Halloween Surprises

Last year, for my division’s Halloween potluck, my wife kindly volunteered to make kitty litter cake; it’s basically white cake and spice cake crumbled up together with vanilla pudding, but it’s the Tootsie Rolls — microwaved for a few seconds and hand shaped — that really make it. It was a big hit in my division.

This year, Jennifer volunteered to make cat poop cookies; basically chocolate cookies which are rolled into little logs and placed in a bed of Grape Nuts and served with a litter scoop. They weren’t as big a hit as the kitty litter cake, but I don’t think anyone was outright offended by them.

But it was during the awards portion of the division Halloween party that I got my biggest surprise: the quarterly PEER award, which stands for “Professionals Earning Employee Recognition”. It’s essentially an “Employee of the Quarter” award, and there’s a rather complicated process of nominations and review involved in getting the award. It was pretty cool. It’s nice to feel appreciated.

I really enjoy my job, because I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something and it’s always challenging. There are times when I wish for more variety, but no job is perfect.

Anyway. It was a good day. And now there’s one hour left until National Novel Writing Month starts.

Another Zombie Entry

I’ve barely done any writing at all over the past couple of weeks. In fact, I don’t think I’ve written more than a few words since I finished up “Joe’s Salvation”. It’s not that I’m giving up on writing or anything; quite the contrary. I’ve decided that I just wanted to step back, take a breather or two, think about what I want to do with my writing and where I want to go, and just sort of relax before diving nose first into NaNoWriMo.

During that time, I’ve been working hard on my website; those of you who ever swing by my front page may have noticed a few changes; I’ve developed a whole new theme engine which is date-driven, so that when November 1 rolls around, the theme will switch from my Halloween theme to my NaNoWriMo theme. When Advent rolls around, an Advent message will appear (developing the Advent function was fun, since Advent falls on no regular day; it’s the Sunday closest to November 30th, so it could be the Sunday before the 30th or the Sunday after). I’ve written a library of functions which lets me manage and update that cool menu bar on the top of my page really easily, without having to update the JavaScript every time and make sure I get all the right niggly little details in all the right places. And I’ve completely rewritten how the database calls are done in the “library” section; this is one of those things that won’t show up at all for the casual visitor, but it simplifies my life on the back end quite a bit.

So I’ve accomplished my website goals. Tomorrow, I think, I’ll actually start putting some thought into Fred, Again. Or, possibly, not.