Sunday, September 12, 2004

You Better Get Some More Steam

It's been a while since I posted a significant entry. Between being busy at work and sick for a bunch of the week before labor day, I haven't had much time when I didn't have something better to do. I still have some better things to do, but I'm going to procrastinate for a few minutes instead.

I've now put just under a hundred miles on the new bike; it would have been more by now, but I was sick for a few days. Rachel was even going to let me take her to school on the bike on Friday, but I wasn't feeling up to it. I was fine for driving and probably would have been fine riding, but somehow relying on myself for balancing and powering a bike seemed too much. Far better to let the truck's 4 wheels and 190 hp engine take care of those tasks!

Yesterday and this morning I rode up to Spruce and Grizzly. Yesterday, I was approaching a red light on the way and was thinking of running it, but there was a car coming; then I realized it was my father, and started considering running it again, but I had already put my foot down. Then today I decided to go on up to Euclid on Grizzly and come down that instead of Spruce; I had been telling my mother that I was going to wait to do that until I had worked up to doing the ride a little faster or better. I should have known, given how much easier Spruce to Grizzly was the first time I rode it this year than the last time I rode it (probably high school), that Euclid wouldn't be hard - it's only two blocks and neither long nor particularly steep ones, at that. Euclid, on the other hand, is paved almost all the way back to the Cal campus, which made it far nicer to ride down than Spruce! Except for the part where I got a flat tire as I went by the Rose Garden.

This kind of made the rest of the morning interesting. We are working on getting ready for Rachel's birthday party this weekend, and having to walk home and still go to the bike store for a new tube and such, would really have messed things up. Between that and work I'm sure we'll be good and busy the next several days.

Here's a funny story: as we were discussing at dinner what else we should do for the evening, Dawn commented that she was out of steam, to which Rachel announced "you better get some more steam, Mommy."

It gets better, really... a little later, she holds up her hand, holding the ring finger down with her thumb and says "can you do this?" So we teach her the rock-and-roll salute with both the middle & index fingers down... and within a few minutes she's bobbing her head in time to Iron Man. A little later, she's naked dancing with Dawn to Baby Got Back. And we have video of that...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

It's 10 O'Clock On a Wednesday

It's 10 PM. The power's been out for most of four hours. It came on around 8 long enough for me to get around to starting to reset clocks, only to have it go out again a few minutes later. I'm writing this in Notepad to post later. Rachel did OK; she was a little freaked out. I talked to her about being able to see as we got used to it and we walked to get a flashlight.

I had to dress up a little for work today because my boss's new boss is in town. I already told her that I won't bother dressing up tomorrow or Friday since some other people didn't today in spite of being instructed to do so. Partly it's because I wanted to ride today and it was getting late and hot and I didn't want to deal with any changes of clothes. Maybe I will ride in t-shirt and shorts tomorrow and take good clothes to change into, which is what Dawn just suggested.

Anyway, at dinner, while I was still dressed up, Rachel says to me "can you be handsome again, Daddy?" I immediately knew Dawn must have said something about me being dressed up this morning after they left for school, so I said "is that what Mommy said, that I was handsome?". to which she said "yeah. Because you had a meeting today." Then after we got home I said I was going to go change and she says "you don't want to be handsome anymore?" I guess the clothes make the man.

I just called PG&E again about the power outage. The automated system now knows that the problem is from 'damaged equipment' and that they expect to restore the power by between 5 and 7 tomorrow morning. Nothing like getting the power back up quickly. Can't wait to be trying to get up in the morning with no power. Not to mention claiming the cost of the contents of our refrigerator and freezer from PG&E if it can't keep everything cold enough for that long.

Accidental Procrastination

OK, I haven't really been setting out to procrastinate today, but I've gotten very little done and as late as it is now, I'm not likely to get much more done now. I haven't even been procrastinating per se, I just haven't been able to focus on anything. So I suppose I might as well spend a few minutes on a blog entry since I've been wanting to do some for a while. Not that I'm going to remember all the things that occurred to me to write and I never got around to. I even started an entry a few days ago but was actually busy and abandoned it after a few sentences.

I've really been pretty busy with work again. M needed some critical attention into the end of August, so they got it. We have a deadline of 9/15, which means I had to have my stuf finished by the beginning of the month so that it could be integrated, built, tested, and delivered on time. It looks as if that's all going to happen. M is basically my meal ticket at this point - they've got work signed for me for at least the next 3 or 4 months, maybe longer. And they'll probably ask for yet more customizations when I go out and meet all of them at the end of the month. As long as we don't screw this thing up, I think I don't need to worry about my job while the market is still so poor. I do start wondering about my career path occasionally, but this job is easy and convenient, so I'm not very motivated to try to find something that will pay as well or better, which will take some looking.

Then J had a melt-down last week. They've been testing the migration I gave them for weeks and then last week they discovered (needing to go into production starting 9/3) that there's a significant performance problem at one point in the workflow, apparently as a result of the changes I gave them. Fortunately, we'd already canceled our half-vacation trip to Santa Cruz, between our being sick and internal political bull at work. Spent a TON of time, including numerous hours over the holiday weekend, trying to nail down what the problem was, or even just prove whether it was really a problem caused by the migration. I still don't understand what caused it, but it's definitely not related to their testing environment or the database restores they were doing because it's happening now in production.

In the midst of all this fun, Jeff decided to have IT nuke the OS and DB software on a shared machine called FISSION. With 75 minutes notice. While I happened to be out of the office taking Tom to the vet again. And while I had a database connection open to it. But some how both he and Garrett decided it was OK to kill it, so I had to do all this attempted troubleshooting with J completely blind and rely on them to do all the work. Here's a tip: if you think it's reasonable to ask people whether there's any critical data on a machine you're going to kill, you need to wait until you hear from everyone in the negative, NOT assume that it's OK if you haven't heard in a little while! I'm STILL fucking pissed off about it.

We had a great Labor Day weekend. Saturday, we took Rachel to Stinson Beach for the first time, along with our neighbors and their children, Carmen & Leila. It was, surprisingly, neither as hard to get to nor as crowded as we expected. I suppose that might be attributable to the great white shark sighting the day before! We weren't going to go very far out anyway. We all had a great time. We played in the water, which she took a little while to get used to, and made sand castles. Sunday she went to the SF Zoo with my parents; when they came back she started showing me on the map where they went. For the most part, this consisted of her pointing at random points and saying "we went there", but while we were all talking about what they saw and did, she would start looking for the little animal icons to find the correct spots.

Then, Monday was our end of summer block party. It almost turned into a major fiasco because the temple on our block was having a big thing and didn't tell us until Sunday night. To be nice, we only blocked half the road, from their parking lot to the other end of the street so that they could have people arriving by car on the unblocked portion. Surprisingly, we only had one problem, right near the end, when this psycho nut bitch came flying up the road even speeding up when we yelled at her to stop. That aside, the party was great. Almost all the regular (that is non-student) residents showed up, and John arranged for a fire crew to come out with an engine and talk to the kids, which was awesome. We even got to spray each other with one of the hoses, which most of the kids just loved. One of the two high school aged kids on the block brought one of her friends from school and I overheard them wondering how Labor Day came about. I said, "brought to you by the same people as the weekend: the labor movement."

I haven't been getting to ride much, having been sick for more than a week, but I'm determined to ride tomorrow. John and I went down to the marina on Monday morning, though, which was nice, including a ride through the aquatic park where I'd never been before. It felt really good to be back on the bike. Must ride in to work tomorrow. Must, must, must.

And now, I think I'll go get Rachel from my parents' place.