March 5, 2008: Outlook Challenged

I have to make an admission. I have worked in Information Technology for fourteen years. I have been programming since 1985. I use computers every day for almost everything that I do. But I just can’t use Microsoft Outlook effectively. I am Outlook deficient. There, I have said it and it is out in the open. Now I can start the healing process.

“Minnet, jag har tappat mitt minne, är jag svensk eller finne, kommer inte ihåg…”

Tonight starts a week long stint of not having overnight support at the office. That means that there is an extremely high probability that I am going to be getting paged out constantly starting around three in the morning. Fortunately I am not too exhausted today and I am working from home tomorrow so the first few days should be alright. The first half of next week will be rough.

It rained this morning but is very warm. I walked over to Airlie Cafe and grabbed my breakfast sandwich and a salad for lunch later on.

I finished reading “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely this morning. It was very good and I highly suggest it even to people without a particular interest in behavioral economics. I have started rereading “The Dilbert Principle” by Scott Adams for, what must be, the fourth time at least.

My afternoon was actually very busy. But not that stressful busy that you worry about. It was a good, productive busy. Busy troubleshooting and finding real solutions to problems. The kind of busy that you feel good about on the train ride home.

My train ride home didn’t come until very late, though. It was well after seven when I finally had the opportunity to head out of the office. Ramona and Winni might have been on their way to our apartment even before I was. I did finish reading “The Dilbert Principle” before leaving the office. Good book progress today.

On the ride home I started reading “Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West” by Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan. It started off strong. I probably won’t get a chance to read any more of it until Friday.

I got home and we all ordered in dinner from Nino’s. Then we sat down to play a couple games of Steve Jackson’s Munchkin. Neither Dominica nor I had ever played Munchkin. It was fun and we had a good time. Dinner arrived and we made it through two bottles of wine.

We played until midnight when we realized that it was way too late for Dominica who has to work tomorrow and that now Ramona and Winni will have to walk home rather than taking the shuttle since the shuttle only runs until midnight during the week.

My textbook, “Object Oriented System Analysis and Design with UML“, for my master’s Systems Analysis and Design class arrived today. The class is actually called Object Methods or something like that as it is an object oriented SAD class but, more or less, it is just the master’s version of SAD2 that I took at SUNY Empire State College several years ago. This is one of the only two classes that I will have taken three of during my career at university the other being Java programming (Java Programming and Algorithms in Java at ESC and Java Programming at RIT.) I really enjoyed SAD as an undergrad so I am really looking forward to this class now. It starts officially on Monday. I am really excited about the textbook. It is an insanely expensive book at $160 but I found it used for just $60 but when it arrived today it was the most completely mint, brand-new book ever. It was even still shrink-wrapped and had not even even been opened as if it had been on a shelf and browsed. This was the best deal ever.

Tomorrow is my day at home with Oreo.  That is good because tonight is my first night without dedicated overnight support fielding my support calls during the off-hours.  So I will be on primary support starting at around two in the morning for Bahrain and three in the morning for London and Belfast.  Technically support is needed all night because of the Pacific Rim (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, etc.) but they don’t really need anything ever.

Before going to bed I fired up the computer in the living room and got all logged into the office and set up so that I could work quickly and easily during the night.  I don’t want to be fighting to log in while attempting to wake up if someone needs me.  And I wanted all of the extra email cleaned up and deleted and anything lingering to be taken care of before the long night began.  I ended up working from midnight until just after one in the morning.  Then it was off to bed.

For those of you following the furlough news for me – there have been some changes proposed and I should know my furlough schedule tomorrow.  I hope.  Dominica and I are currently kicking around the possibility of escaping to Playa del Carmen on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and potentially some combination to also head down to San Pedro Town in Belize or, to go in a completely different direction, possibly heading east to Croatia.  It is going to depend on timing and our finances.  We would definitely prefer Croatia but a short window of opportunity or the high costs of flights may force us one way or the other.

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