Another Dream Keyboard

In the dream, I was visiting a lab. Someone held up a printout. In the header, there were three sets of numbers (possibly one or more dates), flush left, centered, flush right. Each date appeared in blue and underlined, like an unvisted link. Each number was followed by a space and a lowercase-m. The lab workers speculated about this problem. I said, “bring up the page and let’s look at it.” Somebody brought the page up on a small wall-mounted screen; everyone stared rather blankly at it. I said, “look at the source.” The keyboard operator hesitated. “Press Ctrl+F4.” Simultaneously, the guy next to me said, “Press Shift plus (something) (something).” “Or that,” I said. This guy may have been Lem from Better Off Ted. (A delightful corporate-science comedy. Cancelled.) As the others wandered off, I stepped up to the screen. The keyboard jutted from the wall. It was about the size of a netbook keyboard, although uniquely wide. There were not very many keys. A large area was taken up by some formulas – it looked like a tiny whiteboard on the keyboard. I couldn’t find a PgDn key, so I used the down arrow to move through the code. “Hmmm,” I said, surprised, “It’s a literal.” (An actual ‘m’ appeared in the source code.) Speaking to someone across the room, I said, “I can show you how to fix this.” She seemed unenthusiastic. Another person (Leonard from The Big Bang) offered, “You could use Room _____ upstairs, I guess.” “No, I can show you here, now. It won’t take 5 minutes. Fifteen at the most.” I woke up.

That last matter is the application of the Three Times Rule that developed years ago. Whenever I quoted to a client how long a computer-related project would take, Merri joked, “times 3.” Well, “joked.” It always took longer than quoted / expected.

This is the second keyboard dream I’ve had recently (no real surprise, although the nature of the keyboards has been). Moreover, this is the third recent dream that could be job-stress related. Considering that I haven’t worked in two months and don’t plan to work for another four, it seems odd timing. Perhaps I’m deep into decompression or my subconscious wants to remind me I’m not missing anything. Except a paycheck. There’ll be more, won’t there? (Simpson’s reference.)

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