Slow boiled code

Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot.


Sometime back in June the thermostat inside the house hit 90 and seemed to stay there. Late at night the thermostat would dip down into the low 80s, even the 70s briefly, but the temperature would slowly climb again and by early afternoon 90...91...92...93.

(image: Geek #2, vintage iPhone 3G photo)

And that was with two portable fans running 24/7. Around June my brain also stopped functioning. Granted, there was a lot going on we haven't shared with you yet, but I just dropped everything. All of my projects have sat idle for months. I ignored WordPress updates. Emails from me were just nonsensical outbursts from random neurons. Free moments were few and far between, and when they came, frankly, it was just too hot to code.

Colorado is known for its extreme weather but we really felt this summer. Our past summers were spent in air conditioned offices, Geek #1's at the university and mine (Geek #2) at the apartment. But no matter how we ran the numbers we just couldn't work air conditioning into the budget this year. And without a basement we have no escape from the heat.

Overall it was cooler than 2012, when Colorado experienced its hottest-ever July and a horrible wildfire season. But 2013 still ranked as the sixth hottest summer on record. And there was the Black Forest Fire, the most destructive wildfire in the state's history. We had 54 days of 90 degrees or higher, at least that many when it got just as hot inside as well.

chart of 90 degree days in Denver

(Image credit: National Weather Service, Denver/Boulder)

And now it is not.

Colorado does this, summer comes on slowly but fall happens in a week. Maybe not today, but it is coming and we are ready. It's 60 outside and raining, I no longer want iced lattes. And I want to code again.

But the room isn't done.

I just recently heard of the ninety-ninety rule. I'm dumbfounded as to how I've managed to make it this long without ever hearing it before:

  • "The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time." —Tom Cargill, Bell Labs

Finally everything makes sense, with coding and caulking. I've been telling Geek #1 that the room is 90 percent there. For weeks.

We took a walk around the neighborhood on Sunday and saw a ladder in the front window of the house a few doors down. And ladders at a few more houses. I started feeling better about the ladder that's been in this room for six months - until we ran into a neighbor. When we joked about it he said the ladder has been in that window for at least two years.

Oh hells no. Everything hinges on getting this room done, it has to be finished. So I'm setting a deadline, next week this time I will try to be finished. Here's a list of what still needs to be done, the last 10 percent:

  • tape off entry, hand-sand door frame, window frame and wall (this is the second pass after the power sander)

  • clean up sawdust

  • find joint compound, plaster, mud or something to seal off exposed concrete (nice to have: cap concrete with wood moulding, block walls would normally be capped with these. Tile?)

  • find piece of wood or paneling to cap end joint at wall corner

  • buy more stain

  • stain all wood in room and entry

  • apply top finish to all wood in room and entry

  • caulk windows with clear sealant

  • caulk floor trim with white sealant

  • caulk ceiling gaps with white sealant

  • touch up paint on ceiling

  • paint trim to match wall, or touch up with white

  • patch small section of missing trim

  • match/buy texturizer or mud (or not)

  • texturize and paint wall corner bead (how to blend this?)

  • choose and buy paint color for entry wall

  • paint entry wall

  • buy a new register for paneled wall

  • put switchplates back on

  • replace patio screen door

  • scrape paint drops from flooring

  • clean up tool space

  • wash windows, patio door

  • wash floors

Ok, so maybe two weeks?

Last built: Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 6:32 PM

By Betsy Kimak, Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 3:59 PM. This aggression will not stand.