Perpendiculous Programming, Personal Finance, and Personal musings



Filed under: Uncategorized — cwright @ 9:36 pm

I guess it’s been a while.  As is oh-so-often the case, I overcommit myself to too many things, and then pay dearly.  Some may call it a trade, time for experience, money, or glory.  I simply see it as exploration.  With a lot still on my plate, I suppose it’s appropriate to take a brief break from Xcode, and jot down some thoughts to keep this blog from getting too stale.

Since October, life has been full of fun little things.  The experiences of married life are enjoyable, but they’re difficult to write about in a public medium.  Suddenly, respecing significantly more privacy than I initially had to worry about is a tricky, delicate thing that I’m still working on.

Work has been moving at a fantastic rate.  I’m certainly not getting rich off of it (in fact, if I was wise I’d just dump the money into savings instead of insisting on buying stock in a recession.. what am I thinking?), but I suppose I’m meeting some fantastically interesting people, establishing some great habits (who knew software developers could say “no”?), and learning far more than I ever thought possible.

I’ve also had the opportunity to teach and instruct, and to lend a hand where appropriate, both on and off the keyboard.

The things I’ve written about feel hollow now — personal finance is still something I actively and passionately persue and manage, but writing about it at times like these is rather bland:  The three pillars of personal finance —  Earn More, Spend Less, Invest Wisely — aren’t particularly applicable at this point.  Earning more in the face of layoffs requires an ingenius mind and an entrepreneurial will of steel.  Spending less is in some ways getting easier (gas certainly got cheaper once people ran out of money to inflate the oil futures, houses are certainly now more affordable, but at a large cost to society), but certainly not fun to read about (and after all, saving 23¢ a week on something isn’t going to improve your situation).  Investing Wisely for the short term is even more boring that stocks and bonds;  Savings accounts and mattress-portfolios are all in vogue now, and for some justifiable reason.  My brokerage days are over now that zecco is charging per-trade (just like everyone else), so it’s just saving for a downpayment, and the trusty IRAs.  Boring.

Debugging is fun, as is reverse engineering, but sadly I’m in a party of one on those topics — static analysis and developing sophisticated hacks falls on deaf ears, with the mass of users wanting more features, more bug fixes, and ever more products.  For me, the features are for convenience.  The bugs are for stress relief (who likes their programs randomly crashing?).  The products are to slightly offset the massive amount of sweat equity poured into development — someday it might even be profitable.  I hold no regrets or objections to this, it’s simply a position wildly different from what I had expected.  Having coded stuff to be used by sysadmins and other coders, writing things for users continues to simultaneously intrigue and exhaust me — intriguing, because it’s new, and having literally hundreds or thousands of people use something you fashioned with your own hands is gratifying, perhaps in a carnal, selfish way.  And exhausting because the demand is never satisfied, the void never filled.  It’s like affluenza, but without credit or interest.

A never-ending flood of newbies and otherwise inexperienced users constantly becon for help.  I suppose that in some small way this is like the September that never ended from the generation before mine.  Normally very patient, I can start to see it slowly burning off;  my responses more abrasive, my attitude more flippant.  I suppose that I was hoping for some self-organizing moderation, but it has failed to emerge.

Life stories are exciting, but mine have all been private or more likely just non-existant lately.  No one’s interested in hearing how you fell asleep with your wife in your arms on the floor, only to wake up 5 hours later, at the late, late hour of 5:30pm.  Who cares if my in-laws are crazy, or exciting, or anything?  And with 10 brothers- and sisters-in-law, that’s expected (yes, it’s a ridiculously large family :).  Friends I just don’t understand, but don’t feel approprite discussing in abstract ways.  People hold their personal space violently, unless they’re not on guard.  Sadly, the guard trend tends to be with they’re with friends, rather than enemies.

Socially things have been at a stalemate — we’re in a liminal period, simultaneously stretched towards and repelled from our previous acquaintence set and our pending group.  Nonplussed at how swiftly we’re omitted, impatient at how slowly we’re assimilated, eternities seem to pass in the moments of isolation.  For me it’s not such a big deal.  For Alias, it’s much more stressful and desponding.  Me, as a male, trying to take care of the basic social needs of a female, is a rather comical display of naïveté.

I’ve hinted at a Stats post in the past — sadly this isn’t it just yet.  Still amassing data I suppose.

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