Archive for August, 2012

Updated 8/31/2012

Mike had his hip replacement surgery on Monday and came home on Wednesday. He’s in good spirits but is bored. I hope to spend some time with him this weekend.

Work has been more stressful lately. There are only two testers left. There are several very large projects in the pipeline but not enough test resources to support the work load. The managers in Ireland are trying to figure out a solution. The simple solution is to hire more people but they seem reluctant to do that.

We don’t have any plans for the long weekend. I can’t wait to sleep in on Saturday morning.

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A Sad Situation

Helena’s older brother died from liver failure a little over a week ago. Helena invited her friend, Jeff, and I over to spend Sunday afternoon at her condo’s pool. Helena had booked a few clients on Sunday morning since she was in Louisiana for ten days for her brother’s funeral. Our plan was to meet at Helena’s around one. Helena’s pantry was empty so I brought lunch. Jeff lives a few streets away from me so we carpooled over to Helena’s.

Helena met us at the door with tequila shots. Jeff and Helena then moved on to beer while I had a soda. After round one Helena packed a few beers in a cooler and we walked over to the pool. There were only a handful of people at neighbors at the pool. Helena and Jeff drank two beers at the pool while I had ice tea. After about two hours we went back to Helena’s for lunch. Helena poured another round of tequila shots before we ate. Helena and Jeff had a few more beers and a few more tequila shots with lunch. I drank water with lunch. We never made it back to the pool. It seemed like endless beers were opened. Towards the end of the day Helena became loud and obnoxious. Helena got trashed and Jeff was well on the way. I was so glad to get out of there. I drove Jeff’s car back to his house around six. Jeff was not nearly as drunk as Helena but there was no reason to risk getting a DUI since I was sober.

It’s a sad situation. Helena’s brother died from liver failure and it’s clear that Helena is an alcoholic. Jeff admits to having alcohol issues. Helena’s best friend is currently enrolled in an outpatient alcohol abuse program. Helena knows she needs to quit drinking but hasn’t taken any action to get help. I can’t make her get treatment. I was hoping that her brother’s death would be the catalyst for Helena to get help. Clearly, that hasn’t happened. I feel sad because she needs help and I don’t know how to help her.

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I was expecting to coast through the day. I had some really easy testing set up for today. That dream was killed when I received the regression results. They’re a hot mess. Mr. O, my new manager in Ireland, doesn’t know how to clear regression issues so they have all landed on my desk. Regression issues usually require extensive investigation so my day is going to be consumed by research, along with many emails and IMs. I feel like I’m on a rocket ship headed straight to hell. I only have six more hours to go and then I’m off to the gym.

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Neighborhood Tour

I walked around the neighborhood this afternoon when I got home from the gym. I snapped a few pictures of the houses that will either be torn down, or, are under construction. The first house is to the north of Tom and Sheila’s house and is northwest of our house. It’s being replaced by a two story French farm house.

This 5,000 sq. ft. house was gutted to the studs and sits on almost an acre. It’s been sitting empty for at least three years. The owner’s are asking 2.5m.

This house is being replaced by a newer 2,200 sq. ft. ranch. It will be the smallest new house constructed in the neighborhood.

The rich guys put this sign up on all five of the entrances to their property.

This house will be ready soon. It replaced Mrs. Parker’s mid century ranch house. This project almost ended up in litigation because a non-resident filed a historic designation application on Mrs. Parker’s house. The matter was quietly settled out of court. I suspect it involved a cash payment.

This house sits next door to the previous house. Its’ a newTudor. The house is hard to photograph because of the trees around it.

I’ve lived in our neighborhood for twenty-two years. I’ve never seen the house behind this gate.

This house is getting a new second floor. The owners moved from our street to the circle.

Change is constant but is it always good?

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The house to our north is now on the market. The wife of the couple is a real estate agent so it’s for sale by owner. She wants to move because the ranch house behind theirs is being scrapped and will be replaced by a two story. I’m not thrilled about having a two story constructed on that lot but our bamboo provides a lot of privacy.

Bitch across the street’s house is languishing on the market. Everyone thinks it’s overpriced. Bitch finally lowered the asking price by 20k. No offers have been received. It looks like we’re stuck with her for now.

There’s a rumor circulating in the neighborhood that the rich guys who bought the mansion are spending $32 million on renovations. The neighbors are stunned that they are spending this much money but it takes a lot of cash to renovate a 33,000 square foot mansion on six acres. They’re flying in European craftsmen to work on the project. A double wide construction trailer is now sitting on the front lawn just behind the hedge and scaffolding has been erected on the north side of the house. The project is expected to take thirty months.

I finally met the new couple who bought the house across the street to the northeast. They seem like really nice people. They’ve got a two year old son. They are currently renovating the backyard landscaping.

That’s it for now.

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It was 57° when I got up yesterday. We have finally turned the corner on summer heat wave. The temperature stayed under 100° all week. Of course this means we’re heading to autumn with cooler weather and falling leaves.

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Chatting With Chatty Cathy

I went into the office yesterday so I could attend a luncheon honoring my manager for her contributions to the department. I ran into Chatty Cathy on my way to the printer. We ended up having a forty-five minute conversation. Chatty Cathy told me there are pending layoffs in the IT organization but felt that our group would survive without any casualties. He also told me my job was secure because I am the only one who knows how to test the flagship product which is the bread and butter for the company. The conversation made me feel a little better about my manager’s departure and my subsequent reassignment to a manager in Ireland. I don’t feel totally secure because there are no guarantees in corporate America. There’s always the expectation that you’ll be given the boot at any time. I’ve seen it happen many times and I will not be surprised if it happens to me. But for now I’ll forge ahead and hope for the best.

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I hung out with Mike on Sunday. Mike’s partner was in Wyoming visiting family so I help him run a few errands. Mike still only has one hip as his surgery is scheduled for the end of the month. I made Mike put the top up on his BMW because I didn’t want to get roasted on red leather seats on a sunny 95° day. Also, I wasn’t wearing sun screen and I didn’t want to risk getting sunburned given I have had skin cancer twice. After a few errands we decided to have lunch at a Thai restaurant on South Broadway. Mike got a text while waiting for our food to arrive. The text was alerting him that a Jewish man died. Mike’s iPhone has an app that alerts him when a Jewish person dies. What will they come up with next?

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Professional Disappointment

My manager, Mrs. C, transitions to her new job in R&D next week. There’s a luncheon planned for her next Thursday. Mrs. C did a really strange thing this week. She moved most of completed projects into her name so it looked like she did the work. This was very uncharacteristic of Mrs. C. She gave me a ridiculous explanation when I asked why my projects were moved to her queue. I was really confused as to why she wanted to take credit for my work until I queried her projects in the project tracking system. Mrs. C only had three small projects for the month. She was taking credit for my work because she needed to look productive for the month. This was a huge disappointment. I really liked Mrs. C but now I feel she has compromised her ethics. I’ll get over it but the feeling of being let down will linger for a while.

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Saying Goodbye

David’s memorial service was held yesterday afternoon. It was a simple non-denominational service with a few readings. A reception was held in the mortuary’s social room after the service. I skipped the reception. I don’t know why but I just did not want to go to the reception. I’ll send a condolence note to Brad in a few days. It was hard to say goodbye to such a wonderful man.

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