A few items of interest —
- I really haven’t been doing much of substance lately apart from working, going to the dojo, and going to the gym. My evenings and weekends have been occupied, but too rarely with matters of substance.
- I successfully tested today for the last stripe for my orange belt; in mid-January, I should test for green belt, which will mark an escalation in my training. White, yellow, and orange belts get away with a bit less discipline than the green, blue, and purple belts. Brown belts are in the final stages of preparing for shodan. This intensification, combined with the very same escrima training that has left my arms bruised today, has presented some fascinating opportunities to learn about human physiology.
- Thanksgiving was pleasant. My adorable little nephew, Kyler, wanted to play with “Uncle Jay” the whole time, which was great but for his respiratory cold. I solemnly assure you: No amount of advanced infection-control training can prevail against an infected 3-year-old who wants to play. Also, I used the opportunity of the downtime that day to watch all three Indiana Jones movies on DVD.
- After much cajoling, begging, and pleading, Rick was finally elevated to the lofty status of 0.8 FTE in my workgroup. Which is better than 0.4, I guess, although I will still mock him for being 80 percent of a man. Rick’s change in status will be helpful when we really ramp up our performance analysis and improvement plan early next year.
- Speaking of Rick, I had the opportunity to meet his delightful female companion, Sondra. The three of us went to a late showing of The Mist, and then went to Steak & Shake for dessert. He has done well with her.
- Last weekend, what should have been a friendly dinner with Tony, Emilie and Jon in Lansing morphed into “Jason and Tony go to Southfield so Tony can get an eye exam from Dr. Jon before retiring to Jon/Emilie’s for early cocktails in anticipation of dinner, followed by several rounds of drunken board games.” T-Bone and I ended up spending the night in their living room, then going — of all places — to Big Boy for breakfast before returning to Lansing and Grand Rapids. The hospitality in Southfield was well worth the drive, of course.
- I’ve welcomed the chance to assist the diocese in preparing the cathedral for Advent and (next weekend) for Christmas. The Cathedral of St. Andrew is a beautiful old church, and being able to bring some order to the chaos is quite satisfactory.
- Stacie and I finally got together for her long-delayed birthday meal a few weeks ago. Went to a nice little place near Cascade, then went to the mall for some shopping before parting ways. She certainly challenges me to think of things in new ways, and as always, I treasure those all-too-rare occasions when we cross paths.
- My director received her long-awaited promotion to senior director. This means the hospital world will continue to be marked by “interesting times.” Probably some opportunity for development in my workgroup, a change that’s long overdue.
- I recently finished The Voyager’s Handbook by Beth Leonard. It’s a thick, hardcover tome dedicated to blue-water sailing, with an emphasis on living aboard a boat and doing substantial, long-term passagemaking. One of the best books I’ve read in a while, and I felt a bit sad as I wrapped up the last chapter last night. I’ll have to see if Rachael wants to read it.