Red Echo

November 30, 2007

It is cold out and I suddenly want to sew lots of coats.

November 29, 2007

At a bar on 15th writing code. Beer, laptop, headphones, brain full of pointers. The feature I am implementing happens to be the most-requested item in our database. I’m sure it will make a number of people very happy. I’m also sure that a wave of disappointment and recrimination will follow hard on the heels of the initial surge of excitement, but that’s life in software for you.

November 27, 2007

me & miss black, ready for a night out

November 26, 2007

I hear the words “life is good” coming out of my mouth so often these days that I worry they will become meaningless. Live your life. Seek joy. Don’t take this for granted.

November 23, 2007

My dad and my sister Julia drove up from California for Thanksgiving. They set about doing most of the work to prepare dinner while I chilled out and played host and tried to catch up on rest. Michael and his girlfriend drove up from Tacoma to join us for the evening. I had planned to drop by ATC for dessert but was far too tired and just went to bed early.

Adam rang up this morning to tell me that he’s made a deal with the factory in China, which will now get going on the first production run of Martianwear light-up furry dancing leggings. Yay!

After spending most of this week doing a terrible job getting enough rest, I finally feel like I’m recovered from last week’s party – just in time for tonight’s Heden mixer. Hmmm. Sometime this afternoon I had better make room for a nap.

I can’t seem to get enough time free in my work day to actually write code. My entire development schedule for the next eight months is increasingly hung up on a piece of new compiler functionality that nobody else on my team has the background to implement. There is something wrong with this picture. Maybe I should start turning my phone off for one afternoon a week.

It doesn’t really help that I’ve been distracted most thoroughly by a certain young woman who will be returning to the Southern Hemisphere in a week…

November 17, 2007


back home. everything went together. nothing went wrong in any significant way. party was more than I hoped. 350 people? all of whom seemed to be loving it. wow.

26 nearly continuous hours of work. time to sleep.

November 16, 2007

me and my sister MJ

More photos on flickr

Here we go

Groove Drive, tonight, 5790 Airport Way S. More information at Buddhaful. This is it – I’m excited, and nervous.

November 15, 2007

I’m drinking tea, eating tim tams, and sewing a pair of pants. I have just discovered that a pattern which works for thin, stretchy knits may not be quite so comfortable when rendered in a heavier fabric. The next pair I make will be cut a little more generously. I’m also going to change the waistband design, which is one of the only pieces still unchanged from the Burda pattern I started with. I have yet to figure out what the original designer had in mind, and my version has come out wrong every time I’ve tried to execute it.

My sister MJ is flying in from New York tonight; she’ll be here for the weekend. Time to go pick her up from the airport.

November 14, 2007

Life is roaring along. We shipped REALbasic 2007 release 5 yesterday. I took over midway through the release 4 cycle, but r5 was my project from plan to completion. It feels anticlimactic, however, since we branched the source tree and started in on 2008r1 weeks ago – 2007r5 already feels, internally, like old news.

My free time is full of party planning. I am having trouble knowing how much to worry about things. We have made a few changes to the plan that should help mitigate risk: no liquor sales, for one. There are a lot of people involved in this project and getting all of the information to the right places so that effective decisions can occur is just hard. Conflict management is hard too – lots of diplomacy going on right now. It will all come together, I’m sure, but in the meantime I am spending a lot of time thinking the plan over, trying to coordinate all the pieces and people, and simultaneously trying to hang back and let people own the tasks they’ve taken on. This is just like work.

Speaking of work, again: the organization I’m trying to build is starting to come together. We have a plan, we have a team, the team is growing, the plans are moving, nothing ever works quite as smoothly as I hope it will but we keep making progress, so: onward.

I think last month’s introspective phase is pretty well over now, and I am back in outgoing mode. I learned some things.

November 11, 2007

Too tired to write reasonably, so here’s an outline: Flew home from Austin yesterday, after a late night out. Picked up the Mars Rover: no more disturbing noise in the front differential. Got home, huge power outage. Wow. So much for running laundry or cooking dinner. We lit lots of candles and ordered Indian delivery. Got dressed, went out: destination Seacompression! Best party in a long long time, better than last year’s Seacompression, thoroughly satisfying. Great outfits, well organized, good music, stimulating but not too overwhelming. Lots of dancing. Some flirting. Seacompression ends at two – a restriction of the venue – so we headed over to Magnetic, at the Pacific Science Center, and danced for another hour. Then back to Heden for the afterparty. Very little sleep. Now off to Georgetown for hardware acquisition and Groove Drive prep work.

November 9, 2007

Brief and informative tutorial about LLVM, a set of open-source compiler backend tools.

The gOS Dev Board is a $60 single-board x86 computer, including all the usual I/O ports and a 1.5 GHz Via processor. Just add RAM and power.

November 7, 2007

November 6, 2007

The Port-O-Rotary is a working rotary cellular phone, with actual ringing bells. Plug in a SIM card, pick it up, and go. This is 100% awesome.

November 5, 2007

I am at Real Software World Headquarters in Austin this week. I decided to shuffle things around a bit and set up a desk for myself, instead of camping out in the conference room like I’ve always done before. It’s a simple thing but there is something in the act of rearranging the furniture that carries a whiff of permanence.

Driving in Austin always startles me a bit for the first day or two; Texas is the only place I’ve ever known where ordinary citizens below retirement age drive Crown Victorias.

November 3, 2007

autumn on Capitol Hill

hiking through Cascade mixed forest

Dawn takes a panorama shot from Rattlesnake Ledge

November 2, 2007

Stuff that is currently going on in my life:
– We are at the very end of the REALbasic 2007r5 release process. The dev team is already hard at work on the next project (codename Hanna, which will probably be 2008r1) and I am scrambling to keep the schedule up-to-date.
– I am flying to Austin on Sunday. Meetings, plans, whiteboards, management strategy sessions, and sleep deprivation.
– Tomorrow, hiking in the Cascades. Not sure where yet. Suggestions?
– Lots of sewing. Last night I finished a prototype for the light-up leggings project, which we are going to send to a manufacturer in China for a quote. Today I’m working on a pair of pants – not clubwear this time, just interesting daywear.
– Planning a great big party: an old-school warehouse rave, even, with a great big sound system and half a dozen DJs to drive it. If you live in Seattle and like to dance, leave November 16th open.
– electronics: this is all basically on hold until we finish moving the Rocket Factory to its new Ballard home, but I have a next-generation LAVI circuit in mind which should simplify the project enough to make it buildable in 4-6 hours.
– music: 30-40 minutes of piano practice, every other day or so. Scales, arpeggios, exercises, and some short classical pieces. It’s nice to feel that basic keyboard technique coming back.
– random gardening around Heden, where “gardening” means either “cutting big branches off of trees” or “planting ferns”.