Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spring is about change

What is it about Spring that makes you want to get organized, clean up, get rid of clutter? Why do I start feeling restless this time of year, tired of being cooped up inside, sick of TV? I guess it's the opening up of windows and the fresh air -- still fresh even if it's raining outside.

I woke up on Saturday morning and felt invigorated to unpack some more boxes, go through papers, throw a lot of crap out. Last week during our impromptu, unseasonable "Summer" weekend, I very much enjoyed sitting out on the deck reading and listening to music. I've been taking the dogs for walks around the neighborhood after work and Fitzie and I are on week 3 of obedience training at the Nashua Petsmart. It's great to get out of the house on a weekend, but it's especially been a hoot just to go there every week and socialize with all the dogs and let all the people we encounter admire and fawn over him. Anyway, more and more as Spring burgeons I'm enjoying cleaning up and getting out more. During the Winter it was lovely to be cozy inside with the dogs piled on top of me with a fire going and the latest Netflix delivery, or "Grey's Anatomy" installment playing. Not that I don't enjoy these things during this time of year too, but I also feel motivated to clean up and get some fresh air.

There have been some recent changes at work as well. There was a big personnel change on the project where I am assigned. Basically, all the major business project managers and sponsors have left the group or moved into different roles. This has been stressing me out quite a bit over the past couple of weeks just with the uncertainty with everything and what this was going to mean for me. But I finally had some information about who I was going to be working with and had a meeting first with the head of the tech group I'll be aligned with and then with the entire group later in the week. They all seemed great, very open and with good communication and I really feel like I will be integrated with the daily workings of the business and with the end users like I never had the opportunity to be before. So, I came away from last week encouraged and excited about these new changes and the opportunities they represent.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I just posted this picture again because I really like it. I'm also amazed ... Fitzie was a fraction of his current size when it was taken.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Matt Lauer

I had a dream this weekend that I was tooling around with Matt Lauer in a Mini Cooper. Now, that was a fun dream. heh.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

This is what is happening in my yard RIGHT NOW

(You can't really see it falling all that well in the pictures, but trust me, is is!) Crazy snow on April 15th. Woo!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's April 12th

Can someone tell me why there is about 3" or so of fresh snow in my yard? This is some crazy shit. Seriously.


It's been a bit of a crazy week at work. I have my usual project work going on, there have also been some new-customer-related meetings and activity to supplement my regular work. Plus, they are going through a major personnel upheaval in the group with my current project. So because of all of these changes, I have the added tasks this week to create process flow documents for a bunch of the reports I've worked on over the past year. So, this is pretty time consuming and a bit stressful because of the time crunch outside of my other work, so I thought I'd get a jump on some of it for today by working on one of the bigger flow charts last night from home. Okay, so I finally finish it at 11 PM, come into the office this morning and go to drop it into the document this morning and I can't open it! Turns out that the version of Visio I have on this machine is incompatible with the version of Visio I have on my home machine. ARGH! I mean, it's not the end of the World, I'll just complete it from home a little later, but still ... ARGH! Sheesh.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Work. Is. Good.

So I had a short meeting with one of people I'm writing a series of reports for the other day. I know that this part of this project is particularly high-profile. It's not anything that looks so impressive on the surface to the lay person, just a bunch of columns of numbers. But there is a lot that is going on under the surface to pull all of this data together. Many different data sources are involved, lots of pulling of bits apart and lots of putting bits together, lots of analysis and various other moving parts to put everything together into one, seamless-looking output. Anyway, the professional portfolio managers know the value of what they're looking at and the portfolio manager that I spoke to the other day just gushed on & on to me about what a fantastic application this is for them. He actually said, "this is revolutionizing how we manage and invest these (big magilla company) plans" (big magilla company being my words, of course). He also said that the data has been going directly to the Senior VP, head of this entire trading division. Wow. I was blown away (and a little impressed with myself, to be honest). It's especially nice because too often you don't hear much unless something goes wrong. It's truly deeply satisfying to know that people are getting lots of immediate benefit out of something that I actually created. Woo!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Shelton Kang


Shelton & Linda in November, 2002

I've wanted to write something about the passing of Shelton Kang before now, but I don't really know how much I can add to what Julia wrote, she spoke about him so perfectly and beautifully. I will say that Shelton was a genuinely nice person who always saw the best in people. I never heard an unkind word come out of his mouth. He was a man who, despite his limitations, really knew how to get the most out of life. After losing his wife Linda suddenly and being diagnosed with congestive heart failure himself, he could very easily have just stayed home and used it as an excuse to give up and wallow in misery, but not Shelton. He reinvented himself and started a walking program, ultimately walking four marathons and countless half-marathons and other races of varying distances all over the country. Everywhere he went he made friends and spread actual joy. How many people do you meet in life who spread actual joy? He was just a sweet, sweet man who enjoyed life & people. And he was a total dog lover, which always makes someone pretty great in my book.

The news of his passing struck me particularly hard for some reason and I'm not even that sure why. I knew Shelton, I probably saw him about once or twice a year in a group setting. In fact, I had just seen him a couple of months earlier in Boston. But I didn't see or talk to him often enough to really consider him one of my closest friends. Maybe it was just that buoyant spirit of his, it seemed like he would always be around. Or maybe it was just that he always should be around.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Finally: my completed living room bookcases

Spring Snow April 5th, 2007