Lost & Found

We had an old Dell desktop computer that pretty much bit the dust a year or so ago.  We’ve been meaning to take it to a computer place in town to have it fixed but just haven’t gotten around to it.  The thing that has bothered me the most about all of this was that I was afraid that some of our pictures were lost and gone forever, especially our pictures from our Alaska 2010 trip that I never uploaded to flickr, Facebook, or anywhere.

As it turns out, however, my mom bought us a ClickFree back-up hard drive.  And, I managed to back-up the computer before it was a lost cause.  However, I hadn’t transferred the files onto my new computer until this weekend.  To be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain I’d done the back-up in time to not have lost the Alaska pictures, but it turns out, I did!!

For those who don’t know, William and I go to Alaska every 2 years.  His Uncle Fred lives there and has for over 40 years.  He’s an amazing tour guide for us, and each time we go, we see something different.  We go to a few of the same places each time as well, but it’s never really the same. 2010 was the year that we saw a ton of wildlife – mainly because we visited Denali National Park.  The mountain even came out to great us a bit as we were leaving the park, which is actually a rare occurrence in the summer.  For being a mountain over 20,000 feet tall, Denali is rather elusive and shows itself more in the clear of the winter.  Its elusive nature is mainly because it makes its own weather/clouds (because it’s so tall).  So, we were quite lucky to catch a glimpse while there.

Lesson learned from all of this: Back-up photos on a regular basis to a separate hard drive!

Of course, there are a million stunning pictures, but here are some of my favorite not-actually-lost 2010 Alaska pics:

DSC_1147A bull moose staring us down. Naturally, because our cat is named Moose, we love moose!

DSC_0988This little fox ran right beside our bus

DSC_0700This ground squirrel gave us quite the show and just cracked us up

DSC_1076Dall sheep – a truly rare occasion to see them this close. Normally, they are just little white dots way up in the rocky parts of the mountains. That day, we could only surmise that there was a bear (or something) hunting them from high in the mountains.

DSC_1028And, of course, Denali

A Big Work Meeting in Cold Florida

Each year, my company has the National Sales Training Meeting for our sales representatives.  For the last few years, I’ve been very fortunate to be invited to attend.  Despite being an engineer, most of my job is spent helping our sales teams, which I love!  I have a couple of different roles: first, explaining the science behind our products to surgeons, and second, helping our sales force understand some of the most complex aspects of our products.  It’s certainly not a job everyone would enjoy, but for me, it’s quite rewarding.

This year’s meeting was held in Florida, where it was quite cold…almost as cold as home!  I should also mention that packing for this meeting should be considered an Olympic sport.  It’s only a 3-day meeting, but I had to wear 2 outfits per day, which meant 6 pairs of shoes…yes, nuts, I know.  This year had the added fun of preparing for colder weather (normally not needed because it’s in a warm climate).

photo3Hotel key cards personalized for the meeting

For the meeting itself, I had to give a talk on vitamin E infused polyethylene (the stuff you see in the middle of the key card pictured above) to our Canadian sales force.  Outside of that, the rest of the time was an opportunity for me to learn some new things about newer products outside of my area of expertise as well as network with the sales people I’ve worked with in the past and hope to work with in the future.

I love this meeting mainly because I get to see everyone again and hear of their successes….which part of it is also to celebrate those.  For example, one of the sales colleagues showed me his badge where he and his team were first place for sales of vitamin E liners. He told me it was all me, but I know that I had just a small role in it.  Either way, I was so proud to see this:


Speaking of celebrations, we started off one day with a champagne toast at 8:00 a.m. (who does that?) 😉


And, there was a big, fancy awards ceremony to really celebrate their successes.  I got to wear a fancy dress (my favorite part!!):

photo1Can we talk about how gorgeous my friends, Sarah and Nicole are??

And, the very last day, there’s always a motivational speaker.  This year, we had Vince Papale, an ex-pro football player and the inspiration behind the movie, Invincible.  Vince was, at age 30, the oldest rookie ever in the NFL without any college experience, and he was quite successful playing on Special Teams for the Philadelphia Eagles.  What’s awesome is that he is the recipient of one of our knee implants.  He was a great speaker and so appreciative of his new knee.  What’s even more awesome is that about 6 months ago, I spoke to his surgeon about vitamin E polyethylene at a dinner meeting, and he knew that’s what he wanted to use on Vince.  Vince even mentioned the polyethylene during his presentation 🙂

photo6With Vince Papale

Overall, it was a great meeting – tiring, but great.  I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to go and be inspired!