Bionic Office

As cube farms go, my day job is in a very nice cube farm (and I have a big cube), but my desk at home is in the corner of the living room that looks right out the front window, so work would have to stretch quite a bit yet to get me a cube as nice as my house.

I don’t know that I necessarily need to work here, but I do know that some day I’d like to work somewhere as nice.

a quick observation on how the iPhone has changed my info-seeking habits

I’ve moved to a new department at work and shifted my role from that of a tech support guru to a fledgling information architect. Since I’m new, I’m trying to assimilate new information on my role in the website building process at a much higher rate than I’ve had to learn anything since my master’s. It feels good.

At the same time, I’m finding that the information gathering is also much easier than studying 5 years ago, because of my iPhone. I’m currently reading a great book on information architecture which constantly constantly constantly references other works. In the past i’d’ve jotted them all down and then promptly lost the list. Or i’d’ve read in front of the computer, a difficult task on nights like tonight when my head is throbbing.

Tonight, though, when I trip over one of these gems, I’m grabbing my phone and hitting Safari. The websites are going right into my “investigate these” bookmark collection and the book titles are getting thrown into Amazon via their iPhone beta site where I can dump them right into my info architecture wish list for later buying. Best yet, I can easily access either list from my work computer (once I sync the phone tonight at home) and get recommendations for a reading priority from the more tenured IAs at work.
I can even blog about it while finishing chapter three.

I like this. It’s like having an external hard drive for my brain.

Thank goodness for a long weekend.

Work was, well, long. Very very long. But I managed to get a few last-minute items handled before coming home.

I came home to a sick husband, who’s caught some kind of cold/respiratory thing. Exhausted and achy myself I’m not sure I really did a very good job of taking care of him today. For that matter, I didn’t do much for myself, either.

The forum upgrade’s required a few small tweaks, plus WordPress came out with a security update that I needed to install, but everything’s been successful so far. A few quick notes I forgot to mention before:

  • When you register and post a comment, it sits in the moderation queue until I approve it. After that, so long as you don’t do anything to piss off the spam filter, your comments display immediately.
  • I’ll probably eventually (maybe even shortly) start putting a “babble” thread up every day or two so folks can babble to each other even if I’m not actively posting.
  • See the RSS and Comments RSS links in the left nav bar? If you want to keep up with the comments, those will give you overall views of what’s going on here, and each thread has its own specific comments RSS feed as well that you can check.

Anyway, I’m off until Tuesday so I’m hoping to relax, draw some comics, and gut a closet. And yell at the snow. And the Phillies. And maybe sleep now. Goodnight!

Tax season is over!


Now that tax season is done (for everyone except six lunatic states that are ending it today), there’s the gradual slowdown at work, and a chance to breathe. Less overtime means more comic. Got one up on time today – and a fairly lame-duck one up for Saturday. (You’ll either love it or hate it. Probably hate it. I think it’s hilarious.) Scripts are starting to flow inside my pathetic brain as well. It’d be nice to build a buffer again.

Still have some knitting to finish — and fast — but I’m trying to limit my knitting to during the Phillies games, since I won’t be drawing comics during that timeframe anyway.

Of course, catching up on my sleep and eating healthy and all that play a role in the grand scheme of things too, so I’m starting to do all that again.

News: all JessieDog’s blood work came out normal, so for now we’re going with a diagnosis of “old dog”. I can live with that. Little runt better not wake me at 7 am tomorrow because she’s thirsty and can’t open the bedroom door though.

Speaking of sleep, I’m off to do just that.

Every day is a new adventure.

We’re lacking comics, sorely.

Fortunately, there are so few people reading this thing anyway, that I haven’t heard any complaints. You’re welcome to complain if you’d like. It won’t get you far, but it’s nice to hear another voice in the wilderness.

Nighthawk’s been diagnosed with diabetes, which was a bit more than either of us were ready to handle. It’s led to a bit more silence on the ‘net than I usually exercise. Some days a person just doesn’t feel like reading half the internet and commenting on it. I prefer to do my worrying in private and wait until I have something concrete to report before worrying everyone else.

It’s also led to doctor’s appointments, researching, asking around, gathering information, and most of all being there for each other — all of which takes precious time.

In addition, it’s tax season, which means almost nothing to you if you don’t work in the financial industry. But where I work, tax season is the functional equivalent of the Christmas shopping season for retail, with tax weekend playing the role of Black Friday. The metaphor is especially fitting this year because Easter and Passover are layered on top of April 15th (17th this year) and that means work, work, and more work. So interspersed among the medical appointments and research and general freakiness have been tickets and calls and overtime, and more overtime, and oh, some overtime.

Case in point: our department was open today, from 8 to 7, despite the fact that it’s a company holiday. I’ll be a member of the skeleton staff working tomorrow as well. (Had I known about the health circus, I wouldn’t have volunteered months ago, but alas, my crystal ball is still waiting to be RMA‘d back to the manufacturer.)

Speaking of hardware returns, did I mention that the file server has been nothing but one big technical glitch for close to a month? Fortunately, I don’t use it to produce the comic or the blog. Unfortunately, it is where I run all my backups, and where I pay all the bills, so life is interesting, as usual.

But at least the dog’s healthy, right? Well, no. She was shipped to the vet for day camp today while I worked because she’s sleeping a lot. A whole lot. Like when we came home on Wednesday at noon she didn’t bother coming downstairs to greet us until 7 pm. And any time I have to ask my husband to go find out if the dog has died twice in one day, it’s time to worry. The x-rays of her lungs and heart came back clean so now we’re waiting on the blood test results to determine if she’s sick or just really old and really lazy.

Oh, and I still have that knitting project to finish.

There are rays of sunshine throughout all of this, mind. The hardware repairs have prompted some upgrades. The diabetes explains a lot, and means Nighthawk will feel better than ever once it’s treated. Seven hours of overtime tomorrow mean I get to work in relative peace and quiet. Tax season is almost over. I get to dye eggs tomorrow. The Phillies look like they’re going to win 3 in a row after sucking like a giant Electrolux when the season began. And when it’s all said and done, I should have a chance to just sit back and relax.


  • Work is Under Construction, and has been Loud. Life from 5pm on is a headache in progress.
  • The server upgrade to allow the play of Oblivion went badly. Graphics cards are being RMA’d, fingers are being crossed, RAM chips are being priced.
  • The “service engine soon” light came on in Fluffy this evening, so we dropped her off at the local garage to find out what’s what. That means that instead of working 10:30am to 7pm, it looks like I’m carpooling in with the husband in the morning and working 7am to 7pm until I at least know what’s wrong.
  • The Internet’s been up and down like a jackrabbit on a pogo stick. I think it’s actually our router acting up and could be related to the problems with the server but no guarantees. I wanted to do some scouting for some reference pics for Tuesday’s comic but alas, no freakin’ internet.
  • More of the same tomorrow; do not be shocked by continuing radio silence.

Things I learned today.

Today I learned:

  • When you describe your symptoms to your OB-GYN’s office and they say, “Oh, we want to see you right away!” they really mean, “Unless you changed insurance recently and we don’t take your new stuff. Then you can kiss off. Or pay out-of-pocket. Your choice.”
  • Cheddar cheese ramen is very hot and very filling, but won’t be enough food to get you from 12:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Two cans of coca cola and a reece’s fast break are also required.
  • HP computers boot too damn fast for you to spot the “press this for boot list” key if you don’t know where to look on the screen.
    • It’s worse if your co-worker is yelling to press “delete” because that’s what his computer at home uses but the ones at work use f-9.
    • PC users are used to this kind of bios crap. Mac users hold down the C key when they want to boot from CD. We’re spoiled.
  • Even though the PS2 port for keyboard and mouse are the same shape, PCs get really pissy when you get the two plugs confused.
  • Even I can install Windows XP.
  • When you call your boss at 9:30 at night, he doesn’t expect you to tell him that you’re just now leaving work, especially if your shift was supposed to end at 7.
  • The steak sandwich place closes at 10. Domino’s does not.
  • Sometimes Friday can feel like a week unto itself.
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