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When the Crunch Is On, Murphy Comes A'Callin...

OK, so midnight last night was the culmination of a huge project I’ve been devoting nearly every waking hour to for the past 15 days (yes, you read right: 10-plus hours a day for over two weeks). And indeed, midnight last night was also when we finally put the document that resulted from those mighty labors to bed, and called it a very late night. I hit my desk at 6 AM yesterday, so when midnight rolled around I was more than ready to crash.

And, as Murphy would have it no other way, yesterday was the day that gremlins of nearly every possible description came calling, just to make the final rough slog to completion all the more “interesting.” Here’s a list of the things that I had to deal with while already overly occupied with getting things done:

  • The report that represented the fruits of my labor was in MS Word, and a draft was being passed around among a half-dozen reviewers for comments, changes, word-smithing, and so forth. It was also around 100 pages long. Man, do big Word docs with lots of revisions and “Track Changes” turned on get flaky in a hurry! Reformatting and messing with formatting weirdness consumed too much of the day yesterday.
  • Members of the team were working from San Diego, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Houston, Salt Lake City, and Round Rock (me and Kim, my invaluable project manager and yesterday’s document coordinator). E-mail was our preferred means of communication. Wouldn’t you know it? My e-mail service provider was up and down like a yo-yo yesterday. Not only that, but I started my day with the realization that Yahoo had changed its e-mail service substantially enough that my forward from them to my spam filtering service (my primary e-mail address is at Yahoo, and I filter all of my half-dozen or so e-mail addresses through the spam filtering service for delivery to my Outlook inbox) quit working. What with all this e-mail hoopla I found myself behind the 8-ball on at least four occasions yesterday.
  • Just to make things more maddening I also learned the symptoms of a loose DVI video connection on my secondary monitor yesterday. I’d been messing with my production desktop and hadn’t tightened down the screws on the DVI connector all the way into the graphics card. Sure enough, my monitor starting blinking on and  off rapidly and repeatedly on several occasions. I’ve long since learned that color weirdness is the symptom of a loose VGA connector, but Murphy made sure I learned the equivalent DVI lesson yesterday — the hard way, too, of course.

Sigh. It’s enough to make you hate big hairy deadlines even more than your natural inclination might cause you to do. But now, at least, that big hairy deadline has come and gone, and things can get back to what passes for “normal” around here. Thank goodness!

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