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Archive for July, 2010

Updates 7/29/2010

K’s niece’s team took first place in the graduate student competition. Several conference attendees asked for her resume and one professor talked to her about pursuing a PhD.

The wedding invitation for K’s nephew arrived this week. This is the brother of the niece staying at our house this week. I thought the invitation was nice but a little ornate and not something I would choose. The niece agreed with me. At dinner last night, the niece told me her brother’s fiancé is planning a month long honeymoon in St. Bart. This news didn’t sit well with me. They can afford to spend a month in St. Bart but the nephew is getting tuition assistance from K. The bride is not from a wealthy family. Her parents own a jewelry store and her father works at FedEx for the health care benefits. The niece doesn’t know how they are going to pay the honeymoon. They’ll probably have one of those horrible dollar dances at the reception.

Work has been a bitch this week. The test cycle was scheduled to close yesterday but we’re still testing. The engineer who screwed up last month is at it again. She took four days to respond to questions. She had plumbing problems at home one day and didn’t have time to look into the issues. I found this odd because her husband is unemployed. Surely, he had time to deal with the plumbing. Then she was sick for two days. Finally, one of her peers assisted with the issues and then sent an email to the department head advising him of the situation. The engineer’s peer had reached her breaking point. She was tired of doing her peer’s work. None of this seemed to bother the engineer causing the problem. The department head has now asked my team to document any future issues and keep him in the loop. The problem engineer doesn’t know about this. It looks like the department head may be putting the problem engineer on a performance plan which is the first step in firing an employee. It’s sad to watch a person ruin their career.

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Seen at the office today:

A sign on a recycle bin in the second floor lunch room: Aluminum Can’s

A sign in the hallway directing construction workers: Frate Elevator —>

An email from a client executive to a product manager: The customer is asking to have there server in there LAB upgraded from 4.1 to 5.2.

Did anyone pay attention in school?

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Updates 7/26/2010

I started out the weekend spending Friday afternoon in the ER with a kidney stone. I thank god for narcotics. I spent most of the weekend taking Oxycodone every four hours and Lorazepam every eight hours. I passed the stone sometime on Saturday. I’ve been trying to recover from the narcotics all day. I went to the gym after work but had a really shitty workout.

K’s niece, S, arrived on Friday. She’s attending an agricultural economics conference. She’s getting a master’s in this field. I think she will be here until Thursday. Her team is one of the three finalists in the completion part of the conference. K treated his niece and her team, a woman from China and a woman from Columbia to lunch on Saturday. These women are well traveled, interesting and extremely intelligent. It was great meeting them.

K leaves tomorrow for another month in Missouri. I’m beginning to wonder if this will ever end. It was good having him home. Too bad my weekend memories are a bit hazy from the drugs.

My mother is having her biopsy on Thursday. There’s been some drama but I’m tired of writing about it and I’m sure you’re tired of reading about it.

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Updates 7/21/2010

I’m so tired today. I took a two hour nap after work last night and then went to bed at ten. When the alarm went off at five I could hardly get out of bed. I think there’s too much stress at work.

The second in command of the IT department resigned. He’s only been with the company two months. Rumor has it he didn’t play well with his boss who was hired after him.

The super star programmer who joined the company last fall to work on the new design system resigned and left the company last week. The company killed the project after spending $50 million. Rumor has it that he didn’t want to work on other projects because they already had super star programmers and he would be placed in a supporting role. He’s moving to Texas for his next gig. There’s one less ego to deal with at work.

The man remodeling the house one street over built an addition on the back without board approval. I guess 5,800 square feet wasn’t big enough. The project has caused lots of drama over the last several days. The neighborhood’s lawyers have been called in to help settle the dispute.

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Updates 7/19/2010

K came home on Sunday afternoon and left this morning for leadership meetings in Vail. Spouses were invited but I couldn’t go because I didn’t know about the meeting when the work schedule was created. I have to give three months notice for any days off. At least we’re in the same state. He’ll be home on Friday.

Mike called to tell me Crazy Barb bought a new gun. He was over at her house finalizing her new BMW order a few days ago. Barb showed him her new 9mm pistol that she keeps in the oven along with her chainsaw. Isn’t that were most people keep their chainsaws and pistols? Thankfully, her oven has never been used.

A house on the next street over that has been on the market for at least four years finally sold. It’s the most hated house in the neighborhood. It was built about eight years ago. The 5,800 square foot monster is too big for the lot. It’s a Cape Cod style house with a stucco exterior and a tile roof. It looks like an architectural abortion. The house languished on the market for two years before the original owners traded it for a loft downtown. The second owner remodeled the kitchen and put it back on the market for $2.5m. The house has been listed by almost every high end real estate company in town. Nobody could sell the house because it had a ridiculous floor plan. The newest owner bought in a short sale for $1.150m and promptly put it back on the market. The new owner is an architect/builder who plans to flip the house. The stucco exterior and windows have been removed, part of the roof is torn off and the house has been gutted to the studs. Everyone is hoping his final product is more suitable for the neighborhood. Time will tell.

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Doing A Good Deed

There’s been a homeless man panhandling on the corner of Exposition Ave and Colorado Blvd for the last month or so. I see him on my way to the gym. Sometimes he is with a woman who sits in the shade and looks like she’s going to pass out at any minute. I usually try to ignore him when I’m stopped at light.

Last week after my shopping spree in Cherry Creek I was on my way to the gym and was stopped at the light. I thought about the money I had spent on myself and here was a man who had nothing. I rolled down the car window and asked the man if he needed clothes. He said he only had two shirts so I told him I would stop by later. When I got home from the gym I pulled all of the summer shirts out of the charity donation bag in the garage. I drove over and gave the clothes to the man. I noticed only had one eye and had no front teeth. The man thanked me for the clothes and then asked if I had a pair of size nine shoes that I could give him. I told him I wear a ten but would look in the closet for something suitable.

The next day I was changing into my gym clothes in the walk in closet and I looked over my shoes. I decided to give the man a pair of brown Cole Haan sport shoes that I no longer wear. When I stopped at the light on my way to the gym I gave the man the shoes. He was so thankful for the shoes. I noticed he was wearing one of the Banana Republic t-shirts I gave him. Yesterday when I drove by him he was wearing the Hugo Boss polo shirt I gave him and the Cole Haan shoes. It made me happy to know that he was wearing the clothes I gave him. I wonder if he will be wearing a Jhane Barnes or Saks Fifth Avenue shirt the next time I see him.

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The Big C

The doctor has informed my mother that she has lung cancer. As expected she had a complete breakdown. My father, being the cold hearted prick that he is, asked her why she was crying. That comment made everything worse.

My mother feels that she has no support other than my brother and me. My sister told my mother she should listen to gospel music to calm her nerves. This upset my mother even more. My mother has always been there for my sister’s medical emergenices but apparently my sister doesn’t know how to show compassion to her mother.

I have mixed feelings about the situation. My mother has smoked for more than sixty five years. She continues to smoke. She has no friends but can only blame herself for being alone. She isolated herself in suburbs and refused to learn how to drive. She became totally dependent upon my father for transportation because she would not take a cab or ride a bus. It’s a sad situation but she helped created the mess. It makes me sad that my mother is in such a horrible situation but I don’t feel sorry for her.

The road ahead is going to be tough and I imagine I’ll be making more frequent trips to St. Louis. K will be there through August so at least I’ll have him there for support.

So what does a guy do when his elderly mother gets diagnose with lung cancer? A guy goes shopping. I went to Cherry Creek last night. I bought a new pair of glasses at Europtics and a suit and a pair of shoes at Nordstrom. I haven’t bought a new suit in quite a while and I’ll need one for K’s nephew’s wedding and possibly my mother’s funeral.

Stay tuned for the upcoming biopsy drama and the appointment with an oncologist.

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