Well, not really. But the folks at Muncan do make some fiiiiiiine sopressata, Tirolean salami, capicola (chewy until pan-fried, at which point it becomes pretty amazing) and some good hot dogs.

My current programming gig  is pretty nifty. I’m doing what I set out to do — Rails development — and I’m getting to make use of things I learned doing my own projects over the preceding year like authentication and deployment, and learning new things too, like how OpenID works.

It’s telecommuting, though, and pretty extreme telecommuting at that. My project’s team has me and one other person here in New York, the project lead an hour or so out of the city in Connecticut, two part-time consultants another hour deeper into Connecticut, one coder each in Montreal and Ohio, a testing/QA specialist in Switzerland, and a Linux sysadmin building the infrastructure working from home in New Zealand.

Today I had to bring two coworkers up to speed on some deployment stuff I hammered out over the last few days. One was the sysadmin in New Zealand. We did it, as most discussions tend to be, via instant messaging, while I was wrapping up for the day and he was making coffee or whatever it is people drink at 7AM in New Zealand. Probably something with lamb in it. My manager had started the morning expressing a bit of regret over not all working together in an office at times like this, where a lot of knowledge would be transferred by osmosis — and by poking heads in doors and leaning over the tops of cubicles. Instead I spent my whole morning tutoring one colleague, and the late afternoon walking another through most of the same steps.

The working-at-the-kitchen-table thing gets old quickly. It’s isolating work, and though solitude is important for productivity, so is interaction with colleagues. Instant messaging, sporadic email and a weekly around-the-horn conference call doesn’t quite do it.

Did I mention that we had some reet fantastic Issaan food at Zaab, a tiny sliver of a restaurant under the train tracks in Jackson Heights a couple of nights ago? There are some sixty “spicy salads” (their words, not mine) on the menu and we had two — one the usual green papaya thing, only more fiery and pungent, crunchy with bits of largish dried shrimp heads and tails, and another completely unlike it, a jumble of chewy, crisp hunks of jerky-like pork, pork-rind-y blocks of aggressively fried fish, and craggy slabs of chicken, all strewn with bits of crisp vegetables and insanely hot but brightly flavored. Mmmm.