Work is still work, last week I once again had the opportunity to validate that it's quicker and cheaper to fly ROC-PDX-ROC than HYD->PDX->HYD, for odd values of HYD. In short, an odd problem with a pair of low end printers that could only be recreated at the customer sites, and the only good set of logs (front end and printer) had incompatible evaluations. A last minute flight to PDX (seriously, it was approved and booked two hours before takeoff), a late evening arrival, a transit of the Cascades in the dark and an after midnight check in in Bend, OR.
Then days of sushi, brewpubs and watching printers not malfunction. A daylight drive back to suburban Portland (not very weird) via the Columbia and the Commie Full Sail Brewery/brewpub, coffee and a next day flight. This was also the first time I saw a Romney/Ryan sign, in the high desert. I haven't been outside the city much this fall.
I found Bend to have a feel like Ithaca, with mountains but minus gorges.
Now I'm getting pestered on my day off to finish my expense report. When I go into tomorrow I have to finish moving my cube, and then we'll be moving in another month or two to a different building. I'm much busier.
Workwise I'm feeling slightly more confident. First, we need warm bodies to send onsite for serious issues, I'm the only experienced warm body left that's American*. Second, I got a small raise, they must like my work. Third, working with offshores is a skill and the need for the will only increase until America becomes a low wage third world country. Fourth, despite Japan being much closer to offshore than I am, they would need a visa to visit, I wouldn't. Yeah, slight chance of a trip to Japan.
* The local team asked how things were back East. I didn't say anything until we were alone for lunch. For some reason, the previous corp isn't trumpeting the news of their offshoring their front end. I'm not sure how customers would take an inexperienced H1B showing up.
Also, I still haven't found anyone who thinks highly of my previous corp's CEO. The local team sure doesn't.
The summer vacation wasn't, for several reasons. First, we weren't sure if sixteen year would pass. Her grades were split, around an A if she studied, a D is she didn't, with a few Cs and Fs thrown in. We were bracing for summer school. Second, the girls couldn't agree on a destination, we were thinking the Adirondacks, eleven year old disagreed.
Finally, the garage roof needed to be replaced. It's a simple roof, two sides joined at a ridge, and figured it was cheaper just for me to do it. After two months, a tear off and $700, it's nearly done. Once it warms up a little outside I'll finish the ridge and clean up.
The youngest is now eleven, and having a rough time in sixth grade, she's no longer friends with her bestie from grades 1-5. Thankfully she's still in Lego Robotics, and the new girl is on her team. Her mom was heavily involved with the real robotics team, and even met Dean Kamen.
In yet another RIASC moment, the new girl's parents both work at the previous corp, the mom is involved in the latest $project_to_save_company, the one that sent me to Iowa last year. We commiserated about all the mutual acquaintances that have moved onto other corporations. Another reason to feel slightly better, there's darn few of us left with experience on that monstrosity.
The eleven year old also had a four day leadership retreat in the Adirondacks and enjoyed it, so we can consider the Adirondacks next summer.
The oldest is now sixteen, and has her iPhone. She's also getting a job today as a Lifeguard at the Y, and intermittently works as a replacement for newspaper_girl at a coffee place at the public market.
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