Monday, January 28, 2008

A Strange Sort of Monday

So…didja watch the All-Star game? If you did you might agree that it was one of the better…if not the best…All-Star games in quite some time. You could be forgiven if you watched and decided to move on to something else after the first period was over…coz it looked like the game was gonna be a blow-out kind of snoozer, and blow-outs are always snoozers, right? The East led after the first period, 5-1. But, as they say, things got interesting in the second period when the West narrowed the lead to 5-3. The game turned into an edge-of-your-seat affair throughout the third period, when the West tied it up at 5-5, scoring two goals just a little less than two minutes into the final period. The final 18 minutes of the game saw both sides scoring a total of five goals, culminating with the East’s 8-7 win with just 21 seconds left on the clock in regulation time.

It doesn’t get a lot better than this, Gentle Reader, even considering the game meant nothing (other than lotsa fun for all involved) and not a single penalty was called. As a matter of fact, there hasn’t been a penalty called in an All Star game since 2000. All in all, the game was a fine way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon in January.


We’re having rather strange weather here on The High Plains of New Mexico this morning. It’s relatively warm for a late January morning, but the wind is blowing whatever warmth there is outside to points north and east. But Hey! The folks north and east of us need a lil bit of warmth after getting their butts kicked with all that ice Friday and Saturday last. As for us…we hit 67 degrees yesterday. I considered, oh-so-briefly, uncovering Miss Zukiko and taking her out for a run before the game yesterday afternoon. The wind was all that stopped me.


Is there anything in this country that goes un-analyzed? Anything at all? I ask, Gentle reader, because I think this is just a lil over the top. A quote:

Obama's type is contemporary, fresh, very polished and professional. The serifs are sharp and pointed; clean pen strokes evoke a well-pressed Armani suit. The ever-present rising sun logo has the feeling of a hot new Internet company. His sans serifs conjure up the clean look of Nike or Sony. This typography is young and cool. Clearly not the old standards of years past.

Well. The evocations of “a well-pressed Armani suit” (is there any other kind? Do you normally see guys in rumpled Armani suits?) and “hot new internet company” (again: any other kind?) apply to Obama’s campaign logo. There are other, similarly vapid analyses of the fonts used in all the candidates’ logos…if you’re interested. And you just might be interested… Hell, I was. There was a time, believe it or don’t, when I argued the finer points of serif fonts and other such nonsense. All in the name of “effective communications” and “presentation value.” Arghhh…


I awoke this morning and noticed it’s a Monday…right off the bat. That may sound somewhat strange to those of you who remain in the traces and are slaving away in an office, a cube, or whatever/where ever your place of business may be. The fact it’s Monday isn’t lost on you, I’m sure. But it’s unusual for me, because one day is pretty much the same as the next. That happens when one is retired. What’s even more unusual is I felt a brief twinge of something… something very much like a longing… that I wasn’t heading off to a workplace of some sort this morning. About which… is the first time I can recall feeling that way in a long, long time. What I mean is… how, exactly, does one miss…

  • getting up at oh-dark-thirty (normally between 0400 and 0430 hrs),
  • tossing down a cup (or two) while checking my corporate e-mail to ensure nothing blew up while I was sleeping,
  • hitting the shower,
  • pouring your third cup in a travel cup,
  • getting in the car,
  • driving six miles to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station,
  • riding 45 minutes into The City, while reading most of the WSJ in the process
  • walking three minutes from the Montgomery Street BART station to Starbucks to buy the first of about four cups,
  • riding the elevator eight floors up to “the office,” arriving about 0615 hrs
  • spending anywhere from ten to 11 to 12 hours or so doing “really important stuff” to keep the inter-tubes free for commerce,
  • returning to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station from which you began,
  • driving home, stopping somewhere along the way to pick up dinner,
  • arriving home somewhere around 1930 (or later),
  • eating dinner while doing another two hours (or so) of work you didn’t have time to do while AT work,
  • watching a little teevee,
  • going to bed, and…
  • doing it all over again the next day

Rinse, repeat, for a little over two years. There were variations on this theme. As an example, I lived in Berkeley for the first year I was in SFO… so the BART ride was shorter (much shorter) and I walked from my apartment to BART and back. Same, but different. How, exactly, does one miss this kinda…umm…stuff? Am I crazy? That’s what I felt I was missing this morning, Gentle Reader.


Today’s Pics: Keeping with the theme of “Missing the Working World,” three pics of YrHmblScrb at his place of business. Well, two pics at his place of business, and one where I’m less than 20 minutes removed from the office and enjoying a beer in the rooftop bar of the Mandarin Hotel in Singapore. That bar had a magnificent view of the city, but let's not digress.

Note the difference in corporate cultures… as if you could miss it. The first two photos were taken when EDS was the most buttoned-down of all button-downed companies in America (before they gave in to the “corporate casual” movement sometime around ’96) and the third was taken in my company’s Site Operations Center (SOC). I was the SOC Director.

Wanna guess which company I liked better? You might be surprised at the answer, Gentle Reader.


  1. Ah EDS...they used to bid on several of our Communications contracts when I worked in Oak Ridge. I suppose they may still have an office there.

  2. Wasn't that wind fun today!? LOL! I'm sure the RV was a-rockin'!

    Your corporate pictures DOES look like Ned on Simpson's!

  3. EDS - they made my son in law's life a nightmare for several years ... just thinking about that place make my blood pressure rise.

  4. Well I think you looked HOT in those suits! Didn't alter that somewhat mischievous look at all though.

    I was checking in to see if you got the nasty weather, too. Sounds like you got the big winds but not the diagonal sleet, hail, snow and the thunder. The Rat was rocking and that hasn't happened in quite a while since we've added a lot of weight structurally and contents wise. Lost the satellite connection in the midst of it and gained a couple of inches of snow so far. Very glad this stuff is missing you!

  5. Is that opposed to a 'well-rumpled and slept in Armani suit'? - too funny!!!

    You are having fun with the scanner!!

  6. The suit makes you look quite dignified and business like. I think that a man's shoes say a lot about the man, although I am not sure I can explain that right now. I don't think I have seen you in bad shoes yet. Now the socks...what do socks say about the man?

  7. Heh, you look the part of the evil capitalist in the first two, but in the third one...not so much. Reminds me of the difference between, say, wearing blues every day to the Pentagon and being in ops at some far out base where getting "dressed up" is actually putting on your BDU blouse.

    Weather here was NICE yesterday...I wore tennis shoes instead of boots for the first time in forever and drove with my windows down. Of course, all that melting has now frozen over into several sheets of ice, which made driving to Leadlab at 0-dark-30 this morning fun and we're now in off and on blizzard conditions, but it was nice while it lasted.

    Speaking of Leadlab, had the AFOATS Command Chief come in and talk to us this morning. Talk about a squared away dude. First off, he gave his presentation sans Powerpoint, which gives him major points in my book. He's a CMSgt at 19 years in service, which impressed the hell out of me. He made E-5 with five years in service and has hit promotion on the first try for pretty much every rank other than TSgt.

    Although I have to be honest, I can't help but shake the feeling that his visit was somehow related to the fact that we've got an IG visit/inspection coming up next month. Basically, as our Cadre put it, the AFROTC equivalent to an ORI, so that has made things fun around here.

  8. I agree with Lou the suit makes you look quite dignified, and pretty cute. I also agree with her about the shoes. But the socks? Very interesting. Interesting socks always remind me of Fred Astaire.

  9. Mushy: We, meaning EDS, were pretty much everywhere back in the day...and I don't suppose that's changed. They were a good company, and I hope that hasn't changed, coz I love those little love notes they put in my bank account every month. I'd hate to see those go away.

    Jenny: That wind was "fun" all the way into the wee hours this morning. And yeah, we were rockin'!

    Sharon: Wow, sorry to hear about your son-in-law. EDS was very, very good to me. Like almost any large organization, the working environment depended a lot on the management at any given location. I was VERY fortunate in that I worked for some of the best folks I've ever known, period, in my EDS assignments. Given that I traveled a lot in my job I also encountered a few managers I'd have fired immediately, just on General Principles. Bad management didn't tend to last long, however, in my experience...

    Lin: Yeah.. I guess the worst bits missed us here, but the wind was bad enough, thank you very much! Sounds like you guys are getting pummeled by this latest storm. Hang in there and stay warm!

    And thanks for the nice comment. Dunno if I'd go all the way to "hot," but I was presentable...

    Cynthia: Yes! The scanner is one of the best toys I've had in quite some time!

    Lou: There's a LOT to be said for dress codes, which is why the military has theirs and also why EDS held out for so long... years... before relenting to the corporate casual wave. They still have a dress code AFAIK, but it's a lot "looser."

    I totally agree with you about shoes, and so did my Mom and Dad, who taught me most of what I know about dressing appropriately. My father always wore Johnston & Murphy shoes, and I followed in his (ahem) footsteps. I still own two pairs left over from the corporate days.

    As for the socks... well, they allow for a lil bit of expression and they're usually not visible. The ones I had on were pretty whimsical, and were bought with just that in mind.

    Mike: Your Command Chief sounds like one helluva guy. And your cadre is probably right on... A good commander uses his Command Chief just that way.

    Good news about your weather, sorta. I've been noticing all y'all have been having some fairly extreme temps this winter, seemingly without a break.

    Now... are you STILL locked out of your blog? I've been checking...

    Ashley: Thanks for the kind words. Another way to look at the socks: At least I had some on!

  10. Since we upgraded to T-Warner Digital, I finally got VS Channel, and watched most of the game...good as far as All-Star games go(only Baseball actually takes it seriously)....Nash should have been the MVP, despite the 8-7 west loss.

  11. even if it wasn't that great to get all gussied up for work, didn't you look handsome in your corporate uniform, all dapper and whatnot! :)


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