April 28th, 2007

running, bomb tech

Highlights of the Day:

Took my trainee through a fairly typical session of me bitching out the database, complete with foul language and smacking. Also, testing. I'm glad I tested the data that was coming out, because I was able to illustrate exactly why testing is necessary. Also, stuff and things.

After getting the data where it needed to be, I tackled stuff that needed doing. Monday, I get to start designing what I devoutly hope to be the last big change to the database, and praying that I can automate the one thing.

Speaking of data where it needed to be: on Friday, certain of my co-workers who worked on $ISSUE_SIDE_JOB in the first three months of the year, are still employed by the company as of today, and performed to certain standards involving being above average in monitor reports, above expected in completed surveys per hour, and avoiding having attendance problems will learn that the company does care enough to put some money where its mouth is. Bonus time for good performers, weighted across all areas! Monitoring is 40%, production is 40%, and attendance is 20%. Glee! It's being piloted on the one job, and will be expanded to all jobs come next quarter.

I keep getting asked when my last day is. Hmm, maybe sometime after I get another position and give notice? Preparing for a smooth departure happens well before I leave, if I'm leaving properly.

Boffing group was excellent tonight. I am evidently one hot fighter in one-on-one, and am starting to hold my own more often in multi-fighter contexts. I paired up one-on-one with a guy who's been out for a while, and he wound up really firming up his defenses. At the beginning, I was whacking him all over; by the end, he was blocking many of my attacks and getting through to me from time to time. I pointed out that one of the secrets is to keep the center of your blade between yourself and the other person's blade; this puts you in a good position to block attacks. We practiced. A lot.

My center of gravity has shifted from when I was learning fencing. The improper and awkward stance I use now actually respects my new center of gravity. Foil fencing also does not adequately guard the extremities.

I was fearing shield-wielding people rather a lot, but I've finally started to be able to get around some of them. When DJ was using that little shield, I got my blade around it like it wasn't even there. I guess I was looking for openings rather than trying to bash through it. Same with the short spacy painter fellow carrying the big shield; I had a little trouble with it but I could still find weaknesses.

When I started to wear out, I opted to call Darkside to chat a bit and to confirm that Saturday would be a good day to descend upon him, and figure out what he needed in the way of swordage. He was uncertain and self-deprecating. I probed out that he wants a hand-and-a-half sword, same thickness pipe as mine, with a cross-bar guard for the hand, shorter than my main weapon. So, that he shall have. I was going to ask him when the last time his other friends descended upon him and made him go have fun was, but other things got in the way and it never did come back up. No matter how much I'd like him to take advantage of me, I don't want to take unfair advantage of the situation. It seems fairly apparent to me that this latest batch of friends of his from work or whatever have pulled the same number the bulk of his friends will do -- once it becomes inconvenient to hang out with him, they don't go out of their way to make sure he's OK. (And it happens with everybody, everywhere. I have friends I haven't hung out with, even local friends. I just swore to myself that I'd never do that to Darkside, not ever, and the only way to make it come true was to just keep at it.)

DJ wandered up and wanted some one-on-one the way Kevin had gotten. But his hand was all sore, and he really couldn't use it. (He's really going to have to start watching it, or he'll be fuxx0red -- he's geek and UPS and ow.) I was still on the phone with Darkside, and I really didn't want to let go.

Inevitably, this led to me exchanging blows with DJ, his left hand tucked behind his back for protection, and my left hand clasping the cellphone to my ear. Darkside made sarcastic and witty commentary as I parried and whacked and died a whole lot. This is the sort of crazy shit the group gets up to. I think I'm well-served by having the writers group and the boffing group to gather around with and have creative fun. Writing is exercise for my mind, and boffing is exercise for my body.

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At any rate, I had fun being on the phone with Darkside while fighting with DJ. I don't think I'd want to do that on a regular basis, but it was fun.

Then someone in a uniform with a radio showed up, asking wtf. I was on the phone still, so didn't catch most of it, but Vincent explained it all, and the guy confirmed that we were not actually being disruptive, we had plans to pick up our belongings, we were playing safely, and they weren't real swords. And all was good. I'm glad I didn't have to field that one.

Shopping for materials happened. I shall descend upon Darkside tomorrow afternoon. Yay! I'd forgotten that hcolleen didn't have to work today, so anime in the morning will work out excellently. Anime first, then bleeding, then crazy happy scary fun with hacksaws.

Oh, and guess what week it is? No wonder I felt like such trampled crap on Thursday.