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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Please to Forgive

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Mister Sand Man Sent Me A Dream

I sleep more than anyone I know.

Michael David Crawford
March 20, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

Despite my habit of staying up all night, I actually sleep more than anyone else I know: last night I slept for twenty-three hours. I didn't wake up until after six PM today; I'm heading into the office after I write this.

When Bonita told me of how her day at school today was particularly enjoyable, I expressed some envy for the intellectual stimulation that she gets to enjoy by being an art school student. And she replied that my life would be very rich if I could find a solution to my sleeping problems. "Most people only need eight hours of sleep," she said, "You need at least ten or twelve, and it doesn't leave you with any time for anything but work and your piano."

My mother tells me I've been this way since I was a newborn infant in the hospital: I never wanted to wake up for my feedings so the nurses brought me around by flicking the soles of my feet with their fingers.

I am fortunate that my employers allow me to work flexible hours. I don't think they're really happy about it, but they're OK with it as long as I get good work done. It happens that I chose software engineering for a career in large part because I thought it would be the only hope I would ever have of holding a real job. I did so after noticing that my friends who were programmers often worked at night.


I thought I was doing so well yesterday - I got up at eight in the morning, and exercised by running up and down the stairs at the SkyTrain station as I discussed in my previous diary. I got to work in plenty of time, and had a good day, but late in the day felt very tired.

I decided to go to bed after I got home and called Bonita. I set my alarm for eight again, but when it went off I just kept hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep - and I'd still get back to sleep despite putting the alarm clock across the room, so I had to get out of bed to shut it off.

Eventually I just gave up and turned the alarm off entirely. I was just too tired.

I often find that no amount of sleep is enough to make me feel rested, but if I can find a way to get up and stay up, after an hour or so I will feel just fine. I don't generally get tired during the day and in fact can stay awake for a long time if I need to; I have worked forty-hour days on several occasions.

I am hoping that my exercise helps with my sleep. Bonita observed that it did when I was cycling and lifting weights back in Nova Scotia. I know I felt a lot better yesterday morning for having exercised - it makes me feel really clear-headed.

Whither Ogg Frog?

It seems that sleeping so much puts me behind in my hours at work so that I have to go in to work on the weekend - I did this last weekend. And what that means is that I don't get the time to work on Ogg Frog. I am dismayed to find that progress on it has been halted for quite some time now - I had promised to deliver it by February, and here it is late March and there is no delivery in sight.

In part that is my choice: in the last few weeks I have made practicing piano more of a priority. I get a lot of joy from my keyboard, and am reluctant to set it aside to make time for writing Free Software. But really I should be able to find time for both. I just need to regulate my sleep better, and to better manage what waking time I do have.

I'm afraid I'm quite stuck on an architectural problem with Ogg Frog: it has sufferred from intermittent deadlocks the whole time it has been in development. I have finally come to understand why, and have a good idea for what the solution should be, but to implement it I need to rip apart and restructure large sections of its code.

I know what I need to do, but what has stopped me is that I haven't been able to find enough uninterrupted quality time to focus on doing it.

Most software development is done incrementally: one adds a little bit of new code, tests it, fixes whatever problems are found and then moves on. For the most part the software is always working well to some extent. But this won't be the case when I finally sit down to restructure Ogg Frog. It's going to be totally broken for at least a couple days, maybe more, and I find that intimidating.

Interlude

I'm sitting in the Blenz Coffee at Robson and Burrard as I write this. A song just came on that's a particular favorite of mine:

I saw your face
In a crowded place
And I don't know what to do
I will never be with you.

Bonita put the song on my MP3 player for me for my trip to Vancouver. It reminds me, in a bittersweet way, of all the years I was so lonely before we met.

Off To Work Soon

I've been working on the same bug for over a week now. I have made a great deal of progress - I had trouble reproducing it at first, now I can easily. I have narrowed the cause down considerably. I'm hoping I can fix it tonight.

If I can, I'll head home in the morning to sleep. If I don't have it fixed by morning, though, I'll stay up through the day to work on it.

I'm determined to get back to work on Ogg Frog this weekend. To do so I'll have to get my sleep back on track so I don't have to come in over the weekend to make up my time.

Good Night. -- Mike

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