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.


SOL's view said...

Employers never seem to know what they want, do they. And having to spell out that the short jobs were on contract...

I could never cut it as a programmer. It was like a foreign tongue I could never grasp. I was much better at using apps than creating them.

Permanent hey! That will make a big change. And lucky you getting Friday's off. :)

Don said...

Funny about your new job. I worked in IT for a couple different companies for a decade or so; never did consulting but it's a different world now I suppose. Good luck with it.

Rob said...

Good luck in the new job. I'm still trying for contracts after taking early retirement (and a reduced but immediate pension), but no luck so far. I'm looking at general admin as well: less money but less stress (one job advertised is in the office of a Chinese supermarket - the benefits could be interesting).