Archive for January, 2010

Day 25: Bob Hentzen Inspires Me

“I am not trying to make a statement.
I just want poor people to know someone loves them on their own terms.
I want them to know they are not alone.”
– Bob HentzenDay31_walk

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Day 24: Ready For The Super Bowl?

Day30_BasementNotReadyForSuperBowl When we started our basement we wanted to get far enough along to watch Super Bowl on our new projection screen. That was last year. Now more than a year later we are close to being able to watch this year’s Super Bowl down there but it is mostly riding on whether or not our projector gets here in time. In the meantime we still have a lot of work to do between now and next weekend. A lot.

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Day 23: Oracle

Day29_Oracle After talking about work all week I should mention what I do. I am a software quality assurance engineer for Oracle. My main area of responsibility at the moment is a set of tools that helps users create and manage databases. Originally my goal was to do something at work that would either make life better for me, my manager, or my team. Also, Oracle officially bought Sun a few days ago so my manager is making way for new team members. I have an chance to help make that transition a little easier as well. Given how this week started, I have decided to try to address all four of those opportunities. Since a couple people from my team read this blog I won’t go into details. I will tell you what I did when I am done.

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Day 22: Zen at Work

Day28_Zen Now that I am back on track, I can look into the original goal which is, aside from keeping up with the regular workload, to excel somehow. This is an elusive goal because whether or not you excel at work usually depends on who you ask. On one hand I need to take a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance approach and know intrinsically the Truth of whether or not I achieved Quality work. After all, I am the only one who will truly know if I cut corners or if my work was Complete. In quality assurance, however, the Truth must be backed by measurements. A customer can say a product is great or terrible without providing metrics but a quality assurance engineer cannot. Likewise, it won’t mean anything to say I did a great job without information to back it up. So I have to come up with some concrete goals.

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Day 21: The Near Meltdown

Day27_themeltdownThe stress from screwing up my deadline at work almost caused a meltdown in the “Eat Right” department yesterday. I could not stop imagining myself on the couch with a bag of Doritos and a handful of Oreos. But I stayed strong and it passed. And because of extenuating circumstances, I was later relieved of guilt for missing the date. Even though I am forgiven, however, I am still starting off the “Excel at Work” goal with a deficit. Being forgiven didn’t decrease the workload. Yesterday and today I started work at 5:00am. Just a small setback though. Today I should be able to finish catching up and cover two additional tasks assigned for early this week. Then I can get going on this goal.

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Day 20: Excel at Work

Day26_missed_deadline I started off this goal by missing a deadline yesterday. I never miss a deadline at work so I am a little distraught. Until a team meeting yesterday I thought I was kicking butt and right on track. I estimated my work would take 12 days and with the Martin Luther King holiday it put me at this Wednesday. I emailed my boss to confirm but she had email problems and never received it. I never followed up. The deadline was yesterday. Today is not my favorite day. Back to work.

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Day 19: Weekly Check In

Day25_runningThe Sleep Number Bed is definitely helping with the soreness in my hip and knee. I have finally been able to start running more often. Saturday I ran 9:00 miles pretty easily. In February I need to run a real race to see how I am doing. My midway goal will be to run under 8:30 per mile, a little high considering the eventual goal of 7:30s but not bad since I really only started running regularly last week. With some hard work I still should be able to get close to 8:00 miles by the end of February.

Start: 157
Last week: 150
This week: 148
Goal: 137

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Day 18: Danelle Ballengee Inspire Me

World-renowned two-time Adventure Racing World Champion, Danelle Ballengee had learned to keep going when everything and everyone told her to stop.

But now she couldn’t move… Day24ballengee_danelle_desertrun

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Day 17: The Front Entry

Day23FrontEntryFinally, we have the boxes by the front entry way. Not exactly a great first impression when you walk into someone’s house to see their stuff piled up. I am still amazed how much I have accumulated over the years. Though I got rid of a ton in the garage sale this summer there is still so much more that we do not want to put back down in our basement once it is finished. That gives me about another month to get rid of all this crap. Looking back on these posts I am realizing that at least half of the rooms in our house are in need of a makeover. Sigh.

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Day 16: The Cat Room

Another room that needs serious attention is one we call “The Cat Room”.  Even though there is furniture and a very nice king sized bed (actually two stacked on top of each other) there is no way we can consider it a guest room. Who would want to stay in the same room with a bunch of cat litter boxes?
 Day22catroom Day22catroom 2

Aside from the shelf in the corner there, the closet is also full of stuff from the basement as well as every drawer in the dresser. We even have hidden boxes behind the bed. Of course we would prefer not to have an entire room dedicated to cat litter and storage. There must be a better way.

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