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What's Up, Dickyweed?

5 comments (closed), posted on september 11, 2005, tags: me, summer, work

Wow. Summer went by fast this year, eh? We spent most of our time at the pool, swimming and going down the water slides and jumping off the diving board. It was like being children again; the water was warm, the sun was out, and we were swallowing water and doing hand-stands and cannonballs and having races. It was more fun than I've had in a long time, and I'm truly going to miss it. Winter usually feels long enough without thinking about how much we miss the pool every weekend. Oh well. Next summer will be here before we know it.

Work has been hectic. Katia and I had a vacation planned to Seattle, but we had to cancel it due to a large project at work which I'm finally getting close to finishing now. A few weeks of late nights, but I've made it through and I'm not too much worse for the wear, other than the fact that I feel like I need a vacation more than ever. Hopefully we'll get to go somewhere soon.

I finished up my first Ruby on Rails project (which I will announce here soon), and I am absolutely smitten with the framework. I definitely plan to use it on the next thing I do, and hopefully get it happening at work as well.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the title of this entry is heavily inspired by the book I'm reading. If you can guess what it is, you'll win a cookie.

What did you do with your summer?

The Vending Machines

2 comments (closed), posted on march 3, 2004, tags: work

There's this strange reaction I get every time I use the vending machines in the central office of my company. There are two machines; one serves canned Pepsi products, the other miscellaneous snack foods. They live in the copier room of said office, among a collection of giant copy machines, printers, fax machines and recycling bins.

I work on the other side of our floor, in the smallest of two smaller offices. Occasionally, rather than waiting for the elevators and going all the way downstairs and back up, I'll stop by the vending machines to get a ginger ale and something small to snack on. (Today I had Oreo cookies for the first time in years. They were great, but that's not why I'm mentioning this.) Usually, the copier room is void of people and I'm alone when I purchase my goods. Everyone now and then, however, someone will be in the room or will walk in as I am making my purchase, and that's when the reaction occurs.

It's usually just a look. A long, staring, confused look, as if to say, "Why are you buying from those machines?" I glance back, casually, as if to reply, "Why for because they sell items. Why do you question me so?" Their stare continues unfazed, then they go back to their own business.

It would be one thing if I were the only person patronizing these machines, but I'm clearly not. The snack machine is constantly restocked, and frequently low on items. If it were just me slowly eating my way through the whole machine, the stares would be warranted. But other people are buying too.

Perhaps one day I'll bump into another vending machine user. Until then, I guess I'll continue to suffer the curious stares of the confused, non-vending-machine-using bastards. They're just fruit snacks! You've seen them before!

God Damn It

8 comments (closed), posted on june 12, 2003, tags: work

You see, the scenario is such that someone I know just accepted a job at a place that said something absolutely horrible to him. This place could potentially be full of these employees, making the assumption that it could very well be a shitty company full of shitty people who say shitty things to their employees. Even with all of that—the rude, politically incorrect ridiculousness—the company still offered him more money than I'm getting. Roughly $10,000+ more (with me at 80% salary).

At what point do I just say fuck this and go work for a company that treats me like shit, but pays me what I'm worth in the mean time? I mean, is it worth working at a place where I'm semi-comfortable in my chair or get to control most of the projects? I don't really think so.

I'm tired of the little places. I suddenly want to work for Big Company Incorporated, that will pay me how much I should be paid and never speak or look at me. I want to see 14,000 people a day. I want to work in a cubicle in the middle of 5,000 other cubicles. I want to become a nameless face in a nameless building. I fucking hate this stupid bullshit.

Work Sucks

1 comment (closed), posted on april 11, 2003, tags: work

Work has been really hectic lately. At the same time, however, we've all been cut down to four days a week (and each took 20% salary cuts—fun!). I'm basically doing all of the development work for the company (and have for some time now), which is extremely tiring and stressful, as we have several large projects going on right now (most of which started long before I came to work for this company). I don't know the future of this place, but it doesn't look good. In the meantime, I'm doing more work than ever and getting paid less. It's not a likable situation.

Digging

4 comments (closed), posted on april 3, 2003, tags: work

Today I spent about four hours digging through code. There was a bug in this code. There were several bugs in this code. Actually, there were lots of bugs in this code. Making matters worse: I did not write this code. Making matters even worse: the person who did is a fucking moron. Also: it's ASP code.

It's this seven step form for a client who runs this annual contest. People come, they use the form, they nominate someone. It's a seven step form. Seven. So, why, dear Jesus, are there 80 files? Why? 80 files! Seven steps! It's ridiculous. Digging through 80 files to find a single bug is like trying to find a certain rock in a pile of stupid fucking rocks.

When I found (and fixed) the problem, more problems cropped up. A lot more. And so, for four hours, I hunted them down, one at a time. Eventually I got them all. This is one of the worst parts of developing for the web—dealing with other peoples' messes. It's disgusting. 80 files!

Next Stop, Balancelessville

6 comments (closed), posted on december 3, 2002, tags: work

Each morning I take the L train from the Bedford Avenue stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to the 14th Street Union Square stop in Manhattan. The trip is fast—from Katia's door to my desk is about 20 minutes—but far from fun.

Because Bedford Avenue is the first stop in Brooklyn on the L train, and because Williamsburg (especially near this subway stop) is an area populated largely by "faux-hipster-artist-wannabes"—on their way to work in all those little record stores and cafes and independent publishing concerns—every car on every train at seemingly every moment of every morning is packed.

And we're not talking about a few too many people. We're talking about those stereotypical scenes you see in New York based films or television shows where people have their faces smashed up against the glass and there's barely enough room to breathe. It's unbearable, and worse, it's normal.

To make all of this worse is a problem not unique to the L train: a rough ride. All subways tend to be rather rough in-transit. They bounce up and down, shake, vibrate, speed up and slow down violently, usually causing everyone on the train to nearly fall over.

I think the reason for this is the inherent difference between controlling a subway and controlling all other forms of mass-transportation: the conductor doesn't experience the ride the same way a majority of the passengers do. On a plane, on a bus or in a car, the controller and passengers are usually both sitting. But on a subway, the conductor sits in a cushioned seat while most of the passengers stand.

I've watched through open conductor-cab doors as conductors braked extremely hard, perfectly comfortable in their seat. Meanwhile, passengers topple in the aisels. I think if they made conductors stand, rides would be significantly smoother.

Also, on the subject: the new subway trains put into circulation recently are great. They offer a much better appearance, stop charts that light up and are easier to follow, as well as light-signs that tell you the current time, which stop is next and more. They've also got a nice female voice narrating your ride and telling you the names of each stop. The annoying feature, though, is the recorded male voice that says, "Stand clear of the closing doors, please." Actually, it's not that specific recording that annoys me... it's the recording that plays each and every time someone walks between cars while the train is moving: "Passengers, for your safety please do ride or walk between cars while the train is in motion." Sometimes you'll hear it 15 times in a single ride.

Messy

posted on june 20, 2002, tags: work

Things did get messy at work. But not exactly the way we thought they would.

Steve and I walked in yesterday at about 10:30, expecting to be laid off. That didn't happen. Instead, two other people requested to be laid off (basically saving my job and Steve's), and one other person was let go by the company. So now it is just me, Steve, and one other person (other than the owners). The new hierarchy is extremely questionable. I don't know how long it will last, or how long I will last in it, for that matter. I'm just gonna try to stick it out for a while and save up some money. I guess we'll see.

Jack's website hasn't been updated as planned, even though I have more pictures and stuff to put up. I'm trying to get on that today.


See Also

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Lost Rhapsody
Funny Flash movie using Weird Al music and Lost stuff. Lyrics make a surprising amount of sense!

Jed's Other Poem
Unsolicited music video made on an Apple ][. Fantastic!

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The government is keeping tabs on what you print, with the help of major printer companies.

Dreamhost Promo Codes
DH already has very cheap, very good hosting—this just sweetens the deal.

Photos of the new iPod
Just received my new iPod and I put a few photos up.

PEZ MP3 Player
Funny idea that actually looks kind of neat. I like that it comes pre-loaded with "indie" music.

HD Easter Egg
"My Name is Earl" on NBC gives viewers with HD TVs a little easter egg. Cute, but weird.