Actions / Thoughts / Visions

Things Are Moving Very Fast — Run-Amuck!

Things are moving very fast right now — and there seem to be a lot of those things — all run-amuck! It’s been one of those weeks where I can’t get my head to stop buzzing and my shoulders are up around my ears. But there are interesting things happening!

Work is cranking in overtime for 4th quarter. There are a few projects that have popped up, presumably to consume “left-over” budget with a couple of clients. Unfortunately for the schedule, that tends to translate into short timelines and high expectations. Of course, my team still has quite a bit of unused vacation that has to be used by end of the year!

Thankfully, a colleague from a job several years ago turned up looking for some work and his timing could not have been better! Initially, we have him in on contract but some things are turning out in a way that may enable him to be converted to full-time staff in the foreseeable future.

One of those things clearing the way for that conversion is the resolution of another time-suck of an issue that has been hounding me — a team member with chronic attendance and attitude issues. This guy was written up and put on notice at the end of September and given a 30-day plan for performance improvement. He was showing a lot of improvement and then, WHAM! He went M.I.A. since this past weekend, didn’t come to work and has been unresponsive to calls, IMs and emails all week long. Three days’ absence with no contact constitutes job abandonment. He’s essentially fired himself. It will cause a little bit of short term hassle but, all in all, a lot less hassle than he’s caused over the last year.

Oh yeah, and my long-time-friend and boss has resigned from the company. I got a new boss who started Monday. No pressure. No pressure.

On the domestic front, there are still a lot of projects that need to be completed. I still need to put doors on the wardrobes we built in the master bedroom and master bath. My fence is needing to be replaced. I need to replace the boots on the vent pipes on the roof. There is still some painting to be done. Oh, and don’t even get me started about the future kitchen remodel.

My dad and step-mom were just here for a visit. It was really great to spend a few days with them — I just don’t see them frequently enough and they live on the other side of the country.

The unfortunate and worrying thing is that my dad is having problems with his liver. Without going into detail, it’s swollen and there is a lesion which is causing him a good deal of pain. He had an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Florida this week where they conducted a biopsy. He said it was pretty painful. He now is on medication to help with the discomfort though. Results of the biopsy are supposed to be given early next week. It’s worrying and we all have our fingers crossed and are praying that the results are not cancerous.

On the upside, things are mostly going pretty well between Melissa and me. All the stress occasionally makes our relationship pretty tense but it’s better now than it has been for a long time. Just keeping fingers crossed that things with the company she works for somehow improves. It’s in a pretty bad place right now as an organization.

Monday, Melissa, Taylor and I attended a really good lecture sponsored by Dallas Zoological Society and National Geographic. It was given by Michael Nichols (click his name for more information) who is currently on tour for this project. He is a wildlife photographer with a long association with National Geographic. He presented photos and talked about the giant sequoia trees, the dynamics of 3 prides of lions in the African Savanna and the overwhelming threats to the African elephant elephants in the ivory wars.

The presentation and lecture was outstanding. The most prominent topic was the ivory trade and the dire threat to African elephants. It is shocking and heartbreaking how quickly and severely they are being destroyed by poachers to supply ivory to the black market. One of the most senseless parts about it is that ivory isn’t even that valuable in terms of anything other than the Chinese tradition of carving it for social gifting. It’s pathetic.

Please consider supporting the cause. Or, at least, never buy ivory and let people who do know how seriously damaging it is. You can also check out the tour schedule on Mr. Nichols’ website by clicking here: TOUR INFO. If you get a chance, go listen to him. You won’t regret it.

Earth To SkyAlso, his book, Earth To Sky, which is promoted on this tour, is a beautiful and informative work about the elephants and the ivory war. There is a section about the orphaned baby elephants that will both warm your heart and break your heart.

It’s real and it’s tragic. It also illustrated how sentient and beautiful the elephants are and why we should care. Naturally, you can get the book through Amazon here.

Hey, China – I like you for many things but get your heads out of your ass about the waste of precious wildlife species for stupid shit like that! How can a society that has been around for thousands of years be so incredibly stupid, selfish and short-sighted????

It’s Friday and I’m ready for the weekend… busy as it may be. 😉

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