Who Are You?
Posted in Strangeness
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:31 pm)

I got a phone call today from a guy in Moscow (Idaho) asking me why I was calling him at 4:30am. I had no idea what he was talking about, and got a little suspicious when he asked me what my last name was. None of my phone records show any calls, and the people I talked to at the AT&T store couldn't tell me any more information.

Leave a Comment »
Take Away the Three
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:21 pm)

I ran across a program called 32-bit Fax while searching for Windows-compatible fax programs. Take a look at this screenshot, it's a classic example of how not to design User Interfaces:

fax screenshot

Just because you can put buttons and controls everywhere doesn't mean you should.

1 Comment »
Should Have Done It Sooner
Posted in Tech
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:38 pm)

I just took less than five minutes to get X11 forwarding through SSH working from my laptop. I've always meant to look in to making it work, but never got around to it. I'd have done it years ago if I'd known it would be this easy.

Check out Xming if you're interested.

Leave a Comment »
Stress Reduction
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:25 pm)

Well today has certainly been a lot less stressful than the past week or two. Things have gotten a little more manageable today, and I had a really good night's sleep last night, too. I'm very glad that it seems like the worst of these projects is behind me.

Leave a Comment »
Updated to OpenOffice 3!
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 1 bell (12:52 pm)

Today I finally updated my desktop to use OpenOffice 3. After years of using v2. The reason? I'm finally tired of a weird bug that prompts me to save a file after I print it. It acts like the print operation modifies the file contents, and requires me to re-save it. I just checked, and it's gone now! Yay for open source!

Leave a Comment »
Happy Birthday, Scott!
Posted in Warm and Fuzzy
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:11 am)

Today is my oldest friend Scott's birthday. Well, he's not oldest age-wise, just oldest time-wise. Happy birthday, Scott! Our love to Hannah and the kids!

Today is also my coworker Tequisha's birthday. I remember it because it's the same as Scott's. Happy Birthday, Tequisha!

Leave a Comment »
The Problem With Abbreviations
Last dog watch, 8 bells (8:03 pm)

On my way home after leaving work today I saw a license plate with the following letters: APTBRKR. Does that stand for Apartment Broker, or Appointment Breaker? Maybe both? Given that you can only have seven letters on your plate, isn't this plausible?

Leave a Comment »
Best Thing Since Sliced…Apples?
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:50 pm)

Loyal readers may know I recently acquired an iPhone. This has been the source of mixed feelings for me, it's the first Apple product I've ever owned, and I have to be completely honest, it's not the best experience of my life. I've had browser issues, my boss had a total iPhone failure, and now I just had to reboot my phone because it automatically hung up on every incoming phone call .

Sorry Apple fanboys, this is not the nest phone I've ever used. It's got a lot going for it, don't get me wrong, it's just not any better than anyone else's product.

Leave a Comment »
Can It Get More Busy?
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:46 pm)

After working the previous eight days straight, I'm beginning to wonder if I can get any busier. Last Monday I was trying to test and debug a brand new, complex code project that took up hours and hours of my time, even outside of the office. I've worked very hard to make sure things came together with as few problems as possible, and like to think that that reflects well on my work ethic and personal dedication to the project.

Unfortunately, before I even felt done with that, I was given the task of upgrading our company's customer database (over 16Gb) to a new server. Fortunately, most of the work was done by the software's upgrade process. I spent most of the day Friday getting that to work. As soon as it finished, I had to start cleaning up problems that developed because of the upgrade. Automated scripts, custom reports, and customized features on the UI (user interface) all had to be checked, and most of them were broken. I spent the evening Friday, a large amount of time on Saturday, and much less on Sunday though still not an insignificant amount, working to make sure things would run pretty smooth today.

I'm ahead of where I should be, given the fact that I've only worked on this upgrade project for two "work days," but it's still largely unfinished. Now I'm getting hit with more projects that are mission critical that need attention and I have none left to give. I am completely overwhelmed and nearly burned out. I shall cherish every minute not spent at work this evening. It's the first one I've had in several days where I don't have to worry about a big problem first thing in the morning.

All in all, I really need to get some more balance, work has really tipped the scales in a big way lately. The biggest problem is there aren't any other people that know as much as I do about these processes and can take up some of the load.

I had to explain earlier to a guy that blamed a problem on the fact that nobody else had a login to a server that a login wasn't the problem—the real problem is nobody knows UNIX enough to be able to use a login to fix a problem or make a safe configuration change. This upset me a bit, because the way he said it made it sound like I horde the logins and don't want other people to have access to the server. The problem is nobody can demonstrate even basic UNIX knowledge to convince me that they won't completely screw up a server if they had a login…

Leave a Comment »
Happy Birthday, Amanda!
Posted in Warm and Fuzzy
Forenoon watch, 3 bells (9:53 am)

I forgot to post yesterday so I'm backdating this. Man this is getting to be a habit…

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Leave a Comment »
Monster A Go-Go
Posted in Reviews
Morning watch, 6 bells (7:23 am)

Last night I watched Monster A Go-Go, a truly horrible movie from 1965. Fortunately, I had Joel and the 'bots to help me get through it. This movie was about an astronaut that returns to Earth in a capsule, but he seems to have been irradiated so that he has grown to twice his height and he emits radiation that desiccates people when they come near him. The government hunts him down, and finally corners him in a sewer when he suddenly disappears "like a cosmic switch has been thrown off." He is later discovered to be in an ocean 8000 miles away, floating in a life raft. So who was the tall guy with the radiation? It would be scary, if I cared. The dialog was almost as poor as the sound, but the narration was worse still.

I give this movie two hundred empty seats, for each cc of antidote injected into the "alien" that seemed to fix him, but wait, it wasn't him. But I still don't care…

Leave a Comment »
Variables Aptly Named
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:08 pm)

Today I'm upgrading our old CRM server with a newer one. Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, decided to change the variable names they pass around. Mind you, we're talking about version 3 to version 4, not something that's brand new. For some reason, they also thought it was a good idea to change the way they encode QueryString data as well. It confuses things greatly when I expect them to remain the same.

Leave a Comment »
Rookie Mistake
Posted in Code
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:56 pm)

Today I found I made a rookie mistake in my code project at work. I've been tracking down an error for an hour or so when I finally realized it was due to an uninitialized pointer. I feel so stupid. It shouldn't have happened.

Leave a Comment »
Are They Evil?
Posted in Creepiness
Afternoon watch, 1 bell (12:46 pm)

You be the judge: Cats that look like Hitler.com.

"Kitlers," hehe. I really can't make up stuff that's weirder…

Leave a Comment »
I’m Giving Up
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:51 pm)

I think I'm just going to install a revolving door on my office to accommodate all the traffic it's been getting today. And stuff all my work—nothing's getting done when this many people keep coming to me. Seriously, it's every three to five minutes I'm getting interrupted, sometimes way less.

Leave a Comment »