Monday, April 10, 2006

The Heat is On

Its crunch time at work. The project that I've spent close to 8 months on now must be fully ready for use by April 30th. Its close to being used for its intended purpose (performance analysis), but it still has a lot of fine-tuning and validation work left. In addition to that, I was recently assigned to another project which is spread across at least 3 different engineering groups and is a "very high priority" right now, as both internal groups and customers are pushing for it. Lucky for me, I am charged with getting the code cleaned up, standardized, documented, and ready to roll, and because the code is in such a messy state right now, that's a ton of work. The code cleanup needs to be completed before other developers can really begin their work on it, so there's pressure all around on me to get this out ASAP. My manager told me I should be working 75% on this project, and 25% on my main project with the April 30th deadline. I'm in a state where I don't know what should be my priority. @_@ I've been putting in serious hours at work to get both of these projects ready. For some reason though I have no complaints about putting in the time and I don't really feel stressed out about it. I think I might be becoming a workaholic. >_>

So last week I met with the neurologist to discuss my test results (particularly from my sleep study). The good news is that I do not have narcolepsy. :) They thought I wasn't getting enough SWA sleep (slow-wave activity, found in stages 3 and 4 of deep sleep). But 46% of my sleep was SWA sleep, which is much higher than average (I don't know by how much). Additionally, my SAW voltage levels were extremely high (> 250 mV). Because I'm getting so much SWA sleep and I still feel tired, they hypothesized that some of that SWA activity might not actually be sleep waves, but is rather the recording of a seizure. That's right, now they believe I might be epileptic.

So I went in for another test today. This time they did a full-head (25 electrode) EEG to capture more brain activity. It wasn't a sleep study and only took about 40 minutes once I was all hooked up. But one part of the test required me to breathe heavily so I would hyper-ventilate, and things got crazy. Within a minute of continuous deep breathing, I started loosing control of my body. First it was my hands, then my arms, then everything else. After I was finally told to stop after a disturbingly long 8 minutes, I was almost completely paralyzed. I couldn't form words well because my lips wouldn't move correctly. I couldn't move from the position I was in (lying down on my back). My fingers were "stuck" on top of each other and felt like they were in a tight knot, and I thought that they would break. I literally looked (and somewhat sounded) like I was mentally retarded. I very slowly regained control of my body and after 20 minutes, I was able to control everything again (my fingers were the hardest to get back). The guy who was testing me told me that in his 29 years of doing this test, he's never seen a reaction as exaggerated as mine. It was crazy. And it was scary.

Oh yeah that class that I was bitching about a couple blog posts ago? I dropped it. I got sick and tired of wasting my time trying to decode the professor's messy, archiac, and esoteric notes and decided it just wasn't worth my time, especially since work has been picking up more and more (I'm paid for 35 hours/week now). Instead I'm going to take a class on Intellectual Property in the summer. I usually cringe at the idea of law/business classes, but this is one topic I'm particularly interested in. I still haven't been running, and I don't know if I'm fully healed yet (still need to see the doctor for a re-examination). Allacrost is starting to pick up a little more staem again. We had a meeting on motivation a week or two ago and it has really helped our team with figuring out where our problems are and how to improve them.

Well, I need to get back to working on.....something. I still don't have a clue what my priorities are, since everything in my life is high-priority now. :(


Blogger Jastiv said...

I noticed you used the term intellectual property I know it is widespread term that is sometimes hard to avoid using, but it is misnomer that causes confusion. You should really speak about the laws you mean, that each work differently such as copyright, patent and trademark. Personally, from the limited research I have done on the topic, I think that copyright was invented by the people in power to control the spread of information. It will be interesting to hear your viewpoint on those subjects.
Keep up the important work on Allacrost. A good free-software RPG is something we need.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Tyler Olsen said...

Well the title of the course is "Intellectual Property". :) I am not well-educated enough on it yet to state my opinion on just about anything with confidence, with the exception that I think the way the patent system currently works in the US is not helping innovation and doesn't help anyone but lawyers make real money. Particularly software patents are a load of worthless crap. For example, Microsoft was granted a patent for the "isnot" operator. -_-

7:13 PM  

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