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January 20, 1999
a year ago

Xilinx is Good

Had to get in way, way, way too early in the morning. Got to sleep by taking a long bubble bath after walking Fezzik in the rain. The rain is falling, just falling and falling and falling, weeks of it. It's going to be a while in Boulder without rain before I actually miss it, now, I think. It's just been all-pervasive, as close and constant as the beating of my heart and the rush of blood through my veins. The water's been coming down and flowing, the rush of the stream outside the house, the babble of the brook from the pond to the marsh, and the beat of it on windows and roof have just been ever-present.

The white noise helped me get to sleep.

I dreamed of being given a construction project for the very first time with a team of people that were an odd mix. The catering lady just sucked, cut up tons of fresh fruit into such small pieces that it couldn't be kept for any time at all, and with as few people overall, it was odd. The man in charge of the construction yard was very experienced and also very closet gay, but he thought he'd gotten his job by being attractive to me, so he played the game and did all kinds of covert things that just drove me batty because he was trying to stay attractive to me in ways that he thought a het woman would want. That was just weird. He was good though at what he did, just didn't have the self-confidence to think that his merits alone won the job. That was an odd take on that attitude. It's usually mine. So I took him to task about it, and I could see it starting to work, but he'd still revert every once in a while. The constructors and architect were also reliable and hard working and it was coming together when I woke up.

The all-hands meeting served the dream well. Heck. Xilinx stock was up 8 points just before the meeting, and going up even as the CEO talked. Part of it is likely the public news that they're planning on splitting the stock, much of it, though, was from the fact that Xilinx performed well over expected projections, even the projections of the market watchers, so they're doing really well. And in the all-hands meeting, I learned quite a few reasons as to why they're doing so well, and good, solid reasons as to why we're only going to do better.

Suffice it to say, I'm glad I'm working here, I'm glad I'm doing what I'm doing and I'm like totally and utterly glad of the upper management and their attitudes. This is completely new for me, something that has pretty much never happened to me before. After Data I/O I vowed that I'd *never* work for a CEO that had less business savvy than I did, and both Minc and Xilinx have not disappointed. Though, admittedly, a company officer having more business savvy than a hide-in-the-cubicle geek isn't *hard*. It's just that before Bob Jensen I'd just never, ever worked for a company that had such a creature. Now, I think I'm well overmatched by Xilinx's officers, which is a very, very good feeling indeed.

Sadly, the way things are working here at work right now haven't made getting things done very easy. Was sympathizing with Em today about the fact that there simply aren't that many engineers that I can meaningfully bounce design or even implementation ideas off of, not nearly enough experience in the pool of talent here. Most of it I just forge ahead on my own, and it gets lonely and frustrating sometimes.

Also the Other Life Things are piling up. The knee brace, getting contact lenses so I don't have to worry about an appointment in Boulder for a while, getting the medical insurance stuff cleared up from my cold at the new year and so I can actually think about getting the knee brace again, plus trying to clear up dental stuff until I actually can figure out what it is that I have to do to get my bridge replaced.

Having all my medical and dental benefits changing again already has sucked, big time.

And, in the meantime, I've been looking around at fountain pens. Not because I really need one or anything, but just because I wanted to look. Another infatuation. Just wandered through all the sites that Yahoo and Lycos' list of 'Fine Writing Instrument' sites pointed out. There was this one cool story of a girl in France looking around her one day, at the library, and noticing that nearly all the French use fountain pens of one type or another, running the gamut of the cheap, nice Parker Vectors and Lamy products all the way up to the completely decadent Mont Blac's and Cross pens. All fountain pens, and nearly everyone had a smudge of ink on their hands, if not two or three, and it wasn't a problem. Whereas it's very different from America where nearly no one uses fountain pens regularly.

I figure I'll take one of my steel nib pens to all the signing I know is going to happen with selling one house and buying another and surprise the heck out of people by signing with a fountain pen and having it come through all the copies. At least my steel nibs are pretty sturdy and really won't mind the pressure.

By evening, I've kinda realized that the main reason I was looking at so many pens, was because I was trying to cope with something. I wasn't focusing on work, I haven't really, for a while, and I wasn't getting anything done even with all the outside stuff that needed doing. I think that some of it was that I felt like there was nothing I could do, as most of the insurance stuff was beyond my control. Though, admittedly, there were a few things that I could do, but just hadn't.

Realized this in bed, mostly, talking with John, after a nice enough evening, where I was stupid and let Fezzik outside in the rain, and watched the lighted strip along one side of the lawn, the way Fezzik usually goes when he wants to wander off. But he went the other way. So he was gone while I was on the phone with some UW folks trying to raise money from the alumni. So I lost twice, first Fezzik then promising money so that they'd go away.

Dinner was late, but then we'd both not been that hungry and John got to work on the car, and I got to watch the Powerpuff Girls and then went out into the rain to find Fezzik. He was slogging his way back through the mud of the dirt road above the house, and happy to see me and the Milkbone I had in my pocket. That was funny. I got him home, he wandered into the kitchen and then shook and left about an eight foot in diameter mud splat all over the white linoleum. So I chased him out onto the porch, which was wet but clean, and I found the mops and stuff and wet mopped the area and everywhere he'd left mud trails.

He's such a dog.

After talking with John, I got to sleep just fine, feeling like I'd emptied out my head.

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