Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall in

Everyone seems to be busy. I don't know if it's the new fiscal year for most businesses, don't know if it's the lack of holidays, the impending holidays, but this has always appeared to me to be a time of year where people just buckle down and get stuff done. One of the driving forces of my occupation is the preventive maintenance work order (PM). Equipment - emergency generators to exit signs - is inspected, cleaned, repaired if necessary on a schedule determined by a combination of government regulation, manufacturer's recommendation, and experience. Mostly, any more, by government regulation. For reasons heretofore unexplained, we have a lot more PM's in October than most months. Last week, the fire inspector came to visit, always a means to job security and opportunities to improve. This week, we've had 22 government inspectors combing the building, looking for whatever they can find. Did you know that, in a hospital, there are regulations stipulating the number, height and distance from other objects for hand sanitizer dispensers? Glove boxes? Sharps containers? Hospital patient room walls are crowded places. Regulators (read bureaucrats with clipboards) will sometimes overlook utility for an arbitrary standard. But, I digress.
These inspections are good, they can find sometimes obvious things that we miss because they look at things with different eyes. What's not good is the tizzy that it seems to send many people into. It makes for a stressful day.
Anyway, it's been busy.


I look at the pictures we have from our trip, and of course want to explain each one, and before you know it an hour has gone by, no decisions are made, and there's a huge slide show forming in my head, with parallel thoughts of slideshows I've sat through. Sat through one, once, where the photographer had, for each shot, taken a 'portrait' and a 'landscape' version, and eagerly displayed each and every one for us. "Groundhog Day" - in slides. Over three hours.

So here's one from Sunday evening. I don't know if you've ever seen rain off in the distance, in the desert, but you can see it here, in the lower right part of the picture. Now, it's about 85 degrees or so, it's sunny where we're standing, there's a wind picking up, and you can smell the rain coming. About 45 minutes or so after this was taken (wasn't wearing a watch, on purpose!), we got some strong winds - had to redo one of the mooring lines - and about 10 minutes of big, fat raindrops, then it blew by us. At one point, there were 2 rainbows.

Only 335 days to go.

For all my blogger buddies, yeah, I miss you, too.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Blog Awards - Curmudgeon Alert

There are blogs, and then there are blogs. The range of reasons for self-publishing are as varied as there are publishers.

Thank you. The End.

Of course not. Just felt like doing that. It's my blog.

Once it's out there, you can promote your blog, get "discovered", get famous, I suppose, sometimes, make some money, maybe, and or/just feel good about yourself. You can cross-reference, cross-link, crossover and a host of terms that I'm sure I'd misuse and misconstrue into next Tuesday. Not my thing, at least not with this little adventure. More on that, in a bit.

Then there are the awards. There are industry awards, entertainment awards, awards for design, content, unique visitors, Megagiggles transmitted, etc. etc. ad nauseum. There's probably a Blogger Magazine being printed.

My online community is very much like my real life. Wow, go figure -  it is a pretty good chunk of my real life. I occasionally make a pretty good friend. Often that brings me into contact with their wider 'circle', and that's where my lack of social skills begin to show. It's just happened.

There's a type of award that, while I'm sure it's well-meaning, makes me squirm. It's a social thing. I'll try to explain - I want to explain because I've 'gotten' a couple of them recently, and I haven't pasted them here, and I want to explain why to my benefactors.

The award consists of a cute graphic, and/or a particular term, like "Rainbow Writer Award" or "Best Barney Blogger" (I have received neither of these). The award is given to you, with all sincerity by a regular reader. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. It comes with stipulations. In every case I've seen, one must:

    1. Provide a link to the creator of the award.
    2. Bestow the award upon several others.

It's an electronic chain letter, and its' primary purpose is to promote the award's creator under the guise of mutual appreciation. It's like those letters that one gets (or I used to get) from the Oxford Official Listing of Who's Who in American Business/Young Up-and-Comers/<insert your career>Movers and Shakers. You can obtain this wondrous volume (be sure and buy 7 copies for your office, extended family and business contacts) for only $49.99 plus shipping and handling. From Oxford, Minnesota, of course. The listing sells the listing, profits only the publisher. That's not entirely true here, but it impresses me in the same manner.
I suppose that I might feel differently if I knew these award creators, but, since I do not, the whole exercise impresses me as 'cheesy'.  Congratulations! Now link to my blog and send this award to 7 other people. Get to work!

I know that my online friends have given me these awards with the best of intentions, and to you all I want to express both my thanks and mutual admiration.

Thank you, Yankee.

Thank you, NanP.

Thank you, Nick (sorta).

I would hope that you knew that, already, being my pals and all. I vow to go into my blog template soon and make sure that I'm displaying a link to your blog - that's a real award, to me - giving you space on my space, as it were.

So. A simple gesture sent my way turns into an internal Auto de fe. Welcome to my world.

I write here to:

  • Record the things that are important in my life, for now and later
  • Share that with family and friends
  • Practice Writing
  • Hopefully help (and subsequently receive help, thank you) from those in similar circumstances/places in this journey
  • Strengthen my Relationships with all of the above.

So, thank you, but no thank you. I hope, if I hurt your feelings, that you'll forgive me. When my blog becomes syndicated, I promise to send a car round to pick you up for dinner when I come through your part of the world on my promotional tour. It's the least I could do. Well, not quite, but close.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My 'Toemage' to Tom and Lake Meade

Leaving the Dock


The front of Hoover Dam
(sorry, didn't check the focus, here's another shot)

Entering the Narrows

At the console

Cheetos on the upper deck

Just out of the water -
stormy way out there

Clouds at the cove

Sun's waning

Back to the Marina

We had a great time.