personal comments edit

It’s hot outside, the first day it’s been really hot this year. I’ve got my shorts on, I’ve got my t-shirt on, and I’m really not wanting to be at work. Good thing I’m in training tomorrow and Thursday, then off Friday.

I got a free sneak-preview pass to go see The Italian Job on Thursday. It’s been a while since I saw a movie in the theater, so it’ll be good. And free, so it meets my budgetary requirements.

I forgot to mention that my sister was up from school in Utah this weekend. She was picking up my parents’ old car (since they got a new one recently) and driving back to Utah with her friend. Of course, while she was here she had an ear infection bad enough to rupture her eardrum, so it wasn’t the most pleasant of trips. Good to see her, though, and I’m hoping she made it back safely.

Work is keeping me well over busy with the amount of stuff I’m working on. It’ll be nice to get some of these larger projects done so I can feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I’m thinking about it, and I haven’t heard from my friends Liz or Douglas lately. I should probably email them.

personal comments edit

There’s nobody else in my department today, and hardly anyone in the entire building.

Let me tell you how cool that is.

I don’t have anyone randomly stopping by to chat or interrupt me, I don’t have people in my way when I go get something to drink, and I can make a pot of coffee and I will be guaranteed to get a cup.

Plus, except for the white noise of the fans on the servers in my cube, the place is totally quiet. I don’t have to crank up my music to hear it, the phones aren’t ringing… and ringing… and ringing…

This is the life, I tell you.

personal comments edit

Memorial Day weekend. Eh. As you can see, I’m working Memorial Day, so it wasn’t really the three-day weekend that everyone else got. I’ll be taking Friday off instead, since I’ve got training Wednesday and Thursday and really didn’t feel like working Tuesday-Friday. I mean, how am I supposed to get stuff done like that? So I’m working Monday-Tuesday, training Wednesday-Thursday, then Friday off.

Really didn’t do much this weekend. After getting all of my bills together and ready to pay next weekend, I found that the amount of money for all the bills is roughly equivalent to the amount of take-home pay I’m getting, so we don’t have much of an entertainment budget. Let me tell you who can’t wait until Jenn picks up a decent paying job. It’s been a long time coming. Two weeks before she is finished with the unpaid externship.

We did rent Bad Boys and The Fast and The Furious. I hadn’t seen the former, and Jenn hadn’t seen the latter. Good to catch up on movies.

Aside from that, there was a lot of TV watching. At one point I was sitting watching the Food Network, which is sad in-and-of itself (unless it’s Emeril or Jacques Torres), when I realized the show was something like “The US Army Cook-Off.” That was pretty much my limit. We ended up going grocery shopping (yes, more money out of the pocket) because we didn’t have much to eat around the house.

While in the store, I noticed that there are lots of different snack foods around. Cheap, sugar filled foods. Not “snack” foods so much as “snak” foods. I think there’s a certain quality (or lack thereof) implied in words that intentionally misspell themselves. I mean, who wouldn’t want a tasty Snak Kake, right?

Oh, and we did a lot of cleaning around the house. We finally removed the weatherproofing plastic from around our bedroom window (so we can open it, because it’s getting hot) and we went through our closets to get rid of the clothes we never wear or the clothes that we wear waaaaay too often and really shouldn’t be worn anymore. I weeded out quite a bit of stuff, and now I need to go clothing shopping. With, you know, all that money I’ve got hanging around. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

tv, personal comments edit

Last night was the series finale of Buffy. I’m sort of mixed on the whole thing. I’ve been devoted to that show for the last seven years, and now that it’s gone, there’s sort of a hole there. But I’m glad to see they went out while they were ahead and they didn’t choose to run it into the ground the way that X-Files did.

Highlights of the show included a successful return to witchcraft by Willow; a nice cameo appearance by Angel; and a tribute to Homestar Runner by way of a reference to Trogdor the Burninator.

So that’s over. They’re auctioning off props and costumes from the show at, but I think that paying upwards of $600 for a faux potted flower that had a cameo appearance in an episode is a little much, so I won’t be getting anything from there. I’d have liked to have gotten a costume or something, but the costumes are selling for $1500 and over, so no go there. Some people have too much money on their hands.

Speaking of auctions, I won an eBay auction for some Lexx trading cards. Woohoo! (You might not be as excited as I am, but these things are hard to come by.)

I discovered a new pet peeve yesterday. Maybe it’s not new so much as not often exercised. See, if I ask you a question, you know what I want? An answer. I don’t want to spend my time justifying myself to you about why I asked the question, I just want the answer.

Here’s the scenario: I’m working on a program at work that will do some web stuff. (Let’s just abstract it a bit so we don’t get lost in the details.) I know what I want the program to do, and I’ve got most of it done, but I came to a point where I didn’t know how to make it do what I wanted. So let’s say (arbitrarily) I wanted it to print “Hello, World” on the screen. I couldn’t get that to work after fighting with it for a while, so I sent a question to our on-site programming guru guy to find out how to do it. Here’s how that went…

Guru: Hey, what’s up? Travis: Not much. Did you read my email question? G: Did you send it a few minutes ago? I’ve been out of the office. T: I sent it two hours ago. That’s fine. I’ll just ask you while you’re here. I want my program to say “Hello, World” when I run it, but I can’t get that to happen. How do you do that? G: Why would you want the program to say “Hello, World?” Why wouldn’t you just make it say “Hello” instead? T: Because it needs to say “Hello, World” not just “Hello.” How do you make it do that? G: Have you done a Google search for other programs that do this? T: Yes - I’ve searched all the documentation I can get my hands on, and it’s not covered. How do I get it to work? G: Are you sure you don’t just want it to say “Hello?” That would be more useful. T: For YOU, maybe, but I need “Hello, World.” G: I’m not sure why you want it to say “Hello, World.” Why would any program need to do that? T: What difference does it make? Seriously - I just want a simple program that does this one thing. Please just tell me how to make it do that. G: You know, you could make this much more flexible by making the greeting optional. It could just say “World” and then give you the choice of “Hello” and “Goodbye.” T: It doesn’t need to say anything but “Hello, World.” G: And why are you writing this program? T: I’m going to fucking kill you if you don’t give me an answer here. I’m on a deadline and I don’t have time for this. G: Oh, well, I don’t know how to make it do that. Sorry. T: ARGH!!!

So basically I went around for half an hour with this guy trying to get an answer that he didn’t have.

The deal is that I don’t ask people for help very often. It’s not in my nature. I do things myself because, frankly, I’ve found that I can’t trust other people to do the job right. So when I eventually cave in and ask for help, it’s not because I’m slacking off and just don’t want to figure it out. It’s because I’ve researched every alley available to me and can’t find the answer, so it’s time to branch outwards. When I get to that point, I already have the question very well defined - all I need is the answer. It’s not the time to go “back to the drawing board” and discuss the philosophy behind why I’m asking the question in the first place.

I’m getting worked up just thinking about it. I should probably have my blood pressure checked. I’ve been more high strung in the past six months than I normally am, and for those who know me, that’s pretty damn high strung.

I think I’m going to try to put a positive spin on that in my yearly employee review. This year I have found my hard limits - the point at which I can no longer take the added pressure of more workload and am forced to either have a nervous breakdown, a heart attack, or a postal-style killing frenzy. I’m probably doing two or three peoples’ worth of work here, and in doing that I’m finding that I can no longer turn out the quality of work that I require in the quantity that is requested. I’m unwilling to compromise on my quality, so… No more work, or the coffee maker gets it!

I so desperately need a vacation. A vacation where I can go for a week and realize that things will get taken care of while I’m not there, not one where I go for a week and come back to discover that all I am is another week behind because there’s no fucking backup assistance.

humor comments edit

Okay, here’s an idea for you: non-dairy coffee creamer that comes in cubes. Sort of like sugar cubes, but powdered creamer. Easily stackable, so you don’t have the “bowl full of cream containers” that those plastic cup-like things cause you. Waste free, so you’re not wasting the paper on packets of powdered creamer. Convenient - you don’t have to scoop or pour the creamer, you just drop a couple creamer cubes into your coffee and you’re set. Each cube would be the equivalent of one of the packets of creamer or one of the little plastic containers of cream. You could even wrap each cube in a dissolving coating, sort of like pharmaceutical tablets, so you wouldn’t get the “crumbling” effect that you get with a box of sugar cubes (where the last few cubes aren’t even full cubes anymore).

I’m obviously in the wrong line of work. They should pay me to work in a think tank and come up with brilliance like this all day.