A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Mar 9, 2009

Random Updates

Work

Work has been on the very busy side since changing jobs last December.  I've joined a new project at the electric company (same place I've been) that's installing all of those automated meters you may have been hearing about from Barack Obama and others.  The ones we're installing will communicate two ways (the meter giving us readings and us sending the meters info) and a good portion will support remote disconnection/reconnection.  It's a huge project, much bigger dollar-wise than the web projects I'd been working on for the last few years.  It also has a lot of implications for how different facets of the company's core business run.

The project had been going for more than a year so quite a few things are already kicked off and some phases have completed.  I've been put in charge of Software Requirements, IT Quality Assurance, and Release Management.  This all falls in with the work we've been doing and I've been advocating to transition from a waterfall style of software development to a more agile method. 

What this means for me right now is that we're implementing new processes and while I have a broad responsibility. I didn't join the project with a team to support me in these roles, but it's more of an initiative and change that I'm advocating and leading.  For the last few months I've been a part-time Business Analyst, a part-time program-level planner, and a part-time politician and cheerleader for the changes we're implementing. 

Slowly the team is taking shape.  I now have two Business Analysts (BA) on board, as well as a QA lead.  I probably still need at least one more BA and perhaps another QA person.  The folks I've brought on are transitioning out of their current roles which creates some bandwidth for me so that I don't have to on-board everyone at once.  The time commitment should start to let up over the next few months and then things will settle back down to a more normal pace.

What this has meant in practicality is running very close to maximum capacity work-wise.  Working every weekend going back since December, long days during the week, and a whole lot of understanding required from my family.  They've been great, but the situation is untenable over the long-run and I very much need to focus on transitioning some responsibilities.  I've already exhausted all of the "work smarter not harder" and time-management techniques - right now I just need more bodies - capable, smart, self-motivated bodies - who can lend a hand.

Wedding

Wedding planning is ongoing.  We're taking a new tact, doing the kind of planning I might do for a project.  Jen and I have identified the logistics (mostly stuff we need), roles, clothes, and script for the ceremony itself.  We've also identified reception information including food , decorations, logistics (again "stuff"), and setting items (mostly stuff to do to the yard).  Next we need to tackle the Honeymoon and activities around the time we're spending with my brother Dan's family.

After we've finished identifying all of the different stuff that we need we'll need to come up with a list of what we have to do in order to get every item done and then create a schedule for how to fit all of the items in so that we're not trying to do everything at once.  We'll also create estimates for how much everything will cost and begin procuring items.

Health

With everything going on at work I've had a really hard time fitting in both riding my bike to work (which I love doing) as well as runs.  Late last week I came to the conclusion (highly related to the "work" section above) that I needed to get back into the running habit.  I've been feeling funky and grumpy and kind of put-upon and a lot of it has to do with not getting out there and sweating.  There's a huge amount of calm I get from running that I just don't get out of biking.  The relationship for me between running and biking is like eating a great satisfying meal versus eating desert.  Desert is fun, but the great meal keeps me going.  I started running again on Friday and ran 8 miles today.

I've also started the two hundred situps program.  I've always sucked at sit-ups so that would be a good next thing to tackle I think.  My first exhaustion test had me doing eighty crunches, which was a lot more that I thought I could do, but still paltry compared to Jen's 135.  She's a mah-cheen.

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