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  • The last week before vacation always seems to be the busiest and the most hectic. This one was no exception. It could’ve been a lot worse, though. It was a crucial week for this project that somehow fell into my lap to lead (I’m still trying to figure out how that happened ). It was time to have a focused 3 day session with all of the key players from our work group huddled in one room to work through all the scenarios. It’s one of these deals that has a million moving parts, is as high profile as it gets, politically and impact-wise, and we can’t afford any mistakes, although on a project of this magnitude, they will get made. So you have to have strategies in place for managing them. And, good luck!

    The session was originally planned to be held in Dallas. I’m still a little fuzzy on how that got decided, but everyone seemed to think it was a good idea at the time. As the time approached to get ready to go, the big boss asked me “Why Dallas?” Well, that’s a really good question! The reasons I listed didn’t sound very convincing as I listed them, and I couldn’t help thinking myself, “Why DID we pick Dalls?” We decided to ix-nay Dallas. It immediately felt right.

    Having it here, we were able to have a few more key players involved, and this made all the difference. Besides, reports from Dallas this week sounded like it was an inferno there, while the DC area experienced a lovely respite from the usual “dog-days of summer” we’re accustomed to this time of year.

    The work of the group this week felt much like wrestling large and angry bears into corners and taming them, or at least getting them to calm down a bit. There were a lot of bears. The team really rose to the occasion, and far exceeded my expectations. The bears didn’t stand a chance. One or two may have escaped, but we’re on their trail.

    By day three, we had figured out that a project we began the week convinced would take 18 – 24 months, should be able to be completed in 6 – 9 months. We’ll be spending the next several weeks verifying data and exploring scenarios to make sure we weren’t dreaming. It looks pretty solid, though.

    Since we didn’t go to Dallas, I was able to play my last games of the spring with the Coed Diamond Flames team and my new team, the Diamond Dawgs. The Coed’s finished the season with a winning record, always a plus, and the Dawgs just made me so damned proud, I’m still feeling good about their season finish. We came back from that game last week, almost winning after trailing 19-3, then proceeded to win our last 3 games, including 2 dominant victories Wednesday night, 20-5 and 23-5.

    Playing all these games at the end, and playing with a slightly injured right elbow, turned me into a much better hitter than I’ve been in recent years. This continued on Wednesday night, the last games I’ll play for a couple weeks. I roped one to the fence down the right field line that I made it all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, most exciting play in softball, and nailed a gap shot to right center for my 6th triple of the season, and the team lead in that category. Very satisfying finish.

    This is the team that lost its first 7 games, and I had declared at one point, I’ll start writing recaps when you give me something to write about! Start being competitive. Needless to say, I’ve had plenty to write about recently. Damn proud o’ my “Dawgs”! When we come back to play “Fall Ball” – look out!

    And, now that spring season is complete, and the bears have all been wrestled safely into their corners for the time being, it’s time to pack the bags, point the vehicle south, set the destination-finder to Debordieu, South Carolina (that’s pronounced “deb-a-do”, believe it or not), and hit the rowdy road. “In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina – can’t you see the sunshine, can’t ya just feel the moonshine?”

    Yes, I can. S’long, bears. Hello, Vacation! It’s been too long….
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