It’s Tuesday

Okay, here’s the deal. The wife of one of my co-workers works at a nearby vehicle engineering firm that does vehicle dynamics, accident reconstruction, litigation support, etc. with a guy I know from racing circles in Michigan.

So today at lunch, while I’m out with my colleagues, a group from said engineering firm comes in, including the guy I know from racing circles in Michigan, and… another guy I know from YEARS back when I was at Ford, and he was first working for the US Dept. of Energy/Argonne National Laboratory, and we collaborated on some of the stuff for the first-ever Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge student competition (sponsored by Ford, USDoE/Argonne, and SAE). R later worked on Team Mustang at Ford, and left maybe 12 years ago to move back to Texas (he’s a Dallas boy) to work for Goodyear at their proving grounds in West Texas. R left Goodyear when they wanted to send him back north to Akron, Ohio, and found himself at this engineering firm.

Small freakin’ world. 😀 😀 😀

We had a quick catch-up conversation, and R invited me up to his house for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. J (the other guy I know) and his family will be there as well, so it’ll be a little old-home week. I called R this evening to get directions and we caught up a bit more.

I have to say it: this made my week. It really did.

On top of that, I had a great day at work. Spent the afternoon out in the lab helping my boss disassemble, reset, and reassemble a test piece he’s working on, and learned a ton while getting a little dirty in the process. I’m also doing some CAD work — at this point, I’m doing "redraws" into SolidWorks as both training exercises prior to the formal class next week and also to get the parts modelled in the correct system (some of them are hand drawings dating as far back as 1965). I did one today that had a tricky little bit of geometry — nothing terribly earth-shatteringly complex, but I had to extrapolate something I already learned how to do into something I hadn’t attempted yet, wasn’t convinced would work, and wasn’t completely sure the whole thing wouldn’t blow up in my face, but it worked.

I should be tackling more complicated stuff soon.


Sunday… so far.

I’m making some headway in the kitchen. At the moment, I’ve cleaned up the fridge and have the removable plastic bits that will fit in the dishwasher in said device (on the no-heat setting) getting clean. The couple years my refrigerator served as Garage Fridge in Michigan added some funk to various bits. I particularly liked the sawdust in the top gasket folds, leftover from when the roofers cut the roof sheathing for the new ridge vent last year.

Yesterday, I purchased a PUR filtered water dispenser for the fridge. Amusingly, it doesn’t fit under the kitchen sink faucet (which I will be replacing anyway for a variety of reasons like "many of my pots don’t fit under it" and "it’s cracked and leaky").

I also bought a couple brooms, a dustpan, and a couple of garbage cans. I was able to clean the light cover (Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) and grease screen (dishwasher) for the microwave/vent hood combo, and verified that while the light and vent fan work, "It’s Dead" is pretty much a permanent condition for the microwave as the major parts needed to revive its microwave functions are discontinued and no longer available anywhere (and if can’t find them, they don’t exist), so I’ll have to negotiate its replacement with the landlord.

I’m putting in shelf paper (well, to be more precise, nice, non-skid, no-adhesive shelf and drawer liners) right now, which involves removing what shelf paper is present, thoroughly wiping down the cabinet or drawer with Lysol wipes, then cutting new liner to fit. Tedious, yes.

And I have laundry running, too, because I need clean clothes. 🙂 Yes, it’s Domestic Sunday here at Nuevo Casa del Crider Sur (no relation to Nuevo Rancho Lake, just a statement of fact: new house, in the south).

The fact that all I’ve had to eat today is some Chex Mix and a couple of holiday cookies isn’t helping. I really should get my act together and go to the bank, find food, and generally get enough energy to finish the job. It’ll happen.

Day Two… and The Official Multifunctional Holiday Post

Day Two of New Job. I got my security badge: "I’m a real boy! I’m a real boy!" Finished my CAD exercises. Everyone pretty much bailed out about 3 (I was again the last of my group to leave).

New Friend G (who, with his wife S, invited me to the Mustang Club of Houston Christmas party that was held this past Sunday) helped me retrieve the Cobra from K & B’s place up north a bit, then we went to dinner (after I met their two dogs, 3 lovebirds, and 3 of the 4 cats) at a delightful Mexican place where G & S have been regulars for some time (with the same waiter, no less — said waiter handled the food service for their wedding reception some 12 years ago), which meant I was traveling under their "good customer" umbrella and tried to live up to it (and tipped aggressively on my part of the check – I took the food, G took the beverages).

As the weather appears to be absent freezing stuff between here and Tulsa tomorrow and Thursday, I will be taking the Cobra up and back. I have to work on Friday, so this is a quick trip, 500 miles each way. Up at 0 Dark Early tomorrow. Barring nasty traffic, the Cobra should cut nearly an hour off the travel time each way vs the truck. And get better fuel economy while doing so.

So, to all who read this, I offer you my very best wishes for this holiday season, be it the Yule that has past, Chanukkah that is going on now, Christmas to come, or the Winter Holiday of Your Own Making. May it be filled with joy, hope, and as much food, family (of blood and/or choice), and fun as you can stand. Those of you who are traveling, be safe on your journeys, and may said journeys be free of hicups or other disasters.

See you when I get back.

First Day of Work

…has come and gone. It went well. Good people, good office. I’m not doing what I was originally told I would be doing, owing to a bit of project reshuffling (it happens. At this point, I don’t worry about it and instead say "Okay, so tell me what you want me to be doing and I’ll get on with doing it). Oddly enough, the group I’m in is the only one I *didn’t* interview with originally, but that’s okay as they got briefed on me from the folks I did talk to.

Did some brief paperwork, met one of the bosses, started in on the 50 e-mails waiting for me to log on (no kidding! 50!), and started learning SolidWorks (a CAD software package) in advance of formal training the first week of January. Those of my new group who were actually present went out for some decent BBQ (and get this: IBC root beer in the fountain dispenser. First time I think I’ve ever seen that!), then two of my colleagues and I went to get Safety Shoes (it’s a requirement). As I have a decent set of steel-toe workboots already, I used my allowance to get a set of Hush Puppy loafers that will work for office wear. More CAD tutorials finished out my day (and will carryover into tomorrow I’m sure).

Stopped on the way home at a little indie pizza/Italian joint that’s also the closest to my house, and I pronounce it passable.

Day One: in the books