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
So that’s over. They’re auctioning off props and costumes from the show
at BuffyAuction.com, 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
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.
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.