Work day 23

I haven’t really been updating lately, have I?

Kelly’s new CD came out on Tuesday. Out of the 17 songs I got (because I pre-ordered the deluxe version of the album from iTunes), 11 are really good (AKA my style) and only one is intolerable. I think my favorite on the disc Sober, which is an amazing, amazing song… but I also really like Hole and Judas. Also, the preorder-only track Not Today is very good as well, but if you don’t have the album by now, you’re not going to get the song, so nyah nyah :-P
Overall, the album isn’t as good as her previous one (although you can’t really compare them, given how different this one is from any of her previous work… and that’s definetly not a bad thing)… but it’s still a damn amazing album, and I recommend you get it. Seriously.

This review of her album made me literally roll on the floor, laughing:
True, most will say, it is less mainstream as her sophomore hit, Breakaway. But this CD, WOAH, it so much deeper, the lyrics are personal (‘Why can’t you just take me?/I don’t have much to go/Before I fade completely.’-Irvine) and are written by Kelly herself. Whoever said these songs aren’t catchy? Of course they are! Maybe not as catchy as Since U Been Gone, or Walk Away, but catchy isn’t everything. Some hip hop songs are catchy (My Humps for example) but that doesn’t make them good songs.

Work went well today. I’ve been doing bug fixes for the past couple weeks, and I feel like I’m getting better at this. I got really, really frustrated earlier this week because I felt like I was taking way too long to track down and fix simple things, but I think I’m getting faster now as I get a better understanding of the code and get more familiar with the codebase. Yay!

CMU Adventures has had a couple updates… nothing big yet, but I’ll work on it eventually. I haven’t had much time lately between work and other personal commitments.

Not much else happening in my life, really. Meh.
*is boring*

Downtown piccaring

Life has been slow and mostly uneventful, yet rather awesome, for the past few weeks. Yay awesome!

Tyler made awesome dinner today… chicken with some really tasty sauce, yummy rice, and homemade bread pudding. Tasty.

Greg and I went downtown today to randomly photograph (and because I needed a new lens cap for my camera). Downtown is really nice to shoot in… other people should come with us next time!

Work day 16

Ever have one of those days where everything goes wrong and nothing you do turns out right?

Got to work this morning to an email that a UI bug fix that I had done last week had some problems and opened up some new issues. My mentor/unofficial-boss-person Seth (who is awesome and helpful, BTW) listed a bunch of things that he had found wrong with very simple testing. I hadn’t tested my fix nearly rigorously or thoroughly enough. Blah. That meant that the other fixes I had done were probably similarly broken and sucking.
In any case, I worked on that issue for a bit and wasn’t really able to fix some of the stuff and ended up opening some more bug reports for various things wrong with the interface (which, thankfully, weren’t due to my fix). UI work was annoying, and I couldn’t get things to work right, and I got frustrated, and gaah.

Then I moved some of my earlier fixes from last week into a new task branch, because I had been performing them against CORE, and bug fixes here are done on branches and then integrated back into CORE. I felt stupid again for not having branched off in the first place, especially because there were very explicit, very well-written instructions for doing so that I had been explicitly pointed to prior to my starting bug fixes. This took a while and I felt stupid.

Then I had to do a ton of fixing because I had combined 3 separate bug fixes into the single task branch, which is bad (I hadn’t wanted to go through the files and separate the ones associated with each bug, but Seth told me to split them up into their appropriate branches, so I went through and did that.

Then we discovered I had been branching off of MAIN rather than CORE because I had copied the branch instructions from the company wiki and hadn’t realized I was using the wrong one. I had to then go back and rework 9 task branches worth of files, modifying each branch and then resyncing each file (and integrating the changes in CORE that hadn’t been present in MAIN) in each of the branches. I felt so stupid. I mean, sure this is my first time really using a revision control system, but I really feel like I should have picked things up quicker, or at least realized I was doing something wrong when some changes I had commited to CORE earlier weren’t being picked up in my branches.
So yeah, that took a bunch of time that was wasted.

Also, I never did manage to fix the blocking-calls-in-Swing-thread bug that I’d been looking at for most of yesterday. I ended up opening another bug (which ended up being a duplicate of an existing bug because my searching skills fail and I am dumb) for it and didn’t do anything else with it.

Then, after some more tinkering with the UI and still not being able to get it to be correct (although I did manage to fix some errors such as being able to delete the last workspace in the list), I gave up on that and started on documenting some other classes (complementary to the documentation I did last week). I emailed Seth to make sure I was documenting things right, and it took 6 emails because I was being dumb again and apparently have to have things explained to me over and over and over…

So yeah, I feel like I annoyed Seth with my mishaps and ignorance and stupidity… and I feel like my technical skills are severely lacking… and I feel like I pick things up way, way too slowly (I’ve been working now for 4 weeks… spent 2 weeks with the codebase… why am I still having so many problems?)… and like my programming skills are sub-par… and generally that everyone in the company is so much smarter and more efficiet than I am and I’m just a terrible employee.
Goddamn it.

On the plus side of everything, non-work is going extremely well and makes me happy beyond words.
But gah, why am I so stupid?

Work day 12

Chris mapped out our route to West Virginia here. I was wrong… it’s almost 40 miles. I walked almost 40 miles. Crazy.

Work has been busier lately. I have a task to go through and document all subclasses of a certain class. This involves walking through the code to see the structure of U-Forms that it creates and identifying the important attributes of such. I’m a little over halfway done right now, so yay.

Kelly Clarkson’s new CD comes out on June 26. I’m trying to decide between preordering the physical CD on Amazon ($9.99) and preordering it from iTunes ($11.99, but comes with 4 bonus songs).
I’m definetly leaning toward buying it from iTunes. The 4 extra songs are tempting, and if I was to buy the CD, I would end up ripping it to iTunes at the same bitrate anyway. Also, I can’t really hear the difference between CD and iTunes qualities, so it wouldn’t be a huge difference.

Downloaded Jordin Sparks’ new single, “This Is My Now” today from iTunes. It’s really, really good.
Yay for a bunch of awesome new music coming out.

Went to Keith’s apartment today to play Puerto Rico. He has a really nice place… really big.

Had a moment earlier today (some of you probably saw it) where I got upset about things that I can’t change, and have mostly accepted now anyway, so it’s not a big deal.
Also, some people are awesome and make me feel cared for and happy.

Also, brrraaaiiinnnnssss!

Walking to West Virginia

Mission success!
Almost 37 miles walked between 7 AM and 1 AM… we were limping and hurting by the time we got done, but god damn, we walked to West Virginia (from Oakland, Pittsburgh)! :D

Greg will likely be posting a long, detailed description of the trip eventually, and I’ll link that when it’s done, but until then, I guess I can put out a few key points.
Also, I will be posting pictures from the trip soon (likely within a couple hours; I just need to batch them).
Greg has a map of the route we took (kinda… we took a trail for most of the middle instead) here.

The day started a little before 7 AM (around 6:50) when Greg, 8, Chris, Zack, and I left Newell-Simon, heading toward the South Side. I made the trip across the Birmingham again (see previous entry) and everyone was feeling good most of the morning.
Eventually, we hit a trail that was pure bliss to walk on. It used to be railroad tracks that had been converted, so the gradient at any one part was never more than 1%, and the gravelly dirt was nice to walk on.
We were able to make McDonald (the town) for lunch around 3, and continued on the trail from there to Burgesstown. By that point, everyone was hurting a lot, but still feeling relatively good about things.
On the last 2 mile stretch before Burgesstown, I broke down and really, really felt like I needed to stop, despite being about 7 miles away from the border. Now I know how you felt last year, being forced to stop so close from your goal. In any case, after a lengthy ~45 minute stop, I was able to walk again, and if anything, felt better than I had for most of the trip.
The next 4-5 miles were okay, except Chris started to have a lot of pain. How she managed to keep going, I don’t know. We stopped for about 20 minutes before the final leg, which was almost 3 miles. At this point, both Chris and 8 were having problems (and the rest of us were pretty bad off). How they managed to force themselves another 3 miles, I don’t know, and I’m really amazed at how strong they are.
During the final 1 mile stretch, I was basically completely sick of the trip, and seriously felt like giving up then (one mile from the border… I would have killed myself later if I had though, because we’d already come almost 36 miles). Greg was amazing and supportive and got me through the last stretch. The last 3 miles took almost 2 hours, but we made it and stumbled across the border into West Virginia at about 12:52. The amazing Mark Tomczak picked us up and drove us home. It put things into perspective when it takes less than 45 minutes for a car to undo the entire day’s worth of work. Wheee machines?

Overall, I’d say it was a very, very rewarding experience, and I would do it again, but I will never do it again (if that makes any sense).
You guys are amazing! Congrats on the (very) impressive accomplishment. After all, it’s not everyone who can say they walked 37 miles from Pittsburgh to West Virginia! :D

Edit: Actually it was almost 40 miles. Route here.