10 April, 2012

Reporting

Category: Family,Government,Television,Work — Moose @ 7:12 am

My Big Gubm’nt Agency (BGA) has fucked up something in its spending and internal controls, which means we get to report a violation of law. Was telling the boy about this yesterday evening, because it’s been dragging on for months now as we investigate, but we finally met with several senior managers and came to agreement that it is indeed a violation and so we have to report it per statutory and regulatory guidance. And somehow I got tasked with writing the first draft of the letters, which have to go to the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate (aka the Vice-President), the Comptroller General and the President himself, through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Whee! Thankfully I’m not the one who will sign his name to the letters – someone much, much higher in the BGA gets to be that lucky stiff, but I have to write the majority of the story here.

The funny thing was that I didn’t consider this any big deal, it’s just part of my job. An annoying part, to be sure, but just part and parcel of working as an attorney for a BGA, practicing appropriations law. In mentioning that I had to write the letters, and who they’re going to, the boy did a double take, repeated the recipient list (with the phrase “you have to write letters to…”), and gave me a shocked look. I suppose it doesn’t help that he’s been watching the entire run-through of the show The West Wing lately, so he’s had politics on the brain.

It’s hard not to become jaded about such things, since they are part of my job, albeit a rare part. But it was interesting to see the reaction from someone who doesn’t live and breathe politics in his daily life.

25 April, 2010

Fifth Time Was The Charm/Weekend

Category: Annoyances,Food,Friends,Sex,Shopping,Television — Moose @ 9:10 pm

Had one last appointment with Comcast today, and they fixed the issue. The tech who came out knew his stuff, didn’t put up with anything from the folks on the phone (specifically asked if the first person knew how to do cable cards and asked to be transferred to someone who did; also made the other person repeat back all numbers he read to them). Didn’t take him more than 10 minutes tops, and it worked fine as soon as he had them activate it.

Is nice to have the thing back and working. While I’m going to continue exploring the catalog available to watch instantly on Netflix, I did miss some of the current shows that I watch.

Otherwise the weekend was a bit off. I helped a friend who needed company Saturday evening, watching some bad movies and chatting about his worries. Had an odd trick Friday night that ended up not being quite worth the lack of sleep. My favorite part was when he said, “If I’d’ve known I was coming over I wouldn’t have had Mexican.” Indeed. I ended up not getting off because I wasn’t going to risk the results of the Mexican food.

I checked out the new Safeway. They’re still missing some of the staples of my diet (organic soy milk, for one), but it was much nicer than the old one, and though I normally don’t care for self-checkout, it worked well. It’ll be good for ‘pop in and get a few things’, but I think I’ll still be making regular trips to HT for staples. I’m hoping the quality stays up and it’ll be good for things that I need the same day or the next day.

In related news, I’ve been trying to eliminate most sources of high fructose corn syrup from my diet, and I was appalled to discover the bread I’d been eating had it in there. It actually took me about half a dozen brands of whole wheat bread before I found one without it. Yuck.

18 April, 2010

The Situation With Comcast

Category: Annoyances,Television — Moose @ 8:47 pm

I have been attempting to get a new TiVo HD unit set up with Comcast. So far, they’re not impressing me. The first two appointments were complete no shows. For the first appointment on the seventh I took the day off work to wait for them to show up and pop a cablecard into the machine. At 8 pm the customer service line still wasn’t able to explain where the technician was or why he never showed in the 2-5 time frame as expected. For the second one the following Saturday, the dispatcher called an hour after the appointment to tell me they couldn’t come because they didn’t have a card available. Wouldn’t they have known that hours before making me wait around? So, rescheduled another appointment for yesterday. The tech showed, finally (and late), but the one card he brought didn’t work, so scheduled another appointment for today. The tech showed, thought he had everything good to go, and left, but again the card isn’t working. In a call later he said the system was down and to leave the thing plugged in and they’d try again to activate the thing tomorrow morning. That’s to be it for chances, though. If this doesn’t work tomorrow, I’m dumping their TV service. I’ve shown more than enough patience.

It’s a shame DSL isn’t an acceptable substitute for cable internet service or I’d dump that with them, too. It’s also a shame that the board of the cult co-op has failed to act and let RCN run lines into the compound so we’d have actual choice for cable services here. Without it my sole leverage is dropping them, which is looking more and more likely now. I’d miss some of the shows, but at least the monthly bills will go down if it happens. We’ll see tomorrow.

7 April, 2010

Stupid/Prevention/Plans

Biked up for errands this morning (dentist, picking up glasses, etc.), and there was a serious amount of stupid on the trail in Rock Creek. No helmet, helmet on but unbuckled (doesn’t do much good if it flies off your head when you fly off the bike…), people running on the left side of the trail, etc. Most annoying. Kinda makes you want to get “Trail Rules” signs like they have on other trails in the area.

Why is it that you say “I’m a triathlete” and suddenly you become all intimidating to some people?

I really, really wanted aero bars on my single speed bike this morning while down around East Potomac Park. File under “you know you’re a triathlete if…” you want aero bars on all your bikes. The instinct to get down on the bars while on a straight, flat stretch was pretty strong. Good sign that training on the tri bike is going well. Or at least has become second nature.

No A/C yet in the building, so while I wait for the cable guy to come by and slap a cablecard into the new TiVo it’s kinda warm. We’ll have it in two weeks once they transition the system over from heat, and I’m semi-okay with this because the new general manager here at the cult co-op is having his guys come by and do a comprehensive sweep and check of all the convectors in each individual unit to ensure they’re working, clean, lubed, etc. First time it’s been described that way (past just the usual “we’re changing the filters”), so I’m okay with delaying to ensure all the equipment is working at peak efficiency, or at least at a better clip than the norm. Having vacuumed off my own units, I have seen how nasty they can get, so I can only imagine what some of them look like. It’s nice to have a proactive manager for once; he’s been big on getting in to do preventative maintenance, which is much appreciated here.

Had plans with a friend to do some gaming, but he got called in to do more on a research project he’s leading at school, so no go there. A nap sounds like a good alternative. With the lack of A/C and temps in the 90s the past few days sleep has been elusive. Lots of tossing and turning and odd dreams, including some disturbingly vivid erotic ones. Waking up at 2 am with an almost painfully raging hard-on from one of those is not conducive to a lot of rest.

I’ve been indulging a crush, which has been fun. I feel like I can begin dating again, that I’m ready for that, with the result that I’ve been keeping my eyes open and my flirt meter at “medium high”. But I also feel like I’m looking more with an eye to finding something more than just casual. As always, nothing is set in stone, but we’ll see where the path leads.

2 May, 2009

Entertainment/Necessities

Okay, thank you Netflix for partnering with everyone under the sun. Here I was thinking I’d need to buy another computer or HD TiVo or some sort of device to play the “watch instantly” movies (while still being able to chat on the laptop, mind you), and while playing with the Xbox this morning I discovered I could watch them via a free download on that device. It’s nice to not have to spend more money for entertainment, and also good since the Xbox is the only thing plugged into the TV with HDMI at this point, so the picture quality is pretty good, even for downloaded content.

The week was an odd one, with the swings in weather and going out to be social and work oddities. Now that we’re past the initial stages of stimulus work, it’s getting down to crunch times for many offices – implementation and distribution of funds. Which means a lot of serious work, as well as the occasional eyebrow-raising inquiry (seriously, you think that a contract to maintain and develop a web site for aid recipients to report their progress doesn’t fall squarely within the definition of “management and oversight” of your program? please).

Finally running time machine this morning with my backup drive. A bit late, I know, but will be good to have it done at last. Cold wash got done, dinner plans with Richard and his new beau this evening. Need to get to the grocery store soon (tonight? tomorrow? not completely out of food but it’s getting there). Date planned for Monday. At some point I should get in a long bike ride this weekend. Need to finish up a sock I’m working on so I can get started on its mate. All these little necessities of life which catch up if you don’t keep up with them.

28 September, 2008

Soaked/Slug

Category: Biking,Cooking,Exercise,Food,Games,Geek,Knitting,Television,Work — Moose @ 6:35 pm

Got completely and utterly soaked on this afternoon’s ride. It had been threatening rain on and off all day, and I’d been a zombie most of the day, so I finally got going around 4 or so. Was great for the first 2 long loops, then a little over halfway into the third the bottom dropped out. Not much to do but keep riding at that point, and it’s not like I’ve never raced in the rain (Mooseman, Richmond Powersprint, anyone?). Did an additional short loop – was considering going for the long loop again as it started lightening up, but then the bottom dropped out, again, on the backside of the short loop, so I headed in after that one.

Yesterday was all about being a slug. Got up late, knitted (per the previous post) & caught up on TV. Played Bioshock. Made pancakes. Was fantastic, especially after the chaos of the previous weekend, and the mess of the work week.

24 September, 2008

Funding, Perhaps?

Category: Home,Law,Stuff,Television,Work — Moose @ 9:52 pm

Looks like we’re getting funded through March 6th, with lots of plus-ups for inaugural activities. Whee. They stuck in the raise for calendar 09, too (yay), but didn’t provide any additional funds to pay for it, so we have to suck it out of existing cash on hand (boo). A couple of other problems in there for my BGA, but we’ll deal.

Spastic day, what with the bill language being released at midnight, the House voting to pass it, and multiple phone calls and meetings over various provisions. Glad the work day finally ended. Tomorrow will be slightly less spastic, I hope, with a nice break in the middle for a going away lunch for a coworker who’s leaving us for another BGA.

Cleaned up more junk here, and just test-fired the oven (empty) to see how the temps match my oven thermometer. Seems to be slightly cooler than the dial, so I’ll see if there’s a way to adjust the dial, or I’ll just have to keep in mind that it’s not quite 25 degrees cooler than the dial says it is. Caught up on Heroes from Monday, and zapped more junk out of the queue without watching it (The Last Samurai? Ew). Now it’s early crash time. I missed the bike ride this morning because of an early meeting, so perhaps I’ll get back out there tomorrow morning instead. Depends on how well I sleep – definitely on a deficit so far this week.

1 April, 2008

The Secret to Knitting

Category: Knitting,Mood,Movies,Television,Weather,Work — Moose @ 11:40 pm

Just as I was wondering how my other friends who knit find time to do it, I discovered the secret to getting myself to sit down and do it: have a really busy, stressful day at work.

Came home from work, sort of ate. Loaded up the Resident Evil movies on the TiVo, and proceeded to add several inches to the scarf, I’m guessing at little over a third of what’s on it now was added over the past couple of hours tonight. And it was quite soothing, with the movies, the rain and hail, and the repetitive nature of this particular project (31 stitches, RS: k1, *k1b, p1, repeat and k1 at end; WS: *k1, p1, repeat). Precisely what I needed to get law, and work, off the brain.

Going to be interesting soon – I’m almost done with the first skein, so I’m going to have to switch off shortly. Shouldn’t be difficult, but it’s another new step to take. Not tonight, too tired for that, but soon.

29 January, 2008

Recasting On

Category: Annoyances,Body,Habits,Knitting,Television,Work — Moose @ 12:11 am

The SOTU was a good excuse to sit still and knit for a while – listen to the speech, but not watch the goings on. I got several rows done on a new swatch, all knit stitch (I’ve still not braved purl yet), and I’m happy with how evenly it’s coming out this time. It helps that I cast on only 30 stitches rather than 42 – the needles aren’t really big enough for 42 – so it’s nice and even this time. It’ll either be a scarf or a pot holder, we’ll see. Depends on how often I can sit down with it in the evenings, and how bored I get.

Still don’t have the whole “how to hold the thread in the right hand” thing down yet – I keep twisting it too tightly around my index finger. Will have to get my friend TH to show me how she holds the stuff. Or learn continental style. Who knows. I’ll get it eventually, I know.

Interesting speech for some of the stuff he addressed. The earmarks portion (the reason I watched, actually, since it has a bearing on my practice area) will be an interesting change, and is going to cause a lot of headaches with Congress (who will find a way to earmark funds, even outside the official committee reports, trust me). It’ll certainly keep my BGA’s government relations people busy. I suspect those same folks will be culling quotes from tonight’s speech for a letter we have to finalize tomorrow morning as well. Makes me glad I don’t have my work blackberry just yet.

It is, of course, too little too late. Earmarks rose precipitously under the last term of (R) control of the Congress, and while they’ve come down some, they’re still pretty high. Not that (R)s alone are to blame – (D)s earmark plenty, too. Not sure of the solution, past taking the measures he’s going to put into place – an executive order signed tomorrow to ignore these extra-legal set-asides is a good start. Weaning Congress completely off pork, however, is going to be an uphill battle.

Got my heel shot up this morning with cortizone, to counteract the plantar faciitis I’m dealing with off and on. The night brace is helping, but I got to a point where I finally agreed with the doctor that a shot was called for. We’ll see how that does. I want this stuff done with, it’s not comfortable at all.

25 December, 2007

Hogswatch

Category: Humor,Leisure,Sleep,Television,Wierd — Moose @ 1:37 am

Happy Hogswatch to all, and to all a good night.