And a happy Civilization Day to you all!
While I didn't technically have a more productive day in terms of being set up with an exact idea of what I was supposed to put together, or being given access to the components with which I will be doing the putting, I was able to dig up enough references that barring some truly unspeakably confused and muddled system -- which I must admit I can't rule out -- I should be able to put together a prototype in something like fourteen minutes, with a similar work cycle needed for refinements and debugging into production-grade code. (The office manager thinks there's no way the project can possibly be done by the deadline, although that seems to be more out of concern for hardware issues that do, in fact, take measurable time, mostly in waiting for components to be shipped to them.)
So that brings me to the other big challenge at work, which is getting lunch. At the university it was simple enough; I waited till I was hungry, then went to the hawker center nearby. If I was tired of that, I went to the hawker centers several hundred meters away from that. But strange (to me) New Jersey cities don't have hawker centers, and the parking lot situation (they need one) makes driving somewhere a challenge. Fortunately they often order in, and my first day, they were ordering in Chinese. I ordered sweet and sour chicken, lest I do something too adventurous my first day, and discovered that the most common order was chow meins of various means.
Today I tried out the deli, comfortably close and located somewhere around 1978, complete with the little price-label displays I haven't seen since Game Show Network stopped running the 1970s Let's Make A Deal (they did stop running them, didn't they?), and that old-style cash register with the panel-display numbers (though he totals things up on a plastic-wrapped calculator). The proprietor is a very talky, chatty guy and it's clear he's known his noon regulars a long time, and that was fun to watch. I thought it was a bit curious he went to the back after ringing up each sale, but when it came to my turn I realized he was going back to wash his hands, which is the sort of touch I like in the guy making my food. With my eye on the date I didn't go for the liverwurst. He did ask what toppings I wanted, though, and after I said yes to the first couple (cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion) he asked if I wanted the works. Being an agreeable and hungry sort I said yes. ``Hot peppers?'' Well, I'd rather not have quite so much of that, and admitted to the guy behind me, ``He called my bluff.'' I think I've got lunch just about figured out.
Trivia: John H Hendrickson routinely wrote for Field and Stream before 1909 of his expeditions to the rural locale of Queens County, New York City. Source: 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York, Clifton Hood.
Currently Reading: Notes From A Small Island, Bill Bryson.