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Quick Nap.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I slept good when I actually slept, but I woke up around 0400 ET and I was unable to fall back asleep. So, I’m in the mood for a nap for the rest of this lunch hour.

There are men in their own cars on either side of me napping right now. I seem to have found the right spot for a nap today. Perhaps it’s the view of the snow bank that makes this the perfect spot.

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Listening.

Last year I was fortunate enough to get myself a 60-minute massage at the Saratoga Springs Spa and Resort at Walt Disney World. I love getting a massage (I prefer the deep tissue version) and it’s one of the few activities where I can completely disengage my mind and ramp my RPMs back to zero for a few minutes. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m hoping to do it again next month during our upcoming vacation.

While getting ready for this massage, the masseuse wanted me to select which lotion or oil she should use for the treatment. She had me smell each one in a choice of four and then she had me smell each one again. She told me that my body would tell me which one it needed (not wanted) based on my attraction to each scent. The one I liked the most was the one that my body wanted the most. I think that makes sense and it turns out that it worked out just right for me, because I was able to turn everything down to zero and she massaged sandalwood scented oil deep into my skin.

Ah, heaven.

Yesterday my body was screaming for chocolate. I didn’t want sugar-free chocolate pudding, I didn’t want a chocolate protein shake or bar, I wanted chocolate, like that which is found in M&Ms, the way god intended chocolate to be.

I had several handfuls of M&Ms yesterday. Jumping on the scale this morning, I lost nearly two pounds versus yesterday.

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

As I passed by the M&M dish just a few moments ago, I realized that I just didn’t have the hankering for M&Ms like I did yesterday. I felt no impulse whatsoever to reach into the dish and gobble some down like a gorilla at the zoo. Today I had a hankering for a salad. So, I had some salad with a lovely dressing my husband made last night. That’s the complete opposite end of the spectrum: M&Ms vs salad. I admit that I could eat M&Ms right now but I wouldn’t enjoy them the way that I enjoyed them yesterday. Yesterday I could have eaten a salad but it wouldn’t have fulfilled anything, the way I feel fulfilled today.

I guess listening to my body and eating what I really want to eat instead of what I think I should eat might help get me through this last stretch of winter weather with my weight loss goals relatively intact. What my body is really screaming for is to ride my bike on a country road somewhere, but that’s not going to be happening for at least another month.

I guess in the meantime we’ll hope that my body maintains a yearning for the gym.

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Café.

So Earl, Jamie and I are sitting at the café at Barnes and Noble. It’s the closest thing we have to a Starbucks and it is fairly acceptable. I am curious as to how long this store is going to be here. The electronic age is slowly making books go the way of the dodo. There’s something not replicable about holding a book in your hand versus reading via an iPad, but people don’t seem to have that investment in classic things anymore. It’s kind of sad.

Speaking of classics, the man sitting across the aisle from us is using as 12-inch Mac PowerBook G4. These machines were always a great find back in the mid 00s, I have to admit that I would love to mess around with one just because they’re so cute. I shan’t have that chance, though. I hope the man that’s using it is enjoying it. It appears that he is.

Someone at work had the brilliant idea of programming a “time zone clock” into their application. This clock worked great for five days, until the infinite loop ran the server to a crash in the middle of a busy day. I would scold the programmer for his mistake but I feel funny scolding myself. At least it kept my afternoon interesting. It’s a good thing 1. Love my job, 2. They love means 3. I have a hot standby server at all times and that server isn’t a hot mess. Yay for uptime stats!

While at the gym earlier today I realized that a woman was glaring at me with a disgusted look. Turns out I was staring at her chest. She’s such a silly girl. I couldn’t care less about her boobs, I was more interested in the word “BACON” she had emblazoned across her chest.

I love bacon.

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iPad.

So, aside from a complete flirtatious betrayal last fall with a Google Nexus 7, I have been an iPad fanatic since the days of the first generation iPad (it took me about six months to get my hands on the first one). Though on a couple of occasions I have tried to convince myself that I would be better off with a laptop, the truth of the matter is, I love the portability, the convenience and the computing power of my iPad. I take it everywhere and I use it for a myriad of reasons.

I love it.

When I went on my business trip last week I brought my iPad along for the ride. Since we were traveling in Canada, I felt a little stifled due to the lack of cellular data availability (US carriers have some of the stupidest cellular plans known to the world, and yes, I realize that is a ‘first world problem’) but I still brought it along, figuring I could use it in the hotel room. There’s something very nice about being able to FaceTime with your loved one back home. I didn’t think I would bring it along for the meetings that we were traveling for; I’m often the only one in a conference room with my iPad and sometimes I feel self-conscious about that. Besides, with the lack of data connectivity, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to access the documents I needed for the trip. So I printed what I needed and brought along my leather binder with a fresh pad of note paper.

Imagine my surprise when I sat down at the conference room last Thursday morning and came to the rapid realization that I was the ONLY one at the table without some sort of computing device. The vice-president that I was traveling with had her iPad 2, complete with a portable keyboard. The vendor representative had his iPad 3 and a Lenovo laptop. The others in the room all had some sort of Windows XP power laptops.

Suddenly feeling self-conscious of the fact that I did not have an iPad with me, I started fiddling with my iPhone 5. To compensate, I asked the host, “do you have a wi-fi hotspot for public use?” The vice-president was happy that I asked, though the answer was to the negative.

After the meetings and on our way home, I asked the VP if she liked her portable keyboard. She answered in the affirmative and that led to a lengthy discussion about iPads and Macs and the like. Outside of the building that I normally work at, it seems to be standard operating procedure to bring along an iPad or a laptop. The company is definitely headed in that direction and the culture of the company is following suit. In fact, the use of personal iOS devices is leading to Macs becoming much more prevalent throughout the corporation I work for.

I find this all very exciting.

So when I leave for the next round of business travel on Sunday, you know that I’ll have my iPad with me and that I will be ready to use it in the training seminars and at the meetings that I will be attending. To make it all the better, my Apple Bluetooth keyboard case will be arriving from Amazon today (yay Prime membership shipping!).

I’ll have to share a photo with the gentle readers.

Abba!

The last single ever released by Abba was “Under Attack”, from their album “The Singles”. “Under Attack” has always been one of my favorite Abba tunes, though it is kind of obscure. Last year it was remixed by Matt Pop and it’s kind of fun!

Here it is for your enjoyment.

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Telecommuting.

I don’t work for Yahoo. I do work for a Fortune 500 technology company and it’s a job that I like. I complain about my job from time to time, but earlier today my supervisor told me that I was a valued employee and I responded that I love what I do. And that’s true. I have a good gig.

One of the many reasons I love my job is because I have the flexibility of working from home three days a week. I love this benefit and it has boosted my productivity considerably. I’ve always been a loner. I work best when I’m in my own little zone with minimal distractions. I’m not much for water cooler chatter and I’m easily thrown off my game with what I call “fly-bys”: people stopping by to ask a question or tell me a quick anecdote or something like that.

Another plus is that there are times when I feel my most creative at 3 a.m. Because I have a home office setup with all my work goodies in its own little office space, I am able to go downstairs and start writing code any time I feel the urge to. And because my company has excellent collaborative tools (phones, IM, webcams and the like), I still feel part of the team that I work with. While next week I will be meeting several of my teammates face to face for the first time, the truth of the matter is I feel like I already know them. And while I think we’ll work together even better when we all meet each other in person, I think I’m part of a really good team now. Our collaborative tools give us the opportunity to brainstorm and be the team that we are.

Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo (the sixth CEO of Yahoo in six years, I may add), announced a ban on telecommuting for all Yahoo! employees. To foster teamwork and improve productivity, come June, all Yahoo employees must work from the office. “Shoulder to shoulder. Brainstorming. Creative collaboration!” All of this can only be accomplished in person at Yahoo, apparently. Perhaps they’ve never heard of Yahoo! Messenger. Perhaps they have and have finally given up the ghost of using it for anything productive.

I don’t know about other telecommuters, but when I’m working from home I’m focused on my productivity. I know that working from home is a privilege and I’m not going to compromise that privilege by slacking off. I’m focused on getting stuff done. When I work from my office, I’m focused on the number of hours I work. And the number of hours I would spend commuting. And the price of gas. And where I’m going to go for lunch.

Not all jobs lend themselves to telecommuting opportunities. But many positions in the telecommunications and technology sector do; heck, we make the tools so that others can telecommute! And doesn’t Yahoo sell services for telecommuting purposes? I think this speaks to the quality of Yahoo’s products if they can’t even effectively telecommute using their own products and platforms.

We often hear about green companies and ways of scaling back on the damage that we are doing to the environment. Telecommuting actually helps with this; there’s simply not as many vehicles on the road burning up gas just so people can get to the office. As a productive, happy and proactive telecommuter in a team environment, I am lending my talents to making great things happen at the company I work for. I feel like we are soundly in the 21st century and I want to do what I can to make that experience better.

If I worked at the office five days a week, eight hours a day, it’d be just another job.

Perhaps Yahoo just wants to be another mediocre technology company. With decisions such as Marissa Mayer’s telecommuting ban, it seems like they’re headed in the right direction for that.

And that direction would be backwards. I’m happy that I work in a company with forward motion. I look forward to contributing to that motion by working where I work best.

And sometimes, that happens to be at home.

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Focus.

I’m working at the office today and it’s your typical Monday. My schedule has been filled with conference calls and I’m eating lunch at 1:00 p.m. There’s little room for complaint, I’m getting things done and I feel productive, so all is well. I have a smile on my fuzzy face.

Driving back and forth to New York this past weekend gave me ample time to think about work and the future and the like. It’s what I do and I guess it helps me process things. I started thinking about retirement and the like; though I’m theoretically around halfway through my work career, I still have goals that I would like to focus on. I like what I do for work and I generally don’t have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. If I do find difficulty in getting up, it’s usually weather related instead of work dread related. I’ve been in the work dread mindset before and it’s not fun; I’m definitely far, far from that these days. I don’t think that writing code and doing the geek thing for pay is going to be my last career though. I have one more thing that I would like to do in the later years of my career and it will help me make that easy transition to retirement if and when I decide to ever retire. It isn’t something I’m going to discuss right now, but having that goal gives me something to focus on.

One of my goals for 2013 was to improve my focus and I have to admit that I think I’m making strides in that area, though I do waiver from time to time. Focus is not something that comes naturally to me. I will freely admit that I am easily distracted and having access to the world while working on my computer does not help with this at all. I can be working away, being productive while listening to music, when a song will come on and then I find myself looking up the lyrics, seeing who remade the song and then I somehow end up chatting about the song on Facebook or something of the like. Distraction leads to rat holes of non-productivity. Concentrating on my goals and the like, keeps my focused and that’s when things starting working well for me.

Then of course, I ramble a lot, which I’m doing right now.

But it’s a focused rambling. Some of the time.

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Weight.

Lack of drinking water + beer + the M&Ms store + midnight suppers = not a huge shock on the scale this morning. Guess who is hitting the gym tonight? Luckily, my attempts to be rational are prevailing and I didn’t drop kick any scales.

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Walk.

So I just walked around 65 blocks in Manhattan. It might have been a little more. I know that I’m well over my 10,000 steps daily goal per my FitBit, so I’m feeling pretty good.

For a February day, the weather in Manhattan is quite acceptable today. It’s partly sunny with a temperature around 42F. There are quite a few people lumbering around bundled up like they’re ready for the next Ice Age. I walked around in my leather jacket without a hat or gloves. I was not uncomfortable. The accompanying scarf was more stylish than functional.


As I hiked up to the Upper West Side I found myself feeling much like I did as I walked around Dublin back in 2007; my thoughts floated in a happy direction and my soul soared a bit. I find that I enjoy New York much more when I’m away from the tourists milling around Times Square and the like.

I should go out for a walk more often.