Friday, April 07, 2006

Back In Action

Hello everybody, welcome back! I’m here and I’m back and I’m tired as hell. But that’s how it goes.

Honestly? I feel pretty good. I should do this more often. A week-long struggle of stress and early wake up calls? Sounds like fun to me.

This week I got to meet a new hire at the company. He came from a staffing agency and I gotta say he’s quite the cool cat. You know how you size people up? Particularly geeks? Here’s a typical conversation snippet as we did the usual getting-to-know stuff:

“Tell me you know homestarrunner.com.”

“Trogdor?” I say and we laugh.

See? Little stuff like that. As it adds up piece by piece you begin to get a sense of who you’re going to be working with. Everyone does it to a degree, but this was the first time when I really felt like it was a process, a sort of systematic run-through of all of his opinions to my own.

I play a mean Tiger Woods PGA Tour and so does he. Except he plays in real life. I was labeled a CCG Geek and happily wear that badge. He’s suffered through northern winters and I’ve suffered through…early parenthood? Hell, I don’t know. It’s just things that strike me as I go through the process of meeting the guy who I’ll be working with for the next whenever.

The Real DealI also got to meet and greet Mike Durant, the “Black Hawk Down guy”. You know the one in the movie who was captured and tortured? Yeah, him. He was just as I would expect: Cool and humble. My favorite part of his presentation was when he was talking about getting videotaped after being kept in captivity. He says something to the effect of, “Now this next video is what was shown to the world. I’m not quite all there, because I was in shock. They had crushed my eye socket and broken my nose. Anyway…” and he then played the video.

It’s rare, I think, to find someone who will downplay such a huge, traumatic event. I expected him to detail his torture, his treatment, and how that affected him. Instead, he was focused on the process, the why of going into that conflict and not the details of what went on. I never really understood that we went into Somalia for no other reason than it was just The Right Thing To Do. There were no military bonuses for staying there, there was no oil, there was just the most barren land with the most primitive people and they were getting taken advantage of and slaughtered.

I honestly got chills as he showed part of the movie where ‘his’ helicopter was shot down. He explained how their tactics had to change but at the time they did not. The use of RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades) changed everything and by the time he went around for his 5th fly-by they were ready for him and took down his Black Hawk. His detail and his humbleness…it was incredible.

Check out some more information on Black Hawk Down (including Mr. Durant himself talking about it) over here.

Anyway, I’m back home and I’m very happy about it. No more 5AM wake-up calls for this late-night geek. It’s time to play some mofo’ing cards!

Yes, I’m a card game geek. Hah.

Have a great weekend everybody.

I heard it from a friend
The Revolution never happened

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