journal for 2004-02-03

to do vs. jfdi: round one

Problem: I don’t actually do anything.

Solution: I’ll make a list of little ideas that I can implement quickly, as I hear them, and then I’ll just do them.

Result: I have a big list of things to do, and now I’m obsessing over details. Nothing is getting done for fear of getting it wrong. My “focus like a laser” mantra is become a joke.

Well, I did get one thing done. I wrote a silly plugin for Vim to check syntax before writing the file out. Then I obsessed over details to make it less twitchy, and I suppose that’s all good since I did learn quite a bit in doing it.


I’m enjoying chromatic’s Extreme Programming Pocket Guide, and I need to apply some of the rules to myself. They’re rules that I already know about, but can now enforce as part of “new practises.” JFDI. KISS. YAGNI.

I think I’m paralyzed partly by fear of failure and partly by a desire to get it right the first time. The first is stupid, and the second is stupider. I’ll never get anything right if I get no practise. Anyway, wtf? Better to have something working than nothing.

I have co-workers with web pages that have no links or images or content or purpose. The less time I spent accomplishing my goals for managing my own content, the more my site is like theirs. Maybe this thought will motivate me. Also, if I have no content engine, I have no reason to write content. This may be why I have no content. Of course, that may also just be because I’m lazy.

Bryar fails to meet my needs in a number of places, but only because I’m not just writing in the features I need. Tomorrow I start writing my user stories for myself and then implementing them. Who cares if things are ugly to start with. (I think I began to see the descent into do-nothing-madness in this cycle when I started to think I needed a program to emulate index cards for filing user stories. Crikey!)

Work doesn’t help. I spend time solving uninteresting problems and getting spread thinner and thinner. I don’t mind being spread thin, I just don’t like being assigned to so many tasks, none of which are clear, none of which have serious customer buy-in. Also, I continue to feel like the chump at work; I’m picking up slack. I don’t mind doing things that aren’t in my job description; I mind doing them because someone else is failing to.

Steve R recently told me a story about when the janitor went on vacation and the executive managers took turns cleaning the toilets. Recently, the janitor went on vacation and the assigned fill-in janitor refused to clean toilets. I don’t know how to end this anecdote. I just wish that having a work ethic mattered.

I skipped the gym tonight to work on my Vim script. I’m glad I relaxed. Gloria made bangers and mash for dinner, and it was freaking great. I’m going to attempt to stick to powerbars for lunch this week. I’m hopeful for getting under 190.0 pounds by the end of the week.

And, finally: why the hell isn’t there a “description” property on iCal todo items? I mean, it’s on the GUI, it’s in the ics file! Jeez. Now I’m going to end up having to look at Net::ICal, which looks like utter overkill.

Written on February 3, 2004