Well to say I’ve been busy would be an understatement! I’m going through one of those phases of intense productivity at work. I mean, I’m excited by what I’m doing and it seems a shame to let things like, um, sleep, get in the way. I’ve often thought that writing software is like writing a book. There are periods where your thought processes are just…stuck and everything is hard, and there are periods where all you are is a biological machine that converts caffeine into code, there are not enough hours in the day and the moment you wake up bang! Your mind is racing through what you need to do today.
Of course, it’s exhausting and can’t go on indefinitely but I’ve been doing this long to know how the job ebbs and flows, and you just gotta go with it.
So that’s where I’ve been this last month or so. I’m writing a payroll system for a large US client and I’ve got to say I’ve now seen the definition of big government. Or maybe it’s just that there are many different governments, each wanting their slice of the pie. There’s something like 4800 different taxing jurisdictions that might be interested in what you earn, depending on where you live, where you work and what star sign your partners favourite uncle is.
Seriously, if I was an employer in the US, I’d be paying cash!
Otherwise you’d need to get an overworked and underpaid software engineer to write you something clever to work it out for you.
Ah but it’s all good. I’m off to San Francisco on Sunday for a week to present to clients and then I’ve got a week in New Zealand with work, so part of the current productivity push is to have something ready for the trip.
Unfortunately the schedule of the pizza oven project has slipped. Still airing on some serious concreting, although there are some impressive (I think) holes in the ground.
Some things have progressed – we’ve finally submitted our plans to council for extending our house. We were warned that it might take months for approval. That doesn’t really worry me…. It’s taken years to get to this point and I’m in no particular hurry.
So how do I unwind from the day? I’m keeping with the guitar. One of the things I’m so thankful for in being sober is the mental capacity that is freed up to do useful things with. The motorbike was an interesting time of my life and I’ve got no regrets, and thankfully no physical scars from, but it’s time is past and now my alternate passion is trying to get musical.
And I’m getting better! Open and barre chords (E, A forms), scales and strumming patterns are my repertoire. I had a breakthrough last week when my mate pointed out that the pick I was using on my electric guitar was too thick for easy strumming, so I got a much thinner pick and viola! It’s not quite so painful! I’ve even started a few basic songs. Rough as guts, but I know that if I practice every night…I’ll improve by small steps.
It’s been a mixed bag learning guitar. A lot of resources, and a tutor I’ve been seeing, simply say to play this chord…use these fingers to fret these strings etc but I’m the sort of person that wants to know why. Why are those notes used to make that chord? What is a key? How does the fretboard relate to keys on a piano? Having never studied music, nows my chance. I’m enjoying this side as well, and I can calculate scales for a key and calculate the corresponding major and minor chords, and even where to play them in the open position. Working stuff out gives me a buzz.
So whereas before I got sober I might have turned my mind off work by drinking, I now have far more constructive way of relaxing, and one my wife has a lot of respect for. And like the motorbike, it provides for something to talk about with others and develop friendships, but unlike the motorbike it isn’t likely to kill me.
So that’s about it for this morning. Blogging has just kind of slipped by the wayside while I been absorbed in these other facets of my life, but you guys are all important to me, and so is this blog, even if it’s only to remind me of why it is I’m not drinking anymore.
So I’ll be back, and I’ll keep reading. Take care all, Paul.