I’ve recently been feeling hyper aware of the passing of time, and I’m not sure why. Part of it is probably because I’ve been amazingly busy, fortunately in really good ways, but it means I find myself digging deep into projects and when I surface, it feels like days have passed without me noticing. Perhaps because they are.

It’s suddenly the end of April, and I think time might be slowing down again a bit. Part of this is that work has kept me incredibly busy, because a few weeks ago I was given full ownership of all of the technical documentation organization, which had been expected at some point but not this early in my tenure there. This is in fact a good thing for all involved — but the documentation has a huge amount of technical debt that needs to be organized and resolved, and now all of it is my problem to solve. None of this is a surprise: it’s why they brought me in.

So I’ve been spending a bunch of time trying to get me arms around everything, come up with plans, start building processes, and start digging in to solve it.

Once a month I’m supposed to put together a slide of the accomplishments of the last month, and this time I went into that with a bit of dread, feeling like I’d spent the entire month rearranging Jira tickets trying to make them make sense. In reality, when I’d finished writing up the slide, I was close to greeking the text, and that made me feel better about everything. It’s been that kind of month.

But that hasn’t left a lot of time or mental energy for writing. I’m trying to catch up on that a bit this weekend.

Another thing that’s limited my writing a bit: going into 2018, I made a decision to set a hard curfew on sitting at the computer in the evening, and when I hit that time, I stop and go into a new pre-bed winding-down mode. That has the Playstation off, the Mac idle, and me over in the comfy chair with the iPad and I spend the last hour to 90 minutes of my day reading, listening to a podcast or an audible book, and mentally unwinding and generally going over the day that was and thinking about what the priorities are the next day.

Another goal I set for 2018 was to read two books a month (where Audbile
listening counts), and thanks in large part to reserving that part of my day for reading and unwinding, I’ve finished 16 books so far this year. This can be a challenge, of course — the last book I finish was 40 hours of audible and I don’t speed up the voice, so there are no shortcuts there. And, of course, what am I doing now? Reading the new Brandon Sanderson book. But, of course, these things even out over time…

But the funny thing about all of these things.. They all take time, and time is a finite resources and you have to sort out what your priorities are and make sure you allocate your time to your priorities.

The state of the new office

Well, I was hoping to be getting the new office operational around the end of April, and here we are, it’s the end of April. Do I have an office?

Not quite. I’ve made progress, but… I can’t actually move in until the painting is done, and the painters haven’t been able to schedule the job in. The reality right now in Silicon Valley is a good contractor is both hard to find and already heavily booked, so you can either go for a mediocre contractor (who is probably also pretty heavily booked) or wait for them to schedule you in. AS of right now, I’m about ten days out before the painters arrive, so two to three weeks before the job is done and I can do the full set up.

I’m not bothered by the delay; I didn’t talk to a painter I liked who was any less busy, and I wanted to get the roofing work done first in case the repairs ended up impacting the ceiling inside the living space, and those finished Friday. So the time frame I wanted was a bit shorter than the one I have, but that’s just how it goes some times. Along the way we’ve finished up the carpeting in the two rooms, the electrical works and I’ve been bringing in and staging gear and set up one of the desks as a worktable. So things are moving forward…

There was good news on the roofing, too. There were some areas that needed work, but the roof in general was in pretty good shape. Since the room is going on 17 years old (and a tar and gravel flat should probably last you 20) we’re not doing badly here. The roofer took care of the issues, and did a general tune up of areas where he felt they were needed, and he told me he expects because of this I’ve got another five years on the roof before we’ll have to consider a re-roof. And since he gave me what I felt was a nice price, I’m more than happy.

FWIW, I’ve gotten a couple of questions about the contracts I’m using, and once we’re through the paint work I’ll put up a web page with them and point to it at a later time.

How busy has it been?

Since I work in a remote home office, it’s easy to go hermit. One side effect of being busy: I realized twice in April that it’d been over a week since I’d been outside other than taking out trash; in both cases I shut it all down for an afternoon and went out for some birding and a walk.

And in March, I’d decided I wanted to get a couple of days in Morro Bay during spring migration and started doing the planning, but between work and the remodel work, here it is May and I still haven’t gotten there. And because of the paint work, I’m now looking at early June. So much for migration, but I still intend to take a couple of days down there as a working trip to take some photos and get serious about planning the youtube channel again. That’s been moving forward slowly in the background, and it’s about time to make it happen again.

I’ve found this interesting Airbnb place down there I’m considering renting if it’s available. More on that if it happens.

Birds and Birding

Another goal of mine for this year was to get more serious about my birding again and get out birding more frequently. In general I’ve done okay at this, intermittent hermit lapses notwithstanding. I do want to get out at least once a week somewhere in the county, but it’s been one of those slices of time I’ve sacrificed to other things recently.

But the results? I can’t complain. I’m at 127 species for the year, which in 2017 I didn’t reach until September (and it’s more than I saw the entirety of 2015). It’s the best start to a year since 2014. On top of that, I finally tracked down a species I’ve been chasing for a few years, Lewis’s Woodpecker, which is my life list #285. That happened during the big sit in Coyote Valley, which was a nice bonus.

Part of the birding plans are tied up in the Youtube plans (of course), so having one delayed tends to delay the other. Of course, my plan for this weekend involved a trip to go down to see the otters and birds in Moss Landing, and what am I doing? Sitting here watching hockey and writing. Not complaining, because I’m getting stuff done.

Speaking of hockey…

As I write this the Sharks are 1-1 in the second round against the Vegas Golden Knights and somehow, I ended up going 8-0 in picks in the first round. Sharks/Knights looks to be a really good series and not an easy one and I’m generally really enjoying the playoffs this year.

And it looks like the Winnipeg/Nashville game is starting, so if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time to get away from the computer and pay attention to the hockey for a bit…