Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let's Talk About the Trip

Where to start, where to start. Oh, I know... how about I start at the beginning. For those of you who don't remember, my friends and I have been doing these trips for a long time... fourteen or fifteen years straight... long enough that even we aren't sure exactly how long it's been. We've run over a dozen different rivers in three different states, spent thousands of dollars on food, gear, gas and beer, and have loved (almost) every minute of it.

There were initially four of us, then it grew to six or seven, then back down to four, and during the last couple of years, only three of us still make the trip.

This year we kind of returned to our roots. We stayed closer to home, ran a true self-contained canoe trip that lasted several days, and left a lot of our frivolous gear at home (no pop-up trailer, no Coleman stove, and no automatic drip coffee pot).

We waited until the last minute to choose our river, partially because many rivers ran high until just a couple of weeks before the trip. Our decision to hang close to home also limited some of our options, because we've already done most of the rivers in our immediate vicinity. In the end, we chose our river based on its location, how accessible the river was, and how much work would be required on the trip (how much paddling, portaging, and so forth). Our choice ended up bringing us some unexpected surprises, which I'll talk about over the next few posts. In the meantime, here's another shot of the river to tide you over.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sorry for the Delay

This is me apologizing for the lack of posting during the last week or so. I'm really not sorry per se, I'm simply following the socially expected protocol of offering an apology for my lack of recent posts. This time though, I have an excuse... I was away on my annual canoe trip with the boys. It was a relaxing trip, with plenty of unexpected adventure along the way. Over the next few days, I'll fill you in. For now, here's a little taste of what we saw...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Permission to Slow Down

For the majority of my work life, I have consistently been pushed to move faster -- get more done in less time. As you can expect, this brings about a frantic pace that can cause mistakes. Fortunately, the new boss has asked that I take things slow and easy. He realizes that haste is counterproductive. The thing is, I've been going so fast for so long that this may take a little getting used to.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Taking Longer than I Expected

When I started this blog, my original intention was to move all of my old posts over here. It's a plan I still intend to execute, but it's taking far longer than I expected. I figured that I'd need to change a name here and there, but doing so is a little more difficult than I anticipated, because I want to change names without altering the story itself.

Additionally, I neglected to consider links to earlier blog entries. I'm finding that changing a single entry is a difficult endeavor, because I bring that solitary entry over here, but the links will break when I move the linked entry to its new home and delete the old one. Quite a hassle. Maybe I should be a bit more selective in my migration. What do you think?

Monday, May 5, 2008

The New Job

The first week on the new job has come and gone, and here I am, already starting my second week.

I'd label the first week a qualified success. I must have really left an impression on the boss man, because he made a kick-ass comment about me on my first day... Anyone can whip up a resume (or pay someone to do it for them). If you paid someone to makeup the resume for you, I'd ask for a refund. Your work [is] far more impressive than your resume. That statement made my afternoon.

I was definitely kept busy the first week. We agreed that I'd work roughly half time, and I ended up working closer to 30 hours. This worked out well, because it's paid for my new laptop, and I kind of enjoyed the work.

The reason I call it a "qualified success" is because it's been a long time since I've had this tight of a leash on me. He hasn't yet given me true administrator authority. Basically, he's given me problems to fix, I make recommendations, and he does the actual work. When I accepted the job, I was told that this would be the case and I really don't object. He's spent many years building his business, and it's in his best interest to build a comfort level with my expertise before fully unleashing me. That said though, it's still going to take a little bit of getting used to.

At the end of the week, I'm still taking a wait-and-see stance. The guy seems to be straight forward in his business dealings with me. He's behaved consistently with how he said he works, but having been burned before, I'm going into this with my eyes opened and a cautious mindset.

I will say though, that his comment on my first day went a long way. Maybe it's more appropriate to say that I'm cautiously optimistic.