Marc Elliot Hall's Blog


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Welcome to Marc's Weblog

— also known as my vanity gripe page

From sunny, Las Vegas, Nevada, this is the blog of Marc Elliot Hall, leader and system engineer extraordinaire.

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Thu, 19 Feb 2009

small, backup cat

Lola Update

As referenced in an earlier posting about Lola, the demon-spawned cat from Hell, We had cat problems. If you’ll recall (or just read again to refresh your memory), Lola had behavioral issues. I left the story hanging with Lola being taken to the vet for a health evaluation. Her final disposition was pending the outcome of that examiniation.

(Un)Fortunately for Lola, no health issues were evident. The shelter from which Lola had been adopted was willing to take her back; but she will never be permitted to leave the shelter again to be adopted by a caring family.

Yes, we got another cat.

No, I’m not particularly happy about it.

But Runway is cute.

Runway the adopted cat

posted at: 19:51 |

Tue, 08 Jul 2008

… Also, Clarifications

Continuance for the Cat

In legal terms, a continuance is a judge’s decision to allow the parties in a dispute to have additional time to prepare before a hearing, trial, or other legal proceeding.

I have granted Lola a continuance before her final disposition is decided, so that Jan can take her to the vet first. Jan’s contention is that it’s not normal for a cat to defecate anywhere it can’t bury it’s feces; therefore Lola must be sick.

Recognizing that a sick animal is entitled to compassionate care rather than punitive action, I have conceded to Jan that an exam is appropriate. Jan has conceded in response that if no medical issue is found, the cat must be returned to the shelter, as we are both unwilling to suffer the additional stress of following Lola around to be sure she’s not polluting our home.

On to the clarifications.

  1. Lola is a brown-gray tabby, not simply gray as I stated in my last entry.
  2. As previously noted, Lola is a friendly, social, and occasionally playful cat.
  3. Upon reading my last blog post, Jan was concerned about my characterization of her motives for adopting a cat. After some discussion, she has convinced me that Melody’s wish for a cat, expressed on an almost daily basis, was Melody’s idea, and not Jan’s. Therefore, Jan is absolved of the onus of being the instigator in the adoption.
  4. Yes, I did feed Lola twice a day, even when she was confined to the laundry room.

Not one to be hasty about decisions that cannot be changed, I am prepared to accept that I may be wrong about Lola’s fitness to stay in our home, provided that evidence of illness is found.

I expect there will be further blog entries on this subject.

posted at: 13:46 |

Tue, 01 Jul 2008

Appropriate use of the word “shit”

Lola, the demon-spawned cat from Hell

So, my daughter finally convinced me to let her have a cat (which we adopted from the local Humane Society, an eight-ish gray cat with a white breast and white socks, who would be adorable except for a problem, which I’ll get to in a moment); but it turns out that it was Jan’s idea all along and she’s the one who’s been taking care of it. At least, she was until she took the kids and drove to California early in June to visit the family out there, including both her father (who came home from the hospital after knee replacement surgery the day Jan arrived) and stepmother, her mother, my parents (who are in-country in between foreign affairs and are leaving for 18 months in Kiev, Ukraine, at the end of August), and most of my sisters and their husbands and children. Which is to say that I’ve been the one looking after the cat for most of June.

You see, the cat — normally a well-behaved, friendly, cuddly, short-haired, mostly quiet, good-tempered beast — started pooping around the house the week before Jan left.

At first, Jan was afraid to mention it to me; but I think she figured that if it happened again while she was gone, she wouldn’t be able to play ignorant. So she told me, and I said, “that’s not acceptable” (I really, as a general rule, despise cats, but was willing to compromise since it meant so much to both daughter and wife.), which she understood. Jan advised me that I should keep newspaper on the sofa where Lola (that’s the cat’s name) was prone to shit, so that if Lola shat there again, it wouldn’t be difficult to clean up. I responded that I was unwilling to put portions of the house out of use for the benefit of a cat and that I would damn well sit on my $1200 leather sofa, and refused to cover it.

This proved to be a mistake, and on the first Saturday after Jan had left with the kids I discovered exactly how serious a mistake it was.

Given that I knew Jan and the kids were going to be gone, and that I have a tremendous number of projects in the works at the hospital, in the garage, in the basement, and upstairs, I didn’t actually go into the living room until that Saturday, after I’d mowed the lawn, cleaned up the kitchen, done the laundry, and cleaned the litter box. I thought the litter box was particularly easy — there seemed to be almost nothing in it, compared to the week before when I’d cleaned it! So I went into the living room after all these chores so that I could unwind at the piano, when I discovered them.

In the precise center of each of the three seat cushions of the leather sofa, Lola had left a little surprise for me. Also, she left me one surprise on the carpet at the corner of the leather loveseat. Now the reason for the surprisingly clean litter box was obvious to me.

Oh, so obvious.

I shut Lola in the laundry room, cleaned up the mess, and called my wife. “Look up how to deal with it on the Internet,” she said.

“No”, I said. “This is your cat. We agreed that she was your and Melody’s responsibility. I am doing you a favor by watching her while you go off and play. I will not research her behavioral problems.”

I was livid.

“You must tell me exactly what to do about it. This is your problem, and you need to fix it. Now,” I said.

Jan told me to leave Lola in the laundry room. And to cover the sofa. “That would be pointless,” I said. “If she’s in the laundry room, she can’t shit on the sofa.” Jan agreed that this was true. “I can’t leave her in the laundry room indefinitely, that would be cruel,” I said. “I’ll keep her in there for a day or two, then let her out to see if she’s learned anything.”

As you may guess, there were no incidents for almost a week, before Lola shat on my sofa again, between the time I got up at 6:00 a.m. and fed her, and 6:30 when I came down from my shower.

After rounding up Lola, putting her nose in her shit and proclaiming, “No! No! No!”, I threw Lola back in the laundry room and cleaned up the mess.

Then I texted my wife. “Cat did it again. She goes or I go.”

Again, the advice: cover the sofa with newspaper. Put the cat in the laundry room. Already halfway there…

So I left Lola in the laundry room all day and overnight to stew, and covered the sofa with newspaper. I let her out while I got ready for work the next morning, but shut her back in before I left. When I came home from work that evening, I let her out. She was aloof, but had clearly used the litter box again. I praised her, fed her some dry food, and went through my evening routine. Just before I went to bed at about 10:30, I shut her back in the laundry room. In the morning, I let her out while I grabbed some breakfast, but shut her in the laundry room while I went to work.

Again, I let her out when I came home, again praising her for using the litter box, and gave her food. Then overnight I let her stay wherever she wanted on the main floor of the house. All good. In the morning, no mess. I praised her, and gave her a dab of wet food with her breakfast before I left for work.

When I came home, no shit. Instead, pee. On my sofa.

Strictly speaking, it was pee on my newspaper, but the principle is the same. Back in the laundry room Lola went, post nose-to-pee, “nonononononono!”

I texted my wife again, “Newspaper didn’t work. She peed this time. Find a shelter, or I’ll have her put down.”

When we talked a bit later, Jan accepted that if there were any further incidents, she would support my decision to send Lola back to the Humane Society, and back me up with the kids.

I am such a soft touch. I should have sent Lola back right then.

But, no, I was going to be flying out to California to be with Jan, the kids, and extended family for five days, and had to get ready for that, and had a zillion things going on at work that needed my attention, and didn’t have time to deal with Lola.

Mostly, though, I didn’t want my daughter to cry about Lola. The last time Melody went to California, her pet rat was dead when she returned (that’s a story in itself, and to be reserved for another time). She’d never leave the house again if her cat was gone after this trip…

So, I didn’t take Lola back to the Humane Society. Instead, I re-covered the sofa, left Lola in the laundry room overnight, and gave her another chance. There were no further incidents before I flew out of Saint Louis to Sacramento via Los Angeles. The evening before I left, I called a neighbor, whom Jan had convinced to watch Lola while I was gone, and disclosed the situation. She has three cats (who apparently have never shat on her furniture), so she was comfortable with care and feeding. I told her to call me or Jan if there were any similar events while we were both gone, but never heard from her.

As of this moment, I still haven’t spoken with our neighbor, although the day after I returned home I did leave her a voice message thanking her for her service.

However, it has become clear to me that Lola peed on the sofa in my absence, as this morning when I did my now habitual visual inspection of the living room, I noted that some of the newspaper had turned yellow overnight, as though cat urea had chemically altered the cellulose fibers over a period of several days, finally having visible results. Since I had let Lola wander the house freely for the previous 48 hours, It was not really useful to do the nose-to-pee negative reinforcement thing. Instead, I changed the newspaper and went to work. Lola had free rein in the house.

That was another mistake.

While I was at work today, Lola shat on the sofa again. This time, the newspaper caught the mess, which made it much easier to clean up. Before I did so, I grabbed Lola, put her nose in her shit, exclaimed “No! No! No! No! No!”, and shut her back in the laundry room.

Which is where she is now, meowing plaintively (Lola is very good at plaintive).

I called Jan (she and the kids are at Mount Rushmore today). She didn’t answer, so I left her a voicemail… She’s supposed to be back tomorrow night, very late. She’s going to have to deal with Lola’s return to the Humane Society on Thursday. In the meantime, Lola stays in the laundry room.

Sucks to be me. I should never have agreed to adopt an animal that can’t be kept in a cage all the time, like such previous pets as snakes and rats. Damn me for a fool.

posted at: 22:53 |

Tue, 16 Jan 2007

150,000 Ameren UE Customers Affected

Power Out for More Than 41 Hours

The whole country, it seems, has seen a massive cold front this last week. Here in St. Peters, freezing rain began falling on Friday afternoon and didn’t let up until Monday morning.

As a result of the harsh weather, ice accumulations on power lines and nearby trees caused widespread power outages throughout the region.

My neighborhood was significantly affected, as well: at about 2:00 a.m. Saturday, a series of short outages destroyed my movie-watching experience (Star Trek: the Motion Picture, if you must know). These brief-but-annoying blackouts were followed by a total failure of the grid throughout my subdivision at about 2:15 a.m. and continuing until approximately 7:00 p.m. Sunday.

We were not alone, of course. As of today, many thousands still have not had power restored, and more than forty Midwesterners have died.

This is Ameren UE’s third major outage in the last twelve months.

During our outage, the house’s interior temperature dropped as low as 57 degrees Fahrenheit. That was cold, but not unbearable. And, fortunately, our hot water heater continued to function despite the lack of electricity, due to a bi-metalic thermostat and natural gas pilot light.

Still, it was an uncomfortable experience, one I don’t wish to repeat.

posted at: 19:50 |

Tue, 14 Nov 2006

over-thinking energy efficiency

Break room, water cooler, drinking fountain, or restroom?

The other day as I was carrying my NPR All Things Considered mug down the aisle in search of water for my desk plant, I encountered an conundrum: what is the most energy-efficient way of obtaining the water?

This came up because as I was approaching the break room where I normally acquire aqueous refreshment, I noted that the light was out.

“What does that have to do with water?” you ask… with good reason.

A little background is required by way of explanation: here at MasterCard Worldwide, we have motion-sensing lightswitches in all of our break rooms, meeting rooms, and restrooms. This is so that when a room is unoccupied, the light won’t stay on indefinitely, wasting electricity. So far, so good. These switches also have a manual override, that allows someone to turn them off immediately upon exiting a room, rather than waiting for the pre-determined time to elapse before the lights shut off. Even better.

Anyway, the light in the break room was out. That’s when my conundrum confronted me — Should I enter the break room, triggering the light, running the water in the sink, and filling my mug? That would mean I’m using electricity that wouldn’t otherwise be used. Or, should I continue past the break room, and obtain the water from the electrically cooled drinking fountain? Finally, should I also pass the drinking fountain and enter the restroom, where the infrared-sensing faucet would dispense temperature-controlled, gas-heated water into the mug? (Of course I completely discarded the fourth option of entering the break room, triggering the lights, and filling the mug from the electrically-cooled and -heated water cooler.)

I’ll not keep you in suspense — I chose the drinking fountain, for three reasons:

First, the lights were already on in that area, and no action by me could turn them off or on. Second, Although the water was electrically chilled, the refrigeration would be activated regardless of whether I turned the fountain knob to dispense cool, refreshing H2O. Finally, the restroom sinks’ water temperature is not user-controlled, so the water automatically heats whenever it runs.

What would you have done?

posted at: 23:17 |

Mon, 13 Nov 2006

Halloween Surprise

Marc publishes a new short story

In an effort to appease my daughter (who asked every one in the family to write a short story), my wife (who encourages these sorts of endeavours), and my creative urges, I have written a new short story and published it on HallmarcDotNet.

The Halloween Surprise is a fictional (which my wife is at pains to emphasize, since the character based on her is described as “grumpy”winking account of a family awakening on Halloween morning. Your comments are welcome, of course. Send them to my first name at HallmarcDotNet.

posted at: 19:45 |

Wed, 01 Nov 2006

Halloween Week

MasterCard’s Positive Financial Picture

I’m now back at my regular work location; it took a week to complete all the system testing in Kansas City. Unfortunately, I’ll be working again on Saturday, and then I’m on-call Monday through Sunday. That usually means at least four hours one night during the week and another seveal hours over the weekend on troubleshooting. Unpleasant.

You may have heard that MasterCard is a public company, now. We announced our first quarterly result as a public company this week; double-digit profit growth for the tenth straight quarter. The stock price is up 15% on the news. We’ve now doubled our company’s worth in the market since our IPO. It reminds me a little too much of the stock bubble at the end of 1999…

Still, I like knowing I’m part of that success. On the other hand, I haven’t been seeing my family nearly enough.

Halloween was busy. Bryan is 13 now; so this was his last trick-or-treat Halloween. He went out as Robin Hood and got loads of compliments on his costume. Melody is nine, and as sweet as ever. She always goes ethnic: last year she wore traditional Mexican garb, and this year she was Chinese. And Thomas… Thomas was adorable as a seven-year-old Greek philosopher.

We live across the street from the local Alderman, who always pulls some strings for special events. As a result, we had a police cruiser and a ladder truck from the fire department in front of the house, distributing junior badges and glowsticks to all the kids. The parade of costumed kids was much larger than it had been in Shingle Springs - suburbia is different than country living. The cutest costumes were a trio of tween girls who were rock, paper, and scissors.

Jan is doing well, although she’s a little frazzled. She’s been taking prerequisite courses at the local community college in preparation to enter their RN program. She finds them easy, but is annoyed at having to take them at all, given her B.S. in biology.

The program doesn’t appear to be very well administered. After all prerequisites have been taken, students are then required to pass a test on dosages, including things like converting drams to CCs, etc. But to take this exam, you have to register for it. It’s only offered to a few students at a time. Only eighty students are admitted to the program each year. So, students want to register for the exam early and choose an early test date, so they can be one of the first eighty to pass. However, the program only permits registration on specific dates, beginning on a Monday. Complicated, eh? To make matters worse, you have to register in person. As a result, students began lining up to register on the Sunday morning prior to the opening of registration.

With tents.

The weather forecast was for a low in the 20s with snow flurries possible. So, around eight p.m., the campus director of security intervened and told all the students to go home. He handed out numbered tickets to everyone in line had a security officer stand there and give tickets to anyone who showed up afterward. More than three hundred tickets were issued. Jan was 37.

On Monday morning, when told where they stood in the rankings, there was much anger on the part of students who had driven by, seen no line, and gone home.

Can you believe that kind of poor planning exists in a professionally-run institution?

As part of my duties in Kansas City, I was installing some software in our Trust Center. The Trust Center is, essentially, a bank vault where MasterCard stores encryption keys that permit our data to be securely transfered across connections that might be compromised.

To get into the Trust Center, the system is complicated. It’s supposed to work like this: After entering the data center (which is surrounded by a chain link fence topped with barbed wire) by using an electronic key, negotiating a boulder barrier, using an electronic key and a PIN to enter the windowless building, one checks in with the security office and is issued a second electronic badge and PIN. Then, one is escorted to the hallway leading to the Trust Center. There, the visitor is badged in again. At the entrance to the Trust Center, The visitor badges in with the new key and PIN. That brings the visitor inside the outer wall of the vault. Inside the Trust Center, the visitor’s fingerprint is scanned, the visitor is issued another PIN for the scanner, and the visitor signs in. After that, the visitor enters the “beer can”. It’s really more like a human-sized test tube. The two glass walls operate like an airlock (only one can be open at a time), and the floor is a scale. Inside the beer can is another fingerprint scanner. This one is keyed to the visitor’s new badge, and it has a separate database from the first. After the door to the beer can closes, the visitor uses the new badge to tell the scanner who one claims to be, and then it scans the fingerprint to verify. If the credentials are accepted, the inner door opens and the visitor requests access to the inner vault. Two “trusted” staff members must be present at all times, and even they are not permitted access individually. These two come out of the Trust Center through another airlock. This one really *is* an airlock… the doors are pressure sealed. All three individuals then seal themselves in the airlock and then open the inner door. The visitor now enters the Trust Center proper. There are cameras throughout this procedure, of course, and in the Trust Center itself several more. The two “trusted” staffers spend much of their time while a visitor is present looking over the visitor’s shoulder to be sure nothing illicit is taking place. Very disconcerting for a privacy nutcase like me.

Imagine undergoing this procedure twelve times over four days. And doing it in reverse to get out. And being trapped in the “beer can” with an electronic voice repeating, “Access denied. Please repeat the procedure,” over and over. When trying to get *out*.

That’s what my week was like.

posted at: 16:31 |

Fri, 23 Jun 2006

Everybody’s a Journalist…

Slashdot loves me!

If only there weren’t a Karma Cap…

Today, for the first time, I’ve had a story submission accepted by Slashdot! (One of four showing, all since last autumn…winking

The story:

“Dueling Network Neutrality Commentary on NPR

“cube farmer writes ” National Public Radio Wednesday featured a commentary by telecom representative Scott Cleland in opposition to Network Neutrality legislation, and Thursday Craig Newmark, the Craig behind craigslist, countered that Network Neutrality is essential for consumers. Who made the stronger case?””

Look for it on the front page soon…

posted at: 18:46 |

Sun, 18 Jun 2006


How I learned to love helmets

I’m mostly healed up from my cycling accident; no broken bones, although I certainly cracked my head a good one, my sacrum got a good whacking, and my right knee has a perfectly-formed arc of puncture wounds from the chainring.

Normally, I wear a helmet whle riding. However, on the Friday evening in question, the family had gone ahead without me. I donned my gloves, sweatband, and helmet; mounted up; and followed after. When I caught up, I noticed that Thomas wasn’t wearing *his* helmet. When we stopped, I pointed this out to Jan, and suggested we do a helmet swap so that everyone would have a helmet most closely fitting his or her head.

Reasoning that having three wheels would make me more stable, and that, being closest to the ground, I would suffer the least injury in a crash, I was the designated bare-headed rider. This, unfortunately, proved to be a bad choice.

I was about two hundred yards from the house, ahead of everyone else, and moving about 25 mph when I stupidly applied pressure to only one of my front brakes. The right front brake locked; the cycle swivled around the axle in an amazing demonstration of precession and inertia, flipped, and dumped me unceremoniously onto the pavement.

I don’t think I was unconscious for more than a second or two, although I have no recollection of actually flipping onto my back. When I discovered myself lying on the concrete, I first checked that all of my limbs were still attached and that I could feel my fingers and toes. I lay there a moment, wondering how far back Jan and the kids were (they don’t generally get up to 25 mph…winking, whether I could stand up without doing myself further injury, and whether I *wanted* to stand up. A minute or two passed as I lay there, also wondering whether any of the neighbors had seen the incident (apparently not, for which I am on the one hand grateful and on the other concerned — what if I had been riding solo and been more seriously injured?), and whether I would be run over if I simply stayed where I was until help arrived.

Deciding, finally, that I could move, I struggled to my feet a moment or two before Jan caught up with me. Stooped there as she rode up, I straightened out my cycle and contemplated riding the rest of the way home.

Jan, of course, asked whether I was okay, and if I needed assistance. I briefly explained what had happened, declared my intention of riding home, and noticed for the first time the abrasions and punctures on my knee where the chainring had scraped and then cut me as we rotated about. “Great,” I said, “now I’m going to go into shock.”

Fortunately, my prediction failed to come true as Jan held the cycle steady for me, I mounted up, and rode home. Between Bryan providing me with ice and Jan bandaging my knee, I received adequate first aid.

Naturally, I remained convalescent all day Saturday; however, I did attend church with the family on Sunday and returned to work Monday.

Overall, I was fortunate not to have suffered more grievous harm; but I am also much more keenly aware of the benefits of a helmet.

posted at: 20:41 |

Wed, 24 May 2006

What’s up with kids today?

“Hot-or-Not” list online: ten day suspension

Five St. Louis-area high school students who posted a “hot-or-not“-style list on Facebook were punished by school officials with a ten-day suspension as a result of their insensitivity toward the girls in the junior class. Since Tinker v. Des Moines, schools have had only a limited authority to rein in students’ off-campus speech - only speech that “materially disrupts” school operations may be regulated. Are hurt feelings enough to meet this standard?

What kind of ludicrous over-reaching god complex do these school administrators have that they think this sort of behavior is within their jurisdiction?

posted at: 11:09 |

Fri, 21 Oct 2005

What I Did on My Vacation

The report of my activities in Florida

The family and I have returned from our trip to Florida. Apparently, we timed it about right; Hurricane Wilma blew through a week later.

Fortunately for us, we were able to experience the wonders of Silver Springs; Kennedy Space Center; and Walt Disney’s Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Disney-MGM Studios parks while the weather, hot and muggy though it was, cooperated.

On a slightly less commercial side trip, we also visited Belleair Beach in Clearwater, on the Gulf Coast. The kids enjoyed playing on the white sand beach, building sand castles and generally getting dirty and sunburned.

posted at: 22:30 |

Tue, 13 Sep 2005


Something I wrote in an email on February 2, 2005, while I was working in San Francisco:

I don’t think I mentioned it… On Monday night as I was walking down Hyde Street on my way to pay for my February parking, I noticed a woman on her hands and knees peering into the gutter alongside a parked car. She appeared to be looking for something she had dropped.

Like the good Boy Scout I am, I not only had my multi-tool with flashlight on my belt, but I asked her if she needed some light to help her find what she’d lost.

She mumbled something affirmative-sounding; so as I fumbled to pull the light out of its pouch, she continued looking.

About then, a second woman walked up - seemingly acquainted with the first woman. She immediately marveled that I had a flashlight (and was willing to help).

Then she asked me if I was “just hanging out or what?” Innocuous enough words… But her look and inflection said something completely different.

This is why I avoid interacting with my neighbors winking

“No,” I said, “I’m running an errand.”

“Oh. Okay” she said, as though I’d just told her her pet Gerbil had been hit by a car.

In the end, we never did find whatever item had dropped. I dread to think of what it may have really been…

posted at: 22:30 |

Mon, 12 Sep 2005


Something I wrote in an email on December 20, 2004, while I was working in San Francisco:

Up here on the 14th floor, it can be hard to make out details at street level.

But sometimes I look out the window on one side of my cube and watch the traffic and pedestrians below on Fremont. Lunch hour is the most fun, because the sun is closest to being overhead and fully illuminates the street.

I just lean forward over my desk a little, and I can see the plaza between First and Fremont, where Subway, Baja Fresh, and McDonald’s patrons sit and eat. Shadows stretch from the southwest, leaving the plaza about one third shaded. The pigeons are thick on the concrete, eating the sandwich crumbs from beneath the tables; depending on the weather, anywhere from three to a dozen tables are occupied. Today, people are crowded on the planter box edges in the sun, six-inch subs, Big Macs, and burritos at the ready.

The pigeons meander over the plaza, circling, anticipating the departure of the next diner; they are fat from long dependence on scavenging in the plaza.

The same homeless man, wearing dirty jeans with a rip in the right knee, is in the plaza every day. His face is wrinkled like a chain smoker’s. And it’s dirty, like a four year old after a hard afternoon playing in the sandbox. His uncombed hair, once black, now sprinkled with gray, hangs in his eyes. Today he sits with his back against the pillared entrance to MacDonald’s. He is not thin; rather, he has become fat like the pigeons, relying on the detritus of the city for his sustenance. Remarkably, no one ever seems to stop to leave him any money. Is this because he seems so well fed? Or does his unkempt appearance drive people away?

posted at: 22:30 |

Sun, 11 Sep 2005


Something I wrote in an email on February 1, 2005, while I was working in San Francisco:


What a cruddy evening it was… I was dinking around on my other PC, still working on getting functional sound, and broke all kinds of other stuff. So I fixed that,


mostly, and went to bed. I’d barely fallen to sleep, when


the power went out.

If I was asleep, then how did I know the power went out? you



Let’s just say that living in a studio apartment with an


uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can


be a frustrating experience. When the UPS detects


that the power is out, it sounds an


alarm. If the power is on and



off, or off for a long time, the alarm can


become quite bothersome. In my particular case, since the UPS sits across the


room from my bed, it was impossible to get


away from the noise!

Needless to say, I slept


poorly… right up until my other alarm went off…

doot which doot I doot didn’t doot quite doot sleep doot right doot through doot.

Nevertheless, my cellphone rang blip just as I was once again blip falling into blip a deeper slumber blip. I had to answer blip it, of course blip, as I’m anally retentive blip that way… It was my dad, blip complaining about the blip PC I sent back to him yesterday blip with Jan blip. Apparently, it’s blip still not working blip properly.

So if I seem a little groggy today, that’s why sad

It’s just as well, though, as the phone ringing awakened me enough for me to realize that it was time to go to work…

posted at: 22:30 |

Fri, 02 Sep 2005

Back to School

Now that the kids are in school for the 2005-2006 school year, we’ve had a much more complicated schedule.

Last night, DuBray Middle School - Bryan’s school - had its back-to-school night. Jan and I went and met most of Bryan’s teachers, and had an extended chat with his pre-algebra teacher.

Check, Please!

Wells Fargo Mortgage seems to be more honest than even Abraham Lincoln. Yesterday, we received a check for $0.02 - that’s right, two cents - from them, to reconcile our escrow fund. I suppose after the major fiasco that was our closing day, I should be pleased that they have decided to pay so much attention to little details…

posted at: 22:30 |

Marc Elliot Hall St. Peters, Missouri 

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Page modified: 09 December 2017

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