July, 2009: 11 posts.
Things I Spend Time With
#1: The early morning:
#2: My desk at work:
#3: Lunchtime at the park:
Nearly always with my iPod. Two weeks ago I thought I had lost my iPod for a night and it absolutely terrified me to think that I would not have it and would need to spend valuable cash to get a new one. Luckily, it was found where it should not have been. And my sanity was preserved, slightly.
Additionally, I’m 39 years old and I have not emotionally and physically felt my age more than this year. I’m undergoing a radical health transformation right now which is to the good, but also somewhat troubling. Our home scale seems to have a margin of error of 30 pounds, but notwithstanding that I believe I’ve lost about 45 pounds in the past 2 months. This defies all logic and I find it somewhat worrisome, but I’ll take it for now. On the tax tip, we’ve made it halfway through the year with taxes taken out of most of our income, so our daunting tax bills that have nearly killed us the past two years probably will not recur next year. One step at a time, all things change and improve.
I’m learning at the new dayjob — working in a continuous deployment environment can be terrifying — but in some ways it’s like working at the hospital again. I’m working in the intensive care unit for a rather monstrous, difficult patient. Sometimes it’s fun. I could do without the cynicism it creates in others (and me) but I’m learning what it takes to keep a large web application running 24/7 to customers using it in the thousands, all the time. I’m still a newbie but am surviving.
And that’s it from me for now. Hey, onward kids.
Is anyone reading this? If so, why?
Mastering the Art of Combat!
I find Nobody Scores! inscrutable, which is often good, and sometims the flashes of brilliance crack me up!
Hate Driven Development
Quote of the day, via rc3:
I’ve used the term a few times, and now it’s time to officially coin it: Hate Driven Development. It’s when you come to hate working on something so much that it inspires a surge of productivity that leads to completion. Most projects that involve this methodology include a procrastination phase.
Badly Drawn Roy
I enjoyed this:
via Cartoon Brew
Density of Memory
This past weekend I went down to San Diego to catch up with family. San Diego is chock-full of people I care about, and it’s unfortunately impossible to catch up with everyone. This was tightly focused on family.
It’s always dislocating to return to a place where you have not been in a while. My memories get activated and I’m taken back to when I was 5 years old and trying to catch the little four-winged moths that hung out on this lawn. I remember my uncle parking his truck on that lawn after returning from the beach and washing it when I was in my early teens. I remember riding a Wham-O Slip-and-Slide on the yard. I remember being so small that I could not throw a basketball high enough to hit that rim. I remember playing horse with friends on the block when I was 13. I remember the time my aunt’s dog had eaten some sort of poisonous thing and we all collectively got her to swallow a big ball of wet salt to induce vomiting. I think of more negative memories as well: being forced to do pushups on the lawn and being chastised for my unfitness. I remember arguments between family members that scared me when I was a kid. But I also remember being welcomed back many times by so many people as we returned from the Philippines, from New Orleans, from Los Angeles, from Virginia. So many homecomings. The torrent of memory is overwhelming, but somehow it all managed to coalesce into a positive experience. I had a terrific time, and only got mildly sunburned when we went to the beach.
Sometimes a tetherball is just a tetherball.
One of my favorite things as a kid was playing tetherball in the back yard of my Grandparents house. The tetherball itself has been changed out a number of times over the years, and it looks like it’s about due.
I enjoyed playing though when I was shorter it pained me to get beaten. Once I got to be one of the taller members of the Crawford family I liked it much better.
The Crawford homestead was always one where there were games being played — tetherball, basketball, whiffle ball, Risk, backgammon, Poker, Rummy, and more. When we lived close to or in San Diego I loved to play games there. Backgammon with my grandmother was a special favorite, as was Mao with my Uncle Jody.
Games are instructive because while the pretense is that they are a diversion, an entertainment, all the ones I have named are inherently social. It’s that aspect of games I find the most compelling aspect–mostly because it’s the part I least understand. I understand quite well how fun it is to roll double-sixes in backgammon, but what is the larger social component of that action while in the company of, and playing in opposition to, a family member or friend? I think perhaps there’s something in games that teaches us to be graceful in victory, and accept defeat with class–to accept that sometimes things don’t go our way. But also, that sometimes they do.
Hey, roll the dice, and move onward.
My Sister and Brother-in-law could not possibly be cuter.
Gordon Parks. Alabama, 1956.
Photo taken in Alabama, 1956 by Gordon Parks:
Gordon Parks was a groundbreaking American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director. He is best remembered for his photo essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft.
Estimated travel data provided by Google Maps. Actual result data provided by Joe and Leah.
Glendale (91203) to Clairemont (92117)
Estimated Travel Data:
Distance: 122 miles
Estimated transit time: 2 hours 2 mins
Assumed average speed: 60 mph
Estimated transit time (in traffic): 3 hours 40 mins in traffic
Assumed average speed (in traffic): 33 mph
Departure time: 2:30pm
Departure date: Friday, Summertime
Actual transit time: 4 hours 30 mins in traffic
Actual average speed: 27 mph
Clairemont (92117) to Moorpark (93021)
Estimated Travel Data:
Distance: 161 miles
Estimated transit time: 2 hours 41 minutes
Assumed average speed: 60 mph
Estimated transit time (in traffic): 4 hours 40 minutes in traffic
Assumed average speed (in traffic): 35 mph
Departure time: 9:45pm
Departure date: Saturday, Summertime
Actual transit time: 2 hours 35 mins
Actual average speed: 62 mph
Comment: I think we have a clear winner. In future we’ll always leave very late and travel north. Logistically, this may prove to be a problem, but since it’s just an implementation detail we’ll not address it at this time.