After over a year in development, the prototypes for the latest chip I worked on are now back, although shipping and receiving seems to be taking their own sweet time delivering them. So I have a couple days reprieve while the chips get put on their boards at the proto manufacturing house, and then life gets really, really busy.
It's kind of exciting, because it's the first time in my career that I've been heavily involved in the bring-up process. On all the other chips I've worked on, either the project got cancelled (most frequent), I left the company before the chips came back, or I was doing verification and the design team never asked for help.
My co-worker and I were trying to actually see the chips, which is why we were annoyed that shipping has "lost" them. In a way it's a silly reflex -- by and large all chips look the same on the outside -- but it's cool (and wierd) that we spend so much time working on a project, and it comes back and it's only an inch square.
A lot of the time when people ask me what I do, I tell them I write code. It's easier than trying to explain the difference between a hardware engineer and a software engineer.