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Passing through

Nov. 2nd, 2012 | 11:38 am

Decades come and go, but memories persist, just like this LiveJournal page.

That is all.

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North Minneapolis Storm Damage

May. 22nd, 2011 | 05:59 pm

Tony Webster photos of North Minneapolis tornado damage.

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All the Wrong Reasons?

Feb. 25th, 2010 | 05:59 pm

Pondering another rejection, I wonder if my desire to be published has much more to do with the need to be accepted, versus anything else.  I was never satisfied with less than an 'A' in my student years, even if I hated the subject.  As a hobby, writing delivers little satisfaction -- and when it does deliver satisfaction (in terms of a publishing credit) -- it's always short-lived satisfaction.


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Quiet, at last, around the house

Sep. 8th, 2009 | 08:44 pm
mood: productive

School has resumed, which means I can work at home again without the interminable IP conflicts (resulting from kids using other pcs and also hogging bandwidth watching a lot of youtube videos) and that hose up my connection to the servers at work.  Quiet, quiet, quiet all day long-- I can concentrate and also take the occasional break to get dinner started and/or take a noon time run. 

When I tell people I work at home they often respond that they couldn't' do that, wouldn't get anything done.  I've learned that if I'm busy enough and the work isn't completely boring I can get a lot done.  I'm out of the pressure cooker of the office (though these days, because all of my coworkers are located in a different state, there really is no pressure cooker).  Over the years, the Internet connection between home and work servers has improved a lot -- in earlier days, the connection was slower, and some of the software I had to use made the system even slower.  Also, I wasn't use to operating with a laptop keyboard and or without an external mouse.  Now I can pretty much keep hands on the keyboard at all times, use keyboard short cuts, etc.  I have some new software on my p.c. that allows me to take office phone calls and make office phone calls through my work phone number, so no one has to remember to call me at home on certain days, etc.  As far as anyone knows, I'm in the office every day.  It's transparent.

I figured out that the savings in gasoline is equal to 3 to 5 percent of my annual salary.  That's practically an annual increase, though this year those are fairly scarce.  Add on the savings from eating at home, and it's practically another 3 to 5 percent.  The only day I'm going in this week is one where I have a lunch date with a friend, otherwise I'd spend the whole week at home.

That's the work at home geek update.

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One day at the Fair

Sep. 7th, 2009 | 07:54 am

For the first time ever, I spent an entire day at the Fair.  Not sure it would have been possible until now, but good health and family able to manage themselves for the most part coincided this year.  The relative and unusual mildness of weather (not hot, a cool breeze even) also made it possible.  Arrived around 9:30 and didn't leave until after 10 pm.  

I saw everything and probably walked, oh who knows, 10 to 15 miles?  I know from my runs that I can do a 3 mile run, 3 mile walk in about two hours.  I stood in lines I'd never have considered in the past and with other family along.  I got my picture taken with a long-time, local news anchor; successfully answered a trivia question about why the Fair wasn't held in 1946 (polio) and won $10 from a conservative radio station and then proceeded across the street from there to buy Democratic campaign buttons, though there aren't many good ones this year (no presidential campaign).  Had mini-donuts and a Summit pale ale at noon (after having downed a corn dog at 10:30), and sat for an hour reading Iron Lake.  Walked through ALL of the animal barns, some twice and spent a long time with the chickens.  I went into the Miracle of Birth Center but it was so crowded I didn't stay long.  

I bought a clearance sundress at some shop at the International Bazaar and put it on as the temps started to heat up, then strolled past the seed art to see the winning entry, sent here to Minnesota all the way from Zambia.   The largest pumpkin (1186 pounds grown by Bill Foss of Buffalo) looks like some alien spore, and I wondered whether the largest pig (Deano, 1310 pounds) would be able to consume the whole thing and if so how long it would take him.

I collected a total of 7 reusable shopping bags, two backpacks, two hats (pronto pup and pig ears -- pork theme), completed the agconnect quiz (Minn is 4th in the nation when it comes to generating wind power!  it takes 8 years of post high school schooling to become a vet!) and won agricultural products such as  a crayon(made from soybean oil!!).  Did you know that fatty acids and glycerine from swine are used in chalk?

Oh the humanity!  Attendance typically runs to about 200,000 for the last Sunday of its run.  I was in a sea of 200,000 people!  Gracious.  People behave pretty well, and whether, individually, this is due to a sense of fealty or fear of God or man's laws or pure biological  morality (things tend to survive when they, well, survive) -- who really knows or cares -- they behaved.  But my word there are so many of us.  We all look robust. And we are.  Robust and well-behaved.  With so many robust and well-behaved people all around, I'm more convinced that the few loud cranks that are out there are not speaking for the vast majority.

That's it for today.  Happy Labor Day.  Tomorrow school resumes after the summer break, my work week commences, and we are off!

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Over at the knob

Sep. 5th, 2009 | 11:31 am
mood: chipperchipper

I'm sitting here in a school library while the significant other, employed by the school system, does some equipment installation.  It's been a whirlwind week -- capitalized with my maiden voyage into an assignment in my new job.  I totally freaked out, as I usually do when confronted with a ginormous RFP questionnaire.  It wouldn't have been so bad had I not spent SUNDAY prepping for the project that went to someone else.  Quickly things settled down, but it was non stop -- so very little ME TIME at work.  That's okay. 

Finally catching up on some personal writing projects.  The writing team I'm with revised our non-fiction book proposal and now that is off to the agent for another round of submissions to editors.  Not sure what's going to happen there, if anything.  The book-buying audience continues to dwindle, and with the economy sucky as it is, not sure how much buying will be going on yet this fall.  We do have a solid list of writers for our project, there's timely interest in our topic, so 'conditions are favorable.'  We'll have to see.

Next up, the mystery.  There is a mystery writing seminar at the Loft this fall, and I need to be ready with a pitch I'm sure.  If the VAST audience to this blog has comments or thoughts on readying a pitch -- where to look for inspiration or easily swipable pitch material, let me know.  Think mystery. 


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The New Me

Aug. 26th, 2009 | 08:53 pm

I apologize to my many readers for my neglect in updating you all here.  A couple of transitions occurred in the past month or two -- notably I have returned to a trusty old employer after being asked back and given lots of nice reasons to do so.  I feel so at home and everyday there's a work situation that comes up that is a 300% improvement from my prior employer of the past year and other situations at the current workplace.  Anyway, it's all good.

For those of you who are eagerly anticipating the publication of my mystery novel, I am happy to report that I have completed a solid first draft, edited, and sent it out to my reading group for comment.  With luck and sustained motivation, it may yet get pitched to a publisher and yes it will be in print.  Stay tuned.

A friend at work commented, kind of in an offhand manner, how changed I am, since I seem to eagerly greet and seek people, especially people she'd quickly avoid.  Maybe I have changed.  Maybe for the first time in a long time I am in a job that really fits me, for once.  I am not completely ready to agree with Kahlil Gibran that I am one for whom work is love:

“Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”

I would say that there are times when I'm talking to someone on the phone, or sniffing out a bit of info like I've got my snout down smelling a truffle, that I feel a kind of bliss.  I know it's insurance, but I'm okay with that.

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Said goodbye

Apr. 14th, 2009 | 05:12 pm

To an old part of my life.  I didn't realize it until later.  I spent part of the day at the Institute of Arts, fully planning to sit with my sketchpad at some spot and draw for a few hours.  I never did.  I realized that the time has long passed when I would spend my days sketching at some location.  I've moved on -- actually I moved on long ago, but still saw myself as a person who went to museums and sketched.

The current me is someone I'm not sure is easily defined by lists of "things I do."  At the moment I'm not terribly concerned about that.

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On Hiatus, again

Nov. 14th, 2008 | 01:47 pm

I  realize not much is going on here lately.  I apologize to the huge audience following me. 

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Jul. 27th, 2008 | 05:11 pm

Watched 'aqua' streaming by, all the innumerable thoughts on people's minds, everyone looking for a someone to listen but too busy talking.  Does the internet sap our  ability to be compassionate with so much easy access to self-express?


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