Monday, November 30, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Yesterday afternoon, 5:30 PM to be precise, I was basking in the solitude of a quiet house, and the prospect of several days with evenings to myself and the time to begin work on my new writing gig while at the same time work on this blog and articles for

Then a call came from my wife. She drove our daughter and grandson back to OKC yesterday (son-in-law having left the day before that to be in his pulpit Sunday morning). It seems our daughter did not have her main suitcase; would I check in the basement bedroom? Sure enough, there it was. She had said something to me about her suitcase still downstairs and might have asked if I would bring it up, but that was 30 or more minutes before they left. I asked her right as she left if she had everything from downstairs. She said yes, I suppose assuming I had gone downstairs to get the suitcase. I almost asked her to go down and make one more sweep. Should have.

We made tentative plans to meet tonight, maybe in Tulsa, and do the transfer. Meanwhile Lynda did some checking on-line, and determined a bus company had a bus leaving from Rogers at 1:50 AM and would have the suitcase in Oklahoma City by 2:30 PM. I spent some time debating whether to do that, or just to wait and see what I could do today, since my office is just a couple of miles from that bus stop. I decided to not be lazy and instead to tie up the suitcase, put it in the pickup, and drive the 15 miles. I got there at 12:30 AM. The bus would arrive at 1:30 AM. I had a pleasant time reading in my current selection from the reading pile for that hour.

The bus arrived on time--Great! But then I learned that the driver can't accept freight that wasn't already ticketed. I would have to come back during normal business hours and have the agent ticketed. Oh, well, about two hours wasted, and a late night to bed. At 1:45 AM I headed home.

But, I must first backtrack. About a mile from the bus stop (which is at a convenience store at the highway exit), the truck began acting rough--loud engine noises. What was going on? Was it low oil level? I was several thousand miles behind on having it serviced. No, the oil pressure gauge showed good pressure. I left the convenience store and headed home, deciding to drive through town and avoid the high speeds of the convenient Interstate. This took me right past our new office, the Ford garage near the office, and the Wal-Mart Supercenter. However, despite the rough sounds of the engine and the oil pressure gauge now pegged at zero, I kept going.

It got to sounding so bad that I decided to stop at the Phillips 66 station/convenience store in Bella Vista. In the near darkness I couldn't really see what the oil level was, but it looked low. I put in two quarts, started the car, and the oil pressure gauge showed a good level. Headed down the road and the gauge pegged zero within a block. I stopped, checked to make sure I had the cap on tight, and decided to drive the remaining seven miles home. When I got there I was too wound up to go to bed, so finished the chapter in the book and got to bed at 3 AM.

Up at 7:30 AM, called the Ford garage four miles from the house, and after I described the problem they said to drive it in. Got there at 8:10 AM. Sat till 8:45 AM, when they told me the engine was blown. It was just a matter of time before it locked up, maybe a mile, maybe a month. Why did it do that, I asked them? Low oil? Oil pump quit? Long term damage that just reached a critical point between 12:30 and 2:00 AM on a Monday morning? No way to know. I waited some time at the dealership before telling them to go ahead. And while they are at it, to check the clutch too. The other Ford garage told me a year ago it was bad, and I've been nursing it, trying to get by for as long as possible.

They gave me a loaner for the duration. Went home, ate an early lunch, headed to the bus depot, got the bag on the 12:30 PM departure, and arrived at the office.

With my equilibrium and my tranquility quite upset. Haven't gotten much done today, but will try to knuckle down as soon as I get this posted. Did I cause the engine damage by letting the servicing go? Was it just time for it to happen, and it happened in the wee hours when my back-up transportation and cell phone was in Oklahoma City? All I know is the outcome, which is in a week I will be considerably poorer, with my emergency fund, auto repair fund, and savings significantly drained.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home Alone

Well, it's 5:30 PM Central time, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I'm home alone. The holiday company have left, my wife taking our daughter and son-in-law back to Oklahoma City this afternoon. So I'll be batching it for a few days.

Time to work on my writing, catching up on what I let go from Tuesday until now. I don't know that I'll do a whole lot today. I'll probably write a second blog post a little later, and possibly I'll work on and maybe complete an article for My article on homemade turkey soup has done quite well there lately, helping to sustain my page views at respectable levels through the holidays. My revenue is also up, at the highest level for any month with three days to go in the month. I'm within striking distance of having enough to get a payout this month.

Tonight, though, I may take most of the evening to just relax. I'll fix a thick turkey sandwich, complete with gravy and dressing, and watch Gladiator, which is supposed to be on one of the cable channels tonight with limited commercial interruptions. While watching that I might get my submittal log up to date, and take notes on a couple of Suite articles. I can multi-task, since I've seen Gladiator before.

I also have a new writing gig that I should take the evening studying, but I think I will put that off till tomorrow, and will report about it on this blog sometime later in the week. For now, this will suffice to get me back in the groove.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crunch Time

I've never particularly enjoyed the holidays. At least not in recent years. All the work preparing, and then all the work un-preparing, has caused me considerable angst. Thanksgiving is not too much trouble. There's not much decoration. It's just a big meal and making sure the fridge is prepared to hold the leftovers. Christmas is more difficult, with the round of parties, extensive decorating, and the big meal(s) so close on the heals of Thanksgiving. But I muddle through.

I suppose the worst part of it all is cleaning the house for guests. Lynda and I do not tend to keep the house real clean, not that we two are the only inhabitants. Heck, why mince words: the house is a wreck. The kitchen table is generally covered with papers: mail to be read, finances to be filed, coupons to use or discard, magazines and newsletters we don't feel like reading. Since we rarely have company between holidays, by Thanksgiving it is an insurmountable task to clear the clutter. So, a day or two before the kids arrive (or other guests) for Thanksgiving, we shove it all in a box, put it in the south bedroom, and figure we'll get to it before Christmas. But, a week after Thanksgiving the table is covered with Christmas card stuff, and other stuff also begins to pile up. When someone comes for Christmas--another box or perhaps the same and the same outcome.

By now the south bedroom is incredibly full of junk. Not all of it is junk. Much of it is boxes and bags of children's books relatives have given us to give to Ephraim. These are mostly unsorted, and maybe we'll go through them with Richard and Sara when they arrive. But also in the room are boxes and bags of...what? I couldn't tell you what all is in them. We need a serious house cleaning, starting with the kitchen table, then the south bedroom, then the storage room in the basement, then maybe the garage.

Actually, except for the south bedroom I would say other parts of the house are, right now, in better shape than they were a year ago. We have done kitchen table cleaning for the last week, slowly working through the piles. We even pulled one box out of the south bedroom and went through it. It was mostly stuff from last year, or maybe two years ago. The good news is if we haven't had or seen the stuff for that long we don't need it, and most can be discarded. The bad news is a few things are not easy to decide on.

The garage is relatively straightened up, and the basement storage room is slightly cleaner than last Thanksgiving, in part due to some extra shelves. We may, however, have a little less junk in the room; certainly fewer empty boxes, which tend to add to the clutter.

So what's to be done? Tonight we must finish decorating the Christmas tree, which stands there with lights but nothing else. I must move a file cabinet out of the basement bedroom, and see that the Dungeon (our computer work area) gets a significant overhaul. Must also find a place to stash the old, over-sized monitor that I changed out last night for a free, surplus one from the company. I'd love to do a little work in the storeroom. I'm not far away from having it look pretty decent.

But, it looks like the stuff on the table will find its way to a box, perhaps the same box not yet emptied from last year. We're careful not to stuff bills in there, only those things that are junk mail or a step above junk mail, which we'd like to go through but never seem to find the time. Hopefully that box will get cleaned out the week after Thanksgiving. I don't want to see some of that stuff for a fourth year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back On-Site, and a Writing Lesson Learned

This morning the street superintendent of Centerton called. He needed me at a construction site. He was modifying something I "designed" a year ago and he wanted me to look at it. I put designed in quotes because this wasn't a rigorous engineering design. A culvert wasn't draining properly; erosion downstream had exposed a water line; wingwalls obstructed proper flow of water; he was tired of waiting for the highway department to fix it. So he and I met on site and I drew a sketch of what needed to be done. He hired a contractor and had it constructed. It has worked fine.

Well, sort of fine. The erosion control measures worked like a charm, save in one location they didn't complete. The culvert drains as it should now. But a problem he has noticed since is that the flow entering the culvert, from the east and west and which turn and flows south, don't work well together. The flow from the west is so much more than from the east that it overwhelms the smaller flow and creates backflow in that direction, over-topping the highway three hundred feet east. He wanted to put in a diversion wall and let the two flows get into the culvert with less co-mingling. I helped them lay it out, and hopefully it will accomplish what he wants.

I say hopefully, because once again this is not rigorous engineering. I get to do that this afternoon as I re-evaluate a flood study and respond to FEMA comments. But this approximate engineering is something I'm not as comfortable with. There's no way to know if this will work until the next rain storm allows us to watch it in operation--and it needs to be enough rain to have the ditch flow at lest two feet deep. One of these half-inch rainfalls won't do that. Much better to engineer something that works according to the laws of science and mathematics. Something I can reasonably predict how it is going to perform. Oh well, billable hours are billable hours. I shouldn't complain.

It's sort of like the difference of writing for a residual income website and a pay up-front website. On the latter I know exactly what I'm getting for what I have to write. For Suite101 and its residual income payment model, what I get paid is totally dependent on how many ads are clicked, which is somewhat dependent on what subjects I write about. It's also dependent on how well I optimize the article for search engines. Maybe, over several years, it will amount to more than I would make writing for up-front pay; maybe not.

I'm working on my SEO abilities, but frequently find that butting up against what I consider to be good writing. So far, with one exception insisted on by an editor, I have always come down on the side of good writing. I hope I always will.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Submittals Made

Well, just over half way through November and I'm met my submittal goal for the month. Yesterday morning I completed an article that qualifies for a current Suite101 contest for their writers. Yesterday noon I researched magazines where I could submit some poems. I found close to eighty mags suitable for what I wanted to send. I narrowed it down to two start-up mags. Last night, after writers guild, I completed this research, and decided to submit to Four Branches Press. I selected five poems (the upper limit) and fired off the e-mail before I could change my mind. They don't pay except in contributor's copies and a subscription, so this is mainly to get a publishing credit.

At writers guild last night, only four of us attended, and only three had material to share. I brought the first four pages of Father Daughter Day. I had been sharing with them my baseball novel, but no one in the guild except me seems to know the first thing about baseball, so I decided to shift to FDD. Of course, only two of us who attend regularly know anything about poetry, so this might not be best either. Still, although over the years I've shared with them two or three poems from the book, I've never shared the book from beginning to end. Their comments will be interesting. Last night comments were limited to "very nice."

Also yesterday I began researching other on-line markets to write for. Right now at Suite101 I'm averaging only $7 per month (though Nov. appears to be higher than that), and I've got to make some more money. I went through this before, looking at, and decided I couldn't commit to that. But maybe there's another site I can write for. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Okay, yesterday and today I worked on my writing goals. Yesterday I pulled out out my submissions notebook and updated it. So far this year I have this record:

20 submissions
4 acceptances
8 rejections
8 not yet heard
0 withdrawn

One of my goals this month was to make 4 (I think) submissions of any type. I'm sitting at two thus far, and want to get as many done this week as I can, hopefully exceeding my goal. This noon hour I researched poetry and short story markets, and identified two or three to submit to. The pay stinks (if something non-existent can be said to stink), but being able to add publishing credits would be good. I'll likely submit something to then tomorrow.

Yesterday I pulled out my Bible study ideas notebook, intent on organizing it and trying to decide what to work on next. What I found was I never gathered all my idea sheets into that notebook! So I spent a half-hour documenting, by title and status only, nine ideas I've had for Bible studies. Now I have to see if I have an idea sheet written up on each and if so get them in the notebook. I'm not sure where I'll find them. Some I might have typed into the computer and never printed. Some may exist only in my mind, and are waiting escape. I suppose this will be some of my work this week.

Well, my employer beckons, so I'll get back to what pays the bills.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Turkey Soup

Since I made my last post, on Wednesday, I've had a couple of good days. The arthritis flare-up has waned significantly. That flare-up may have been caused by certain contraband items I ate on Tuesday, which taste wonderful but apparently are not good for my body and which will remain nameless. Wednesday, Thursday, and today I've eaten right: no snacks, no sugar, NO CHIPS, no evening snacks, no anything except home-prepared food of reasonable calorie levels, adequate fiber, and lots of taste.

I also walked on my noon hour each day, a little over twenty minutes each day. I'm still trying to figure out what route I should walk and for how long, in the vicinity of our new building. I miss the parking lot with its nine laps to the mile. My weight is down a few pounds since Wednesday; I'm back on track toward reaching my weight loss goals for the year.

At work I found I had excellent powers of concentration. Yesterday and today most of my time went to a street widening project in Bentonville, for which public bids will be received on Thursday next and the final changes must be done my Monday. Today's work was tedious: going through the utility relocation sheets twice and counting all the pipe, fittings and valves on the water lines. It's grunt work, normally assigned to a junior level person. Actually, it was done by a junior staffer, and based on bidder questions I was pretty sure it was botched. So I checked it in detail, and sure enough found way too many errors to let it go by. So I took it upon myself to do the material take-off and, hopefully, get it right.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with turkey soup? In the process of having more energy and focus, I wrote three articles for Two I wrote yesterday, one on an engineering/construction topic and one on stock trading. These were in line with my general strategy of writing articles with "evergreen" content. That is, they will be as applicable to a search on any day of the year. This is as opposed to articles of seasonal interest or current interest (per a news item). So all of my 61 articles at Suite were evergreen. Until today.

I decided to dip a toe into the seasonal article market. I decided to put my expertise with turkey soup as the basis. Each year I render the bones and make soup. It's almost down to a routine. I don't use a recipe, just add ingredients according to how I think they will work.

For my article, I used a strategy for trying to coax people to click on ads, whereby my revenue comes. First I checked "turkey soup" in a Google Adsense tool to see what the popular search words were and the amount advertisers are willing to pay for ads associated with those words, and ranked them. I checked the title on the Google sandbox and verified that it would attract appropriate ads. I used the best key word phrases in the title, subtitle, and internal headings. I found four copyright-free, apt photos, and used some more key word phrases as their captions.

But, the other strategy: I did not give a recipe for turkey soup. If I did that (which I could have even though I don't use a recipe), the reader would be satisfied and not bother to click on an ad. But, if I can convince the reader that it would be a good thing for them to make turkey soup on Thanksgiving, and leave them short of a complete recipe, maybe--just maybe--they will be enticed to click on an ad for a recipe, and I'll get some revenue.

We'll see how this strategy works. The article has some good ads attached to it right now, though none specifically for "turkey soup recipes". The ads change regularly, however, and vary depending upon the IPA of the computer. Right now it ranks on the first page of Google for some of the keyword searches, even in first place for a couple. Oh, it also qualifies for a Suite 101 contest going on right now for writers. Today so far it's had six page views, which is not bad for an article's first six hours. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The bloom has come off the Suite 101 rose

That is, if there ever was a bloom on it. I began writing for for two main reasons: gain some experience with web writing, and help build a writer's platform. The amount of the payment was never an issue, though of course I wanted to be paid for my writing. Well, I may be doing something wrong, not figuring out how to properly optimize my writing for search engines or something, because payment is a definite problem.

Oh, I've been paid. In September I received a payment of $10.27 for revenues accumulated through August. Right now I'm due a payment of $13.16 for revenues accumulated through October. So far in November I've accumulated an additional $0.96, which will be paid whenever I reach another $10 accumulated.

I know, I know, some of you are laughing your something-or-other off at those numbers. They're paltry. They're sick. They're minuscule. It makes me wonder why I've written and posted 59 articles there, amounting to about 45,000 words, to have earned a measly $24.39. Suite 101 says the usual parameters are: earning $1 to $2 per article per month; earning $2-$3 per 1000 page views. My numbers? $0.12 per article per month; $1.19 per 1000 page views aggregate and $0.57/1000 last seven days.

I don't know what I'll do. I don't like being a quitter. And I didn't get into it primarily for the money. But good grief, 6/100 of a cent per word? I must be out of my mind to keep doing that. Even if I wrote no more articles, and the ones already up there earned at the same rate as they have for the first third of November, in a year I'd be up to .14 cent per word, and in three years I'd be up to .31 cent per word.

Meanwhile, my page views have begun to tumble, which I reported earlier. I'll try to attach a graph that shows how the page views have taken a noticeable drop in the last two weeks. Having climbing page views always helped to offset the lack of revenues in terms of giving me an incentive to write. But if now page views are going to tank---well, I'll have to re-think.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Exercise and Arthritis

For several weekends I've been planning to take a long walk. The weather has been good, and I need the exercise. But Saturday is a busy day of work around the house, resulting in very tired legs by 1 or 2 PM. Sunday we get home from church and, well, the Sunday afternoon nap syndrome takes effect, as well as the must watch football syndrome. So I haven't made that walk.

But yesterday, with excellent weather, I decided to do it. Coming home from work I sat in my reading chair, read for twenty minutes or so, and was overcome by tiredness. Rather than go to the couch, I just put my head back in the chair and slept for perhaps fifteen minutes. That was all I needed. I read a little more, then headed out. I had determined that I would follow a new route, which I estimate is four miles. My previous longest walk was three miles.

So I headed down the hill, and turned left at the bottom instead of right. This took me on the long loop around the golf course--probably just part of the golf course, to the bottom of the dam, then uphill all the way home. I had planned on the difficulty of the last hill, but not of two intermediate hills. The walk took me about an hour and fifteen minutes, and I was quite tired. Later, Lynda wanted to walk, and we did another mile.

But I felt good. Tired legs, a slightly hurting right knee, a tickle in the throat from heavy breathing, but I felt good. That old single cusp on my aortic valve gave no problem. My mind was fairly well engaged, and in the evening I managed to write 1,000 words on my novel.

However, this morning my hands and wrists are killing me. Not sure what is going on with that. I had a good week last week in terms of arthritis. Why now? Actually they were hurting on Saturday after work around the house, but felt better Sunday, even at day's end. Was it the peanut butter toast I ate as a late snack? I've always wondered if the sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis I have is really a food allergy.

Whatever it is, typing is quite painful this morning. Plus, it's 8 AM, and my employer is beckoning. Let's see what the day brings.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Writing for the Internet: Strange Happenings

After four months of increasing readership of my articles at, about two weeks ago I saw a slight drop. Then last week I had another slight drop. Then Wednesday readership tanked, to about 60 percent of what it had been. This continued on Thursday, and today is shaping up about the same. What is going on?

It's not a holiday season that people should be away from their computers. Nor have I written articles about seasonal or current events. All of my articles are what they call "evergreen," that is, not tied to a season of the year, or a holiday, or a current event. They should be as important to people one day as the next. I suppose my history and poetry articles might do better when school is in session, but otherwise they are evergreen.

So what gives? It would appear that Google has changed its search algorithms, to my detriment. Actually, to Suite 101's detriment, for a number of other writers there have noticed the same thing. My revenues have stayed the same or gone up slightly. Although, Wednesday was average and I don't know yet about yesterday or today.

I'll have to watch to see if this is a trend, or a temporary glitch. Let's hope for the latter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Goals

Having just finished my October report, and this being the 4th of November, I'd better work on my November goals. Even though I didn't do well in October relative to goals, I'm going to set a little bit higher goals in November and try harder.

1. Blog at least 12 times. I've hit this many consecutive months.

2. Post at least 8 articles at My current plans call for more than this. I might revise this goal tonight and set a higher target.

3. Write 10,000 words in In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People. This is in place of just finishing the chapter I'm in. If I make this goal, I will be about 1/4 into the novel.

4. Complete the Bible study goal of October. Assess where I am with that goal; complete the organization; and do the evaluation.

5. Make at least 4 writing related submittals. I won't specify what type of submittals. I made one yesterday, so I'm 1/4 complete with this goal already.

6. Complete the started but unfinished appendix in my harmony of the gospels. Might as well keep it as a goal until I get it done.

7. Work on Screwtape's Good Advice, my study guide of The Screwtape Letters. I may be teaching a class in this come February, and it would be nice to have this to use as a guide.

I'll leave it at seven goals, and see what I can accomplish.

The October Report

Time to be accountable to my reader(s), and to myself. Here's my October goals and how I did on them.

1. Blog 12 or more times. >>> I blogged 16 times. Score 1.

2. Write 7 articles for >>> I wrote and posted 8 articles, so squeaked by. Score 2.

3. Complete chapter 7 of In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People. >>> I did NOT do this. I did begin sharing the novel with my writers critique group, and did a little bit of editing based on those critiques. Perhaps I can give myself half credit. Score 2.5.

4. Make three literary or freelance magazine submittals. >>> Let's see if I can remember, because I don't have my submittal log here at work. I didn't submit anything to any literary magazines, but I don't think it was three. In fact, I think it was just one. I'll check tonight and might edit this. For now I'll put it down as a goose-egg. Score still 2.5.

5. Make sure that appendix [i.e. the one I've worked on since August] in my harmony of the gospels is finished. >>> Did not do. Not sure why I didn't other than lack of interest. I did read a little in the harmony, and noted a couple of edits I have to make, but that gives me no credit. Score still 2.5.

6. Organize the various Bible studies I've started. This includes listing them, and evaluating them to see if I want to take them further. >>> I did some of this, early in the month, and my mind is somewhat hazy about it. I know I gathered all the loose papers of Bible study ideas to one place. I think I made the list, but I didn't do the evaluation. Can I give myself half credit for this? I think I will. Score 3.0.

So there it is. Not the prettiest of pictures but perhaps not the worst. Hopefully I'll do better in November, the Thanksgiving holiday not withstanding.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Joyous Sound of...Plotters

I arrived at the office this morning, not knowing what to expect as to IT issues. When I left last night: e-mail was down; Internet access was down; our intranet was down; and all copiers and plotters were inaccessible. All the way home, through especially horrendous traffic, I kept thinking this would be a good time to launch my dream magazine, Technophobia.

This morning, I got to work about 7:30 AM after a stop at the bank and the gas station. Rounding the corner and entering the long, narrow corridor to my office, I saw a beautiful sight: an engineering drawing sitting on the out-put tray of a plotter. They must be working! I thought. Then, after getting coffee and completing my short devotional, the joyous sound came: the whine of the back-and-forth of a plotter head, producing a drawing. I about cheered these two sensory experiences.

So I took a chance. Calling up MS Word, I opened my daily diary sheet, chose the printer that's supposed to be closest to me, and clicked . For five seconds nothing happened, then came the joyous sound: the printer/copier spitting out my document after it's morning warm-up. Everything's working; all's right with the world.

So it's back to the routines of the last nine years. Only difference is the route to work, and that only for the last mile and a half. I don't have a key to the office yet (because the electronic entry is not yet installed), so I'll come in a little later and fight heavier traffic on the commute. Before work I'll have devotions then check writing web sites. On noon hours I'll walk and write and eat simple fare at my desk. After work I'll spend a half-hour or so waiting on traffic to clear by doing something else for writing. Hopefully, in between these, I'll return to my past love of civil engineering and find meaning in flood plains and drainage ditches and sewer lines and streets, etc. At least I can write about some of those things at Suite101.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Move Is Over

CEI is now in its new offices, still in Bentonville, not really that far from our old office. The moving company did some pre-moving on Wednesday and Thursday, to avoid being overloaded on Friday and have to go into an overtime situation. They took all of the library (which I had ready on Monday) and most of my office stuff on those two days. On Thursday and Friday morning I set up the library in its new place--135 boxes, give or take a box. My fingers were raw, my wrists hurt, and I was tired.

Still, on Friday I actually felt pretty good. I went back to the old office to assist in any way I could. I found and broke down utility shelves and moved them to the elevator, where the loading crews took them upstairs to the large storage space we are keeping in the old building. I gathered up old network cables for salvage or discard. I helped the movers load a large bookcase onto my pick-up, for delivery to my near neighbor (who also works here, and who had bought the bookcase). I went to the IT room and helped them break down racks of servers, unplug a whole bunch of connecting cables and sorted them by length and bundled them.

We had lunch at the old building, courtesy of CEI, which was very good. I set up the tables and chairs in the break room. I also suggested to the chairman of the board that we have an informal ceremony for striking the colors. The US and Arkansas flags are tattered and need to be replaced. No reason to leave them for the tenants. He liked the idea, so at the end of lunch we all went to the front of the building, to the flagpole. Without any veterans present (except the chairman and one board member), a couple of boy scout leaders handled the ceremony. The chairman and the CEO made brief remarks. I don't know that I would call it a "moving" ceremony, but I'm glad I suggested it.

In short, I was sort of a jack-of-all-trades on Friday. Got to the new office about 4 PM and worked till 6 PM on my own office set-up, and was far along with it at the end. Oh, and in the morning I received a call on my cell phone (our office phones being down, along with e-mail, Internet, etc.) from a client, assigning us a new project, one we will do jointly with the company I broke into this business with, Black & Veatch. It's a relatively small share for us, but it's still a project. That was a fitting event on a day we moved to quarters about 35 % of the size we had.

During these last five days I have not been able to think about much besides the move. So I'm behind on posts to this blog, such as end of the month report and new month goals. Haven't written anything in over a week either. Hopefully today I begin getting back to normal.