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August 31, 2001
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two years ago
three years ago

Digging Ruts

So Jet was up five times last night. I guess having the grandparents here isn't that good for his sleeping schedule, or something. Or maybe it's just me and my tensions about work and everything else. A tightly wound mom makes for an uncertain baby, or something.

It didn't help that I was supposed to take today off, and I felt so far behind from not getting too much stuff done yesterday that I felt like I had to work. It helped that after Jet's bad night that he napped quite a lot today, and having Mom and Dad do baby watch for whenever he woke up made it so that I could at least finish some of my thoughts when I had them. So I did a few things, chased down a couple of items and felt less guilty about having the weekend and Monday off. I did get into a bit of a flame war with one of my co-workers, it really was the fault of both of us, and I really got down on myself for it today, alternating with flashes of real anger for the other side, too.

Sometimes I really feel like the dinosaur of the group, the only one that remembers the history of the product and who has real respect for the design decisions that were made in the data that was given ten years ago. Ten years is forever for software, and while a lot of the technical implementation stuff is out of date, the original customer data has been verified by our present day marketing folks that actually do customer research. So they weren't that far off, and it just has felt, sometimes, that the folks today (those young people of today...) just automatically diss anything that was originally done without regard as to what it was or why it was the way it was.

Thing is, though, I don't want to also propagate what used to be simply because it is the way it used to be. There are new questions, new requirements, and for an application that used to support a dozen different companies that did configurable software it's now in a situation where it only has to support one and that's a vast difference indeed. I've been trying, really hard, especially this release, to be open to changes and to figuring out what it is we need now. The guts are in bad need of an overhaul to modern coding capabilities and with modern tools and to fit the modern OS's and I don't deny that.

So it hurt like heck when the co-worker said that everyone only spouted history as the answer to present day problems. Of course, they hadn't originally presented a problem, only what they felt was the right solution without any regard to what was possible against the code base we had or what good modular coding practices are. I hate it when an engineer starts with the implementation rather than figuring out what the real problem is, first, and then calls everyone a stuck in the mud dino simply because we don't back the solution proposed when we weren't even given the whole problem to solve. That just gets my goat.

Of course I felt guilty for everything. For being angry, for yelling at the guy, for trying to explain the history when all the they were interested was in pushing for their solution. And I felt guilty about being hurt, and half wondered if I shouldn't be guilty... I know, they're all classical signs of a lack of self-esteem, which I do lack like a vacuum lacks air. It didn't help when there was an article in the paper about what people with good self-esteem act like and, of all things, feel like, so my strange soul could go down the list and go, "I'm not like that. I don't have that. I'm really bad at that..."

Talk about digging ones ruts.

I finally gave up working when I was so tired and so frustrated I wanted to cry. I got a few things done, but it was just painful. Bill was good, he got my results of the day and told me thank you, but you really should be enjoying your parents. So I got off my machine and went to play with Jet and my parents.

Dad had the video camera out and was getting stuff to take home to show Kathy. It was pretty funny in some ways, but instead of just letting Jet be himself and do his usual things when he's playing by himself, Dad was clucking to him and trying to get him to pay attention to the video camera. It was interesting and they got a few smiles from Jet for the camera, but they certainly weren't Jet in his natural habitat. I had fun taking the camera for a while and getting Jet and John playing in their usual ways, including some stuff I'll be glad, later, that I got, as it had Jet bouncing, raspberrying, and doing his usual silly faces, lunge and grab tactics, and falling deliberately on his face to get at stuff.

We all decided to go to Casa de la Mina for dinner, the nice place with the good mole, as Dad likes mole. John and I got the flautas as they said that there were four to the plate and I didn't think I could eat a lot. They came back huge and with five to each plate and both John and I were mildly rueful. They were really good, though, crisp and hot and tender and cheesy on the inside. Jet watched us all eat and played with his jitterbug by Mom's chair. Mom had a mild smothered chicken burrito and we all ate some of the freshly fried chips. We were glad we got there early as the place filled up and overflowed a little, and when we were finished with dinner, the lady that owns the place came by to talk for a while. She was a little nervous when she found out that Mom and Dad came from San Diego, where there's good Mexican food, but she was pleased when Dad said that the mole was good. We talked with her about business and how it was going and the new plans for letting the restaurants have customers seated outside. That was fun.

And we have plenty for another meal for just about everyone.

When we got home it was still light out, so we all went for our usual walk and took the longer route by the house that was being build from cedar tongue and groove. John waved the guy down and the guy took us through the framework of the house, while his nine-month-old puppy, Sparticus, barked at us and then came with us into the house. The dog got bored pretty soon after and played with the horse next door while we walked the gorgeous floor plan and the guy talked through his plans for the roof, the rooms, and the building all together. He had been going at it like crazy and they had all the walls up and the roof was going on next week, and they've only been putting the wood parts of it together for three weeks. Another two before that for all the foundation digging and pouring and setting, and it's been just over a month and the house is mostly up.

Their view out their front door is pretty spectacular. Then again, all the houses here are on a gradual slope up to the east, so the views to the west are available to just about everyone. That's really nice, especially at sunset when the light is glowing through the mountains.

It was fun to see all that, and when we got home, we did the usual evening stuff and got Jet off to bed just as my Mom and Dad went to bed, too.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.