8 AM meetings SUUUUUCK

But those are the joys of a team that is literally on opposite sides of the planet. Worse yet, I was the asshole that scheduled it, as my side of the planet apparently isn’t as keen on doing 9PM meetings. (Oh, we WILL have some 9PM meetings to accommodate our teammates. Just not this month.) I hate being SM already.

Got up this morning and threw on my jeans and a hoodie and discovered that the zipper mechanism on the hoodie is just gone. That was a level of confusion I just could not handle at 6:15 AM.

The LilyMonster is up in arms over being up so early as well. I don’t love it either, but that’s going to be Wednesdays for the foreseeable future.

On a positive note – got my two floating holidays for getting vaccinated! Total honor system – all I had to give was the date of the second shot & the brand. I’m sure we’ll have a few folks who lie about it, but I’m glad they went as un-intrusive as possible on detail gathering. Also loving that I came out ahead on the deal – those Friday appointments paid off in more ways that one, LOL.

Being vaccinated is great and weird. I’ve got an invite to a 1st birthday party in two weekends and, well, I can actually go to it. Even with the whirlwind first vaccinated weekend, being able to do things is very odd, and it’s going to take a bit of getting used to – I suspect I’m going to be as hermit-tastic as ever just because I am not used to doing things anymore. I love people, but they are still exhausting.

And speaking of exhausting, I now get to go lead a meeting that I am in no way qualified to lead. This should be…something.

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A bleary eyed Happy Pride to all! Don’t invite your oppressors to the parade. It will be interesting to see if work says anything this week, or if they do their usual “Oh shit, it’s Pride Month” message the last week of June.

It’s gonna be another brutal week at work where I try and fit roughly 6 days of work into 3 1/2. Probably should have tried to get ahead over the holiday weekend, but fuck, I shouldn’t have to work over my holiday weekend.

I don’t know how our workload scheduling got so fucked up, but here we are, and I’m going to continue to send the QC lead a *weekly* breakdown of what hours I actually have available each month, because I don’t think they realize how much “not work” shit I deal with every week and maybe that will help a little. Probably should have done that ages ago – I just didn’t realize how many meetings, focus groups, training time, etc, I deal with every week.

And this damn new project role. This has got to be a punishment of some sort, I swear. I don’t think I’ve mentioned the actual role – Scrum Master for one of our modules for the next version. JFC – agile development is SO dude centered – the reason it’s called a Scrum Master is because if they called it what it is – Administrative Lead – no guy would do it. But make it sports and D&D, and they’re all in. And I remain utterly unconvinced that I am the right person for it. (I was told I would basically be the QC liaison. This is not even remotely that in any way, shape, or form.) And I’m still listed as SM for another module that will move to agile in the version after this next one – that had better get fixed.

It should have been our QC lead as the SM – but “he’s got too much on his plate” – well, get some shit off his plate so you actually have the right person in the role.

And people think I sought out this role, FML.

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Well, I’m good for another year!

Since hitting the 2 shots + 2 weeks mark, I’ve gotten my hair cut and colored, had inside beer, the last person I hugged in 2020 was the first person I hugged in 2021, and I’ve had breakfast at my local diner. And none of it was as weird as I had been anticipating.

The haircut… OMG, so wonderful. I still feel like a million bucks and think, “Who is that sexy mofo?!” when I look in the mirror. And feeling very smart that I used disposable masks and brought extras, cause mine got all wet and I had to change it out halfway through, LOL. And my hairdresser did a fantastic job considering the mess she had to start with.

And inside beer! We went up fully prepared to do a 180 if it was too crowded or felt weird – but it was actually fine. They’re still running at reduced capacity for tables cause they don’t have enough staff, and the phrase I kept hearing over and over was, “So – how did you feel after your shots?!”

Diner still running on limited capacity as well and requiring masks – but it was great to sit down and have my eggs & bacon and read the Economist.

And tonight, we’re meeting friends for dinner at Trattoria Villagio – last place we ate out before it all went to shit. There is an old school daquiri and some short rib ragu in my near future.

I’ve seriously caught up on 14 months of social interaction in 3 days. I can easily hermit up again for another 6-12 months should the need arise, LOL.

But my lord, it is SO nice to just do a few normal things with a bit less anxiety.

Please get vaccinated – it will be great.

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441 days

From my community losing it collective shit and clearing the grocery stores (WTF) to fully vaccinated. In a nod to science, I dropped from double masking to single masking today, and DAMN if my face didn’t feel a bit naked – that second mask did provide quite a bit of insulation.

What a fucking 400+ days it’s been. So many lost, so many hurt, and it didn’t have to be that way. I will never forgive or forget how the last administration handled this. (Or didn’t handle it, if we’re being honest.)

And the folks that just showed their ass through all this? I saw you, and I won’t forget that either.

But to all of y’all that stayed home, masked up, got takeout, skipped haircuts, relentlessly washed your hands, and generally did your best to keep yourself AND OTHERS safe – thank you.

If you’ve not gotten vaccinated yet – please do! It really is FREE. If you’re confused by the appointment systems, seriously, just go walk up to your local pharmacy and talk to them – we’re at a point in the US where the vaccine is widely available and they can help you.

If you have gotten vaccinated – YAY, YOU!

My company finally came out with a vaccine PTO policy – get vaccinated, get two floating holidays! Retroactive! Pretty sweet for me since I only ended up taking 3/4 of a day off between both shots. I know the prize for getting vaccinated is not getting sick and keeping others safe, but some extra time off is nice, too.

And I get to wear this sweet t-shirt today!

T-shirt with cartoon cats hugging that says Hug Me I'm Vaccinated
OK, not sure I’m actually ready for hugs, but at least folks know they can stand next to me safely
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AH HA!!!

So, I sat down yesterday and did my availability for June & July for work. Went through my calendar and tallied up every damn meeting, training, etc, etc, to see how many “work” hours I have – by week.

And damn if that all that NOT WORK doesn’t take up more time than I’d realized – no wonder I’m feeling over-committed. Sent it to the gal that does the bug assignments and our QC lead in the PI. He basically responded with ?!?!? – yeah, my buddy, I’ve got that much not work shit on my calendar and I’m trying to do a 40 hour week here – I didn’t sign on for 40 hours + 10 hours of meetings a week. Something has to give.

As we try to plan out our capacity for testing for the next version, I think we need to have everyone on the team do the same – I personally think we were way overcommitted for the version we’re about to release, and I don’t want that to happen again. And since we’re both on the team for the next version and the planning meetings are starting next week – maybe we can both advocate for not having a situation where the QC team is killing themselves.

We don’t get to actual capacity planning for it until July, but maybe I’ll see if he can meet one night and we can talk through it – while we’re getting better about pushing back on “No, that bug cannot be tested by the end of the month, we have too many already” (we do monthly updates), when it comes to brand new stuff, we just get hosed. And with the next version, we’re only focusing on what we can develop and test in a given month – maybe we can do better for the testing team. I think we all default to “well, we have 40 hours a week less PTO or holidays” – but we’re all starting at less than that – easily 10-20% is just gone any given week.

If nothing else, getting dragged into the planning on the next version, maybe I can be more of an advocate for QC, even though it’s technically not why I’m there. Silver linings and all that.

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Haaaaaappy Hump Day!

And I don’t know about you, but my workweek has been just as brutal as I predicted. But, a couple late nights early in the week look like they’re going to pay off and I shouldn’t have to work until midnight tomorrow night. Gotta love that week leading up to any time off.

And, I’m realizing I need to forward my June/July PTO plans to She Who Assigns All The Bugs along with the caveat that this new project will also be digging into my time. If I have to do this extra stuff, other things MUST come off my plate. (Did have my first success – the meetings with people from everywhere have been scheduled! And no one is bitching yet! And I remembered to schedule it in Teams instead of Zoom!)

In other surprising work news – they announced yesterday that we will have the Friday before Juneteenth off. While they are a reasonably decent company, “woke” is not a word that has ever come to mind. They do try, but sometimes they’re a wee bit tone deaf. And honestly, they should have *definitely* done this last year, but better late than never I suppose. (Whether or not this is permanent remains to be seen, but it should be.)

And in “things that haven’t really mattered *that* much cause, pandemic” – I gotta wash my hair today, CAUSE CUT AND COLOR ON FRIDAY!!!!!! It’s not that I *haven’t* been washing my hair, but when you’re not going anywhere or seeing anyone (all our work meetings are audio only) – well, that “wash hair every other day” schedule kinda gets…relaxed a bit, LOL. But, the lack of styling and product and overwashing over the last 14 months, well, my hair is really healthy!

The salon emailed and they’re keeping up their safety protocols – which makes sense, cause even though it’s not a crowded shop, folks are standing right next to each other for an extended period of time. Temp check and hand sanitizing on arrival, masks required, and gloves available if you want them. And you can bring a drink as long as it’s in a covered container, so I can bring my Starbucks. (Not sure who was bringing in an open coffee mug in the before times.)

Have a great day and hey, we’re on the downhill side of the week!

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Ohhhh, gonna be *that* kinda week

Where everything is due And most of it are things I couldn’t even start last week, because we were waiting on developers, code branching, etc, etc. So, it’s gonna be brutal getting everything done before the holiday weekend, and I’m not super excited to be looking at 3 1/2 days off that are basically just recovering from the previous 4 1/2 days. Happens every damn time there is a long weekend.

On that damn project, I’ve finally figured out what it is I’ll be doing. Herding Cats. Seriously. The first task is getting together 11 people for a meeting, half of whom are on the other side of the planet. YAY!

But – my day did start with what I consider a good omen. Got my Starbucks and when I was getting out of the car, I dropped it. It tumbled impressively to the ground. THE LID DID NOT COME OFF. THE CUP DID NOT CRACK. I STILL HAVE A FULL VERY LARGE COLD BREW.

On that optimistic note for the day, time to go start early, finish late, herd cats, and test the shit out of some software.

Please, go stick it to the man for me this week.

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My brother is a *terrible* influence

Parked myself on the porch last night with a book (I AM READING AGAIN, YAY!) and a beer and all was JUST FINE until he showed up and then suddenly, it was a party, LOL.

While I am not in terrible shape this morning, I could also easily sleep another 10 hours. Not helping is that it is a grey, rainy morning and that lovely rain noise will also put anyone to sleep in a blink of an eye.

And as I said, I’ve finally gotten my brain to settle down enough to read. I started and finished Zero Fail – The Rise & Fall of the Secret Service in less than a week. Granted, it’s long form doom scrolling, but it’s a good read. And now I’m back to Black Tudors: The Untold Story and so far it’s great, and debunking the idea that Tudor England was lily white.

Time to go grind the gears for capitalism, and very possibly take a nap at lunch.

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Oh, apparently *not* dead

Went out to the carport to work on Lily’s tunnel platform and as I got ready to sweep away the supposedly dead cicadas, I realized they were actually still among the living.

Seems they were very new and hadn’t figured out how to cicada just yet.

Still gently swept them into the garden as there is nothing for them to eat in the carport, and I’d prefer to not step on them by accident.

My brother pointed out that if I was distressed by dead cicadas already, I would be in for a very rough summer.

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The Angels Were Right

When God made humans and they said, “You took a perfectly good monkey and gave it anxiety.”

I don’t remember any of the dreams I had this morning, but they were all anxiety laden. It would seem that the closer we get to the magic two-weeks-post-vaccination day, the less ready I am for it. The fact that it will coincide with dropping all capacity limits is probably not helping. I wasn’t a huge fan of crowds to begin with, and we’re gonna have a rush of folks deciding to go Do Things all at once.

I’ve kinda sorta made peace with the absolutely dumbass decision by the Governor, and going out and about is now an exercise in people watching. We’re now over 47% vaccinated in the county, but I’m only seeing maybe 5-10% of people chucking their masks. At the market this morning, a guy was checking out – no mask – and excitedly sharing that he got the J&J shot and his wife got the Pfizer one. So it seems some folks are a bit self-conscious about it all. Of course, he also had an unmasked kid with him, who didn’t look over 12. *sigh* So close, my dude, so close.

And while I tell everyone else to be kind to themselves cause this is all going to take some time to get used to – I’m also mad at myself that I’m going to get my hair done this Friday and then probably not leave the house again for three months, LOL. There are many things I’d like to do, but I also don’t want to have a fucking panic attack in the attempt, and the fact that I have to factor that into my decision making, well… brains are really fucking stupid.

Throw in the work nonsense and I could really use one more day of the weekend to just be allowed to quietly exist. My god, retirement can’t come soon enough. Yo, managers – that thing you think is a “great opportunity” may be something your employee has zero interest in, and all you’re doing is stressing them out.

And then last night, I had to get something out of the carport and turned on the light and forgot to turn it off, and this morning it was filled with cicadas, most of them deceased. :( I get that they were attracted by the light, but I’m not sure there should have been so many dead ones. While it’s no big deal to just sweep them into the side garden so I can get the work done I have planned today, it’s still a little sad.

But, on the flip side, in the past couple days, we’ve really been able to hear them in the trees, so there are plenty of them still out there having their happy bug rave and getting the next generation going. I’m not sure when I went from “these things are fucking terrifying” to “these things are so freakin’ cool and I love them and OH NO WHY ARE SO MANY OF THEM DEAD ALREADY?!” but here we are.

Now it’s time to go work on stabilizing Lily’s tunnel platform – it developed a bit of the leans over the course of the winter. Thinking that tightening up the screws on the brackets and adding some additional support with 2×1 garden stakes on the interior corners should do the trick. And hopefully some time banging nails in the sun will help me get out of my own head today.

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