More Update

Oh yeah.

4. I ruined one pair of tennis shoes and damaged another. I'd provide pics, but I don't have time. Supposed to be getting ready to leave. I was just trying to be a good wifey. Guess I should stop? Our tennis shoes were all muddy from the service project on Saturday, and we're gonna want them for walking around in Florida, so I cleaned them up yesterday afternoon. But they got pretty wet, and I didn't think they'd dry overnight, so I threw them in the dryer. You know, like T did with ours once upon a time. And they did dry. But the uppers on mine also entirely melted away from the soles and one of them got jammed in the side and got tore up pretty bad (fortunately, I was planning on wearing another pair of shoes anyway). Kyle's shoes suffered significantly less damage, and we're hoping they'll be okay. One of the heels is just coming up from the sole a wee bit. I feel really bad, though. Hopefully it won't rain in FL, and we can get him some new ones later. Basically, I'm a moron and shouldn't be allowed to do things.

A Tiny Update

Recent events of note:

1. I had an awesome migraine that lasted for 6 days. It was stellar good times here at home. Fortunately, my doc was able to order me a shot of dilaudid (a heavy-duty narcotic) and it went away. I had no idea he could do that, so I won't wait so long next time before letting him know! And just when I start to think that Kyle's got to be getting tired of taking care of me all the time, he brings me flowers. Sweet husband. It was nice to have something colorful and happy to look at while I was moping around the house (that was on day 3):small
2. In happier news, I have another nephew! Christopher and Jenny now have a beautiful son, Miles Christopher Johnson. He was born May 1, the pics are adorable, and I can't wait to meet him.

3. Kyle and I spent Saturday morning at a service project cleaning up a trail nearby. (It was part of a state-wide thing done by Mormon Helping Hands.) We ended up pulling logs out of...well, it was a mess. Basically, a stream-bed had jammed with logs and suchlike, and it was all mud and debris and decomposing earth and, well, mess. Our goal was to clear out the big stuff so it wouldn't clog up again so fast, and we were digging out logs and branches for a few hours. Lots of mud and wet. We got a lot done, though, and I felt quite triumphal every time we finally got something we'd been working on for a while.

Right now, we're finishing up preparations for our Florida trip (we leave in the morning). We'll let you know how it goes!

Yup, I'm good at what I do

I just want to make sure everyone knows that I'm good at what I do. I gave a presentation to our department about the new application our team has been working on. Before the presentation the department head presented me and my two coworkers with Silver Awards for the previous application we put together. A nice little recognition which comes with a monetary award of $350.

I then presented our new application designed for the use of many of the people in our department. An application which the software team has created 3 times previously over the last many years and which the department never really liked. This iteration was enthusiastically received by even the toughest critics in the group who, rather than detail why the application wasn't going to work for them, said they liked it and requested some very small features which I then implemented by the end of the day. The department head later let us know that he was very pleased with the presentation and excited for us to get to the next application.

I feel pretty good. I researched and selected the Grails framework which we're now using to make our small team of 3 (now 4 and soon to be 5) incredibly more productive. I designed and wrote the previous application and drove many of the choices which resulted in the positive reaction to the new application.

I'm really enjoying my job. My work is almost entirely autonomous. So I get to decide how I'm going to do things, solve interesting problems, recommend changes to critical design issues and create good, solid code. My boss is great and my coworkers are excellent as well.

Because of the nature of the job, I didn't have a whole lot of information when I decided to accept the offer back in April 2009. I'm really glad I took the job at LLNL over the other offer I had. I don't think I'd be nearly this autonomous or happy at the other company.

The only frustrating part that I deal with regularly (aside from personal email not being available at work, though they are running a pilot program to remove that block) is that I can't write interesting blog posts about what I'm doing. (The other offer I had would have had the same restriction.) But the work is interesting and the impact is larger than I usually get to know. It's not unusual to have my boss say something like "Someone was using that new application and they really liked it, but we can't talk about what they were doing in this building." And since I pretty much never go to the buildings where we could talk about it I end up not knowing. But applications that I wrote are being used on an international scale to help keep people safe. And that's pretty cool.