More Work, Yay!

I got sent on a project to assist in converting the Eckerd Drug stores to CVS/Pharmacy stores.. They get a new server, new workstations, new printers, and upgrades to the POS system, including new printers, signature pad devices, and a new POS server.

Last night I worked on the pharmacy team. I’ll train in 4 stores, and then they will turn us loose on our own, maybe 3 or 4 to a team, to do the conversions. The documentation is phenomenal, better than I have seen in other rollouts. And the helpdesk, the ROC, is very helpful.

If all goes well, I will be quite busy with these Eckerd conversions. Talk is it will be 4 nights a week, but I have not gotten anything solid on that yet. That should still leave me open to do JP Morgan Chase and AG Edwards on weekends. Down side is it is night work, we cannot even start the real work until the store closes and runs end of day cycles and does nightly backups. That makes interacting with others difficult,a s I willbe a day sleeper for a while. But the money is right, and work is good, yes?

More reading material

I’ve finished reading Eve Curie’s 1937 biography of her mother, physicist Marie Curie. I’m going to read a 1995 biography of Marie Curie, by Susan Quinn, as soon as it comes into the library where I’ve put it on hold. I’m interested in reading more about Curie’s processes of discovery themselves, now that I’ve seen what a unique and fascinating life she had. But what I'd most like to read is a published collection of Marie Curie's letters, which I don't think exists.

Curie won two Nobel prizes, one with her husband Pierre Curie and another partner in science, and one by herself long after Pierre Curie’s death. She helped to develop medical uses for radium, which enabled doctors to cure many cancer patients in a new way. During the first world war, in her adopted country of France, she used all her resources and influence to procure cars, outfit them as mobile x-ray units, and train technicians to x-ray wounded servicemen. She operated one of these cars herself, driving long or short distances to field hospitals. Doctors were amazed at the new ability to remove an otherwise invisible piece of shrapnel from inside a wound.

Marie and Pierre Curie were devoted to each other and totally compatible in their lack of interest in fame and personal recognition of any kind. According to Eve Curie, her parents, with minimal discussion, declined to patent the process of isolating radium from ore, which could have earned them a fortune relatively early in their careers. Instead they struggled financially for years while France and the Sorbonne let them work in a leaky shed.

Pierre Curie died young, hit by a heavy horsedrawn cart on the streets of Paris. Marie mourned, seemingly forever, but was no less obsessed with her work than before. After the war, she was overjoyed to see her native country of Poland taken out of German-Russian-Austrian domination and become a free country. It was sad to read the story from the perspective of today, knowing what was unknown in 1937 about Poland’s next phase.

It's great that Eve Curie was able to write such a good book about her famous mother. She doesn't talk about her own life but she must have been very talented too.

Other things that are next on my reading list besides another Curie biography are Cormac McCarthy’s Cities of the Plain, which I bought two months ago (it will be the fourth book of his I’ll have read); Wallace Stegner’s The Spectator Bird, which I’ve checked out of the library; and the novel version of The Last Days of Disco, which I’ve also borrowed. (Why that book? I don’t know.)