PermaLink I feel strangely mute these days04/22/2010 07:52 PM
I wonder if we all go through this stage at some point?

You're right.

I haven't written much this spring.

It's not that I've been doing nothing, it's just that nothing I've been doing has much to do with the core of this blog, and didn't seem like it'd be of much interest to people who've read this for years. I know there've been plenty of things I've done, and probably a few times I've wanted to write here, but I could always find something better to do at the time.

But here I am.

It's funny... it's now been almost six months since I walked out of my old job. I went to lunch with a bunch of the guys with whom I used to work the other day... we went to a Chinese buffet we sometimes patronized, and talked mostly about non-work stuff, which suited me just fine. I was kind of surprised at the parts of it I didn't miss. Didn't miss the shortsighted management, the grab-assing, the petty political games played for no visible gain. And I was surprised at the stuff I did miss... mostly these guys and everyone like them, the people who went in every day, did the best job they could, and went home to their real lives at night.

They told me a former co-worker of mine died not long ago, a lady named Margaret Drayton. She retired maybe a year ago, after innumerable years in Federal service, and barely had any time to enjoy her retirement before she passed away. I've heard too many stories of that over the years, and actually known too many people for whom this was the story, and it made me sad. People who'd worked for years to retire to... something.

Well, here I am. It's not that I haven't been writing Domino code for the last six months. I've been exploring some job leads, some of which were interesting and some of which had the smell of silliness that I recognized from my years in the Federal service. I didn't go into working for the Social Security Administration for the money (which is good, because most of you made more than I did all those years) and certainly not for "power," because there sure as shit isn't any in Federal civil service! I went there to do interesting things with good people and feel like I could make a difference.

I did.

I won't settle for less this time around. I would like to avoid the horseshit that ultimately drove me out of that place, drove me to where the balance was so far out of whack I knew it could never return to the middle. The dumbass meetings about nothing, the decisions pulled out of managements' ass, the focus on process rather than on results. The longer it takes me, the more I think I can actually find that sort of utopia, because some of you have done it and I've seen it in your faces. You don't think I pay attention, but I do. Seeing that in you says to me that I can find it for me, too.

But in the interim, what've I been doing?

Wabbits.

Come on, like you couldn't see it coming? Nora and I have become reasonably-successful, decently-known breeders of some of the most magnificent wabbits the world has ever seen. We've watched them born, we've watched them die, we've made them healthy and strong, sent a bunch out into the world to be good companions and good show and breed wabbits for other people to enjoy. I've transformed my empty, dirty barn from a hideout for homeless guys (that's another story) into a place where there are rows of solid, comfy hutches that are homes to big, friendly wabbits.

On the down side, Nora's minivan has a fine haze of wabbit whiz on all the side panels in the back, I have scratches on my arms, most of my sweatshirts have chew marks on them, and occasionally I pull down my underwear in the bathroom and find hay in it.

OK, that was probably too much information.

But really, when you open up that hutch door, and five or six or seven little white wabbies come and cluster around you to see what and who you are, and lick your fingers and your nose and climb into your hand for attention, it's just amazing. The barn is quiet, the lights are gentle, and the wabbits are just... themselves. Sometimes we have the big wabbits up on the bed for a few hours in the evening, and when a 17-pound wabbit hops up next to you and grooms your hair and recognizes you as a fellow wabbit, it's delightful. I can't describe it.

But that's what I do now.

I drive around and get them feed and medication. I diagnose their ills, give them injections when they need them, clean out that one corner of the hutch they like to stink up, I build new hutches to accommodate the new wabbits (and yes, Dad, I still have all my fingers). I look up new feed formulations on the net. I clog up Flickr and YouTube with pictures of them all. I bore the crap out of strangers showing them pictures of the kits on the Blackberry.

Yeah. I've become one of those people.

I like it just fine.

Do I still write code? Sure. I keep up with things. I don't have the Domino 8.5.2 beta yet, I haven't spent as much time with XPages lately as I'd like and that I probably need. I'd love to write a good Blackberry apps. But most of my code right now goes into simple things. For instance, right now I'm working on a turnkey microhosting thing I can give to our fellow wabbit breeders, the people who don't code and don't want or need to learn about these things, so they have a place to properly display and promote their rabbitries. I have an idea for a terrific Domino-based cross-platform hosted breeder-accounting solution, something that can keep track of breeding records, shows and lineage (right now, the only commercial solutions are expensive, clunky and Windows-only standalone apps). For my random ramblings, I set up http://www.giantinflatablebeavers.com as a place for my non-Domino writing (yes, this is because of our Lotusphere pal Bob Costas' famous "giant inflatable beavers" comment during the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver).

When I find the right thing, of course I'll be back in the Domino world full-time. Or, at least, full work-time. My after hours are permanently dedicated to other things now. They have big ears and gentle personalities and know everything they need to know about replication.

If you have a lead for me, you know where to find me.

If you want a big wabbit, I'll be in the barn.

See you at the show.

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Blabber :v

1. ChangeWarrior08/05/2010 01:06:19 PM


Sweeeeet!
I don't think it's an age thing; just a life thing.
I'm glad your life is so good that you don't need the computer in order to feel like you're really living it.
And "those" people are usually good people.




2. Charles Reid04/22/2010 09:06:52 PM


peace be with you.
and you should make that wabbit breeders package available for foundations, but most of all peace be with you.
As uncle on avatar says... follow your passion and you will find happiness.




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