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Fri, Dec. 21st, 2012, 03:20 pm

4 day weekend alone at home commences. The first big puzzle: what's for dinner?

I just bought 78 lbs of cat food, too.


Thu, Dec. 20th, 2012, 02:52 pm

I don't post much anymore, but when I look and see other people still do from time to time, I think perhaps I should. But it always seems like too much effort to try and recap my life from the previous post. I also don't spend my limited free time wisely, and I often burn more of it looking at things like aviation accident reports instead of actually pursuing hobbies and the like. In short, I don't feel I'm interesting enough to want to write about.

Hmm. Is this the new emo?

Fri, Aug. 31st, 2012, 09:50 pm

I'm in Nashville for a wedding. Why is it so warm out still?

Fri, Jul. 20th, 2012, 07:13 pm

2 months 8 days? I guess I've forgotten about writing about what happens. I suppose people would get bite-size increments if I still had a Facebook wall I spewed on, but I don't, and it's probably better that way.

I can't say nothing noteworthy happens, because in that time, we bought a house. Escrow closed on Monday, but the sellers wanted a rentback that we agreed would be up to 21 days. Well, they had said they were planning on only renting for three, and ultimately only ended up renting for one. We got keys on Wednesday.

Now for the fun of packing and moving and trying to do things that require big openings to be maintained like replacing the windows. And do we want better locks? And solar panels? And how come the laundry machines haven't shipped yet? (No, not the laundry machine; the laundry machines.)

I'd love to think that by the end of the month, we'll be living out of there. Hard to imagine at this point that that would happen, though. So much stuff to move. Oh, and it's in Castro Valley, so my commute to work essentially doubles... that kinda sucks, though it's mitigated by not having to drive the vast majority of the way (which, in turn, is mitigated by my tendency to get nauseous using my laptop on the bus). I guess we'll see how that goes. I still think the place is worth it.

Sat, May. 12th, 2012, 10:40 pm


Thu, Mar. 22nd, 2012, 11:29 pm

Memethingy (wow, remember those?) from lifeofmendel: 5 questions. Comment if you want me to try to come up with a set for you. No guarantees that I'll be able to, though...

1. how have you changed in the past five years?

Well, let's see... I became a crazy cat lady, picked up photography, gained a much better appreciation of the great outdoors, and (I believe) regressed socially. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

2. what's your impression of google as an employer and as a company?

Like any big company, there's internal politics and silliness, though in my 2 2/3 months there I haven't had to deal with much yet. It's really big (32k employees at this time, I think) and attempting to grow even more quickly, and while they still make some kind of effort to maintain a small-company feel, I don't think it's possible. On the flip side, the benefits are certainly noteworthy and so far, I have yet to meet anyone who made me wonder how they got hired. And there does seem to be plenty of teeth in the idea that they push internal mobility strongly.

As previously noted, the thing I find hardest to deal with is how I see Google and how that compares to how other people I know see it. It sure seems that the more technologically inclined the person, the less happy they are about Google, to the point that I know quite a few people who have jumped off the ship, say angrily that they will never return, and seem to see every piece of news regarding it to be further proof that it has attained "big evil corporation that you can never trust and that will never ever tell the straight truth" status. I understand the revulsion people have towards advertising (which is where something like 99% of the revenue comes from), but I don't see its operation as any different from, say, spam filtering.

I can say that my level of trust in the personal data Google holds about me has actually gone up since I joined, though that is in small part because they now have everything: my name, address, SSN, bank account details, and so on. But they do sandbox personal data pretty strongly. For example, I can't go nosing around Gmail accounts from the inside, not even my own.

3. what do you feel passionate about?

Tough question. Cats, I guess. A lot of what I feel passionate about I also feel strong resignation about, like politics. I do have strong feelings about how I wish things were, but I know they'll never happen. I suppose you could say I feel passionately that we're all screwed.

4. what's your favorite piece of technology that's come out in the past two years?

Y'know, I really haven't kept up. Haven't gotten a tablet, was late to the smartphone party, always finding out after the fact about some hot new game everyone's playing... so it's kind of hard to say. Maybe it's the bidets they have at Google...

5. is there anywhere that you want to travel to that you have yet to visit?

Lots of places, primarily for photographic reasons. Iceland comes to mind.

Fri, Mar. 16th, 2012, 01:03 am

One thing I'm having a hard time getting used to about working at Google is dealing with what seems to be a torrent of negativity from people I know that only continues to grow in intensity. Don't get me wrong; I certainly understand where it comes from, I think much of it is warranted, and I agree with some of it. But I do think some of it is way over the top, as though those I know have become conditioned to think "Google is and will always be evil" and therefore see it in everything they come across about it, and thus feed the positive feedback loop that produces ever more extreme opinions. I don't feel empowered in any way to respond to these; even ignoring the fact it's not my job (and thus not my business), I feel that anything I say that even disagrees mildly with the opinions will get dismissed as the words of a paid shill since I draw an income from Google and thus must have as my only interest the continued brainwashing of the public as Google sells everyone out. So I feel like all I can do is watch the continued whipping up of froth.

At least nobody seems to have taken me to task seriously because I describe my own job as "spamming more ads on the interwebs". Maybe it's just because they're too polite to do so to my face.

I recently knocked a bunch of pretty big home tasks off of my list. The void they leave behind is paralyzing. I find myself continually thinking that there has got to be something else that I'm forgetting to do and then failing to remember it. Never mind that there are some more big things to do that I could be doing that keep getting swept aside because of the phantom tasks I keep thinking I'm forgetting. Bleh.

Sun, Jan. 22nd, 2012, 11:17 pm

Oh, and before someone asks (ha, right, as if), my left thumb's mostly healed now and, save for a small scab, looking pretty much like it did before I sliced half the tip off.

Sun, Jan. 22nd, 2012, 11:16 pm

Everyone's posting to LJ again, it seems, but either they've all moved onto different accounts or I've been mass-defriended or something. I ain't seen nuttin'.

Let's see... tomorrow makes it three weeks (well, almost, but I couldn't start on Jan 2 because it was delayed-New-Year's) at Google. I feel like I'm drowning in stuff to learn. My boss tells me that this will continue for several months... yikes. I can't shake the feeling that I'll never get it and I'll get punted out of the company in disgrace or something. Oh well; at least the free food is good and I've had plenty of "holy crap, that's neat" moments. Still, some of the other n00bs (er, Noogs?) have already gotten to checking in code, and I can't see myself doing that for another while yet.

Yesterday was dr4b's housewarming. I normally freak out about the prospect of parking in SF, but recent successes made me feel more optimistic about getting it right. So I drove in and wound up spending a bit over half an hour attempting to find parking in the Mission before declaring myself a failure and running back across the Bay Bridge. I wound up parking at the West Oakland BART stop and riding the train in. The really sad part is that if I had just taken BART in the first place, I would've been to her place an hour before I actually got there. I realize now that trying to find parking around there is harder because of the multitude of driveways there are and the resultant little sections of curb that look too small to fit a car, not to mention the cars that you hold up as you go along at 15 mph trying to figure out if what you're looking at is a viable space.

Last week, I hit Seattle for a visit with somelaurachick and c_wraith. The visit was fun, though I think my departure was well-timed, given how much snow had already fallen by the time I left and how much more came afterwards. I strongly believe I left my BlackRapid strap behind at a restaurant there, though, and I seem to be wimpifying considerably when it comes to air turbulence. I wonder why that is?

Oh, and I switched to Comcast Internet at home. The 10 Mbps upstream got me thinking that I really ought to see about offsite backups for my fileserver. Which got me thinking about Crashplan and how I wanted to check it out earlier but didn't for some reason. Which led me to discovering that the reason was because the Ubuntu upgrade process broke my system. Which now has me reconstructing the system in Arch Linux. Whee. Ubuntu is like the Windows of Linux distributions.

Fri, Dec. 30th, 2011, 09:44 pm

Following my last day at NV on Dec 16, I went on a vacation to the Kanab, UT area with Robin and my in-laws. I'd gotten permits for Coyote Buttes North and South, and we also planned to drop by the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and do some volunteering.

Coyote Buttes North was pretty easy to get to despite the BLM office's warnings of mud everywhere. I had permits for two days, but the first day was a single person permit, so I went out at 5:30am by myself (sunrise hikes really are neat!) while the rest of the family did BFAS tours and orientations and some volunteering. For some reason, I didn't feel compelled to take much in the way of photographs, and then the ones I did take seem kind of flat to me. Oh well. I was toting around probably 35 or 40 lbs of stuff at that point, which really wore me out; on the following days I wound up leaving most of that stuff behind and had a much easier time as a result.

On the second day, we all went. The only snag was that I thought it'd take less time for us to get there, so I didn't bring most of my warm clothing, and then got antsy about leaving with sufficient time for us to get back to the car before sunset. Sure enough, by the time we got back to the half-mile wash hike at the very beginning, it was getting both dark and cold. So we did make it to the Wave, and stuck around for half an hour, but didn't really explore the area further. On the plus side, I don't think anyone had anything to complain about afterwards.

Coyote Buttes South the next day proved to be a bit harrowing to get to, though perhaps it was only in our minds. It took 3 1/4 hours to get there, and much of that was because the sand roads had snow on them that the undercarriage of the rental Jeep scraped against. In retrospect, it probably wasn't that big of a deal, but by the time we got to the parking area, we were all pretty rattled, so we wound up aborting the final hike a scant 1/4 mile from the actual rock formations and heading back. I guess the silver lining there is that I now have substantially more experience dealing with this stuff and know better how to drive in it, but next time, I think I'll push for something with even more ground clearance.

With the hiking out of the way, I spent a whole day at BFAS myself volunteering with the cats. The morning saw me at Quincy House, one of the two special needs-cats residences, where I helped clean stuff up and then took Marv on a walk (with a towel so that I could pick him up without worrying about him relieving himself on me) before getting mobbed by the residents. For the afternoon, Robin, her sister, and I all wound up at Morgaine's Place, where we took turns passing Snip around our shoulder blades. Robin decided she wanted to walk a cat as well and wound up taking Dazzle out for a bit, with Dazzle questioning just about everything she saw. The day pretty much flew by; I can see why people go there just to volunteer for an entire week.

One interesting wrinkle that we didn't anticipate until we were just out of time was that Kanab basically completely shuts down over Christmas. We did figure this out and were able to put together a reasonable dinner plan for one night, but we wound up spending Christmas evening in the motel lobby monopolizing the microwave oven and sitting around. Frozen mac and cheese and vegetables steamed in a bag... worked well enough, though you won't mistake it for a big holiday bash!

We rounded out the visit by paying Bryce and Zion National Parks a visit. As usual, I want to go back and spend more time. I guess maybe I should book two weeks the next time I go.

So what do I do after all this, with a few days left before I start my new job on Tuesday? Slice off the tip of my left thumb, that's what!

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