Thursday, 21 August 1997:


I was pretty surly (read: "pissy") today. I was kind of dazed on Monday as if I hadn't slept much, or well (though I don't recall tossing and turning, so it wasn't a conscious thing), and I think it's just caught up to me. There are some things about work that bug me, but there are things that bug everyone. Some of it was really getting on my nerves today, but hopefully it's just that I'm in a bad mood and not a sign of something deeper.

(Although I can see a coming argument about the recent precedent for writing specification documents for every damned thing we do to the system. I don't see the need to write spec documents to fix implementation bugs. You fix them, you test them, you make sure they're fixed.)

I've spent much of the last year working on some really big projects, including some very large ones that were of necessity done on the spur of the moment. Although they generally turned out well (the big project I did in one month at the beginning of the year is getting great reviews from our first client to use it), I'm kind of burned out on huge projects for the moment. I suggested to my boss that I'd be happy to spend much of our next release cycle doing small projects, bug fixes, minor enhancements, etc. I'm good at that, and it's fun to crank through a lot of small projects and learn about parts of the system I haven't worked on much. We'll see what happens.

Comic book day consisted of a number of second-string titles, although all still good enough that I'm still buying them:

  1. Batman: The Long Halloween is a Batman title involving a serial killer apparently trying to bring down one of Gotham City's crimelords by assassinating his henchmen and family on each holiday. Not bad, but not great.
  2. Challengers of the Unknown is a new version of an old classic, which is mostly about a team of professional adventurers who get involved in strange cases. Not innovative, but sometimes intriguing.
  3. Damned is about a guy who gets out of jail with a promise to fulfill to a dead buddy, and the local crimelord comes after him.
  4. Resurrection Man is about a guy who gains a new superhuman ability each time he's killed. Not as innovative as it could be; seems kind of directionless.
  5. Young Heroes in Love is a quasi-soap opera about a team of young superheroes who get involved with each other. Doesn't really live up to its goofy potential; ironically, if it treated its subject more seriously and maturely, it would be better. It seems to be aimed at teenagers, and therefore glosses over a lot of the serious emotions that would be involved in such a situation.
I'm thinking of writing a letter to Comics Buyer's Guide recommending some of the other little-known titles I'm reading and enjoying, such as Quicken Forbidden, which is a fast-paced modern fantasy whose protagonist is a teenaged girl.

Did you know I don't buy a single Marvel comic these days? Their whole line-up is just terrible, and has been for years, with only the occasional exception, such as Marvels.

I went for a short bike ride tonight along the bike path near my apartment. Sunday I'm going to bike to work and test out my planned route. I got this idea from CJ Silverio's bicycle commuting essay, which helped inspire me to stop stalling and try this bike-to-work stuff. I have a helmet, I have bike lights, I have a bike, I don't have any funny pants; I think I'm all set.

A week from now I'll be in San Antonio for the World Science Fiction Convention. A lot to do before then; gotta find someone who will take care of my cats!

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