Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Makin' it

You know you've made it into the Circle of GIS Geeks when you get a Defect ID number assigned to a bug you found in ArcMap.

Sure, it's caused me numerous extra hours at the office at unsightly times of the wee night as I work around the problem under a tight deadline, but I still think it's pretty cool that I delved so deep into the bowels of obscurity to find a glitch that probably no one else will ever be so unfortunate to bang their head against.

There should be little ribbons under our name tags at the annual User Group conference that say, "Discoverer of Defect ID #####". We could all have a secret handshake, and maybe our own catered luncheon.

Perhaps I should add it to my business card. Or at the very least my cv.

By the way, Dan Hopkins, ESRI tech support guy, is the Grand Funk King for sticking with me for hours on speaker phone as we worked it through. Thanks Dan!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I see thestrals

Death is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha, just.... funny odd.

Breath, breath, breath, stop. Beat... beat... beat... stop.

Fuzzy socks removed to help warm another's heart. The last spoon used cradled like it's the Hope diamond. Tears, pleas, undying love pledged. Cold hands. Yellow skin. Mouth left open in one last, silent, impotent gasp.

The machine that goes ping still pings for no known reason.

Yet life around still goes on.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One day to go!

In less than 24 hours, America shines again. Here comes the sun. La la la la. Excitement abounds! Even the inexplicable "Impeach Obama" bumpersticker we saw yesterday at a house (whom we didn't even bother asking if they wanted to order cookies. Glowering Brownies aren't good marketers, and we do have standards to uphold. May I parenthetically place full sentences within a sentence?) didn't diminish our glee. My folks, additional extended family, and even my boss will be in Washington D.C. watching our new President swear in. At least I'll get a good second-hand report on the events. We have fireworks at the ready for the celebration. A yummy dinner is planned.

The weather is *beautiful*. Our neighbor's son has defied all odds and after a near-death experience in a car crash on New Year's Day (PSA: wear your seatbelts!) is walking around at home, healthy and whole. My uncle is transferring out of ICU and will be home soon. Erin's home with Azucena. Our new hot water pipes all fit just fine without any drips or leaks. The folks at ESRI tell me they have a fix for the annoying "unexpected error message" (note to programmers: are there such things as expected errors in your software?) that haunts my working days. They Might Be Giants were nomintated for a Grammy. Even our tulips are growing well. Mere coincidence with the inauguration??????

Yah, ok. Maybe. Still, makes it all that more enjoyable.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Guerilla Marketing

It's 2 a.m. and I just finished populating an Access database with data on past and present Girl Scout cookie orders. Data include the usual address, name, phone number as well as number of boxes ordered each year (this is our third year in the cookie pushing business) and if the address has declined to order. Heck, I figure if a house has declined twice in three years, we're not wasting the time on it again.

Meanwhile, in just one day, my two Brownies in the family, using sheer charm and shoe leather, have sold almost 150 boxes! AND, they recruited a neighbor and her (adult) kid to pass the order sheet around both their work places. We have a friend who's tapped into the lucrative cookie-mongering journalist market for us (our data show newspaper people prefer peanut butter in nearly anything). I feel like my kids are at the top of some Girl Scout cookie pyramid scheme.

Or, training for covert marketing operations.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Nearly three years later

Erin (and her husband John) over at has finally made it through a very tough haul on the adoption front. It took days short of three years from starting paperwork to final approval to come home from Guatamala with their daughter, Azucena. For a rivetting tale of bureaucracy at its most nightmarish, check it out. I can't wait for the book. There really should be a book. And a miniseries, too.

It was a long, tough fight for them, and I couldn't be happier for anyone. Welcome home, the water's fine.

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