getting older…

It’s a weird thing to get older; and then in a way it’s the most natural thing we ever do, since we’re all doing it all the time. The latest realization of this was when I ran across my little sister’s blog (see link to the right).

Rebecca is 10 years younger than me; I remember her primarily as the little girl, as a preschooler and elementary-schooler. I left home for college when she was not quite 8, so my memories of her after that are fewer and farther between. She’s now 17. Where has time gone? It’s so strange to read her posts where she does all the normal teenage-girl-type things, agonizing over boys (mostly asking why are they so awful, and why are none of them like her awesome brother (not me, though I wish it were :-))) and quoting lyrics from angsty (is that a word?) songs. Come to think of it, I was a lot that way when I was a teenager…

Part of me feels better when I remember that she’s going through the normal teenage stuff, and that she will get past it, and will have a great life. The other part of me wans to just be protective and make things all work out for her, which I know I can’t. Arrrgh. All I can do is hope and pray that she makes the right decisions (she’s doing a good job so far) and that God works things out. I know He has good plans, but it’s hard to trust.

I haven’t told her yet that I’m reading her blog; I don’t know if she’ll be OK with it or if she’ll be mortified that her older brother is reading the same stuff that her friends are. I’ll promise not to be peeved that when she was writing her eternal post (she had a contest with a friend for the longest post, and she won) she mentioned her other three brothers, but not me… 🙂 Well at some point I guess I’ll tell her. Maybe it’ll help us communicate better. Maybe I can even give her a link to mine….

network downtime…

This morning we are experiencing one of those fun office moments known as “network downtime”. Nobody can get logged in and even if you can (I managed somehow), nothing works; all of the network drives are dead. Fortunately, Internet access still works, so I can post a little blog like this one.

It’s interesting listening to the buzz around here; people are talking where normally there is only silence and people working. I doubt anybody’s gotten anything done all morning, so right now I’m going on 2+ hours of downtime. Take that times 4000 people or so at RC and at the billing rate that engineers cost, and we’re up to almost $1Million in general time while we’re all waiting for the network.

I should really find something more interesting to blog about; I’ve seen some people with long, thoughtful posts; however, I guess I don’t find the time for long, thoughtful writing. I mean, I can when I need to or want to, but I guess I spend so much time of each day just getting work and normal stuff done that I don’t take a lot of time to just sit and think and write. It’s really too bad; I do have actual thoughts about stuff on a semi-regular basis.

another week, another concert…

After thinking things couldn’t get better from last week’s Caedmon’s Call concert, last Friay I took my wife to see Derek Webb at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. The venue was terrific; Wallenberg Hall there at Augustana is small enough that the seats only went back about 10 rows deep; I got a seat on the center aisle in the third row, and was only 6 or 8 feet from the stage (which was only about a foot high). It was awesome. The crowd was warm and receptive, and by the time Derek came out, they were very ready to hear some good tunes. They were not disappointed.

Derek was presenting lots of songs from his new album, I See Things Upside Down. The sound is a departure from his old, Caedmon’s sound (also found on his first album, She Must and Shall Go Free) — none of the acoustic simplicity that was the trademark of the earlier days; this new sound is a much more modern sound, inspired by artists like WILCO and Ryan Adams. It is different, but the excellent songwriting still shines through the wall of sound. They played for nearly 90 minutes, not talking very much in between (a departure of sorts from other Webb concerts). The musical highlight of the night was when things slowed down and Derek performed Nothing Is Ever Enough as a solo with only his electric guitar; an incredible sound on a beautiful song.

Didn’t get to meet Derek afterwards; the band hustled off to somewhere, and we had to head home; the babysitter was waiting. 🙂 Didn’t get home ’til midnight, and had a great time.

an excellent concert…

Went with my brother Ryan to a Caedmon’s Call concert Friday night at Judson College in Elgin, IL. It was my first time seeing Caedmon’s in person; they’ve been a favorite of mine via CD for 5 or so years now. They totally met (if did not exceed) expectations. The band rocked, they played a lot of good songs, they came off as much more real than most performers do. You get the feeling they’re just a group of folks that like to play and sing music, and they’re letting us in on a jam session.

I really only had two wishes unfulfilled at the end of the night; the first was that I didn’t get to meet Andy Osenga, the new lead guitar player (and sometime lead singer) for the band. I think he was visiting with his family after the show, didn’t participate in the meet and greet. The second wish really only developed during the show: I wish I would’ve had a chance to see them when Derek Webb was still a member of the band. His songs are such an integral part of their repertoire, and his voice and presence such a crucial part of their sound… and that’s not a knock on Andy O., that’s just the way it is. Oh well, it was still a great concert. They stay at the top of my favorite groups list.

it’s over….

To quote John Derbyshire, YEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAA!

The election is over. Kerry conceded without putting up a big fight. No big lawsuits. No big charges of voting fraud. Tom Daschle got beat in South Dakota. (My respect for South Dakotans just went up by a couple orders of magnitude.) The Republicans picked up more seats in the Senate and the House. Things look like they might just calm down politically for a while… at least until some seats on the Supreme Court open up, then they’ll be back to the old tricks.

I stayed up until almost midnight CST last night watching Fox News. I was annoyed a bit with Fox since they hardly interviewed anybody, just stuck with their base 4 commentators all night. However, it beat the pants off of the NBC/ABC/CBS/MSNBC coverage, hosted by Mr “I’m Retiring Now” Brokaw, Mr. “I’m a smug Canadian” Jennings, Mr. “Send me a forged document” Rather, and Mr. “I used to work for Tip O’Neill” Matthews. When they finally called Ohio for Bush, I decided it was over and time for bed. When I woke up this morning and turned Fox back on, it was funny to see the electoral vote count exactly where it was when I went to sleep 6 hours previous… Tonight I shall sleep the sleep of the righteous… totally at peace with the world. 🙂

I would be much remiss if I didn’t at least mention a nice statistical analysis that a guy I’m familiar with (he runs the Caedmon’s Call fan website) posted on his blog last night in the middle of the Ohio discussion… way to go, Geof!

it’s over….

To quote John Derbyshire, YEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAA!

The election is over. Kerry conceded without putting up a big fight. No big lawsuits. No big charges of voting fraud. Tom Daschle got beat in South Dakota. (My respect for South Dakotans just went up by a couple orders of magnitude.) The Republicans picked up more seats in the Senate and the House. Things look like they might just calm down politically for a while… at least until some seats on the Supreme Court open up, then they’ll be back to the old tricks.

I stayed up until almost midnight CST last night watching Fox News. I was annoyed a bit with Fox since they hardly interviewed anybody, just stuck with their base 4 commentators all night. However, it beat the pants off of the NBC/ABC/CBS/MSNBC coverage, hosted by Mr “I’m Retiring Now” Brokaw, Mr. “I’m a smug Canadian” Jennings, Mr. “Send me a forged document” Rather, and Mr. “I used to work for Tip O’Neill” Matthews. When they finally called Ohio for Bush, I decided it was over and time for bed. When I woke up this morning and turned Fox back on, it was funny to see the electoral vote count exactly where it was when I went to sleep 6 hours previous… Tonight I shall sleep the sleep of the righteous… totally at peace with the world. 🙂

I would be much remiss if I didn’t at least mention a nice statistical analysis that a guy I’m familiar with (he runs the Caedmon’s Call fan website) posted on his blog last night in the middle of the Ohio discussion… way to go, Geof!

it’s over….

To quote John Derbyshire, YEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAA!

The election is over. Kerry conceded without putting up a big fight. No big lawsuits. No big charges of voting fraud. Tom Daschle got beat in South Dakota. (My respect for South Dakotans just went up by a couple orders of magnitude.) The Republicans picked up more seats in the Senate and the House. Things look like they might just calm down politically for a while… at least until some seats on the Supreme Court open up, then they’ll be back to the old tricks.

I stayed up until almost midnight CST last night watching Fox News. I was annoyed a bit with Fox since they hardly interviewed anybody, just stuck with their base 4 commentators all night. However, it beat the pants off of the NBC/ABC/CBS/MSNBC coverage, hosted by Mr “I’m Retiring Now” Brokaw, Mr. “I’m a smug Canadian” Jennings, Mr. “Send me a forged document” Rather, and Mr. “I used to work for Tip O’Neill” Matthews. When they finally called Ohio for Bush, I decided it was over and time for bed. When I woke up this morning and turned Fox back on, it was funny to see the electoral vote count exactly where it was when I went to sleep 6 hours previous… Tonight I shall sleep the sleep of the righteous… totally at peace with the world. 🙂

I would be much remiss if I didn’t at least mention a nice statistical analysis that a guy I’m familiar with (he runs the Caedmon’s Call fan website) posted on his blog last night in the middle of the Ohio discussion… way to go, Geof!

Death by Advertising…

Well it’s the day before the national elections and living in Iowa that means we’re finally near the end of interminable political advertising, phone calls, and print ads. In the last week I think we’ve received 3 or 4 recorded phone calls, tons of mail every day, three people at the door, and endured more TV ads than anyone should have to watch. I’m not much of a channel surfer, but I finally started flipping around just to avoid having to watch the same ads over and over and over…

While it saddens me that the presidential candidates can’t seem to campaign on anything but “here’s why my opponent’s bad”, I guess I’ve come to expect it. What really makes me mad is that the same mudslinging comes to the local races. In my Iowa House district, we’ve recieved at least half a dozen mailings, including ones from Roger Grobstich, the challenger, totally bashing Kraig Paulsen, the incumbent (a Republican), and also one that was a “copy” of a handwritten letter from Paulsen’s wife, urging us to vote for him. Why can’t they just run on the issues? Are there not enough issues to run on? In Iowa, we’ve got education, government spending, and taxes, just to name a few. Tell me whether or not you’re going to raise my taxes (honestly, now), where you stand on gambling, the lottery, the speed limits, things I really care about. Sure, your website has little niceities on all these issues, but why can’t you run on them? Why do you have to sling mud and badmouth? Do you really think I’m going to respond to a mailing that tells me that my representative is a shill for corporate interests? I work for a corporate interest. That means I’m interested in their business doing well. Big business isn’t evil to me – it keeps food on the table.

At least tomorrow it will all be over… oh wait, then there will be legal wranglings, lawsuits, protests, recounts, and allegations of fraud. My prayer is just that somebody be a clear winner on Tuesday; I don’t think I can handle a repeat of the 2000 debacle.

I’m Chris Hubbs, and I approve this message.

My second post…

Seems like I should have something profound for the first blog entries, and I can’t think of anything. Oh well, I guess I can just jump right in to normal life and after a few days it won’t seem awkward because it’ll be past.

Talked to Lydia last night for the first time in probably 8 years. Haven’t seen her in probably 15 years. It was good to talk to her. Heard her voice to from sad to happy in about 2 seconds, which was really nice. We’ve fortunately managed to avoid that awkwardness that comes from having a very different relationship 10 years ago; I think we’re going to be fine with the fact that we’ve moved on, that I’m married with a kid now and she’s living her own life. It’s so cool… really kinda fun to have a friend from that long ago.

Took a long walk last night on a beautiful, soggy night outside. Makes me wish I lived in Seattle or Scotland or something. But here I am in Iowa. 🙂