Tuesday, November 9 2021

ducks, big code changes, and the lego game

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, my friends. Happy Tuesday. It's 8:33 AM my time. I should have started writing three minutes ago, but Miles tottled over to the computer desk holding his blue ball, and I couldn't resist playing catch with him for a few minutes. I guess now that the daylight savings sun hangs bright in the sky at 8:00, Miles is now a permanent fixture of our mornings. Gone are the good old days where he used to sleep in until 9:30.

This morning, Miles is the best dressed out of all of us. His freshly washed striped t-shirt and crisp pair of blue jeans upstage my ratty sweats and faded t-shirt, but clothes aren't the only thing that make a man. At least I do a better job of hiding my boogers and drool.

Sip. It's good to be here. I've had a whole night to sleep off the Bears game, but heading upstairs I was so wound up I felt like I had a car battery in my stomach. Last night's game had all the usual suspects - the Bears shooting themselves in the foot, the refs shooting the Bears in the foot... but it also had hope. After the last few blowouts, I've forgotten how much more a little bit of hope can sting.

While watching the game, Marissa and I reminisced about our time in Pittsburgh when we traveled to pick up Minnie. We fondly remembered the pierogi breakfast and the late night pizza we split in our hotel room. Most of all, I remember the preposterously large Primanti brother's sandwich stuffed with wet meat and french fries. I've got no love for the Steelers right now, but at least we had some good food memories in Pittsburgh.

But enough about the Bears. It's too early to get myself all worked up over last night's game. Let's look at some of ducks, shall we?


During Marissa's run, she found a gaggle of ducks swimming around at her usual spot by the lake. She even managed to catch one of them on camera doing that funny thing where they flip upside down into the water with their butts up in the air - I just love when they do that.

Ugh. My next topic sentence was "I love ducks". A few minutes ago I was planning to vamp on that thought for a while, but I'm finding that hard to do as Miles continues to scream in the corner. Instead, I let out a deep sigh and rubbed my eyes.

"I can't wait until we're done with babies crying," said Marissa. "Almost there."

As an experiment, we both made direct eye contact with Miles from the dining room. He stopped crying immediately. But the moment after we looked away, he resumed his blood curdling scream.

"It's like 'someone is playing with me' or 'I am dying'," laughed Marissa.

I really do love ducks, but so long as Miles is screaming in the corner, I lack the words to express that right now. Instead, why don't we just look at this nice panorama Marissa took by the lake.


I had a nice day at work yesterday. It was nice to open up another work week by merging a big change I've been working on. The change touches hundreds of files and dozens of applications. I spent most of last week doing risk assessment, writing communications, and sending it around to other teams for approval - all leading up to yesterday when I was finally able to click the "merge" button.

I felt tense minutes after clicking the merge button, expecting my phone to blow up with pages or my slack to be overrun with messages. I felt a nagging superstitious expectation that despite all the preparation, something would come up that would require me to revert it and start over. But nothing like that happened. Minutes turned to hours, hours turned to an afternoon, and the only a few small questions made it to our triage. At some point, making big code changes like this feels like robbing a bank. No matter how much preparation and research leads up to the big moment, I get a wave of adrenaline and relief, like I just got away with something criminal.

Rodney and I celebrated with a round of LEGO Jurassic Park. Now we pretty much have a standing appointment every day at 4:30 to play video games in my office before we have to leave for the grocery store. The LEGO game is a lot harder now, even though all the levels follow the same format. The two of us are dropped into a map, and in order to advance to the next screen we have to punch things until something happens. Sometimes LEGO's fall out and we have to assemble them into a ladder or a bridge. Sometimes we have to break our way into a secret room so we can fix an automatic door. Each of the characters have special abilities like scaling walls and repairing machines, so you have to employ strategy in getting the right characters in the right place. At this part of the game, the dinosaurs have escaped the park, and we have to deliberate with the added challenge of fighting off dinosaurs. After wrapping up another level and reaching a save point, we loaded up into the car. On the way to Hy-Vee we discussed the game.

"That LEGO game is pretty hard, huh dude?" I asked.

"Yeah," said Rodney. "It's kinda pretty tricky. Sometimes we don't know what to do."

"Yeah dude, but you know why it's a good game?" I asked. "Cus even when you're stuck, it's still pretty fun."

Rodney nodded and smiled.

That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Happy Tuesday.