Journal Entry: June 14, 2006

Okay, I’m going to try to start writing more of a journal here, because I really can’t keep my friends and family updated with emails to any extent, and because I’ve started writing all my good ideas into Sleeping Kings, instead of writing essays about them here.

I’m still sticking with the G, G, and G tags when I do write essays (and I’m sure I’ll keep doing that). I’m just adding a “Journal Entry” tag, which means I’m just writing boring news about my boring life.

So enjoy!

I’m in Ann Arbor at the moment, on training for work. We’ve got a major project under way, in which we’re converting all of our thousands and thousands of pages of decades old documentation into an interactive digital format (an IETM, or Interactive Electronic Technical Manual).

To make it interactive, we’ve hired a couple of very impressive companies to take what are essentially paper documents and write a whole layer of XML over the top of the content describing all the parts and making them work. Very fancy stuff, and it has certainly impressed the people who will be using the documents. It was also not, by any means, a cheap process.

So now they’re handing that work over to us, and we’ve got to maintain the documents they gave us, and integrate any future documents into the system, so I’m getting to learn XML on the government dime. Thus, my trip here. I’m learning a really cool editing tool designed to simplify the process of writing good XML, and writing it well.

The training has been interesting. I had a one-day class called “Understanding XML and SGML,” an introductory course explaining what this stuff is. That was Tuesday. I thought it would be dreadfully dull, since I already knew all about those things, but he put it into context in a powerful way, and it was actually a really good course.

The rest of my week I’m in a class called “Authoring with Epic Editor,” learning to use the actual program, which is the bit I was excited about. Actually, turns out this class is as bad as I expected the other one to be. I suppose what I needed was a 1-day course teaching the things we’re going to be learning over 3 days. Alas. Not an option.

Anyway, that’s all. Michigan is beautiful. Everything is green, there’s a slight overcast all the time, and the weather is a comfortable 70-something. It’s awesome. Also having a better time than I did in Seattle simply because my hotel is very close to lots of places (and by that I mean Taco Bell and McDonalds, not, like, national monuments or places of interest). So, convenient location, free breakfast, and my evenings free. That’s pretty good.

Other than that, not much interesting news at the moment. Last weekend Trish was in Dallas on a family scrapbooking trip, which went well, but I’ll leave that to her to detail.

I’m excited about Sleeping Kings. I’ve gotten some great feedback, and against all odds I’ve managed to keep writing daily. Of course, I could stop at any point, but I’m just impressed I got this far. I hope to start doing something similar with King Jason’s War when I get home.

That’ll be Saturday, 7-ish, by the way. In case you were wondering.