Jim's Polka

The life of a former software engineer, now a law student

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Well, like I said, I sure do know how to have a good time. I spent much of Saturday reading Book 6. Foolishly, I tried to go to bed at midnight with 100 pages to go. I was so keyed up that it took me at least an hour to fall asleep. I would have gotten the same result if I had just finished it in the first place. But, I very much enjoyed it. The ending left me sad and concerned, so I think she did it just right. I'm already looking forward to re-reading it. In fact, I might already be re-reading it, if my dad hadn't claimed it. It took him 10 minutes in the house (he and my step-mom are visiting for a bit) to grab the book. I'd complain more, except that I still have 3 of his Patrick O'Brien books.

So, we got the results of the law review write-on over the weekend. I got invited to join the Asia/Pacific Rim journal. I'll admit, I was a little disappointed not to make it onto the main journal. But, I'm also pretty excited about this one. For one thing, I really like the people from my class that got invited to join. And, as a bonus, the most annoying guy in my section made it onto the main journal. I'm just as happy that I won't have to put up with his crap. In addition, this is a nice opportunity to pay attention to my interest in Asia. I studied Japanese for 9 years, but every time I've ever had to make a choice between Japanese and something else, the something else has always won. Now, I had good reasons for that, such as not wanting to move to the other side of the world from D. But, this is a nice chance to do something with it.

I'm within a day or so of filing my first patent. The partner I'm working for gave me the go-ahead today, so I just need to get the inventor's approval and then we can send it off. So, I definitely have something to show for the summer. I also had my midpoint review today. Basically, they told me good things and just reminded me that I should keep the lawyers appraised of how things are going when I'm working on stuff with soft deadlines.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Our copy of the new Harry Potter book arrived yesterday. Not bad, given that it had to come from England (courtesy of amazon.co.uk).

If I'd written this yesterday, I would have said "Great! Now I just have to read 350 pages of Neal Stephenson in the time it takes D to read 608 pages of JK Rowling." Instead, I'm stuck saying "Great. How long is it going to take me to read 280 pages of Neal Stephenson, since D is already finished the book." She's a super-fast reader and she had the day off. When I got home, she had already started rereading...

Unfortunately, all of this reading is keeping me from the one thing I should be working on - getting my OCI stuff together. My resume is fine, especially once I gave up on the idea that I could do it in one page. All of my possible writing samples are pretty lame, so I'm just going to pick the least sucky of them and go with it. It's the damn cover letter that is bugging me. I don't know what to write and I just don't feel like it. A big part of me wants to just skip it and count on working at the same place next summer. Anyway, I guess I'll get to it over the weekend. I'll tell you, I sure know how to have a good time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's been so long since I posted that I'm not even going to bother with a summary of the last few weeks. The short version is that I'm celebrating not being in school by reading and watching TV, instead of spending the evening on the computer. It's not such a bad thing.

The problem is, I may have actually taken on too much reading. I celebrated my paycheck by buying books two and three of the Baroque Cycle. Of course, since I haven't read the first book in a year, I figured I ought to go back and read that, too. So, I've basically assigned myself 2500 pages of reading. And that doesn't even include the new Harry Potter book, which we have on pre-order from amazon.co.uk (it's all about the authenticity for us). Luckily, D's going to read it first, so I have a little longer to finish the books.

So, work itself is still pretty great. Patents work is still interesting. In a weird way, I feel more like an electrical engineer now than I have in years, maybe even since college. I've been assigned projects that require me to look at (and relearn) areas of EE that I haven't thought about in years. In fact, today I was relearning basic circuit theory - the sort of thing that was second nature to me 10 years ago. (Geez. 10 years since I took that class. That's disturbing.)

I'm still enjoying all of the summer associate program bonuses, too. (Mandatory disclaimer: don't worry, I'm not fooled by it. I'm just reveling in it because I know that it'll never be this good again.) We've had several nice visits to the sites of big clients. And the free lunches, of course.

Oh, and the high point of it all? The firm was vilified by name on a big news site a couple weeks ago. I'm still trying to be slightly anonymous, so I won't point to the article. In short, it's sort of like if Fox News says that you suck. Sure, you don't like to be told that you suck, but the fact that they care is kinda a point of pride.