Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No picture today...

I don't have a picture (because I'm still waiting for my camera) however, maybe I can describe it for you...

Anyway, I have been waking up just before the sun rises to the point it would be visible if the clouds weren't hanging around.  In fact, the clouds are right on top of me most mornings, and even below me as I walk my lap around the river.  Along Riverside Drive, across the bridge at Wells, backtrack through Jones Park, and cross the river again at Bronson.  It's a short walk, maybe a quarter mile at best, but it is just enough to help wake me up and make sure Jaani can do his morning business.

I fill up Jaani's dish with food, and then I dump out, rinse, and refill his water dish with nice cool water from my filtered pitcher in the fridge.  This time of day, my phone keeps my rhythm for me... Cock-a-doodle-doo marks the time to wake up.  I need to get up for my morning eat and clean... Beep-beep, Beep-beep and it's time to take the dog for his walk.  Usually I get the early 1900's phone noise before making it back to the apartment, which means I need to check his food and water.  Honk honk means the bus is about 15 minutes out.  However, the bus alarm isn't just based on a specific time.  Sometimes it comes earlier than I expect... This alarm is from an App on my phone (other than the default clock app).  It updates the bus schedule in real time. I can pick up my phone and see how many minutes I have until the bus gets there.  It is handy.  (One Bus Away is the name of the app FYI.)

My phone is my master of scheduling.  Something that makes me very nervous to tinker with now that I use it for more than just fun and games.  A feeling that makes me a little nervous about the idea of getting the latest and greatest new gadget on release day; however, I suspect it still won't stop me.

So, this marks the time when I start heading toward the bus.  I need to allow about 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop in order to get there in time.  Sometimes I can wait a couple minutes because I time the lights just right, but usually the bus is pulling up just after I arrive at the terminal.  I usually manage to get a seat toward the back, but today I actually had to sit near the front (in the sideways seats that are reserved for elderly and handicap people (usually that just means I need to sit sideways and can't lean my head back.

Although I wouldn't lean back if I could.  I break out my tablet, plug in my headphones, and watch a video lecture.  I have about 30 minutes to watch lectures before I arrive at Overlake Transit Center.  I am excited about this bus ride in the summer.  The view of Mt Rainier from 520 East while leaving Bellevue is an excellent way to start your day off.  The fog is usually below the horizon.  The sun is behind the Cascade range to the East... Rainier to the South.  The left side of the mountain glows, the glacier on top can even blind you on a sunny morning when the sun hits it just right.  The right side of the mountain is dark and takes on a blue tint from the shade.  Sometimes the mountain wears a white fedora, almost as if it was lifting it's hat to say good morning.  For this, and only this, reason I almost always sit on the right side of the bus in the morning.

Once I arrive at Overlake, I am just across the street from the Studios West Campus. Well, across 520, which is a six lane road with two additional exit lanes on each side... So the bridge is like a small city block.  Then I cut between Studio A and the Commons... across to the far side of the campus, where I get to Studio C.  Once in the building, I take the stairs to the fourth floor and get my coffee before heading into the lab.

Things are a little different in the lab.  The teams have become adjusted to the new space.  Every part and tool has found it's home.  It's time for new developments; this is the story in the tech industry.  Stay competitive... be adaptable... do what the lab needs you to do.  This sometimes forces me to step slightly outside my Test Engineer role, but doubling as a part time Network Engineer... Software Architect... or miscellaneous grunt is something that just needs to be done from time to time.  You just read a few articles about what you are trying to get done... find someone who can give you practical advice... get-r-done!

I came back at a time where several teams need a little help.  All the new products that were put out this past year have created some interesting challenges, and new tests need to be run... test results from the summer need to be analyzed to make sure we learn from our failures and successes.  My boss likes it when I can point out things we could have done better, and how to ensure it really gets done better next time.  Even though that sometimes means making a plan for something we will never do again.  That's just the nature of being on the bleeding edge.  If one and three ideas pans out, we are making progress;  However, if one and six pan out... well, it's epic... whether win or fail.

By the end of the day I'm usually beat.  Half the time I can hardly make it through more than five or six minutes of lecture before I need to close my eyes and lean back.  I open my eyes to find I'm back at the Renton Transit Center... I walk home... get Jaani... walk him for a mile or two... then get dinner and relax for another couple hours.

I spend from 07:30 to 18:30 away from the house.  Which makes me feel really bad for Jaani.  All alone for 11 hours a day... although, I need to go to work.  Plus, I try to make it up to him on the weekends by not leaving him alone at all.

Anyway... That's the story with my work life right now.  It's not bad.  I get a sense of fulfillment form my work... a sense of greater being than just fending for myself in the wilderness... a sense of belonging somewhere that only comes from working with a great team of people.

So, that's all for now.  It's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Later,

     SteveO