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Scott Alan Miller :: A Life Online

October 24, 2014: Friday Alone

October 25th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

I have been alone at home long enough that it is getting pretty lonely being here.  But at least SGL is starting to get caught up.  I have made quite good progress on that in just one day.  It will get much harder, though, as the updates get older and older since I need to do them stretching way back to the very beginning of September.

I did not leave the house at all yesterday or today.  There really is no need, without anyone else being in the house, to do anything but stay camped out in the bedroom where the computer is or to venture down to the kitchen.  The rest of the house really only exists as storage or for other people.  I have been saying for a long time that I could make do living in a hotel room, like I used to, if it were just me.  When I am alone it is like I don’t “own stuff” anymore.  Funny how your patterns change so dramatically just from the family being away for a few days.  It also makes sense as I have the house all closed off and the heat off.  So the whole house is only holding around sixty degrees but the bedroom stays warmer since I am in here, the computer and monitors are on and when I take a shower that warms up the room (since we have a master suite) so there is a wall of cold air whenever I leave the room.

I got some more writing done today and I watched the last half of Event Horizon and I watched all of Cary Grant in His Girl Friday which we have on DVD so I watched that during a period when our Internet was being flaky.  I watched the first half of The Ex which was not good enough to entice me to finish it in one sitting.

I’m giving myself a refresher on Ruby on Rails.  So I spent an hour or two working on that today.

Really very little to say about my day.  Pretty boring.  There was a great Steam sale today and I picked up the Saints Row collection (which does not include the original which is exclusively for the XBOX 360.)  So I now have all of two through four.  I had three previously.  I am only marginally interested in the earlier two but they are supposed to be pretty decent.  But the fourth one is supposed to be great.  I got the first two so that I would have the back story before playing the last one.

Dominica was home with the three little kids all day then, this evening, she went with everyone to the Gator’s football game so that they could watch Madeline play in the band.

I did not stay up super late tonight, I was in bed by one thirty.  Trying to keep my schedule somewhat normal.  With nothing happening during the day and no one around to regulate my schedule over this length of time it could skew off pretty significantly if I allowed it to.  This is the longest that I have been alone without having to go into an office or work normal hours since, probably, somewhere around the early half of 2004.

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October 23, 2014: Home Alone

October 24th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today is my first full day at home alone.  I am enjoying the quiet still today but that is not going to last for much longer.  By tomorrow I am very likely to be very lonely.  This morning was just fine, though.  I relaxed for a bit and then got to work in the late morning and ended up having a very productive day.  I managed to get a lot of writing done and turned in three, yes, three new articles today.  That was awesome.  I feel very good about that.

The day actually flew by.  There was a ton of activity today on MangoLassi and I was able to participate a lot there.  I did not have a chance to get on Spiceworks until late in the day but was very busy there by the end of the day as well.

This evening, early on but after it was already dark out, I heard the doorbell ring and I ran down to answer it.  No one was there but I found a little box of candy waiting for me there with a note.  I had been “Ghosted” which was very cute.  I had to hang a sign on my front door to let people know that I had been hit and now I have to deliver some candy to people tomorrow.  Have to figure that one out.  It is a nice idea, though, I really like it.  Sometime later in the evening I saw a parent and child, dressed up as ghosts, running through a yard.  Very cute.

I managed to make it the entire day without watching any television or shows whatsoever.  This is not a huge surprise, I often do not watch anything when no one is home with me but I did not do so well at that yesterday.  Today not one thing.  I really never left the bedroom all day.  I was down in the kitchen making tea and at one point, a sandwich, but that was really about it.  I did a tiny bit of cleaning today but was pretty much just at my desk the entire day.

The house got quite cold today.  Without the family here generating heat, and with very few electronics turned on, the house really cools down.  It is very funny how noticeable it is when it is just me in the house.  I generate so much less heat that Dominica and the girls do.  All three of them are so much warmer than me, Dominica especially.  I can always tell when she is in the room because she raises the temperature of the room around her so much.  My natural body temperature is relatively low and when I am here alone all there is is my desktop.  I leave on very few lights and there is no extra laptops running or televisions running or appliances running.  The house just cools right now in no time.

I ended up working until four in the morning.  There is no need for me to do anything else.  I don’t need to be on a set schedule in any way.  I have not gotten any new news about anything, no contact today.  All has been silent.  So that implies that I will not be hearing anything tomorrow either.  At least I get to sleep in.

I have decided that SGL is so far behind that I simply have to start posting again as things happen and do my best to backfill and just make do.  If I do not get back into the regular swing of posting every day it just is not going to happen and having this time at home to work on things like writing on a continuous basis is the best chance that I am going to have, probably for years, to be able to really get on top of all of my writing and whatnot.  So I am going to go ahead and post today and, if you really want to know what happened over the past month and a half, dig through old posts sometime when they appear.

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October 22, 2014: The Family Goes to Texas

October 23rd, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

We had to be up at eight this morning. I actually got a very good night’s sleep in the girls’ room.  They were very happy that I had agreed to sleep in there with them.  They thought that it was just the coolest thing.  They both fought over how they were going to get to sleep but eventually they worked something out that made them both happy with Liesl sharing a pillow with me and Luciana sleeping at my feet.  I have no idea why they were both so happy with that arrangement but they were.  Whatever keeps them happy.

As usual on a night before traveling Dominica did not sleep well but she did sleep much better than had the girls tried to sleep in our bed or were up all night coming into our room every thirty minutes.  Dominica actually woke up at seven and got up and was doing well getting ready this morning.

We were packed up and left the house at ten.  We made a quick run down to the downtown library and dropped off the library books that were going to come due this week so that I would not have to deal with them and then we drove down to Brooklyn to get everyone to JFK.  The drive down was not bad at all and we got there at exactly the time that we had hoped that we would.

With the girls and so much luggage, Dominica did not feel that she would be able to handle everything by herself, and I don’t believe that she could have, so we parked in the garage and I went into the airport with them to at least get them up to the security gate.  We put Luciana into a stroller and Liesl walked holding my hand while I carried two big pieces of luggage.  Dominica had Luciana’s stroller and the rolling luggage.  It was a long walk from the parking lot to the terminal.  That took quite a bit of time and would have been horrible if she had had to have done that without me helping her.

Liesl was so excited the entire time.  She was just bouncing and super happy.  She is very excited to get to go see her cousins.  She was bouncing and skipping and giggling the whole time.  She was so excited that at one point she fell over and got her Care Bear all dirty which was not good.  But we managed to get that washed up before they left.

We got the luggage checked and I gave everyone hugs at the beginning of the security line and watched them head down to the inspection station.  Then I walked back to the car and drove back home in heavy traffic.  On the way back I stopped in Yorktown Heights and got myself an omelette even though, by that time, it was nearly one in the afternoon.  I wanted to get a healthy meal in while I was out of the house so that I would be less tempted to eat something unhealthy later on.  Then it was back to the house for about an hour.

At three I ran out to get a drug screening done that has been needing to be done for a week.  It turns out that there was a Qwest Diagnostics in the most convenient place that was super easy to deal with.  It ended up being no effort and took no time at all.  But it felt good to get that done, that has been just one of those things that has been hanging over me to do for a while.

After that I hit the gas station and fueled up the Acadia just for good measure then went to CVS and stocked up on hygiene products, I had been running low.  I got a small frozen yoghurt at Sweet Frog while I was there, just $3 of the sugar free cotton candy.  Then I went back home.  It was nearly five when I got back to the house.  But I had needed to run those errands and it was good that I took the time to do so.

I was home about half an hour before Dominica emailed me to let me know that they had arrived safely in Houston and were on their way to the Grices’.  Their flight had gone well and Luciana had managed to sleep for a bit of it.

I did some work this evening although not a lot.  I decided that I really wanted to see “A Million Ways to Die in the West” so I bought in on Amazon Video on Demand and watched it in the living room.  It was pretty good.  An amazing cast.  Not a movie that is in any way appropriate for children.  Not at all.  Pretty much like watching a live action Family Guy episode set in the frontier.  Very well done, though.

I started watching “Event Horizon” which I have not seen in forever, probably not since the year that it was released.  If I remember correctly, I rented it on Laserdisc.  I am sure that I never owned it but it was one of those movies that I think that I saw in my own theatre.  But I decided after a little bit that I was not into it tonight.  So I switched to Kevin Kline in “In & Out”, one of my all time favourite movies and one that I do own on Laserdisc and I have not seen probably since that era.  Both movies are in the free collection on Amazon so that worked out great.

Got to bed probably around two in the morning.  Today went well but I saw the family for a bit of it.  By Friday I am likely going to be getting pretty lonely.

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October 21, 2014: Final Day with the Family

October 23rd, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

My new article on the StorageCraft Blog is going live tonight.  This is an article that I have been needing to write for over a year and just have not found time to do so.  I am pretty excited to finally get it published.  This is my post on One Big Flat Networks.

Dominica spent much of the day packing today.  She and the girls are flying out to Houston tomorrow morning.  I did a bit of work, mostly in the morning, in the bedroom office today but let the girls hang out in the office for most of the day so that we could spend time together.

Tonight I took some time with the girls to play some more of Space Quest IV.  They just love that game.  We played for about an hour.  We are probably most of the way through the game at this point.  It is always a bit hard to tell, of course.

We watched some of “How I Met Your Mother” before going to bed.  We got the girls to bed around midnight. They had all kinds of energy tonight and there was just no hope of getting them to bed any sooner than that.

After we were in bed for a bit, Luciana sneaked into our room and got into bed.  Dominica was going to ignore her until Liesl came in ten minutes later asking where everyone was and wanting to climb into bed too.  Dominica said that she would not get any sleep.  But I didn’t want the girls to be sad.  So I packed up my CPAP and I moved into their room with them and slept in there which made them very happy.  They have never had anyone sleep in their room before, I don’t think, so this was like a sleepover.  They were both very good and actually went to sleep right away.  I was quite impressed.

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October 20, 2014: Week Two

October 23rd, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today is Monday and today marks the beginning of my second full week of pseudo-vacation time at home.  It feels weird.  Really weird.  I have never been at home (and on full pay) for so long before.  This is very much a novel experience.  I have had weekends, even extended weekends, at home alone before.  Long ago I worked from home but that was different.  Although it is interesting to note that back when I did work from home full time last that it was in this very house.  All of the time in Texas and Connecticut since then has been time in an office.  I have forgotten how nice it is to be home all day long and get to have a completely flexible schedule.  And I have forgotten how nice it is to get to just enjoy your home.  And my days are so much longer now.  I am sleeping more and still having far more time to work on things.  It is great.

I worked in the office all day today.  No need to go anywhere.  The girls came in and hung out in the office for much of the morning.  Today and tomorrow are my last days with them as they are heading out to Houston on Wednesday morning from JFK in Brooklyn.  So we are starting to prepare for two weeks apart.  Originally when this trip was scheduled we assumed that I would be in the office and it would only go over one weekend.  But instead it is turning out that they are going to be gone while I am home alone for two weeks.  That really did not end up being a very ideal situation.

After getting some stuff done during the day we just relaxed in the living room this evening and watched some of “How I Met Your Mother.”

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October 19, 2014: Returning to Peekskill

October 23rd, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

So we got up this morning and made the call to skip the “sofa ride” into the woods and instead take the time to go down to Mt. Morris to have breakfast again at Brian’s USA Diner.  It took us all morning to get everyone up and ready and packed and out of the door.  We were late enough that we were concerned about going anywhere specific for breakfast because we were going to hit the lunch crowd and Brian’s is always so busy, but doing anything else wasn’t really what we wanted, might have been packed too and would not have been so ideally on the way out of town.

We had a nice breakfast and from there we got on the road to drive back to Peekskill.  Originally we were supposed to meet up with Mary before we left town but there just wasn’t time as the plan was to get back to the house in time to meet up with Rob as he was coming back through from Boston.

The drive back down to Peekskill went very well.  Light traffic and no issues the entire way.  Even getting around Orange County was fine.  We had to wait for just a few minutes at Bear Mountain Bridge but nothing else.

Rob ended up needing to cancel today so we ended up having the afternoon to ourselves at home.  We spent the evening relaxing and hanging out as a family.

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October 18, 2014: The Girls First Trip to Letchworth

October 23rd, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today is our one full day back home.  We have to head back down to Peekskill tomorrow around lunch time.  We slept in a bit today.  Dominica and I did not sleep in all that much.  The girls, however, slept a very long time.  Their sleeping schedule is completely disrupted at this point and they are no longer on any normal schedule.  They stay up super late and sleep in super late.  Dominica will probably try to blame this on my being home all of the time.  I have no idea how that makes it my fault.

While we were waiting for the girls to get up we visited and I set up Dominica’s “old” desktop (the one that is identical to my own) and started installing Windows 10 Technology Preview on it.  Art is going to be using that desktop once we get it all set up and working properly.  I figured that if I got started early that we would have a good chance of getting it all taken care of today.  So far, after having gotten Windows 1o onto Dominica’s laptop two nights ago, we are pretty impressed with it.  It is the nicest Windows product to use in several generations.  A clear improvement on Windows 8.1 which is what I use most of the time.

Once the girls were finally awake we loaded into the Acadia and went to Mt. Morris to get lunch at Brian’s USA Diner.  Dad and I both got the fish and chips.  Dominica got breakfast.  The girls split pancakes.

After lunch we drove into Letchworth State Park.  Believe it or not this place that was so central to my childhood, neither of my girls have ever been there.  Unbelievable. They were mostly excited to go to go there because they got to see some pictures of the gorge and the waterfalls while at the diner so they had an idea of what they were going to get to see.

We first stopped at the dam overlook.  Dominica hit the giftshop there to get postcards for friends in Texas and to get some surprises for the girls.  She got Liesl a black bear that can be stuffed into a giant paw (you have to see it to understand.)  And she got Luciana a raccoon.  While she was in there, the girls sat on a giant chair that sits at the overlook and just hung out on it thinking that, for some strange reason, that that was the best thing around to do.  They pretty much ignored the view of the canyon and the dam.  Although, to be fair, there was no river flowing.  It was all dry.

We finally got them to leave the chair and we drove on.  We went to the Tea Table area where they spent maybe twenty minutes playing on a tiny playground there.  They were itching to be out of the car and do something.  They associate parks with playgrounds so were expecting playground time.  Each time that we got out of the car we took some pictures with Flat Stanley whom we brought with us.

Next we went to Inspiration Point and walked around a little.  They have done a bit of work there this past year fixing the stonework up around the little pond.  This is the first that the girls got to see the waterfalls.

Our last stop was the upper falls area.  We parked by the Upper Falls Snack Bar and we got a coffee for Dominica and ice cream for the girls and I.  We finished the ice cream and then walked over to the Middle Falls to show it to the girls.  There was a wedding going on right there while we were looking at the falls.  Then Liesl, dad and Dominica went to look at the falls more and I took a rather impatient Luciana to the large playground there and let her work off some energy.  Liesl came over later and used the swings there a lot.  It started raining while dad, Dominica and I sat on a bench swing.

From the falls we drove out the Castile exit and back to dad’s house.  Sharon and Leo were already at the house waiting for us.  The plan had been to do a sofa ride through the woods but it was getting cold and there was a light rain and there wasn’t enough time for Dominica and I to go as well because we had to get up to Rochester to meet Tricia.  So we had to skip the sofa ride tonight.

We left at four twenty five and drove up to the South Wedge to meet Tricia and Kathy at 140 Alex, near where I used to hang out when I still lived in Rochester.  The place was empty when we first arrived but after a few hours was really busy.  We had a really good time hanging out there.  We stayed until just after eleven.

We got home and dad was pretty exhausted from watching the girls all night.  They were finally in bed but they were wide awake still.  It took a bit to get them to calm down and really go to sleep.

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October 17, 2014: Driving Up to Dad’s

October 23rd, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Originally we had thought about leaving to go up to dad’s house first thing this morning.  But I was asked to do a question and answer session at one this afternoon on Reddit for Symantec and that would have made driving up this morning extremely difficult.  So we opted to drive up late instead.

It was nice that we had a leisurely morning, especially as the girls did not wake up until late so it would have been a terrible struggle trying to get them out of the house before one anyway.  There was time to get the car packed and everyone ready to go without needing to hurry.  I was able to spend the morning getting work done.  Then from one until two thirty I was on the Reddit Q&A.  So I was fully posted out on ML and SW before we loaded into the car and headed out.

We stopped downtown and got Subway for lunch.  That always makes Liesl super happy.  Luciana was not sure if she wanted Subway but once Liesl had some, she wanted it too.  Both girls like the plain Italian bread with double American cheese and mayo.  Liesl additionally likes lettuce on hers and is very unhappy if she has to have one without it for eating in the car.  But Luciana does not want the lettuce.  Dominica got a salad.  I got the tuna salad sub loaded with veggies.

The drive up to dad’s went very well.  The girls had a good time looking at all of the leaves changes along the route.  They especially enjoyed going through Sullivan County on the western side of the Catskills.

We hung out at dad’s until fairly late and got the girls into bed then went down, just Dominica and I, to the Wadsworth Grill for a little bit to hang out with Art and Danielle.  I was surprised that by eleven thirty the place was completely dead.  Art said that this is how it always is.  Saturday night is more lively.  But on a Friday night, still pretty early, just five or six people is normal.  Very surprising.  I guess everyone else just… goes to bed or something.  It isn’t like there is anywhere else to go in the area.

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