still plenty of work to do …

It has been a busy busy week at work. And just now at noon on Friday it has started to calm down a bit. I figure I can spend some slack time. It is not just that I feel tired, but I do this clever thing of keeping a log of all the stuff I do at work. Based on the size of this week’s log, I have evidence that this has been the busiest week I’ve had at work so far.

Especially because the sun has come out the past few days, warming Chicago up to a pleasing 70 degrees, I start to lament the virtuality of my existance. During the Winter or during the Summer, it is not so bad to be cooped up in a climate-controlled environment, taking it easy, whiling the season away. But you know, doing computers eight hours a day, five days a week … there’s less interest in the virtual work hobby after hours. And especially when the sun comes out … it is just time to take a nice long walk and smell the grass.

Things have been moving around at work, and things will be moving around more. I’m stepping more into the role of “manager” and one of the things I’ve had very little time to work on is a job req for some introductory-level first-tier support representatives. There is a lot of work to be done. It is actually somewhat intimidating, but then that is good because it is nice to have a challenge. Anyway, can’t talk much about that.

Yayoi’s Mom is coming in from Japan for a week, starting Wednesday. I’ll be surrendering my bedroom to our honored guest. Yayoi seems a little cheerier lately. I think she feels more secure in her relationship with me, and the weather it is not winter any more … there’s that feeling of liberation when you can just step on out of your house without wrapping yourself in layers and layers of stuff.

And it is nice when your Mom can appear in the flesh from 10,000 miles away. It is tough to be a stranger in a strange land where none of the words are pronounced as they are spelled.

Though, she does like Chicago. We went out last night with a whole bunch of strangers that she knows through an association with a cooking club she joined online. She likes that we can go out to a fancy sushi restaurant and rap with a gaggle of intelligent young professionals. We shared our table last night with a loud-mouthed young doctor lady, and a quiet British-Canadian from Toronto who is working for a video game company, thanks in no small part to NAFTA. Champaign-Urbana is not the same.

One thing I’ve done lately is move back to FreeBSD. Windows is nice when you don’t feel much urgency about getting work done. But if I want sheer productivity, it is hard to beat a crisp, clean fvwm2 desktop. Where Windows lends me alt+tab, and tends to run out of memory and sit around swapping, fvwm2 with a 3×3 grid of nine virtual desktops lets me jump around from screen to screen. It is actually more visual than windows … it lets me spread out, but the real estate is in part a cerebral one. The rest of the guys at work have twin flat-screen monitors. I’ve appropriated a single, large 20″ CRT … I have nine very large work screens that I can swap through, and my workstation can keep up. I’m such a freak.

Still, it is a bit painful in that it is not easy to work with Word documents, and I have to figure out how to configure Java to work in the web browser, and Flash, as well as the little bits of glue that would let me click on something in the e-mail client, and have it open in the web browser. And then there’s the web sites — and we have a lot of “control panel” stuff at work — that only work in Internet Explorer, so I have to turn and talk to the old laptop waiting at my side.

Well, there’s still plenty of work to do …


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