Drier than burnt toast

So here in the middle of Indiana we’ve been having what some would call a drought, by some I mean everyone. I can’t even remember the last time that it rained here. Of course this is the year that I expanded the garden¬†with¬†the intention of feeding ourselves by eating directly from it and canning stuff for the winter. I’ve been watering, a lot!

They say there is some raining coming tomorrow, of course that’s the day I’m working outside at work. Fun, making countertops in the rain. Should be a great day. The worst part about it is, they are only predicting about 1/4″ inch of rain. Meaning it won’t soak down deep enough to really help my garden or any of my other plants really.

It’s not even really summer yet!

I really hope this is not the preview of things to come. The local farmers are probably fearing the worst right now too.

Mother Nature sure has a way of keeping you in check. When the early thaw came in February/March and I was out tilling the soil and planting before St. Patrick’s Day, I should have known it was too good to be true. I mean I was getting lettuce and radishes in early April! That’s so unbelievable for us in Indiana. Now we pay for it by having a dry late spring.

Let’s just hope this summer is a bit easier than last summer. We need a good one.

Stressed

I’m stressed out. I’m so stressed out that I took a 5 mile bike ride tonight just to clear my head, if was a bit warmer and I wasn’t sick, I probably would have enjoyed it more but it was a bit of a help.

Work has just been going like crazy lately, but it’s not the good kind of crazy. I’ve got to go to Ohio tomorrow so I’ll have some peace once I get on the road maybe. Then Thursday it’s right back to the grind.

I planted some carrots and cilantro in the garden here at The Green last night, those both should be ready to harvest by Memorial Day or even a little before maybe. I’m ready to plant other stuff, but its still early yet.

I’m trying to find some new music, I’ve tired “what’s hot” on all the lists lately, Vampire Weekend, Owl City, etc. Not my thing really, basically all of their songs sound just like the last one. My music is just getting a bit old, I want a refresh. The summer of ’95 was magical for music, Morrisette, Oasis, Green Day, Weezer all came into my consciousness. I need another summer like that one where I can load up on music for another 15 years of enjoyment.

I’m still sick, I can’t seem to shake the head cold I’ve had over a week now. Maybe I just need more rest.

Winter can’t be over!

It’s been warm the last few days here at The Green. Raining too. So basically the foot of snow that we had on the ground is almost gone. They say that there could be an inch or two tomorrow night and then there is talk out there on the weather nerd forums that there could be a storm coming later in the week after that. Maybe even a huge storm coming around the 1st of March. We’ll just have to wait and see about all that though.

The one big problem with all the melting and the additional rain we’ve had is the fact that the basement here at The Green has bit of a flooding problem. It’s not a “water coming through the walls” problem so much as its a “water comes up through the floor” problem. So when we have rain, the floor isn’t wet for a day or so, time for the water to soak in and then come up under the floor. The joy of the spring fall is indescribable. Tonight I’m dealing with that problem, it’s still soaking in to the ground so basically anything I try to do now outside of running a few fans and squeegeeing the floor now and then is moot. Later this year though I’m going to reseal the floor and see if I can make some progress that way.

I’m going to miss winter actually, I love driving home a little early from work that one or two days of the season where the snow falls quickly and it’s wet and heavy enough that you can’t quite get up to speed on the highway. The car in front of you is throwing a little wet snow off it’s tires and there is an eerie silence even when you’re in traffic. I love the quiet still of winter, in summer there’s usually locusts and dogs barking. Winter though, even when it’s a little too warm and humid, is usually quiet and even the smallest noise pierces through the air.

We’ve got some interesting stuff coming up in the next month or two, baseball is starting, I think we’re heading to Avenue Q at Purdue soon, and who knows what work will bring.

I’ve got plenty to plan to do around here, repairs to make to The Green, flowers to plant, landscaping to do, should be a great spring/summer coming up. I’m just not quite ready to start it all yet, bring on the blizzard!

How should I say hello again?

I’m back, at least for now. I’ve said many many times before that I’m back and that the long delays between postings is over, this time I mean it, for now.
I wondered when sitting down to write this post how I should write it, should I jump right in and continue on as if the last 3 and a half months hasn’t happened? Should I try to catch you all up on the entire summer? should I just give up and accept that the last post of this blog has long since been published and the 210,000 words I wrote over the last 8 plus years were the last I would write?
I think I’ll do a mix of all three actually. I’m not sure that I have it in me really to sit here at the keyboard and pontificate, procrastinate, and whine my way through post after post about everything and nothing.
Over the summer much has happened. So much has happened that I honestly can’t remember it all. I enjoyed my 20 pre-paid Indianapolis Indians tickets immensely, we went to 8 games I believe. All but the final game of the season was great. The final game, we scalped our tickets for less than 25% of the face value and had great ribs at Famous Dave’s.
Erin continues work on her house. It’s coming together really well and honestly looks amazing! When I first walked in to the house I wondered how it would ever be fixed again. She did it.
Work today was definitely different. Our monthly meeting was today, it was interesting to say the least. I think there might be some changes still forthcoming in the next little while that could affect us greatly. We are still on the cusp of either doubling our size or staying exactly where we are and just gearing up for the busy fall season that no one seems to ever understand except the 500 or so people that will buy new counter tops this year.
Things with me over all are pretty good to be quite honest. Erin and I started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University this fall. While we have only been to one class thus far, I feel like we are making progress in our relationship and with our money. It’s about taking control of your money, tell it what to do instead of being told by it what to do. My goal is to have my $1000 baby emergency fund completed before the class is over in December. I have also called and reduced my credit card interest rates and actually canceled 2 of them. The others will follow soon I’m sure. I have a quickie budget finished and actually have started taking it a step further. I realize that I am very lucky to be where I am today, my problem has always been that I didn’t have a plan for my money. Now I’m working that out and want to be ahead from now on.
So that was pretty much all over the place. I promise you no less in my future posts. Hopefully you’ll be back to read this soon before I post again.

Apple mulls unlimited music bundle – FT.com

Apple mulls unlimited music bundleBy Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in London

Apple is in discussions with the big music companies about a radical new business model that would give customers free access to its entire iTunes music library in exchange for paying a premium for its iPod and iPhone devices.

This is pretty exciting for me. I would love to have a premium price put on the device or perhaps and addon cost that would allow X songs per month for download or even an unlimited plan. I’m ok with the DRM on iTunes, I have several iPods and nothing else so it really doesn’t even come to be an issue.

What I’d really like to see with this is an iPod priced at say $200-$250 and then an additional cost of $100 per year for 20 downloads per month (240 songs for $0.42/ea.). This would not only make it much cheaper per song, but if all unused songs are forfeited at the end of each month (you can’t carry them over each month) then potentially the profitability of the songs would rise both for Apple and the record companies.

I’m looking forward to seeing this program come to light, I’d imagine it’ll be announced later in the summer, probably at or around WWDC when the Beatles will also be released on iTunes. Two predictions in the same sentence! Yeah!

We’ll see when Jobs wants us to see, I guess.

Summer to Fall

Fall ArrivesIn Indiana they say that if you don’t like the weather then you should wait 5 minutes and see what happens. Well it’s not quite that bad in reality but as you can see, the weather changes from summer to fall quite rapidly. Of course this is happening all over the country and we’re not unique, but still the change is quite dramatic. At 2pm today the temperature in Indianapolis was 91, that is not only a record for the day but also a record for the entire month all time. In other words it has never been hotter in October than it is today. Amazing. Tomorrow 20 degrees colder and then 10 degrees less on Wednesday. Fall will arrive this week.

My car tried to run away yesterday

What a weekend! Out with the gang (Erin, Ali, and Kyle) Friday and Saturday nights. Friday was dinner, driving and swimming followed by a movie. Saturday was TV, talking and swimming/hot tubbing. The gang is building again it seems. That always makes me happy, alone time and “us” time is great, but I need group time too now and then. The summer holds promise for some interesting times.

Yesterday was a day though, one that I was glad to be done with. I woke up in a bad mood from being out late the night before and it went down hill from there. Thankfully and regrettably I had the house to myself in the afternoon, I planned to clean up my room, the car, and just chill for a while. It quickly turned ugly. I let the battery on my car run down completely while cleaning it out and getting distracted with laundry. Dead, not even enough to make the engine turn over slightly. Crap.

Normally we have all kinds of odd tools and stuff around the house, not a battery charger though. Since no one else was home I had no one there to jump start my car either. I called and found that I had access to my uncle’s car but I had one small problem since my car was in my garage and no one was there to help guide it out. I got his car in my driveway and then thought about how I would get my car out. It’s a straight shot out of the garage into the driveway and the driveway isn’t that slanted, a quick push out the door and then jump in to stop it and then a quick jump and I’d be on my way. Of course it sounded all too easy.

I lined my car up to push it out, just a little turn to the steering wheel to square it up. A small push got me to the edge of the driveway/garage then another push would take the back wheels over the small bump that separates the two structures. One more push from the front wheels and I’d be set. I lined up on the front of the car, I couldn’t push with the door open or I’d risk ripping off the door of the car or screwing up the side of the garage door opening. I pushed just enough to get over the bump, the car took off down the driveway. I mean it went a lot faster that I thought it would. I quickly ran around to the side of the car, jumped into it while it was increasing in speed, slammed on the non-power brakes and threw it into gear. The car lurched to a stop nearly at the sidewalk by the edge of the driveway. I was 5 feet from the busiest road in my neighborhood. Terrific.

I hooked up the jumper cables and proceeded to jump the car, of course that didn’t go that well either. My battery was so dead that I couldn’t just hook up the cables and go, no I had to wait 10 minutes to get the thing charged up. Geez, not my day. Knowing what I know about cars (not that much probably) I knew that I had to let it run for a while so the alternator could charge up the battery again. I moved my uncle’s car back to his house and locked it up again.

A quick trip to Peru would help charge it up I thought. I took it to AutoZone to see if they’d test it out to make sure that I just ran it down and there really wasn’t a bigger problem with the car. The battery hadn’t fully charged during the 15 minute ride to the store and the guy said that I could have a problem with the battery. I had the cables in my trunk still and thought instead of buying a new $60-80 battery I would chance it for the evening and see how it would work out.

Back home to shower and get ready to go to Kokomo. The car started like a champ on my way out to hang out. I had the cables I was ready. We did our thing at Kyle’s house and headed home a little earlier than I thought we would, but late enough I suppose. No problems.

Today I headed back to AutoZone and received a clean bill of health for my battery. All is well again.

For a moment yesterday I imagined my car rolling down the driveway and crashing into a slow moving Chevy, that would kill my insurance payments for sure. Luckily all is well and the guy said I really have nothing to worry about. I’m still buying a battery charger this week, just in case.