Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I'm back.

My uncle passed away last Friday, just after midnight. I left here around 4 pm and got there around 11:30 pm. The wake was on Sunday, and funeral on Monday.

As usual with my family, it was a Chicago Catholic funeral. Cry hard first, then party hard. (I'm sure this isn't limited to Chicago or Catholics; I just have yet to go to a funeral quite like this elsewhere.)

On Saturday, I went with my cousins, Mark and Jane, and a number of their friends to the Village Pub, where my uncle liked to hang out. We found out a few new things, like how the regulars there called him "The Sheriff." People kept sending rounds down our way, and I bought a round for the house. It was fun and touching at the same time. Mark and Jane both had a bit too much to drink, but were ok the next morning. I adore them both more than words can express.

(n.b., we're separated by a few years in age -- I'm 29, Mark's 23, and Jane's 20 -- so we're just now getting to the point where we can truly share experiences. Oh, and if you're wondering, 20 is well above the legal drinking age in Chicago. Not the age that's on the books, but the age that most anyone, including the cops, care about.)

I also helped a bit with budgeting and planning for the future, though Mark has most of that down pat despite the lack of good records. There's a lot of stuff you don't want to think about when something like this happens, but have to deal with it anyway. For the sake of your loved ones, keep semi-decent financial records. This is something I'll have to start myself (well, I've started... I just haven't maintained them as well as I should).

Friday, September 12, 2003

I just spent far longer than should have been necessary to get something as simple as ''1 (in Lisp) to parse correctly (e.g., ''1 -> (quote (quote 1)) ).

I suck.

Also have a lot weighing on me right now. Uncle's in the hospital and doesn't have much time left (days, if that). It was very sudden... he went in because his doctor thought he had pneumonia. Turns out to be aggressive and advanced lung and liver cancer. Ugh.

Mind you, a few weeks ago we were joking around at his cabin in Michigan. He seemed perfectly healthy and was his normal introverted, happy-go-lucky self. He turned 50 not too long ago. Wednesday night, they were still talking about how they were going to treat him as an outpatient; this afternoon, they weren't sure he was going to make it through the day. Yeah, real roller-coaster.

So, anyway, back off to Chicago for me. Will be back one of these days.

Friday, September 5, 2003

Yes, please interrupt me while I'm in the middle of an intense debugging session to fix your $)#(@* web browser font problem, which could be easily solved if you didn't @#)($*@# insist on using Mozilla on Linux, with fonts from a Sun box, with the display piped over to your Windows XP box running an outdated version of Exceed.

Because, see, my job isn't really that important -- certainly not as important as you viewing your CNN page or webcomics or pr0n or whatever -- and it's not like I really needed to be concentrating. Might bruise a brain cell. Oh, and certainly don't bug IT about it; they sit too far away, and it's much more convenient for you to pop over to my cube next door.

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Seeing all these back to school posts on LiveJournal... well... makes me feel old, dammit! :-)

Tired of work. The type of work I'm doing now, after the reorg, is decidedly less interesting. It's still the most bleeding-edge stuff at Neolinear, but far less innovative than what I was doing in Advanced Products.

One of the other managers pushed me over the edge today -- he sent his lackeys over to demand that I fix something right there and then for their product release (they've decided to integrate something at the last minute, *after* we've frozen a release candidate, for crying out loud). I fixed it, but then escalated it with my manager to (try to) make sure this doesn't happen again.

Hrm. Let's see... Labor Day weekend was somewhat of a disaster; a couple of irksome guests made the atmosphere in my house somewhat awkward. Labor Day itself was a nice and lazy day, though.