Life changes

I’ve been getting interviews from several out-of-town companies. This makes me nervous. The idea of leaving Edmonton is scary. But I should do things that scare me.
I don’t make friends easily. Starting over from scratch in a new place; dread. I’ve made very good friends here. Interestingly, when most hear about me possibly moving, a lot of them express interest in visiting whatever new place I might be going to. I got a (weird) interest from a company in Pasadena. When a friend heard this, she promptly said that she would visit me if I was there. I pointed out that she already knew someone in California. “Yes, but you are so welcoming.” That makes me feel nice; I’m apparently learning to be a good host.
The last time I moved was over fifteen years ago. Very few of my friends from before have ever visited me. I can only think of one couple who were happy to visit me when they passed through, and a friend after he had moved to Calgary.
I think I’ve made more friends in Edmonton than I ever did in Winnipeg.
And to this day I still think of a girl I knew in Winnipeg. We briefly played D&D together, but then she moved to Vancouver in a surprisingly short time. We had a number of things in common (things I didn’t even realize at the time we had in common) and I wish I had a chance to know her better. Or at least take her on one date. (I was an idiot back then.) I wonder what life would have been like if I had stayed a bit longer after my university convocation. She was apparently there, graduating too, and I never saw her.
Life is full of regrets. I wonder what she is doing these days?

Health update

I tried to do a good amount of exercise today. I’m supposed to run every second day, to allow my knee time to recover. But I lazed out yesterday. So I did an hour on the treadmill and then went to the pool immediately after and aquajogged for nearly two hours. It is coming close to approximating what I used to do for running.
I also, quite literally, drop-kicked my iPhone into the wall. I had it lying on the treadmill so I could listen to it while I ran. Then I accidentally caught the headphone cord with my hand. It yanked it off the ledge, where it fell right into my foot and from there into the wall. Still works, but somewhat embarrassing.
But on Tuesday I will go outside and do an actual run. It will be the first time I’ve actually pounded payment in months. (I’m of course forgetting about the embarrassing incident with running the dog in deep snow.) Then we’ll see what the future holds for me.

Addicted to maps

I think I understand addicts better now. They waste their life in hopes of getting the thrill that the roll of the dice, the slurp of liquid, or the puff of the joint, will get them.
For me it is the joy of figuring something out about my program. It makes me feel good about myself. When I look for a job, I don’t feel good about myself. Instead it fills me with self loathing. It needs to be done for me to get on with my life. But with programming I get satisfaction now.
Today I discovered a solution to a problem I’ve been pondering.
My map program looks fairly good, but I’m not sure if it is correct. I can generate the surface of a planet, but is the shading looking anything accurate? Do real mountains look that way?
I’ve been able to get real-world data in, but only incredibly detailed information on a small area. It comes out looking quite nice. But my program usually thinks in terms of entire planets. And I’ve noticed that the mountains don’t have shading, because relatively, they are too shallow. If only I could compare them to what the real world would show in my program.
But today I discovered a way to get real world data into my program. There are web services out there that will return the elevation if they are given a coordinate. I just need to use that appropriately, and I will be able to get the real world displayed.
I wonder how it will look?

I need the Chariot’s of Fire song.

I got back my MRI on my knee today. Well, I got a summary over the phone. I don’t have the actual radiologist’s report. I can summarize it easily enough:
Knee looks fine.
Which means I have no idea what is going on with it. I still feel pain in it occasionally, but that has been going down. The past while I’ve been very gentle on it. It has probably helped that I’m not going to work; no uncomfortable desk to sit at or awkward stairs to navigate.
I saw the physical therapist today, and told her the summary. Her theories include, a false positive, meniscus has healed, or it was only an irritated meniscus. In any case, the inflammation was nearly gone.
I will still continue to be gentle with it, but because of the MRI, I actually got to run today. For the first time since January 26th, I was able to jog. Only one kilometre. And the entire time I had a goofy grin on my face. I was allowed to go further, but there was some soreness, and I didn’t want to push anything. Afterwards there was some more inflammation, but it went away after awhile.
Could this be the road to recovery?

Reflections on a knee

I’m wondering how much of my current problems can be related to my knee injury.
Its injury has caused two direct effects: I can’t run anymore, and I have to do physical therapy.
Because I am doing physical therapy, there are many evenings where I came home from work, do the exercises I need to, and don’t get to dinner until after nine o’clock. I was exhausted constantly. And most importantly, I didn’t have a chance to read computer books to better myself. Would I have, if I had had the chance? We’ll never know for sure. But more knowledge may have let me keep my job.
Because I couldn’t run, there are two effects from that. First, I have one less way to deal with stress. I can’t recall the last time I had an endorphin rush. Any I have been very stressed lately. Secondly, my long sunday runs gave me a good support network. I could talk to my friends about issues over a long period and get their advice. And I could be sure they couldn’t walk out on me, because, well, they couldn’t. I trust their opinion, even if it does cause me to sign up for stupid-distance runs. I don’t have that outlet anymore.
Note: I love the Friday Feasts, but they are not a good outlet for support. There are too many people there sometimes, and I don’t like speaking about personal issues in front of a crowd. I get better support from the quieter movie nights.

About the same time as last year

This isn’t entirely unexpected, but I still am not happy that I got laid off today.
I’ve been sensing that I wasn’t performing to expectations for the past month. I’ve been working hard to try and make good software, but not everything went well. It didn’t help that the software library I was using was totally inadequate for the needs. But, for the four months and a week I was employed I did a lot of learning and I’m a better programmer for it.
I got a hint that I was being let go when yesterday I was asked to write down everything I knew about the big project I had started with. And when I was finished today I was laid off. That part actually went fairly well. They complemented me on my skills and intelligence. The big problem was that I wasn’t able to quickly adapt to new projects. Since the company is entirely focused on new projects, that was a problem.
I said my good byes and tried to make it as easy as possible for everyone. My co-workers seemed rather shell-shocked. Before leaving I did my best to help whoever took over my projects to transition easily; I left notes on problems to look out for and commented on the feasibility of future plans. Being upset and being difficult will not help anyone, so why do it.
Although I’m hoping that whoever takes over the last project will have as hard a time as me. That library sabotaged me, and if it continues to cause problems for the next person, I’ll look better.
Surprisingly, when I was going out the door, one of the partners came from across the office to give me a final goodbye. He had liked working with me and was sorry to see me go. That was nice.
I don’t feel bad about the company, and I wish them well. But it was very stressful working for them; I never felt I was doing good enough and since I was having difficulties with the code and requests, I rarely got complimented for doing good things. I like being told I did a good job. And it’s hard to get that, when you haven’t done a good job.
I found it difficult to come home. Well, the journey wasn’t the problem, but the being alone with myself was. When things are going bad, I don’t like to think about it. If I dwell on it, I get depressed. Thankfully I was able to go to the Friday Feast and talk to friends.
Unfortunately, the most frequent subject to come up was jobs. Someone is thinking of transitioning, someone else got a new job, and someone is leaving their job to go traveling for a year.
I’ve had better days.