No Daddy. Mommmy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Doolies instructed me to write now. We just finished dinner and I was playing around with my website. When she saw code instead of words or pictures, she reminded me of my priorities. She is still unhappy that she was fell asleep last night at the end of a critical anime episode. She woke in time to see what happened, but she missed the buildup and expositions.

This is the second anime we’ve watched since subscribing to the CrunchyRoll service, and both have been excellent. They’re modern animes, each beautifully drawn, with multidimensional characters, and arcing stories that go somewhere with almost no filler (old animes, similar to cartoons and sitcoms, spent much of their minutes filling time without moving the story forward to allow them to stay on the air for more seasons). The current anime takes an overt inspiration from Hamlet—I have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t end too well for the protagonists.

I went to Crunchyroll’s website expecting to find my queue to share the show’s name, and while I didn’t find the queue, I was sucked into the overwhelming vortex of anime synopses and box art. I’m still giddy about this service. Okay, I’ve pulled myself away from Crunchyroll website. I can’t view my queue since I’m still in the Xbox trial for the service. I expect the queue will be available once I start paying. We’ll be trading our Netflix subscription for this.

Speaking of which . . . and Netflix is cancelled. They used to have a “suspend” feature, which I guess made it too easy for people to suspend for short periods. Now when you cancel it threatens to delete your viewing preferences (which I assume means your ratings) if you don’t re-activate it within a few months. Knowing how these companies work (I’m looking at you, Blizzard, master of the Warcraft worlds), your information is safe for as long as there’s the possibility that you’ll re-up your subscription and want to jump back in where you left off.

I’m in the middle of yet another coding project. I’m quite happy with how my Windows 8 app turned out. I need to post a few of the screenshots from the app, but it feels like a complete project—that there’s a certification and publishing process for the app makes it feel like the most real programming project I’ve done. Even though, from an effort and heavy lifting perspective, the webserver (which needed a few tweaks to work with the app) was much more difficult in its different forms.

My new project is to rewrite the guts of my website. I’ve been inspired by a colleague to build it on the Windows Azure preview instead of Dreamhost. The porting process has been a bit hairy, as not all the tools are working the way (I expect) they’ll work at release. But I finally got something up and running.

Once I did that, however, I realized that sticking with my database design from 2007 feels outdated (ooh, I just realized that this site turns 10 years old last month. Man, I should do something to celebrate. Maybe, I don’t know, recode it?). I learned SQL on this website and I have a better understanding of how to structure the code. My PHP skills have also improved (as has the language, slowly), so cleaning up the code and making it hum—not to mention leveraging the web workers, replicated data store, and other nifty Azure features—is making me drool a bit.

Many of these ideas came to me last night as I was trying to fall asleep. I came up with new designs and sub-projects during my fitful first hour in bed. I went downstairs to jot down a bunch of TODO notes, thinking that would put those ideas and me to bed. When I returned to bed I did think less about coding. It wasn’t until 6:30am, however, that I finally felt tired enough to sleep.

Dinosaur’s cold was better last night, and he wasn’t the main cause of my insomnia. My working theory is that, having partaken in various over-the-counter alchemical (and ultimately unsuccessful) sleep concoctions the previous two nights, my body was rebelling against its first drug-free sleep. That should mean that I will sleep well tonight. I don’t normally have problems with sleep, and if Dinosaur keeps improving—Doolies said he expelled two more big boogers today—I may return to my long, wonderfully restful sleeps.

The downside of sleeping well is that I won’t remember any more vivid dreams. Given that most of them were about bad things happening at work, I guess I’m willing to make this sacrifice.

Tiger decided that she wanted Doolies to bathe her again today. “No Daddy. Mommy.” I started the bath and plopped her in there and then let Doolies take over. This should give me just enough time to get through my allotted time, if Dinosaur doesn’t wake. He’s sleeping in the bouncy next to the dinner table. He slept through another Shabbos dinner tonight. One of these nights he’ll be awake for the photograph.

My voice was better today. I still couldn’t spend much time talking, but I managed to get through three meetings and still be understood. I’m hopefully that by the end of the weekend I’ll be right as a winter rain. It’s either that or I’m going to have to find more powerful medicine. Doolies is convinced that I have weak vocal cords, which means that there’s a good probability that every time I come down with a phlegmy cold, I’ll end up voiceless for a few days. That sounds about right. Further support for her theory: every time I go out to a party, I lose my voice after the first fifteen minutes of talking in a crowded place. I really need to take vocal speaking lessons. I use way too much vocal cords and not enough diaphragm. (My trumpet teacher always said that about me too. But in that case it was too much lips and not enough diaphragm.)

Dinosaur did not last very long as I finished the previous couple of paragraphs. My writing does not follow real time well, as I go back and forth throughout the paragraphs, filling in new thoughts, rewriting old ones, before ending up here, at the end.

It’s late now. We finished up our anime. There are still a few episodes left, but we’ve caught up to the simulcast episodes that haven’t been released yet. Both shows we’ve watched will have new episodes releasing next week. I will have to be better about researching the animes to ensure they’re complete before watching. One of the reasons I stopped watching television was I hated waiting a week to see what happens next. I guess I never learned that important childhood lesson of “please wait.”

Tiger did not want me to put her to bed tonight. I had already asked Doolies to read to her as my voice is still not there (Doolies has a sore throat today as well—hopefully not a harbinger for her weekend). Even so it still hurt for Tiger to say the “Mommy. No, Daddy!” so emphatically. I try not to take it personally. I really do. She has seemed to like me better, particularly when I’m holding Dinosaur. I guess that means more holding Dinosaur to stoke her flames of jealousy, which will, in turn, make her love me more.

That seems plenty of words for one late night. This is definitely easier when broken into pieces and thoughts are allowed to echo around my head for a bit. It’s a good thing I didn’t insist on 30-consecutive minutes.