Jeff, Erin, and Emily (who never read this by the way) are coming out to Vancouver for a visit, and staying with us this weekend.
Visitors, you say? No problem, you say?
Jeff and I lived together for an (I’m sure he’ll tell you, loooooong) eight month stretch our first year up at University. Jeff is cool. We get along. We survived that span of time where I had to live a few levels of neatness just above my baseline, and he had live a few levels below his.
Now I live with Karin — who is more like myself when it comes to cleaning (though her opinion may differ). It’s not that our current apartment is messy. Heck, no. We just are active people who actually live in our space. We throw stuff here and there, occasionally, and more often than not leave the dishes just a few hours or days longer than we should have. We’re not dirty. We’re just not neat-freaks.
I guess what this boils down to is this: Jeff has always held a special place in my heart — right beside the Windex, and just behind the Mr. Clean. If I want to impress Jeff — and we’d all be lying if we denied that at some level we’re ultimately trying to impress everyone we know in some fashion — I think the way to do that is to be neat and tidy. It’s not that he will be judging the sterility of our apartment this weekend, but it does raise the bar a few notches above par.
My recent time at the office has been consumed — yes, consumed — with the task of retrofitting and reorganizing our content. What does that mean? Basically this: we make a lot of educational content which (at the moment) is stored as a messy mass of Word files, Publisher documents, and illnamed PDFs. Some of this is my fault. Much of it is not.
For example, if it was not for my efforts (and I’m sure there are some who can relate) tens of thousands of hours worth of files amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of time and resources compiled into hundreds of megabytes of hard drive space, would be cluttered into a single directory on a single computer plugged into an ungrounded outlet in a storage cupboard. The directory of which I write looked something like this:
To sponge wars.doc
list of clss.doc
codes and listings.pub
….except much longer and much more obscure.
I came into this job with a mess of nothing. I spent the first two weeks just trying to find digital copies of most of our stuff, convert it into standard formats (some of the files didn’t even have extensions!), and then reorganize it into folders, sub-folders, and sub-sub-folders.
The result has been (two years later) a little bit of structure to my otherwise pointless endeavors. Mind you, trying to get the rest of them to do this is like trying to teach chickens to syncronize swim.
My latest foray — however — has been to take this whole content organization to the next level: in the industry they call it content management and it involves something akin to building castles from Lego blocks. Only my blocks are XML modules, and my castles are the various documents that we eventually publish and distribute.
At least that’s what it will be.
sigh… how depressing.