Archive for November, 2007

Thanksgiving came and went

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

And yet again I’ve managed not to write anything for more than a week. It’s not for lack of time – I ended up with four and a half days off over Thanksgiving, I just didn’t seem to have the passion to write. That being said it was a great holiday and it really helped my mental health to spend a few days vegetating on the couch with Skype.

To keep me company on the couch I had a few new video games. Mass Effect, Assassins Creed, and Super Mario Galaxy have all come out in the last couple of weeks and are quite excellent games. It’s nice to see that video games are really coming into their own and becoming a viable mainstream form of alternative entertainment to plain old television.

Of those three games Mass Effect is by far my favorite so far. It’s Biowares latest saga and feels very much like KOTOR – one of my all time favorite games. It’s highly immersing and addictive and far too easy to spend 4 straight days playing. I’ve written up a proper review of the game which should post to Gear Live shortly.

Time to get back to the salt mines. Take care o’ readers of mine.

Update: The Mass Effect review on Gear Live just posted – check it out!

What a week

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

POTD 02/9/07 - The horror

Things have been pretty crazy of late and I’m stressed out as a result. Work has been and explosion of activity and my personal life has been busier than I would like. It’s all added up to me being stressed out. After last week I decided I needed a plan to get things back under control at work, as well as a plan for getting better control of my other commitments.

My boss has been somewhat unhappy with the performance of the team. I’ve decided the only way to make things better is to reapply myself to my job and focus on keeping my eye not only on the project’s current status, but also looking ahead a release or two making sure we don’t paint ourselves into a corner or repeat old mistakes.

I’m making a few modifications to my typical productivity style and adopting some of the more extreme GTD behaviors to try and better segment my time and plan better. I’m also going to get more into my backpack for tracking little tasks.

Luckily I have a few things to keep me distracted. Earlier in the week I purchased all 5 seasons of Mythbusters on iTunes and am slowly perusing it on my AppleTV. It’s funny that these days a single click can cost $100 and take 2 days of bandwidth on my fast connection to deliver 58Gb of content. 48 hours might seem like an excessive download time, but for perspective bear in mind that my Mythbusters collection spans over 80 hours of content so leveled out to be nearly a twice-realtime media acquisition.

Super Mario Galaxies came out this week for the Wii. It’s a load of brainless fun and in typical Nintendo fashion it’s quite rewarding for the player. The spherical level concept is fresh and new – a blast to run around the puzzling little worlds finding the start that rockets you to the next one.

Caught back up

Monday, November 12th, 2007

After a busy week last week I feel much better and more caught up with my life after the weekend. I managed to cross of a bunch (15) of personal action items over the weekend and still spend some time relaxing. I actually found the time to watch a few movies on Sunday and hang out with some friends. Now to tackle my week and try to keep up – if I can keep my backpack of action items lower than 25 items I’ll feel I’ve done a good job.

Congrats Scott!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

My friend Scott just welcomed his son into the world. The little tyke is 5lbs 3oz, and perfectly healthy. More info to come.

The end of a long day

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Today was one of those days – the ones that never seem to end. From the moment I got to work until the moment I fled I was constantly juggling phone calls, action items, and requirements competing for a busy development teams time. Big stress means big pay, but sometimes it all just seems a little much. Oh well, 3 more days and the weekend relaxation begins anew.

Falling back into the sun

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Today is a great day – thanks to daylight savings time I woke up to sunshine for the first time in a month and I feel great for it. I really think I do get SAD like my father and having sunlight streaming in my bedroom window when I first wake up makes all the difference in my day. I really should look at getting one of those full spectrum lights to put in my shower or something to kick start these cold dark winter mornings.

I’m willing to bet another factor in my bright-eyed outlook on the day comes from a relaxing (and productive) weekend. My dad passed through town and I got to hang out with a few friends I haven’t seen in a while. This combined with a good deal of time spent on my couch with Puzzlequest and iTunes content left me feeling relaxed, energized, and ready to tackle my week at work.

A dark awakening

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

It’s happened, that time of the year has arrived: I wake up and drive to work in the dark. The last couple of days I’d been in early and driven in the dark, but today for the first time of the year I work up at a normal time to a darkened window, and drove to work during the beginnings of a foggy sunrise.

There is something depressing about not seeing the sun.

Launching

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Yesterday brought 12 hours of production issues, troubleshooting, and delayed launches. I hate days like that and really can’t wait for the weekend now (2 days left). We have another busy day of launch activity ahead of us today, but hopefully we will complete everything and be ready for a nice relaxing Friday.

On the plus side I picked up an Airport Extreme to replace my slowly dying Linksys Gigabit-N router. The Airport Extreme has blown my socks off – not only is it drop dead simple to configure, but my Macbook Pro Lanshark connects at 300Mbps and gets 21MB/sec actual throughput at 1.4ms latency. Impressive!