journal for 2002-07-24

the return to work

My first two days back at work have been pretty unexciting. Everyone was amazed by the tiny fridge Gloria gave me. Apparently word of mouth spread, as our ex-receptionist came to my office door yesterday and said, “I just wanted to see that new thing.” It took me a while to figure out what she meant.

It works well, so I have stockpiled a supply of breakfast Mountain Dews and labelled them with their intended date of consumption, so that I do not exceed my one-per-day limit. I need to remember to take my canteen back to work. I’ve been drinking tiny paper cups of water, which is awful, since I’m used to drinking 1.5L of water at a time.

I’ve done a bunch of boring catch-up work to get back into step, and that took about 75% of Monday. Mostly, I’ve been working on compiling a spec for our Giant Awful Database based on my most excellent meeting with our engineers. As much as I like a good spec, writing it post facto is pretty lame and painful.

I also got my new phone. I’m going back on the company pooled system, with Nextel, as my VoiceStream phone has become less and less reliable. This is fine with me, as the new Nextel phones are much easier to carry than the old ones, and VoiceStream was never my favorite service provider in the world to begin with. Unfortunately, there is some Suck to this exchange. Nextel phones have a goofy “direct connect” feature, through the use of which they can act like walkie-talkies. The phone needs a special ID number for that, like a phone number. Most of the direct connect numbers I’ve seen are between 10000 and 70000. Mine is three (3).

This means that whenever any idiot tries to call 31024 but hits the ‘call’ button too quickly, I get an alert, and then no response. Or, almost as bad, a response of, “Yeah, just ignore that.” These calls come from everyone, not just coworkers. In fact, it doesn’t happen with coworkers, since they just do their dialling from the calling list. If I can’t get the direct connect number changed, my phone may suffer a terrible accident.

I was briefly upset about the whole project, because Bram (the guy who wrote Vim) took the content I’d put together and put it back into the awful nested-tables hack used by I got over that pretty quickly, though, because I think it’s clear we’ll be moving to something more elegant for the next revision, once we have time to prove that it will work well and work even with Navigator 4.7x which no one should use, ever. So, should soon be updated, which will be decent.

My next Vim project will be the writing of syntax highlighting rules for MMU, and possibly other macros. I’m not sure what the other macros would entail. There’s no real indenting to be done. Maybe I’ll try to learn folding; it seems really useful.

Well, I really don’t want to take a shower or go to work yet, but I probably should. More later. Or tomorrow. Or something.

Written on July 24, 2002