Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Terror(er) of Baton Rouge

THIS is the reason I had to leave work. I had left him at the vet for shots, checkup, and investigation of a lump on his back. Due to his unusually "agressive" nature, I was forced to come back so I could hold him secure and the vet could just TOUCH the lump on his back (which by the way is a benign lump and does not hurt the cat).

P.S. For those of you who I will be seeing at Christmastime, I have a funny funny (read, horribly embarrasing for me) story from work to share with you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Big Bang Theory

For those who did not watch Big Bang Theory on ABC tonight, you must see this show. Where else can you experience calculus jokes on a primetime network TV show? Would be interested in comments on what others thought so post on your respective blogs.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Writing is Tough

After reading a book recently that I really liked (by Candace Bushnell, Trading Up) I went out and bought one of her earlier books (4 Blondes) only to be extremely disappointed. It was nothing like the first one I read. You can clearly see her development as an author between the two. So naturally the first thing that came to mind after finishing 4 Blondes was "You could do that!" Meaning, I could write my own book of the same caliber as that one.

Let me tell you though, it was HARD. I typed my story (1 Blonde) for what felt like forever, developed my characters until I felt like I'd known them since they were born. I finished about a third of the story I had in mind. Then I look at the bottom of my Word window and see that I am on page 4 of 4. I was forced to retire 3 days into my new career as author. I blame it on my efficiency from living in the email age where people only want to read about 5 lines at a time and will delete an email if it requires scrolling down.

So Candace Bushnell, I apologize for giving your earlier book an unflattering review because even though Trading Up was much better and I am a way overconfident author wannabe, you still did better than I could on 4 Blondes. Maybe better subject matter will help you out next time, like brunettes.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Always Working

Just got back last Monday from a week-long trip to Belgium for work. And I was fortunate enough to be able to take off the weekend to do touring as well. I could totally live in Belgium - they have such a laid back attitude and they have lots of lambics! (For those who don't know lambics are fruity, tart beers that are produced by spontaneous fermentation from exposure to the wild yeasts and bacteria in the air of the Senne valley. They are sold in U.S. too, though not nearly as cheap but I would highly recommend trying one if you have never.)

My absolute favorite part was the architecture. No two buildings looked alike and they were so different from what you see around here

The rental cars did leave a little something to be desired, but at least they made parking easy.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"You Can't Travel - You're a Chem E!"

So I may have been told by a very observant blog reader. Luckily I think one of the most strict of the Chem-E police is buying a house right now so I should be OK. But let me tell you, if you work it right, you can be a Chem-E and travel too even though there is a lot of things you leave behind, such as:

- Morning, afternoon, and late afternoon meetings. How else are you supposed to talk about all of the things you should be doing? And what better place to call out a coworker? For a one week trip, that's at least 20 valuable opportunities lost.

- Safety Moments. How would I remember to drive carefully on the road if someone were not to bring up a new traffic accident for every start-of-meeting "Safety Moment"?

- Electrical arc flashing. Learning firsthand the answer to the question, "What is that bright light and popping sound from over there?"

- Guys in boxers. Apparently a legitimate way to protest being given insufficient uniforms is to show up to work without one.

- Learning how to drive a forklift. Rear wheel drive is tricky on those things - I think it is a bad sign if on your first attempt to lift a pallet of metal drums you spear it at a 20 degree angle and hear the cracking of pallet wood.

This is a mere sample of the incredible responsibility I give up each and every time I leave work on a frivolous vacation. This is why travel is assuredly a frowned-upon activity for chemical engineers. And this is why I always leave behind my contact information.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

International Companies Rule!

So I got to go to Canada for the first time, for training. It was an intensive 3-day course in Marketing - learning how to provide what the customer wants without putting yourself out of business (solid concept, yes). The cool part was that this training was held on a company-owned island in Canada right outside of Detroit. There are three or four lodges, each housing about 10 people, and you stay on the island the whole time. It started out a little rocky - the weather was bad so I was dropped off alone on the island in the rain on Sunday evening with an "I'll be back eventually with the others but I'm not sure when" from the boat captain. The ominous laugh may or may not have been imagined. And then I was on my own for the next several hours until 3 others showed up and we were able to play some poker. The island also was equipped for multiple miscellaneous sporting activities. Here is a view from my bike trip around the island.