Tuesday, October 30, 2007

last night in farmington

Tonight is my last night in Farmington. I've enlisted some colleagues to help me pack up the U-Haul tomorrow and I'm hitting the road in the afternoon. My timeline to get out to Victoria has been bumped up by about a half day due to a meeting I'm trying to attend on Friday. My goal for tomorrow is to get to Moriarty which is about 30 miles east of Albuquerque.

I've got a bunch on my mind. There's the obvious goodbye to Farmington, a rental car review from last week, my new assignment, packing and moving, my new apartment, etc. So much to do.

Monday, October 29, 2007

resource quagmires

If you care for a piece of the Iraq-is-all-about-the-oil flavor, give this a read, but you need to read the whole thing. I certainly don't feel like I work in a dastardly sinister industry. However, I also don't work for an oil company, but a mere service company for the industry.

Despite the interest in oil and gas and energy in general, I'm just as concerned with a resource that is far more important. The West will eventually face a water supply crisis and it will be a difficult reckoning for most people. Perhaps the most telling line in the whole piece is, "The people who move to the West today need to realize they’re moving into a desert. If they want to live in a desert, they have to adapt to a desert lifestyle." I think it speaks volumes about our love affair with consumption of all kinds.

jury duty, part IV: an even shorter day

The system still works. I went in for jury duty, signed in, and went home.

Monday, October 22, 2007

jury duty, part III: a very short day

The system works! There were potentially up to six cases on the docket today for jury duty and they didn't need anyone. For reference, there were a similar number of potential cases last week and two weeks before that and each time there was only one case that went to trial. Tragically, there's only one potential case on board for next week so the likelihood of a plea deal seems pretty high, but I'll probably be wrong now that I've made a prediction.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

moving to Victoria, Texas

Big news on the work front. I'm transferring to Victoria, Texas. I'm going there on Tuesday to find a place to live and I'll be back in Farmington on Sunday. I'll be back here just long enough to close out my current apartment affairs, pack a U-Haul and that's the end of my time in Farmington. So, yeah. You're not going to see really great posts for a while since I'll be a bit busy for the next several weeks. Instead, at best, I'll put up some posts full of links to articles I've read.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

jury duty, part II

Another gripping day of showing up at jury duty and not getting selected. And it was a domestic violence case this time. It seemed like it would be much more compelling than larceny under $100. But since I'd rather go back to work than listen to the responding officer's testimony, I suppose I'll never know how it turned out. That is of course unless I look the case up.

Like two weeks ago, the prosecution asked the jury pool if anyone watched CSI, an obvious indication of the significance of the CSI Effect. Tragically, most people don't realize that testimony is perfectly valid evidence since jurors are the ones charged with determining if someone is telling the truth or not. And frankly, most witnesses in most cases have no reason to not tell the truth. Testimony is often the only evidence and it is always the most common type of evidence since it takes testimony to introduce other evidence anyway.

I often say that people are unreliable. Specifically, I mean that peoples' perceptions of reality are often inaccurate either through the personal bias or through the fog of memory. I see it a lot at work, especially when people are angling to prove a point about who is responsible (read: at fault) for some particular non-conformance (read: utter screw up). Or to simply inject a little bit of hyperbole into the story for the sake of drama/comedy/awesomeness (ahem Scott). Nonetheless, witness testimony doesn't need to prove beyond all doubt, just beyond a reasonable doubt. And let's be honest, there are not vast conspiracies working to plot against most people, just against me.

Friday, October 12, 2007


As a general rule, I dislike being put on speakerphone. It happens a fair bit at work and generally takes one of two forms. The first is when you're speaking to just one person and they put you on speakerphone. My problem is that if I'm speaking to just one person, then they should be able to pick up the phone. If they don't, then I have to wonder who else is on their end listening to what I'm saying. This is not to say that I generally have anything private to say at work, but the principle of it is that this is a conversation between two people and I don't care for silent partners and random passers-by listening. I don't for a second buy the argument that they might be multi-tasking and somehow need to keep their hands and shoulders free. Hands, maybe. Shoulders, not a chance people at wok are doing something with them other than cradling the phone. If they are, then the call can wait. The other type of speakerphone call is when I'm talking to more than one person. I can see the utility in using speakerphone then, but the main problem is the background noise. There's simply too much of it most of the time. Plus, unless someone is clearly the leading partner, the conversation is filled with awkward pauses as they figure out who should speak. Aggravating and inefficient and of course nothing can be said privately. A great tool for communication that is often misapplied and ends up limiting communication.

Monday, October 08, 2007

jury duty

Today is Columbus Day, the ultimate sham holiday. I especially like how the Wikipedia entry states that it is "generally observed today by schools." That's funny. I don't recall Columbus Day ever being a school holiday. However, it is enough of a holiday to get me out of jury duty today. I received my original summons back in May, but deferred until now because I knew I would be traveling a bit each month until this one. I have to go every Monday (except today) this month. Yes, that does mean I went last week. And what a fantastic experience it was. Out of a pool of 44 potential jurors, I was thankfully not asked to pass judgment in what looked like a very riveting case involving larceny under $100. It was made more compelling by the defendant's decision to represent his self, but that wasn't the best part. This was such a high profile case, that the district attorney's office wasn't even there. Instead, the DA was represented by two police officers. Awesome. I'm almost weepy that I wasn't selected. Maybe next week.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

wal-mart's expansion

A very interesting video of Wal-Mart's expansion. Apparently, the (first) one in Farmington and the one in Durango both opened in 1986.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

state of the industry

Another presentation from Schlumberger's CEO on some of the challenges facing the oil and gas industry. Here's a .pdf that has the slides along with the speech.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I Ran some more

The best part of the SNL I Ran video is that there's a song with the same name that they use a line from.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Ran

So I was at my favorite libertarian blog the other day and came across a post that was prompted by some of the things that Ahmadinejad said while he was at Columbia University last week. One of the commenters links to an article at The Atlantic that was an interesting read. Perhaps most interesting is that the article tracks with some of the things that people at work who have spent time in Saudi Arabia have told me.

Of course I need to end with the SNL Digital Short I Ran which has some pretty clever lyrics.

Monday, October 01, 2007


I can't believe it's already October. It's started to snow some of the places we work. Oh, the joy.