Life at work, part 1: At most of my previous jobs, there was a stream of collections for gifts for various events. At my current job, we have what is called "the sunshine fund." Everybody kicks in 15 bucks periodically (nominally, quarterly but it is less often in practice) and we use it for things like sending flowers if somebody is in the hospital and for going away presents and birthday cards and, every now and then, pizza for lunch. I offer this as a suggestion, since I find it is a considerably more pleasant way of handling things.
Life at work, part 2: It is fairly obvious that those of us who work Space Programs do not run the snacko on our floor. Because, if we did, there would be Mars bars and Milky Way bars, instead of Snickers.
Storytelling: I went to hear Megan Hicks and Nick Newlin perform at the Friendship Heights Village Center last week. This is a new venue and I like the location. The room is a good size and it is just a few blocks from the metro, making it easy to get to on a weeknight. Nick told a reasonably amusing story about serial monogamy - except for one summer. I thought he told well, but the ending felt a bit weak. Megan told one story I'd heard before (about working at a Disneyland refreshment stand) and one I hadn't heard before (about how she finally met her Prince Charming.) Both were excellent and the latter was particularly sweet. All in all, it was a very enjoyable event.
Politics, local: I don't think I've mentioned before that I am disappointed that Senator Webb has announced that he won't run for re-election in 2012. I'm not surprised, but I'm concerned about who the Virginia Democratic party will find to run against (probably) George Allen.
Politics, international: I guess I won't be going off to visit any archaeological sites in north Africa for a while.
Politics, middle America: While I think that the collective bargaining is a valuable right, I have somewhat mixed feelings about unions. I believe they can do good things, but they also need to pay more attention to fiscal realities.
Notes to myself: I was trying to be witty when I wrote "chicken a la bling" as a description of some menu item I have now forgotten. I have no idea what I meant when I wrote down "on all four feet."