08 June 2009

Bi-weekly Reflections 2009 - Week 20 & 21

"Bi-Weekly Reflections" is my small journal of events that have gone on throughout the last 2 weeks that I've decided to keep. New updates to this will (hopefully) be posted as soon as possible.
Sunday and Monday (5/24-25) were pretty relaxed days with nothing really important happening in particular. However, on Monday, Ashley took me out with her "new" car to practice driving stick a little bit. She drove from her house in the rural area of Hemet to a Chevron gas station in French Valley, then to my house where we showed my parents (my mom was anxious to see her new car), then to the LA Fitness in Temecula, to the WinCo grocery store, and finally to a Chinese food restaurant before finally heading back. Even though there were a couple times where she stalled the car (once my fault) or put the car into the wrong gear, other than those very infrequent times, she did exceptionally well, especially since this was almost her 5th time driving, and first time driving in several weeks! I have to admit that I am very impressed with how quickly she's taken to driving stick, and I know she'll get it down pat in no time.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (5/26-28) were pretty much normal work days. Although the number of support calls here have been somewhat high, it hasn't been so high as to hinder our ability to do our jobs. I've been extremely exhausted, however, but I believe the cause of it has been the fact that I'm still not used to working out at the gym (indicated by the soreness of my ab muscles - or lack thereof).
Friday (5/29) was a bit of an exciting day, though. The day started off with me working from home and getting off a little early in the afternoon to pick up Ashley from work, where we then spent the afternoon getting ready to head to San Diego. Why? Well, it just so happened that earlier this year I had bought tickets to go see Dane Cook live at the San Diego Sports Arena. It was actually the first time either of us had ever gone to see a comedian live, and I will say that it was definitely worth it (even though everything seemed way too overpriced - $20 for parking?! Come on!)! We spent the entire night laughing, and I'd have to admit I don't think I laughed so much at one sitting in my life!
Saturday (5/30) was a day to catch up on some errands, so Ashley and I spent the day together around Temecula shopping and doing what it was we needed to do. Unfortunately, I didn't get to buy a "clip removal tool" that I need to remove the door panel in my car so that I can fix part of my door, but I don't seriously think I'll really need it.
Sunday (5/31) was pretty much a laid back day, although I did run into town from Ashley's house to buy some groceries. I also tried to fix my door but got to a point where I noticed that in order for me to get to the door locking actuator, I had to almost completely disassemble my entire door, including taking out the glass, just to be able to slide the thing out. Figuring that this would be a more-than-1-day ordeal, I quickly put everything back together and saved it for another day.
Monday (6/1) was my first day at work as a salaried employee. Nothing spectacular was going on at work other than the typical fix-the-code-that-I-was-given-that-was-written-by-an-outsourcing-company-that-was-written-by-someone-who-didn't-understand-Java. There has been a nagging issue surrounding one of the projects I was assigned to that continue to haunt me to this day, and as I refactored some code to help reveal the bug, I instead fell down the rabbit hole into more and more horrendous code that potentially caused problems (specifically, the unnecessary and overuse of static variables). To make matters worse, some functions that the program had that I was refactoring were huge! Oh well. On the bright side, though, Monday marked the first day of E3 - the Electronic Entertainment Expo - and I got to see Microsoft's Press briefing, which I'll have to admit I am only somewhat impressed with some of the things they have coming down the pipeline.
Tuesday and Wednesday (6/2-6/3) were pretty rough days at work. There were some major problems that I had to work through that didn't seem to want to go away - particularly with one of my older projects and with dealing with the AT&T billing department for our corporate account. Wednesday also was an award ceremony for my brother Julian and was kind of difficult getting there after yet another accident on the Ortega Highway (SR-74) slowed down my commute back to Temecula. The award ceremony, though, was a huge disappointment for my entire family after we had been at the ceremony for almost 2 solid hours with Julian receiving nothing but a small group mention at the very end to note that he was part of the Honor Guard. Had we known that's all the recognition he was going to get, we would've stayed home! Needless to say, we were all pretty upset.
Thursday (6/4) finally saw a lot of problem resolution, especially in terms of the mounting problems that cropped up the couple days before. However, there was yet another accident on the Ortega Highway - the 3rd in about a week - which slowed my commute to work down significantly. But on the upside, I finally resolved the AT&T billing problems, and also solved a number of problems here in the office (most of which didn't pertain to any of my projects), including finding a use for something I read a while ago about IE8's compatibility mode to solve a layout problem in one of our products. RSS FTW!
Friday (6/5) was none too exciting and I basically spent the day working from home on the problems I had on my project.
Saturday (6/6) was a pretty busy day, and I felt good about how much was accomplished. In the morning, Ashley & I went to IHOP to take advantage of their "strawberry fest" special menu while it still was available and savorred every bite of our breakfast. It was really good! Afterwards, we went to Fantastic Sams, waiting for a little more than an hour, so that I could finally get a haircut. Later, Ashley & I finally went out and looked at apartments, something I've never done before, and I have to admit that I found a very nice one that I will probably end up getting. Just seeing it (and the price) have gotten me pretty excited, but I need to be a little level-headed for a bit until I can afford to buy some of the necessary furnature before moving in - like a bed. After apartment hunting, Ashley and I finally went out and saw the Pixar movie Up. Pixar's past movies never disappointed me and Up was no different: it was a fantastic movie, albeit more emotionally charged than I've known them to be. In fact, I think Up was the first time I saw blood in a Disney movie and the first time I've ever seen Pixar actually kill off a character! Nevertheless, it was a fantastic movie. By the way, did anybody happen to notice toward the end of the credits the mention of the real-life "Carl & Elle Fredrickson Foundation"? Interesting...

Articles and Links
The "Articles and Links" section of this post (and subsequent posts) has moved to its own new post. I've recently been adding my own commentary to the posts and they have made my posts extremely long, so I separated them for easier access.

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