Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fiscal Year End

It's nearing midnight, approaching 1 Oct, and I am still at work. We have to stick around at work to make sure that our projects that have been recently turned in to our Contracting Section are awarded before the clock ticks midnight. This is my third fiscal year end with the Installation Support Branch of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Europe. Each of the past three fiscal year ends have gotten progressively busier. The past 4 months, I have prepared for construction awards 8 school force protection projects, more than 10 job order contracts (JOC) projects all over Germany, one multiple award task order contract (MATOC), and several small projects in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey. Although I have had two vacations in Seattle and hosted visitors for a week and a half in Wiesbaden, I have been at work everyday the past 4 months except for the aforementioned time off. The last month has been quite hectic spending 10-12 hour days, seven days a week. The last 2 weeks have been 12 -14 hour days at work including weekends.

This may be my last fiscal year work with this group. I enjoy working with the people in my office and I enjoy the work I do. It is just too much work. Although it's great living in Germany and travelling all over in Europe, when I get the chance, I usually can't do too much of it during the prime travel season time -- summer. I am not quite ready to go back to Seattle just yet, and I have the itchin' for a new work location. I have had people ask me to work at several construction field offices in Germany (still with the Corps of Engineers) as a project engineer, and I have had people suggest that I should go back to the Engineering Branch. These positions typically work normal 40 hours work week, with only occasional OT work. But I really haven't seriously considered these options.

I have had several opportunities presented to me. The next month will be spent evaluating these options. I should be making a decision by early to mid November. We shall see.

On a better note, I am headed for Munich's Oktoberfest tomorrow. I may even spend the whole weekend around the area. We have two separate reservations in two different tents -- one on a noon session and the other a late afternoon/early evening session. I take an early morning train tomorrow from Wiesbaden to Munich, just in time to join friends who left a day earlier than I did because they were able to and I could not. It's that pesky fiscal year end stuff.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grace & Jason's Big Day

I went to Seattle for the Labor Day weekend. Busy as heck at work and couldn't really take any time off, but I promised my niece that I would be there for her big day. So I crossed the Atlantic and the entire continental US to be there for Grace & Jason's wedding. I hosted their rehearsal dinner at my Seattle home Friday evening; the wedding was on Sunday. It was a great weekend. The wedding was well planned -- from the church ceremony to the reception.

I did not have any good quality shot of the bride and groom, so I modified a photo of the bride and groom at the altar to look like a charcoal drawing.


Here they are exchanging rings:

with this ring...

The wedding ceremony was conducted at a great location --- church with a nice interior.



There was a lot of crying:

Siena Crying

But also a lot of smiling and laughing. Everyone had a great time at the wedding reception party. The following are random images from the wedding.

wedding party

Reception Table Setting

Table Set-up

table number

Fortune Cookie


More wedding pictures are located in my flickr site,

I had a great time. It was quite relaxing to not do work or even think about work. It was nice to be in Seattle, even if only for a short while, to see family.