last week was a long week.
I’ve been working on custom reporting software for the Department of Education, which happens to be very complex. The implementation consultant who wrote the specification has very little experience in writing specs in the way it’s done in our group. Her lack of experience complicated things, but it was mostly bad because she’s located in Alexandria. It was an ordeal to clear up the ambiguity in the spec, work with the implementation consultant in details of pseudocoding, and develop the reporting software with absolutely no useful data to test on.
Usually when I develop to a spec of this magnitude, completing the job to a reasonable extent would take me about a week. This time it took me about one and a half weeks to finish a fraction of the work, and it’s completely untested because there’s no data. I don’t take it well when I work so inefficiently. Maybe I’m too impatient.
My coworkers and Illie witnessed my horrible mood because of this. They were very understanding about it.
On Friday, while I was still in a bad mood, the CEO of the company came by and we went out to a bar for lunch. It happened to be the day of the White Sox World Series championship parade. It was about three blocks away from the parade route. The fans that couldn’t see the parade came into the bar and watched it on TV Kids got the day off from school because of it. Adults in Sox t-shirts and uniforms were guzzling beer and cheering loudly. It was funny to watch so many happy people. I was probably the only unhappy person there. The CEO talked business later on, and I nearly fell asleep. Maybe I should be more interested in the business details, but for now all I’m preoccupied with is doing my job right.
Anyway I left work and finally remembered to join the Chicago Critical Mass. It was such a fun experience, cycling around Chicago with like-minded people who eschew vehicular transportation for something a lot cheaper and healthier. It was especially surprising to me that the motorists that were honking and supporting us outnumbered the motorists that were genuinely pissed off. I saw some collisions, but I think there were some cyclists that were just trying to cause trouble.
The group was very diverse. It was very festive. There were lots of cyclists wearing halloween costumes, other cyclists on tandem bikes where the people in the back were playing instruments, and a couple of cyclists with speakers mounted on their bikes with music playing. I saw some serious bike riders, a parent with their kid in the back, and even serious-looking cyclists decked out in racing uniforms. We were all going at a leisurely pace, of course. And my guess is that there over a thousand people at this event. Illie’s now very interested in trying this out next month.
I came home happy and excited.
Saturday morning we drove to La Porte, Indiana to visit Illie’s cousins. Their daughter Esther was celebrating her third birthday on Saturday. Peak fall. Beautiful trees, especially maple. I miss seeing trees here in downtown. We spent the morning with Scott walking around a lake and downtown bucolic La Porte. I can see myself living there in the future.
Esther really likes me a lot. Every time I see them I spend a lot of time playing with her. It takes a lot of energy though.
After the party ended, aunt Grace and uncle Frank arrived from Indianapolis. They’re one of my favorite in-laws. I enjoy their company a lot.
Kristina and Scott (the cousins-in-law) treated us to a bed-and-breakfast at Arbor Hill Inn. It was beautiful. Reminded me a lot of the berkshires in New England, especially with the peak fall colors. The actual room we stayed in was probably the nicest place we’ve stayed in. They had a jacuzzi, a raised bed, and great decor. And the breakfast this morning was some of the best that Illie’s ever had. She was thinking about it for the whole day.
Anyway, we got back before noon. I hadn’t exercised since Wednesday so I ran for four miles and swam for about a thousand yards in the gym. What a satisfying weekend – one of the best I’ve had in a long time.