Last night it was hot enough at 9:00pm that I decided not to sit outside for my nightcap. Tonight, at 9:00pm, I had to put on a sweater. Basically. A 20 degree swing in temperature. Crazy. I just finished up FNM. Nice night actually. I went to Smith & Wolensky. Nornally a great atmosphere and good Martini with average service. But tonight Brittany was working and she is good. The martini was ice cold and lovely and I happened to sit next to a very cool couple. A guy and his wife. A retired doc and lawyer (woman was the lawyer). The man looked like a slightly smaller version of Scott Glenn. Close cropped salt-n-pepper hair and lean and fit. He was 70 years old but he could have passed for 60. His wife was also cool. Sweet folks who clearly had lived large and well. So great conversation and good Martini on a beautiful summer night, sitting outside on the patio. Brittany is taking her nurses exam tomorrow so we chatted about that a bit. A lot of future riding on a single test. She was positive and optimistic and when she asked me if I would pray for her I said ‘sure’ even though my prayers are more like just mental thoughts that are released without direction or expectation. But who knows what happens to prayers and dreams—maybe hers will get picked up by someone important who can help. But her most sure course is to have studied well and hard because if she is reliant upon my prayers, it is likely she will be bartending for some time into the future.
Sunday night now. Greg Hamilton came up yesterday and we went to Perry County and drank long and hard. Beer for a few hours while Larry, Shannon and Terri helped with the pre-firework festivities. Then we rode the golf cart to town and had beer, burgers and whiskey at the Hole-in-the-Wall. Strange you can drive around all day in a golf cart and no one seems to care, even after drinking for several hours. So we took a few joy rides around the circle and headed back to the park to watch the auction and pick-up Shannon. Shannon got a little rambunctious on the golf cart ride home and sent me flying as she took a hard turn into her yard. But me and Mandela were fine—landed safely in the way dogs, little kids, and drunks do.
Great progress on the camper this weekend, even with taking half-a-day to visit the farm. I got the last access hatch buttoned up, the back doors engineered and installed, the top pieces on and first coat of epoxy. This week I will get another coat of epoxy, touch up the paint on the steel frame, paint the exposed back and install the hardware on the back doors and some trim. Might bleed a little into the weekend, but the heavy lifting is done. Just need to tighten her up, get the rails and tent on and get ready for a trial run.
Work is bordering on out of control. We have a number of systemic organizational and programmatic issues that are hindering our decision making and general management. 5 vendors plus a host of external partners helping with application specific integration’s. I am going to try to get some of those larger issues sorted even while we are all fighting a dozen fires every day. If we can get a handle on the organizational challenges and get roles and responsibilities clarified we should be able to get better. But it will not come without some pain. Some of our vendors have weak management and have been allowed to perform at a mediocre level for some time, so getting them to step up will take some beatings. Unfortunately our prime vendor’s management is just average but we are paying for super premium. So a challenge there. But overall, I am still happy I made the change from Cardinal. The travel to Asia was killing me. I wanted to spend more time in Europe but they wanted me in Asia. Also, the management at Cardinal is largely weak and they way the structure their programs is maddeningly inefficient. They have 3 people doing the job one person should be doing. Now I am sort of in the opposite situation from the workflow perspective—carrying a heavy load. But definitely a more interesting and challenging environment. The pay cut sucks but overall a better place to be.
Mandela remains the perfect companion. Always nearby, never complaining save the occasional whine when she gets excited to go for a walk. The crew for Italy is set. Laetitia has joined so it will be her, Shannon, Terri, Carla, Sjoerd, Onah and me. Sjoerd booked us in at a private night club in Capri for the night of his birthday. They are open all night and we are meant to party all night and then drink champagne on the beach in the morning.
No other news of note on this week.