Sometimes programming feels like trying to fix a leaky pipe, one that's rusted half-way through and just barely accessible in an awkward corner behind some moldy water-damaged drywall. And sometimes it's like one of those conversations where time just goes away as you and the other person finish each other's thoughts and get a glimpse, just a glimpse, of what it would be like to see the world from space.
But sometimes it's like knitting. Sometimes when I'm programming I feel the way I imagine my mother felt, sitting on the couch in the evening as she turned yarn into something useful. It required care and attention, but not so much of either that she couldn't listen to "Jeopardy" and take part in the conversation around her. She didn't do it because we needed more sweaters (though we were always grateful for them). She did it because making things can be a very comfortable pleasure.
That's how today's programming feels. It's nothing groundbreaking—I'm just checking that some text files conform to a few simple rules—but it'll be useful when it's done, and more importantly, I enjoy doing it. That's what the people around me on this sunny Saturday afternoon don't get. They think I'm working, but I'm not: I'm knitting.