Underage Engineers

So Leslie gave me a gift before I left the States, this gift was comprised of one package containing two extremely large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, to the tune of a half a pound each.  I am kind of conflicted about the fact that they made it through security when my tub of peanut butter did not.  The peanut butter filling in the center of these Reese’s Cups was probably equal to the quantity of “spreadable materials” found in a single tub of peanut butter so, did the TSA just miss it or have I been lied to my entire life by the fact that it’s not really peanut butter in the center of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup?


Is this real life?  Is this just fantasy?  Caught in a [peanut butter] mudslide.  [It’s my] escape from reality.

I’ll be honest, I look at this picture and it looks Photoshopped; it’s not, I promise.  Nor is it any kind of trick photography; that is a real life, honest-to-goodness Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that happens to weigh half a pound.  Call it the Godzilla of Peanut Butter Cups.  And before you ask, no, I did not stick it in the toaster that happens to be in the bottom right hand corner of the picture, it wouldn’t fit.

I wound up concocting an interesting and surprisingly delicious drink this week.  I purchased two types juices earlier in the week when I went to the grocery store, orange and pineapple.  Brazilian orange juice tends to be a bit tart so I planned to mix the two whenever I drank them in order to cut the tartness of the OJ with the sweetness of the pineapple juice.  Wednesday, when I poured my first glass of orange juice I was surprised by its odd color, it looked like milk with an odd yellowish tinge.  The pineapple juice was even worse; it had the color of skim milk.  Disturbed by the color of these juices I took a closer look at the boxes; turns out I had purchased soy products.  Don’t ask me how you can have soy orange juice and soy pineapple juice.  Oh well, bottoms up.  I was quite pleased with the result.

I realized a couple of weeks ago that I had hit the one year mark on this newsletter and it is hard to believe everything that has changed over the past year.  I’m used to packing up all my stuff and moving once if not twice a year.  Finding new churches, making new friends, none of that is new to me, so for me to be amazed at the amount that has changed is really saying something.  To go from simply expecting to work in a foreign country, to having a pregnant wife and going to work in a foreign country is huge!  Now I have a son that is nearly 3 months old… and I’m still working in a foreign country.

I’m not one who will typically comment on someone’s youth especially in the workplace, mostly because I myself was hired into my current position at a very young age.  At one point I had a TA that refused to believe I was the site manager when I was introduced to him, he was convinced that someone was playing a practical joke on him.  Having met only one other person younger than myself in the entire industry, and no one within 8 years of me in my role, I thought I had become somewhat immune to being surprised by youth in the workplace.  I was disabused of that notion this week.  I have two TAs reporting to me from a company in China, and while I have not asked their age I’m not entirely certain they are even old enough to work inside the US.  The rest of my techs all refer to them affectionately as “the kids.”  As in, “who are the kids riding with to work today?” or “the kids did not seem very pleased that when I picked them up from school I was singing Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of my lungs.”

Other than my encounter with underage engineers and my creation of a new juice this week has been a fairly tame week… you know, at least it has been if you discount the fact that our customer is trying to cram 2 months’ worth of work into the final two weeks of the year, trying to hit project deadlines and all.  Personally I think it would be a lot more compelling if they weren’t taking off two days from Christmas, two days for New Years, and probably both weekends.


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