Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 53: Bueller? Bueller?

Anyone? Someone? Please help me with this ticket?

Sarah has been really busy for a couple of days and I've been really stuck on a ticket. 

So today during scrum we asked for anyone available to please pair with me and figure out what's going on.

Thankfully Tracy was free immediately afterwards. We scoured through javascript and php and used Firefox and Chrome and finally figured out which variable wasn't being set up correctly.

Figuring out why is still a mystery.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Day 52: Why? Times 5.

The 5 Whys of this Tuesday revolved around the typo I made that brought down the forms when we did our last upload. 

The "5 Whys" are a session we have during staff meetings to discuss things that have gone wrong during the week, but more specifically why it went wrong. There were a couple earlier on when Mike and I started, so I knew it wouldn't be the whole team tearing me apart.

They've built it as a very constructive session in which they analyze what went wrong midst the team as a whole for errors to occur. 

In my case, there were three code reviews, two very specifically on the line with the typo. There was testing that occurred as well.

I've learned a great deal from all of this. The testing and code reviews are in place for a very clear reason. It's important to make sure the testing is all inclusive and that the developer communicates very thoroughly with the code reviewer and the tester. There is a large amount of responsibility on the developer to ensure that every area of the code that they touch will be tested and evaluated.

It's an interesting thing working directly on a product that thousands of people pay to use. Even at Williams, the things my team developed were largely used internally, so if something went wrong, the clients usually didn't suffer

In the end that's all you can ever hope for. To be able to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them down the road.

How and where to change your name

This is not an easy process. The older you are, the more difficult it is. Not in any sort of "get married young" kind of way. When you're older, you have a job, you have your own insurance, credit cards, leases, mortgages, phone bills, lots of things in your name. When you're young, everything's probably in your parents' names, or you don't even have it yet. Either way, it's going to be a hassle. 

In a fashion similar to that of my wedding day emergency bag, I did a lot of googling to create a comprehensive list to meet my needs. The site I found most helpful was at The Examiner, and this article will be very similar.

The most important thing to note is that you will need the certified copy of your marriage license for most of these things. We went to the courthouse ourselves the Monday after the wedding. This took all of 20 minutes and we walked away with the certified copy. The other option is to hand it over to your officiant and they will mail it in to the court. It then takes 4 to 6 weeks for you to get the certified copy mailed to your house. If your documents are time sensitive (mine were), I recommend filing yourself. Otherwise, enjoy the honeymoon and don't worry about the paperwork until you get the thing back in the mail.

The obvious places

  1. Driver's license (and voting registration) - Go to a licensing office with your old driver license and your marriage license. Going to a less busy location, or during non-peak times will help shorten the trip. (Lunch and closing times are the worst.) You will be given a temporary license to show your new name, in addition to your original license with the top sliced off. Bars barely notice the sliced-off card, but if you are traveling, make sure to carry both pieces of identification to prove your new name is legit at the airport. Be sure to ask that a new voter's registration card be sent to you as well. This doesn't necessarily happen automatically, so better safe than sorry to verify. (This was extra fun for me. My new license mailed to my parents' house in Texas, and they didn't want to mail it to me. I was meeting up with them in Colorado in mid-September, but I had to rent a car on my temporary license. That is an experience I do not wish upon anyone!)

  2. Social Security Card - Take your marriage license and old driver license to a local social security office. You can find your nearest one here. If you don't have an hour or two to spend there, you can mail in your request. Wait until your new driver license arrives in the mail so you aren’t caught without one, then send your old driver license, along with your marriage license, and an application you can print off to your local office. There are pros and cons to both options. If you mail in your marriage license, you won't have it for name changes in the mean time. The office in Dallas wasn't the most glamorous place, but the wait really wasn't so awful. Plus I got to keep all of my documents in the mean time. Bonus: Your social security number does NOT change when your name changes. That was a huge relief to me!

  3. Bank Accounts/Investment Accounts/Credit Cards - You will need your marriage license for this, too. Take it along with a piece of ID showing your new name in to your local branch. If you have a joint checking account (with a parent or with your new spouse), the other person (people) on the account must also be present. I know, this is a little weird. When you change your name on the account, you have to create a new signature card. Since that is a legal document, all parties must be present, with IDs, to sign it. This was a sticking point for me as I'm in Canada and my mom (who's on my US accounts) is in Texas. Don't forget to order new checks with Mrs. on them! For the credit cards, you might have to fax them a copy of your new ID and marriage certificate. If you're like most of the people out there today, you do not have a fax machine. Never fear, there are, of course, websites for this. Just scan/snap a picture of your documents and send them through a site such as this one.

  4. Work - This is a multi-part bullet point. Email your HR department before the wedding to ask what documents they will need. They might need a new piece of ID, your marriage license, and/or your new social security card. Don't forget to ask for new business cards to be printed as well. Some places will issue you a new email address as well, it depends on their system and how old it is. 
The less obvious places
  1. Insurance - This includes health insurance, auto, home/renter's, life insurance, wills or last testaments. This will be a similar process as changing the name on your credit cards. That online fax service is now your best friend. 

  2. Utilities/Monthly Bills - Electric company, water company, tv, internet, land line, cell phone. Some of them will want the copies of your documents, oddly, some will not. Another key thing to do here is update your payment information once your bank accounts and credit cards have been updated. Also, if you have any student loans, mortgages, or lines of credit, you'll have to contact those agencies to have them update the information.

  3. Your Lease! Car title, deeds to any property - These are very important! They are legal documents. Some will tell you that they regard the law as it existed the day you signed it, keeping with the legal name you held when you signed the document. I am on the paranoid side and would hate for my old name to be an issue at any point down the road, so it's better to take care of these things now rather than have to backpedal when something comes up.

  4. Passport - Some don't travel as much as others, and this is fine. Before you go anywhere, check this site for the forms you need. I needed mine immediately, which provided some difficulty. If you need same day service, here is what I recommend. Take your new pictures before the wedding. I went the week before so that I could pick them up before everything got crazy. I added them to my stack of paperwork for my Monday name-changing adventure. The tricky part is that the passport agency offices are few and far between. They'd only recently opened one in Dallas, which allowed me to get my new one. Check this list for the location nearest you. If you do not need it immediately, you can mail in your old passport with a copy of your marriage certificate. For a new passport, the process is similar, but it will take several weeks to be mailed to you.

  5. Accounts/Memberships - This is a very broad topic. It covers your airline and hotel memberships, gym memberships, Angie's List, any toll tag accounts for your car. This one will have additional things that pop up over the months as you remember the last time you logged in or booked a flight. For the airline memberships, you will need to send copies of new identification and your marriage certificate. Since they deal with travel and need your full legal name, they need to verify your identity.

  6. Social media accounts - This is the fun and easy part! Update your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn! A lot of them let you indicate previous names, which can be beneficial (particularly Facebook and LinkedIn, where people searching for you might readily know your old name).

  7. Email - In the same light, your email account now needs an update. If you feel so inclined, you can acquire an entirely new address to reflect your name. At the very least, update your email signature. If you go the route of a new address, you can send a mass email to all of your contacts to let them know. You can also port your existing contact list over to your new account and set up forwarding from the old account to the new one, so you don't miss any mail. If you get a new address, be sure to update that on any online accounts you have! Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Netflix, rewards programs!

  8. Home address labels - Yay! Yall are now a pair! Here's Paper Source's site for getting a custom stamp. Their system is pretty neat. You can reuse the stamp apparatus and change out the actual stamp as you move or need to stamp something else!
There's always somewhere else or something else. Depending on who you are or the things you have, there will be something else. 

It's a lot of work. It's exhausting, since you just planned a wedding and got married, to now have to talk to tons of customer service reps and government workers. But you can do this. We all believe in you!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 51: Who's installed Mercurial?

The question of the day!

A while back we made a choice to switch to Mercurial. We're moving slowly and steadily forward toward the change over, and as such, it's time everyone installed the darn thing on their computers. 

Adam was the wring leader of the task, setting out specific things each of us should do. 

  1. Read an awesome tutorial on Mercurial. 
  2. Install Mercurial on your command line
  3. Test it out!
    • Push
    • Pull
    • Commit
  4. Make your own branch! Then merge it back in to the trunk.
This has been on everyone's to-do list all iteration. So, of course, on the last day of the iteration, no one has done it yet. 3 pm scramble! 

We are using SourceTree as our GUI to help make the branches, pulls, and commits easier. 

It was quite a day. Everyone getting so excited about how easy it was to create a branch, how clean and simple the interface is. Simply amazing!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gotta catch 'em all!

Right after Candytown!

Candytown, hailed as a holiday festival, was somewhat less than that.

We wanted to go as it was largely the first "Christmas event" of the season. I was picturing elves and candy and Santa and reindeer and peppermint all around. I was greeted by food trucks and tent for a community college and one for bicycles. There was a Santa. We could not see him as he was swarmed by the line, hoard, of folks hoping to get a picture of their child on his lap. There were a few candy canes. All of them fake. There was popcorn. All of it fake. There was a sleigh. Made of ice.


We still had fun. It was really nice to get out. We hadn't explored Yaletown much, and it's definitely somewhere we'll visit again. Candytown, not as much.

 Also this hilarious sign.
 And this gorgeous little park

But then there was Pokemon to be played!!! They released two new games yesterday. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Ruby and Sapphire were both originally released in 2003, but they have redone them for the Nintendo 3DS. Quite exciting! 

So once we returned from the adventured in Yaletown (via Starbucks), we snuggled up on the couch to play some video games. Quite a great day.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Day 50: Why can't I find this table?

I think it doesn't exist. 

Today I'm working on a ticket that involves a permission. 

Yet I can't find that permission stored anywhere. It's not in the permissions table.

That seems wrong.

Tracy doesn't know where we keep it, either.

Oh, goodness.

Maybe next week.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 49: Where do I go now?

You always have to move forward in life. If I have learned anything in the last 3 years, it's that. Keep moving. Even slowly, just move. 

Yesterday was nothing compared to many things I've faced. Yet it was my first real mistake in the workplace. 

But today there are things to be done. So you have to set out to get at least a couple of those things done. 

The Technical Service Team officially kicked off this week. Sarah is leading Mike and I deep into the Ops queue to handle bugs and tasks brought to us by the clients and the customer service team. We have a goal for the number of tickets we want to close this week. 

Goals. I can move towards goals. Yeah. Let's do that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day 48: Do I write about the bad days?

I think I have to. Not all days are good. Most of my days at One45 have been great, or at least good, so far.

Today was my first truly bad day.

We released the first update since Mike and I started. This means code I'd worked on was live. 

Was. Was live. For about 20 minutes. Because there were problems. Something I had done was throwing fatal errors. Clients were unable to open any saved forms. 

Forms are a very key part of our entire system.

And I'd brought them down with a spelling error. Instead of "institution," the code had "instution."

Bah humbug.

We rolled back the release, I'd already fixed the bug and merged it to patch. We rebuilt the release and were able to push it a few hours later. 

I've been told that it's not the worst thing to happen. That there were no security issues or data issues caused, which means it really wasn't awful.

Yeah, but I'm the one that caused it. Weirdly, nicely, no one gave me a hard time about it. This all happened before scrum, so when we got to good news and I just said "pass," people responded with friendly chuckles. 

Yet, like so many, I'm my own worst critic. And I ruined things this morning. I made it through the rest of the day, just wanting to be home in the comfort of my big sweatshirt and Max's arms. 

I do truly realize that things could have been much worse. I have really learned a lot about checking everything I do, why we have the checks in place that we do. 

Tomorrow, thankfully, is another day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 47: What does One45 do?

Tonight was the recruiting event! TechFest was hosted at Yaletown Roundhouse from 5:30 to about 9:30. 

That's a long time to be on your feet telling people what your company is. Especially when no one had heard of your company. 

It was tons of fun though! We met a whole slew of folks who were interested. I took multitudes of resumes and cards. Handed out even more (of Tracy's) cards. 

Our booth had Operation for folks to play, and Tina was baking fresh cookies in our toaster oven. Other people had a photo booth, cotton candy, all sorts of things.

It was really cool to be on that side of the recruiting event. I wasn't seriously pedaling my own resumes, desperate to talk to the right person at the right company to land the right job. I was on the grown up side. How odd.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 46: Is that ticket closed?!

Ah, yeah it is!!

The massive conversion ticket is finally code reviewed, tested, and closed!!! 

And today, that's all she wrote!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mom's Grilled Cheese and Passion Planner!

What a great weekend! The miraculously beautiful weather prompted us to stretch our legs and spend some time outside.

I had also stumbled across the Passion Planner earlier this week! They have a free layout of the weekly pages that you can download for free. I wanted to give it a shot, but didn't want to wait for the backlog to eventually get one in 2015. So I Excel-jigged a spread of the months and printed a whole calendar!

Yesterday I took the copies for Max and I up to Staples to have them spiral-bound. I also found a really cool drawn map of Vancouver at Granville Island. It has our actual building on it! I took that to Staples as well to have it laminated.

On the way back we stopped at the food trucks by the Vancouver Art Gallery. I have had my eye on Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck for a while now and finally got a sandwich! They also make a mean tomato soup. You can get a cup, or if you just want it for dipping as I usually do, you can get a shot of soup! 

I took my grilled cheese and we went to Chipotle. At least we're trying to eat locally.

I snagged a couple of seats while Max got in line.

A couple sat down next to us, and they were speaking Spanish! They asked if I'd gotten my grilled cheese sandwich from Chipotle. That's my in! 

No, from Mom's. Would you mind me asking where you're from?

The one gentleman was born and raised Vancouver, but his husband was from Mexico.

I'm from Texas!!!

They've been here about 14 years, and were trying Chipotle for the first time (it is rather new to the area) and weren't so impressed.

I asked where they frequented for good Mexican food. 

They recommended La Taqueria and The Mexican.

My goodness. I told them that Mexican food here is like Asian food in Texas, there's just something a little wrong about it.

I went back to Staples today to pick up our calendars. The laminating was going to take a little longer and won't be ready until Tuesday. I grabbed them and headed toward the Marketplace IGA for a few groceries. It's really a gorgeous weekend out! There hasn't been rain for several days!! That's crazy here!

I made it into the building to find both elevators working!! WHAATT?!!!? YAYYY!!!

Put away all the groceries and finally sat down to look at my beautiful Passion Planner.

And Staples put some of the pages in backward.


They apparently take small sections at a time off of my perfectly in order calendar to punch the holes for the spiral. They punched one of these sections on the wrong side. This meant January was followed by March and then February.




I spent an hour pacing around the apartment trying to figure out how much of it I could live with or what I could do about it. I am aware that this is the epitome of a first world problem. However, it was also something I was going to change.

I un-spiraled the spiral binding and removed the pages that were in the wrong spot. I then proceeded to reprint said pages. I took this with me and went back to Staples, hoping they could just punch the holes in them so I could rebind everything. 

They punched the wrong holes in it.


The nice man kindly said he would make a copy of all the pages and re-punch them. No, that's what I had already done. Alright.

HE COPIED THEM ON TO A HIGH GLOSS PAPER. THAT DOESN'T MATCH THE REST OF THE PAGES. I will survive this. Surely, I will survive this.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Day 45: Am I going to do that?

The conversion ticket I've been working on keeps expanding. Today Sarah and I identified things that should be made into additional tickets because it's work that needs to be done but is beyond the scope of the original ticket.

My goodness. This never ends.

Thankfully, Sarah told me I didn't have to take those tickets. It was time someone else get their hands dirty with the conversion!

Well thanks! 

Now to find the end of the original ticket...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 44: Should this be doing that?

I woke up early to drive mom to the airport. 5:30 am early! At least since we drove down to the airport I had two more hours of sleep after coming back home.

Then is was back to the daily grind!

I'd rolled back some changes that I knew were broken on Monday night before I left work. Today's goal was to figure out why and fix it. 

I tested everything by rerunning the unit testing when I got in. Things still failed. What?

I finally figured out that a method we expected to always return true was in fact not.

Not the end of the world. 



This ticket keeps getting bigger and bigger. More areas keep popping up that need to be changed as a result of the old aspect I'm removing. 

Well, I at least made decent progress on it today. And got talked into going to a recruiting event next Tuesday night. Shall be an adventure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 43: There are Belugas?!

Mom and I went to the aquarium today! 

We walked there, of course. Took about an hour and a half. It was a nice walk though. Over to Canada Place and then along the sea wall until we hit Stanley Park. 

I was oddly surprised by how many joggers and bikers there were at 11 am on a Wednesday, by themselves, just doing their thing. It was a gorgeous and very peaceful walk.

Then the aquarium!!! It was amazing!! 

It was the two of us surrounded by nannies and moms and toddlers. Until around 4, when the post-school rush hit! 

We were a little surprised when we arrived to learn that half of the exhibits are outdoors! The animals are naturally use to the colder temperatures, so they just built outdoor habitats. A little chilly, but fun to see. 

There were belugas that did tricks. A couple of port dolphins, some adorable sea otters, a pair of seals and sea lions! Pretty much every one of them knew a couple of orders. The team doing the shows were having the animals do body presents to check them for injuries. Mom bought memberships for Max and I as an early Christmas present! We're excited to take Michael when he comes up in a while. 

Mom wanted to walk home. I wasn't as convinced. It would have been a good 45 minutes, plus the sun had set and it was getting pretty cold out. Max driving up to get us was a much better option. Only about 5 minutes instead! 

We stayed in for the rest of the evening watching Downton Abbey. I got mom absolutely hooked on it!! We watched most of the first season! Then I talked her in to letting me drive her to the airport the next morning since we would be heading out before the sun rose! That meant we got to watch one more episode of Downton!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 42: Remembrance Day 2014

Mom's plane came in yesterday around 2! I met her at the airport and we took the train back to the apartment. Well, first to the gorgeous Waterfront Station, where we switched to the train line that runs by the apartment. Then up to the apartment! Thankfully there was one working elevator, so we didn't have to climb any stairs. She and I stayed in last night, made some grilled chicken and pasta for dinner, and looked through my wedding albums. It was a pretty perfect evening. Max had an evening class, so it was our ladies night of her visit.

This morning started much earlier for her than it did for Max and I. She usually wakes up around 5:30 am Dallas time, which is 3:30 am Vancouver time, which is four hours before the sun rises. She says she stayed in bed until about 6:30, which I found to be very impressive. Max and I, on the other hand, got up around 9. 

We went to Ricky's for some breakfast. It was beautifully sunny outside, but a little too cold to sit on the patio. From there we wandered over to Victory Square for the Remembrance Day Ceremony and Parade. 

Today marks 100 years since the end of World War I.

The War to End All Wars.

Sadly, this was not true. Yet the members of the Commonwealth of Nations still pause every year to remember those who lost their lives in the war, and those who have dedicated their service and lives to the armed forces since then. 

In the States the day still holds meaning. We don't wear poppies or sing the songs of the fallen. We don't consider the day a holiday, giving everyone the day off work to gather round war memorials across the country. We remember every person who has worn the uniform. 

Max, mom, and I honored Matthew. We honored grandpa, my dad's dad. We honored those we knew, those we never would. 

There were poems, songs, flyovers, and 21-gun salutes. It was spectacular and elegant.

From there we went down into Chinatown so that Max could show us his campus! I'd seen a very small part of it when we went to Jake's graduation back in July. Max gave us the whole grand tour though! Then we wandered back down Pender to stare at the outside of my office building because I didn't want to deal with unsetting and resetting the alarm. So that was nice.

The day was still young and there was much to see, so we decided to head over to Granville Island. Miraculously, Max and I had yet to make it there. We decided to take the Aquabus to get a nice tour of False Creek. Only, the closest Aqaubus stop to us was at Plaza of the Nations, down behind the casino. What an adventure. We took a wrong turn and wound up at some other docks that were not the correct docks. Back up and around the front of the casino and then we could see the plaza. Of the Nations. With tons of flagpoles. All flying the Canadian flag. They tried.

Our Aquabus took us to another Aquabus that took us to Granville Island. It was really cool! I can imagine it would be buckets and buckets of tourists in the summer. On this gorgeous Vancouver day that was still very cold, there were not as many tourists. Adorable children with their parents because everyone has the day off? Check. Adorable couples grocery shopping for their dinner? Check. We wondered all over the island. Through the market, past all the stores, all through the amazing toy store, by the concrete factory who paints all of their trucks and their massive silos, and around the nifty art University.

The sun started to set and it was only getting colder. We hailed an Aquabus back to the casino and traipsed back up the hill to the apartment, via the Abbott St. Starbucks of course. We warmed up our toes and then went out for dinner. Max and I had never eaten inside of Back Forty's before. It's shocking that we hadn't been since it was nice out! But it was a perfect atmosphere. Even on a game night, the place was spirited but not overcrowded or unreasonably noisy. 

A great ending to a great day. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 41: What's breaking the build this time?

Mom's in town!! More about that later. 

For now, I am tired. I had a late day in the office.

I'm working on removing an old part of the system. Part of doing that involves making your code updates as small as possible, so if something goes wrong, you know the most recent things that could have caused it. Around 4:50 pm, I did the stupid thing of making a commit. 

The build broke. Rats.

I knew which code changes caused it, but I had no idea why they'd caused it. 

Rolling back the code was easy, and didn't take very long at all. 

Waiting for the build to run again was another story. It was already after 5 and I had mom back at the apartment! Yet I was certainly not going to leave and risk having a broken build all night. 

Thankfully, I was correct about what caused the build to break. Fixing that part will have to wait until Thursday as I've got plans!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Day 40: Where do I start?

A while back the medical school process for accreditation changed. A concept that we'd previously had as its own entity now needed to be redirected as a sub-topic of another entity. For every school. Across the whole system. 

About a year ago the team did tons of work to retro-fit everything to fit the new style, and set everything up so that going forward would be correct next time around.

Now, we have to go back and remove everything from the way it use to be. 

That's the lucky ticket I picked up. Woot.

This is simply massive. I went through and read a ton of the old tickets and looked at some old code revisions to see why changes were made and what was changed. 

Whelp. Here goes.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 39: What's the decision?!?

We have been debating for a while now. The team is moving toward a continuous release model, and as a part of that, we want to move away from using subversion for our version control. 

This is a pretty good explanation of what subversion is and why it's used.

Essentially, we have an entire team of people all trying to work on the same documents. That can get tricky. We use a version control system to track the changes each individual developer is making and help merge those changes back into the large collection of files (the repository) that comprise our product. You can think of this as a tree. The main trunk is our most stable version of the product. When we want to create something new, we create a branch off of the trunk. It has all the same parts, but we can make modifications without effecting the main trunk. Then, once we are confident in the changes we have made, we can rejoin the code in the branch with the main code in the trunk. The trunk gets a little bigger, as trees do as they grow, and we move on up the tree, taller and taller, making more branches as we need.

That's a pretty simple view of it. We have been using a product called subversion to help us make all of these changes. The main theme of branching is that at some point you have to merge the files back in. You need a system that can compare the state of the files now, the state of the files when you created the branch, and the state of all the other changes that have been made since you created the branch, then decide how to put all the pieces back together. Surprisingly, subversion isn't very good at that part. 

So we went looking for something different.

Git and Mercurial are two very popular competitors of subversion. We have team members who have worked previously with both, so there were very strong arguments and very loud voices for both. 

We spent several weeks developing our acceptance criteria to detail all the smart, non-emotional choices we should make to choose between the two. The comparisons were made and we have made a choice! The team will be switching to Mercurial!! (A pleasantly graphical for being so technical description of Mercurial)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day 38: What are the poppies for?

This was evidently the stupidest question an American can ask. 

During my further research, this does actually happen in the States. I, however, was unfamiliar with the practice.

Men, women, and children across Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland don poppy pins in the weeks and days leading up to Remembrance (Veterans) Day. 

The entire atmosphere here regarding violence, veterans, and paying homage to those who have fallen is very different than in the States.

On October 22nd there was a shooting at a parliament building in Ottawa. I'd heard about it on the news and from folks at work. One man, a veteran, died. The story was covered nationally for more than a week. Veterans were standing guard 24/7 at all war memorials across the country for the same duration. 

If a veteran was shot and killed in New York, the story would be on the third page of the newspaper printed in Texas. The story would run for one day. It might get mention on the broadcast news.

It's a very different atmosphere. 

Remembrance Day is still a week off, yet people have been wearing the poppy pins for several days already.

Things are different here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 37: Where is the mute button?

My question off and on all day long. 

I showed up at work today. Then started coughing and blowing my nose. Scott and Adam kindly suggested that if I don't feel well I certainly didn't have to be here today.

I am strong! When I was growing up, you honored your obligation unless you were vomiting or running a fever of 100 degrees. I could still stand, I could still think straight, I didn't have a fever, I was going to work.

Then Tracy sent me a message with a smiley face with the same theme. Head home and call in for the Tuesday meetings!

Well, alright. 

I packed up and traipsed home.

It wasn't all bad. I got to switch into the sweats and sit on my comfy couch instead of the board room chairs all day. Plus see the kittens and Max once he got home. Everyone else got to see Amelia and Loki, and there were smiles and laughs every time one tried to set up camp on my laptop. 

Lesson learned: stay home when I don't feel well. Just, stay home.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Birthday Weekend!!!

I'm 23 years old now!! Hurray!!

The weekend wasn't quite what I'd imagined, but it was still spectacular. My Maxwell was also feeling a little under the weather, so we largely stayed indoors. 

Friday night we were crumbled on the couch and didn't want to travel the 20 feet into the bedroom. That's when Max said we should bring the bed to the living room. This sounds amazing. We made space in the middle of the floor and pulled the spare mattress in. This is so snuggly, the grown up version of a blanket fort. 

Saturday we went outside!! We drove to the grocery store and shuffled through as quickly as possible. For the first time in our lives, we didn't buy anything NOT on the grocery list! Feeling crummy, wanting to be home quickly, and having no appetite can do that to you. 

We spent the rest of the day baking muffins and watching movies from our blanket fort. Quite splendid. 

Sunday was my birthday!! I made it out of the office as far as the mailboxes downstairs. However, I did watch two seasons of Downton Abbey! So, you know, trade-offs. We had leftover chocolate chip muffins for brunch and Max made me dinner. Really, a perfect day.

Day 36: Where do we keep the kleenex?

This was my first question when I entered the office. 

I made it through the shower and the uphill climb to the office in the rain. Then I needed a box of kleenex. My head is feeling much better, but I'm a nose-blowing fiend right now in need of my own box. 

I understand that the general unspoken office policy is don't come to work if you're sick so that you don't get anyone else sick. But I already missed Friday, and I'm still new and I didn't want to miss any more time. 

My coworkers were more concerned about my well-being, and started trying to encourage me home around 3:30. I figured I'd made it through the bulk of the day at that point, so I'd stick it out. 45 minutes later I was singing the same tune as them, and figured I could call it early without much harm. I'll be in ripe and ready for the meetings tomorrow!