My Andrewland Diary - March 2016

March 1, 2016, Tuesday

I am almost finished transferring stuff from my Mac to my Linux computer. I started an scp session to copy all the files over. That just leaves the old e-mail that I need to go through. For the files, now that I have them copied over, I will sort through them and discard the junk. Sort of like when you move, packing up everything, and sorting everything out while you unpack. It gets you to the new place quickly, but sometimes you just never get around to unpacking those last few boxes.

March 3, 2016, Thursday

We saw Loreena McKennitt in concert at the UofH campus. One thing I do like about living in a large city is that you get all these great shows. It almost makes the traffic worth dealing with. Anyway, she put on a good show and it was definitely worth the price.

March 4, 2016, Friday

I found a new musical artist named Hobby Brook. She is like a cross between Anna Nalick and Sara McLaughlin. If you aren't familiar with either, please check them out.

I am trying to spiffy up my diet. I am trying to eat mainly salad for supper. It is filling, and not a lot of carbs. I get one of the mixes at Kroger, so I just have to fill up a bowl and eat. It is great, but I decided adding garbanzo beans would improve it just that much more, and I was right. But I was wrong about the hominy..

March 5, 2016, Saturday

It was a nice quiet day. I updated my ToDo list, worked on finances with KMyMoney. (I like that program more and more). And took the plastic and paper debris to be recycled. Now that I am not getting the newspaper any longer, my volume of paper debris will go way down. Now I just have to finish working off the boxes and boxes of stuff from the last 20 years that needs to be shredded.

I continued working on the back yard. I mowed a bit more, organized the flowerpots and tools. And I planted catnip around the birdbath so when the cats get stoned from the catnip, they will have muncies nearby.

March 9, 2016, Wednesday

A while back, I got a cold call asking if I would be interested in a new job. It sounded interesting, so I agreed to interview for it. An important thing here is that they came to me. I didn't seek them out.

The big thing today was a job interview. I did OK on the technical stuff, but am not sure how I did on anything else. Near the end I asked if this group would be able to recommend me, and if they had any reservations. The Solaris guy started into a spiel about how they need teamwork and such. Not sure where he was coming from, because we had already discussed how I had been in an enterprise environment my whole career and was used to working with various different groups.

After the interview I called the head hunter and we talked about it. I said I had asked about me working from home because I am a caregiver, and they interview team said it just wasn't done. The head hunter asked if I still wanted the job, and I said it depended on the package they offered.

Later that day the head hunter called me back, and we talked some more. I finally admitted that I really wasn't interested. He said he would pull my name. I said OK.

The next day I sent an e-mail message thanking the head hunters for their time, and stating that I would recommend them to anyone looking for a position. I mentioned that they had sought me out for the job, but that it just didn't offer me anything new or different, and didn't give me any incentive to make a change. They probably thought I had wasted their time, but remember that they came to me, I didn't make the firts move.

March 10, 2016, Thursday

I have been working on refinancing my mortgage. After doing my due dilligance, I settled on a vendor. We did the required dance of me submitting lots of records and answering questions, and I was approved. We scheduled the closing for today. When we got there, I noticed that they had misspelled my wife's last name. Oops. Big problem. With today's communication tools, they thought they could just correct the mistake, and e-mail me a PDF file that we could print out and sign and get this done. Of course we ran into glitches with getting the document corrected, with it sent, and at the end it just didn't print out correctly. We rescheduled the closing. Stuff happens. Oh well.

March 11, 2016, Friday

My Mac computer is dying, so I am replacing it with Linux. I tried Linux Mint Cinnamon, and really liked the look and feel of it. But it had a huge problem with the desktop display freezing. Everything was still running, but the image sent to the screen wouldn't change. Big bummer. What if I had the nuclear launch codes showing and it froze like that? I would have to kill anyone who happened into the room.

A couple of days ago I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and really like it. I have everything transferred, so I will be wiping the other computer and installing a SUSE server so I can learn how to do SUSE. I have seen SUSE on many job descriptions, and that is what the company I recently interviewed with uses, so I figure it is about time.

March 12, 2016, Saturday

I spent most of today getting organized and running errands. We took a bag of shredded paper to be recycled, and did our weekly grocery shopping. One highlight of the day was taking the dogs for a walk around the block, and later for a trip to the dog park.

I entered all the receipts into KMyMoney, which is a Linux-based version of Quicken. I find it as easy to use as Quicken ever was, and it is free. I also went threw the several piles of paper and sorted them into bills to pay, things to do, and so on. It feels good to be getting my life in order again.

I discoverd today that one of my favorite singers, Holly Brook is now using the name Skylar Grey. I look forward to exploring her new music.

March 13, 2016, Sunday

The day is starting. I plan to spend much of it in the back yard cleaning up from several years of neglect. For example, when I mowed the other day, I found I had made a flowerbed by making a border with half buried bricks. I had totally forgotten they were there. No on to more discoveries.

At the end of the day I had a good start in the back yard. I had trimmed back some overgrown bushes to reveal our large terra cotta Buddha statue. I had seen that guy poking his head out from time to time, and it is good to see him in all his glory again.

March 14, 2016, Monday

I have a candle fetish. It started when my wife bought me a blueberry pie scented candle from a discount store. I lit it up, and fell in love with it. Since then, I have tried various scents, but none as nice as blueberry pie. I found that the company that made those discounted candles doesn't sell them any longer, so I will probably have to start making my own.

Since I love a scent that isn't on the market any longer, it occurred to me that other people may be in the same predicament. So I will investigate opening a candle company. I bet there are some people who now live in the city and really miss being on a farm. I bet they would love candles that remind them of the farm. Like a barnyard (manure) scented candle.

March 16, 2016, Wednesday

Today I had a rather ominous rune casting. It started out by saying that things have been going as the universe wanted, which is good. Then said that I may be in for a bumpy ride, but in the end things would work out. All in all, just be cautious because there may be some rough patches. At least it didn't say I was going to die or anything like that.

March 17, 2016, Thursday

Today we finally closed on our refinanced mortgage. I have done several things to cut costs this year. I have cut my cable bill by not taking as many channels. I cancelled the newspaper. I changed internet providers. I started using credit cards that give cash back. Since I pay my cards in full each month and have cards that don't charge an annual fee, they are nothing more than convenient cash generators.

And that is it. I can't think of any other place to cut costs. Dag nabit.

March 19, 2016, Friday

We were supposed to go to a show at the Miller Outdoor Theater tonight. But since it was supposed to be cold and rainy, we decided to skip it. I was excited when I first decided to go, but had pretty much changed my mind as time went on. It was good to be able to blame it on the weather.

March 20, 2016, Sunday

I got the bitcoin bug a few days ago. I took an intro to bitcoin class to learn how things work. The instructor gave the students 0.001 bitcoins just for finishing the class, so that got me started. Then, a few days later I heard a podcast about how to collect bitcoin for doing Google searches. And I was hooked. I did a search about how to get bitcoins, and that lead to a couple of sites called bitcoin faucets, that give you bitcoins just for visiting web sites. For the one (which is broken today), you have to sit on each link for 5 minutes. For the other, you can progress after just a minute. They both pay about the same per click, which means that the second gives you bitcoin at a much faster rate. All in all, this is not a good way to make money. These faucet sites pay maybe 10 cents per day, but hey, money is money. And all I have to do is have the faucet sites running in the background, so to speak. For example, I have one running as I update this blog.

The thing I know I don't want to do with bitcoin is speculate. I don't want to try to buy low and sell high. It is hard enough to speculate in the stock market.

The last thing I will say about bitcoin for now, is that I don't think it will ever completely replace cash. At least not in my lifetime. People are always going to want to be able to buy things without a receipt being automatically traceable back to them. Imagine if your wife had you on a "healthy" diet, and you didn't have any way to sneak through the drive-up at a burger joint and grab a burger. If you had to pay with bitcoin, she would ask why there is a debit for $1.06 from the account.

March 21, 2016, Monday

Work is getting interesting again. I am starting to experiment with Puppet for configuration management.

Last week school was out for Spring Break. It isn't fair that adults don't get spring break. The least they could do to make up for it is to let us go faster in school zones. That would weed out the slow kids and improve the species.

It has been Girl Scout cookie season for a few weeks now. I understand that this year they have 30% more girl scout in every box.

March 22, 2016, Tuesday

It has been a couple of weeks since I stopped the newspaper delivery to save money. I don't miss it at all. I get my comics online, and my news both online and from television. The Daily Show doesn't give me as much info about the news as when Jon Stewart was hosting, but Trevor Noah is entertaining me, so it all works out.

I am not sure where else I can save money, but will continue looking.

March 23, 2016, Wednesday

My testing is almost complete on my immortality potion. It will either allow me to live forever, or turn me into a zombie, which in a way is the same thing. Now to go find some test subjects. I think my neighbors a couple of houses down would probably accept an invitation to dinner.

March 24, 2016, Thursday

I have a three day weekend starting tomorrow. I get a paid holiday for Good Friday. I don't believe that a government agency should give Good Friday as a paid holiday, but I am not hard line enough to turn it down. I should be able to get some work done on my backyard.

March 25, 2016, Friday

I had slipped the neighbor kid some of my immortality potion when he and his parents were over having dinner with me. He looks healthy so far. If he doesn't turn green and zombiify within a week, I will consider the potion a success. I had tried it on a frog, without realizing that that I couldn't tell the normal green of the frog from the green of a frog turning into a zombie.

March 26, 2016, Saturday

I had a good day. I got the back porch all cleaned up, and finished another box of stuff that needed to be shredded. I also found that I can cut my electric bill in half by switching to another vendor. I had forgotten that option. I went over everything else in my budget, and think I can now say that there is nothing more to cut from my normal expenses. But I am saving enough each month to pay about 70% of the mortgage.

March 27, 2016, Sunday

Today I spent about 6 hours working in the back yard. I raked up a bunch of leaves. I also learned that raking is not going to cut it for getting rid of the very invasive Wandering Jew. I mowed most of it down during the last two weekends, and now need to remove the roots. This is going to take a long, long time.

As part of cleaning the back yard and back porch, I found I needed to buy a new garden rake and a pair of lopping shears. While figuring out what to buy, I learned that garden rake is the correct term, instead of yard rake. And it is lopping shears instead of loppers. And I learned the difference between a leaf rake and a shrub rake. I shouldn't be surprised that there are so many specialized tools for yard work. And I plan to continue my life-long quest to avoid being too familiar with any of them.

Also during this weekend, I listened to some The Creepshow music. They were at their best with Jen Hellcat Blackwood was their singer. I listened to The Garden several times.

Several topics today. The last one for now is that I think I am going to get some sea monkeys for the office. This time I WILL succeed in raising them. I will give them all little names and traech them to play fetch.

March 28, 2016, Monday

The neighbor kid isn't showing signs of becoming a zombie yet. Need to wait a few more days. I should have tested this on birds first, but who wants a bunch of zombie birds hanging around.

I have made a promise to the birds and squirrels that I will put food out for them. I bought a 25-pound bag of black oil sunflower seed, and a 25-pound bag of wild bird food, some suet cakes, and cried corncobs. The other day I looked in the back and there were about 30 pidgens eating seed, and at least five squirrels. It looked like a squirming bunch of worms fighting for birdseed.

March 29, 2016, Tuesday

Had a great rune casting today. It said that the things I have recently set in motion will yield benefits, but I will have to be patient. I can live with that.

March 30, 2016, Wednesday

I quit all the groups for programming. I finally admitted that I am not interested in learning to program. Shell scripting is close enough for me. I much prefer just keeping the servers running.

March 31, 2016, Thursday

I finally did it. I cancelled my analog phone account. I have had that for over 20 years. I don't use it, and the only calls I get are spam. The savings will more than make a mortgage payment. The only surprising thing is that I won't be listed in the phone book any longer. AT&T told me that they can only list analog lines in the phone book. Oh well.

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