Saturday, 13 September 2003
So I have been thinking about what I should do during my vacation time that I need to take between now and the end of the year (the ol' use-it-or-lose-it thing), and I keep thinking back to what seems to happen every time I take a vacation: I invariably get really tired after a couple of day, sleep way more than usual for a few days more, and then have maybe a day or two feeling like I might actually be able to get to a point where I could feel clear-headed and rejuvenated, if only I could start my vacation the next day.

And if you add any kind of travel to the mix, it just extends the initial critical recovery time.

Which leads me to realize that in order to have a worthwhile vacation, I need to schedule it like this:
a) Four days off work, but not yet going anywhere. This will allow me to catch up on laundry, think of what I need to go wherever I am going (remember, my brain is not working well at this point), actually find the things I need, pack, and clean the house so it's at least presentable when I get back (nothing quite as bad as coming back from vacation to a mess stress). Plus one day at work to deal with whatever they forgot to throw at me and which has now become an emergency.[elapsed = 5 days]

b) One extra day to rest before I have to go anywhere. Those first five days nearly killed me. [elapsed = 6 days]

c) One more day to do all the last-minute things I forgot about in the first four days but remember now because of the time I took on day five. [elapsed = 7 days]
(there goes 40 hours...)
d) One day to travel to wherever I am going. [elapsed = 8 days]

e) Three days to mostly sleep and do some vacation-like things but without enough energy, and I won't remember them very clearly anyhow, so this should be the time for all those shops and crap that people seem to like. [elapsed = 11 days]

f) Now vacation starts. Seven days to see the sites, relax and have some fun [elapsed = 18 days]
(Uh oh we hit 80 hours of vacation in there somewhere)
g) One day to travel back home. Invariably at this point I come down with a sore throat and sinus infection. [elapsed = 19 days]

h) Sleep for 24 hours [elapsed = 20 days]

i) I now require one week to unplug the phone, turn off the computer, and do nothing but home projects. This is what finally clears my mind and makes me ready to go back. [elapsed = 27 days]
So, looks like 4 weeks should do it. I'll need the extra day to find my office anyhow, if I am gone that long. Of course, that's 4 weeks in a row. And 160 hours of vacation time (which, conveniently, is slightly more than I have to burn between now and the end of the year).

Hey, no problem, right? I am sure my projects will just lead themselves and everything will magically work out in the end.

Later, I'll explore the possibilities of spreading that time out, and look at the implications of that plan.

- g

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Saturday, 13 September 2003 12:48:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 09 September 2003
So, I get a call from someone at work late in the afternoon, turns out they need me to work all night. For real. This is starting to turn into an Office-Space moment, I think... "Uh, yeaahhhh... so, we're gonna need you to work this weekend... uh, yeah...."


It's an important thing they need me for, but man oh man, I am so ready to say "I told ya so" on this one. Could have been prevented. But since everyone is big time stressed and it would do no good to say that, I am keeping my mouth shut. In this particular case it's better that way.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, and by 10:00 this morning I was wiped out. It's been a really long week, and it's only Tuesday. Wow. Not sure I wqill make it through the end of the week at this rate. especially since today and tomorrow are realy one big work day.

I gave a presentation today at work. It sucked. Definitely not my day. It's so extremely unusual for me to have a bad day presenting - and everyone walked out of there confused. Not good. Now I will have to go back and recommunicate all this information, which takes up even more of their time and mine. Ugh again.

Oh well. Tomorrow may be better.

- g

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Tuesday, 09 September 2003 18:46:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Of course, I forgot them. Even after typing myself a reminder. Sheez...

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Tuesday, 09 September 2003 11:28:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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I'm finding very quickly that I sleep much better when it's raining outside. Must be the background noise or something. I only woke up once last night, and I actually feel fairly well rested right now, which is a nice change. I might even remember my glasses when I walk out the door today.

- g

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Tuesday, 09 September 2003 06:00:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 08 September 2003
So I wrote a long entry and decided it was too much to make public. Hmmm... Well, I guess that’s just the way it goes. :)

I got to thinking about heroes today. Someone recently told me that I am their hero (or one of them or something like that), and that got me thinking. First of all, me - anyone's hero? Come on, that's like, well, wrong. Or something. How can I be someone's hero? I'm not exactly the poster child of how to live a life.

So then I started thinking about who my heroes in life have been. Not the astronauts or movie stars or musicians that no one ever meets. I mean more like people who I knew that were really heroes to me. I realize its a pretty short list. There's Jack Gehre, my high school geometry teacher, who not only made math fun but who also took me in as a foster kid for a while when I was at my lowest. My best friend's parents for the same reason. My mom, for making it through the crap she went through and for making a better life for herself despite the odds. My fifth grade teacher, because she had a really cool dog and because she really, really cared.

And then there's my eighth grade English teacher, who everyone thought was a senile old lady. I remember Ray Pacheco threw a big spit wad the size of a baseball that splattered on the blackboard like a foot from her head while she was writing an assignment, and barely glanced at it and just kept right on talking and writing while that thing oozed down the board. When I went back to visit her before I graduated from high school. she told me all the stories that we thought she never noticed in the first place, let alone remembered. And man, she was far from senile. She was smarter than any of us.

My 9th grade English teacher - He was tough and cared a lot, and man could he teach like it mattered. And Mr. Cotter, my 8th and 9th grade science teacher, who made fun of me (in a nice enough way) every day in the hallway and let me make fun of him right back, always with a big grin on his face. He was so funny and always watched out for the kids who needed it. He died a few years ago of a heart attack. I wish I could tell him thank you. But from that smile I think he knew. You could tell it, he knew.

I dropped by the Gehre's house, my one-time foster home for a short while, once a couple of years ago when I was back in my home town, because I wanted to see them and especially to tell them thank you. No one was home. Weird thing is, for some reason, I was uncomfortable going there. Why is that? Why was it so strange for me to go back and tell them thank you? I felt kind of like maybe my going back would be an inconvenience to them, I think. Why have I not tried since? I hope I haven't missed my chance, like I did with Mr. Cotter.

Heroes are important. I bet those people don't know they are my heroes. I bet they'd be surprised. Maybe even a little uncomfortable with it. Maybe I can learn something from that, too.

- g

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Monday, 08 September 2003 20:30:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 07 September 2003
I'm sitting here chatting on MSN messenger (hey, they have really improved that program...) with an old friend that I had not talked to in awhile, and my friggin dog FARTS. And it's a NASTY one... Now, there's two things about this that really stand out to me:

First of all, the last time this old friend and I chattend on MSN-IM, the dog was farting up a stinky storm, too. And I mean STINK. Tim (the old friend on chat) pointed that out to me. Funny what people remember about the last time you communicated with them, isn't it? :)

Greg H says: MAN
Greg H says: my dog farted
Figgy* says: Again??
Figgy* says: lol
Figgy* says: I remember you complaining about that last time we talked
Greg H says: HOLY CRAP
Greg H says: <COUGH COUIGH>
Figgy* says: Keep an oxygen tank near the computer
Greg H says: heh
Greg H says: yeah
Figgy* says: then get all "high" off of it too
Greg H says: high off oxygen
Greg H says: LOL
Figgy* says: lol
Greg H says: yeahhhhh
Figgy* says: Yeah, pure oxygen is messy
Figgy* says: Ok, time to read your journal
Greg H says: ok - I am writing about dog farts now LOL
Figgy* says: lol

Okay, so the second thing is that my dog is plotting against me. He knows well and good exactly what he is doing. How, you ask, can I tell? Simple: Every time this dog farts, he's lying there on the floor, or on the bed, or whatever... He lets one loose, immediately gets up and moves away or out of the room with that look on his face. You know - the one that says "please don’t kill me."

Here's what I want to know: If he KNOWS it's going to make me unhappy (because these are not your average run-of-the-mill farts), why can't he get up and move BEFORE he lets one loose? Leave the room and go fart somewhere else???

There's only one answer: It's on purpose. No doubt.

- g

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Sunday, 07 September 2003 16:59:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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