Archive for January, 2009

Resource Actions

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

My company is having layouts. We call them resource actions (RAs). Internally we’re using the mob term “getting wacked”. Typically you are given 30 days to find another job in the company, but because of all the other RAs taking place throughout the company there are few jobs to be found to switch to. BTW, the next-aisle-over group, our sister group was told in November that they were wacked, and they were all gone by the 10th of December. It was very sad, because this is not just getting rid of low performers. They were all good hard-working people. It was just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also two people I know in other groups (areas I had worked in the past) contacted me yesterday and today saying they were wacked. They asked if I had any jobs where I’m working. I had to say I don’t know, and as soon as I do I’ll tell them. So things are getting too close for comfort. Very spooky. We call it the black cloud. It’s hanging over us, because my group hasn’t been told one way or the other. So we continue to go to work, do designs, development code and test it, but we don’t know if in the next day or week some of us will be wacked. We continue to focus on the work, because it helps us not focus on the black cloud and the unknown. So I don’t know if I will survive these cuts. I just don’t know anything. Very scary especially when my primary fear is fear-of-the-unknown. Ugh.
Update: I ducked and the bullet missed me. I was not on the RA list. Whew! But a number of others in my group were not so fortunate. I am deeply saddened by all this.

Confession

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

I try to live an upstanding life, that is, to not lie, cheat or steal. I have always told my family especially my children to live a moral and ethical life. Naturally I’m not perfect. There have been a times where I’ve done less than upstanding things. Once when I was in college I had a general chemistry test which required me to memorize the periodic table of elements. For some reason, now lost in the past, I felt this was ridiculous. I felt that I could just look it up in a book. So I carefully inscribed the table on the six sides of a yellow number 3 pencil and brought it in to the test.

Now you might ask yourself why now after all these years I’m writing about this in a blog. Well there was a recent RadioLab by WNYC which included a segment about the periodic table. It reminded me of my adolescent transgression, and so I thought I’d write a post about it. By the way, I thoroughly enjoy this podcast and recommend it. This post might also give you a better understanding of me and my foibles. Oh, and I’m sorry for doing this, but I’d probably do it again. Note: As a teacher I have always made my tests open book because of this. Such a simple thing has changed my life in I’m sure other unknown ways. It was about 40 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.

Busy Weekend

Monday, January 12th, 2009

All day Saturday I was a Teamwork Judge at the Central Texas FIRST Lego League competition from 8 AM to 5 PM. Teamwork was not easy to judge since it was so subjective. Then on Sunday morning I ran the RunTex Twenty (20 Miler) from 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM. On the way home I stopped by the Round Rock outlet center and bought a new pair of Florsheim dress shoes. For the rest of the day I blobbed watching TV until Katie and I went to see “Gran Torino” at 5 PM which I liked. I never got a chance to go grocery shopping.

Andersen’s Pea Soup

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

The tag said “To: Dad, “DO NOT GET NEAR MOM WITH THIS!!!, From: Justin + Stephanie”. A present at Christmas, which I carefully made today following the instructions on the bag. Recently Stephanie and Justin were traveling and ate at Andersen’s where they purchased it. My sweet life’s partner can’t stand this stuff thus the tag, but I have always liked it and my children are aware of this difference.

After a few hours of preparation I strained it through our food mill (making a smooth puree), added some Canadian bacon, and a bit more salt. It’s already to go… Yum.
Update: I had a bowl of pea soup for lunch today. IMHO it was very good. I especially liked the tidbits of Canadian Bacon in it. I’ve got lots of it left so I had better like it.