Before I get into this, something somewhat unrelated: In guys’ bathrooms, the urinals are generally set up so one or more are at one height and one is much lower. It’s an accessibility thing - shorter folks can use the shorter urinal and have the same experience as taller folks at the taller urinals. In smaller bathrooms, there’s one tall one and one short one. I think my new favorite thing is having the five-foot-tall guy run into the bathroom two steps ahead of me and take the tall urinal so that I (at six-foot-two) can piss down around my ankles in the shorter one. Keep doing that, folks. No disrespect felt here at all. Next time you can’t reach something on a high shelf, you be sure to let me know. I’ll get right on that.

Back on topic now - the physical effects of stress.

I’ve been waking up in the last couple of weeks with these ridiculous tension headaches that last the majority of the day and sometimes into the afternoon. I have one today, in fact, that started about 2:00a and is almost gone (but not quite). I’m sure I’m destroying one or more fairly vital organs with my dosage of over-the-counter pain killers, but nothing seems to really kick its ass. I know this thing is a tension headache because if I push on the gigantic muscle knot in my right shoulder the pain instantly transfers from my head to my shoulder.

I’m stressed out, folks.

And the thing is, I’m not sure if it’s just the ol’ “I need a vacation” or if it’s more “I need something to change up at work.” I’m not too stoked with the stuff I’m “getting” to do right now (it’s not creative, it’s not cool, it’s not fun, it’s not challenging, and frankly I don’t see a whole heap of value in it even though I very well know it’s gotta get done) and I wake up in the middle of the night with my mind racing about this stupid thing. It’s stressing me out.

Not only that, but I’ve had this little patch on my foot (probably the size of a pencil eraser) that’s been itching for a few months now. I went to the dermatologist and it’s not eczema or psoriasis or any fungus or anything. You know what it is? It’s nerves. I was talking to the doctor and telling him how I don’t notice it itching or anything really during the day, but when I sit down at night and watch TV or basically decompress, that’s when I notice it. He said it’s connected to stress - my brain may not be thinking about the day, but the stress is manifesting itself as an itch in my foot. (Apparently it’s not uncommon and the doctor himself has the same issue.)

I’m not sure what can be done, but I’m positive something’s gotta give. My foot’s going to itch off or I’m going to end up calling in sick with the most insane migraine recorded in medical history.

downloads, windows comments edit

Hermann Schinagl has a great shell extension that provides oodles of functionality around junctions. I have a similar extension, but while mine is more of a “visual cue” sort of thing, his actually does something. I dropped him a note, and he just integrated my icon overlay, and I’m gathering that he’s going to put the property sheet in, too, when he gets time. [UPDATE: As of March 26, 2007, Hermann has integrated the property sheet into his extension. Woohoo!]

Check this thing out

  • it’s the bomb. Plus, once he’s got the property sheet in there, it totally obsoletes mine. (Of course, I offer the source code to mine, so for those wanting to learn a little, go check that out.)

It really annoys me how (at least, in my experience) the sales cycle seems to trivialize the value of product development engineers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “If it wasn’t for Sales, we wouldn’t be drawing paychecks.” Guess what - if Sales had no product to sell, they wouldn’t be drawing paychecks either.

I also find it pretty annoying how Sales (again, in my experience) can sell a feature that doesn’t exist on a product that isn’t complete and somehow it’s the engineer’s fault for “not having that done on time.” Hey, man, I can run out and sell a flying car fueled by water, but anyone will tell you I haven’t got a leg to stand on when I bitch out General Motors asking why that isn’t quite done yet because the customer is expecting it.

One of these days someone will figure out that Sales and Engineering actually need to co-exist. Neither is more important than the other. Engineering needs to react to the needs that the Sales folks have - when a feature needs to be added to a product, that information needs to be seriously considered by Engineering (before it gets sold to a customer). Sales needs to stop promising things that Engineering can’t deliver and then turning around and blaming Engineering for not delivering something that can’t be delivered.

Until then, though… I’m thinking I need to put up some concertina wire around my cubicle.

media, movies comments edit

Why can’t Hollywood make movies that look cool and have a good plot?

Went to see UltraViolet this weekend because I couldn’t stay away from the cool factor. Plus, being a Milla fan, I had to see her in this super-techno-fied world that the previews had pimped so well.


The visuals were beautiful. Stunning, really. Graphically, it’s everything I hoped it would be. Gorgeous effects. Awesome fight scenes. It reminded me of the first time I saw the effects for the first Matrix movie - it was just cool. (Yeah, it was overly CG. Some folks might not be into that and bitch that it’s “not real enough.” I dig CG effects and ate it up.)

That said, what happened to the plot? I mean, seriously, where was the QA department on this thing? Did they actually have test screenings?

The idea is that, sometime in the indefinite future, this virus got out and basically created vampires (“hemophages” in the movie). The government worked to wipe them out rather than looking for a cure. Sounds good, right? Then they introduce this kid who is… uh… some sort of weapon or something (supposedly) and we get caught up in Milla trying to save the kid and fight the government simultaneously, all the while looking for a cure for the hemophage virus… I won’t spoil the mediocre plot twist.

The point is, all this is happening in 88 minutes, so it’s moving altogether too fast. Fast enough that I really didn’t get a chance to care about why this person was shooting this other person. Fast enough that I had no idea who this rival gang was or why I should be afraid of them, and definitely fast enough that there was no import when they got wiped out by a single person.

Interesting premise, but it reminded me a lot of Underworld

  • great principle, cool world, horrendous execution. We left confused and feeling like we got ripped off. Except for the “Milla Factor” (she was hot - the whole time, Milla was just hot), I want my money back.

Skip this one, folks, lest you feel duped out of your $7.50. Instead, go buy a copy of Equilibrium and soak up what UltraViolet could have been.