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Telecommuting is Fun

I really like working from home. I'm not sure I'd want to do it every day. I like the social aspects of the office, plus there's a certain amount of face-to-face interaction you need sometimes to work things out. But the nature of my job is that virtually everything I do I can do from home, with my DSL line and my home computer configured with all the clients I need to telnet to UNIX boxes and mainframes, access e-mail and even run XWindows apps. I can check my voice mail, do conference calls, and fax things if necessary. I can even access my workstation in the office remotely.

So I generally telecommute one day a week, usually on Fridays. It gives me a chance to focus intensely on projects I've been working on throughout the week. I can start earlier (like 6:00, when I normally wake up) and thus end earlier, and in between compiles I can throw in a load of laundry or accept packages from UPS (like I did today). I'm actually more productive, simply because I'm not answering the phone or dealing with visitors. Not that that's bad, but it does cut into valuable coding time.

So after a good day of work, I ran to Safeway to pick up a few things for dinner. Steve's birthday is tomorrow, but as we're going car-shopping and later to Carlos and Eduardo's house for dinner, we decided to celebrate privately tonight. I made moussaka, Greek salad, and a big chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting. That moussaka--it dirties every pan!! You have to slice and bake the eggplant, make the meat sauce, make a separate bechamel sauce, then layer it all and bake in yet another pan. But I'm a fan of cleaning as you go, so there really wasn't much of a mess by dinnertime. And Steve sweetly cleaned the dinner dishes, even though it was his b'day celebration. I gave him his gifts, including the 10-year anniversary collection of all the Cook's Illustrated magazines, and we watched a couple of Changing Rooms and a Trading Spaces. The British version is so much better.

Tomorrow we're going to test drive some cars. Currently we're looking at the Toyota Matrix, the Toyota Prius, and the Honda Civic Hybrid. We have a Civic now, 9 years old and running strong, but it's time for something a little bigger and with new-fangled features like electric door locks. We definitely want something with four doors, so we don't have to play the game of squeezing four big bears into our little clown car. I really like having a hatchback, so I'm leaning toward the Matrix, even though it's the first model year for it. The two hybrids are intriguing because of their enviro-friendliness and their great mileage. We'll see.

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