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mhaithaca
I finished the 2014 season of "Ray Donovan" with a couple of episodes last night, and have now watched the first three (oops!) episodes of the 2015 season tonight, while the dogs take turns chewing on an elk hoof and hanging out on the couch next to me or on my lap.

"Ray Donovan" really is this decade's "The Sopranos." Not only is it the epic pay-TV saga, it's the violent, sex-filled, family-business, organized-crime saga. It's almost as if Showtime looked around and said "Bring me a crime series with a violent-killer family-business leader, his frustrated wife, their bratty kids, a crotchety patriarch, oh, and some sex. But make it Irish instead of Italian."

It's also great. The third season has taken them off in a completely new direction, with an interwoven storyline but just enough episodic dramatic separation that you never feel as though you're watching a 14-hour movie.

Katie Holmes is an intriguing addition for the third season, as a recurring character, the adult daughter of a guy who hires Ray to solve a problem in the first episode, then keeps coming back up. Can't wait to see where that goes.

That elk hoof? It's a special treat for the dogs because today marks two years since I brought Penny home! She's such a sweet little girl, and she and Carter are best buds.

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mhaithaca
It just occurred to me that one of the reasons I'm doing a lousy job keeping up is that I no longer have iJournal notifying me with its tiny pencil icon in the Mac menu bar when there are new unread posts on my Friends Page to read. I certainly didn't always go read instantly whenever the pencil appeared, but it was a fairly constant reminder that I should get over to catch up once in a while. Just one of many things I miss from the days when iJournal still worked.

I'm reading a bit tonight, and will try to catch up as best I can. The weekend off camping in the Poconos with the dogs (and the usual crew of camping friends) meant I have lots to catch up on elsewhere, too, and with students arriving on campus at the end of this week, I won't have much spare time. Oh, and my parents are in town! They're in Ithaca for a couple of days "on the way home" from a weekend in Cooperstown, so we're having several great meals. I will not be losing weight this week.
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mhaithaca
I guess I never posted about how our building was under heavy construction for most of the summer, with a team that was digging up huge trenches to fix a lingering plumbing problem. I think there was asbestos removal going on, too, but that may have only been early in the process. Half of the first floor (our floor) was blocked off, and there were huge trucks outside the building every day with massive hoses doing something I didn't much want to think about. Lots of noise, too, but the boss's office was in a worse location for that.

Among other things, it meant the men's room down the hallway past the laundry room was behind a wall and door that hadn't existed before, inaccessible to us. We also couldn't mostly walk through the building on the way to a parking lot on rainy days, but luckily there weren't too many of those.

The men's room being unavailable left us with two choices: walk most of the way toward it, go upstairs, then walk back past where our office is but on the next floor, to a men's room up there, OR use the unisex restroom that's just past the Dining office, IF the "female" flag isn't set. There's a system of flags on the door, with "male," "female," "neither," and "both." I recall being amused my first summer here, when the men's room was also unavailable for weeks, when I was in there and a female student staffer changed the flag and came in, too. Not a big deal as far as I was concerned, but I can imagine some wouldn't be amused.

Anyway, on Monday I noticed there was no truck, and soon realized the hallway was unblocked! Yay! The hallway looks like it's badly in need of some quality time with one of the big floor polishers they use on it periodically. The men's room has a large swath of its tile floor that's been replaced with concrete. Weird. I hope they're going to at least put a finish coat on it or something, because it feels strange to walk on compared to the tile. I'm sure I'll get over it.
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mhaithaca
Three years and a couple of weeks ago, I was the new guy at my office. In fact, in our group of five, with one coworker who left several months ago, I've been the new guy that whole time. Until today. We've had student staff come and go each year, and of course there are countless newcomers in the division, but our little group is (perhaps unusually) pretty stable.

The process took way longer than it was supposed to, but we finally hired a replacement for the colleague who left last fall, and he started today. I arrived when one of the IT guys was giving him an overview of how to use Outlook and our network file server. (My boss later asked me to show him how to set up his computer to print to our office printer, though as a Mac guy, I am probably not the best choice to help him print from Windows.)

Later on, I showed him a little bit of the layout of the building, pointing out where the nearby campus eateries are, etc. I explained how to figure out what his desk phone number was in case someone wanted to call him.

It didn't take long for me to realize that when I started my job three years ago -- heck, when I started my first non-student full-time Cornell job 15 years ago -- I already had a pretty good idea of how Cornell worked. I already knew the campus, I knew the e-mail systems inside out, pretty much knew the org structure. I've been the new guy in a division or a workgroup a few times, but I was never coming in with zero institutional knowledge. At least, not since I was a freshman. Heck, maybe not even then, considering I've been visiting Ithaca with my (Cornell alum) parents since I was about six.

Anyway, the new guy's pretty cool. I think he'll do fine. And I'll do my best to remember he's starting from scratch.
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mhaithaca
I'm not a professional photographer, but I've had some fun paying gigs. All of the food photography I got in the habit of doing for 14850 Dining also certainly helped me get the web communications manager job for Campus Life, which includes Cornell Dining!

Luna Thai Chicken SaladOne of the side effects of doing photography and social media for Pixel, a Collegetown bar and club, has been that I've gotten several paid gigs for fraternities and sororities. Even though they're fun events, I probably don't charge enough. That's especially true for Kappa Alpha Theta, which just finally paid me for their spring 2014 formal. Asking the people who'd hired me, and asking friends who'd connected me with Theta, wasn't getting me anywhere. Finally I found the local chapter advisory board chair's name and e-mailed her.

Even more fun? Food photoshoots for friends with new restaurants! I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon at Luna Inspired Street Food in Collegetown, a week-and-a-half-old restaurant with a food truck and street food theme, taking pictures of most of their menu items. I got to eat some of the food there, got to share some of it with staff and the mailman, who happened in at just the right time, and got to take quite a lot home and to a dogsitting friend.
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mhaithaca
I haven't done a regular DJ shift in a while, but tonight I'll be filling in for Phil on WVBR's Bound for Glory. It's the weekly folk music concert broadcast, with live concerts 33 weeks a year -- and albums from the studio the rest of the time. This is a studio show, so no live performer. Just some great recorded folk music.

Feel free to join me. BFG is on from 8-11pm Eastern Time on Sunday, at 93.5FM locally or at wvbr.com/listen from anywhere.
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mhaithaca
Actually, I didn't so much fall behind as get lost in the miasma of attempting to catch up after I got back from Italy. So, I apologize, for pretty much the first time ever, I've missed not just a couple of your LiveJournal posts, but effectively everything for three months. Sorry. If there was anything in there I desperately needed to see, feel free to link it here in the comments. :-)
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mhaithaca
"Take down the flag. Take it down now. Put it in a museum. Inscribe beneath it the years 1861-2015. Move forward. Abandon this charlatanism. Drive out this cult of death and chains. Save your lovely souls. Move forward. Do it now." -- Ta-Nahisi Coates
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mhaithaca
Thanks to Adam Richman's new show "Man Finds Food," whose Portland episode featured a place that made pastrami macaroni and cheese, I decided I needed to make homemade mac & cheese at 10pm. I didn't have any pastrami, but I had prosciutto!


It's in the oven at 400°, and should be done in about five minutes!
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mhaithaca
I much prefer supporting local businesses whenever possible, but when I buy Science Diet pet food, which is pretty expensive, I've been finding that the best deals aren't available in town. I'd spend a little more, but the locally owned store, Agway True Value, that carries Science Diet, briefly expressed interest in advertising in 14850 Magazine then decided not to. They're spending their promotional dollars on out-of-town bulk-mailing services, which makes giving them my local shopping dollars less attractive.

Mostly, I've been buying my Science Diet from Amazon. The price is good, and with the 5% Shop & Save subscription discount, it's even better. Add that to my Amazon Prime free two-day shipping -- for a 38.5 pound bag of dog food, no less -- and it's an irresistible deal! Heavy bag of dog food, right to my door? Yes please!

Amazon screwed up the subscription shipment that should've arrived last week, though, and we're rapidly running out of food! Luckily, before I ordered a last-minute shipment from Amazon, I remembered seeing a PetSmart "friends & family sale" e-mail. That 15%-off offer expires today, so I couldn't use it in the store at this hour, but I could order online. $16 and change for shipping -- but free in-store pickup! So instead of $45ish at the local store, or $40ish last-minute from Amazon, or $38ish with the subscription discount, I'm getting it from PetSmart for $34! I just have to pick it up at the store in the next couple of days. Works for me.
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