Saturday, February 26, 2011

Random bits and pieces

Currently I am hiding away from Miranda. She has a cold and things at work are hectic enough that I am hiding away so I don't miss work or have to work from home. That tends to make things much more difficult and then I just end up working more. Christmas has come and gone with us still meaning to finish our Christmas thank yous. I feel like I should call and thank you since I prefer to have that type of two way communication. Or maybe it really means that I am too lazy to lick a stamp. That said we always appreciate the love of our family.

We find ourselves gripped in winter again. A couple of cold days have found their way to Seattle. I thought when I came here that we would not see so much cold weather, but it turns out that you should see about 1 week of nasty cold a year. This year we got about 2 weeks spread over 3 instances. But Miranda got the snow she wanted... of course she is sick and can't enjoy this round.

Football is done. Sad the Steelers couldn't win. Happy the game was fantastic. Right now though, I am pretty sure with the current labor negotiation that we will not see football until late next year or maybe not at all next year. At some level, that is fine. I will abandon the sport if it decides to abandon its fans. Or maybe I switch over to college ball. I am not blaming either side of the disagreement, but get this damn thing fixed.

Work is work. I have spent a lot of time doing operational work for the team to make sure everything is in tip-top shape and cleaning up some old code. My latest passion which probably marks me as sick in the head is efficient web service wire protocols. It is amazing how much efficiency is lost by making something flexible, I wonder if there is not some happy medium that can be achieved. Wish I could expound more but really I need to do some research to exactly layout what is seen in Apache's web service framework and other web service frameworks. That said, we moved from the old, beloved PacMed building to our new digs on the Amazon campus. I have to say that I am not totally digging our new digs.

The things I like about it are that we are on campus and it is easier to meet with teams and there is an interesting Amazon vibe. I honestly am looking forward to seeing what that looks like this summer when folks are more likely to be outside instead of tucked away in their cube farms. Now as for the specific space that I am in... we I am not digging it so much. It is a team room without the room, which means we are just in a wide open area next to the elevator and that means noisy and high traffic. I am currently working on some ideas to make it more ... personalized. I spent part of the morning pricing out a mini project to create a 4 ft by 4 ft beaded curtain with the p13n robot design on it. Well it is looking like it will be both expensive and time intensive when I was really just aiming to only be time intensive. A glass bead curtain of this design will cost about $1000 and a plastic version will be about $300. I am not sure what I was expecting when I needed about 10,000 to 15,000 beads to do the curtain. So now that is up in the air. Maybe a gigantic poster of Frank will be enough.

Last year, some of Ben's friends from high school and another guy and I started doing a D&D4 campaign online. We tried to get Ben to join in, but it was getting really difficult to do tasks involving communication. But after a time we decided to give it a whirl and it has been fun. For the first 6 months, Nick DM'd the adventure and we spent a lot of time learning the rules and playing with Google Wave (which is going away at some point) and using Skype. Starting about 1 month ago, I agreed to give Nick a rest and whip up a couple of adventures so that he could play on the Character side of the game. So far so good, as it seems like all involved are having fun. I have enjoyed the character side as it was interesting (and less work) but the DM side is great as you are putting together an outline of a story and letting your friends create the dialog and specifics. Really you are just telling each other a story and it feels very much like Improv.

On the Improv front, my old group, MTU's The Troupe, is celebrating 20 years of storytelling. But along that front, they are announcing that they are disbanding the official school group. It has been hard since the mother of the Troupe retired but they have had many years of alumni support and great shows as well. But it seems that it is getting harder to find faculty resources and keeping organized. There are 2 things in college that I look back and deeply love and that The Troupe and Student Theatre Association. It seems that there is less time for those outlets in college than their used to be. But I am glad for all the skills they have taught me and the friends I have from them.

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