Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Status update of the indeterminate time period

Work: I'm still There. Last Friday, I got the paperwork to extend my contract another two months--although from the point the last contract technically ended, the 10th of March. So, I'm only guaranteed employment through the 10th of May. I'm still mostly doing ad hoc "data mining," although I may end up, bizarrely enough, doing some minor web application development soon for an internal-use customer service task.

Writing: After long last, I finished transcribing/editing "Only With Thine Eyes," which leaves me only one story to go through before I can send the pieces off to Sofawolf's Tim Susman. I've volunteered myself to do my book's own layout, which is probably only heard of in vanity presses when it comes to fiction, so I doubt I'll give myself official credit for it. (In some fields this isn't uncommon--many publishers doing technical and scientific publications accept markup in LaTeX and troff, and there are a few humanities books out there that were "typeset" with Nota Bene.) I'm strongly considering buying a typeface set for the book, despite part of me thinking that's awfully silly. (The typeface is Adobe's Chaparral, a slab-serif I think would work well as a body font.)

Programming: I stopped working on Yodel!, my PHP-based RSS news aggregator, when I came out here. I have ideas for other programs, including a structured text editor I see in my mind as something that could handle HTML/XML yet be nearly as straightforward about it as a word processor. Unfortunately, I'm not capable of writing it.

The Near Past: I've tried the quasi-legendary "Crack Chicken," better known as University Chicken (formerly known as Cluck U), a fast food joint near Santa Clara University that specializes in hot wings. They have 7 heat levels. Revar, who's a pretty fair chilehead, doesn't go past level 3. Kim and I ordered 12 wings at level 2, and 6 at level 3. Verdict: they're tasty, although they sure ain't buffalo wings. That's spicy barbecue sauce, sweet rather than tart, with very little vinegar flavor. It also means the heat builds up on you instead of being up front about it. I'll probably go back and try level 4. Sometime.

The Present: Yesterday I bought a new battery for Peroxide, my Powerbook. Now I'm showing 4:45 remaining on the battery, which is 93% charged after about 25 minutes of use this morning. Cool beans--the old battery was rarely managing 90 minutes. (In practice I think it'll be about four hours of use max.) Also yesterday, just before going to bed, I discovered that my laptop won't stay closed: something in the magnetic lock chipped. I can see the chip, in what looked like a kind of fragile lock mechanism to start with. Closing the computer will put it to sleep--then the lid will pop up just enough to wake it up again. This fails to make me happy. I'm hoping the carrying case I have will keep the computer closed, because I'm not taking this back to Apple for repairs if they're going to charge me their typical rates. Maybe I can get the lock mechanism separately somewhere. (Ha.)

The Future: Good question. I'm strongly considering retooling my résumé to aim at "data mining" positions like the one I'm in now, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Beyond that, I think I'm going to push to improve my web design skills rather than web development--despite the fact that "web designer" has a bad name these days, I've all but concluded that my web programming skills aren't what's in vogue. My ASP skills are light (although perhaps I'll get some experience at There), my Java/JSP skills are nonexistent and while I consider myself a pretty formidable PHP programmer, I haven't used PHP's object system to any great degree--which pretty much knocked me out of the running for the one PHP position I interviewed for out here.

Beyond that I'm going to see if I can get back in the swing of trying to write saleable things. Realistically, I don't expect to be able to make a living as a writer--but realistically I've never made a serious attempt to investigate all the options available to me, either, from non-genre fiction to non-fiction.

And beyond that, I'm going to be late if I sit here much longer, so I'd better get into work. I don't think Daylight Savings Time is going to help me get up earlier. But, hey, I can at least say I got up this morning and wrote something, right?

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