Sunday, May 18, 2008

spring update

for archives sake, i'll update the blog. I've been in SoCal now since last september. continuing on the MBA. I took 1 class in the fall (business law), 2 over winter (2 hrs each, workplace spirituality and social entrepreneurship. both require for the core program) and one in the spring (MGMT 691 Management Strategies / Policy Analysis). I have found that as I move from one MBA program to another (UNR) its hard to remember the classes i've taken and show proof. a transcript isn't enough these days, and i really need to be saving a copy of the syllabus for records sake. when i applied in the current program they wanted to know more than a title and grade could provide. whats wrong with stupid transcripts anyway? if schools need more, then put more in there. oh well. A's so far. employer is still paying, (up to $3k a year i think) but since jen teaches there I get 16 credits a year for free or something. not alot of time to take more than 4 credits at a time anyway. The less I care, the better the grades. its been all A's down here. I do go to class, and I do read (right before the professor calls on me) and I do prepare (the night before an assignment is due or there is a presentation), but nothing like I use to do in Engineering.

Work is work. to much work and not enough leadership. I'm now recognizing that most companies are reactionary and despite the need for true business planning and forecasting, no one has a crystal ball and NO ONE really knows what they are doing. Business is starting to turn out to be a bit of a disappointment (Written from the point of view of a scum sucking bottom of the rung operations manager) I have 4 employees. we can build a box and sell it for $25k in a little less than 1/2 a day. we spend the majority of our time looking for parts, fixing poor quality designs and fighting a paper based inventory / rework process. for the life of me i can't figure out why any company would structure itself this way? I'm stuck in the middle and i can't figure out how to fix it. an ERP system will start definition in June, but i wasn't even invited to participate. I had to remind my manager (director of operations) that yes, the test and calibration group, THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE SURE IT WORKS before it goes out the door would like to be involved. stupid.

I ran the first tank of biodiesel (B40 blend). i'm sure that will clog the filter / water seperator. hopefully it doesn't give out when i'm far from home. If I donate my labor, and we get the oil for free, the cost for methanol and Koh is amounts to around $1.50 a gallon which isn't to bad compared to the $4.50+ for diesel at the pump. i've started looking into how to pay tax on homemade biofuel. i'll check into that again when i care more.

The clutch sensor on the bike isn't working. I wish BMW would have caught that last time they serviced it. it means if you stall in traffic (happens about once every few months) that you have to peck for neutral to start the bike. it can be done, but its not the safest thing. for the non riders out there. a bike will usually start (turn the starter) when yo have the bike in neutral, OR have the clutch pulled in. typical ride speed is between 80 and 90 down here on the freeways. thats much faster than i was use to in nevada and has taken some getting use to. with all of the lane splitting and nutjob wacco drivers out there it is a little higher no the danger scale than i would like. who knows, i may have to give the bike up after kids. jens talking kids now. who was it that said 30 is the big year?!! who where you! i wish i could remember. at any rate, you were right. the negotiations (i mean discussions) have begun.

some of the utility costs are actually lower in socal than in reno, NV, so that was a nice unexpected surprise.

we are about 98% done with our painting. 3 rooms were painted. the Pink room is now a sand color with cinnamon accent wall. the purple room with hidiuos stripes is now sand color with a chocolate accent wall, and the 3rd room that was never painted is also the sand with chocolate accent. i can't say i'm super crazy about the colors, but I am really happy to have it done. My artistic taste is inversely proportional to my engineering education and experience so I try not to stall progress to much.

As was shown on nerdy, the lawn looks like its taking. we have plans for the back yard. fruit trees and what not, we just haven't made it to far yet. the next door neighbor liked to offer friendly advice on our new home and was glad to see we got our first home! I Had to kindly inform him its not our 1st home, its our 4th. that didn't slow him down on the recommendations for redoing the backyard, how to kill termites, and how to work with the neighbor behind me who didn't complete a retaining wall and now there is erosion under the fence. after my first attempt to look mildly intelligent i just gave up and let him educate me on this whole home ownership thing.

theres one thing I have learned, and that is you can't learn from somebody if your talking. even if you don't think someone has something useful to say, you'd be surprised what you can learn (or accomplish) if your just quit talking and listen.