Sunday, October 03, 2004

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

The Giants are truly out of it now. Somewhere around the fourth inning of today's Giants/Dodgers game in LA, the Astros clinched the wild-card spot by beating the Rockies. Honestly, I'm just as glad they didn't make it in. I'm in work hell, can't really afford the tickets, and don't really have a lot of faith that they'd make it very far. I do think that what we'd probably have done is go to the first home game of the NLDS and NLCS, if they made it that far, and then as many games as they managed in the World Series. Ah, well... maybe next year. It's funny, though. For all the talk of needing a big bat to back up Bonds, the Giants ended the season second only to the Cards in runs scored. The real problem was pitching & defense, I think, although it would certainly have been nice to see Bonds walk fewer than 200 times! It would be really nice to get a big bat (or three), but I'd rather see some real pitching changes - Schmidt's been awesome and Tomko was great toward the end, but we need some more guys who'll go longer and keep the opposing offenses down...

I think I mentioned work hell. I spent all of last week in NY visiting M along with Patrice & Rich. It was pretty good over all... we got a lot done, established a good rapport with the customer, and had a good time. Dinner at Nobu one night... Rich had Washu Beef (it's the same as Kobe except it's not actually from Kobe)... I kid you not, it was $14 PER OUNCE! I had a taste. It was really good. 9 of the people from the customer (from all over the world) had the "chef's choice" thing they do... basically, you tell them what you're allergic to or just don't like and how much you want to spend and they bring you a bunch of courses. The suggestions for price are "$80, $100, $120, and up". It was pretty good, but I am glad it wasn't on my dime!

Anyway, M's been going on for significantly more than a year and we're working on defining requirements for implementing our software to the second of their three divisions. When Patrice's boss was let go, all of his extra responsiblities devolved to her... as if she didn't already have her hands full with everything she already had. Then right before we were all supposed to go out to see M, Bob quit. Bob was their project manager; had been since we started their first division in early 2003. In fact, I heard they went so far as to demand that his name be included in the contract. I'm using the term loosely, because a few weeks ago when we were supposed to be in QA and were two days behind, he didn't even know. And now last week Patrice has been creating the project plan while we sit with the customer going over the requirements! Unbelievable. I don't know if Bob can really be THAT bad, but at the very least he must have completely checked out a long time ago. I'm working on revising the requirements doc, as I spent most of last week doing; I have to turn it around to them by the 6th and it's already vastly different from Bob's last version. Moving the lists of vendors and such into embedded spreadsheets alone dropped it from 63 pages to 34.

I don't really understand what all was going on with the project; I really should have been much more involved with the project, particularly lately. Oh well. Water under the bridge; now I AM more involved - I'm sharing the project management with Patrice and, somewhat, Rich. Rich is so busy with their current issues he's not getting to do much new right now; I'm mainly doing the requirements and then I'll manage the customization implementation while Rich handles the configuration. Assuming it all comes together and they sign... we're already under a little pressure to stop working because they're taking a long time to sign and aren't paying much along the way. If they don't sign by the end of the month, we'll almost certainly miss our quarter.

Rachel did pretty well while I was gone; we were able to talk at least once every day but Friday while I was gone. My leaving on Sunday was hard; she didn't want to say goodbye, which was hard for all of us. I guess she and Dawn spent some time hanging out at the airport before going home. I think I realized I'd been gone too long when I called at 7:30 to say good night; Dawn seemed perplexed as to why I was calling at that point... it took me a few minutes before I realized that I'd called at 7:30 NY time! Seeing them at the airport was great. I heard Dawn call me from a fair distance and moved so Rachel could see me and she came running, TOP SPEED! It was very nice! Last time I was gone for that long, we met up in LA at the end of the week, and Rachel barely looked at me for the first couple of hours after I got back.