Work work

Aug. 26th, 2015 01:49 am
awhyzip: (Default)
Things got done today:
  • Morning call in meeting, despite having to bike like mad to be safely parked at Alewife before the call started.
  • Japanese class!
  • Overdue social calls on two co-workers, plus an unanticipated (and very pleasant) half-social/half expertise-seeking visit from a friend in Learning Services.
  • Finally closed some tasks off the QA team's Jira to do list. One of them was even a critical-for-release issue. For the past several days, the list hasn't gotten shorter because we kept sending items back to Dev, who fixed them quickly back into our queue again. Not that I'm complaining about that, but --- some visible progress is nice!
  • Sent educational email to new guy on team, to make sure someone has actually taught him the thing that I've been worried he didn't know.

    Things NOT gotten done today:
  • Leaving work at a reasonable hour... let alone a bit early.
    (Oh well, try again tomorrow)
  • awhyzip: (Default)
    Tuesday after work, my department has a social event. Drinks and appetizers.

    As it came time to wrap up and leave, I grabbed the last few bites of soft pretzel and sauce. It should get appreciated, and I was peckish (brain said "dinnertime!"). Even at the time, the action felt greedy, gluttonous.

    Afterwards I regretted it. I think that the impression this behavior gives of me to my co-workers is not worth the enjoyment I get from the snack.

    It's not as if I don't have plenty of other ways to get food. I can let this one go, so my attention can be on saying goodbyes to the group!

    This is a new resolution: make a conscious point to not start up eating again at the very end of event. Demonstrate that the feeding is not my top priority. Leave the food on the buffet, or even on my plate.

    I'll have a perfect opportunity to put this new resolution to the test. Tomorrow there will be some 3pm ice cream. ... This is both a harder (because ice cream is more delicious than pretzel) and easier (because ice cream is more delicious than appetizers, so it goes faster!).
    awhyzip: (Default)
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    Ferris Beuller, eat your heart out


    Jul. 18th, 2015 08:32 pm
    awhyzip: (Default)
    I am at Varekai (with brother etc).
    Beautiful but confusing...

    Followed up with fast late dinner at Grasshopper in the last 35 minutes that it was open for the night. Delicious! And friendly service, even as they mopped up around us.
    awhyzip: (Default)
    I learned something small but new this Wednesday night: how to use an ATM.

    I stopped by a CSB ATM after dinner, and because I'd been planning on walking myself home, I'd gotten my phone out with the headphones to listen to a podcast. So, with the headphone cords still a-dangle, my eyes fell on the ATM's headphone jack and I decided to try it out. Yeah, why not!

    So this is what I learned:

    A) when using headphones you have the option to blank out the screen. Nice! Gets you privacy for your balance, without wasting a paper printout.

    B) it's easy to follow the verbal instructions because ATM interactions are well known, but the recording guy/system designers really ought to have done a better job at constructing their lists. For instance it will say: press N for foo; press M for bar; to blah, press X; to cancel, press Y ... but the differences between commas and semicolons are not indicated by pauses or clear pitch contours on the phrases. Why switch relative order of key vs action, mid list? Why?

    On the plus side, I liked that the verbal instructions tell you the "the 1 key is on the upper left of the keypad" at the start of your session.

    C) The last item in the list of actions is always "to repeat, press the repeat key". Did you know there was a repeat key on an ATM? I did not. Turns out, it's that unmarked fourth key below the Enter, Clear, Cancel keys!

    I'd wondered about that extra key before, and now I know.

    ... Still no hint of what the two blank keys in the numeric keypad ( on either side of the 0) are for.

    Damn it

    May. 19th, 2015 04:08 pm
    awhyzip: (Default)
    Now with extra annoyance

    Damn 1. Green dress still isn't ready. She took out all the bright blue thread (wtf?), but in the process lost the correct angle on the straps, so they now have an awkward bulge at the point where they join the back of the dress.

    She did a beautiful job on hiding the stitching, this time... but ugh! Lumpy straps, when they were perfect before.

    And I hate having to decide whether to push back on this, and if we risk making things worse each time the delicate over layer is edited.

    Plus part of me feels I should offer her a bit more money, because she's doing more work (and at rush tempo). And then the other part says, no, a quoted price is a quoted price and if it's not done right that's her lookout. But I worry that I'll regret the ungraciousness later.

    2. Got a parking ticket (too close to a driveway) when I went to pick up the dress. I totally deserved it, but if the dress had been right so the pickup went quickly as planned, I'd've been gone before the meter-man arrived. Phoey.

    3. LJ app seems to have irretrievably eaten my earlier post on this subject.

    Bonus: she just called to invite me in so she can repin on me. Which is good that she's being careful, but annoying because we had her business partner pin out this morning (see above mentioned parking ticket). And he'd said she'd be in around 2, but it's 4 now, which means traffic coming home from the shop might suck. Maybe I'll bike.
    The real annoyance of this latter piece of news is that, in order to get it done while I wait, she's not going to do the nicely hidden stitches. So I'm back to deciding on lesser of two evils.

    Luckily for me, I'm home sick today, so I have the availability to zip out there. BUT at this point in the day I already used up all my allotted 4 hrs of PTO. (I took a nice walk at lunch time... plus the various slowdowns related to sickness, which are why I'd had the foresight to call today a 50% off day to begin with.) I don't WANT to take a break now!
    awhyzip: (Default)
    Yep, just what it says on the tin: today I spotted the first of the clematis flowers to open. It's a white one, on the vine nearest the corner.

    In other news, I'm sick. Some kind of cough, and occasional sneezing bouts. Not so bad as coughs could go, but I'd like to get rid of it quick. This weekend is my friend L's wedding.
    awhyzip: (Default)
    I am re-visiting Flowers For Algernon. It came up on the escapepod podcast. I think I last read it in middle school English, but I remembered it strongly enough that I put the podcast on pause and hesitated for a full day. It's a sad short story. (I wasn't sure I was ready for that.)

    Spoilers cut, just in case )

    In conclusion, this short story stands the test of time and does not suck.

    The conversion from written to spoken word was handled admirably, but if you have the choice, I'd say go for written. It's easier to see the spelling and punctuation (oh, punctuation!) tricks by eye than to hear them by ear. On the other hand, the voice talent did good work with changing the speed and fluency of his speech. I might miss that, if I read it only.
    awhyzip: (Default)
    I am grateful for a relaxing weekend.

    Friday, Friday, Friday )

    Right, the rest of the weekend:

    Bed early & slept. Did this both nights, although not tonight. Typing takes surprisingly large amount of time, guys!
    Lay about the house, most of one day, feeling sluggish.
    Caught my first episode of The Great British Baking Show. The hosts came across strangely, but the contestants were so nice and kinda supportive of each other. It was sweet.
    Bike ride with Jonathon, to do errands, including buy a speaker for playing music in the bathroom -- luxury!
    At long last pruned the apple tree to something reasonable. It became much easier once I started speaking to the tree on each snip. "Please focus on growing fruit," I explained, "not branches."
    Baked tofu enchiladas for the week to come, and prepped a batch of long-imagined wonton-wrapper perogi. I invented the filing, and I'm happy with the result (potato, leeks, mushrooms, finely chopped broccoli, garlic, garden scallions, and a touch of sesame oil, no salt).
    Began rereading Connie Willis "To say nothing off the dog", which I had bought myself last week.
    awhyzip: (Default)
    Taking a nap on a blanket on the lawn --- wow what a nice day!
    awhyzip: (Default)
    I didn't believe it when they said it would snow this weekend, but I was wrong.

    Yesterday was an exciting day.
    Because I had left work Thursday just a frustrating smidgen too late for making it to Tags that evening, I gave myself permission to do the errand on the way in, even if it meant I would arrive a little late. I'd wrapped up enough of my crunch-time pre-release testing that it's finally OK again to spare some time like that. (Although my boss was happy to suggest I can leave early to do the errand, that is of no help on Fridays, since I'm headed in the opposite direction those eveings.) So, I hop off the bus a stop early, to walk into Porter Sq --- the distance is really quite equivalent whether you use the official Porter Sq stop, or the one just before it at the Post Office, but ooh the earlier one feels delightfully different somehow. So I hop off there, cross the road, and start heading towards the shopping center, when I am flagged down by a woman on the sidewalk.
    "Can you be a witness for me and my husband?"
    My first inclincation is to say no; the time is tight, I'll probably be late as it is ... and then I remember that it's OK this morning --- no ticking clock over me, the permission is already granted. So I say yes! And I feel so free! And they are very happy, the woman and her husband, because they are planning to buy some land down in Louisiana (I think it was) and build a house for themselves and their son (who was playing with crayons in the corner of the notary shop. So I skim over the document, and learn their names (Landon & Amanda), and I *could* have learned all about the property for which she's granting him this power of attorney, but eh even with my exhilarating freedom I do have other things I want to get to, so I just skim it. And I am quietly amused as the couple correct themselves over the process "no, wait, wait, don't sign that until he's watching" even though the notary himself doesn't seem to care what order things happen in.
    The notary writes down my name & address in his register book, and the name & address of the other witness, who likewise seems to be a woman pulled in from errands, since she has a small stack of stamped letters with her. As a side note, this notary has the most amazingly bad handwriting --- I can barely make out that the series of intersecting slanting lines he's marked in his book do form letters and spell out my name. Anyway, we sign (twice: once on the form, and once in the register), and there are thank-yous and handshakes all around, and the couple seems so happy, and I am happy to have been able to help and so easy! And again, so free -- a generous sort of feeling.

    Then, within minutes, I am back on my way to Tags, where I get to poke thru all sorts of fun colors of oilcloth and select two exciting & bright patterns, that Jonathon & I will get to use over Passover to make wipeable work surfaces for meat vs dairy. It's going to be cooler than the wimpy plastic tablecloths I used before, which Jonathon recently told me he really dislikes and could we do something better?
    Yes, we can.
    I'm happy for the good reason to buy some of these artificial cloths, which I have been admiring over several trips. It's always different patterns every time I go, so I feel lucky that there are several which appeal to me this trip!
    The saleswoman who helps me out with them admits she hasn't often had to measure&cut these merchandise, so I get to help her out with the task, which actually feels really good. A tiny and enjoyable puzzle, rather than just standing in the way being served. And she's in what seems to be a genuinely good mood, which is infectious. Then again, so am I in a good mood -- and it continues, as I get to walk around with my two bright rolls of "cloth" under my arm. They compliment my raincoat :-)

    So that was my exciting start to the day. Small adventures, and I enjoyed them very much.

    To make it even better, at work that day, a co-worker T came to me with a request for help with something he was stuck on, and even though I hadn't had any previous experience with that particular little setting in our product, it turned out to rely on parts of the underlying messaging engine which I understand *very well* and it was just a joy to work with them again. Total joy, and I cleared up what was going wrong (although the fix will not make this release).

    And speaking of this release, ha ha!, it is done! The last build was kicked off, and yes, there will be some automated testing over the weekend and perhaps manual review on Monday but everything *I* need to do for it is squared away and hahahaha I am so glad.

    (The manager for the product that will be my next project joined us chatting in the hall at the end of the day and asked in a only partly-facetious way if that means I am working yet on his product again? Monday, I tell him, Monday :-)

    Monday, and it promises to be an interesting challenge.

    But first, it is Friday, and I get to go to shul (taking a celebratory taxi), where I discover to my happy surprise that a friend of mine is lay-leading. I could have known, but I forgot.

    After services, Bonne & David & I got out to dinner at the Eretreian place which we'd been accidentally squeezed out of last time. With just the three of us, it's easy to fit, and we have lots of cheerful talk with the waitress this time. I think that maybe they are extra talkative because of the mistake last time which somehow makes it easier to open up a conversation now. Or maybe she's just in a good mood -- or we are -- but it's nice. That waitress is always friendly, but this time I learn her name (Saba, and Nettie is the other regular) and she teaches us interesting things about Asmara/Eretreia, like that it was an Italian colony -- which I totally would never have guessed.

    So all in all an excellent day, and now I get to measure out and slice up the fun table-covers and wrap up the Passover house-prep, too.

    awhyzip: (Default)
    Should make a post about A Future Perfect, which Jonathon & I saw Speakeasy Stage Company's production of yesterday afternoon. I actually had thoughts!---possibly interesting ones---about a show!


    Feb. 2nd, 2015 01:43 am
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    Despite some room for improvement (e.g. more shelf delay, no exercise), a satisfying day.
    awhyzip: (Default)
    Over the weekend, I tried out making butterscotch pudding:
    It was tasty. Moderate sweetness, which is good. I don't think I'd every made pudding not from a mix before. Ingredients were less unhealthy than I had expected. Not hard! I should remember not to use a nonstick pot, so that I can apply whisk vigorously without worrying about damaging the coating. When it gelled, there were small blobs of more firm pudding inside the pudding. I wish more had gotten that firmer texture, but the softer was good too.

    I made a small batch of bread pudding with artichoke hearts, green olives, and sundried tomatoes. No recipe, and I just hope the flavors came out ok.
    Also a new loaf of bread machine bread, house recipe.

    And a batch of soft pretzels from scratch: They were pretty yummy, but they stuck to the parchment paper badly. If I make them again, I guess I would flour the paper or something like that.

    Oh yeah, and a big saute pan full of chili. Roughly based on
    but with only two [kinds] beans, and adding TVP, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes. This is a recipe I've made my own.

    Then we ordered take out pasta.
    awhyzip: (Default)
    Watching Ender's Game. So far he's still in Bonzo's Salamander Army.

    Very unimpressed by how they handled the first introduction to the Battle Room. Sgt. Dap practically gives away one of the interesting insights which Ender's supposed to have later. I guess this is in keeping with the movie's decision to heavily foreshadow one of his others, moving out into the launch shuttle. Boo.

    The timeline of Ender's behavior in Bonzo's battles seemed overly compressed. That's the sort of thing a movie had to do, and I understand it. But I'd like to have seen E do a *little* more on the obeying side, as he finds his under-bad-command balance.

    The battle room intro didn't need to be that way, though. Maybe they're never intending to incorporate the end-of-game trick. I forget at what point it came up in the book. Well, that wouldn't be a huge loss.

    And Bean is WAY too tall. Bonzo is shorter than Bean even!

    And here's the battle...
    All the tricks pop up on the same scene: OK.
    But given that, what the heck is going on with that protective formation? Why are they flinging those extra people off? The movie's version doesn't require four helmets, so what's the benefit?

    Andersen and Graff have a showdown over how to treat Ender. It is at this point that I have doubts about the choice to cast Andersen as a woman. I think it takes away from the drama, the questions that should be raised about Graff's ultimate morality.

    Advanced base seems to be planet rather than an asteroid. Less cool, but no real difference.

    Jonathon and I simultaneously:
    Ansible is simultaneous no matter where you are!!

    Graduation battle:

    Protect like we protected Alai. That's more helpful than the enemy's gate is fucking down.

    Let gravity do the work... That's when the gate is down quote would have been effective.

    Shouldn't Ender be suspicious that he sees Mazer in the viewing room?

    Deleted scenes:
    Oh, they really should have kept in that scene where Andersen and Graff work out the importance of continuing to frame the battle as a game.
    At least they kept in "you don't really see them as children".

    Hmmm, and I would have liked to include the first part of Graff and Valentine's conversation. Absolutely leave out all the what's-going-on-in-the-rehab-center pan around. But keeping his pep talk to her has interesting repercussions during her talk with her brother. ... And I really like his quiet "that's ok". End the scene there.

    Jonathon complains that on-planet L&D are completely missing, but I agree that it was the right call to leave that plot line out of the movie's necessarily compressed/focused narrative.

    And on reflection, it makes fine sense not to spend time on how Ender develops insight as a tactician and commander. I mean things that he figured out about how to play the battle rooms... and about respect for the rules. And maybe even about the question of who's the real enemy. That wasn't so much what the movie was about (even if it was a big and well done part of the book).

    The theme of the movie, I think, it's about taking moral responsibility. What actions are required and which not to be done.

    But if you're going to not do that, then you CAN'T rely on the "gate" catch phrase to mean anything. Bean shouldn't have said it at the final battle.

    And come on, once Bean went ahead and said it, what difference did Ender's dramatic wide armed gesture do? Nothing! Didn't effectively change the perspective for movie viewers. And all other larger meaning had been stripped. Lame, attempting to be moment-of-awesome.

    Over all though,i think a pretty well made movie and more fun to watch than not.
    awhyzip: (Default)
    ... darn
    Well, if we make it thru the next round, I'll hope we do well!

    In other news, a fascinating fact I heard from Jonathon today: there are more births from unsuspected pregnancies, each year, than births of triplets. Wow
    awhyzip: (Default)
    Got a good amount dune this weekend. Not as much as I was hoping to, but a pretty good amount, honestly.

    I am disappointed that I failed to mulch the garden during this window of opportunity, because I expect the next one wont be until January at least. And who knows what the weather will do in between. At what fraction of the way winter does it become silly to mulch for protection from winter?
    I am also surprised & regretful to not have up a set of peg hooks and a small shelf ---nether of which are urgent, but they are small jobs and I'd like to start enjoying the benefits of them. Oh well. I really thought I would knock that of today. At least those I can do any random evening after dark (but before 10pm).

    Thinks I did do include: bake 24 blocks of tofu into Bbq tofu for two potlucka this week ( and possibly leftovers for us). There is a gently pervasive smell of sesame oil downstairs and in my clothes. This took a surprisingly long time, partly because I had to press the tofu for a better texture.
    While I was baking, I also slipped on a small batch of banana chocolate chip muffin/cookies, neatly clearing out some very old sad blackened bananas. Then I ate all but one! I luve this pseudo recipe: I just mash up soft bananas for all the liquid/fats ingredients of the cookies and the sugars. Add an egg, golden raisins, mini coco chips, and an eyeballed amount of flour. Makes a puffy cookie with a nice toothsome resistance.

    Because I didn't put up the pegs yet I held off on vacuuming upstairs, which ment Jonathon rushed and did it himself in the last 10 minutes before our 10 pm politeness deadline. I felt a bit guilty about that, since he'd already dune the whole downstairs vacuuming and I am supposedly sharing the choir (although I get the lighter half, with no mopping). But there wasn't enough time to have gotten both things in under the wire, and man does that man vacuum swiftly! I felt bad about it because I realized I was going to just left the chore 'slip' to a later day... without considering that what to me is a "paltry little delay" would probably have big impact on his allergies. Ok
    I was making end of year charitable donations at the time, reclining comfortably on the couch and I was reluctant to get up and change activities. It was strange to recognize this as a moment of privilege-motivated behavior.

    Speaking of end of year donations, I got thru about half my list, tonight, which felt good but isn't enough to tick off the to do item. See theme: pretty good although less than hoped.

    Speaking of privilege, I did not attends the Black Lives Matter protest which the UU held today in Arlington. That's only because I had a commitment to attend a neighborhood meeting my shul was hosting at the same time, about urban beekeeping and the Bees on our roof. (W have zoning related conflict resolution work to do.) It was an interesting educational event, but unsurprisingly didn't work as a forum for airing concerns. Honestly, i missed much of the educational content myself, because I took it on myself to stand a turn as greeter, and to take two batches of bored kids up to view the hives -- but I don't regret those priorities. Did regret missing the rally, but I am at peace with that.

    After the meeting ended,i switched from my board member hat too my ritual committee hat and (with help from our nwe office admin & the rabbi) gut Hanukkah materials in place, specifically the big menorah we light on the porch.

    My friend Janice, who had been at the bee meeting, read patiently in her car thru all this and gave me a lift home. That was very nice and much appreciated because a moment of time interacting with her is rare.

    So, cooking, bees, and donations filled up mist of today. Oh, and a bout of LJ reading.
    My friends seem to have lots of deep stuff going on right now.... I read it, but didn't compose replies. See theme.

    Other things accomplished this weekend: a five-store grocery run, and I earned a free pot from start market just iin time before the end of they promotion. Generous strangers helped me. I am quite glad to have it; I had in fact been considering whether to buy a third one, so this freebie was just perfect. Add such a nice big size, too! (This adds new task: reorganize the pot rack to make space..., but that can wait. As Jonathon cheerfully said: first world problem. )

    Also, wrapped my office Yankee Swap gift... although not my own parents' gifts, and they are coming out to visit tomorrow evening!
    Hey, at least I have their Hanukkah* presents all ready (and ones to send home with them for brother & his girlfriend). * Hanukkah present for my non consumerist dad will be just a nice heartfelt card... which I've mostly composed albeit only in my head so far... I stretch the point to say that counts. And his birthday gift, I haven't gone much beyond the good idea stage... but i hear there are Shopping Days left :-). But I know he won't be fussed -- so it feels under control!

    Other things, other things,i know there were more of them on Saturday. I did get a few tiny, handyman type jobs dune: adjust a towel rod, conclude a hook's not needed, collectively procure the parts for a few other couple-a-minutes tasks. Each one feels good.

    Finally, I'm trying to dayshift. Moderate success over the weekend. This week is going to be interesting.
    awhyzip: (libtext)
    Delayed post:

    Saturday, just after Rosh Hashana, went on mostly-annual trip to Sharon to visit family graves. My mom does this every year, and she began inviting me when I was a teen (bat mitzvah maybe?). It's something I am glad we do. This year, unusually, [nearly] the whole family went together: my mom, my dad, my brother & his gf, and me (but not jw, who was sick with a cold).

    On the drive down, we spoke about memories of my grandmother (and to a lesser degree, since he had passed away much earlier, my grandfather). Probably this is due to my dad being along, becuase he tends to encourage this sort of sharing.

    I realized from this, to my dismay, that I actually have very few memories of my grandmother "Dima" as a person. The majority of my memories of our visits to her are of things in her house, not interactions with her.

    I do remember her motto (even if not her voice saying it): Omnia Mea Mecum Porto.
    awhyzip: (libtext)
    "The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline."

    True dat.
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