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Sometimes it is for the best when multiple things go wrong at once. I was pretty upset that my flight was going to be late this morning causing me to miss the meeting I had this morning (well, really cut it to ~45-1 hour when it was scheduled for 2 and a half hours). But here I am on my flight checking my email 15 minutes before my meeting was supposed to start and the server I needed to do the demo I am supposed to do is down for unknown reasons. Lucky me. Or something.

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Good things about today:
- Delegating work to our newest employee (she started yesterday), and having it come back quickly and 100% correctly.
- Being so engaged in my work that somehow it got to be midnight.
- Pizza and cheesecake for dinner because everywhere else worth going was closed.
- Trading away my 8:30 meeting tomorrow morning.
- Getting the opportunity to pass off a project I spent too much time on and eventually gave up on a few months ago, and seeing my coworker finish it in like an hour because it was that close to completion. (He was just starting to investigate the same thing, and I saw a not-actually-irrelevant button in the corner of the screen, and BAM, I just knew the solution... Well, "knew" is an exaggeration, but I was able to pass on my prior work, and a suggested line of further inquiry, and it turned out to be correct.)
- Paid overtime.
- A fluffy down vest and warm gloves on a crisp late evening walk along Haight.
- Being able to provide a quick useful response to a frustrated customer in the middle of the night (not a full solution yet, but a work around and suspected root cause). Unfortunately, my work is also the suspected root cause.







Days like today, I almost don't mind being away from home. Almost.

After a day like today--and as tired as I know I will be tomorrow--I'm sure it'll be back on my head tomorrow.

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It must have been a good day at work today. Kelly came over to ask me if I ever go home, and I started to tell her that since I work 10 hour days, I generally go home around 6pm or 6:30pm. Then my eyes wandered over to the clock and I noticed it was 7. Right. So much for the errands I'd intended to run.

I thought I was going to be bored out of my mind by this job, but it's increasingly seeming like the most engaging job I've ever had. It seems to be a lot easier to get into a flow state when you are only a little bit challenged. Granted, it also helps that it is significantly more challenging than I expected.

I am also kind of loving being out in a cube environment again. While there is a certain amount of distraction from hearing everyone else's conversations, it can also be very helpful and lead to discovering that someone completely unexpected is working a similar problem.

But I miss my husband. I miss my bed. I miss my plants. I miss my parents. I miss my kitchen. I miss my reliable internet connection. I miss the sunshine (yes, the weather is better in Portland). And I don't love all the transit time.
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Today I dug up the digital flashcard program I wrote in high school for memorizing the nations of the world and my vocab (both French and English). For myself, I always found computerized flashcards to be a much more effective learning tool than paper flashcards. Partly the muscle memory for spelling, and partly having the enforcement of proper use provided by the computer without the embarrassment or scheduling issues of working with a family member.

I'm working on some data files for my middle school students, both of whom are struggling with all the memorization they are supposed to have done by now. So far I have addition, multiplication, simple decimals to simple fractions, square roots of whole numbers, and "short cuts." I may add subtraction and division later. Short cuts so far contains the easy algorithms these kids should learn for determining if 2, 3, 5, 9, or 10 are factors of a number, and the complete set of E+E=E, E*O=E, etc. Other suggestions for flashcard-appropriate math topics?

While I'm at it, here's the link to the flashcard program and some data files, for any interested parents or students.Links to files... )
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Yesterday was my second anniversary at Epic. Tomorrow is my last day at Epic. A week from Saturday we are loading the truck (anyone wanting to come help with that is, of course, welcome to do so). If the weather holds, we'll spend the next 3-4 days after that driving to my parents' house. Then visit my folks for a bit, then visit my sister for a bit, then visit Josh's sister for a bit. Then on February 2nd we will hop a flight for Delhi, to begin our 5 month adventure.

It's really happening. It's really here. I cannot quite believe it. I'm still waiting for Josh to back out on me, but I'm pretty sure if he was going to do that, he would have done it already. I go back and forth between being really excited, and feeling like he called my bluff. Not that I was bluffing, but I didn't really think it would happen either. So it is high time for a little freaking out and being scared shitless.

But that's not what I was going to write about. I was going to try to give a quick recap of Epic. But now, I don't know. This journal has been about practically nothing else for the past 2 years, so maybe I shouldn't try to do a summary. I enjoyed taking lunch everyday with Josh. We made some good friends who I will definitely miss. Some of the friendships fell totally flat for reasons that are totally beyond me, making me wonder if I am not likable, or just reading too much into things. Probably reading too much into things, and I'm sorry I wont have the opportunity to "fluff up" those friendships because I like the people. As you all know, the work part of work has really sucked. I had 3 bosses in the two years, each worse than the first. I bit off way more than I could chew with my projects, because I was so excited to do so much. And I got burned by that in a variety of ways. It's made me realize how fortunate I've been through the entire rest of my working life to have such excellent managers. I've also learned that I don't especially like writing code, so I guess I can be pretty glad that's not actually what my degree is in. The design work at Northrop Grumman, where I defined every last detail of the algorithm and did simulations, and calculations, etc, and someone else did the grunt work of actually coding it to specifications was much more fun. And I think I was a good deal better at it too (the two probably going hand-in-hand). I also don't like being salaried. I don't know really what else to say that I haven't said already. I think I am ready to start looking forward instead of back. Tomorrow is Friday, and after that I'm taking a 6 month weekend (at least). But that post is for another day, when the night owl of the house isn't bugging me to come to bed.
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Work documents probably shouldn't include the word "automagically." This makes me sad. It's such a fun word.
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Home made laundry soap is even easier with a food processor. This, a great idea from Josh.

Before, I grated the soap (which is pretty easy, it's really soft). Today I sliced the bar of soap twice long ways and 4 times short ways then dropped it in the food processor with the borax (1/2 cup) and washing soda (1 cup). Let it run for a few minutes to get a nice fine powder. Could hardly be easier...

However, I did have to cut the project slightly short (3 bars of soap worth instead of 4) when I ran out of washing soda. It's still like a 6 month supply or something.

All my work last weekend really paid off. It's noon on Saturday and the house is already nice and tidy. The laundry is already done (including some hand wash stuff that's been waiting for months). The kitchen is clean. Josh vacuumed. I even put in an hour and a half of work work this morning. So I have this whole weekend laid out ahead of me, and no idea what to do with it. Plus, I don't feel like I want to crawl under a rock and hide until I feel happier. This hasn't happened in, like, ages.

I think maybe I'll sit outside and do some reading. Plus, play with the new firmware on my camera. Anyone (Jen???) have suggestions of software to use on my new RAW format photos? I'm excited to now be shooting in RAW mode... but I no longer have access to all the code I wrote at work at NG to process 12-bit color images. Plus, I don't own Matlab or have it at work anymore... (I still can't quite believe how sad about that I am). I miss that job and I miss Lisa.

Sick day

Nov. 4th, 2008 07:54 am
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Of all the crappy ass days to be too sick to go into work.  Now I seriously wish I'd voted early.  Then I really could stay home/in bed all day.  Blah. 
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Our lock on our front door has been very stiff and hard to unlock since we moved in. Basically, it catches about 1/4 inch from unlocked, and it's really hard to get it that last 1/4 inch. It's a bit easier on the inside though, because you have more leverage. Shortly after we moved in, Josh put some WD40 on the shaft and in the keyhole, and that helped, but it was still difficult. Last Friday night, we ended up going in through the garage it was so stiff. I decided we should just replace the lock, but I didn't know how hard that would be. So I grabbed a screw driver and started taking the lock apart to see. Turns out, there's not much to disassembling a lock, but once we had it open and started fiddling with it, we could see where it was catching! We lathered it up good with the WD40 and put it back together. Now the lock works like a dream! Last night, coming home with my hands full, I was able to unlock and open the door with one hand!!!!! Ah, life's little pleasures...

Run down of my full day yesterday )
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Has anyone seen any flying pigs lately?

I know they are around here someplace... )
sillygoosegirl: (Character - Mara)

...

 On the PICS front, you should know that the company has actually been giving us awards for the whole Yuma-craziness.  We got the President's Leadership Award, which is basically a prestige thing and a pat on the back, but still a big deal.  We won the division level award which got us (and the other teams in IL that won) a fancy dinner with the DSD VP last month (and we, of course, got to bring guests.)  The actual award was a large hourglass with a plaque on the top, which was odd, but the hourglass runs for 15 minutes, so it's at least somewhat amusing.  Then we won the sector level award, and for that one, they're flying us and our guests out to Baltimore for a fancy dinner with the ES VP.  That one's tonight so I don't know what kind of physical award it will come with, but I'm still stuck on the part where we're flying to Baltimore for dinner -- we get to spend the night and not take a red-eye back, but still, that's crazy.  You would absolutely be getting the award, too, if you were here, which is why I'm passing on that higher management really did notice what we did and how much your algorithm rocked.

...

Lisa

Way to make me feel sad about having left... I mean, while I'd been kind of wanting to leave since, well, I started, I'm afraid I'm going to look back on this as the worst career move of my life.  Oh well.  It was rather a lucky break that I got so much responsibility in the first place.  She also mentioned earlier in the email about how the guy they got to replace me is leaving and people are commenting about wishing they could get me back.  At least I should have some kick-ass references when I'm ready to change jobs again...

sillygoosegirl: (Character - Ayla)
Well, Josh chickened out on the meetup hike thing, and with 10 minutes to mentally prepare myself for going and meeting random people off the internet by myself, I chickened out too. However, we decided to work on the bookcase instead, so it's all good. We started by reassembling it without glue. I'm not sure it's actually been assembled since last summer when we took it apart to stain it. It was seriously warped, and took something like an hour and a half to get it all put back together, with a good deal of arguing along the way. It's now assembled with clamps holding everything just so. We're wondering how long we should leave it assembled (in the hopes it learns what shape it should be and gets back to it easier), or just take it apart and glue it today, because who knows how many more months it could be if we don't do it now? Anyway, I think we're going to go the today route. Because there's no time like the present.

But before we get to that, Josh is taking a break to save the world. We set the timer for 1 hour, and amazingly enough, I got the entire interweb read in that time. So I went and pressed the new hem on the pant legs of the first suit I got altered. I now have the suit on in the hopes Josh will take a picture of me in it when he is done saving the world. More details about completed and upcoming alterations. )
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Went to Goodwill today. Bought 4 suits. Three of them don't really fit, but I think I can alter without too much trouble. The 4th fits pretty well, but is stylistically a bit strange... I'm not sure if there is anything to be done about it, but it was $10 and I can wear it if I don't get the others ready in time for my first go-live (first weekend in April). Also bought myself a pair of jeans, a shirt that looks pretty good with all the suits, a pair of shoes that looks decent with the suit I expect to turn out the best after alterations, a picture frame for the cut family photo my sister send me at Christmas, and Josh bought a bunch of button up shirts, another wicking shirt that he says fits him like "shrink wrap" (I haven't seen it yet), and several CDs. We spent almost $100. I was impressed, it's hard to spend that much at Goodwill.

But anyway, about the title of this post. One of the CDs Josh bought was some "old school Madonna," some of which we listened to in the car. He was very impressed at how few of the songs I had heard before, even among the ones I had heard of. I mean, I had a pretty good clue what "Like a Virgin" would be like from the Weird Al parody, but I think today was my very first time hearing it. Likewise, while I've heard plenty of references to "Material Girl", I'm not sure I'd ever actually heard it either... though perhaps I'm just getting it confused with "Barbie Girl", which is pretty much the same thing for all practical purposes.

Maybe, if I'm not too lazy, I will even post some pictures of the suits, along with the gobs and gobs of other pictures I've been meaning to post... like the pictures of our Christmas "tree", and our Wisconsin Winter, and so forth.

Speaking of suits... I was going to try to make one also. Don't know if I still want to do that now that I have 4 from the Goodwill, but the pattern I have in mind, for my reference and so you guys can tell me it looks nice is: McCalls 5397, and if I am feeling really ambitious, perhaps also with a long sleeved top so I can wear it in the winter using Vogue 8333.

Tomorrow there is a hiking meetup at the Arboretum. I am excited. For some reason I've been really chearful since the end of the working day on Friday. It's nice. I like me when I am chearful. Should do it more often.
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You know, while it doesn't feel like it, I've been here at NG almost as long as I was at Mudd. As long, I guess, if you subtract of the months of holidays from my time at Mudd.

I still have 2 more days after today, but one of them is after the holidays and will mostly be paperwork. My going away lunch was today, and it was nice. I feel strangely sad. It feels kind of like my last day since everyone has been dropping by to wish me well. Jim will be out my last 2 days and left a couple hours ago after coming by to give me a hug goodbye... my goodness I thought he was going to crush me.

My work is pretty much done, I just have to write up what I did this week (not much I assure you), and then go over it with Lisa and Elaine so they understand it all. I think I may sleep in tomorrow and then take vacation for whatever hours those tasks don't take up.

And that's it. I feel like I should feel sadder than I do. Mostly I think I feel numb. I don't really know what I think of the time I've spent here. It had it's goods and bads, ups and downs. I think I've grown a huge amount as a person in the past 3 years, and while I think a lot of that happened away from work, I think a lot of it happened at work too. I guess I should take the time to write a bit about the non-work things that I'm leaving behind with this move too, and the non-work changes I've had, but that will be for another entry.
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Jeff: Do you have a ride to lunch?
Me: I don't know. [to Lisa] Lisa?
Lisa: Sure.
Me: [to Jeff] Yep.
Jeff: [walks away, walks back] Wait, so you need a ride or you don't need a ride?
Lisa: She's riding with me.
Me: [to Jeff] You didn't get that from our two word conversation?

I'm really going to miss her...
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The Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for our area. We've been instucted to stay away from windows and go the the basement. That's kind of funny, since I work in the basement and there are no windows down here. I'd hoped to be going home on the 3:30 train... I guess maybe it's a good thing I didn't get my work done in time.

I hope Josh is okay. And everyone else I know in the Chicago area.

Now so I will just sit inside in the basement and work where I can't even tell that anything is going on outside... unless, of course, the electricity flickers off again and makes all our PCs reboot again. Thank goodness for autosave.

Work

May. 1st, 2007 11:33 am
sillygoosegirl: (Character - Tenar)
Lisa is in Alaska all this week. It is lonely here in my cube without her. I don't know how I survived a year working here with a cube mate who was always back in the labs, and then another 6 months with no cube mate at all.

It's funny, we don't talk much... we talk some, but mostly about work and we honestly have a pretty quiet cube for having two people in it. Yet I feel constantly and acutely aware of how empty the cube is without her. It's weird how much I get out of the presence of another human being, even if there is what seems like a complete (or nearly complete) lack of interaction. I wonder why that is. I wonder how normal that is.
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There are a whole bunch of kids here today! Yay kids at work! Yay brightening my day! Yay "bring your child to work day"!

Okay, that is all.
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At work they will be doing a voluntary "trial" 9/80 schedule this summer, from May through September! Whoohoo!

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