Lighting up the dance floor

Over the weekend, i attended a charity “April Fool’s Costume Ball” – DJ’d by none other than my friend Joey London, who flew into town on his solar powered Lear Jet to spin tunes for a good time and a good cause.  Completely stumped for costume ideas, i pulled an idea from my ass at the last minute, arriving at something fun, yet comfortable enough for a long stint on the dance floor.

A German General officer’s hat (quite similar to the one below) and my favorite party geek toys on my fingers (not to mention a collection of flashing LEDs attached to my hair, and various parts of my clothing)…. Wearing all black, it made for some big fun on the dance floor.

          

There was a theme to my costume…  Unfortunately, only a few folks guessed right away.  I was mistaken for a “lost raver” as well as “Madonna”…  A “Biker chick with robot hands” was another guess…

C’mon… It wasn’t that hard!  Take a guess…

Danced like a machine for 3 hours straight… Great crowd.  Youngest person there was probably 30.  Oldest?  60′s!  Didn’t matter!  So very nice to have an opportunity to dance, drum and be “tribal” in a non-club, non-meat market environment. 

i hope i never get too old for this… Sheer joy… and playing conga drums with my LED-encrusted fingers?  Major trip for those happy hippies who were eating the brownies!

 

Geeks in their natural habitat

Meetings this week were enjoyable – i was learning new things, the overviews were fascinating, and i was stunned at how far the state-of-the-art has advanced while i wasn’t paying attention during my time in management*.  But as the meeting progressed, we drilled in deeper on theory – and the flaming geek-behaviors began to surface.  A few key observations…

Blinded by the light:  Geeks love laser pointers.  The brighter, the better.  The more exotic the color?  Major geek chubb!  Blue ones are currently all the rage, inspiring techno-lust and admiration.  There was a green one in the room with sufficient reflected power to produce temporary retinal burn.  As well as pointer envy.

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Is it ever ok?  For an adult male to part his hair in the middle?  Shortish, red hair.  Straight.  Unstyled, and most likely, unwashed.  Doesn’t work…  Unless you happen to be a Thin White Duke (sigh)…

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Vintage or Creepy?  The maroon polyester sport jacket was not attractive.  If it had been worn by a young, thrift-store shopping hipster, it would still be unattractive.  Especially when paired with a mint green dress shirt and a navy print tie.  And Hush Puppies, with white socks.  No wedding ring on this one.  Is it any wonder?

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Acronyms Can Have Multiple Meanings:  One man’s “Schottky Barrier Diode” is an immature woman’s “Silent But Deadly”.  i did not audibly snort when the passionate argument over the relative merits of SBDs raged among the experimentalists.

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Geeks Are Funny**:  Sometimes, they get it right…  As part of the safety board on a lab tour, this was buried amid the dry, boring and legally required stuff:

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Probably should have put this warning on the door of the conference room, given the “laser pointer directed energy warfare” underway…

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* i was detained in a supervisory position a few years back.  A “detail”, which was promised to last only 6 months, stretched into 27 months… Fighting fire with fire, i accepted a “detail” in another organization, which forced my home organization to fill the old job.  In the end, i was working in different realms for almost 3 years before i got my feet back on familiar turf.  Tech shit moves fast… i continue to be blown away as i revisit my old stomping grounds.

** Not just the way they dress, smell, eat, walk, talk, dance, touch themselves inappropriately in public, crunch ice loudly while having a conversation or interact in any other way with their fellow humans…

Fear of flying

I am not a white knuckle flier – in fact, i enjoy it!  Whether it’s in a small plane, buzzing corn mazes in the autumn or in a jet-powered thermos tube traveling at ridiculous speeds from 6 miles up, i always have a “Hey, wow!  I’m flying!” moment along the way.

Not being a pilot (yet), i don’t know intricacies of modern flight, but i know enough not to worry.  Whether it’s my awareness of non-destructive evaluation, flight-line maintenance, “design for redundancy” or a basic understanding of air traffic control procedures, i am generally not nervous on an airplane.  It’s a chance to read, listen to tunes and nap while defying gravity.

Logically, i know statistically that my chances of dying in a plane crash are much lower than dying in the car on the way to the airport.

Despite this knowledge, i have one pre-flight ritual that i simply can’t shake.  i’ve been doing this for over a decade.  Whenever i’m headed to an airport i make sure that my bra and panties match exactly.  Not just ‘blue and blue’, or ‘leather and leather’ but the exact make, model and color from the manufacturer.

If my parts need reassembly after an air disaster, it might be helpful if Top A matches Bottom B…

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And with that, i’m off on another business trip… Surf’s up!

Global, local… and really local…

As a newcomer to the blogosphere, i’ve been sucked into the breach in the time-space continuum known as ‘surfing’, and cannot account for several hours each day.  I’m doing better with this, but still have to track my time carefully…

A good friend* tipped me off that there may be medical reasons to pay attention to the clock.  I encourage all of you to listen and heed.  Especially for you blogger-gents out there.

And DaddyP?  Please tell us that you don’t use a laptop….  Oh, and for the love of all that is merciful, pleeeeeeeze refrain from sending photos if you do…

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*a brilliant, clever and exquisitely funny friend who should just get on with the blogging already!  i will continue to swipe your juicy morsels** until you come out here to play…

** absolutely a euphemism….

Meeting Survival – Graduate Level Course

At a lovely Nerd-Herd workshop this week… and although i served as a poor substitute gave a presentation for an absent colleague this afternoon, and tomorrow will be chairing a morning session and serving as a panelist at the evening “senior leadership” session*, i have a hard time concentrating on the presentations – brilliant scientists in our field, from the U.S., Europe and even a representative from Asia this year… talking about their most remarkable results**.  So, how to stay awake after a late night of drunken dabauchery networking with colleagues?

At my last meet-a-thon, i resorted to rather primitive survival techniques.  Thankfully, this upscale yuppie infested resort meeting room has Wi-Fi.  Oh, yeah baby….  was able to score a seat in the back of the room, near the coffee urn and cookies under the guise of needing an outlet for my laptop. 

Cookies, coffee and the world wide interweb!  I have been able to engage and deflect incoming work missiles lobbed from 2000 miles away.  I have had time to catch up on my blog reading.  Electronically passing notes with drunken yab friends other attendees at the workshop.  Catching the up on local news from my hometown newspaper.  Reading book and movie reviews. 

Oh, and getting paid to do it.  Damn.  I’ve got the best job in the world this week….

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* A sign of desperation in Geekdom.  They couldn’t get anyone functional else to do this.  I’m also known to be easy (no, not like that) and can be persuaded with unlimited alcohol and the sunshine and blue skies of the California desert. 

** at least the stuff they’ve already patented… or work that is guaranteed to piss off arch-rivals. 

O’Hare on a sunny day…*

o’hare

 

A travel day… after being out too late last night, i was up at dawn’s butt crack, throwing (hopefully) clean underwear in a suitcase, and hauling myself to the airport for an early flight to the west coast.  Despite fog/rain/wind at O’Hare in Chicago, i arrived at my destination on time with no major problems.

It’s fun to listen to the air traffic control radio on planes when that option is offered.  Today?  Pretty wild – with nasty weather at O’Hare the chatter was continuous.  As we made our approach, i heard our flight number called as the captain was told to ‘break pattern, pull up to 11000 feet and contact ATC tower for go around instructions”.  Followed by near instantaneous throttle and climb. 

Cool…  always nice to know someone is up there flying the plane!  It was a ‘spacing distance’ issue, and we had an uneventful landing after a 15 minute detour.  Well, ‘uneventful’ unless you were the guy a few rows ahead of me who got a second look at his breakfast due to turbulence.  or the guy next to him…

Palm Springs for three days?  There are worse things about my job.  Off to get hammered with my drinkin’ and whorin’ buddies network with professional colleagues.

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* No, not “O’Hare the airport”, but the real O’Hare:   Lt. Cdr. Edward “Butch” O’Hare, First US Navy Ace, Medal of Honor Recipient, Wildcat Fighter Pilot and First Hellcat Night Fighter…. Apparently you’ve got to do a lot of good flying to get such a big airport named after you…

On an airplane…

got an upgrade to business class on my flight.  sitting next to a seasoned traveler, we were comparing stories of frequent flier perks, hotel loyalty programs and the like…

daisyfae: my primary requirement? the hotel must have an in-room coffeemaker!

seasoned traveler:  you actually use them?  don’t you know that flight attendents wash their dirty panties in those things?

daisyfae: [blink.... blink....]

Meeting Survival 101

We all have professional quirks. Mine?  i become deeply irritated with people who fall asleep in meetings.  It’s rude and unprofessional…

…and sometimes damn near impossible to avoid, especially after a long night of drinking and silliness with colleagues day of travel.  Such was the case today.  I found myself pulling every trick from my arsenal to keep my head from nodding like a dunking bird.  Much to my surprise, by the end of the day, i’d actually stumbled onto something useful…

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Techno DT’s

At the start of a 4 day, 6 flight, 2 city business trip i have uncovered perhaps my worst addiction…

During my first airport layover, upon breaking out the laptop to get a few things done, i discovered that my new ID card (which is actually a smart card that unlocks my laptop) does not, in fact, unlock my laptop.  Egads!!!!

[crash of thunder]

son of a fucking bitch…. i’ve got tons of work to do, and will now have to execute much of it from the blackberry, and using hotel business centers.  connectivity will be limited — and most likely all i’m going to do for a few days out here is swear like a castrated sailor.

Even more annoying?  I’m spending a week on the road, with a small carry on suitcase and a backpack – which is now carrying a 4 lb back-breaking Dell-brand boat anchor.  It’s bad enough that i’ll smell funny by the time i get to my Friday meeting… but i’ll reek of Ben Gay as well.

Did i say ‘son of a fucking bitch’?