January 24, 2005

Getting The Worm.

When I was a kid, I was always the type of guy that went to bed early. I usually called it a night around 10:00 p.m. and woke up, reluctantly, around 6:30 to get ready for school. I’ve always treasured my sleep and to this day I still do.

I didn’t discover the art of staying up late until college. It was there that I discovered the joy in staying up until 2:00 a.m., or later, and sleeping in until the crack of noon, 8:00 a.m. classes be damned. No wonder I never finished school.

I’ve pretty much lived the “night owl” philosophy since then, opting to stay up until wee hours of the morning. Goofing off at parties back in my single days or just dinking around on the computer these days. Now that I think about it, perhaps I was dinking around in my single days and goofing around now.

This week marks my first week on the early shift. We take turns rotating shifts, and I’m now in the rotation, working 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I was all paranoid about it last night, turning in at 8:30 p.m. and then waking up every couple of hours to make sure that I didn’t oversleep. I hate it when that happens.

I ended up getting out of bed at 5:15 a.m. this morning and I can not believe how much I have accomplished today and how wonderful I feel! I don’t feel the groggy, sleepy, hangover feeling I get after sleeping in until 10:00 a.m. I feel alive, I feel well rested and I feel wonderful!

Perhaps there is something to being an early bird to get the worm. Maybe I should try this out for the next couple of weeks and see how it goes.

Firefox. A little rescue for Windows users.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, so I thought I would share a little Window goody with you.

There is an alternative to Internet Explorer called Firefox. I’ve used Firefox for quite a while at work, both at my present job and at my previous position. I’ve been using the program since it made its beta debut a while back. It’s based on Mozilla, which in turn is based somewhat on the old Netscape. It has a few more features than Internet Explorer and it is much more secure. I’m also a big fan of Thunderbird, which is an e-mail and usenet client from the same group of people.

There’s no reason in the world that you can’t use Firefox and Thunderbird on a Windows machine, even though Microsoft has built Internet Explorer into the operating system. Give it a try. I’ve included a “Get Firefox” button over on the right side on the page for your convenience.

When you install Firefox, it’ll import your settings, bookmarks (aka favorites) and cookies from Internet Explorer right into Firefox, making the transition very smooth.

Happy surfing!


While the Philadelphia Eagles are celebrating their victory against the Atlanta Falcons, headed for the Super Bowl, I am celebrating my own little victory as well.

I won the fight against the snowblower.

We purchased a new snowblower a couple of weeks ago at the everpresent Lowe’s, another one of those behemoth corporations that I have occasionally vowed to give our money to. The weather forecast contained snow, and since this is the first winter without the benefit of Earl’s work truck (he drives a car now being a big executive), I was not about to tackle our long driveway with a shovel. So we purchased a mid-range, mid-price snowblower. It was pre-assembled, pre-tested and ready to tackle any job, big or small. Except whomever assembled it installed the fuel line incorrectly, resulting in a pinched line that was starving the engine of fuel. This did not make the task of snowblowing as wonderful as it could have been. Quite the contrary. It caused frequent stalling and frequent cussing.

We called Lowe’s and they advised us to bring the snowblower back. Not an easy task to accomplish during a major snowstorm. So I decided I was going to fix it myself. A few clamps, a little bit of extra fuel line, a snip of the scissors and a quick plug in the fuel tank, and viola! we were in business.

I think Earl’s impressed that I figured out that the problem was with the fuel line and that I knew how to fix it. I guess I don’t seem like the grease monkey type.

So while the Eagles are celebrating their trip to the Super Bowl, I’m celebrating the fact that we have a clean driveway.