25 April 2010
I know it will work out fine, but I tend to fret/worry over these trips up until we take off. Once we are on the plane, things are pretty much locked down so I figure there is not much I can do about the situation.
Afterwards, I took both dogs outside the park to give them a bath. A lot of the new parks have a dog wash area to hose them off from playing in the mud and ponds. In the end, both dogs had a blast and were thoroughly worn out on the drive home.
22 April 2010
Claire just cleared her 2nd round of HW treatment so, according to the vet, she should be free & and clear of those nasty heartworms and able to run amok. Not that she hasn't been an angel. Throughout the treatment, we are supposed to keep her calm and sedate, to make sure there are no complications, but she has been anything but. Grayson is your typical goofy Golden Retriever. Very loveable, lanky, clumsy, always jonesing for attention, a paw-s on dog. He has his hyper moments, but I had gotten him to pretty much settle down as an indoor dog. Does not jump up on you (much) and will greet you at the door with a smile and a wag and wait for you patiently as you change work clothes before he gets attention. I love how he sits at the window when I come home waiting for me to come in.
Anyway, Claire is by no means innocent. Grayson is your typical goofy Golden teenager. Claire is the more seasoned, adult mom, but she does have a bit of a wild streak in her. Whenever Grayson is running wild, Claire will sit in wait for him and, as soon as he is in range, start attacking him. He loves the attention but doesn’t quite know what to do when someone bites him back. She’ll wind him up into attack mode and then roll over and submit. As soon as he stops, she will start biting him again. What a scamp. Those two will go after each other until they both are on the floor exhausted.
We sent in our adoption papers last month and made it official. She has joined the clan. I think the two of them make a good pair. I tried to take both to the dog park last weekend as celebration, but a storm rolled in and the place got washed out. I am planning to take them to the park this weekend to allow Claire an opportunity to roam.
18 April 2010
14 April 2010
We're winding up our financial year and everyone is scrambling to get their last minute projects done so they can achieve their bonus goals. Typical. Happens every year Wait until the final 2 weeks in the year to pull a rabbit out of the hat and they expect you to drop whatever you are working on to help them. I gots my own fish to fry. I have one major analysis to be done by next week and it will be tight to make it. Between nonstop meetings and conference calls and supplier audits, I don't have time for any real work, just meetings to explain why we are behind. I am headed off to Philly in two weeks for another round of audits. At least the weather should be warmer. I guess it beats being bored at work.
Been trying resurect the yard over the past few weeks. Weather has been great and I have decided this year to completely rebuild the beds. Started last weekend with a couple of yards of mulch. Turns out that 3 yards was not enough and will have to get another load this weekend. I am finally replacing the bushes out front as this last winter seems to have finally taken out the remaining stragglers. I have one lone azalea left over from a planting I did years ago, but she has been a scrawny bush and never taken off much. I may move her to the back yard to get more sun but I doubt she'll survive the trip. New plants? Indian Hawthorne. Hope they can take hold. Dropped in 6 bushes and need to get another 6 to round out the front. Will add some color to the front as time allows. I will be on the road for the next 3 weekend for various events (graduation, business, hunting).
I am taking a day off from work to head north to Dallas today for a funeral for my aunt (dad's SIL). She was in the hospital for colon cancer and gall bladder surgery last week. Had made it through the procedure with some difficulty but had a heart attack in recovery. With the work schedule, I don't really have the time to make this trip but I feel I need to attend the memorial service and see the family. Short trip, long drive. I normally enjoy driving cross country, but not for this reason.
01 April 2010
Just thought I would pass along some advice when doing a presentation for a large group of people.
I had a distinct pleasure this morning of conducting a training session for a very large (150+) group of people (engineers, managers, directors, accountants, etc.). In the past, I used to be petrified whenever speaking in front of a group, much less a sizeable audience. But a long time ago, when I was getting my MBA, I took a communication course on how to speak to an audience. The teacher encouraged us to join Toastmaster to hone our speaking skills and it really helped put me at ease in front of groups. Now I can pretty much talk to a big or small group at the drop of a hat. Still a wee bit nervous (don't want to look like a total idiot), but, once I hit my rhythm, I can speak for an hour. Preparation is the key. Practice helps. Throw in some humor and you can win over most audiences. Training went well. Was not harassed too much and I was able to keep the entire mob awake for most of the 90 minutes.
Anyway, my take away from the meeting this morning was, when you use electronic equipment and do your presentation via PowerPoint, you are at the whims of your equipment. Make sure you set up your equipment early. My laptop and projection system took a bit of finagling to make it work but the slide show was slightly off-center for the presentation. I borrowed a wireless remote control to run the slide show and it took a few minutes to get that set up. Arrived 1 hour early to the training to make sure everything was set up and working. I hate getting into a roomful of people and the computer or projector don't work as planned. I am ok in front of people, but it throws me off my game if things go south during my presentation. This morning I was fairly well prepared.
- Computer set up - check
- Projection system working - check
- Remote control working - check
- Laser pointer = check
- Can access PowerPoint slides - check
- Back up copy of slides downloaded to hard drive (in case I lose the net connection) - check
- Room set up - check
- Initiation sent out three weeks ago - check
- List of speaking points/notes - check
- One last trip to the head - check
So, with all of that going on, presentation went fairly smoothly. Some questions mid-stream and engaging discussion sidetracked us for a bit, but I was able to drag everyone back to the topic. At the end of the meeting I had parked on a Q&A slide to discuss specific questions or issues people might have. I guess I had the slide up for a bit longer than I had intended, because my laptop kicked over into screen saver mode. Now, folks, when you are doing a presentation in front of a large group of people who are primarily your peers, having your pop up some inappropriate or unprofessional screen shot does not help your reputation. Point to consider - Try maintaining that professional image when a picture of kittens or World or Warcraft or your goofey kids pops up for all the world to see. Fortunately, my default screensaver was set my goofy mutt Grayson. Still, it was rather interesting to see a 20 foot projection of his mug plastered on the wall.