Archive for October, 2012

Sounds Of Progress?

I’m working from today. I can hear the demolition crew tearing down the house next door to Sheila’s house. The house sits to the northwest of our house. It’s rather strange listening to the carnage. I’ll soon have to listen to the construction chaos of the new house construction which is expected to take thirteen months. I just can’t wait for the never ending noise of compressors and nail guns.

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Woman Down

The revolving door on the executive suite of the IT department continues to turn. Another high level departure was recently announced. The VP who runs my department is leaving the company. The company issued the standard announcement proclaiming “she is leaving to pursue other interests”. This is usually corporate speak for she got fired. She is the reason my former boss left the department. Nobody seems to be sad she is leaving.

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Global IT Headaches

I came across these outages on the company’s IT website while looking for a software patch. I don’t know why but I found it amusing.

Intermittent/slow response of applications hosted in the Frankfurt data center
Backup WAN services are down in Pune, India
Guangzhou system down for upgrade
Users in Singapore can’t dial external numbers from their office phones
Vancouver users are unable to receive calls on their mobile phones
Voice mail down in Lima, Peru

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Bring Your Garden Gloves To Work

The building where my office is located is an architecturally significant huge four story building with two wings off a central glass walled atrium that sits on many acres of land. The south side of the building has terraces off the second, third and fourth floors. The terraces have tables, chairs, umbrellas and planters. About two years ago the company stopped maintaining the planters and flower beds on the campus while still mowing the large expanses of grassy lawns on a daily basis during the growing season. The planters are now filled with weeds and dead flowers. The planters became victims of the cost cutting instituted by the private equity owners.

Last Thursday I went into the office for my weekly review meeting. The building was papered with flyers asking employees to volunteer to plant and maintain the flower beds. The executives have access to private jets yet the company can’t afford to plant and maintain the planters and flower beds on the campus. Raises and bonuses have been next to nothing for last few years. The employees seem to give back more and more each year. Now the company wants the employees to plant and maintain the flower beds. How sad is that? Will they be asked to mow the lawn next year?

I’m sure some employees will volunteer. There is already a group of associates who meet once a month on Saturday morning to pick up trash and debris that accumulates in the cattail filled retention ponds and expanses of native grasses that buffer the property from the busy six lane street that runs along the north side of the campus. The employees take pride in their workplace which is a jewel box building in an otherwise drab section of the suburbs. It’s a shame that the owners don’t feel the same way.

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Room With A View

Bitch across the street has a contract on her house. She spent the last week moving out. Last Thursday bitch put her trash out for the weekly Friday pickup. The problem is the city only picks up the trash in the city issued 100 gallon barrel on a weekly basis. The city picks up overflow every three weeks. The trash collectors left most of her trash sitting in the street. I have a lovely view of her trash from the kitchen and dining room windows. Bitch conveniently placed her trash out of view from her house. The trash will sit in the gutter for two more weeks unless bitch moves it. It’s highly unlikely bitch will move her trash. She’s been throwing her trash in the gutter since she’s lived there. I can’t wait until she is gone for good.

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Set Design Emergency

Lena and I really enjoyed the Van Gogh show. The show did not include any of his famous paintings. The exhibit concentrated on his journey as an artist explaining how his technique and skill was influenced and changed over the course of his short ten year painting career. It was an educational exhibit rather than a show filled with blockbuster paintings.

When Lena turned on her phone after the show she was bombarded with voice mails and texts from the crew at one of her productions. A volunteer stage hand accidentally damaged one of her sets. Lena had to repair the damage before the evening show. It was two hours before curtain so she hightailed it to the theater. We made tentative plans to attend an art gallery opening next Friday before she ran to her truck. We never made it to the Still Museum and I was suddenly left without dinner plans.

I ran a few errands and picked up a take and bake pizza for dinner. After dinner I watched a few shows on demand while paging through back issues of Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Food and Wine looking for Thanksgiving dessert inspiration. I decided on a pumpkin tart with anise-seed crust before heading off to bed.

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Lena, Vincent and Clifford

Lena and I are going to the member’s preview of the Van Gogh show at the DAM this afternoon. The show has received a lot of advance press and should be the highlight of the fall art season. (I didn’t know there was a fall art season until I read about in the paper.) It took five years of planning to pull this show together. I hope I’m not disappointed.

Lena and I are also planning on checking out the new exhibit at the Clifford Still Museum which explores the connections between Van Gogh and Still. The Still Museum is next door to the DAM. Then we’ll have an early dinner before looking for another adventure.

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More Downsizing

The fiscal year ended on September 30th. The company usually downsizes every October. The layoffs started today. So far, only the millennial has been let go in our group.

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Baking For The O Team

The local Obama team has been calling on a regular basis trying to get me to volunteer. I usually let the call go to voice mail when I see an unknown name on the caller id. Last night I answered the phone without checking the caller id. I was expecting a call from Cindi with details of Marge’s lame brained plan to buy and operate a food truck. It was the Obama team calling, not Cindi. I politely declined the opportunity to canvass our republican infested neighborhood. Instead, I agreed to bake cookies for the volunteers. Then I found out a local chef is providing the main meal. Quelle surprise! My cookies will be served after a meal prepared by culinary school graduate. I have a few days to figure out what I’m going to bake. Perhaps I should call Marge and get her opinion since she used to cook for a halfway house.

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Dinner At Six

Carol and her mother were in town this weekend to celebrate Carol’s birthday. Carol’s mother has been staying with her in San Diego for the last few weeks. Every year Carol flies her mother to the states from Australia for a visit. Carol and her mother stayed at Mike’s house. Carol was on the go all weekend but managed to have last night free so she hosted a small dinner party at Mike’s house. It was an early dinner since Carol and her mother had an early morning flight back to San Diego.

Carol fixed a beautiful simple meal of grilled rack of lamb with roasted fingerling potatoes, red onion and beets with pan fried Brussels sprouts. Sue brought a chocolate Bundt cake that was served with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

It was a nice evening except for Kurt arriving an hour late looking like he just got out of bed. He called from Home Depot to let us know he would be a few minutes late as guests were sitting down to dinner. I found this rather odd. What could he have possibly needed at Home Depot that caused him to be an hour late for dinner?

One never knows about Kurt. He inherited a small fortune when he was twenty-five. Kurt doesn’t work. His job is managing his wealth. When he was between cars he borrowed Scotty’s 5 series and drove it to San Diego to visit Carol. (How does one with wealth end up between cars for several weeks?) Scotty was in P-town on vacation with his husband and saw pictures on Facebook of Kurt and Carol and the BMW in front of Carol’s house. Scotty wasn’t too surprised because Kurt has been known for his unorthodox behavior. Still, one doesn’t usually take a borrowed car out of state unless you ask the owner.

It was good to see Carol and her mother. It’s been almost ten years since she left Denver for San Diego. She fell in love, got married, had a kid, fell out of love, got divorced and is now in the middle of a nasty custody battle. Carol has a successful career so her husband wants monthly support payments even though he has his own business and recently bought a new speedboat. Carol plans to be back in Denver for the Christmas holidays so we made tentative plans to get together again. I wonder what excuse Kurt will use for being late for dinner next time.

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