As Microsoft employees, we're allowed to carry forward the same amount of vacation time that you would normally accrue in a single year. Since I get three weeks of vacation each year, I can carry forward no more than three weeks into the next year. So, in 2004, between actual holidays, floating holidays, and unused vacation, I find myself needing to take almost the entire month of December off so that I don't lose my "extra" vacation days. I've never had that much consecutive vacation time, and frankly, before it began, I wasn't sure that I'd be able to avoid my active routine and simply relax.
Well, after my first full week, I'm embarrassed to report that I am actually failing at vacation (how pathetic). I wouldn't have guessed it was possible. This week alone, I flew to our main campus in Redmond Tuesday morning and returned Wednesday around midnight. Then, yesterday, I spent all day helping out a couple of customers in southwest Michigan, returned home around 6:00pm, and had a conference call at 7:30pm. Of course, all of this has been my choice, and I'm not really complaining...just making an observation.
All of this has kept me from my regular blogging routine, and I've missed it. I have a backlog of about 20 things that I'd like to blog about at some time, and that doesn't include the product and technology announcements and discoveries that I try to share. So no, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth, and yes, I'll be diligent in my vacation efforts in the upcoming week (do diligent and vacation belong in the same sentence?). I hope to find time to blog more in the coming weeks.
I have a stack of books that I'd like to get through and review. Plus, my friend Rob has coerced me into buying Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth. I'm not a big fan of real-time strategy games, but the graphics and interactivity I've seen in the videos are too impressive to ignore. Anyone else playing this game?