Monday, April 11, 2011

The Life of a Contract Engineer: Week 11

As weeks go this was a good as any. I worked a nice 40 hours. Although, one day they did not have enough computer simulation work for me so I spent the day in the "lab". We were working on competitive tear-downs, which involve hundreds of pounds of steel and copper. I had the chance to wear my lab coat which was fun for the first two hours then I got tired and slowed down. Eventually my attitude eroded a little because I felt that my talents were not being sufficiently harnessed. That being said, feelings are not fact. The most important task is often the one at hand. It was nice to see a different aspect of the factory and work with an A-frame and a chop saw, but I enjoy my desk.

The engineer who I was replacing is back and I am quite happy that he is. Several times every day I consulted him about the modeling that I was working on. He has more experience than I do and always offers valuable input. Before he came back I was an island making guesses about the accuracy of my models. Now that he is back I have someone who understands modeling well and can very accurately critique me.

Regarding my move to Dubuque, Iowa, I had an apartment picked out but someone else picked the same thing and had the deposit check in before me and thus rented the apartment before I could. So Monday April 18th, I'm starting work, but I don't have a place to live yet.

While I was unemployed I spent hundreds of hours applying value to aspects of my life outside of work. That is an important outlook to have on life. Without those things outside of work I guarantee I would be a workaholic. This brings us to the subject of running! I had a week that started on a good note, went through a bad section, and ended on a good note.

I had a nice 24 mile run Sunday, the longest training run I have had in a year and a half. Plus it was at a half decent pace. Then Tuesday a knot in my upper calf tore something in my lower calf/achilles area and I was more or less out of commission until I could massage it apart. It hurt so much! Fortunately, I did exactly the right thing and recovered soon enough to run a half marathon I paid for a few weeks ago. That race went very well. I started out with the leaders but going up a slight hill after two miles they broke away and I spent about the next nine miles running my own race. Then they were slowing down and I dropped a couple of 5:19 pace miles to move into second from third and come within nine seconds of the leader. I finished in 1:12:48 an official personal record by more than four minutes. I split 56:01 at ten miles (5:36 mile pace) and finished the last 5k in 16:47 (5:25 mile pace). I am really happy to negative split that much. I was holding back most of the race because I was afraid of going anaerobic and it was nice to let my legs turn over like that after the ten mile warmup.

I went over 53,000 words on my book and I reorganized it so that the chapters are more equal and related in terms of content. All I have left to do before submitting it to agents is edit it and add some more stuff about Reaganomics. It is a good book. I am excited. I have so much information that I consider useful from interview tips to "the exercises" to economic history. I feel it is a rather comprehensive resource for people like me in January of last year, which really could be anyone unemployed ages 16-30.

I am heavily considering buying a motorcycle. The problem is they don't sell the Honda CBR125R in the USA so I'm having a hard time finding something I am really motivated to own. I mean who needs to go over 75 miles per hour and who wants to get less than 90 miles per gallon? If you have any suggestions email me. I'm looking at used bikes exclusively and there are a number of sub 200cc starter bikes available for a 130 pound lightweight like myself. I mean Ducati starts at 700ccs! I would surely hurt myself on that without some experience.

I ended the week watching Morning Glory, which is a good movie, and writing a three sonnet series. The more sonnets I write (I'm up to five) the easier it gets. Sometimes I can even think out a ten syllable line that rhymes on the first try. It's fun to write poetry because it is an even better way to express emotions than simple writing in plain english. Who knows, maybe I will write an entire book of sonnets eventually. If you are curious to read them, sorry, they are on the romantic and emotional side and you have not earned that privilege from me. You can read my first sonnet if you want. The rest of them are similar, but I'm not the kind of guy that runs around talking about that stuff in public.

I am tired. 40 hours of work is like vacation, but when you add in the running and social events it adds up to quite a few hours.

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