August 11, 1998
Realized, as I delved deep into bugginess today, that the reassurance from thinking that one is simply a poser is that if one fails one can fall back on the feeling that one didn't know what one was doing anyway, so of course it was going to fail. The terror of competency is looking at all the things that one didn't do and saying, "Why didn't I do them because I can???" and falling into despair of a completely different, but equally irrational sort.
Yeesh, a bundle of irrationalities today am I.
Not that it's all that bad. I think, though, that saying and thinking and always acting as if I don't think I can write is my defense mechanism against the responsibility of actually being able to write and what I really ought to be doing with that capability. Instead, I finally break through on the other end, which is acknowledging that I might be able to write code. Though I had some external signs that I knew what I was doing, it was the internal stuff that has taken so long.
The early morning was taken by a dentist appointment. At eight. Ooof. So I dropped John off and zoomed up to the dentist place, and the traffic was completely crazy with all the PGA stuff going on. So I was a bit late. Growf. Anyway, they ground at my toothguard for a while, and got it to mostly work, and then kinda stopped. I could feel one more impact area, but decided that there might be another problem that I could get some experimental data on, so decided to just accept it as it was and try it out later that night.
I have a toothguard because I've always ground my teeth when I sleep. It's just something that happens, and I do it more when I'm under stress, especially work stress, so it is necessary to protect my teeth when I do that a lot. I put so much pressure on 'em, it might be one of the reasons why my molars have broken so much more easily than just about anyone else's that I know. I've had a molar just shatter when someone came up under my jaw with their head during a soccer game. So it's better to protect what I have left.
Lunch was cool. John ordered stuff from the Fill Your Belly Deli, which used to be owned by former Seahawk Mike Tice, but we don't know if it is anymore. But it's a great little deli that delivers for free if you order more than $5 worth of stuff, and a half a dozen of us got into an order, and we got it around noon. The meatball hero was lovely, hot, gooey, with great big meatballs, a roll that actually stayed together even with all the sauce and cheese, and it was delicious.
Spent most of the morning chasing a bug, which I knew sourced from old code that I really didn't understand, but I started to just look and look and look at anything that was even slightly related. So it took most of the day, but finally I figured out what wasn't getting done. So I called John, talked with him through what I thought should be done, and he said that it should have been done even earlier in the cycle. Then pointed me at the section and I went there and started stepping.
Turns out that a hard coded string in the code was wrong. That it was looking for the wrong section in a file and because it wasn't finding the section that was there, it wasn't initializing things from the non-existent section. So I changed the string, re-compiled, and at about 6:30 p.m. fired it up and it ran perfectly.
I could get used to this.
It'd be nice if I could do it *faster*, but then that's always true.
After that my brain gave out. So we went home after a quick stop at the grocery store for salad things and Balance bars. Since dinner would be quick to make, we decided I'd to my exercises first, John would do porch things, and then when I was done with my exercises, he'd make dinner. Just reheat the penne casserole and we'd be set.
Exercising at nearly 8 p.m. is very, very different than exercising near 10 a.m. in the morning, on these hot days. It was hot and stuffy and I was tired and while I wasn't hungry, my body was running low on reserves. It was never more evident than after I'd done the bulk of my exercises and then I got on the exercise bike and I thought it'd somehow picked up resistance. It was much, much harder to get it to go than usual, or at least felt like that. I have a feeling it was just my leg muscles had been drained and were feeling pretty much every effort I was putting into the bike. That was pretty nasty.
John got dinner ready while I was cooling down, and then we ate, watching the Crash Bandicoot screen as John had something like 50 some odd lives lined up for his assault on the next levels. After dinner he played. I watched. For a long time. Then I rummaged about for plant food through the musty bits of the garage and couldn't find it. So I asked John to pause for a bit to find it and he did. So I watered and fed all the plants and then went up to take my bath.
I'd bought an entire cannister of the sleep therapy stuff, and used the stuff happily. Lit a few candles and just drowsed for a while in the warmth. Put on the toothguard and went to bed. I could tell that most of the toothguard was a lot better, but that that one nub against my front left teeth was so bad that I finally knew that I couldn't go to sleep with it in. Also, the experiment that I wanted to do did show that the wires holding the guard onto my teeth really were too tight. The molars under the wires were gently throbbing. Not good. But they were both things that could be fixed, so I quietly put it away, put on my old toothguard and went to sleep.