Kicking the Can

So long as there isn't a catastrophic server failure at the day job, today should be the last official working day of 2019 for me. This year has been a long one with a remarkable number of challenges -- both personal and professional -- to overcome. However, looking back, I can say without a doubt that a lot of positive progress has been made. I can say this, because I have notes. Well over a thousand pages of them.

One of the things that I generally do with notes is keep a running tab of priorities. This To Do list grows and shrinks throughout the day and, at the end of every Friday, I write the incomplete items to a fresh sheet of paper in the notebook and have it ready for examination on Monday. This ensures that the vast majority of what I'm asked to do gets done in a reasonable amount of time1. So, as today is the last Friday of 2019, I had the opportunity to write out the list of To Do items that'll be waiting for me when I return to work on Monday January 6th, 2020.

  • a dozen items related to the Mimosa textbook system I developed this year
  • two bug fixes for my LMS, which is due to be retired in six months
  • a handful of documentation for business processes
  • a note to change my Active Directory password

Seventeen items in total, which isn't bad at all. That said, some of the dozen items related to the textbook system will be thought over the Christmas holiday as they are non-trivial problems. While there are a number of "quick and dirty" ways to solve the problems that need addressing, it would be better to let the subconscious play around with the ideas. This occasionally results in some very interesting solutions being presented in dreams, which can then be translated to code and brought into existence. And I like interesting solutions.

  1. Unfortunately there are also a number of tasks that never get completed. These generally come in on Teams or Slack and, because the communications move along so quickly, some items might not be on the screen or in my memory long enough to get written down.