Wednesday, August 14 2019

computers, gravy, weekend, and agile

Dear Journal,

Good morning, and happy Wednesday to everyone. I’m doing today’s journal entry from our proud new dining room computer, which I just finished building last night. I guess “building” is a generous term. I ordered an Intel NUC, a stick of RAM, and a hard drive, and plugged everything in. As per usual, way more time went into placing and wrapping cables - which is absolutely an art form. This morning I’m filling the new machine with games and other neat things. Marissa and I agreed that it really jazzes up the dining room. Just having a computer here increases it’s hang-out-ability by at least a factor of four. We have a nice place to play music, pay bills, browse the web, and of course play games. This weekend I’m going to set up a Minecraft server, so in short, it was nice knowing all of you and the Recker family will see you next year (kidding).

Yesterday was jam packed with meetings, cooking, and chores, but it was a fulfilling day. I finally had a successful gravy recipe. Watching the butter, flour, and stock combine is completely magically - I’m still not even quite sure how gravy works, but the formula is simple and almost feels like alchemy. Just watch - now I’m going to be incorporating gravy into everything. Pizza. Pasta. Hot dogs. Everything is going to get a hearty drizzle of homemade gravy! Also kidding.

I’m really looking forward to the weekend. Not only does my on-call shift end on Friday, but I have a work picnic pretty much all day, and that rolls into a long guys only weekend. My wife will be in Chicago for my sister’s bridal shower, so Rodney and I are holding things down ourselves. And we have a new computer to play with. I think on Saturday we’re going to cook something together, like a deep dish pizza. Lately when I make food in the kitchen, he drags our little step ladder out to join me - which is undeniably adorable, but an extra element of challenge. I need to make sure he feels useful without touching anything hot, sharp, or raw. Making a pizza is very kid friendly, isn’t it? The dough is fun to play with, and grating cheese is pretty benign, from a kitchen safety perspective. It’s more fun for a kid than stir fry. Rodney walked into the kitchen on Monday while I had a hot oily wok on the stove and asked “ladder? ladder?” and I just turned him down, so I owe him a long cook-with-dad session.

So this week, the interns and I are trying out a new thing. We’re doing a pretty old school agile workflow, keeping all the work on hand written index cards taped to a whiteboard. It’s a bit ironic, but I was taught that’s the best way to teach people how modern software teams work. There’s a lot of rules and terminology to learn, and having it all in once place right in front of you without the distraction of software makes it easier. It’s also a real learning experience for me - I’ve never actually had to teach anyone agile or scrum, and it’s kind of fun - in an unexpected arts and crafts way. We’re taping, drawing, and even putting little color coded stickers on things. Welcome to the future, huh?

Well, hope you have a wonderful Wednesday today. Cook with your kids - something other than stir fry.