Thursday, January 3, 2013

Starting the New Year

OK, I have to admit that I did nothing at all on New Year's Day.  I will not have a day off work right now until the end of March.  I'm not asking for sympathy.  I love teaching skiing on the weekends and I've been making it work for years.  But, knowing that I have 12 more weekends of ski instruction this year, my wife and I chose to do nothing at all on Tuesday.

Wednesday was a busy day.  I had a visit with the chiropractor who is helping me with my shoulders.  With only one visit and a couple weeks of foam rolling and lacrosse ball massage work, the right shoulder feels much better already.  So, the doc spent time on the left yesterday and he left me feeling really sore and beat up.  He is amazed at some of the tight spots he's been finding and working on, and I'm amazed by how much it all hurts.  But, after an injury two years ago, this same doc was instrumental in getting me healthy again and I trust him completely.

Then, I had a really busy day at work.  I've been dealing with a "death spiral" trying to solve a problem with some reports from our software.  First, a product that was supposed to export to PDF format had a bug.  This software is produced by one of the largest software companies in the world, and I feel like a real sap for getting stuck with it.  Anyway, when that product exports to PDF format, the fonts get messed up.  Exports to RTF format look pretty good.  So, if I could simply find a product to do batch conversion from RTF to PDF, my problem is solved.  There are two such products for the Linux operating system, but I couldn't get one of them to install (something known as "rpm hell" in Linux - one piece of software depends on another which depends on another, and you can never get to the bottom of the problem) and I couldn't get the other one to work at all.  Luckily, I found a windows option.  So, I purchased that software and set up some scripts to move files from Linux to Windows, convert the files, and move them back.  And, I then discovered that this product only work properly when there is a Windows User Interface for using MS Office available. Meaning, it works if I'm logged in, but not otherwise.  So, I tried to re-write my scripts to re-do seven days worth of reports every single day.  This would allow processing to catch up if I wasn't logged on due the weekend, a vacation, etc.  But apparently, you can't easily get the date string in windows scripts for yesterday, the day before yesterday, the day before that, etc.  So, I wrote a Java program to calculate and write the string to a file on Windows, and then my script could read the file.  This worked great, but I then realized it is messing up timestamps on my files.  At this point in time, I'm not sure I even remember the original problem.

I finally got out of work and my wife and I went to CrossFit.  It was a good workout - front squats, back squats, followed by some Tabata intervals - 8 rounds each of pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and air squats - a very efficient and difficult workout.

Yesterday was my birthday, so I'd planned to cook a nice dinner (lamb chops with a wild mushroom and garlic cream sauce, a potato gratin, and a Caesar salad) to enjoy with the family.  But, my son decided to go to a concert instead.  And, my wife and I were exhausted.  And my daughter was swamped with homework.  So, we cooked a simple dinner instead, my wife and I shared a nice bottle of Champagne, and by 9:30, we couldn't keep our eyes open any more.

I guess this is how life goes at age 51 (and beyond).

1 comment:

Jeff Farbaniec said...

Your computer problems should be easy to solve: if you can't do it in Excel, it ain't worth doing.

Anyhow, happy birthday!