working again, finally.

Started the new job today, at Danger, which I've been really psyched about. I'm still psyched about it: it's a good place. Not that anything could really go wrong at this point; I've developed self-confidence to the point of accepting that I'm more or less useless for the first little while at a new job, and people will mostly ignore me for the first week or so as I start to navigate everything. It's a much more pleasant place than my old workplace: more color, more life, more care about the working environment. There's a hum of what I consider intellectual discussion--not "What can we give this person that will help them leave us alone?", which was common at the old job, but "How can we solve this problem?", talking about possible causes and solutions. I work with smart engineers who are well senior to me, who know a lot of things I want to learn, and in terms of plain knowledge, I don't think I have a whole lot to teach them. And that's pretty much explicit in people referring to my being hired: they hire minds, not skillsets, an astonishing and wonderful point of view these days, which I hadn't quite expected to find.

The office has (1) most of the lights off, (2) a coffee grinder and actual do-it-yourself espresso machine (it pulls the shot for you, but you have to tamp the grounds and steam your own milk--it turns out I still make a decent latte), and (3) piles of fruit everywhere. It's wonderful, feeding the engineers the caffeine we traditionally need/crave (though I don't, particularly, it doesn't wake me up), but giving us the resources to stay healthy. Plus we have a hidden couch for napping, a habit I hope to be able to get back into--I haven't been able to nap consistently in a year or so.

I woke up this morning, started looking around groggily, and heard a crash in the living room. Not sure what could have crashed: no earthquake, nothing was in a precarious position when I went to bed, and it was a weird noise. I figure it'll keep, I take my time getting some shorts on. I go have a look. The vacuum cleaner has fallen over from where I left it in front of the TV. Why did the vacuum fall over? I don't have a cat or anything. I look at the bottom and see that the release lever is deformed--ouch, hot. And then I see: I left the vacuum partly over the heating grate (which gets hot enough to burn your foot). The heat came on in the morning, liquefied the wheel and corner of the vacuum, and essentially cut through the wheel until the vacuum fell over.

That also explained Mystery #2: why did the house smell like burning plastic?

So the heat is off at the moment, pending my scrubbing off the heater's burn chamber with steel wool, and then probably turning the thermostat up to 90F and opening all the windows and turning on the fans, to just burn the stuff off like an oven self-cleaning.

Back to aikido tomorrow: little brother's in town for a couple days and wanted to see a class. Besides which, I've been feeling the psychological effects of not going. So lingering cough be damned.