Archive for the ‘MrT’ Category

Did you ever …

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Sit in an airport listening them call the boarding of flights and think that they sounded more interesting then where you were going?

Get in your car to run an errand and think about just driving on and seeing where you wound up?

Wonder what it would be like to live in a completely different part of the country or the world?

Realize that you don’t have any travel scheduled for months and think “I have to fix that.”

Wanderlust – ever have it? I get it all the time. But no where without my wife is worth going to for any length of time. Still …

When Men Were Men and Women Were Servants

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

I saw this post on the Delta Airlines blog and it brought back memories. Back in the early days of flying (I may have taken my first flight in the late 1950’s) boys were given pilot wings and girls were given stewardess wings. Of course today we call stewardesses flight attendants and there are a lot more male ones then their used to me.

It’s more than a PC name change though. There was a connotation about stewardesses back then. They were mostly young and frequently good looking. And they were taking care of a heavily male clientele. And if they were not explicitly valued for their sex appeal there was always a hint of that. Southwest went so far as to dress their stewardesses in hot pants. OK maybe that was fairly explicit. But the fact was that there was something of an idea that women on airplanes were servants. Pilots on the other hand were important – they ran things. Also that being a pilot was a man’s job.

Today it’s different. I have flown a number of commercial flights with women pilots and co-pilots. Most flights have at least one male flight attendant. And in general I think that flight attendants are taken more seriously. And well they should be. I think that on most flights the flight attendants are a lot more important to the comfort and experience of the trip than the pilots. And having to deal with all sorts of people on  a crowded airplane is often quite a chore.

We don’t think about “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs” so much any more. It’s not gone away – just try and be an elementary school teacher and a man some time. But I think we are making progress.

Oh and if you think that all flight attendants are middle aged women – not that there is anything wrong with that as some of them look pretty good too – fly IcelandAir sometime. From what I read Singapore Airlines works hard to have attractive flight attendants. But honestly I have no complaints and cute young flight attendants are not what I look for. I have been well taken care of on Delta for years and years. They are and have long been my airline of choice. I’ll take the experience and quality of their flight attendants any day.

On Moving Books

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

We’re having our family room painted next week. That means a lot of things have to be moved out of the room or at least away from the walls. That includes book cases. We have four book cases and between them they hold several thousand books. At least 2,000 based on my best guesstimate. That’s a lot of books to move. Right now they are all stacked up in an unused bedroom until the job is done.

There are a couple of, lets just call them issues, with moving  books. Sure there is the obvious that they are heavy and that it takes a lot of trips to move them. Then there is the issue that they collect some dust which is now doing wonders for my sinuses and allergies. But a bigger issue is that, surprise, I like books. That means that it is hard to avoid looking though them as I pile them up. That slows the process down and I think as we put them back next week I will be holding some out to re-read.

I’ve also looked though a couple of old scrap books. Would you believe that Mrs T and I once saw a Broadway play, Godspell no less,  for $8.50 a ticket? You can’t get in for less than ten times that today. Oh and 30 years ago Mrs T and I had less weight and a lot more hair. And wow did she look great! Well still does to me but when I look at those pictures I wonder how I ever managed to date her at all. But I digress.

The plan is to thin the collection a bit after the painting job. That will be an interesting process as neither of us has ever been good at getting grid of books. But really there are some books we are unlikely to ever read again and we need space for the new books we keep buying. Putting up still more shelves is not an option as there is only so much wall space in the house. 🙂

Obsessive but not compulsive

Monday, April 21st, 2008

I think I am a defective OCD person. That is to say that I am somewhat obsessive in that I really like things neat, organized, clean and very “ship shape.” But unfortunately I’m not compulsive about getting things that way. So if the mess gets too big it bothers me a lot but I’m not motivated to clean it up. Rather I am motivated to leave it behind.

Take my office for example. When I get in the midst of a lot of travel the office quickly becomes a mess. Now you are wondering if I am away so much how could it become a mess? Well the way it works is that when I come back from a trip I empty out all the things I picked up so that I have a clean backpack for the next  trip. But I don’t really have time to organize it well. I think “I’ll get to it later” but of course I don’t. The next time it is even harder to organize and I don’t have time to fix things so it gets worse. Until finally I take my laptop and I work in the dinning room or the family room or some other place.

This cannot last though. In fact soon it will be over because Mrs. T will be on summer break. It is much to distracting to try to work outside of my office when she is in the house. We’ll not go into the details but it is enough to say that soon I will clean out my office – it will likely take about two days – so that I can work comfortably there again. That has been the pattern for the last four or five years now. Some how I really need to find an easy way to keep the office neat and tidy.

I figured it out for clothing. About two years ago I “outsourced” cleaning of my shirts and dress pants. Rather than trying to wash them with everything else and iron them myself (or try to talk Mrs. T into doing the ironing) I started taking them to the dry cleaners. They come back clean and very pressed. I ask for starch so they really feel neat and clean all day long. It’s a reasonable trade for my money. The office is not so easy though. Sigh. Maybe I need a fully functional OCD office mate. 🙂

I’m Starting to Fade

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

There is an expression in German that translates to “work makes life sweet.” There is a corollary thought that translates to “but too much is too much.” I’m starting to feel that later expression.

Eleven days ago I left home for a business trip to Seattle. I’m still there and have two more days before I get home. And it is all starting to catch up with me. In that time I have had exactly one day off – last Saturday. Unfortunately (in some ways) I spent that day having a lot of fun. The list of things we did is embarrassingly long and started with breakfast and ended with a return to my hotel well after 1AM. Mentally relaxing but not physically.

People who don’t travel on business often don’t understand how much work it is. One generally starts with meeting people for breakfast and ends it with a long dinner also with a lot of work components. In between are meetings broken up only by more meetings. Think about having a school day that runs 14 hours long and continuing even while you are eating.

I was a little late for breakfast this morning – I just could not get up. Right now between sessions (this is a training week) I am trying to get some of my regular day job work done. There is a big party tonight (yes we do have some fun) but I’m not sure I’ll be going. If I do go I will be leaving early. The younger people and the people who only arrived this week may have energy left but I’m about spent. I am seriously looking forward to sleeping on the plane ride home on Saturday.

In the long run it is worth it of course. I am learning a lot of good things and meeting a lot of interesting people. There are 6000 people from around the world at this event and I have made some good contacts and added friends to my Facebook account. Last week was a smaller group of people and there I met new people but also reconnected with people I know from previous meetings. There are people from South America and South Africa, Japan, China, England and all over eastern and western Europe. It’s pretty cool actually.

Tomorrow I will hear Bill Gates talk to the conference and that should be interesting. But you know, part of me would like to go home tonight.

So did you see me interviewed on the web?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

OK it’s short, very short, the whole clip is less than 2 minutes and I’m one of about four or five people in it. But for those of you who don’t know me in person or who haven’t seen me in a while – here I am. 🙂

The rest of the Channel 8 web site is more interesting.

New Year’s Resolutions

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. People never keep them anyway and I’m not that different from most people. I do set goals but they are not tied to the fact that there is a year change on the calendar.

January is typically the start of my annual self-evaluation phase though. For the last 14 years or so I have spent January and February evaluating my job and trying to decide if it is time to actively look for a new one, stay where I am at or just be open in case a new one pops up. This last year I decided to do the same thing during the summer as well. Twice a year seems like enough times to do serious soul searching, thinking and praying about ones career.

I start with an open mind. It helps that I start after a short vacation (I’ve been on vacation since the Friday before Christmas) so my mind is cleared of stress (well work related stress) and related activities. So I have no idea what I’ll decide. Though honestly I am far from unhappy with my present job or company.

I am trying to lose weight but that has been ongoing. I put on some weight over the summer and early fall. It has been tough losing it but it has to be done (doctor’s orders). Obviously I’m still working on that but you can’t call that a New Year’s resolution. As part of that I am trying to exercise more and get into better physical shape beyond just being thinner.

My third goal these days is to some up with more goals. I just don’t feel like I have enough on my plate to really make my life interesting. We’ll see how it goes.

Who are these people and why are they looking for me?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Several times a week someone comes to one or the other of my blogs after doing an search for my name (often with the word "blog") on a search engine. Some or Google, some on AOL Search and some on Live Search. They are doing it from all over the world. Today it was someone using (Japan) but its also been from all over the world. Places as random as Brooklyn NY and Manila the Philippines.  South Africa and Norway. North, south, east and west.

But why? Are they looking for someone else with a similar name? Perhaps. But the ones that include the name of the company I work for along with my name are, I am pretty sure, looking for me.

On one hand it is sort of flattering. On the other I just have to wonder "why?"

Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

So Mrs T is out shopping with our son. Apparently they have already got him a suit for an amazing price. They are having fun. Shopping on one of the busiest shopping days of the year is not my idea of fun though so I am glad I got to stay home.

In theory I am cleaning up from Christmas. In practice I slept very late, fixed some leftovers and have gotten very little done. I hope to get some things done before they come home though. At the very least I will put away my Christmas presents and break up all the cardboard boxes for the recycle bin. But I get distracted.

One of the first gifts I moved out of the family room was a special "day light" light that is supposed to help with seasonable affective disorder.  I don’t know that I have it for sure but I do know that I really crave the sunlight when I don’t get any for a while. I set up the light in my office which has no windows and there for no natural light. I like the way it feels so I decided to blog a bit for a while. It’s medical – that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

I have a number of things that I have to put together. Why is it that I always get stuff like that? One or two I will try to do today but that garden wagon can wait I think. There is too much snow outside to use it anyway. So I will move it down to the cellar and put it together there one night when TV is boring. Given the writer’s strike there will probably be a lot of boring TV nights real soon.

Besides things that have to be put together I seem to get organization tools. This year I got some sort of box with 31 slots (one for each day of the month?) and some drawers. It’s nice but will it help? History suggests no but I’ll try. I think the only thing that would really get me organized is a professional assistant. Though to be fair Outlook has been a huge help and goes a long way towards keeping me on track and sane.

No clothing this year. Thank goodness. I have more clothing then I know what to do with already. A few gadgets though and those are always good. A handheld Sududo game which I expect to enjoy on some flights. And the best gift of all is a new Magellan GPS. That will get lots of use.

Well I have another week off now. This is the only time of the year when I take a vacation that doesn’t involve traveling somewhere and doing something.  It sort of feels like a waste but I can really use the mental and physical down time. I hope you are all getting and enjoying some down time of your own.

I think I Need a Teaching Job

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

I miss teaching. I don’t miss the paycheck and I could do without grading for the most part. But in general I miss being in the classroom. I taught a class today – sort of. I was a guest speaker at a management class at Bentley today. (Sorry I didn’t warn anyone but it was of those get there just in time to talk, have lunch with the professor and leave sort of days.)

It’s not exactly like being the regular teacher of course. And frankly the class was not as responsive as I’d like. But they had almost an hour of class that included a lot of math, numbers and I gather not exciting things before I started. And it was lunch time – people were eating when I started. It just felt good to be teaching though. The professor said I did a good job and a second professor who was sitting in asked me to talk to her class later this month. Always a good sign.

While eating lunch with the professor I told him that I missed the classroom and he asked me where I had my resume in. Well I don’t have any out. I’m thinking that I may send some out though. Not for full-time employement though. Without a PhD there is no way I could get the kind of paycheck I am getting now teaching full-time. And I do like my current job. What I am thinking is that a night course or perhaps a Saturday course might fit into my schedule. I’d have to be careful with my travel but it could work. I just have to find someone who is looking for someone with my background. Who knows – it could be fun.