Work Happenings

On the work front, I finally received network access on Thursday afternoon! I can actually do work now. I spent Friday installing software and familiarizing myself with some of the source code. I am expected to spend the next week doing such familiarization work before I actually begin doing real work in earnest.

I also managed to nab a flat screen monitor, so I was able to ditch one of the crappy monitors I had before. My dual-monitor setup now consists of a 17″ Samsung flat screen with a 17″ Samsung not-so-flat CRT next to it. Unfortunately, it won’t take me very long to start wishing for a 19″ flat screen here at home, because they sort of kick ass.

Government operations are quite strange. There are basically three categories of people in the building: 1) Government employees, who have fancy titles, make absurd amounts of money, and do almost no real work, 2) Consultants, who are retired Government employees, who are pretty bright and make incredibly absurd amounts of money, and 3) Contractors (like me), who don’t make as much money and do almost all of the work that the government employees are supposed to be doing. It makes for some interesting office politics.

It’s also a bit weird how it takes 2 or 3 people to perform tasks that I have previously done myself. Like, for example, setting up an account on the big Army portal system. Thursday afternoon, the guy who came in to setup my computer said he couldn’t get the portal working and would try again “in the morning.” Well, I got there in the morning at 7:30 and proceeded to log into the portal and change my password like I was supposed to. Noon came and went, and the computer guy never showed up. I got a message from my “sponser” wanting me to call her, so I did, and left a message. Apparently, they were still having trouble setting up my portal account (which, btw, I had successfully been using all day). At the end of the day, I got another call from my sponser wanting me to call the portal help desk people to straighten out my account. I dutifully did so, got the expected response of “there’s nothing wrong with your account,” waited a little bit, and called my sponser back and told her everything was fixed and she didn’t need to send the computer guy over anymore. Yikes.

I am unhappy with my web site again. I think it’s about time for the ground-up rewrite. For now, though, I will just change the font.

Expanded June News

I haven’t done a significant update to my site in a while, so here goes.

I’m writing this in the cubicle of my new job (my “cube,” for hipper readers), which is at Fort Lee. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say anything more about it or not. Seeing as how it is a pretty high-security place, I probably shouldn’t, except to say that it is a .NET programming position. Unfortunately, since it is such a high-security place, I don’t yet have clearance to get on “the network,” so there is very little work I can do at the moment (ie. nothing at all). I can’t even surf the web. All I can do is play with my memory stick. (Hyuk, hyuk.)

Though I myself do not technically work for the government, I am surrounded all day by government people and methodologies. This is my first exposure to this type of environment. It is somewhat different from what I’m used to. (That is a large understatement.)

Driving to work takes a lot longer now, so I have more time to ponder the meaning of life. Here is one thought that occurred to me: My father and grandfather both served in the army, but I have not and have had no strong desire to. I will admit that some small part of me feels rather inferior because of that. Anyway, this job gives me an opportunity to experience a taste of army life, if only in the most peripheral of fashions, and that feels pretty cool.

The week before starting the new job (the timing was coincidental), Cynthia and I took our niece and nephew to Chincoteague for a week vacation. A good time was had by all. Someday I’ll post pictures from that adventure. Incidentally, the skin on my hands is still molting from some kind of weird burn/allergy/something. And my shoulder continues to heal from a bad boogie-board wipeout. I can almost lift my arm over my head now without pain. For all you kids out there, remember to make sure that there is water under you before leaping wildly onto your board. The sensation of the nose of the board digging straight into the sand, stopping dead in its tracks, while your body continues to travel forward is not very pleasant, especially when you are clinging tightly to the sides of the boogie board. This situation causes a tremendous amount of kinetic force to be imparted into ones shoulder joints, causing them to stretch far beyond operational safety limits. The situation could also be complicated by a large wave crashing over you at the same time.

In the continuing adventures of family genealogy, Mike and Mary left me a large collection of Krehbiel family pictures to sort through. There are hundreds of them, and this is *after* several trunks full of pictures were thrown away after Grandpa died (how I wish I had a time machine). I have taken it upon myself to scan the better/more interesting pictures so that they might be forever preserved. Also because I find it a pain in the butt to look at pictures in the old-fashioned paper format. The vast majority of the pictures come from the Brown line of the family, who seemed to rather enjoy taking pictures of themselves. Despite identifying the people in most of the pictures, there remain many unidentified scenes and people. There is a small collection of a dozen tin types of completely unknown and frankly very scary-looking people. I am hopeful that someday I might find distant cousins that might know who they are.