recovery_exitAs I ramp back from my tri-annual (Meaning every three years) bout of Pneumonia, things are beginning to settle back in. A local company has expressed potential interest in me. They are pre-screening me with a programming project. The idea is to replicate base functionality and UI of an app. This is not as throw-away simple as it sounds. You have to at least implement the real functionality which does require a knowledge of the technology stack.

Sadly, when I talked to them Friday I targeted Monday as a goal. This was before I knew it was pneumonia. A very professional letter to the recruiter about my health resulted in a letter back telling me that the recruiter was down with Flu and that the group was happy to let me regroup my strength before worrying about the code.

In the mean time, the main project was on hold. There was not a lot of strength or focus to get research done. I think it was the general stress of the week that took me down to begin with. I do however have a strong desire looking forwards. There’s a lot of research. There is one small component that did move forwards, however. So I guess not completely on hold.

Then there is the story of my genetic offspring. This actually takes place today and in a humorous bit of temporal irony about 33 years ago as well.

Micromodem_II_in_Apple_IIWhen I was 12 years old my father bought me my first computer. It was an Apple ][. There was no “Plus” or “e” or any other symbol. This was the original II computer. This was a $2,000 piece of hardware and at the age of 12 I had NO idea what that meant. Especially in the late 1970s. (Yes, you can do the math) I loved this thing. The hardware, the software, the manuals. It was amazing.

One day I decided I REALLY wanted to learn as much about my computer as I could. And my implement of learning was going to be my father’s ratchet screwdriver with changeable tips. The process seemed simple enough in my mind. And in execution it was even easier. It took me about 15-20 minutes to remove every screw and easily removable component to see how everything was assembled.

Parents have an innate sense of knowing how long it has been since they’ve interacted with their child. Apparently, I had crossed the threshold for the amount of time that had passed before my mother began wondering what I was up to. She came to my room and saw me at my desk with a disassembled computer. I think every child learns what a conniption fit is at some point in their life.  I was excessively chastised for my stupidity and lack of respect. Translation: My mother explained that she was going downstairs to call my father to come home and kill me in cold blood. Translation: My mother called my father to excessively chaste him for stupidity and lack of respect. (Damned genetics)

About half an hour later my father arrived home. This required at least 5 minutes downstairs when he arrived for a recap round of getting yelled at. They came upstairs and there I was, sitting at my desk, operating the computer and writing a program. The system was up and operational as if nothing had occurred. Even the potentially damning evidence of tools had been carefully put away.

My mother stammered for a moment. Said “Fuck you.” I think the first time I ever heard her swear, and she tromped out. My father just smiled at me. “You put every part back exactly where you found them?” I pulled some screws from my desk drawer, “All but these couple of screws. Not sure where they went and it doesn’t seem to be a problem.” He smiled again proudly and went downstairs to talk my mother down.

For my son’s 7th birthday this year I purchased him “Blaster.” Blaster is a first generation toy from the Transformer’s line. The toy is about 30 years old. It cost about $40 and was valued more closely to $65. This morning he came to my bedroom and pronounced that he intended to take on a project that “…involved Blaster, 3 screwdrivers and…”

I stopped him. I notified him he was not to take apart a 30 year collectible toy. He told me he had already taken off the head and put it back. Heather (my wonderful spouse) had already purchased old electronics at Goodwill to let him take them apart. I spent an afternoon with him disassembling an old VHS camera. She told me she would supervise. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to deal with it.

There it was; I’d turned into both my parents at once. Happily, Heather reminded me of the story above. Currently they are in the middle of rebuilding. I’m told the picture of all the pieces lain out was glorious. I’m likely to repost it once it is done. (time passes)

Well, after a days outing to see old friends, my son has completed his work. I have to admit… The reassembly was completely successful. The toy even moves better than it did when we got it. It was a bit tight when we first bought it. It moves more easily now without feeling loose. Between my wife (who did AI software for Robots) and myself (who does Apple 3rd party software) comes a very talented child with a stunning sense of spacial relations and being able to take things apart and get them back together.

Heaven help us if he learns to code.