Showing posts from September, 2015

17 Years!

Yesterday marked 17 years at my current job. That number is near to being a lifetime for new employees.

Sigh. I may be feeling old because of that. (And, by may, I mean I am.)

Those 17 years have been filled with lots of ups and a few downs. I look back to when I started and it's amazing to see the changes in the company since then. Technology, business processes, globalization, increased employees, payroll processing,'s been quite a ride.

I remember when telecommuting was not an option and now it's a standard. One of my first benefits meetings, I heard that birth control wasn't covered but Viagra was. Well, that's certainly changed with the times. We've since acquired operations in Canada, Japan, Denmark and Germany and that's not the end of it; there's more to come.

There are times when I wish we were still the same, small company I started with. My first week, some guy showed up at my cube to welcome me. It was our CEO, Curt, and I'…

Making Art At Work

We recently remodeled our lobby (among other spaces) in one of our buildings but there's still one unfinished wall by the front door. It's waiting for us to complete our corporate art project.

It's quite the job, too. One of our VPs used to be an art teacher and she's really into pottery and ceramics with a kiln at her house. Our CEO is a cactus freak. Really. He even discovered a previously uncatalogued cactus one time and got to name it.

So, the project combines both of their interests. We're making ceramic tiles to put on the wall and we're using cacti shapes for the molds.

Everyone in the company has been invited to attend one of the tile making sessions. We need over 400 tiles in all so it's a lot of work.

A few experts cut the tiles into the right size height, width and depth. Then, the rest of us got to go to work.
We used molds made from actual cacti. In fact, a few of the molds still had cactus needles in them so we had to be careful. For the deep …

Parrot Head Spirit Exemplified

When you tell someone you're a Parrot Head, you get several different responses:
1.  "Oh, what type of bird do you have?" 2.  Blank stare. 3.  "You're the group that drinks a lot to Jimmy Buffett music, right?"
Very rarely do you get the more accurate response:
4.  "I know of you, you guys do a lot of charity work while you're partying!"
I've been a Buffett fan for years. What made me join, and keeps me going, with the Parrot Head organization is the sincere and dedicated effort our members make towards making the world a better place. It's really what's at the heart of Parrot Head club members.
My friend, Sam Rainwater, truly exemplifies the Parrot Head spirit. A Rocket Scientist by day, Sam decided a few years ago to go back to his love of music. He started with the ukulele, learned songs, got on every stage he could, grilled other artists for pointers, started writing his own music and now has three albums of his own published. 

Bucket List - Stonehenge

Or, as those of us in the know like to call it, the Stones.

I learned that from our tour guide and our bus driver. When in Rome and all, right, pip, pip and cheerio!

I've been fascinated by Stonehenge for years. I used to buy into the theory that the Druids built it because, well, Druids seem really cool. But, then I learned that they predate the Druids by 2,000 years or so.

There are different theories as to how the stones were assembled and how they got to this site since they're not native to the area. It will probably remain a mystery but I like the story that Bernard Cornwell wrote and the book just happened to be in the gift shop.

Per my usual, I listened to the audio tour while I walked around the Stones. You're no longer allowed to get up close without advance permission because the ground has eroded around them so I circled from a distance and listened.

Some interesting things I learned:

The nearby British Army training base used to use the stones for target practi…

My Love/Hate Relationship - Fantasy Football

I just got home from my second FFL draft. Thankfully, I only do two leagues because anymore would make my head explode from keeping track of the permutations.

I felt pretty good about my club team. Not so much about my work team. For those who are interested in it all, here's whom I have.

Parrot Head League:

QB1 Andrew Luck (my first round pick - I drafted 10 out of 12 and passing TDs only score 4)
QB2 Alex Smith
RB1 Andre Ellington
RB2 Joseph Randle
RB3 Shane Vereen
RB4 Devonta Freeman
RB5 David Cobb
WR1 Emmanuel Sanders
WR2 Golden Tate
WR3 Anquan Boldin
WR4 Eric Decker
WR5 Steve Smith, Sr
TE1 Rob Gronkowski
D/ST Packers
K1 Dan Bailey

SmartBall League:

QB1 Matt Ryan
QB2 Eli Manning
RB1 Matt Forte (my first round pick - I drafted 8 out of 10)
RB2 Lamar Miller
RB3 Andre Ellington
RB4 Devonta Freeman
RB5 Shane Vereen
RB6 DeAngelo Williams
WR1 Dez Bryant
WR2 Emmanuel Sanders
WR3Amari Cooper
WR4 Brandon Marshall
WR5 Donte Moncrief
WR6 Markus Wheaton
TE1 Jordan Cameron
TE2 Charles Clay