Tuesday, May 30, 2006

 

sooooooo cool!


wow. This is the volcano image that I was talking about in my last post! The International Space Station, on a descending node, had just flown over this volcano in the Aleutian islands. I was in the Mission Control room when the crew downlinked this image.

Monday, May 29, 2006

 

Surfin' USA

Ahh... Memorial Day in Sunny Southern California: the first true weekend of summer. I always forget that I live in a veritable tourist destination; but this weekend I remembered why. The temperature was in the 80s, a light breeze was blowing off the ocean, and the sunsets (and the surfers) were gorgeous. It was quintessential LA.

The best part though was that one of my closest friends from college, Jill, came to visit. On Saturday we drove down to the sleepy seaside town of San Clemente for some relaxed festivities, which include a barbeque, a bonfire, and the Pistons game. Sunday we did some sightseeing, venturing to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, even stopping off for some window shopping on Rodeo Drive. It's been a few years since I last did that, so it was amusing (for a few minutes). Yesterday, there was a street fair in Hermosa Beach featuring a bunch of local artisans; the fair reminded me a lot of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

So, good times. Back to work today, but since I only have SIX WEEKS LEFT, I'm glad to be here.

Since this is a career-oriented blog, I'd better speak to you about work. Last week was FANTASTIC. I went to Houston for a contractor review with NASA. It was pretty interesting to interact with the customer. To me, "NASA" had always been an esoteric idea ; it was cool to actually meet the people that I had heard so much about. BUT, THE COOLEST THINGS were that I got a behind the scenes tour of Mission Control from a guy who used to be a flight director, and I got to fly a simulator with an astronaut. That was pretty awesome. The tour of Mission Control was really neat because Bryan took me to the old Apollo control room, the shuttle control room, and the Space Station control room. The last was the only one currently supporting a crew. The crew had actually just downlinked some photos of an erupting volcano in the Aleutian islands; they had just passed over Alaska on a descending node. Pretty spectacular. (I'll post a couple of pictures of Mission Control later today)

It's amazing. I'm still like a kid in a candy store when it comes to my job. I'm constantly amused by it, which is how I know I'm doing the right thing. Business school will be great, but I'm still going to want to work on space afterward.

Speaking of HBS, I got an apartment: one of the coveted on campus two-bedrooms. This is huge. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to get the monstrous amount of stuff that I have accumulated back to the East Coast. (but that's a musing for another time).

Monday, May 22, 2006

 

A Word to the Wise

Stop procrastinating! This habit, while extraordinarily useful in college is one that doesn't work so well in real life, where you actually have to be conscious and alert during the day. Otherwise, you might end up like me, awake at 3:45 am PST finishing a project before the business trip you are about to take today.

Although I suppose I really can't complain. I am going to Houston for our Bi-Monthly review at NASA, where I will also get to take a tour of Mission Control. Very excited!

Back to work! :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

 

The World Is Flat

Hi All!

I totally apologize for having been so incredibly delinquent the last week or so. It's been very busy here in LA. However, today has been slightly more remarkable than the rest, so I thought I would drop by to tell you about it.

What's funny about working in aerospace is that the work load is totally cylical. Some weeks it's slow, other weeks, it's crazy busy, and then some weeks are really sweet! Next week, for example, we have a briefing at NASA, which I get to attend. (btw, I'm soooo excited as my boss has promised me a tour of Mission Control.) Yeah, I'll admit it, I've always wanted to go, which might just make me a bit of a nerd... :) Anyway, so today started off cool. This morning, because my other boss is surfing in Tahiti, I held the weekly business development meeting, at which we discussed legislative affairs, executive branch campaign strategies, etc. I definitely think that for anyone interested in marketing and selling technologies, business development is the way to go. The environment is dynamic and the work is always interesting.

After the BD meeting, I was recruited by the Biz Mgmt manager to help him solve a mini-crisis, which was pretty interesting. For those unfamiliar with government contractors, the Biz Mgmt guy is the person who says that "the money is the money", and ensures that a task is completed without exceeding a previously allocated set of resources. ($) Today it was my job to help different groups (subsystems, the BD team, etc) figure out how they would be able to do their jobs given finite dollars. VERY INTERESTING. Then finally, I was able to do my "real" job, which was to put together the systems engineering briefing that will be given at Johnson Space Center next week. That was also pretty cool.

Tonight, I went to hear Thomas Friedman speak at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He was an absolutely incredible speaker, and touched on the 10 things that he believes flattened the world in the last decade. He also spoke on green technology as the enabler of the 21st century... v. cool.

Ok, it's super late; I have 3 chapters of accounting to read and a major review tomorrow, so I'd better go.

TTFN! :)

p.s. one of the guys I work with, who flew F-14s in the 1970s "TTFN-ed" me on IM at work last week. that was amazing. ha ha.

Friday, May 05, 2006

 

Ann Arbor

I LOVE Ann Arbor. All of you that still live here are so lucky. I usually make it back twice a year, thanks to the Alumni Association, and every time I'm here I get this little happy feeling inside. My friends think that I only like coming back because of China Gate, but I swear that's not true. (although the sesame tofu is amazing!) Anyway, I won't wax nostalgic, but suffice to say that there is something special about this town and this school that you will always carry with you, no matter where you end up. You'll also realize when you're out there in the "real world" that there is something about the Michigan experience that's different from other schools. It's funny, but people always comment on it.

More next week from LA.

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