Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Insert a good post title here

I used to think that once July 4 came along, half of the summer was over. Ironically, I never understood that thinking, because that would assume summer begins in early May (and clearly it doesn't). Today I heard on the radio a commercial for a travel web site, offering last-minute, late summer getaways, so I guess it is safe to say we're more than half-way through the season now.

Summer is my favorite season, weather-wise (Christmas still ranks as favorite holiday, with Halloween right behind it). The days are longer, and even on the hottest days I prefer warm weather over cold. Unfortunately, the fam hasn't gotten to do any fun trips yet. MBH and the kids, overall, do not enjoy the hot weather nearly as much as I do, so our trips are often in the spring or autumn. So we're looking for a long weekend getaway in September. Maybe in a year or two I'll go for broke and buy a mobile home. Now that would be cool.

Our neighborhood, unfortunately, lacks any kids who are the age of our sons. This stinks, particularly in the summer, when the 11 year old is left to hang our with the 4 year old; while the younger boy loves it, the older one, not so much after awhile. Most of the kids in the community are 13 and up, which just leaves my boy out of their peer group. Boy Scouts are largely dormant in the summer; there is a week-long camping trip in late August, but he's passing on that one this year (logistically, it's not going to work this year). So we'll try for a day out fishing this weekend, and see how things go from there. Naturally, my folks are still itching for us to ride to NYC, so we need to squeeze that in, too.

Someone asked about work, and the new position. It's been a rough week. It took 7 days after the announcement was made that I would be the new Help Desk Team Lead for the outgoing Lead has finally begin to transition his duties to me. It's sort of bitter-sweet (for lack of a better term), because while he has a new opportunity in front of him, he's been with this company some 7 years. Over the last year he became unhappy at how the company treated him, and his reasons for his leaving are valid in my view: if the bosses ever did to me what he said they did to him, I'd leave, too. That they have never treated me in that fashion, to date, makes me wonder how much of the abuse was brought on by his actions to them.

As the new Team Lead, it naturally fell to me to organize his farewell lunch. I don't relish this sort of task, but I agreed to do it. The guy's favorite dish is sushi; believe me when I tell you: I don't enjoy seafood, and sushi is no exception (it was #170 on this list of things I've done, or as in this case, what I haven't done.

Generally speaking, these luncheons turn into 15-20 people sitting at various tables strategically located in the same area, but never quite altogether. So after a very short time, you aren't even able to shout to the guest of honor, much less converse with him or her. So what's the point? A group eat? If we ate in a cafeteria, would that be the same?

When I last left a job (Jul '04), I went to 3 lunches with a few friends (separately). That kind of send-off means something, ya know what I mean? And when the time comes for me to leave this place - statistically, I won't be here forever, and for cripes sake I hope I don't have this commute until retirement - even that many lunches would be too much.

So the 22 of us met at the local sushi restaurant. I was seen as the amateur of the group; I have dined at La Maison Japonaise in Manhattan a few times - it was a favorite of my employer from 11 years ago, where he celebrated big contracts with the company - but I have never tried sushi. I can honestly say I wasn't disappointed, as the place gave us a room for a hibachi preparation. It was an enjoyable performance and delicious meal.

I had to run out early, unfortunately. That the whole Help Desk Team was there to send off my predecessor, their old Team Lead, someone had to get back to the office, and I thought it only fitting they got to hang around longer. Tomorrow I'll get any loose ends of the transition completed; that he lasted as long as he did after giving notice - both in his desire to hang around, and the company even tolerating him doing so for over 2 weeks - was a surprise to me, indeed, so I won't expect much from him at all Friday.

So much to discuss in

  • politics
  • economy
  • sports

Where to start? Not here, not now. I gotta prepare a report or 3 before heading out. Wednesday is a routine TKD night... I best get busy.

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