Travels, Carnival

I suppose I’m overdue for an update.

Life has been full of lots of events lately. I went to Phoenix and San Francisco a couple weeks ago for a business trip.
Phoenix was pretty uneventful. Saw some friends, and went on a trip to a copper mine with the parents.



San Francisco was full of work and people and food and surprising amounts of board gaming.





Then this past week was Carnival, and we had 8 people staying with us (two of which were young children). While it was really, really nice to see everyone and have lots of fun adventures, I think 10 people staying in one house is a few too many.


Midway itself was also a little disappointing this year, although Buggy made up for it by setting new records in both the men’s and women’s races on the qualifiers, followed by breaking both records in the finals. (I didn’t go to mobot, but I hear it had exactly two competitors this year, which is pretty sad.)



There was also a March for Science on Saturday. There were some pretty awesome signs.


Lots more photos of all of the above are at photos.

Skiing

Went skiing for the first time this past Saturday. I would best describe skiing as minutes of sitting (or standing) followed by seconds of terror.

..well, maybe the last part is an exaggeration. But it is a lot of waiting on things to bring you up high. I had a lesson, which ended up being a great idea, and spent the day in the beginner’s area at Snowshoe. That area has enough variation (and both a magic carpet and a real ski lift) that I didn’t feel a need to actually attempt a green route.

Overall, I think it went well. I only fell three times during the day, and all three times were from a stop. (I was trying to turn around and got my poles tangled up with my skis.) Spent the day mostly making sure I could control my speed and direction… I think the most terrifying moment was when I went down the steepest hill in the area head on (instead of going side to side like I should have), but I didn’t die, and I didn’t fall, and I managed to slow down and stop once I got to flatter ground again, so that was good.

Still, I don’t think I’ll go skiing again. Besides the general disinterest and cost, there’s also the fact that there’s just so much else that happens around skiing. Even if you ignore the driving-to-the-place part and associated logistics, there’s just a lot of equipment to get on and stumble around in. If I want to glide and feel out of control on my feet, I’d rather go ice skating, which just involves putting skates on. :)

Also the hotel we stayed at the morning before had this awesome machine.

Also also cheese bag.

More photos are at my photos site.

Life updates

Things proceed, as they tend to do.

My old D90 hit a snag last Friday when the shutter release button stopped reliably working. It still works if I hit it at a certain angle (and with a lot of pressure), and I can theoretically still record video with it via live view, but that makes it significantly harder to use. Fortunately, IR remotes are a thing, so I bought one off Amazon that will hopefully allow the camera to keep chugging for a bit longer. And it still is technically usable anyway… I’ve been shooting with it at climbing, and it’s been fine other than taking much longer to take each shot.
(None of its truly functional parts, like the sensor or mirror, are broken, so there’s no real reason to ditch it yet. But given how much it would cost to fix the shutter button versus its value given its age, repairs are not worthwhile.)

Work has been a mess of annoyance and stress. Maybe I’m just expecting too much, but I’ve been running into cases lately where I feel like people doing work either aren’t understanding the task in the way they need to, or are otherwise requiring much more hand-holding than I can reasonably provide given my other duties.
I know I need to step back and give people room to grow, learn, and make mistakes… but at the same time, I don’t want people to put out code I know has issues or is wrong, because it will ultimately come down to me to deal with it. Blah.

Tried to make chicken marsala today, and realized before starting the mushrooms that we were actually out of marsala. Substituted a riesling instead, and I think it actually turned out pretty good.

Max and Yubin came over and we made cupcakes for valentine’s that weren’t very valentine-y, but still cute.

Here are some random photos, because yay photos.






Blargh (politics, work, life)

It’s been a horrific week, both in politics and in work, but at least I’m home.

On the politics front, it goes without saying that this administration has been absolutely insane, hypocritical, dysfunctional, and ruthless in its actions regardless of (or perhaps in spite of) facts, reason, and the law.
I’ve been donating $300 a month to the ACLU, and will likely raise it next month, as well as making sporadic donations to the EFF and maintaining an NYT subscription. If you have the financial means to help, I encourage you to make some donations as well, particularly to the ACLU, which has already played a role in part of the immigration ban being stayed.
Also consider some more locally-impacting charities that will directly help your area. Here again is my list of charities (as well as suggestions by friends).

Seen on Facebook (via Greg): John McCain, Dick Cheney, Michael Moore, and the Pope are all on the same side right now.
I guess that’s how you know your administration is batshit insane. :\

On the work front, we’ve had a rather disastrous release filled with e-releases and customer cases… and the release isn’t even half deployed yet. I feel really bad for my manager, who has to deal with all this as well as pressure from upper management… and particularly bad because a lot of the issues that came up came up in features I built and designed. To be fair, the features themselves are working exactly as expected, and we put in existing toggles for customers that have problems. But due to either oversights or underestimates on the sheer magnitude of impacted customers, we’re having to pull out or tweak the features anyway.
Le sigh.

Things are depressing so here are some photos.


The new Apple store in Chandler is really pretty. (Also the outside of the store has no indication in any way that it’s an Apple store, but I guess it’s pretty obvious from the interior.)

I guess they have to clean escalators somehow…

Ikea is doing that “kids draw things and we make them into stuffed animals” thing again.

Pretty.

I also brought back a lot of TCGs (including my entire collection of Pokemon cards and X-Files cards, and my remaining WoW cards) and have been sorting them and generally assembling decks. I now have assembled WoW “booster” packs to do a booster draft (limited card selection to 4 different classes so drafting won’t be insane) and assembled two X-Files TCG decks, and will be making Pokemon and Case Closed decks as the next thing. Yay for TCGs?

Edit: Woke up feeling unhappy this morning, and I wanted to use up my company match for their FY, so gave another $1500 to the ACLU. Take that, Trump.

Life

It’s been an interesting January.

Returned to work last Thursday, the 5th. It was a standard no-meetings Thursday, so I was expecting it to be pretty quiet, but instead I got thrown into a P0 bug and several other problems related to the release that had just gone out.

Friday started out as a much more laid-back day, until lunch time, when I got a call from my mom, which resulted in me booking a flight to Phoenix less than 3 hours before it took off, and rushing to the airport.
If you know me, you know I’m the kind of person that likes trips planned far in advance, and has all logistics worked out, and gets to the airport hours before boarding to make sure I have no surprises. So this was a particularly new kind of stress, although it worked out fine in the end.




So now I’m unexpectedly in Phoenix for a couple of weeks. It’s nice seeing friends here again, but otherwise life has been fairly monotonous outside of work, which continues to be stressful.



Although work at least has been more design-y and meeting-y than code-y, which has been good given I’m on a slower connection here using my manager’s box for development work. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I love having a box physically with me until I have to remote to one to work from Phoenix.