Moving Target

Note: I added this bit after I’d already posted this entry… I found it so incredibly… odd. This person makes me worry. Using Apple’s newest operating system apparently makes you a Communist and an anti-Christian evolutionary propagandist. Somehow. I can’t quite trace the thinking, but the article is good for some laughs. Here it is:

The Truth About Evolutionist Propoganda

(check your brains at the door)

What really gets me is the author’s characterization of "evolutionary thinking" as "pseudo-science" and bad thinking. What saddens me the most is that this person appears to be sincere.

My Linux box has crashed three times in a 48-hour period. Linux isn’t supposed to do that: my experience with Linux is that so long as I don’t mess with it too much it’s much more reliable than Windows (yes, I’ve killed my Linux box more often than I’ve killed my Windows box — but, then, I’ve experimented a lot more with my Linux box than I have with my Windows box, because it’s actually easier to recover from a Linux problem). I can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with it. I sent panicky e-mails to various Linux related mailing lists that I belong to and get the usual set of friendly, helpful responses that set me in good directions, but at the moment I’m still too annoyed. I recently figured out how to log in to my computer from elsewhere, like from work, and that’s been a good thing, except when the computer is down. I think it crashed at about 9:30 this morning, while I was trying to upload a file to the server in our house. That was bad. And I couldn’t do anything until I got home at 5:20 or so and was able to reboot it. So I let it reboot, recover all of its filesystems, and then I shut it down normally and let it have a good sulk for a few hours. Now it’s back up, I’ve changed a few configuration settings, and we’ll see if it can maintain its previously amazing uptime. But I may be in for quite a trek of tracking down what’s wrong and fixing it in this machine. I just hope that it isn’t one of the CPU’s or a memory chip that’s burned out.

Priorities at work are a moving target. On Friday afternoon I was given a thick pile of cases and told to develop a marketing list. So I dutifully went to the search engines and our database and began to hunt away. I did pretty good, I think, but I realized this morning that I’d failed to mark down where I’d finished up. So, this morning I essentially had to start over and review everything I’d done. Then one of the IPO’s came to my desk and presented me with another stack of cases.

"These take top priority," she told me. "Okay," I said, "how does that affect the priority of this project that you gave to me on Friday?"

"Oh," she said, "That’s bottom priority now. Those cases have been sitting around for years. They can sit awhile longer."

"So I’ve got this other low priority project from the other IPA that I’ve put aside…"

"Yes, and the project I gave you on Friday can take lower priority than that one."

I nodded and smiled. This early in the game, when I’ve only been in the office for a week, it’s still politically okay to demonstrate my ignorance. "Give me a couple of weeks," I told the IPA, "and I’ll get these priorities straight."

She scoffed. "I’ve been here for years, and I still can’t figure it out. It’s a moving target."

That works for me. I tell my co-workers that I’ve worked in startups and I’ve worked in Human Resources, so I’m used to the "organizational chart of the day" process. So far, though, I’m actually enjoying this job. I’m amazed at how quickly the time passes.

And tonight I grilled chicken again. Came out a bit dry, but still tasty. Perhaps I should have let it thaw a bit longer; who knows? I’m still finding myself amazed that putting a chunk of raw meat above a layer of hot coals and combined with vegetables and bits of dried up leaves can actually bring about something which is delicious and nutritious. Tomorrow, I’m probably going to do something with more salmon, unless I decide on another type of fish, and some capers.

I’ve gotten some good responses to my most recent short story, and I’ve begun writing my next one, "Homestead". Evilpheemy knows what that one’s about, but I usually keep most of my stories to myself while I’m working on the first draft. I’ve been shooting for 1,000 words a day, but sometimes that goal is a bit hard to reach.

So that’s life in a nutshell this evening. The three biggest loci of my life right now seem to be grilling, writing, and Linux administration. Perhaps, someday, I’ll figure out how to pull all three interests together.