Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A New Routine

And of course my posting again has slacked. Raise you hand if you are shocked.

Finally got around to getting life insurance. Seriously should have done that 2.5 years ago before Grace was born. (Side note: if you have kids, and they depend on your income, do this as soon as you can.) During the course of everything they did some quick medical work, and turns out, I have high cholesterol. So I've got that going for me.

Now, this shouldn't have been a huge surprise to me. The last blood work I had done, back in 2006 or so, showed it to be slightly high and the doctor told me to watch my diet. Seeing as I was eating fast food nearly every day, I chalked it up to that. (I had some not so great lunch habits during my last year in Austin.) I haven't been to primary care physician since then.

Does anyone my age have a primary care physician? I haven't gotten around to finding one in New Orleans because I just haven't seen the need. At this point my daughter's pediatrician likely knows more about my health/stress than anyone. I'm finding health care to be more confusing than usual lately.

All of this was a long lead up to say, I've decided to start exercising. Went for a 30 minute walk today. Used listening to All Things Considered on my phone as a bride. Here's hoping this new idea becomes more of a routine than the blogging has.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Charmed Life

This past week Melissa was in Chicago for some work training and so I had Grace all to myself from Sunday to Thursday. Let me tell you, I have a lot more respect for what she goes through when I'm out of town and I have no idea how single parents do it.

I mean everything went fine. She's only in day care twice a week so I had to take vacation one day and one day my mother in law watched her. No biggie. But waking up every day with her? Getting through everything at night? Not having anyone to tag-team with? It's tough. I found myself being much more tired, and much more likely to go to sleep near midnight, which is rare for me.

The other big thing I noticed? Commutes suck. In Austin I lived maybe five minutes away from work and since we've been in New Orleans I've worked from home so I haven't had a long commute since I guess high school. Getting Grace to day care and then back home to work took just under an hour. Now, I like me some NPR, and it's nice to catch up on the news, but losing two hours every day does not work for me. Here's hoping I can keep living the charmed life I have.

Other than that I'd like to thank everyone that kept me company this week, the family Monday at the zoo, Chad and Brandy for dinner Tuesday, Wayne for dinner Wednesday, and Richard for dinner Thursday. I'm not a huge fan of eating alone and with all those visits I barely had to.

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Executive Lounge

Traveled for work last week to Rochester, MN. Spent the weekend in Waveland doing some cleaning. Back in Waveland tonight for the start of Easter festivities. Melissa is traveling next week to Chicago for work training. Busy few weeks in the Dickey house.

This past work-travel was a little different than the usual in that it was a bunch of my co-workers getting together for training. More than two of us together in one place for any length of time is far from the norm. I imagine anyone eavesdropping on our conversations was entertained. We swapped travel/customer horror stories. Everyone bragged about what level of frequent flier status they had obtained. And we all tried to outdo each other by mentioning what fancy hotel perk we had been able to make use of. The hotel we all stayed in had an Executive Lounge on the top floor that only a few people had access to (they snuck the rest of us in). Our evenings were spent enjoying the free drinks, so much so that we drank them out of Crown Black. Good times.

One thing that didn't really occur to me before I started working from home was the lack of co-workers. Working in an office, I just got used to seeing people in the hall, going out to lunch, or just hanging out in their office to pass the time on slow days. None of that happens when you work from home. Sure I've tried to fill the void by going to lunch with friends regularly, even going so far as to find some other IBMers in town to lunch with, but it's not the same. Emails and instant messages and conference calls don't quite cut it either. Not only do I think I'm worse off socially, I also think the company is worse off due to the lack of information sharing that naturally would occur. With more and more people working from home, I'm thinking this is big challenge going forward. Curious to see what people come up with.

Interesting fun fact about hanging out with my co-workers in Rochester, I was the only white guy. One guy escaped from Vietnam. Another left Korea when he was a kid. The other two were Chinese and I'm unsure when they moved or if they are second generation. That's another thing I miss about hanging out with co-workers, the varied cultural backgrounds. I love being exposed to different ways of thinking and that's harder to find among friends. Our friends, generally, think similarly to the way we do, hence being friends, but co-workers are under no such restrictions. Of course, this can be horrible at times, but handled well I think it can be fascinating.

Maybe I should start some sort of work-at-home lunch club.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Oh never, oh never, oh never again

This past Saturday, I had what I will only describe as an "interesting" evening. If you weren't there and want more details, you'll have to find someone else to ask. For the purpose of this post, what you need to know is, I wound up in not the best of states due to no one's fault but my own (with a nice assist from circumstances). What has lingered for me since then, is not the sequence of events that lead up to what happened, though certainly there are lessons to be learned there, but more what happened after.

The guys I was riding on the float with took it upon themselves to make sure I was OK. Some of them literally carried me on their back. Then they did what needed to be done to make sure I would get better. Now, I'm sure some of them weren't thrilled about it. I have no doubt there was much grumbling. And you can be sure they'll make sure I don't forget anything about that day. But still, they were there for me. It's important to note here that theses guys aren't what I would call my best friends. Some are closer than others, and some are more so acquaintances, but on average we're talking right at the edge of "ask them to help me move furniture" level of friendship.

I now find myself in the unexpected position of both being indebted to someone (someones in this case) and also feeling a part of a large group. I wouldn't say I've been "Godfather" scared of owing people a favor, but I've certainly tried to avoid it when I can. "Atlas Shrugged" probably had more of an effect on me in that way than I care to admit. So it's certainly new for me, especially outside the realm of really close friends and family. The other new thing for me is the "belonging" feeling I take away from all of this. I'm not a rebel by any means, but I've often felt like an outsider in most things. With this group I've felt like that often. But after this, I'm not sure I can really feel that way anymore.

Well anyway, that's what's been on my mind the last few days. Sure it's a little navel-gaze-y, but, hey, it's my blog.

Other things of note: loving Castle and Psych proving that police shows with a dash/dump-truck of silly are for me, can't get enough of pop-culture references on TV shows regardless of format, when did lightbulbs get so complicated to buy?, why is booking travel to Rochester MN for work nearly impossible?