April 11, 2008: Flat Stanley Comes to Newark

Sheep Guarding Llama’s Flat Stan from Iuka, Mississippi Flickr Page

Flat Stanley's Picture of the Titanic Drydock

Before this morning I was not acquainted with Flat Stanley.  Apparently I am out of the loop, but that is nothing new. I learned of Flat Stanley from a friend back home in Leicester, New York who needed a favour…

Flat Stanley Visits the Titanic Yards in Belfast

It seems that our Flat Stanley hails from Iuka, Mississippi.  Iuka is located in the very northeastern corner of Mississippi in Tishomingo County where the state borders Alabama and Tennessee.  My friends’ niece lives in Iuka and her class is involved in a Flat Stanley project.  So she sent Flat Stanley to my friends in Leicester hoping that Flat Stanley could visit New York City and see the sights such as the Statue of Liberty.  Unfortunately she did not realize that her family in New York lived so far from the city, about 350 miles, so touring the city with Mr. Stanley was not really an option.  This, as you can imagine, is where I come into the picture.

Flat Stanley in Belfast at Titanic Dry Dock

So this morning Stanley traveled down to Newark to visit me.  The weather is bad for picture taking today, though, and Katie, who will be my co-tour guide in Manhattan, is out of work today.  So we are planning to take Flat Stanley around with us on Monday to get pictures during lunch – with any luck there will actually be sunlight on Monday for us to work with.

Flat Stanley meets Sean

Since I work with people from all over the world I decided that this was a perfect opportunity for Flat Stanley to see some exciting places.  Other Flat Stanleys and his relatives have been to many exciting places.  But I thought that it would be really nice if Mr. Stanley from Iuka, Mississippi could visit some neat places. So I made some “calls”.

Stanley’s first stop on his whirlwind tour was Belfast, Northern Ireland thanks to my friends Sean and Niall who jumped right onto the project immediatley.  They got pictures of Flat Stanley at White Star House where the Titanic was built.  They have pictures of Stanley in the windows overlooking the dry dock where the Titanic actually was assembled.   I think that this is probably Stanley’s first trip to this particular location.

I have some more people in Belfast getting involved taking him to other important Northern Irish locations like the Giants’ Causeway and the word is that he is driving down to Dublin, Ireland tomorrow too.  We are starting to get supporters all over the world.  We should have a lot of pictures by early next week.  If you don’t want to have to check back to the web site all the time you can subscribe through RSS: Flat Stanley SGL Flickr Feed.  You can also point your AppleTV to the Flat Stanley set on SheepGuardingLlama on Flickr and AppleTV will connect it as a slideshow.  How cool is that?

More Flat Stanley news over the weekend.  Dominica and I will be showing him around Newark tomorrow.

It is Friday and that makes it my busy day.  My morning was so busy that although I had planned to work from home until nine and then go into the office on Wall Street I didn’t actually manage to leave until one thirty.  It may seem that after seven hours that it wasn’t worth going into the office when the day was just about over but, as this is Friday, the day was not even half way over yet.  So off to the office I went.

I was pretty hungry as I hadn’t had a chance to eat all day so I stopped off at Newark Penn Station and grabbed some pizza from Triponi Pizza.  Then it was on the PATH and into the city.  I felt like reading today so I carried “Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager” which is small and easy to carry on the train.

I wanted to take Flat Stanley into Manhattan with me today but it is extremely overcast and foggy today and Manhattan gets exceptionally dark when there is no sunlight.  There is no scenary out here.  Just fog.  And today is just way too busy for me to take a break to go do anything extra.  So that will have to wait until Monday.

My afternoon was very busy and I was just bouncing from one thing to another as quickly as possible.  I did the regular deployment work until almost seven.  Then I settled in to do the “after hours” work that had to either be done tonight or over the weekend.  I figured best to get a good bulk of stuff done tonight rather than wait until tomorrow or Sunday to be working on it.

I ended up working until well after nine at night making my day come out to fifteen hours.  I was pretty worn out by the end of the day.  I did manage to take care of a large volume of work that would not have been fun to have carried into my weekend though.  Best to get that stuff over and done with before leaving the office.  I really need my weekend time to do homework anyway.

It is good that I stayed in the office anyway, though.  There was deployment work that ended up going until nine and a little around eight someone needed me to physically restart a computer here in the office that I could not have done had I left at a normal time and that would have made it quite hard for them to have worked over the weekend.  So it worked out well.

Ramona wanted to get together this evening but we are pretty tired.  It will be well after ten before I get home and I think that my walk home might be in the rain.  So we are planning on breakfast at Airlie Cafe tomorrow morning.  Flat Stanley can go with us.

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