Tag Archives: UWO

End of a Relaxing Week

For most of this week, I attended a training program for work down in Madison.  I was able to catch a ride with an old Milwaukee colleague who lives in Sun Prairie but now works @ UW Colleges.  I got to meet Michelle for lunch two days, as she had to be on campus for various things.

It was really awesome to be closer to home!  I learned a number of useful things for my job during the course of the week, but one thing I found out for sure is that I need to be searching in earnest for work closer to where I live.  I watched Lorch commute like a madman for so many years, I figured there must be a way to handle it for at least a little while.  Turns out I am nowhere near as strong as far as this goes.  I have been at this now for about 9 months, and I’ve had it.

I was talking with Michelle the other day about how part of me wishes I could go back to some point where I knew I was happy with work, and with the prospects that were ahead of me.  She made a really good point: that if you figure those things out again now, and start working toward what you want today, then the future you will thank your present self for beginning to make yourself happy.

Have a good weekend…

Make the Time, Damn the Details

The beginning of a new school year is always a bit overwhelming in my line of work– lots of administrative headaches and last-minute requests from students who could have prepared better.  But, that’s what we’re here for.  It doesn’t change the fact that the days can be draining, and when you compound that with my 2.5 hours of daily commuting, I’m sort of wiped out by the time I get home.

Another problem I’ve always struggled with is a desire to have an entire project mapped out immediately, and/or be able to deliver a “finished product” in a relatively short period of time.  I tend to dwell on all the things that will yield something polished and worthwhile right away, rather than making some small steps on the road of progress whenever they might come.  It is often a crippling problem that stymies action altogether, which only leads to further obsession about the lack of progress.

Lifehacker had a nice post today that might make you feel better if you’re at all like me in this regard.  Particularly when it seems like I’m awash in other concerns, I need to try harder to just do anything I can with all of my various side projects.  I need to let some of the details slide and get ANYTHING accomplished.

(Fast) Slow Week

Quite a bit of action on the work front this time of year, and not nearly as much at home.  I have been ruminating on a few topics I’m anxious to share with you soon, up to and including a return of the podcast for the 2009-10 season.

One thing I did at home this week was to install the DD-WRT firmware on my router.  It’s got a much more robust feature set than the stock firmware, and I haven’t dug into everything that it can do yet.  Best thing I’ve found so far, though: support for zoneedit.com.  To you, dear reader, that will mean less down time on those occasions when my IP changes and I’m not at home…

Other than that, take a look at the Milwaukee gallery for some shots I took at a baseball game with the Schrubbe boys a couple weeks ago.  We had really good seats!

On the Road Again

I have meticulously logged every tank of gas and mile that I’ve driven on my car since I started working in Oshkosh again.  160 miles a day is a lot, and I wanted to be able to anticipate fuel consumption, cost, etc., at the beginning of the month when I get my hard-earned monies.


DATE GALLONS ODO READING MPG PRICE PER GAL TOTAL $$ PER MILE LOCATION
06/01/09 10.85900 369.20000 33.99945 2.69900 29.31 0.0794 BP, WI & OH
06/03/09 11.33700 369.50000 32.59240 2.74900 31.17 0.0843 BP, 20th & SP
06/05/09 9.50000 341.10000 35.90526 2.77900 26.40 0.0774 FLEET FARM
06/09/09 11.84700 381.30000 32.18536 2.78900 33.04 0.0867 RENEW
06/11/09 9.56000 348.80000 36.48536 2.77900 26.57 0.0762 BOB’S
06/15/09 11.59800 398.10000 34.32488 2.73900 31.77 0.0798 BP, 20th & SP
06/17/09 11.88500 420.30000 35.36390 2.79900 33.27 0.0791 MOBIL, CAP & DWNR
06/21/09 10.62200 348.10000 32.77161 2.71900 28.88 0.0830 RIVERSIDE BP, CAPTL
06/24/09 12.79500 433.40000 33.87261 2.67900 34.28 0.0791 RENEW
06/26/09 11.39600 371.00000 32.55528 2.64900 30.19 0.0814 RENEW
06/29/09 9.48100 303.60000 32.02194 2.60900 24.74 0.0815 RENEW
TOTALS 120.88000 4084.40000 33.78888 2.72666 329.60 0.0807

This is sort of what those charts look like.  I’m breaking it down by month, and then I’ll probably average those figures out quarterly, or over the course of the year, what have you.

I had a really light July with all the traveling we did and days off that I took.  Still, up to this point, I’ve put 10,197 miles on the vehicle since 6/1.  I was thinking it over this afternoon, and I’m not going to crack 100,000 miles on the car before January 1.  But it’ll be close.

I feel OK about the mileage as long as I’m taking care of the car (and I am).  I was actually imagining how interesting it would be to still be driving this car when it flips 200, 250, or 300.  I figure cars these days will last a while, especially if they’re not that old as you pile the miles on.  In my limited observation, the cars that have historically had trouble are the ones that actually used less, because maintenance slips your mind, or they sit around in the elements to rust out and fluids to dry up, that sort of thing.

If I end up doing this commuting for a long while, though, I will be glad to pick up one of these badboys when they come down in price.

Friday Near 2:00 And All Is Well

Sorry if you were thinking I might’ve had more to say about my new job this week– didn’t have complete access to my workstation for part of it, and was busy with reviewing procedures, etc., for the rest.

Overall, Oshkosh is just about the way I left it.  There’s a new building here, or a remodeled office there, but things seem to be largely where they were when I last lived and worked here.  I said to someone early in the week, “it’s almost like I dreamed the last two years, and when I woke up, Bobby was in the shower.

It’s too early to say much about what my new job entails, or “how it’s going,” so to speak, because I haven’t been able to dig in that much yet.  However, I can tell that it’s going to be a lot different than my job has been for the last five years or so.  There are a lot of things I’ll need to learn, more stuff than I can think of that I will need to re-learn, and who knows what else that I can’t predict.  I think it’s going to be exciting and interesting, though.

The commute is OK.  Even after just a few days, I’ve calmed down a bit about the time “wasted” in the car.  I have a bunch of podcasts to listen to, I can try to catch up with some folks on the phone, and as long as I don’t freak out too much about what time I’m getting home, there is still enough of each evening to be productive.

At this point, I can definitely say that the pace in Oshkosh is more my style than Milwaukee ever was– around here, there is enough staff to deal with everything on a day-to-day basis, people are pretty much up to speed on what everyone else is doing, and the students feel calmer as well.  I guess it mostly comes down to time: in Oshkosh, there’s enough of it to get things done, and also explain to one another what’s going on.  In Milwaukee, it always felt like I was just keeping my head above water, and there were a lot of guessing games about who was doing what and when and for what reason.

Anyway, I need to jet for my late errand-running lunch and then get primed up for a camp weekend in the Kettle Moraine.  Here’s hoping the weather holds out.

Long Shots

I looked at my sad little list of tweets on the front page today and it made me feel kind of bad.  Really just haven’t had a lot of blogocity flowing of late.

Anyway, later on this evening I will be taking in a second screening of Star Trek with some of the geek men from MKE.  We caught Watchmen as a group, too.  I’m going to turn in a little earlier than I usually would on a Friday, because I have to head over to the Wordell house in the Falls tomorrow to work on a computer; want to get said work done in the AM hours, so I’ll need some good sleep…

Went out and took some pictures last night after the sun went down.  Been meaning to do some night photography with my new camera, but this was my first chance.  Picked up a couple tips from Wordy on how to make some of them look better (I only uploaded a few of the decent ones).  Tip #1: remember that when you’re doing a 5-15 second exposure of a building and you’re zoomed in @ 300mm, you’re asking for blurring.  It’s just gonna happen.  Good point there.

What’s with the Brewers lately, eh?  They started slow, but things are looking up after a 5-1 homestand that came on the heels of a 3-1 road trip.  Brewers have won 6 series in a row, and they go to St. Louis this weekend playing for first place in the Central.  Yeah, it’s still early, but I see signs that the team is more relaxed and grown up than people were counting on.  I hope they don’t lose it, and they remember what is working during this good stretch.  Oh, and having Trevor Hoffman to handle the 9th doesn’t hurt, either.

I’ve got 2 weeks to go @ UWM before heading back to Osh Vegas for work once again!  How bout them apples??

What’s new with you?

Slow Week

So it’s been a wacky few days.  My laptop’s death kind of threw me for a loop and I was shopping around for a good deal on a new one over the last weekend.  Work has been nuts.  Got some excitement on all fronts, though.

I did find an OK replacement laptop at a decent price with my discount from work.  I’ve liked the ThinkPads that I had, and I stuck with Lenovo when buying a new one.  I’m sure I’ll be happy enough with it.  One thing I DEFINITELY wanted to do this time is get a brand new machine, instead of muddling around with a used one.  I STILL have a bad taste in my mouth from a really poor ebay experience like 4 years ago…

Lorch also came into town last weekend and crashed at Casa del Bocko for a couple nights.  He had to fly out of Mitchell at the crack of dawn on Saturday because he was shooting for a documentary on the Honor Flight.  It’s a really cool program, and all three of us (me, Lorch, Michelle) all agreed we wished we could’ve gotten our grandfathers signed up when they were around.  So hey– if you know or are related to a WWII or Korean War vet, check it out.  Seriously.

Anyway, it was nice to hang out with Lorchie and watch the Brewers together.  We had some beers at The Harp, and we grabbed a pizza at BBC.  We talked about getting ready for attending Wordy’s wedding this summer.  I am looking forward to the vacation, for sure.

So, later in the week here, I got a call back from my old boss up in Oshkosh.  She had a good reason to call, as I had been in there on 4/23 for an interview.  I got offered a job as the Assistant Director for Operations back at the old UWO FAO.  It’s a really good professional opportunity, so I took it.  I didn’t say much about it to many people as I decided to apply and go through this process, for a variety of reasons:

  1. It was the least qualified I felt going in to an interview in quite a while,
  2. I knew I’d have to field a lot of questions about my plans for the future, as I just moved down to Milwaukee about two years ago, and I didn’t feel like addressing those until a new job was a sure thing,
  3. I thought I might jinx it.

So, it turned out well.  Here are the answers to some of those commonly asked questions that immediately come to everyone’s mind:

  1. Yes, Michelle and I are doing just fine.  I think we’re really good, in fact.
  2. Having stated #1, no I’m not in a big hurry to move back to Oshkosh.
  3. Having stated #2, yes that means I’ll be commuting for a while.
  4. Having stated #3, yes I’m OK with that.
  5. Having stated #4, yes I’ve thought about what it will cost.
  6. See #4.
  7. This doesn’t mean that I’m “giving up” on any creative aspirations that I’ve had related to my English degree.  It just means that I’ve recognized that I have a strong base of knowledge and experience in this area, and I might as well use it to my advantage.  It’s a stable, well-paying vocation for the time being.  I can work on other things in my free time.
  8. I’ll be starting there June 1.

Anyway, I appreciate your interest, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.  I’m going to do the books for the month and finish watching this ball game…

A Slowdown

I’ve noticed that when things are particularly slow at work (they have been the last couple days), it actually makes blogging more difficult.  I think my brain might’ve gone on spring break.

Speaking of the break, things have sure changed here in the ol’ UW System– Osh Vegas will be rokkin class in full effect on 3/17, but here in Pantherville we will be quasi-shut down for a software upgrade during the break.  I wonder if there is anyone left IN Oshkosh to tell the students the legends of the riots and the reason it was “students verboten” on St. Patty’s for such a long time.  I know Jim Droste is still there, but probably would not care to fan those flames  😛

Other than that, Michelle and I and a couple other friends are going to give skiing one last go on Sunday, before the season ends for good.  It’s not looking that great, even up in Mt. Morris where we’re planning to go.  It’s gonna be cheap, though, so we’re looking forward to it.  I had my bike out once and rode to work at the end of last week, though, so I’m thinking spring is right around the corner.