Saturday, March 2, 2024

February Image of the Month

A bit of a mixed bag for Image of the Month. Mostly it was pretty crappy weather so it was hard to be out. And being honest, I don't think my photographic eye was working very well. I'd look at the image on screen, and remember what it looked like in life, and I was disappointed. 

2nd Runner up 
Driftwood in Glenmore Reservoir on Ultrafine 100. 

1st Runner up
OK, OK, dust spots. I know. But this is part of the series from a +15 ramble with friends, and I explain about the spots. So technically, this isn't the best photo ever. But it evokes associations in me on two levels and that's why it's here. It's one of the few photos I've taken that are more about something, than of that something, at least for me. I hope that's clear.

I'm pretty sure that's not actually clear, so there's going to be what turned out to be the longest digression ever in Image of the Month. Feel free to skip the text and scroll down to IofM. 

I'm not sure how many people outside my family know that my mom's dad was famous in the Fraser Valley for competing in horse drawn plowing competitions. This was way back, on the order of 50 years ago now, and even then it was a dying art. My cousin has a photo done by passing photographer of Grandpa working a plow in almost this exact posture. It took a while but eventually the photo made its way to us. I have a copy but I'd have to scroll through thousands of photos to find it. The original was water damaged and my cousin was going to restore it. I should ask how that's going, but given her life over the last while, that's probably not even on the back burner.

The other association is that this is in the Penn West Plaza. I worked for Penn West (now Obsidian) from 2012 to 2016. I look back at that time and marvel at the whole experience. Some might say I was bad luck for the people around me. I was the sole survivor of the first two teams I was part of. 

I got hired in the first place because me and the team lead were totally sympatico about holding various data sets and subsets in our heads and comparing them via SQL statements, and writing rules to manipulate the data and the relationships therein. She was just about the only person who could follow along with a statement like "starting with X database without the Y add ons, extract things with  characteristics 1, 2, and 3, and then compare that list to the list of similar things generated from another database proposed for addition, we end up with 3 groups, items that overlap and we can thus ignore, items in the original but not in the proposed addition, that we can ignore for now but don't forget about, and items in the proposed addition that are not in our X database, which then is manipulated to to do several re-comparisons to X based on other ID data like serial number, corrected or reformated A numbers, and we end up with work lists that look like this to provide data sufficiently clean to be linked." She would smile and nod, then we could start discussions if it was better to engage the owner of the database proposed for addition and make them clean it up so there were exact matches, or if we wanted to build in transformations that would do the match, and generate work lists for the owner. That team lead and her counterpart on a related team, and their boss were all let go about the time there was an office move, and essentially everybody got lost along the way. One of my regular readers had the fortuitous offer of another job at this exact time.

I found my way up a few floors into the best office of my entire time there. Right next to the manager who had the corner office. That team was migrating data into Maximo, and I was doing the data integrity and building the import spreadsheets. I had fun arguing with the Maximo project managers, and the company management about their fundamental misconceptions about the data. I wasn't popular, but I was right, and they should have asked me first. 

That team all got purged in 2015, leaving me alone. I walked in after hearing about the layoffs on the news as I drove in from a dentists appointment, and nobody knew if I still had a job or not. Turns out I did, and if they had asked me who they should have kept if only one person was it, I would not have said me. I would have said Patricia; she had made a great start on pipelines, and that was the bulk of the remaining difficult work.

They dropped me into another team so I had a manager, and I sort of finished that migration, mainly trying to keep up with corporate divestitures, and finish adding the last pipelines which were last because they had the worst data. If the person now working with that data happens to read this, and is wondering what drugs I was on to import some of those pipeline segments, I got told to shut up and do it. By then I was tired of working for them, and happily let that many times renewed contract expire.

Anyways, every time I walked past this it reminded me of my grandfather and wishing I'd known him better, since in some ways I think I've become somewhat like him as I aged. It also stands for a more innocent time of being a kid shuttling between two farms and being put to work throwing hay bales around. 

Image of the month
A long exposure of a Bow River lagoon on FP4+.

1 comment:

  1. I love the story behind the first runner up. Cheers, Sean


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