An Imperfect Week - May 6-16, 2008

There's no medical news to report, as we still are awaiting biopsy surgery on Wednesday, May 21. I added a meter to the page, and I can now see that a lot of you are checking for updates. So I thought I should fill in the gaps since my perfect day on May 5. The very next day I left late in the afternoon for Los Angeles. The Salt Lake City Airport has re-done their parking lot from very convenient to enormous and inconvenient. A 5 minute bus ride has been replaced with a 15-20 minute ride. A lot of us locals boycott the parking lot bus entirely and opt to walk to the terminal. There's one small area in the lot where this is possible, and spaces are scarce. I happened to drive by just as someone pulled out - great to be Irish and lucky! The trudge through the lot and parking garage to security is a pretty long one (albeit NOT 15 minutes), and the trudge from security to the commuter plane terminal is nearly as long. This trip was a one-night deal, so I had a light bag and a heavy laptop/briefcase - both carried by hand and not checked. I had no abdominal discomfort, which was good. Got to LA , procured rental car (Mercury Grand Marquis - no satellite radio), and hit the hotel (Staybridge Torrance) without incident.

Had a phenomenal dinner at Kappo Seafood (closed permanently in 2010), and hit the sack early. Also got up early, had breakfast at the hotel (complimentary and good), and wasted 20 minutes trying to check in and get my boarding pass for the evening's 7PM departure. The Delta website was egregiously slow and finally allowed check-in, but it refused several attempts to print the boarding pass - as it has done the past 3 times. You'd think I would learn. Now running late, I grabbed baggage, checked out, and raced to the facility. I wanted to arrive at 7:30 for the 8AM meeting to strategize with the organizers on how to facilitate. I made it, but in my rush forgot my Blackberry in the room. Nobody was there, and the room was locked.

The admins in the area assured me everyone would be there at 8, and asked me to wait. With folks coming in from all over the country, I wondered how they could be so sure. I called the hotel and they made a note to look for the Blackberry. 15 minutes later, still nobody there. I decided to go back for my lost toy. The admins were concerned, as they were sure all would be present at 8. Since they had not bothered to come early and meet as we'd agreed, I felt my obligation to be on time was waived. "They can start without me," I declared, and left.

Got back at 8:30 and went in to the admin area to get my laptop case. One asked me if I was associated with acronym I was unfamiliar with. After further discussion, we determined that I had not showed up half an hour early, but 23.5 hours late! THE MEETING WAS YESTERDAY! In 25 years I have never (unintentionally) missed a meeting. Until now. There are no words to capture how I felt, but Homer Simpson gets close...

I apologized to the meeting organizer, with whom the now friendly admins connected me via phone, and I tried to make lemonade from my lemons. I drove to another building at that site to meet a co-worker on another project, but she was out sick. Called back to Utah to see if they needed anything done in LA - not really. I eventually bagged it, returned to LAX for an earlier flight, got home a 3PM, and crashed. I debated whether to relate this embarrassing story to all of you, but the humor quotient is too high to leave it out. Maybe someday I will be able to laugh about it, too! In the interest of saying something positive in all circumstances, I will note that the perfect day described in the last update would not have been possible had I been on time for the meeting!

Rest of the workweek was blissfully routine - or as routine as our never-ending panoply of odd tasks can be in process improvement. Weekend was nice, and Saturday found me doing spring cleaning in my home office, filling the garbage can and shredder bin both! On Sunday after church I spent a couple of hours temporarily wiring in my Nuvi GPS and new XM Xpress RC radio into the bike, and took it out into the boonies for a 75 mile shakedown cruise. Even on bad mountain roads nothing shook loose, so both locations and mounting arrangements are candidates for permanent wiring - later. I paused in a deserted state park to enjoy the sight and sound of a rushing creek, swollen with this year's ample snowmelt runoff.
This creek is normally almost dry, but you can see from the short film clip that it's petty active right now! As I mentioned, nothing refreshes like a brisk motorcycle ride, and the world started looking pretty good again, despite the cloudy overcast.

The workweek was unusual - my company had sponsored a major process improvement symposium at a local university. Most of our small group attended, and my boss gave two really good presentations. We heard a lot of new things from folks who were pioneering new and cutting-edge improvement ideas and tools. Back to our normal chaos on Friday. Weekend looks good with a church group dinner on Saturday and a wine dinner on Sunday. I am researching how and where to get a second opinion on diagnosis and recommended treatment this weekend, which I am told is the normal and proper thing to do. Any recommendations will be welcome. We are still awaiting surgery next Wednesday, and new lab results the following week after Memorial Day. Next update should be towards the end of next week!


Anonymous said...

Steve, You are so silly! I guess that bike has jogged your brain so much that you can't keep your dates straight! You know you aren't suppose to get like that for at least another 10 years. At least you were able to smooth things over and all was well. That is good. Keep the updates coming. Will be praying.

Anonymous said...

Steve- I'm finally starting to catch up on the blog. I love the medical background on the left of the main page. It is crazy to get cancer with no major background issues like smoking.

Esther and I are big fans of The Office, and there's this extra on dvd where Kevin, one of the main characters, shares recipes from the office vending machine. When he uses the microwave.... he places his hands in a strategic fashion, if you know what I mean. Could be a factor... this technology.

Lee said...

....and like Homer, you ate a bunch of donuts in the terminal, right? ...with your coffee? or duff beer!

Steve Kelley said...

Mmmmmmmm... Doooougnuts!!!

lee said...

Given the page subject matter, everytime I watch the video, makes me wanna go pee! "high flow stream"! :0