Everything was cooking along until noon, when I started getting emails and four instant message threads all related to a software bug holding up testing, which everyone decided must be mine.
A few months ago, we transitioned from a useful code-database-revision-control tool to one that is a kind of neverending evil. It makes doing our jobs extremely hard, particularly looking at changes to your code from one version to another—which is an utter necessity in tracking down this kind of bug. Plus, my section of this larger software workaround runs inside the ASIC hardware, and is essentially a black box. Fun! Managers wanted to make sure I understood the urgency of the situation, while there was little I could do to investigate it.
I finally got some code-verification going after 3 hours, and debugged with another engineer to push the focus farther along. Ate lunch at 3:30. Missed the daylight hours to go biking outside, and got stuck riding in the garage. What a day. :(
Tonight, I'm reading more LJ Idol entries and watching my own tank in the polls. In book news, I've read the first four No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. I love the clean prose, coupled with surprising business names such as the Go-Go Handsome Men's Bar or the Double Comfort Furniture Company. I'm also puzzled by the idea of people eating pumpkin as a side-dish. I guess they're treating it as a squash? I've started another series by the same author, Portuguese Irregular Verbs. That is much less fun, and the prose-style harder going. However, I do love the absurdity of someone trying to start a conversation with, "You seem to be fairly tall. Tell us about that."
I'm enjoying Joe Hill's 20th-Century Ghosts. Hill is primarily considered a Horror writer, though since I like his work and don't really like that genre, I see this book a little differently. Some of the stories are more like character studies with unreal elements. The only horror in "The Black Phone" is of the human variety, and the supernatural element could as easily be delusion. "Better Than Home" is pathos. And "Abraham's Boy," which is about an everyday, inflatable boy, reads like a parable of how cruelly the world treats gentle people. In many ways, these stories remind me of some of Ray Bradbury's classics. Sure, one of the stories features a giant insect, but hey, Bradbury would go there. I'm sure he has.
I got a third of the way through Hellbent, and bailed. Too much poop. Literally. I've also drifted away from The Bards of Bone Plain. Really, the motor car was a bad sign. McKillip's storytelling style just doesn't mesh well with anything modern. Well, more time for that Michael Connolly novel then, and Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister. So many books, so little time!