July 6th, 2006

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For only two days at work, these have been wierd!

Work has been odd this week. Several months ago, my group at work lost a big job due to DoD budget cuts and we've since struggled to get more work. So my group has rapidly shrunk from 18 people to 10 (2 of whom are part-time). Most found other jobs within the company and moved, but layoff notices were given to two of them. This was the last week for those two, as well as for another guy who is transferring. One of the guys secured a transfer and is moving to Alabama and the other is the leaving the company completely, and will be pursuing his dream of becoming a full-time cop (currently he's just a part-time cop, and a programmer full-time). P, the guy going off to be a cop, has been my mentor since I joined the company just a bit over two years ago. P is an older guy, fairly set in his ways, opinionated and very strong minded. He has a tendency to frustrate the heck out of me - his programming practices don't match the industry standard, but as he's the senior programmer, I've had to follow his way. But I've learned a lot from this guy and he definitely helped me better my programming. I'll miss him, even though the first major interaction we had at work was him peer reviewing my code with the comment, "This is shit. But that's understandable, you're an inexperienced programmer. Give me the keyboard." And he proceeded to rewrite my entire module. (Yes, I was mad about that one.)

Several people got into an argument today about whether it was Tuesday or Thursday. After that got settled, they then got into an argument whether the Tuesday or Thursday tag-ups should be held. While I don't go to any of the tag-ups, they were arguing right by my cube (there are 16 empty cubicles out of 26, so they could have easily avoided my area), so I refereed. My call: "It's Thursday and you knew ahead of time Tuesday was a holiday, so just have the Thursday tag-up."

Yesterday at lunch, a large, heavy wooden folding white board/bulletin board (9 feet by 5 feet by 3 inches when open) randomly crashed off the wall in one of the manager's cubicles. People came running thinking something blew up in the room. Luckily, it was the cubicle for a guy since transferred to another program and no one was hurt. The board was put up nearly ago and hasn't been used or leaned on in at least three months. About an hour after that, we had our yearly employee survey. And I burst out laughing at question 30: "How safe do you feel at work?"

One really has to wonder what tomorrow will bring.
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Reflecting

Around my birthday, I always tend to take time to reflect on my life. M and I had a chance to catch up on the phone last night and, as usual, part of our conversation was philosophical.

The concept of having a life's dream came up (oddly enough, it was the third conversation about dreams in the same day). I don't really have a dream, or driving passion. I have felt that for the past ten years my life has been a series of accidents that Fate and Chance have devised for me. Fortune has helped out and my life is pretty good. I still have some issues (and some are pretty big), but overall I'm happy with where I'm at in life.

I turned 28 this year. I'm ten years out from high-school at this point in my life. All I knew of my future ten years ago was that I was going to attend the Univ of Colorado at Boulder, I was going to live with my parents so as to not have to pay room and board, I was going to major in something in engineering (but I wouldn't choose my major for another month), I liked my job, but couldn't make a living at it, and robots were cool.

Robots are cool is as close to a dream as I've ever really had. It's the reason I use when I ask myself why I'm going to graduate school if I don't like school. But, the real reason for grad school? It's expected of me. Robots sent me towards electrical and computer engineering in college and I actually do like my career, but I never dreamed of becoming an electrical engineer.

I went through the ECE program with three guys who've become close friends over the years. We graduated five and a half years ago. Currently, I'm the only one actually interested in the field. One is getting his MBA so he can be a manager; another is going to school to become an actuary, and the third (who hated engineering almost from when I met him) is going to grad school to get a masters in linguistics, which will be a much better fit for him.

Sometimes I wonder is Fortune knows my dream, and is trying to nudge me along that path. I wish she would share it with me.
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Fraternal socks versus step socks

My knit group, and lots of other people as well, I'd imagine, deem socks that don't quite match "fraternal twins". In her search for that phrase on Tuesday, MJ accidentally called my socks "step socks". I finally made it to the toe of the second sock, and took a closer look at them. MJ was right. They are step socks. When I did the heel on the first, I changed the pattern in a different way than I did on the second sock. However, they are still cute socks, and I'm pretty proud of my work on them. (And happy to see the end is in sight. My goal is to finish them before class starts on Monday.)

Speaking of school, the bookstore at school had no idea of what book my class needs, so I have no book yet and no idea of the cost. For my just finished class, the bookstore had originally stocked the wrong book and that's what I had ended up with. I'll have the same professor in the coming class. He'll just be amused by my bookstore issues, so I'm not worried about not having the book in time.

Sa applied to an undergrad program at my school and will be starting this quarter. I'm really proud of her that she's going to get her degree finally.

Now that I think I've finally drained all my thoughts, I think it's time for sleep. Things make so much more sense than they did a few hours ago.

Happy Friday, all!