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Well, mostly vacation.  Thursday was a drive to Chicago to give a most-of-day KT session (but I got to have dinner with C afterward, so that was good).  I don't mind doing KT, but I do wish I'd had more time to prepare.  Friday I was tired and couldn't get my brain started until after noon, so I ended up staying late to get things done.  Then I didn't get enough done anyway, or at least not enough for me to be calm about ignoring everything for most of a week.
So I've been logged in from home for about an hour each day since - just enough to keep things from becoming so messed up that I can't bring myself to go back when vacation's over.

I've slept, relaxed, and cleaned house.  I intend to do more of all that, plus one or two unnecessary-but-pleasant projects.  The nasty eyestrain I had all last week has eased off.  Yesterday I made eggnog (creme anglaise, light on the sugar, a little too heavy on the Knob Creek), and some funky chocolate-coconut not-meringue cookies.

I've scheduled about half of my available vacation already, some for known events, some just randomly.  Some of the rest will go to visiting Mom (who is still doing well on her chemo, and is still quilting).  Performance review was quite favorable; the fruits of that labor should start appearing on my paycheck in a couple of weeks.

On Saturday I finished a story and submitted it to this.  It felt good to write something that wasn't an email or a design doc.  I'm clearly rusty, but I think not hopelessy so.  Hard SF is not easy, and fitting a story into less than 600 words (roughly a page) is a special skill that does not come naturally to me.

For my birthday, housemate got me the second expansion for Agricola:  All Creatures Big and Small.  That is a cool little game, so I'm happy to now have both expansions.

All my seed orders have arrived.  Z is a bit worried since historically the Fedco tree orders start arriving in a few weeks, but we definitely have more than three weeks of thawing ahead of us.  Today I heard there are places in Wisconsin where the frost depth is 7 feet - hence the epidemic of water main breaks.  But the birds seem to think spring is on the way:  their songs have changed, and the boy birds are getting colorful.

I've been wanting a new flash drive - something appropriately cool to hold my attempts at writing.  Found it.  Its only drawback as a writing tool is the possibility that I'll be too busy disassembling and posing it to actually write.

A few weeks back I learned what it was like to have one's alternator die while driving down the freeway.  It gave some warning, and I was fortunate enough to drift to a halt on the side of the rest stop offramp, only five miles from my favorite inexpensive mechanic.  So, I can't complain. 
Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.



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