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11/07/2006: "brevity has its points"

I've been slacking off again when it comes to posting, haven't I? I have one really good post that I want to write up, but simply haven't made the time to write yet. Don't worry, it will come, and may forever change the way you think about commercial food products. Aren't you excited?

In lieu of more detailed accounts of what's going on, I'll simply shower you once again with brief points of interest.

1) Last week I got a call for a temp labourer position. It was in an egg processing facility. The four days I was there will be the focus of a much longer post at some point, hopefully soon. Highlights? How about being up past my elbow in a vat of liquid egg, scooping out handfuls of shell fragments? Or filling up stainless steel tanks with 2500 pounds of liquid whole egg? Or watching skids of 10000 eggs apiece go being processed, to the tune of close to half a million eggs a day? It was an interesting four days, and I'm glad I'm done.

2) I'm now much cleaner, and doing engineering work again. My commute is to Stratford, which isn't too bad; about 45 minutes one-way. My "office" used to be the place where they tossed boxes of papers that were in the way. There's two of us in there now, and more to come. It's right out in the plant, so we hear and feel the overhead cranes rumbling overhead, and today I was serenaded with about 3 hours of 2-3 grinders going all at the same time. Thinking was near impossible.

3) I have a counselling session scheduled for next week. I have no idea how big a can of worms I actually am, but I guess we'll find out soon enough. This may be the financially-stressed side of me talking (or just my cheap side), but charging $65 for an initial assessment seems like a barrier to me. One would think that mental health initiatives like counselling would be covered somehow... but I guess not.

4) Last Thursday I was absolutely enraged with Jannette. Things lingered for a couple of days, and finally some communication happened. I won't say "our marriage is in trouble", as that implies that she's moving out, selling the house, and I'm living in the trailer park down the road. I will say that we are both stressed and have not been communicating well at all, and somethings have festered way too long. We had both entertained thoughts that shouldn't be entertained by married couples that are experiencing temporary stresses. If you're in the middle of starting to freak out, STOP. We had some good discussions, were very open with each other, and have initiated steps to make sure we continue communicating. Sunday nights are now non-negotiable date nights, and will involve food, alcohol, sleeping children upstairs, and some kind of communications tool to help us. We will get through this.

5) During the above frustration, I determined that we just have too much on our collective plate. In order to free up just a little bit of time, I quit the Green Party EDA executive. As much as I'm enjoying being involved in Green Party stuff, and despite the fact that the time committment is relatively small, I just wasn't feeling like I was living up to my own expectation of what I should be doing for the Party, and disappointing fellow executives. So I'm gone, and won't even consider returning until after I'm done with school.

6) Noticed I said "done with school" and not "finished school"? Yeah. I've come to the conclusion that my going back to school is the root cause of most of our current stressors. Taking 10 months off work is a big financial strain, so we're both working hard (at multiple jobs in some cases) to make extra money. That extra work takes time away from family time. Add to the mix a spell of unemployment and added financial stress, and you've got a recipe for bad mojo. Now, if I decide NOT to pursue school, suddenly the clouds lift and everything's OK: I find full-time permanent employment, Jannette doesn't have to work or do preschool and daycare if she doesn't want to, and we don't have to save every single last penny to help get us through a prolonged spell of self-inflicted unemployment. This is a really tough decision, and one we're not making right away. We'll examine our financial situation come February or so, and determine things from there. It is damned tempting just to forget about school and borrow the king's ransom that would go to tuition and apply it to starting up my own business instead. That's where I want to be in any case, why eviscerate our finances to get a largely unknown degree to do it? To that end, I'm in discussion with a friend of mine that does web development professionally to determine the cost and feasibility of getting a couple online business ideas going.

7) I had a dream last night that my mom died, and I was devastated. I regretted not having talked to her in a few weeks. Luckily I did realize it was a dream, but it was still very powerful. I dreamed that my dad died way back in highschool, and it was equally powerful. I don't like dreams like that, although I appreciate ones that invoke such strong emotions. Of course, I much prefer the ones that make me laugh out loud in my dreams.

8) I haven't received any notice, so I guess I didn't make it off the waiting list to attend tomorrow's LEED workshop. I have to sit down and determine what being LEED certified will do for me, and try to map out where it could take me. Heck, for that matter I should really map out where I want to be, and see how to get there from here.

9) Sorry to those that earn a living via Microsoft, but gads, I hate Microsoft. On my new contract I have to use Outlook. Yesterday I was composing an e-mail, and when I went to hit "send" I got an error, "interface not registered", and it wouldn't send my message. Turns out Outlook had used Word to compose the message, but it wasn't configured properly, so it wouldn't send. Only AFTER this did Outlook default back to its internal mail composition program. Grrrrrr. And what is with the 4 or 5 pop-up windows that you have to turn off every time you use IE for the first time??? Likely it's just my Mac growing on me more and more every day, but I'm really starting to chafe at Microsoft stuff. Not that I'm not grateful for having Word and Excel (and PowerPoint) on my Mac, but I'm glad I don't have to deal with Outlook and XP at home anymore.

That's all for now. That's more than enough, too.

Replies: 2 Comments

on Tuesday, November 7th, happykat said

I'm proud of you.

You have had some tough talks.

Marriage communication problems are often the end of a marriage. How great that you are willing to recommit to each other!

Councelling *can* be free. There are options out there.

But even if it costs lots and lots of money - it is still cheaper than paying 2 mortgages and 2 lawyers.

Not to mention that if it does help - you will feel worlds better.


on Wednesday, November 8th, Mike said

No worries mate. You may be interested in this page on rules to use Outlook (or just email) better:

They've got tons more rules/guidelines here, too, on various things:

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