Going back to the GoA

[This doesn’t count as a real blog post.]

So I made my decision yesterday.  Actually the last time I changed my mind was Thursday afternoon, but I wanted to be sure.  Turns out I’m still unsure.

One of the problems I had was potentially disappointing people with my decision either way.  This is unavoidable, but try as I could to not have it be a factor in my decision making I kept thinking who am I going to feel more guilty disappointing.  By Friday morning I had talked to a lot of people and I got the impression that no one would hate me regardless of the decision I made.

So once my conscience was a little clearer it became more obvious that I wanted the challenges of trying to be an IT infrastructure architect.

So what am I leaving behind?  A tight team of individuals that likely has more talent per square footage than almost any place in Edmonton.  There may have been more good people at SA, but there were also way more people.  Pound for pound the Telus TV team is pretty awesome.  Plus they are nice guys too.  I was a bit shy at first and I was just starting to get to know everybody.  I’m really going to miss the opportunity to really know the people there and make friends.  (I think I’ve made a couple…)

Second, TELUS was pretty awesome to work for.  They may have their woes and silliness, but it was an organization that was firmly behind the team and the product.  That seems to be pretty rare and exceptional to me.

Third, the product.  Optik TV is a good product.  It is one the team can be proud of.  Not all aspects of the service were within the team’s control, but a lot of it is.  And those bits ran as well, as robustly as possible.  I was just starting to really get a feel for the product.  It is pretty complicated.

Fourth, I’m leaving my project behind.  Gah.  I have so many balls in the air right now.  Things I’ve started that won’t complete for weeks or months after I’m gone.  Most of them will be ably picked up by the other team members.  The others are the little things that I obsess over and the product will run fine without them.  I wish I had more time to see the project through to completion.  Or at least see some of the new processes come into being.  Or at least see the testing completed.

Fifth, I had a Microsoft TAM that I was able to hassle just as much as my old Microsoft TAM.  That was fun from day 1.  I hope I have a TAM at SolGPS.

I honestly don’t have a single negative thing to say.  (OK I could quibble about meaningless stuff.)  That is what made the decision so hard.  I was leaving all the above behind.  I didn’t have a reason for leaving.  There was only the allure of the new opportunity.

Been awhile since we had a poll poll

Choose 1 plus the optional heavy drinking…

To Do List

After three days of doing basically nothing (and although I worked on Friday, it was pretty slow), today I need to GET STUFF DONE.

Getting stuff done is not my forte.  My greatest strength is making of list of stuff that needs to get done.  This way I have a pretty good idea of what I am putting off.

Morning

  • laundry (already started)
  • make list of stuff to be done (already started) (I’m feeling a rosy glow of accomplishment)
  • inform principals of job decision
  • order DATS ride for the rest of the week

Afternoon

  • Go to board game store
  • clean up garbage around house a little
  • Pay Christmas bills
  • start taxes (see start taxes mini list)
  • Buy Optik TV Service
  • Donate something to charity

Evening

  • Do proper blog
  • make bed and lie in it

Start taxes mini list

  • make list of income and expenses
  • gather receipts
  • open rest of mail
  • future todo (call accountant to make appt., log all above somewhere)

Christmas Wishes

I am fortunate in that almost all the people I hold in most especial regard or esteem are at least infrequent readers or these ramblings.  Thusly I am able to send out my seasonal regards herein.

Although many of you are not often in my correspondence, you are often in my consideration.  I hope you have been able to spend today with those your family and those you love most.

In mass today the priest gave a nice sermon on peace, hope and love.  That echoes the sentiments I want to send out to all of you.  Hopefully, I can talk to any of you over the holidays, but if I don’t then know that you are in my prayers.

Plus I hope a lot of nice loot was distributed in your home too.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Nifty.

Trash Talking

So my parent’s computer is offline.  They can’t see anything I write here.  I’ve been updating them on my dramas by telephone – so 90s.

My Mom is growing paranoid in her dotage.  She thinks I talk trash about her whenever she can’t hear.  I thought I’d reverse that and say nice things about them.  It is like a secret Santa present.  If they bother to look back on the blog they can get this gift.

Earnestness isn’t easy for me though.  Did you see the way I was mean in just the previous paragraph?  Often even when I’m being nice people think I’m being sarcastic.  Tricky.

It is also hard to say nice things about my Dad.  We are quite alike. (see more damning with faint praise).  I gave a speech once in grade school for a contest.  I did one of those horrible, “My Dad is my hero.” speeches.  I think Kent Signorini beat me in that contest.  Anyway, how do I say something different without being cloying?

Dad taught me to be competitive, but to lose gracefully.  I was always interested in taking things apart.  Dad taught me how to put them back together again.  He taught me how to not spend money, but also not to be cheap.  He taught me that missing work is something to be ashamed of.  Did he help me to see people based on their merits rather than their flaws?  I dunno, but that sounds right too.

Any of those values I fail to demonstrate are my weaknesses not his.

OK – for my Mom I’ve got this little anecdote.  The family was on holiday and we were staying at my Dad’s old bosses place.  It was late in the evening and I was bedded down on the couch or floor.  My folks and the old boss had been gabbing and drinking.  At some point the boss accuses Mom of the following, “Your problem is that you like everybody.  I bet there isn’t anyone you hate.”

It took my Mom a while before she could summon a single name of someone she disliked.

I hope people make that accusation of me.

That is it for tonight.  Merry Christmas eve eve everyone!

Weekly Recap

Well – a day late and a dollar short.  This is where I talk about snow.

But first, to recap – I was offered a job at SOLGPS yesterday.  Don’t know what to do.  Talked to many people.  I’ll follow up all the comments this evening.  Still haven’t decided.  I’m way less frantic than yesterday though.

As the Dude stated: “This is a complicated case. A lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous, a lot of strands to keep in my head, man.”

Anyway, last week it snowed.  You may not have noticed.  Quite a bit of snow.  I found the limitations of my scooter.  Light snow – a skiff of snow maybe – does not bother the scooter.  Snow formed into light fluffy drifts?  These are not my scooter’s friend.

Wednesday – three weeks before my consulting company rep arranged to take me our for lunch (which I will feel guilty about if I jump ship).  We decide on last Wednesday.  On Wednesday there is snow.  I scoot downstairs in the Toll building and eye the weather guardedly.  We are going to Lazia’s.  It is in Edmonton Centre.  I should only need to cross the street.  The road looks like a mess, but it seems passable.

Wrong. (wrong, wrong, wrong.)

I don my toque and gloves and set out.  I skirt around a drift on the sidewalk and come to the intersection without problems.  But there is a dip see – the road slopes to the curb and the curb has the little ramp onto the road.  Where the two slopes meet is a divot and that divot is filled with snow.

I back up and bit to get a run at it.  I wait for the light and turn my governor all the way up.  Light is green and I’m off.  Whumpf!  I plow through the drift.  I cross the rest of the road with ease…until I reach the other side where the same divot exists, but deeper.

Vroom!  If I make car noises the scooter goes faster.  Plumf! I stop dead.

A nice Samaritan pushes me onto the sidewalk.  I say “Thank you!”

Mistake #2 – instead of going into City Centre East, I decide to stay outside and go into City Centre West.  This mean I need to cross one more road.

Wait for the light.  Turn it up to eleven.  Vroom!  I whiz across the street.  On the far side, snow blankets the whole curb.  I keep it pinned.  Ka-clump!  I miss the little ramp on the left side.  My foot flies off the foot rest, but I plow through the snow like a sled dog.

I stop and adjust myself.  I am getting cold.  The wind is blowing into my face.  But I am able to dodge any more drifts on my way to the door.  Trip there was a success!

Now the trip back.  I wisely decide to take the pedway between halves of the mall.  When I get into City Centre East the elevator is shut down for maintenance.  I ask a guy in a booth if there is a freight elevator I can use.  He looks back at me blankly.  “How do they get stock to their store?”

My consulting rep is still with me and he finds a janitor who calls security who gladly helps me with the freight elevator.

Back outside and only one street to cross.  But I know I’ll get stuck.  So I decide to use the other crosswalk.  The snow looks shallower there.  Vroom!  Plumf!  I’m barely off the curb.

Different Samaritan pushes my into traffic.  Whoosh, I cross the street, but I’m on the west side of the intersection and must pull a left turn and cross rice howard way too because I choose the other crosswalk.  The problem is getting on and off the street so I don’t stop.  I shoulder check and then jay-scoot and skip the divot.

Plumf!  No dice.  I’m across the street, but stuck again.  No Samaritan right beside be because I skipped the light.  I put it into reverse and rock back and forth.  I make a little progress and then another Samaritan gives me a push.

Thunk.  There is no steering in the snow drift.  I am pushed right into the scaffolding around the building.The scooter would take it, but it is my knee that hits hard.  I stop before I rip my left off and with momentum lost I’m stuck again and butted up against the metal post.  I crank the wheel and the Samaritan pushes one last time.  Pop!  Just like Pooh Bear from Rabbit’s hole.

Three feet.  Remember the very first snow drift I skirted around as I left the building?  Well I have no steering as I pop out of the divot and I can’t avoid it this time.  Plumf!  Grr!

The Samaritan pushes for a third time, but this is a deep drift.  Deeper than the divots.  A second Samaritan lends a hand.  Pop!  Yay!  I return to work.  Colder and Wiser.

But my adventures in the snow are not yet done.  Nay nay!

I take Dats home.  The parking lot here at Todd’s Cabana is unplowed and even the concrete pad outside the door has defeated the maintenance guy.   A narrow walkway is shoveled – about scooter wide – but it is partly snowed over.  The bus tentatively pulls up near the pad.  The driver is quite worried about being stuck in the snow.  But he gets to where the ramp can be lowered and lines it up with the half shoveled path.

There is a divot!  An area of parking lot between the bus and the pad I need to cross.  I gun it.  Vroom!  And through!  I break on through to the other side.  And I’m home safe.

Now I worry that evening.  It continues to snow and the maintenance guy won’t have had a chance to improve things outside by the time I leave.  I decide to take a snow day.  I call into work, cancel DATS and roll over and go back to sleep.

Friday morning.  No skipping work two days in a row.  That would just be lazy.  It snowed less Thursday than Friday though.  I’m tentative, but Peter has the pad nicely cleared.  However the parking lot is worse than ever and the morning DATS driver is very cautious.  He stops and sets up so that the DATs lift comes down not at the end of the pad, but in the visitor parking space which is covered in a foot and a half of snow.

“Don’t worry, I’ll shovel!”  he says.

“Why not angle the bus so that the lift lines up with the pad?” I ask.

“I’ll get stuck.”

I watch him shovel.  I’m highly skeptical.  I won’t be able to back onto the  lift.  It takes slow going to manuaever and I’ll need to gun it.  It also takes a wide swath to turn around in and it would take 20 minutes to shovel that all.

“No worries.  Today, you go in front ways,” he says.

Second worry.  I’ll need to weave an S shape to leave the pad, avoid the lift, turn in the visitor space and get on the lift.  Can’t be done at speed even going forward.

“No worries.  I shovel straight path.”

“But it will end at the curb not the ramp off the pad,” I say.

“I’ll push.”

He is energetic.  The shoveling takes only a minute.  It isn’t nearly down to pavement.  I turn it up to eleven and rush the L shaped path he has created.

Clunk!  Off the curb and the tires immediately sink into the snow.  I’m stuck deep.  No going forward and I can’t go back because I can’t climb the curb.

“This isn’t going to work,” says the driver as he mightily lifts the end of my scooter back onto the curb.  “I’ll angle the bus.”

He raises the lift and moves the bus.  But he is soooooo cautious.   He is at the right angle.  It is a straight shot from the end of the pad ramp onto the lift, but he is in the middle of the parking lot.  There is 15 feet of snot to cross.

Shovel, shovel, shovel.  He clears the snow.  But when he lowers the lift because he didn’t shovel under the lift the front end doesn’t reach the ground.  He is getting tired now though and half-asses the shovelling under the lift.  It now mostly touches the ground.

Vroom!  I gun it.  I cross the parking lot and clunk!  I run into the lift.  The tires don’t make it up.  So once again there is a mighty lift.  Finally I am on the lift and on my way to work.

But I’m not yet done.  Oh no.  At work the streets have been plowed and the sidewalks cleared, but the street snow isn’t cleared.  It is piled into moraines along the sidewalks.  There is no where to lower the lift because of the three foot high mound of snow along the whole curb.

Once again, shovel, shovel, shovel.  The driver levels the moraine.  Success on the first try!  I get to work safely.

Valuable lesson’s learned.  Arrange to work from home during and immediately after heavy snowfalls.  With a less energetic or strong driver, I might still be stuck out there.

This is running really long.  The only other activity of note was two excellent gaming nights on Friday and Saturday.  I’d describe them, but I am tired of writing now.  🙂  G’night and sleep well.