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May 28th, 2010
05:27 pm
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Memorial Day weekend plans

Just so y'all know, kadyg and I are not going to be spending all weekend at BayCon like usual. We usually staff the con with the newsletter Jackal Pack, but for various reasons (some involving internal con drama that doesn't need to be spread) we're taking a year off. We expect to at least visit the con and say hi to friends, though; and possibly say hi to our other Silicon Valley buddies while in the area (and/or swing by Fanime and say hi to our local friends who are making the pilgrimage).

Speaking of pilgrimages, in early August I'll be going to Washington state with roaminrob & co., to tackle the Wonderland Trail and try to circumnavigate Mount Rainier. I confirmed the vacation days with the boss - along with a few extra days to visit friends! Yay! Once the hike dates firm up, I'll know what dates are available for visiting people. Seattle and Portland are definitely on the itinerary; anyone out there who would like to cash in some Baxil Points* on a genuine Baxil Visit? :)

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* Regular readers of this journal should have sufficient Baxil Point baxstock to not need to worry about conversion rates. However, crash space should be noted as a huge point multiplier bonus.

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From:kevynjacobs
Date:May 29th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
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I got a couch if you decide to hike up around Mt. Baker!
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From:baxil
Date:June 3rd, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
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I don't know if I'm going to be up that far north (Mt. Rainier and Seattle for sure), but I appreciate the offer, and it would be great to see you! As my plans firm up I'll keep you posted.
(Deleted comment)
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From:baxil
Date:June 3rd, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
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You are among the many great reasons to visit Portland! I hope to have a day or two to spend there on my way home. :) I will keep you posted.
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From:kistaro
Date:June 2nd, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
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Obviously, I'd be thrilled to offer crash space, except I'm pretty sure you're taller than my futon is long. That said, you wouldn't be the first; you'd probably fit along the diagonal.

If I could know specific dates, especially for the Seattle portion of your itinerary, it would really help me. I've got a massive amount of vacation time to burn before the end of the year (as always; even with vacation time explicitly scheduled into this milestone, I still failed to take it), so my supervisor should be sympathetic to a week off. Problem is, we're doing milestone planning now, and I need to know which half of the milestone the week will fall in. And it doesn't matter how long you plan to stay in Seattle, I'm not taking less than a week; otherwise, I'll have to take most of December off again...

Edit: And not that "early August" is going to be anywhere near "the fourth Wednesday evening of the month", but if it was, I'd totally drag you to the monthly Tarot Circle at the local new-age-ish bookstore.

Edited at 2010-06-02 11:42 pm (UTC)
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From:baxil
Date:June 3rd, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah! I think I already mentioned, but just in case I didn't specifically say so during previous conversations, I will absolutely reserve time for you and look forward to finally meeting in person (both you and the Seattle dragon geek squad in general). :)

My reserved vacation dates are currently Weds Aug. 4 to Sun Aug. 22, and that's the most specific that I can get at this exact moment - I need to pin down Rob on whether he wants the (~10-day) hike to be closer to the start or end of the trip. At the moment, my guess is start, and so I would *most likely* be in Seattle at some point during the week of the 16th; but please don't make plans based on that yet. (If that week is out for you, let me know ASAP.) I will try to have a final answer by Sunday, unless you need a quicker reply.
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From:kistaro
Date:June 4th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
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"Some time within August is good enough to nail down which milestone to schedule a week of vacation time in, so that'll do for now. Let me know when you know more! And how long you'd be in the area. And any specific dietary limitations I should know of, since I like to cook for people. (although given that your wife went through culinary school, I doubt I'm up to your usual quality for home cooking, heh!)
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From:baxil
Date:June 16th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Just an update on trip plans; the hike will be front-loaded onto the trip, and the Seattle visit should in fact be the week of August 16 (though when we're done with the hiking itself is going to be a little nebulous until we're actually up there and walking).

I plan to be in Seattle a few days, visiting you guys and elynne & co and hopefully frameacloud and anyone else interested; and then hit Portland on the way home for a few days. I probably ought to start planning the back end of the trip in reverse order so that I have a "leave Seattle" date ...

I'm a total omnivore, though I elect to minimize onions in my diet due to digestive issues -- and I'm happy to assist with and enjoy whatever cooking you wish to do. :) (I'm a little spoiled by the quality from the Lovely Wife, but my own cooking habits are on the blasphemous side, so I'm up for anything. Plus I'll be on the tail end of 10 days of walking and eating prepackaged backcountry meals.)
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From:goldkin
Date:June 17th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
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Just wanted to add that my schedule is fairly flexible, and that I'll roll in nicely with whatever Kistaro plans.

As you know, I'm effectively in the same area. In fact, I'm close enough that I'll also offer my kitchen, should we overflow on meal planning. Given enough warning, I'm also happy to offer the use of my car, should anyone require it or have a particularly egregious commute.

Otherwise, just letting you know I'm tuned in, despite being deliberately quiet.
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From:kistaro
Date:June 24th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
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Due to an utter failure to create realistic task plans for the milestone (despite constant warnings from all of us on test that it was totally unrealistic), management is considering revoking my vacation plan due to "business need". This would be the fourth consecutive time I'd've had scheduled vacation cancelled, which is grounds for complaining to HR (especially since my co-workers got their month-long vacations a brief while ago, and this is a recurring pattern).

I am not pleased with this turn of events. Frankly, if the team has no way to absorb my doing exactly one week less of work for a nine-week milestone, I shouldn't be ranked at SDET 1. (Of course, they'd have to promote me twice to get me off that job title. But while raises and bonuses can only happen as part of annual review, business need can cause promotions whenever.) If they push hard enough, then I'll use exactly that argument when I get HR involved. I've already received mail from HR worried about my failure to use vacation and the abnormal rate at which vacations scheduled in the time-tracking tool got cancelled, so I suspect they'd be interested.

Hopefully, the next week of meetings will clarify that one week doesn't matter when I'm overbooked by at least five, and they really need to make some serious feature decisions due to lack of test capacity. This is quite likely. If I can't defend my vacation, I'll let you know.
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From:baxil
Date:June 24th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
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Ugh. Just ... ugh. My sympathy and best wishes.

My trip will happen, one way or the other, and I will find a way to see you, one way or the other. But I really hope, for the sake of your sanity and happiness, that you are able to force a resolution that ends up being fair to you.

I would absolutely follow this up with HR, with exactly the same facts laid out there as here. Three times in a row this has already screwed you over. Clearly you're at the point where someone outside your department needs to step in.
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