Posts tagged ‘work’

Another week gone by.

Saturday 11/23 was a work day, in exchange for today, Friday 11/29.

The next, three day, work week was looking looking like it might be more relaxed, with things wrapping up. Really, it wasn’t; a few new feature requests finally got specified, plus there was the (hopefully) final build for testing. The 20 prototype machines left our Las Vegas office on Tuesday, and I believe are arriving at the test site in Oklahoma today. Supposedly some more testing will be done before we go live, so Monday is going to be real interesting. A small side project, supposedly needed for Tuesday, may fall by the wayside.

Tuesday or so they replaced the outdoor lanterns in our townhouse subdivision. This was kind of nice since mine had never worked, and it was never really enough of an issue that I remembered to contact the association about it. They seem to have corrected the problem while changing them, so now I know which switch turns it on ;^)

Meanwhile, I finished reading my old programming languages textbook, Programing Languages: Paradigms and Practice that I picked up off the shelf a few weeks ago. This of course sent be back to my bookshelf to consider which of the books from classes I supposedly took to read next. I ended up choosing the one not from a class: I had at one point grabbed Introduction to the Practice of Statistics from a box of books that the collage bookstore was throwing out, since I had never had a convenient slot to take the actual class in. I’ve been seeing some of the formal statistical terms here and there, so it should be helpful to know exactly what people are talking about. Some of the meaning discovering techniques will quite likely be useful in some of the projects I have lined up as well.

I also finished A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexanader and others. (See earlier discussion on part one of the series.) The book is subtitled “Towns, Buildings, Construction” which nicely describes it’s structure.

The first section is about the structure of regions and towns. Here Alexander perhaps oversteps his bounds an architect. The section comes off as a utiopian ideal with little authority behind it. While many of the ideals are nobel goals, I’d want to see if anyone had tried applying them before putting most of these into practice.

The second section contains the bulk of what I expected: the elements that make a single building good and whole. Things like Light on Two Sides of Every Room, Common Areas at the Heart, Entrance Rooms, and Cascade of Roofs are more withing Alexander’s area of knowledge, and make more intuitive sense. Some of the drawings of buildings designed around this section of the pattern language are indeed quite appealing, and I’d be willing to include these types of features if I ever try building something.

The third section covers construction techniques and other finishing touches. I didn’t come away from this section sharing the author’s facination with liteweight concrete; I’d want to see a few buildings built this way before I fully accepted they are appealing places to be. Of course this section (and the first one, for that matter) are also farther from my own experience: everyone has been in better or worse buildings (second section), but fewer people have built them, or organized towns.

I’ve started on The Oregon Expiriment, which is a much smaller book, with much larger types, so shouldn’t take so long.

For Thanksgiving, I went out to my parents house. I started out trying (and failing) to correct a random application my mother’s solitaire program. (Which, she said, could actually be a good thing, given the time-eating nature of solitaire.) I also attempted to set them up updating thier web page. AOL had abandoned the tool my parents originally made it with, so it was either start over or find a separate editor. A cursory search for a free WYSIWYG HTML editor wasn’t too productive. On the upside, I have a christmas present option.

Since it was just the three of us, ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ was just a trip to Old Country Buffet, somewhere between the solitaire and the web page.


This past Saturday I pulled my collage programming languages textbook off the shelf. It is a topic that has become quite interesting to me lately. Mostly I blame lambda-ultimate. Which, not surprisingly, references things with lambda calculus. Lambda calculus has extremely opaque syntax, so I haven’t been getting very far in many of them. The few introductions I found on the web were equally opaque; not that I tried for very long. The textbook explains things a little better.

After reading that for a while, I went to pay the monthly bills. This was interrupted several times my boss; apparently they hadn’t gotten the games, being assembled in Las Vegas, fully working during the week. By time I had finished lunch, we had pretty much figured out the immediate problem, although it wasn’t fully tested yet. The weather had gotten a lot nicer and I was going for a bike ride, so I swung by the office to verify something on the way.

The printer situation was already verified by the time I got there. Then they tell us that the dollar bill acceptor isn’t working either. Eventually, after starting on cables to try and test it again here, we figured out that the DBAs come from the factory with the DIP switches set wrong, and noone had bothered to change them.

Still doesn’t work. After anothe hour or so of dumbfoundedness, they eventually figure out the server program (which we had very little to do with) was refusing connections (needed to verify DBA credits)

Next weekend, I just found out recently, is my gaming clubs convention.
The fact that I didn’t know this was coming also prompted to finally search out the mythical club mailing list, which allowed me find that page… ;^)

Have you met Dick Snickers?

Earlier this week, the last slot in our companies in/out board got filled in with a new name: Dick Snickers. I assumed it was a joke and moved on. :^)

The week continued, and Dick Snickers didn’t go away. He even moved in and out, went to visit a customer, signed a birthday card, and got paged several times. *shrug*, maybe it’s somebody out in manufacturing.

Finally today I heard from people swearing to have met Dick Snickers. Shortly thereafter, when one particular person whet to lunch, I was informed that Dick Snickers was in fact an elaborate prank on said person.

I’ve met Dick Snickers, haven’t you? ;^)

Long day

Usual last minute rush. Boss leaves for the airport, with a fair number of the parts in tow, around noon.

Tonight’s main problem was cable testing, and then discovering bugs when all the devices were attached (we exceeded the kernel’s process table limit) The cable coming along pretty much killed all hope of making a few more refinements, at least for the first round of testing.

But the printer works. It won’t tell you when it finishes a page, but it will notify of paper low, out, and jam, and it will queue up to 8 pages waiting for them to fixed. Nothing at the application level to stop you from trying to queue up the 9th though… ;^)

Backlog 2

So much for Saturday morning. But that gets into a story that is quite chronologically out of place at the moment. ;^)

Monday, September 16

Didn’t get up as early as usual, thanks to a late Saturday night. Work. Martial Arts class.


Packing. Had to drive to work because of extra bag, and discovered that we have hired several employees in the manufacturing area. For those of you haven’t seen our parking lot, (okay… all of you) well, there isn’t much of it. ;^) I snuck myself into a corner, counting on the fact that everyone else would be gone when I had to leave it.

I tinkered around for the morning and then we headed out for the airport about 12:30. The printers we had been waiting for arriving mere minutes before we left the office. So much for having a quick look before we left.

A drive, two airports, a plane, several hours, and approximately 115 pages of The Glass Bead Game later, we were in Las Vegas. The boss took us all out to a buffet he heard about on the travel channel. Afterwards he expressed extreme disappointment and denounced all faith in the travel channel. I thought it was okay, and no smaller than you would expect from the size of the place.

It was nearing midnight on my (central) watch by the time we got back to the hotel (Sahara). Welcome to Las Vegas time.


Didn’t get much sleep. Possibly due to floodlight hitting wall right outside our window, possibly due to bad bed – I woke up with a sore back. Finally got up around four on the clock; six back home isn’t unheard of, at least. Went downstairs, ate breakfast, and read until nine (local) when the day’s running around started.

Visit to local office. Lunch. Finally end up at the show, things working pretty well despite lack of testing. Wandered around for a while, and then went back to hotel and had dinner at the Nascar Café, which has so far never failed to disappoint us. Got to bed late again.


Stayed in bed longer, and I think I slept a little better, but still had sore back. Went downstairs to eat and read for a while. Checked massage place in hotel, but they didn’t open until we were going to leave.

Breakfast meeting with clients. (Though it was almost lunch time back home.) Mostly production and lead time issues, so largely I didn’t need to be on the whole trip. Then we went back to the show for a while and wandered. At least I was a bit more purposeful about it, and looked for competition.

Airport. Plane. Airport. Drive. I got dropped off in a nearly empty parking lot (second shift wasn’t quite over yet) at about 11:30pm. Bed. The Glass Bead Game stands at about 450 pages, out of about 550.


Work. Grocery shopping. Made dinner. Wrote LJ. Bed.


Last week was fun. But it was tiring, and starting Sunday I think I’ve been coming down with a sore throat. Mainly because it landed Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, at work I was missed for a few little things, and simultaneously not needed because the video is still “tomorrow.” It may still go to the second programmer, depending on how I’m feeling tomorrow.

I need help

I didn’t take the time to do this completely right, but you get the idea…
(Note: A double-e, or EE, is an Electrical Engineer.)

On the last day-last-week my double-e said to me:
“Vid-e-o, On, Mon-, day!”
On the first day-this-week I looked for my double-e
But, he disappeared.
On the second day-this-week, my double-e said to me:
“Video, this after-noon.”
On the same day-this-week I said to my double-e:
“Dentist, this after-noon.”
On the third day-this-week, my double-e said to me:
“Video, this after-noon.”
On the fourth day-this-week, my double-e said to me:
“Video, this after-noon.”
Later, same day, my double-e said to me:
“It, Wont, Fit. I need-a-bigger-part.”
On the last day-this-week, my double-e will-be-gone.
And part is UPS-RED.
“On the first day-next-week,” my double-e said to me,
“We should have it for real.”
“On the second day-next-week,” I said to my double-e,
“My, vacation, starts.”
On the fourth day-this-week, I said to my co-worker:
“Learn how this works,
On the second day-next-week, you may need to finish it.”
“Then, we’re done wait-ing!”


Well, I finally got LILO to dual boot windows on the secondary hard drive. Yeah, now if I can just get the rest of Linux working. ;^)

Tomorrow is kind of a wash, I am working for most of the day (It’s trade for July 5th so we can have a four day weekend. It would be all well and good if I had something to do with a four day weekend, besides work on Linux.) Hopefully I can leave a little early to run off to sort of reception for some friends who ran off to Vegas.

Sunday I have to take care of most of the weekends stuff – mainly groceries since I got the better part of the laundry done tonight – and see about padding the straps for the sparring gear bag that my martial arts instructor decided that I needed.


Well, that was probably one of the more frantic days I’ve had in a while. We just hired a new software engineer; he was out of work and we needed help, so there wasn’t really any time between hiring him Friday afternoon, and showing up Monday morning (a little early even.) The morning was especially frantic: clean out the office he was taking, move the computer up to it, create a network account, a sourcesafe login (Admin program? I’m sure we have one somewhere…–> Admin password? What admin password?)

And then there was the phone system. First we had to find the manuals. Then we spent a lot of time figuring out what the heck they were talking about. The major breakthrough was figuring out that there was no relation between mailbox numbers and extensions. Well, except that they are all the same as a matter of convenience. Convenient, that is, if you aren’t trying to move an existing person to a different extension and then put a new person at their old extension. One essentially has to delete the old mailbox (thankfully empty) and add a new one at the new extension to keep the 1-1 mapping between extensions and mailbox numbers.

By about mid-day we had most of the stuff set up. I haven’t done this much running around in a while. I spent a lot of the remainder of the day explain how the hardware system does or will work. By the end of the day, I was getting that slightly sore throat feeling from talking way more than I’m used to ;^)


I’ve never made such a big deal about money. If I did, I’d probably have hopped jobs a few years ago when tech was hot, and started playing the stock market with any spare cash. I like to say ‘all my bills are paid’. Sure there is a mortgage, a car loan, and one trailing student loan that owes it’s continued existence to a relatively low interest rate. But I do have the townhouse, and the car. I have 401k, and a separate savings account that won’t have huge penalties if I need to take some money from it. I have no credit card debt.

I have a 30% raise?

I suppose I can’t complain. Still, it seems very odd. It already seemed like I was living a kind of blessed existence, financially. But this looks to take me from ‘all the bills are paid and I’m saving some money’ to ‘all the bills are paid, I’m saving money, and smiting the loans mightily.’