I hate plumbing

No, this isn't a kind of hate like that felt towards collards or my Mom's meatloaf, this is a raging hatred like how I feel towards... well, nothing really comes to mind. But suffice it to say that the hatred I feel towards plumbing is the same kind of hatred as God feels towards sin.

Yes, the posting time on this blog is correct. It's 3:00am, and I've spent the last 6 hours installing a water heater at a tenant's house. Why did it take 6 hours? Because it's plumbing, and because Home Depot sucks--I had to visit three different stores to find the right plumbing parts I needed. And while I'm getting better at eliminating leaks in my soldering, I had leaks where I connected copper to PVC. It's probably not code, but the laundry area in this particular house has PVC supply and feed lines.

While I brought all of the plumbing tools I needed, I forgot to bring my gloves, and thus the black hands. And why do I have foil HVAC tape wrapped around the tip of my left index finger? It's serving as a bandaid. I didn't have a first aid kit in my truck, and I needed to stop the bleeding. And yes, it is a pain in the butt to type with a piece of foil HVAC tape wrapped around the tip of your finger.

I'd really like to find a good, reliable plumber in East Cobb so I can keep my rich inventory of cuss words buried and unspoken. Anyone know of a good plumber in Marietta, GA?


Things always have a way of working out

I've been traveling on business for over 15 years, and while I've lost things like power cords, shaving razors, and paperwork, I've never lost anything critical. My luck ran out last week in New York, but only temporarily.

I was in the Big Apple for meetings, and I stayed out late with several coworkers for what was probably our last big night on the town. When our party dwindled to two, I should have taken it as a sign to go to bed, but I didn't. So my friend and I left our hotel for a neighborhood watering hole. While the place closed down at 4am, we got wise and closed out our tab shortly before 3am. We hailed a taxi for the ride back to the hotel.

I had set my alarm for just after 7am so I could get a run in before meetings that day. I took a quick shower to help me wake up, put on my running attire, and took off for Central Park. I love running through Central Park--it's such a beautiful park and reminds me of Piedmont Park in Atlanta. Prior to leaving on my trip, the forecast had predicted a week of rain, but this morning was beautiful, sunny, and a crisp 58 degrees. I didn't want to run more than 5 miles, so I did the best I could to map out my run the night before.

The run was great and just what I needed. I made it back to the hotel shortly after 8am, took a shower, and got half-dressed. I packed up my bags and then did some work before my meetings.

I received an email from one of my customers wanting some information, so I went to get my cell phone. I looked for it next to my wallet, in my pants pocket from the night/morning before, and then I went into panic mode after realizing it wasn't plugged into my charger. I called the front desk to ask if anyone had turned in a cell phone, and again, no dice.

My meetings were only a half day, so afterwards I went back to my room to look again. I turned the room upside down with the same result--no phone. I did find the receipt for the cab fare from the ride back to the hotel, though, and it had the cab's medallion number. So I called 3-1-1, New York City's phone number for access to government services, including the Taxi and Limousine Commission. I explained that I may have left my cell phone in a cab, and after a chuckle from the operator, he transferred me to the dispatcher responsible for that medallion number. The dispatcher was able to give me the name of the owner/operator and his phone number. I called the owner, and he explained that he drove the day shift while someone else was driving the overnight shift. He needed to check with the driver, so he took my name and phone number and promised to call me back with news either way.

When I got back to my office, I had a voice message from the owner saying that he had my cell phone! So what are the odds? It's less than a week later, and I now have my cell phone. I was floored that I wasn't asked for any "compensation" to have it returned to me. In fact, he was reluctant to give me an address where I could send a token of my appreciation, but I insisted. My opinion of New York City cab drivers has been forever changed while my belief that things always have a way of working out has been made stronger. And while I wouldn't want to live there, I do love New York.


Bye, bye life as I knew it

Well, it's official. My life will be changing dramatically within the next month--one chapter will close and another will begin.

Five years ago I accepted a job in Atlanta working for a dot com startup based in the Bay Area of California, and it's been the ride of a lifetime. Not only did we survive the dot com bust, but we built a highly profitable business along the way and had a lot of fun doing it. I remember those first years like they were yesterday. There was always energy, excitement, hard work, and lots of laughter. What's very unusual with our team is that most of us have worked together for 3 or 4 years, unheard of in this industry, and I consider many of them to be great friends despite the geographic distance separating us. We've laughed and cried through births, deaths, weddings, and just life.

Recently the company was acquired, and we've been waiting for the shoe to drop ever since. Two weeks ago the shakeup started and the dreaded "integration" word was used on a conference call announcing the changes. So within the next month I need to find a position within the larger organization "or else". "Or else what?" is anybody's guess at this point.

I have a great life. I get to have breakfast and/or lunch several times a week with my kids. I live in Atlanta, one of the most beautiful cities in the country, but it also has one of the longest average commute time of any city in the nation. I work out of a home office and have no commute. My boss doesn't get into the office until noon my time. I take my oldest daughter to Mother's Morning Out twice a week... and pick her up at lunchtime. Most days I quit work promptly at 6:00pm and am able to immediately start playing with my girls. Did I mention that I live in Atlanta and have no commute? I knew this wouldn't last forever, but I've enjoyed it while it did.


Signs of intelligent life

Dropping off my daughter this morning at her twice-weekly Mother's Morning Out program, I was astonished to see signs of hope that the realities of the state of our nation are beginning to break through the haze of propoganda in this bastion of blind Republican devotion called Cobb County, Georgia. It's one thing for people to disagree with their government; it's quite another for them to take action and put a bumper sticker on their car. Granted, it's not a vote, but it could translate into that very action. It's still a lifetime away, but Republicans could be in real trouble come November.

The first bumper sticker was a "Just Pretend It's All Okay" in the shape of a ribbon. The next one read, "My child is an honors student but my president is an idiot", and then I saw two different vehicles with "F the President" stickers... and one of the vehicles was a pickup truck complete with gun rack and a confederate flag sticker--gotta love Georgia!


Bird's Eye View by Zillow

The integration of satellite imagery into mapping technology has up until now just been a pipedream, but Zillow.com has just launched Bird's Eye View images using Microsoft Virtual Earth.

This technology allows users to see homes at an angle from all sides with terrific resolution. The photo on the right is of the governor's mansion here in Atlanta, GA.

For a company with nothing but a beta product, Zillow is truly shaking up the real estate industry.


Georgia Aquarium

For the second time this year, I'll be fortunate enough to visit the Georgia Aquarium today for a lunch meeting. It's the world's largest aquarium, and is absolutely breathtaking. It's also a lot less crowded than when it first opened. With an original maximum capacity of 8,000 people, the Georgia Aquarium has lowered this to 4,000 people as of April 1.


Blogging anonymity

I'm very, very cautious about my identity. About 15 years ago I had my identity "borrowed" which led to a multi-year letter writing campaign to the Social Security Administration to prove that I am who I say I am, and that the individual applying for Social Security benefits under my social security # was not me. This experience taught me to be vigilant (some would use the term obsessive) in keeping as much personal information out of the public eye as possible. This is reason #1 I don't have my name listed in my Blogger profile.

The second reason for maintaining my blogging anonymity is because of the potential ramifications my words could have on my income. I work for a paycheck, and I understand that my views aren't shared by all. I don't want my political, religious, and other views to be read by my boss, human resources, or some of my coworkers. Most of my friends and family know who writes Trying to get it right, as I don't keep my authorship a secret to those who know me personally in a non-professional setting.

I understand there is a big trade-off in maintaining anonymity, specifically on the issues of credibility and authenticity. I'm real flesh and blood, but that can be difficult to see when a reader doesn't know who is authoring the blog. So if you're a regular, I encourage you to say "hi" by posting a comment.


Change is in the air

One of the few certainties in life is change, and those winds are blowing.

Yesterday they blew through our nation's capitol--it's shocking that someone who was once the third most powerful person in the country (after the Fed chairman & president) has announced his resignation from Congress. I have no idea whether Tom DeLay is a crook or not; I look to the courts to sort that out.