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Yesterday, I came into work to find my inbox full. Well, relatively full, for me, since I don't get a lot of email at work. There has been a spam email going around the agency, one of those that promises that Bill Gates will pay you $245 per person you forward the email to. (This one!) Well, some employee, in a fit of "intelligence," managed to wrap his brain around the mathematics of $245 times the thousand or so people employed by DPSCS and decided to forward the email to every single person in the email address book.

Which, predictably, resulted in others jumping on the bandwagon and clicking Reply All to share in the bounty.

Someone replied to all with the Snopes article about the email.

Someone replied to him (using Reply All, of course), saying, "You better hope you're right!" I mean, gosh, if he's not, he stands to lose out on a quarter million dollars at least!

Finally, someone from IT replied and reminded all of the enthusiastic and soon-to-be-rich and -retired participants in the scam scheme that it violated department policy to use the email system for non-work-related purposes, and all the forwards flying around to everyone in the address book was really taxing the system.

Not like that stopped the email. Next, people started replying (to all, of course), asking to be removed from "the list" or griping about spam. The fact that they themselves had become spammers by their love of that Reply All option amused me but apparently failed to sink past those three inches or so of bone to reach the quivering, jellied mass that stands for a brain.

It perturbs me that these people are considered professionals.

It perturbs me even more that we are the Department of Public Safety, and the same people who will be eagerly checking their mailbox for the next few weeks, looking for that check from Bill Gates, are the same who make decisions about which offenders are and are not allowed back into the community.

There's a comforting thought.
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So here's an updatey-type thing ... )
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Grumble, Growl, Grouse )
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The Terminally Busy Life of Dawn Felagund )
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So we're driving home from SCA on Friday night. It's a little after midnight because we're both always so hyper after meetings (especially Bobby, having just spent two hours bashing people with wooden swords) that we always go with the other heavy fighters to Pizza Hut. Mind, we have to be up at six the next morning for our shift at the Aquarium.

It is the coldest night we've had in Maryland so far this year. The temperature is hovering around 26F/-3C, we're driving north through Carroll County, in the middle of nowhere, in the pitch blackness ...

... and we get a flat tire.

8^|

Okay, not funny, Murphy!

We were following the marshal who's training Bobby (Graham) and his wife (Dawn!), and luckily, we got a flat right in front of a gas station, but probably for that reason, Graham and Dawn didn't think much of the fact that we were limping into a gas station and didn't stop. We watched their taillights dwindle into the darkness. I think I wubbled a little bit.

Changing a tire in below-freezing temperatures, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, while exhausted and knowing that the alarm will be ringing mighty early--like in five hours--does not make futzing with a flat tire much fun.

Oddly, we got a flat on the same tire on the exactly a year earlier, minus one day, while driving home from Ocean City with Sharon and Kirsty. Much as we like Bobby's car (well, as much as two eco-radicals can like a car that's not a hybrid), it does terribly on tires. This is the fourth tire we've put on that spot. Luckily, Bobby bought the warranty after last year's flat.

Also, the Conclusion to the Pie Plate Fiasco *sigh* )
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Well, I've been busy. Hence the fact that I haven't read my LJ flist in almost a week ... *wince*

So ... is there anything new going on with you that I should know about? Good news, exciting news, random shtuff that you just have to share? Let me know! I feel very productive ... but very out-of-touch too. I miss you all and our enlightening/absurd/hilarious/passionate conversations! :)

Primarily, I have been working on the SWG website. It's almost finished--that is, the website is almost finished, not the archive. That's a whole new animal. But this website has been dragging on for almost a year now, mostly because I work on it in spurts, accomplish a great deal (without ever finishing), and then get pleased with my progress and allow myself to become distracted by something else. Months pass ... nothing new gets finished. So I set for myself an ultimatum: The website must be ready for release to the group by 1 April. The bones are there; it's just tinkering, filling in holes and fixing mistakes that I've allowed myself to neglect, removing those sections that have nothing but "IN PROGRESS" or "CONTENT GOES HERE" in the main content area. Once the main site is up, I can check out the archive software and start confabulating with Lenine (my all-knowing-PHP savior!) about getting the archive up. And then I hope to concentrate on the fun stuff, like getting new features and resources in place, not with deciding whether third- or fourth-level headers look best for this or that subtitle.

I wanted to write about Alex, but here I am rambling about web design ... *sigh*

Alex Surgery Stuff ... Cut for the Squeamish (But It's Not Graphic) )

The other day, we discovered that Alex is afraid of guitars. Bobby touched the acoustic, it made a noise, and Alex went wild. We sat it down without playing it and let him approach it, sniff it, and lick it. It didn't help that he'd bark at it and the G- and D-strings would hum in reply, so I guess he thought the guitar was barking back. I played a few chords on it, and he went crazy. Silly dog! He's gotten used to it, though; I was strumming the acoustic and Bobby was playing the electric, so he got desensitized pretty quickly.

The computers at work are fucked up again. To prove, perhaps, that bad things come in threes, we 1) practically lost the network; it was so slow that it took Johnny the Boss fifteen minutes to open an Excel spreadsheet, 2) our Access database where we keep the warrant logs corrupted, and 3) I cannot print criminal records off of CJIS, which is 95% of my job. Issues #1 and #2 have been resolved; #3 is supposedly being solved. In the meantime, I have thirty warrants waiting to be run; I can run them, but I can't print the records, which doesn't do the officers a whole lot of good.

I do have a lot of sympathy for the help desk. They probably deal with some real idiots in the course of the day. But dayum. They can act like idiots too! I call and say, "We've had this problem before (referring to the corrupted Access database); all I need is a backup copy restored from last Thursday, which was the last day that I am certain that the database worked properly." The tech I'm talking to then attempts to convince me that my network drive is improperly mapped and that we have one too many network drives on our server ... dude, we've been using this system for three years! Finally, I say, "Look, we've had this problem before. All I'm asking is for a copy of the database from last Thursday. And I guarantee that the problem will be fixed."

So he sends me a copy of the database. It still doesn't work. I ask, "What date is it from?"

"Last Friday."

*gnash teeth/pull hair/put head through computer monitor and hope for electrocution*

"The last day that the database worked properly was Thursday, not Friday. It worked fine on Friday before 3:15 p.m. but I know that it didn't back up before then." Thinking, "As I told you ten minutes ago."

So he restored Thursday's copy ... and voila! It worked! OMG! *teh gasp*

Then today, I'm talking the head honcho of the IT people about the CJIS issue. He remotely accesses my computer. He attempts to print. It doesn't work. He asks why I need to print from CJIS in the first place.

Stunned silence ensues. "Ummm ... because I work for the warrant unit and I put together warrant reports from CJIS?!?" Thinking, "And the warrant officers can't read my mind and probably don't want to carry my desktop out in the field with them?"

He then scribbles the mouse around the screen and attempts to print again. And would you believe that the simple act of scribbling the mouse around on the screen did not fix the problem that's been going on for a week now??

I watched this man do this a dozen times while the urge to attempt electrocution-via-monitor-screen slowly came over me again. He never did solve the problem, so I am currently in limbo, awaiting a call from that nebulous entity "the server team."

As I said, I know that their job is not easy and that they deal with stupid/ignorant/rude people pretty much every moment of every day. But sometimes, they make more work for themselves. Over at the good ol' WAU, we're well versed in computer problems caused by corrupted data, lawnmowers, and everything in between. It seems to me that if a user calls and says, "I've had this problem before and this is how we fixed it," then that might be a sensible place to start? Rather than questioning completely functional systems that have been in place for years??

*sigh*

Anyway, tomorrow it will hopefully be fixed.

At night, Bobby and I have been watching the Discovery HD series Planet Earth. Oh my goodness. I think this might be the most beautiful program I've ever seen. It is beyond amazing ... not only are the images gorgeous but the landscapes and animals that they show: I asked Bobby, "How can we have lived on this planet for twenty-five years and never known that such amazing creatures exist?" And there's definitely cute-baby-animal overload too.
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Alex went to the vet today. Here are the conclusions:
  • He now weighs 57 lbs/26 kg. I figured in the low 50s ... when the tech said 57 lbs, I nearly fell over! He's only six months old! Wow!
  • He's probably going to be neutered on Monday. Lick 'em while they last, Alex.
  • And the bad news ... he was diagnosed with Lyme disease today. The good thing is that it's really not that big a deal, as far as doggie diseases go. It's possible for the test to be a false positive, so he might not even really have it. He'll take antibiotics for a month anyway. The vet isn't worried about it and explained how we'll treat him. It might go away; it might not. He hasn't showed any symptoms, so it looks like we caught it early.
In the U.S., 97% of Lyme disease cases occur in just ten states. Maryland is one of the ten states. As Bobby pointed out, he and I could have it and not know it; it is transmitted by the deer tick. It is roughly the size of a pinhead. I've found one on myself before, though it was not attached. I kept it to show to Bobby, for educational purposes, of course. One of the vet techs actually has Lyme disease; my aunt had it as well (though hers was advanced and her doctor thought that she was malingering and wrote off her symptoms, so half her face is paralyzed. Yay medical arrogance.)

Alex just jumped up on the couch next to me with this soggy, icky rawhide bone that he's worked down to mush. My baby ... *pets*

Okay, he just jumped down ... and left the mush-bone with me. Thanks, Alex.

Meanwhile, on work-related news, there is now one less jail behind my office.

MHC )

Other life updates: Bobby and I have half-days at work tomorrow because we're driving up to Hershey to see the Stars on Ice show tomorrow night. I have a good husband ... he buys me Stars on Ice tickets and even sits through it with me without complaint. I figure that I owe him at least three stupid action movies for that.

Wednesday, we are off from work; I don't know what we'll be doing (since the weather might be nice and it is the first day of Spring), so I might not be online much.

Today, the work computers were slow so I decided not to do anything computer-related that was also work-related. Work-related stuff that did not involve computers was okay and computer-related stuff that did not involve work (and the network, which was what was slow) was okay too. So I got a lot done. I reformatted Of the Valar and the Building of Valinor for the HoMe reading, so I just need to convert it to PDF and upload it to SWG and HA. That took the entire morning and much of the afternoon. I did a critique for Critters. And I finally (finally!) finished Bobby's Valentine's Day story. It will be posted here (f-locked) just as soon as he reads it.

Yesterday, I finished the notes and summaries for The Music of the Ainur, did a fanfic beta, and cleaned half of my Gandalf-and-cart model. (Those of you who want access to my HoMe notes who may have missed the original post ... go here. The new stuff will be posted soon.) It seems that that quick whiff of Spring that we got last week was enough to clear me of my apathy!

UCKFAY!!!

Mar. 2nd, 2007 05:38 pm
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Murphy's got his eye on me today. Please pardon the shameless griping.

Dawn & Murphy BFF )

Despite all this, the day was not a total wash, and so I will end on a positive note. Because I despise the thought of becoming one of those negative people who looks at life and only sees everything that is wrong.

Bobby picked me up at work, and we went to look at my car. He opened the hood, tinkered with a few cables, and it started. So that saved any expensive repairs or having to be towed, when I hope to be getting rid of the car in a few months anyway. He also showed me what he did; I will admit that I am a stereotypical "girl" when it comes to cars. I don't like cars, and I don't know the first thing about them. But now I know one thing to try if this ever happens again.

We may not be going to Bermuda in three weeks, but we will be going to see Jimmy Buffett in concert on 28 June! I "waited on line" for tickets online this morning and got them. Whee! Jimmy Buffett tickets are very hard to come by around here.

Alex behaved exceptionally well during the snafu today, much better than I would expect of a dog as young as he is. Also, several instances today proved to me that he knows all of his basic commands. No, he is not perfect yet, and we still have a lot of work to do, but it will happen. He is still testing the waters to see what he can get away with with me. He understands what I expect of him; now it is just a matter of shaping his behavior until he's perfect ... or as close to it as one can reasonably expect. :) And so we will begin to move on to much more fun training exercises now, which I suspect is a relief for both of us.

My short story "Cold Hands" was up for critique on Critters this week. I will admit: I was nervous, afraid that people would either 1) tell me to scrap the story or 2) no one would read it at all. But I have gotten two critiques back already, and both were fantastic! Both were very encouraging but also made excellent points about where I might focus during the final revisions. It really reminded me of the value of a good critique and the importance of learning to write better critiques, just as I work to write better stories.

Tonight, Bobby and I are going to Rocky Run for supper for Meryth's birthday. He is going to be twenty-six next week. We'd decided to go to Rocky Run first, and since Rocky Run is Meryth's favorite restaurant, I figured we might as well justify it as being for his birthday. Yes, Meryth is a muse, but almost everyone likes to be remembered on his or her birthday, and Meryth--though he may be "imaginary"--is no exception. I will draw the line at trying to explain Meryth to our server and getting a free dessert out of it, however.
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Today, I was very much reminded that there is, indeed, no such thing as a free lunch. I mean this figuratively, of course. A more literal saying might be, There is no such thing as a free day off from work.

Bobby chose to wait until the sun came up to leave for work, and it was good that he did because my car tires were frozen solid to the parking lot. That was interesting. After a half-hour of trying to break me out, he informed me that I wasn't getting out until the sun came up further and the ice possibly softened to where he could chip it away. He broke two ice scrapers just trying to clear my windshield.

The "snow" isn't even really snow: I can walk on top of it without leaving a track, and--in slightly ickier terms--it takes several seconds of steaming hot dog pee before a dent is made in the surface. I attempted to drive my toe through the ice and to the snow beneath without luck. I dare say that this is worse than the ice storm in 1994 when my friend Lisa and I went ice skating in her pasture; then, at least, I would occasionally hit a spot where my foot would punch through. Also, I weighed much less at age twelve than I do at age twenty-five.

Bobby drove me to work, where I had next to no work waiting for me, which allowed me to catch up on the eternally neglected security threat group database. Still, I should have known that it was coming. I should have known. I hadn't gotten new warrants in a week. Warren picked them up last Thursday. Friday is his day off. Monday, the office that processes our warrants was evacuated because of a "police incident in the neighborhood," so he wasn't able to pick up warrants. Tuesday and Wednesday were snow days.

So an apologetic Warren came in with twenty-nine brand spankin' new warrants for me today.

There is no such thing as a free day off from work.

Meanwhile, this was also Pester Dawn on the Phone Day. Pity I must have missed the memo on that one.

My favorite is when the warrant officers call up and, when I answer the phone, exclaim, "Oh, you're in the office today!?" or even better, "What are you doing in the office today?" Ummm...it's a Thursday. Last I checked, I generally work on Thursdays.

It kind of annoys me too because I work the most consistently out of anyone in the unit, yet people are always surprised when I'm there. I'm always there. They'll call at noon on a Friday: "You're still there??" Or at four on a Tuesday. "Why are you still there, Dawn?" *headdesk*

This also makes me wonder who they're calling if they think that I'm not there...?

Anyway, because my car was frozen to the parking lot, then Johnny the Boss made arrangements to have Brian pick me up and drive me home from work. Unfortunately, since things weren't going my way today, I got a call around two from a courthouse in PG County; they had one of our sex offenders and needed a prisoner transport.

I tried Lenny; Lenny didn't answer his phone. (Lenny had called me two hours earlier to express surprise that I was in the office.) So that left Brian to do the transport, which meant that I didn't have a ride home from work, since it can sometimes take hours to get in and out of a prison. So I had to change my plans with Bobby to have him pick me up.

Lenny showed up at the office fifteen minutes later. (Though this ended up a good thing because I'd gotten in another sex offender warrant, so he got on that one right away.)

Tomorrow is Friday, thank Eru, and the start of a long weekend besides. I have nine warrants left to run, a detainer to file, and the review list to compile. After that, I'm finishing the annotation on "The Cottage of Lost Play"--which I've only been working on for a month--and writing, and that is it.

Maybe I won't even answer the phone. Since no one thinks I'm in the office anyway.
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I told off my coworker Diane today. Diane is a pain in my ass. She doesn't know her job; she doesn't do her job...and she has the nerve to harass me more about stupid stuff than anyone else in the unit. I asked Johnny's permission to tell her off. Johnny said, "Go ahead!" and came over to lean on my partition to listen.

It's So Stupid... )

Then Bobby called the Dean of Science at the university to complain about how poorly our entrance into the second bachelor's program has been managed. The House of Felagund wouldn't leave anyone alone today!

And the Verdict Was... )
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The network is out at work again, which means no email, no Internet, no nuthin' until they get it fixed, which could be tomorrow or could be two weeks from now. I still have access at home, yes, but it is hard to manage everything in the couple of hours of free time at home, so if you sent me an email and I haven't replied, or left a comment and I haven't replied, it is because the wire to our great & wonderful State network is lying on the lawn again. Luckily, it is not summer so they shouldn't run over it with the lawnmower like they did last summer.

Meanwhile, work without a network is hopelessly bland. I actually spent a good amount of time playing 3D Pinball from the games that come with the Windows package. But hey, Meryth got a high score of something like 2 million.

Hopefully, I'll go in tomorrow and everything will be up and running. Since our last outage lasted two weeks, I won't hold my breath.

Yay!

Dec. 19th, 2006 10:28 pm
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First order of business:

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] nienna_weeper!

What a truly special Christmas card! We have it hanging on our refrigerator (in the words of Bobby, "out of reach of all carpet alligators") and adore it! Thank you! *hugs*

Second order of business:

Cards and stuff have been sent, so if you requested one, you should get it in the next couple of days, USPS willing. It's all in their (capable?) hands now, so I hope that all arrives as it should!

Third order of business:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting   Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting   Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting   Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My Ravens are not only in the playoffs but won the division! Woo! This is only the second time in our ten-year history that we have won our division. The other time was not the year that we won the Super Bowl, oddly enough. So now we're aiming for a Week One bye, which means that we have to win both of our upcoming games (Steelers and Bills) and the Colts and the Chargers have to lose at least one of theirs. Not likely but *crosses fingers*.

More Orders of Business )
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I have come to the conclusion that my body hates me. It's sole object in life is to make me as miserable as possible. I suppose that I should not complain. My mind seems to like me a good deal and is fine with letting a dozen or so muses camp out there on a permanent basis. But my body hates me.

Cut for Really Gross (Vomit-Related) TMI and General Griping )

But on a positive note, yesterday was my big day, and the spirits were smiling upon me. Bobby was supposed to have class, then hockey. He opted out of hockey so that we could spend part of the evening together. Then he got word that class was cancelled, so we got to spend all of the evening together.

We have certain Halloween traditions. We always rent a cheesy horror movie (Friday the 13th Part III was this year's pick) and take a walk in the historic district. Ellicott City is one of the most haunted places on the east coast, so what could be better than that? We've never seen anything paranormal, but one day...Bobby even took the camera.

In the Halloween spirit, I wore my Elf-ears and cloak, and for the first time ever, did not get odd looks. It always feels good to know that my wardrobe is most appropriately worn on Halloween!

Bobby's Pumpkin and Dawn's Elf Ears )

Soooo...today was the first day of NaNoWriMo. I went to bed last night, giddy to begin working on my novel again. Which, in the world of State guv'ment work, means one thing: I would be incredibly busy today. I was. I spent the morning running warrants and scanning paperwork into existing files. Then we got an emergency warrant on a sex offender, so I took care of that. Then I ate lunch. Then Johnny moped into my office with an MS Excel dilemma.

Stoopid State! )

Eventually, I did finish my work and get to break out my NaNo story. I have to do 1667 words per day to make the 50,000 goal. Today, I did 2268, so that's 601 over my target--and with only an hour-and-a-half to work!

Tomorrow's another day, and I hope to increase that lead even further.

In big news, it looks like Bobby and I will be getting a golden retriever puppy. One of Bobby's coworkers has two boys he needs to get rid of; they're seven weeks old now, so he's looking for homes for them. He asked Bobby if he wants one. We're discussing it, and we're leaning towards "yes"....

We've even picked out a name for him: Alex. Yes, after Alex Ovechkin. But it's a cute name for a boy-puppy besides (and Bobby flat-out refused my suggestions of "Maglor" or "Elladan." Boo.) I'm trying to remain neutral and logical but gah...a golden retriever puppy. I'm so excited!
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Today was an unusually warm day. Of course, I dressed for a Maryland day in late October and ended up more with a mid-September Maryland day, so I was a bit warm, though Johnny came in the office, blinked, and said, "You look nice today!" So I guess the new skirt works.

Because of the weather, I suppose, we are in the midst of another ladybug invasion at work. As many of you know, the WAU is based out of an old house (so I do, in fact, work out of a bedroom, albeit without a bed), and according to my mom, ladybugs like to nest in old wood. We have plenty of that. So we routinely have ladybug invasions in our office/house.

About two weeks ago, I heard the telltale tickticktick of ladybugs clicking against my fluorescent light. I looked up and, sure enough, there were dozens of them. As kind of an interesting experiment, I decided to catch and collect them in an empty water bottle. When I was finished in my office, they covered the bottom of the bottle. I went over to Johnny's office to show him and ended up catching all of them in his office too. (Amusingly, Johnny is afraid of ladybugs. Not terrified but they do bug him. *winces at admittedly bad pun* He claims that they fly into him and get stuck in his shirt collar and claims that they "smell like lightning bugs," which they do. So I try to alleviate insect-related situations for him, when they arise in our office. It does seem like if we are going to get a wasp nest, it will be outside of his--not my--window. I'd have fun watching it, but he's terrified. Alas.)

I ended up with about one hundred ladybugs in my water bottle. We then went over the Mr. Vernon's old office, and there were about two hundred more over there, so we just stared into his office for a few seconds, agog, then solved the problem by closing the door.

Of course, I released my ladybugs outside. An hour later, twelve new ones had entered my office, but they were on their own. The next day, Johnny was vacuuming them off of his ceiling.

It got cold, and the ladybugs disappeared somewhat. But when it warmed today, they came back with a vengeance. When I walked down to the mailbox before lunch, they were pinging into me and clinging to my clothes. Johnny always claims that they get stuck on him and then end up in his car, and I've always laughed this off, but this did happen to me today so I guess I need to take his ladybug-related concerns a little more seriously.

On a non-insect-related note, the new LJ feature that allows me to monitor who adds me as a friend has turned me on to an interesting phenomenon: drive-by friendings. Apparently, people monitor the recent postings and friend anyone who posts within a certain period. If they are not friended back, they remove the person from their flist. This has happened to me twice now since I set my LJ to alert me to new friends; in the first instance, I posted twice in quick succession, and the same person friended and unfriended me twice. I find this interesting because--and maybe this has to do with how I use LJ compared to how some people use it--I don't see why one would want to friend a total stranger who has zero mutual interests. Nor do I see how someone with 800 friends could possibly read his or her flist every day. I have sixty-two people on my flist--many of them redundant journals, i.e. multiple journals belonging to the same person--and there are times when I simply cannot keep up with everyone to the degree that I would like.

I wonder if someone will friend me when I post this.

Well, the cold has moved from my throat (Saturday) to my nose (Sunday) to my lungs (Monday), which means that I am coughing and tugging my hip again. It is nearly impossible to cough without hurting myself. So all of the progress that I have made by resting and keeping off of my hip is slowly coming undone. That's annoying.

Bobby and I went to the movies to see the original Halloween on the big screen tonight. It was really cool. Tomorrow's my big day, my favorite holiday! Bobby has class but is skipping pickup hockey to come home and spend Halloween with me. We have a movie to watch and will take our usual walk through the historic district, trying to spot ghosts.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Have fun, be safe, and may the spirits be with you.
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...also known as my life!

This is a busy week for us, so I am going to apologize up front for being sluggish with answering comments and emails. Please know that, as always, correspondence from my friends means the world to me. :) I will forget none of you.

I am writing this from the ice rink. Bobby had a hockey game tonight; I have a skating practice tomorrow. On Thursday, we will drive to northern Virginia for a Hootie & the Blowfish concert. On Friday, we both have off from work, so we are visiting the National Aquarium and Inner Harbor in Baltimore with our families, then seeing the Ravens play the Giants in a pre-season game. On Saturday, if we get the fair weather we've been promised, we are finally going to hike the Cat Rock trail in the Catoctin Mountains.

Whew.

So that's my schedule in ten seconds. Sunday, we have already declared as Do Nothing Day. Well..."nothing" might involve sitting around the pool or taking a nap or engaging in some light miniatures painting, but that'll be it.

Today was one of Those Days at work. Those of you who have been on my flist for a while now know that we experience periodic lapses in technology. This morning, when Johnny the Boss got into work, the power was out. It came back on before I got into work, but half of the network in our building does not work and my alternate printer--which is not attached to the network--copped out too. Johnny pulled out the panel furniture to try plugging into a different network plug (I'm sure there is a technical name for it, but I don't know it) and needed someone skinny to squeeze into the tiny gap. That skinny person being...me. I nearly didn't fit. I couldn't take a deep enough breath that my chest moved, nor could I turn my head, but I got that cable in the plug, dammit. Then...it didn't work.

So we have no means of printing and one of my computers doesn't work. Luckily not the important computer on which I write my stories!

While I couldn't do proper work today, I applied to volunteer at the National Aquarium next year. Bobby applied also; our hope is to get our foot in the door now so that when we have our degrees, we know of job openings as soon as they occur and also will have proven ourselves in a volunteer capacity and so might get a little priority. Also, it sounds really cool. We've applied as Certified Divers with Aquarist Assistant as our alternate. They accept twenty-eight divers per year, but I have no idea how many applicants they have. If they weight diving experience heavily, we won't get it. If they weight education, work experience, and ability to work with the public heavily, we stand a decent chance. *firmly crosses fingers*

But assistant aquarist would be cool too, and there's always next year to get diving experience and re-apply. But really: what could possibly be cooler than diving in the shark tank?

Oh, while I'm typing this: Bobby and I are getting ready to start a community in which we will keep our dive journals and also other posts related to ecology, conservation, and our forays into volunteer work and education. We wanted to call our community "Davy Jones' Locker" but someone is already using that username. We are both at a loss in the meanwhile. I was thinking maybe something based on a ship that had sailed around the world or based on a mythological being concerned with protecting the earth or the oceans. (I don't think he'll accept something like "Ulmo's Corner," so for once, I am asking for no Tolkien.) I would appreciate any ideas or leads my clever flist is willing to provide. Anything related to the protection or love of earth or ocean would work.
dawn_felagund: (Default)
The network at work is down. Again. That means no Internet, no email, no warrant database, no CJIS...no work. Only I have to be here anyway, so I've spent the majority of the morning reading National Geographic, working on various piddly projects, and listening to Johnny gripe about the lack of network--but mostly about the lack of Internet--and how bored he is. No one ran into the pole this time--that would be simply too priceless--it's just a normal fart in the crappy State system. Technicians are supposedly in the building across the street now, trying to fix it. We'll see.

If anyone is wondering, this entry is being written in Notepad and pasted into LJ once I get home, which will be my new modus operandi of posting to my journal since the Department of Public Safety has denied us our Internet fun.

In the meantime, I have a pile of warrants that I'd really rather not leave until Monday, but--like I said--no CJIS....

Rambling, Cut for...Well, Rambling )

On a completely unrelated note, I spoke a moment ago with one of the women who works in the house/office next-door to mine, and apparently, the State geeks have come to check the network and proclaimed it a Verizon problem. Meaning that it's actually not the State's stoopid network for once but rather our rickety old phone line, which has a tendency to either 1) get run over by lawnmowers or 2) go kaput for no reason. The verdict: It won't be fixed until Monday, at the earliest. And Brian (one of the warrant officers) was just in to drop off eleven more warrants in addition to the twenty-three I already have waiting to be run. I wonder if the scanner still works. I don't recall that it's on the network but is connected directly to my PC....

*sigh*

So to those whom I owe emails, sorry...they won't be getting done until tonight (maybe, probably not) or tomorrow (possibly) or maybe even Sunday. Grrr. *shakes fist at wrench in the cogs*

On a positive note--because what bureaucrat can't find solace in the weekend?--Bobby and I have a date tonight for a breakfast-dinner at Eggspectation and then we're seeing An Inconvenient Truth. (I think that's what it's called...the global-warming movie made by Al Gore?) So I'll probably be on a soapbox at some point tonight. I've recently felt a resurgence of my old environmental activist, visiting the rainforest and getting involved with diving. Bobby and I--as soon as we have our open-water certification--are going to get involved with the organization of divers that are working to restore the Chesapeake Bay. They rebuild oyster banks and the like. Having taken samples of the bottom of the Bay, I don't know why I'd want to dive down into that, but all for a good cause, right? :^P

Eek. I'm really rambling outside the cut. I think this journaling in Wordpad will be dangerous because there's no UPDATE JOURNAL button to force me to shut up. I can just keep rambling and rambling and adding on over the course of hours. And the State thought that they were solving something by denying me my LJ??
dawn_felagund: (Default)
Before I begin blabbering about the upcoming weekend, there is a meme going around that asks willing meme-sheep to share with their flist at large their desktop image. Well, mine at work is so thrilling, so seat-of-your-pants exciting, that I decided to participate. Now be forewarned. This image is really hott and really just...breathtaking. I know of no other way to describe it. You all will bow to my creativity on this one.

Are you ready?

Are you sure??

Behind a Cut for Image and Also for Extreme Excitement Factor that Some of You Might Not Be Able to Handle...You Have Been Warned )

Onto bigger things, this weekend, I am going to be busy. So if you don't see me around much, I'm not dead or being any ruder than usual. I'm likely 1) out-of-state or 2) in the company of other normal-shaped-eared human beings who, sadly enough, cannot name all of the sons of Feanor in Quenya. (Though Potter and Bobby can make a good start of it.)

Tonight, we're going to my parents' for a cook-out, then maybe to see Cars.

Tomorrow is, of course, the Hershey Bears game, but our friends Cindy and Andy will probably be coming over early and having lunch with us, then hanging out.

Sunday, Bobby has a roller-hockey game in the morning and an ice-hockey game at night. So I will have a couple hours of free time, but that will probably mostly involve me trying to finish up the Silmarillion readings to be posted during my vacation by the ever-helpful and wonderful [livejournal.com profile] digdigil.

Monday, it's back to work, and we start the long slide into the weekend and Puerto Rico!

I'm not excited or anything....
dawn_felagund: (Default)
So today Mike (the guy I was doing the stats for) came to the office because we figured out what was wrong with that one problem we couldn't solve, and he gave me my envelope of money. But while he was here and I was putting the finishing touches on the stats stuff, Johnny the Boss forwarded me an email:


Ms. Felagund's job duties were reviewed and it has been determined that the position is appropriate to the classification of Research Analyst, grade 13.

Great news! Also it has been approved to have retroactive pay for the employee to receive retroactive pay at the grade 13 effective July 1, 2005.

Please provide by processing a new contract for Ms. Felagund reflecting the effective date of July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.
The contract maximum should be $xx,xxx. The hourly rate should be $xx.xx. HRMO will process the Special Payment Authoriaation
( 311t). The employee's new classification is: Research Analyst

Be advised that the employee will see the change in pay and retroactive payment when the change is reflected in the system. The rate change may be processed first, then the retroactive payment. Finance will make the adjustments.

If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact me.


SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

So I not only got the raise but will also be getting retroactive pay, which they had originally told Johnny I would be ineligible for, seeing as I am "only" a contractual employee.

But this relieves so much stress. I now make well above the poverty line, which is an improvement over my old rate. This means that Bobby has more freedom in looking for a job. He can take a pay cut, and it won't hurt us. The retroactive pay eliminates the need to worry about saving for our taxes and saving for our tenth anniversary trip to Niagra/Toronto/Montreal in May. This means that I can stay at a place I like to work, with a boss I love. I won't have to look elsewhere and take an inferior working environment to pay the bills or make a long commute. And I can keep writing and modding SWG right from my desk at work.

I am ecstatic and so relieved at the same time.
dawn_felagund: (Default)
This was President's weekend, and so I didn't have to work yesterday. This weekend was simply wonderful, wonderful because I got everything pressing done that I needed to do and even had time for some idleness, to read and watch Olympic skating simply because I wanted to, not because I had to. I got a good deal of writing done too, in finishing the Carnistir chapters (which turned out longer and not as crappy as I expected) and working a bit more on my NaNoWriMo novel. Jenni is playing some of the NPCs in my original RPG [livejournal.com profile] themidhavens, and chatting the past few days to get her caught up on history and the like has awakened my Midhavens' muses. (My NaNo novel is based in the world that I use for the RPG campaign.)

Weekend Rambling )
dawn_felagund: (Default)
This is my second attempt at this post, after LJ ate the first. Really. I understand the need for maintenance, but can you not eat my long posts? Or even my sorta long ones?? I'm a paying customer, here!

Grrrr....

Anyway, the weekend was a busy one, as evidenced by the lack of posting as well as the time it took me to answer emails and comments. Besides making ice cream pies and watching the Stupor Bowl, I had lots to keep me busy.

It's Gonna Snow! Dawn Got a New Shirt! )
Comcast...ARGH! )
Skating! )
Today.... )

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