We all have it, we all do it. And yes, it can be an amazing joy or a terrible beating - or somewhere in between. December was an absolutely insane month for work, because we were making some HUGE changes to the site I work on. For those of you who haven't worked on a site for a large corporation, you may not be able to imagine the logistical, political, technical, spiritual, ecumenical and grammatical issues that you have to overcome to make ANY change, much less a dramatic one. How dramatic? Well, we were going from...
...including all the look & feel for every page in the site. It's quite a bit of change. So much, in fact, that we had to bring the entire site down for about 12 hours to implement the change. And, since it wouldn't be nice to pull our online rug out from under our customers' feet, we took the site down at 10pm CST and brought it back around 1pm CST the next day. (Yeah, that's longer than 12 hours, but we had to test the thing internally before "going live.") I must say, though, our Project Management team really came through on that all-nighter. We camped out in a big conference room, each of us working on our respective elements of the site, and we were STOCKED with coffee and food and cookies and fruit and desserts and everything else one could want when trying to say awake. It was hard, but I must say it reminded me of those glory days in college of all night LAN parties.
*Sigh*, those were the days.
Since I have a kid these days, the Holiday Season has become radically different. I'd probably even call it better, because kids make any family get-together so much richer - so much more. Lukas was just an amazing Christmas baby (note: link goes to an embarrassment of cute baby pictures), and everyone had fun.
But more than just the joy of watching a baby try to eat tissue paper or being more entertained by the $4 teether than the $30 rolly-ball, the Holidays became infinitely more filled with logistics. All you people that have been parents for Christmases Past are now giving me that "Yeah, NOW you get it" look, complete with the Knowing Nod, but give me a break. This is my first time through this rodeo.
And speaking of rodeo, it's like cat wrangling to get a baby ANYWHERE to spend longer than 4 hours. You gotta pack up the Pack-N-Play, clothes, food, toys, diaper-changing materials, perhaps even a high chair! Lemme tell ya, we have since invested in a portable high-chair/feeding station solution, and I'm very excited about its prospects.
Oh, and coming home from Mema and Grandad's house, I thought we were going to have to strap some items on the roof, Griswold style. Note to self: if you're going down to Houston for a Christmas-like celebration, make sure and leave plenty of room to bring stuff BACK.
No, not his toys, MINE! Even though The Squid made out like a bandit, poor ol' Daddy wasn't ignored, oh no. Plenty of cash came from my parents (and I thank you deeply) that I plan on investing in some new domain names and web hosting. I don't have a good personal portfolio site, and if people are gonna take me seriously at all as a Web Guy, I gotta get that taken care of. Plus, I've had an idea I've wanted to pursue for quite some time - another web site/blog - and hopefully I'll get to tell ya'll about that soon as well.
But the in-law parents came through with flying colors as well, by bestowing upon me this little device you see to the right. Yep, I've joined the ranks of the iPod People, and of course, I love it.
Walk in to any Apple store or pick up any Apple product, and you'll be tempted - you'll be tempted to "drink the Kool-aid" of Apple fan-dom. I've always resisted this, even to the point where my first MP3 player was actually an Archos (yeah, you haven't heard of them), not an iPod. Now, my Archos was pretty nice. Good form factor, nice features, even had a slot for CF cards so you could dump your photos directly on there. But let's all face it - the sexiest and easiest music player in the world is an iPod. You may not have to drink all the Kool-aid, but you gotta have at least some, 'cause it's REALLY good.
So now I'm spending all my time getting set up with iTunes and the iPod. I've got 20 GB of music files from my old player, and none of it has album art. Only some of it has reasonable Artist/Album/Genre info, and even less actually has the track numbering in there. And, as any good geek would wanna do, I REALLY want everything in there to be PERFECT. I've become addicted to Discogs.com, because I can go there and pull album art for even the most rare of singles. "Now let's see, do I wanna use the US single art, or perhaps the US Radio Edit? Maybe the UK or Japan releases??"
So, that's just SOME of what's been keeping me occupied. Sorry for the delay, Sweet Cheeks, and I hope we can talk more often in the New Year.