First Week of Work; Another Honda Purchase
Odometer (Legend): 544,647
Odometer (ILX): 181,139
Owning a 544,000 mile car is not without its share of drama! I just got the Legend back on Friday from receiving a replacement starter under warranty from Hon-Man in Tempe, Arizona. The old one was an aftermarket unit installed in December 2015 that had intermittent issues. A couple of weeks ago, I had to push-start the car (alone!) in a Great Clips parking lot in Fountain Hills after getting a haircut. That was embarrassing. Luckily, Hon-Man took great care of me. I also had the car’s oil changed yesterday.
We are good to go! On Tuesday evening, we (as in me + you, my readers) will depart on a 3,800 mile round-trip drive to Georgia and back.
The car received a backyard bath yesterday evening, though I know it’ll get plenty dirty on its cross-country journey across 6 states in the coming days. I’ll depart Tuesday after work and do my best to post nightly updates like the ones I gave when Jason and I took our Alaska trip earlier this year.
I still have the training wheels on, but I made it through my first week (well, first 4 days) of work at my new job with Banner Health. Luckily for me, I have a sidekick (Amanda) who started the same day as I did so I don’t have to feel like the only new kid on the block. Tuesday was filled with a half-day or orientation followed by an introduction to our teammembers. The Banner “Corporate Center” at Phoenix Plaza is comprised by two 21-story identical towers at the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Thomas Avenue. My team sits on the 4th floor of the south tower.
As with any large organization, we had our share of hoops to go through this week to get up to speed. Still, I have no work-issued laptop computer and I’m using a “loaner.” And it took us until day 3 to get ahold of our parking passes and elevator badges. In all, I’m toting around 6 different badges on my lanyard. I’d better not lose it!
The team has been most welcoming and I’m starting to wrap my head around the new language and tasks. My role operates in the Medicare & Medicaid realm which means I need to get acquainted with all the laws, regulations, and rules that govern those programs. It’s been a crash course in learning acronyms! EHR, CPOE, MIPS, MACRA, CQM, CAH… these all mean something and sooner than later, I’m going to need to be familiar with the dialect!
One interesting thing about commuting to my new office: If I want to, I can use the “Suicide Lanes.” These are on 7th Avenue and 7th Street in central Phoenix, which run north-south. It’s basically a turning lane that becomes a through-travel lane during certain hours of the day to ease traffic congestion at rush hour. It changes direction based on time of day: From 6-9 a.m. on weekdays, the the suicide lanes run southbound. From 4-6 p.m., they run northbound. And at any other time of the day – and all throughout the weekend – they’re used as turning lanes.
The VW Jetta in this picture was using a suicide lane during my morning commute the other day. Notice how the double-yellow lines are “broken” (not solid). The suicide name – as you can imagine – comes from the fact that it’s possible to meet a clueless motorist head-on who doesn’t understand how the lanes’ directions are managed.
The last bit of this week’s fun comes from another Honda purchase (as if I needed another!). This one is rear-wheel-drive, with a twin-blade design. It’s a self-propelled, variable-speed, 21-inch Honda lawnmower that I snagged from The Home Depot yesterday afternoon. I didn’t get a key-handoff photo (if there had been a key, I would have ) but it was love at first sight when I saw the box being brought out. The slogan on the box read “Very Smart.” Go Honda.
Assembly was a piece of cake – extend the handle, add oil, adjust cutting height, and fire it up. The owner’s manual said that the mower had been started from the factory so I assumed there might be a little gas in the tank. There wasn’t. Luckily I had some fuel in the garage so I filled it up and let her rip. Cutting time was about an hour to cover both the front and back yards. I even got fancy and striped the front lawn diagonally.
Kyle and Dan stopped by to give their approval of my latest purchase.
Video of the first start-up.
Hope everyone else had a great week! Here are the rest of my pics.
I was greeted with a welcoming gift and this sign in my cube: The cow comes from “MU,” or “Meaningful Use,” which is the department in which I’m working.
Doing some heavy-duty training on Day 2 at work.
The new lawnmower had my name on it. Literally.
“Legendary” performance. This thing is perfect for me!
Finished product. I love the backyard. My swing is still broken, as shown here.
Lastly: My friends Scott and Sandy were featured this week on Petrolicious! Check out the video segment on their story, including awesome visuals of their 1959 Mercury Park Lane and their 1992 Acura NSX.