Month: April 2016

Interregnum

This blog has been quiet because, as you may gather, I’ve been working on Livia, or Shapes, or Song – depending on which one is active at the time. I have, in other words, been writing. I am very glad that that is the reason I’ve been quiet rather than something more insidious.

However, this morning I forgot my tablet with the current state of my Livia read-through so time for a blog post on the bus to cover a couple of things that have been nagging at me but not quite enough to trigger a post without some unexpected free time.

Blessed Sleep

The big news for me this week is that I have been actually sleeping again.

I mean, I’ve been closing my eyes and (presumably) snoring but I haven’t slept well in some time because of an arm injury I picked up while I was training for Hood to Coast last year. My arm isn’t fully healed, but it’s better enough that I can lie on it and not make me gasp into unwanted wakefulness.

The really funny thing here is that things got a lot worse before they got better. I picked up a chest injury during spring break, tumbling ungainly off a sand sled on the dunes of Florence, OR and stabbing myself in the ribs with a knobbly elbow, which made it painful to do anything which used my core muscles. Maybe that slowed me down enough to allow my arm to heal? Or maybe it just hurt more so the arm doesn’t feel so bad?

Either way, I find myself benefitting from a couple of nights of real rest for the first time in eight months. Woo!

Taxing Times

Doing less well lately is our Internet connection.

We use CenturyLink DSL for our bit pipe. Before anyone starts giggling, I would point out that their system has fibre to the local node and then copper to the door, which produces multi-megabit speeds*. When it’s working, anyway.

… which of course has been the problem. We have an intermittent fault on the line, and the difficult thing about intermittent faults is getting someone out when the fault is manifesting. I’ve also been very unimpressed with CenturyLink’s approach to tech visits on this: they’ll just not turn up if the fault isn’t active at the time they’re scheduled, silently. So both my wife and I have had mornings of sitting around on tenterhooks, waiting for the engineer to turn up but then no one arriving.

But it’s still happening. We were without Internet for half the weekend and into yesterday morning.

This is all very frustrating not least because this is the time of year when I need Internet at home to finish off the tax return for 2015. I’m a bit late this year (although I have been writing…) and now I’m a little panicked about it.

Where There Was Three, Let There Be One

I don’t generally talk about day job stuff here, but one thing I have been enjoying this last few months: only having one manager.

When I started at my day job, I was counted as part of engineering, but I wasn’t doing product development. To be clear, I am an engineer – but I was hired as an integration engineer, which meant I was making glue and grease to ease customers into using the products that were being developed around me.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of that integration work to keep me busy, and so we ended up cobbling together work on various projects: making schema documents here, building an internal tracking system there, and there was even some integration development! The hardest part of this wasn’t the fragmented work, though – it was having three managers.

That changed at the beginning of the year when I moved to a different department. My actual work day has not changed much, but I now have a manager who is responsible for the things I am working on, which is a much better place to be for all sorts of reasons.

Now, where did I put those notes on what to work on next for Livia?

[*] this barely counts as broadband outside the US, but is pretty good by the standards here.

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