Wednesday, January 28, 2004

From the "How many furlongs per fortnight is that?" department:

"Now when I'm outside and it's -25 C (113 Fahrenheit), it's not really a big problem."

In other news, our main competitor was acquired by Synopsys today in what appears to be a fire sale. This makes it more likely that we will be acquired by Cadence, who is an investor in our company and Synopsys' main competitor.

Personally, I don't want to work for Cadence. However, if I want my stock options to be worth anything, I'll have to.

Then again, there's a moderate probability that I'd be laid off in any acquisition, and I'll end up with zero anyway. (You lose your options the moment you quit or are fired.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Our forecast is calling for snow or a possible thunderstorm. Er... okay. That's an odd combo. Then again, the jet stream is running down to Texas and back up to southern Ontario. Commuting home tonight was ok, as long as you didn't need to see, steer, or brake; we got about 6 inches of snow last night, a quarter inch of ice during the day, and then freezing rain during the evening rush.


Watched Baz Luhrmann's adaption of Romeo and Juliet again. I love Shakespeare; as a result, I originally thought I'd hate Luhrmann's modernisation. Instead, I find it splendid. My high school Shakespeare teacher asserted that if the ol' Bard were around today, he'd smile and say, "It hasn't changed a bit." R&J proves this point well.

Actually, the one thing I don't care for is the way Luhrmann does some camera speedup tricks, accompanied with cartoonish sound effects, at the beginning of his films (he did this in Moulin Rouge, too). It doesn't add anything; it's just a mildly annoying distraction. Apparently, he or his editors must think so, too, because they're gone mid-feature.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Heh. People usually laugh when I talk about avocado rustlers. But they do exist, and they do make a fair bit of money.

Just finished watching the first series of Spooks/MI-5 on DVD. I hadn't seen them before (except episode 5); I mostly caught series 2 on A&E. If you don't have this already, get it now. I can't wait for the series 2 DVD; series 3 started filming this month.

Well, Tamara's skiing with her parents up in Banff, near Calgary, this week. Our house is too large for two people; with just me, it's downright empty. The only noises are the computers humming away and the click-clack of my keyboard. But, for a few days, I get to do the stuff that married guys don't normally get to do!

Stuff like sleeping in, leaving dishes in the sink, and eating stuff that I'm not supposed to eat. :-)

Friday, January 23, 2004

Captain Kangaroo, a.k.a. Bob Keeshan, died today. :-(
In the men's restroom at work, the fan doesn't work, one sink fixture does not have hot water, the other's knob is broken. The faucet by the coffee maker drips. Various light fixtures have burned out bulbs. Our upcoming performance reviews will not include any adjustments to salaries. I am not permitted to attend short-courses or conferences related to my job.

All spending is on hold, or so I'm told.

Our top-of-the-line treadmill, however, is being replaced immediately because it started being flaky yesterday. Not broken -- just has a glitch every now and then. Why? Because our CEO likes to use it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Sunday, January 18, 2004

One of the best things about Pittsburgh is the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican yesterday in a program entitled the Papal Concert of Reconciliation. It was quite appropriate for a concert celebrating the 25th jubilee of John Paul II; in addition to the pope, the concert was attended by Emeritus Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff and Abdulawahab Hussein Gomaa, Imam of Rome's mosque.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I find this amusing and sad at the same time: Novell: Indemnity Available

Got some minor satisfaction telling AT&T to piss off this morning. Well, ok, asking my local phone company to tell AT&T to piss off, which carries a lot more weight than me doing it. I dumped them as my long distance provider in October after four months of nonstop billing problems, yet they are still managing to put a $6 charge on my phone bill each month for their "AT&T One Rate Seven Cents" plan.

It is far too noisy at work. I've been having a hard time concentrating lately because the frequency and volume of conversations has been on the rise, and my headphones don't do a very good job of alleviating this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Holy carp! It's -2°F up in Boston right now, and that's not even the overnight low. By comparison, it's a balmy 18°F here in Pittsburgh and 19°F in Minneapolis. What's up with that?

For those of you who like the NWS technical discussion: (emphasis mine)

Longer range (late Thursday through Tuesday)...

Record breaking cold along with dangerously cold wind chills remain on schedule for Thursday night and Friday...

Another round of arctic air arrives early in this period... with this airmass even colder than what we are experiencing this morning and likely colder than last Friday-Sat! Core of the arctic airmass moves over the region Thursday night and Friday... as polar vortex pentrates southeast as far as Gulf of ME/northwest portion of Georges Bank by 12z Friday (wow!). In the process of digging southeast... multiple polar vortices rotate through the region Thursday night and Friday. Thus... expect scattered snow showers and/or flurries to accompany these features. In addition... will likely see a period of ocean effect snow Thursday evening across the Cape and Nantucket. Although... appears to be short lived as winds quickly become west to northwest by midnight.

Compounding the severe cold will be dangerously cold wind chills of minus 25 to minus 45 Thursday night and Friday... in response to strong northwest winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts around 45 miles per hour. Given these wind speeds... as the event nears a Wind Advisory will likely be needed for at least a portion of the region Thursday night and Friday. In addition... will likely see wind chill warning values be met Thursday
night and early Friday. Would issue a wind chill watch... although with wind chill warnings and advisories already posted for this mornings cold... will address this next round of severe cold via special weather statement to minimize confusion.

Stay warm, kids!

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

That flushing sound you hear

We have flown everyone in the company in for an all-hands meeting tomorrow. Most people arrived yesterday. This has made my productivity drop to zero as I have had to deal with a constant barrage of questions and other mini-meetings.

Today, our CEO decided to cancel the meeting for nebulous reasons ("strategic issues under negotiation").

The amount of money this will cost is staggering, considering the air fares, hotels, rental cars, meals, and lost productivity.

Why don't we just take a big pile of cash and burn it? It'd be a lot more efficient and, given the cold temperatures here (~10F), would actually help keep the place warm.

Sunday, January 4, 2004

I've had it!

In the last 24 hours, X Windows has crashed three times, twice taking substantial amounts of work with it. Windows Explorer has crashed once, luckily taking nothing.

There's no excuse for this, people! You developers are Lazy, with a capital laze! You're not checking for error conditions, not carefully tracking your memory usage -- stuff that could've been checked automatically if your overinflated egos didn't "force" you to program so close to the raw machine gears. You think that because your code compiles you're done, just like the first year college students who think they're done with their essays when they hit the 2000 word requirement.

You are not software engineers -- you don't deserve the title of engineer. You're not designers -- there's no evidence of any design in what you wrote. You are mere coders: creatures barely able to form coherent sentences, drooling and slobbering all over the place, with lines of C taking the place of words and saliva.

Saturday, January 3, 2004

I love Bill Amend. (Sticks tongue out at , jokingly)