Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh, yeah

Now I remember what it is I hate about having a management-type job: it doesn't feel like real work. Yesterday it was like I was playing "Operator" - developer A tells me he fixed a defect and sends me a file, and I send the file to deployer B and ask if he can deploy it today; when B says okay, I ask tester C if deploying the fix will interrupt testing; when C says it's okay, I tell B to go ahead and deploy; then I wait for B to tell me if the deployment was successful. Which it wasn't, because for some reason a "node" was down, which was causing business analyst D to panic. For this I went to college? Twice? Retirement cannot come soon enough.

Most recent evenings I have been watching the Olympics, which is mildly entertaining and surprisingly engrossing. I'm not attracted to action movies, but wipe-outs on skates or skis? I'm so there. If I was the boss of the Olympics, though, I would turn it back into amateur competition. The primary rules would be, you can enter only one event, and once you have won a medal, you can never return. We could call it the Olympics for Real People.

I finished Bright-Sided. It was okay. Some of my friends are into the Law of Attraction and The Secret and I was hoping B-S would supply me with some ammunition against their magical thinking. But it didn't. Barbara Ehrenreich's bias is about all that carries the book, although the history of positive thinking was interesting. (I didn't know I was such a Calvinist.) Anyway, we all engage in magical thinking in one form or another, which is okay as long as it doesn't supplant critical thinking.

Now I am reading Horse Boy, which is about an autistic kid with an affinity for animals. The dad is convinced his son can be healed if they seek out shamans in Mongolia. No, this is not fiction, which is what makes it such a compelling story.

Somewhere in there, I watched "Bon Voyage" which I would describe as a French romantic farce. It must not have made much of an impression on me because all I can remember is that Gerard Depardieu was in it. Oh! Wait! It was about an actress and her besotted childhood friend in pre-World War II France. Gerard played a government minister the actress was leeching off. Not exactly a fun time in history, but the movie did make me laugh.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The cream rises until it sours

No, I did not get a promotion at work, but my job title did. They posted for the position my co-worker left vacant when he won the position in another department we were both vying for. The posting carries the same title as mine, same level as mine, but I can't do 90% of what they list under skills and responsibilities. At first, I felt bad about myself over this, like I should magically be able to perform those duties despite having no training or coaching in them. But I hired in as a programmer, lo those many years ago, and that is what I am. If it is not what they want anymore, they can sever me. Please.

I am one of those follow-your-bliss proponents, but ironically, my bliss has emigrated. If I want to write code these days, I will have to relocate to Riga or Bangalore or Bratislava. It would be something to consider were I younger, but not in the twilight of my career. And I don't begrudge the off-shore IT people. Everyone needs a job, whether they are in India or Indiana. I consider it a passive way to redistribute wealth.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the yoga studio I used to frequent has split. Again. A couple of months ago, one teacher left to open her own studio, taking a few other teachers with her. Now, the remaining studio has split in two. I stopped attending classes there because the levels of intensity and the class schedule did not suit me anymore. Instead, I have been practicing at home, which I find I really enjoy. I can select which poses I want, hold them as long as I want, rest when I'm tired, gear things up or crank things down to suit my energy level, etc. I don't have to drive anywhere, worry about whether I shaved my pits, take chlorophyll prophylactically in case I get gassy, wonder how germy the floor is, etc. Now I am wondering if part of my unease at the studio was due to the developing rifts. For now, though, I am content to practice at home.

Speaking of germs, I have started using my neti pot. I bought it quite a while ago, then let it moulder under the bathroom sink while I slowly gathered the other materials I deemed necessary for its use: a plastic measuring cup (did not want a glass one in the bathroom), a measuring spoon, non-iodized salt. Then all that stuff sat for a long time before, suddenly, I crossed some line and decided to go for it. One thing I have discovered is, a lot of snot accumulates in my sinuses every 24 hours. Another thing is, the chlorine in my tap water stings my sinuses, so I use filtered water. We'll see if it helps with that little virus I suffer from periodically.

For the record, I finished Trauma Farm and started Bright-Sided.

What else is new? Let's see. I'm losing what little enthusiasm I had for FB, primarily because I've discovered just how tiresome some of my friends are. I'm surprised at how vehement a lot of them are about FB changes. It is just an app, a free (so far) one at that. If you don't like it, don't use it. How difficult is that?