Saturday, August 17, 2013

FS in Denver + Maps

For those of you in the Denver area who might be considering a career in the Foreign Service, there's an upcoming event you might find very interesting: check out this flyer.  The networking event will be on Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at the Crowne Plaza downtown.  If you can't make it, you can always check out options on the DoS careers website.

I just came across this Washington Post article titled '40 maps that explain the world'.  Pretty interesting for big picture information, particularly for insight for me about the countries in which I'm supporting projects.  The two economic inequality maps had an oddity: the first represents the US and China as the same, while the second shows China as "less".  Apparently, no more than 0.04 GINI coefficient units out of 0.35 total.  Naturally.  The more I stared at this, the more skeptical I became, BUT it's still interesting in general.

Economic inequality around the world

Higher gini coefficient scores indicate higher economic inequality. (Wikimedia Commons)

(This post written while listening to Sharon Jones Dancing Together.)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Memo

The biggest issue over the last couple of weeks involved the signing of a memo.  While a memo doesn't sound overly impressive, this is one way in which OBO in DC makes decisions on how to proceed.  The process can be annoying, but in the big picture, it's the way this large organization achieves consensus on how to proceed.  In fact, in the process of developing this memo, we added detail that will help make sure the change we're proposing will be accepted by all the associated organizations.  One of the details added was critical and could've undermined the entire effort because I didn't know about it, but the memo was routed through the organization that knew about it, so we're all good.  Sorry for a story about a memo, but I have a tendency to not see the forest for the trees at times because I get so wrapped up in details.  I have to make a special effort to look up and understand where things fit into the bigger picture sometimes.

It's been a while since I mentioned it, but the Construction Engineer post assignment process is still ongoing, so there hasn't been anything really useful to report, just rumors.  I was just talking with my wife last night about how I've gotten used to the new pattern of working here in DC - new home, new commute, new office building, etc - so it seems about the time when life slaps you upside the head with some change.

Speaking of which, I'll probably have a trip or two in the next couple of months to some typically hot parts of Africa.  While coordinating when exactly I should come, one guy onsite said, "It is the best time of year: less hot."  Awesome.

(This post written while listening to LCD Soundsystem Daft Punk Is Playing At My House.)