What the Hell Did I Just Watch?

  • I just finished watching the last episode of the first season of The OA.  Without spoiling anything, it definitely did not leave me with a sense of closure, but it also wasn’t clearly a cliffhanger.  I couldn’t even tell from that ending whether there would even be a second season.  Fortunately, just twelve hours prior, Netflix announced that there would be one.  Netflix has posted a teaser.  (On a side note, in eight episodes I never did get used to Alice Krige playing someone other than the Borg Queen.  I hadn’t appreciated how sexual the Borg Queen was until I saw the same actor playing a timid, neurotic older woman who was anything but.  I had no such difficulty adjusting to Lucius Malfoy.)
  • I’ve started watching Mad Men.  I’ve been finding it depressing, but I can’t stop watching it.  I’ve been watching three or four episodes in an evening, and I’m already into season three.  Part of the depressing effect seems to be the affairs that Jon Hamm’s character has.  I’m not sure why that would depress me, except that people suck and I’m lonely.  Part of it seems to be all the sexism.  I know that’s supposed to be humorous, but it’s actually making me a little angry.  And after this last election cycle, it is depressing to think that much of the “progress” we have made in this regard has been an illusion.  I think I was expecting more of a comedy, something more lighthearted.
  • A burlesque performer has gotten me interested in the Arduino platform for wearable devices, specifically LED light effects controlled by a microcontroller.  I’m surprised by how mild the learning curve is.  I already know the C++ programming language, the development tools take all the complications out of cross-platform development, and libraries tend to be provided with the available peripherals.  I am building this out of the Adafruit FLORA microcontroller and NeoPixel LED devices.  The performer’s application is very simple, but if this collaboration is successful, I hope to interest her in more elaborate and impressive applications.
  • I have been amazing even myself with my agility to bounce around between technologies.  In the past few days, I have developed in PHP, Ruby, C++, and PowerShell.  For Ruby and PowerShell, it has been a growth experience.  I’ve been learning about Arduino and Blender.  Perhaps most fascinating is the degree to which I have been able to switch from one to another.  The Adruino project is exciting for me because it combines skills I already have, and not just technical skills, because I will also be soldering and sewing.
  • I took an early morning phone call from my boss’s boss.  One of his key people has tendered his resignation.  And by “key,” I mean he is the only person who knows most of the things he knows.  I am being rushed to Denver to soak up as much knowledge transfer as I can.  It is almost a foregone conclusion that I will be more or less assigned to that product indefinitely.  There is plenty of work that needs to be done, beyond simply supporting the systems.  It’s not glamorous, but it seems like it might be a less dysfunctional part of the company.
  • Some of the things I am supposed to learn on this trip have to do with technologies I’ve never gotten into: VMware and Citrix virtualization technologies and Nagios monitoring.  VMware and Nagios are both technologies that I should know to be marketable for infrastructure jobs.  I just bought a hundred bucks worth of e-books to scan through during the next couple of days in preparation for this.  Nagios was already on my list of technologies to learn.  I have a different virtualization technology on that list, but VMware is probably more broadly used, and therefore more valuable for me to learn.
  • I have decided to try working with kydex to make holsters.  I need a good holster for my backpacking gun, and one is just not made.  I’ve thought about making one of synthetic fabrics, and I’ve thought about modifying one that is close.  However, I think kydex will be the best option.  I watched some how-to videos online, and it seems like something I can do.  I’ve ordered a molding press and some materials, and I’ll give it a whirl when it all arrives.