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The under-documented life

Started: 2007-11-12 21:18:34

Submitted: 2007-11-12 22:26:02

Visibility: World-readable

This year, Kiesa's birthday fell on a Thursday, which happened to be BLUG. As a result, we celebrated her birthday the day before, starting with supper at Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, located directly under my old cubicle. We followed supper with a viewing of The Simpsons Movie at the Boulder Theater. (Somehow I managed to miss the movie in "real" theaters, mostly because I improperly remembered the time on my one excursion.) I enjoyed the movie, and I think Kiesa managed to find it sufficiently amusing as well.

As part of a broader physical fitness (and weight-loss) program, I managed to drag myself out of bed half an hour early -- well before dawn -- to run five kilometers on Thursday, 18 October. I did the same the following day, and again on Monday (when I carried along my GPS receiver to track my route and get a better idea of exactly how long it was), but I ramped up too quickly and wasn't able to sustain the increased level of exercise through Tuesday.

On Friday afternoon, 19 October, I attended Joel on Software's FogBugz World Tour. Joel came to Boulder to promote the shiny new release of his bug-tracking package. In addition to having better painters than than Bugzilla (or any other bug-tracking software I've actually used), it included shiny features like time estimation, with Monte Carlo simulations run on estimate history. I decided actually bringing my copy of Joel on Software for a signature would be a bit cheesy, but when I walked up to the event, the woman in front of me asked Joel to sign her copy of Smart and Gets Things Done (which he signed using my pen, since neither of them had one handy). Joel asked what I did (software for cable and satellite set-top boxes) and he asked why his set-top box crashes an hour into every on-demand program. I blamed it on lack of competition, which would keep everyone somewhat more interested in actually keeping customers through better service.

The demo itself was interesting; I was fascinated by the shiny new feature in version six, evidence-based scheduling, and by the effort devoted to tracking bugs, which really isn't all that exciting, but fairly important.

On Sunday, 21 October, it snowed in Longmont. For definitions of "snowed" that don't involve any actual accumulation. I hiked a six-mile loop at Hall Ranch to enjoy the falling snow. Snow was falling throughout Longmont as I drove to the hike but subsided when I actually reached the trailhead. When I reached the high meadow approaching the ranch house, the snow picked up again, placing me in an early-fall wonderland, with snow falling furiously on tall yellow grass. While I hiked, I listened to the audiobook version of Alan Greenspan's memoir, Age of Turbulence: part life narrative, part commentary on the state of the world economy in the middle of 2007.

The onset of fall gave me less time to hike on Thursdays before Hacking Society, forcing me to scale back to less-ambitious (shorter) hikes; I hiked Mount Sanitas on 25 October.

On Saturday, 27 October, Kiesa and I attended a one-year-old's birthday party of a kid whose parents exist somewhere in our greater social circle. I don't actually recall attending a first birthday party before, but I've seen photos from mine and I assume I was present at Bethany's and Willy's. Kiesa and I observed the benefits of hard wood floors in child-resistance; food was flying everywhere (especially during a cupcake-frosting event) but wiped off easily. We were the only people present without children but, strangely, the experience didn't scare us too much. (The night also included the third game of the World Series on satellite; while I didn't watch, the Red Sox scored several runs on the Rockies in Denver. I was amused to see Colorado's professional baseball team make the World Series, but it didn't really disappoint me to see them loose.)

On the last Sunday in October, I wasn't sure where I could find optimal hikes; I saw snow on above treeline on the Continental Divide but wasn't sure how far down the mountain it came. None of the hikes near Longmont attracted me, so I drug up a number of local Geocaches and amused myself driving past Lyons and finding several caches near Pinewood Springs.

The thought crossed my mind to outfit my basement with a Shiny Ergonomically-Correct Home Office, so I searched Longmont's office supply stores for adjustable keyboard trays and found nothing inspiring. That left the Internet, where I found a full-featured keyboard tray that easily outperformed the acceptable but uninspiring tray on my desk at work. (It slides backwards and forwards, rotates side to side, moves up and down, and tilts. It lets me adjust the tilt and height independently (unlike my at-work tray) and doesn't put the mouse multiple inches below the keyboard, which my at-work tray does, ruining its ergonomics.) I added the latest version of my favorite cordless keyboard and mouse, and put everything together on Monday, 29 October. (That gave me the appropriate typing environment to write that night's changelog.) I added the Dell docking station I got Kiesa for her birthday for a nearly-perfect workstation. (I'm still thinking about KVMs, and I'd like a stand to go with the docking station, like the one I have on my desk at work, but this is a pretty good start.)

Two Halloween-related events rounded out my month of October: My employer's Halloween party on Tuesday (featuring a fairly small collection of coworkers in costumes; the party included the amusing Banjo Billy tour of ghost stories, though we missed Jon Benet's house) and Halloween itself on Wednesday. Kiesa acquired the necessary candy to support our neighborhood's kid's dentists; I was more inclined to go Scrooge on the folk holiday, so I convinced Kiesa to open the door every time the bell rang.

(In work-related news, I switched projects on Tuesday, the day of the Halloween party, to an exciting Linux kernel driver. I now know much more about kernel drivers than I knew before, which I should now put on my resume...)