Another Ass-Kicker Week
All of this week was spent out in the field for work--a definite ass kicker (as these trips often turn out). Apologies if I haven't kept up with everyone's LJs--net access was only at the site during work hours.
Anyway, this trip was to do a field installation in Charlotte--like the type of work I've written about previously in Florida and Georgia. It was a bit last-minute--a week before the trip, they realized, "Huh... I think we need more guys on this job. Hey, K., how much would it cost to fly down to CLT on a week's notice?" Fortunately, I wasn't getting slammed in my work, and I was glad to get out of the office and use my toolkit for a little while.
On the flight down, I realized, "Man.. they have advertising everywhere nowadays!" USAirways, in case you were wondering; it's from this company. And I thought that CNN Airport News was a captive audience situation.
The work was basically pretty good--I like the crew that comes together on these jobs; they're competent, hardworking, and fun to hang out with. Another several hundred sensor channel job--I did a lot of work on the data logger side.
FYI, I'm not as tall as chief grad student--I'm standing on a ledge here.
The job went slower than expected--we originally planned to leave on Wednesday evening; instead, we shifted our flights back to Friday morning. But we got to spend the evenings out on the town. Charlotte is an interesting city--we got to stay in the city center (uptown)--it has experienced a recent revitalization, with a concentrated amount of condominium development in what seems to be formerly empty space. Plenty of interesting restaurants and night life. However, it was interesting to note how quickly it went from upscale new development to poorer sections, when driving out of town. For instance, the jobsite was out in industrial warehouse land... reports of period breakins; security cameras and alarms all over the grounds; police helicopters spending a lot of time over the adjacent neighborhood. I told my colleagues, "Well, I guess we're in luck if any of us were looking to score an eightball tonight."
One highlight was having to change a flat tire on the way back from the jobsite--first time I've ever done one on an SUV. It was especially annoying, because the spare was attached to the underside of the car--you need to drop it by cranking it down on an attached winch. I can see why it it makes sense to mount a spare on a bracket on the back door/hatch (as well as for ballistic protection).
Also, the client bought us lunch from a nearby soul food cafe--awesome fried chicken and collard greens. They had chitlins on the menu--I've always wanted to try them. If you know anything about the slaughtering and cleaning process, it seems like a big part of it is to keep the GI tract isolated and closed off, to prevent cross-contamination of the meat. But instead, chitlins are the large intestine--the part that was in contact with the E. coli-rifficness inside. You might ask, "And you want to eat them, knowing this?" Well, eating only a fraction of the muscle mass of an animal seems like a bit of a waste... and at least trying these various forms of offal seem important to do at least once. However, my attempt was foiled by the fact that they were out that day.
Anway, I got back on Friday afternoon, and have been having a nice couple of days of decompression & recovery--A & Guy came over for dinner, JMD and I watched Bride and Prejudice (Jane Austen a la Bollywood, via the director of Bend it Like Beckham, and we also hiked around Menotomy Rocks.