Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bad blogger

That's my sweetie in a big hat. Hi Sweetie!

I have wasted away to a post a week. Next I'll be failing to post pictures, then posting empty "I'll fill you in later" posts. By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!

Where was I?

Work is great. Did I mention that? It's like being a professional spaghetti untangler, and little do my coworkers know but I actually know how to untangle spaghetti. They are all amazed.

The two fellows who work for me are just starting to get over the suffering that they had from when I wasn't there to correct all the things that I am now correcting. One of the fellows said pretty openly to others that he didn't think that it was necessary to hire me, even though he has been complaining about how messed up things are/were. It may take a while for him to appreciate my efforts.

Sharon and I went to Kate and Nathan's wedding reception on Friday last. (Hi Kate!) It was really fun but man, the staff at The Tonga Room are cranky! They treated us like we were interrupting their relaxing evening by ordering very expensive drinks and appetizers. At one point I asked the bartender to put my $19.50 two-drink order on the tab for the party we were with (as I had been instructed to, and had done once before) and he insisted I pay at the bar. He received a generous $0.00 tip. I never saw our waitress Tina smile even once. Luser. (Hi Tina!)

I taught Kate and Nathan and Jessica (Hi Jessica!) how to swing dance badly, which they all seemed to enjoy. (It was probably the booze talking.) For my trouble I received a compliment on my dancing from a young black woman who sounded as if she knew what she was talking about. (Hi black woman!) She had cool bleached hair that was all pasted down in a zig zag pattern. I told her I liked her hair.

Saturday, we went to the huge garden show at the Cow Palace. It was fun. Eventually you get your fill of garden stuff so we left after about five hours. I took these supercool pictures there.

Pretty orchids.

Note the bikini top and bottom.

Our new kitchen sink.

These metal sculptures were truly ugly but they had boobs so I needed to take a few numerous pictures and post one here to keep my reputation intact.

Hi Lisa!
Does anyone out there like pigs?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Work work work.

Work is still fantastic. It's just getting, uh... more rich. It seems hard to create a lot of change in three weeks, but not for lack of trying mind you. There are so many screwed up puzzle pieces.

Challenging though it may be, it's still at least forty six times better than looking for a job.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Even more fun

Work just gets better as I go.

First, they actually paid me. It feels ever so craptastic to watch your home equity line of credit rise each month by about what you used to be making. Getting paid puts a stop to that icky going-into-even-yet-more-debt feeling.

It is finally dawning on me just how much say I have in how the manufacturing operation is run. My boss is very supportive and clearly wants me to put a much more rational system of processes in place. The fellows who had set things up before are really great guys, but I soundly disagree with the approach they took.

It was based on traceability and regulatory requirements from the medical industry and relies very heavily on paper files with lots and lots of hand written signatures and numbers. These fellows haven't had to do failure analysis based on data, nor manage configuration data in a search-able way. They also come from a culture where the risk of failing meant someone died and sued you out of business because of a clerical error.

We had a nice long discussion today where I was able to convince my colleagues that I have a better, a much better, way of operating.

I know, I know. "Bob, you are becoming a conceited megalomaniac!" I stay on the lookout for that.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


one or more too many
my head swims
that was a bad idea
writ large

drawn to the ground
Gulliver in jeans, rent
Capitan, don't do that again

I So Rock

Once again, I'm part of someplace where I can really make a difference. Even a week and a half into it there is a lot of novelty. So far I still like everyone, though the document control person seems to imagine that she has a better grip on the system than she really does.

There are several projects afoot. I am cutting my teeth on transferring a product to China by finishing the process definition and documentation for a replacement part that has but nine components. The original procedure has like 15 pages and a passel of pictures but fails to convey what is really important. It's nice to be needed.

Then there are some systems that need serious attention. The document change process is far too complicated for its own good. The system for keeping records of what was built is also a mess. Once again, nice to be needed.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Well, I made it through the first (short) week at work without getting fired or even pissing anyone off. I know full well I'm in the "honeymoon" period where I can see the forest for the trees because I'm not drowned in details yet, but I really feel like things are "clicking".

The things that I'm saying are resonating well with people at work at all levels. My new boss seems to be reliably impressed with the way that I question what is going on at a strategic level, not just the tactical. For once I feel like my ideas have a much better than even chance of getting implemented. Every day I have had several "ah HA!" moments. Suffice to say that I'm liking it so far.

We'll check back in a week to see if I'm still this stoked about it all.