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September 15th, 2009

~Tuesday~ Another short bus ride this morning for day two of the DITA conference at the McKimmon Center. Though, I never saw her, I listened to a little kid "saying the darnedest things" in the back of the bus during the short time I was on it.



Today's entry will be on the affirmation-heavy side, so if you're not in the mood for a "John Martin love fest," you should probably skip the rest of today's entry. :-)

I forgot to capture this one from yesterday, which is in regards to my "to get published" work that I did this weekend. From the NC State Student Community of the Society for Technical Communication newsletter editor:

Hey John,

It was great seeing you today at the DITA conference! I plan to be there tomorrow for another half-day.

Thanks SO much for submitting to the newsletter. You win the award for timely article submissions–without having to be flogged. I plan to use the Twitter article. I had actually made a note to include something on it, and if Sarah McKone (a new student in the program) ends up writing, I’ll make hers a sidebar or companion piece to this one.

There is actually a Letter to the Editor section for the STC Newsletter Award requirements, but Myra mentioned that we almost never receive anything. Until now… and of course I’ll publish kudos for yours truly. (Thanks for that, btw.)

May even use the filler too, or save for when Aisha Holmes takes the reins from me next semester after I graduate.

Thanks!!
Alison


Yay! Always nice to be published.



Today was my one-year anniversary of starting my job at NC State University. I sent out this e-mail to everyone who works under my boss's boss, so about 20-25 people:


One year ago today, I walked into NC State University for my first day of work. A year later, I reflect on time spent enjoying my work, but more importantly appreciating the people I've become not only colleagues of, but friends with, during that time.

Thanks for making my time here meaningful. Enjoy this day!

Best regards,
John


I received these e-mails in response—the first from Stan, my manager's manager; the second from Sarah, another one of the managers under Stan; the third from Jude, my manager; and the fourth from Jen, a colleague (and friend!) of mine:


Thanks so much for posting this John. We are so grateful you are here. You have added much to the team already in the year you have been here and we look forward to your continued contributions. You are one of the things that make working here at NC State an enjoyable experience for many of us in OCC, OIT and beyond.

Happy anniversary!

Stan



John,

Thanks for the note and I'd like to just say what a great addition you've been to our staff and to OIT in general! All my staff enjoy working with you ... (me too ;-) ) ....

So thank you too!

- Sarah



Hey, John

Ditto what Stan said! Thanks so much for all you have brought to our little community and to me personally.

- Good work, good company, good fun, and . . .Good Food!

Wishing you all the best.
Jude



I've said this before but I'll say it again-- you're AWESOME! Been a great year with you here and I look forward to many more. :)

-jen

Okay enough of all that. My heart is full.



At the conference's "free lunch," which was "free" at least in the sense that there was no presentation during it, held in the dining room just around the corner from the McKimmon Center's café, this funny exchange took place:

My colleague Jen (of affirmation fame above) noted as she stopped eating it halfway through, "This pie is terrible."

My other colleague Twanda, tasting hers said, "It's cold!"

To which I replied, "There's a microwave right around the corner in the café."

To which she retorted, "There's a trash can right there."

To which the table fell out.



The first afternoon session that I attended, which was called, Concept, Task, Reference: A practical guide to choosing the right topic type, and presented by former IBM colleague and current fellow STC-Carolina member, Larry Kunz, was the session most applicable to my current job of the several sessions I attended over the two days.

The second afternoon session, DitaWiki project:  A Native DitaWiki, was presented by an IBMer who needed to use the microphone but didn't, spoke very quickly at a volume straining to be heard, and unfortunately presented information that was interesting, but a result of tons of work and expertise in DITA that wouldn't easily be replicated in my current work environment.



I had a 5:30 meeting with Nathan Grooms, my financial advisor, during which we went over the general health of my investments and a few changes that he'd like to make to my current portfolio.

He was happy to report, and I was happy to hear, that the investments I have with him (which doesn't include my house and some pension money I still have at IBM) has climbed back over the half-million-dollar mark. He noted that in spite of the disastrous last year of financial collapse in this country, and a good number of his clients being down anywhere from 10% to 30%, I'm only down about $6,000 overall. Woohoo! I'll take it.



Back home, I watched another episode of The Wire: Season 1, Episode 8, Lessons.

After that, at 8:00, I fell asleep and woke up at 11:00, which is when I devised this blog entry.

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