Posts Tagged ‘Work’

Part of my lack of blogging this past week was due to a rather insane work/meeting schedule. There was a bit of traveling involved to get everywhere I needed to go. Then, Mike and the kids and I hit the road for some holiday travel. I learned/relearned a couple of things. I learned that my new car does not have the kind of lumbar support that I need if I spend half my working day in the car. And I relearned what a beautiful and amazing place California is.  I started my travels on Tuesday, going from Sacramento to Roseville to attend an evening meeting. Sacramento, as the capital of California, is a good-sized city. Not on the scale of San Francisco or Los Angeles, which is what I think most people picture when they think of metropolitan California. But we’ve got a nice little downtown and midtown and miles and miles of suburbs. I haven’t taken a picture of downtown Sacramento in a long time, except to document how insanely smokey it was during last month’s horrendous Paradise fire. So, these are not quite representative photos, but here’s a glimpse of downtown Sacramento.


From my evening meeting, I traveled straight up to South Lake Tahoe, where I had a meeting scheduled  on Wednesday.  I was scheduled to participate in an interview for a project there. I’m hoping we win, both to have a project up in Tahoe again and to just have a new project to work on in 2019. (Like I really need another one? No. Yes? Maybe. Never know with schedules when you’re the consultant.) I’ve had a project to work on in either the Tahoe Basin or just outside it in Truckee since I started this job eight years ago. It’s nice to go up from time to time, see my co-workers in the Basin and enjoy the beauty of Tahoe when I can. Not that I often stop and see much when I’m up there for work. But hey – an occasional shot out the window and through the car windows is nice.



Then, if you can imagine it, I had to fly down the mountain Wednesday afternoon to try and make the last half of an event I had already scheduled in Roseville that evening for the professional society I belong to. Impossible timing, but I made it!

On Thursday, I was back in the car for a meeting in Yuba City.  Luckily for my back, the straight shot up the freeway meant I could put my cruise control to good use. Driving through California agricultural fields is probably the most common drive in my life. Growing up in a small ag town, going to school at an ag school (Go, UCD Aggies!) and even living in Sacramento, which is surrounded on most sides by ag fields, is natural for me. I think no matter where I have lived in California, I could drive less than two miles and be in the middle of open space or agricultural fields. They are, perhaps, some of the most beautiful sights in California. Especially when you consider how many crops they produce and how many people they feed. And how vast the ag land in California is. Definitely NOT what most people imagine when they think of California. But drive through or over the center of the state, and that is all there is. I don’t have a good picture of my own. I was zooming to and from meetings, remember. Here’s a video of a flyover over Sutter County’s rice fields. The fields were all flooded during my drive. Funny to me that Sutter County is next to Yuba County, but Yuba City is the county seat for Sutter County. Always confuses me.

And finally, the family and I hit the road and, today, found ourselves enjoying some tide pools near the ocean because, yes, California is one giant coastline and we ALL live next to the beach, don’t you know. 🙂  I jest, but I am lucky the ocean is less than three hours away from me. And tonight was a spectacular display of beauty.


Welcome to California.

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Deja vu all over again.  I was looking back at the last few blogs I wrote – oh so long ago.  And from July 2011:

I sat in front of my computer after a long 12+ hour work day, after listening to some insightful questions from my sweet nephew about how many hours I work everyday and how often I work this late, after eating some warmed over canned chili with much too much sharp cheddar cheese, after daydreaming about welcoming Sweetie back home on Saturday after his long work trip away from home, after taking my blood pressure and marveling at the startling increase in numerals from my blood pressure reading last night……….and I sat in front of my computer and switched on my iTunes and asked my music “What do I want to listen to right now?”

And I have to laugh because tonight (March 2012) I was feeling wiped and slightly demotivated after working a 12+ hour workday (which is short these days), eating microwaved pizza that I missed eating with my nephews because I was working too late, wishing fervently that Sweetie was home already from his week-long work trip away, and marking a noticeable increase in my blood pressure from my February reading. Yes, that’s how my evening went tonight.  So, I thought “Might as well.”  I opened iTunes, turned on shuffle and hit play. 

And my music replied:

Sad and Lonely

Does my music know me or what?

Sad and Lonely (Daughter Darling)

Did they tell you I’d be boring?

Do you know where to order the next morning?

There is no guarantee

That when you wake up, you’ll be able to breath

So I’ll throw you moonbeams

Ill make you kick and scream

Oh then baby I’ll make you smile

Then I’ll make you bleed

Sad and lonely

Don’t you look so sad

You know it can’t be that bad

Just consider it to be

Another way you’ll see me

Did you forget your place of ambition?

I’ve seemed to move you from your only position

You’re so afraid of my reality cause it burns your eyes

Makes you sad and lonely

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I sat in front of my computer after a long 12+ hour work day, after listening to some insightful questions from my sweet nephew about how many hours I work everyday and how often I work this late, after eating some warmed over canned chili with much too much sharp cheddar cheese, after daydreaming about welcoming Sweetie back home on Saturday after his long work trip away from home, after taking my blood pressure and marveling at the startling increase in numerals from my blood pressure reading last night……….and I sat in front of my computer and switched on my iTunes and asked my music “What do I want to listen to right now?”

And my music replied:

That’s my Phil!  Hmmmm……sounds about right. 

Long Long Way to Go

While I sit here trying to think of things to say
Someone lies bleeding in a field somewhere
So it would seem we’ve still got a long long way to go
I’ve seen all I wanna see today

While I sit here trying to move you anyway I can
Someone’s son lies dead in a gutter somewhere
And it would seem that we’ve got a long long way to go
But I can’t take it anymore

Turn it off if you want to
Switch it off it will go away
Turn it off if you want to
Switch it off or look away

While I sit and we talk and talk and we talk some more
Someone’s loved one’s heart stops beating in a street somewhere
So it would seem we’ve still got a long long way to go, I know
I’ve heard all I wanna hear today

Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to)
Switch it off it will go away (switch it off it will go away)
Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to)
Switch it off or look away (switch it off or look away)

Switch it off
Turn it off

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So, I’ve posted a few things that I miss about Maui.  I thought I should post a couple of positive things about my life away from Maui.

Paying bills.  Being able to pay bills is a very positive thing.  I am immensely happy to be paying off all my bills.  The last couple of years on Maui were slow ones for my side of the pay check contributions.  Work from California was barely trickling in and I was working less than half time for many months.  Bill balances were carried over, much to the consternation of Sweetie (and my father if he was watching me around that time).  I didn’t love it either, but it was easier for me (than Sweetie) to just ignore the monthly charges.  I fretted but felt that I would get my feet back under me eventually.

Now that I am back to a full-time job with a steady full-time paycheck, I am loving being able to pay my bills and start socking away money every month.  *sigh*  Nice.  Not that I don’t have new stresses from said full-time job.  But I remind myself how nice it is to pay off my bills.  And that helps.  I have a couple of personal loans I’m paying back and it feels good to be able to do that also.  I can still stress about money if I think about it.  Especially given the long list of house projects that Sweetie and I are compiling.  Some optional.  Some probably soon-to-be mandatory.  Think sewer pipes.  Fun times.  But at least I don’t feel overwhelmed on a weekly basis.

So, much as I miss the laid-back loveliness of island self-employed living, I can appreciate some of the benefits of the daily grind.  Given that I’ve landed in a nice workplace with some interesting projects to work on, I’ll keep my nose to it until the day I become a professional poker player.  ha! 

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It’s late and I should be in bed, so I’ll just throw out a random hodgepodge of brain spew.

Finding myself back in my old company, which I left several years ago right after a merger/acquisition, I am somewhat amused to be plopped right back into a newly-announced merger/acquisition. If I hadn’t left, I could say I’ve worked in the same building for 12.5 years, yet have worked for three different companies. Not too unoriginal in this day and age of consolidation and the death of small companies. Sad. Interesting. Could be good. Good be bad. We shall see.

I learned of the death today of Senator Ted Stevens and, among other things, thought of the blog I wrote a few years ago about Senators Larry Craig and Ted Stevens. I can’t say that Mr. Stevens was someone I admired in any way, shape, or form. But tragic accidental deaths are sad, and I send my condolences into the ether in the general direction of his family and friends. I feel almost bad that I ended that blog referring to another anti-environment Congressperson who died tragically in a moving-vehicle accident. But only as bad as either one of them ever felt about the eradication of many many species of animals living on Earth.

Am I the only one that noted that last week, during the exact same time we had a large solar flare hit the planet, we have 6 earthquakes over 6.0 in magnitude in less than 36 hours? I check the USGS site almost every day. That is not quite normal. But don’t worry. My co-worker who specializes in geology, hydrology, and hazards just laughed at me when I mentioned the correlation to her.

It’s August 10 (yesterday was 8-9-10) and I’m pretty sure I’ve spent over half the year apart from my husband. *sigh* Even for us, that’s quite a large percentage. But I spent a bunch of time in California looking for a job while he was working in Hawai’i. Then, we both moved over here in July and he has spent half of July in another state working. He just left tonight for a 2-day class in the Bay Area. I should be used to saying goodbye. And I shouldn’t worry because I can easily spend 12+ hours at work the next couple of days. But you know what? It still sucks.

I know I’m pretty bad about spending time on this blog updating y’all about what is really going on with me. That was the original intent of the blog. But I haven’t been very good at it. Here’s an update – Sweetie and I are home-shopping. It’s fun. And slightly exhausting. And nerve-wracking. I’ve discovered what I’m sure every other house-hunter in the world has – at this point in time, I wish my Super Power was “Being Able to Mix and Match All the Best Things from Several Different Houses Into the PERFECT House for Me.”

*sigh* Tis not to be. This one has a fabulous kitchen but crap construction. This one has a pool but an ugly backyard. This one is sooooooo cute and soooooo unique, but there is no way I can fit more than one piece of furniture in the living room. This one has great inner space but is in a less-than-desirable-location. And on and on and on. Right now, I think our favorite candidate house is one with: some awesome space inside (large living area); some super-awesome funky-cool details (70’s-like entryway, room partition and fireplace (looks way better than it sounds); and an incredible backyard; but also has a small very outdated kitchen and location issues (a little too close to the freeway). I’m thinking we can live with the drawbacks. Assuming we buy new appliances. But I don’t know. Do we throw out an offer to nab it now? Or do we keep shopping around in hopes of finding something better?

Don’t know. We’ll figure it out. I’m going to do more recon – try and drive around during different times of the day and get a better feel for the neighborhood and noise. Sweetie does NOT understand me when I try and explain that I get “feelings” from houses. I’m not talking ghost-of-your-dead-dog-in-the-backyard or anything like that. I just get feelings about the general flow of a house. Dare I say energy? No, I better not. But I get feelings as to whether or not *I* would be happy in a space. And I need to listen to those feelings because, as much as I liked many things about the house my parents moved into after I went to college, I could NEVER EVER sleep well in it. Even for me, it was bad. But I would only visit. I can’t live in a house that is like that every day. Anyway. Feelings. Sweetie doesn’t get it. But it’s another check-mark in my brain. And this house may get a positive mark.

The search is still young. I’m sure I’ll have a different story to tell in a week. There’s your update for now.

Aloha and good-night.

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Step Away from the Politics

No…….not *politics* politics.  Never fear, my friends, I will never completely shy away from disgorging my own brand of political opinion onto the screen from time to time.

No, I’m talking about what I am relearning about as I jump back into the world of the crowded workplace:  Office politics.

For the most part, I can put my head down, do my job, and enjoy time away from the office with some great people who have remained my friends for years.  But I’m coming to the impression that there is at least one person in the office I need to watch my back around.  Not because this person dislikes me or has any reason to question the quality of my work.  I think.  But because I think this person is a very shrewd political player.  Of course, I don’t love this impression.  I am fighting the urge to try and confirm or disprove it.  I wonder what the motivation is (actually I think it’s obviously a well-honed self-interest).  But then I think to myself: Stay out of it.  I’m relatively new again.  The political wheels that are turning started before I came around and there is nothing I can do about them. 

And so, I won’t worry too much.  I’ll try and disengage my inflated sense of empathy for other people and just do my job.  Regular politics take up enough of my limited brain space.  The work place is for work. 

And the consumption of chocolate. 

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….hello.  I am a lonely Blog Entry.

I am trapped in Draft phase and this crazy lady won’t let me out.  I am usually alone all day and night.  Sometimes she pops in to change a word, rearrange some punctuation, or delete half of me.!  But mostly I am alone.  Sometimes she cheats on me and starts a completely different Draft.  I don’t hate the Other draft.  I know it will get the same treatment as me. 

But wait!  Arghhh!  No!  She posted something!  She posted something meaningless and yet, here I still sit.  I am not meaningless!  I am interesting.  And I have information you might want to read!

But here I sit. 

And wait.

Guess you’ll never read about the ups and downs of trying to plan for the future.

You may not even know that my author flew the coop last week.  Took off.  Of course, I still see her because I am in some “cloud” that manages to follow her around wherever she goes.  Even if she flies to California on a moment’s notice.

Why would she do that?  Well, it’s not really my place as a simple DRAFT to pry, but between the e-mails flying around the cloud and the clicking on corporate websites, I’m hearing consistent chatter about things like “job openings”, “resumes”, “interviews”, and things of that nature.  There were phone calls.  I think there was even a Skype session.  Whatever that is.  And then I thought “Well! We got that over with, didn’t we?  Silly interviews are over.  Surely she will finish ME now!”

But no.  Of course not. 

Instead of calming down and going back to life as usual, she seemed to flutter around in even more of a frenzy and before you know it, I have to track her down in California.  Seems technology can only go so far with these interviewer types.  Personally I think that meeting in person is a little old fashioned.  But what do I know? I’m just an electronic Draft

So, here we are.  I’m ignored again in favor of things like “second interviews” and “quotes from moving companies” and……don’t even get me started on how verbose she can be in her e-mails to some dude about such mundane things like “our future.”  *yawn*  Your future will be fine lady.  But Blog Entries are NOT like fine wine.  We don’t age well on the shelf.  We get outdated.  We go stale.  We don’t like to be ignored!! 

Maybe somebody should start a letter-writing campaign.  “Free the Trapped Blog Entry!”  Release the stale words full of yesterday’s news, ambiguous rhyming words, and ranty venom.

Or not.  I can stay up here in the unread Draft clouds in the sky.  It’s certainly well-populated.  In fact, I think that “Script of the Century” just winked at me. 

I gotta go.

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  • Does it make you nervous when your webcam “winks” at you?  Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my computer minding my own business when the little blue light of my webcam blinks on and off.  I’m not sure why.  My mouse and I are nowhere near the webcam shortcut.  I never even use my webcam.  But there it goes.  *blink* *blink*  Hello?  Are you trying to tell me something?  Are you recording me while I am not looking?  Is my scowling yawning face being broadcast out to the world without my knowledge?  What is going on????
  • A couple of weeks ago I thought I would have no problem getting ready for Christmas.  But then, a couple of weeks ago I still thought Christmas was about 4 months away.  Time takes on new dimensions for self-employed people, I think.  I sometimes lose track of days and suddenly it’s a whole different month.  If I don’t have a bunch of deadlines to pay attention to, I can’t seem to figure out time at all.
  • I jumped on the scale this week and was delighted to discover that I finally lost the extra pounds that I put on during my last trip to California.  I always manage to gain weight in California.  And now it is off.  Hooray!  Guess what?  It’s off just in time for me to fly back to California. 
  • Yup, I’m flying back to California in less than a week.  Again, I feel like time has been sneaking up behind my oblivious back.  I like to have my home organized and clean before I leave.  Why?  I have no idea.  I guess I just feel the need to pile some tasks onto my to-do list.  So, I am trying to clean my house and organize my work files at the same time I am shopping for gifts and writing out 50-something Christmas cards.
  • One thing I can tell you – I will always always lug about extra 15 pounds more work files back and forth between Maui and California.  That means I lug about 20 pounds of files and only work on 5 pounds worth.  In October, I mailed files back to myself with a USPS Flat-rate box and the darn thing weighed more than 10 pounds.  Sweetie keeps yammering at me to keep my files electronically and to stop carting around the hard copies.  I tell him that I already have many of these printouts electronically.  But I still use my printouts.  I’m old fashioned.  Plus, hey – I’m trying to work off those extra pounds I always gain in California.

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