Tag: work

A very long day

I just finished watching House and am about to head off to sleep, but I figured one more update was due on this very long day.

I got into L.A. after a smooth an uneventful flight (on which I managed to get a little sleep) at about 9:30 AM, and I was in the office by 11 AM. I was originally booked in the Sheraton Delfina because there was no space in the Doubletree, where I usually stay. Fortunately, I was able to get a space in the Doubletree and I was a happy camper.

After work, I went out with two work-friends. We went to the Santa Monica “Hooters” and watched part of the Laker game. I was back to the hotel by just before 9 PM.

Catch up

It’s been a long day. First off, I really have to stop trying to stay up for these west coast Yankee games because while I may not feel tired in the morning, I start to drag in the afternoon and now, at nearly 8:30, I am totally wiped out.

I stayed late at work today because we had another softball team meeting so that people who couldn’t come yesterday could come today. We had more people today than yesterday, which was good. I think it’s going to be a fun season.

I figured I’d be out of the office by 5:30, but then I stopped by a co-workers office and we ended up talking for nearly an hour, so that it was close to 7 PM before I left the building. By the time I got to my metro station, it was 7:30 and that’s when I discovered that the cleaners to which I had taken my suit closed at 7 PM. I have to pick up my suit tomorrow.

Next, I headed up to Beltsville because that’s where the Petco is where I pick up Zeke’s food. He needed more dry food and I loaded up on canned food while I was there as well. By the time I got home, it was after 8 PM, and there you have it.

It’s Wednesday night an ordinarily, I would try and put in at least an hour or two into writing, but I am just beat. As much as I want to finish up the second draft of “Graveyard Shift”, I just don’t think I’d do a good job right now. I was also supposed to go running tonight, but forget that now. I’ll have to be content with reading more of I. Asimov until I doze off.

And whatever I do, avoid turning on FSN at 10 PM to watch the final game of the Yanks opening series in Oakland!

Into work and then back home

I got up and went into work as usual this morning.

Just before 9 AM, I figured I’d check on the status of a package I was expected to be delivered later this week. I hadn’t heard anything on it, and when I last checked, it hadn’t even shipped yet. However, when I checked this morning, it was already out for delivery today. And I need to be home to sign for it.

So I headed back home at 9 AM, to work from home for the rest of the day and wait for my package to be delivered. I’m home now, working on an exciting PowerPoint presentation for a meeting later today.

No package yet.

Balancing act

One reason I love reading history is that it confirms a suspicion that I’ve always held: that in day-to-day life, people throughout history have dealt with the same kind of basic problems that we deal with today, often in much the same way and with similar results. One thing I liked about Will Durant’s Story of Civilization books is that it places a good deal of focus on the lives of common people.

Yesterday, in reading Gotham, I came across a passage that hit very close to home, specifically, about how people balance the line between work and life outside work:

Livingston’s attempt to find a home insulated from the seamier aspects of urban life was as yet far from typical among well-to-do New Yorkers. Like master craftsmen, they were accustomed to living and working in the same building, and the boundaries between “family” and “business” life, between “private” and “public” spaces, were highly porous. (Emphasis added).

When I read this, I felt better for some reason. We have a terrible problem these days in finding a balance between work and life outside of work. The problem is so bad that many companies offer employee assistance programs which help employees deal with the stresses of work and balancing work life and home life. But in some ways, well-to-do people living in New York at the end of the 18th century had it worse because the lines between work and home were almost invisible. They had true home offices. In many cases, their homes were just upstairs from the shops and counting rooms in which they conducted their business. They began to solve this problem by moving outside the city and living in a place different from where they worked. That seemed to help them for a while. We, for the most part, already live someplace different from where we work and so we have to find different ways of balancing these two forces in our life.

Still, I find it fascinating that people like Robert Livingston, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton lived with the same sort of mundane stresses with which I too live.

Turning in…

Long day today. I had to stay late at work to be in a meeting that demonstrated some software I’ve been working on for a while now. Because of that, and some minor delays on the train this evening, and the fact that I had to stop at the gas station to put gas in the car, I didn’t get home until after 6:30 PM, which is pretty late for me.

National Treasure came via NetFlix today and so I watched that this evening. It was okay, nothing spectacular, that’s for sure.

I’m through nearly 400 pages of Gotham and I’m really enjoying it–really getting into it, even though I’m a little behind schedule if I want to finish it up by the end of March (which is now halfway over!) I need to pick up the pace a little bit.

Otherwise, I’m pretty tired this evening, so I’m turning in…

Off to Las Vegas

I skipped lunch today (and now I am hungry) in order to squeeze in a little extra work completing a requirements document. So I’ve been writing all day. I’m getting ready to head to Las Vegas shortly. My flight out of Dulles is at 7 PM, but I’m not really sure what traffic is like Friday afternoons so I’m leaving earlier than I normally would to be safe. If I get to the airport early, I can grab something to eat.

Looks like my upgrade went through to it’s First Class to LAX and then a short flight from LAX to Las Vegas. If everything is on time (as it was last night) I should be in Vegas just before midnight (local time) and at the hotel shortly thereafter.

I’ll probably be incommunicado for the rest of the day, but I am bringing my laptop with me and if there’s time, there will continue to be blog updates each day.

Indeterminite and stateless, revisited

I am superman! Earlier this week, I wrote about a problem I was trying to solve with some software packages I was integrating at work. I had more or less given up doing it the elegant way and had resigned myself to doing it a more complicated way.

This morning, I got it working the elegant way!

I found what I had been looking for all along in the manufacturers code, made a 17-line modification to it, tested it and it all worked exactly as it should. So no on will be disappointed after all, least of all myself.

Indeterminite and stateless

Those were the watchwords of my day at work today. One of the projects on which I am working involves integrating two systems that don’t talk to each other. One system is an off-the-shelf meeting room reservation system; the other product is a tasking application–a helpdesk trouble ticket system. Integration went pretty well, until a few weeks ago when I found it difficult to update the tasking system when a meeting room changed in the meeting system. The reason for this is that only viable method for doing this is through an “indeterminate” or “stateless” mechanism.

Today, I more or less caved in and went with a simpler solution. It’s a little more painful for people who will be servicing the tasks creating by the system, and it is certainly a tactical solution, but it will work.

And yet, I feel defeated. There should be a way of making this work the way I want it to work, but I can’t get enough information about how the meeting application works to figure out what that way is. I’ve read through thousands of lines of their code–it is literally scattered about my office–but I just can’t figure it out. As a completist, I feel frustrated. As someone who is working toward building a system that all people who use it will be happy with, I feel like I’ve let some people down. But given budget constraints and time limits, there’s not much more I can do at this point.

I’m going to try finishing up “The Graveyard Shift” tonight. But I need to relax, wind down a bit first.

Something in the water

I don’t know what it was, but I was in a mood today. I can’t quite describe it. I was on some kind of roll that I just can’t explain. I was, in fact, hilarious. I had myself in stitches. Some of it was work-related. On the other hand, I felt rather productive today as well, making some significant progress on two seperate projects. So it all evened out, I suppose, although one can never be certain about these things. Perhaps it’s something in the water.

Ever year since 1998, I have attended the Remedy User Group (Remedy being a workflow development tool that I use in my job, and being something far too boring and mundane to go into here, although just by stating that rather pitiful fact I am probably alienating an entire community of Remedy enthusiasts). A few years ago, Remedy was bought by another company, BMC, which makes software that, if you can believe it, is even more boring and mundane than Remedy. In any event, the Remedy User Group conventions used to be fun; they are held in a different city every year. Over time, however, and especially recently, they have deteriorated. This year, it has been renamed to BUG 2006, BUG standing for BMC User Group. I simply can’t bear the thought of attending a convention that sounds like a gathering of a bunch of entomologists and so I have decided not to attend this year. It was being held in San Francisco at the very end of August, but I am not going. There is something rather frightful about attending conventions like these, if you’ve never attended one before, and they grow more and more frightful with each passing year. After a day of “breakout sessions”, things descend into a kind of Lord of the Flies chaos. These people, who have taken over the local hotels, now take over the local bars. They fill themselves with liquor and talk about things like active links and filters and escalations. They hit on one another, with pickup lines that would astound an outside audience: “Hey babe, I’ve got my database normalized to Fifth Normal Form. Wanna come run a query on it?” It can be hideous. Everyone has a blackberry and so no one actually pays attention to the presentations. It is something that at this stage of the game is well worth missing. It’s time to learn something new. In a way this is very good. There is something cathartic about growing out of the need to attend these conventions. There are people who have been attending these conventions since the first one was held in 1992. It is what they plan their year around. That’s just not for me.

I did a little polishing on “Blind Date” this evening after watching another good episode of Smallville. The story still needs some work but overall, I think it’s pretty good for 1,600 words.

I dont’ need to pack my lunch tonight because I’m having lunch with Trevor tomorrow.

I do need to hit the floor, however, and attempt 35 pushups tonight and at the moment, it doesn’t seem possible. I can see myself getting to 20 rather easily. At 25 things start to slow down. At 30 all I can think of is how much longer it will take me to do five more lousy pushups. If I do this enough it is supposed to get easier, but when? Well, I suppose I just have to keep at it.

I’m pretty sure that I’m going to New York next weekend so I’ve got to call and get my tickets tomorrow. Also need to look into getting a new tax person, as my old tax guy has more or less retired to Arizona. He was in L.A. and it’s about time I got a new tax person out here. But he or she is not going to tell me anything that I don’t already know. I could take a very nice vacation with the amount of taxes I will end up owing this year.

Santa Monica, Day 5

I was up and into work by 6:30 AM so that I could get some work done before breakfast. I then met Tammy for breakfast just before 8 AM. It was great to see her. We went to a coffee house and bagel place nearby and spent about an hour chatting and catching up. Tammy looked like she was well and happy.

Then back to work and the last day of the Crystal Reports training class. I had lunch with Jim and Robert at a Chinese food place today and tried some kind of Chinese dish I’d never tried before.

In the afternoon, my energy level dropped rapidly but fortunately, we were done with class before 4 PM. I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around, saying goodbye to people.

Santa Monica, Day 3

Another day full of Crystal Reports training classes, which are going very well. We start on the next class tomorrow, and tomorrow, it’s just Rita, Pam, and myself that are in the class.

When I got into work (at 6:30 AM) email still was not working for Washington folks, but by the end of the day, it was once again working after nearly two full work-days. There are a lot of stressed out people at work. Beth and Wally were there all night. I felt really bad for them.

Craziest thing happened during break this afternoon. As I stepped out the classroom, my phone buzzed with an unfamiliar number. It turned out to be Tammy, calling to say hello. She found out that she passed her Veterinary board exam on Monday. She asked if I was at work and I said yes, but that I happened to be in Santa Monica this week. So is she! So we are going to meet for breakfast on Friday morning before my class. That should be nice.

Lunch with Beth tomorrow and dinner with Pam tomorrow evening.

And I’m up to 28 pushups–should be 30 by Friday and that’s where I left off when I was on vacation.