Summary: I did lots of work. The Internet went away and came back. There was a small amount of surreality. I did even more spod.

The boring details:
Tuesday 15th )Monday 14th )Sunday 13th )Saturday 12th: )Friday 11th: )Thursday 10th )Wednesday 9th )Tuesday 8th )Monday 7th )Sunday 6th )Saturday 5th )Friday 4th )Thursday 3rd )Wednesday 2nd )Tuesday 1st )
So, uhm, that's the month so far. Now my long-delayed period is due, so I should be Great Fun for the next few days...
chess: (Default)
( Feb. 3rd, 2005 05:00 pm)
Why I discovered today that I am a natural manager (of tech things, at least):

- I can easily model systems in my head. This is a bad description of my talent. It is the talent to be able to listen to people talking about a thing they are building and then be able to answer someone's questions on how the system works. It is the talent of being able to put together all of the small parts of a system and hav a good overview.

- I can answer questions fluently. I do not need to stop and think if I am even slightly prepared on a subject. This way I am always confident, and also generally correct. I also know when my knowledge of a subject stops and I should ask someone else to carry on, or give a reason for my team not having thoroughly investigated that subject yet.

- I can work out what people are competant at, even if they claim to be competant at something different. I know that the art of management is to let people manage themselves as far as possible but also to know how to step in when necessary and how to spot when productive dialog has ceased and a meeting is just thrashing, and how to get it back on topic.

- I understand delegation and division of labour. I can keep a good, useful overview in my head without having to know implementation details, and answer almost any question from the overview, and know who to defer to if the question is too deep into one part or other. I can use other people to do research and to implement things and do not need to know every detail of what they are doing to be sure it continues to fit in.

These are the things I am good at. I am passable at a wide range of other things, but these are the things which I am *better than other people* at.
Today I walked to lectures through a blizzard. It was, however, a very short-lived blizzard; just enough to damp-ify my new fluffy hat. The hat seems to have survived quite well, though. Insert rant here about how many hats I lose and how they're quite expensive.

I also managed to drag myself into town in the slightly warmer part of the day just after lunch, and bought myself nice pate and nice bread and nice fruit (cherries and 'tropical fruit' and figs; the tropical fruit was very nice and I wish I'd paid more attention to what it actually *was*). I like food, which is something of a shame because I am still rather oversized for a Chessypig. I think I might invest in some new size 14 jeans and admit I'm just going to be roundy again. The fat might insulate me against the cold, after all, because it is Very Freezing.

Currently I'm still kind of suffering from depression; I meant to do stuff this afternoon and spodded and ate fruit instead. At least I am now snacking on fruit rather than chocolate, which seems like an improvement. Church last night mostly made me cry because I was in a 'woe, I shall never be happy again and there are lots of happy people here' kind of mood, but eventually I calmed down. Now I'm reasonably content, just prone to hermitting, which is why I'm here writing long LJ posts rather than out at Ark. (Well, that and the freezing cold, which meant that it was easier to run to Hall than to walk.)

I started working on an Ars Magica character generator, but got snarled up in the vast quantity of data entry required. Also, I swear this chair is going to kill me if I sit in my room and code too much.

The dreaded Group Project has begun; so far we have a Real Manager (Part II General, did some management courses, doesn't know the difference between Java and Javascript or that someone has to install and maintain things which are on the web instead of them magically appearing), two mathmos, two coders and a web monkey, oh and me, who has managed to get herself volunteered for 'Documenter' and 'Programming Manager', which apparently means I get to maintain the Vast UML Diagram of Doom and try and munge together the code that the others write. Why is it that I can never just let people be incompetent? In case you're interested, we're doing the Lottery Server project, which is actually a web interface for university societies to run raffles.
TT on Saturday. It good. )
Now, if only I could actually be as interested in my Ars Magica characters...
Today's productivity was cancelled on account of finding Greg Egan's homepage (Googlable, if you insist on destroying your own productivity), which included several short stories I had not yet read. I did manage to drag myself into town and fill out forms at the dentist, though, and buy more nice bread which I don't really need but I wanted. Oh, and a hat. In a slight departure from 'black and fluffy', this one is 'dyed randomly in black, brown and white, and even fluffier'. I have no idea how it will hold up to rain and snow, but it was fuzzy and I wanted it. (And figs. I have figs.)

Unfortunately I was ambushed in Hall by some very nice chocolate pudding (I refuse to call it 'mousse' because that would imply that some air had polluted its stygian depths), which probably means I shall continue not to fit my jeans for quite a while yet. Especially as I can't think of an excuse to go walking somewhere tomorrow, although I am considering just wandering off somewhere for an hour or so after I wake up because otherwise I shall just sit and spod for the time involved.

I have completed two cv/cover letter pairs, although not sent them off yet; MentorNet is finally proving vaguely useful in getting them polished up. Unfortunately I don't seem to be able to start on any more, mostly because ARM's multidunious job offers written by different people in different confusing styles have been rather offputting. Data Connection and Softwire have fairly straightforward application forms instead of expecting me to come up with stuff, though, so I'll probably see about them tomorrow (which is actually to schedule, although I was meant to have all the CV ones done by now).

Life keeps conspiring to make me want to write, and/or run role-playing games. Please dissuade me from the latter; not only do I not have any time, I don't have enough stress tokens. I intend to do the former during lunch breaks after lectures at the lab, during term, as I seem to be much better at writing stuff on my Psion than on a real computer.

Ack. Term starts again soon. Occasionally I feel that I ought to, you know, look at this textbook I planned to study over Christmas, but it's all a bit daunting and late now...

(In case you couldn't tell, I am actually quite happy at the moment, due to sunsets and trees.)
chess: (Default)
( Jan. 12th, 2005 09:17 pm)
I like conferences. They mean I get interesting things like 'guinea-fowl in red wine sauce' to eat in Hall. Even if 'guinea-fowl' is just like slightly rubbish chicken.

Took my poor car to the garage today, had some mechanics do £52 of incomprehensible things to it, which apparently have fixed the boot door and the gear linkage problem that was making it slip out of first gear, but not the squeak because it was doing the whole 'act nice for the mechanics' thing, or the passenger door because that required a part replacing which cost over £50 on its own.

Went to the doctor's on Monday; they recommended that I switch contraceptive pills and told me that the new ones were safe to take for two months in a row. So that was some useful information. Shame I got the appointment time wrong due to having temporarily misplaced my Psion, and hence ended up sitting in the waiting room for an hour listening to old ladies talk about a new housing development and reading back issues of 'Woman' and a National Geographic from 1994. Managed to actually get my prescription on the way to pick up the car, although still forgot to go to the dentist's and work out what Paperwork of Doom I require to get registered with them.

So I did most of the things I had planned for today, although I really need to stop procrastinating on writing CVs. The problem is, I have now written them for the two companies I actually want to work for, so I'm less enthusiastic about doing so for the four or so others which I feel I ought to apply to. The dreaded meh appears to have worn off, though, which is good.
chess: (Default)
( Jan. 7th, 2005 05:07 pm)
...and I don't even have my period to blame at the moment.

Whilst looking through the vacation work files, I found an advert for a job that I would actually like to do. This has not helped, because it means I get to be disappointed when I don't get it. I won't get it, because although I am pretty much perfect for it I don't have much on paper to prove this, and they have probably found someone already who appears to have more domain knowledge from their listable experience.

I ate breakfast about an hour ago and am wondering whether to bother with lunch, as there's no nice cheese left anyway. Maybe I should just drink some nice fruit juice. All of these things would require me to move, though, and my tuits all went missing again.

Did I mention how much I loathe the holidays? I still have two spare weeks in Easter, in which I shall go insane. Next week, thankfully, I have lots of panicking about summer job applications and walking across town in the dark and attempting to buy new trousers because all of my trousers have either developed holes in the rear or are too small to be worn by the New, Fat Chessypig. (I just wish my face didn't get fat, because otherwise I would just laugh maniacally at anyone who dared call me fat for not fitting into some size 12 things.) I am also quite terrified by the size of my thighs, which are now about three hand-spans around and mean I don't even quite fit into the old
pair of leggings I dragged out of retirement because of my lack of trousers.
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Michelle Taylor

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