More dorky bike media coverage

Bike to Work Day was a couple Fridays ago in Indy, and although I was actually on vacation, I biked-to-vacation by joining the masses who converged on the circle downtown. Then the rest of the schmucks actually had to ride to work! Ha. I rode home and drove to Tennessee for a Smokies trip.

I bought a nifty camera mount to use my little Flip video thing on my bike, but due to downright user error and low batteries, I have little to show for my experiments. I hope to post a real ride soon.

Here’s the Lilly contingent gathered on the circle.

The Star caught us getting organized in their gallery.

View this gallery at The Indianapolis Star: Bike to Work

There was also a pic taken at Indy Cycle Specialist before we left but it doesn’t seem to be posted. Meanwhile, someone from the Indy Star interviewed a few of us and, as usual, I was quoted slightly out of context and with only the dorky movie reference included. It’s still better than the rabbits jumping around misquote, and probably better than being on TV last fall.

In the meantime, I’ve been to NJ for a conference (where I also sat in a ca.1745 church’s cemetary to read for awhile), IL to transfer rescued rabbits, the northern part of the state for the annual family holiday/race day cookout, and enjoyed my tax dollars at work at Ohio’s Air force museum and that hiking trip in the Smokies national park (which ended with an energy museum visit in Oak Ridge, but I accidentally called a sex line in Jamaica when I misread their phone number on a billboard!). Being off work is great!

Mutt Strut 09

Trying a new upload format here.

We went to Mutt Strut at the end of April, a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Indianapolis that is a giant dog walk around the Indy 500 track. I think this is Casper’s last year… she’s old and tired and her feet get sore! It was a lovely day, if a bit hot, and the 8000 people and 6000 dogs seemed to have a good time.

Just got back from a weekend trip to a cabin in the Smokies. Now I’m heading out for a business trip and could really use a couple more days of vacation! Time to repack.

Lack of insight

Unabashedly data-driven, I try to out-think surveys and big-picture what you’re asking me before you finish the question. But send me to a teambuilding exercise and I must summon all my inner strength, rationing my energy to last through the workshop and not poke my eyes out. I am blue, according to this course, and the people who create these courses and make me go to them are NOT.

I have been to other workshops in the past, most more painful than this one, and I attribute the lessened pain to the fact that while I’m an introvert, I’ve developed skills over the years to help me work pretty well with people. (Also, this event happened with a team I’ve been a part of for several years and we already get along pretty well, plus most of us are blue, so there weren’t any big surprises…but then it wasn’t as effective either and I think a lot of us were frustrated with missing a day of work.) The problem with personality-analyzing teambuilding classes, for me, is that it exposes how incompetent I am naturally (at least that’s how I tend to read my personality assessments) and makes me doubt all the confidence boosts I’ve had as I’ve seen my skills grow. Basically, team building takes me back a few steps. I was physically drained for hours after this event as well.

The good information from these exercises is learning what helps me work effectively, what things I can work on, and acknowledging what drives me nuts. But most of that I’ve already figured out (analyzing data, after all) and once you get a grasp of your general assessment (INTJ or blue, specifically Coordinating Observer, or CIR or whatever you want to call it in my case), you don’t really need to rehash it, and you especially don’t want to do it in a group with a lot of flip charts or *shudder* roleplaying.

A few highlights of my expensive assessment:
-I am motivated by avoiding frequent meetings, an internal desire “to do the right thing in the right way,” a job well done, and “systems” related tasks.
-I may benefit from relaxing mentally and not trying to out-think everyone, practicing initiating conversation (particularly small talk) with strangers, and an awareness of when I am acting defensively or cynically.
-Key strengths: open minded, objectivity, good memory for details (no shit!), pragmatic/rational thinker, responsible/methodical and work well with figures and procedures (also no shit!).
-Possible (more like confirmed) weaknesses: I don’t respond well to uncertainty, my modesty and reticence prevents timely interventions, I require extra time to complete tasks, I can appear too unemotional or uninvolved.
-Value to the team: I have a strong sense of duty and take my work seriously, I handle complexity well, and I carefully assess situations before acting.
-To communicate with me, accept that “reflecting time” is essential to enhance my performance, ask my opinions of other systems and projects, respect my values and principles, and give me plenty of time to think through answers to your questions.
-DO NOT be too loud and hearty, implement change for change’s sake, or comment on my appearance (this made me laugh but is pretty true!).
-I also found it funny that management should help me tolerate colleagues less gifted than myself.

Basically I need to know WHY WHY WHY and THINK ABOUT THE DATA FOREVER. And then if it’s complex enough and I’m interested enough, I’ll do an awesome job solving your problem. But it will take me forever to make a decision about it.

There’s also a section on Living on Purpose, and the first sentence is “Amy may be rather dubious about the whole principle of goal-setting.” Seriously. It says I process the data and adjust as I go and that’s very true. It also notes that I may take home the worries of the day. Wow, if I could control that better, I’d get a lot more done and feel a lot less guilty. And maybe I wouldn’t feel chained to my pager.

At the end of the whole thing it turns out that while I’m only expressing 3% yellow (my opposite color, basically the inspiring sunshiney people-people), and I’m expressing 96% blue, I’m not even in the most severe blue part of the charts and I’m quite well balanced with 69% green expression (the ‘supporters’) and even 37% expressed red (the ‘directors,’ like many people in supervision). So while red people scare me, this helps me deal with my boss better and I have some sense of how she thinks, and while yellow people make me bonkers, there aren’t any in my department so I guess I don’t need to worry about it right now!

Ok, thanks for letting me analyze that data. Since it’s processed and will be remembered forever I can move on to the next thing.

What you missed

Those on Facebook may be familiar with recent escapades. Here’s a summary and a few extras!

Poor David Beckham, victim of endorsing a product that can vandalize.

I finally captured this bizarre vehicle while biking. I’ve seen him around but now I know where he lives! I think he collects abandoned carts from the neighborhood.

April 7: Evacuation
April 8: Unclog sewer pipe
April 10: Are four gin & tonics a lot?
April 11: Pissed about working on a Saturday during my vacation
April 12: Beat the pants off my family at Scrabble
April 13: Finished state taxes and had an embarrassing exam
April 15: Ate all the peanut M&Ms in cubicle next to mine
April 17: Rode bike to work and saw red-headed woodpecker, Christmas tree w/tinsel, middle-aged guy in fedora on BMX
April 17: Went out drinkin’ with friends and then bought cigarettes for the first time
April 18: Rode my bike to Race for the Cure
April 20: Busch Light can in my newspaper tube
April 21: Work woke me up at 1 a.m.
April 23: Casper won a photo contest
April 24: Work woke me up at 3 a.m.
April 24: Some asswipe broke into my Jeep
April 25: Rode my bike to Earth Day
April 25: Appraisal woes and bought a refrigerator
April 25: Someone stole my credit card number
April 26: Mutt Strut! Pics to come but this is my favorite:
April 28: Frustrated by canceling services and realizing property taxes are worse than I thought
April 28: Someone shit in our driveway
April 29: Sold my house! Still pissed about taxes
Next few days: Slammed at work and given an ‘opportunity’ (that means more work)
May 2: ToxDrop and electronics recycling
May 3: Insulated the attic
insulation dsattic

Don’t you want to be my friend now? My favorite FB comments had to do with the shit in the driveway.

Race for the Cure Indy

A few weeks ago friends and supporters gathered at Race for the Cure here in Indy to support Linda’s breast cancer fight (I think she is just finishing her radiation therapy!) and provide resources to underserved people in our community affected by the disease.

As it goes with many things lately, I promptly put the pictures on Facebook and didn’t get around to it here. Maybe I could automate everything to feed here somehow.

Anyway, time to start the catch up. And thanks to Mymsie and Songbird who donated to our fundraising for Team Linda. Thirty eight friends and family joined Linda’s team!

This is toward the end of the 5K walk. I always find this view of downtown interesting.

The Ghostbusters walked too!

Lots and lots of people on New York Street

The course went past the zoo, where this elephant with pink ribbons on his ears was doing tricks for the crowds.

Team Linda beat the goal and raised over $2600!