We spent a lot of time this weekend finishing our cleanup of the basement. Last weekend we had painted the remaining wall area. During the week Jennifer put a second coat on that wall and also painted part of the floor area that had never been painted. (This particular corner of the basement has always been called her "band room" because that is where her various rock bands have practiced.)
Saturday she and her boyfriend helped me finish clearing stuff off of the rest of the floor that needed paint. "Stuff?" you may ask... yeah, you know, stuff... like boxes of stuff... like my mother's china, children's books, Christmas decorations, bicycles, lawnchairs, etc., etc. Oh, okay, not bicycles... Jennifer had moved them back up to the garage during the day on Friday. (Yeah, my car has been relegated to parking in the driveway.) Once everything had been moved, we swept and mopped and then I painted. (The actual painting took very little time; it was the moving stuff around that took so much time.)
We needed more shelving than we had and Jennifer had noticed that a local discount store was having a sale on metal shelving units. I went out and bought the shelves that evening and then Nancy and I watched a movie I had rented (Woman on Top -- kind of a chick flick, uh, I mean romantic comedy, but it was okay and had some amusing scenes... Meanwhile, Jennifer and her boyfriend went to see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which I had been urging her to see ever since Sean and I had seen it a couple of weeks ago... I was right, she loved it. I hope that Nancy and I can find the time to see it sometime this week... I'd really enjoy seeing it again and I know Nancy will enjoy it... a wonderful movie.)
So, on Sunday Sean helped me start putting the shelves together before heading off to spend a couple of days at a friend's house (no school this week -- winter break) and then Jennifer joined me. We got three of the units together and then her boyfriend dropped by -- poor Andy had spent most of the day helping a friend cutting trees and then came by our house an Jennifer immediately put him to work helping with the shelves. I was too tired to feel much like cooking (nor did I have a lot of time to spare since the Treadmill was going to be delivered today) so I ordered take-out Chinese (sweet and sour chicken, chow mein, fried rice, egg rolls). After dinner I went back down to the basement and then Nancy joined me there. We got vast amounts of work done before we were just too tired to continue.
When we came back upstairs we discovered that Jennifer had decided to re-arrange her room -- which involved moving her desk (complete with computer and an aquarium) and a dresser and a large bookcase -- and naturally poor tired Andy got to do the heavy lifting. This morning it only took a little while to finish off the basement and have it all ready for the treadmill. (Then I got busy working on studying -- reviewing material from the java course I took last week and reviewing the material I will be delivering in a class I'm teaching next week -- and also downloaded the latest JDK from Sun to replace the older version I'd had on my home machine... yeah, as you probably guessed, I had decided to work from home today.)
The treadmill was delivered around one-thirty. Nancy went for a "walk" on it during the afternoon (she's interested in it for walking, not for running) and then around 4:30 or so I went down and jogged for a couple of miles. As usual after not having done any significant amount of running for weeks and weeks, I was moaning about being out of shape... but, now that we have this treadmill I will be able to get in a good workout no matter what the weather or the time of day (or night). Soon the weather (and the change to daylight savings time) will make it easy to run outside -- which is what I prefer -- but when I can't run outside I'll be able to use the treadmill. It had taken a bit of effort to talk myself into buying it -- the price tag was about what I paid for the first new car I ever bought (oh, okay, so that was in 1967 dollars, but the number of dollars is about the same, even if those dollars were worth a lot more than today's dollars).
There is a big three day WebSphere meeting being held in Las Vegas in March. I had not planned on attending, mostly because we are going to a nephew's wedding in South Carolina around then and I have long-scheduled vacation days flanking that weekend, which would make it difficult for me to attend the first two days of the three day convention. (Besides which, I have little interest in attending these meetings and even less interest in seeing Las Vegas.) However, a manager in Pittsburgh, who often schedules some of the courses that I teach, has been urging me to come to Las Vegas anyway, because there are a couple of days of insensive seminars and workshops being held on the Thursday and Friday of that week and he keeps telling me that they would be very valuable. Over the weekend I gave in and decided that I probably should go to Las Vegas for these post-conference workshops. But when I go into my company email today to send him a note agreeing to go, I found an email from him saying forget about Las Vegas, he has an urgent need for me to teach in France that week. Quick, call him up, sorry but I cannot catch a plane to France on the 10th to teach a course starting on March 12th 'cause I'm going to be attending a wedding that weekend. Oh, okay, that's right, he remembers me telling him about those vacation days. Okay, forget France, now... about Las Vegas... I'll have to check into this tomorrow, see just what topics are going to be covered but I guess I will plan on going there. (As for France, well the tentative schedule shows me going there in mid-April anyway...)
So that's what the past few days have been like around here... and why I've not been updating too frequently...