journal for 2003-03-18

slacking off

Man, I didn’t realize how long it had been since my last entry. Whoops!

I’ve been busy with unimportant stuff, mostly. I picked up Xenosaga, and it’s very good. I’m trying to get through as much of it as possible before the new Zelda, which arrives bright and early Tuesday. I don’t expect to be even half done with Xenosaga, though, which is so exposition-laden that it’s like watching a few movies and getting to play a game during the intermission between them. I’m OK with that.


I’ve finally started recording some data to be used to control chart my weight. Now I need to write a little dohickey to actually chart it. I think I’ll start with the assumption that my weight was a constant 235 before the first measurements, which will give me a nice little dive when they begin. I’m hoping I can keep that dive going.

Yesterday was our day off (we usually work out six days a week), so we went to the gym today and did some sweating. I’m really starting to like the elliptical machine. It took some getting used to, but now that I understand how to use it, at least basically, I think it’s the most efficient machine for sweating. I’m willing, until I know better, to equate sweating with weight loss. Tonight, I did about 625 calories, the machines told me. I know that those numbers aren’t really accurate, but they’re a nice gauge. I should start tracking my workouts in Watts, but I can’t compare Watts easily to Twinkies.

I also got a copy of Getting Stronger on Brian’s strong recommendation, and it looks good. I need to read the introductory material and create a cheat sheet for lifting. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to complement or supplant an existing cardio/aerobic program. I guess it’ll probably say.


I’m starting to get into the deep voodoo that is TVLand. It needs to do some crazy-ass shit. The most voodoo-less implementation I can envision willl involve dynamically loading modules based on queries database records. That’s still going to take some Loa-coaxing. What I wouldn’t give for another Perl monk off of whom to bounce ideas! The increase in efficiency would be huge.

I’m hoping to get a guy I know in next week to convince him that it would be an interesting job. The more crucial convincing is the other part: convincing work to hire him (or anyone)! I get the impression that everyone knows I’m heavily loaded, and that we need much more to be done than I’m doing. At what point does the buck stop on this decision—and is it the right one, after all?

The frustrating thing is that I feel less than wholly efficient as a unit, probably largely because I’m mopey over this issue. Why can’t we make a decision on how to go forward and then really do it? “He who hesitates is lost!” That applies to much more than just a second developer. The development staff is a symptom, not the disease.


I’m almost done with all my PKD books. I finished Time Out of Joint last week and Our Friends From Frolix 8 this week. The former was fair; the latter was pretty awful. I’m also working through VALIS, which I started at the same time as OFFF8. It really is fundamentally different from much of his work. I like a lot of what Dick does when he writes about normal people. Puttering About and Confessions were both great. VALIS is much like those: there’s weirdness, but it’s only partly the point. The VALIS trilogy is, as I understand it, a huge reworking of Radio Free Albemuth, which was the first Phil Dick that I read. I thought it was awesome, and very few of his other books have, in my mind, lived up to it. VALIS is interesting. I’m not sure I’ll be able to like it after three books, but maybe the second two change things up.

Written on March 18, 2003