How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Here is what I did while I was not posting during August and September:

I broke my leg.

During a soccer game, I made an aggressive move toward a 50/50 ball at the edge of the box, looking to score.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be more like 49/51, and I lost, getting kicked solidly in the right shinguard as the ball was cleared.  I pulled myself out of the game and tried to walk it off, and though the pain did not subside, I went back in and finished the game despite my “nasty bruise”.  However, after a week of hobbling around with little improvement (and funny discoloration), I went to get an x-ray and found that my leg was actually broken.

We lost the game by a couple of goals but still finished the season in 3rd place (out of 7 teams) with a 7-5 record and a +27 goal differential.  Thanks for asking.

The actual injury was an anterior malleolus fracture to my right leg, which is a break to the tibia (the larger, weight-bearing bone).  While it is technically a broken leg, the doctor said to think of it as a badly sprained ankle.  Essentially, the ligaments in the inner ankle are so strong that instead of tearing, they actually pull a piece of the bone off.  The cool bit is that x-rays are now digital, so I have a CD-R with images of the original break (but I’m not sharing).

I was initially on crutches, and then used a “rollabout” (which was an out-of-pocket expense because our insurance would not cover an “upgrade” from crutches, despite the prescription) for three weeks.  It is amazing how quickly one loses muscle mass in an unused leg; my calf became the smallest it has been since I was in middle school.  I spent three more weeks in a boot/cast, and at the end of that time was told that my break had healed “perfectly”, though I am still facing many more weeks of exercise to get “back to normal” (whatever that is).

Our web server was end-of-lifed.

We found out, in the most inconvenient way, that our Ubuntu (Linux) web server had been “end-of-lifed”, and was no longer viable.  All support for that version was pulled, so a standard package reinstallation failed, leaving the whole system non-functional.  I had to spend a couple of days rebuilding and reconfiguring the system with a newer version, and it was painful.

This episode is exactly why Linux will never be able to challenge Windows or Mac OS X for the general desktop market.  Despite all of the amenities that make it more consumer-oriented, Ubuntu still requires an operator to be a fanboy to avoid such issues.  Nothing ever told me that the OS would be orphaned/abandoned in 2009, and it took more than an hour doing web searches to even figure out what had happened, nevermind finding the solution.  (In contrast, the NT server box OS has only been upgraded once in 13 years, from NT4 to Win2K, when the hardware failed.)

More succinctly, Linux could not survive without Google.

We reassessed our entire marketing plan.

Our marketing plan is defined very broadly, and it incorporates not only the standard concepts associated with the word, but also general business strategy.  We reconsidered the balance of the various aspects of our development, the status and priority of current projects, and future opportunities.  We evaluated and devised/updated plans for new technologies, platforms, and markets.  This updated blog is just one tangible aspect of our far-reaching plans for success.

Two words: World Domination.

I worked (hard).

In the midst of everything else, I was doing loads of development work.  I made a good breakthrough and huge progress on a major project.  We are now in that “10% of the development takes 90% of the time” phase, though, so things are seeming to be (though not actually) slowing down a bit.

Now that Fall has well and truly arrived here in Michigan (although not before just one more trip to the beach, broken leg and all), and in spite of all that life is throwing at us now, it is the right time to really get things done.  We have our plans, our goals, and our ambitions clear, so all that is left is to execute.

That should be the easy part… 😉