mountain_laurel: (Default)
apparently my contract is getting extended through at least the end of the year. it's already approved; only the formalities remain.


Aug. 18th, 2008 09:54 am
mountain_laurel: (Default)
Iceberg Slim's vet checkup went well -- there's absolutely nothing wrong with him. the numbers on all his tests were perfect, so that's one fewer thing for me to worry about. he did manage to scratch the hell out of both the vet and the vet tech. he did NOT appreciate getting his vaccinations. i fear he will not be as popular at that office as Daddy-O was.

in other news, it looks like i'm finally getting some real work to do, albeit for another department. they've got a 700-page manual they need updated. i won't be doing the writing, just plugging it into Frame and formatting it properly. their schedule is ridiculous, however -- three weeks for them to write all the changes and me to plug them in. it's just not going to happen. i couldn't make all those revisions in three weeks, and the guys who are writing them aren't even tech writers.

depression continues very bad, but it's hard to say how much of that is medication and how much is my complete lack of any kind of life outside of work. socializing just seems like such a *chore*, though. i wish i hadn't moved to south austin; it makes it so much more difficult to hang out with people. i'm more avoidant than ever -- i'm still going to bed way too early because all i really want to do is sleep. getting netflix has helped me stay up at least somewhat later, but i'm still in bed by 9 almost every night.

and since all the kids are doing it, here's my manga avatar:

mountain_laurel: (Default)
so. things continue as they have been: i'm depressed, i'm bored, i don't have enough to do at work, and my apartment is full of bugs. tonight i get to buy some ant baits to try to eliminate at least that infestation. fortunately, i haven't seen any roaches or palmetto bugs the last week or so.

i've found someone locally who will do what i need done to my carpet -- i need the corner where Daddy-O staged his protests torn up, the padding replaced, the concrete sealed, and the carpet itself steam cleaned. he only charges $25/room for steam cleaning, so i'm guessing his rates for the rest of it will be pretty reasonable. i'm hoping i can get away with only $200 or so to solve the problem. now i just have to call the guy.

i just made an appointment for Iceberg to get a vet checkup. cross your fingers for me -- i'm terrified they'll find something wrong with him, even though he seems perfectly healthy. a cat his age could have any number of health problems...

there are clients in the lab today, which means i need to look busy even though i have absolutely nothing to do. i cannot express in mere words how tiresome this is.
mountain_laurel: (Default)
i've had no work to do at all this week. i managed to make about 5 minutes of work for myself when i stumbled across the documentation template, which was not in the "template" folder in the "documentation" directory as you might expect, but instead on the desktop buried among a ton of random crap the previous writer left there. i fixed all the errors in the boilerplate and read through it for clues on how to deal with some of the trickier formatting issues, but that's everything i've done since last thursday.

i had lunch with [ profile] peglegpete yesterday, since he came through Austin on his way to Burning Man Flipside. he was looking fine in his utilikilt and good conversation was had. i must say that i was unnerved by how much gray there is in his hair -- when did we all get so goddamn old?

20 years ago when i was still making my name in talk.bizarre, i never pictured myself still being friends with so many of its denizens after this much time. i didn't realize i was making friends for life, but now i can easily picture us still hanging out online (in whatever form the net may have taken by then) in another 20 years, and perhaps another 40 if we live that long. i find it comforting to know that no matter where i go, i'll always have this core group of friends online. (most of whom still will not have grown up. like me, for instance.)

in sad news, Robert Lynn Asprin died suddenly yesterday on his way to Marcon, but i can't find an actual news source for it yet.
mountain_laurel: (Default)
well, that was a nice 4 hours of work. i wonder when i'll get to do some more.

the previous writer sucked giant festering donkey dick, but this should surprise no one. the previous writer ALWAYS sucks giant festering donkey dick. and in this case, it's not just bad writing (though it's very bad), it's missing words, flagrant typos, and a complete ignorance of tech writing conventions. the guy knew OpenOffice really well, but that appears to have been his only actual skill.

(yes, i'm working in OpenOffice. at least it's not Word.)
mountain_laurel: (girl with bat)
so here's the thing: i want, quite reasonably, to have the title page for my book to contain all the necessary formats etc., so if i change stuff i only have to change it in one place and then import those formats to the rest of the files in the book. the trouble is, this is not actually happening in a reliable fashion. paragraph formats, ToC structures, etc. are getting lost in translation, and i can't figure out why. i don't know much about reference pages, so it's possible i'm just doing something wrong, but i've been over and over the doc and i can't find any obvious explanations.

i'm using 7.2 on XP Pro, if that makes any difference. any wisdom on dealing with this kind of flakiness would be appreciated....
mountain_laurel: (cherchez le poisson)
i'm designing a Frame template for a document that will be distributed in PDF format. at all my previous jobs, the default body text font was 10 point Times New Roman. it's a familiar font that's very readable in print, but i'm not quite convinced it's the best choice for a PDF document, so i've got a few questions about how people use PDF documentation and what their font preferences are. feel free to comment on anything you think i haven't covered, since i know some of you are extremely particular about this sort of thing.

me personally, i think 12 point is easist to read online, but is too big in print. maybe 11 point is the answer? maybe i'm being excessively fussy? maybe people prefer the familiar and i should shut up and stick with Times10pt? let me know what you think.

IMPORTANT: the URL i give for the sample document is wrong, and i can't go back and edit it now -- the correct url is sorry about that!

[Poll #954218]
mountain_laurel: (Default)
my employers want me to give usage examples for the software i'm documenting. the software is, in the broadest sense, for designing electronic circuits. i'm trying to get a feel for what sort of examples people like, and see if there's any correlation with how much hardware and/or software experience they have.

[Poll #951792]
mountain_laurel: (her kind die bloody!)
okay, i need everyone to send their good vibes my way. i'm waiting to hear back about both a job and an apartment that i really want, and i'm just about beside myself with anticipation. i should know all by the end of this week. i've got a few other job leads i'm working, but i'm hoping i won't have to bother.

the job is doing doc for the software configuration tool for a single-chip voltage regulator/power thingy that seems to have some pretty amazing potential. everyone i talked to there was supercool and i happen to know i'm the personnel manager's #1 choice (shhh, i'm not supposed to know but the recruiter forwarded me her very enthusiastic email), but of course she's not the one who gets to make the final decision.

the apartment is on a quiet little side street that connects S. 1st and S. Congress, north of Ben White and south of Oltorf. it's a little scruffy but the complex has personality and is surrounded by big beautiful trees. the layout is workable (especially the kitchen/dining room, which has windows on both ends!), and the manager is very nice and laid back and has an awesome kitty named Sassy who just loooooooves attention. i pulled over on my way out and asked a pedestrian about the neighborhood, and she said she'd been living there for months and never had any problems. i'd be near major bus lines, and it's only 10 minutes from downtown. (easy commute to the potential job, too.) it's right on target for my budget, $495/month, and has the lowest pet deposit i've yet found in Austin, so the move-in costs wouldn't be too high. it comes open the first week of April.

there is some evidence that my luck is good this week -- i got approved for Lilly's patient assistance program and they're sending a 3-month supply of Cymbalta free of charge -- so if i can keep the streak going, my life will have 85% less suck by the end of the week. cross your fingers, send your vibes, give offerings to your deity of choice, and generally wish me luck, because i really, really want this to work out.


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