First light lit after nightfall. Napped through sunset. Happy Hanukah everybody.

I actually did a lot of work today. I fixed my ultrabook, which took a drive repair and a system restore back to a previous date. I cobbled together a WordPress plugin to allow me to exclude the date from posts on a case-by-case basis, and then I had a meeting for a web design project that’s in its final stages. Now, it’s time for fun, something I don’t think you can ever have too much of.

Most of the time, my fun usually involved Denise and Wil, who I’m trying to get writing more on his site so I have stuff to link to when I mention him in my posts. 😛 And on a lot of occasions, there’s beer and food involved. We celebrate everybody’s birthdays together, and the holidays, and we always manage to turn even ordinary days, and sometimes our problems, into something to laugh about.

I also like to play games, go places, and of course read and write code, which can be fun in its own right. But more importantly, I try my best to make every situation fun. Of course, there are limits, but I find that having fun is my best coping mechanism. If like didn’t have a hint of fun in as many spots as possible, I’d go crazy. And that would definitely be the opposite of fun, because I’d have to be committed.

I believe that life is too short not to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean I take the haedonistic approach. I don’t leave for pleasure for its own sake. But I think it can only be good to try to wrest as much joy as you can out of life, because you only have one, and if you spend all your time sad, it can only do you harm, and I’m not in to that. Somedays, this is hard. It’s not always easy to have fun or find joy. But I think if I try my best to do so, then along with being productive and loving and a kind person, the day isn’t wasted. And there’s nothing I hate more than wasted days.

Until next time.

Today has been full of unexpected tasks, namely the complete reconfiguration of my user account on my ultrabook. This all started when I attempted to update my username and password in my anti-virus suite, and it went downhill from there. There were several crashes, and when the computer finally restarted normally, all my settings and software were disappeared. Given the problems the thing is exhibiting, I’m beginning to wonder if the SSD drive in it is failing. As if I need something else to replace.

While I worked, I started listening to the next book in the Prey series by John Sandford, Eyes of Prey. I haven’t gotten that far in to it but so far, I think this one might be the best one so far. It’s incredibly creepy. I plan to post a review when it’s done.

I’ve taken on the task of writing every day, and so far this week I’ve managed to write at least something each day, although most of it has not and will not be posted. But this is the only writing I’ve been able to get done today. It helps that I can walk away from the computers and sit outside and write. It’s a lot less stressful out here.

Tomorrow while i’m disconnected I plan to catch up on this week’s Torah portion. It’s the one with the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. I read the corresponding part in Legends of the Jews, which is a compilation of all the legendary material from the Midrash on the biblical characters, and in that material she gets a name (Zuleika) and there’s a ton more drama. If you’re interested you can find the collection online by doing a Google search for Legends of the Jews.

It’s past crunchtime so I’ll end for now. Until next time. Shabbat shalom, and everybody else have a great weekend.

This month, we’re meeting two weeks in a row due to the Thanksgiving holiday coming up in the US next week, which coopts our normal meeting date. We started off the meeting with a review of the individual roles: Timer, speech evaluators, ah counter, (the person who looks out for crutch and filler words used by the other Toastmasters), and the grammarian, me. I get to look out for misuses of the english language. I admit that this can be one of my favorite tasks, especially when it comes to Denise, because I love to pick on her for her southernisms. But I promise, I’ll try not to exhibit any triumphalism in doing it. Triumphalism is our word of the day today, and I got to pick it. I need to get some sort of dictionary app for my iPad though, so I can look up words on the go, like when situations like this come up.

Once the meeting got started, we heard a rousing speech from our division governor, who spoke about the goals she has for our clubs, and how she would love for us all to be excited about what we do for Toastmasters. Next, we heard from one of our toastmasters who has an incredible talent for telling the best stories. He shared a Puerto Rican folktale with us, and he also shared truffles, which means he automatically gets my vote for best speech, because there was good food involved, and I love food. 😛 After this, we heard a speech on the procedures we follow each meeting. This was in response to an educational talk our division governor gave us last week at the end of that meeting. Since this speech was no longer story time, I think it faced a bit of a disadvantage. But that’s just my humble opinion.

After the speeches we voted, and then went on to table topics, which are a set of speeches designed to flex our impromptu skills. Since today was hat day for our club, the first prompt had to do with why people chose the hats they did. I wore my normal head covering. Next e voted on the table topic speeches. Then we got the timer’s report from Denise, during which we took the opportunity to pick on our division governor. Our group tends to be pretty laid-back, so we manage to get in all the stuff we need to for the meeting while still having fun. Next we heard the speech evaluations, which are always a great time to receive feedback when you’re speaking. I didn’t realize how important these were until I gave my first speech last week, and the feedback I received during my evaluation was extremely valuable and I’m looking for ward to speaking again becasue of it.

I think our meeting went exceptionally well tonight. Things seemed to flow natually and everybody was on their game. I’m looking forward to future meetings going this well. I probably won’t liveblog each meeting, but there were a few people on Twitter who expressed some interest in Toastmasters, and I thought that an example of how a meeting can run would be a nice sneak-peak in to what Toastmasters is, and that hopefully some of those who expressed interest will consider joining with some aid from this account.

Until next time.

Damn. The fire alarm’s going off. And I just got settled.
I need a remote to mute the bigger laptop, because I don’t want to get up now.
Signing off. Everyone behave. Shabbat shalom.
Getting ready to go to my Toast Masters meeting and give my first speech. Very nervous. Everyone wish me luck.
Citrix, why do you hate me so much?
Going through my journal. I really should do this more often, because there’s some hilarious stuff in here.