Sunday, July 27, 2014
I did something I haven't done last evening - I spent three or four hours writing. I enjoy writing but I simply haven't done enough of it in the last couple of months, perhaps in the last couple of years, so last night had its own pleasures, the pleasures of creation. Now, today, I will re-read what I wrote last night and I might find that it is not particularly good, but that really doesn't matter - what matters is I definitely felt the creative juices flowing, all as the result of an incidental bit of inspiration that happened during the day. I need to move myself into a point where I am in closer touch with my muse.
Today should be a good day - at this time, here in the early morning, it is a wide open day. I am going to meet the guys for breakfast at eight, then, well, the day is open and I may find something to do. I've been wanting to get over to the coast for lunch for the last couple of days, but I have balanced that with the need to just relax and do nothing.
Though I miss going to Comic Con, I am glad I made the decision to keep this vacation simple and close to home. I needed the time in solitude, I learned from it, I learned some things about myself and had some interesting dreams.
Two nights in a row I dream about shapes and patterns - specifically about layering those shapes and patterns. I think I have had an awareness for a while that I am not committing fully to the things I am doing as I go through my days. I am doing things, and I am doing things I enjoy, but I am simply not fully loosing myself in the moment. That is what I am going to work on for the next couple of months I think - continuing the process of focusing, of being in the moment, and of investing myself in the things that I am doing.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Lucy was extremely well done - it is a curious movie, part science lecture (Morgan Freeman's character) and part pure Luc Besson action/adventure (Scarlett Johanssen). Both parts are excellent and they meld together in a nice tight little story. It is a very visual movie and I saw it, entirely by accident, in Century's XD format, which fit it perfectly. I will definitely recommend it.
Friday, July 25, 2014
I went out and saw the new Zach Braff and Kate Hudson movie "Wish I Was Here". It was a very good. It was definitely a showplace for Kate Hudson, whose performance is the emotional core of the film. The other cast members turned in excellent performances as well. I would recommend it if you are searching for a solid little movie.
Other than that, it has been a quiet and introspective time off, which is exactly what I was in the mood for. I miss going to Comic Con, but that is okay - this is the vacation I needed. I can always make Comic Con next year. It has been so nice to just coast through the days, doing only those things that arise naturally.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
I was pretty quiet and introspective today. I was being careful of the words I used and the things I said, trying my best not to let any negativity creep in, trying to be in the moment and savor each one as best I could. It led to my being quiet, as I carefully considered each thing I said. All in all though, it was a good day - nice and productive. I managed to get through a bunch of small errands and a stack of email that I had sitting in the living room. That was a good feeling.
TR is traveling for work for the next couple of days, so our contact has been sporadic (her work, in terms of time, is more demanding than mine when she is on the job). I am missing her a bit, but happy that she is at the work she does best. I am looking forward to her return.
As I went softly and slowly through the day today I watched an excellent movie off the DVR - The Hunter, with Willen Dafoe. Beautiful, poignant, and a perfect example of what a good little movie can be - simple but not simplistic, a pure piece of story telling. I was personally very impressed with the movie and enjoyed it a lot.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Feel exuberant. I saw it coming. Not this particular bit of madness but something of this nature so I held a bit in reserve. I made sure that our top speed was being measured with my hand on the reins so that when this pony needed that extra bit of get up and go, it was there. I let go of the reins and barring an unforeseen accident we will cross the finish line with all things in good order. Still, I do get tired of the madness and the stress associated with the sudden change has made folks, well, a bit testy.
Our functional project manager, who is otherwise doing a good job, is bouncing off the walls due to his own stress levels. This is his first major project for the Evil Corporation so I am sure he wants to do well and that has got him spinning in all kinds of circles. Our trusty project engineer, whom I had my own clashes with earlier in this project, is feeling pinned against the wall. The functional project manager had the same conversation I had with him - about who is in charge. That there simply just reflects the eternal battle against bureaucracy. He is a good guy, he is just a little too deep into the bureaucracy.
The next seven days or so are going to be highly chaotic as we try to slide across the finish line. I am going to try and stay tight, stay focused, and keep a good sense of humor. It is always a bit of a struggle, since the stress will be flowing freely in all directions. Fortunately, I am confident that we are ready to go, even if we are going into Chaos, Ascending.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
I think it has been quite a while since I’ve written anything from work. Today is already starting out to be a strange day. I came into the office early in order to attend a pair of meetings, only to discover that the meetings have been cancelled, which suddenly alters the shape of the day. Rather than immediately leap into the next task, I thought I would take a few minutes here to savor a cup of coffee and write a little note. I am sure I had something to say when I started to write, but it seems to have slipped my mind, so I am going to have to go all free association on you here!
We’ve settled into the new building here at work and while the work area is nice, it has a few drawbacks. First, let me focus on the good things about the area – though the building itself is a piece of junk (typical of many of our older buildings), the area we are sitting in has been remodeled and is not bad. There is some natural light from a bank of windows along the east side of the area and the cubicle furniture has been built in this century at least. We are just across the courtyard from the main building and the cafeteria, so that has been a nice little treat and has led to more healthy breakfasts, along with the occasional donut run, which probably cancels out the healthy breakfast.
There is a serious drawback in the new work area though. Basically, we are really stacked in on top of each other and the cubicles have low walls which means that there is no privacy. And when I saw no privacy, I mean zero. The area is shaped like an L and we are on the short end of the L. There are ten people who sit in this area and basically any conversation that is held in the area might as well be held in the same cube as you are, you can hear everything that clearly. This has created some friction and will continue to create additional friction. There is no easy solution to it. I am pretty good at mentally tuning other people out and I suspect that, in time, most of the people will adjust to it, but I also anticipate a good blow up or two before we reach any sort of equilibrium.
However, on a personal level, I am considering the whole thing to be a net gain and I am enjoying the new area. For me, on a personal level, the presence of natural light makes a huge difference. I used to crash into a hard wall in the afternoon, after sitting all morning without natural light. Since we’ve moved into the new area I have not run into that crash.
The old area was down right depressive and here, in the new area, I have yet to feel that sense of depression and frustration. Now, part of that might have been an artifact of the old organizational structure as well – the curse of poor leadership, but we are through that dark phase of my career here at the Evil Company and we seem to be in a better place. Our new leadership seems to be competent and I am hoping we’re able to work with them and put the structures in place to upgrade our operational capabilities.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
But, I recovered after watching a fairly good movie - Eric Bana and Olivia Munn in "Deliver Us From Evil" - an exorcism movie about a NYPD detective that was fairly well done for the genre and had half a dozen jump moments, plus rock solid performances by the cast. I'd recommend it if you're into that type of movie.
I followed the movie with a stop at Fry's to look at a new computer, the next major purchase I have on my list. I want to go to an ultra-light with 3.0 USB connections. I was considering a Mac Air for a while, but a lot of the new ultra-light laptops are just as good, as far and weight and durability, so why mess with a new OS.
After spinning through Fry's I dropped Tony off to pick up his car, then grabbed some lunch and stopped at a sporting good store and picked up a pair of very light hikers. Then, a quiet and easy afternoon at home, watching the DVR.
I watched "The Counselor" and now I am on the third episode of "Band of Brothers". I think I am going to watch the episode and do some assorted inner errands here at the house before I call it a night. TR and her family are out at a concert and sound like they are having a great time.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
-Top center right, in succession: 1 roll of athletic tape. 1 roll of duct tape. 1 Buck Knife. 2 triangular bandages. 2 packs of nitrile gloves. I CPR kit (includes airway and protective shield). 1 small container of Vaseline.*
-Bottom, center, right: 1 small container of Vaseline.* 1 EMT pack (1 pair of high tensile shears, 1 medium EMT scissors, 1 small sharp pointed scissors, 1 large hemostat, 1 small hemostat, 1 pen light)
-Bottom right: 2 sterile 4" gauze rolls.
-Johnson & Johnson Travel Safe First Aid Kit (with a few additions, mainly in OTC medications to cover a wide variety of temporary conditions - Ibuprofen, Advil, Bufferin, Benadryl, Electrolyte Replacements, Imodium AD, Alka-Seltzer, a few more durable bandages, a pack of butterfly enclosures and two sterile scalpel blades.)
-Top upper right: Two 1 gallon Zip-lock bags** and two Cureaid anti-viral facemasks.
*Vaseline is a very efficient tool for stopping small bleeding wounds, especial to the face and scalp. Professional fighters use it all the time.
**A simple zip lock bag is a great first aid tool. It has multiple uses. First, it can be used to deal with a sucking chest wound (a poor man's HALO), second, in a pinch it can be used as an improvised glove (mitten) to handle things (bleeding wounds, vomitus, fluids) in an emergency, and finally - get the gallon size because it can be used as improvised eye and face protection in the event of spurting wounds. It looks goofy but simply pull it over your head, down over your face, nose and mouth. Leave the bottom open and there is no danger of asphyxiation (try it yourself to make sure you're comfortable with it.)
It was a chaotic day, from the beginning until now. Let me just run through it quickly.
1. I started the day with a 7:00 AM meeting. It probably took the meeting presenter twenty or thirty minutes to get the technology to work correctly - and then had to rush through the remaining thirty minutes.
2. I had an appointment for a contractor to come out and do some work in the 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
window, so I stayed home. Then, the contractor was late - I was just leaving when they arrived, but that through off my schedule for the rest of the day.
3. In order to facilitate the contractors work I moved my car out of the garage onto the surface street. (This one sounds simple enough, but it is coming back a bit later...)
4. I accepted a software update for my personal iPhone. It failed. And wiped out my phone which compelled me to have it recovered and restored, a slow and laborious process. Fortunately, I had a good and recent back-up.
5. At work we log out test case results in a piece of software called Quality Center. Quality Center would not work for me today. It showed that the test run window was open - but it wasn't. I spent an hour on the phone with technical support and they could not figure it out.
6. Lunch was good - three minute eggs and western cheddar sausages. All protein.
7. My afternoon meetings moved pretty smoothly and I managed to get a few tickets advanced.
8. As I was sitting there I heard the sound of the street sweeper passing outside. I slipped on a pair and shoes and...yep...parking ticket for not clearing the car off the street on sweeper day. Fifty dollars.
So, here I am, waiting for the end of the day - relaxed and amused at the battle with Mara that consumed most of the day.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Shortly after I had made the decision to try and be present through the day, to try and move softly and deliberately. the electricians showed up. Two of them. Then, all around me they climbed up on their ladder, with their drills and tools, and adjusted the lightning. Loudly.
Still, in spite of the interruption, I was able to stay present through most of the day - or at least aware of the times when I was venturing off center. I think I am going to try and repeat the exercise tomorrow and see how it helps me move through the day.