Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Live in Iowa: Week 86

I have been feeling more self-centered and selfish than usual lately so I'm going to try something today. Because the world doesn't revolve around me and my ego already has enough trouble getting into small cars or going through doorways I'm going to write this week's summary in the first person like usual but without using the words I, me, my or myself. Here we go.

This week at work was fun. It was fun for several reasons. First of all, the projects that are stop shipments or delay of a critical milestone are especially interesting. When a person solves a problem a year before we build the first machine, it almost goes unnoticed. When a problem pops up late in a development program or on production, people care. The salary grades that get interested in these projects and come to these meetings are have titles like "manager" and "senior" and "supervisor" instead of just plain engineer. Second, we are at a stage where projects are getting finished. Everybody like completion and closure. Third, it was the bonus pay period. Sure it is shallow and selfish, but there were a lot of smiling faces in the office this week, especially Friday.

Coaching did not entail much this week. The athletes had finals week and we have no official practice during finals week. Despite not really having coaches around, the rumors are that most of the distance runners did run most days and do the work necessary to get better. It is a hopeful start for the team to a long time away from the coaches.

Running went very well. A pleasant 80 miles total, a tempo, and a 15x200 workout were done this week. The 15x200 on Saturday morning was especially interesting. It was 40 degrees Fahrenheit and raining as we ran circles around the Loras track on a deserted campus. Nothing really special about the training this week, but it was consistent. Experience teaches that consistency makes a huge difference in performance.

Socially life continues to be interesting. First of all, four hours Saturday afternoon were spent at Park Farm Winery, volunteering basically. After spending several evening out there over the last several months it was agreed that a young male engineer and coach who is not too socially awkward could contribute something unique to the business and learn a bundle. It is a relatively small family owned winery amongst some amazingly scenic little hills down a crumbling two lane road a few miles west of Dubuque. Plus, the wine is good across the board. Not all small wineries can say that. It was a somewhat slow day, yet giving out wine samples and making pizza on a wood fire brick oven are two skills that can be added to the list of life experience. Yes, this kind of thing will certainly happen again!

Secondly, socially, the single parent mom world continues to expand and stay interesting. In general parents, and especially single parents have a maturity and responsibility that those of us without children just do not not have. They seem to have a seriousness and deepness in conversation as well as patience and reluctance in a new relationship based on previous experience. They seem to have a slightly better idea of what they want or do not want than the standard 20something woman. Don't jump to conclusions about any of this or start checking anyone's Facebook relationship status! It is that there is so much to be learned from these women, or people, although I do not know any single parent dads. They have been through the ups and downs in a relationship, and their lives are so serious because they have a child or children who depend on them. Certainly an interesting demographic.

Third, socially, Galena, you are welcome for Saturday night. Between the sushi, chocolate and wine, there went the bonus.

In other news, big announcement/question/thought to be published Monday.

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