Rest day

Mar. 16th, 2013 08:36 am
tuzemi: (Default)
We are finally taking a day to rest after the last 4 weeks of crazy. The plan is to watch Netflix, get me a haircut (very easy as we are only a few blocks off Broadway in Somerville), take some naps and a hot bath for her, and maybe get into the moscato but maybe just stick with water.

So far I have done three lunches with coworkers which included sandwiches twice and Umberto's Italian (calzone and one pizza slice). I must conclude that a) city food tastes really good and can be almost as cheap as suburbia food, but b) my digestive system is approaching celiac-like anyway due to simplifying it so much. In other words it tastes awesome going down but hoses my evenings at home. I really can't wait to get our own place and have the fridge space to get back to salads, vegetables, and simple meats and fish.

Work is doing good. I got my first ticket done (trivial) and am almost finished with the second. I'm now running a 100% Linux desktop (Debian and KDE/XFCE) and can reach nearly everything I need: the Windows share, a printer, email via IMAP (both mutt and kmail), IM through Googletalk/Jabber, and of course my dev VM via ssh. Yeah, I really missed this. Right now I am in a weird corner room but should be joining the rest of my team in 2ish weeks.

Boston itself is awesome. We've had some nice sunny mornings that make my current commute through Bunker Hill very pretty. I've found both bus and subway routes to work. Last night we had food at the Burren in Davis Square, the best clam chowder I think I've ever had and she was happy with her fish and chips.

Off to the day then.
tuzemi: (Default)
A many-months-long effort just cleared a critical milestone this week at work. The upshot is that it looks like I'll have about 6x my salary next year in cost savings, with an additional 20x made possible by clearing the way for some other peoples' projects. My first serious improvement and I'm pretty happy about it. It also cements my understanding of a particular process that had baffled people for several years, I can now explain everything we have ever seen except for one line worker's comments that I now believe to just be an incorrect recollection.

Well, onto the weekend.
tuzemi: (Default)
So I've been working a whole year now, and seriously it feels like three have passed. Sooo much to do that one week feels like a month and two months feels like a year. But on the bright side, in about one more month I'll finally have some concrete dollars (cost savings) to show my manager along with hundreds of hours of crap work some of our floor folks won't have to do anymore. Lots of happy people I hope.

In home life though I really need to get a handle on work-life balance. We had July 4 off and really no idea what to do besides veg on TV and drinks. Hulk needs new hobby.
tuzemi: (Default)
Not at work anymore!

The crappy thing with being in the "enterprise" industrial space -- and one which honestly is important to the nation's economic future -- is that Everyone Wants To Steal Our Stuff, so we have to Break The Internet To Save It. It was bad enough being forced to run Windows for everything, it was much worse being behind MS IISPROXY which only passes http and https. Now we're sitting behind proxies that block on these categories:

  • Open source and freeware: now I can't check my own bugs on the lunch hour, or look at open-source science software.

  • Social networking: doesn't hit me much, but a lot of others have to use their phones for Facebook.

  • Entertainment: including a surprising number of political blogs. Oh well, I'm likely not voting this year anyway.

  • Network hosting: which also kills a lot of blogs. It's either this category or something else that kills connectivity to my system at home too.

  • Non-IE browsers: so now I finally uninstalled Chrome.

Due to a number of differences between 2010 and now, this doesn't feel quite as isolating as my last job. I've got an iPhone for when I really need to get online. I've got a separate Linux box that I can legitimately use for work purposes, though I could lose access to the Debian repositories at any time; if that happens I can bring my personal netbook in for an afternoon. I've also got lots of interesting work that I can do at home, so I could make some home "research days" and have both the real Internet without too much hassle. Mostly I'm going through some kind of mid-life change where the Internet is much less emotionally interesting than it used to be. A lot of it reminds me now of the constant drone and hum of high school which I desperately sought to get out of. I tossed my Facebook a long time ago. Now I'm thinking of tossing my LinkedIn profile too, but I'll probably wait another year.

With so much effort to reign in the Internet with apparently a lot of public support in most places (yes, people want free music, but they're willing to pay for iTunes if it means those dirty hippies and atheists stop being all visible and shit), I think the pendulum is swinging back to the 1980's model of Locked Up Stuff, except where back then it was typewritten papers hiding in locked filing cabinets now it's Word documents hiding in AD-secured Sharepoint Document Libraries.
tuzemi: (Default)
During the week I've been trying to minimize general Internet wasting-time, instead opting to read. Most were books I picked up when we visited Milwaukee over Memorial Day weekend. (I never got a good time to write up on that trip, but it was just a nice 4-day trip to Racine, Milwaukee, then Marquette, and finally back home, with a few stops along the beaches. And of course a very nice drop into Downtown Books for an hour, complete with two cats!)

Technogenesis was the first I read, and pretty good in general. I really liked the Witch and wish she had had about 5 times as much going on. Like some of the reviewers, a few plot points were predictable, but the end result was pretty good.

Next up was The Witches of Karres. OK, I'll admit to a shameless crush on kid Goth and am looking forward to The Sorceress of Karres where we see more of her as young woman Goth. Fun space opera that would be worthy of a television series in after the 1960's-era Star Trek.

Then came Superman: Red Son. Oh yeah, the Ukrainian Man of Steel rocks. Wonder Woman and Batman make their own appearances and are awesome. Other characters too, I don't want to spoil anything, but it's very very cool. I'm looking forward to a few more recent DC's like Superman: Earth One.

Last up we have Signal to Noise. Not bad at all, with some twists that were really unexpected and a whole world that is well-built and scarily feasible at first. And I want a Bubble, but not necessarily a leaky implant or the NSO.

In life news, work's been OK. Hit a lot of milestones all of the sudden which is good. But ... man, I'd love to retire someday. Or just have a summer off to work on my own stuff. I've been itching to hole up and start writing code again. My next project will be a modern re-telling of the [community profile] bbs concept blended with darknets. Imagine Dreamwidth, Reddit, and Facebook rolled into one, with everything encrypted end-to-end and on disk (so who cares if your PC is confiscated?), pseudonyms instead of real names, and utilizing really big hard drives so that everything is at local-network speeds. Email your buddy a Blu-Ray and they get it whenever. Killfile a spammer and never see their crap again, and if enough people killfile them they vanish from the site entirely. Yeah, that would be cool.

Anyway, I'm just in a mood where I'd love to slow down at work and get more going on at home. I'm so tired of being broke too. I take home a lot, but almost 70% of it all goes to debts. It'll be two years before that ends, just before I turn 40. On one hand, the census stats say that my wife and I are right on the 50% mark nationally; so why is it that almost everyone we know seems to have soooo much more money than we ever have? It's gotten so old now.

Ah well, let's get off the depression train and on to bed soon. I've got a great thermo problem to work out tomorrow morning that is like the best parts of grad school, and I need to get the equations put together in Maxima...
tuzemi: (Default)
Once I decided this week to take things easy and not strive to do a perfect diet, I just checked this morning and seem to have shed 5 lbs. Go figure, my body is getting something it needs I guess, plus my stress is dropping but also changing. Getting 10 hours of sleep probably helped a great deal too.

Stuff about work, weight, life, ... )

My challenge this next year is to finally start accepting life as it is, work to be comfortable living in my skin, be the Idealist INFJ I am, and start really enjoying the journey.

Finally, we're looking at getting another cat starting next year. It can't be a black one that looks like our other baby, but I'm shooting for a kitten we can watch grow up again. Probably another girl, and this time indoor only.
tuzemi: (Default)
On Monday morning I'm going to start writing a function called "dial_the_stargate()" for computing wormhole formation. Seriously.
tuzemi: (Default)
The last four months are finally starting to hit me. Sheesh a lot has happened.

Let's recap... )

Along the way I had started to sit and really liked it. I haven't done that at all in the last month. I've also been failing to do Five Gratitudes or make time to write here.

I noticed now that I seem to attract hostility now online (offline is still fine). Some of that seems to be a general global everyone-is-pissed-off thing (maybe the freaking hot summer?), but a lot is definitely just me. I'm jumping in to deliver my $0.02 which is no different really than anyone else's $0.02, and doing so in a way that invites an angry response. And I've got some stuff I really am angry about including leftover crap/misdirected guilt from my extended family, the bigger picture of seeing American democracy very visibly crumbling, and the fact I've gained quite a bit of weight over the last two months.

So it's time to reboot things back into better habits. I'm going to sit this morning for as long as I can, have a small healthy breakfast, and later this afternoon post some gratitudes. I can't change the world much, but I can certainly get back to changing myself.
tuzemi: (Default)
Twice now I've been working at my Linux PC when my boss has dropped in. Yesterday he came in at a particularly good point: I was verifying that my version of the code we were interested in was matching the results of the "official" version maintained by another team (it did). He said, "You're actually having fun with this!" And I said, "Yeah, I really am!" It's a lot refreshing to have a job like this again.

I'm really happy at how work has progressed. Monday will mark exactly two months since I've been there, and so far I have met a whole lot of people (despite my strong introversion), gotten a start on three projects, worked a 7-day shift of nights, learned a lot about our physical process including a rather complex reactor type I have never seen before, found my own academic resources and studied the thermochemistry of our industry, and just this week did my first presentation introducing myself and the field I did my master's thesis work in. I think I've earned a weekend of resting from work.

This weekend is also our 8th anniversary. We'll probably be low-key, maybe just a dinner at home and movie, but we might also get out to see something new within a couple hours' drive. We'll see.

The house is almost put away. We're down to the last bit of dishes in the kitchen and one particularly gnarly corner in the living room filled with "knick-knacks" (a.k.a. stuff that never really has a right place to go, it just consumes free spots wherever it finds it -- I wish the Nashta Verada would consume those instead of flesh). Get these put away, hang up our other stuff, and we'll have room for a cat. We're still trying to decide to get one now or wait another year.

She just got up, so gotta run!
tuzemi: (Default)
This week has been night shifts - 6pm to 6am, really it's more like 6pm - 7am because we stick around for the shift handover. The first night wasn't too bad, but I barely slept 5 hours making the next night much worse in terms of fighting to stay alert from 2-5am. Last night got better except that I zoned out the last three hours, but then ...

(drum roll)

I finally slept 8 whole hours this morning! In celebration I baked cookies for tonight's crew, also a great excuse to break in our modern stove. In about 10 minutes I'll swing over there and we'll get started on things.

I call this Wednesday of Ghost Week because tonight is the 4th of 7 such nights (Wednesday). Being on nights I am off schedule for talking to anyone, even my wife just gets a couple hours a day. Though I really appreciate the opportunity to do this and I have learned a lot and started connecting with some important people here, I don't know if I'm cut out to do it all the time.

In other news, we got a check from the relocation company for our house. The bank put a hold on it due to its size, but once it clears I believe we will formally be out of it for good. Technically we lost a bundle of money in terms of upgrades, but it will be really nice to finally have some cash to squirrel away. More painful to me is the time we lost: soooo many days working on the yard and tearing shit out. It's going to be a really long time before I'm willing to put that much money or time again into a dwelling (but redecorating is OK).

Alright, time to get to work!
tuzemi: (Default)
I'm about to head to sleep at 5am-ish, having stayed up all night watching Doctor Who season 5 on Netflix. I'm about halfway through the season and it's really awesome! I can also see why all the fan wank for Karen Gillan, there's a lot of fanservice for her in the writing. But as a character I like her a lot too: smart enough to figure out the space whale ahead of the Doctor, and her thing with Rory breaks way out of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl cliches.

But the real adventure I'm referring to is the next seven days, or rather the next seven nights. I'll be working 12-hour night shifts for a solid week shadowing an experienced shift engineer, and I'm very excited about it. This will be my chance to finally meet and hang out with the operations staff, do a lot of field study of the manufacturing process, and also chit chat with one of the handful of engineers who has a reputation for being very well-grounded in the science of what we do. I plan to ask him a number of questions about striking the right balance between being approachable to the operators but also getting the alone time I need to actually complete my assignments. In the past I've tended to lean too heavily on the alone time part (it's computer modeling), so this is a welcome opportunity to do it differently.

At home we are probably about 40% unpacked now. We're going to end up with a few boxes of "crap we never even unpacked from the last two moves" that I have decided we will get rid of, and maybe a few items in the "if we ever get a house again it would be stupid to buy this all over again", but all in all I think about everything we have left will fit nicely into the apartment. We'll even have room to entertain some people, assuming we can find some locally. I created a profile on OkCupid for both of us, I've seen a lot of interesting people on there and maybe we can connect to a few in the next few months.

On to bed! We got some thick curtains set up so I hope to make at least seven hours of sleep this morning.
tuzemi: (Default)
1. Will be seeing my wife for the first time in three weeks later today.
2. Finished Stargate SG-1 season 1.
3. Had a really good day at work. Got to bring up my thesis work as it applies to my job.
4. My leg is doing better, it doesn't hurt so much to walk anymore.
5. Got a pointer to a local church that might be good for us.

In other news, I've been bushed. Worked a lot of overtime, not because I had to but because I really wanted to. I've been studying what we do at a science/academic level for a week, looking for papers of interest and trying to put it together in my head. It's important to do, but not really part of my assignments so I've kind of stretched into it after hours. It's also nice to be there past 6pm when it goes to night shift and it's easy to stay focused on what I'm thinking about. I like that this job deeply interests me, and feels so much like my first good job again. (My writing is so choppy tonight, my thoughts are a bit disorganized.)

Tonight I sleep in as much as I can, clean up some, and then pack up for a day or two to be out and about. I don't have to go back to work until Wednesday, so we can spend a night out and see Detroit. Now to think of what we'll do!
tuzemi: (Default)
It's been a few days since I've had time for Dreamwidth, trying to catch up some this morning. Work will be a little slower so maybe I'll find some time during the day too.

This weekend I started getting on my diet and as is normal for me had two days of super-tiredness set in, but then by Monday morning was starting to bounce back and now I'm rolling pretty good. I feel a little "stretched out" now (low carbs) but should be able to make it to the weekend after which I can get one off-diet meal if I need it. And my sleep is getting a lot better with deep dreams and such which is helping me keep moving during the day.

Work has been pretty good too. My boss seems happy with my progress so far, I'm doing OK with networking (slowly) and using email and IM to my advantage, and we've got a new hire event tonight so I might bump into more new folks. And the movers should be unloading tomorrow night which means a bed (!) just in time for a three-day weekend.

I've also been enjoying Merlin, it reminds me a lot of a cross between Smallville and Buffy. I keep waiting for Merlin to finally bust loose, but then that's part of the tension. I like a lot of things about it:

  • How Guinevere isn't a blond cheerleader for jock Arthur to drool over.

  • The similarities to The Mists of Avalon: Morgana is a very sympathetic character, Uther is a dick, magic isn't evil, Morgana has a loving bond with Mordred (who isn't initially evil), and Arthur is a bit of a tool.

  • Lancelot (so far - Season 1) is a real hero with a heart of gold.

  • You can see that when the truth is out, Arthur is going to always be torn between love and fear of Merlin, much like the original legends.

  • The effects are pretty good, despite the occasional moments of "can totally tell it's green-screen" like every time they fight a supernatural creature.

  • And Morgana once again. They could rename the show Morgana and I'd be a happy viewer. :-)

Well, on to work!


Jun. 24th, 2011 11:02 am
tuzemi: (Default)
Whew! I used to have this annoying habit of not posting for weeks and then starting one with "whew!". I won't do this often, but this week earned it.

This morning I formally checked out of the hotel after I believe 39 days of hotel life. They were a fantastic bunch (Marriott BTW) and had nice breakfasts, though the great-tasting sausage did eventually get old. Home is now a two-bedroom townhome (has 2-car garage) and is much closer to work which is nice. It's also brand new which is really nice, and my Internet flies (Charter). But with no bed and Michigan's limited hours of darkness, I haven't slept all that well in the last couple days. It was also a long slog -- probably half a dozen trips -- getting everything out of the hotel. In six hours when I leave work I'm going to buzz the grocery store, go home, and not leave until Sunday. I am so needing some introvert time and also start sitting again.

So let's talk about work (warning: REALLY long textwall)... )

OK wow that was a lot more than I initially thought to say, but it's good to get it out I think.

Lunch is calling and I'm starving (starting diet afterall), so I'll close this up here. Later tonight will be Five Gratitudes and maybe a Friday Five.
tuzemi: (Default)
I grew my Dreamwidth reading list a little more, it's pretty exciting browsing around and seeing so many interesting folks from all over! I get this feeling here like "this is a huge part of what the Internet was originally intended to be". And now I wish I could have gone to WisCon, but I'll just have to live it vicariously through blogs. :)

Work has been going really really well. I'm branching out and meeting new folks, I even have on my daily TODOs "Meet one new person" and "Check calendars to see about tagging along to something". Got some brand-new steel toes for the plant which I can hopefully keep clean enough for dates. (Tangent: My wife and I got married in matching black steel-toe boots. She's so awesome.)

At a meeting today someone was asked about the formula used to derive an important number, and they replied that it's a complex Excel sheet and they will write up the formula for it later on in a report. But that got me thinking about re-creating a tool I had made once for the Other Company: the Excel Dereferencer (ED). )

Home life is pretty good too. We hit a new burger place last night that wasn't all that hot, but they had decent ice cream to make up for it. Friday night we've got tickets to see The StepCrew in Midland, and I'm thinking the weekend we're going to spend indoors and 100% lazy (finally!).
tuzemi: (Default)
I had forgotten what a healthy corporate culture looked and felt like. My first day was a whirlwind of new people and ideas and a few brilliant "why didn't we have that?" moments. Like bicycles! The new place has lots of them, and it makes sense why they need them where the old place didn't. But now I'll be using the stationary bike at the gym a lot more to practice for when I really need it at work.

It's definitely different, a lot like a startup mentality that never really went away even as the place got physically huge. There are lots of young people with huge responsibilities, but there's also a strong development/training atmosphere that's more than just "ask so-and-so to tell you what you need". I do feel a little bit sad that some of the solutions I had developed for the old job will be useless here, but a lot happier to be focusing on brand-new problems than the same old shit.


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