Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

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Today, I woke up at around 7:30 (significantly earlier than my usual time) to go to the bathroom. I felt a bit underslept, but I decided to get up and try to get productive instead of returning to bed.

I wasn't wholly productive, but I made it in to work by 9:30, which is an hour earlier than I usually get in.

At work, I followed the advice from the MIT grad student's guide that I rarely follow, "Don't read e-mail when you first get into the office. Start with a bit of work, and it'll shape your whole day."

It did indeed shape my day. I plunged into work with vigor, and I had finished my current task (making this program produce its output in XML) by noon. Then I went on to download Xalan and coax it to compile with g++ under AIX, and started work on integrating the current versions of Xerces and Xalan with our toolkit on Windows.

My momentum did flag a bit through the day; it especially flagged each time I finished one project. But it was still a very productive day.

I left about 5:30, because I was feeling tired and no longer productive.

But because the weather was beautiful and cooler than it has been, I decided to go home and do some digging on the drainpipe. (I credit Sean's inspirational words for nudging me over the course of a couple of weeks to at least try the digging myself. I bought the extension cord I needed to light my work and went home and attacked the job.

It was hot, dirty, tiring work. The ceiling of the crawl space was low enough that I couldn't stand up, and I couldn't really put my weight into the tools. Every few moments I had to take a break to try to find a more comfortable position for my legs.

But I finally found a groove with the pitchfork that seemed to work pretty well. By the time I left off for a shower before dinner, I had dug down to the drainpipe for a distance of about seven feet or so. I was pleased; this was a worthy hunk of progress for a few hours of labor.

This part was mostly just digging; there's another part of the task that involves moving a fairly big pile of rubble and laths. I don't know if that will be harder or easier.

I've learned the following things about this drainpipe task:
* This pipe has been replaced before. I found pieces of old pipe lying around.
* There have been two extensions on this side of the house. This explains the odd "window to nowhere" in the basement.
* There were two different places where water from the drainpipe had eroded earth away instead of proceeding out as it was supposed to. In addition, there was another place where I uncovered the drainpipe and found a big visible hole--but this place hadn't been eroded. I don't quite know what's going on there.
* A pitchfork is really a good tool for this task.

Man, I'm tired. It took me a long time to get up the oomph to write tonight's entries.
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