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They have better beds on the A ward.

On the way to work in Oakland

January 4th, 2001

Sooner Than Later
So, we stumble into this new year. A few more days and it will seem that the holidays never happened and the year 2000 is just another set of digits you can find in your files on last year's calendar. One of the people in my section hasn't shown up for work this week, sending us an email before leaving last Friday for the New Year weekend saying he would be back tomorrow. None of us were expecting this. The thought is he's interviewing at another company.

We're all upset with the way things have been going, but he may be the first one with the gumption to leave. Hi, ho. It's off to work we go. Just maybe not here in Oakland. (There's a more complicated ongoing story here, but things are both good and bad, getting worse and getting better. I've kept my head down, but only just. Others in our group are looking haggard. I've always looked haggard.)

Otherwise it's nice this day is over and that I can return to a singularly cleaner apartment and think about a good night's sleep. Put up with the ancient ups and downs of a December - January, think thoughts of things past and make lists for the future. Except I don't make lists anymore that I know I'll never get around to doing. Too much effort. Makes my little head hurt. Ow!

That was written yesterday. Today, Thursday, is my last work day this week as I'm taking another three day weekend. Today was a blur, no time for lunch, no time to accomplish everything that needed doing. All of the computer departments have big projects underway, ours with the Windows 2000 roll out on the desktops, another with a new email system and another converting our NT servers to Active Directory on Windows 2000. If none of this means very much, it doesn't matter. The only thing to know is that each is inter-related and all require a fairly fast wide area network. Think about the connection you have to the Internet.

Our company wide network connects all of our offices together and the speed of these connections, like the speed of your Internet connection, is critical to how much work you can accomplish. These projects, in combination with some other really big projects that involve our mainframes and Unix servers, each of them more important to the health of the company than any of ours, are running in parallel like big data freight cars on converging tracks all moving at a hundred miles and hour and all of them expecting plenty of eblow room when they come together. Many of our middle level managers believe there's a train wreck coming in three or four months and we're scratching our heads wondering because it seems obvious, at least down here on the tracks, yet the trains accelerate, faster and faster. Exciting, exciting. But, then, what do I know? What do they know? We'll all know sooner than later.

The banner photograph was taken on the way to work. The quote is by Samuel Johnson.