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missives from mid-america

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Busy Thursday

Yesterday, I put in a full day of work (last one out the door from our group), watched a procyberathlete video game showdown, watched my candidate make a historic speech and accept his nomination, then capped off the night by watching a full, free Radiohead concert via the internet and piped through our television and stereo.

This week, I’ve become aware of some excellent bands, too. Genghis Tron was the first. I had heard of them but never looked into them. Right up my alley. They rock, and they understand show business. Drumcorps was another – friends with GT on MySpace and recommended by someone I know via a video game.

My Little Nurse

She’s not official until she takes the state boards which are required for her license, but I’m already proud of my little nurse. The whole process took a year and a half, which didn’t seem like a long time when she started out, but it was a bit of a lifestyle change for us during that time. My biggest concern was that she finish, and she’s done that. What happens from here is icing on the cake. (And I like cake.)

I’ve seen my girl work hard to get her farm planted and done, move wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of dirt around our yard, balance work and school to get her bachelors degree, and now she’s finished what she started with her nursing degree. From a first-hand perspective, I can say that it was not easy. There was no content that was challenging for her, but there were lots of other aspects that were. She overcame a 45-minute commute, multiple deadly storms, unfair grading (on occasion), disorganized teachers, unreasonable time demands, and me – the slug on the couch. 🙂

Despite all of those challenges, she’s done. Boards or not, she completed her task, so if she becomes a nurse, fantastic. If she becomes a barista at Starbucks instead, that’s fine, too. Either way, I’m proud to be her husband.

July is Over

For all practical purposes, anyhow. Big Drag just played our first show in a long time, Supercush is about to start recording again tomorrow, and Jennie has some applications out at Delnor for jobs in the Emergency Room or Intensive Care Unit – exactly what she was looking for in the first place. It’s kind of exciting because we’ve been planning out what stuff we’d like to do when she’s found a job.

One priority will be to get a camper of some sort. We originally wanted a T@b, but when we saw them in person, thought they were too small after all. Of course, an Airstream would be great, but those run more expensive than the trucks that tow them. The company that makes the T@b now makes the T@da, which might just be a perfect middle ground. We’ll have to see it in person to make the final decision.

With the camper, we’ll be able to visit family and friends and not impose or pay for a hotel. We’ll be able to go camping and I’ll actually be able to get some sleep. It might also make things easier if we finally get to go up north next year.

Of course, my priorities are a little different. I’d like a new laptop. This one has been great, but the monitor has to be in the exact right position to work (bad connection somewhere), and the keyboard has begun doing random things. I think the letter “i” causes a browser to go back two pages in the correct key sequence. Very frustrating when typing a post and it’s lost for no apparent reason.

So, as you might guess, I’ve been pricing out laptops. I’d also like a water treatment system for our house, a whole electrical overhaul (especially new outlets in the basement), and a new car – more likely later next year for that. We’ve also got some school loans and credit card debt to knock down before we make any other serious purchases. But all will come in good time.

State fair is next week through the 12th, I think, and we’ll be there at some point. I’ve been pretty lazy this summer, but that’s probably not shocking to anyone reading this. I really need to get back into the gym regularly, but since it’s been humid, I’ve been avoiding it. I’ve been a little spotty with walking Nina, too, so I should at least get back on track for her sake.

Cubs are still eeking out wins, Bears are in training camp, and the Blackhawks announced that they’ll be playing a game at Wrigley in January or February. My money’s on a heat wave that day.

Summer Upon Us

So far, it’s been a crazy, busy summer. Not sure if it’s even officially summer yet, but it feels like it. We had a long, long stretch of sub-freezing weather this winter, so I expect a hot, humid summer.

Jennie has been busy kicking butt in nursing school and working part-time at a nearby hospital. She should hit the ground running when she’s ready to get her first job. I got a promotion and a raise in the past week which is six years too late, but I’m definitely not complaining. After two years, I still love my job.

We’ve been crappy friends and family over the past few years. Part of it is my fault for moving us away from all of our friends to a town where we know almost no one. Part of it is our need to hunker down, financially, and find stuff to do at home. (Gas prices are NOT helping.) Another part of it is that I have never been good at following up on things or writing letters – and Jennie’s very, very busy.

It won’t last. We are looking forward to visiting friends on the East coast, the West coast, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc. Next year should be fun.

Yet Another Update

Here’s what I’ve learned in my bloggy history thus far: HTML is not super difficult if you have a good program for manipulating it and you keep it really simple. (REALLY simple.) However, updating it requires either excellent HTML coding skillz or the computer with the software you used to create it.

Blogger is excellent for simple setup and simple posting. You can even get a little dirty and edit the template if you’re feeling particularly lucky. Downside, of course, is that you have a finite resource for storing and serving up pictures, music, or other stuff.

WordPress provides the best of all worlds, and now they’ve simplified the dashboard, so even a journeyman idiot like myself can play. I’m posting from anywhere with an internet connection and browser, but it’s based on a server space I rent, so I can host as much content as my little heart desires. And that’s the point for me, really. I’ve wanted to put something together for a while now.

WordPress is free, open-source software which has become a bit of a standard in web design. It’s easy to use, but it’s also easy to develop for, so there are tons of free themes to choose from. Themes are an excellent starting point for your ultimate design. Find something close to what you want, then tweak. That’s what it’s all about.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am using this site as an aggregator for family, friend, and band information. If you want my opinion on sports or politics, check out Fledgling Times. This theme will surely change.

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