Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Job: First Day Wrap-Up (Brief)

As mentioned previously, I recently left my job of (nearly) seven years. More specifically, I left on May 22, which -- by a strange coincidence -- was my father's birthday ("Hey Dad, to celebrate your 60th birthday, I quit my job!"). Of course, I had a new job lined up. But that little break between gigs sure was nice. It was like one loooong Memorial Day weekend. I did a few things around the house. Finished reading some magazines and book or three. I made the 5+ hour drive to visit the folks and see my niece. Oh! And I sprained (or possibly broke) my left foot. Guess how much fun the first day of work is ... on crutches. Actually, the whole crutches thing hasn't been so bad. On the drive back from my parents' house on Sunday, I have to say that people were overwhelmingly polite and helpful, going out of their way to open and hold doors for me. And today, my new co-workers regularly offered to carry or retrieve items (lunch, some water, a notebook, etc.) for me, and changed some meetings so I did not have to travel as far (though I insisted I could make it and didn't need special treatment). The only downside to this whole thing is twofold: For one, my pits hurt. For another, traversing via crutches is damn hot in 80+ degree heat! OK. One more downside ... I cannot retrieve a cup of coffee on my own. Well, maybe that will somehow work out to be a positive. Anyway, back to the "first day of work" brief. My first several hours were spent in orientation with about 10 other new hires including three summer interns. Our orientation covered:
  1. Overview of the company (company history, vision/model, strategic direction, office locations, etc.).
  2. Overview of company benefits.
  3. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. And ...
  4. A brief tour of the office.
Our supervisors were then contacted to take us to our work areas and we had a lunch break. The rest of my afternoon was spent observing my first weekly status meeting, setting up my computer, checking out the department templates, and working through tutorials. The status meeting was the only nerve-wracking occasion ("Oh my gods, what am I doing here? What the heck are all these abbreviations and dates?! How will I ever know what is going on here????"). I suppose that is normal; some nerves are to be expected when you strike out from the familiar into the unknown. And I took this job because I wanted new challenges to conquer and new technologies to learn. But I wonder .... Did I feel this nervous seven or 12 years ago? Did I doubt whether I had what it would take to do the new job? Did I question my reasons for leaving the former job? Perhaps the size of the company has something to do with it. During my job history, I have worked for fairly large -- even global -- outfits, both private and public. But this is the first one that has 500+ employees in one location -- my location. I'm used to somwhat small offices ... sort of satellite locations. Now I'm at the headquarters. And there are more people and locations I have to learn than products! I guess this is what change feels like. It felt pretty good to say goodbye to one place where I felt stuck. So, in freeing myself, I should probably expect to feel almost completely unglued, eh?

Quotable | Best Things

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you." -- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), novelist, poet, and travel writer

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Friday Pet Blogging | Willow

Because I missed Friday Pet Blogging last week, here is a bonus entry:

Willow says: "What's all the fuss?"

Willow is a feral cat who currently lives near Mrs. Brainwise's office. Catch the whole set of this little cutie and you'll see why Mrs. B. wants to bring her to our home. Support pet blogging! View more pet blogging posts! Here are some suggestions...

More Pet Blogging
  1. See the Friday Ark, featuring a compilation of today's pet blogging posts, over at The Modulator.
  2. Check the M&O Archives for previous Milo & Otis appearances (currently up-to-date through Sept 2005. I'll finish the updates soon, I hope!).
  3. Carnival of the Cats, coming at you every Sunday.

Friday Pet Blogging | Watching for Daddy

It's time for the weekly Friday Pet Blogging. It is one day early because I will be on the road. So, here are Otis and Milo waiting for me to walk down the path to the door:

"Daddy's just outside!"

Support pet blogging! View more pet blogging posts! Here are some suggestions...

More Pet Blogging
  1. See the Friday Ark, featuring a compilation of today's pet blogging posts, over at The Modulator.
  2. Check the M&O Archives for previous Milo & Otis appearances (currently up-to-date through Sept 2005. I'll finish the updates soon, I hope!).
  3. Carnival of the Cats, coming at you every Sunday.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Inconvenient Druid?

Here is the best, one-line move review for Al Gore's global-warming film, An Inconvenient Truth:
The movie is very alarmist. But it is a very well-produced film. I don't think he's running for president but he might be running for arch-Druid." -- Fred L. Smith Jr., president and founder CEI
With thanks to Jason Pitzl-Waters

"Passion of the Christ" is a patriotic movie ... what?!

Fox News Reports... Another fine, journalistic masterpiece. Be certain to watch the whole thing, otherwise you'll miss some important comments (which are text insertions that are not part of the original broadcast).

Quotable

The first and great commandment is: Don't let them scare you." -- Elmer Davis (1890 - 1958)
Elmer Davis was a news reporter, author, the Director of the United States Office of War Information during World War II. He won the the Peabody Award three times.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday Pet Blogging | Kitchen Help

Well, they are definitely in the kitchen. But I don't know how helpful they are, aside from looking so darn cute!

Otis and Milo say, "Hello, how may we help you?"

Support pet blogging! View more pet blogging posts! Here are some suggestions...

More Pet Blogging
  1. See the Friday Ark, featuring a compilation of today's pet blogging posts, over at The Modulator.
  2. Check the M&O Archives for previous Milo & Otis appearances (currently up-to-date through Sept 2005. I'll finish the updates soon, I hope!).
  3. Carnival of the Cats, coming at you every Sunday.

Dearth of Posts / Prophet's Got a Brand New Bag

I just took a backwards glance, and I notice a gap from April 28 to May 4/5, and then another gap between May 5 and May 11. So, yeah, I know that I have been pretty lax about posting here for the past two weeks. Time has been at a premium for me. I'm a little behind in my classes (I need to write one paper in response to a talk on Depression & Suicide, and another summarizing my feedback regarding a three-day retreat on Conducting Rituals), I have several large writing projects at work, and I was working on a proposal for purchasing more lighting equipment at the Montgomery Theater (I'll post more about that project over at Confessions of a Serial Theater Lackey). But my biggest task has been landing a new job. Yup, you read that correctly. I am actually leaving the job I have held for nearly seven years. I have not been able to write much here because the prospect of the new job was taking up a majority portion of my brain cells. "Why didn't you write about that?" I hear you asking, "about the search ... the interviews?" Well, because I couldn't. You see, a few people at my current job know about this blog. I don't think there are any regulars among them, but I didn't want to take the chance of writing about the potential new gig and having one of my current colleagues stumbling across that fact. Not that I was embarassed about looking for a new job, or that I thought someone would squeal to management that "the tech writer is going to jump ship!" No, I just felt it was easier to deal with everything if I kept it to myself. Maybe I'll write about it in retrospect. But, as I said, I submitted my resignation this week. So right now, I'm scrambling to finish a few things in light of my upcoming departure. In case you want to mark your calendars, my last day at my current job will be May 22, and I start my new position on May 30. Drop me a line if you want to hear more about it. What, if anything, does this mean for Prophet or Madman? Well, here's the bottom line as best I can determine it at this point in time: Until May 22, my loyal readers (all two or three of you) can expect posting to be erratic at best. And after May 30, I may only be able to post in the evening. I don't know for certain yet how much blogging I'll be able to do (or even read) at my new job. But no matter the obstacles ... I will get the Friday Pet Blogging posts done!

I Just Can't Stop Staring ...

...at this. OK. Obviously, I stopped staring at it long enough to post about it. But I have to admit: I've been checking it out off and on throughout the day. Sure, it's just a world map/clock/news flash player. But, still, it's cool. If I had a decent "spare" 'puter or laptop, I could see myself setting it up in the kitchen and pointing the browser to this. It would be the perfect little clock! Hmmmm....Maybe I finally found a use for that Audrey I purchased a few years back as a hack project.
Audrey-Linen
Will this be my new kitchen clock?
Hat tip to memoria technica.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Theater Lackey Updates

I have posted a couple of updates over at my theater blog, Confessions of a Serial Theater Lackey. They are, in chrono order, a note about "The Drawer Boy" and the Barrymore Awards, some pics of the lighting effects in "The Drawer Boy," and a casting note.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday Pet Blogging | Down for the Couch (Otis)

I haven't posted much this week, but I have to participate in Friday Pet Blogging! It's been a slow week for pics -- I've been busy with some other projects. But last night, Otis was so darn precious that I had to snap these shots with my Treo:

Down for the Couch

Down for the Couch, Too

He's a knucklehead, but at least he's a cute knucklehead. And here are the obligatory links to more good cat (and other pet) blogging ...

More Pet Blogging
  1. See the Friday Ark, featuring a compilation of today's pet blogging posts, over at The Modulator.
  2. Check the M&O Archives for previous Milo & Otis appearances (currently up-to-date through Sept 2005. I'll finish the updates soon, I hope!).
  3. Carnival of the Cats, coming at you every Sunday.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

...And She was His Query

Teresa over at Making Light has compiled a list of Dreadful Phrases. Here are a few choice examples of the "phonetic near misses" she has encountered:
I'm loathed to do it spurn him to greater effort he was the hunter, and she his query
Heh ... that last one sounds like it might have come from a geek-love novel about an Oracle administrator in an obsessive relationship. Go read the full list. It's impressive. And by "impressive" I mean ... sad. Although these errors are humorous, I am saddened that so many butchered phrases can be found in modern writing. And I don't know where to place the blame. Are today's writers lazy, relying more and more on built-in spell checkers instead of an actual proofreader? Or are they simply ignorant, at least direct comparison to the writers of an earlier age? Perhaps, it's a little bit of both.