Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Hours

I guess I unofficially took a little blog break for the month of July. We’ve continued to have a splendid summer at the Bracken house.

For the 4th of July (okay really the third) we went to the demolition derby Ogden does every year. It wasn’t as good at the one last year but there was a truck demo derby again so that made it worth it. I hope that activity becomes a tradition because I really like it. Monday the 5th we went down and had dinner at my parents for the holiday. It was delicious as always.

After dinner we took Dublin across the street to the school to play for a bit. He was finally brave enough to go down the little slides on the play ground and we even convinced him once to go down the big slide. The school’s sprinklers were on while we were playing fetch so it was really hard for us to keep him focused. He kept on dropping his ball to go bite the water from the sprinklers. I may have created a monster by teaching him water is fun to play with.

I stayed down at my parent’s house that night because the next day I got to take my mom to the hospital for a minor surgery (she’s totally fine don’t worry). I think I might have done such a good job filling out her medical history for her I won’t get to do it again. I can’t help it if I think she falls down a lot and she thinks otherwise.

Last week was pretty uneventful except for a senior leadership visit at work. My manager and team leader had me all prepped to be seriously yelled at by our leadership for one of my projects that looks very bad on our scorecard when compared to the other plants. It’s not my fault it’s so bad, the report they look at has some serious flaws. Instead of being able to point out those flaws and all the things the report mis-represents I was told I was not allowed to argue and to listen. Luckily for me the leadership could see the progress and positive movements the plant has made in the area and gave us some really nice compliments. I also got a few comments in about the blasted reporting without getting fired too so I think it was a successful visit.

For the summer my company has introduced a thing called “summer hours.” It’s ideal. Basically how it works is if you are a salary person (like myself) and you get your 40 hours in before noon of Friday, you can go home. Now this might not sound like such a treat to some of you but when you work at a company that says your core hours are from 7:30 to 4:00 and you have to be there at 6:30 every morning and you get in trouble for leaving at 4:00 every day and not staying later because you must not be contributing enough if you aren’t forced to work lots of extra hours the whole summer hours concept is revolutionary. When we first found out about it, after every meeting the engineers sounded like kids getting ready for summer vacation. We all had so many plans for our now free Friday afternoons. I’ve taken advantage of it as much as I could (getting hours in with my 9 hour minimum days has been a snap) and it’s been delightful.

Last Friday Jen and I ventured up to Logan Friday afternoon to buy milk. Now you may be thinking to yourself, why would Ally drive all the way up to Logan to buy Milk. I will tell you why. One of our fellow engineers told us about this magical place up in Logan that sells shelf stable boxes of milk (ie. Milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and this can be added to your food storage) that come in delicious flavors (root beer, orange, banana, strawberry, chocolate – yum). We’ve been talking about taking a milk trip to Logan for a good year and summer hours finally made it happen.

Friday night after milk trip, Shad, Jen and I went up to Weber State to see the youth spectacular. It’s basically this big show our poor youth have been forced to attend a ridiculous number of practices for in lieu of youth conference and some activities this year. I’m going to be honest, after seeing the show, I’m not sure it was worth the time that went into it. The kids did a great job with what they were given and I know everyone worked hard but there was so much chaos and confusing parts and it was really long.

Saturday we went to the drive in to see Toy Story 3 finally. We checked the schedule earlier in the week but apparently by Saturday, it wasn’t a main feature anymore. That meant we had to sit through another movie (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) to see Toy Story and we didn’t get home until 2 AM. I really liked Toy Story and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was okay.

Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity to sing in sacrament meeting after one of the older gentlemen listed all the terrible things that happened to ALL the signers of the Declaration of Independence. I think you can imagine how many passed out people I got to sing to which was a nice change of pace. And if I could just offer one suggestion to anyone that gets to sit in sacrament and listen to a musical number, if the person singing makes eye contact with you, think about smiling at them. It won’t kill you, I promise. At the very least please don’t make a face that looks like the sounds coming out of my mouth are hurting you – even if they are a neutral expression would be appreciated. I almost laughed out loud in the middle of my song when I came across a sister in our ward that made eye contact with me and seriously looked like I was jabbing an ice pick into her side. Just a thought for next time.

I hope that was a long enough update for you! I know it was for me.