June 30, 2004

Becomming a supervisor

It's happening to me. It is something I've been interested in for a while and I think this is a good taste.

We are migrating our email client at work and I became the lead supervisor for our 15 migration consultants. I don't know exactly how this happened, maybe I exhibited some competance or maybe it's because I'm ROB (ROB ROCKS!). I'm dealing with delayed deadlines, angry customers, disorginization that I can do nothing about (well, I'm doing my best to buck that) and using sneakernet to get some stuff done under the radar so it can actually get done.

I'm actually having a pretty good time with it and find it exciting, and challenging. I'm learing some important lessons in management (people that is) and need to work on my , I'm on fire but need to speak calmly, communication with my crew. I'm pretty good at it with clients, but when the pinch is on, I go into ultrahighspeedrob and need to remedy that.

Posted by Rob at 12:47 PM | Comments (3)

June 22, 2004

Emperor Kage is no more

I'm not much of a writer, and am doubly not one for eulogy.

A good friend of mine has passed. I only knew half his name and it was not until he left me that I became aware the he was not Kage, but Emperor Kage. Upon hearing of his passing I was shocked silent, unmoving hovering while I looked at the line "Kage Died". I couldn't believe this at first, he's only 6ish. He just moved in with Mark and they are peas and carrots, tons happier than when he was here. I read the beief description and there it was, Emperor Kage is no more, oh Discordia the world grows dark.

If you didnít know Kage let me give you some history.
I use to have a ferret named Saik. Mayumiís cat loved Saik and they had a wonderful relationship. In 1996 Mayumi and I went to my parentís house to have Thanksgiving leaving Saik and Lili with our roommate. Saiki died of pneumonia.

I was feeling down about this as was Lili and when my friend mentioned he was going to the pound to get a cat, I came along. While he worked on the forms to adopt I walked by the inmates giving them a moment or two of love in an otherwise boring day, when suddenly there he was. Sitting in a cell, looking like a hybrid Russian Blue. I didnít know it but I was staring at Prince Kage. You see, I never really knew his name until Mark had him. He wasnít Kage, he was Emperor Kage.

Shadow Memories
I knew I must rescue him so I brought the wife. They bonded right away. Unfortunately Kageís extended hand of friendship and Mayumiís delicate cheek connected at the tip of Kageís sharp claw. It didnít scar mind you, at least not the skin, but Mayumi and Kage were rivals from that moment on.

We brought the pound scrawny prince home and he grew and he grew and he grew until he was a 28 pound Emperor. The vet told his he should probably only weight 22 pounds as an optimum weight so he had to loose a cat in weight. Emperor Kage would have none of it.

How do you weight a shadow?
Everyone tells you how their pet thinks they are human. Kage didnít think he was human, however he demanded to be more than a cat. Kage was more of Ö well.. Kage was an Emperor. More than cat, not a human, but ruler of what was his by right.

If you want a nice visualization of Kage, think of a bulldog, big heavy front, thick neck, little bitty butt. Give him Winston Churchill jowls caused by his markings and you have him.

Plastic Bags, MY SPOT!
If he had nothing else he had personality. Nothing says ďyou messed upĒ like a 28 pound cat landing expertly on your groin in the middle of the night from some impossibly high altitude. After this happened I had to look at the room to figure out how he got that angle. He had to climb on the bed, climb on the dresser and get a running start.

Kage had an odd habit of not chewing bags. He would get next to a grocery bag, and you would hear this distinct chewing noise, only made when not chewing a plastic bag. He would get close enough to it that you knew he was chewing, and looking around the house you would see all sorts of chew markings on plastic, but it was the other cat. Lili has since stopped chewing plastic, except for Mayumiís favorite Japanese bags.

We had to get rid of Kage after Oakel was born. He was huge and displaying many passive aggressive warning signs against our little boy. Fortunately for all involved Mark became the new roommate of Kage. I have to say that I believe Kageís happiest times were spent with Mark, and Iím a little envious of that. Kage and I had a good relationship but I never understood that he was Emperor Kage, and thus I was doomed to have a less than optimum relationship with him. Mark however, took to Kage instantly. They had a few alpha moments, and Kage did decide Marks char was his spot.

Kage didnít choose a spot for comfort, or for location, rather for the aura around it. If you left happy auraís around a location he was drawn to them. Where you chill out to read a book, or enjoy quality time, that would be one of his hangouts. Have you ever been cuddled by a 28 pound cat in the middle of the night? It can nearly suffocate you.

Kage was more than a cat, he was an Emperor. I wanted to write a Haiku to express my grief, my sorrow, what I imagine Mark must be feeling, but no 17 syllables would express my joy for his life, my sadness at his passing.

When I read of his passing I was shocked into an unmoving moment. I couldnít believe what I read. Kage died last night. I read the brief explanation twice. I read the first condolences. I did the ďguys donít cryĒ thing at my desk for a few minutes. Then I thought of his life. The happiness Mark brought him. I thought of all his silly behavior, and the good stuff you seem to always forget in moments of sadness. Iíll miss the big guy. I can only imagine how Mark is taking it. He and Kage had a good relationship. I can only say thanks Mark for taking Kage and knowing his true title.

Emperor Kage, farewell.

Posted by Rob at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2004

Shoes on the other foot.

I've needed some shoes for a while now. In the past this means a trip to Kholes or some other discount store, hoping for a pair of sketchers and leaving with what fit. Not today.

I've done some research and a company called Red Wing has made quite a showing. They are expensive as any good shoe usually is. They have a variety of styles and levels of safety. As luck would have it, today I had to go get screws for work. Screws which happened to live next to one of two Red Wing sellers in town. The other guy I work with went to get the 3 lbs of screws, I walked next door.

Hey, I'd like some shoes.
Sure, what are you looking for?
Something like these.
He peers at them for a moment.
How about these?
They look great, I wear about an 11 1/2
He measures my feet with a magic foot measuring thing.
I step into a pair of Red Wings which I buy without ever taking them off. I lay my card on the counter without asking the price.

They can be resoled even though they weigh and look like sneaker soles. The top is leather and they are VERY comfortable.

Finally, good light dependable work shoes.

Posted by Rob at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)