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November 17, 2000
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Early to Rise

The alarm buzzed at 6. I shut it off, reset it for 6:30, and turned around and went back to sleep... for twenty minutes, and then I really woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. So I turned it off, got up to get ready and John got up with me. Breakfast and Fezzik came in and had his. He actually did pretty well, compared to how I was thinking of him last night, and he ate happily. I actually made myself a 12 ounce cup of one third caffeinated and two-thirds decaf coffee that just tasted really good, but didn't make me all wired.

John and I went and got donuts on the way to work and the sugar helped wake me up, too. So that by the time I got to work I was ready to tackle things. Tackle them I did. I completely rebuilt my design environment, my debug environment, and all the things that I needed to support all that. I then got the crash to crash in that environment and was faced with the interesting puzzle of how did *that* happen? Talked with a few people, grabbed John between meetings and the first thing out of his mouth pointed at why it was doing what it was doing.

So I fixed that, found out that it messed with the thing that I'd fixed, a little, and logically as well, as a recursive loop had been broken. So I put it somewhere else that made more sense. That tested out okay in debug mode and I handed that off to someone to test on a release mode setup that I didn't have. He was busy with other things, but said he'd get around to it.

By then it was lunch time. John had a noon meeting, but said that I should go with everyone to China Gourmet if they went and he'd try and catch up with us. He never really did, but I paid for his part and so we took all the leftovers back to him. Chicken corn soup, crispy duck, tofu with pork shreds, Mongolian beef, fish chunks with spicy sauce and a combo lo mein really helped fill everyone up. It was really good and the leftovers all went into their own boxes and when we got back to work, our car wasn't there! John must have just missed us there, as he came back about ten minutes later, and Cary popped up to say that John had been asking about me.

It was funny but a little sad, but not too bad. John really enjoyed all the leftovers.

I then retested and did stuff in the afternoon and when that was done around three, and everyone was gathering for a marketing presentation by our vp, John and I went home.

I was prepared for the worst. That Fezzik would be again as bad as he was yesterday, but he actually was moving around just fine. He actually came to the garage as we were parking the car and went up the garage stairs with us!! That surprised the heck out of me and when I felt his nodes up, they were smaller than yesterday. Not a lot smaller, but not as angry and huge and hot as they were yesterday. Maybe the cool weather helped him out a little. Or something. It was just really cool to know that after the bad day yesterday he was just better today. I had been really worried that he wouldn't make it through to Sunday and we'd made such a point of inviting Debbie, Matt, Boris and Forden over to see him while he was still 'okay' with it. It really looked like he'd be at least mostly okay, now.

Okay is now such a subjective thing. I'm used to having to steady his hind end, now, used to him accepting help up some stairs eventhough he can make it if he really sets his mind to it. I'm used to him sliding around and being frog-like on the wooden floors and I'm used to him having problems getting up in some cases. But he seems mostly resigned to it, even content. He seems to have this great tolerance for things as they are, and he'll just sit for a while if his hind legs give out and he'll just try later.

In either case he happily came in with us, got hugged and petted a lot as John settled down to work some, and then call in for a later meeting. I got books from Amazon and started reading them. Carl had recommended On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee and I bought it and am utterly delighted with it. It's funny, very, very engineering oriented and filled with interesting tidbits of lore as well as actual evidence for scientific reasons for certain food interactions. Only a scientist would say that it's far, far cooler to know that cheese making, fermentation, and bread formation are all sourced from spoilage and rotting things when one eats those things. I, luckily, agree with him and even just the first chapter on milk was really fascinating.

I also loved his answer to the 'which came first, the chicken or the egg?' question. Obviously the egg came millions of years ago before any chicken ever appeared on the Earth, multi-celled organisms in the oceans had to figure out some way to reproduce, well before a land-crawler was even possible.

It's funny and keen.

The result of the meeting was that I was supposed to publish my fix tonight. John suggested another one phrase change to the code and we thought it would be a good idea to test it before we put it in. It took a while to make the changes, build everything on his PC at work, and then try stuff out, and while he was doing all that I reheated some of my homemade potstickers. We ate as things built. We had to test the new bits, so we tried to remote run his PC at work to do the test, and it refused to do it because it didn't have a few key support executables. Drat. Eventually, we got frustrated enough that we loaded Fezzik into Borax and the three of us took off into the snowy evening to a) get my stuff tested and checked in properly, b) get a fax he was supposed to have gotten at work and c) get Fezzik an ice cream cone and a little chance to explore things other than home.

As we got closer and closer to work and to the foothills, the thicker and thicker the snow got. The roads became hardpacked snow and a little icy, but there were sanders and plows running around everywhere, so it was relatively safe, more so because there were so few cars on the road themselves.

We got to work, unloaded Fezzik, and he staggered drunkenly across the snow, finding a handy bush to relieve himself on and when he was done with that, he staggered off through the snow, ignoring us calling him until John trotted off after him for a bit. He staggered back, his rear paws making arcs through the snow, and he went right past me for the door into the building. I think he could smell that this was the way people went. I chased him, squawking a little. We knew he wasn't going to make the stairs inside the building, and he really isn't allowed in anymore. Pets were forbidden earlier last year, and he would certainly qualify. He looked a bit pensive, but then finally allowed himself to be herded back towards the back of Borax. We loaded him back in and went in.

It was 8 when we were driving in. Seemed very amusing to be driving back into work at about twelve hours after we'd come in first. John did one thing I did some testing and then blinked mildly as the fix seemed to work in debug mode but wasn't working on the release build he'd done. So I rebuilt it all in release mode on my machine and, sure enough, it wasn't working. Gah!! We sat there in befuddlement, an hour into it all. John had already put everything and was just waiting on my publish. The crash had gone, but what wasn't worked were the new things I added, the recursion. We poked, prodded, re-ran things again, and it was the same. It was already past nine, now and I was so tired, it just wasn't really registering.

So I sent people email, told Bill I was too tired to really delve into it now, and we went homewards.

Sadly, the Dairy Queen was closed. John and I hit the liquor store, though, and I was very, very gladly surprised to find that they had Thomas Kemper root beer!! That really surprised me. John stocked up on beer, I stocked up on Kemper soft drinks. That was good. We also remembered that we had ice cream cones and a tub of vanilla from Fezzik's birthday. So, once home, we filled a couple cones with the stuff and fed a sitting Fezzik, who was quite as happy to get the buttery homemade ice cream as anything he'd ever had from soft serve. It was a hit.

He ended up walking, quite steadily, out, and just stayed the night outside in the fluffy, soft, white snow. Happy dog.

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