Wednesday, June 20, 2007

North Dakota

I grew up in North Dakota. It's flat, isolated, and I miss it at times. The story begins on Thursday at 10pm when I start heading for the airport. The bus was really late and I missed my redeye to Minneapolis. Luckily enough Northwest run a second redeye out of Seattle so no harm no foul. I slept most of the way on a crappy flight that was delayed and with no air on the ground. Awfully hot in a plane with no air.

The layover was long and the flight to Fargo was also delayed. Northworst. I landed in Fargo and was waiting for my friend from high school, Tyler, to pick me up. Out of nowhere a friend from high school comes up to me. Turns out a different friend from high school also lives in the Seattle metro and we were on the same flight out of the Twin Cites and would have been on the same flight out of Seattle if I would have made my flight.

A 10 year reunion doesn't sound fun to everybody, myself included to a certain extent, but it was a GREAT time. There were even a bunch of the "remember when" stories either, everybody has their own story to tell and rehashing the old ones was less exciting.

The class was very accomplished too. A doctor, two chiropractors, and a slew of professionals and self employed as well. When you haven't seen people in 10 years they grow and change a lot in ways you could have never imagined. It's hard to explain and a few beers make the memory worse as well.

I was glad to come home when it was all over. North Dakota is great, it really is. I could go back for weeks at a time but I can't imagine living there at the moment. I would miss all the cultural opportunities that are so close in a large metro area. I get bored easily and with so few entertainment options I'm not sure I could do it for a long time. Seeing the same people over and over again in the same 3 bars would be hard to handle. It was a great visit. If you are in a reunion year, or close to one, I highly recommend going.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Peanut Butter

Yesterday I went to a bar called the Firehouse for lunch. They had a bunch of burger options that were pretty standard but one caught my eye, The Peanut Butter Bacon Burger. I'm willing to take some chances with food and in my search for good burger I assumed any place willing to gamble like that would have a good burger. The burgers were average at best - the search for a good burger continues - but the peanut butter burger was different. I thought it was halfway decent because it was something different and it was a good mix a flavor with the bacon. It was more subtle than I had anticipated.

Today is some random volunteer event I signed up for when I got hired. It's called Seattle Works and sounds similar to Hunger Clean Up in Milwaukee. A bunch of people get together - clean up a park and drink some beer after. It's Seattle so of course it's going to be halfway rainy today. I can't complain however the weather's been pretty good so far this summer. While I wait for the rain to start I'm watching Serpico, the Al Pacino movie about NYC police corruption in the 70's. It's a pretty good movie and if even half is true it's pretty crazy.

Off to clean up a park.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Same Story Second Verse

So, at Roundy's I was managing a data entry department responsible for new item set up and item maintenance. As a subset of that I managed a few processes, including the new item set up process. Imagine the joy I had when I was invited to a Kaizon, a high intensity meeting designed to document current and future process, fix bottlenecks and eliminate wasted time and steps designed by Toyota.

I spent today with members of the consumable team documenting the new item process as it stands today. I think we can cut the time involved by at least 80% if not even more. At Roundy's the ultimate "speed to shelf" goal was 24 hour turn around and I don't know why Amazon can't get to the same point. I have already gone through a large number of these steps at Roundy's and I think we can implement a large number of the same process steps and designs that were already in place or we developed once the process was rolled out.

Totally unrelated by why haven't the Soprano's been this good the entire time? The last episodes have been totally wild and much more in line with the early season episodes. Drama, intrigue, and suspense are at maximum levels right now and it's a shame they haven't been here for the last couple of seasons. The ratings for the last Soprano's (until the movie) are going to be incredibly high these last few days.

Bands that have been good listening lately... Voxtrot - Fratelli's - Mute Math.... the 4 people who read this probably have already heard about them from me but you should recommend them to other people.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

New Computer!

After going a very long time without a personal computer I bought a new laptop this weekend. Pretty basic but it will let me goof off, downlown music, upload pictures, and various other things. Tonight I'm going to a concert at The Crocodile, the band is Voxtrot. I think they are pretty solid and the show is at the super small venue so it will be fun no matter what.

It's like 80+ and not a cloud anywhere. I'm sure when it's winter and cloudy for weeks at a time I won't remember these perfect days but it's pretty awesome right now. If the weather holds I think a hike in the morning tomorrow sounds like a good idea before I go to see Knocked Up. The guys from 40 Year Old Virgin in another movie seems like a good way to kill a Sunday to me.

Tomorrow the search for a good hamburger continues. I haven't found anything close to being as good as Sobelmans and I have a place that is supposedly pretty solid called the Red Mill so I have a mission tomorrow. I can find salmon and sushi places without going more than 1/4 of a mile but a good hamburger is a lot harder to find. Not a bad thing but I'm really craving a good burger right now and I can't imagine all the sushi places I walk by are going to help me out with that one.