The week as we knew it really got started last Wednesday. I was running dance practice, since Mara was off at KWDS. This was fun as always -- of all jobs I've done in the SCA, playing dancemaster is probably the one I most consistently enjoy. Must remember that.
What really made the day interesting, though, was that it was our 2.2 release at work. Midafternoon, everyone agreed that this was the best-prepared we had ever been for a release, and there were no obvious danger signs. Which, of course, should have been a danger sign unto itself.
To be fair, I was one of the lucky ones. Having done dance practice, I didn't do more than check whether any email had come in for me afterwards. Which meant that I got to sleep until 5am, when they finally called me in. The *un*lucky ones had been there since the shutdown at 9:30pm, and were by now frazzled and frantic.
Fortunately for my ego, the critical bug turned out to have nothing to do with my code. After a bit of poking around, I puzzled out that one of the migration scripts (that translated the data from 2.1 to 2.2 format) had an error in it; we called our DB designer, who dialed in and fixed it nice and quick. (He got hit the hardest, really. He'd been there until 3am, so he'd gotten just a couple of hours of sleep before we had to wake him up again. And that evening he had to get on a plane to fly 21 hours so that he can spend a month in the Turkish Army. No, really.) We got the systems all booted around 7:50am, just in time for the morning rush.
Needless to say, the rest of the week was *very* quiet, as the folks who'd been here for a solid 24 hours slept it off. The company's timing proved to be exquisite -- they'd planned a 4-day weekend for the 4th, which was much-appreciated by the staff.
The weekend had a fairly consistent rhythm to it. Wake up a bit late, accomplish some mildly useful house stuff in the afternoon, then off to a party. Enumerating said parties:
On Saturday we went over to new_man and mermaidlady's place for their cookout. This was a nice low-key party -- I gather people were drifting in and out all day, so we saw a subset of the crowd. I spent most of my time there immersed in Deep Geek Chat, as we collectively dissected everything from Lost to Dr. Who. (Periodically wandering over to the other conversation circle, of the Ladies Who Are Mostly In Black.) new_man got to show off his new toy, a hot tub with serious Geek Cred -- modular seats, remote-control buttons, etc. Entirely aside from looking like a very nice tub to sit in, the gadget hound in me is envious. Maybe one of these years.
We wandered out of the party early -- it was msmemory's birthday, so we went to have the annual Birthday Date. She had settled on sushi as her preference for dinner; after much conversation and suggestions from the crowd, we decided to go back to Shilla, our long-ago favorite that we haven't been to in a long time. They are still just as good as ever, with lovely tender fish (even the squid was just right), and the Spicy Tuna appetizer that they do better than anywhere else. (Tender lumps of tuna drenched in a red sauce with a strong but not overpowering bite.) Very good choice; we'll have to remember to go there more often.
The main focus on Sunday was ladysprite's now-annual Pops Rehearsal Picnic. We all gathered on the little island next to the Shell, which proves to be a fine place for the concert -- you can't actually see much of the stage, but you can hear it quite well. And it's far less nuisance than trying to deal with the crowds and security in the oval itself. (Where you aren't allowed to bring in dangerous weapons, like forks.)
Prior to the picnic, I wound up on a game hunt. ladysprite had called to ask if I had Apples to Apples; I didn't, but I've been meaning to buy it for ages, so this seemed like a good excuse. To my mild annoyance, Danger Planet was sold out, so once again I made the trek up to 3 Trolls. (I really need to just remember that this happens every time I need a game, and go directly to Chelmsford instead.) Just as well -- might as well spend the money on friends.
So we spent a while during the picnic playing that, in combination with Say What?, which new_man had brought along. The combination is amusing and peculiar. Say What? is a card game where each card shows a common word (like "what") or action (like "yawn"). When someone says or does something that matches one of your cards, you pass it to them. The objective of the game is to wind up with the fewest cards. I found that I had to consciously not worry about it too much, but it was an entertaining combination with Apples to Apples.
All in all, a lovely evening out with friends. I had some quibbles with the concert itself, but that was more than compensated for by the stunningly perfect weather, and the tasty food everyone brought.
On Monday, we went over to elizabear and dsrtao's for their annual party. This proved to be the largest of the gatherings, with yet a different cross-section of friends. We had grand intentions of heading over to the Charles to watch the Pops fireworks, but succumbed to inertia and conversation. So we instead wandered down to Leary Field with the party, and watched the Waltham fireworks instead. (Simpler and smaller, but much closer, and less crowded and hassly.) Conversation with learnedax led me to look up the third verse of The Star-Spangled Banner. Fascinating -- no, I don't think I'd heard that one before. Nasty stuff.
(On Tuesday, I did not budge from here. Mostly, I spent the day in pleasant but pointless debate about The Fourth Peerage Thing, on a couple of different forums where it has brewed up again.)
Wednesday was back to work. We had the kickoff meeting for our next big project, a relatively focused effort over the next few months. I'm hoping that the need to produce something relatively quickly is good for the company -- we simply can't waste time as we have too often done. I've wound up in a semi-lead position for this one, because I was interested and have been studying the problem for a while. Should be interesting, but it does mean that my attention is going to be badly divided come September. So between that and desperately needing to nurse my burnout, I've started the process of trying to hand off the Borough Liaison role. More on that anon.
After work, it was over to lucianus's place for an armor pickup. I've decided to give combat archery a try -- they're trying to get a Carolingian squad up for Pennsic, and I do know which end of the bow is which. Armor has long been my sticking point for this sort of stuff, but they've loaned me an old set of it (mostly from jdulac, I believe), which I need to tweak and tune over the next few weeks. Assuming that doesn't totally suck, I'll probably get a light set for myself.
Coming Up: Book giveaway at Carolingian Champions! At the start of the weekend, we filled msmemory's car with the books we're giving away (11 boxes worth), and we've been letting folks at the parties paw through them. The big giveaway is on Saturday: we're planning on opening up the car and encouraging people to haul away anything that strikes their fancy. Anything left afterwards will be given to a library book sale, or something like that.
And Monday is our wedding anniversary, and the annual trip out to Blue Ginger. (Our very favorite restaurant, period.)