Friday, May 12, 2017

Brown Dirt and Tons of Stuff

Whew.

It has been a busy week.

We've been cleaning over at Bob's house for the last two days.  We have made a lot of headway. I imagine the house hasn't been thoroughly cleaned for several years at least.  At one point I found a box of mail from 2003, so it probably wasn't thoroughly cleaned since then.  We've got enough junk to fill a 20 yard dumpster, which we're going to order today.

In the last two days we've hit the major junk filed areas - the atrium, the kitchen/dining room, and the living room.  Stripped them all the way down, threw out a ton of stuff, mopped some very brown floors, cleaned some furniture.  Today's plan is to finish up the kitchen and start working down the hall toward the bedrooms.

Meanwhile, in the work environment I've got a project that I am going to have to delay again - we just can't get it to work, it's one step forward and one step back.  Every time we get something resolved, we run into another problem, like peeling back the layers of the onion.  So, as I go through the day cleaning at Bob's, I am going to be cutting back and forth to work to see if I can kick this project into higher gear.

One of the frustrating things about the project is, due to the way the bureaucracies of both companies work, it has been virtually impossible to get all the players on the phone at the same time.  Really, I suspect we could resolve it if we could just get everyone to sit together on the phone and go through it step by step in real-time, but everyone is so overwhelmed with other work project we just can't seem to make that happen.

I'm pretty badly frustrated about it and it's causing me a lot of stress, which is layering on top of the other stress, so I am cranked pretty high right now.  But, I know the secret to getting through it is to just keep the head down and work through it, as painful as it is.  One of my frustrations is that some of the resources (people) involved seem to bump into a problem and then just stop and wander off and do something else.  I always hate slamming people at work, but I am reaching for the big hammer.

Meanwhile, I just keep reminding myself to breathe.  Simply breathe.  Head down, keep moving forward.

Outside of that, things really aren't going to bad.  It has been nice doing to physical labor over at Bob's place, so that has been enjoyable, though I swear I've inhaled a ton of dust bunnies and spider-webs.  I've got a quick work related meeting shortly, then I am going to go over and dive back into the work at Bob's.  I'll take my work computer with me so I can see if I can kick the project forward at the same time.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Just Throw It Away. Just Walk Away From It.

It's been a fairly decent Monday here.  It's about the normal level of work chaos for a Monday. There are a lot of meetings stacked up on a single day so it really means that I am lucky if I get an hour or two of clean work.  I already spent one of those hours this morning and I should be able to spend another this afternoon after I wrap up the meeting I am listening to right now.  It is one of those box checking meetings that large corporations have to have.  I'm not a fan of them but I understand their necessity in a complex work environment.  My primary objection is a lot of times they are not functionally necessary.  This one may be marginally necessary, at best.

I've taken three days off this week, Wednesday through Friday, to help Brandy do some cleaning over at Bob's.  As usual, the two of them are out of sync, but not to badly. Brandy wants to get a dumpster and through a lot of stuff away and Bob is balking.  So. we've settled on kind of a hybrid solution - we'll clean, bag and stack in the side yard and then make the decision on whether to rent a dumpster from there.  My only question is around the size of the dumpster - ten yard or twenty yard.  I'm not sure they have that much "stuff" to justify a twenty-yard dumpster.  It might be a ten yard or it might be a couple of pick-up trucks worth.  If it was up to me, I'd be ruthless - but it is really easy to be ruthless with other people's stuff.

I think they'll end up in a better place once the get the full sweep of the cleaning done - just visually and aesthetically they'll notice a big improvement.  I know I have in the times when I've ruthlessly purged my own stuff.  I went through a mini-purge a while ago and ended up keeping some stuff, but, as usual, after a couple of weeks I realized that I didn't need it - that I should have thrown all of it away.  Just close your eyes, throw it away, and realize that most of our junk is pure sunk cost.  Money we spent at one point that we'll never get back.  Just throw it away. Just walk away from it.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cool Morning and Steady Work

We had a bit of heat yesterday with the temps up in the mid-nineties.  It was the first true sweep of summer heat and I actually enjoyed it after that long wet winter.  This morning is very pleasant and very cool and the day should be ten degrees cooler than yesterday, into the low eighties, with further cooling tomorrow.

Work is fairly quiet this morning so I think I should have a productive day in that environment.  I started the morning with a long presentation of new functionality from one of the vendors (I'm listening to the teleconference as I type - I am familiar with the new functionality, the briefing is more for our customer set and our new management.)

I am looking forward to the weekend.  I've got lunch planned with my friend Ty on Saturday.  We haven't got together in quite a while, so I am looking forward to the conversation.  We're planning to meet at Olive Garden about halfway between our locations.

Other than anticipation of the weekend there really isn't much going on today, just a day of steady work.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Let's Start The Day

I've got about 15 minutes before I'm going to officially start the work day. It's going to be a challenging morning. I've got a pair of meetings that have the potential to turn confrontational, but I suspect they'll go smooth enough, especially since I'm the only one that knows what is going on. In short I should be able to deflect or defer any serious criticism.

I had a sleepless night. I went to bed about 9:30 PM and then tossed and turned for a while before I dropped off. I woke about 3:00 AM, then tossed and turned for a while before I got up. I've deliberately tried to keep the morning low key and simple in anticipation of the stress that's going to unfold over the course of the next couple of hours.

First thing I'm going to do when I start the working day is spend an hour and a half methodically going the the elements of a process I have to brief on at 8:00 AM. The briefing is scheduled for an hour but I'm not sure it's going to take that long.

Immediately on the heels of that meeting I have what we call the "tools" meeting, where I've got to brief on two overdue projects that have been hampered by constant fire fighting. That should go okay because basically we're almost there and I have a small window left to close on the items.

So, that's the day that lies ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday is Quasi-Tranquil

It was a busy weekend, mostly with personal items, but otherwise pretty nice.  I had a bit of epic sleep on Sunday.  I got home from running assorted errands about four PM and laid down to take a nap.  I slept for an hour, woke up on the alarm clock, reset it and slept for another hour, then simply gave up with the whole napping concept and just went to sleep.  I slept until about midnight and then woke for an hour, watched the first episode of "American Gods", and then fell back to sleep for four hours.  Once again, I certainly needed that sleep!

Monday was a bit of blur with the usual work related chaos, but today has been smoother. In the rhythm of work, for whatever reason, I am also light on meetings on a Tuesday, so I actually get a chance to get things done.  The morning has been productive and the afternoon should be as well.

We're heading into the high 80's here in this part of California, so that should be nice, especially after the long wet winter.  We definitely broke out of the drought this year and everything is pretty amazing and pretty green.  Which of course plays heck with the allergies, but that is okay.  I enjoy the green and I enjoy the bird-tribe that congregates on my patio.  They are endlessly entertaining.