They'll give a blog to anybody.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Don't Know

I would like to write something profound, or at least humorous, here. I know there are 2 or 3 people that check here every once in a while and I'd like to give them something new to read. I just haven't been inspired lately. Sorry.

I went to see my doctor yesterday to get some things checked out. It ended up that the things Mrs. Dirpus was concerned about were nothing serious. A thickening achilles tendon as a result of when I partially ruptured it playing football in college and some mild athletes foot. The first, I can't do anything about. The second, I got some kind of cream to put on my feet. It should clear right up.

I also found out that the bump on my wrist is a cyst and not calcium build up from when I broke it in the 8th grade. Nothing to do about that either.

Such is the excitement of my life.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Call Me Darth...

I'm sort of participating in a blog challenge. That means I know people that ARE participating and have a small amount of guilt that I should play, too. This week's topic: What is your favorite color?

Let's pretend like we're in grad school. It depends

If it's in clothing, black. I used to like blue, but for the last few years, I have preferred black. It has pretty much coincided with me pretending that I'm a musician. Black seems cool. I also don't mind that black is supposed to be slimming.

I'm getting ready to decorate my den at home. Getting ready means sometime within the next five years. I am currently looking to use hunter green as my main color. I find it relaxing. It makes me think of the pine trees in the forest.

One color that is never allowed to change... Levi's must always be blue.

So it appears the dark colors win. Does that mean I have gone over to the dark side of the force?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Harder Than It Looks

One of my favorite golf movies (honest, there is more than one out there) is Tin Cup, with Kevin Costner. It's got sports, drinking, golf, and other stuff I like. At one point during the movie, Kevin Costner's character is trying to qualify for the US Open tournament. He has an argument with his caddy and all of his clubs end up broken except his seven iron. He plays about half of his round with just that club and plays well enough to move on to the next qualifying stage.

I went out to play golf last weekend and decided I wanted to see how I could do with just a seven iron. I also took a putter because I thought the greenskeeper might not like me using a seven iron on the greens. A golf bag is a lot lighter without all of those other metal clubs. That was nice.

Anyway, the long shots were fine. I didn't have any problem with them. Unfortunately, I discovered it is much more difficult to hit a short shot with a seven iron than with a pitching wedge. I tried to take a shorter swing, but the loft of the club did me in. The shots always came in too low and rolled off the other side of the green. I'm sure I could have figured something out eventually, but I ran out of holes. The two people I played with thought it was amusing. One of them even tried a couple of short shots with his seven iron after I put three balls in a row into a lake. He couldn't do it either.

The lesson here is that if you are going to play golf with less than a full set of clubs, make sure one of them is a wedge.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Life as a Consultant

(Begin Rant)

I worked for the defense department for 12 years. It was my first job out of college and I had only planned on staying for about 2 years to gain some experience. One thing led to another, including that I liked working on jets, and had pretty much decided to stay and retire with a federal civil service pension. Then came the 1995 BRAC and my base was selected for closure.

I could have moved to the desert or out of state, but didn't really want to do that. I ended up going to work for a large corporation that does a lot of defense contracting. My first job with them was to replace myself at the military base. I sat at the same desk and did the same job, but made 20% more. That was great. Unfortunately, as the base's closure date got nearer, my company's contracts with the base dried up. I ended up transferring to another division in the company that consults to the State government.

There is quite a difference between the defense department and state government. One of the worst things is that the State doesn't have any jets and we don't get to blow things up. I've been to many meetings where I would LIKE to blow something up. A few years ago, there was a big brouhaha about preferential contracts in the State, so everything got clamped down and most of the State agencies had their information technology budgets reduced. The regulations for awarding contracts also got much tougher. All of a sudden, the State agency my division had been working with for years, couldn't give us another contract. They wanted to keep us around, and there was plenty of work. They just couldn't do it with the budget and regulations.

Since then, it has been a string of 2 year contracts to do work I never would have chosen. I don't care for it at all. I watch people that aren't as smart as me do work I would characterize as inferior, and try to tell them what they are doing wrong so they can fix it. They don't want to hear about. It's very frustrating. Unfortunately, it's the only job in town right now. Our current contract ends in 3 months. We've submitted a proposal for another 2 years here, but we have to compete with anyone else that wants our job. So, I've got a job for the next 3 months. After that, who knows? Maybe I'll be unemployed 6 weeks before Christmas. That's a happy thought.

My dad worked for the same company for 30 plus years and retired in his early 50s. That looks mighty nice right now. Too bad I'll never have that kind of opportunity.

(End Rant)