Cafe Warrior

I’m writing this in the Barnes and Noble near Perimeter Mall. I’m trying to test out the efficacy of an idea that I had. When you try to do new stuff (in my case, learn to use WebSphere and PostgreSQL) in the computer arena, a typical first step is to buy a book or two. It’s always tricky whilst browing in the store to know which would be best. My idea was to, rather than buy the books first, spend some time lounging in the bookstore. Browse the books, try to do the work you want. When you run into problems, grab a book off the shelves and look up the answer. Keep going until you run into another problem. Some have thought this sounds a little scumbaggy, but I don’t see it. It’s actually a pretty pleasant way to work, and cost effective. You can tell which books are good, because you tried to use them to solve actual problems you had. If you only need the book for one thing, it wasn’t something you should have bought anyway. If the book solves many problems, I’ll be buying it. Meanwhile, I’m drinking $3 lattes at the Starbucks (or Raspberry Mocha Kisses if I’m at the Seattle’s Best inside of Borders – yum!) While I wanted to dry dock the idea, I stupidly forgot to install the Cygwin version of postgres on this laptop, so there ain’t that much I can do. My thought was to do this as much as I can during the days I have no job. I have some projects that I want to make headway on, and one of the nice things about doing this is that it maintains some discipline of the workday – you get up, shower and go somewhere – but completely on your own terms. If this joint had wifi, I’d be downloading postgres, which would be convenient for a moment but might ultimately be a step backwards in efficiency if I ended up browsing instead of working. I am at this moment wildly ready to be unemployed. I’ve been thinking about my project, prototyping, and generally getting myself ready to hit it. I’m now enthusiastic to cut loose.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.