Today was a good day for. We took a walk down to the lake, and saw a bunch of different and interesting birds. We’d never seen a scarlet tanager before, but it turns out that there was a male living by the conservatory. These birds are cool because the male is brilliant red (much brighter red than a cardinal), and the female looks something like a goldfinch. I.e: both genders are equally funky.
Then, in no particular order, we saw a bunch of barn swallows, some sort of tern, the egret who maintains the frog population in lake Como, a blue heron (flying low and slow over the lake, with swallows zipping around him), and a duck mom with six bite sized ducklings following her around. We also saw the black crowned night heron who lives at the lake. He, more than any other bird I’ve seen, hates to be observed. As soon as he notices you staring at him, he (with great dignity, mind you) flies to the other side of the lake.
At work today, we practiced some Extreme Programming. Of course, we skipped the parts about continual testing, user driven development (users? ha!), and all that pain in the ass re-factoring. Instead we had three developers sitting at the same monitor, working communally. I’m certain that we could have gotten the same work done faster by me doing it alone. That wasn’t the point of the exercise. The point was to transfer knowledge and to be sure that these guys who are remaining will be familiar enough with the code to do what needs be done. For knowledge transfer, you can’t beat pair programming. It is, however, like backpacking: You have to go at the pace of the slowest traveller. This can lead to an exhausting experience for everyone.
WRT the sleep thing from last night, Jen woke me at 7 this morning (getting home from work) wanting to go out for breakfast. It was a good idea, and a great way to start the day…but I’m feeling a little off-center just now. Hopefully this evening will be a bit more normal.
I was listening to the news this morning on the way into work, and the story was about how sex offenders are being housed in mental institutions, side by side with mentally deficient and mostly helpless people. Naturally, the helpless end up being buggered by the predators. There was all sorts of talk about how this was financially driven, since any inmate in a medical facility gets half of their room and board paid by medicare, but prisons are 100% paid by the state. I just kept thinking that really, the abuses we’ve seen by our army over in Iraq shouldn’t be a surprise. The same thing happens all over the world, all the time. Even in North Minneapolis. People suck, the strong oppress and use the weak, and the awful underbelly of human nature tends to win through in the end.