Weekend Project – New Drapery

Not content with merely running a 10K in personal-record time this weekend, Benjamin and I took on the task of making drapery for the living room windows. You read that correctly – not purchasing drapery, but making it ourselves. Little did I know on Saturday morning that I would be wielding a hacksaw, screwdriver, and sewing machine all in one weekend.

When Benjamin picked out the fabric for the “wall” that was used in our wedding (photo of the ‘wall’ during original concept construction), he did it with the intention of using the same fabric later to make curtains or drapery for the windows in our living room. Two birds, one stone you might say. Ever since the wedding he has been anxious to get the project started and I was informed on Saturday morning that Project Drapery would be this weekend.

The journey began with a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase the curtain rods. Alas, none of them were short enough for what he wanted so we purchased 4 of the shortest rods with the intent of me ‘fixing’ three of them to the desired length. In addition to the rods, ends to attach to them were purchased to finish off the look he was wanting.

Armed with the hardware, we went back to the house (after a short detour to pick up our race packets) to begin construction.

Measurements were taken, discussions were had, more measurements were taken, marks were made, and construction began. I had Benjamin start taking stitches out of the existing fabric wall as I took 3 of the curtain rods to the back patio with a hacksaw in hand. 30 minutes later our 36″ curtain rods were now a short 10.5 inches and our wall-‘o-fabric was now in its parts. While Benjamin began measuring and trimming the fabric to their final size, I began installing the brackets for the hardware to the wall.

About this time we had to set the project on hold to attend Ryan’s going away get-together. We picked back up Sunday early afternoon post race (and post lunch).

As I finalized the few remaining hardware brackets as Benjamin pinned the strips of fabric for hemming. This is when the aforementioned sewing machine comes into play. Yes, yours truly can sew with the best of them — at long as they are straight lines (and yes, I see the irony). For the next several hours I hemmed fabric as Benjamin worked his magic.

The results are well worth the bandwidth – photos below

ADC: IBM Uptown Classic 10K

Benjamin and I are running the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) again this year. The first race of the season was the IBM Uptown Classic 10K that was held earlier this morning.

When we ran the ADC races last year we didn’t train consistently for them like Jeff (jeffford) and Jonobie (jonobie) did and we really felt it in the Freescale Marathon at the end. This year we’ve been very good about following a training schedule for the past three weeks and it paid off in the race today.

Without further ado, our results:

Race: IBM Uptown Classic 10K
Casey


Overall position 912 out of 1945
Class position (M 25-29) 81 out of 139
Chip time 55:05 (personal best)
Pace 8:52/M

 
Benjamin


Overall position 914 out of 1945
Class position (M 20-24) 27 out of 36
Chip time 55:07
Pace 8:52/M

Our Garmin Forerunner 201 reported the following paces for each mile:

Mile Pace
1 8:34/M
2 8:38/M
3 9:12/M
4 8:36/M
5 9:10/M
6 8:39/M

Next time we’re going to try to start out slower as I think we started out a bit too fast. Overall, we were pretty happy with our results.

Next race: Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler – October 22nd

Euphemisms for ‘stupid’

In the Eagle database (the IBM GLBT forum) today, John Martin (dailyafirmation) posted a question asking for euphemisms (but not synonyms) for ‘stupid’. He was interested in hearing both ones that people have heard as well as ones that they have come up with themselves.

He gave several examples to illustrate what he was looking for and included his favorite which I enjoy as well:
“The wheel is spinning, but the hamster is dead.”

I created three of my own with an obviously geeky slant:
1. “Seven bits short of a byte.”
2. “The link light is on but there’s no activity on the wire.”
And my personal favorite:
3. “He’s a 802.11a receiver in a 802.11g world.”

Yup, I’m a dork.

Travel to Canada

Greetings from Toronto, Canada. I’ve been up here all week long (since Monday morning) for work. On Tuesday and Wednesday I presented a performance and tuning workshop. Overall I thought they went well and I have already received two emails thanking me for flying up to conduct the workshop and saying how the material was exactly what they needed.

On Thursday I met with a customer and answered some of their performance-related questions. They came out with a better understanding of how things work under the covers, improvements in the latest version (which they are working on migrating to), and features planned in the upcoming version currently in the design phase. I received an email from the customer account team saying how much the customer appreciated me coming by and chatting with them.

Right now, I’m feeling pretty good overall about my visit — and that was just the work aspects!

On a more personal front, I arrived in town on Monday mid-afternoon. That evening Jason (a local IBM friend) picked me up at the Hotel and took me downtown Toronto for dinner and a quick walking tour. Tuesday evening I joined several of the workshop attendees for drinks (I had a cherry coke) and dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Wednesday after the workshop was over I joined the attendees again for drinks (two cherry cokes!) and appetizers. Later that night my coworker Steve and I drove downtown and ate at Hey Lucy, a local restaurant. Thursday after the customer visit, Steve and I went up in the CN Tower and enjoyed the view from the highest tower in the world (or so they say). Later that night I joined Jason for a drag show being performed to benefit an AIDS charity organization called (I kid you not) Casey House. Several other Canadian IBMers joined us as well and we had a lot of fun. After the performance Jason, Brad (one of said IBMers), and myself went to the Panarama bar for some drinks (yet another cherry coke, yes I’m becoming a slush). The Panarama bar is the 51st floor of a building in downtown Toronto with an awesome view of the town, including the CN Tower and the waterfront. The bar is at St. Thomas and Bay Street and highly recommended for the view but stay away from their cherry cokes as they are much too weak and the prices way too high.

As far as some misc observations:

  • 104.5 CHUM FM is an excellent radio station if you are ever in the Toronto area. Much like a mix between Mix 94.7, Majic 95.5, and BOB FM in Austin
  • Apparently “Mazda” isn’t pronounced the same way in the US (at least in Texas) and in Canada (at least Toronto). In the US the word is pronounced with the first ‘a’ sounding more like the ‘o’ in Oz. Up here it is pronounced like a long ‘a’ like in master. CHUM FM was having a competition to give away a Mazda car of some sort and it took me several minutes the first time to figure out what the heck they were talking about!

Overall I have greatly enjoyed my visit. I still have the rest of today (Friday) and tomorrow to stay out of trouble before I fly back in on Sunday. Jason has offered to take me on a tour of downtown tomorrow with a focus on unique Toronto architecture at my request. Tomorrow night a few IBMers are getting together for dinner and then to see the Toronto equivalent of Shakespeare Under the Stars – sounds like an excellent end to my trip.

Benjamin’s first day as a manager

Today is Benjamin’s first official day as a Customer Service Manager (CSM) for Compass Bank. His boss (the previous manager) went into labor over the weekend and he will be taking over her position until she gets back from maternity leave. The next six weeks is a type of ‘trial by fire’ period for him in this new role. Once his manager returns his performance will be evaluated and if found acceptable he is likely to be given a CSM position at his own branch. The next six weeks are going to be somewhat challenging: in addition to fulfilling the CSM role he will also be continuing to do his previous job as a Customer Service Coordinator (CSC) too. If anyone can be a teller, manage the teller line, do account maintenance, deal with irate customers, analyze daily reports, answer the phones, open the bank, and still balance to the penny at the end of the day — it’s my husband :)

If you want to send him a congratulatory email I’d encourage you to do so. If you want to send it directly to his work account, that address is in the format: FirstName.LastName@compassbank.com.