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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Ups and Downs 
18th-Feb-2010 11:15 pm
Trevor over shoulder double face
Recent ups:
• I've ridden my bike to work more often than I've driven so far this quarter
• I wrote a MapReduce to compute statistics on how people use our product. It feels good to say "Hey, 400 computers, run my program tonight!"
• Today I finished putting the graphing front end to those statistics together. Now when we have questions like "How many users have uploaded more than a thousand files?" or "What's the average size of an image?" we'll be able to make decisions informed by data rather than speculation.
• I've adjusted to the work environment and have been able to focus and be productive. Playing albums straight through, rather than putting iTunes on shuffle, helps.
• I'm applying my technical know-how to volunteer projects.
• My games day on Saturday will mark three straight weekends of playing games and seeing friends.
Ignite Boulder 8 last week was a lot of fun.
• The final drum circle at Witches Brew had a great turnout and lots of good rhythms.
• I watched The Bicycle Thief, La Dolce Vida, and Mars Attacks at IFS. I've had the first two on VHS for a while, but never got around to the former and watched half of the latter without understanding the point. Both were quite rewarding on the big screen. And the third? I think Mars Attacks is the second funniest movie I've seen from the '90s (behind Clerks). So many big-name actors are metafunny in it.
• Benzi is hosting a monthly cuddle party on second Saturdays at the Solstice Institute. More information at cuddling.meetup.com.

Recent downs:
• I caught the cold going around work and was sick for about five days. I realized that when I'm sick and not being productive, the "I should go home and get some rest" part of my brain is in the spaced-out-sick area and doesn't activate properly.
• After replacing my rear bike wheel a few weeks ago, my tube's valve got a pinch-flat, which is essentially impossible to patch. After being sick last week, I was all set to ride on Thursday when I discovered the replacement tube was totally flat. My other bike also had a flat. Thwarted! I fixed the flat (piece of glass) this weekend. On Tuesday, I noticed my pressure was low while riding. About a third of the way to work, all of the remaining air suddenly left the tube thanks to another valve pinch-flat. I walked the remaining two miles to work. Fortunately, showing up at 10 AM is no big deal. I replaced the tube with a Presta valve tube, hoping the metal stem will do a better job of staying in place.
• I've been staying at work pretty late. From my experience at Tyler, I know that pattern doesn't lead to long term happiness, so I need to monitor my routine, especially once the weather gets nice.
• I haven't watched any of the Olympics, since I don't have a TV at home. I installed Silverlight, even though the license agreement says you will not "work around any technical limitations in the software." However, both NBC and CTV's videos all gave me errors. NBC has a tantalizing page with full video of curling games and speed skating runs, but to access it you have to have an existing premium cable, satellite, or Internet TV contract. If I had cable, I wouldn't be trying to watch the Olympics on your website, punks!
• I slacked on getting tickets to Les Claypool at the Fox and it sold out. Instead, my roommate took me to a small bluegrassy concert in Lyons which was fun. Sold out shows at the Fox aren't especially fun anyway.
19th-Feb-2010 08:20 am (UTC)
How does playing albums straight through help with productivity?
20th-Feb-2010 08:11 am (UTC)
One key to productivity is getting in a groove and not losing focus. When the music style changes every four minutes, it's easy to take that moment of distraction and check email, which leads to paging out the code I was constructing on my head. By keeping a consistent musical pace and sound, I can tap into the rhythm and focus on code for an hour.
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