Following a recent trend, I would like to point out the obvious. This is my perl blog.
I have a personal blog too. It can be found at http://gatcomb.org/joshua.
I haven't had a lot to write about in my perl blog because I haven't been working on anything interesting. Heck, I haven't even been able to keep up with the interesting things others are doing.
What I have been able to do is continue to get things done - and quickly. When your brain is not fully functional because you have been sleep deprived for 5 months, perl is a great friend to have around.
This past Sunday, our second daughter was born. If you are interested in details or pics they can be found at:
For more than 2 years, I have been collecting research material for a book I wanted to write.
In fact, it was 2 years ago when I pitched the idea to O'Reilly and very nearly reached a deal. I withdrew when the reality of having our first child hit me.
Our second child is due in December and another reality just hit me. It is extremely unlikely that any book will result from this work while it is still relavent.
I have been feeling extremely uncreative lately and this just makes it that much worse.
At work, I am seldom a pleasant person to be around. I often take on an elitist superior attitude and speak condescendingly. When folks ask me for help, I don't fail to remind them if they had followed my suggestion from earlier, they wouldn't need my help now.
I also spend a fair amount of my time in self-introspection thinking about the days events - what I said, what I did, but more importantly - why.
I find it very easy to call myself a Christian but I don't find it very easy to be a Christian.
As a result, I decided to have 1 day a month complaint free. No matter how large my frustration, no matter how painfully obvious a situation is - I will try not to complain. I will try not to raise my voice. I will try not to ridicule. I will try not to offend.
This really is something that I want to do everyday but I am starting with baby steps.
Last night, I woke up out of a sound sleep after my wife yelled "sweetheart". The thing is, she was sound asleep. I went back to sleep.
A few hours later, I woke up again to the telephone ringing. After rushing to the phone and checking the call history, I discovered it hadn't rang at all.
On my walk back to bed the possible symbolism hit me - am I missing my calling?
This is something I am going to ponder.
In perl related news, I worked on a google calendar parser for TPF. It seems to have gone well.
I haven't written in this journal for quite a while. While a whole lot has been happening in my personal life, not much has been happening on techie front.
I decided to write today because of an observation today that had a profound affect on me. A lady at the convenience store was genuinely courteous. She seemed like she was in a hurry but when a guy ran in to pay for gas, she let him go in front of her. While she was waiting in line, she straightened up some magazines in the rack. When she greeted the clerk, not only did she ask him how he was, but she also waited to hear his response. As she was leaving, she made sure to donate the coins from her change to the charity collection on the counter.
I do all those things on a regular basis. I didn't always. I had to practice at it. Watching this lady though had such a profound affect on me that I felt I needed to write and share.
People can tell when you are being self-absorbed and disinterested in their lives but are going through the motions of being courteous. I am not sure when I stopped trying to be truly nice and went on auto-pilot but I am going to try real hard to change that after today.
It is amazing how refreshing a touch of humanity can be in this fast paced cold and indifferent hi-tech world can be.
Next time you see a stranger, smile and say hello, and really mean it.
For a long time when I heard other people talk about stress I thought to myself that I was unaffected by it. The truth is that I am not superman but that the way stress affects me is not as easy to detect. It manifests itself as physical ailment (probably preceeded by a lowered immune system). This is not by itself uncommon, but as it is the only discernable symptom I have found - noticing the correlation wasn't easy.
Once I made this realization, I began subconciously budgeting my stress. I only dealt with things that I knew I could manage without getting sick. This works quite well when you know all the things that you have to deal with, can estimate the stress involved, and have the luxury of postponing things.
This worked out quite well until I was forced to deal with some unexpected items, some things that were more stressful than anticipated, and a few things timetables were moved up beyond my control. I am not saying that stress alone was the reason why I dealt with a serious bout of mononucleosis this summer but I believe it was the strongest contributing factor.
So the analogy of budgeting (money) starts to break down when you start talking about nest eggs. While it is true a stressful event is unlikely to take the same toll on you after a nice long vacation as it would if it had just been preceded by a long week at work - there is a limit to how much any one person can have in reserve.
As a result, I have conciously started budgeting even more miserly (leaving myself breathing room for unexpected events, events that are more stressful than anticipated, and time frames I can't control). It is still very much a work in progress but I feel much happier and healthy than I did just a few months ago.
So on my way back to the office from lunch today, I see someone with a license plate:
I decide that if this guy parks anywhere near my office building, I am going to ask him if the plate has anything to do with the Perl Black Book
So I walk up to the parked vehicle and the guy cautiously rolls down the window and I ask "Does your license plate have anything to do with the programming language" as though it were the most natural thing in the world to say.
After a long thoughtful pause the guy chuckles and says no - it is from Pirates of the Caribbean. As I start to walk away with my head hung down he says "but I am a web developer and had never thought of that connection until now - thanks".
It made me smile
So what would make a guy who hasn't been further than the bed or couch in several weeks venture out to touch the world?
My daughter crawled today - a few weeks shy of being six months!!!!!
Yes, I am a very proud Dad