Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Houston - we have a problem.

Last night, a worrisome discovery presented itself to me. This happened on top of a very exciting event – Dr. David Hofmann signed the release giving me permission to use his Safety Citizenship scale and mailed it to me. I have a piece of paper with his actual autograph! I cite like 4 of his studies in my work. Not only that, one of the first things I read when I started down this road was his study with Stetzer (published in 1996) in which they studied miners in Africa. How exotic it must have been to enter an African mine to study their adherence to safety procedures.  Probably, there was nothing exotic about it all, but it must have been quite thrilling. I would have been claustrophobic – I hate caves.  Being underground is not at all appealing. I don’t even like to be in a small room with somebody standing in the doorway.

The worrisome issue is that I read that 86% of my sources must be within the last 5 years. If not, then I must identify the gaps in the literature and explain my sources. Panic. I did some thematic analysis on my sources, all 236 of them. Only 37% are within the last 5 years. Not good. But, the analysis shows that I’ve covered every major topic from the time it became important up through 2010 or more recent, and really are no gaps of more than 2 years. The guidelines also state I must have at least 50 sources. More than 100 of mine are within 5 years old. Another justification is that very little has been published about some of the topics covered in my literature review. In some cases, I included everything I could find in peer reviewed journals over the past 15 years (e.g., near miss reporting, confidentiality in reporting, servant leadership applied to safety management and performance).

I signed the final paperwork to close my grandfather’s estate yesterday. With that, he is finally (really) dead. That was the last thing, the last time I will do something for him. How strange that things seemed different after I signed.  Finality.  It was only a short while ago (though really it was July, 2010) that I sat with him as he drew his last breath on this earth. It was a relief to see him go – not because I wanted him dead, but because I wanted his suffering to stop. If he had been an animal, we would have never let him linger as he did. Someone disagrees with me about the benefits of a national Death with Dignity law. I’m all for it, and I hope one is available to me if I need or want it.

Anyway, that’s depressing stuff and enough of that.  My “involved” committee person reviewed Chapter 3 and commented that it was excellent.  She had no corrections or other remarks and told me she felt certain the review board would be happy with it.  I HOPE so, but for now, I'm basking in glory (well, kind of...but not really).


Sunday, February 26, 2012

life happens

Social networking got a bit too social tonight.  I keep chat offline because I prefer to lurk in stealth mode.  But on FaceBook, the status bars get too distracting after more than a few minutes.  No worries like that on the blog though.  Writing my blog is like preaching solo in a sound proof room.  Do I preach?   I hope not.

Today was a good day.  Someone worked an early morning pancake breakfast with his father, so I ran kids today.  Tennis, then pre-calculus tutoring, then to the store for “dire necessities” which turned out to be scrunch spray, a hairbrush, and popcorn.  Then I drove them to a party this evening, came home, and cleaned the kitchen.  Call me Cinderella. 
All the while I was running kids, next week was running through my mind.  I need an attack plan to reconnect with my stakeholders and make them execute.  Maybe it’s time to hit the road.  It’s getting exciting now.  I put the chapters together and merged the reference pages.  I’m rechecking references (it’s good to do that).
Not only work, I found myself thinking about what it might be like to have free time again.  It’s been so long!  Golf.  Tennis.  Play my guitar.  Read books on my shelf.  Play piano.  Learn to play cello?  Landscape our yard.  VISIT SARAH.  Start running again.  Hike.  Sculpt.  Sew.  Learn to knit.  Endless possibilities!
part dog, part kangaroo
I’m officially off work tonight.  And off this computer (just as soon as I read Post Secrets). 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Patience is not my virtue

This day has not at all turned out the way I wanted it to.  I’m terribly impatient.  I didn’t use to be this way, but it seems my life is nothing but clocks and calendars anymore.  Obviously my chairman is in no hurry.  He promised to have comments on Chapter 3 for me yesterday.  Still nothing.  I will text him tomorrow…make him sorry he ever agreed to chair my dissertation.  I’m running out of time to get this thing submitted before March.  He has to OK it before I can send it to the committee, and one committee guy has not seen any of it yet (that was his choice).  It does no good to fret over it…but I do….all the time.  I wanted to send it to an editor too….more time needed.  And I’m still waiting for EVERYONE to sign permission forms and send them back.  Is it possible that 7 different people just told me what I wanted to hear and now will watch it all go down the drain?  No – they won’t watch.  I will.  They won’t give a shit.

Why am I in this situation again?  Obviously I’m a terrible judge of people, or I’m just extremely gullible.  If somebody tells me something, I assume they aren’t lying.  Maybe that’s the wrong assumption.  I’ll be first to admit I’m not a people person.  In my fantasy life, I live in the back of a hollow far away from civilization.  No noise from cars or sirens, no neighbors, just wildlife.  I look at property online sometimes…and dream.

Someone would never go for that lifestyle.  He’s got to have city conveniences and hi-def cable TV.  So, I’ve been married to Someone for about 18 years or so.  We had common interests when I had a life, but we are nothing alike. 
Do opposites attract?
I guess that’s OK as long as he has hi-def cable TV and I have a place to escape to (someday, I will…if I live that long).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Proud mama

You might can tell from reading my blog that I’ve very pleased with my children.  Proud as a peacock – that’s me.   My first baby will soon be 25 years old.  Oh Lord, that makes me remember my age.  She was the center of my world for a very long time.
She loved to sing, and dance, and imagine.  I rocked her to sleep in a rocking chair most nights.  Sometimes I read to her from text books – I was finishing my MBA when she was a baby.  Sometimes I read from Time magazine or Cosmopolitan too.  She watched every thing I did! 
We had a wooden rocking chair, more functional than comfortable.  When I was rocking her, if I wasn't reading to her, she wanted me to sing.  Even when I was sick with a sore throat, she'd pound me on the back if I stopped singing.  "Sing!" she would demand.  I sang everything from nursery rhymes to patriotic songs, to hymns, to Christmas carols, to rock...even acid rock.  Some nights I sang everything I knew!      
Her daddy’s mother has been a church organist most of her adult life.  Her grandfather is an attorney, and also an awesome musician – he can play any instrument he picks up.  Her father was a very good banjo and harmonica player .  Her mother...tries...loves music.   When my baby was three years old, her grandmother told me she had perfect pitch.  She started dance lessons at age 3, and piano lessons at age 5.  She was a  very good dancer, and a very good pianist when she tried. 

My soon-to-be 25 year old baby just spent yesterday entertaining at Dr. Ralph Stanley's 85th birthday party.  That's my baby on that stage!

I'm all smiles, celebrating tonight.  Not a good thing...I should be working!  With the three chapters finished, it feels like i've given birth.  But no - this is just a new beginning.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday status report

Please forgive that dreadful prior post.  I shouldn’t lump all men together in that way.  No doubt there are as many female bitches in the world as there are male assholes (OK, that’s not a very nice comment to make either).   

My chairman set all things square a few nights ago.  Frustrated with his lack of involvement (AGAIN) at this crucial time of the proposal getting-it-finished-and-submitted process, I resorted to sending him a text message.  I got near-immediate results.  WOW!!  Not just mediocre results either.  Amazing results.  I had posted a plea for help in interpreting validation results on a scale I’m using.  The researchers are from the UK and the way they wrote up their results was confusing to me.  He replied that my questions were good ones and he answered them, but also he advised me to get out of the weeds – the stuff I was asking about was way more than I needed to write about in my description.  It’s enough to say they tested the validity and the results were adequate, whereas I was trying to explain their procedure (they performed confirmatory factor analysis to test divergence and the chi-square indicated ….blah…whatever).

I’m pleased to announce the draft of Chapter 3 is done and submitted to my chairman for comments as of yesterday morning.  Folks, that’s all three chapters!!  I’m working now to merge the reference pages and create one big file from the three chapter files.   I have to get all the front-matter and back-matter pages created and added on.  Permission forms signed, submission forms completed…then get it submitted to the review board.  AND THEN????   Celebrate?  Wait…..and see.   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ms Misandrist

Maybe I was a queen bee, praying mantis, or a black widow spider in a former life.  I’m not altogether sure I believe in reincarnation, but if I do and I did reincarnate from a former life, I’m quite certain I was something that had no regard for males.  It’s not really that I’m a man-hater as much as it seems like everyone who has pissed me off lately is male.  OK, at the moment…I am a man-hater. 

Ex-boss  à  you are an ass, nothing but...but I'm sure that's not news.

Chairman à WTF am I paying you for?  Batter up, buddy!  Are you waiting for a written invitation?  Oh wait!!!  I already gave you one.

Someone à it’s really not rocket science, and I told you when you bought it I wouldn’t have time to set it up for you until my proposal was submitted.  With less than 12 hours sleep in the last 120 hours, it’s really not a good time to be nagging me to accommodate your TV addiction.

So listen up, world!  If you are male, please stay the hell away from me right now.  I’m tired and cranky, and if I had a flame thrower in my claws, you’d be toast.     

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eternity is a long time

These damn-near all-nighters are killing me.  Just when I think I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel, more problems surface.  I thought I’d be done with my proposal soon.  Oh hell no.  Lots of the submission forms involve details that have to be worked out before I can finish Chapter 3.  Then around midnight last night, I learn that the one commercial instrument I’m using requires each respondent to have a unique login and password…as if that’s going to keep people from stealing intellectual property if they have a mind to do that.  Basically what that means is participation will be a 2-step process.  That will be a huge deterrent; it would deter me.

You gotta be kidding me!
Someone has totally spoiled Gracie and now we’re both paying the price.  She sleeps in the kitchen at night (she is gated in) and barks in the morning when she wants out.  No way in hell am I going outside with her in the wee hours of the morning ; she knows that.  When I go down to put her out, she lays back down and gets quiet.  I open the door and call her – she won’t go out.  If I drag her outside, she immediately starts barking to be let back in.  Someone has to get up, get dressed, and accompany her outside.  He started doing this when she was a puppy because the mornings were light and pleasant.  Now that it’s cold and dark, he wants to sleep. 

I went to bed at 2:30 this morning and Someone was still up watching Gunsmoke reruns.  Crazy  man.  I crawled into bed and was asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow.  The next thing I know (like 5:00 AM) Gracie starts barking.  Shit!  I punched someone to get up and he pretended to be dead.  I tried to sleep through the barking and whining.  I no more than drifted back to sleep when Gracie leapt up on our bed, thrashed about licking all over our faces, and digging at the covers.  This delighted Someone, and he greeted her, praised her, and popped right up to dress and go outside with her.  She had jumped the gate - those gates are worthless now.
Diablo blanco

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Artificial Light

Sometimes I think the electric lightbulb started the downfall of mankind.  Artificial light is our nemesis.    

Girls run through the house all the time, all hours, flipping on lights, leaving them on needlessly – how many times do you have to remind them – electricity costs money! 

The kitchen floor was appalling this evening.  From my desk I can view the kitchen sink and stove area.  My head was in Chapter 3 when it wasn’t in all sorts of hell and delight sprinkled in throughout the day, today. 

Chapter 3 is challenging for me.  In the past few days, I’ve been reading intensively about research method and design,  probabability/nonprobability sampling, causal comparative designs, sampling error, et al., ad nauseaum.  It’s coming along well.  I got a “Great Job” from my chairman.  Very pleased about that, I am.  First two chapters are solid.  It’s time to update my committee and set a commitment on a Chapter 3 deliverable.  A launch date is needed!    

So, I leapt up from my Throne of Knowledge  desk chair, grabbed a broom and dustpan,  and swept the hell out of that kitchen floor.  It’s clean until the next girl-troops tromp through, or Gracie goes out and in again.  Gracie is becoming a very good dog.    

So The Very Sweet and Talented Erin doodled an interesting cartoon.  The caption read, “This is why Twilight is flawed.”  I didn’t see or read Twilight, but it seems to be about a female who loves creatures who wish to harm her.  You can click on the image to make it larger.  I love it.  The werewolf reminds me of Gracie.