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Archive: July 6, 2008

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workaholic in stealth mode

Sunday,  07/06/08  11:32 AM

Many of you know me outside of my blog, some of you for a very long time (!), and others of you know me pretty well from reading my blog these past 5+ years, so you know: I am a workaholic.  I basically work all the time, morning 'till evening, seven days a week, except when working is interrupted by something else like my family, cycling, sailing, etc.  Leisure time means I work on stuff I want to work on, rather than on stuff I have to work on.  (Blogging has alternated between one or the other category :)  If I take a vacation, it is either to go riding or sailing or (gasp!) hang out with my family, but it is also a chance for some concentrated time working on stuff I want to work on; yes, it is a bit sad, but it is what it is.  Shed no tears for me.

stealth mode tee-shirt: "If you can read this, I'm not in stealth mode"And all this has been public, I'm a workaholic, I'm not embarrassed or ashamed, and everyone can know.  I've even been a bit proud of it, I guess.  My colleagues expect to get immediate email responses any hour of the day or night, and I've been known to check in code deep after midnight, in the middle of the nightly build.  My friends and family expect me to be in my office on the computer 24x7.  In the end it is what you accomplish that matters, not how, but at least I've been trying.

Except that... lately, like in the past six months, and especially lately, like in the past couple of weeks, I've been feeling a bit different about all this; I am still a workaholic, but no longer want to appear to be one.  This has manifested itself in a weird way, I spend some amount of time working in stealth mode.  In this mode I read email but don't reply to it; or if I do, I cache the replies in my drafts folder, and release them the next morning.  I code in the middle of the night, but don't check it in until the next day.  I write long strategy missives and review other people's code, and conduct project reviews, but I do them while the sun is shining (or if the moon is out, I wait until the sun is shinning to share). 

As this is being typed it is mid-day Sunday, and I have just written two project reviews and replied to a bunch of email, and completed a coding project.  It is all sitting on my computer, cached, and will all be released tomorrow.  I honestly do feel a bit embarrassed and ashamed, I no longer want people to know I work on Sunday!  Weird, huh?  (I guess if I really didn't want people to know, I wouldn't blog about it, but I'm more interested in exploring how I feel than I am in going with the feeling...)

The introspection that comes with this is a bit fascinating.  Obviously being a workaholic is part of my self-image, so maybe this feeling is my inner self is judging my outer self?  Although my inner self knows the inner truth; it can see my drafts folder even if nobody else can.  Strange...  stay tuned for more.  Oh yeah, and I'm going sailing this afternoon with my kids, and planning a ride after that.  As far as you know :)



Sunday,  07/06/08  10:45 PM

Re-emerging from stealth mode :)  Good day spent watching the tour, sailing, and cycling, wrapped by eating Shirley's pizza.  Can't get much better than that!  Hope your weekend was as enjoyable...

Samizdata asks Latest attack on John McCain: The worst 'Economist' article of all time?  I share the concern; not this article in particular, but that the formerly rather objective Economist is drifting to the left, and drifting into partisanship.  Sad, really.  [ via Instapundit ]

Meanwhile McCain campaign calls Obama's words into question.  "Sen. John McCain's campaign said Sunday that Barack Obama's remarks on Iraq 'have left a significant question as to exactly what he intends.'"  Boy, no kidding.  It has to trouble Obama's many backers that he doesn't seem to take a firm position on anything...

Eric Raymond notes an inconvenient fact: "Comes word from Iraq that the Maliki government has just shipped to Canada 550 tons of yellowcake uranium that Saddam Hussein had stockpiled."  I continue to believe Hussein represented a huge threat to the U.S., and removing him forcibly from power has kept us safe.  You shouldn't compare what's happened in Iraq to the world as it was on 9/10/01, you should compare it to what might have happened instead.

Thor HushovdSo Thor Hushovd won stage 2 of Le Tour; a nice uphill sprint showcasing his power.  He was a favorite for the green jersey already and this was a nice start to his campaign.  Another sprint stage tomorrow.

Ottmar Liebert with some interesting ideas on Ideas (and Music).  The key problem is that information is fundamentally sharable.  Any attempts to limit this (via DRM) inevitably fail.  True, only a small percentage of users are "hackers", but a much larger percentage can use the fruits of that small percentage's labor.  The good news is that people will [apparently] pay for a good user experience.  Apple's iTunes Music Store has succeeded despite "free" competition.

floating balls at the BMW museumThis is pretty awesome - a floating ball display at the BMW museum.  Technology in service of art.

flying Moths...Sailing Anarchy links a rather awesome video of Moths training for the World's in Weymouth, England.  These little boats have hydrofoils on their centerboards and rudders, and spend most of their time above the water.  (The soundtrack is pretty cool, too.)  [ this is the first fruit of my full text feed labor - I'm lovin' it! ]




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