beowabbit: (Local: Stata Center)
What I do, explained using only the ten hundred words people use the most:

I help computers do the things people want them to do and try to fix them when they do things people don't want them to do. I help people who use computers to learn about computers and about how computers can do things that people do like speak and walk and move things. I especially help people use computers to send notes to each other. I work in a crazy building that looks like blocks knocked over.

(ToolOriginal inspiration.)
beowabbit: (Me: resting in sionnagh's back yard in K)
Too busy and tired for a real post, but here are a few scattered impressions:
  • I’m going to be directing! I’ll be directing [livejournal.com profile] audioboy’s staged radio-play adaptation of the 1954 movie Them!. I am hugely looking forward to my first directing experience, and am very grateful to [livejournal.com profile] audioboy and the rest of PMRP for the opportunity. [Note to self: Post this to Facebook, too. Also Twitter, ВКонтакте, Friendster, Orkut, G+, QQ, G--, E♭-major, and Compuserve.]
  • Work has been exceptionally busy and high-stress lately.
  • That said, I took Friday off to make a four-day weekend which was utterly excellent. Much of it was spent with [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s company, and I got to see lots of other wonderful friends, and it was generally a wonderful weekend.
  • ...marred somewhat by [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s phone dying. For the second time. She gets it through work and so getting it repaired or replaced has some extra layers of bureaucracy and delay. Given how panicky she and I each get when we’re having phone problems, and how flaky her phone and her service have been, I decided it was time to get us an emergency backup to share, so I did, and I’ll be taking it over to her later today.
beowabbit: (Local: Stata Center)
From [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s post here:
There are three new posted positions right in my department at MIT Sloan. And here they are!

Director of Visual Design

Associate Director of Account Management

Editorial And Marketing Copy Director [corrected title]

MIT is a truly great place to work, and the benefits are many. You would be working in the same cluster as me (I would be your departmental admin), which I think is a benefit in itself. :-) Apply through the links above, and feel free to point any interested candidates to this public post.
(N.B. that’s her department, not mine; I work a couple blocks away in the Famous Crazy Building in my userpic.)
beowabbit: (Local: Stata Center)
I thought my day was full and interesting before the six datacenters in my building (along with a big chunk of the rest of Cambridge, and most of the rest of MIT) lost power. That happened around four thirty. Power came back around six thirty, and we all dived into bringing servers and services back up. I got home around eleven thirty.

One of the highlights of the time while we were waiting for power to come back was watching my boss and another of my colleagues pry open an elevator door so that the people who’d been trapped in it for about an hour could get out.

[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s building on campus lost power too, but since she didn’t have to babysit a whole bunch of servers as they eventually came up, I think that meant she ended up going home earlier than expected, rather than later than expected. (The T was running during most of the power outage, I gather.)

It was an adventure. I like my adventures in moderation.
beowabbit: (Me: brain MRI)
Was looking forward to a date overnight on the 3d with [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and fireworks on the 4th with [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine and Drreamer (and perhaps other folks).

The date happened (complete with amazing pancakes chock full of fruit in the morning, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and her yummy food imagination), but the fireworks didn’t. And I stayed home sick from work today. Also, I spent much of the night of the 3d not slumbering peacefully next to my wuzzle, but dealing (along with my officemate, who went in) with a major work crisis. So I’m more than a little out of it.

Details of a thoracic nature. )

I am very disappointed to have missed fireworks with [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine, which was an unbroken tradition with us for many years, but I really would not have been sufficiently mobile, and staying home has helped a lot, and I’m clearly on the mend now (although still puzzled about what this was).
beowabbit: (Local: Stata Center)
There’s an opening for a Linux sysadmin (with a bunch of user support mixed in, including Mac and Windows) in my group.

Stolen from email I just wrote for a mailing list:
My group has an opening for a system administrator (with a lot of end-user support and documentation mixed in). This is at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, based in the Stata Center (most recently in the news because a Dalek landed on it).

We are primarily a Linux shop (currently Debian; probably Ubuntu in the foreseeable future) with a lot of the sort of quirks you’d expect from an MIT lab (AFS, lots of homegrown stuff, people with root on their workstations, etc.). We also have lots of Mac and Windows machines, and the person in this position will end up doing a fair amount of supporting Mac and Windows users, as well as Debian desktop support and system administration.

Our departing sysadmin (leaving for grad school) hopes to have some overlap with the new hire. He has an excellent and patient way with users, good documentation skills (internal and user-facing), a desire to do things the Right Way that will save us work down the road, and the gumption to take on substantial projects, and we'd love to have similar qualities in his successor.

(I forgot to mention in that mail that I’d love it if we found somebody with experience administering email on Linux/Unix systems, since I’m the postmaster and if we don’t I won’t really have a natural backup/collaborator for that. We use Exim, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, Mailman, and some homegrown stuff and have a slightly quirky email topology. That’s all optional, though.)


If you’re interested, you should definitely fill out the online form at that link, but you should also contact me (email if you have it; otherwise comment here or direct message here or on Twitter) so that I help make sure your résumé doesn’t get lost or delayed.
beowabbit: (Local: Stata Center)
Working as I do in MIT's Stata Center, I encounter my fair share of robots, but few as menacing as this one that arrived yesterday! I fear we are doomed.
beowabbit: (Misc: antique stopwatch)
  1. Had a nice evening with [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom, involving dinner at Martsa on Elm (the Tibetan place in Davis Square), trying out for a show, watching the first cable or broadcast TV either of us had seen in a good long time, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] vanguardcdk setting up the TV for us, and hanging out and chatting with [livejournal.com profile] vanguardcdk, which is always fun.
  2. Had a good meeting with a potential renter. I hope she decides to take the room.
  3. Crazy day at work today, involving two meetings (one of which I’d forgotten about, so it came as a surprise, and one of which was called last-minute while I wasn’t checking my email because I was in the other one) and leaving work a bit early due to feeling ill. (Better now; I will spare you the details.)
  4. Had a nice relaxed time with [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine on Wednesday, with a lot of mutual squeeing over the cute babies in our lives. She’s been doing huge amounts of walking lately; she walked from her place in Malden to my office in Kendall Square to meet me. I wish I had the time to do that kind of walking.
  5. I ordered a pair of Vibram Five Fingers toe-shoes when I saw them on sale recently. They arrived today, and I’ve got them on now, and so far I think I’m going to like them. The on-sale ones were not particularly a colour I liked, but I figured it would be an opportunity to see how they felt. The answer is pretty good. I may get another pair, now that I know how they fit me.
  6. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I have a busy and fun weekend scheduled, with two brunches, a burlesque show, and a birthday party. Yay!
  7. EDIT: Also, very productive appointment with my endocrinologist a few days ago, despite me not being quite as prepared as I would have liked.
beowabbit: (Local: Stata Center)
At work, we have a project to build a web app to front-end a moderately complex Postgres database. This will replace an existing "database" in FileMaker Pro, so the migration is also part of the project (although I think those tools are pretty close to finished).

We have a contractor who got this (I’m guessing) about half done who is having to bow out at this point. Anybody on my F’list looking for a contract gig in Ruby on Rails, or know someone who is? Drop me a note if so. (If you don’t have my email address, [livejournal.com profile] beowabbit@livejournal.com should work fine.)
beowabbit: (Default)
Met [livejournal.com profile] eisa Saturday afternoon for good conversation, a tour of her new house, a lunch of Brazilian barbecue, and lots of dog time. It was great to see her!

Then met [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom at her place after she got home from class, drove to Quincy for Southern-but-less-Southern barbecue at Firefly’s, and then curled up to watch a couple episodes of Walking with Prehistoric Beasts.

Had an exceptional morning together involving sausage and eggs (and genuine Wallace and Gromit brand Wensledyale!). Then headed to Lowe’s in Quincy and then Pemberton’s in Somerville technically Cambridge for spring planting supplies (and lunch), and then watched the last two episodes of Walking with Prehistoric Beasts at [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s.

Had a productive day today (despite Daylight Savings Time kicking my ass). Except actually it was two productive days: the one that ended at 4, and the one that started at 4 and went till about 10 or so as I fought with a recalcitrant server. The second part of the day involved a lot of effort just to get back not too far behind where I started, but these things happen. I got home around 11. So forgive me if I’m not quite as eloquent or prolific a journal writer as I might be if I actually had two brain cells left to rub together. But trust me when I say it was a very excellent weekend.

And warm and sunny! Did I mention warm and sunny?
beowabbit: (Default)
So tired, but I just have to say thank you to my beloved [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom for keeping me reasonably sane. (Actually, happy but crazy. I’m crazy about her.)

Also thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble and [livejournal.com profile] bitty for bringing me pizza at work today! I’m not sure what I would have done about dinner otherwise.
beowabbit: (Travel: airplane silhouette)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom is out in Rochester visiting her family. She was supposed to be flying back tonight. This morning I got a call from her saying she’d be getting in very late on the bus because flights to Boston are cancelled due to the snowstorm and the trains were all sold out.

A few minutes ago I got a call from her saying that the bus was cancelled. At this point she has no idea how or when she’s getting back to the Boston area.

Tonight after I picked her up was going to be our little Christmas celebration, opening gifts from my family. Tomorrow’s her birthday and we were going to celebrate with dinner. At this point it looks not at all certain that she’ll even be home by any point tomorrow. Poor darling. But wherever she is, she knows I love her.

In other news, I’ve been spending most of this holiday break at work. (When nobody else is around is a good time to do upgrades.) I have to say, I really love being at work with no distractions and nothing in particular I have to do in the evenings; being able to get in when I feel like it, sit down and focus solidly on one project all day, and leave feeling accomplished when I’m hungry or tired or just slowing down. I feel like I accomplish so much more in a quiet uninterrupted day on a holiday weekend than on an ordinary workday. And despite the fact that I’ve gone to work every day, it really feels like a vacation. I really enjoy my job.

I am sure ready to have my honeywuzzle back, though!
beowabbit: (Default)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble whose quick wit and always cheerful demeanor I appreciated even before he found me the wonderful job I am now in and became a co-worker. I hope you’re having a wonderful day!
beowabbit: (Default)
 Lots going on over the last few weeks, and I’m so behind in reporting it that I’m just going to do bullet points, in something approaching reverse chronological order:
  • My beloved honeywuzzle [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom is cooking me eggs and ham and toast for breakfast.  Om nom nom!
  • We saw Despicable Me last night and really enjoyed it.
  • I feel like I’m hitting my groove at the new job, and feeling really good about it.
  • Talked to [livejournal.com profile] bcat1 recently; she and the babies are doing really well.  They’ve started rolling over and are just starting the process of learning to crawl.  My mother [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre is going to visit in August, while papa [livejournal.com profile] spacechicken is visiting family in Canada.
  • The festival went really really well! We sold out most of the nights, which is unusual.  (We usually sell out one or two.)  The cast party was lots of fun, but judging by the scandalous things I’ve been hearing, we may have left a bit too early.  As I posted earlier, I have photos from the show [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom directed up, and hope to get photos of the rest of the shows up soon.
  • Oh, speaking of photos, yesterday after going in to work for an upgrade I took a bunch of photos of the building I work in, also to be posted soon.  Practical it’s not, but it sure is pretty.
  • I love living in Boston.  [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine and I have been going to a series of free outdoor classical concerts.  Now that she’s done with the semester’s classes, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom can join us for some of them.
  • I’m really enjoying the summer, with walks along the river and lots of good outdoor time.  [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I are going to the beach next weekend.
I’ve got loads more to say, but that at least lets you all know that I’m still here and still having fun!
beowabbit: (Geek: Mac 64)
Much to tell; not enough time or awakeness to tell it all.

My last week at my old job was every bit as frantically busy as expected, but I think I covered the major bases, and I got a wonderful send-off. My boss gave me a really kind and touching goodbye. And the department threw me a little reception and bought me a wonderful going-away gift which I’m going to get a huge amount of use from (a streaming-video box that lets me watch Netflix and some other video-on-demand services on a TV).

I had a wonderful big dinner with friends on Friday to sort of mark the transition, and another one after my first day at work with [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble, whom I am now working with, and [livejournal.com profile] bitty and [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom. I’ve spent lots of lovely time with [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom lately, including an unscheduled but delightful date on Sunday because she needed to come over to borrow a cup of Internet.

The new job is exciting and very busy and a little surreal in places, but in good ways. There’s a lot of ramping up to do, but I feel like I’m becoming part of the group quickly, and it seems clear already that the job is a good fit for me and I’m going to enjoy the work and the people.

This is definitely not doing the past few days justice, but I’m a bit fried right now, so it will have to do for now.

Oh! And I had a great phone call with [livejournal.com profile] bcat1 and [livejournal.com profile] spacechicken and [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre and [livejournal.com profile] ka9sqb over the weekend. And I think it was last week sometime that I got to hear the babies on the phone for the first time!

Anyway, rich full life with love and friendship and joy and change and stability and BABIES!!! and interesting work and, from time to time, even a little bit of sleep!

Oh, PS: This morning (heading in to MIT from [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s, I ran into [livejournal.com profile] eisa in the T station! And then [livejournal.com profile] heliopsis and [livejournal.com profile] bedfull_o_books and A. and N. and J. from [livejournal.com profile] theatreatfirst whose LJ names I thought I knew but can’t find. It was the most social commute I’ve ever had, and if I believed in omens I would take it as a good one. Actually, I don’t believe in omens but I’m going to take it as a good one anyway.
beowabbit: (Geek: Mac 64)
I’ve been meaning to post this for ages.

So, as I have mentioned, I will be moving to MIT towards the end of this month.

That means my group has an open Unix/Linux sysadmin position. Want one?

More information. )

If this sounds interesting to you (or to someone you know), ping me, and I’ll put you in touch with my boss.
beowabbit: (Local: Quincy house pre-purchase)
The last few days have been excellent. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom has had some good news: (1) thanks to Jim Bunning backing down, her unemployment benefits were reinstated — along with most other people’s who were in her situation —, although there was a lot of confusion around that fact as Massachusetts’ unemployment office ramped up again, (2) she has a temp gig for the next few weeks, which she’s had a day of so far and it seems pleasant, if not as lucrative as one might want, and (3) I’m going to let her post about lest I steal her thunder.

I had several very social days; got together with a friend on Wednesday, saw [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate and a bunch of her friends for games on Thursday (although I conked out kind of early), and had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] eisa on Friday.

Thursday night (after games, which she couldn’t make it to) I stayed at [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s, and then last night she cooked dinner for me — a wonderful meal in the crockpot — before we went to a delightful and colourful birthday party where there was much dancing to ’80s music. (And I again conked out early, but I am told I was very cute snoozing in the dance hall.)

Today we slept late, and the weather was so warm, sunny, and delightful that we walked to Davis Square and shared an ice cream sundae sitting outside and listening to a (quite good) busker.

Got to talk to my sister and brother-in-law yesterday. She’s home from the hospital, as is one of the twins, and the other one is expected to come home on Monday. Our mother’s flying out there on Thursday.

And I got my formal official paper offer letter from MIT in the mail today.

It’s sure feeling like spring!
beowabbit: (Default)
[I wrote this a few days ago, but have held off until posting it by now because I wanted to make sure everybody in the chain of command at work was in the loop before it hit the gossip circuit.]

Starting at the end of March, I’m going to be working at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. This is going to be delightful in a lot of ways which I don’t have time to list, but two among them are (1) that I will be working with [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble, and (2) that I will be working in Kendall Square, which is on the Red Line partway between my place and [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s, which in turn is probably going to trim close an hour from my round-trip weekday commute. [EDIT: Google Maps doesn’t think it’s going to be that dramatic, but it’s certainly going to be a more restful and somewhat quicker commute.]

And I am excited to be working on a larger scale in a more complex and varied environment than I have been so far.
beowabbit: (Default)
Yesterday in list form:
+: [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine locked herself out of the house. This is a plus because she came over to get the spare key I have, woke me up early, and took me out to IHOP for breakfast to thank me, which means I got to see her unexpectedly, I got a free eggs-and-bacon-and-pancakes brunch, and I got to work on time.
+: Met [livejournal.com profile] devoken for dinner. Was great to catch up with her. I got to tell her all about [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s and my New York trip.
+: In conjunction with the preceding, I discovered how easy it is to walk from work to Coolidge Corner. This will be useful.
±: Because I got in to work at an unexpectedly reasonable time, and [livejournal.com profile] devoken works till 9, I had a very long day at work. That would have made me happy if I’d been more focussed for it.
-: I have a cold. Over the course of yesterday it became clear that it's a real cold rather than just allergies or dry air. This morning it included a bad sore throat, but that got better when I was up and around. Oh, well. Maybe I caught it on the bus.
beowabbit: (Default)
(Current hip status: [livejournal.com profile] beowabbit is currently very hip.)

Going to work was a really stupid idea. My theory was that if I’m going to be in pain and discomfort anyway, there’s no real advantage to not being at work for it. What I didn’t count on was it taking almost two hours for me to walk from the parking garage to my office building. (Admittedly, I’m counting the three times I sat down on benches.) That normally takes 10min if I stop to buy an apple and a coffee on the way.

However, the campus police were very kind and sent over a Safety Patrol van to get me back to the parking garage from my office when I left (early), and the drive back to Quincy was uneventful and less painful than the drive from [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s to work had been.

On the way home, I stopped by the drugstore and got crutches. I’m not sure they’re an improvement over the cane. They’re better for standing still for long periods of time, and they’re much quicker, and they’re more stable, so there are fewer of the nasty surprises, but they are much clumsier to handle, harder to keep from falling when I set them aside because I can’t hook them on things (and bending over to pick anything up is not so much happening at the moment), and while the cane basically left me fine most of the time with occasional moments of serious pain when I stepped wrong or had to rebalance, the crutches basically hurt just a bit on each “step”. I think the crutches are probably net worse on my hip. If I feel like I can go out tomorrow, I may buy a second cane, and try the two-cane approach. (Assuming, of course, I’m not magically all better tomorrow.)

I left a message for my doctor’s office as soon as I got in to work today, but haven’t heard back yet. At this point, I don’t think it justifies an ER visit, because my best guess is that medical science is going to tell me to suck it up and wait, and in the meantime keep my weight off it and take lots of painkillers, which I am already doing. (Well, modulo the stupidity of trying to go in to work today, but I’ve learned my lesson. Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom; you were right. On the other hand, I got lots of sympathy from my co-workers.)

In other news, my flowers are still beautiful, and my kilt still makes me very very happy.
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