Today is my birthday — #33. That means I’ve been programming for some sixty percent of my life — no big deal I suppose to kids these days who likely were programming before they entered day care, but I was on the bleeding edge growing up. That tech savvy of course came with the requisite non-understanding of the other kids in my small-town-Nebraska seventh grade class (all twenty of them) who labored under the collective misconception that the computer wrote my term papers for me. (As if!)
33 is one of those interesting palindrome years. I remember doing an experiment in fourth grade where I took some random shortish palindrome number, added it to itself, then added the result to itself, and on and on until the result was another palindrome. That was the first time I realized that computers had limits too — it only took a few iterations for the sum to overflow the capabilities of my Apple //e, dashing my hopes for a quick answer. Never one to give up just because a few small details baloon into a plethora of small details, I embarked on the several-days-long task of doing the arithmetic by hand. It took twenty or so front and back pages of my (in)famously miniscule handwriting, but I did eventually arrive at another palindrome. My teacher gave me some sort of special award in honor of my perseverance, but I was just having fun.
So what kind of interesting things do I have planned for today? All sorts of super fun things:
- A session with my trainer at the gym. There’s a Gold’s Gym just a short walk from my home. I used to think Gold’s Gyms were a hoity-toity he-man if-you-can’t-lift-outrageous-amounts-we-don’t-want-you kind of place, but mine (I found out when one evening when I was desperately thirsty and was looking for a drinking fountain cleaner than the skanky public one in the mall that was out of order anyway) is actually a very friendly place. Sessions aren’t cheap, but I’ve found that professional assistance makes a world of difference in my workout. So I buy a session every six months or so, my trainer tells me what I’m doing wrong, and we change my workout a bit to keep my muscles from being bored. Then I’m on my own again until next time (although my trainer is great about offering advice — or criticism as the need may be <g/> — whenever he sees me doing something wrong).
- A two-and-a-half mile walk (each way) to my dentist and back. I have great teeth but my gums are less happy. I’ve never minded going to the dentist — even when I was growing up — but the flouride treatments were always pure torture. I can’t gargle to save my life, so the flouride I was supposed to swish around for two minutes was gone (swallowed) in about fifteen seconds. Thank goodness they don’t give those to grown-ups!
- A visit to my opthamologist with my wife to see if he has a pair of sunglasses that a) will survive me and b) my wife will let me wear. I usually just get cheapo convenience store sunglasses, but it never takes me long to mangle them beyond repair. I’m hoping my eye doctor will have something a bit more indestructible.
- Dinner somewhere downtown that has yummy desserts — Icon Grill (home of the eight-inch lemon tart and the Texas Funeral Fudge Cake which is so chocolatey they give you a pint of milk rather than making you buy it) and Anthony’s (where you can have fruit on your ice cream, fruit in your ice cream, or (my favorite) ice cream on your (encased-in-a-slump) fruit) are my favorites.
- Get to bed on time so I’m all chipper for my seven hours of meetings tomorrow.
Now is that a fun day or what? I’m just a wild and crazy guy! <g/>
*** Comments, questions, feedback? Want a fun job on a great team? Send two coding samples and an explanation of why you chose them, and of course your resume, to me at michhu at microsoft dot com. I need testers, and my team needs a data binding developer, program managers, and a product manager. Great coding skills required for all positions.