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It's been two years and I still can't believe it. Two years since Tony died and it still affects me every single day. His daughter is so adorable and so smart and more than anything I wish that she could still have him around.

For those of you who are missing someone, for no matter how long and in what way, I'm right there with you.


Feb. 9th, 2018

It seems like these days everywhere we look there's a story about someone doing something bad, something wrong. Social media is dominated by posts about horrible things that people have had to endure, or are enduring. And these are important things. We need to hear about these things, and survivors need to tell their stories.

But there are other stories out there that aren't being told. There are people in this world doing good, working hard, and living lives of quiet perseverance. They get up every morning and go to work at challenging jobs for which they aren't getting paid nearly enough. Maybe some mornings they go to the gym, or maybe they just grab a few more precious minutes of sleep. They wouldn't ever think of not doing what they are supposed to do.

They speak up when they feel moved to do so but their courage goes much more deep than posting online. Their heroism is being the kind of person everyone can count on, almost always at their own expense. They grind out days, they go to endless meetings when they know they could be more effective doing something else, because they have to, because it makes someone else's job easier, and they want that. They come home and they do things for other people, even when they don't feel like it. They get sick and still show up where people want them to be. And I'll be damned if they don't do it with a smile on their face every single time. They go to add to someone's joy, not to tell people how miserable they feel.

They keep so many plates spinning at all times that I'm sure they often don't know which end is up. But when you ask them for something, they give it to you, and when they do, they throw in a joke just to make you laugh.

These are the people about which everyone should be talking. They should be highlighted. They, not some stupid politician, make this country great. These are the people that make our lives full and happy. They should be recognized every day for what they do and they should be celebrated. They should be loved.

You all know a person like this. Tell them.
No, Donald. No, we cannot call it treason when some members of a political party don't clap strongly enough at your State of the Union address. No, it's not because they don't love the United States.

I can't even with this guy. Not that I ever could.


For the past couple of months my senior managers (the big bosses) have taken up the practice of sending out a "thought of the day" several times each day. It's typically one of those "inspirational" quotes you see all over the place. The administrative assistant puts them in a group email and blasts them to everyone and I just find it the stupidest thing ever. For one thing there have been a couple that I've noticed that were attributed to the wrong person, and those are just the ones I've noticed.

The larger problem I have with them is that they are just trite and don't reflect the way the engineers here think. Today's (so far) was "the only impossible journey is the one you never begin", which apparently that big toothed master of inspiration Tony Robbins said. The engineers here are mostly motivated by cool shit that flies and by designing things that help cool airplanes fly and generally don't give a crap about what Tony Robbins might have said.

Also, we're motivated by money. They would inspire us a lot more if they took whatever time was spent researching the quote(s) of the day, added it up and converted it to dollars per quote and then put that money into our next raise. Then people would start working harder.


The first post of the year should feature some positivity, don't you think? Okay.

So as part of my efforts in 2018 to be a better me (THEY AREN'T RESOLUTIONS, OKAY?!), I am going to be bringing my lunch to work more often. It's a pain to go out to eat here because my car is such a long distance from my desk, and that's in addition to all of the other negatives of eating out every day (money, calories, etc). One of my biggest complaints about eating at my desk is that I never get away from my desk. However, the corporation is completely renovating and modernizing our break rooms with new appliances and a new decor (they were really run down before) and they will actually be a nice place to sit and eat. So this all seemed like a good time to start eating here, at least a few days of the week.

The break rooms aren't quite ready yet (next week, they promise) but I brought my lunch anyway and only needed a Coke to go with it. There are at least 385,156 vending machines here that sell beverages (maybe slightly less than that, I don't know) and I was surprised when I'd gone to three and found them all sold out of all drinks. I was getting a little frustrated and pondering the sadness of having water with my lunch (I told you being a better me wasn't a resolution!) when I decided to check one last area, a place where there is a cluster of several machines. As I walked into the area where these machines are I noticed they were being refilled by the people that do that sort of thing (I guess they work for a Coke distributor or something?). They had both of the Coke selling machines open and were dropping in cans/bottles of stuff. I paused, dollar bill in hand, to ponder my options (how quickly were they going? Should I wait? Come back later?) and one of them noticed me. He asked what I needed and I said I was going to get a Coke. He asked me can or bottle and when I indicated can he reached into the machine and handed one to me.

As I attempted to hand him the dollar, I heard him say the nicest thing anyone at work has said to me all year: "Don't worry about it, this one is on me."

So, FREE COKE, YO!!! It was even cold. :~)
I had a weird, disjointed week last week. A few weeks ago I got the dreaded piece of paper in the mail: JURY DUTY.

I've never been called to jury duty before. I know people talk about how much they dread it and how awful it is. It certainly wasn't a fun party time, but it wasn't terrible. I had been called for state court, which apparently handles minor civil matters and criminal misdemeanors that end up going to trial. In other words, nothing really exciting, which is probably good because I feel like the big, exciting trials probably have a greater chance of dragging on. In the end, I only had to even go to the courthouse three days and was never even put in front of lawyers to be questioned. Everyone was super friendly, I met my share of characters, and saw one kid who had apparently agreed to a plea deal being chewed the hell out by his attorney and his mom in the lobby outside one of the courtrooms. I think my feelings about the experience would have been different if I'd had to serve on a trial, but I escaped that honor, and came away pretty positive about the whole thing.

It did, however, screw the hell out of my schedule at work. So I'm doing my best to make up for lost time. These last couple weeks of the year are supposed to be very relaxed and laid back, with deadlines put off until after break, but not so much for me right now. Since my main job right now is to support the production of parts being done in India and the Indians not so much into Christmas, they still have demands. It's not awful, they are aware of how things work here, but I could do without some of the incessant emails.

Nevertheless I am looking forward to this coming week. Holiday spirit should abound and by Thursday I will not care a bit about any deadline for work. How are you guys?
I hate it when I don’t have all the information about something and then have to interact with someone else about said thing. I got into a discussion (I won’t call it an argument, we weren’t yelling at each other or anything) with a coworker earlier. I told him we didn’t know which airplane a certain part was going to go on because the people that make it don’t track them that way. He maintained that they must know because the aircraft number is stamped on the part.

So, I didn’t *think* that we did that but I wasn’t 100% sure. I asked him genuinely if he was certain because I hadn’t noticed that before, our process didn’t seem to support that, etc. He was like, “Well, I’ve seen them. I’m going to go take some pictures of them and I’ll show you.”

Well, okay, you go dude. And he did. He brought back to me print outs of like a dozen pictures he took showing what looked like aircraft tail numbers stamped on parts. I put the print outs on my desk and he talked to me for a minute or two and all I really wanted him to do was stop talking and go away (not because I was wrong but because I really didn’t care anymore). I half-listened. He finished his spiel, they must have a way to know and I don’t know why you told me they don’t, and went back off to his desk.

Just now I was waiting for a notoriously slow computer program to start up on my desktop so I started idly looking through the pictures he printed out. The first thing I noticed was that even though he said he took the pictures from one specific aircraft there were three different what he called aircraft numbers represented on the parts he photographed. So which aircraft would it have been? Then I realized that the aircraft number most often appearing on the parts was for an aircraft that had been delivered to the Air Force two years ago. Huh?!

Clearly the numbers he thinks are aircraft numbers are in fact some other number that happens to share a common form with our tail numbers. I feel like this issue has passed, though, and don’t really feel like going over there to his desk and telling him. Sure, it might be something that he needs to know, but if I couldn’t convince him before, there’s probably no point in trying now.


File under "engineers are weird": I'm walking into the bathroom behind an engineer from the wiring group. He has a coffee cup in his hand. As he passes one of the big, open garbage cans just outside the bathroom he dumps the contents of the cup (coffee, I assume, some dark liquid anyway) into the can. Then he proceeds into the bathroom and rinses out his cup in the sink.

Ummm, okay.

Nov. 28th, 2017

I'm doing an online compliance training class at work about how we charge our time. Yes, I am salaried but due to the nature of the business and the fact that our funding comes from different parts of the US budget and often from the budgets of foreign countries, we have to account for our time. Wouldn't want Great Britain getting the bill for something that is only for the US, right?

Anyway, it's all terrible clip art with text boxes and a voice-over narration that is supposed to be a conversation, I guess, between an employee and a supervisor. The employee asks all these questions and eight out of every ten responses from the supervisor start with a variation of "that's a great question!"

Well, no shit. Shouldn't they all be great questions? This is a training class. This is literally where we go to get our questions answered. If they were awful questions this would be an enormous waste of time.


Sooooo... how's everybody doing?

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