Friday, August 18, 2017

Hanging out, listening in

For the record, alchemists
usually work alone
In the nonstop glamour that is my professional life, there is ample opportunity to become involved in meetings of all manners.  Planning meetings, update meetings, strategy meetings, advice meetings, etc and so forth and on and on.

Yesterday there was a 7-HOUR meeting to talk through a 180-page document.

Seven hours was not enough.  The team reconvened at 5 p.m. last night and appeared to have remained online for at least 3 hours.

Even that was not enough, for today the team are meeting for at least 3 MORE hours to talk through the last 20 or so pages of the document.  Which means, of course, that the computer systems are super-slow and seem to be teetering on the brink of collapse in the meeting sharing window.

The best part of this is that I'm really only just listening in to folks talking through the issues, picking apart what's been written, re-dictating crafted language, and scrambling to get this done.  I feel really bad for them, as this is a project that was super-sped up by the big bosses in the face of what was already a challenging timeline.  They're doing their absolute BEST, but jeez, how much can be asked of a group of individuals?  They're practicing virtual alchemy to create a golden ticket from a pile of confusion and conflicting opinions, at incredible speed.

It's astounding.  And for once I'm glad I'm not the one driving the content.  I just have to own the process, which is enough.

It's going to be enough to QC that 11-page reference list against the text...and get the data-driven sections QC'ed...and ensure it's the next 10 days.

Goodbye, weekend.


So, big eclipse plans?

Me neither.

The kiddoes are going with their Dad down to SC to see it happen, which is a nice thing to do with their Dad I suppose.  He's pretty big on Life Event things, so they have those moments built into their collective life experiences.  Me?  I'm not a planner and don't really like to go to place where I know a crowd will also be, so tend to just stay home and live vicariously through the participants on the street.

After seeing what happened in Charlottesville and Barcelona this week, maybe staying off the streets isn't a bad idea.

But, eclipse.  Let's talk about that.

Way back when (1991? 1992?  Can't recall), there was an eclipse, which happened during work hours.  I know this because all us science nerds were hanging out in the windowed stairwell of the beautiful new research building, peering up at the sun through a tiny window of a 'floppy' disc.


Yup.  Apparently one can view an eclipse directly by pulling back the 'locking' tabs on the floppy disc and using the disc itself to screen out harmful rays of sunshine.  Like this:
Ta daaaaah!
We probably looked really cool doing this in our white lab coats, a mass of nerdiness peering like Devo at the fireball in the sky.

Heck, 'probably' nothing.  We rocked the look and the eclipse, then got right back to work saving the world.

Good times.


And that's twice this month I've posted.  You are welcome.

Tiff out.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Good DAY, Sunshine!

These didn't survive the Michigan-like winter, let
alone the brutal summer.  Goodbye, penstemon.
Summer 2017 has one giant bowl of hot n' muggy.  My flower garden can attest to that, as it's simply been too awful outside to go pull weeds or, you know, care much.  I bought some petunias before we went on vacation, then didn't PLANT the darned things, so now have $32 of wasted petunia to throw in the trash.

So of course I bought more flowers on  Sunday.  They remain unplanted, but now that the weather's turned a little nicer (high temps of only 90!) tomorrow morning I'mma be out in the garden finishing the weeding and planting my purdy new flowers.  I won't let that $27 go in the bin, as God is my witness!!


Oh, vacation was nice too.  As we do every year, we headed up to Smith Mountain Lake for a week of boatin' and floatin' and bloatin'.  We had a nicely zippy tritoon (150 horsepower is great!), a waverunner that had enough power to cause blisters on the (admittedly fairly soft) hands of one of its riders, and a speedboat that mostly ran pretty well.

The goal of any good lake week is to not put shoes on the whole week and not travel anywhere by car.  I can never achieve those goals, because someone needs to do the trash runs, and it's a nice drive with good views, so I slap on the sneakers and go.  Also, this introvert needs some time alone on a regular basis, which doesn't really get to experience when living for a week in a house with 6 other people and other family dropping on by for funtimez on the water.

I love my family, know.

On a related note, one of the long trips of lake week is to traverse the South-to-North path of the Roanoke River up to Hardy VA to eat hot dog bites and see what kind of crosses and hot sauce they have at Bay Roc Marina.  This year I elected to not go.  This is a trip that in years past has, for whatever reason, stressed me to the point of nausea (usually thunderstorm related), and I just wanted to avoid that this time around.

And you know what?  I might have missed out on some fun, but I had a WONDERFUL time by myself.  I relaxed like crazy, did some word searches, worked a puzzle, watched the water, and grabbed a tiny hunk of inner peace.

Fabulous, and very very tasty.


Anyhow, the laundry is washing, the dishes need doing, dinner needs fixing, and excuses for tomorrow's potential failures need to be created and catalogued.

Busy busy!

Tiff out.