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January 4, 2000
two years ago

Asking, Finishing, and Lunching

The main result of doing everything yesterday was that I had more testing to do this morning. I did all the testing, finished all the busy work to get it checked in, and then had a 9 a.m. meeting. Yes, I got in way too early. In part, it was because of John, and the rest of the reason was that the time deadline for getting everything in was at the end of the meeting, so I knew I wouldn't be able to work during the meeting.

While I was at massage, John did some baking. He made coffee cake with macademia nuts, and we brought it in this morning because he was supposed to be bringing the food for his eight o'clock meeting. The leftovers came to our nine o'clock meeting, and I took a nice big hunk of the stuff and enjoyed it with my coffee. There was one thing I needed to do at this meeting that I really didn't want to do, but I had spoken about this with John for several days previous and we couldn't think of a better solution.

There were still two things that were originally specified for one of my features that I haven't been able to get to until now. There are two problems with those parts, they were that they were fairly intrusive to the code that is a basis for the fundamentals of how it worked and they were features that I considered less essential than everything else I was working on. The combination was such that, at this point, I felt much better about punting on them than pushing through to try and finish something no one really wanted. The only way I would know if they agreed with my assessment was to bring it up at the meeting in front of everyone.

Even though I believed these weren't essential elements, I still hated admitting that I hadn't finished something. However, I also know that it is better to communicate such status information than it is to kowtow to my pride. So I did, and it turned out exactly as I had hoped it would. I'm now free to do the things that I do deem more important. I guess that is another lesson and how complete development teams really can work.

All this before lunch.

Lunch itself was a fabulous experience. I met Howard Davidson at a local Mexican restaurant and the two of us had a really wonderful time. The food was pretty good the conversation was much more fun, and was filled with everything from why it is that electrical engineering has so few women to the fact that most geeks have blown something up when we were kids. It does still bother me that the FBI circulates a profile on dangerous high school kids that would fit most of the people I know as well as most of the people I would most like to hire. People who question, think outside normal boundaries, and really need to know how things work. Sometimes I wonder if anyone even understands that all the geniuses that are now making the technological revolution happen were the very people that no one understood.

The conversation itself was actually much more upbeat and interesting than that little musing. Howard is very intelligent and very fun and very motivated to do some of the things that I think are very right to do. It also made me rethink old thoughts about mentoring some kid who feels like a complete alien simply because they're smarter than the average bear.

Given that I had hit the deadline for the morning, I wasn't particularly motivated to get back to work quickly in the afternoon. There were, however, plenty of things to do, so I got down to work. John had a late meeting, but Phil was going to hang around until we got home in order to give John an opportunity to pay him. He's finished with the dry board in the basement.

The basement looks nearly done, and it's very strange to see the progressions so far down the line, because I haven't been looking very often. The walls are all up, so there are all the rooms. There are switches and lights and all the wiring and plumbing, so it is actually a living space down there, and plenty of it. So much of my life has been focused at work or simply on getting dinner and a little bit of video game in that it seems odd to have my living space so expanded upon without my having paid much attention to it. When the kitchen had changed in the previous house, everything had turned topsy-turvy, so it seemed a natural progression that I could watch as it changed and grew. The basement seems to have just undergone metamorphosis without my ever having seen it.

When we got home, Phil wasn't there, but it was nice to have the excuse to get home early. We had meatballs and spaghetti for dinner, and then watched college football, raced CTR, and then watched more college football until it was time to go to sleep.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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