Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three things for Thursday

1. I spent an exciting week in training class, learning about Scheduling and Cost Control. Didn’t know what to expect, but I did pretty good at it as most of the hard stuff was math which I like, and am good at sticking numbers in formulas.

2. To sit at my desk and work on a Thursday afternoon and realize to me it’s really Friday and I have a long weekend free. (We work four ten hour days here and get Friday off).

3. To read blogs that I have on my list and are interesting, and get to share in the joy of some people that I have never met, but I can still picture the smiles on their faces.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

OK, I didn't remind you this morning, but I hope you all realize that it was Talk Like A Pirate Day today, and acted inappropriately.

And look - the new teaser for the Hobbit movie is out - very amazing at the
Hobbit Site

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wicked pirates

Sumer is going away, and it’s starting to cool off here in Vegas. Looking at the range of temperatures we can expect it runs from 96 today through 98,99,95,96,95,95. Nothing with a one in front of it. I remember living back in upstate New York when having a one as the first digit sometimes meant that it was the only digit. I would much rather have a one with two digits after it than with no other digits associated with it.

We spent several pleasant hours yesterday morning trimming the trees out front. B did the small stuff but it’s up to me to haul out the saws and ladder to get the bigger ones. When we moved in nine years ago we pulled out all of the grass around the house and converted to desert landscaping. Part of that was putting in quite a few low water requirement trees along with a lot of bushes, so that we might have a shady enjoyable lot rather than just rocks and gravel that so many houses in Vegas favor for landscaping. Some of the trees did well, some required replacement, but those that are in are now large enough to require saws for shaping rather than the large clippers we were able to use in smaller days. About a mile down the road from our place is a large Catholic church that has a very well done side yard, we liked it so much we tried to model ours on that, and now that we can walk under the trees and have full shade down one side it seems we have done quite well in that regard.

Last Thursday evening we went to see the traveling tour of Wicked at the new Smith Center. It was over two hours of very enjoyable singing, with the familiar OZ background twisted just a bit. A very nicely done production that I would recommend to anyone. The Smith Center is our new performing arts space near downtown, in a large area that used to be the train yards but now is becoming a nice mix of things. The large theater holds just about 2,000 people, and was built in the new style of vertical seating. Rather than spread everyone out on a huge floor there are many levels rising high. Along the sides are three levels of box seating and in the rear are two levels of balconies. Due to the popularity of the show I was only able to obtain two of the cheap seats way in the back in the upper balcony. This space had about twenty rows of seats and was built at about a 45 degree angle, so that all of the seats have a nice view of the stage without looking through the heads in front of you. Each row is raised above the one ahead, so that my toes were about at the top of the seat in front. We could see the entire stage very well, unfortunately it required binoculars to get a good view of faces. Watching the girls all dressed up in tight short skirts and tall heels try to walk down the steep steps was very amusing, but I was unable to turn around all night due to the seats of the row behind being at about eye level, them being filled with said girls in short (and I do mean short) skirts and mostly my wife sitting next to me.

I have been in a new job for about six months and am having changes. As a programmer I usually work on short term projects, which does involve changing jobs quite often. Most people comment on my long resume and poor ability to stay at a job for very long, but most of the programmers I know do similar things so I am surprised when prospective places mention that. An interview usually goes along the line of ‘we are looking at people that are willing to make a long term commitment, and you don’t seem to last very long at places’, and then go on to say the project should last from six to nine months, would I have any problem with that? I had one friend that stayed in one job for over ten years, then found he could not get a new job because he was viewed as being stale (in computer programming everyone wants you to be up-to-date in the latest technologies). But my change here is moving from being a contractor to being a full time employee. Some places do that, as it is easier to tell a contractor to move on than an employee that doesn’t fit in, and then if they like you an offer of a permanent position is made. I will have to get a security clearance which requires a six month background check, so I’ve alerted all of my neighbors and friends to be ready for the men in black to come calling. I like the work, and we are on four ten hour days (to get the American ‘standard’ 40 hour work week) so I get every Friday off, for a nice long weekend., and the people are pleasant. The work is also different, with only half emphasis on programming the other half on guidance and management, so I am looking forward to those changes.

Arggg, just a reminder that Wednesday is the official Talk Like A Pirate Day, so prepare yourself.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Doctor is back

The new Dr. Who series started up on BBC last Saturday. I almost missed that first episode, as we haven't been watching TV very much recently, and for some reason have been skipping that channel - perhaps it's because we have grown tired of reruns of three guys driving cars. Anyway, the Asylum of the Daleks was a really good episode. There are a number of British blogs that I usually read - Lisa over there on the right usually talks about the Doctor, but she hasn't mentioned him in a while. I've been watching Dr. Who for quite a while, having caught an episode on PBS probably 30 years ago and really like the current series.
The Doctor always has a companion, and I was surprised to read that his new companion was introduced on this show. Spoiler if you are a Doctor fan, but it's the noisy girl that ended up being the main character - you can read about her over on The Guardian site. I like Moffat's comment that she is the only one he's found that can keep up with Matt Smith. She is a fast talker.
Anyway, another month where I can look forward to watching the Doctor on Saturday nights! Yea!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Three things 1. Warm water in the swimming pool, to float in and watch the sunset and bats come out in the darkening sky. 2. Clouds over the mountains in the distance and the sound of distant thunder, and then heavy rain on the metal roof. 3. The smell of dust in the air from the unexpected rain.