Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Noogler, Day 10: What am I doing here?

I had no idea what to do today. Last week, I had no classes, so I was able to do my own work. This week, I have classes, but none today. I didn't want to embark on a long course of study, since I had only today to work on it, but then again, I didn't want to waste the day either.

My morning, however, didn't give me much of a problem deciding. I slept late. I got up around 9:30 or 10:00. While I was in the shower, it occurred to me that I have an 11:30 workout scheduled. If I left here at 10:30, I could get to campus, be there for half an hour, and then have to leave. What was the point of that?

I did a little reading from my living room, and then went to my workout.

Straight from there to Charlie's to get some lunch, or (if you remember my day 8 post), "breakfast". As I ate my chicken enchiladas, I had a brief chat with a security guard I had met but hadn't mentioned on day 3, and listened to a podcast of Gabe and Tycho ranting about how disappointed they were in the Zune. (I didn't bother to finish listening to it.)

Filled with energy, I promptly dodged going to my desk by walking by the techs instead. It may have been a vain hope, but I asked if they knew anything about the stocking situation on the Macs. Fortunately, they informed me that they now are distributing Macs, and I might get mine any day now! I stood there and contemplated what life would be like if I had the ability to carry around my own personal computer. But that's just silly fantasy.

Then I went to my desk, where I still didn't know what to do to be productive. So I worked on my HR checklist instead. I went to add my pager to the pager database, but there were some technical problems with that.

I had previously asked— on my first day— about getting a Maltron keyboard, since it's much easier on my wrists. They told me that the Kinesis is the one they usually give out, but I could get a Maltron if that was more appropriate. They recommended that I get an ergonomic evaluation. (I've had one early on at every company I've worked at out here.) I had put that off so far, but it's something I should attend to. So I did.

The ergonomics group has a web page with some steps to take to adjust your chair and monitor properly, as well as some information on stretches and other work habits. They also had a link to where you can request an evaluation. I went down their list, and then requested the eval.

I soon decided that I should do something more directly related to my job, so I sat down to study some of the material I'd been working on.

At this point, I should probably point something out. There's large stretches of time that I don't chronicle. Of course, I'm talking about the technical study I do; I don't write about it, because it doesn't make for very interesting storytelling. Douglas Adams, in the early chapters of "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish", poked fun at himself for doing that.

It's just not terribly exciting to wade through a lot of my day. "I tried to check out the ops repository, but was told that my client wasn't created. However, it was trying to check out a different client than I was using. So I went back over the steps from a previous lesson, and realized that the client name needs to be set in an environment variable. I hadn't remembered that, so I checked my environment, and sure enough, it wasn't set. I took a little bit of time to clean up the phantom clients I had inadvertently created..." and so on.

It's fluff. You've got your own life to live once you're done reading this post (and possibly commenting); I won't bore you with the duller parts of mine. I'll leave the vast filler material to the works of bestselling fiction, so they'll have something to abridge for the audiobook version. It's not my place to do so here.

I bring this up because you might otherwise get the idea, based on a reading of these emails alone, that I never actually do any work. You might think I flit from cafeteria to gym to pool to arcade, never doing anything that might improve shareholder value. While I will readily acknowledge that I spend a degree of time in such activities, I also do spend unlisted hours at my computer working.

If I hadn't told you that, then you might wonder about if I worked at all today when my narrative went from asking for an ergo evaluation to riding a bike around the north end of campus, with only a sentence between.

I had intended to explore the park at the north end since I got there, but never had gotten around to it. The park turned out to be not at all what I expected, but nevertheless quite a nice place to relax and clear my head. I took a picture to include here, but I couldn't get the sun to move to the right angle to avoid the picture being backlit. I figure the best lighting for that photograph is to be had at about 8:30am, so you therefore should learn to live with disappointment. I did, however, manage to post a picture from a more unusual angle.

I took the bike back towards Charlie's, made myself a salad and turkey panini, and went back to work.

The rest of the day was the sort of dull work-stuff that I previously said I'd skip over, and besides, my laundry's done, and I need to sleep and be up early tomorrow. Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing, beloved from pole to pole.

Yeah, if I'm quoting Coleridge— and not even the best parts— it's definitely too late for me to be writing. So I'll just leave you with the pictures. I'm sorry I forgot to include the balloon picture again; one of them is now purely in the force of gravity, no longer buoyant. You'll have to either use your imagination (which should be quite easy for you), or wait until tomorrow to see it.

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