I had a very fun time yesterday plying The Dark Art. It is extra fun to have extra challenges, and the variety of clients is providing that. Getting the sample site up Google in a day and a half — too fast for the rank checkers to keep track of — was fun. (We now absolutely own the page, by the way.) Working with Client #6, who operates on a completely different scale from all my previous projects, is also fun. From him I am discovering the assumptions I’ve been making. So often, you’re not aware (or I’m not, at least) of assumptions until they’re challenged.

The particular assumptions in question would not, I think, be interesting unless you were also a plyer of The Dark Art, but it’s like playing checkers with someone and then they say “No! We’re playing chess!” and then a few moves later you notice that it’s three-dimensional chess. Since we’re in different states, the metaphor works quite well, actually. “I’ll just jump a couple of squares.” I say, and he wonders if I’m using a pawn or a rook. And thinks I talk funny. However, he did send some very positive feedback, so I am still having 5 fun.

Just think how good I’ll be when I’ve finished this project.

I showed you my workspace the other day, but yesterday I found that it is extremely helpful to have two computers going at once, so you can jump over and do something else while one is analyzing something. This also allows me to gaze out both windows alternately. I show you the view of the old computer from the new one. The stability ball makes a great office chair. What this does for the decor of my living room is not good, but as a Computer Guy I am above these things.

Meanwhile, my tutoring has changed from French to 20th Century American Literature and now on to biological warfare.

I’m helping my student do some research for a project due on Wednesday. We’re on a very tight schedule. “This is the question we need to find the answer to,” I say sternly, “Let’s just look for that answer. Okay, this page is on something completely different, so we need to go back to the search results. See, we’re finding completely irrelevant stuff now. We need to refine our query.”

“Ooh!” he says. “Look! They threw dung! Gross! How do you think they threw it? With their hands?”

“I don’t know, but we already have the Hussites and we need thirteen more items for the timeline,” I say repressively. “How about if I search and you write it down?”

“Cool! The bubonic plague made people turn all black!” At this point he begins reading to me all kinds of details on suppurating sores.

“Yes, yes, I know, and all that is very cool, and you can read it later, after I leave. Right now, we need to scroll down — look, the Russians threw plague victims at the Swedes! How about that one?”

The first instance of biological warfare we’ve found is the use by early South Americans of amphibian toxins on darts. I knew you’d want to know that.

5 In addition to work, I also had some success with conducting normal life.

I dressed before I began working. I sat down at the table and ate meals, Sonoma Diet meals in fact, and also got my second attempt at the scarf underway. This more elaborate lace is not only prettier, to my mind, but also more forgiving of my frequent errors. That is, I can fudge stitches here and there, taking in and letting out when necessary to make it look right. I really do like the edging of the Icarus shawl, though. Perhaps, when I get to that point, I will use that edging. This is Leaves and Flowers, with the solid leaves and the occasional lacier flower.

Today I will continue living a normal life. I intend to get to the gym, and to visit Client #3, and I have a rehearsal this evening. I have also just remembered that the Summer Reading Challenge has begun. The original challenge was two books a week and blog about them both, and that was a good size of challenge for me, so I think I’ll stick with that. I am currently reading Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson, one in a series of light mysteries about a caterer who constantly encounters dead bodies in the course of her work. The most implausible thing about it, to my mind, is that people keep hiring her.