2015.05.20 – There’s a Frood Who Really Knows Where His Towel Is

Yay, no interviews! It felt like a weekend because I didn’t have anything stressful scheduled at all. Chris from DreamHost called me to let me know they would meet my salary request. Yay again! I know it’s fair for them and for me. I was very happy. He said he would send over the paperwork and asked if I had read over the benefits. I hadn’t had time to do that so I told him I would get that done. Unfortunately Wayne and I had a ton of running around to do so I wasn’t exactly sure I would get to it this day.

Kristin and Jason were hitting the road today and we were sad to see them go. They are really great people and our time with them was too brief! We talked them into a tour of our Airstream before they left then it was hugs all around and they were off on their next adventure.

Meanwhile a friend of mine had let me know she was feeling very stuck on her path to becoming a developer. I suggested maybe she try contributing to Air Mozilla. Peter is a fantastic mentor and it might be really good for her so I sent her links to the Github repository and suggested she get the development environment set up and that she install and join the #airmozilla-dev channel. She only got really stuck one time and ended up figuring it out herself anyway. I was busy running around so she introduced herself to Peter and he assigned her a bug. It’s a bug that is associated with the feature I added so I thought that was super cool! She was feeling much better about things and I am confident she will kick ass just based on how well she is doing so far. She works full time, runs an excellent website, ladylovescode.com, hosts a very informative podcast featuring some really inspiring women and in her spare time teaches herself to code in multiple languages and is now contributing to Air Mozilla. She’s already kicking plenty of ass!

Wayne and I drove out to Indigo Traders in Multnomah Village. What a cute area! We didn’t have any time to wander around and just spent the entire time towel shopping. They have a LOT of choices! It was a bit overwhelming but the owner and staff were incredibly nice and helpful. They even had hot tea! It was the most pleasant towel shopping experience ever. We ended up getting a few different styles to try out so we can decide what we really like. These are Turkish Peshtemal towels. We haven’t used them before but everyone who has says they will never go back to regular terry cloth, thick towels. The owner and staff took a lot of time with us, showing us the different styles, weights and materials. They explained the history of the towels and told us about the people that make them. They even have a really old loom that the owner uses to weave his own towels. It was pretty fantastic.

While we were out John from UA emailed and asked me to complete a small technical exercise just to get an idea of my skill level. I told him I would be more than happy to do that and also mentioned to him that I now had a solid job offer so the sooner he could send it the sooner I could get it back to him. He sent it before I even made it home and it was pretty easy. I was anxious to get started on it but it seemed all of my children needed to talk to me about one thing or another. Definitely a priority! It was also my mom’s birthday so I wanted to call her before it got too late. We talked for a while but we had just spoken so the conversation wasn’t too terribly long. Alice stopped by after that and talked to me for a bit. By this time we were heading for a late dinner. Into the kitchen I went to try and figure out what we could throw together. We had a lot of leftovers so we decided it was scrounge night. Simple! Now I could sit down and get this exercise done. It was pretty much as easy as I had anticipated. I didn’t write tests or anything and I know I could have spent an indefinite amount of time tweaking it and adding to it but I don’t think he wanted anything terribly complicated so I sent it off. At least it will help him decide one way or another.

I don’t know exactly what I will be doing at DreamHost but the people I will work with are fantastic and I know it will be a fun place to work. The job at UA sounds super interesting and fun and like something I would really love doing. I wish I could have both jobs! I guess this is a good problem to have and an even better one if they were to happen to make me an offer as well. Either way I am thankful for the opportunity to interview at UA again.

Today I learned that we must go back and explore Multnomah Village. I had heard the name but didn’t know it was it’s own little community.

2015.05.19 – UA Again, Again

So many stressful days so close together and I had another interview today. I was back at Urban Airship but this time interviewing for a position that would involve programming. It sounded like a really great job doing fun and interesting things. I didn’t have to be there until early afternoon so I took my time in the morning and tried not to stress.

About an hour before it was time to leave I got a call from Chris at DreamHost. They wanted to offer me the position! Mind blown! I knew the interview wasn’t nearly as bad as the one at Cozy (because that one was a complete, fucking disaster) but I still stumbled my way through some really easy stuff. Anyway, I told Chris that I was really happy about the offer but that I wanted to talk about the salary. He said that was fine so we moved into the negotiation phase.

Meanwhile I had to get down to UA. Cherice met me in the lobby and it was so nice to see her. She has always been wonderful. We went upstairs, I made some tea then moved to the meeting room. I first met with a project manager and he was great. We chatted about the position and UA in general until his time was up. Next I met with a member of customer success. He was also great. Everyone at UA is very nice and welcoming. Each person knew that I had already been at UA for an internship so there was a lot we didn’t need to discuss. The next meeting was supposed to be a video chat but due to technical difficulties we had an audio only connection. He was a member of dev/ops and is based in San Francisco. He asked me some questions about JavaScript, Python, Git and databases that I felt were very basic. I don’t think I had any trouble answering them unless I was unclear about what he was asking me. Next up was the engineering manager. He was really nice to talk to. He didn’t ask me anything technical which was fine by me! John was the final person I saw and he had me whiteboard some very basic Python stuff. I was nervous but not terribly so and I muddled through. Whew, it was over and it wasn’t that bad. Four hours flew by. I let Cherice know that I had gotten a job offer that day in case that helped them decide one way or another sooner.

While I was still in the lobby waiting for Wayne to pick me up Chris called back and let me know what the salary offer was. I wasn’t happy with it so I told him what I thought was fair. He said he would find out and call me back the next day. Great!

Wayne picked me up and we ran into the grocery store for some dinner ingredients. We were having Heather, the author of Food Not Lawns over as a guest of Alice so were making most everything with stuff from the gardens. We had a big pot of potato soup, salad, homemade sourdough and strawberry rhubarb pie. It was the six of us, Alice, Jason, Dale, Miri, baby Michael, Taylor, Delaney, Heather, John, Spencer and Mulyssa our neighbor who is a landscape architect and the impetus behind Pesticide Free Overlook. Jason and Kristin joined us later when most everyone was gone but we got to tour their sweet RV!

Today I learned that at least one company thinks I am worth hiring!


2015.05.18 – Tell It to the Judge

So many stressful things to do in such a short amount of time! Today I was headed to court to fight my Max ticket. I was hoping the guy wouldn’t show up but nope, there he was. Before the judge got going the jerkface that ticketed me called my name and asked if he could speak to me out in the hall. He basically said they had enough proof that I wasn’t going to get out of it but they would knock the ticket down to $75 if I plead no contest. If I still wanted to fight it I would have to come back for a trial and blah blah blah. It sounded like a pain in the ass and it could end up costing me more money so I took the deal and was quickly on my way out the door.

It was SO nice out that I decided to walk to Spella Cafe and treat myself to one of the best cups of chai in Portland. Unfortunately I was on the wrong street and walked all the way to Burnside before I noticed. Oh well, it was still really nice out so I decided to just keep walking toward home. I figured there were Max stops along the way so I could hop on one if I didn’t want to walk anymore. It was only a 4 mile walk though so I didn’t think I would need to and besides I didn’t want to buy a ticket just on principle. I was amazed at all of the things I noticed while walking that are nearly impossible to see while driving. It was great! I also got a chance to stop at the new coffee shop, Naturalia Cafe in the neighborhood since I was walking right past it. They unfortunately didn’t have house made chai like Spella but the drink I got was good, the place is cute and the barista was very nice. They are also going to try and bring in some vegan pastries. I’ll definitely go back.

I spent the rest of the day at home not doing much of anything, we made a quick and tasty dinner with veggies from the garden and some rice and then went to Jason and Alice’s house to watch Mordecai. Great movie! I think we should own it.

Today I learned that the walk from downtown is really nice and I should do that more often.

2015.05.17 – Quiet Sunday

I spent the morning going over some JavaScript syntax trying to figure out where I have holes in my understanding. Everything I read/did made sense so I don’t know why I can’t put it all together. Grrr!

Alice rescued me in the afternoon and got me outside in the gardens. It was SO beautiful out. I shouldn’t have squandered this lovely Sunday looking at code. I picked a bunch of strawberries and some rhubarb so I could make a pie but we were going with Kristin to a nearby RV park where some mutual friends of ours are staying. We joined them along with a new friend, Todd for a little happy hour. We all met in Todd’s beautiful vintage bus. Todd and Russ also travel full time and work on the road. We stayed a bit longer than intended and it was getting pretty late by the time we headed home. We stopped at the store because we hadn’t eaten dinner. Wayne made a quick meal of spaghetti, Italian sausage and bread. Jason returned from a day at the Write the Docs conference just as we were finishing up dinner. We sat around and talked until we were all pretty tired.

Today I learned that Todd and Russ’ air horn on the bus plays music and even came with a book that lists the songs available.

2015.05.16 – Friends!

Kristin and Jason went to Voodoo Donuts in the morning and brought some back for us. Nice! Wayne, Andrew, Jordan, Natale and I headed over to Dale and Miri’s current house so we could help disassemble furniture for their upcoming move. The guys made quick work of it and then we all had some pizza before going back home.

Alice came over in the early evening to see what we were doing for dinner. We talked about different things we could have and decided on fajitas. Alice, Andrew, and I ran to the grocery store and then returned home and got busy in the kitchen. Wayne was putting up drywall in the new bathroom so I was unfortunately the one helping Alice cook. We got it all done pretty quickly but it definitely wasn’t our best dinner. Glenn joined us and it turned out to be a really nice evening in spite of the food 🙂

Today I learned that Automattic seems to be really good to their employees.

2015.05.15 – Next

Oh joy, another interview and it will include a technical challenge I’m sure. My stomach was even worse today. Maybe I don’t want a job that badly 🙂 But off I went anyway. My interview was at a co-working place I hadn’t been before. It’s really nice! I was meeting with Kyle and Chad. I know Chad from the Perl Monger’s meetings and had seen him last night. Kyle flew up from LA. Kyle was really nice and not intimidating at all. I could tell he’s just a really kind person.

They started off with some questions and that felt very comfortable. Chad asked me some “what would you do if…?” type questions and then of course Kyle gave me a technical question and I was supposed to write it in pseudocode. I hadn’t ever written something in pseudocode but ok. The question was something like “Determine the angle between two hands of an analog clock”. Uuuuhhh…..and queue the panic. It’s a circle so trigonometry….well the circle is 360 degrees….and we have minutes…..panic….calm down, you know this…..uuuuuh…..minutes to degrees……..panic…….seriously, calm down, you know this, you can do this…scratch trig, you don’t need it…..and so it went as I stumbled my way through the exercise which I, of course, completely over-thought. It ended up being SO easy and I was assuming it must be really hard. Kyle had mentioned that he had another question he wasn’t going to give me but I wanted to know what it was because I’m curious. It was fascinating and I learned some stuff I didn’t know. He was very nice to walk me through it. Also, I didn’t die! I haven’t a clue how I did at all and he said he’d let me know in a week. A WEEK?! I’d rather just assume I won’t be getting an offer and then I don’t have to stress about it for a week. If something different happens I can be happily surprised. Also, I didn’t die!

I went home and was totally ready for a looooooong nap. We had some new friends coming to stay for a few days. They are friends of Chris and Cherie and are passing through Portland on their way to Alaska. We love meeting new people and having them park at our house. Our next door neighbors aren’t so great about it though. They keep to themselves and don’t really like anyone in our neighborhood so they like to call parking enforcement when we have friends stay. Wayne knocked on their door a few times to let them know our friends would only be staying a couple of days but they never answered. He finally found out that they are out of town until Sunday and their son doesn’t care if the RV is out front. Sweet!

Kristin and Jason arrived in the early afternoon and wow are they nice! They have three adorable dogs too. Wayne gave them the tour of the house. It’s long and involved and they were very nice about it 🙂 We can’t wait to tour their RV! It’s a prototype they are testing out for a company so it has some interesting features. They got settled in and then headed downtown to see a co-worker who happened to also be in Portland.

Wayne, Andrew, Jordan and I went to Dove Vivi for some of their amazing pizza. It was busy so we had to wait for a table. We all sat outside and talked. At some point Wayne was looking across the street at a nearby brewery and was trying to read their sign. He doesn’t have glasses but probably needs some so had to really stare at it to make out the words. Apparently some weirdo guy had gotten into his car and for whatever reason thought Wayne was staring at him and he didn’t like that. We were all kind of shocked when the guy walked up to Wayne and said, “Can I help you?!” Wayne was confused and said, “What? No.” but the guy was pissed and said, “Do you have a problem?” Wayne said, “Yeah I can’t see very well and I was staring at the sign across the street to try and read it. I’m sorry.” He was genuinely apologetic. The guy said, “Well it looked like you were mean mugging me.” He would just NOT let it go and leave. I was aggravated and Jordan was amused so he started laughing. The guy didn’t like that at all and called Wayne’s “friend” and asshole. Jordan, told the guy that he was actually the one being a asshole for coming over and starting something. I thought things were going to get ugly but luckily the weirdo got in his car and left. Whew! We laughed it off after that but wow it was weird.

We finally got our table, had awesome pizza and then headed home to watch Black Hat with Alice and Jason. It was awful and I ended up falling asleep.

Today I learned that binary numbers make a beautiful pattern of 1s and 0s which totally makes sense when you think about it. I also learned about bit shifting as division. Fascinating!

2015.05.14 – Glad Today is Behind Me!

I was so nervous all day. I hadn’t done as well as hoped for an interview but they liked me enough to ask me back for some pair programming. This terrifies me. I think it’s been talked about so much as such an awful experience that I just can’t calm down and relax.

I was meeting Amanda for lunch first but my stomach was a mess. She had invited a co-worker with her who happens to have an open position at UA. I couldn’t believe she thought of me and got it all set up to have him join us! I was so thankful. We met at Tilt near UA and John joined us a bit later. He was really nice and the position sounds very interesting and like something I would enjoy doing. He seemed to like me as well and suggested we set up interviews for the following week. Great! So lunch was a mix of excitement and dread. I told Amanda I had to leave for a doctor appointment because I couldn’t even verbalize what I was about to go do or I might panic and cancel.

I knew that it was a fear I needed to get over though so even if I completely bombed at least I will have the experience and it was with a group of really nice people so there’s that 🙂 I drove over and found a place to park which is not the easiest thing to do near their building. My stomach was in a knot and I really just wanted to go home but I didn’t. I went up and we got right to it. John sat with me first and naturally wanted to work with my nemesis JavaScript! That shut me down right away and I completely fumbled through the entire exercise. It. Was. AWFUL. Ashton came in next but I was totally vapor locked at this point. We worked in Python on my code that I wrote and I couldn’t function. I couldn’t do the things I knew like the back of my hand. It was so ridiculous yet interesting at the same time because I had never really seen this side of me. I knew I had to be better than this down the road and would need to work on it somehow.

Rob came in and I could tell he was pretty uncomfortable having to tell me it wasn’t going to work out but I understood. I know I could have done an excellent job for them but I couldn’t show that in the artificial circumstance they put me in. He said they don’t do pair programming enough with potential hires and they really should do more but I think that’s going to just weed out even more competent people. Not everyone who is capable can perform under those circumstances. There has to be a better way but tech companies seem to want to stick with the status quo. Anyway, I did it and I didn’t die so there’s that! Please let me look back on this in a year and laugh.

Today I learned that under extreme stress I can’t computer.

2015.05.13 – Dinner With a Friend

Today was another day of running around. Lauren, Wayne and I went over to a friend’s house to get a bunch of firewood they can’t take with them when they move. We took Lauren’s truck and filled the bed but still have to go back for the rest. They had a lot! When we got home Jordan and James helped the three of us unload and stack the wood so it went pretty fast.  Wayne and I had to get the plywood and drywall we didn’t get yesterday so he can get this bathroom finished. We also looked at light fixtures and faucets but I don’t really know what I want for sure. So many decisions. When we got home I helped Jayde and Estelle with their math homework. I love math! I wish they could see how much fun it is.

Wayne, Andrew and I met our friend Vicky for dinner at Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant. Dinner was fantastic and we sat and talked until they closed. It was really nice. It feels like our day was jam packed and busy but I don’t have a lot to say about it.

Today I learned about Turkish Peshtemal or Pestemal Towels. I think I am going to give one a try.

2015.05.12 – Dinner Night

Wayne and I had a bunch of running around to do today. We needed to look for lights, faucets, glass shades, grab drywall and plywood, run by Target and Petco. We had gotten everything done except for picking up the drywall and plywood before I remembered that Natale and Jayde had doctor appointments all the way across town. We hurried home and grabbed them then took surface streets to the doctor’s office. I was positive we would be late but we made excellent time and were a few minutes early. It was dinner night so we rushed through the grocery store afterward and then headed home to make dinner. Alice had already stopped by with a bunch of garden lettuce. It was soaking in the sink so we knew she would be back soon. I helped Wayne get dinner going and soon everyone started showing up. We were making something new for dinner but it was a very simple dish and didn’t take much time at all. It was pasta, corn and grape tomatoes with an avocado, basil, lemon sauce. It looks a little odd with the green sauce but it is yummy. Everyone loved it! Tonight we had Alice, Jason, Spencer, John, Taylor, Delaney, Jordan’s friend James and the six of us. Dale, Miri and Michael haven’t been coming because they are moving soon and have a ton of packing to do.

Today I learned about these conferences we should go to. We already go to a handful but will definitely have to consider a few more.

2015.05.11 – Rainy Day

The rain was going to return today so Wayne spent the morning working in the front yard getting stuff planted, weeding and cleaning up. It looks fantastic. We already have a ton of strawberries ripening so it is definitely going to be a busy year.

Peter looked over my pull request and had a ton of tips and suggestions. One reason things weren’t working properly was due to case sensitivity. I guess html data tags have to be lower case only. Well that’s good to know. Once I fixed those things mostly worked but not completely. The JavaScript is triggering too soon on the starred events page so none of the proper tags are loading. Everything works fine on the other pages though so I can fix that. I also knew he wasn’t going to like having the same text written in several different places so as expected he wants that changed. I just didn’t know the best way to do it but he told me to make a helpers.py and use that. Perfect!

The rain showed up so it felt like a perfect day to have chickn’ noodle soup. Wayne made a big pot and we had some warm sourdough bread. It was a great dinner. Alice had a late meeting or class so Jason joined us.

Today I learned that the Tao of Tea shop on Belmont is the same tea shop that is in the Chinese Garden. Handy!