Monday 6-4-2012


Today was pretty uneventful.  Here's what happened.  Warning Mad Men spoiler.

I was up pretty late last night.  I couldn't get my brain to shut off, I kept thinking about trying to start a campaign to get everyone to abstain from voting in the next election to show that the American public doesn't have faith in the government any more.  I was thinking this after reading an article a freind posted on facebook last night.  It made a lot of sense to me, if we really want a non-violent revolution and actual change in the government then maybe what we actually need to do is simply stop playing the game.  I think if you told everyone to stop paying taxes too you'd probably get a lot more traction from the movement.  I was thinking of starting up a petition online but I don't see any way that you can get an online petition out to enough people.  It wouldn't work unless you can get everyone in the country to actually participate and I don't see how I could do that.  I had dreams that maybe just starting a petition could be enough to start the ball rolling but thinking about it more today I see that this is kind of a pipe dream.  It would be nice but I don't think that I'd end up doing any good, and there's the possiblity that I might just get a lot of motivated people that want change to simply abstain from voting.  I wouldn't want people to do that unless we had a majority of people and people might just take the idea of not voting without getting a majority and run with it.

So I was really pretty tired when my alarm went off at 7:30 this morning.  I'd taken a double dose of unisom at about 2:30 which was probably still in my system.  I didn't actually wake up when the alarm went off and fell back asleep until about 15 minutes before I needed to head into work.  I managed to get ready in time, packed up my panniers with two weeks worth of lunches and some chai and headed in to work.  I stopped in at Freewheel on the way to pick up a scone and said hi to my brother and chatted for a couple minutes but I was running late so I didn't stay long.  I managed to get into work only about 2 minutes late so I must have made good time on the ride in.

Work was pretty steady.  There were a lot of small things to do for one of our big projects.  Robert had gotten two of the more complicated portions of it done over the weekend which is good, I'd been a little worried about how we were going to do these portions.  It involved getting information back out of some Advanced Form submissions and formatting it into a few different calendar views.  I'd been able to stub in the correct controllers and views and populate them with sample content so all the basic concrete 5 functions were there but actually getting the data out of the system was beyond me.

I managed to finish up a view for Attributes Slider that almost completely mimics the slider on the home page, but automatically advancing every five seconds and with only a single image and single block of text for the content area and no thumbnails for the bottom links.  Other than that it's pretty substatially similar.  I had it partially there the other day but I had to change some things.  The links underneath the content area I had working with an href that pointed at the content div that was being swapped out, I had to change the links to point at the link from the link attribute so I changed the target of the content div to the rel tag.  Then I had to write some timeouts to cycle between each of the little list elements underneath the content area and then move to the next slide at the end of the list.  It took a bit to get the timeouts working, they kept doubling up and making the speed go twice as fast until it was just cycling through really fast.  I had it fixed in firefox but it was still going faster in Chrome and Safari.  Clearing the timeouts each time that I moved to a different area creating the timeout worked.  I was pretty happy that I was able to figure out javascript that would do everything I needed it to, I was pretty unsure when I first saw the design and then when I saw the full functionality that I needed to recreate to do the full slider this morning. It seemed like a whole lot to try and program, there were a whole bunch of moving parts to all get working together.  I might try and modify the design to be my own and not the same images and colors that  our designer supplied and roll it into an update for the marketplace version.

Besides that it was mostly a few little things on the site, mostly creating a couple Designer Content blocks and small css tweaks to get the site finalized.  It's looking like we're on track to finish the site on time, there's one more section that our developer who's leaving is finishing up involving syncing the member list with an external web service and doing automatic payments and one time payments through  I'm really not sure exactly what's going on with that section of the project either, it's way beyond my programming skills too. 

After that I worked on our site where we did concrete 5 product import and syncing.  Now they wanted to add in an email list signup to the checkout process.  This turned out to be easier than I thought it was going to be.  They didn't need it to be tied in with Constant Contact or Mail Chimp or anything, they just needed a simple email sent to a site administrator when someone signed up.  For all the work that we've done on the site they are only selling a couple items a week so manually adding names to their list won't be too big of a deal.  I added a checkbox attribute to the billing order set.  Then on order completion I'm checking to see if that checkbox was checked and if it was I send the email, grabbing the details from the order object, the email address and the first and last name.  It was pretty simple which made me happy. 

I checked my bank account after I was finished up to see if I could swing by MicroCenter and pick up a copy of Windows.  Turns out that after rent I only have about 300 dollars left until my next payday in the middle of the month.  I could go into my savings but I really don't want to touch that money.  Especially since there's no real reason to install Windows on the laptop right now.  I have a full copy working on my desktop that lets me use Photoshop and Illustrator with dual monitors which is a much better working environment.  I'd also want to install Windows so that I could watch blue ray disks but I don't have a subscription to Netflix and I sold all the disks I had when I pawned my playstation trying to pay rent when I was doing bikelove.  So there's no real reason to install it there, either.  It can wait a few weeks or a few months, it's more pressing to buy a tent and cooking gear for the Lovetree Pizza Farm trip at the end of the month.

I came home and installed the software I needed to download the data off my Garmin Forerunner 205.  Now that I have USB support working on my desktop I could actually connect it to my computer for the first time since I bought it.  I also made up a google docs spreadsheet to keep track of the data because it was just broken out into week spans instead of letting you actually see what the full totals were for all rides on the unit.  I had to clear out a couple of bad entries.  Turns out that in the month that I've had it and been recording nearly every ride I've only put in about 300 miles.  I need to really try and improve that.  A friend recently suggested that I should get into recording my miles and setting mileage goals as something to do to fill out the extra hours I seem to have lately.  I'm not sure if I can really do that but I'm going to try and get into it.  I've never been all that good at just riding for ridings sake, at least not in several years.  I think even when I was doing a lot of recreational rides solo and blogging about it I was really just trying to fit in and seem like I cared about it more than perhaps I really did.  I still love bicycles but I don't have the same passion for it that a lot of my other friends seem to have.  Seems like I got distracted by a lot of other things, too, the advocacy and the spreading of bicycling to more people, that was a lot more important for the last several years.   A lot of the actual joy of riding has gone away for me.  Now it's really the social aspect of riding with other people that I like but I don't really have anyone else to ride with anymore.  Maybe I should be looking for more open group rides to join.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time on facebook today, but they rolled out 'starred' friends today to let you list people that you want to get all updates from.  I turned off actual notifications so I don't get a notice every time everyone posts or likes something or leaves a comment but there is now a list populated by about 55 people who I actually want to hear from where I can see everything that they post.  This has already turned out to be a good thing, I saw on this list that my mom is thinking of taking a year off of facebook completely which will mean that I have to spend more time doing things like emailing and calling her.  I'm pretty bad about that, hope I can do better.  It was kind of funny when it was prompting me to add people during the day today, it was all the people from the Neighborhood Democracy Project that it suggested as people to add, I think probably because we do a lot of planning in a few different message threads and maintain a page where we are all admins.  I guess if I chatted with more of my other friends it would have suggested them but I don't end up chatting with that many people.  I don't know why this is, I honestly prefer chat over most other forms of communication with people.  I guess I just don't really feel like most of my friends would want to hear from me.

After that I watched the latest episode of Mad Men.  Someone on the show committed suicide which had me thinking a lot about the times that I've been actually feeling like killing myself.  My reasons I think were a bit different, I always felt despair but never the kind of shame that this man did.  He thought there was no way out but most of that was the fact that he was ashamed to talk to anyone about what he had done.  I felt pretty bad about myself at some points but it was always feeling like the external world simply didn't want me any more, that there was no point in my continuing on because things were so bleak.  Most of the time I desperately wanted someone to talk to, to tell them exactly what was wrong and hope that they'd at least understand.  It's the lack of people to support me or to listen or to understand that would drive my depression deeper.  I wonder what would have been different if the man in the story would have just simply talked to his wife and told her what had happened, if he had of admitted what he was ashamed of and tried to figure out a way to work things out and continue on with her.  It seemed like he could have gotten out of it if he just would have talked to her instead of trying to hide everything.

Thinking of mental health support I heard back from the clinic today about starting counseling.  My first appointment is going to be next Friday, just a half hour informational session and then I think scheduling real sessions after that.  I still dont' think there's really any hope for me but I'm going to try.  I left another message with my caregiver trying to find out what to do about my adhd medication, I ran out today and don't have a prescription so I can't just go buy more.  I need either samples or a prescription.  My mother in law mentioned the other day that the dose I'm on is a really low one so I also wonder if maybe I'm just imagining that it's making things better as far as keeping me focused.  I guess I will see how it is to not have it for a few days or weeks and I'll try to notice if I actually see a change.

Then I made dinner, burritos.  It turned out that my sour cream and my salsa were bad but I actually cooked up some ground beef to add so they were still ok burritos.  Watched another 3 episode segment of Cracker, this one was all about rape.  It was pretty well done, showing a lot of what's wrong in the system and how it doesn't really help the victims at all.  It was actually pretty hard to watch in a few points.  I'm really enjoying this series but there are only another 3 story lines and then one special to watch and then I'll be done with it.  Probably have it done by the end of the week.

I'm coming up on 100 posts for this blog.  Seems like kind of a big number.  It really wouldn't be if I had of been posting as often as I have been lately over the full time that I've been posting here but I used to be really timid about publishing anything on here.  I don't know why, I guess I felt that I had to silence myself after some of the things that I posted on previous blogs.  That I couldn't post anything unless it was about concrete 5 and trying to create a career, if I put up anything personal then I thought it would kill my chances at ever finding a programming job.  Looking back at it though I started publishing stuff about my state of mind almost immediately after the first few programming posts.  Those posts are now restricted but back then they were open to anyone.

I still worry about that a bit, but I also now feel like there's no point in trying to hide who I really am.  I'm a depressed, lonely person.  If some company doesn't want to hire me because of that then so be it.  I probably wouldn't be happy working for them anyway, at least that's the way I feel about it now.  Setting up the publishing to certain groups only has helped a lot too, being able to hide things where they are still published but only available to me or a select group of known people helps me be able to use this space to say what I'm really feeling.  The posts may be boring and filled with nothing but the minutes of my boring days but at least they're honest and mean something to me.