Not quite an underpants gnome

Step 1: Ask a very silly question about a tool commonly used at your place of employment.  As people repeatedly fail to answer said question, realize it's not so silly and that there actually may be a really bad problem.
Step 2:Inform Corporate Compliance, who respond with what amounts to, "... wait, WHAT?!"
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit... I hope.  Or maybe get fired.  Or maybe nothing.

We're still at Step 3.  CC is looking into it, but her initial reaction wasn't what I'd call comforting.

I'm actually not likely to get fired, except maybe in a "shoot the messenger" kind of way.  I'm possibly the only person on this side of the organization who hasn't misused this system, but that's because I don't use it at all and wouldn't need to use it in the incorrect way anyway.

And one of our clients is having a problem related to a known bug in iOS8, and I'm getting heat for it from various people.  "It's a problem with the OS, not with our app" doesn't help much, especially when there's no "perfect" workaround.  But I can at least be comfortable that it's screwing with Facebook and a dozen or more other major apps as well, so we're in good company.

Anyway, short work week.  I've booked two nights at a resort in Palm Springs, and I'm so looking forward to it.  I mean, it's just "one day" effectively, but I'm actually kind of excited.  L isn't thrilled, but screw him.  I'm pretty much out of patience with him.

Like, take Thanksgiving.  We'd talked last weekend, and he expressed an interest in going back to this nice Italian place by my apartment.  Fine.  So, after I picked him up Saturday, I asked if he'd made reservations yet.  "Sure, I got us a 6 p.m. at Paradise Cove."  "I thought you wanted to go to [Italian Place]."  "Nah, that's just too difficult.  You'd have to pick me up, then drive back to your town, then drop me off afterwards."  I said nothing (I was driving).  Him: "Or, well, I suppose I could have driven out to your place, but that's too much hassle."

So, let's compare.  Me driving 20 miles to his place, picking him up, and then heading another 30 miles to a restaurant at the beach: not too much hassle.  Him driving 20 miles to my place: so much effort it's not even worth considering as an option except as an afterthought.

We've had this argument before - last Thanksgiving, actually, when I complained that it made zero sense for me to drive 80 miles total to go to a restaurant 3 blocks from my apartment just because he didn't want to drive.  So, this year, he's apparently decided that it makes more sense for me to drive 100+ miles round-trip than for him to drive 40.

The room he thought he was going to get fell through.  More and more I find myself hoping he has to move back east to live with his sister.  And I hate feeling that kind of animosity towards someone.

Anyway, a weekend away at a clothing optional resort, spending as high a percentage of 48 hours as possible in the hot tub, will be a good thing.

I've also been playing around with maybe getting my company set up, but it's hard to justify when I probably won't have any revenue from it.  It's mostly just fun for now, in the same way that I used to have fun designing and building BBS sites in the 90s.

I did learn something maybe not-so-fun: it looks like I might need a business license to even do my consulting stuff while living in my current place.  Not sure how much it will be, and I doubt anyone would ever find out if I didn't, but it's in the city's laws.  I need to contact them and make sure; if it's cheap enough, I'll probably do it just to play nice.

This week's episode...

When last we left our hero:

So, L had his court date today.  He's got until January 5th to move out, which is far, far more generous that I thought anyone would be.  That may be too generous - it removes a lot of the immediacy that was actually getting him to do things.  But we'll see, and at least he (and I) don't have that hanging overhead for the moment.

It also means I can seriously consider going away for next weekend, even if only for a couple nights.  So, I'm checking out the place D told me about in Palm Springs; we'll see if they have any availability.

I also discovered that I've got four full weeks of vacation time saved up.  I probably ought to burn some no matter what, so I think I'll take time off for the holidays even if I don't end up going anywhere (though I may do a few days in Guerneville just to get away).

I need to clear that with one of my coworkers, just to make sure he's not planning on taking time off either.  But since he's been burning through sick and vacation time recently with a series of low-grade disasters, I'm not sure if he's got the time off to take.  But I want to make sure he has the option if he wants it.

The deal at work went through: we're officially forming a new company for the project I work on.  Papers were signed today, press release goes out after Thanksgiving.  Not at all sure what this means for me long-term, but the CEO of the new company almost point-blank asked if I could work with them, and my director hinted that my at-work availability would be limited (and also that I was "minimally incentivized").  So, I may get a side contract out of this for a few hours a week (I think 10-20 would be easily doable, time-wise, but I'm not sure how we'd work it out; maybe work will let me do a 10/4 AWS and do this on Fridays or something).

The complication with that is determining compensation.  My typical consulting fee for something like this would be ~$125 an hour, but it's also possible I could get stock or something.  I don't know.  I'll have to see what they offer (if they offer anything), and then go from there, but I think a combination - say, lower consulting fee combined with some kind of equity - would be most acceptable to me.  I've never worked for/with a startup like this before. 

I'm also - theoretically - officially being compensated as a co-developer, but I still haven't seen anything that says how much or of what.  In fact, no one's really talked to me about it at all except in vague terms, but my director said it's official... whatever that means.

I thoroughly impressed most of the people at work this week with a couple presentations, but I also may have found a major hole in security.  So, it's possible I'll burn through all that good will by being the messenger that gets shot.

Until next time...

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow

... It's all been said.

So, the tired thing seems mostly gone.  I'm still sleeping more heavily than usual, but that's not necessarily something I can complain about.

A friend - let's call him L - is about to get evicted; I don't know if I've mentioned him before.  He's over 65, has no real job (he tutors for under-the-table money and recently started getting a small Social Security payment), and yet has been living in a $1200-a-month apartment for years.  Yeah, bad combination.

He's also spent most of the time I've known him trying to "cheat the system", as it were.  Like, taking jobs just to get an address/secretary but not really doing the job he was hired for, or trying to find legal loopholes or lawsuits he can pursue (all of which fall apart).  The sad part is, he's moderately intelligent and could actually pull his own if he tried, but he's convinced himself he "deserves better" and that he shouldn't have to work at it.

Well, now he's got a court date in a week that will result in an eviction in early to mid December.  Most of the people that could have at one point helped him have gotten tired of bailing him out of the years and won't do it any more (including me, to a point; I have a spare room and there's no way in hell he's coming to live with me), and he's putting at-best token effort into finding a new living situation (which would be hard anyway without his reluctance).  I wonder how much of his stalling is to try to "pin" me into caving; he hasn't actually asked me if he could move in yet, so I assume he's saving it up as a "I have no more options" play (which he does pretty regularly).

I really don't want to see him homeless, but the three things I will not let people mess up are my job, my finances, and my living situation.  I tend to cave more on the second than I'd like, but never entirely, and I have no intention of caving on the other two.  I didn't get him into this situation, and I've been doing everything reasonable to try to get him to stay out of it (he hasn't even started packing, as an example of the denial, and he hasn't paid rent since August).

I admit I feel a slight bit of guilt, as I'm generally driven by a "fix all the things" imperative.  I'm a "guardian" by personality: I find a way to solve people's problems and help them.  But I am not responsible for his situation, and I will not compromise my health and well-being because he refuses to deal with reality.

And it's a good thing I'm still a little tired lately, because that's the only way I can sleep at night.  Mostly, I can say I'm doing enough by 1) taking boxes over to his place this weekend as a "start packing you dimwit" thing (he'll get depressed and maybe even cry, but it's time he started facing facts) and then offering a place for the boxes to get stored for a while so they don't get lost (I can keep them in the living room at least, or maybe in the spare room closet depending on how much there is).  That's about the last of my good will on the subject.

On to less depressing news, I've made a couple of friends on the hike.  D and M started coming a couple months ago, and I probably mentioned them off-hand.  We hung out together a few weeks ago and had a blast (including D's husband), and we'll probably do it again.  I floated the idea of hitting the clubhouse at my apartment, since it's got a full kitchen and, more importantly, a pool table.  That seemed to go over well, so we'll see if we can make it happen.

D was also talking about places he and his hubby have gone for weekends or short breaks, and it sounds like they also do the clothing-optional thing pretty often (including having hit up a couple of the resorts I've been to).  So, I might have friends to go on a weekend getaway with at some point.  Though I think my next might just be a weekend in Palm Springs, maybe Thanksgiving weekend.

... I might have to time that last one carefully, though.  I mean, it wouldn't look too good for me to be off lounging naked in a hot tub when L is getting evicted, especially if I need to get his boxes to my place.  But we'll see how things go.  If his move-out date is less immediate, I can have dinner with him on Thanksgiving and then justify slipping away for the weekend.

Anyway.  Stuff's happening at work that may result in a slight sort-of pay increase on top of any annual raise.  I don't know most of the details yet, but I'm theoretically being included as a co-creator of a product and thus getting a share of licensing fees.  At a minimum, it's a few thousand dollars a year after taxes; it could be a fair bit higher than that, though, depending on the exact details.

Still haven't finished doing my personal business site.  I really need to put that together.  Maybe I'll get back into it this week; I really just need something to showcase photography and talk about my consulting stuff, so it doesn't have to be super-fancy to start with.  Just enough that I can get new business cards printed with the logo and web site address.  Oh, gotta get that DBA as well, come to think of it, but that's just a matter of getting to the clerk.

You know, as an addendum to this, I keep thinking about what would happen if L had to go back east to live with his surviving family.  He'd be miserable, but it would sure simplify my life a fair bit.  And that seems pretty callous to say, but it's also true: L is the focus of most of the stress in my life (a big reason why no-way no-how is he living with me).  I don't wish that result on him, but I can't say I would be horribly upset if it came to pass.

Running on low

I'm tired.

It's not the time change.  I've been physically and mentally low-energy for a few weeks now.  It got bad enough last Sunday that I thought I was coming down with something, but I never did.

It's been affecting my fitness routine: I just get home and don't have the drive to do anything.  Which, of course, is probably making the issue worse, so I'm going to try to get back into it at least a bit this week and see if it helps.

It's been affecting my diet: I found myself not eating dinner a couple of times just because I was too blah to get up and make something.  I then found myself ordering in or getting fast food more often, which is bad.  Time to shift back into eating reasonably again.

It's been affecting work, though not horribly: I find myself procrastinating more.  Part of the problem is likely that I've also had a whole bunch of stuff dumped on me in the last few weeks, so every day ends up being chaotic.  Today was actually the first day in over a week that I haven't had hours of meetings scattered throughout the day.

It's been affecting my social life: not that I have much to begin with, of course, but I've been making even less effort than usual.  Of course, feeling like I'm out of shape (see: fitness and diet) and being lazy in general does help with feeling like dating or going out much.  Yay for more vicious circles.

I'm not sure what's going on.  I may just need a vacation; I haven't really taken any "me" time since my birthday, and that was 4 months ago.  I know I've been jonsing to get away for a weekend, but money's been a little tighter for a variety of reasons: it's hard to justify blowing a couple hundred bucks on a hotel when you have to drop $1200 for new tires.  Maybe I should do something for Thanksgiving.  I dunno.

Anyway, I've got a hike in... 2.5 hours here.  And another Thursday.  It'll be totally dark up on Mount Hollywood, but there's enough ambient light from the city to see by usually, and I carry a flashlight just in case.  I'll try to do at least a couple of days' lifting at some point.

I did manage to get it together enough to re-balance and re-allocate my retire funds (all four of them).  I mean, it only took an hour or so, but I've been putting it off a while.  I also up'd my contribution another percent or so, so there's me being all adult in at least some small way.

I need to do laundry, and plant my garlic, and transplant my tomatoes.  I managed to trim one basil bush back yesterday, but I need to do the other still.  And I should vacuum and clean and sweep and...

I've never really been someone who gets depressed, though I know that's what this looks like.  I'm wondering if maybe I don't have a mostly-asymptomatic version of what's been making everyone around me sick for weeks at a time.  All I want to do right now is go home and crawl into bed and take a nap.

Oh well, time to go home.