Thursday, January 12, 2006

Random Scribblings

Poker. Missed being an Omatard at the DADI Special Omalympics last night. Showed up in time to see my buddy Matt catch an all-in hand and then bust out a couple of hands later with a gut wrenching cry of “noooooo!” Congrats on placing 11th. Several bloggers have recaps, including Veneno, Waffle Man, and the winner, Jestocost. Wish I could have been there, but work once again intruded into my so-called life. Since I knew I’d never make it home in time, I decided to stop by and check out the Pechanga poker room in Temecula, CA. Pretty nice. It’s upstairs away from the main casino, and pretty good size. There’s a separate set of tables in the center, surrounded by a half-height clear wall, set aside for tournament play. The waitresses seemed to move reasonably quickly, and the bar was decently sized. I haven’t spent much time in live poker rooms, and one thing that struck me as odd was these little rolling carts. They had a couple of cupholders and two shelves for plates of food. They looked fine and seemed logical, but if the room got crowded I could see where they would get in the way and potentially get knocked over. All in all, it looked pretty nice. Plasmas all around showing college hoops and tourney info…very nice. All of this brings me back to…

Work. I work for a developer, and for developers it is all about selling and closing the homes. To do that means building the homes, and that’s where I come in. I’m a project manager, so I take the raw land, work with engineers and architects to develop maps, grading plans, and blueprints, and then I have to convince the local government agencies to let us build. If they decide to let us, my company might have to pay out a total of a half-million dollars or more in fees. I don’t know why, but most county governments seem to be much more difficult to deal with than most city governments. Maybe it’s because they tend to be larger and therefore more bureaucratic, or maybe the air conditioning supplied to these buildings is tainted with a virus that closes off people’s minds and makes them conveniently forgetful. I don’t know. Either way, a task that should have taken several hours at the most has been delayed from 12/29 to today, and the ironic thing is it is the calculation of my aforementioned fee amounts. You’d think they’d be really motivated to get the money. Not so. The only reason I MIGHT get these fees today is that I drove the 100 miles from my office to theirs to physically hand them the documents that were delivered on 12/29, along with a copy of an email I sent on that date, requesting the fees. The wizard I’m dealing with wanted to put me at the back of the list because this was supposedly a new request. I say, nay nay. To top it off, their DOS BASED (?!?!?) permit system crashed yesterday, ending any hope of getting it done then. So it’s after 5 by the time I leave the County Admin Offices, thus ending any hope of getting home for the DADI, because of…

Traffic. I drive a lot, especially since I’m not some sort of traveling salesman or something. I live about 26 miles from my office, and often I have to travel from my office either to my various project sites or to the applicable government offices. Naturally, we are building homes in areas where many developers are building homes (those of you with ties to So Cal know about Riverside County and the Inland Empire). As such, there’s been a huge influx of new traffic, and Caltrans is way behind the eight ball in improving the roads to handle the traffic. One of my sites involves driving for approximately 60 miles on an interstate, and then another 15 miles or so on a local highway that runs through two separate towns and all of their traffic lights. To get from that city office to the county office I was at last night, I spent another 25 miles on a local highway that ran thru enough hills that I was out of cellular coverage for at least 5 minutes. In metro So Cal, that’s huge. Then I got on the 60 freeway, which needs at least 2 additional lanes on each side, and is frankly in really shitty condition. Finally, I hit the 91 freeway. That beast is under construction thru downtown Riverside, exactly where I needed to go. Sigh. Traffic moving at 3 mph, with some speeds reaching 10 mph! Woo hoo! San Diego freeways aren’t much better. The two north-south roads I drive on are I-5, which is undergoing massive construction in Del Mar, and I-15 which is undergoing the same type of improvements near my parents’ house. Both freeways are adding lanes and carpool lanes. When all is done, maybe traffic will be better. Right now, the delays are pretty intense. To make matters worse, there really aren't any alternate routes (especially on I-15). I-5 does have the (Pacific) Coast Highway, but it runs through Leucadia, Encinitas, and Solana Beach. All slow moving beach towns. In the summer, it's a sweet drive. I regularly would stop at any number of locations on my way home to grab some waves. The picture was taken by Swami's in Encinitas. In the winter, it's just slow. If only I could telecommute…

3 comments:

Matt Silverthorn said...

Sorry you couldn't make the game last night. Hopefully you can make the next one!

iamhoff said...

Matt,

I saw you play about 3 hands. An all-in you won, one you folded, and your last hand. It went so quickly that I didn't even have a chance to log in and say hi. Oh well. There's always next time.

River Driver said...

Hey big brother, sorry you have to deal with so much traffic, overcrowding (by the way, all those houses you are building aren't going to help the traffic situation), and road construction. At least you have nice scenery to stare at while you sit in traffic. I get to look at the ghetto and billboards of Elvis. And it's raining and 40 degrees. My sympathy is stretched...