Halloween 2004

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Halloween this year was a three day event that started on Friday at work. This is Halloween in the Product Engineering department:

Halloween in Product
Engineering

Pretty crazy, huh? We went to lunch like that and all these little kids kept coming over to our table wanting to meet Spongebob. Too funny.

Of course, Monday (today) starts my vacation, and the Friday before vacation wouldn’t be complete without the sales guys having a lack of preparation which translates to a state of emergency on my part. Which is to say, at about 1:30p I was told that some customizations needed to be done to a product demo for a sales presentation that was going to take place.

Normally that sort of thing is fine (though I admit I have a sour attitude about the whole thing because I moved to the product engineering department partially to get away from that damn demo), but then they showed me the “customizations” they wanted done.

“Customization” isn’t really the proper word to describe it. It was more like “functional overhaul.” They “only had four things” on the list, but each of those items was like three days’ worth of work. All to be done by 5:00p that day. Riiiiight.

When we made the demo, we built in a certain amount of customizability. You can change colors of the site, logos that appear, any of the text on the various pages, and you can internationalize it so it’ll appear in any language you want. You can’t, however, add or remove functionality from the demo because that would require you recompile the application and redistribute it. No can do in three and a half hours. You also can’t change the sizes or locations of things - we have a very specific set of CSS styles that get applied to the demo, all of which allow for color change, but once you change size and/or position of any elements, it affects every other element and you end up with a huge mess on your hands. Things are set up just so. This is also not a trivial thing to do.

Everything they wanted was either a functional change (no) or a size/position change (also, no).

I talked them down to sticking within the bounds that were originally set by the demo requirements - change the colors, text, and logos and call it a day.

I got those changes completed and sent out almost right at 5:00p, amidst the barrage of phone calls, emails, drop-in visits, and instant messages that happened to flood in right at the end of the day. It took me a half hour just to set up my out-of-office email message and voicemail because I kept getting interrupted.

Friday night was a hockey game, and I celebrated our win the next day by taking a nice afternoon nap. Ah, but I do love a good nap.

Which takes us to Saturday. Saturday night was the annual Halloween party at my friends Jason and Tracy’s house. (I’m sure I got some possessive punctuation wrong in that last sentence, but bear with me.)

Here are Jenn and I, ready for the party. Jenn was Snow White with a costume of her own making and I was a crewmember from Alien.

Jenn and me, ready to
party

Jason and Tracy always have cool parties, and this was no exception. The highlight of this year’s party was a team tournament of shot glass checkers. Two teams of five, but the whole party was crowded around cheering. Great stuff. I’m not sure who won. Heh.

Stuart, a friend from work (pictured above as Count Dooku from Star Wars, Episode 2) came to the party and brought me a replacement for the Timmy doll that was so rudely stolen from my cubicle at work several weeks ago. Very cool. Those are hard to find, and I’m happy to have Timmy back by my side. I will bring him to work and chain his ass down so the fucking cleaning staff can’t make off with him again. Stuart is the man.

Jenn and I pretty much closed the place down around 1:00a or so (the party started at 7:30p, so that’s a decent party, even though it didn’t last until like 7:00a the next morning; I’m no all-night partier, that’s for sure).

Sunday Jenn and I went to see The Grudge, which I heard was dumb but which I thought was reasonably decent. You can’t expect too much from horror movies, and this did get me to jump a couple of times, so I liked it. Didn’t hurt that Sarah Michelle Gellar was in it, redeeming herself for the career sin that is Scooby Doo.

Sunday night, of course, the trick-or-treaters were out in full force. We live in the kind of neighborhood that parents figure is “safe” for trick-or-treaters, which translates into caravans of cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans dropping loads of kids off and trolling up and down the street like the support crew for a long-distance relay race. We bought a 44 oz. bag of candy (those bite-size candy bars… not the “mini” ones, the ones slightly smaller than that), handed out two pieces to each trick or treater, and that didn’t quite last 35 minutes. We busted out our own personal stash of candy and that got us another 10 minutes, at which point we turned off the porch light and listened to the army of kids continue to knock and ring the doorbell. (I don’t know about you, but when the porch light went off, it meant the house was out of candy. That doesn’t click with today’s youth.)

And now it’s Monday, my first day in San Andreas. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m considering posting sort of a travel journal from the trip. Pends on how ambitious I get, which means it probably won’t get done, because, you know, I’m on vacation.

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