Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's easy being an electrical apprentice. You just have to hand tools to the electrician and pick up dropped screws. But even with excellent apprentice help the jobs at Mom's took longer than we thought they would. Which shouldn't be a surprise, when you are fixing things things always go wrong. Geoff got a couple of shocks (literally) and we had a few trips to Rona, but it all got done and the lights look very nice. Good job of picking them out, Mom and Judith.

It was a good thing we didn't go to Kelowna for the nice weather or we would have felt ripped off. It wasn't much warmer than here and there is not that much less snow either. I really do think I couldn't take the cloud for very long. It was nice to land in Edmonton under a sunny albeit cold blue sky.

We had a good visit with L&R and Mom. And Clem likes Geoff! He slept on the couch part of one night and Clem slept with him. Lisa was annoyed.

I could not believe the difference in the house since I was there in June. It all looks so nice. I should say I did not do all the helping. Richard did a lot too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Readers note

I get the New York Times book review emails and got this today!
100 notable books of 2010
My hold requests at the library is bigger now.
Theresa and Geoff are here, busy installing lights-which look super.
We have lots of snow, but weather is warming up a bit-not enough to melt it all. I'm happy about that as I like snow.

A Down and Up Week

This is the time of year that we do our performance appraisal (or in IBM acronym PBC). I hate it but a necessary evil. To top that off I received a call from my manager to talk about BU (billable utilization). Mine is too low. So that just set me off, I felt very emotional about it for some reason, most of the time I don't care, I try and do a good job, and if more time is needed I put it in, but I don't work just to get my BU up. Even though I knew Lucy (manager) was just the messenger, she was the brunt of my anger. So no one can say I don't work hard, and that I am not effective, but putting in more hours does not mean better work. I have decided that when IBM says we need more work life balance what they are really saying is "How can you balance your life so you can work more" so all in all a crappy meeting. A couple of days later, we had a Town Hall (aka staff meeting) to meet the new Managing Partner for GBS (group of IBM that I belong to). I was not expecting much, but was very surprised. Her name is Lisa Caldwell and her background is diverse not all working for IBM, so she has a different outlook than a lot of IBM executive. she has only been in the job for 60 days, but can already see lots of the issues. Some one asked about BU and she sounds like she is trying to get it to be a little more realistic (the target right now is 94%, if I work 4 hours per week extra, never take a sick, training or any thing other than vacation and stats, I can just make it). I asked why we keep getting the line that training is important, but of you don't take it in the first two quarters forget it, because it always gets canceled in the last two. And why every year for the last 10 years I have worked for IBM, we are asked to move vacation into the next year, if not taken by the third quarter, which if we do negatively impacts our BU for the new year(bit of a catch 22). I said it seemed like poor planning to me. She agreed. I do like my job, it can be stressful sometimes and I get a lot of job satisfaction, but some of the surrounding administration and directives from on high, make me wonder why I stay. So it will be interesting to see what happens in 2011, if Lisa will make a difference. And if not, then only 4 more years to retirement, I am sure I can last.

Just to round out the week, a cold is making it's way through the office, and I caught it, so I am taking Cold FX, hoping that will help it go away sooner, or at least the symptoms will not be too bad.

The weather has sorted itself out, beautiful blue Alberta sky and temps around 0, much more enjoyable than the - 25, -30 something with the wind chill. And next weekend Schmoozy and chocolates, so things are really looking up.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Diamond / Sedaris

It was the Festival of Ideas this past week. I went and saw Jared Diamond talk about the history of societies that have exterminated themselves due to their overexploitation of the environment, and then I saw David Sedaris tell suggestive jokes about Willie Nelson. Good in very different ways.

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Monday, November 22, 2010


So, I checked work email from home on the weekend-a mistake as then of course, I read an email that irritated me.
I then took work email off my favourites list-because then checking it is more difficult and I am less likely to do it if I have to do more than click on a link.
Do others check work email from home?
Even as I write this, I can feel the urge.
No, will not.
Mom and I went shopping on Sat and got a lot done. Light fixtures, some Christmas shopping, and I went to the knitting store and have started making a felted bag. I tend to get a bit obsessive about knitting though. Once I start, I can't stop and keep thinking, 'just one more row' My inspiration was a post I remember Theresa doing on knitting-it was for Allison's Christmas gift-which I thought was excellent-and I really like felted bags. You may all get one.
Richard and I went to the matinee yesterday :) and saw Harry Potter. I enjoyed it.
I also enjoyed having a day off together-I think he will have every other Sunday off-hurrah!
We have snow and cold and I want to decorate for Christmas-much too early.
I think we will end up driving to Alberta for Christmas because Richard's ridiculous boss will not give him a definitive answer. This is the inetrnet otherwise I'd have more to say about that, I can tell you.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Has anyone watched this Sherlock Holmes show? I watched it last night, one of the best TV shows I have seen for a while.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jude visits

Jude came this weekend and now my photo albums are done!
We also looked at light fixtures with Mom and she has a good idea of what she wants to get.
I had a 4 day weekend-which is nice, though I think I should have accomplished more.
I am still hanging out laundry, have not started doing it in dryer. Though it is slow drying.
Today is nice and sunny, though cold. Windy, so perhaps the rest of the clothes will dry?
Mom and I are going to the craft fair today. I can smell the beeswax, cinnamon, and nutmeg candles already. I said to Mom we better not wear coats as it will be hot in there.
I am looking forward to startign my course in January. I need a boost. Work has been uptight lately. we are doing internal development stuff. ie how to work together better, and I think it is awesome, though difficult. I keep thinking, if other people say they are great communicators-and from my perspective-they are clearly not-what does this say about me as I think I am a good communicator?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I spent the whole afternoon out in the yard getting things done that I don't usually get to until spring. All the perennials are cut down, compost is spread in the perennial beds, some pruning done. This must be what it's like in Kelowna. Except the sun shone all day.

It is supposed to get colder now and possibly snow but I have certainly enjoyed this fall. Geoff and Sam just came in from putting up the Christmas lights. No setting up ladders in the snow this year.

Life with a retired guy is pretty good. He makes supper every night and even does the dishes usually. I don't think it has really sunk in for either of us that he is really done working out at that place. The first Saturday there was a call from work. I made him ignore it and I erased the message.

Sam is home this weekend but not Grace. She is staying in the city to go to the rodeo and whatnot.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Dinner with the Rellys

Friday night I invited Allison,the in town Ferrey's and Henry over to dinner. Henry could not make it, he was still in the field, but everyone else came. Grace brought CJ he seemed a little under the weather, with a cold, poor guy. We had a good visit, caught up on everyone's lives. Sampled some of the wine and chocolates from the charity basket. I made spaghetti at Grace's suggestion, and it all turned out OK. Sam has a new roommate, but no more furniture. I offered him my patio table and chairs, but not too sure he wants them. Only a few more days until Kelowna, and we have been having Kelowna type weather here. The sun has been shining, no snow has stayed on the ground.
I talked to the powers that be on the GOA account and my manager, and I have decided to commit to the account for another year, so I will stay in town until the end of 2011. Then it is only 3 more years until I retire, I have decided that the end of 2014 seems like a good time. I am thinking I will take a year off, then maybe find a job in the non profit sector. Stef if you are looking for someone at that time, I will be your person. Or maybe I can work with Todd. It might be too much Sivakyness for him, living next door to one and working with another.
It is S&B Sunday at my place today. I am trying a new recipe, hope it turns out. I think I have to temporarily move some of the furniture around, so we can all see each other as we stitch. With the new configuration of my living room, if more than 4 people are visiting it is a bit awkward, as I found out on Friday. Better get off to the store to pick up the ingredients.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hon hon hon

This is one of the funniest comics I've ever read.

And before, I posted the Ernie and Bert gangsta rap video. This is a follow up. Coarse language means it's not safe for work on speakers.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

10 per cent day

Today is 10 per cent day at the grocery stores. Geoff left this morning even before I went to work to get the groceries. At the end of the day at work my friend Bernie said bitterly, "You'd better go home now to your house full of groceries."

Monday, November 01, 2010

Charity Update

I was the successful bidder on basket which includes 2 bottles of wine, and a whole bunch of chocolate!! So people who are coming to my place on Friday night for supper, we will crack open a bottle and some chocolate. Yummmmmm.

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