July 24th, 2003


Rock out!

So I met with the CIO at 10:00 AM as planned, and used about one hour of his time when I scheduled one and a half hours in his calendar. This is good, because I know he doesn't approve of meetings that run over their allotted time spans. I was prompt, polite and completely relaxed. I think because of these facts I surprised him and probably went a long way towards earning me a bit more of his respect (my manager, AC, is always late to his meetings... and the CIO has no respect for him because of it).

When all was said and done I believe the CIO's exact words were that this project has been "time well spent" even though it's taken me roughly a year to get things developed to this point. He also seemed to feel that the price of our contract renewal was "trivial if these are the benefits we see from it." He asked a few questions about what will be the criteria for considering the project "completed," he asked me what my feelings were about taking this to the campus level and inquired if we can use this software when our secondary data center goes live. I showed him the various features, wowed him with the automation capabilities and even did a demonstration with a live system to show him that everything's working just as I expected it to. At the end I left it open for questions and comments, and he said that I had answered almost all of his questions along the line.

I am left with the feeling that this went over pretty well and I think I just won a major advocate to my side. I mean, let's face it... if the CIO (A senior vice president in the company) likes what I'm working on, who is going to tell him otherwise or dare to challenge me when I have his blessings? This positive outcome leaves me feeling smug as heck, and I know when I tell AC about today's presentation when I report in for tomorrow's staff meeting I'm going to get a big slack-jawed stare. AC saw me this morning around 8:00 AM when he came in, and I know he's wondering why I'm here early on a swing shift day. Well, he won't have to wonder for long, because tomorrow he's going to find out...

I wish that I could talk to you
  • Current Music
    Elvis Costello -- Complicated Shadows (DeVry MP3s)

Philosophy over steak and eggs....

So a late, decadent lunch was had to celebrate my meeting with the CIO. We selected Kopper Kitchen as the restaurant of choice and zipped up 83 so we could try to beat the lunch rush. We needn't have worried, since it was almost completely empty when we got there. I had a juicy strip steak with mozzarella cheese covering it, two scrambled eggs and four pieces of bacon. Truly this was a filling meal and a great way to reward myself for how well this morning's presentation went.

During the meal the conversation between RW, DP and myself turned to philosophy. We discussed morality, ethics, how "honor code" becomes law and a number of other things. Interestingly enough when I got back to my desk I had a misdirected e-mail waiting for me in Outlook. I was about to hit the "delete" key on it until I saw the individual's tag line:

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
- Robert Schuller

That gave me pause to think, because it really is a great question in my opinion. If I could not fail, and I knew it, what would I do? I think that I would fulfill the dream of becoming my own boss, and start my own business. But then I think about it more, and I start to wonder. Maybe I would climb a mountain, or try to set a record of some type. So many different possibilities flooded into my mind I was almost overwhelmed.

What would you do?
  • Current Music
    Johnny Cash -- Hurt

Day of much surreal activity....

Aside from the things I've already mentioned today, I had a couple surprisingly surreal things happen to me.

The first one was this morning, when I woke up to the sound of my alarm going off at the usual time. It figures that every day this week when I've only had to get up at 9:00 AM or so I've awoken sharply at 5:45 AM without the help of the alarm. My poor, poor internal clock is simply all confused about what's going on with this swing shift. While there is some irony in the fact that TODAY, when I needed to get up early my body refused to get up on it's own that's not what strikes me as surreal. What's odd to me is that right before the clash of the klaxon awoke me I was having a dream. I dreamt my lady-friend Amy had come to visit, or that I had gone out to Seattle to visit her. During the visit I had stretched out on a (my? hers?) bed and was half-catnapping when she joined me. There was nothing erotic about this, it was just that she'd climbed in under the covers, spooned next to me and drawn my arm over her side. And I felt really, really happy about it because it was a sense of being wanted and trusted enough for that to happen.

I can only guess that, on some level, I'm so lonely I'm dreaming of companionship. Pretty weird, and in a way downright sad. Thankfully I was able to shake the odd mood that the dream put me in and move on to other things. I'm still reflecting on it, though, and I will have to do some serious thinking to see if I can figure out what -- if anything -- that dream was telling me. Heck, for all I know I had that dream because Ra had tucked in next to me on the bed, so maybe I'm trying to read far too much into this.

The second surreal thing was the drive to work this morning. I left with the intent of arriving at 7:30 AM. It's a darn good thing I didn't have to be there until 11 in AC's mind (even though I had a 10 o'clock appointment with the CIO) because it could easily have been 11 before I got there. Not far from the 355/290 junction a semi jackknifed (wow, that's the second one I've seen this week!). In doing so it smashed up an SUV, a couple of cars and the tractor... and put the fifty-three foot trailer across four of the five lanes. Traffic naturally backed up as the wrecking crews and state troopers got to work clearing up the mess. The really surreal part is before I got to the accident scene I spent thirty or so minutes in stop and go traffic, and during one of the "go... go a bit faster... a wee bit faster... STOP STOP STOP!" periods of that I nearly got rear-ended by a semi that was going far too fast and paying far too little attention. Fortunately he was able to put his rig onto the shoulder and narrowly avoided turning the four-door sedan behind me into a sardine canister. As near as I could tell from looking in my mirrors and wincing in expectation of pain the tractor's front bumper stopped somewhere around the rear doors of the sedan. I'm glad the driver had the presence of mind to pull onto the shoulder, but I really wish he hadn't been going so fast that he'd needed to do that at all. My poor heart is under enough stress already, seeing a near-collision unfold behind me was just some more stress that I didn't need.

My coworker RW today told me that his father-in-law's leg has gone gangrenous and must be amputated. While that's sad it's not particularly surreal. It gets surreal when you find out what the family is going to do -- they're going to bury the leg after it's amputated, and have a funeral for it. Yes, just as if it was his whole body, they're giving the leg a eulogy and everything. That strikes me as a little... well, I'll say that I don't think that's the most balanced thing you could do with it and leave it at that.

This makes me realize that I need to reiterate to my family and perhaps go so far as to write down my wishes should I pass unexpectedly. Cremation. If they want to do a ceremony that's fine, I can understand the closure it might provide. But I *must* be cremated. I don't want a cemetery lot, and I sure don't want bits and pieces of me to be buried before the rest of me. That's just ... unsettling to think about.

Ah well, it could be worse -- I could be Walt Disney's frozen head.

what about sex?
it's defective!
it's never built to really last
  • Current Music
    Billy Joel - The Night Is Still Young