Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Big Wig

Since my field program was cancelled yesterday, (oh yeah, cancelled the morning of, since the client rep wasn't returning our calls or emails. Weird.) I got a couple of bonus days in the office. This is good. I managed to make some good headway on the DTP issue we are struggling with, and there is even a chance that we will publish it, which would mean my name would be searchable twice.

Anyway, with this extra day came the perk that I got to join in on one of the free lectures by the visiting unsaturated soil scientist extraordinaire, who is in town to give a very important lecture to the Australian Geologists or Geotechnical Engineers or some-such group of geeks. This was extra interesting to me since I did my thesis on the subject (yes, I understand that this makes me also a geek), but because of my inability to think like a numerical model, I haven't actually done any work on it since leaving school. So it was a bit of a refresher, if you will.

At least I had hoped that's how it would be. There was a small chance that given the intimate setting, I'd be put on the spot to think of some clever problem or question. Given my stress level lately, cleverness just isn't happening. This could be tough.

I had previously RSVP'd negative to the lunch time chat since I was supposed to be in the field, and once I found that there was still plenty of room to be had, I pressed Richard into coming to hear "the big wig" give his lecture as well (I talk him into lots of stuff when he should be working- must be the accent). At this point, Richard chuckled and informed me that indeed, our speaker was a big wig, or rather had one. A very obvious toupee. Hmm. Good thing I didn't say that too loudly.

The talk was pretty good, definitely a refresher. He brought back loads of good memories of equations past. That's about it though. There was one person who was using him as their personal lecturer, so that was a bit of a bummer. I didn't have to pipe up more than once or twice, and by then all my hard earned dollars of education were paying off, so I didn't have to think too hard. I did learn that you don't ask a soil scientist questions relating to remediation projects though. If you can't measure it in the lab, this guy doesn't know it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I just don't think that's what this crowd was expecting.

Tonight- a very exciting night planned in front of the television as the second half of a two parter of "House" is on. No, I'm not normally a "House" fan, but when in Rome...

Vocab for the day
Carrying on like a pork chop: whining, complaining, any of the high squeaky forms of communication that other people don't like to listen to for long.

After Belinda tried to micromanage his field planning, Carl told her that she'd been carrying on like a pork chop all day.

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