A space to post my thoughts and musings about anything. This includes but is not limited to community, politics, current events, dating, GLBTQ issues, favorite things, and stuff that would make your dead relatives blush. I am not afraid to go there, as some can attest.

January 16, 2008

Travel Time

So I didn't travel to Phoenix for the holidays, mostly because it was way too expensive.

However, thanks to Southwest having a $99 each way sale, I get to travel to Phoenix for a week in March. This will probably be the only time for the next few months that I will be able to travel for a longer period than a weekend.

Sometime in March or April I will get new specifications for a revision to a survey. This is also the time I will be pushing to have the actual programming cleaned up and modified, along with moving the survey to the latest version of our survey software. A lot of that will basically be my doing, with the approval of the project manager, but he's basically been grooming me to take a lot of the lead on the survey. I've been proving I can handle it as well, but that's a story for later.

Anyway, to back up a bit, February will be the first month of one of my main surveys going out to production for the very first time. There's two surveys in this release, survey N and survey P. Survey N is going off of paper and onto the computer for the first time. Feedback that I have gotten from past testing is that the field reps really like it, so I predict that it should go out fairly smoothly. However, I will be on-call in case there are any glitches in the field. Survey P is one that I didn't program, but its structure is based on another survey I've been working on converting since day one, survey L. I'm actually the backup programmer for that survey, so any calls for that one may mean I'm called in for a consultation.

April is the planned month that survey L is released for production. That means that there will be some hardcore testing right before it, and if any showstoppers (major glitches that could prevent the survey from being completed) are found, they have to be fixed. I've been working on this thing for almost three years now, I am feeling confident that it will be fine, but I'm ready for anything.

So May will be the first month of production for survey L, and since we all know that end-users are great at doing things you didn't think of, and it might be something that shouldn't happen, I'm basically going to be the tech support departments bitch that month if anything goes wrong. This survey is complicated because it does sampling after the data entry is completed, and then it creates "child" surveys based on information from my survey so that the field reps can go interview for more details. We've been testing, testing, and testing again, and ironed out a lot of bugs along the way, but something tells me I'm going to be a wreck that month while watching for any issues in the field. I wasn't even like this when survey CV went out, but part of that was because there was a team of us on that survey so there was backup. Survey L on the other hand has pretty much been all me since we started writing actual specs for it.

Enough on that, it's how things are for the next few months, hence why I'm timing my trip to March. I was talking to my mom about this last night, and she joked that she had turned me into a workaholic because I was starting to sound like her, and to make sure to make time for fun.

That shouldn't be a problem with JH around :-) We've been discussing plans for trips to various parks this summer. I've already bought my Six Flags season pass, and a Kings Dominion season pass as well. Six Flags gives me free admission (and free parking since I sprung for that) to 15 of their parks, including Great Adventure in New Jersey, and Magic Mountain in California (Magic Mountain is still up in the air). Kings Dominion gives me free admission and parking to various Cedar Fair owned parks, including the classic Cedar Point in Ohio, and New Jersey. Have you figured out yet that we're roller coaster junkies? I need to work on putting up my numbers, he's ridden about 100 140 (EDIT: Corrected Count) coasters, I've only ridden 19, that needs to change :-P

By the time summer is over and the parks start to wind down, it will be football season again anyway. Something tells me if we're not hitting the bar watching the game, we'll be at his parents house. They totally love me :-D

So it looks like a summer of travel is on the horizon, I can't wait, even if it is only weekend trips. It's great when you have someone who is actually willing to do stuff with you and will also come up with ideas for things to do, rather than leave all the planning to you and then bitch about what you come up with.