Done. Class prep for Saturday. Done. Finished. Ready for pickup. ...or delivery. Shelley is voting for pickup. Daniel and Bradley each have a friend coming over after "early release Monday" in the local school district. That means Shelley has to deal with four rambunctious boys all afternoon. She's hoping Lee will come by on duty to pick up The Box. ...and on duty today means a nice red fire engine in front of the house! ...and that will focus the boy's interest for quite a while.
Why the push to get things done? Well, this weekend is when we cut the class loose for observation time with local agencies. I don't believe in letting them loose on the streets until they can be of some use to the crews they're riding with. By Saturday they'll have had lectures on Medical/Legal, the Respiratory System, the Cardiovascular System, the Nervous System and lecture/labs on CPR and Spinal precautions as well as orientation to the local fire department Basic Life Support equipment and my company's Advanced Life Support equipment. They may not know it all yet, but the framework is established. ...and the reason for all the class prep? Just grades. ...and nametags. ...and waiver forms. ...and two instructor letters to write out. ...and I'm glad I'm done.
...because this week Daniel and Shelley are attending home school in the afternoons. Maybe... Daniel has some homework to do that is best done in a decent word processor. Shelley wants to learn how to use WordPerfect better.
Talk about a long day Monday... Too busy for IRC, the normal stuff or anything but getting a spreadsheet to the Finance Manager and explaining why the figures he had from the GM on the current project were way lower than my projections. Well, I update my figures from the POs I cut. That reflects the reality of events as items are signed off. Fortunately, he understands reality...
Then it's off to the doc for my annual poke and prod. She comments that I haven't seem to have lost any weight, my pulse and blood pressure are up again, and that I seem a little tense. Oh, and I need to change my diet even more and drop the caffeine use. Well now, what a novel concept. I told her I doubted anything much would get accomplished in the immediate future... Then again, summer is winding its way down and I blade more during the cool and cold weather months. Now the caffeine thing...
...and Lee did come by with the fire engine. Shelley said the kids got to sit in the seats and watch the lights flash. No sirens though. Something about the guy with the heart condition in the next block...
...and no Linux last night either. I somehow ended up on dinner duty for both the guys and homework duty with Daniel. All in the midst of Bradley's soccer practice. Plus budget work as soon as they were down. Maybe this evening...
I took the day off from work yesterday... Well, figuratively... Instead of the office routine, I did the shopping gig; very simply, you cannot run out of either copy paper or toilet paper. ...especially when you're working up a new contract.
...and things had piled up a little. So, off to Costco, Smart and Final, WalMart, Office Depot, the cell phone parts place, the place where I get batteries for the UPSssssss, the other Smart and Final (I'd zeroed some stock on the first one), the other electronics parts place, and a Zip and Rip for a Mountain Dew...
What, you thought you read where I had to cut down on my caffeine. Yep, yep, yepper; you sure did. ...and I thought I was in big trouble. But then, as usual, Svenson came through for me:
>..and drop the caffeine use.
Well, as the week grinds along... And I think grinds is the operative word. As in meat grinder. Sheesh. Work is just intense. I've managed to get the point across that I can only do one impossible thing per day. ...but now they're lining up in the morning trying to get their bids in. ...and Svenson, it turns out you were correct: "Any one who understands reality is absolutely unfit for the job of manager."
From the Good Enough Files:
I needed to replace a low-end HP printer on Shelley's end of the swamp; the HP 670 was finally showing its age. She didn't want anything fancy as she can print to the inkjet in the "study" for "important stuff with graphics". Translation: she does the data entry and sends it to the graphic arts department (in the "study") for polishing. So I went looking. Plan A was to stay away from HP as a matter of principle. Their marketing policies bug me enough at work; I didn't need their tiered approach on the home front.
The decision turned out to be purely a supply/demand issue. After looking over a few Epsons and a Xerox unit at the local Office Depot, I wandered next door to the Costco to find a Lexmark Z31 for a very nice price. Since I was going low end, I really didn't care what brand I bought; this was going to be a learning experience regardless.
I did have some experience with a high-end Lexmark product; we'd bought an Optra 810 last spring for use as a network printer. Their hype of thirty-seven pages a minute turned out to be the real deal. We've had a grand total of sixteen hours of down time in eight months and we run the heck out of the beast. Okay, I'll go with the other end of their spectrum.
Home; and it's time to see what happens down this rabbit hole. Um, not much; it simply installed and ran from the get go. "Cancel any screens you see at start-up and run our CD." That's a paraphrase; but you get the point. NP on Shelley's machine, so I ran a share on it just to see. Off to the boy's room. "Hey computer, see that printer there? Go get it." Trundle, trundle and they now have a color inkjet hanging off their mom's machine (it serves a regulatory function; Bradley loves pretty colored pictures. I could go broke from his "I love you" notes alone).
So, no need for the network workaround I'm so familiar with from the HP line. The printer performs very nicely. Shelley can once again do her Soccer Mom duties. The boys can fancy up their homework. ...and once again peace reigns in the household.
Life's Little Lessons #245: Don't smart off to the local cop while he is talking to a taxpayer. ...like say, Shelley. Because, while it is true he cannot do anything to you because you haven't crossed the line (barely). ...and while it's also true that he cannot touch you for those expired tags because the vehicle is parked, there's nothing at all to prevent him from wishing you a cheery "Good Evening" and leaving. ...as he radios your plate numbers to Mr. Motor Officer who will be waiting just a half mile away for your moving vehicle. Yep, a Good Evening all around...
Just to clarify things: No honey, it's not quite that bad; the hand axe is to trim up some fire wood to perhaps use in the grill this weekend, the wood chips are for the grill and it was pool acid...
Shelley knows that my stress meter cannot even be read right now as I appear to have broken the needle when it hit the upper pin stop on the second spin around the dial. I figure the above might mediate Bradley's greeting when he and I came home from the store last night:
"Hey, Mom, we bought an axe, some stuff to start a fire and some acid!"
I was working on a picture for Daniel's book report the other night and snapped this shot of one corner of the work area. There's a metaphor here somewhere...
...and I finally figured out part of why the work gig is working me over so bad; it's not the load, I can handle that (and I go home at some point rather than working until forever). No, it's the old multiple demands thing. ...and not the simple one; rather, it's the overlay that's getting to me. I can smell the smoke from the dropped match I was using to light a fire on yet another burner (old-fashioned thing, often used to cook food) last week. I just don't know which pile (or memory bank) it's in. Multiply times 'x' or maybe even take it to ^N and I'm just whacked about whether or not I'm going to get it all back on track. I think the programmers out there can relate:
;stop and do This
;No, no stop and do THIS
;NO, Over-ride for this
See that one that didn't close? That's the one that's going to bite me on the posterior RSN. Taken to the "Nth"...
So, I'm not so calm during the work week... Though Shelley did say I was much better last night. She said she's even considering talking to me... Until then, I guess I'll just post<g>.
Speaking of which, one of the IT minions is showing some progress toward her BOFH certification...
Well, I think I wrote Saturday off early enough in the day to salvage my nerves... Like right after the post-breakfast post<g>.
It soon became evident that the massive earth moving project planned for the day would not come off. Neither would any of the other ones that required either a working brain or large amounts of spider-strength. It seems I was:
The storyline revolves around a boy who eats too much chocolate and develops "Chocolate Fever". I was planning on posing as the model as I felt I met the major criteria, but the QA committee rejected me from consideration due to age...
That done, I declared the day trashed. ...especially after I fell asleep in the recliner.
Plan "B": get some scrap lumber and build a small shelter for the outside stray cat. ...and co-opt Bradley in as the apprentice painter. Then jump in the pool and head off the the Dinner 8s group from church. Come back home and crash like it was still the sixties or some such. No posts; no email; no nada...
Today will involve finishing the paint job on the cat condo (Daniel has the duty today) and barbecuing for the family. I may or may not move dirt. I may or may not blade. I may or may not catch up on everyone's postings. I may or may not read my email.
All content Copyright 1999, 2000 Daniel C. Bowman. All rights reserved.