Tag Archives: 40hr job


So what’s been going on around the Planet3rry Universe?

Well, ALOT! If anything has been stimulated in the Stimulus Package, it has most definitely been my workload at my 40hr Job! Since I work in a Research Center that centers on the Construction Industry, the Stimulus Package (Recovery.Gov) aka ARRA (or the AARP Stimulus package as misspoke by a few Government Employees). At my job we track Projects… oh crap, I said to much… CLASSIFIED. Nah, not really, I don’t do anything that “COOL” although the past 2 weeks I have been getting my Uber-Geek Swerve on with some Access Database action. Query UP! I created this database because, the Government Agencies that we work with have their panties in a wad have been somewhat anxious about being able to track their time on these project. Enter: Terry. You need Projects… I got Projects… and they’ll cost you a nickel. A NICKEL!!!! Shhhhhh…

In a normal month, I might get a “Special Request” maybe 2 or 3 times… and it’s something that I can turn around fast… if not faster. Well, when I was getting 2 requests a day for this stuff… I had to say WOAH THERE! And call up the National Office for some assistance on making the tracking Global not Terry-Local. I did try to create the database in OpenOffice Base, but I didn’t have the familiarity with Base as I do Access… not that Access and I are kissing cousins or anything. I’ve plundered through it before. So, now, I have a nice little Access dB that is saving me some time. But that time is being sucked up else where….

ASD Athletes! Although we are very fortunate to have the opportunities that we have gotten… they have been SO close together that My Lovely and Talented Wife has up to her eyeballs in stuff to do. In the past, at work… I could “do my work” very easily, but lately I have been going all day long. This week alone, I have had some form of a meeting everyday… and today was the “Super Happy Fun Computer Migration Meeting”… Think Hello Kitty meets Cujo. My Google Reader was pushing 10,000 in the unread column… now some are “deal sites” but still… I haven’t checked my email in a day or two… and ASD Athletes will have Booth Presence at the EXPO 10k this coming up Saturday… which is a GREAT segue for CRAP.

I have yet to mail the Guess My Time, Win Crap contest for the Flying Pig Marathon! It took me about a week, just to get the prizes in a box to try to mail. I now have to get it addressed and mailed. And since I didn’t have it ready, I wasn’t going to have a contest for this coming up weekend. And I am very excited about the race too! Apart from my Crash and Burn or rather Cramp and Burn at the Knoxville Marathon as a pacer, I am going to pace one of former Virtual Friends turned into a Human (I think) Friend and it’s going to be peachy to pace for him to a 10k PR. Did I say “peachy”… huh, funny, because it’s the Illustrious David Peach from Used to be Mexico but now Florida kinda because I am on the road all the time and eventually go to Africa maybe for Missionary Work. That’s right… we are planning on getting Da. Peach to a PR time of… I forgot… I think it’s around an 8:30 pace.

Given the fact that I FINALLY ran for the first time after the marathon this past Tuesday (Do the math… it’s like 16 DAYS!), I was pleased that for 10 miles, a 9:00minutish pace felt great, so I think unless David doesn’t feel peachy on Saturday morning, we are going for it! And if you remember from past Expo Race Reports, this race I run in Memory of: Hunter Biddle (2004), Bernice Varney (2005) and Robert Tripp (2006)… more on that as time will allow in the future.

Oh! and the Planet3rry Marathon Maniac is going INTERNATIONAL! I WON (again, created goes to My Lovely and Talented Wife for filling the entry form out) a free entry into the Niagra Falls INTERNATIONAL Marathon in October. You start in Buffalo (mmmmm, wings) and you end in… that city in Canada that is 26.2 miles away… it might be proper for me to, uh, get the correct city so that I don’t look like sum stoopid ignorint American whose donts knos the cities of the neighbors up north.

Well, I am going to post this and get back to looking at some POT… because I have been so busy, I have not been able to trade POT at all… and the 20 point rise has been… about 20 points of price action that I have missed.

Reestablishing Communication

I am really trying to get back to blogging, but it seems that everytime I try to get there… something comes up! Right now, my 40hr job is super busy because of the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which is sending the agencies that we work with in a frenzy. So, I am here trying to save the world.

I have the Flying Pig race report to write… but I can tell you that my Blogging is more than my running right now! Seriously, not 1 mile since the marathon. I’m already close to being out of marathon shape… Oi! Hopefully, I can get some miles in this week, if the weather holds…

ASD Athletes is Rocking and Rolling… and YOU could be a Race Sponsor. That’s right! We are in charge (and receive) the sponsorship for the Tellico Sprint Triathlon… you know last year, when I overslept. Yeah, that one! Well, RaceDayEvents has made us the race beneficiary. So, Right now, if you sign up to be a sponsor for the Tellico, you get the benefits of being a Tellico Sponsor AND being and ASD Atheles Donor. My Lovely and Talented Wife calls it Double-Dipping. It’s like a Brick Donation (multi-discipline athletes will get the analogy). So go over here and sign up to be a sponsor… or to bring Light and Order to the World, sign up to be a Race Volunteer. Don’t live in Tennessee? Well, we have roads and an airport and the bus comes here. The Race is on June 21st… So BE a Sponsor or a Volunteer but at the very least you can be a participant!

Well, saving the ARRA world calls and I need to go get my data management skillz on.

Saint of the Day

Let me tell you… things have been busy for me. In fact, write now, I am writing this remotely from the Planet3rry Global Headquarters when I should be home by now. Computer work for a friend…

So, I have a lot to catch everyone up on… all 15 readers! One of the big things is that I ran something around a 19 miler on Sunday with decent results. I have YET the time to map out the course, much less add my workout to my Buckeye Outdoor account. Which, for March shows me as doing NOTHING… but that’s only because I haven’t had the time lately because my 40hr Job has been busy. Not to bore you… although I am already getting sleepy over it… is that the Stimulus Package that President Obama sent out has gotten OFCCP – a Federal Agency to do some more monitoring of the federal funds in construction projects (bored, yet?). Guess who sends them a list of projects for them to inspect in their area each month? You guessed it… ME! And guess who name is on the print out report? Yup… Moi! And who has been fielding calls from the San Fran and NYC office this week? Uh-huh! And guess how much I can help them? Little to none! It’s a contractual issue that may be resolved this week or at least in the step in the right direction. Oh, I talked to long about my 40hr Job AHHHHH COOOOOTIES!!!!

So, if you follow me on Facebook (because I don’t do the twitter thingie… although ASD Athletes is there… so technically, I guess I am with a degree or two from twitter) you’ll see that one of my recent status updates is that I ran today (Tuesday) roughly 6 miles and recorded a little bit of audio for Gravity@1053′ (my podcast). Just a 10 month hiatus… and if work will slow down enough, I am changing the format to a more “record and DUMP” format. It’s a Unformatted, Unscripted and slightly edited format. I am thinking about doing an ASD Athletes podcast… or rather My Lovely and Talented Wife suggested it and since I like podcasting, I thought, maybe that’ll get me in the groove… because if you can do one… you can kinda do two with not much difficulty.

I am sure there are other things that I should blog about… but I gotta get home.

Wages and Tags and Updates… Oh MY!

I woke up with morning at the nape of Dawn… that’s slightly higher than the Crack… HAHAHA.

Actually, it was around 3am and I could not go back to sleep. Thankfully, I had gone to bed early and so it wasn’t that I wasn’t getting enough sleep… it was that I was getting my regular amount. So, to keep my body on a schedule, I went ahead and got up and started the day. I was able to reconcile some of financials that have been lingering around. I even did some organization and straightening of the Workshop (which could be called The Focal Point of Chaos). And even had some domestications of putting some laundry into the washer and the dryer.

Not to worry though, I proceeded to go outside, to burn some more wood. FIRE. ME. MAKE FIREEEEEEEEE. And of course, the Loud and Loveable Skipper Doodle heard me, so that meant some rounds of Fetch… at 5am… in 30F weather. That dog is a MACHINE!

I was worried that I would be too tired today to have a productive evening. After all… it IS Terry day and I do have a long run for my training which I am behind on. I thought that I would be getting something around 16 miles in today… but given that I just did 14 miles on Saturday and I didn’t run yesterday, I thought that I would shift down to 10 miles today. I think I could do a 2.5 clover-leaf (out and back then out and back) on Neyland and 3rd Creek that would be pretty entertaining.

I am not exactly sure how I am going to make the jump to 26.2 miles on March 29th from where I am now. I am toying with backing off the long runs a notch and keeping my training speed the same for Flying Pig (May 3rd). As a result of missing the Strawplains Half Marathon on 2-14. I am not sure that I want to keep the mileage the same, even IF I try to run one of the long runs at my Knoxville Pacer speed of 12:30 min miles. I think that I will save that for a short distance to get a “feel” for the pace, but keep my endurance runs at the pace that I plan on racing Cincinnati in May. I probably should start breaking in a new pair of shoes… just in case.

I had been hoping to leave work early today, so that I could start my run earlier, but it seems once I started checking a report that has to be sent up to DC, some of the output is wrong. So that meant, I had to cross-check what I had sent the programmer and, sigh, one part of it was my fault… but the other stuff… I dunno. I don’t have a clue how they coded some of the stuff. So, that’s when I thought that I would go for 10 miles today instead… something a little shorter and more managable for the week… and I will have the weekend to get a good long run in… either 16 or 18. I might even try another “run to work” escapade. It’s just so c-c-c-cold (relative) in the morning.

I have been in the mode to Re-tag my MP3 collection. Or I should say, standardize, my MP3 collection. Directories… Filenames… Tags… all OVER the place. So, I am up to “N” right now with the (almost) final edit. I did find a pretty fast way to Rename the File name using the existing Tag AND using the Filename to Tag the MP3 file. I know… pretty crazy… but since I took the time to make the directory structure the same through out my library, this part of the project is pretty easy.

Oh… and I need to update to WordPress 2.7.1. I really just need to upload the files at this point. Yes, I KNOW that you can do it automatically, but I had some stuff that got “overwritten” and so now I need to make some manual changes and some mental notes that if I do the automatic update in the future, there are some files that I need to upload so that all my plugins work.

Well, off to run.

I am like famous – for a day

I was using some mad organizational skillz today at work and then, I actually had to do some work. And that led to looking at my filing cabinet and thinking… “Damn, this thing needs some organizational attention”. But now, I need to figure out exactly what I want to do… because the files that I need to re-file (the 1 folder that I tossed a bunch of other folders in, is over crowding and it’s not like I can just increase the limit during hunting purging season)… Huh, as if we ever throw anything out at my work… and now that I think about it… I might be Contractually Obligated to keep these files for (GASP) 5 years! That’s close to the average time it takes a student to graduate from college these days. Now here is my dilemma for those OCD people out there… and I know that some of the OCDers are going to get excited… you may excused yourself… but the CDO (which is like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order -like they should be [as found on some Facebook Flair]) will become VERY frustrated… you are REQUIRED to be excused!

So my dilemma is that I have folders… the 3 tabbed kind… Manilla Flavor. Inside are the trees that I have killed printouts of the information that I have provided these “offices”. These offices are found “around the nation” and are broken into “regions”. I am not “exactly” why I am doing “this” it is not like my stuff is classified… crap, I said too much. Now, I am servicing about 20% of the offices right now and once word gets out on how AWESOME I am, it might increase to 22%. Of course, with the change of office up in DC, directives might change… and I might get 120% of the offices. Wha? How can I get 120% of the offices… well this IS a Government Agency we are talking about and they do things that baffle the mind… like are going to consider granting me 501(c)(3) status for my charity or going to stimulate the economy with bags of cash… why not just give everyone Wiis? I mean really, that is what they are going to buy anyway… and they are made in USA right? [GUITAR HERO ROX WOOOOOOOOO]

Sorry… tangent. Cotanget. Marco… Polo. Okay, now I am just getting plain WEIRD.

[Using The Force to focus] Now, my question (FINALLY) is this… if I am pretty sure… say 76.8% sure that I will get more offices to have to archive, how would I want to organize the folders? Do, I change my manilla folders to Hanging Folders? Do I put each manilla folder into a hanging folder? Do I use color manilla folders… wait, do I use color tabbed folders? Or do I use colored hanging file folders? And do I color code my state? No, that’s pretty silly, I don’t think there are enough hanging folder colors out there to get 50 different colors and hell if I am going to get a box of Crayola 64 and hand color hanging folders. I could get the Medical Folders, but I have no CLUE as how to use those number/letter stickers that Doctor’s offices use. So, I get to contemplate THAT at work…

Oh yeah! Guess what? Today is MY day over at Tales of a Dysfunctional Family! That’s right! My post has been up there for today… and just now am I getting to it. It must have been the organizational stuff today that threw my day off… I sure hope it’s not that Mercury Retrograde crap again!


Yesterday was a rather busy day for me and an exciting one for my mobile phone. We had a meeting scheduled with the people at the Department of Labor who awards us contracts. This would include my American Samoa trip and the report that I will generate. We were scheduled to have 3 separate meetings and then hopefully making a few courtesy stops, if time permitted. Our goal was to go up and back in a day.

Our flight was at 7:00am on Independence Air, which is owned by Atlantic Coast Airlines, one of my past employers. Of course now they have 50 seater jets instead of the gritty Jetstream 41 – 29 seater turbo prop. I flight went very well, it was fast and even though it was crowded it wasn't cramped. We made it to Dulles at about 8:35ish, went to find the Metro Flyer and then waited until the next bus came to the terminal. I called Jo Ann Foltz to see how she was and if there was any chance of meeting, since I would have about an hour or so before my plane departed in the evening. Unfortunately, work had her stuck and since she lives inside the beltway, there is no escape!

This was my first time with the Metro and it showed. I did a lot of watching other going through the process of using the machines to get a farecard and then getting past the meters. The ride into the city was fine, we only had to transfer from the orange line to the red line, other than that no problems. We made it to the DOL, about 10am and had our first meeting at 10:15. After our second meeting, we went to the cafeteria on the 6th floor and I had a small pizza and diet pepsi. I was living large on a part day's per diem!

Before we went to lunch, I found out that my mobile phone was downstairs at security. Hmmm… how di it get there and how did they know whose it was??? Our american samoa meeting was at 2:20 and lasted right until 3pm, when we were scheduled to leave to go back to the airport. We went back to security to drop off our badges and pick up our drivers license. Before I made it halfway through the Commons area, one of the Security guards said “Mr. Higgins”, “That's me, do you have something of mine?” “Yes, we found it here at the security checkpoint”. Apparently, someone found my phone, put it on the security counter, the security people then went through and called numbers until they got Pete. Pete then called Jen, but she was out, and he realized that he had my work number, so he called work. Dr. Schriver called our contact at DOL, who confirmed to security that I was in the building.

With mobile phone in hand, we made it back to Dulles and I stayed outside of security so that I could see Devaney. We were both hoping that we'd have more time to spend, but the security line was very long. We cut our meeting short so that I could take off my shoes to get through security. Our plane was about on time and we got to Knoxville a few minutes early.

The trip overall was successful and I was happy to be home. I did get to see Eric when I got home for 2 minutes. Also, I did run on the treadmill for 3.1 miles at a 9:22 pace. I think I am going to run early early on saturday (brrrrrr) for 12 miles, or a really should do 14 miles, but we have plans on saturday morning

Da Roof is Exploding

Right now, I have digital cameras galore. As I stated from my previous posts, I want to bring a compact, lightweight digital camera to American Samoa with me. So far, I have gotten a Minolta Dimage x20 and a Canon S200, also, there is a camera at Officemax that Jen has seen that is cheap. I will probably be selling one of these. So, if someone who needs a digital camera, or have one they are willing to trade, I will entertain offers.

Initially, this camera that was going to take on my trip would be Jen’s camera after I returned, leaving our older camera, Canon S45, as our main camera. Well, I think that I want to keep two small cameras. I have enjoyed, for the limited time, carrying a small camera with me. Just knowing that I could capture some pictures at anytime is powerful. The advantage of the Dimage is that is uses AA batteries, good for traveling and the S200 uses CF card, which is compatible with our S45. Here is a picture that I took with the Dimage (Auto mode, Flash Auto)

self portrait

I just finished reading John monihan’s blog about his excitement in Iraq and id he have some recently. Apparently, there was some mortar fire inside of his compound for the first time. Apparently, they were interval pot shots, in that, they were following a straight line and their last shell had a direct hit into their command post. Luckily, the ordinance hit a rafter in the roof, causing the shell to detonate in the roof instead of penetrating into the rooms. Another stroke of luck was that it was lunchtime, so it was not fully staffed. John is fine, and I pulled a picture of the roof, which was fixed in about an hour.

Mortar Hit

Here is a picture of some mortar fire at our place here in Tennessee. well, not really, the grounds crew have been at our house (my office is an old 1940s house) to remove tree limbs and to fix some small holes in the roof. Well, yesterday, they wanted to get some rope up to the roof. So what better way to get a light object (the rope) up in the air by tying it to a heavier object (a brick). On the second throw, we heard a – crash – and bunch of glass shattering. We then heard our boss, start yelling up a storm at the grounds crew. Now our boss W.S. is a super nice guy and I had never (in the whopping 2 months) seem him so irate. The grounds crew scattered away like roaches when hit with a bright light.

Cirpc window

My first week at UT is over and was very quiet. I guess the best thing was that I ate out for lunch everyday without much of a worry. Of course, next week, it will a bagged lunch and all that jazz, but this week was a reward. Next week, I will really dig into some of the American Samoa information. Maybe then I will find out when we are going.

I did some speed work last night on the treadmill. While Jen was at her Mary Kay meeting and Eric had gone to sleep, I put in the movie Without Limits and put in about 2 miles. I can tell that I am out of race shape. I was planning on trying to race for the Scholars Run. I think now I will only run it as training and not go full board. I think that I have to run some distance that day. I should put my training schedule online. Tomorrow, I am going to be running around 10-12 miles, whatever feel comfortable. The weather is so nice this week, I should run in the afternoon when it is warmer, but I’m planning on being out the door at 6:30am for the little jaunt.

The Olympics start today, the Google logo, which changes infrequently is very cool!



So I am finished my second full day of work at the CIRPC and it has been the first-day-getting-acquainted funstuff. Since I will be working on the project on the island of American Samoa, I have been reading the 2003 report that the CIRPC did for the Dept of Labor. It is not a bad read, and is fairly interesting with its information about the island and the tuna industry. Tuna accounts for 1/3 of the workforce on the island, the government is a third and everything else completes the other 3rd.

American Samoa Flag
I love the two big windows at my desk. I am going to have to bring in some plants to enjoy the sunlight. I just noticed that there is a bird feeder attached to the tree outside. So maybe I will be able to se some wildlife other than the college students roaming around. Speaking of wildlife, I had a bum ask me to buy a heater for $5 that was very similar to the heater that I saw in the trash when we went to lunch. Hmmmmm? Coincidence?

I am getting ready for the Olympics. I have printed out my TV schedule and am going to go through and highlight the stuff that I want to see. I’ll pretty much watch the gold medal event for all the sports, but there are a few sports that I want to see all the heats and other medal contests. The big ones for me will be the men’s and women’s marathon, plus triathlon. I enjoy all the track and field events and swimming. I don’t mind the gymnastics that much or obscure sports such as the walking or handball.

I have a feeling that my trip to America Samoa is going to fall at the same time of the Richmond Marathon. But, I do not know the exact dates as of yet, so perhaps, I can still make it. If I can?t make it there a few marathons that I have slated as replacements:

12/11Huntsville Times Rocket City Marathon Hunstville, AL
1/9 Disney World Marathon Orlando, FL
or maybe even
12/ 4 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Memphis, TN