Long time, no post. Well, I haven't been doing any more with free software in all that time, either. Something about being married has changed the way I allocate my time.
My wife's parents made one attempt to get visitor's visas before SARS; they were summarily dismissed (damn INS!). Now, no new visas are being issued at all.
It's easier for us to travel to China to visit them, but I'm very worried about SARS. Two of the three times I went to China, I got sick ... the flight is just too long, and I can't sleep on the plane. I don't want to travel there until SARS is really under control, but even though the Chinese government has declared a new policy of admitting reality about the state of SARS, I'm skeptical of everything I hear.
Li really misses her parents, too.
I started to go to Grad School in Computer Science here at the University of Minnesota back in 1991 or so, but I became discouraged and never finished. Worse, my final quarter left me with a couple of Fs because I just bailed. I was just working at kinko's at the time and I couldn't see the connection between school and getting good work, plus I was personally unhappy due to a condition which I suspect might be well-known to some others here: the feeling that no one really understood me; that my only option for "fitting in" was self-effacement and robotic conformity.
Well, in time that all changed, and my disposition is quite good. My wife wants me to go back to grad school now. She has a grand plan in which I could have my Master's by the time she gets her undergraduate degree, and then we could move somewhere warmer and closer to my family in Georgia (without being too close). Although we have yet to see it, she's enamoured of the idea of going to the Research Triangle Park area ... which sounds to me like it could be a good thing.
I wasn't going to go back to school because I thought it would be hard to pick up the pieces from where I left off. But my wife is really encouraging me, and my current situation at work -- although I think the particular issue I'm facing may be temporary -- is pushing me in the direction of needing something more.
I recently got involved with another development group at work, who are working on the "new system" which is running in parallel to, and may replace, the "old system" which I have been maintaining for years. The "new system" folks have never talked with the "old system" folks, and that's just weird. I've got a few minor tasks in their latest rev of the "new system" and I saw that it was haphazardly put together and could never do everything the "old system" does.
I made some comments about what they would absolutely have to do if they were ever to match the functionality of the old system, and that was labeled an "interesting academic digression" and told that I was coming in late on their release schedule where we just have to make what they have work.
So now I am making things work around this bad design, "monkey coding" I call it because not too much thinking is allowed at this point, knowing full well that the code I'm writing now will be thrown away soon ... or worse, I may be called on to maintain it.
Kind of makes one look at their options again ...
(Sorry for the long post, it's just been such a long time since the last one, I had to catch up.)