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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Insanity, Headaches, Chaos..

I know, long time no blog.  But DANG has work been insane!

The hardware guy keeps getting sucked into meetings and not designing the hardware.  We discover each day a new thing missing from the code the previous contractors left.  And in that, I get to learn to do new things that I wasn't supposed to have to.. ugh.  It'll look great on a resume!

I'd be sightseeing a bit on the weekends but it's HOT - over 105F.. and that highly de-motivates me from doing anything but either hiding at home or the local bar.  It should cool down in a couple of weeks, but we'll see if that actually happens.

This contract could go until Christmas.. good thing I like Tulsa.  Fun times.

Some 3D being done, small animation tests and such in prep for pre-production work on my Vicky's Diary Webcomic.  Yes, I'm trying the Webcomic thing again!  Just one, though.  There'll be a Blogger blog for it shortly.

Ugh, back to studying motor control theory.. my head hurts..

Friday, August 1, 2014

My But It Got Busy...

Well, I've been on my new contract a little over a month now.  It's in Tulsa, OK. and should run until close to the end of October.  It's writing firmware for an electronically-controlled security fence product, very interesting, motor control, graphics display, on an MSP430-based platform.

Tulsa is a nice town - less crowded and more laid-back than Austin.  Still some good music here, especially rock and blues.  The place I'm staying is less than 2 blocks from a nice bar that has live music almost every night, which is great!  Except for the amount of time I spent there checking out new bands (heh).

Haven't done a lot of music since the move, it was INSANE - I woke up in Austin on a Monday and woke up in Tulsa on a Wednesday!  HUGE rush of a move, I threw all I owned into one large suitcase and a backpack and made the jump.  Thankfully the bus service here is acceptable, and there are plenty of extended stay hotels that are very affordable, so I managed to drop right in and get to work.

I'm also restarting my 3D artwork, since I have lots of free time after work and on weekends.  I'm not too close to downtown, and there's no late bus service to speak of, and NO bus service on Sundays, so I get to spend a lot of time at home or at the local bar.. might as well get creative!

I'm thinking of writing an autobiography, just for fun.. nothing meant to be published before I die, though!  But half the time even I can't believe all the things I've been through.  I'd better get it all down before I forget it all, and given my current lifestyle I'm sure I'll have a bazillion experiences to write about in the future.

Ah, well, back to digesting my pizza and watching the BIOS/RTOS re-compile for a new chip model.. boring!

Take care!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Project Endings

Well, I've completed all my projects here at my current contract, so my boss and I have decided it's time for me to move on.

It's not like there was no warning, it's been clear that I was working myself out of a job, so I'm prepared.  I have great references - including my boss - so I'm leaving behind a pile of clean code, tons of documentation, and a happy boss.  I already have some nibbles on new work, as well.

I'm going to TRY to take a week and just chill.. it's been a very stressful year for me here, finding and fixing bugs that have shipped in the product for years, shipping new products, and generally being in Senior Firefighter mode.  My birthday is the 20th., so this means I can party out instead of having to work all day (heh).

While I'm in job search mode, I'm going to teach myself HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript - this to compliment my C#/.NET work.  I'll also continue to learn C#/.NET better and read up on algorithms, design patterns, and UML.  Never stop learning!

I also intend to compose more music, and try to write more.. that will help keep me sane while waiting for the next thing to come along.

But, for the next week - VACATION!  Chill, read, write, compose!  And send out resumes.

I already have a few nibbles.. one locally, one in Minneapolis (long shot), and one in Irvine, California (another long shot).  Call the the migrant programmer!

Until later, take care!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A fantastic new ambient/electronic album!

..No, I'm not on it (heh), but you need to give Source Transmissions a listen if you enjoy ambient or electronic music:

http://ambientascendant.bandcamp.com/album/source-transmission

If you enjoy Tangerine Dream, or Klaus Schulz, then you'll love Source Transmission.  I put the album on Winamp and shuffle/repeat it when I'm writing, it gets me right into The Zone and I can just watch the words flow out.

Check it out!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Yum, Cold Turkey...

After throwing away an entire 3-day weekend in chat, it's terribly obvious I'm a  chataholic.  I can't just go in for 1/2 an hour, or just certain days.  I need to just QUIT.

So, today we start.. no getting into online chat, PERIOD.  It's far better if I spend the time watching Travel channel or Animal Planet, there's a chance I'll learn something new doing that.

Chat never changes.  It's always the same people, saying the same things, in the same way, over and over, until Real Life (sometimes) comes and takes them away.  It is much sound and fury, signifying NOTHING.

In the amount of time I've spent in chat, I could have finished my novel, produced at least one album, finished several short stories, visited all the restaurants I want to check out, and caught up on my sleep.  Really, this is WORTHLESS.

So wish me luck - I'm going to need it!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Re-purposing laptops

The problem with older technology is that nobody wants it.

I have a perfectly working Asus dual-core Pentium T4400 system that I can't even sell for $50.  I didn't even get an offer for the Lenovo X61, and it's a tablet PC with a Wacom pen/touch screen!

I have no idea what I'm going to do about the Asus machine, but I'm installing Ubuntu on the Lenovo to re-purpose it as my portable Linux box!  I can use it for Linux development, or just to fiddle around with Linux without worrying about taking out one of my primary machines (or running VirtualBox).

Ubuntu 13.10 so farh as recognized the pen input, the keyboard, mouse, trackstick, display, HD.. things that I've read older versions didn't do without extra work.  Once I can get it online, I'll install OpenOffice, NetBeans, Python, and probably Ruby, along with the Java SE SDK.  A portable software development system, wheee!  Maybe even Gimp so I can use the pen to doodle with.

This will leave me with the big Lenovo i5, the little X61, an Android tablet, and a Windows 8.1 tablet.  Woo-hoo, Computer City!

I'm such a geek...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reload, restart, get 'er done!

After the successful launch of The Loach Report, a tabloid humor blog, I gave a lot of thought to writing, and how much I really enjoy it when I'm pressuring myself to write 10,000 words a day.  And I look at how I run The Loach Report, and I think..

..why don't I write serials?All of my novel ideas would work well as serial novels, I can belt out 100 or so words without stressing out, and Blogger lets me save drafts.. I can work from home or the office.. why not!

So I'm setting up another blog, Wooly Writings, that I will post all my writings on.  Love Dark and Frozen will become a static page, and I'll tag each episode with the novel code so it's easy to get a list of all of just one series.

This will take a bit to set up, but I will put a link up here when it's ready to go and has some content ready.

Until later!