Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Conference call hell

Today is a day of back to back marathon conference calls.  It's a bit like roughing it, except cafeteria food and bathrooms are available, you just can't take advantage of those services.  It's vaguely torturous.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Legoland Propoganda

I found a sketch of the proposed Legoland theme park, which is being constructed literally in the parking lot of my office building.  I see a big resort hotel.  I see at least two cool roller coasters.  Yay!  Here's the link to the entire graphic, with propaganda text to get the Lees Summit City Council to bite the hook.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Block party

Well, Steve is moving to Denver in a couple of days.  I didn't make it to the dinner part, but the afterparty was good for catching up, and saying, "So long." 

I'm still following the Legoland development.  The press is saying that the city is pretending to consider other locations, because the citizens are speaking out at hearings about the potential traffic nightmare.  It sure hasn't slowed down the dirt moving equipment. 

I felt tired today, so I did very little but rest.  I needed it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I got a good sweat going tonight.  The Wednesday night Summer league sort of degenerated into a drop-in session, but it's way more fun, and somehow the teams have been more equal.  Tonight was a high scoring game.  It was 9-7.  My team won.  We didn't pull it together until the last period.  We adjusted the lines until it worked.  The first period, I played defense, the second period, left wing, the third period, center. 

I agreed to play hockey with the Whiteman Bombers again in the Fall.  A big portion of the team is in the Air Force and it's hard to have a solid season when half your good players keep getting shipped to Iraq.  We sort of dominated our division through the play-offs, so they moved the team up a division.  I welcome the stiffer competition, but I fear we may have to adjust to a faster game.  I don't think I'll have a problem, because of my experience in the Tuesday night game at the AMF Ice Chateau (aka King Louie).  I discovered a pace of hockey which rarely occurs at the recreational level.  Most of the players are current or former Division I NCAA players.  Many of them are high school hockey coaches or referees.  Since AMF is closing that rink, that game is moving to Pepsi Ice Midwest. 

Tonight, the captain emailed the team photo we took when we won the championship game.


I have been watching with intrigue the construction across what was a street in front of my office in Lees Summit.  They have taken out many acres of forest between I-470 and Chipman Road and are constructing where a creek used to run, a giant mountain of dirt. It now arches high over the trees and dominates the landscape.  They have completely ripped out the street and a huge chunk of the parking lot and are reconstructing the street closer to our building by a few hundred feet.  In an area where I used to drive slowly in the evening to see how many deer and turkeys I could see, they are putting down pipes and burying manholes.  (7 deer and 4 gobblers is the record.)  What is being constructed which is this massive in scale?  The answer is Legoland, Missouri!  The taxpayers of Lees Summit are getting soaked for 120 million bucks.  The entire project costs 155 million.  That means the company who runs Legoland only had to put up 35 million to get it built.  Sweet deal.  I wonder what other towns were competing to get Legoland?  I'm grateful that I don't live in Lees Summit.  Meanwhile, I get to traverse an ever more complex labyrinth of road blocks, speed bumps, and detours to get into the parking lot.  I feel like I'm halfway to work when I get to the final block.  I have to use a side street with obsoleted stop signs which need to be covered or removed, then enter a parking lot on the wrong side of the building and traverse a newly constructed road which connects that parking lot to ours, upon which they promptly installed speed bumps.  The Canadian geese have invaded the green spaces around our building to flee the destruction of their habitat across the way.  What's the upside?

We get a theme park which is supposed to open in the Spring of 2009 and attract visitors (read: additional traffic).  The project includes the construction of a 30,000 square foot Sea Life Aquarium.  I might like to see that. Maybe we'll get some more good restaurants, although Summit Crossing already has some great places to lunch. 
I'm skeptical about the whole thing, but I'll try to post pictures of the progress.  It's actually very impressive so far.  And the baby geese are cute.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Back from Nebraska

Last night, I got back from Nebraska and slept like a coma patient.  I worked four 15 hour days in a row in a smelly bacon/sausage/meatball plant.  One down, seven to go.  I'm writing a detailed installation guide, so I don't have to go to the rest of these places.  My next trip is to Chicago.  I'm looking forward to it, even though I was there for one day two weeks ago.  The job is 55% travel, indeed.

To my shock, the time sheet I submitted last night was approved, then "revoked".  My contract ended on May 31, and I had submitted time for June 1 and 2.  I resubmitted my time sheet before I got the email explaining what was going on.  I was told that my contract was extended through August, but I had to submit it a third time to only include hours through May 31.  Confusing?  Yes.  I threatened to walk out when I saw a "revoked" time sheet in my inbox.  I told the project manager, "I don't work for free.  Ciao."  Before I could get to the car, my manager was on my cell phone explaining the situation.  The program manager for the client I'm working with was in my cube within minutes to assure me that I wasn't working for free.  Wow.  It feels good to be in demand.  The system through which I submit my time belongs to Bell Canada.  They subcontract through Sapphire Technologies, who writes my paycheck.  As of June 1, Capgemini, the company where I work is dealing directly with Sapphire.  So, my time submission, if the system is agreed upon, will be done by entering my hours into the Capgemini system (aka Replicon), and then faxing or emailing a screen shot of the approved time sheet to Sapphire.  The other system was quick and easy, but I still had to also enter my time into Replicon.  Now, I only have to do it once.  Nobody has answered the question of when I'll get paid for all the hours I put in this weekend, though.  That's going to be a fat check.  :-)

I was happy to get an email from my cousin Deb tonight.  I'm glad to know she's doing okay in Shreveport, and her daughter got a 4.0 her second semester in college.  It gets harder, but I guess she'll figure that out.  Moving off campus next semester might have an effect.

I dug around on my computer and found some fun pictures from Vegas.