Sunday May 02, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Apr 25 - May 01)

April marked Rich's and my 21st anniversary, Squirrel's 4th anniversary with us and Raven's 1st anniversary! Happy, happy, everybody!

The weather for the first half of last week was HOT — record high temperatures caused by a strong high pressure ridge. Yuck. We opened windows, turned on fans, and wore shorts. The weather finally broke on Thursday and the rest of the week was lovely, sunny, clear, and warm but not too hot.

Raven and Bebop had their annual health checkups on Monday morning. Neither of them enjoyed it much. I was treated to kitty stereo on the drive to and from the vet. AwroOOOOO.

On Tuesday night, Rich gave a talk for the San Francisco Perl Users Group (SFPUG). The title was "Modularity through Frozen Data Structures" and discussed his current project. Rich is doing "document mechanization" for a software development project at SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). Every morning, his scripts harvest the latest information from the build tree, turn it into YAML, and then produce several hundred web pages (most with generated diagrams) and a scattering of PDF files.

We had a minor snafu at the beginning, when it turned out that the projector had not been left in the designated place that afternoon and was not to be found! But we persevered. Rich gave a short talk on the science of the project while Quinn (current captain of SFPUG) went off to get a 21-inch monitor. Then Rich plugged the laptop into the monitor, hooked up to the web, and gave the rest of the talk with visual aids.

We had about a dozen attendees. I think everything went well.

Wednesday, I had a job interview. I thought it went very well. Apparently, so did the people on the other side of the table because I got a call on Thursday evening to ask when I could come in on Friday to sign various papers so we could move forward. Whoo hoo! So, on Friday afternoon, that's what I did. I have a 6-week contract (possibly extensible (I hope!)), starting Tuesday.

Friday night we discovered, to our dismay, that one of our favorite restaurants, a Greek place in Burlingame, is no longer there! We'd just been there a few weeks ago; there was no indication they were pulling out. But on Friday night the building was empty. There's another branch that opened in San Francisco three years ago; we may go there sometime, but it's a lot farther. Sigh. I hate it when restaurants we like disappear; it wasn't as if they didn't have much business. They always seemed to be doing well.

My latest Two Cents comment was published on Friday. The question was: "How much would you pay for a gallon of gas".

Rich wandered up to Forestville on Saturday morning to visit friends so I was on my own after lunch. I mostly spent the day reading and napping with cats. I had dinner with a friend at Fresh Choice, a restaurant I like but Rich doesn't much care for, so I take the opportunity to go whenever he is out of town. I ate too much but the peach streusel cake was sooo good!

I finished The Tail of the Tip-Off, the latest in paperback from Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown, a good series for lovers of mysteries and cats (or dogs) and started another book before bed.

In between and around the rest, I've had several naps, some excellent meals (Joe's does the best pork chops :-), interesting conversations with Spouse and friends, and many snuggles with the cats. I've "chatted" several times with my Dad, kept my weblogs reasonably up to date, enjoyed my many mailing lists, and exchanged letters with my Mom. It's been a good week, overall.

Weekly Wrap-up (Apr 25 - May 01) - posted by Vicki at Sun, 02 May, 12:40 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday April 25, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Apr 12 - Apr 24)

One of my online writing groups, Journal Writing, posts several regular summarizing prompts, including
"Wednesday's mid-week reflection"
Take some time to write in your journal. What's happened so far this week?
"Summary Saturday"
What's the most important thing that's happened this week?
and a bi-weekly prompt called "Check In".
The list is like journaling. Sometimes life takes over and we don't have time to write like we'd like to, thus the check in.

All members please take a minute to respond to this email. Let us know how you are doing, what's going on with you. How is your writing? How many pages have you completed in your journal since we last had roll call? Read any books you could recommend. Tried any new writing methods?

A summarizing entry seems like a good idea. This is my summary of the past two weeks.

I was Summoned to Jury Duty on April 12. I was originally Summoned (I just feel I need to capitalize that word) for last November but at the time I got the Summons I had a contract and didn't want to lose the income. Our county allows us to ask for an extension for up to 6 months, so I did. By the time the original court date came up, the contract had ended abruptly but I wasn't in any great hurry to Perform My Civic Duty so I just waited for April to come around.

I took a journal along to the court and kept an account of the day. In brief, I was called to a courtroom, they told us about the case, they dismissed us temporarily, then they brought us all back in and told us the case had been resolved to the attorney's and everyone's satisfaction, Thank you, you have Served Your Purpose Here Today.

The long version took up more space and four entries (as posted to my weblog). If you're interested, they are here:
[ Summoned to Appear, Part 1 of 4 ] [ Summoned to Appear, Part 2 of 4 ]
[ Summoned to Appear, Part 3 of 4 ] [ Summoned to Appear, Part 4 of 4 ]

I had a few lucid dreams (dreams where I know I'm dreaming). I don't have the kind I can control; it's more like knowing you're watching a move. But I recall being quite fascinated by various _things_ in the dreams. In one, I was walking along between two rows of metal fence (made of pipe), like they use at Disneyland and such, to keep people from going off the path. And I was noticing the detail, the number of horizontal and vertical pipes, the color (nicely painted, a glossy dark maroon paint) and thinking how much effort "I" had put into creating this scene.

In another dream, "I" had a music player; it may well have been an iPod. But it wasn't working well. The music was choppy and staticy and faded out a lot and kept stopping. Then we'd try again. I kept trying to "nudge" it to work and thinking "Come on, I know a lot of music; this is a dream. I'm having _technical difficulties_ in a dream?! That's just silly! This should work!."

In the third dream I remember, I was in a 2-story house that "I" (the character I was watching) was planning to rent. I was quite impressed by the architecture, the pain job in the various rooms, the details to the junk left by previous tenants. My subconscious can be amazingly creative sometimes!

We applied for overdraft protection on the checking account we have set up to auto-pay our Hoe Equity Loan payments. In investigating that, I discovered the bank has online banking. But online banking requires an ATM card which I don't have for this account (because ALL it's for is making auto-payments). But I wanted online banking so I went to the branch for an ATM card. Which it turns out could apply for but couldn't get immediately because they had to send out for it and have it delivered. This meant a second trip to the bank on Saturday morning. Eventually (long story VERY much shortened) I got the card, despite numerous technical difficulties (I think I rest my self-chosen PIN 2 dozen times).

I found an intriguing job to apply for. It looked like something I could do and it required a 30-40 hour at-home qualifying test (the intriguing part) before the company would consider interviewing a candidate. I'm not a big fan of most popular interviewing techniques; I thought this was a very good one. The "test" (actually a practical coding exercise) took me 46 hours over the course of a week. I learned a lot about the company and their work, as well as a lot about myself. And I got three more journal/weblog entries out of it (well, one out of the exercise and two more out of job interview strategies in general). If you're interested, the links are below.
[ Interview Strategies, Part 1 ] [ Interview Strategies, Part 2 ] [ Interview Strategies, Part 3 ]

I read another book by Jennifer Cruisie that I recommend to anyone who can stand contemporary romance (good plot in which the romance is a strong subplot, not the purpose of the story). The book is called "Welcome to Temptation" and is the prequel to "Faking It" which is my favorite Jennifer Crusie novel. Neither is really sexually explicit, however, neither is suitable for children.

In between, before, and after all of the above, I've had several excellent naps, a number of very good meals, interesting conversations with Spouse and friends, a trip to the bookstore (always fun), a number of job applications submitted, a few calls from job recruiting agencies, and an interview scheduled for next week. The weather cleared up after a week of drizzle and flowers everywhere are stunning. I'm still keeping my regular daily journal entries, posting to two weblogs (I need to post to the cats' weblog; I have been remiss), reading and replying to list groups and generally going about my usual daily activities.

I'm amazed by how much happened in the past two week!

Weekly Wrap-up (Apr 12 - Apr 24) - posted by Vicki at Sun, 25 Apr, 11:20 Pacific | Comments (0)