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Extremes, and more work

Darling I dont know why I go to extremes

Too high or too low there aint no in-betweens

And if I stand or I fall

Its all or nothing at all

Darling I dont know why I go to extremes

— Billy Joel,  I Go To Extremes

At One Extreme

I fucking hate spending money.  I really do.  You might think I’m pretty liberal with my money, given that I bought camera equipment.  But that was agnonized over for months, and was a business investment.  This week I came to a realization – I was about to totally get fucked work wise unless I bought some hardware and software that will do what Lance and I have planned for splitting workloads (looks like I’ve got even more stuff that we could land.  WE’ll see if it happens or not.)

My 17″ Powerbook has served me well – but it’s G4 based, instead of Intel based.  USB only sort of works.  The power connector is pretty screwed up, requiring it to be in just the right spot to work.  If you bump the screen, sometimes it shuts off the screen.  

Bascially, it’s old and not quite busted.  I planned on running it until it finally died.  By the way, that’s exactly the thinking I tell customers is a bad idea – budget for a replacement, and replace hardware on a schedule.  Otherwise, you’ll be replacing hardware when you least want to.  But yet I kept hanging on to it, and even put a new hard drive in a while back.  

Well, it’s going to retire.  After two days of agonizing, I’m buying a Mac Mini and a 20″ LCD monitor (paid for off of the profit from an upcoming job.)  I realized that I haven’t used my machine on-site without power available for… well, ever really.  The laptop is for portability, not battery use.  So it’s form factor that’s the issue.  The mini meets the portability requirement nicely.  

You have no idea how much I hated spending that money.  HATE it.  Sure, I love good toys and tools, but I hate the cost.

I HORDE money so I can pay my bills off.  Anything under $20 is ok.  Above that, and I get edgy about it.  Above $50, and I have to think pretty hard.  (THough, I’ll admit, I’ve hit Walmart once or twice where I checked out and suddently went “I spent HOW MUCH?!”, and had buyers remorse walking back to the car after that.)  Start talking hundreds, and I’m almost freakish.

At The Other End of the Extreme

My friend Brandon calls me Wednsday, and opens the conversation with “Hey man, I need a favor – I need to borrow $3000 for 2 days”.  I say “Sure, let me figure out real quick how to…” “Wait!  You’d actually loan me that?”  “Of course”

So many people have helped me out to get me to where I am today – sane, safe, and making money.  When a friend who’s helped me asks, I’ll immediately figure out how to give them what I need.  I didn’t even think about “Hey, I’m spending $3k.”

Though there are some rules.  Where he said 2 days, it’s not going to hurt my bill payment or lifestyle (well, what passes for a lifestyle 🙂 My brain ran the numbers instantly, knowing where I am now, how it would affect the situation, etc.  Had he said 6 months, well, I would have had to look at things differently.  The rule is basically only loan what I can do without for the timeframe requested.

But there’s no agonizing over it – I’ll either do it, or I wont, and the answer is most likely yes.

In the end, Brandon didn’t actually need to borrow $3k, he was just trying to rattle me and see what sort of response he got (we do that to each other all the time – he’s the target of my practical jokes from time to time.  And he does the same shit to me.)  

More Work

Well, landed another contract for Kenosha, WI again – this time selling our virtualization idea to them, plus a couple of computers and some time up there to start the job up.

Also looks like there’s an RS/Historian job in the pipeline too (Oh ye gods – one of my least favorite software products!)

I’ve also been working on some in house stuff – I should be deploying an older online game if I can get all the tech workin’ right.

Lance will be getting involved in all of this too – he’s not quit his day job yet, but getting involved now means building up steam faster for both of us, and faster turn around on jobs.


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