Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 28

So I first must apologize for not blogging on Thursday. I know day 26 says Thursday, but that was actually done Wednesday night, and then I fell asleep before I submitted, so I submitted it right when I woke up. Thursday I was still trapped in Philadelphia, and Micah spent the whole morning trying to find a flight home. I was feeling under weather, and we were riding a roller coaster, trying time and time again to get on a flight. Finally after a few attempts, we made it to the airport for a flight that had not yet been canceled. We then had a very anti climatic sprint to get to our gate, only to find out that we had to wait another hour and a half for the airline to find another flight attendant. I didn't get home until around 6:00 and we had lost an hour from the flight, so the day was quite unproductive, other than the fact that we made it home.

Today, I had hoped to make up for the lack of work completed on Thursday, unfortunately today was manual labor day. There were several tasks that needed to be done at the office, and being the apprentice - I was put to work. I literally got about 5 lines of code down today. On a more lightening note, one side of the office looks radically different now!
First I had to assemble 4 new chairs, which was actually a fairly painless process.
Then came a broken toilet that needed fixing. A relatively quick trip to ACE and a little tweaking to get the flush mechanism operating at its full potential. And let me tell you, there are under par flush handles and there are excellent flush handles. My first go at it, Micah was disappointed at the give of the handle and that it required so much motion before the flushing actually began. On my second go at it, I successfully measured the exact give to action ratio to create a handle that is both satisfyingly smooth in its motion as well as efficient in its reaction to the toilet's depositor.

After the toilet came the real task. This was actually after I had ordered lunch for everyone, though I might add that I failed in this endeavor because I forgot we had a vegetarian in the office. Fortunately, the pizza place had failed to deliver on my failed request, and thus two wrong made a right and there was no meat on the pizza. Unfortunately, this was discovered after Colin (he who prefers the veggies over the remains of a carcass) had already compensated for my thoughtlessness and created a delightful Peanut Butter, Pretzel, Banana, and Jelly sandwich on Rye bread.

So my real task came after this lunch, just as I thought I might be able to get some coding done, when some guys brought in 4 brand new tables that needed assembly. Not just the IKEA - stick some pre-made pegs in pre-drilled holes. No, these were big, heavy, and highly demanding tables which give you no assistance on assembly. As if tables can give you assistance... but either way, these were beastly projects. Each had four legs with a base that had 8 screws which had to be positioned after first measuring the proper distances from each side. Before the screws could be placed, I had to drill little holes to guide the screws in properly. So in total, each table required about 12 measurements, 16 pencil markings, 32 holes drilled, 32 screws screwed in the guided holes, and then finally 4 legs to be screwed onto their respective base paltes. I tried making a measurement template after the first table (as Doug suggested), but we had no paper large enough to span the table and the cardboard template I tried was too small and too inaccurate.

What made it all far... far worse, was the electric drill ran out of battery before even the first table was completed. As a result, the majority of the screws were placed in by hand through a variety of combinations of unintended uses for tools. If you never have screwed in thick screws into fairly hardwood... it isn't an easy task. I am a fairly strong fellow, and even using my full body weight, sometimes I couldn't get the screws to budge. Thank goodness for mechanical advantage!

I am happy to say, that even though I was sweating at the job for a very long time, I defeated Doug's expectations that I would still be there when he returned on Monday! Take that Mr. IOnlyUsePoweredDrills ( go java CamelCase) !! No offense intended of course, its actually a reflection of frustration for 8th Light owning a battery powered drill with no backup battery.

This weekend I will makeup for all the lost time these last two days, and then start on my new assignment of creating an HTTP Server from scratch.

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