Sunday, October 12, 2008
Family, friends, and random people:
I want to share my current state of affairs with you guys; I've played the detached relative role for quite some time. I find myself talking more about my family and friends than directly. My stay on the eastern shores of Maryland has defined excellence, but at the same time I look forward to returning and sharing my experience. I'm super thankful for the opportunities and blessings I have and am experiencing!
Most of the duration of my "work" time has been spent writing a paper accompanied with helping shape understanding of liquefied natural gas (LNG) behavior. A decent movie parallel could be Erin Brockovich... except we know the risks of LNG transportation and they aren't concealed. (and I don't have Julia Roberts' eyes). I have a knack for meeting and relating to others and my stay here has exercised this quality. Friday I spoke to a group which is very similar to boyscouts for retired boaters, the Coast Guard Auxillary. The challenge was to explain how 1000ft carriers shipping equivalent energy of a WWII a-bomb do not pose a significant threat to their Chesapeake Bay homes. "1000ft carriers" and "a-bomb energy equivalence" are frightening descriptors, so when I paint the picture for others, its important to remind myself how perception can control a person's view of reality. I guess that is why first impressions are so important. In summary, the presentation was a success and they were extremely grateful for spending my Friday evening talking and answering their questions. "Old people" are great.
Friday, congressman Hoyer and his entourage came to our client's facility for a ground breaking ceremony followed by orderves. With more interactions in the political arena, I've only become more perplexed trying to figure out a skillful politician's career development plan. I am not sure the answer exists. It sounds like people move to the hill after college, rent some nook or cranny for dirt cheap ($500ish/mo), find someone who knows someone who knows a congressman's office, and work for free or an equivalent to until the resume looks good enough to get into law school (all the while being subjected to the way the cookie crumbles). Sounds risky to me.
I've reignited my baseball card/magic card collection habits by starting a binder of business cards. Its actually kind of sad to think that a familiar satisfaction occurs when I acquire a new contact which I deduct could be useful in the long run (sort of like cards which I know will appreciate in value). It is similar to finding a long lost rookie card of an amazing current day player.... or opening a pack of magic cards only to realize the rare card is in high demand and a foil! ha. I also had dinner with a tug boat captain this past week and was given a tour of her. She's a beaut.
Outside of work, I've become a regular in our bed and breakfast -- through this I meet other regulars and we share the role of awkward long/short term resident through breakfast/dinner groups. The past few weeks the group has consisted of a couple of test pilot Swedes and Nevadian software developers for F-18 landing gear systems. Last week I chaired a meeting on a nearby naval air base which these guys worked. On the way to the meeting I saw the new Marine One helicopter being test flown, pretty neat. We had lunch at the officer's club mess hall, which was across from a high quality 18 hole golf course, naturally.
I had to pass on a dinner invite in Houston with the CEO of a company called Circadian Technologies this week. I really want to go... I'm running an internal project which is looking at the feasibility of establishing a partnership between the two companies. The only issue is I would have to fly back to Baltimore for a 9AM meeting the next morning with the board of directors of a group called the Maryland Port Association to present this project. It was logistically impossible unfortunately. I am excited about the project nonetheless -- it will involve lots of interfacing with their Boston office in conjunction with our offices in Rio De Janeiro and London. I have that to look forward to when I finish up here. Honestly once I move back to Texas, my work will be very stress free until January with conferences, vacations, and holidays.
I'll be in College Station for a week to attend the Process Safety Center's symposium at the end of October, I have a tentative canoe trip planned in the beginning of November and a Big Bend trip set up right before Thanksgiving. I'm planning on spending a good deal of time in Nacogdoches this winter which will be fun. In Jan I'll join a group to ski Breck. for a week or so. I'm working on mentally separating work from life. It's not easy when I'm still trying to figure out how to do work well. I bet these great opportunities will help recharge this effort.
I've had the itch to read a good book lately and ended up going to a sunday school class who gave me a free one to read called Perspectives (a relevant store book)! I took it as an answered prayer, so here I am today in a panera bread reading and writing.
I've finally figured out how to get free AT&T wifi at Starbucks as well... it is actually pretty easy but takes a little online setting up -- 2 hours per day if you have an active gift card.
I guess this post is winding down... random facts list time:
- I walked through the wind tunnel shaft of the Chesapeake bay bridge tunnel
- I climbed the Stony Man in the Shenandoah State Park (which the Appalachian Trail travels through)
- drove the Skyline Dr. -- the leaves are in the beginning stages of changing.
- visited Assateague Island and saw the wild ponies.
- ate Virginia stuffed ham, sword fish, rock fish, and crab cakes
- tasted Maryland wines in a field
- watched a red neck boat docking competition
- went to metal works arts fest
- went to a river appreciation day festival
- went to a changing of the leaves festival
- next weekend is oyster fest and shucking competition
- traveled DC, most favorite spots have been Lincoln Memorial/FDR memorial / South Korean section of the Smithsonian.
- This week I plan on doing some rounds in Baltimore before the meeting