Second day, actually, but yesterday was only a half day and was mainly filled with errands. After Bill Belichick picked me up from the airport (inside joke, sorry), I picked up my car from the mechanic, and went home to find that the Cape Town wind had had a way with the door to my balcony, ripping it completely out of its socket, and smashing it to boot. So I did what any person who just finished a 22-hour trip would do, and re-secured the door, called the landlord, and went for a Thai massage to help get my flexibility back. Then I sat and drank tea for over an hour chatting, before realising I needed to do grocery shopping so that I could get to bed at a reasonable hour.
And yes, Christmas season is officially upon us!
I started off by sleeping in and deciding to hit up CCF in the afternoon. Then, despite the fact that the only days I can reliably make it to work on time are the ones where I train in the evening, a lane restriction on the N1 caused me to be late to work! Figures. One of my co-workers was playing guitar in the morning meeting, which was pretty fantastic. It was also great to see smiling, familiar faces. I had brought gifts for a couple of co-workers back from the U.S.A. I am funny with gifts: I will only get one for someone if I think they will really like it.
Following the morning meeting I caught up with my boss for an hour and change, which was really great. I will repeat for about the 80th time how wonderful it is to work with someone different enough to challenge me and that I can learn from, and similar enough that we can come to agreement on the important issues quite quickly. I also relayed what I had been working on last week (which reminds me I need to send an email before I go to bed!), and immediately got a couple of ideas. Love that. Then he went home to work on a business case in peace (!) and I got to work, first digging into the Purple Heart 2010 budget reconciliation and budget projections for 2011. Suffice to say that we have our work cut out for us on a number of fronts; these are challenging times to be sure.
Mostly though I spent the day catching up and trying to plan. I wound up not going to a conference at the UCT GSB (Graduate School of Business), which was just as well because I had enough other things going on! We need to do a lessons learned from the latest FoodTents GrowZone build, and we are engaging with a number of corporates to sponsor our IT infrastructure (including internet). So my main contribution to this was to suggest that we put out a comprehensive RFP to ensure that we were comparing apples to apples. Other than that, kind of nice to get back to my high tech roots although the physical infrastructure was never an area of extreme expertise but I did learn a thing or two at Exit41 (who would have thought you could learn so much selling to quick serve restaurants?).
I dashed out of work reasonably early to go pick up my weekly bag of veggies (and fruit – nectarines and apricots are apparently in season now!), and get my workout in. Apparently I’m a whiner for complaining about my hands, well, whatever, they need to harden up. Then the boys made me demonstrate my pullup (again I was told to quit whining about not being able to perform under pressure). Notice a pattern here? Haha. Well, despite the ribbing, this crew were also happy to see me. I, on the other hand, was not so happy to see Cindy which was our workout for the day (20 minutes of as many rounds as possible of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats) because for some reason I was unable to do pushups very well at all! I mean like really badly (for me), so badly I’m not so much mad at myself as slightly disturbed. I will monitor this situation but I may need to take a couple extra rest days next week if this weakness continues.
Chatted a bit about some of the CrossFit gyms I visited in Massachusetts. What I neglected to mention was how many of the people were talking about competing in the CrossFit Games next year. You wouldn’t believe how many people asked me that, actually, which I would take as a compliment except for the fact that I think it was more of an ice-breaker than an actual compliment!
Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I didn’t have anything for the potluck I went back to Pick’n’Pay to pick up some veggies. One thing that I did enjoy being back in America is having veggies weighed at the cashier, but here there is a very friendly guy who weighs them in the grocery section and he actually thanked me for not using bags and protecting the environment. How cool is that? Well, I was happy.
Why all the pictures of coconut milk you ask? Well, there are 13 different kinds of coconut milk on that shelf. Guess how many contain preservatives and other garbage? 9. OK to be fair, 2 of 8 brands, or 25%. But really. Moral of this story? Check your labels.
Then I was serenaded for the second time by my car guard. Now I didn’t really realize as I dropped my gym bag and headed across the road just how good his voice was but on the way back I complained that he was not singing and my goodness the man had an amazing voice! Either that or I have no sense for that sort of thing, but he was doing full-on opera, and really well. OK, I am easily amused, but do you know how often you walk past amazing things and don’t notice? Reminds me of the study I once read about where they took members of I think it was the New York Symphony and had them play in the subway …. And almost no one really took any more notice than if they had been random street musicians. It’s all about context. This is the same reason a $100 bottle of wine tastes better than a $10 bottle (often, it actually doesn’t in blind taste tests). Also the same reason brand is so darn important. But enough of my drivel, if you want to learn more about this read one of these books: Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, or How We Decide. So I guess I’m a fan of behavioural psychology after all.
Speaking of behaviour I was so surprised to hear a pretty large number of American friends who said they read either my blog or my Facebook posts and never commented on either. The large lurker crowd! Makes you wonder, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody comments on it in this day and age, well it still fell but does anyone care? Apparently so.