In last month’s Nerd Nightmare, I described the interruption of flow of a broken arm when one works at a keyboard.  So, here’s the update since then…  I did get a plate and some eight screws to hold everything to the bone.  I spent two weeks in a splint and a sling, and then got my stitches out and was put in a exoskeleton sort of removable hard splint.  Turns out, I get light-headed when I see fresh scars on me: nearly hit the floor the day the doc took the stitches out.  Since that appointment, I’ve been doing a twice a week physical therapy visit to work to get the mobility back in my wrist and arm.  Two days ago, the doc even told me to take off the exoskeleton..  Scary times.

The bones are apparently healing nicely, based on what the doc said this week after seeing new x-rays.  The marathon part refers to what it takes to get mobility and strength back.  Right now, my right (non-broken) wrist can pivot 90 degrees from thumb up…  I can go palm down or palm up, no issues.  My left wrist can go mostly flat if I go clock-wise.  And I maybe get 10 degrees counter-clockwise.  My right wrist can get close to 90 if I bend it up, and something much less than that bending it down.  My left wrist gets about half down what the right does, and barely makes it out of flat when trying to pull up.  Needless to say, push-ups are out of the question the right now.

My physical therapist tells me not to worry, that it’s a marathon.  I told her today, I’ve run marathons.  There are those who run sub 5 minute miles and finish in 2 1/2 hours (not me) and there are those who run 5 1/2 hours or more (me).  She laughed and didn’t comment further…

I got a turtle tattoo on my leg after my first marathon, as a marker of a dream accomplished and work put in.  What’s my wrist marathon tattoo, I wonder?  Got a handy 6 inch scar I guess I can work in…

I’m typing this out one-handed, as my left arm is in a splint with a broken arm and wrist.  Nerd nightmare.  Complete interruption of “flow”.  No longer do my thoughts just appear in code..  everything’s slowed down enough to make even the ideas disjoint, as well as my arm.  Pain coupled with frustration makes every day a slog…  and the guy who wanted to hold a design discussion in a chat room?  He held a special label in my heart that day.

Now, a few advantages just to help focus my mind in a better direction…

– I’m getting better at taking advantage of bash shortcuts, aliases, pulls from command history, etc

– More in-person chats to get things done mean a chance to get to know my co-workers better

– The more junior members of my team are getting more focused time from me.  Their hands on a keyboard solving a problem are much more efficient than mine.  My personal productivity is down, but our team’s going to look great at next week’s sprint review.

Tuesday I’ll get to become a bit bionic with a plate and screws, and some two weeks after that I might get the ok to do more than just open and close my hand.  So, there’s hope in sight. But only a week into this nightmare, I’m really not looking forward to several more…

Sunday evenings: are they filled with potential for the week ahead or remorse for the weekend now ending? For me, it’s an odd mix of both…

Sundays are generally relaxing. We sleep in a bit, at least as compared to the school and work week, getting up in time to make it to church. Since there’s no Sunday school during the summer, that means we need to be there by 10:30. Seeing as I work to get into work between 7 and 7:30, that’s a several hour difference of sleep and just general languidness and enjoyment of my bed, breakfast, and beagles.

Sunday afternoons, we’ll often go out to lunch as a family after church, and then maybe visit friends or play a softball game or go for a walk. There’s a real enjoyment to Sunday. And yet, I spent part of today feeling restless. What am I achieving in this restful state? (Besides observing a commandment…) I need to retrain my brain to enjoy the rest, to perhaps pursue a hobby (practice some balloon twisting? go for a run? cook something interesting?) rather than weigh examining government proposals or building recruiting budgets or checking out technology questions. Those are Monday through Friday things. (Saturday is catchup on lawn, on housecleaning, on commitments to volunteer efforts…)

So Sunday is also a day of anticipation, of getting back into the swing of achievement of Monday through Friday. I can dig back into Docker without thinking I’m short-shrifting something else. I can read code with appreciation and enjoyment. I can look at government SBIR descriptions and plan and scheme on how best to answer with a proposal.

Love this ebb and flow of go-getter-ness and slow-down-edness. I don’t think I could appreciate either one as well without the continual rhythm of shifting between the two of them.

Happy Sunday!

Someone had reason to look at my resume today, and commented on my URL. Nerd win! Hopefully it helped with the interview… And thank you, dear hubby, for an awesome web presence home.

Sitting in the last talk of the day for me before I give my own talk. Mentally running down the ‘yes, this is going to work out well’ game talk. Cataloguing for me to help me debrief later, as well as give me a checklist to consider for further talks…

– Came with equipment that works (advantage over last time, which went OK, though for a rougher week than desired), as well as repair kit and tools.
– Came with the beginnings of a presentation
– When I realized my plans to work on my presentation slides over the weekend got trumped by family schtuff, reprioritized the sessions I wanted to attend, and carved out a slot early in the week
– Checked out the room the day before the presentation and tried out my laptop – no issues. Also had the opportunity to sit in on a session in the same room: good talk, great inspiration for my own.
– Stream of consciousness wrote my talk itself and worked on it throughout several days
– Carved out time for run throughs two nights before: wasn’t happy with the result, so carved out more time the following evening. Prepped notes, rehearsed, refined, rehearsed some more to make sure I fit the time with the stuff that matters.
– Got some sleep. Not much, but some, the night before the presentation.
– Highlighted some key facts in my speaker notes, so I can look quickly and refer.
– Notes include setup requirements, and already have most of those tabs and windows up.
– Scheduled notifications to go off during the event time: won’t have to think about it.

– My talk is right after lunch, which both means folks will be able to get there, and I can get in early to do a last equipment check and rundown. Short lunch!
– Brought juggling balls to let me focus on something other than the talk itself once I get it set up.

– my power supply seemed to stop working overnight: will need to plug in my Raspberry off of a cellphone charger either USB-linked to the site computer (??: suspect that’ll cause concerns…) or to an outlet that I’m not sure will be there.
– the Furby itself is acting flaky. While I’ll be able to talk to it, would really like to see the full demo come together.

– Engage with the audience! That’ll help keep me focused and in the flow.
– Stay relaxed.

I’m prepped, I’m ready, and there’ll be something there that hits someone’s interests. I’ve defined my scope, and worked to focus my flow through. The work done to prep this was fun in itself, helped me learn some things, and gave me a chance to come out again to OSCON. Lots of wins from the build-up to this week. Time to bring it home.

When NPR writes about PowerBall, the country’s gone PowerBall crazy. Me included, though I think it’s a mild case. Given that the odds of winning are apparently 1 in 292 million, I’m not exactly banking our retirement and college planning on one of our few tickets hitting it big. In fact, as I’ve thought about the impact it’d make on our lives, I begin to wonder whether if I won, if I oughta avoid ever turning in the ticket.Continue reading

I’m reading a book in my company’s software book club called ‘The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies‘ (Kindle edition, of course).   Its points is discussion of a new inflection point in technological and economic growth, driven by advances in computing, robotics, and Internet of Things that were unheard of just a few years ago.  This past week’s discussion focused on exponential increases in computing power (things that follow Moore’s Law double every 18 months to two years, which leads to exponential growth over a relatively short period) and the impact of the digitization of _everything_.

I tried to think of a type of information that exists that isn’t digitized.  Thoughts aren’t, at least directly, until you consider purchasing decisions, search terms, and observations of browsing patterns.  Health records are (and I wish more was available that way), where I’ve been may be (I turn off my location history, thank you very much), my banking information is, photos of my family are, my postings can be used to determine whether I’m happy or sad (spending a bit of time exploring text analytics for sentiment analysis lately), my purchase history on both websites and at brick-and-mortars is…  Yes, I still use a Target credit card; no, if you won’t give me a 5% discount or better I won’t use your store affinity card – pay me for my data at a reasonable price!

I attempt to keep as much of this segregated as I can…  my doctor doesn’t need to know my beer purchasing history, for example.  (Or maybe she’d like to, but I’ll still keep it separate – I prefer porters and stouts to ambers or pils, should there be any particular health benefits conferred..)

But all of this starts to lead me to think about how I contribute to digitization explicitly, through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Evernote, Google+, Google Groups, LinkedIn …. am I doing these well, to get the most bang for my digitized efforts?  I’m still thinking of more places where I leave electronic droppings…   Considering a post series talking about how I use each of the above, with the idea that readers could suggest better models or other tools.

It’s the little things that make morning workouts worthwhile: comment from someone in the gym this morning as they walked past my leg press machine.. and I quote: “Damn!” Yes, I’m workout bragging. No, I’m not posting a selfie.. But yes, that was 410 pounds on that machine.

I’m something of a gym buff.  3-4 times a week, sometimes more, you’ll find me at the gym at the crack of dawn.  For a while, that included working out with a personal trainer once a week.  To what end?  Welp, the weight I could lift went up, but so did mine, and my clothing size stayed the same.  I kept the same trouble areas, but had great muscles in my back and arms.

After more than a year of this, I figured I was missing something key.  My friend Kim had recently lost more than 20 pounds, and her fitness exhertion, while growing, was nowhere near what I was putting myself through.  But, she was getting results and I wasn’t.

Enter actually tracking what I eat.  I’d generally tried to eat healthy, but never formally tracked.  For one, food diaries seemed like a pain – beyond keeping track of what I ate, I’d then need to figure out its calorie counts.  Beyond my level of dedication, until Kim mentioned MyFitnessPal.

It lets me scan food barcodes, enter recipe ingredients, keep track of recent foods….  So far, only lost 3 pounds (and may be gaining it back, given a recent backslide to Rollos and beer), but if I can keep with it, looks useful.