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Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Busy But Productive Week

It has been another busy week both at home, and at work. I attended so many meetings about my project at work that I have lost track of what was discussed in half of them! I am happy as long as the project shows some movement in the correct direction, and does not stall or start moving in the wrong direction.

The project is somewhat complicated because it needs second to second real-time data from my company's real-time operational database. The technology for getting such real-time data is not something I learned in my programming courses when I went to college. Now, I am bombarded with technical terms that I have never heard of before. So, it has required special effort on my part to make sure that I understand what is being said, and that the technological architecture being proposed for the project will work for sure.

People hear what they want to hear, and that can be quite dangerous in a project like this that uses technology I am not familiar with. During every discussion, we have to consciously stop the IT folks in their tracks, throw an actual use-case we will be tackling as part of our project and have them explain how their technology and architecture will be able handle it. If their explanation does not make sense, we have to make them explain it in more detail until it does. And these kinds of discussions have revealed holes in the architecture that may have never been uncovered if we had not come up with actual use-cases that we wanted the IT team to come up with solutions for.

At home, things have been quite busy too. Anybody who owns a home knows how things break constantly and need fixing all the time. It has been quite hot lately, and the air conditioner has been working quite a bit this year compared to previous years. So, when it suddenly stopped producing cold air one fine day, it was not a good feeling. I feared that something major had gone wrong. It turned out to be just a blown capacitor in the outside condenser fan, but you never know. I guess it could have been worse.

This was one of those things that I couldn't fix with my level of knowledge or skill. There are many other things I have trained myself to fix over time. It sometimes makes for a busy life at home, but it saves quite a bit of money too. Things like leaky toilets, leaking faucets, clogged drains, blown circuit breakers, etc. are common problems I have grown used to nowadays. You own a home, you become very familiar with home improvement stores as you spend lots of time there buying stuff and/or asking employees there how to fix something or the other.

The vegetables my wife planted this summer have started bearing fruit, literally. We are getting tomatoes and mint in abundance from the plants in my wife's vegetable patch. We hope to get carrots, onions, strawberries, etc. also. But so far, all I can see are the plants, not the vegetables or fruits themselves. Oh well, it is only the middle of summer now, and the planting was a little late this year because it is the first time my wife is trying this out.

I have had very little time to write and publish things on my blog. But I managed to get a start as far as chronicling my Peru vacation is concerned. On Tuesday, I wrote up a post about how I got to Peru, including the process of booking the air tickets and how to save money on these bookings by making the right choices. Then on Wednesday, I put up some of the photographs from the trip.

I continued on Thursday and Friday with descriptions and photographs from our first full day in Peru. Also on Thursday, I came across another news article on the web that had comments worth commenting on! And on Saturday, I wrote up an interesting experience I had with a friend of mine who has trouble opening packets of sugar to add to her coffee.

I haven't had visitors from any new countries visit my blog this week. I guess having visitors from 141 countries has been well beyond my wildest expectations when I started putting this blog together. I can always go to the flagcounter forum, and request flags from members who are from other countries. But I have never done that before, and I feel that the visitors who come to my blog should come there by themselves rather than to satisfy a request from me so that the flags represent the actual people who were interested in the blog rather than visited just for the sake of visiting. If my blog does not have any appeal outside of these 141 countries, so be it!
Puzzle 80% complete, upside downPuzzle 80% complete
My kids have also been busy with various activities this week. The jigsaw puzzle has become quite easy to work on, and I fully expected them to finish it off this week, but they did not have enough time to work on it at a stretch. They would stop by for a few minutes, add a few pieces, then go off and do other things. Then they would come back to the puzzle a few hours later for a few more minutes, and so on. So, they have made progress, but not finished it off yet. It is certainly interesting seeing how this puzzle has been put together over time. At this point, the puzzle is probably about 80 to 85% complete, as the accompanying pictures show.

I am working on more posts for the coming week, putting together the photos from my vacation along with descriptions of what we saw and did so that they make sense. Hopefully you will see more detailed descriptions and photos from the next few days of my vacation in the next few days!

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