March 20th, 2002


Hang Time

So. It's hang time for me at the moment. That mad rush to get all the review materials done yesterday is finally over, leaving me at the peak of effort, hanging until the actual review is done.

Nothing so small as a code review, this time, it's a system review, of all the things I've been spec-ing and writing and hounding people over for the last year. There's a dozen device families, a dozen synthesis toolsets, three languages, and half a dozen methods of design entry, all interacting like crazy, with the intersections each spawning it's own method of entry, processing and implementation. A four dimensional matrix of What Is Possible. That's what getting reviewed tomorrow, and the biggest challenge was getting the damned thing so that human brains could understand it.

This is why my brain hurt when I first started this job.

Understandably, the representation isn't complete, and, in fact, that was one of my goals. To not make it complete, but to make sure to make it representative of what the user is going to see and do.

So now, I hang, until the materials hit the road of the people that get to decide what to do with it.

In the meantime, Jet is going to see dinosaurs with Alex and Joan and a couple dozen four-year-olds. He gets to stay with them until 2:30-3 or so and it should be pretty fun to hear the stories from Joan, afterwards.
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So the four year olds kept falling onto the ground to make Jet laugh. He laughed a lot. He also started saying, "No no no no no..." and pushing the hands of the four-year-old boys off his stroller when they grabbed it. He pointed at everything, and folks explained what things were to him. He was quiet, well-mannered and cheerful for the whole morning adventure. He drank a bottle, but was too distracted to eat. He had exactly one half hour nap and that was all for today. Cranky baby.

This morning, I got up early to spell John, as he was trashed last night by Jet getting up and *screaming* from 12 to 1. I felt awful, so I did a few morning calesthetics, and when I started exercising, Jet's face lit up and he said, clear as a bell, "Joan!"

Joan does aerobics at home while she's watching Jet, after Haley's finished watching Blue's Clues. Every morning, she does this. So Jet naturally said, "Joan!" when he saw *me* doing exercises! I boggled! "What!" says I. Jet grinned his smug grin and went back to playing with his toys and wouldn't say a word. Smug boy.

A small Web accident

I just had a small web accident...

I found the Matoska Trading Company with a search on feathers. It turns out that my quills page is one of my most popular pages. On it I mentioned that I'd never stretched out the wing of a large bird to pick my feathers.

I am about to stretch out the wing of a bird and pick my feathers off it. Admittedly, the turkey probably gave its life for someone's dinner, on the most part, maybe a bit of ground turkey or a frozen breast or even a TV dinner of roast turkey. I bought a bronze turkey wing, because I survived yesterday and the last week of getting things ready for the review, and Jet getting up at all odd times of the night. So I'm getting, of all things, the wing from a turkey to see how the feathers are really placed.

Plus a few grey goose quills, a couple of #2, extra large quills with damaged feathers, and a few 14-16 inch quills just to see how they cut and write.

Yeah. The engineering mentality can be a real sucker for variety.