17x7 wheels in silver (14.1 lbs) with Kumho ECSTA MX 215/40R17 Max performance summer tires. The tires provide a shorter radius than stock, so acceleration is improved, and are lighter than the Avons on my SSR's. Overall weight is up only 0.1 lbs over my old setup, and the real upshot is that there's no more rubbing on the wheel-well liner. Yippee!

I put these brand new wheels / tires to the test (after only 80 miles of use) in an autocross. That was kind of foolish. I wasn't so much steering the car with the wheel as with the brakes and throttle. The car was virtually uncontrollable, and yet I kept it on course, and never hit a cone. That came with a price: terribly slow performance. Oh, well. There's always next year.

The real coup de grace, though, was just last weekend. Mr. K sponsored me for a day of track driving at VIR (, one of America's top road courses. I got four 30-minute sessions with several other cars, and managed to keep up with the pace car throughout the day. I learned how to heel-toe on the fly, flung the car around quite a bit, and had more fun in the first half of that day than I've ever had in the car.

The second half of the day was another matter: we had a different--and far slower--pace-car driver. Whereas we'd taken the uphill S'es at 95 mph in the morning, we were taking them at 55 or 60 in the afternoon. Yuck. That, coupled with the apparent lack of skill from some of the other drivers, lead to some very boring driving in the afternoon. Granted, running up the the very edge of the road, heel-toeing hard, and slinging the car around in a tight arc was still fun, but not nearly as technically challenging as it had been.

I learned a lot, and really hope I'll have an opportunity to do it again.


By far the biggest time-suck in November.

We received word early in the month that something very very big was coming, and that "Thanksgiving might be canceled". Great. As the something got closer, it got bigger and bigger. I imagine it was the mental equivalent of watching a devastating tsunami approach, and knowing there's nowhere to go.

Anyway, I was eventually led to believe that I would have very little to do with this activity, until Friday the 18th. On that date, with only one hour left in my work day (and three work-days left until Thanksgiving), I got a call that boiled my blood. Turns out that a huge amount of work was being abandoned by another department, and they needed me to get it done. Now, the premier social event of the year was scheduled for the following night, and I was told that I might have to work through the weekend if I expected to get Thanksgiving DAY off.

I sat at my desk, stewed about it for about a while, and finally just decided to make it happen. Unfortunately, the tool we were supposed to use was hopelessly broken, and the developers were nowhere to be found. We called, we complained, and they sent us an updated tool. It was worse. Finally, I had to reverse-engineer some guy's software and rewrite major parts of it, which we in turn distributed to all of the other sites that were struggling. I wound up getting out of work after a 14-hour day, got the rest of the weekend off (mostly), and got my Thanksgiving.

It was a very busy time, and I'm glad it's over. The downside is that all of the other work was postponed until that project was over, and now we're trying to figure out what got ignored.

Anyway, Amanda has at least two baby-showers in the next week or so, my car's in the shop for a new windshield (stress fracture--should be covered by warranty), and I'm finally hanging the new kitchen light that we bought in August (or was it September?).

It's busy-beaver time.

Go see "Walk the Line".

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