July 25th, 2013

busy-bee

Busy, Good, Exhausting Thursday -- Not Over Yet!

Today has been a very busy day -- and even though it's headed toward 11:00 p.m., it's not over yet!

My morning started with a quick dash to get Starbucks (with Rich, Mark and Ashley -- nice to have Ashley join us, as she doesn't do that very often). Then Mark, Rich and I had our planned SmugMug meeting. While I was doing that, Christie came to me about photos for the SMC photo frame she's preparing (the photo project Marilyn wanted my help on, that I mentioned yesterday). So as soon as I finished up that meeting, I got busy hunting down the photos and putting them where they were needed...

After I finished that, Jeff, Steven, Marilyn and I took a break (imagine!!!) and went to the tennis courts near our old festival building (in the Johns Landing Area) so we could knock around the tennis ball!!! I think we were there around 45 minutes or so (???). Anyway, under an hour (I believe). It was quite hot outside -- and we were all getting out for the first time in ages. But we had a great (sweaty!) time!!! (smile) And I think we did fine, too. I guess you could call that our lunch break...

When we got back I checked in with Carol about the Auction software project. She wasn't quite ready, so I dashed off to get some food for lunch for both Marilyn and me, and had a very quick bite to eat at my desk.

Next it was time to tackle the annual Auction IT thing -- and this is a BIG DEAL every year, just to be clear.

From my (carefully recorded) notes about the Auction software (dealing with doing the rather complicated update), I knew I needed to start with a current software download. You'd think that would be EASY to find, but you'd be wrong! I finally had to phone them, because I never did locate it. David walked me through finding it -- and he admitted it was odd that there wasn't a direct link from the Home page to downloads (yeah, that would make sense!). Anyway, I put the update in a folder that included the name of the company and the software name -- plus the current year. I like to be clear about these things...

Then I started on Carol's computer and did the update -- which included rolling over the data for the new version. I did that on three more machines, then finally ADDED it on one other one (where it hadn't been before). There were a few odd glitches (???), but overall it went smoothly. It's funny, but it seems like no matter what I do, these updates don't work out exactly the same on each computer. There's no reason I can see that they shouldn't work exactly the same -- but what can I say???

Anyway, I'm done MONTHS earlier than every before (!!!) with this task, which is a great thing! That was a huge check off of my personal 'To Do' list, I'm telling you! This hangs over my head every single year until it's finally done. It's complicated by the fact that people need to be in the software constantly -- and everyone (on each machine) must be logged out in order to do this correctly. This used to be additionally complicated by the need to do something on the Server, which is happily no longer true. (The Server side work had to be done by Kris, our IT Consultant -- and it's never a simple thing to get him in to the office...) But now it works WITHOUT any changes on the Server -- so part of my notes is just reminding me (smile) that I can do it all without outside help (woo hoo).

Speaking of Kris, I should have found time to phone him today, but didn't. (sigh) We need to get cracking on the whole phone system issue (which is a BIG one). But that's another story that can wait for now.

Next we had a meeting about the new website (Marilyn, Jeff, Carol and me, that is). Nothing was totally resolved, but we did move forward on the project. (We're selecting from three candidates as to who will be creating our new website starting this summer -- with a goal of unveiling in January 2014.)

At that point in the afternoon it became all about the Board Meeting -- preparing for it, then attending the event. I tried to do my part with the setup, though I didn't really end up doing all that much.

I did try to make sure things were okay for Marilyn, who always has to work through this event (doing complicated nominating stuff). This year she also had ADDITIONAL WORK (!!!) to do -- and it's not like she didn't have enough on her plate to begin with. So I always make sure she has food to eat and something to drink -- and check in on her. (And usually I sit with her to eat at least part of the time.)

But I also need to mingle with the Board Members -- and I'm good at that. We had a light turnout this year, I'm sorry to report. But people seemed to enjoy themselves. And there was plenty to eat! There were burgers, hot dogs and brats -- with Jeff doing the grilling, assisted by Rich (who took over entirely when Jeff had to leave early). Marilyn and I stuck mostly with fruit, deviled eggs and baked beans (avoiding chips and pasta). But she did have one drink and I had some Jello shots (!!!). And we both splurged a bit and had some cake (Leslie makes amazing cake!) -- plus I was thrilled by Queen Hannah's ginger snap cookies! They really reminded me of Mom's...

I have to mention that Steven made a great 'bartender' for our event -- and it was his idea to provide Jello shots (which we all loved). He's fabulous! (grin)

I did help break down and do cleanup after the event. It was uncomfortably warm while we were working, but we got it all done! Most people were gone before 9:00 -- it was impressive to see how hard everybody worked, especially: Christine, her son Zander, Stephanie, Carol, Ashley and Rich (and several Board Members, too).

And Marilyn got a TON done today (!!!) -- very impressive. She just kept working away until around 10:00.

I had to pack up our car again: Two 'big' (non-folding) chairs, three fold-up chairs, our two tennis bags, box of leftovers and several bags of stuff. Then unpack it all at this end. Oh! And when I was taking the two chairs back out into the yard, there were two HUGE racoons outside, climbing along the top of our fence!

Well, after I finish blogging, I need to do the cat boxes -- then do the garbage and recycling. (sigh) I'm WORN OUT. It was physically hard to play tennis today in the heat -- and we all pushed ourselves and really ran out there. Both Marilyn and I are sore, tired and cranky tonight...

I was stalling a bit when we got home -- sitting resting and watching "Mission Impossible III" on TNT. I love the Mission Impossible movies. (grin)

But I can't wait to be DONE with my work for the day. Seriously!

Thankfully we can sleep in tomorrow morning. Friday is all about our annual Staff Party, celebrating another successful year. This is held at Sue and Dennis' house. They've been doing a TON of remodeling there, so I'm excited to see it! They have a great party house, by the way -- with a pool and really nice back yard area, that includes a bar that they've totally upgraded. We'll go to that around 11:00 a.m. and be there until late afternoon (early evening). It's the one day we don't have to do anything (!!!) except show up -- people don't even need to bring their own towels for the pool (!!!). The drinks are provided, the food is provided and we just relax and visit. Years ago this wasn't true: We had to 'produce' our own event, just like we do other events. It was really hard to do, to be honest. But Sue got wind of that fact and took it over -- and ever since she makes it a day all about us, which is so wonderful!

After that, Marilyn and I are on vacation (all next week). And we're really looking forward to it!

That's another part of summer that can be difficult, as all the Staff needs to work in their vacation weeks. I already shared that Marilyn and I took a week during July -- but actually that was only two days! The entire Staff gets three days off during that week, so to have the full week we only needed to add two days... It can be hard to arrange meetings and things when some of us are out one week and others another week.

Well, I'd better get to it. The sooner I do, the sooner I can REALLY rest.

I'm so glad we played tennis today! It's totally a start to getting back to playing it regularly again. Plus it's very motivating! You want to get in better shape so you can play better tennis. (smile)