Saturday, June 24, 2006

Big Friday, little Saturday

Friday I got to play devil's advocate.

Here in Australia, the environmental industry has an interesting twist called auditors. A seasoned professional will work as a third-party auditor to a project and for that honor, he gets to take ALL the blame should anything go wrong. Seems a bit dodgy to me, but it definitely keeps everyone working together and communicating, even though we are competitors.

So after sitting on my hands all day Thursday and cutting out at 5 onthedot to finish up my DVD of Arrested Development season one, I got a call at 5:30 asking me to play auditor Friday. (Is having your apartment phone hooked into the office network a good thing or a bad thing?) Nothing like the last minute!

I came into the office bright and early, got the low down on the project and headed out to Chelsea, another suburb, this time south of town along the bay. The project was nothing complicated, a geoprobing job at an old 7-11. But, it was fun to be the one that was being impressed, instead of being the one trying to be impressive. Know what I mean?

That’s about all there is to say about that. I actually made it there with only one wrong turn (we’re talking over an hour of driving in a direction I’ve never been before!) and I merged correctly and everything. Not such a trivial feat in a jacked up Toyota 4x4 with no rear-view. (Now’s your turn to be impressed.)

After that little field trip, I came back to the office and was able to crank out some Denver project work. It was very nice having my own things to work on! Anyway, I finished up around 4 and realized that it was Friday tech talk time, and so headed into the meeting room to learn about the effect of building a tunnel on the city's water supply. Sadly, it was just another groundwater modeling project in disguise. I did become more and more interested as I finished my stubby of VB (bottle of Victoria Bitter), or maybe it was just that I'd accepted that it was just another groundwater model. Either way,it was a nice way to spend the last hour of Friday. Since I was actually in the office, I was able to get in on the invite to go to the GA "happy hour" at a local pub. (It's not really a happy hour, but a bunch of us descending on a pub after work. Close enough.)

We went to the Royston, which I was happy to discover is walking distance to the flat. (This means that I could walk home, no expensive taxis.) We took over the pool room and had lots of loud, slow games. In this photo, you can see Don (Don's back, anyway), Drew, Toby, Gen, and Sally. Not pictured are Andy, Richard and Susy. (Interesting note, the pool tables are smaller, with smaller balls, and they have this strange two shot rule that I couldn't quite figure out.) Only Drew and Sally are actual Australians; and Don, well, Don is from Tazzy (Tasmania) and isn't really considered Australian. I'm sure he would disagree, but I didn't get the chance to ask.

So, after this late night, I slept in and enjoyed the couch until Alicia called for our lunch date. It was drizzly and wet, but we were determined to get to Port Melbourne and have lunch with a view. Alicia is a friend of a friend from Denver, and I swear we are not sunburned, we're just sitting under a red awning.

I ordered paella, which I've loved every time I've had it. Til now. It's my fault really, I should have expected lots of seafood in it, we were eating dockside, for chrissakes. I did the grown-up thing and ate it,(well, most of it) but I can tell you that some of those sea creatures really do look like science fiction fodder. ick.

After our lunch, we set off to take a stroll along the water, but the rain came back and it was cold. So, back to the flat for some quality time with cheesy movies for me. I hope to have more good photos as soon as there's a good sunny day!

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