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November 18, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

Dim Sum and Dinner

Today was a really good day.

The good night's sleep really helped everything. My body feels a lot better today than it has for a while, and I think that just being aware of all the things that were conpensating for everything else really helped me sort things out unconsciously. So I even drove to work this morning, and John and I stopped at the Conoco 'fresh donuts every day' to get donuts and John got some coffee.

I had only enough time to get my own mug of tea before I was pulled into the bug meeting. Every week, our test group throws a bug meeting, they run the meeting and are really good at tracking that things are being addressed or not. They're even doing all the verification that things are actually fixed or not, so having them as a third party to it all really helps the rest of us. And it's really good to know that someone is looking over my shoulder so that I know that I really have to get things right.

What's funny is that my stuff really isn't all that new and isn't really getting tested all that hard. It's been in use for the last five years, so bugs have already been ironed out, so I usually come of these with nary a thing to worry about. Today, the worst I got stuck with was a fairly minor bug that is probably a two hour fix. Nice that. Bob's getting the brunt of the bugs because the GUI's so new, and I'm likely to pitch in with helping with fixing those later on down the cycle.

There was only a bare hour between the end of the meeting and going off to dim sum with the group and in that hour I picked up all the things I needed to do this afternoon, waded through my email and got my brain back together. Then we were speeding south to Denver and the Empress.

Boss Steve was so impressed from last time, I think we might be doing this every month, whenever Bob visits. It's well worth the time and effort, and John ordered just a bit too much today, but it was fun anyway. The food was just as fresh as last time, though the waitress was a bit less altogether this time. I still haven't figured out how to pronounced pu-erh so that they'll actually *get* it the first time I say it, but that may take a while, I guess. Dan came with us, this time, and really enjoyed himself. The drive, alone, was pretty fun as it was such a sunny day and so warm that we just zoomed along.

Back again, back again. And I was sleepy from all the food, but I managed to clean up all the loose ends from yesterday. Some folks had found a few things that I had to fix, and so I did, cleaned it all up, added context strings to show up in the GUI when things were hovered over, and basically stablized things a bit more. Most of the problems were with the periphery, not the centeral core of what I'd changed out. So that was good to know.

Lynn needed more help with how to set things up for real debugging and we plowed through a few typical problems for a C programmer starting to work with objects. The persistance of an instantiation is an important concept, and it looks like he gets it. The other thing he did get was that the Dev Studio environment really does work and if it looks like it's not working, then there's likely some problem of synchronization between the two. So I think that should work out in the long run. Sometimes one has to have faith in ones tools.

It was a good thing that I got him working, though, because I'll be home working tomorrow and through the weekend and parts of Monday. So I still had to get my machine unplugged and make sure it was working with everything that it had to work with.

It wasn't until 7:30 that I finally let go of things and John and Bob came over to ask about plans for the night. I wanted to make Bob my Chocolate Thing. I'm not sure if I should call it a flourless cake or a souffle, but the latter has flour in it and this doesn't. Anyway... I wanted to cook, so the three of us went into Whole Foods and found fresh green beans, white potatoes, some nice tenderloins, milk, and a whole lot to comment over. Both John and Bob were making fun of everything in the store for being yuppy and organic and earth nazi. It made me giggle like crazy, but I wasn't sure what the clerk made of Bob noting the '8 ways to pay!' sign and contemplating paying all eight ways for the purchase. Luckily, he only, realistically, did it on his credit card, all at once.

The two of them went to the liquor store for guiness while I made my way home. Once home I started immediately on the au gratin potatoes and, when they got back, I started cutting up string beans French style. John helped by snapping the ends off. When I was done with that I put together the flourless cakes and just as I was finishing putting them into their ramkins, I had John start the steaks. A bit of salt, pepper, and canoloa oil, and the lean steaks went on a killer-hot cast iron skillet for two minutes for each side and then three minutes in the same 375 degree oven the potatoes were in. That made it easy. The beans were just nuked, and, sadly, the potatoes weren't quite as done as they should have been when both steaks and beans were done, so we ate the beans and steak first.

The mini-steaks were fork tender, delicious and had that lovely salted crust from the quick-searing of the cast-iron skillet. Very, very nice. Bob was very impressed and I was very glad that it had turned out so nicely. The beans were obviously fresh, crisp and sweet and perfect for eating. I really loved them and ate a lot of them. I nuked some of the potatos, finally, and we all had some. Bob was amazed that there was no butter in the dish because it tastes so rich!

One of the really interesting conversations was all about where we'd been just a year ago. So many of us had felt so foolish for sticking it out for so long when both Data I/O and even Minc had felt like they were going no where. Data I/O because they'd hadn't even thought to really reward the people that were making their business for them and the company hadn't had a clue how to innovate. Lots of interesting stories about the CEO's vanity, idiocy and stupid opportunism. Bill had had absolutely zero compitence in running a high tech company and an ego the size of Texas so that he couldn't and wouldn't listen to anyone that did. It's so completely different now. Wim's focused, smart, engaging, listens and plans for the long run. Everything he and his staff has done has impressed all three of us. It's been really cool.

Here, they solve problems when they find out about them. They actually listen, even if it is new and even if it wasn't invented here. They figure it out in the long run and for the long run. And all three of us feel like we've become some of the luckiest people, ever. We were bought right before Xilinx's stock did it's big upturn and, from what we see, it isn't going down any time soon. Also, our work and our pride and joy is going to really help this company in an area where it was hurting. This is really, really cool. It really was amazing, last month, to watch hundreds of Xilinx FAEs really *get* what Synario was all about and that our tools really work better for them than what they've had to work with before they got us.

This is a good thing. Now we're all pretty glad we stuck it out.

Finally we ended up with the chocolate 'cakes' and no one complained that I'd made four for the three of us. We ended up splitting the fourth pretty evenly among us. So that worked out really well, and Bob got a first-hand experience as to why I love the Bernard C. chocolate that I asked him to buy for me.

By then it was past ten, and we were all tired and Bob had to pack. So we said our good-byes and I opened the gate for Bob. So until mid-December we'll just be talking on the phones again. The air really had cleared out well, so John and I decided to chance sleeping together again, and it really did make a difference. We both slept just fine.

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