Monday, May 26, 2008

I've been busy.

It amazes me that using the Internet, which used to be a fun, diversionary pastime, is now a lot like work. When I do get a free moment -- which is sadly becoming a rare occurrence these days -- jacking in to the matrix (errr, surfing the web, that is) is down at the bottom of the list of things I want to do.

As a result, updating my journal falls by the wayside, too.

So... let's see. Last update was 18 April. Since then, I've:
  • Gone to Maker Faire with Tamara and our friend Julie. It was a lot of fun. A few pictures I took of the gizmos are online.

  • Started open water swimming in Puget Sound again. We've mostly been swimming in Manzanita Bay (here's an overview of a typical workout there), and there's a seal which loves to swim with us. Actually, it's the ladies he seems to like. Don't ask me how he can tell the difference (or even if it's a male -- apparently, his/her ability to determine interspecial gender is better than mine), but he definitely goes up next to them instead of the guys.

  • Gone to Hobuck Beach a couple times. No pictures, sorry; I felt more like wandering than thinking about taking photos. I did get a nasty tire puncture hitting a sharp rock on highway 112 when returning from my first trip. That also prompted me to get my tires replaced; when putting the spare on, I noticed that the treads were much more pronounced. Oops.

  • Built a BlackBerry application to make oncall life easier at work, called Sur Appels Sans Frontières (i.e. "On Calls Without Borders" -- yes, I know the French is atrocious, but it translated forward and back properly in Google Translator, so I'm sticking with it). This was part of a competition to build tools for others in the company to make their lives easier. The upside: I won the "Best Tool For Builders" category. The downside: They want me to roll this baby out (in my copious spare time, of course :-). I did get a nifty hard hat helmet/trophy (in keeping with our internal system builder website's Bob the Builder theme). I'll have to take a picture of that.

  • Gotten completely inundated with operational issues at work. Ironically, while I was giving the demo of Sur Appels, my team was in the middle of dealing with a Sev-1. It also seems that the new database hardware we're getting has a bad issue with the storage controllers which causes the database to completely hang from time to time. In usual Amazon tradition, the engineers are being told to just deal with it, it's your problem, not provisioning's. That is, we'll spend a few million to work around the problem rather than a few thousand to deal with it directly. <sigh>

  • Been househunting off and on. More off than on in the last few weeks. I hate the whole process. That's all I'll say for now lest this become an angsty rant.

And there you have it, in executive summary PowerPoint bullet form. Next slide please.

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