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August 27, 1999
a year ago

Even Busier Week

It's been an even busier week.

I've been feeling pretty crunched all week. We have a dropdeadline in less than two weeks and I'm feeling every bit of the pressure. Eventually, I figured out enough that I'm actually shedding tasks under the pressure and letting them wait until later. Steve's been doing a great job of getting me to just stop and consider if what I'm doing is really ncessary or vital to stuff.

It's moving along, though I spent most of the first three days flailing after God knows what I had to do and I spent the last two days building my new build environment that actually complies with the company's Way of Doing Things.

Had two big surprises during the week. Two different people stopped to tell me that I was really competent, one was a report from a remote site that said that they were really impressed by me. That floored me. I'm not used to that at all. I'm not even used to anyone *noticing* me, but they notice here and it's been voluntary, positive feedback that wasn't required by some stupid review process or anything. It just happened, and it just pancaked me.

Foodwise it was an interesting week, with the list of Ten. I even followed it Monday, made stuffed tomatos using the leftover smoked salmon, some home-baked bread, onions and good stuff. Tuesday I blew it all to heck because on Monday, when we bought the tomatoes I noticed a sign that said, "51 ears for $15". So Tuesday we went ther to buy 51 ears, the farmer said, "I'm out, you wanna come and pick it yourself?" We said, "Sure!" and ended up in the shade of seven foot tall cornstalks pulling fat ears off deep green, the sweet sap making my hands sticky from where the ears left the stalk. It was so gorgeous in there, and so dense that John had to ask me to step into the next row in order to get by me. While John talked with a contractor about doing the basement, I blanched, cooled, and cut off the ear 49 cobs of corn. We saved two for our own dinner, to eat with the left over artichoke casserole. They were so tender and sweet it was like taking bite of summer.

John froze most of it on cookie sheets so that the frozen kernals came apart pretty easily and it may well be like eating a bit of summer if we have it in the middle of winter. That will be nice in stews and casseroles and just plain, by itself with a bit of salt and butter. The blanching kills the corn enough that the sugars stop converting to starch, but not so much that it's so cooked that heating it through would over cook it. So it's a very good balance.

Wednesday I rampaged home in order to watch Good Eats and was well rewarded when Alton Brown actually did Sawmill Gravy, i.e. sausage gravy/country gravy/the really good stuff on biscuits. Hoorah! I've been wanting to know how to do that for most of my life, and there it was! I know what I'm having on Saturday! Thursday was going out with the guys at work. I'll see what happens tonight for dinner after we get out of here. It's already 6:30.

I did, last night, make some chipotle-based peach salsa with lots of onion, tomatoes, garlic, an orange pepper to accent the sunset colors. It turned out nicely sweet and complexly crunchy and when John ate a big glob of it he had just enough time to say that it tasted good before he suddenly choked up on the heat. Delayed reactions. Yay! Someone was bringing salsa today and asked for others to, too. So that was good. John also brought beer.

Sadly, he'd made ten gallons a while back and finally got to test the batches only to find that both had gone bad, which wasn't a good thing. It really bummed him out adly and he's had a bad week of it, altogether.

Managed to ride the exercise bike twice this week. The first time in a while, and I hurt badly enough after Wednesday that I decided that I had to do something today, too. Sunday's ride made me a bit aggressive about how I was riding, and so I was really sore Wednesday. Then I planned to go swimming with Jenny today, but she got delayed and while I didn't mind not swimming, I had to do something, so I went and rode the bike anyway. An ice cream social for the company started up while I was finishing and showering, so a lot more people wandered into the showering area than usually do in the afternoon. The curtain was good for modesty's sake, but folks did hurry through when they had to get in there. That was mildly funny. But it felt very good to exercise adn my hands really felt a lot better afterwards.

I've been really pushing my hands. All the writing for all the doc and all the classes and all the thought and my UNIX box doesn't have a very good keyboard for my hand, but I have to use it for most of my source control, which minorly sucks. Especially since I'm not at all used to Sun OS's and manage to completely fuck up my .cshrc. It's been fixed since.

All in all, I'm pretty exhausted. Fezzik did pretty well all week, though he's been looking tired from the heat. It's been pretty hot during the days, but John managed, last weekend, to clean and refill his wading pool and his fur is getting matted enough, underneath, that I think he's been using it frequently. That's good to know.

We did see the Conceptions people for a pre-surgery consultation and got all the necessary information to make me feel much better about knowing what was going to happen, how and when and what the possibilities were. It should be interesting to see how I pull through it.

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