There are a few things in this world that I believe in very strongly. The first is the power of the siesta. I've been saying for years that we need to follow Latin America's lead and institute mandatory after-lunch breaks -- if not for a little sleep, then for a little mental sanity and relaxation. On the days that I manage to get in a long lunch or afternoon nap, I feel far more relaxed and productive afterwards.
In the same vein, what ever happened to snow days? If schools shouldn't have to meet because of inclement weather, we shouldn't have to wait for a Level 3 snow emergency is declared to take a little time off to enjoy the day. Unfortunately, that's the downside to depending on contract work as my primary source of income: If the power is on and my Internet connection is up, I have no excuse for not getting something done.
I did get some time to enjoy the weather. January and I were able to take a walk over the giant shards of frozen snow to the market for supplies. We kept ourselves warm with some homemade chicken noodle soup and then decided it was time to show Sammy and Frankie, once and for all, why exactly we won't let them outside.
Minutes after this picture was taken, the cats were introduced to the joys of snow firsthand. Frankie made a beeline back to the door and started crying relentlessly, while Sammy tucked herself away underneath the house and had to be coaxed back out with the promise of many, many treats. Strangely enough, they both seem content to watch the squirrels and birds by the front window now.
My music collection is approaching ridiculous proportions. I can remember my days in college when it seemed unreasonable that Matt Guilford, the floor DJ / gospel music aficionado, had two large cases full of CDs. That's more than 500 albums, friends. Today, if I were to burn all my music to CD, I would have 15,000 CDs. And that's not the worst of it.
53 days, 5 hours, 1 minute, and 19 seconds
The total amount of time it would take to play every track, back to back, without interruption
Total cost of recordable CDs to back up the music files
The length that these CDs would be if you stacked them on top of each other and laid them down on their side
The number of TekNMotion CD binders required to hold all of these CDs
70 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes, 15 seconds
Time required to upload my entire collection to my mp3tunes music locker (which is why I haven't done it)
6 days, 0 hours, 44 minutes, 30 seconds
Time required to download my entire collection across a standard 1.5Mbps cable connection
Total cost of purchasing all this music on iTunes
Total amount for which I would be sued by the RIAA if I were caught sharing this music on a peer-to-peer network
When you throw a party for yourself and 200 of your closest family and friends, it's easy to slide into a little bit of debt. Especially when a bout of pneumonia creeps up on you in the midsts of all this planning. As a result of these little setbacks, January and I decided to go cheap during our first year before we get ourselves into massive-house-size debt. That's how we ended up in our "starter apartment."
The shining feature is really the cost-to-space ratio. Because our landlord was in the process of moving to Florida when we looked at it (he was actually leaving that night) we were able to talk him into knocking $25 off the rent and throwing in one month free. Add to that room for an home-office (because sometimes it's just too cold to walk the 3/4 of a mile to the real office) and an extra room for all of our stuff, and it seemed like a good place to start out.
Without a doubt, the worst feature has turned out to be the neighbors. Not the ceiling that leaks when the tub is too full, not the basement that collects puddles whenever it rains, but the two grad students in the other half of the double. It started out with polite phone calls at 11:00 at night asking us to turn the music down a little. That's seemed reasonable, so we didn't have a problem agreeing with their suggestion that we both keep our music down after 10:30 on a weeknight. That's what do you do when you share a wall with other people; You compromise.
I won't bore you with the details of each and every encounter we have had with them in the days since that first complaint, but they do include several complaints about the volume of noise coming from our half, veiled accusations of theft of things that they left outside, and lectures about our responsibility to call them and the police whenever we notice anything "shady" going on in the neighborhood. We live half a mile from the Ohio State University campus, I don't get enough minutes on my plan to call the police every time I see something "shady!"
The highlight of our conversations came this afternoon, however. In passing on her way out, one of the neighbors said that she felt like she needed to tell me something -- that the wall between her bedroom and ours was "paper thin" and that she can "hear a cough" through it at night. I was dumfounded, and at first I couldn't believe she was actually going to say it!? I had always operated under the "unspoken rule" that, yes, we all hear "things" through walls at night... but you don't BRING THEM UP TO YOUR NEIGHBORS!? She went on to tell me that she knows we're newlyweds, but she thought we would like to know. She thought we would want to know that she's sitting on the other side of the wall listening to us?!? Maybe I'm in the minority on this one, but I really would have been quite happy going the duration of my lease without having a conversation with my neighbor about what she can hear in my bedroom!
I can sleep a little better, however, with the last little disclaimer that she left me with before we went our separate ways: "Just so you know, I don't sit there and, like, listen. I put in earplugs. As a courtesy."
I'm a digital packrat. I have tendancies toward the more traditional style of packratism as well, but that is usually overtaken my my tendancies toward laziness whenever it's time to move to a new apartment. Things that I once thought I would definitely need at some point in the near future become instantly worthless pieces of garbage the minute the prospect of placing it inside a box and moving it somewhere new presents itself. This is not the case with digital information, however. I'm also a paranoid multibackuper. Weekly archives sent to offsite storage, regular database dumps whenever I change anything, triple backups on iPod, media center, and external harddrive. And that's just my music files.
Except for SPAM, which my mail program deletes for me, I never delete an email. Even the bouncebacks telling me that the email I sent was rejected because someone's inbox was too full never find their way to the trash. I have emails taking up a total of more than 1GB of space, dating back to 2004. I'm not sure exactly what happened in 2004 that caused me to lose all my email before that, but it's probably good for the sake of my hard drive requirements that I did.
Similarly, I have transcripts of every instant messenger conversation I have had with anyone dating back to late 2002. This includes all of the important conversations that I would never want to lose, like the afternoon January and I officially scheduled our "first date:"
But for every conversation like that, there are a dozen or so of the following gems:
So every new blog needs some sort of gimmick, especially for bloggers who are fairly new to writing. As the need arises (translation: when life gets a little boring and I don't have any great observations to impart) I'm going to start making up for all the time I lost blogging by digging out some of these conversations. I don't have a middle school note box to open up, but this will be the next best thing.