Friday, February 25, 2005

5 months...almost half a year....yikes

Well, see how devoted I am to the whole blog thing? It's been 5 months since my last entry (which was only my second entry).

To an extent I can say "not a lot has happened" and that would be partially true. Looking back over the last 5 months, I've been busy...but as far as landmark events, I'm hard pressed to find anything terribly noteworthy.

*pausing to think*, since last September, I guess a few fun things have happened.

At the end of September, Andrew turned 3. No big change there, except for the week or two afterwards when we would tell him he was three and he adamantly argued that he was TWO!!!!

In October, I celebrated my 8 year doesn't seem like that long. Thinking about it, 8 years is a long time....that's longer than I've done most other things in my life (longer than I've ever been at any one school, one job, etc.). And I must say, I'm very happy about it.

For Halloween, we had two for the kids which was a ton of fun. My oldest two are 5 and 3, so they had their friends over for a costume party complete with "pin the nose on the witch" and a big spider pinata. It was pretty fun.

The second party was at a friend's house out in West Valley somewhere. They literally redid their house for it. They put up new sheetrock over the walls in their living room and painted it a deep red & black. They added a false fireplace & mantle, brought in new furniture and furnishings (D.I. specials). Everybody dressed up. Most were in dress based loosely on renaissance ladies and gentlemen. We also had a couple of pirates, a big headed shark, and a few members of clergy. After a very nice floofy meal, we cut out to the backyard to tour the cemetary, rose garden and outdoor ballroom. With barely half a dance in, Lynette and I headed home 'cause little Julia (who turns one next month) was acting up. All in all it was a pretty fun evening.

Thanksgiving was fairly uneventful...dinner with family. Nothing really to report there.

...other than the fact that starting a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and going right up until a day or two before Christmas, things got stupid busy around the office. :( Working 10 to 12 to 14 hour days in November and December is a huge difference from past years where I usually take almost the entire month of December off. Anyway, we pushed and pushed towards a huge deadline that was going to be our sort of "line in the sand" (since then it's felt more like a "line in the water" but that's just the cynacism talking).

Christmas was nice...relaxing (especially after a month of crunching). We got a bunch of new board games and spent many a day playing new games with all sorts of people. Favorite games from last season - Pirates Cove, Betrayal at the House on the Hill. We also have our perrenial favorites - Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico. Those were the main 4 we played over the holiday break.

After an uneventful New Year's Eve (Lynette went to bed early, and I stayed up for the sake of staying up), it was back to the grind.

Starting in January, I hired a couple of new testers to work on my team with me. This was very nice as it helped lighten the load that was growing around my neck. Mainly we debated design issues and started work on test cases (both written and automated).

In mid-January, Lynette threw a big birthday party for my 30th birthday. She gave it a sort of Indiana Jones, treasure hunter theme complete with complex coded clues/riddles and a homemade cave infested with snakes, cobwebs, spiders and bugs. The evening ended with us finding a hidden treasure of hundreds and hundreds of gold coins (chocolate of course) guarded by a giant rat. Then we had a nice chinese wrap meal and relaxed. It was a lot of fun.

February came, and my new testers got involved in a contest to try and get a position on the design team here. One of them got the position, cutting my test team in half. While I was excited for him, I was kind of bummed for my own loss. In any case, I just brought on a new tester to replace him so things are going well. We're actually getting fairly detailed design docs including UI flow, challenge and gameplay outlines, and other new docs. So, even though I'm nervous about the state of things (it's my job to be nervous, right?), things are looking up.

Another bummer about the past couple of weeks was a coworker being "let go" (what a lame euphamism). Crashtext has become the most recent victim of corporate BS. I wasn't uber close friends with him or anything, but I liked the guy and had fun talking with him and doing things with him. I enjoyed working with him and looked forward to working more closely with him over the next few months since our projects were on basically the same schedule so we'd be sharing a lot of resources and insights. I really need to get on the ball and shoot him an email or something....I just found his blog today, but haven't really communicated with him or anything.

Anyway, that's about the extent of the past 5 months. Oh, yeah, Valentine's Day happened a week or more ago...nothing terribly exciting...took wifey out for Thai food and a movie (Finding Neverland...was a pretty good flick IMO).

Now that I've caught up on the "journal" aspect of the blog, I hope to add more interesting entries on a more regular basis.

For now,


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