Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

A Day in the Life

Posted from Culver City, California at 9:27 pm, July 23rd, 2013

During every notable vacation I try hard to do a daily journal entry, but at home few days are exciting enough to warrant their own entry. However, having just read through some journal entries from about ten years ago, writing one entry that captures a snapshot of what daily life is like right now might be an interesting thing to re-read many years from now. Warning to those who continue reading: currently daily life really doesn’t warrant its own journal entry.

  • Today the alarm went off at 7:30, at which time I crawled out of bed and wandered into the kitchen, firing up the two laptops sitting on the table. The birds were making a racket outside, Audrey was still asleep, and the morning news wasn’t making much sense pre-coffee.
  • At 8:00 the workday started with a daily status call. With the rest of the bodybuilding.com team on speakerphone I stumbled through an update on yesterday’s progress and today’s plans, after which I settled in for the workday.
  • With the coffee beginning to clear out the brain fog it was time to start on the day’s tasks. The morning involved helping people out with a random series of issues (loading some test data on a machine, answering some questions, chasing an issue in production for the business) and reviewing and testing some new code I’d written that changes the logic in the site’s shopping cart. The latter task required a fair amount of focus, since a screw-up could very well lead to revenue being lost in quantities that I can barely begin to fathom; with great power comes great responsibility.
  • Another status call followed, with the highlight being a quick discussion about “snacks on the catamaran”. After that it was a quick rush out to Tender Greens to grab a salad and sandwich (and a homemade pop tart because I couldn’t resist the impulse dessert). I got back just in time to call in to a meeting while simultaneously responding to three different people’s questions in various chat windows.
  • The afternoon was mostly filled with reviewing documentation and code related to the multi-language search capabilities of the ATG software that this project uses. In layman’s terms, I read a lot of PDFs, searched through code, and pestered teammates in an effort to build a plan for allowing someone in Brazil to search the site for “proteína em pó”.
  • After yet another meeting, the day finished up with a series of failed attempts to reproduce a bug that has been seen intermittently in the QA environments. In this case I got to play scientist, proposing a theory of what might be going wrong, figuring out a way to test that theory via creation of specific data or code changes, and then going back to square one when my theory didn’t pan out. I am not a good scientist.
  • Work was followed by an excessively long nap – one of the neighborhood dogs has a lovely deep baritone bark that carries forever, and has taken up the hobby of barking non-stop for 5-10 minutes every two hours on random nights. Apparently my sleep schedule has gone all wonky as a result.
  • A ride on my Lance Armstrong stationary bike while catching up on the day’s news and then crashing in the living room to write a journal entry concluded the activities for today. Around midnight it will be time for bed, with the cycle starting again tomorrow morning.

After spending much of 2002-2005 playing, it has now been about eight years of working steadily. While work days pay well, as this journal entry demonstrates they are slightly less fulfilling than those spent trekking around the Antartic or snorkeling in the Galapagos.

1 response to “A Day in the Life”

  1. Regular reader here, and I will say as interesting as your travels are, and as incredible as your photos are, some of your best posts are about things you do closer to home. A couple of years ago you posted about going to the Pageant of the Masters, which I had never heard of. I googled it, and it looked interesting, so I invited a friend from Seattle to come down and meet me in LA to go see it. Just to escape the Phoenix heat in Laguna Beach was incredible, seeing an old friend and the AMAZING Pageant was just icing on that very delicious cake. Thanks for the inspiration. (However after reading this one, I am not inspired to write code, haha).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *