Saturday, October 31, 2009


Last week I watched "Doubt", starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And what a well-written, finely-directed, superbly-acted movie that was! The story of a priest of questionable character, an old crotchety nun and a young naive nun could easily have slipped into stereotype and predictability. But the priest is not so easily categorized (nor is his supposed victim), the old nun is tough but covertly caring, and the young nun turns out to be stronger than we expect, plus she reflects our own confusion about the truth.

The dialog, where delicate topics are disguised in oblique vocabulary that those of us who experienced the '50s and early '60s will recognize, contributes to our own doubts about what exactly is going on. The best scene is the conversation between the old nun and the child's mother. Deliciously complex!

Highly recommended.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Big slice of crazy pie

This week was one of those crazy-making weeks at work. One application I support quit working for one user, but not the others. Another application I've been modifying starting generating never-before-seen errors. But later in the week, both situations resolved themselves without any apparent effort on my part. Software development used to be fun, but now it is so complex that it has become inexplicable.

My little bug turned out to be a mini-cold. It has hung around all week, making me tired and snotty but not providing enough symptoms for me to call in sick.

Otherwise, not much going on. At least, nothing I can report here. Don't you just hate it when something particularly blogworthy occurs, but you feel constrained from blabbing about it on the 'net? Maybe this particular misadventure can be reported in the future, after time recasts it as an amusing anecdote.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sleepless in October

It's not that I have been having trouble falling asleep the past few days. Instead, my dreams wake me up, mostly as a result of a new home improvement project. My philosophy is that the likelihood of bad things happening is in an inverse relationship to the amount of worrying I do. In other words, the more I worry, the less likely things will go wrong. The work is supposed to be done by the end of the month, though, so it shouldn't be too bad, right?

Meanwhile, the fall-spring bug I seem partial to has returned. It strikes about once a month, during the fall until it gets wintry cold, then again in the spring until it warms up. It feels like I am coming down with a cold or the flu, but after a couple of days, it goes away. Exercising my immune system, I guess.

I have given up on the new position at work. A co-worker of mine who also applied for one of the two openings was invited to a second interview (and I was NOT). They finally offered him the job, but at a lower salary. That is giving him pause. I would be willing to earn a little less if I could have more vacation, but I don't think I will have the opportunity to bargain.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

More troublemaking, plus updates

My usual MO at work these past few years has been to keep a low profile. If they did not know who I was, what I did, or how to find me, they could not sever me. Now I have enough pension years and am old enough that technically I could retire tomorrow. There are some financial goals I'd like to meet first, like paying off my mortgage. However, I feel more willing to take risks these days.

My latest campaign is to whine about our development tools. I have no idea how the corp decides on what tools to use. I do know that the ones my team uses are archaic by technical standards. I also know that other IT teams within the corp use more modern tools. With a new, smallish project coming up, it seems like a perfect time to introduce a better development environment. And I am not afraid to say so. We'll see if it gets me anywhere.

I also asked the HR guy about the position I interviewed for (more boldness there). He says they still have not decided; check back next week. My interpretation is this means I am not on the A-list, but hiring me for the job is not out of the question, either.

As for my yoga class problems, I abandoned the Tuesday night "Yoga I" class in favor of Wednesday night "Core Yoga", which meant moving date night to Thursday night and rescheduling appointments with my hair stylist. See? I can be flexible not only in body but in psyche as well.

And my insomnia has taken a leave of absence! (Knock on wood.) One of the studies discussed in Insomniac involved the relationship between protein consumption and melatonin levels. My diet tends to drift toward vegetarianism, so in the spirit of experimentation, this past week or so I made a conscious effort to eat more animal protein other than the usual eggs and cheese. And I am sleeping much better. My question is, Is it the meat or is it something in the meat, like hormones? The book decries the dearth of studies linking insomnia with hormones, but most women will tell you that such a link exists. I guess I could further my personal experiment by switching to organically raised meat, but I have a difficult time forking over that kind of cash.

So. Is everyone getting an H1N1 flu shot? I have not had the flu for about 12 years (more knocking on wood). In that time, some years I have had flu shots, but not in the past eight or so. I am not inclined to get one this year, either. I am not in a high risk group, plus they may or may not protect me, plus I am reluctant to be a guinea pig for these rushed-to-market medical "solutions". But that's just me. What about you?