kespernorth: (Default)
It has been a somewhat busy weekend. Yesterday we cleaned the condo, or at least a sizeable portion of it, which took us most of the day until we met [ profile] sapphyre_dragon at Dillettante's, then went to my friend Bo's housewarming party.

Today we had brunch at Co Co La Ti Da before I dropped Allyson off in Ballard for a cooking class and I went to (try to) pick up a big four-drawer filing cabinet and get our regulators serviced prior to our trip to Israel in nine days. The filing cabinet wouldn't fit in the car, but [ profile] fallenpegasus has very kindly volunteered to take me out there in his SUV to pick it up once he arrives back in Seattle this evening. He doesn't know it yet but he's got dinner coming in return.

Work has been a bit frustrating -- a lot of people have been out sick and it's impeded my ability to get things done (to say nothing of my being sick lately as well). I've also been stymied by a lot of technical problems lately that I haven't been able to solve, or haven't been able to solve as quickly as I'd like, which has left me feeling a bit less confident about my abilities in that area.

We've been looking for new office space, and as I'm on the selection committee I've been spending some time going to each of the different properties we're considering and poking about. I enjoy this immensely because it's got all the fun parts of shopping for a house -- looking at various spaces, imagining what they'd be like to live/work in -- and none of the lame parts, like dealing with paperwork or worrying about the mortgage. We're still looking to stay in Pioneer Square or the southern end of downtown. I'm hoping that we'll end up in a labyrinthine, high-ceilinged space on the top floor of a converted warehouse at Madison Street and Western Ave (likelihood of Bjorn not having to share an office: high), but it's more likely that we'll go for something on the sixth floor of the Dexter Horton building at Second and Cherry (likelihood of Bjorn having to share an office, or worse yet ending up in a $%!$#!@#!#@! cubicle: high). But each space has things to commend it, and I have little reason to complain.

I am very much looking forward to our trip to the Middle East. I always find that the best therapy for anything is to get away from everything you know and visit a place you've never been. I've been having trouble getting motivated lately -- worse than usual -- and I think the break will help.

I'm also finishing the outstanding tasks required to do my thesis and finally finish my graduate degree at UW next quarter. I need to do the final push to get all that done before we leave a week from Tuesday.

So that's what's up with me. It has been entirely too long since I have seen many of you; we should change that some time, shouldn't we?


Mar. 9th, 2006 12:01 am
kespernorth: (Default)
I finished the last actual class associated with my masters' degree program tonight; now I just have to thesis* and I shall be free of the shackles of academia forever.


I mean it this time.

(Of course, that's what I said last time. But we shall pretend that did not happen, shall we?)

I have been listening to an unusual amount of French music lately. It started when I re-watched Amelie a week or two ago -- I love Jean-Pierre Jeunet as a director despite what he did to Alien: Resurrection -- and has been reinforced by circumstance. I picked up a French techno compilation that happened to share a name with the company I work for and it turned out to be full of funky beatz; I drove/ferried to Bremerton and back to pick up a Lost Article on Sunday and listened to MC Solaar during the driving bits. I've even been listening to some tracks from a disc of French cafe music that Allyson ripped on my computer way back when.

Continuing in the Eurovein, I return to that old standby, Kraftwerk, to soothe the savage beats.

I'm feeling highly associative and unusually cheerful. Perhaps I'm glad to be done with school; perhaps I'm glad to be going on vacation to Whistler with Allyson and her father in a week and a half or so. Perhaps I'm looking forward to visiting friends in Bellingham on April 1st, or my birthday on April 2nd and the profoundly yummy food there will be. Perhaps I simply quiver with anticipation for the release of a true video iPod to replace my poor 3G, which just died the True Death.

Perhaps I am excited because I've been having a few new ideas for Proxima stories; perhaps I am excited because plans to buy a condo finally seem like something other than a distant dream. Perhaps I am excited by work, and the considerable responsibility and trust bestowed upon me there. Perhaps I'm happy because spring is almost here, despite today's stormy weather, and I can sense new life coming.

Perhaps I am happy to have such a wonderful partner in life as Allyson, or as strange and smart a cat as Saga.

Perhaps I squee over the joys of Mac OS X a little too much. I have the enthusiasm of a recent switcher, despite the fact that I've used and loved NeXTish interfaces ever since I started using Afterstep in 1996.

It is important to take stock of the good things in life. And I do have many.

* the word "thesis" has always reminded me of a particularly painful sort of muscle contraction...
kespernorth: (Default)
On the job front, I am well-pleased. Sourcelabs is small, fast and well-positioned; the people who work there are bright; management does what is necessary with a minimum of bullshit, and the environment is pleasant. I share a well-lit office with a taciturn Russian named Konstantin; I have been issued a 17" PowerBook G4, a gigabit switch, a 17" flat panel secondary monitor, a 2.8GHz dual-proc Xeon Linux box, and a piece of raw wood slung across a pair of sawhorses to work on.

I am getting what amounts to a crash remedial course in computer science fundamentals, C++ and Java from an acerbic Swedish military diver named Christian, who I find I like even as I find him intimidating. SourceLabs thinks I'm valuable enough to pay me while they bring me up to speed, even though I am not really ready to actively work any support issues yet, which is both a huge compliment and kind of scary. Support itself here is a very different animal from at F5: this is a development shop, not a call center. We get almost no calls; almost no time is spent on the phone with the actual customer -- it's about fixing, testing and documenting problems.

In the meantime, by virtue of my networking experience, I have been given the secondary job of Assistant IT Person. My boss, the support director, is also the IT Person, and I have been assigned the task of being his backup, knowledge repository, and assistant. This is a very good thing, because it gives me something useful to do until I come back up to speed in programming, it's interesting, I can continue to expand and practice the skills I gathered at F5, and I have root on everything.

Everything. Ahh, power.

Eventually, Sourcelabs will expand to the point where a full-time IT director will be required, which will mean that either my boss will be forced to give up his IT role, or his support role. I hope to be able to step into one or the other of those positions should the opportunity arise. Which would be awesome. At the rate our business is growing, that day might not even be too far in the future.

Speaking of my boss, I really like him. He reminds me rather strongly of Adam Savage of Mythbusters: fun-loving, sardonic, self-possessed, literate and capable. Not an asshole, corporate drone or martinet. He's rather entertaining to talk to. He's a space-opera-obsessed science fiction geek like me, and his taste in music is very 80s, though it tends more towards the punk than the new wave and synthpop that I prefer. Even so, I approve.

So yes, things are going well here. I like the job, I like the people, and I like the company.

I can feel the stress and depression of F5 lifting, day by day.


kespernorth: (Default)
Kesper North

February 2011

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