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Where have you been?!

January 27, 2011
travelogue 10

Image by tim caynes via Flickr

Relax… I’m not dead. But thanks for your concern.

Actually, that’s a lie. The only person who asked why I hadn’t been posting was my mom. At least she cares. Though I think that’s in her contract.

So where have I been since my last post 15 days ago?

Under an avalanche of new work, added on to all the rest of the things that suck the time out my day – normal work, family, grad school, etc.

I’d go into detail about what I was working on, but truthfully, unless you know SIGGRAPH, understand how a technical papers sort process works, the detail of PhD’s, and just how peculiar some database systems are… hold on, the room is spinning. Forget the specifics, here’s the upside, everything worked very well and next year the learning curve will be much less steep.

I’ve missed a lot in the world during that time away:

1) Rep. Giffords is continuing to improve, this is nothing short of a miracle.

2) My cousin, who swore he would never buy a smartphone is now considering buying an Android phone. For most of my Siberian exile work weeks he was peppering me with phone-related questions. I blew him off for days. But now that I’ve had 10 minutes to think about it, I think he should get a Verizon iPhone. If he gets a Droid I’m just going to get more tech questions. The iPhone is more simpleton user friendly.

3) The State of the Union, which I always consider “must see TV” occurred, of which I saw not a second, and I’m seriously annoyed about that.  I planned to do a running diary blog, in the style of Bill Simmons’ running diaries for ESPN Page 2, but alas not. You would have enjoyed my pithy commentary. I’d give you an example now, but I’d have to watch the State of the Union, which I have on the DVR, but am still lacking the time to watch.

4) I hear someone is picking a fight with the Russians again. Listen terrorists, it’s really not wise to piss off the Russians. At some point they’re going to nuclear. And I mean actually nuclear.

5) The Pope called out the Italian government to be more moral. If anyone knows the danger of bad press due to having sex with minors it’s the Catholic Church. And that’s not a joke. If the Catholic Church is publicly telling you to zip it up, listen Prime Minister.

6) Regis Philbin is retiring. God help me I love Regis. I grew up with him. The favorite part of visiting my grandparents in Tinton Falls, NJ was seeing Regis before his New York City show became syndicated. Kathie Lee and Kelly are good too, but Regis is king.

7) Finally, I missed working out. A lot. Aside from feeling fat, I just feel lazy. Listen people, we all need to agree to get in better shape. It’s important. Find the hour a day to do it. And then actually do it.

Here’s a few things I did learn in the past two weeks:

1) Where I may be full of big ideas and bluster, my co-workers really know how to get things done, they’ve spent the last 15 days helping me to understand a very difficult aspect of my job. It was like teaching calculus to a 4-year-old. Heck, it was liking teaching calculus to me.

2) I never stop missing my family: wife, child, parents, sister. Even though I didn’t have to travel for this last stretch of work, I spent a lot of time isolated. It wasn’t fun.

3) On the flip side, holding a conference call in the same house with a potty-training 2.5-year-old is a recipe for hilarity.

4) I like working hard and really throwing myself into a project, though next time I’ll try to make it one I understand a little more thoroughly.

5) I’ve decided the Amazon.com Kindle app blows away the Barnes and Noble NookStudy app. Last semester I was able to find my textbooks via Amazon’s Kindle story, and then read them on every computer I access as well as my Droid X. This semester my textbook is only available through the NookStudy app, which limits me to two devices, none of them my phone, and only allows me to rent the book for six months. FAIL.

6) Making a pinewood derby car is still as fun now as it was when I was a kid. I was honored to help my youngest nephew craft his first derby car. We shaped it after a mid-1990’s Corvette. I don’t know if it’ll be fast, but it looks good!

7) I must remember 10-year-old girls don’t quite get sarcasm, but do cry very easily.

8 ) Catching up on my Twitter feed once-a-day is exhausting. Twitter has become my primary news and entertainment source, better than any single Web site or broadcast. However, scrolling through 24 hours of tweets is a blinding exercise.

9) Oh, that reminds me, follow @pattonoswalt, he’s worth it.

10) And, check out the Larry Miller podcast on the Ace Broadcasting Network, all I can tell you is that it’s 30 minutes of your life where you’ll just be happy.

That’s going to do it for this recap of “Where’s Mike?” Hopefully, I’ll be back on the three-post-a-week routine soon. But when in doubt, follow me on Twitter (@pressace). I always have time for 140 characters of commentary.

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