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Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Busy Week

Lots of things came together to make this a somewhat busy week, both at work and at home. So busy, in fact, that I have to keep this post short so that I can take care of everything I need to before the new week starts!

At work, our IT department finished a major portion of the data modeling for my project and scheduled my team and I for several hours-long meetings to go over the design in detail and get our feedback. The analysis of the design brought out many doubts and concerns that lead to more meetings and email back-and-forths with our business users and other stakeholders.

As if this was not enough, we had a design review meeting with our director to go over the overall technical design of our project. I had to produce a powerpoint deck to use during this review meeting. We have to go over a similar review meeting with a director from the IT department also involved (why he should be reviewing a technical design of a mathematical model which he probably will not understand head or tail of is beyond me, but it is a fight we fought and lost, so there is no point in rehashing that all over again).

After the meeting, our director suggested several changes I have to make to the powerpoint deck before the review with the IT director. Since that meeting was scheduled for the coming Tuesday, I had to make the changes last week. Combined with the object model design meetings, I needed a lot more than 8 hours a day last week to get everything done on time!

At home, I had to spend a lot of time shopping for various things. My kids have started outgrowing their ballet and tap shoes, so I had to take them to a shoe store to get new ones. Then my older daughter needed a plain white blouse to wear during a violin recital she has coming up on Thursday. More shopping! Then the kids started complaining that the school backpacks they have had since the beginning of this school year are getting to be too small to hold all their books and other school "stuff". Time for another shopping trip with them.

The problem with backpacks is that since this is not the start of the school year, most stores do not have big stocks of kids' backpacks. The ones they had were the exact same size as the ones my kids have currently. The only other backpacks in the stores were all travel-related backpacks, and my kids did not like any of the designs on those backpacks. They have been told that in that case, they just have to live with what they have right now, but I anticipate me being dragged in the near future to other stores that we did not have time to visit last week!

In my karate class, the two new students who joined two weeks back are still at it. My sensei spent most of last class teaching them while I worked with the slightly more advanced students and practiced my black belt kata and weapons kata. In addition, in the last class, we had some light sparring, but not with bare hands. We chased each other around the ring with a rubber knife. My sensei managed to knock the knife out of one of the junior students' hands and then "killed" him with it, but most of the other rounds ended up with the knife-wielder inflicting pretty grievous injuries on the opponent!

But the sparring rounds got my breathing and heart rate up, and got my hands and legs going the way the warm-ups and kata practice could not, so it was good. It also showed the students how difficult some things are, such as disarming a knife-wielding opponent, especially when the opponent knows a thing or two about arm-bars, wrist-locks, etc. My sensei likes to use these bouts as exhibits during his lectures about how important it is to always consider getting out of a fight if at all possible, rather than getting into one with your judgment clouded after watching one too many action movies!

I also produced the usual stream of posts for my blog last week. I talked about percentile scores and how to calculate them in Access on Monday. I published the first part of a 2-part story on Tuesday. This was my very first foray into fiction (apart from the fiction that issues from my mouth at various times!), and I am not convinced I have the outrageous and incredibly fertile imagination to make it as a fiction writer. But I have to find out first-hand by trying it out though. Wednesday was Vedic Mathematics day once again. Thursday, I republished another old PC World article about the worst Apple products ever. Friday, I put together a collection of humorous signs from restaurants. I put together a post on Saturday about the trial of Scott Roeder, the killer of abortion doctor, George Tiller, after listening to an interesting story about it on NPR.

My flag counter inches towards 100 with three more flags added this past week, continuing to defy my expectations that it would stop growing any day now. My widget now sports 98 flags, with the last flag being from Kenya. Another beautiful flag from a beautiful country! And with that, I have to stop this post and get some rest and sleep.

After all the meetings at work, the multiple versions of the design review presentations, the multiple shopping trips, the classes I have to drag the kids to and from, and so on, I feel like something the cat dragged in. I have barely had time to recover fully and now it is time for another week, probably another run-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off week! At least the chicken gets to stop and drop dead after a while!!

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