You've probably seen a green bumper sticker with white lettering on the trunk of a '90s Civic or the Thule affixed to the roof of either a Subaru WRX or Jeep Cherokee that says: Ithaca is Gorges. This weekend we found out that we live three hours from Ithaca and that those people are right.
We left Friday - after two half days of sourcing meetings at BCMR that were very interesting - and got to Treman State Park just after dark and pitched the tent and made some panini dinner. In the AM we got up, made some panini breakfast, and headed on a great walk along the rim of Enfield Glen up to Lucifer Falls. We saw lots of two things: waterfalls and snakes. Four of each, actually, along with an impressive CCC-era stairwell that scaled the rocky face of a cliff. After the hike we went up Cayuga Lake to another, shorter walk to see waterfalls and to be amazed at the size of the lake. Then, with rain threatening, we toured the Commons downtown for a little window shopping and music listening. As the sky got really black we ducked into Moosewood for a vegetarian dinner that lived up to the cookbooks' reputation. Sunday was a day for pizza-nini brunch and a walk through the heart of Cornell's campus - from gorge to raging gorge as it were - then a cone from Purity Dairy and the drive home.
Now, to clear the backlog: my visit to West Michigan wrapped smoothly and productively, but not in such a timely manner that I could get back to the valley before the 10:59. Wednesday was a normal day, but then I was back at it Thursday with the aforementioned sourcing meeting which included a really fun dinner. I'm digging this group because there are more people to talk to about more stuff... dinner was fun. However, it meant that last week included just one weeknight at home; I chose not to be a consultant (full disclosure: 'consulting' chose that option, too) so that I could be home more and this helps me remember why.
Try not to sit next to drummers on airplanes. Seat 8A from DTW to GRR was occupied by a drummer from an undoubtedly promising local band whose rocking bass and liberal use of the hi-hats shook our entire row as if we were flying on some new prototype developed by Airbus and International Harvester.
In other news.... I'm in West MI on business. I'm here for sourcing, but three guys I know from home are here for operations and we just rolled back in from dinner at Mongolian and a trip to a local watering hole. That's what travel is supposed to be like: work hard, socialize, sleep. I think I made some headway but my metrics for purchasing progress are sorely lacking; if I had it do all over again I'd try to find a nice 6- or 700-hundred level class at Ross called "History of Procurement Science" or "Global Sourcing" or "Leveraging Corporate Purchasing." Certainly some addendum to Murphy's Law must state that the courses you choose and strengths you build will not come fully into play during your first year when it would be nice to really lean on them. As Kevin once said about his employers' reaction to his recently-earned diploma: "oh, you have a degree? That's nice."
Blast. The one time my team wins in the playoff OT they do it 108 seconds in and I miss it running downstairs for water. I needed water because it was hot in the loft from the third consecutive hot, sunny day here in the Valley. My day was off site at a training seminar for something that I already knew but didn't know how to teach; there's a subtlety there that's hard to describe. Rolling back to 1100 with the windows down and AC on (!!) it felt like sunny days in FLA when I hadn't a care in the world or any place to be, which was OK but now it is nice to have someplace to be. Jenelle had places to be, too, with social gatherings with colleagues and the ladies from the 'gang.
Travel tomorrow means that this is going to be an abbreviated weekend so we're trying to make the most of it: ceiling fan install, garden marking and digging and filling and starting, deck design, bamboo hunting, chicken grilling, and, with some luck, ice cream hill-climbing. (That only makes sense if you've been to Macungie and are aware that Countryside has opened for summer...otherwise it sounds like the gibberish you'd read on the Onion.)
Men's league basketball. Maybe some D next week? Making a shot? We'll see. Home late, tired legs. Sun up first. Off to work. Meetings, calls, meetings, calls. Type type type; think think think. Done! Home! Bike! Flat. Come on. Flat? Rollerblades have solid wheels. Now legs are flat.
posted at 8:59 PM - comments
Monday, April 14, 2008
MGoBlog had a great post about hockey following Thursday's Michigan loss, talking about how unpredictable and unanalyzable the sport is. Brian stopped short, though, of lamenting on the pain of sudden death overtime. In the other sports I follow there is a prescribed formula for the end of the game; buzzer-beaters happen and last-second field goals get blocked all the time, but at least you can prepare yourself. Not so in playoff hockey, where a few seconds separate even-keeled play and summer vacation.
After work we went on a brisk walk around the neighborhood across Brookside for some landscaping inspiration, then turned our energy on the garage. The cabinet proved too heavy to make the trip downstairs but lots of other stuff wasn't and now there's room again. We brought peds upstairs and mocked up our office, then hauled the old computer that somebody donated for Jenelle's classroom back downstairs. There was even enough grass on our little patch by the road to try out the reel mower that we picked up at a garage sale last year - what a cool machine. It smelled like grass when we were done... a summer evening even if it wasn't too warm. Now Jenelle's hard at work on some cushions for the window seat and I'm chilling.
It's Saturday, the radio's playing, how could we ask for more? I'm in the window seat with laptop and APHC in stereo and life is good. We spent the first truly summery day out and about in the Lehigh and Delaware river valleys: Somerset Nursery to scout for plants, trees, dirt, rocks, and mulch for our big outdoor project; a great waltz through Emmaus with stops at Cottage and Mas Cafe where there was live lunch-appropriate music; Easton PA where we saw the sights and smelled crayons and stood at the confluence of the two rivers for whom the valleys are named.
This week had several highlights. After my fantastic two-day course the remaining two days of the workweek simply flew in no small part due to our evenings. Thursday was hockey night - a new season for one team I cheer for and the end of a great, great season for the other. I was reminded of those times nearly 10 years ago when the Maize and Blue won their last title with maize jerseys fly up and down the ice... this will be one of my most tangible connections to the U, so much so that I already can't wait for next fall when the team takes the ice at Yost.
Friday night we headed out to celebrate some good professional news from WAHS and found Lehigh County Mexican food hotspot Cactus Bleu. The food was great and the atmosphere just right. Highly recommended for a celebratory Friday night (though if you go, BYO).
I spent today at Knoll's Installation Excellence training course - day 1 of 2. I can't speak for the other major systems furniture manufacturers' products, but I know this: if you sit at a Knoll workstation you should be happy that it was installed when you sat down. I have a newfound respect for the myriad brackets, screws, panels, caps, and trims that make up an office system, and I feel a whole lot better about not being able to motivate the company to weigh and measure all of them.
At men's league tonight I remembered how to pass. It's pretty easy, actually. You just sling the ball off your fingers at a high rate of speed to an open person, they catch it, shoot, and score. Not sure why that eluded me for so long... now if I could just get more rhythm shooting I'd be a first-rounder for sure.
Well, got my taxes done. I said that once to a group of grown ups when I was, like, four or something. Today it's actually true. Usually I'm not a procrastinator but there have been other things to do and they have generally been more fun than collecting myriad forms and cross-referencing myself to death. I also read the rules about assembling your return more closely this year... sorry for all the spam in previous years, Internal Revenue Service people.
Our weekend has flown. Friday night the three of us went to Bear Creek for a burger and a drink, which was just what the doctor ordered. Saturday Mom and Jenelle made hay on the window seat cushion covering and then we swung down to Knoll before swinging west to MDT. Afterwards we went bowling at the Emmaus Bowling Center with the SRC gang, then home before it got too late, where Jenelle put finishing touches on the window seat cover.
Sorry, sorry! I stepped out for a moment and forgot to come back. Funny how a week can just go by without sitting down at the computer at home for more than 3 minutes. Busy interim should make for exciting blogging.
We got the top of the window seat painted, in place, and secured last week, which means that the project is down to fascia trim, doors, hinges, floor, toe kick, and cushion. We also did a lot of work to get ready for company, who arrived Thursday night.
Mom's visit started a bit slowly with a late night Thursday and a quiet night at home Friday as Jenelle didn't feel well and we didn't have any plans, but over the weekend we went into the city and spent a great day touring the top parks of the Lehigh Valley - Rodale and Little Lehigh. Throw in some fine cooking (sweet and savory crepes, polenta, pork chops, and quiche so far) and that's a good time.
It has been a bit of a slow week at work. It's hard to keep things rolling on my purchasing projects; suppliers aren't as gungho! to reduce their prices and face competition as you might think, and internal people have a ton of other stuff to do and less motivation than I anticipated for big savings. But, I've gotten involved in a simulation of our supply chain interface and been leading a new logistics idea/initiative/thing and there are always extracurriculars to keep me tired and busy. Tonight is hoops at Emmaus, which start in 26 minutes.