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May 21st, 2009

We had our monthly staff meeting at my boss's boss's level today—four departments of about 20-25 people. First on our agenda was a new director to our organization. He started working in our organization April 15, 2009. We've been starting off our last several staff meetings with one director of each of the other seven units that comprise our organization giving us a presentation about their unit's mission and some of the projects they are currently working on.

In talking about the short amount of time he's been here so far, he mentioned, "I can say this about my unit, so far, 'They seem to be one big happy family. There might be some dysfunction in the family, but overall a good organization.'"

When it was time for the Q&As, someone asked him a technical question, and I followed up—mostly to break the silence—with, "I don't have anything technical to ask; my comment is about people. Your comment about your unit being one big happy family, albeit having a little dysfunction, reminded me of the book I started reading today.

"Its opening line is considered one of the top 10 or 15 best first lines of novels ever, and it goes like this: 'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' [It's number six on this list.] That's all. I just wanted to share that. Perhaps it will provide some insight as you work your way through the dysfunction. :-)"



I had this affirming tweet today about my blog entry containing the description of that presentation I went to about the State Health Plan. @AshleySue had retweeted the link to that blog entry to which I tweeted, "Thanks for the re-tweet. Did that strike a chord with you? :-)"

To which she responded, "I really liked that post. I enjoy swimming through the thoughts, the honesties, the humor of life~ past, present & future :)"



An old friend of mine, Julie, with whom I used to be in the Nematomes book club, and I shared this exchange on Facebook today:

John Martin: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." And so I start the 817-page tome...
Julie Proctor:Good luck with those Russian names. ;-)
John Martin:Ha! This edition has a listing of all the main characters in an intro so I can use it for reference. :-) Reading a classic... just like the good old days... Need a walk down memory lane? http://www.nematome.info/jmnema.htm
Julie ProctorLOL I still remember your A Confederacy of Dunces program.
John MartinAh... the ole pyloric valve problem complete with slides from the stacks at Duke's medical library. LOL... The gold old days... before Kay Gibbons was a criminal and used to respond to letters from groups starting an "intellectual enterprise right here in Raleigh." :-)
Julie ProctorI know, I know!! I was shocked when I saw her picture in the paper.....my god!!! But that program of yours was hilarious. I'll never forget it. LOL BTW, your program was better than the book. ;-)

The real affirmation here is that that "program" I did was in the first year of our book club, in 1991 (18 years ago!), and she still remembers it. Read a little about the history of the Nematomes, including our 11-year book list.



While waiting for the bus today at the corner of Brooks Avenue and Hillsborough Street, a cop car driving by reminded me of the illicit activity I've witnessed on this corner over the past two days:

  1. On Tuesday, all of a sudden I smelled pot. [Not that I know what it smells like; I read on the Internet that that's what it smells like.] A car—a sedan—had stopped at the intersection, all of its windows were closed, its sunroof was closed, and I saw the passenger pass a joint to the driver.

  2. On Wednesday, I was back further from the intersection so that the third or fourth car in the line waiting to turn right onto Hillsborough Street ended up stopping right in front of me. In one car, I saw a college kid with an opened beer can wrapped in a brown paper bag cuddled between his legs. For some queer reason, I was already looking at that particular spot anyway.



For the 2009 calendar year, I joined the State's legal services plan, which gives you access to lawyers whenever you need them. You pay $9 a month, and most things you call on them for are covered—at least to some extent. I joined because I knew I wanted to update my will this year.

Today, I followed "the process" to get in touch with one: 1) Check the covered services, 2) Use the Attorney Locater, 3) Obtain a case number, and 4) Contact the attorney. I did all that only to be placed in her voice mail as "she's out today."



My blog posting yesterday about the "Dewey drama," was highlighted on 30THREADS, a website that highlights interesting/funny blog entries in the RTP area. Woohoo!



As most of you know, part of my job involves editing, and my boss gave me something to edit today. It was a communique announcing a change to a service. Specifically it was communicating to the audience that there is a part of a particular service that we are discontinuing. I marked it up and gave my feedback to her.

Later, when I dropped by her office with a question I had, she said, "Oh you missed a typo in your edit of my work."

"I did?" I asked.

And we both cracked up as she pointed it out to me. I missed that she had the word "convenience" where it was supposed to have been "inconvenience." What was funny was that the line read, "We apologize for any convenience this change might cause you."

God forbid we'd cause any convenience for our customers! LOL.



I arrived home delighted to find a box from newegg.com at my front door. When Casey arrived home, I was lounging out on my deck with a cocktail, some tortillas and salsa, and Eva Cassidy being piped in from my iTouch through my Bose SoundDock. Once again, the weather today was way too nice to not be out in it in some shape or fashion.

Shortly after dinner, Casey was an absolute gem in:

  1. Discovering the "secret compartment" under the keyboard of my laptop, where the second 1G-memory chip had to be installed in addition to the suspected place for the other 1G-chip. I've got 2G of memory in my laptop now. Yay!

  2. Installing my new 512M-chip in my desktop machine.

  3. Installing and configuring my new wireless router.

  4. Helping to re-wire my desktop configuration and arrangement to preclude having to crawl under my desk when future tinkering with various wires and devices is called for.

  5. Helping clean-up and de-frag both my laptop and my desktop machines.
Later in the evening, Casey asked me if I'd mind another visit later in the year. I'll take that as an affirmation that he's enjoying his visit here as much as I'm enjoying having him.

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