Thanksgiving and flooring

I had a Thanksgiving. It was nice to sit around for 5 days with no commitments.



Of course, life made up for it afterward.

On Monday, we had people over to refinish our hardwood floors. This by itself would have been fine, because I live (and work) about 4 minutes from the house. But Monday we also had a P0 production issue that I had to deal with at work, involving lots of calls and coordination of the change with different teams. Which meant that I was just further behind on the thing I actually needed to be doing work-wise, which has a hard deadline and I was already in danger of missing. Monday was probably work until 11 PM or so, as a result, including tons of jumping around between the apartment and the house.





On top of that, all of my Black Friday purchases started arriving. I wanted to make sure everything worked properly, so I could return or exchange broken items this week, so I had to spend some time setting everything up and making sure it worked. On the plus side, Guitar Hero and Rock Band make for some reasonable diversion from the general stress of things right now, at least.

Tuesday wasn’t much better. Floors are still in progress, and work is still crazy, and I’m still generally feeling overwhelmed with things. But at least I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now.



Also my new camera is awesome. Looking forward to using it tonight at games.

Life, climbing, work, expenses

My photo journal has been updated to bring it up to today.
After the holidays, life has returned to its usual habit of climbing on Tuesday, board games on Thursday, and climbing (plus food) on Friday. It’s a nice routine, and it means I get out of the house, so that’s good.
Climbing and gaming photos from January have also made it up at photos.

Traverse party!

I made a bad thing at work. During some refactoring for a feature I built for the last release, I apparently failed to notice that the class I was pulling code out of was a singleton, so I added instance variables in the base class. The feature in question was a login feature, so the end result was a concurrency bug where users could get logged in as other users.
Oops.
Lesson learned: Singletons are dangerous. Be careful when using them and probably avoid them for things that don’t want state to be shared (like a global whitelist or something), even if they don’t currently have any state.

I’ve belatedly crunched all my expenses from the past year. As expected, 2014 is the year that breaks my spending trend: I spent $11,664.02 in 2011, $12,356.83 in 2012, $13,698.12 in 2013, and $15,821.38 in 2014 (not including wedding expenses).
The responsibility for this lies almost entirely in food expenditures, up around $1,200 from $3,804.70 to $5,081.34 (or a monthly average of $317.06 to $423.45). I guess I’ve been eating out a lot more or something this past year.
Everything else has remained fairly flat, including my $50/month discretionary budget, which hasn’t changed since 2004. Which is surprising given the four weddings we attended in 2014 (travel expenditures of $1,390.13 in 2013 versus $1,787.94 in 2014).
My share of the wedding expenses so far (save the dates, invitations, deposits, scheduled payments) total $2,953.74, which ultimately puts 2014 expenditures at $18,775.12. Not so bad. That’s still under what I was spending in SF (with an average rent and utilities of $1,200 to $1,600 compared to the current $450 to $500), even though monthly food expenditures have more than doubled since then.

Wedding plans continue. The next big thing, I think, is the honeymoon. We’re currently planning a UK and France trip for that, which should be a lot of fun, but argh long plane flights. Hooray for things?

Invitations Done

101 invitations created, assembled, and sent. Yayz.
Here they are laid out in roughly the right geographic places. We have a lot of invites in California and Ohio. (Local ones are not pictured because we’re delivering those in person, which is why Pennsylvania is underrepresented.)

Here’s what they look like (with the RSVP and information cards on the right). I think they turned out pretty awesome.

I’m glad we took all of last week off of work to finish these up… it ended up taking pretty much the entire week.

In other unrelated news, there was a new year! We had people over for board games. We had the best champagne glasses.

(More documentation of the festivities is here.)

Also, with a new year comes life updates. Both the photo stats site and photo journal have been updated.

It’s only day 3 back at work and I’m already feeling super overwhelmed and stressed out. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I’m really not cut out for software, or any job that requires talent and ability. :\
There’s just been so many different things demanding my attention recently (particularly interviews… so many interviews) that I haven’t had a chance to really finish any one thing. And that’s incredibly frustrating.

The week got even better when I went to ship back my old phone today and managed to leave the apartment without my keys, wallet, or phone. That was a fun walk to Squirrel Hill and back in the snow. It’s supposed to be even colder tomorrow though, so I suppose today was a less-bad day to be stuck outside for a while. Blah.

KoL, Boston, wedding, and San Francisco

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.

I started ascending again in KoL (abandoning my level 52 character). Did a couple Slow and Steady runs while it was in season, and I have to say, I really didn’t dislike its concept as much as I thought it would. The old item restrictions I didn’t really notice (even though like 90% of my “premium” things were unusable since I haven’t bought very much recently), and the 100-adventure-per-day restriction worked really well with my hectic travel schedule…

Two weeekends ago was rlambert’s wedding in Boston. Greg and I flew out Thursday to save on airfare (and to have some time to explore Boston), and had a nice time at the wedding on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, it was home for him and to San Francisco for work for me.

Just got back from San Francisco yesterday, and I’m already gearing up to head to Toronto this week for yet another wedding. A little after that there will be another wedding in Ohio, followed by another wedding in Chicago. It’s going to be an interesting summer. (Well, end of summer, I guess.)

Work had recently moved to a new building, so I got to experience the awesomeness that is sufficient conference room space and awesomely-stocked kitchens (including a Coke freestyle machine). Also the kitchen has Its Its ice cream sandwiches. I had some for breakfast every day. I am so bad. D:

Anyway, as much as I hate travelling, I had a good time in both Boston and San Francisco. Explored some new things around Boston, got to see a lot of people again (in both cities), had a bunch of tasty food, and attended some fun work events.





More photos of the stuffage can be found at http://photos2.alanv.org/.

Movies, photos, People Wars, work

In the past few years, I’ve only seen a couple movies in theatres: Frozen this past February with Austin, Yubin, and Max; and The Lego Movie this past March with my dad when I was in Phoenix.
It’s interesting then that I’ve seen both of these movies again in McConomy: Frozen with the rest of the in-town Fairfax group over Carnival weekend, and The Lego Movie tonight with Greg when we were out of ideas of what to do and decided to see whatever movie was showing at CMU.
They’re both really well-done films made for kids but enjoyable by adults. So that’s kind of awesome. I keep thinking I should buy Frozen in Thai when it comes out on DVD. I already enjoy looping the Thai version of Let It Go while I work.

In any case, life has been really uneventful lately. Due to whatever reason, I’ve been taking far fewer photos than usual. A quick check reveals that I only have 318 photos since the end of Carnival (since April 14), which represent a total of 619 shutter releases.
So it’s both interesting how much I edit down what photos to keep now (a huge difference from in high school and college when I would just dump my memory card and keep everything), and how few photos I’ve been taking (619 photos used to represent a single day of photos for me).
A lot of the editing is because tagging photos has grown to be a chore. It’s super useful to have tags to be able to find photos by person or event or location, sure… but having to manually do all that for every photo I keep is rather frustrating. This is probably a good thing for my hard drive consumption anyway.

I think it would be interesting to stop carrying my big camera around all the time. I do so now half out of a sense of fear of not having a camera with me for that one big thing or some important moment I want to capture. And it’s also kind of neat to have photos of mundane everyday life. But my little camera is sufficient for that… and after all, I survived for several months (after the death of my D50) with only the little camera. We shall see.

Work has started on the next People Wars expansion, Hijinks. It’s themed around Climbing characters and Route cards, which enhance task playing and scoring.
I’m worried about maybe having overbalanced the game toward tasks given all of the task-centric cards entering the game recently (and given that I haven’t actually played a game with cards past the Exchanges expansion)… but it kind of feels like attack decks have it so much easier that tasks should be getting boosts. Who knows.





Work has been rather interesting lately. The other senior dev on the team recently left Salesforce, leaving the role of senior team member once again solely on my shoulders. Between that and a bunch of planned vacations from other developers, there are days when I’m the only developer working, and we’re probably down to about 2/3 of our previous productivity. Which will mean interesting things given the jam-packed plans for the upcoming release.
I guess time is showing me to be a terrible leader and coordinator, especially given how I already know I do badly under stress (or, rather, I will get the shit done, but I’ll feel like shit the entire time while doing it and hate my life).
We’re hiring a new senior developer for the team, who will hopefully be able to ramp up and help handle a lot of the knowledge, planning, and design work (which right now I think is falling mostly to me). But until then, onward as best I can.
It’s just frustrating though when a lot of time is being eaten up by bugs and questions and emails. I pulled a task last last Tuesday (the 15th) with the intention of starting it the next day. But between bugs and other things, I ended up not having time to do anything on it until this past Thursday (the 24th).
Let’s hope that’s not a sign of things to come in the coming months.