Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back Right With the World

The teaching went ok. I am very much not happy with my performance. I didn't give out any wrong info, and got passing marks from my IT partner. However, I'm still boring, monotone. I'm excited about the part he is teaching, the loading of the application. What I taught is an overview of the program. I just don't know enough about it to know what an improvement it is so I can get excited about it and convey that to my audience. I need to fire up. And, I need to be more prepared. I'll get 'em next time. Now for 2.5 weeks where I know I'm up for what else is involved.

Tonight I head out to dinner (in about 30 minutes or so) with Slowhike and NCPatrick who live in the area. They are hammockers that I know from the message boards. I've met Slowhike a couple of times at hang-outs, so it's not like I'm going to be jumping into a car with total strangers. It should be fun. I enjoy getting together in small groups of people with a common interest over pizza.

So far being away from home has been ok. Other than the food issue, everything has gone as planned. More of the team start arriving this weekend to being the real training. The rest of the time should be fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And the Beat Goes On (and On...)

I'm laying on my bed in the Holiday Inn, sipping a Bushwa (3/5ths of a Bushwhacker, the Irish Cream, Amaretto, and Kalua) and am about half toasted. One of the guys is supposed to come join me for a drink in a few minutes. We stopped by the ABC store (liquor store in less regulated states) and since I was in the land of temptation I got the above liquors (hey, considering I'm half toasted, my sepelling isn't all that bad!) Made our second trip to WalMart. I didn't realize that our initial trip was for all of us to load up on food to take in for lunches and have for most dinners instead of hitting restaurants. The team lead found me in the grocery section wandering around uncertainly. He reminded me I would need forks/spoons/knives and lead me to where they were. I told him my main thing to make for meals was reservations.

Work... oh, yeah, that's why we are here. Well, today was set-up day. We are pretty much set up. More of the folks from the local unit's structure who are to make sure the infrastructure is in place are here than I expected. Looks like most things are going to work out ok for the production side of things. I do my first 'real' class tomorrow. I should be practicing. Maybe, if I don't drink too much, I'll do a run through of the slides. I'm ashamed to say that this is the first I've remembered that I should do that. This teaching thing is gonna be what breaks me in this job. And it's only 3 days of the 3 weeks.

Tomorrow night some of the local hammockers are supposed to come by and get me and we go to dinner. I haven't heard concrete plans yet, so don't know if it will happen.

Guess I should get on with looking through my slides...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Eve fo Destruction

I am as ready as I can be at this point. I realized that I have lost/misplaced my 6 thumb drives that I bought. Since I'm going with another IT person for this trip it isn't a show stopper. I hope my boss can find the wallet of drives tomorrow and send them out with one of the trainers. Oh, well.

I will turn off the computer when I finish this, pack it, and then crash. I have the alarm set for 5 am. Time to make coffee, shower, put on the clothes I've already laid out, maybe sit for a minute and then head out. Hopefully anything I have forgotten will be available at a store in NC, and nothing here has been undone that will be an issue.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day 07

I'm at home. In front of the computer. Again. I have a lot to do, and I'm surfing the web reading other folks' blogs about what they are doing instead. I know the problem, I just don't seem to be able to put the computer down and get off my a$$.

I have asked a co-worker to sketch a small picture of me, simple outline, to upload on my blogs since I don't have an icon on either one yet. For some reason that is bothering me, mostly when I leave comments. In the process of explaining why, I went to both blogs on his computer, blowing away any anonymity. That was intentional. Or, at least I did realize what I was doing. I prefer to hide in plain site. This blog is of marginal interest to those of my friends who live far enough away from me that we don't communicate on a regular basis. It would be totally boring to come here and read the same whining that I subject my co-workers to on a daily basis. So, if I have acquired any new readers at work, welcome.

I leave at 6 am on Monday for my first fielding. I am making lists. Mostly I'm just sitting here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I realized I am staying up past my usual bedtime because I don't want to end the weekend and have to go to work tomorrow. I'm not sure whether the be glad it's taken 2 months for me to have a day when I just don't want to go to work (no specific reason other then I just don't want to go in), or be concerned that I am losing my enthusiasm right before my first fielding.

I did realize while attempting to teach the class that it was not fun. It was not something that I want to spend the majority of my time doing. I'm hoping that having real students out in the army posts will be better. I had a lot of expectations for this job, and thought that the teaching part would be a piece of cake, hitting me in my strong suits. Turns out that the way it's been handled so far, I, well... I hate it. Hopefully this is just my boss's bad attitude towards my training showing and not the way it will work in reality. I guess I'll find out soon enough. I am not looking forward to the fielding at this point, though.

Weekend Wrapup

Nothing really to wrap up. I am making some inroads into things that have been packed away. I tell myself that the amount of mess stays the same, but it is different 'stuff' that I have unpacked and am finding places for or giving away. That's what I tell myself.

Mom and Dad both have what is going around. I don't want to catch it, on the even of going out of town with work especially. I said I'd come over next weekend for Thanksgiving. Mom had sounded really bad on the phone, then today Dad sounded horse and sickly. I hope they get over it so I can go over. I'm afraid that I'll pass on it if they are still sick. I would take the chance for a normal job, but I have to travel this time, no matter what. I don't want to be sick.

I have started shredding and deleting emails from my other job. It's been 2 months now, there has to be some statue of limitations on paperwork for a former contract job. I am tired of tripping over the papers. I also paid my property taxes online today. A guy came over yesterday, asking if this was next door's address. Seems he had heard that that place might be for sale for unpaid taxes. I went online. The ownership of my own place had taken me finally calling and getting transferred around the county offices for an hour or so the week before I started this new job to get properly registered. This is after I'd owned this place a year and a half. I never got billed for last year's property taxes, and they showed past due. I checked the neighbor's listing online, and they owe less than I did. Not sure where this guy got his information, or who he was. He is outta luck if he thought he would get both these places in a tax sale. I'm paid up now.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I survived

I did survive the week, and it has even ended on an up note. I just went in to work on Tuesday and started teaching. I knew I wasn't prepared, I knew I wasn't doing a good job. However, it worked for others, they could be encouraging and sympathetic. I was critiqued. I just set the rules of the class up for myself. If I screwed up, it was just more room for improvement. I got through it. That is the main thing to take from it. I got through it.

Last night was our company party. I actually had fun. I wore what I wanted, which was an outfit I already had. There was enough range in outfits there that I don't think I stood out too much. Wayne, one of the guys who's around my age, is a dance instructor. He tried to start teaching me, but had to leave for a prior engagement before the dancing got really going. I was disappointed in the big boss a bit. I had assumed (don't know why...) that he would go around and dance with most of the women there. He only danced with his date, and after they got it all going they sat down. I danced a bit, but decided that I didn't want to spend the night going around finding partners. Mike and his wife were headed out to the bars, and invited me to go. I should have gone, but I was dressed a bit dressy for hitting local bars, and I also knew that when I got away from the people and music that I would start feeling the aches and soreness from wearing shoes with no support and the stress of maintaining my 'social' persona. So, I headed home. I crawled into bed, happy for the week to be over.

This morning started well. After a cup of coffee and just as I turned on my computer to start my morning browsing, the phone rang. It was stumpknocker. We hadn't had a real conversation in many months. We talked about gear mostly. He's starting a winter hike this year, and was telling me about what all the new stuff he's been accumulating to get ready for it. I'll be very interested to hear how it all works out. It was good to talk to him again, I've missed that.

Every weekend I wake up on Saturday morning to a house that looks like a 'stuff' bomb has gone off inside. I know that I let things go during the week because I a) have too much stuff to keep track of and b) don't have a real place for most of it. I really, really need to pare down and get to where I only have what I have a place for. I keep saying that. I'm getting more and more annoyed with all this stuff just sitting around in corners and on top of things. Guess I'll get up and starting getting on with fixing this problem.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Swan Dive

I feel myself taking a swan dive into depression. Working for a boss who meets my every positive comment with a glare and a raising of the bar of performance is taking a toll. I have decided that I won't fight the process anymore. He wants to break me. I don't think that is a particularly difficult task he set himself, but whatever. I will go in and make a total fool of myself being unprepared to teach tomorrow. I will practice today, but there is no way to be a success, not even any way to mitigate the absolute failure. I'll either get a total ass chewing, or a total cold shoulder. I will probably get told that I am not meeting my requirements to be able to teach within 90 days, and another ultimatum of some sort, totally unattainable by me with no training. Whatever. I don't care anymore.

I want to do the hike. I see it as a way to strip all the expectations of others away and deal only with myself and my own abilities. If I can't make it, it won't be because of anything other than myself, my preparation, my strengths and weaknesses. The things I see as my strengths others seem to only want to smash. How dare I think I actually have something to offer?!? Then, of course, once I'm pathetic, they can be oh so comforting, saying soothing things from their perch of superiority. As long as I am below them, they can be pseudo-sympathetic. Patting themselves on the back for not being as fucked up as I am.

Who is 'them'? Most men I've been involved with, most specifically my x-husband. Most bosses. Most of the men and a lot of the women I've worked with. I have been accused to 'walking around like I know what I'm doing' at work by a co-worker. The big boss, who left, my first day as I walked up to him as an employee for the first time with my boss, said 'Walking around looking smug, I see' which totally floored me. Yes, I was in a good mood and was smiling. I was glad to be there. Apparently that wasn't proper protocol.

This is Veteran's Day. I am working with a lot of retired military. A few of them seem to be examples of the shining best examples of what the Army teaches about life and leadership. Most seem to spend a lot of time telling stories about how great they are, and looking down on everyone else. Several seem to think that they are owed the respect of their (former) rank even in civilian life. Seems they confused the rank with some personal glorification. The ones who are quiet, and only refer to their past if asked tend to have the more interesting stories, ones that don't rivet around how wonderful/smart they were in relation to the rest of the goons around them at the time.

I'm bitter. Can you tell?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

834 1/2

I put a countdown timer on my personal laptop a couple of weeks ago. Now it says 834 days and a little under 12 hours till I start my AT hike. It is fun to watch it count down. There are days that just knowing it is counting down the time helps me get through.

Work has me all over the place emotionally. I am currently totally certain that I won't make it. I hear about how the others got official training. As in, there was one person in charge of their training, and they practiced with them constantly. I have kinda just asked occasionally if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be, and just trying to concentrate on my weak points. I have been accused of walking around like I know what I'm doing. I am to teach the IT folks the entire class starting Tuesday. I have never given it before. Never. I found out Friday that the others practiced over and over with each other and their trainer before giving the class to everyone. I didn't know that before. I didn't know to ask to do that. I'm alternately depressed, scared, and pissed. I'm pretty sure I'll give them ammunition to tell me how bad I am at this. sigh.

I have gotten more done around the house. Mostly cleaning and laundry. Things I hadn't done for a few weeks cause I've been off doing things on the weekends. I need this 3 day weekend.

Friday, November 09, 2007


It's Friday. Jeans day at work. The day before Saturday, when I have scheduled everything I've needed to do for the past 3 weeks or so. This job, when I'm at home in the shop, isn't a job that I count the days till the weekend. I am starting to look forward to getting on the road because with so many of us back there is just not a lot to do. It is interesting how the personality of the place changes as the different groups of people cycle in and out. Right now almost everyone is back, and it is crowded. Most of us go out on travel on the 26th, so it will be a ghost town again.

Bob may not be able to make the Holiday party next Friday. The memorial for his Dad is the day before and he has family coming in for that. It really wouldn't be cool to just take off. So, I've basically let him out of the date. I think that in most other situations it would have been fun for him meeting this group. Oh, well. Dateless again...

Thursday, November 08, 2007


The cat and I are curled up on the couch journaling again. This time I have my coffee already in hand. Yesterday at work went better. The IT guy I'll go out with at the end of the month and I started talking about it. I voiced my concerns, and that the boss has used 'forcing' me to teach on my first fielding as a threat/ultimatum. Since it invariably is used in a negative sense, I have had a 'hell no, I'm not teaching this first time' attitude. We'll see how it all pans out.

Not much else is going on other than work. The big boss, who I really like, has officially taken his name plate out of the holder by his door. No word on who will replace him. Gossip from his new assignment makes it sound like folks over there, including him, are not having a good time. I'm sorry they are seeing him in that situation, because in the right situation he is an incredible leader and one who I was enjoying working for.

Seems that I have Monday off. These 3 day weekends in this job just keep showing up and surprising me. I have no special plans. I really need to work on getting the house organized. Again. Still. I invited Bob to go to the Holiday get together for work the next Friday, and I want the house to be as good as it can be for him to see it for the first time. When I was up in Indy it reminded me that he and I haven't spent much time talking and hanging out this year since I didn't make it to the Dayton Hamfest this year.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I'm posting something before work, to get today's post in. Yes, this is cheating, just posting that I'm posting. Madcap Mum did better with a haiku.

Shadowmoss and cat
Curled up and writing journal
Coffee's ready now

Bad haiku. Worse, I have to move the comfortable cat to get up and get my coffee. And such are the daily struggles here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I'm sending an 'I'm sorry' to Charlie. He's been waiting to hear about Bob's party, and I haven't had the energy and time together with an internet connection all come together since I got home. So, now the rest of the story...

When the accident was cleared we started right back up at 70mph on the interstate. I never could even tell where the accident happened. I fumbled around and found the complex where the party was held, and walked in. It's been at least a couple of years since I've been back, and much longer since I've seen any of Bob's family. I thought that his younger daughter was his older one when she was talking to me, and kept looking for her sister. sigh. Kids kinda grow up on ya when you aren't around to watch them. I didn't recognize some of the caver friends, either. I latched onto Pruit and kept asking him who was who. Saw the RCA guys that I hang with at the Dayton Hamfest every year, Les and Bob and his wife Marge. Les had good news employment wise in that he started full time this Monday at the place where he was working part time. He said that after they told him last week, he drove home thinking 'I've got insurance now!' and then a few minutes later, again he would think 'I've got insurance now!'. I fully understand, although I've had COBRA the entire time I've been contracting.

Bob's Dad died last week. His daughters had to tell him about his surprise party because he had no intention of coming back to Indy from Missouri where his Dad had been. The memorial service is the 15th of this month, which would have been his Dad's 85th birthday. The slide show the girls had put together was intersting, especially some of the earlier pictures that I hadn't seen before. There were some from his days in Viet Nam when he was an Army Ranger. That was a side of him I hadn't seen before, although I sorta knew about it. The pictures put it more into perspective.

The gifts were appreciated, and included the requisite 'old' party standards. Bob seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all, after spending the week at the hospital with his Dad. JoEllen wanted to leave just as things were winding down and I was planning on talking more with some of the folks. Since she was riding with me to help me find their house to spend the night, I went ahead and left.

The cavers up there put on the National Convention this summer. It was obvious that they are still pretty tired of each other. Several folks were grouchy, and for once the family members outnumbered the cavers at a party. It was good to see the ones I got to spend some time with. I just wish they were all getting along better. I found out that a couple of the people that I enjoyed talking to over the years have died. Guess it comes with the territory.

I drove home Sunday, and pretty much just unloaded the truck and finished laundry and crashed. Work has been busy, which is why I haven't posted. So much for the every day thing. Oh, well. I'll try for several times a week instead.

Apologies to those who read this who don't know any of the folks I talked about.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I am sitting on Interstate 65 in Southern Indiana. I'm at a standstill. An engine off, folks walking around outside their cars standstill. I had been congratulating myself that I was going to make the party on time, crossed into Indiana at just the right time and headed north. Then, things came to an abrupt halt. Some guy standing around said that there is a bad accident a couple of miles ahead, and they are Life Lining 2 people. I am frustrated, but I also wonder if I'd have been in the accident if I had just not made one of my stops for food or gas. So, I'll sit here and wait. And maybe miss the party. But, at least I am alive and well.

Odds and Ends

It's Saturday morning, and I finally have time to sit down and catch up. Most of this week my internet signal here at home has been so poor that it wasn't even worth trying to get on. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it. Work isn't a good place for me to post here since I can't really sit for any length of time and think about non-work stuff.

Last weekend I went down to Meriwether Lewis campground for a hang-out. That's where several of us who use hammocks instead of tents for camping get together and hang around and compare gear and talk around a campfire and generally goof off all weekend. I had fun and met some more really nice folks. This hobby, a subgroup of backpackers, seems to have a majority of interesting, fun, just really nice folks.

Work is, as it has from the beginning, being interesting. That is a euphimism for various other descriptors, none of which really describe it either. There are changes afoot, management-wise. I'm too new to even really care. I'll hear about it soon enough.

Today I head up to Indy for a birthday party for a good friend. I even got him presents, things from on post. He served in the 101st in Viet Nam so I got him some 101st items. My boss took me on post to find them. We went to the museum, and then to the clothing store and the px. I may ask someone to get me on post sometime to go to the museum to actually tour it sometime. Not sure if that would be enough reason to get on as a civilian. I have gotten on post by myself many times but that was in the course of needing to go there to work on computer gear.

I'll post about the party and my trip back up home tomorrow. The cell wireless card works well pretty much everywhere except here at home, so it makes getting on the internet when I'm visiting people much less hassle.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Yes, it is now November. Yes, I didn't post yesterday. I am already behind, 2 days into this. sigh.

I'll write more tomorrow.