Sunday, November 29, 2009

Enjoy it while you can

The last couple of Sunday's Ellen and I have been able to go on our weekly bike ride. The weather has been sunny and warm (enough anyway) and each of those Sundays we've said "Better get out now, this may be the last weekend we get to go riding." Of course, we've said that for the last three weeks in a row. Of course, this Sunday probably is the last one we'll get to ride on. The odds of 50 degree weather in December is really slim. Hell, we normally don't get this kind of weather on the last weekend of November. But we'll take it. Grasshopper even came out on the ride with us today, which he liked. Ellen said I'm getting like the golf guys. I saw the forcast a couple of days ago and told her flat out "Looks like we can go riding on Sunday!" Any excuse to get out on the bike! In any event, here's a quick picture of the two of us getting ready to ride on our kick ass bikes!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This totally rules!

I must thank my pal Pandora for this video. I laughed, I cried, Ellen snorted! As a Queen fan, I highly recommend and approve this video.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Latest addition

School is going well so far. Second module is complete so 5 weeks left in the semester. Going into the stretch.

For those of you following Ellen and/or I on Facebook (yes, she finally has a Facebook account), you'll have seen we have a new addition to the house. Over the summer at Boy Scout Camp, Grasshopper worked on his Reptiles and Amphibians merit badge but didn't realize there was a requirement to care for a reptile or amphibian for at least 30 days. He got a partial on it until he could complete it. Since then, we've been looking for an opportunity to "borrow" a pet for the requisite period of time so he could complete it.

As it turns out, another of the scouts has a turtle. We had hoped to work something out at some point, and Grasshopper had approached him about borrowing his turtle. The interest wasn't there initially. However, it turns out this scout got a second turtle and the two were not getting along. He offered to all us to "borrow" the new turtle for an indefinate period of time, which his mother clarified meant "take him and keep him". We were unsure but finally broke down and got an aquarium for the beast and "adopted" him. So below is Leo the Turtle (previously known as Coolio the Turtle).

The turtle is a surprisingly good pet. It's easy to care for, just turn on the lamps in the morning, give it some food, and turn them off at night. Every week or two you take out some water and add clean water back to the aqauarium. And it's rather soothing to sit and listen to the water pump and watch the turtle. Who knew?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Changing Priorities

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Actually, probably couple of months. I was riding with Ellen today (I'm really enjoy taking a Sunday bike ride, just the two of us!) and you get a little time to reflect. There's been a lot of change for me recently, especially when it comes to work. While I'm enjoying my job again, there's the stress of not screwing things up. That stress came back Friday evening with an email from my boss basically saying "Did you know about the web upgrade this weekend and why didn't you tell the weekend support team's manager?"

Shit, a "here we go again" kind of moment. I sent a note to the boss and left him a VM on his cell, but I ddn't get anything back so I had to try not to worry about it all weekend. Yeah right.

But that's just the backdrop. As I said, as I was riding today, I realized again that there's been a shift in me. I think it started when I went to summer camp with the boys, or perhaps the with the Scout bike-hike in early summer. That got me into biking. Going to scout camp got me into doing more outdoorsy kinds of things. That got me into biking with the family. That made me realize that for all I thought I was an ambitious career minded person, I'm not sure I am any longer. I've never been the "live to work" type, but lately, I've been living to do things at home. In just a few short months, my perspective has really changed. And I didn't know how much the job thing was bugging me until it all changed.

I'm still trying to find the right balance at work and figure out how to be successful in this organization in which I work. However, I do now realize that I was trying too hard to get promoted just to look good and make more money. Basically all the wrong reasons. I'm still trying to figure out how long I'm going to be working for my organization. Call it history, call it whatever, but right now my focus is just trying to do a good job and build my team. From there, I have no ambitions at work. I'm still having fun doing what I'm doing, but having HQ in another city is still tough for me. I'll keep on keeping on there.

Most importantly, I'm finding that spending time with Ellen (and of course the boys, when they're not making me crazy) is so much more rewarding right now. They and my faith are what's sustaining me right now. But that's really all I need.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Doing Well

Did you miss me? I know only about 4 people stop by here any more but I gotta put something up for you guys every now and then.

Things have been going surprisingly well lately. I'm doing well in my grad courses but they do take up a lot of my spare time. Luckily, I had some PTO I had to use or lose so it allowed me to get ahead right now. I'm busy writing papers, which I found can be really tedious. But you do what you have to.

Things are going well on the career front also. To make a long story short, I was asked to relinquish my old role as Desktop Support Manager and instead take over the role as eSupport Supervisor. I'd been "filling in" for that role for about a year. I don't want to make it sound as if I had no choice in the matter, but the alternative was not in my best interest. However, as I always say, the Lord puts me where I need to be when I need to be there. Now that a few weeks have gone by, I've realized that my old job wasn't the best fit for me. I'm having fun again at work and enjoy doing my job again. Certainly there's many challenges and the stress of performing to expectations, but my new boss and the director are actually supporting me in this new role, which makes a big difference. And I'm back to direct customer support, something I didn't realize I'd missed until I started doing it again. I found I really enjoy getting my hands dirty, so to speak. I pity my staff as they really have no idea what they're in for. I beleive the team needs to make changes to become better and am going to challenge many of the things they've been doing up to now. And I know they'll be able to do what I'm asking them because I'm going to be doing that myself. If I can do it, so can they. They think I don't understand their challenges, but I'm going to show them I not only understand, but I can overcome them by focusing on the customer. You just watch.
The wife and the boys are doing well. It's kind of odd to have them both in middle school now. Christopher is getting to be the age where he's too cool for whatever room he's in. He's certainly too cool to acknowledge his little brother in the hall at school. They're both still busy with school and after school activities. Wrestling season starts up soon so Ellen will be running her little butt off going to meets. Good thing I got her a GPS. Halloween was a blast. Both boys went out with friends and afterwards they all converged on our house to trade candy. They'd all dumped their bags into piles on the floor and franticly tried to switch out candy the didn't like for the really good stuff. It was kind of funny, if a little loud. After the trading was done, we promptly confiscated the boys' candy bags to put on our highest closet shelf to prevent them from eating 9 or 1o candy bars a night while "going to sleep". Which is exactly what happened last year. They're on a strict one candy with lunch, one candy for treat a day regimen. I know, we're so mean. Oh, and Ellen and I get to raid their stash whenever we want.
Other than that, not much new going on. Halloween was Grasshopper's birthday so he's 11 now. We have the family party this weekend. He's looking forward to cake and presents. As always, it will be pretty crazy until after Christmas, when I'm sure we'll get a 3 or 4 day break before it all starts up again. I'll keep in touch.