Greetings from West Des Moines, IA!

Today it started out overcast and dreary out.  The sun did not burn through the haze until around noon.  Then the afternoon ended up being sunny and nice out.

Working from home is going well.  Really like having access to our Keurig coffee machine while working.  My coffee and tea is much better then I had at the Columbia Center.  Plus my restroom is a bit cleaner 🙂

This is kind of a transition week for me.  The large projects are mostly done with and now receiving several small to medium size projects to work on as filler.  The large projects are going through testing cycles – so will still need to make programming changes to them, but that will come in small batches.

My manager sprang a nice surprise on me by asking if I would be interested in going to the Lotusphere conference next January in Florida.  He said it was not a done deal, but wanted to see if I was interested.  Been to Lotusphere a few times before – but the last time was at least 8 years ago – way before my consulting years.  It is a technical conference put on by the Lotus division of IBM where they explain the direction they are going with their products and also conduct technical training sessions.  So hoping it comes together and I get to go again… Would be fun to “geek out” for a week…..

Talk of us going to Florida in January has us wondering what we should do with Prince in our absence.  Best plan is to find someone who would come to the apartment daily to feed and play with him.  Don’t want to put him in a “cat hotel” again since it really freaks him out.

Like I said yesterday, Prince is doing well in his new surroundings except during the day he likes to find a confined space to sleep in.  His favorite spot is under our bed – but that is also one of the hardest to clean areas in the house.  We discourage his under-the-bed snooze by keeping the bedroom door closed.  Now he likes to go into a closet, curl up in a ball and sleep the day away.  Thinking we should go to PetSmart and get him a cat tree or something.  My only drawback is how expensive they are.  Some of the more elaborate ones go for $200 to $400 and on up…  for cardboard, screws and carpet remnants.

Tonight was garbage night.  After last week’s drama I wanted to make sure to put it out on the curb on the right evening for early morning pickup.  Took me 30  minutes to haul the seven wheeled garbage totes up front – three recycling and four garbage.  Then put another pile of items with a “extra garbage” sticker on them.  Hoping the garbage guys like what I did enough to take it all.

Next I decided to rake some leaves.  They like to blow into the stairwell that leads to the lower units.  So got one of the lawn bags and filled it the quarter of the way up.  Then decided I needed to top it off so raked leaves from the front step and around the building.  By this time it was getting dark out.

John got our power washer out this evening to see if it operated correctly.  It is gas powered and has not been used for six years – so we had our doubts.  It did start up but there is a problem with the carburetor sticking open and flooding the engine with gas.  We got his tools out and tore into it, but decided it needed an expert.  We will try to find a small engine shop to work on it.  Have a feeling they will be able to fix it easily and hopefully at a reasonable cost.

Have started to think about replacing the cheap plastic white window blinds that are on every window in the apartment with something nicer.  Some of them have teeth marks where a child or pet gnawed on them – nasty.  John thinks roman blinds would work well and would look nice from the outside as well.  Don’t like how the blinds usually look uneven and crappy from the outside unless you work them carefully so they are at an even length.  Found some bamboo ones on Overstock.com: check them out with this link.

Bamboo Roman Shade from Overstock.com

Think they would add some texture to the place, but have not decided if they look tacky or not.  Let me know if you have an opinion one way or another.  In the bedroom will probably go with roll down shade to darken room, sheers and then floor length drapes – something like this:

For the bedroom

Will check Burlington Coat Factory and Kohls before I order from Overstock – have seen them have decent selection and good prices in the past.

Not much else going on…  seems like I had a busy day… John has one of his lectures tonight at 8 – so will go out and watch TV so he can have the office to himself.

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