My Favorite Things

I bought myself an easter lily yesterday. They are, unquestionably, my favorite flower. I like lillies in general, but the white, easter lily just smells so nice and looks so pretty that I love it. Now my house has that nice smell as well. And since I spent today doing some cleaning, my house is rather neat as well. Altogether, a pleasant place to be.

Approaching 40…

We're just over six months until my fortieth birthday. I thought I was going to be a bit depressed about it, but I don't think I will be. However, I do think that I'm going to be making some changes in my life. It probably happened a couple of years ago, but I'm now fairly sure that I'm in the second half of my life. The first half was good, but I want the second half to be much better.

I guess I'm planning to live to 80. That could be a bit ambitious, since my Dad only lived to 62, but I'm in decent health, so I'm going for it. As I go on, I'll try to reach my grandpa who lived to 96. But I guess, for planning purposes, I'm shooting for 80. That means, that after my fortieth birthday, I'm in the second half of life.

How will I change? First off, I want to become more of a producer, instead of a consumer. I read a lot of stuff and listen to music, but now I want to be the creator. Perhaps, I'll truly suck at it. But it doesn't matter. It's time for me to put stuff out there and see what I can do. I'd like to try writing, drawing, music and I don't know what else. I also think that it's time for me to return to school again. The last time I was seriously in school, was 20 years ago. It's time for me to learn again, perhaps something entirely new. Something that just seems interesting. Not something that helps my career in any way. I'm doing ok by being a system administrator and I should be able to get a job doing that for a good long time.

My concerns with money should also become less overwhelming. The likelihood of me becoming a bag lady is probably pretty small, despite my overblown fears. All I really need to do is eliminate unnecessary spending so that I can afford to pay for some classes and to finish the work on my house. The house work will probably slow even more, but that's ok. There's really no rush to it. My issue with the house is that I pretty much know what I'm doing now. So, if I'm not learning anything new, it's not that interesting to me. It's just work. I'll do it, just slowly because there are other things that I want to try now.

Anyway, the gist of this post is that I'm looking forward to turning 40! Life is pretty good and I'm thinking that it's only going to get better!

The Barber of Seville

I saw "The Barber of Seville" last night. It has, I think, one of the most recognizable openings of any opera that I've heard. It's great to just watch all the people in front of me swaying along to the music. And I know, for sure, that I could not have been the only person picturing the Bugs Bunny cartoon as the music played. The guy playing Figaro, Nathan Gunn, was very good and, looking at the photo in the book, incredibly good looking. My seat is much too far away to be able to tell myself.

This was my last opera of the season, which is a little sad. But, I did finally decide to get tickets again next year. However, for a change, I did give up my lifetime seat (First Balcony, Row M, seat 8 ) to get a seat on the main floor. The price was the same, so I thought I'd give the main floor a try to see if perhaps, I'll be close enough to see the performers a little better.

What’s the Point?

I've been thinking a lot these days about money. And it's just depressing, though it shouldn't be. Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, I'm quite well off. I have a good job with good benefits and I own my house. Well, the bank owns it, but they're letting me live there as long as I give them 21% of my take home pay for the next 18 years. Aside from my mortgage, I have no other debt, so that's good. I guess what is depressing me is that I don't live that extravagantly, but that I feel like I'm always stretched for cash. For most of my working life, I've been saving as much as I can for retirement. It just doesn't look like there's ever going to be enough there for me to retire.

There's a (very) small part of me that would like to be able to just get on a plane and go away for the weekend. But, me being me, I'm always calculating about how much it would cost and then decide that it would be better to just stay home. A bigger part of me would like to just hire someone to finish fixing up my house, but there's no way I could do it. And my family continuing to tell me that I'm strange for trying to do it myself, is starting to bother me. I get that many people wouldn't want to live without a shower for a year. But it's not like I didn't take a shower in a year. I just went to other people's houses or mainly, to the gym. Yes, it was a hassle, but I'd like to think it was worth it. The result was that the bathroom got completely remodeled, I learned a lot and I didn't have to take out a loan to pay for it.

Being in debt really bothers me. I don't know why this is. Millions of people all over the world are in debt and they seem to be getting along just fine. If I didn't mind, I could get a new home loan to pay for repairs and another to buy a new car. It would be easy, but my stomach just churns at the thought of getting these other loans. I guess my biggest issue is that I shouldn't have bought this house. I do like my house. And I thought that I had calculated how much I was paying on my condo with the assessment and taxes and figured that I wouldn't be paying much more when I bought the house. But I completely missed how much repairs would cost. So, lesson learned there.

What's the point of this post? I have no idea. I thought that I hadn't been updating the blog as much as I should have been so I wanted to get something down. Unfortunately, I'm feeling a bit depressed and that seems to be reflected in this post. Here's to hoping my next post is less of a downer.

Mac Problems

I have had my MacBook Pro for just over a year now and have been very happy with it. All of that changed lately, after I tried to update the operating system to 10.5.2. This was just another update (though a large one), that I tried to install with software update. My first problem was that it didn't work. After a while, the screen went black and basically nothing was happening. I forced a reboot and then, the computer would not boot at all. I left it in disgust for a while and then when I returned, it went on fine.

If things had just worked after that, I would have been happy. But, the computer was just not working properly. It would hang periodically, which would require me to hold down the power button to turn it off. And then again, I'd have to let it sit for a bit before I was able to turn it back on. Then, I found that it no longer thought that it had any firewire connections. So, I couldn't use my firewire dvd writer anymore.

Things got bad enough to where I decided to reinstall the operating system. I was going to take it to the Apple store, but figured that all they would do was reinstall, so I might as well do it myself. So, I reinstalled and then installed the latest updates on the clean system. Interestingly, I then had the same problems. So, there definitely was something in the update that was screwing me up. I then looked around online and found that indeed, 10.5.2 was screwing up a lot of people.

I reinstalled again and at one point in the process was allowed to restore from a Time Machine backup. To be honest, I really didn't think this would work, but figured I'd give it a try. Happily, it did restore all of my files. Did it make the computer work just as it did before? No. Lots of little annoyances meant that I had to reinstall a bunch of programs. Here's a list:

1. ~/.ssh directory not restored
2. License for Adobe CS3 not restored, had to reinstall to get it back
3. iLife not reinstalled--have to find the disks to put that back on
4. Quicken messed up--basically have to reinstall and import an old backup
5. Parallels all messed up--reinstalled and still having some problems setting up

Number 1 is unacceptable. If it's backing up my home directory, it should get the hidden directories as well. Numbers 2-5 are a big hassle. Honestly, it seems like Time Machine is just copying files to another disk. Granted, it's automatic, which is nice. But it's not really doing anything aside from copying files to another disk.

I'm pretty disgusted with Apple, getting close to feeling about them how I feel about Microsoft. So much so, that I was looking to get a different computer to use for me. I could then leave my work laptop at work, which would be nice. Maybe an Asus EEE would work for me?