Monday, January 31, 2005
(falls in lava and dies)
Me: I wonder if I can rez you from there.
(falls in lava and dies)
Palinor: Sigh. Banderling, meet us by the entrance?
Banderling: I don't know if I can make it; laughing too hard...
Sunday, January 30, 2005
I don't think I have any country that I like, though. There are a couple folkish Jewel songs on there, and a few Shakira songs that sound an awful lot like country. Rap and jazz used to be my least favorite genres. Now I think country is.
I don't understand at all why shirts are so short as they are. Even people of more normal heights expose their stomachs on a regular basis when stretching or leaning back. I could deal with it, perhaps, if a greater number of the people I worked with had sexy stomachs. But "sexy stomach" is not a word I can apply to my coworkers, mostly pretty normal-sized men. These are things that I do not wish to see. A standard XXLT is the absolute minimum height of shirt that I want to wear. I'm tired of these trends toward smaller clothing. Why can't it be the style for your shirt to end at your crotch?
- 1 can fruit salad
- 1 cup yogurt
I would not take issue with the packaging if it just said "great with yogurt!" or something like that, but no, they called that a recipe. It's a recipe in the same way that the sound of urinating on a xylophone could be a symphony.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Friday, January 28, 2005
Thursday, January 27, 2005
- First of all, bugs vary greatly in size and scope. Something like "there's a typo in this dialog" is a bug. Something like "I think that we should swap the positions of these two buttons" is a bug. Something like "we should rearchitect our caching system to support this particular scenario" is a bug. That enough seems like a large enough problem to cause managers to avoid doing too much planning based on peoples' bug counts.
- Second of all, you only have so much control over your own bug count. Some bugs can't be fixed, some shouldn't be fixed (either they're too obscure to be worth the time, or perhaps the tester who filed them didn't realize the implications of their erroneous suggested "fix"), some were filed incorrectly (they forgot to do X first). But, worst of all, your bug count depends heavily on how eager the testers are at assigning you bugs. If you got ten bugs filed against you between 8:00 and 10:00 on Monday (this happened to my manager), suddenly you look like you did almost no work last week.
- Then, there's even potential for some strongly negative behavior when you focus too much on peoples' total number of bugs. The FrontPage bug counts are historically some of the lowest in Office, but recently, we haven't been as low as we used to be, partially due to some structural rewrites, and partially due to a big recent test sweep of things that don't normally get tested that much (extremely long translated strings in dialogs, 72-pt title bars, white-on-black color schemes, etc.). So, a the managers decided that we should all try to fix 2/3rds of our bugs over the next few weeks. This is stupid. It even encourages some bad behavior: people assigning their bugs to someone else on Fridays, saying, "hey, can you take a look at this?" just to get it off their counts, people marking bugs as "fixed" even when they're only "pretty sure" they have a solution, and people spending sixteen hours on the weekend trying to get their bug counts down to the point where they thought they'd be before their tester went overboard Friday afternoon. To be honest, these negative effects (except the weekend hours) have been few and far between in my observations, but I still think that it sets a negative trend, and shifts the focus away from understanding each developer's unique situation.
- Finally, there are essentially punishments for fixing too many or too few bugs. If you don't fix enough bugs, then you have to deal with telling your manager that you didn't get done what you thought you could get done. There's no penalty, but it's still something that everyone would like to avoid. If you put in a lot of extra hours and fix too many bugs, then suddenly your counts are low, so people feel the need to shift some of their bugs over to you. I just "won" FrontPage's image handling code because of my low bug count.
Unnecessary and unhealthy obsession over bug counts is my number-two grief about working at Microsoft. My number-one annoyance is that everyone on my team spends way too much time in the office. Nobody tells them to, they just do. For some, it's because they have nothing better to do. For others, it's because they feel pressured to keep up with the rest of the team. I don't spend that much more than 40 hours a week in the office, so I'm basically now a slacker compared to the rest of the team, which annoys me greatly. But, I guess I'd rather be a slacker and get paid the same amount as someone else on the team who doesn't have time to themselves because they're always working.
But generally, my random associations were things that weren't prolonged, scarring experiences over the course of an hour, but rather something extremely random and short-lived. I still frequently think of Might and Magic (I believe it was Might and Magic IV, but I'm not sure) when I think of Saved by the Bell. I remember playing M&M while my mom was watching Saved by the Bell on the TV a couple dozen feet away from the computer.
Finally, sometimes I cannot for the life of me figure out why I associate certain things. Just now, while shaving my feet, I had the vivid image of my manager's manager saying something, but I don't know what it was. This wasn't like some "hmm, that reminds me, I should clip my toenails"; this was powerful, almost like a flashback of some sort, and I just intuitively knew that it was somehow related to shaving my feet. I don't know what to make of it. Maybe I subconsciously recalled him talking about shaving at some point. I... just don't know.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Saturday, January 22, 2005
That reminds me... I assume that I won't get to use http://www.taxfreedom.com/ to file my taxes online for free this year (but highly recommended if you're a poor college student). I'll still probably use TurboTax. That's how they get ya.
While playing hearts, I was passed some particularly awful cards on many occasions:
Joe: Hope you like those cards!
Me: What, are you kidding? I love these. I love my hand so, so much!
[Eighth-grade giggling from around the table]
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
I neglected to think one particular detail through when I registered Green Eclipse as a company in the state of Washington: taxes. Taxes aren't even just yearly for companies; I think that the best I can hope for (reporting frequency is based on how much business I do) is doing my taxes quarterly. Unlike doing federal taxes, which always involves a couple minutes in TurboTax and then a big check being sent to me, writing page after page of "$0.00" is probably going to get old quickly. (I think I read something about being able to fill out a "form of no activity" or something after my first time, though. I'll look into that.)
Why did I register Green Eclipse? A sense of legitimacy. Someday soon I'm going to get a digital signature that proves that Green Eclipse is my legal alias, which I can use to maybe make downloading my software from the internet a little less scary.
I decided that I'd kind of like to be the Avalon guy in the future. (Avalon, greatly simplified, is the new UI framework for future versions of Windows.) I'm the natural fit; I love UI, and I like the .NET framework... most of the people on my team aren't fans of either. I'm sure that Office will use Avalon at some point; maybe some Avalon stuff is even happening in Office 12. If I were the team's Avalon expert, not only would I be useful, but I could also get assigned features that were more up my alley than what I'm currently working on, which I'm beginning to regret having experience with.
Here's mine from earlier tonight that sparked this comment:
Listening to Frou Frou and singing in a falsetto. Make dinner, notSee, now I can't use that second line ever again, because (1) someone who saw it before might see it a second time, and (2) I posted it here, destroying its reusability.
love, I say.
On the way home from work tonight, I have rescinded this judgment. I no longer that the song is impossible; just extremely difficult. After listening to it several times I can get the melody fairly well down (just at a much lower pitch), but I still can't imitate Emiliana's voice. She sounds a bit like Björk, but a little prettier. I'm not sure if there are many people in the world who could imitate her voice. And that's why I think that it's almost impossible for anyone else to perform that song.
A couple months ago I was asked by a choir director if I had ever been in a choir; I told him I had; I was in a professional children's choir for a year. He asked me why I wasn't in a choir any more; I told him that I could no longer sing. He replied, "you can't lose your ability to sing!" and the person standing next to him agreed. I replied simply with the word "puberty," to which he responded, "oh... guess that could do it." I used to sing Soprano I. Sometimes, when you need to differentiate between "high" and "really freaking high," you break Soprano into Soprano I and Soprano II. I was the "really freaking high." I used to have a good range, and I'd never miss a note (my voice quality wasn't great, though). Now I'm lucky if I can sing a dozen different notes, and I miss them without really understanding why. Oh well. Nobody else has to hear me sing now... except people in the bus stop when I pass by.
I've noticed that someone else that I know somewhat well has done the reverse. He's actually become more timid and polite and guarded over the past few weeks. Normally I would associate that with the person being uncomfortable around me, but I really don't think that's the case. I don't think that he thinks that I would be offended (I'm quite fond of the phrase "dirty bastard" while playing games) and it's not some super-conservative Christian upbringing because (1) I know for certain that he's not Christian, and (2) he used to swear. Maybe he's got a girlfriend trying to get him to shape up or something. Maybe it all just depends on the week that the other person had. Maybe it depends on body language that I don't know I'm giving off.
Or—and this is fairly likely—I'm just reading too much into things again.
I've gotten so many emails from Dotster (my domain registrar) about how they're not going to send out so many emails when your domains are about to expire anymore that it has moved past the stage of hilarious irony and into irritating sadness.
Sometimes I forget how awesome some of my old favorite CDs are. Details by Frou Frou is one of those. (Where "old" is probably less than two years, but it's a favorite nonetheless.) In fact, until recently, I had sort of forgotten how enjoyable it can be to listen to full albums instead of just shuffling through some massive playlist with enough music to last for almost a week without pause. The artists usually knew what they were doing when they put those songs in that order. I think that a clever way of implementing a library-wide shuffle would be to pick out entire albums, play them in their entirety (or skipping those couple songs you don't like, maybe), and then moving on to the next album.
I got a tire gauge today and checked my Segway. The sticker on the wheel says that the tires should be inflated to 15 PSI. I read the pressure on both tired (and double-checked), and they came out to about 5.5 PSI each. Now, I don't know much about tire pressure. But I thought I'd notice when the tires have a third as much air pressure as they were supposed to have. Guess it's time to find a gas station.
I have a dream to be reading the news one day, and see an exposé that reveals that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (or Pieces; it's all good) were in fact not compressed sugar and fat, but rather compacted vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
The stuff is pretty disgustingly popular here. Probably at least half my team drinks it, if not two-thirds. I think that I only met two people in my entire life before coming out here whom I knew drank sparkling water: my grandmother, and one of my mom's coworkers. And that's about what I'd expect, based on the taste: two out of a thousand people can stand the taste of it and somehow force themselves to drink it voluntarily.
Monday, January 17, 2005
The most common comments about my apartment besides the above: "it's cold in here," "I love your dining table," "so there's your Segway," "that's a lot of CDs/DVDs/X-Files/Star Trek," "it's so clean," and "your washing machine is outside?"
I have a problem with practicing sound effects of various types when no one's around. Why did I choose the Half-Life 2 radio sound as the one I've been doing for the past few weeks?
I need to take more pictures. Everyone always asks me, "take any good pictures lately?" and I have to answer, "nope, not really." It's very, very gray out, and there aren't a lot of exciting things to take pictures of on the way to work. I'm always wary taking pictures of things near peoples' homes; I don't want to be too creepy.
It's the middle of February, and the grass is still green here.
Longhorn is still set to go beta in a few months. I'll believe it when I see it. Maybe I'll get another hard drive and dual-boot.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
It's funny when a white person performs a rap song written by a black person and contains "my niggas" somewhere in the lyrics.
People who disrupt traffic to be "nice" when driving suck. It's more understandable when I'm on my Segway since I'm legally a pedestrian, but it still makes the person that the niceness was for feel kind of weird, and it pisses off the people behind you unnecessarily.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Girl 1: Girls! Look.
Girl 2: Gross!
Girl 1: Yeah. Ugh.
Girl 3: He must have had a bad cold!
Girls 1, 2: (look at each other, amused)
Cassie: (smiles and waves)
Me: (smiles and nods)
I enter the kitchen and retrieve my beverages, and she enters as I am leaving...
Cassie: Hi! I've... (nervously) been trying to gather the courage to ask you...
Cassie: ...can... I ride your Segway sometime? Everyone wants to.
Me: Oh. Yeah, sure.
Of course, I had something else in mind, but that works too.
Saturday, January 8, 2005
After adding all of that to a VB6 program that wasn't designed incredibly well to begin with, it's gotten pretty messy. I'm looking forward to making it a nice OOP citizen, and building code that I could just pick up and turn into a server application if I felt like maintaining something like that. It should be fun... I wish it was always practical to rewrite software from the ground up, but I guess that rarely happens in the real world. It's too bad.
Of course, had I stayed at home, I would have gotten an extra six hours of Warcraft in, though I would have also missed out on seeing Anchorman again. Excellent the first time, good the second time, probably not worth owning.
I don't really have any plans for this stock. I'll probably just use it as a short-term investment; maybe to be saved up for a down payment on a house or something. That just sounds so bizarre. I also need to figure out what I'm doing with my 401(k), which I still haven't started. I'll be paying off a big chunk of the money I owe in a week (I have to finish paying for my speakers). My tuition was paid for when the bills came, and never amounted to that much, and I bought my Segway out of pocket. The only thing left to pay for is my furniture. After that I'm back in the realm of near-complete financial freedom, much faster than your average new college graduate, I suppose. Not having a girlfriend/family/car/student loan rules.
Thursday, January 6, 2005
Segwaying through the snow listening to E.S. Posthumus... does it get any better than that?
I had a dream last night that involved Cinnamon Crunch Crispix. That's the only detail that I remember from it. I wasn't eating them, I just saw the box at some point. Cinnamon Crunch Crispix is decent, but certainly not dreamworthy, and I haven't even seen the box in months.
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Just weird. I'm used to long periods of time with no errors in VB, because you get constant IDE feedback. But in C++, for me, that's unheard of.
Monday, January 3, 2005
Me: Oh, almost missed it.
Him: Yeah, I'm sure you know where to pick these up by now.
It just isn't as fun to come home from work and not see a yellow sticker on my door. So what if the night clerks know (or, knew, before the complex was bought out) me by name and apartment number...
Sunday, January 2, 2005
Saturday, January 1, 2005
- I'm messed-up [On Friendship] [Creepy Birthday Fun] [Maximizing Utils] [Asperger's Syndrome]
- My secrets of time management
- Fixing my credit report
- Star Wars is not as bad as I used to believe
- The Safeway guy is creepy
- Money can't buy nail clippers
- Leslie Nielsen is dreamy
- Mt. St. Helens
- Webcams are a bad idea
- Getting devs to record their work is tough
- Why I don't like C++
- I talk about music too much [ 1 ] [ 2 ]
- Doom 3 was better than Half-Life 2
- My random political idea [Original] [Clarification] ...with 26 comments
If you're not familiar with the story, here's how it went. (If you are, there's no real reason for you to read this.) Last year, I went to Ireland for spring break. It was my first time in a foreign country if you don't count Canada. My feelings about the trip were mixed. On the positive side, there was much about the trip that was really interesting, and you kind of have to visit somewhere overseas at least once. I went with an ideal group of people (Daniel, Clay, David, Kyle, Me). People there spoke sort-of-English. I didn't have to decide anything about the trip except the music, as unofficial trip DJ. (I brought 48 CDs, and we went through all but a few—Madonna's American Life was the only one that didn't go over with the others, and I skipped over the Bubba Sparxxx—and we repeated several. I'm glad I brought 48.) All of these things were good.
But I just couldn't take the fact that, a few miles out of Dublin, everything seemed like my mental impressions of a third-world country. I'm a man of creature comforts and technology: Ireland's one-lane (opposing traffic? tough!) streets and highways, insanely cramped towns, the fact that we constantly passed through areas that I felt the need to refer to as "the Rape District," and the hideous hostels where we spent each night... none of those things made it a pleasant trip for me. It was surreal: I've never walked through such weird towns and cities before. On one hand, I've got great people, weird new experiences, and lots of beautiful scenery and interesting culture. On the other hand, this place is filthy and disturbing, we spend much of the day in a tiny vehicle that simply does not have room for five people, and Diet Coke is like 50¢ a sip and tastes like V8. It was a fun trip, and I don't regret going, but I'm not going back anytime soon, especially not without such a great group of people.
The passport story. The last sightseeing day of our trip was planned to be in Dublin. When I woke up that day, feeling strangely refreshed after our only night in normal beds, I discovered that not only did I not have my coat, but I also didn't have my passport. There was quite a bit of panic in the room... I was pretty calm about it, because I'm usually calm, and I think that really pissed the others off; maybe they thought that I didn't quite grasp the gravity of the situation, that I might be spending a few extra days here and at least a thousand extra bucks to get home. But, we lucked out. It turned out that I left it at the hostel from a night or two before, and the manager saved it for me. So, we went back to pick it up, and then off to the police station to get my passport. I expected a lot of hassle at the police statement... when I got there, I was greeted by a few rude, annoyed-looking people who just stared for a while and finally asked, "what do you want?" When I explained, one of them just handed me the passport, not even bothering to ask me questions about it or look at the picture. Just... strange. So, I lucked out. "All" it cost us was half of our day in Dublin. I felt kind of bad that I was the least bothered by this; I enjoyed our time outside of the cities much more than I did the time in them.
As long as I don't do something that stupid this year, it will be a good year.