Despite some early frustration, this week has turned out really good after all. A number of people mysteriously crawled out of the woodwork on a day when I was feeling pretty lousy (this means you, cloakedwraith
), reminding me that I have good friends and that the world is a saner place than I have a tendency to give it credit for. (Yes, that was intentionally vague; it's something that I could in theory bitch about, but I've done my venting in private, and no longer feel the need to. That, in and of itself, is a great feeling.)
I've been decaffeinating over the last week. I hadn't intended to, but I've been deliberately cutting back on sugary drinks, which de facto means less caffeine unless I make coffee or tea. I like both of those, but making them requires a bit more concentration than I can usually marshal when I'm fixated on some work thing or another, and I like carbonated things far more than anyone ought to, so normally I just go to the fridge for a coke. However, in the wake of this last shopping trip, I've been going to the fridge for a sparkling water, which is probably better for me anyway, but doesn't provide that crucial headrush. Thus, by Wednesday I was miserably headachey, and spent the entire day curled up in bed hacking. Most of it was noodling around in the guts of PostgreSQL, but by late evening I decided to bite the bullet and knock out the last of the obvious bugs in Nemesis.
Which is now done, for definitions of "done" which include "going back and adding in more specific exception-handling routines and fixing the ID10T errors that my boss found today when I demoed it for him." It's interesting having a boss who's really smart but who also knows how to think like one of the people about whom Distributing Clue to Users
was written. Within half an hour, he'd come up with ten different ways someone could break the software in ways I'd never intended, though I'm proud to say that I had already trapped quite a few of the bad inputs he'd come up with. :) So that'll be a few hours of shoring up the walls next week, and then we hand it over to other people in the office for alpha testing. Anyone want to help me test a site-directed mutagenesis primer generator?
Still, Andy is now very happy with me, and is even more happy with today's Nifty Advisor-Related Development. Hwanjo, my advisor, has been wanting to put together a soft-query-driven interface on GenBank1
, sort of a killer app for bioinfo, but for some reason he wanted to do it as a browser plugin. For IE, no less, despite my protests that Firefox is much more readily extensible and that I would rather stab myself in the throat with a pencil than learn ActiveX. This afternoon, I finally convinced him that putting together a client-side interface to a 300GB database is just silly, particularly when one of his students (*raises hand*) has already put together a web-based frontend for annotation and data mining which is eventually supposed to be generalisable anyway. Since it had originally stalled out due to my not having had the necessary mad skillz to put together a reasonable (read: runs in some order of time that won't drive users around the bend and doesn't require huge amounts of precomputation) classification backend at the time, CHARUN is now back from the dead. This discovery immediately prompted Andy to start humming "Bela Lugosi's Dead," which suggests to me that (1) apparently every project I work on at IDT will have its own cheesy goth theme song, and (2) there are much worse things than having a boss whose musical taste overlaps yours.
After all this, I knocked off work around six and went home to await the arrival of my sysadmin, who lives in Des Moines but was coming into town for the weekend. Noises had been made about a Return of the Bride of the Nephew of Bad Movie Night, but since Nate (aka the guy who'd wanted to do the resurrecting) managed to fail to pass this on to other people and ended up with stuff he needed to do tonight, it ended up being just me and $sysadmin. Happily unencumbered by other people's schedules -- he'd been thinking about going to a party tonight, but decided to bow out after receiving notice from another friend that his ex-girlfriend would be in attendance -- we enjoyed a sumptuous repast of sushi and mochi ice cream, then headed downtown to see if we could land a pool table at College Street Billiards. Alas, the last free table in the place became nonfree moments after we walked in, so we decided to try the movie night thing after all. $sysadmin rose to the occasion with a copy of the 2002 Adam Sandler flick Mr. Deeds
Which, beyond all my expectations, managed to not suck. I have always associated Adam Sandler movies with gratuitous fart/potty/embarrass-the-characters humour, but this one was, dare I say, quite charming. It's based on a 1936 Frank Capra film, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
, which stars Gary "Please don't remind anyone that I also played Howard Roark" Cooper. I've never seen the original, but the remake was sufficiently amusing and sweet-natured that now I want to find and watch it -- unlike the "oh God, this is so terrible I need to see the original to wash the bad taste out of my brain" reaction I had expected to have. I wouldn't say it's worth buying, but if you happen across it on cable, it's not a bad way to let an hour and a half go by.
$sysadmin and I also hatched clever schemes involving convincing IDT to set up colo servers across the country for the Grand Unified Database Project that Andy has in mind. Will it go anywhere? Well ... I've heard worse ideas, let's just put it at that.
And now I have a sleepy cat on my lap, and tentative plans to go see saoirse_kore
tomorrow. Yay! I still wish I could have been at PyCon, but there'll be time for that next year.1
The first time I typed that, I wrote "GenGank" instead. *snicker*