Tuesday, October 02, 2007

California Catchup

This is a pre-recorded message… soon we will return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

(I’m writing this Tuesday morning when I don’t have an Internet connection…)

First let me apologize to my handful of regular readers for the lack of posting. For most of the past week or so I’ve come down with a big case of “IDontCare”. Last week really was a very uneventful week. I spent a large chunk of it putting together the materials for next week. It was a bit painful. Partially because I needed info from other people and then when I got it, it wasn’t really what I needed. The other reason it was painful was because I had a hard time convincing myself it wasn’t just busy work. I don’t do things like that very well. Ask any of my professors how many of the ‘research’ reports I ever turned in. Ask any of my high school teachers what percentage of homework I actually turned in. If it doesn’t seem useful, I have a very hard time getting myself to do it.
I still have a handful of things on my list of tasks from September that just haven’t been finished. I’ll get there, I hope.

This week I’m here in California. This is going to be a bit a painful trip. I have no idea about the students, but hopefully that’ll be ok. I’m looking at this purely from a travel perspective. I had about a 16 to 18 hour travel day yesterday. It was a three-plane trip day and then about another 2 hour drive on top of that. Getting to California can be painful enough, but getting to the middle of the state is really painful.
Where I stayed last night is nothing more than a glorified truck stop it seems. It also stinks of cow manure. (Not inside, but as soon as you set foot outside… UGH!) After I train today, I’ve got about a 1.5 or 2-hour drive to my next stop. Luckily, where I’m staying is a bit larger and supposedly nicer. The biggest drawback is that it’s about a half hour from where I’m training Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday evening I drive back to Bakersfield, which at this point is about two hours away because I fly out early Friday morning. It shouldn’t be quite such a long travel day Friday, but the layovers are a little shorter than I like. We’ll see.

Ok. I’ll hopefully have an Internet connection tonight. I should, I’ll be at a Hampton Inn. I’ll upload this and maybe add some more about today.

I hope everyone’s had a good week.

OK Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Today was actually a good day. It was a short training day, since it was only operator training. I had a fun group of people, which always makes the day much better.
The drive out to where I am now was about as long as yesterday's drive, but not quite so boring and long feeling for some reason. It was really bright and everything was still that monochromatic desert brown broken up by random splotches of green groves.
I'm staying in a wine country region. Of course, that's a little hard not to do in California. As I'm typing this in the lobby of my hotel (the wireless signal wasn't strong enough in my room) I'm enjoying a complimentary glass of local wine. Don't ask me what it is. It's a fruity, sweet white and I'm enjoying it. This is a very nice way to relax for the evening. Too bad I have to check the work email after I post this.
I think this will be a good week overall, even with all the driving. That is, if the people at the other two plants are as cool as these guys were. We had fun and a handful of laughs. The site is a little messed up and I talked to the engineer about it. Most of it will have to be turned over to the software people. They are getting some of the strangest errors I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot in the last 7 years.

Let me sum up the health news for the family: We're not sure if Gram has bone cancer, Paget's disease or both. We know she has Paget's, but there are some other things going on that might be bone cancer. We hope to find out more when she has a PET scan next week. Mom is in PT for her arm. It turns out that is probably isn't the tendons in her arm, but in the wrist. Zoe is out of her cast, but Ed is in one. (He broke his arm playing football with some guys from work... silly boy!) Dad's still grumpy, cranky and worries too much about Mom, Gram and me. Jon seems to be enjoying Becca's company and Abi is trying to figure out a new relationship. Chelsea and Michael seem to be doing well too. I think that about covers all the news...

Peace to all and may you have fun days, relaxing evenings and lots of time with friends, family and loved ones in general.

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