Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Hm. At what point did I deem it an acceptable response to a user complaint to just hit "forward" on Netscape and type in someone else's name?

I am amused by my newfound state of apathy. :-)

I haven't written a line of code for work in the last week. Yeah, I've been in documentation hell. Lots o' specs and the like, all talking about the code that I'm going to write. A page to describe what eight lines of code--five of them comments--will do.

And people wonder why the industry average is five to ten lines of code per developer per workday.

Friday, January 25, 2002

I just discovered that the Fox Chapel Giant Eagle (grocery store) carries sushi! Made by an honest-to-god sushi chef every morning! And it's actually quite good!

Exclamation points!

Who would have thought that something like this would ever exist in Pittsburgh?

Thursday, January 24, 2002


>Which Eva character are you most like? Quiz by .

I didn't think I'd relate to any of the characters until I got the result. Yeah, I think Ritsuko fits.

Feeling a bit lethargic today, but otherwise not too bad.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Oh, am I ever pissed...

I have obviously made some powerful supernatural being angry today.

Let's see... where to start?

First, let me describe the apartment building in which I live. There are three floors, two apartments to a floor. For some reason, the apartments are numbered 16, 17, 26, 27, 36, and 37. 16 and 17 are occupied by grouchy retired couples. The rest are 20-somethings.

The guy in 16 steals my paper every morning and is completely unashamed of it. We've finally resorted to getting two papers every morning. The lady in 17 gets angry if you're doing laundry and she happens to want to do laundry at the same time. Weird, but I've come to live with it.

I had to mail off three pieces of mail today, so I stuck them in the cracks on the mailbox, like everyone does. Well, the lady in either 16 or 17 has decided she doesn't like this and has resorted to leaving me nasty notes and throwing my mail on the floor. For some reason, this made me rather annoyed. Anyway, I picked up the mail and dropped it off at the post office on my way to work. It's only five extra minutes, but, dammit, I should be able to send mail from my apartment!

Anyway, I get to work... check e-mail... hmm. What's this? Oh, looks like Cadence has been working on something that will completely screw up what I was doing. I'm just getting this spec today -- it was written on January 26, 2001, for crying out loud. Even worse, a salesguy promised a customer that we'd have this done by April; Cadence won't release their version until June.

So I can't continue to work on what I've been doing (won't pass Cadence's review), yet I can't take Cadence's vapourware and deliver it to the customer. I am s-c-r-e-w-e-d.

Friday, January 18, 2002

Bad Machine Day

I was working from home this morning when my connection blinked out, wiping out about an hour's worth of work. Grr.

Anyway, I came in to work to find my machine disconnected. Grabbed the sysadmins, forced them to get it hooked back up to the network. They said they reused the port because the light wasn't on.


Apparently, my machine has decided to go into a save state, sleep, reboot, restore state loop. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy way out of this (it's a Sun box) at the moment.

I think I'll just write the day off as a loss.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Hm. The NeoCell team is having a meeting to discuss whether to approve/go forward with the spec that I wrote, but neglected to invite me. Heh. I should be insulted, but in reality I'm glad. One less meeting for me to go to, and it's not like they have any power to approve/disapprove the spec. Plus, the fact that I'm not there makes me less accountable.

Woohoo! Go lack of accountability! :-)

In other news, Tamara and I have a site and date for the wedding! October 26th of this year, at Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort. You can take a look at the pictures we took of the site here. Also got a dress for Tamara last night; pictures of that are here: [1] [2] [3].

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Hm. You know, life would be a lot easier if there were no managers around.

My manager is fairly good, though. He buffers the "input" from other managers well. Even so, it is a bit easier when he's not around; then, when other managers pull me into a meeting and try to get me to agree to work on this "little side project" for their group, I can just say, "Well, I can't agree to anything without making sure Rodney's ok with it first." And then the issue gets put off a bit (sometimes indefinitely).

When Rodney *is* around, then the issue has to be resolved, and there are usually compromises involved. It becomes one of those days when you feel like you would've gotten more done if you hadn't gone to work in the first place.

Today is quickly becoming one of those days, unfortunately. Maybe I'll leave early... hmm...

Sunday, January 13, 2002

It's been a long hard day fighthing with pdflatex, but I finally have the pretty specification document I've long sought.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Heh... we just had a company-wide sales meeting (with a talk given by Graham, one of the head Cadence marcom guys). After hearing their sales strategy, I likened it to drug dealing, which Graham agreed with.

I guess that means I'm not really a software developer, but a designer drug developer. Interesting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2002

One more thing: these LiveJournal icons don't quite match my actual mood. :-) Yeah, I'm drained, but in more of a "I've spent a lot of energy and need to regain it" sense. Not in a "oh, woe is me" sense.
Today was one of those days where I actually did get a lot of work done, but didn't quite finish any particular task. That's annoying.

Was supposed to pick Tamara up at 7:30 tonight but got wrapped up in work and didn't manage to leave until 7:35. By the time I got there, it was 7:50 and she had already started walking home. Oops.

It's only 11:20, but I'm already quite tired. Probably a good thing, though, since I have an 8:30 meeting tomorrow morning. So I guess I'll just drift off...

Tuesday, January 8, 2002

I was having quite the productive day until I got dragged into a meeting at 2:30. I feel so... Dilbertish.

It was a meeting with a lot of silent pauses. One where you think about everything you're going to say, because if you say the wrong thing you'll come to regret it later. I hate being asked to dumb down my work so that others can interface to it more easily.

I think the end result was a compromise that will leave everyone unhappy.

Monday, January 7, 2002

One of the unfortunate things about being out of school/academia: you're no longer marching toward a single, clear objective. If you're not careful, you end up doing the drunken walk example from statistical physics: yeah, you've been doing a lot of walking, but because you're going in random directions you haven't gotten very far.

Ah, well. I have some ideas on how to break this spell... problem is, I need others to buy into my ideas. Dammit, Jim, I'm an engineer, not a salesman!

In the meantime, I'm going to relax with a cup of Earl Grey and watch the snow outside.

Thursday, January 3, 2002

The recession is SkyMall's fault!

Not really sure why, but I took the copy of SkyMall assigned to my seat from my Continental flight.

I have to say, though, that SkyMall is (was?) a bit of marketing genious. I mean, really... who would ever buy the overpriced and useless (but shiny!)... well, junk in there?

A $59 fountain pen, in an era where most people won't even touch a ballpoint pen, preferring e-mail.
The $34.95 elephant sculptural wall sconce, which adds an "exotic touch".
And what home is complete without a $699 popcorn machine and antique cart?

The answer is: nobody in their right mind! Which is why SkyMall is perfect. You have a captive audience being subjected to overbooked flights, cramped seats, abusive airline staff, lousy food, and a screaming baby two rows behind them. They'll do anything to get their mind off of their current predicament.

Yes, even leaf through a catalogue full of overpriced, useless, but shiny objects. And perhaps even pick up the AirFone (which, at $2/minute, is something else you'd never use except for the fact that calls to SkyMall are free--brilliant!) and buy one of those objects.

Now, just imagine what would happen if all those people suddenly realised, "Hey, I don't actually need any of this junk!" (Or, better, "My spouse is going to kill me when he/she finds out how much I've spent/how much space this will take up in the house."). And remember that consumer spending accounts for 60-some-odd percent of economic activity...

It's food for thought (yours for only $96.99).

My sleep schedule seems to be a bit off. I fell asleep around 8:30pm and woke up about 30 minutes ago... and can't get back to sleep. This hasn't happened to me in a long time.

But the more troubling news is that I can't find the new DigiKey catalog I got in the mail yesterday. They're getting really thick these days -- almost 1000 pages of EE geekiness and I can't find my copy.