Linda O

Linda O
Glamorous Me

Monday, September 29, 2008

CHINA!


Barring any unforeseen circumstances, and with God's help and approval, I will be crossing the International Date Line 3 weeks from today! Yup. The long-awaited China trip is almost here. I received a package from People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs (http://www.citizenambassadors.org/default.aspx) in the middle of last week, and amongst the luggage tags and passport holders, I almost missed our FINAL ITINERARY! Who is "our" and what is our "itinerary"? Well, in case you hadn't heard, I have the distinct honor of leading a delegation of technical communication professionals to China from 19-31 October 2008. A life-altering event is about to happen. My world is about to grow by an order of magnitude, and my wonder quotient will rise far above the height of anything yet experienced (or so I hope!).

The actual page on the People to People (P2P) site that describes the trip I'll be leading is here:
http://www.citizenambassadors.org/upcomingprograms/science_tech/oestreich-linda_10-2008.asp

We have 20 folks on the trip, five of whom are "guests." That means they are accompanying the techcomm professional and will have their own side trips to see more of the cultural side of China while my colleagues and I visit universities, organizations, and businesses to discuss the business and theory of techcomm.

Pretty nifty, huh? Of course, even with the 4 days of professional visits and several days set aside for traveling within the country, we will still do some cultural things. The one that I'm looking forward to with most excitement is the day we will take a trip down the Li River in the area of Guilin.


Lordy, Lordy! I'm just about the luckiest person in the world! I know only one of the people on the trip--my good friend, Sherry Michaels, who lives and works in Scottsdale ( http://www.docntrain.com/home.php). We have 20 folks going on the trip, so I'll be adding many more folks to my ever-growing network of wonderful people. The group is already multinational, even before we begin meeting with our Chinese colleagues. Our delegation includes four folks from Canada, two from Belgium, and one American who lives in Indonesia!

So, in the coming weeks you'll hear a lot more about this trip. My crazed preparations will take up much of my energy from now til then, I'm sure. We have all been sharing information through a Yahoo group. We've decided to begin a special blog just for the trip that we can all write in. That way, all of our friends, families, and colleagues can keep up with our adventures.

Be well, Everyone, Life is GOOD!

Linda O

Friday, September 26, 2008

Work, work, work


Big day at work today. It's Friday and I've spent the whole day in meetings to reconfigure our plans for getting the doc done in time to meet the yet-again rescheduled software release. Our first target was for October. Then it was moved to January '09, now it's moved back to late Oct/early November. I have a phenomenal team of folks working for me and they are really making some huge improvements in what we deliver to our customers, but the job is daunting and time is fast running out. Unfortunately, the scope of what we deliver has changed dramatically over the months, and one of my employees is on an extended disability leave. Not fun. But we'll get done what we can and move on to the next release. Documenting for enterprise-wide software systems is never simple. Yet it pays the bills and most of the time, I have fun and get a rather big kick out of working with the folks I work with. So, rather than face traffic, I'm blogging! Actually, traffic isn't all that bad. So, I won't complain. I just knew that if I didn't blog now, I might not get to it for a few days. Sometimes, over the weekend, I forget to log on! (HORRORS!)

Working for HP Software (http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/prodserv/software.html) is almost like working for Uncle Sam. It's interesting to me that I began my career working within a huge megabureaucratic environment, and if I play my cards right, I might get to end my career working in something similar. I know that folks who run this place would probably be offended if they realized that I compare the two. However, the processes in both places, for the most part, take more time than the results of those processes. We have a gazillion levels of management. (I think there's 7 or 8 levels between me and the CEO.) Most of my support from HR and IT comes from faceless emails or voices on the phone from faraway, exotic places (actually, that wasn't happening when I worked for the gov't!) Other than that, one big difference is that when I worked for Uncle Sam, I got wage increases more often! :-)

Nonetheless, I do like my work and the folks I work with, so I'm basically a happy camper. If the powers that be align, I could envision myself staying here until I retire. Of course, after being laid off by BMC (http://www.bmc.com/) back in 2003, I take each day as a gift and have no expectations for security. Just wishes. It's interesting to me that BMC is the #1 prime competitor for the product I now work on! Amazing how the world works.

As you can see in the picture, I work in a cube farm. First time ever in my life! Guess I was lucky it didn't happen earlier. It's better and worse than I imagined. You can see from the picture that it's certainly not extravagant! But, it does lend itself to keeping one's nose clean. Everyone knows everything about everybody. HP at least puts EVERYONE in a cube--even directors and VPs! Not sure about our CEO.

So, that's today's bit of thought. As I sign off, I happen to look up at a quotation from the Daily Word (http://www.dailyword.org/) that I have on my bulletin board: "I am a willing participant in change, a process of unfolding good." I'll keep that in mind the next time they change the release date.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

$700 BILLION Bailout plus

Lots and lots of traffic on home email about the bailout and the upcoming elections. I choose to be rather uninformed, because I find that when I get informed, I am even sadder/angrier/more scared to think about what's happening in our country right now. Nonetheless, this bailout is a topic that I am following better than most. I truly think that we (Americans) are in the most critical/tenuous position I can ever remember as an adult. I'm saddened by our loss of respect throughout the world. I'm saddened by the masses of us who are more interested in what Britney Spears is doing than what is happening to our economy and our planet. I religiously listen to NPR for my news. I can't handle the local TV news, but listen to the national news programs. From time to time, I read specific magazine articles that help me learn more about candidates and causes. So, I hope that in the long run, I can cast my vote based on some hard information and a lot of heart. I am always amazed at how each of us interprets the same information in such different ways, depending on what we bring along as our personal baggage. Nonetheless, I'm hopeful for us. I believe in our foundation of civil liberty. And I believe that the United States is and will remain the best country on Earth for living free. I hope I'm not wrong.

Along a similar train of thought, I did a fun and interesting quiz online this morning. It's part of an ABC poll (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/MatchoMatic/fullpage?id=5542139). You click on statements made by Obama and McCain to answer specific questions. Then, based on how many questions you chose by a certain candidate, you vote for that candidate. As I answered the questions, I really didn't always know which candidate had said what. I needed to answer what I thought was right. As it turns out, I was strongly in favor of Obama, but I did agree with some of what McCain said, so it was by no means a shut out!

I can't help but be pleased that I'll be out of the country the last two weeks of October. I won't have to listen to the last-minute, negative political ads. I'll be back in plenty of time to cast my vote. I hope everyone who can does.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's About Time!

I'm finally blogging! Got lots of things going on, not sure how prolific I'll be, but I'm gonna give it a try. For those who know me, you'll probably see the connection between my vanity plate, home email, and blog site name. I thought about calling it LO Knows, but the older I get, the less I know, so that would limit my blogging.

I like titling this Blog "LO Writing," because it doesn't set up any expectations. All I have to do is write! To begin, I thought I'd tell you a little about me.
I'm 60. My Myers-Briggs is ENFP (but I was barely an E), and my DISC is ISCD. I am a mom, although my daughter is as old as my mom was when I made her a grandmother (Egad!). So far, I'm not a grandmother, although I do claim my best friend's granddaughters from time to time.
I have a dog, Karma, and a cat, Charley. They're both girls, even though Charley's a bit of a tomboy. They give me love, keep me sane, and make me laugh. (Pretty good return on my investment.)
I grew up in and now live in San Diego. I lived in Houston for all of the 1990s plus some and although it was fun and I met many lovely people who will always be in my life, I am glad to be home. Someday, I'll blog the story of that life journey--to Texas and back!

I write for a living. Well, actually, I manage people who write. I used to write for money. Now I write for fun.

I love Paris. Not Paris, TX, but Paris Paris. I'm convinced that I lived a past life there. Oh yeah, that tells you something else about me. I believe in lots of new agey stuff. Not all of it, but a lot of it. It makes sense to me and helps me make sense of the world we're in.
I am a technical communicator. I've been active in STC (Society for Technical Communication) for many, many years--in fact, I am the Immediate Past President of the Society. My final year on the Board of Directors. Time to move over and make room for new ideas and new processes to match the evolving world!
So, that's the first installment. Glad you stuck it out! See you next time.
LindaO