naturedance: this is me reading Walden (me reading Walden)
Twelve steps of job and life transitioning )

And a few more things...

Remember to breathe.

Take time to meditate.

Smile.

Be happy.

Live. Laugh. Love.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (skyward)
I was downsized at work today.

It was... unexpected.

Work has been very stressful lately, we're in the middle of a dramatic reorg, and we were told that some layoffs were coming... but I just don't think anyone expected me to be one of them. I do a lot of very different things, and I suspect that my unpigeonholeability probably contributed to my position not fitting in the new org chart.

And that's the only speculation I want made about that. Water under the bridge, paths not taken, etc etc etc. I do know for a fact that my management pre-reorg was happy with my work, which is heartening.

Tomorrow marks my eight-year anniversary at this job. It's also the day of the all-hands meeting of the newly-reorganized (and significantly smaller) department.

I'm taking the day off, and will spend part of it at home and part of it at Descanso Gardens, but I'll be back in the office Friday to start handing off all of my open tickets, projects and inbox emails that will require someone's attention, or someone's conscious decision to drop.

Next week I'm going to spend time documenting the most critical things for which I have been exclusively responsible, in some cases for eight years. I packed up everything but my ergonomic mice and keyboards at the office today.

At some point next week I'm going to send around an email to all of my associates across campus that I interface with in different departments letting them know I'll be hanging out at the tables outside the coffee shop on campus for a specific hour or two if anyone wants to say goodbye. My official last day is November 4th, but we downsizees are not actually required to be in the office until then, so I'll probably spend that week dealing with various paperwork things (insurance, retirement, COBRA etc etc etc), talking with my grad school about my options for becoming a full-time student, and polishing up my resume.

As I did when I left my last job (which was my own doing that time, but also after a dramatic reorg), I don't intend to just drop important things on the floor... I want to make as smooth a transition as possible for myself, my co-workers, my other associates on campus, my users and my manager(s). At the same time I am putting myself and my own needs first, because not doing that right now would be Stupid-with-a-capital-S. But in fact I need to leave the place better than I found it, and I need to do right by those co-workers and associates who've walked through fire with me and for me in the past. That's a fundamental feature of who I am, and to do differently now is unthinkable for me.

I spent quite a bit of time today reassuring everyone around me that I am in fact fine. It will mean a time of chaos and decision-making for me, but it's also a time of opportunity.

Really, I'm going to be OK.

This is not a life or death thing. Been there, done that. This is a job, albeit one which I have at times treated like a religious vocation over the years. Caltech has been my home, but it has changed and continues to change, and I've been on or near campus for fourteen years between being student and staff, so it's OK that it's time for me to move on.

I've worked long and hard and I've enjoyed much of what I do, and I've really enjoyed working with the people I have. For the other downsizees, I wish all the best... I feel bad for the folks with kids and mortgages and such. For the folks who are staying, I wish all the best... both for the individuals and the IT group and for Caltech as a whole.

I'm currently considering my options, including:
- looking for other full-time work in the Los Angeles area, and continuing my part-time grad school MSIS degree program at Claremont
- becoming a full-time student at Claremont and finishing my MSIS program in a year or so (this might mean moving from Burbank to Azusa/Glendora/San Dimas/Diamond Bar/Chino Hills/etc etc etc closer to Claremont where the housing is cheaper and the commute to Claremont would be shorter)
- looking for full-time work in the Bay Area (Mountain View sounds nice, and as long as I'm not in San Fran itself I think I'd be OK if I could afford the living space...)
- looking for full-time work in Oregon or Washington state, or hey, Vermont is pretty...
- applying to transfer to a full-time graduate program elsewhere (I have family near Madison, Wisconsin and near Bloomington, Indiana who would love to have me closer)

My roommate and I may be travelling together, so if you know of anywhere with companies or universities that are looking for a marketing communications specialist web designer tech writer and an organizey knowledge manager sysadmin documentation process person, please let us know. I'm meeting with a career counselor next week to polish up my resume, but the latest version is here and my roommate Janis' is here.

I'm also deciding whether or not I want to pay my own way to LISA in San Diego this December. I've really been wanting to attend, and it'd be a great opportunity to network if I decide I don't want to go the full-time student route. Plus I'd get to see LISA folks, who are always wonderful.

I think I'm talking myself into that... I mean, I've been wanting to attend [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom's workshops and get his fabulous new book, and why miss all that?

:-)

I'm not a huge Mary Engelbreit fan, but some of her art does speak to me. These kind of sum up my day today:

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lives... Get One

Don't look back
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships Seminar Day

SURF students give oral or poster presentations of their summer research projects at this annual event, to be held on October 15th on campus.

Registration is at 9 a.m. in Winnett quad, near the Red Door coffee shop. A $20 registration fee includes materials, presentations, lunch, and refreshments.

Details: http://www.surf.caltech.edu and http://www.surf.caltech.edu/sem-day/index.html
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
Nothing quite wakes you up like the blast of air from under the raised floor of a machine room at 6:15am.

I'm just sayin'.

Finally, finally, finally, all of our gear in the new machine room is onto the good/permanent power bricks. I've been stressing/worrying about/working on this since last fall. If I were more awake, I'd do a happy donedonedone dance and everything.

Well, at least the power's done. There are other things that still need to be taken care of over there, but I claim what little victories I may.

*goes in search of chai tea*
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (reflective)
First, a bit of personal stuff...

My hands/wrists/arms/shoulders are throwing a fit because I've been on the computers too much lately and one of them has a keyboard that messes with me, so this entry's formatting is not up to my usual standard, sorry.

(edited to add: work ordered another minikeyboard for me for that computer earlier in the week, and it just arrived. Bliss! For the record, I now depend on BenQ Desksaver keyboards on all of my PCs; regular keyboards with tall keys spaced wider _hurt_. I've also switched to using more comfy trackball thingies rather than mice with Evil Scroll Wheels, for the same reason.)

Grad school class is going OK, though I'm really tired and buzzwords bend my brain. I've got lots to type up about the books and articles we've been reading, though, and I hope to do so as part of my studying this weekend for the midterm next week.

I bought myself a new 12" Mac laptop. It rocks. I'm still getting the hang of it, but I do love it so far.

Work is crazy and busy but I'm hanging in there, as usual.

And here's what I spent my lunch hour reading...

Wil Wheaton mentioned on his blog at http://www.wilwheaton.net/ a potentially interesting site called Digg. He also has a really great story about running around his front yard like a loon because it's his birthday. As always, Wil rocks.

Wil's post led me both to http://www.digg.com/science and to photos of a release of ten thousand superballs boinging their way down a San Francisco street. http://www.boingboing.net/2005/07/29/ten_thousand_superba.html

That led me to an interesting photo storage site. http://www.flickr.com/

The science links page at Digg led me to the BBC's really cool section about exploring Mars.
Lake of frozen water: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4727847.stm
Possibly found the crashed polar lander: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4522291.stm
Rover missions extended: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4432735.stm

Other interesting stuff on LJ:

"Don't be smart." http://www.livejournal.com/users/galactic_dev/55898.html

Language creation stuff - http://www.livejournal.com/users/sylvantechie/97763.html

Nation-state simulator program/game - http://www.livejournal.com/users/sylvantechie/97283.html

That reminds me... I stumbled across a neat tutorial for making planet images using Photoshop a while back... http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorial/Create-a-planet/5245

Explaining outdated technology to children... "In the old days. Were you black and white?"
http://www.livejournal.com/users/mizu_gami/113965.html

Using cell phone data to track behavior... http://www.livejournal.com/users/a_steep_hill/17299.html

Baen's online fiction library...
http://www.livejournal.com/users/sylvantechie/98299.html

Microsoft unveils new version of its operating system, "Vista" ...the running joke resulting from this seems to be "We are assured that the new name is not an acronym for Viruses, Infections, Spyware, Trojans and Adware. No, no, no, no, no, it's really not."
http://www.livejournal.com/users/yesthattom/382196.html

Think one person can't change the world? Read a little bit about one woman who was instrumental in starting what have now become LGBT Pride celebrations every year around the world, at http://www.livejournal.com/users/yesthattom/382821.html

Back to work now...
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (skyward)
And I'm OK. Yay!

I'm still excited about the material, but the buzzwordspeak is daunting (and seems a bit downright silly in places in the readings) and I'm having to concentrate very, very closely in class to understand the instructor's accent.

One of these years I'm going to get better at understanding accents, I hope. One of the drawbacks of growing up in a place where everyone sounds really really the same is that I stink at understanding accents.

On the plus side, the amount of reading for this Claremont class is less than I'd have expected based on my experience in Caltech classes, even if some of it is chock full o' buzzwords and acronyms. I'm kind of puzzled by some folks in the class grumbling good-naturedly about the amount of reading required. And yes, I do read fast, but I also don't have any experience at all with most of the terms and concepts I'm reading about, so speed isn't much of an advantage. *rolls eyes*

Now if I could just figure out where UPS and Amazon have put one of the textbooks I ordered which should have arrived two days ago, in time to read it for the group project that's due Thursday evening... hmph. It says "delivered" but I didn't get any notice about it. Perhaps it's down at the apartment office, and they only gave me the first box when I pestered them for my packages last time.

And I still need to pull some rabbits out of my miracle-worker hat at work.

Oh, that reminds me... while I was at the local bookstore last night (looking in vain for a copy of the textbook I need) I spotted part of the huge Harry Potter display. It's so neat to see people excited about a book release. But the really cool thing was boxed sets of big black goosefeather quills and inkpots. Adorable! I love that in this world of ever-increasing technology, there will be some subset of this generation to grow up familiar with ink and old-style calligraphy!
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
I'll be on campus this Sunday morning helping with the South Hovse complex computer lab moves. If any current South Hovse undergrads or summer folks need help moving their stuff to the trailers on Sunday afternoon, or even on Saturday evening, I have a small car and a small flatbed pushcart. Comment here if you know of anyone that needs a hand.
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
Without fail, every year when I do orientations about our computer services on campus during evenings or on weekends, someone asks me if I'm getting overtime for doing it. They already know that I'm IT staff, a webmaster/sysadmin/accounts maintainer, before they ask...

I invariably end up explaining that salaried staff do not get overtime.

The person who asked about it is invariably flabbergasted.

I mean, really, they're gobsmacked. They give the impression that they would never work a job that didn't offer overtime. These are not random people from the public... these are college-educated or -about-to-be-educated, very intelligent people on the Caltech campus, either new students or summer researchers or staff or students who've been on campus a while.

Some of them even expect that a salaried employee should still get overtime for late evenings or weekends, even if the employee wouldn't usually get paid by the hour, or clock in and out each day.

This confuses me.

In my worldview, most college-educated folks seek full-time salaried benefit-including type employment. Temporary workers and consultants are usually hourly. I know very few people in my peer group (or people in older versions of my peer group) who are hourly in their chosen profession.

(Aside: Yes, I do have plenty of friends currently in less-than-ideal jobs which they wouldn't consider to be their "chosen profession" -- darn this economy, anyway. And I don't consider hourly work to be any less "workish" than salaried work.)

Am I living in some odd alternate reality from everyone else or something?

Why do some people expect that they will get their college degrees and then work a job where they are paid by the hour, and get overtime if they work late?


Let me say here and now that I haven't minded working late or on weekends to pass out new account info sheets to new students, or to give orientations for students or summer folks. (Well, OK, when the info tables were set up outside in the blazing sun in 95 degrees plus for six hours at a time? Was kind of brutal and less than fun, but it was still fun meeting all the new students and I felt useful by being able to answer lots and lots of questions.) I do volunteer for it, and I could choose not to.

It saves all of us a lot of time if new people have that information given to them efficiently early in their time on campus, and my department has an easier time once folks realize that we're really real people on the other end of the email addresses, and I really do care a whole lot (maybe stupidly much) about helping new Caltech people get the most out of their time on campus and getting the most out of our department's services, and to helping us protect the campus network from malicious computer attacks.

But I'm still boggled. every. single. time. someone asks me if I'm getting overtime.

RL update

Jun. 21st, 2005 08:50 am
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
My letter of acceptance came, the program is a go, and I've sent in my acceptance of their acceptance, so... I start graduate school on July 11th.

I'm doing a part-time MSIS program offered at Caltech in the evenings and on weekends from Claremont Graduate University's School of Information Science. I need to re-take the GRE sometime before December, but it's just the general test, not the subject-specific ones, so it's not that intimidating.

Holy crap, I'm a student again. Yay? Yes, yay!

I was highly entertained to compare the info sheet from CGU's IT department welcoming me to studenthood at CGU to the new accounts handouts I make for new folks getting accounts at Caltech's ITS. :-)

---

Tonight batches of non-Caltech SFP summer program participants will be coming by the computer lab and I'll be going over some information specific to their computing needs. Because the invite-handing-out last week at their info session was so chaotic, I have no idea if batches of 30 are going to show up every half hour as I'd planned, or if no one is going to show up, or if some huge number of the ~260 non-Caltech SFPers are all going to show up at once.

Thursday is the second and last group of SFP orientations... we tried splitting them up so that folks "with their own laptops" or "with their own desktop computers living in Caltech housing" will all come one night, and that folks "without their own computer" or "with their own desktop computers not living in Caltech housing" will all come the other. Those groups all need slightly different information about our department's services, but I tried clumping the most similar ones together because we had no idea how many people actually fit each category. I also need to be up on different sorts of troubleshooting/debugging/question-answering for the different groups, because they'll all have different concerns.

Next year this will be less chaotic. *stern glare at The World In General*

That reminds me, I need to start gearing up for the FSI and international student ITS orientations, and for the big batch of freshmen, transfers and grad students who arrive in the fall. Username preferences are already rolling in, which is good, but there are a few other things I need to do now so that August and September will be relatively less chaotic than they could be.

---

I have the coolest parents ever. Take my word on this.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (path less traveled)
Sometimes cocooning is necessary and good.

Work may be insanely busy, but the past few months I've ended up doing herculean sprints and then crashing, and that's not a good long-term survival strategy for what's turned out to be a marathon machine room move. Pace yourself, woman!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
There was just a 5.3 earthquake about 85 miles inland from here. Edited To Add: The automatic ranking listed it as a 5.3, but after the seismologists reviewed it, it's now listed as a 4.9...

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsUS/Maps/US2/33.35.-118.-116.html
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsUS/Quakes/ci14155260.htm

The painted eggs dangling from the ceiling in the living room continue to be interesting seismometers, and the cats are a bit jumpy. No worries.
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
Professors are rather like peacocks when they dress up in all of their finery, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's adorable.

Sandra Tsing Loh is engaging and funny and her cracks about her degree being built on partial credit had me in tears of laughter. Oh, so very, very true... and yes, for any non-Techers reading this: there are such things here as take-home, infinite-time, open-book exams, and yes, they're just as stressful as they sound.

There will be streaming video and photographs and transcripts and things up at the Commencement 2005 site later this afternoon.

I do love this place. I shake my head sometimes, I roll my eyes sometimes, I tear my hair sometimes and can't sleep at night because of this place, but I do love it. And Sandra's right... once Caltech bestows a degree, they can't take it back, no matter what you decide to do with your life after Tech. :-)

I'm reminded of Bill Nye's advice when he was the Commencement speaker a few years back... here's the version I took away from that speech:
- Try to remember the passion that first brought you into your field of study as you advance. Don't lose that excitement.
- When you are designing something, get to know the people who will actually build it. Bridging the gaps between theory and practice can be accomplished by human interaction and diversity of experience and knowledge and inspiration.
- When you know you're going to take a bucket of water to the face, untuck your shirt. That'll prevent some part of it from going down your pants.

And yeah, that last one might not be immediately applicable to everyone, but if you abstract it a bit, there's some fundamental wisdom there... when you know you're going to do something which will result in discomfort, plan ahead and don't deny that it's going to happen. Do what you can, especially the simple little stuff, to minimize the discomfort, especially when there's a chance you may get that bucketfull in the face multiple times.

I wish the site of past Commencements had more speech transcripts going further back. The ones that are there are wonderful and inspirational, of course, but I'd love to read more of them going back further in time.

Congratulations, graduates! Now, have a nice party, then get some sleep. After that, go forth boldly, follow your passions, work hard for your dreams, and make your mark on the world! Dance as though no one is watching, and all of that.

And when you get rich and famous? I hereby respectfully request that you consider gifting Caltech with a building just for us IT infrastructure types. Mediterranean architecture, high-speed networking, nice roomy disk quotas and stable, powerful, dependable, redundant computing systems all go so well together... ;-)
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
...and I'm still a big ol' geek.

I love that there is a large stone-looking head about ten feet tall with smoke periodically rising out of its mouth over near the Court of Man that has a computer set up inside it.

I love that there is a three-headed dog between Beckman Institute and Beckman Behavioral Biology, and that a bunch of students in black robes and crimson and gold scarves and pointy black hats were headed its way.

I love that I was asked to create an extra-special account on our computer systems for one "Virgil Swann" a couple days ago, and that its web directory is currently full of files about astronomy and spinal injury research... and a few files which appear to be gibberish but which I am certain are not.

I love that Beckman Lawn has two large funnelators at one end of it and what appear to be targets at the other.

I love that Indiana Jones is having a Penultimate Crusade today (not just any Crusade would do, of course!).

I love that there is a little metal mermaid floating around in Milliken Pond.

I love that there was a little black dragon dangling from the tree outside Watson this morning.

I love that there are laundry baskets full of water balloons stashed at strategic locations all over campus.

I love that a group of students completely suited up in white Hazmat bunnysuits quite calmly passed me on my way into my office building.

I love that some of the trees and light poles over near the aeronautics buildings look like a giant spider went nuts with rope and bungee cord and knotwork.

I love that there is an inexplicable banana sitting in the upstairs hallway of our building.

I love that a group of pirates were building a basic sail rigging for a raft over near Milliken.

I love that there is a large basket and a bucket dangling from a rope off the BBB roof with no discernable way to access either one of them.

I love that there is an Avery Revolution going on which seems to involve logo-labeled citrus fruit ammunition.

I love that no matter the fact that the students look younger and younger each year, some of them will always have read Ender's Game.

And I love that I can say, with absolute certainty and no visual proof whatsoever, that somewhere on this campus students are trying to break a very large block of concrete, right this minute.

Some things never change... well... OK, maybe the supersoakers get a bit larger every year. The Caltech webmasters have put up some photos here.
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
The combination of scents on Caltech's campus during mornings in May makes me twitchy. The flowers and fresh-mown lawns are pretty and all, but they freak me out. I'm flooded with feelings of urgency and being out of time and having too much to do and deadlines looming and not enough spare brainspace and OHDAMNWHATHAVEIFORGOTTENTODO!?!

Interestingly enough, the scents of dusk and nighttime on campus are calming and clarifying and encouraging to me. They speak of deep breaths and calm organization and prioritizing and stretching neck and back muscles grown weary of the day's tension, of having a hours to work on whatever needs doing and the clarity of mind to face whatever the demons of daytime might have been.

I haven't been a student for eight years now. You'd think somehow my hindbrain would realize this.

But having way too much that needs doing here at work this time of year doesn't help. *sigh* Being IT staff: it's kind of like having midterms or finals every week of the year.
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
Every year, they come. Some bring their parents so the parents can get lost on campus. Today I helped point a bunch of them in the right direction (they were trying to find the physics and math lectures) and then got free lunch courtesy of the Alumni Association and Admissions to sit and chat with them.

They're energetic and energizing and fun.

I love giving them information about my experiences so they can make a better-informed choice about their next four or five years.

Plus it reminds me of what I learned about myself during that time, and since then.

*watches the happy prefrosh zing off along their chosen paths*

Good luck, little prefrosh! If you decide to come to Caltech, look me up; we'll go for chai, and I can help you find the support structures on campus for whatever it is you want out of this place. :-)

In the mean time, I'm going to get back to work, and also take what I've learned about myself and use the support structures I've found and built and get more of what I want out of this place. :-D
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
Big complex tricksy meetingbeast today apparently went very well. A bunch of us had been preparing for weeks, and I keep thanking my lucky stars that I didn't need to run this one. I think the final count on attendees was something like three directors, three or four managers, and about ten sysadmins...

On the way home I needed to stop by the grocery anyway, and I was so relieved to have gotten through this week and felt like I've made real progress on my own solo tasks and been useful to others, I treated myself to a dozen yellow-tipped-with-burgundy roses. I haven't done that in a long time.

*puts feet up*

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

TGIF, folks!

Oh, this nifty post popped up on my reading list today... I love finding more cool Tech alumns and their friends online; I friended a few new folks' journals tonight. Hello, new people!

I think [livejournal.com profile] sethml was one of my TAs for CS1 (and in related news, when the UGCS sysadmins were cleaning out their old room and moving to their new one, they found one of my old exam bluebooks from that class this week; it had been hanging around waiting to be picked up since sometime back in '93 or so when I took the class, way before I thought I'd get a full-time job in computers)... and apparently he's into remote controlled aircraft nowadays. But not just that; he stuck his digital camera to his airplane and took aerial photographs and a movie. I love creative uses of technology...
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring valley)
I'm really glad the Caltech community managed to prevent the big metal sculpture from bisecting Beckman Lawn.

The sky is amazingly beautiful right now, graduated blues so vibrant they almost have a taste, with clouds chasing each other across, here and there spatterings of raindrops. The foothills are brightening green to the north, and the tops of the mountains shrouded in grey-white cloudbanks. The breeze across Beckman Lawn has a scent I can only describe as "spring sunshine over fresh grass and awakening earth" and it's simply fabulous.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring valley)
I don't know which readers of this journal were reading it back in November 2003, when I was working simply insane hours to roll out a big website at work... doing this website for my department (and retiring the more than 6000 old HTML files from four previous incarnations of it) is only one component of my job.

Anyway, if you missed the Nov 2003 posts, they're here and here and here and here.

I've been making slow and unsteady progress on the rest of the site since then, including piggybacking a department-specific collection into the campus Google instance so we can have a nice search box on each page, but for a variety of reasons I've been too swamped with other things to roll up my sleeves and work on entire web sections as much as I've needed to in order to get the rest of the site done. Individual pages here and there, hey, sure. But web sections? No way. Not when twenty zillion other tasks were clamoring at me.

Not this week! This week I managed to roll a few new sections out.

Helpdesk Services - http://www.its.caltech.edu/hd/
IT Education & Outreach - http://www.its.caltech.edu/edu/
Macintosh Cluster Services - http://www.its.caltech.edu/mac/

I've also managed to get the right people to look at specific sections of the site with me to fix known-to-me problems or missing information...

Remote Access: Dialup Services (updated and more complete - that means that the remote access section is all set)
Windows Cluster Services (updated and more complete, with more desktop configuration guides on the way from other staffers)
Campus Network Services: Wireless (nearly ready to roll, but not quite; when it is, that'll mean that the campus network section is all set)
System Management Service (awaiting more info from appropriate managers)
Web Services (nearly done, just waiting for me)
USENET News (awaiting info from appropriate sysadmin(s))

That means that the following big sections are still scarily in need of my attention:
Unix Cluster Services (it's started, anyway)
Computer Security
Lab Services
House Labs
Services for Syadmins

Of the four older websites, I retired the last files from one of them this week. There is another with only two files yet to go. I'm trying not to think too much about the other two (one of which is the incarnation of the site just prior to my "new" one, so every retired page has to be turned into a refresh redirect for a year or two before I finally delete that site)... but this is definitely progress.

Gah, I'm going to be so thrilled when all of the good content is in the new site and not in the old ones. Because then I can actually start using all of the functionality I've built into this new site... good link checking, periodic page reviewing, ease of updating... and then I can also see about solving some of the limitations of the stylesheets currently in use by the site. I know more now, both about CSS and about the site itself, than I knew in years past. Oh, and creating a search results page style that matches the site rather than the Caltech one, and reautomating the help contacts page... and I'd wanted to do little newsbox feeds from the -announce lists, and that would just be icing on the cake once everything else is done...

And I must continue to remind myself that I need to finish the documentation so that if The Sysadmin Bus hits me, someone else could easily start maintaining this site. Yep!

Whee...

It has dawned on me that when I'm working with the transition from the old sites to the new one for any given web section, I feel sort of like I'm doing that cats-cradle yarn game with all sorts of threads looped around my fingers, keeping specific tension on all of them until I get them looped to whatever they're supposed to be attached to... that mental space is pretty difficult to pop in and out of as other work tasks need my attention.

I know other important things have been put on hold for these few days I've been working on the site, and I've tried not to let anything urgent-critical drop on the floor, but there's just so much to do... but for now, it's after 6pm, so I'm outta here. Must put my foot down about non-insane hours, or I'll just tend to work the night away on webpages. When the yarn's around your fingers, it's difficult to get your butt out of your office chair. Or something like that.

And now... I head home to my knitting. Whee!!
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
This coming Saturday I will be volunteering as part of the Sally Ride Science Festival here on campus.

They happen all over the country. They're only one component of the cool stuff done by Sally Ride Science.

*big happy grin*
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
Every now and then, I just have to wax poetical, even when it's really short.


Homeward, January 13th
by Adele Shakal

Fountains' water splash,
cloud-shrouded sliver of silver moon,
bagpipes on the wind.

February 2017

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