What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. The first taste of spring. I’ve paid my dues and part of my reward has been “graduating” to a cube next to the windows. Usually that’s a good thing. Except this time of year when the weather finally starts shaking off the winter doldrums, things start greening up, and our courtyard looking more like an ill-tended park than a well-tended prison yard. It’s good to have a view of something, but once the rain stopped this week and the sun came out the view has mostly left me with a feeling that I’d much rather be outside working in the yard (or holding down a stool on one of my favorite deck bars) than sitting here working on version 43 of The PowerPoint Presentation that Will Save the World.

2. Being common. Pretty much everyone I know professionally carries around something called a Common Access Card. The theory behind the CAC is that it would be the one ID card to rule them all. It’s a good idea. Except that it’s not. Although it is ubiquitously common, it provides access to basically nothing. One way you know this is by standing behind a woman at the front door card scanner and watching for almost a minute while she tries to use it to unlock the doors. Even offering up a helpful, “Uh, I think you need to use you other access card for that door” was met with a furious gaze and a firm “No. You have to use your CAC.” Yeah. Fine lady. Don’t mind me while I reach past you to swipe my card so I can actually get to my desk.

3. The yard. One of the reasons I liked the new house so much was that the yard took up a relatively minor space on an otherwise spacious lot. The rest is filled in with reasonably large trees and plenty of undergrowth. The house needs a few odds and ends, but I made my peace with living with it for a while to decide what and how to attack those. The yard on the other hand is probably only a few days – a week at most – from demanding immediate attention. Trimming shrubs, weeding front and back, new mulch, dirt patches to seed where gas and septic have been dug up, areas where grading pushes water towards the house instead of away from it, the eventual fence project, and the general mowing and edging. Assuming the yard stays dry some of those things are going to have to start this weekend with others following on shortly thereafter. I haven’t had the amount of time to plan the attack that I’d have liked. By the end of summer I’ll have it sorted out, but don’t expect progress to be coherent or consistent in any way. Sadly that means it’s going to take more time than expected to bring the outside up to my probably unreasonable standard of “finished.”

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