Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snowy Saturday

It's a day off in my motel room in Atlanta. I should/could go out, it's not really that bad. I did walk over to the lobby building and get some coffee a minute ago. The nice Hispanic lady who cleans my room, after making sure that the 'privacy' tab in my lock really meant that I didn't want service today (except more coffee), looked at my jacket and said 'not good outside, did you look outside?' I assured her I was just in search of coffee, not heading far. It's kinda good to be a regular. The other nice lady who takes care of breakfast here helped me find some coffee among the empty thermos dispensers and apologized for the lack of attention to them before I got there. I said that I'd gotten my large cup filled and was fine. She then pulled out some leftovers from the breakfast that I hadn't come down for and sent me away with a plate of bacon, hashbrowns and raisen bread. Again, it's good to be a regular and even more reason to be nice to the folks at the hotel.

I could be out hiking this weekend. Or, I could be at the hiking get together that is going on at the NOC. I'm doing neither. Today I'm rested enough to think about doing something, but last night it was just too much to think about. The snow coming down is a lot for this area, so I'm not really in any hurry to head out into Atlanta traffic to go anywhere around here. Tomorrow I'll go over to the area around the AT and play some, maybe even hike. This is a 3 day weekend, so I have time still to do something.

The job is not going too well. The actual work is going fine. Getting along with the other IT guy is not going well at all. He is a retired cop. He told me this week that 30 years of being shot at and called all kinds of names as a cop, he'd never been diss'd the way I'd been diss'ing him on this fielding. Hmmm. I'm diss'ing him by not asking for his help much at all. I'm not asking for his help much because, well, I kinda already know what I'm doing. The first time he blew up at me, he was trying to tell me how to do something that I'd already decided to do a different way. He got mad. I got written up. My main job, apparently, is to just stand there looking dumb (but cute, which is difficult at this point in my life) while the men shake their heads and rescue me from whatever and then laugh to themselves about how did I ever get this job (but they all KNOW of course... snicker...). That they would enjoy. This chick who actually wants to just do her job is an affront to them. I don't ask for help! Write up! Well, I can live on unemployment, I've done so several times. I'm not looking forward to going back into the office and playing this out to the end since one thing retired Army guys know how to do is chew some ass and be arrogant and insulting. Must be something in the retirement papers, cause the active guys (the 'green suits' in our jargon) are all really nice.

764 days on the hike countdown meter.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Still Alive

I'm still alive and well. I'm in the Atlanta area on this fielding. The class is over and I'm on the downhill stretch now. In other words, I can start breathing again now. The class went well. I actually finished the material in 2 days like I'm supposed to and was able to have them totally rebuild the system on their own. We had fun, and Bob, the IT guy observing me this time, and Rick, the team lead on this fielding, jumped in and helped with questions and generally had a good time. I had a sharp class who learned quickly. I haven't seen my critique yet to know if I'm signed off to go on my own yet.

Since we drove to this fielding rather than fly I threw in all my camping gear. Since there was a kidnapping and murder of a single woman on the trail close to the area I wanted to hike, I'm not sure if I'm going to hike next weekend or not now. The murderer is in jail, and is a serial killer not a hiker. The trail is probably safer now than it ever has been. However...

I had dinner with Two Speed from WhiteBlaze (the AT hiker message board) last night. I had never met him in person before. We had fun. We went to an Indian restaurant since we both like Indian food and he knew this kooky (his word) place. There is no menu, except for the drinks. We ordered chai to drink, which was wonderful. They bring out a metal tray that has 5 small bowls of various things in in them, rice and a few pieces of naan (bread) in the middle. It is all you can eat. I cleaned out all 5 selections and had 2 cups of chai. It was just what I needed after eating in generally fast food places all week. We then came back to my room and I bored him with all my gear as I pulled it out and played with it. I am feeling like a 'pack sniffer' again, one who has gear and talks hiking but doesn't actually hike.

The hotel room this time is a suite, with a kitchen and living room. Breakfast every morning and dinner 4 nights a week are included. There is a thermos of coffee in the lobby at all times. I'm pretty much spoiled at this point. We drove down here Monday, and worked Tuesday through Saturday. This is Sunday, and IT has today off. The trainers started arriving Friday, and they had classes yesterday and today. The rest of the trainers arrive this evening, and full classes start tomorrow. I'm not heading out anywhere today as I'm bushed. Next weekend is a 3 day weekend, so if I do anything it will be then. I could drive home, but I'll try to take advantage of being in a new location instead.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Clean Up Your Life

clean up your life, the rest will come along after that

This thought jumped out at me just now. I was thinking about various things, including a friend of mine from Bloomington. He and I had a pact, begun over a decade ago, to encourage each other in getting rid of our common problem of clutter, chaos, and junk filling our lives and living spaces. Ok, it may have been closer to 2 decades ago. Time flies. Anyway, a couple of years into this he had an upstairs neighbor have a water leak, which came into his apartment. This was in an old house, and he was contracting out in DC at the time and not home for a couple of months to find it. His apartment was a total mess, what with all the papers and such and technical journals in boxes and general disarray. He was forced to go through his place and move everything around since most of his furniture, all the carpet and some walls all were trashed. He upgraded from the normal college decor of blocks and board shelving and milk crates that he'd hung onto just out of inertia for the 10 or so years he'd already been out of college. He then ended up getting back together with a girlfriend from college, getting married, buying a condo on the lake. Recently I talked to him. He called me because it seems that his condo had been trashed by smoke damage from a laptop charger. Again, he wasn't home for weeks. He had to move everything out of the condo and have it totally remodeled. He'd found my phone number in some stuff he was, a year later, finally unpacking.

What does this have to do with me? Well, I have felt for many years that the key to getting over my inertia is to get rid of my STUFF. It is just so hard. Most of it really is junk. What isn't actual trash could be replaced for under $20 at any *Mart. I think that these thoughts are going through my mind right now because even as I'm making progress, it is still just as difficult to turn loose of the stuff. Even knowing that I haven't regretted getting rid of anything so far.

Yesterday I made a trash run. It really isn't so bad now. The first center I went to when I first moved here has been my only bad experience. I now go to another one, one that doesn't have a bitch in the toll booth. I will take recyclables today, then take a Goodwill load when I go to run my last minute errands. When I get home, I'll start packing and loading the truck so I can head out to the next fielding tomorrow morning.

This fielding is in the Atlanta area. I was going to try to do some day hiking on the AT while I'm over there. A woman who was hiking with her dog in that area on New Years Day was kidnapped and presumably murdered, the story is still coming out. It's sad that something like that makes me worried about heading out to an area I like. In truth, it is probably even safer now because everyone on the trail is in high alert mode. However, this is the third murder on the trail in the past 3 months. Maybe the same guy did all of them, and they have him in custody now. At any rate, I'll play the hiking by ear for now. I'm taking my camping gear. Also, from here on out till sometime in May there will be an increasing amount of traffic on this part of the AT as folks start their thru hikes.

Still pondering how much I need to get rid of the vast majority of stuff here, and wondering why it is do darn difficult.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year

It has now gotten officially cold here. Teens and 20's. And, it snowed yesterday while I was driving home from Mom and Dad's. Real snow, white-out type stuff. Of course, it didn't stick, and was over in 5 minutes or so, but still... The heat pump is running almost constantly, and house is chilly. Then again, I've never bothered to really worry about filling gaps in doors and windows and such. We just didn't get that much cold weather last year. The housemate fixed the front door, attaching the frame around the door so that daylight isn't visible around the entire door.

I have 3 work days now to get ready for the fielding. I'm feeling stressed now. Maybe I'll calm down when I get to work and actually start doing things. I've started talking more about selling the house, and even mentioned to Mom and Dad a remote possibility that I might apply to go down range. Down range is army-speak for Iraq/Afghanistan. We have openings for people to support this software over there. Not sure anyone would be interested in hiring me for that, but it's an interesting thing to ponder. The pay is good, too.

As folks are in the final stages of getting ready to start their AT hikes this year I am feeling depressed again. This happened last year. I just need to funnel that into movement on what needs to be done here for it to be me heading out. Theoretically, if this contract ends next fall I could end up being free to hike next year. Or not. The countdown timer says 782 days.

I need to take loads of stuff to Goodwill, trash, and recycle. I have made the piles, I just need to get them out of the house. Then, a good cleaning while I pack next weekend and I'll have the house ready to leave again for 3 weeks. Housemate was here this weekend and took the opportunity to really clean and organize his room. Makes the rest of the house look messy by comparison.