Where our hero wakes up refreshed each day and doesn’t dread going to work

It’s amazing how much easier it is to drag yourself to work in the morning when you are dreading a 30 mile commute and 8 hours of work you are totally disinterested in. The first week and change of work have been great, and while all “honeymoon period” disclaimers apply, the new environment seems much more conducive to happiness and productivity than my previous situation. Things weren’t horrible at Goodrich, but they weren’t great either, and that commute started each day on a pretty down note.

I walked to and from work the last three days of this week… I drove on Monday and Tuesday, partly because I had packages to pick up from UPS and partly because it’s tough to break out of the car commute mindset. Now that I’ve walked a few times, I’ve found a pretty good route, turning a 3 mile commute according to Google Maps to a 2.25 mile commute. It takes about 40 minutes at my current pace, but that will improve a bit once I get a bit more in shape.

The actual work is great, some of my code is already in customer hands (or at least, will be real soon now). So far they have me cleaning up the sample apps built upon our RasterMaster SDK, all of which were created some time ago and hadn’t been maintained in awhile. So I’ve been giving them some TLC, updating several of them to the Java 1.1 event model as well as letting Eclipse loose on them reformatting them and making them conform to the style of the rest of Snowbound’s Java code. I have a few new sample to write before I really start digging into my “primary” work, the FlexSnap code. I’m starting to finally remember why I got into programming initially, which is a very, very good thing.

I had to exchange my RAZR for the second time this week. The first phone I got shut itself off randomly, and I swapped that one out about a month after receiving it in April. The replacement for that one had this annoying static noise, similar to when you have a cell too close to a computer speaker, but it was ignorable at first, and I figured it was a tower problem. But when I went to Jersey recently, it still kept at it, and seemed to be getting worse, so I called Cingular this week. They overnighted me a replacement for free, and the new phone seems to be good so far. The customer service rep asked me if I wanted to swap it for a different phone, and I considered it, but I am giving the RAZR one more shot. If this one acts up, it is gonna get the boot.


Well, I am technically unemployed until Tuesday… :) My last few days at Goodrich were uneventful, everything went smoothly with the design review, and my last day came and went with little fanfare. I wasn’t very emotional leaving on Friday, I said goodbye to everyone and carried the last box of crap out to my car after turning in my badge. I felt good leaving, so I guess I made the right decision after all… :) I’m really looking forward to starting anew on Tuesday, so we’ll see how that goes.

Friday Night, Aaron was in town, so I hung out with him and Tim. They started at Goodrich as co-ops the same day I started working there, and Tim came back to work there full time after graduation. It was a strange bookending that Aaron just so happened to be in town on my last day at the company. Tim’s brother and another friend from RIT was in town, so we all grabbed dinner and drinks, meeting up with some other friends.. Saturday morning I headed down the NJ to spend the weekend with my Fam. I’m driving back to Boston Monday morning after lunch with an friend from Hopatcong High.

Hawkeye’s Angry

On the way home from work yesterday I had another flat tire… Fortunately, this time around I was able to get it off the car myself and replace it with the donut spare. By the time I got home all the tire places were closed, so I was forced to take care of it this morning. Unfortunately, I had plans to meet up with some of my family at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.. It’s a 3 hour trip over there, and the air show starts at 2pm, so I just don’t think I can make it now.. We’ll see when I get out of here, though… But that is likely impossible now, as I am still sitting at the tire place and they are doing the alignment now (it was needed for awhile now). I had them replace the other two tires, since one went a few months ago and one went yesterday, I didn’t want to have to worry about the other two. Thank god for free WiFi at this place…

I can’t help but think that Hawkeye is jealous that my new job will cause me to require less of his services… One week left at Goodrich, this week was tough. The Critical Design Review for the project I’ve been working on for the past year is this week, and so everyone is scrambling to polish off documents, make slides, and make sure we are well-researched for any questions that come up from the customer. Even though it will suck to have my last few days at Goodrich spent in meetings, I feel good that supporting the team through CDR and then leaving is a clean break. All of the documents for my software are in order, including requirements, design, and interface control specs, so whoever is assigned to pick up where I left off. I would feel better if they let me know who was taking it over so I could transfer some knowledge personally, but I’m not going to worry too much about it. My design is pretty comprehensive, not only specifying the software architecture but the individual algorithms required for each calculation, I did my best to hold the programmers hand (mostly because I’ve been thinking about leaving for quite some time and was hoping that I wasn’t going to be that programmer :P).

What surprised me the most about the past week was that while “short time” status always stinks, the worst part has been the commute. Traffic wise, it has been the same as the past 2.5 years. But since I almost drive past my new job 3 miles into my commute, it really punctuates how much I hate the remaining 24 miles until I arrive at Goodrich. But I got my September bus pass in the mail yesterday, and after 5 more days the commute will be much more bearable.

Update: Damn, there is some abuse of the language in this entry… I guess it was a combination of anger, sleep deprivation, and writing in a mechanic’s waiting room… I leave it as-is for posterity…

New Job

Well, it’s official now: On September 5th I will begin working for Snowbound Software as a Software Engineer. I’ll be working on their Java imaging tools and SDK. It’s a small company, but one that is profitable and has been around for 10+ years. It is also in the next town over from Brighton, so my commute just dropped from 55+ miles a day to 3. I guarantee that this reduction will help both my lifespan and my bank account… Between gas and maintenance, my car was killing me… I also think this new position will be much more challenging and give me some more responsibility. Anyway, I’ll be blabbing more about this over the next few weeks, but I wanted to give y’all a heads up!

Renovations Fun

So the contractor eventually showed up yesterday and begun demolition of our bathroom. Corinna waited around all morning for them to come, they were supposed to show between 8 and 9am, but didn’t show until 2pm… The guy doing the demolition got most of the wall down (which is a tall order since it is all steel-backed plaster) and came back today to finish the job. I will be taking pictures each day as I did for my parents’ renovations. I will also be showering each day at work, which should be interesting.. Fortunately I won’t be spending the next two weekends in Boston, so I don’t have to figure out a showering procedure for when I’m not at work.

Attended a great lecture today on some interesting image processing algorithms developed by a colleague at our parent division (Goodrich Optical & Space Systems).

A Noted Harvard Symbologist

I’ve been killing myself trying to finish this design document at work and I finally was able to send it out for review on Friday afternoon. Hopefully people won’t have too many comments about it, because I’d really like to write some code sometime this year.

Got my Powerbook back on Friday, it was shipped out, fixed, and back in the apple store in less than 72 hours. Seems to be working great now, I had forgotten how nice the keyboard backlight was after going without it for a few months. If I had known how fast the turnaround would be on the repair I would have had it fixed ages ago.

Pretty laid back weekend, saw The DaVinci Code with the film club last night. As I expected it was way better than the book, which is a worthless steaming pile of shit. That said, it isn’t a GREAT movie, just a good, entertaining flick. It was pretty much exactly what I was expecting, and I’m not entirely sure why the critics have been so harsh on it… Maybe they are all in the pockets of Opus Dei.

Oh….. Fudge…..

I was pulling into my neighborhood yesterday and heard the dreaded sound of a flat tire. The tire had a slice on it’s sidewall on the INSIDE of the tire, which I don’t even understand. I pulled off to the side of the road to swap it out, jacked up the car, took off the lugs, and couldn’t get the wheel off. I called , who brought me a hammer and some work gloves. Wacked on the wheel with the hammer, stomped on it with my (lame) legs, and did everything I could to get the fucker off to no avail. I called AAA, who came in record time (10 minutes or so), but they couldn’t get it off either, and the tire wouldn’t hold air, so they called in a tow truck, which towed my car across the street (about 45 minutes later). So now I am waiting at home for them to call me, they estimated that it would be before noon, but who knows..

Microsoft Spies

I have become extra-sensitive to surveillance and reconnaissance issues since working for Goodrich SRS, but today caught me completely off guard. I was driving home from work and I noticed an SUV coming towards me with all kinds of strange equipment on it’s roof. It looked like two cameras 90 degrees from each other pointing towards the front corners of the car. It’s possible there was another pair of cameras pointing towards the rear corners of the car. The car was also equipped with some antennae, and had some companies’ logo on the sides that sported some text about surveying or somesuch.

After the car passed me I continued to look in my rear-view mirror and noticed that the entire back window had a huge Microsoft Windows Live Local logo across the back. My guess is that MS is doing some of their “Street Side” imaging of storefronts, etc.