March 20th, 2008


WinMain Ski Day

Yesterday’s task list for work:

  1. Review next month’s user stories and work items.
  2. Get validation unit tests at 100% coverage.
  3. Triage all assigned bugs.
  4. Compare production vs. designed models and document differences.

Today’s task list for work:

  1. Get in before 7:30a.
  2. Eat free breakfast.
  3. Ride a bus to Stevens Pass.
  4. Learn how to snowboard.

If my employer wants to pay me to learn a new sport; then, by God, I’m giving it my best! Besides, my performance may influence my end of year bonus. And remember, at Microsoft, just meeting your goals is considered slacking - exceed them!

I got my boots and I got my board and I reported to ski school. My instructor was an affable guy who had obviously enjoyed his career choice for several seasons. He explained how to strap in, place our weight, and ride our toe edge and heel edge.

A quarter of a way through the lesson, he told me that I should just hit the slopes. Snowboarding is my first snow-sport and I took to it quickly. But, I didn’t want to ditch my coworkers. So, I stuck around for the entire lesson and practiced 360s.

Lunch came. I invited our instructor. He returned the favor and invited me to ride the lift with him. Instead of going up Daisy, the easiest of the slopes, we started on Hogsback.

I fell.

A lot.

But, every time, I got back up as quickly as possible and threw my weight forward. And when I finished a run, I aimed directly for the nearest lift, enjoyed my brief airborne break, and ran a new trail.

After a few hours, I had ran every blue trail on Stevens Pass. I was still biffing; but, only once or twice a run. And, then I met up with Razvan.

Razvan does jumps. Razvan wanted to do jumps. He said I could follow him and pass the jumps if I wanted to avoid them. This allayed my concerns and off we went.

Off the damn trail! Cutting between tree-lines. And, through heavily banked courses that I later found out are called “moguls.” Razvan tested me and I was finding myself barely adequate.

Then I heard a shout, “ju-!” I squinted ahead and couldn’t see him anymore. And suddenly, I couldn’t see the ground anymore. I was in the air. My brain flashed and the thoughts thundered, “Keep straight. Hit the same angle. Remember the surfing part of California Games! You want to fall when you’re down.”

I landed, And kept going.

“WOO! HOO!!! I did a jump. I DID A JUMP!”

It wasn’t even two o’clock.

Tomorrow’s task list for work:

  1. Finish allocation for next month’s user stories and work items.
  2. Finish validation unit tests.
  3. Revise commitments and goals for my mid-year performance review.
  4. Nurse my injuries.