Well, here it is Thursday already and I'm just barely keeping my head above water. Aly and Darren are both on vacation and I'm the only one keeping the Web App support ship afloat. It's been an overwhelming week of project balancing and meetings.
(WARNING: Shameless 'please feel sorry for me' list of crap-to-do follows).
There are at least 15 fix / enhancement / transition / design / support projects on the go right now that I'm trying to mitigate in everyone's absence. Let's see -- on top of the regular slew of support calls - "this is missing here", "I got an error there", "I deleted that there - can you get it back for me?" - there're two production changes today for EAI Webtool and the Tariff Publishing System virtual directories, enhancement proposals for MARVIN, PW DocGen, and Legal Suite (at 100+ hours each), XSLFO changes for TPS and MARVIN PDF Generation to interface with the new corporate PDF solution, EdiFtp rebuild, TPS file read errors due to Office Smarttag editing issues, IRCF, MSCF, RMCF search index scheduled task setups next week, MARVIN SendRFI process errors, IBM PortalUtils.dll registry errors on st2cprcoma02n2, new development work for TP&E Same-Page Crew Consist form using Infopath and Sharepoint and a review of these services' development proposals (just how exactly are we going to use Infopath at the company anyways? How can we apply a governance model to the services provided?), Sharepoint service definition (ongoing forever and never committed to - when will I know when I should ever get trained on this framework?), rollout of a Daily Correspondence Database for yet another VP, training on the EHMS.R2 service that we'll be supporting come October (yay! now I have to learn something about Linux and a UP custom data engine!).
It's slowly driving me mad, but at least it's making the weeks go by quickly. Darren is back next week, Aly is on his honeymoon until the 5th, and I'm not back from the EC until the 18th. So we won't be back to full strength until mid-September. I'm pretty relieved I only have another week of support work and then two full weeks off! I'll also be relieved when at least one of the guys (Darren) comes back next week. Technically, I'm supposed to give him the support phone and laptop on Monday morning, but I think I'll wait to switch until the end of the week. I'm not too keen on getting the support equipment back on the day I return from vacation, so by doing this I'll allow myself a week at home before having to take over on-call support again.
The weekend was a blur of beer and prayers. For the first time this summer, I was able to hang out with Doug, Jeff, Calvin, Curtis, and Darren for both Friday and Saturday. Friday night we went to Ming to have drinks with Jerome and Bruce, who are moving to Montreal at the end of the month, and on Saturday we went to the Apollo Inferno dance with a pre-party over at Darren's house. At Darren's house, his neighbor upstairs freaked out while we were on the deck and proceeded to throw his computer in pieces over the balcony into the park below. Apparently it was because he had just lost a bunch of money on online gambling. Between this episode and the crap that went on in our building earlier in the week, it certainly was a few days of witnessing bizarre behaviours.
There weren't many people at the dance but we had lots of fun and knew a lot of people there, so we made the best of it. We all ended up back at the apartment for more beer and prayers, and Doug and Darren ended up spending the night. I spent all day Sunday on the computer 'looking for' music....
Tuesday I was all ready to go to the Crit races when I got a call from BK around 5:30 asking me if I was ready to go to dinner. We had planned to go for Mexican with Ross, Christine and Carter and I had completely forgot. We had a good visit with them, although I think I was acting like a bit of a dink and for that I apologize, Ross.
Last night I was going to go for a run after work and as it turns out, they switched the combination on the door locks to the changeroom yesterday and since there is nowhere to find out the new number after 5pm, I was kinda screwed. So I went home and planned to head out from there but I got on the computer again and spent the rest of the evening 'looking for' music again.
Long story short - I haven't done any training or anything of the sort since last Thursday. I guess I rode my bike a bit around the track on Monday before team pictures, but that's about it. I've been feeling really lazy and burned out, and then guilting myself over it because Nationals are only two weeks away. I gotta pull up the bootstraps, dammit! Racing tonight will hopefully inspire me to just get over myself, suck it up and prep.
Joe seems to be enjoying his new job. He's a lot more relaxed and comes home happy. It's a big positive change. His only concern is whether he's going to have enough money for the EC trip, but we'll manage that somehow - not a big deal, it's only freaking money (or debt in my case), right?
The camping trip to Waterton this weekend is kiboshed - my cousin Bob ended up selling his trailer. He really wants his daughter Katy and I to come down to Lethbridge this weekend, so I guess we'll do that in lieu of camping. I'm pretty disappointed though - I was totally looking forward to camping in Waterton.
I just received some bad news from Ryan this morning. He was out walking Takeo and Hoshi this morning when Takeo suddenly collapsed and couldn't get up again. Apparently he had a big growth on his spleen that ruptured and was bleeding internally. The decision was made to put him down. Ryan called me this morning, obviously devastated. He and Takeo have been best friends for ten years. It's so hard losing something as close as a pet. I've known Takeo since he was a wee pup, so it's very hard to accept. If you talk to Ryan, please give him your condolences.
Takeo and Hoshi, January 2006
RIP Takeo, 1996 - 2006