scrobbin away

Under the gun.
Ahhh…. I took Thursday and Friday off from work, which, coupled with the Monday holiday, made this weekend seem blissfully long. With family (sister- and brother-in-law) in town, we had a busy time trudging from coast to mountains. And now, although it’s Monday, and I have the day off, and I have a myriad of things I could be doing, I’m sitting here doing nothing. It’s been a good do-nothing day though, since we got up at 6am to take our visiting family to the airport – making it feel like I’ve already slacked for a full day when it’s not even noon yet. Of course, I have the appropriate guilt that’s associated with this level of laziness. I just don’t care. I’m not motivated to do anything… how crappy is that? Ugh…

Let me tell you what’s been keeping me up at nights lately. I have a pretty big-scale conference mid-month at which I’m a presenter. This is a pretty big deal for two reasons. First, the topic of my material will be a very high-interest one, and in fact the two times I teach the class are already booked to capacity. Second, I am woefully behind schedule in regards to developing my content. Normally, I wouldn’t be too worried – I am, by nature, a procrastinator, but I also work well under pressure, so it’s normally not that bad. The difference here is, I am teaching a class about a subject I’m really unfamiliar with. So, in addition to the normal task of developing the material, I also have to educate myself on everything. I have roughly two weeks to do this. However, per the development schedule for the conference, my material should be at 95% this week. People, my material is at roughly… 5%. For the first time in a while, I’m worried about pulling something off. Not that I won’t have the material ready in time – that’s just not an option, my real worry is making a fool of myself.

I’ve given bad presentations before, and I know from experience that it is a low, low feeling to not know your subject matter – and to have that fact be painfully obvious to your audience. Oh, I can still remember the searing embarrassment and desire to run and hide under a rock for the rest of the day. I do not want to experience that again… I’ll do anything. So, I’ve set myself a strict regimen this week. I’ll not only work during the days, but also log hours at night doing as much time-clearing work for the following day as I can. I’m dedicated to reading several pages an evening on the material I’ll be talking to – to get myself properly educated for any probative questions from the peanut gallery. From now until I leave this next-next Monday, I’m going to try and be the world’s most effective worker, cranking out not only my daily requirements but producing a top-notch presentation, as well as a sponge for information that may help me pull off the required feat. I realize that, in doing this, the blog may suffer. But hey, this seems to be the month of the suffering blog… so I might as well roll with it.

Sunday my truck broke. Yeah… just wouldn’t turn over. It’s not the battery, and I only know that because the extent of my car-problem knowledge is what happens when you try to start a car with a bad battery – and this wasn’t it. The thing would sputter and sputter like it was trying to come to life on a winter day, and when the engine finally bit and started to turn over it’d run for all of two seconds before just shutting back off. Perhaps the cracks in my exhaust manifolds that have gone long-unrepaired spontaneously turned into full-on ruptures and I have no back pressure. But honestly, I have no idea what that last sentence even means and the only reason I said it is because I know there’s some key relationship between exhaust pressure and the whole engine bit. So, painfully ignorant to the inner workings of my prime method of conveyance, I left that thing in the parking lot. And that’s where it sits today… waiting for me to play my AAA card and have it towed to some shop so I can be taken advantage of. Stupid truck… what did I ever do to it? Why can’t all machines be like refrigerators? Seriously, when’s the last time your fridge just up and broke down? I don’t care how exponentially more complex a machine an automobile is – that’s no excuse.

Tonight, taking a cue from the only blog that I regularly read, I checked into and setup an account for myself. Audioscrobbler is like a natural extension of what I was trying to do with my “currently hearing” section on the sidebar. Except, audioscrobbler is much better. It gives you infinite history as opposed to my sidebar’s puny “last 7” or whatever, and it also assembles your listening habits into meaningful (at least to music buffs) data that can show trends and favorites. For someone like me, that’s a pretty intriguing idea. Not only does audioscrobbler scrobble together your personal listening habits, it offers aggregate stats for all the users of its service. So, you can track trends, and even get suggestions from other peoples’ playlists for things you might like based on what you tend to listen to. It will take a while to build up any meaningful data, but I think as a long-term thing I’ll replace my simplistic “currently hearing” output with some more interesting statistics.

And, once again, rather than wracking the old brain for more stuff to write – I’m calling it a night. Oh, and before I go – some pictures from our weekend hiking-season break-in hike up Pyramid Peak. We didn’t make it to the top, lost the trail in the snow, but it was a great day outside and a good way for me to remember how horridly out of shape I am.

Goodnight friends… goodnight.

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