Focus has been difficult for me to control lately; it seems trivial for me to wander off and zone out for 5-10 minutes at a time in the shower, at work, at home, on a walk… and I can’t seem to snap out of it. I guess this is what a slow progression into madness feels like. My dreams are getting weirder, and I’m beating myself up for not being able to harness any imagination or creativity. I’m sleeping hard and falling to sleep with ease, which always makes me nervous. I’m used to my mind running rampant at night and preventing me from falling asleep.
I entered a small contest to write an article on muscle cars for The Truth About Cars. Having never owned or appreciated muscle cars, I don’t hold out much hope, but it was novel writing for somebody else; I don’t think I’ve done that since college.
It’s funny that when I think back, I have the feeling that I got more out of my literature and writing classes in college than my computer science courses. On the other hand, for all the time we spent talking about Walter Mitty, I can’t even remember the damn story. Did I gain anything from the story other than the pop culture definition of a Walter Mitty as a character living in a world of fantasy? If not, maybe I should just rely on bathroom readers rather than actually reading anything. I need to find the one-line summaries of GEB and Gravity’s Rainbow, I guess. I wish I could figure out why some things remain crystal clear in my memory, and others are so fleeting.
It’s also funny how you develop a comfort and understanding with a good tool. Over a number of years I have developed an familiarity with the vim editor. I happen to think it’s rather clever, though its elegance is a little subtle for the novice. If I’m being honest with myself, if I had started using emacs at the same time and spent years working with it, I would probably feel the same way. At work I am currently develop code on Windows, which pretty much necessitates using Visual Studio. One can spawn an external editor from visual studio or invoke the compiler without the full environment, but then they miss out on the integrated debugging, source control, and all the other tools that make visual studio useful. I thought I may have found the solution in ViEmu, but a few seconds with it told me that it could hardly compare to the full-fledged editor. It was as if I had spent years driving a ferrari, and then somebody gave me a pontiac with a ferrari steering wheel and dashboard; it takes but a second or two to realize that the facade is just that. This is not to demean the effort put into ViEmu; it’s commendable what has been achieved.
I guess it’s hard to explain this, but extended time with Visual Studio brings about actual negative feelings and frustration. It’s easily Microsoft’s best product, and it has a lot going for it, but it doesn’t make me feel good to use it.