Recalibrating the Fiddly Bits

We have meetings and conference calls all. the. time at work. I find them hilarious. The conference calls are project based, and we have them weekly whether anything new has come up or not. Every call goes like this:

Project Manager: Alan, what's your status on the wizzy-wig?

Alan: I've been analyzing our functional requirements and recalibrating the fiddly bits, but in order to proceed we'll need the flurbnibs configured.

Project Manager: Sally, where are you on the flurbnib configuration?

Sally: We've had several open discussions regarding the proper configuration technique. We're in the process of roadmapping the configuration timeline.

Project Manager: When can we expect that completion event?

Sally: There's a meeting planned next week for that dialogue.

Project Manager: Great. Good meeting everyone!

Me: Thanks, talk to you all again in our next meeting, which starts now. So, um, hello everyone.

This may sound like griping, but I'm actually having a lot of fun with these meetings. We had a project kick-off meeting yesterday. We had 12 people onsite and 4 offsite for this meeting. The purpose as stated in the agenda was to define the project scope and requirements. After an hour, the consensus was that we should meet again to define the project scope and requirements. Good meeting, everyone!

What games do you play during meetings? We play buzzword bingo.

Changeup, Chapter 5

Joe got in the truck. His mind was numb, and he was on autopilot this morning.

He usually hated heading to work in the early morning darkness. The long drive to the fields always seemed so lonely. He didn't mind it this morning, though. He had some thinking to do.

His headlights illuminated only a few hundred feet of the old road in front of him. No matter; he knew the way by heart. He'd driven it hundreds of times, back and forth. He didn't know how many more times he'd have to do it.

He hadn't decided what to do with the money, and didn't want to, not immediately. He wanted to let the euphoria subside. The panic, too. He didn't want to be rash and blow the money foolishly.

He wanted to be wise with this money. He wanted to make it last, really build something. He didn't know what, but it had to be worthwhile. It would have to make his dad proud.

"Be careful with your money, Joe. It isn't to be wasted. It's a tool. Use it to make a difference, both for you and for others. And remember, if it's shiny, then be sure it won't last."

What should he do with it? He could travel and have fun, but he knew that trips brought you right back to where you were when you left. Nothing wrong with them, but he understood the irony of the fact that trips didn't really take you anywhere.

He could donate the money. That was admirable and helped others. But it didn't build anything. The money would eventually be spent and gone.

He could start a business, but he didn't know what he'd be good at. Most small businesses folded in the first five years. He didn't want to be full of regrets in five years at how he'd failed and lost everything.

He pulled out of his thoughts as he parked the truck. He glanced at the clock as he swung his legs out the door. Uh-oh. Four minutes past 6.


He felt his chest tighten when he heard Chester's gravelly voice boom in his ears. He turned around and saw the foreman waddling in his direction.

"Save it, Chester. I quit."

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Neanderthal Romeo

I'm Romeo.

It's actually true. I played Romeo in our middle school play. The Big Kiss was faked, but still almost gave me a heart attack.

Also, I bought my wife two cards for Valentine's Day - last week!

I like getting two cards. You start with the funny one. If she doesn't like it, then you say, "No? Here, try this one instead." Then you hand over the serious one. Bases covered!

But don't worry, guys. I won't make you look bad. I'll forget all about the cards and then wake up on Valentine's Day and run out to my trunk in a panic to grab them out of the Walgreen's bag and scrawl on them real quick. In the meantime, my wife will have taken the day off work and made elaborate plans and I'll look like a neanderthal. Happens every year.

What parts were you in school plays?

Turquoise Robot Turtles - Approved For Safe Keeping

I'm thinking of changing my name to Safe Keeping. Then I'll go around to all the banks and ask the tellers, "You know all those people who left their money here for Safe Keeping? Well, I'm here and I'd like to make a withdrawal please."

I now work for a large company. That means there's a form for everything. Rather than being annoyed at this, I've decided to have some fun. I've noticed that my manager automatically approves every access request I submit, no questions asked. Then the next person up the chain approves her approval without asking questions. So I think I'm going to submit odd stuff, like "Need access to CEO's limo", or "Request increase to robot development / Cornuts fund".

I'm still writing Changeup. I've got several more chapters written...but I don't like any of it. I'm trying to decide what to do about it before posting any more.

Evan is learning words at an alarming pace. He's also learning words I wouldn't expect him to yet. My buddy's mom was showing him her necklace, which was made of many different colored stones.

BM: Can you say 'brown'?


BM: How about 'red'?


BM: This one's turquoise.

Evan: Turquoise!

Everybody: WHAT?!?

Evan: Turtle?

What was the craziest thing you said as a kid?

How to Get Rich and Buy Your Own Unicorn

I've figured out the most lucrative business to be in these days. The sticker industry. It doesn't sound impressive, but think about everything you got for Christmas. I guarantee you there were at least three stickers on every. single. gift.

We got a Blu-ray player for Christmas (with stickers, of course). I can see no difference between Blu-ray and regular DVDs, but they cost twice as much so they must be better, right?

I started a new job last week. It's a career change for me. I'm not in IT anymore. I do some database work, but I am NOT the IT department. It's wonderful and magical and full of unicorns.'s it going?