45 entries categorized "Work"

For lunch today

Celebrating a work milestone (release going well) with a scoop of chocolate mousse ice cream and accompaniments.

Ice cream. For lunch.

And, well, why not have ice cream for lunch anyway?


Things I remembered just by working from home

In no particular order.

  • I don’t particularly like working from home.
  • Flexie. The keyboard is not your resting place.
  • Drinking one’s own canned beverages? Feh.
  • Alamo!
  • These kitchen-table chairs UTTERLY BLOW for anything more than about 25 continuous minutes of use.
  • Seriously, Flex, go the hell away!
  • Yay whatever music I want to play, at whatever volume.
  • Remote access is simultaneously
    • cool
    • mind-boggling, even if you know at least the basics of the technology involved
    • irritatingly slow
  • Annie: The claws are not required for standing on my leg, ow ow ow ow ow
  • This neighborhood is almost freakishly quiet on weekdays.
  • The sofa, it calls to me....
  • GODDAMNED CATS

When I couldn’t work from home, in the days when my job didn’t offer it (retail is hard to do except at the store) and before the technology was fully baked (hail the days of Citrix on Decker Lake Lane!), I wanted to work from home all the time.

Now I can work from home pretty much whenever I want and I avoid it. I like keeping my home and my workplace distinct and physically separate, too easy to lose work/life balance otherwise. And no cats at the office, which makes it orders of magnitude more productive. Or at least far less cat-hair–covered.

Is this what it means to gain perspective, or (gasp!) to become an adult?


Mathematically challenged

This morning in the cafe I arrived at the cash register with my meal card to pay for breakfast. I’ve done this hundreds of times, it’s in no way remarkable.

Then my brain kicked in. Or maybe it tripped, or cramped.

The friendly cashier tallied up my purchases. “That will be seven dollars,” he said. It’s always seven dollars, the particular combination of items I’ve chosen over the last couple of weeks. We marveled, again, like we have for the last five or six visits, how isn’t it amazing that it always comes out to an even dollar amount?

So I swiped my meal card, knowing I probably didn’t have quite enough cash value to cover the purchase, and sure enough I was short. “You owe $3.73,” the cashier said.

That’s when the brain kick/trip/cramp started. I fished out my wallet, opened it, saw I had a single bill, and the first thought that flashed through my head was:

Oh shit, I only have a five.

Somehow I managed not to blurt this aloud. I think the part of my brain that was stumbling over the math was also being slapped by the other part of my brain that prevented my mouth from moving and made me just reach out, jerkily, to offer the bill to the cashier, who took it as if nothing was wrong.

If only he’d seen the briefly colossal battle inside my head.


Jarring

Back to work today for the first time since November 23. Since that day I’ve spent 8 days in the Caribbean (ah, sun/sand/water....) and took a day off for my 40th birthday yesterday.

And now SLAM back to the regular routine. Amazing how quickly the old patterns return:

  1. Alarm at 05:30, didn’t even twitch.
  2. Out the door by 06:00 to the park & ride.
  3. On the bus, 30-minute ride to the office.
  4. Yay badge still works!
  5. Computer set up, time to start Outlook chewing on email updates.

All this and it’s only 07:15. I’ll spend most of today and possibly part of tomorrow filtering through vast volumes of email and other messages and catching up on what happened while I was out.

On the plus side, I’ve a short work week. So the crazy can only last four days.

How’s your Tuesday?


What kind of day has it been

An indicator of how this Monday will likely go:

I required five attempts to leave the house successfully. I believe this is a personal best.

First try: Realized I had forgotten my work badge (and, by extension, my transit card since they’re in the same badge holder).

Second try: Forgot Netflix DVDs for return mail.

Third try: Turned to lock door, determined this would be difficult since keys were still on the shelf inside my apartment.

Fourth try: Halfway down the stairs, remembered my wallet was still on my desk in the living room.

Fifth try: Half a block away, noticed my phone’s charge level was only 63%. Considered returning for the wall charger, remembered I have a USB charge cable on my desk at work.

So then. How’s your Monday?


Rather an unproductive first day

I walked into my bedroom just now with the sole intent of taking my shoes off.

When I walked out of my bedroom, I had opened the blinds and bedroom window, and turned on a fan. I still had my shoes on, which did not register on me until I walked into the kitchen and did not feel Purina Cat Chow gouging my toes.

This little vignette rather well describes my day at work, wherein I accomplished nothing beyond rebuilding a single Dell XPS M1530 laptop four times despite its repeated need to shut down without warning, I believe due to overheating. I would just get to a point where I could do useful work BAM shutdown, leaving the OS installation in a state of chaos it charmingly deems “improper shutdown”—really this is their code phrase for “gaslight the hapless user by making him run the recovery and diagnostics tools repeatedly”—off I’d go again, restore point in place and just get things set up BAM shutdown.

Somewhere in the middle of all that I managed to contribute peripherally to a couple of problem solutions, entirely by overhearing the conversations in our group work area. Though one of those solutions was really just a few ideas toward a solution—no idea if that one panned out, I gave up and left at 14:45 because I needed to call Dell technical support and my cell-phone battery was nearly dead, its charger lying 7 miles away (as the crow flies) on my desk at home.

The actually helpful (!) Dell technical support representative, who gave her name as Rachel in an attempt to induce in me a belief that she was from the upper midwest (most likely somewhere near Indianapolis) despite her obviously exotic accent, took over control my laptop from God knows how many thousands of miles away and rapidly determined that the problem was an old BIOS, along with two general drivers. But then she noticed I was using Windows 7, and the machine I have is supported only for Windows Vista, because her scripts don’t cover Windows 7. She could offer me further fee-based support, she’d be most pleased to do so!, but I opted to end the call and muddle through various BIOS and driver updates myself.

So far it seems maybe it worked. Laptop has been running for three hours now without a single heat-related sudden shutdown. No sudden shutdowns at all, in fact, only the 12 separate restarts required to install all of the OS and driver updates I found. And they don’t count because the installers warned me about ’em each time.

So yeah. Here’s hoping the remainder of the week is a bit more productive and a bit less technical-support-requiring.

Also I plan to wear no shoes.


The new* computer, she is a bit unhappy

Fired up the laptop to configure it for my own use. It went immediately into Startup Repair mode, which included warning me about the battery health and prompting me to initiate a system restore.

Now it’s in the 6th minute of Windows 7’s Startup Repair impersonation of a Cylon:

Unhappy laptop

* Where by “new” I mean “refurbished hand-me-down” (but I’m not bitter ;-)


A little perspective

This morning I returned to work for the first time in 17 days. I’ve been in Hawai’i most of this month, a six-day vacation on Maui followed by an 11-day Habitat for Humanity build trip on Moloka‘i.

I was struck by the inanity of my reactions to a few things as I started the workday.

First, the bit of SQUEE when my badge worked to let me into the building, and then into my secured workspace. No reason it shouldn’t have worked, but it’s always nice when you return from an absence and you can still get into the office.

Second, someone stole my chair. I’m using a different chair that isn’t quite right, does not have the adjustments just the way I was accustomed before I left.

Next, my monitors are at the wrong height, and I can’t seem to get them where I want them to be despite wrestling with the adjustment arm half a dozen times in the hour I’ve been here so far.

My work email had 7,000 unread items in it, and Outlook is still yakking with the Exchange server to synchronize and index everything. So I can’t search or sort mail effectively yet.

And now I’m delayed in my work by an network credential that expired and I have updated, but has not propagated fully through my primary domain. I can’t connect to any network resources right now.

All of which seems absurdly important on the one hand—how am I supposed to get anything done if my primary communication methods aren’t working the way I need?—and laughably stupid on the other, because I just spent 11 days helping to build a house for a family who had been waiting more than 20 years for permission to build on their own land because a government bureaucracy kept dragging its feet and piling delays at every turn.

A few hours’ wait for my email to sync and index and my network login upate to propagate?

Totally okay with it now.


Why I will never be on the PGA tour

Matt: youve been working a hell of a lot lately
Don: Yuh.. I don’t have a carpool anymore, so it’s an easy way to avoid traffic, and I also want to bank up hours so I can travel a lot over the next few months w/o using my paid time
Matt: ohhh ok
Matt: where you going?
Don: San Diego in April, Salt Lake in May, Molokai in July, road trip in August/September
Don: Possibly India in there somewhere too
Don: Though the India thing would be for work, so no time off required for it.
Matt: holy crappers
Don: mmhmm
Don: All but the India trip are definite
Don: If the India travel plans had worked out as originally hoped, I’d be there now in fact
Don: Would’ve left on/about the 6th of this month
Matt: wow, why Salt Lake?
Don: See friends who still live there, and participate in a charity golf tournament
Don: Which by itself is amusing because I play golf like drunk people fuck
Matt: ROFL
Don: Hell of a thing, my golf game. I have a strong drive, I can get 150-200 yards sometimes, but I can’t aim to save my life.
Don: It’s worth your scalp to be within 20 feet of me when I swing off the tee ;x
Matt: lol I’ll keep that in mind


Bruises I can’t explain, and other bits about last week

Last week was good! Fairly normal work week, random signs of injury I can’t recall, absolutely smashing good weekend!

So then.

I think it must have been... Tuesday? Wednesday, actually, now that I think about it. Anyway, when I noticed on my right forearm a large(ish) bruised area, maybe two inches wide. Hurt a bit when I pressed on it, that first day, but the second day nothing but discoloration.

This is one of those bruises I cannot for the life of me figure out how I got. I don’t recall slamming my arm into furniture or bouncing hard off any walls. Nothing fell on me or hit me within the last 10 days, and I haven’t been in a physical fight in well over a year. The bruise’s shape gives no clue to its origin—there are no faint outlines of baseball stitching or backward sports-equipment logo typography embedded in my arm.

But the highlight of the week was a weekend jaunt to San Francisco with Katharine and Julie Anne to attend a live-album recording show by my favorite singer/songwriter, Vienna Teng, and her frequent collaborator (and producer of her last album, Inland Territory), Alex Wong.

Fantastic time. We had VIP tickets for the Sunday evening early show at The Independent, got us some face time with the musicians while they were doing their sound checks. Also I’ve a newly signed poster I need to get framed at some point. It was a fascinating crowd, too, all ages (21+ only) and just about every type of person you could imagine, all clearly fans of the music and really into the show.

No idea when the album comes out, but I’m hoping to hear my voice among the whoops and hollers from the crowd. Maybe it’ll list where each track was recorded as well so I won’t be one of those fools who says, “That’s me clapping first,” only to be told that song was taken from a recording made in New York, where I’ve never been.

San Francisco was lovely otherwise. We flew in Saturday morning, took BART from SFO to Powell Street Station, checked into our hotel with no fuss (our rooms were available even though check-in time was still 4+ hours away), and were out wandering the city a little after 10:30. Spent the afternoon at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, marveling at the planetarium show and chuckling at the penguins’ antics and bemused by the free-flying butterflies in the rainforest globe. Beautiful building, they pack a lot into a relatively small space, but it isn’t at all claustrophobic—the exhibit spaces are thoughtfully laid out with plenty of room for people to move around, and the exhibits themselves are an engaging mix of old (dioramas, animal enclosures, blocks of descriptive text on wall signs) and new (Surface-style computer-driven information about the California coast and such, an all-digital planetarium with a 75-foot projection dome, a state-of-the-art living roof, the works).

We flew home this morning, allowed an hour for bag check and security screening and barely made it onto the plane for the 09:20 departure—and, as it turned out, only because the TSA agents handling the lengthy security lines were canvassing the crowds for departure times 40 or so minutes away at any given time. The bag-check agent had claimed a 45– to 60-minute wait in security; if we hadn’t jumped the line at the TSA agent’s behest, we would have missed our flight, and we had a bit over 60 minutes from bag-check finish to our entry into the security line.

The flight back to Seattle was packed tight. The Alaska Airlines check-in kiosk had even asked us if we would be willing to accept booking on a later flight (with a travel voucher to be used in the future) because our flight was overbooked, and the crowding aboard clearly indicated it would be a busy travel day all around. I think we ended up among the last half-dozen or so passengers to board, which meant that my laptop bag flew home overhead row 18 while our seats were in rows 23 and 24 (in a 27-row 737-400, oh joy).

We did get to enjoy the log-sawing stylings of the Western Conference Champion snorer. This guy could go pro, probably get taken high in the second or late in the first round. He had snorted himself awake five times before the plane was even off the runway at SFO, and several times during the flight—each time, his rowmates would all flinch with the surprise of it.

Sometime during this flight I also noticed the couple of bruises on my right upper arm, a couple of little quarter-inch dark spots on my biceps.

Seems parts of me were beaten senseless over the last several days and I’ve no memory of it.

Anywho. Back home now, all is good and I have a two-day work week because of the Christmas holiday—we get both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, for some reason I absolutely am not questioning aloud but still wonder about frequently. Bag is unpacked, cats won’t leave me alone, the wind is rattling my balcony door, and the weather forecast calls for rain and chance of snow tonight and tomorrow.

Just as things should be for December in Seattle. :-)

So how was your week?


Wherein Don gets hot chocolate solely to warm his hands

It’s not cold in this room. I know this for two reasons.

First, I have photographic proof:

Temperbature
And second, I don’t feel cold.

But my hands do not know this.

My hands! They feel frozen and have for most of the day, dammit!

So, having achieved fluid equilibrium a few hours ago, that state where I must expel fluids at roughly the same rate I am consuming them, I went down the hallway a bit ago for a refresh of my beverage. And I thought:

Ah ha! Hot chocolate!

Which I am now not drinking but am hugging closely to my person, in an attempt (so far vain, because I have taken my hands off the warm cup so I can type this post) to warm my poor frozen hands.

Also, earlier (and unrelated), I sneezed five times in a row. Best sneezes EVER.

So how’s your Friday?


Percussive fashion?

Walked into the restroom just now.

Greeted by loud metal-on-metal crashing sounds from one of the stalls. Sound stopped, I think when the person realized there was someone else in the restroom, then resumed a few seconds later, accompanied by grunts.

“Are... you all right in there?” I asked.

Crashing stopped. “Yeah,” he answered. “I’m having trouble with my belt.” And the crashing resumed, continued until I left the restroom a couple minutes later.

Hell of a belt, I guess.


Monday, by the numbers

Today was even more Monday than most of the Mondays I’ve experienced. In no particular order:

  • 9: Hours worked
  • 11: Times Outlook crashed
  • 23: Maximum number of IM windows open at one time
  • 519: Emails received, oh dear God
  • 2: iPhone users in my three-person carpool
  • 7: Sneezes in the shower

I thought of more items when I was riding home in the carpool, but of course now I can’t remember them. I need a notebook or something, but I can’t read my own handwriting, so that probably wouldn’t help me much.


Of late

Been a while since I had a non-photo, non-posted-by-mobile something-to-say prattling. Figured I’d catch things up a bit, in no particular order.

:: • :: • :: • ::

Had my eyes examined twice in four days. Bright lights shone INTO MY EYEBALLS at various times, some after I had been given eye drops that would prevent my eyes’ normal response to bright light to safeguard my vision. Institutional evile, it is.

Eye exams are such an odd thing. A bunch of tests designed to safeguard and even enhance our visual acuity, each test resulting in its own odd killing of vision for a short time.

Today’s tests involved digital photos of my retinas. The pics were cool, blood vessels in a circular cut-out on the computer screen, but the method kinda blew. The technician had me watch for the little red blinky light, just focus on the light, she had to make some adjustments and get things just so, don't worry about blinking, just blink like you normally would and keep focused on the red light, almost there, keep watching the light, another slight adjus—ZORCH the camera flash detonated INSIDE MY EYEBALL, practically. Pretty photos, but I saw the flash afterimage for almost an hour.

And within that hour I got to take an extended field-of-vision exam—I stared at a little yellow light and pressed a button each time I saw, somewhere in my field of view, a little secondary spot of light appear briefly. At one point I got a little button-happy and they had to repeat the test for my left eye because I spotted roughly 12,000 non-existent light blips, but I think it was just the machine getting annoyed with my predictive capabilities.

All of that took only 26 minutes. I think that’s like the old cigarette thing, the one where they say each ciggie cuts something like, what, 7 minutes or 23 hours or 800 years off your life? Yeah, that 26 minutes of eye exam from hell cost me 100 hours of sensitivity to light.

Sometimes at night, when I close my eyes really hard, I can still see the spots.

:: • :: • :: • ::

In other news:

We had a thunderstorm over Seattle tonight. I was on the phone with my friend David, because I LAFF AT DEATH and ignore the old saw that you should never use the phone in a thunderstorm, and also I only have a cell phone so if I managed to get zapped by the phone lines, it would definitely be newsworthy. But anyway, I was chatting with David and gazing out over the city, watching the storm move across town and thinking, definitely a good night for Safeco Field to have a retractable roof, eh wot?, and there was a lightning strike atop the Space Needle.

The Needle is maybe 6 blocks from my apartment, so it was roughly, well, NO TIME AT ALL before the thunderclap sounded. But it was quieter than I expected, and though my usual thunderstorm freak-out nerves were jangling, I was fascinated to see a building strike so closely and so uneventfully. Right at that moment David was talking about his recent visit to Cotton Eyed Joe (WARNING: Flash site, loud audio), how crazy it was and how much fun he had, and I was doing all in my power not to run into my bedroom and shimmy under the bed if for no other reason than I will NOT appear that unmanly in front of my cats, both of whom sat at the balcony door watching the storm and didn’t even twitch when the thunder rumbled over us.

:: • :: • :: • ::

Speaking of phones:

My Verizon Wireless contract ended Saturday.

First time in my personal-cell-phone-having life—thanks to the miracle of Palm devices, I can tell you that’s been since March 11, 2000—that I’ve hit the twin milestones of

  1. Finishing a two-year cell contract without making changes to my service, and
  2. Keeping a single phone alive through the entire contract period.

See, I’m usually hell on phones. I’ve damaged or outright killed a couple myself, drops and bangs and general use-and-abuse, and then there was the time my RAZR got smacked out of my hands and shattered into pieces on the tile floor of a downtown restaurant when I was only, what, a month shy of the end of the cell contract I was on at the time. So my keeping alive for (so far) 2.5 years a device that’s both a phone and a PDA is something of achievement in my little world.

Even more than that, I’m not running right out to replace the phone. I’m sticking with the current plan on month-to-month for now, because it suits me and I have a couple of ideas on phones I may want to try, but I’m holding off until I know more about them.

I really hope this isn’t some hideous sign of maturity. I’m only 37, I can’t be grown up yet.

:: • :: • :: • ::

So then, what else?

Oh, I started a 3-person carpool a few weeks ago. Doesn’t matter so much on the drive to work—we use the SR 520 floating bridge to get to Redmond, and there’s no HOV advantage eastbound.

Westbound, however, the HOV lane between I-405 and the floating bridge on SR 520 is a 3+ lane, and we sail past all those fools in their 1– and 2-person cars as they sit in traffic, mostly idling but occasionally moving forward by a car length or two, and I have to discourage my carpoolers from laughing maniacally and pointing and otherwise possibly causing road-rage incidents even though I secretly want to laugh and point as well.

But I was one of those non-HOV fools until earlier this month. Now I’m routinely home less than 40 minutes after I leave the office, and that includes dropping two people off when I’m driving.

Nice to be home by 5 each day, especially when there are still 3 or 4 hours of daylight to go.

:: • :: • :: • ::

Saw two movies in cinema the weekend before last: Star Trek, which I loved, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which I kinda liked.

I always want to type Wolvering. Have to correct it every time.

Anyway, two movies at the cinema in one weekend is a lot for me. Usually I’ll see two movies at the cinema in a span of several months, and I’ve realized why. It isn’t the opening-day (or even –weekend) crowds, or the occasionally shoddy projection or the sometimes uncomfy seats or whatever. It’s the people sitting immediately around me who act like they’re in their personal living-room THX auditoriums with the talking and the crinkling plastic and the God knows what other noises are emanating, to say nothing of the occasional dipshit who didn’t silence the cell phone.

I’d usually rather wait for Netflix to deliver the film experience in my own living room, where I know when I’m going to make crinkling noises and I can ignore myself easily.

But yeah. Loved loved Star Trek. I saw it courtesy my friend Matt, who turns 27 tomorrow. (Had to get that in there, of course.) He was dying to see the movie, already had tickets to an IMAX showing on the weekend, but he scored us seats at the 7pm showing on Thursday, May 7th, because he just couldn’t wait two more days for the IMAX showing on the 9th. Good loud visually exciting popcorn movie I’m sure I’ll see at least once more in the theaters and then at least once more on DVD, if I don’t end up owning it.

WolveringWolverine entertained me but didn’t wow me, or even strike me as a very compelling story. Hugh Jackman was good, he’s made the part his own, but I couldn’t buy Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth. Something just didn’t ring true, and in a summer blockbuster of mutants with retractable metal claws and sharp fangs and the like, if you can’t buy an actor in a part, something’s just not right there.

And if I never see Will Ferrell again, it’ll be too soon. They showed the fucking trailer for Land of the Lost FOUR TIMES in those two movies, and I’m sure all the remotely funny bits were in the trailer.

FOUR. TIMES.

:: • :: • :: • ::

OK, I’m done for tonight.

Have a good Wednesday, everyone.


How my workday is going

I just spent several minutes staring at the names of two permissions groups, trying to figure out

  1. why there were two groups with the same name, and
  2. how anyone had MANAGED to save two groups with the same name. When I try that, the system bitch-slaps me.

Turns out one had a hyphen where the other had an underscore.

It is by such simple means that I can be trapped utterly into the world of Must Figure This Out Or It Will Kill Me!!!.

I am an easy mark.


A general indicator of my state of mind as I left work this afternoon

I started the car, let it idle for 10 seconds or so, watched the dashboard indicator as I dropped the gear selector into “Drive” and saw nothing. Blank, no indicator at all, not the usual P R N D 2 1 legend—the little window was utterly bare.

I was a little wigged out.

Then I realized I was actually looking at the radio.


The day so far:

So I’m 37 today, which doesn’t faze me in the least because in my brain I’m still maybe 23 or 25 at most and that means I won’t be a grown-up for, what, 10 years at least?

Halfway through, then, here’s how the day has shaped up:

  1. Actually got some sleep, glorious sleep! I’ve a mild cold and the biggest problem I experience with such things is sleeplessness, but I managed almost 7 hours last night. This despite the fact that
  2. I woke up half an hour early so I could ferry Katharine to work so she in turn wouldn’t have to worry about her car during the fabulous Spa Day she would be enjoying courtesy Julie Anne’s gift for Kat’s own birthday 3 days ago. So I picked up Julie Anne and we headed north to Bothell, picked up Katharine, and
  3. Stopped at Starbucks for caffeination. I ordered my usual, a triple grande non-fat no-whip white chocolate mocha (yeah, I am “that guy in line at the coffee shop who places an order with way the fuck too many syllables”—but I knows what I wants and I speaks their language!), which they got entirely right except for the “white mocha” part—I received a standard mocha. But I didn’t much care because we had already left the drive-thru lane and I was already starting to twitch from the caffeine. And then we were off
  4. At work, with the caffeine and a slighly slow day making things tolerable, and now I’m waiting for
  5. Julie Anne to pick me up for a couple hours of billiards and a beer or two at The Parlor in Bellevue.

Woo birthday!


This was the seven thousandth

And rather a succinct summary of the weekend apart from the Thanksgiving holiday itself:

Twitter / Don Nunn: didn’t plan to spend the day off at work, goddammit (http://bkite.com/02FcQ)
13:37 Nov 28, 2008

But I ended up working much of the weekend, the luck of the on-call draw combined with a healthy dose of insanity from my teammates’ status updates on their ongoing projects and blah blah blah.

Long weekends that turn into extended periods of off-hours work just blow.


SCHEDULE WACKO

I’m part of a team that must be available 24 hours a day on weekdays. Right now we’re handling this mainly by having about half our staff in India, so they work during their daytime hours and we work during our daytime hours and to the world we present a single around-the-clock face, the magic of 11 people working wildly disparate hours in two cities on opposite sides of the globe.

Occasionally, however, glitches crop up in this system. Each country has national, regional, and local holidays, and we have to take these into account, though we often forget until the last minute.

So this week, while our teammates in India celebrated Diwali, I got to work graveyards for two days.

Today was the second of those days, which meant I left work at 09:00 and don’t have to be back until 06:00 tomorrow. I’ve been about ready to crash into the floor for the last four hours or so but I’m waiting until 21:00 so I can get a normal night’s sleep and try to get right back into the groove of the regular 06:00 day after two days of bass-ackward sleep/wake cycling.

I have the utmost respect for people who routinely switch hours all around the clock as part of their jobs. I did graves full-time from Feb-Oct 2007 and by the end it was KILLING me, and that was only graves, not switching until the last couple weeks of the contract I was working, and that was enough to bitch-slap me into a simpering puddle.

That I haven’t been a complete zombie the last two days is something of a surprise. Pleasant, too, though I don’t want that too widely known because I only have so much of the “I’ll be a good guy and cover whatever hideous hours we need covered” good-guy streak in me these days.


Hello, weekend, sorta kinda

Woo Friday!

Busy week at the office, the week was that odd mix of “damn it FLEW BY” and some of the days just DRAGGED. How does that even work? Our perception of time just fascinates me, particularly of days when I perceive it one way and family or friends perceive it entirely differently.

In case it isn’t stupidly obvious, I haven’t slept much the last two nights. I have this mild cold, flared up out of nowhere Tuesday night. It hasn’t been at all bad as colds go, only a little sniffling here and there and so far the only times I’ve been congested are when I first wake up each day, but lately the strongest effect of even the mildest colds I get is sleeplessness, and when I do sleep, it’s a weird fitful experience, not very restful at all.

Doesn’t help that last night it was really 22:45 when I thought it was only, oh, 21:00 or so. I had planned to be in bed no later than 22:00 but didn’t make it until midnight because of the wacko time perception, so today’s 05:00 alarm arrived WAY TOO DAMNED FAST.

And I’m on call this weekend, which is its own particular level of hell—waking to the sound of a ringing phone has to be my least favorite experience of modern life—but I also have no plans for the weekend, which I find a comforting combination. If it’s a busy on-call night, perhaps I can sleep in daylight and adjust slowly over the weekend to the 00:00-09:00 schedule I’m working next week to cover for our offshore team’s holiday needs (about half our staff is in India), ahead of a quick road trip next weekend to Corvallis.

Busy busy, and a week ahead, I’m like the walking dead. If Halloween were tonight, I wouldn’t even need a costume.


Today’s kinda sucking suddenly

Okay day at work, a bit busy this morning and then the day DRAGGED for the roughly 27 years between 09:30 and 12:15, and then it was a bit busy again in the afternoon to finish things out.

So home I went, normal commute with not much traffic (score!), couple quick errands on the way and when I walked in the door, I fell over a stack of recyclables and two cats because I forgot to take them (the recyclables) down to the bins this morning—actually didn’t forget at all, I chose not to take them down because I hate making noise at weird hours and I leave my house for work at 05:30, no one wants to be awakened by the sound of glass bottles clacking in their hideous high-pitched manner into the goddamned recycling bin—and when I stood up, I had a slight sore throat and a mild post-nasal drip.

Damned cold coming on! I think it’s actually the cold I thought I was getting a couple weeks ago, but that one never went anywhere, just camped out in my sinuses and/or lungs until it could spring on me as I lay prone with cracker boxes and Diet Coke cans and unread weekly advertisement-mail wads scattered about me and two cats fleeing in terror down the entry corridor. Its moment spotted, that dormant little cold pounced like 12 ninjas and now I am sniffling and my throat’s slightly scratchy and I’m out of night-time cold meds, but my head isn’t actually stuffed up, so I’m not going to the 24-hour Bartell Drugs nearby, it’ll wait until tomorrow.

The whole point of this was to mention that part of what I planned to do tonight was try to rescue my phone from yet another of its roughly quarterly calendar crashes, where my 10-year, 20,000-item-plus calendar gets eaten by a sync that fails because the computer crashes or the phone resets or the gods, enraged by my successful daily syncs over the previous 88 days, jealously wreak their vengeance and force the sync to fail, and the phone will never sync again after that. So I have to reset everything, set the phone to be overwritten in its entirety, a process that takes roughly 13 weeks and works maybe a third of the time.

Today it took only 90 minutes and worked on the first try. Possibly sympathy for the scratchy throat, but I have my doubts. I think it’s trying to gaslight me by making me think it’s on my side again, and three months down the line it’ll crash again, or next week it will burst into flame unprovoked, probably right as I’m trying to look up what movie I saw on Jun 11, 2003, after we had been at Tap House Grill and had probably more than a few beers before we saw... what movie was that again?

Here, I’ll look it up.


So I was standing at the urinal just now

And I was thinking, hey dude in the stall by the sinks, you should turn your phone to its “silent” mode if you’re going to press a lot of buttons while you’re doing your natural business in there, because it sounds like you’re emitting an oddly staccato but low-pitched grunt otherwise.

Then I thought: Speaking of phones, I just put my phone in my pocket. Did I lock the keys?

Next thought: Wait. That sounds a lot like my phone.

Final thought, as somehow I managed to maintain my aim while I dug my phone out of my pocket and looked at the screen to see the short stack of random calendar events created by the keyboard presses the phone had endured in my pocket: Dammit, I really need to dig out my phone belt clip again. And stop, in the silences of my mind, giving other people shit about their weird bathroom habits.


“I hurt my ass” is a fun way to be greeted when you answer the phone

My cell phone (the only phone I have right now) rang just after 09:00 Friday. I glanced at the external screen and saw Katharine’s smiling countenance (picture caller ID rox!); I figured she had a morning update from her business trip to Irvine.

So I flipped open the phone and greeted her in my usual way of late: “’Sup, chica?”

Her reply: “I fell and hurt my ass!”

When the laughter died down, she told me the whole story, paraphrased:

Walking from hotel out to car with backpack over left shoulder, duffel bag over left arm, orange muffin in right hand. Shifting bag on left arm to right hand, missed a stair, went down, landed on ass. Smashed muffin by reflexive grip motion of right hand; bruised ass on stair.

She did the “Did anyone see this happen?” glance as she stood up, but happily no one did see it. So her ego at least was intact, if her breakfast and her ass didn’t fare so well.


The Friday Five: 03/12/04

Hmm, an hour ahead of schedule this time.

  1. What was the last song you heard?
    Gravity by Vienna Teng

  2. What were the last two movies you saw?
    Silverado and Down With Love

  3. What were the last three things you purchased?
    A three-pack of Coast soap; a Reach toothbrush; a 12-pack of Diet Coke

  4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
    Help my friend Sonya move. Help my sister Katharine prepare for her move next weekend. Start organizing/packing for my own move next month. Make moving-truck arrangements for my move.

  5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
    Kat
    Sonya
    Kortland (boss)
    Jeff (coworker)
    Susan (apartment leasing office minion)
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