Eric: September 2005 Archives
September 20, 2005
So this week has been all kinds of annoying. Lately it seems like something is continually going wrong; a different thing each week, mind, but continually. This week, the data drive in our fileserver--that would be the drive hosting all of our music, our nightly backups, and all of our photos--decided that it didn't have anything to live for. It's more annoying than anything else; the drive is less than a year old, so it will be replaced under warranty. The music files are all replaceable: the ones that aren't on either my Zen or Jen's iPod can be reripped as soon as I have the time. I even have most of our photos on a backup CD in our fire safe. The pisser is that all the photos I took on vacation in August are gone, since I hadn't backed them up to CD yet. Those were some of the best photos I've taken, I think, and I'm really grumpy that they're gone. Oh, I still have the ones that I posted to our online gallery, but those are all 800×600, not the original 1600×1200. All in all it's just a huge irritation that I really don't need right now.
Of course, Seagate does offer a data recovery service. I could send them the drive and see if they can pull anything off of it; they probably could. Misfortunately, the service starts at $500, and ramps up pretty quickly from there--a fact they do not reveal on the website. You have to call the (very polite and understanding) service to find out that little tidbit. Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong business. :-P
Neil is somewhat better, but still wheezing and sneezing after the first course of antibiotics. Apparently the bacterial culture revealed that that strain of bacteria should respond to these antibiotics, so we're to refill the prescription and keep going. Fortunately Neil loves the antibiotics. I am sometimes afraid he's going to bite off the end of the eyedropper in his haste to get to it, he likes it that much.
Work is kind of crazy right now. We're into the final development weeks for our next major release, and there's still lots to do. We're feature complete at least, but we're trying to get all current high-priority customer reported issues fixed in this one as well, which is going to be ... interesting.
Being a Swiss Army Knife (the analogy I always use in interviews) has its drawbacks. The major one is that invariably I end up getting thrust into new areas of our application(s) every few weeks, which means I am always trying to hoover up as much new information as I can, as rapidly as I can. I'm really good at it, something my boss pointed out directly in front of me yesterday, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard work. I always appreciate the stretches where I can relax and work on code I understand at a deeper, more comfortable level. Unless that level involves working in VB6, in which case it's kind of a toss-up. ;) Anyway, starting tomorrow I will be doing intensive work on a particular set of API objects we provide, all of which will be entirely new to me. So here's hoping iBO and I can be friends. :-P
September 15, 2005
Okay, so a quick update before I crash for the day; I have to get up at 5:45, after all. (In case you're wondering, I have to get up that early to catch the bus, in order to be at work by 8:30. Jen and I are riding the bus at the moment because gas is outrrrrrrrrrrrrageous and we're poor after August. :)
I played hockey Sunday for the first time in roughly 2 months. I'm still a little stiff. :-P It was fun, though; nothing like puck-in-the-corner drills to work out any lingering stress or aggression. Hockey is kind of funny, because nobody ever thinks of me as a sporty person. I played varsity tennis in high school, and soccer at various points, and now both roller and ice hockey, and yet when you think of sporty people I'm never one that comes to mind. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get to play in the league this fall (and I'm sure I won't this spring)--between the cost and my crunched schedule (spending 4-1/2 hours a day on the bus kind of squeezes your free time), there's just no way. Maybe next summer.
Work's been good. We apparently had a gangbuster August in sales and are shaping up for a good September. Our salescritters are evidently very excited about the new stuff we're putting in the next version, including specifically mentioning a feature that I worked on pretty heavily. I've never worked in retail software, and while 90% of the job is the same as it was at Boeing or LG&E or Darwin, the other 10% is completely different. :) I guess that's true of any job, but retail software just seems really different somehow. I need to think about that when I'm less tired; maybe I can get a decent post about that. In general work is really good; sometimes tedious, sometimes exciting, but all in all it's one of the two best jobs I've had, and I'm really happy with it.
We took the dogs in for their annual checkup today. Charlie is kind of fat. When we got him he was about 50 pounds. Last year he was about 62. Today he was 74 and change. I hope he doesn't have a thyroid problem; we should know in a few days. On the other hand at least a thyroid problem would be treatable, and would explain how he can gain 25 pounds on a diet of less food than the one that keeps Cara at about 55 pounds. :(
The plus side of riding the bus for 4 hours every day is, of course, that I have lots of time to read books. I've been going back through the Wheel Of Time series (next book in October!), at about a book every other day. The later books have some warts, but overall I still love that series. Jen and I went to a library book sale which was unfortunately kind of lame; nothing like the St. Louis one where they'd sell you a box full of books for like $2. I miss that. :)
You meet the strangest people riding the bus, though. I mean, I usually have my defenses against meeting people well in place; Zen headphones in, nose firmly in book, but there was this fellow at one stop last week who pretty much took the cake for "non-scary" weirdness. He wanted to talk about physics, and Einstein, and psychology, and computational theory, and neurology, and ghosts and UFOs and whatnot. It was one of the most wide-ranging 15-minute conversations I've ever had. His grasp of physics was a little incomplete, and we didn't spend too much time in computational theory, but hey, at least he was thinking about stuff. :)
Okay, I think that's about enough of a brain dump for right now. I'll try to expand on some stuff from this post over the next few days.
Also: Cheese. That is all.