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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Weekly update

Crash! Boom! The power's out. It was the first lightning strike, or at least the first one that I heard. One lightning bolt and takes out my power like a goddamn sniper. What's funny is that I might not have noticed at all, sitting here in this dark house all afternoon, except that the house computer turned off. My laptop, as poor as it's battery life is, kept trucking along like normal.

It's been a long week since I last updated this blog. Most days I feel like I have nothing to say, and all of a sudden I worry that there won't be enough space in a single post to hold it all. Yesterday I got called in for a last-minute interview with a new company down in West Chester. Despite lack of preparation time, and extremely high humidity, I think the interview went well. I'm hoping for a call back soon with some positive news. Even if I decide later that I don't want to go to the party, I still want to know that I've been invited.

I ordered three books in from amazon. Dana said I could spend 40$ on books, and I made every cent of that count. The first, "Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials" details some of the early Parrot project and the Perl 6 design effort. Much of the information has long since become outdated (a fact that probably explains the $1.90 price tag that I paid for it), but I still find it to be an interesting little read with a lot of insight into the design process. Another book, "Unix Network Programming" is an old one that I've wanted for a long time. Eventually, I'm going to have a relatively large bookshelf of unix-related programming tomes, although the rest will have to wait until other days.

I've taken some advice I got from Dana and WebMD, and I've been stretching out my shins regularly. Took a few days off from running, but I've been stretching a few times each day. We think the diagnosis is shin splints, so I've been doing what I can to mitigate that problem. Last night I went out running for the first time in a week or so. I took regular breaks to stop and stretch out, I walked when my legs needed a rest, and I was able to get in a nice long workout without the shin pains that have characterized some previous runs. That's a good start, and I'm planning to go out and repeat the process tonight.

My work on Parrot has been good but slow. There are a number of bugs that I've been trying to fix, some of which are tricky, esoteric, and obnoxious. On the bright side, I'm getting a great holistic view of the Parrot system, because I'm having to backtrace through it all. This bug hunting is hard and tedious work, but I'm sticking through it because I want to see this project succeed. Plus, I'm learning how to use GDB better, and that's awesome.

The rest of the week will likely be spent on Parrot, with my time occasionally punctuated with spirts of yard work. We felled a tree yesterday, and I am slowly hacking it to peices and moving it to the corner of the yard, where nature will make it disappear. It's good exercise, I think, and it helps me to get some sunlight that I sorely need for vitamin D production.

This weekend we're at Dana's place. No idea what the schedule holds after that.

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