Monthly Archives: March 2008

New Family Member

Last night, Tara came home with Rocky. Rocky is a mixed breed, apparently mostly Australian Shepherd, dog. He was previously in the supposedly temporary care of one of her co-workers.

More details on his background

A Challenge or Request to the Major Party Presidential Candidates

Given that all three of the major party presidential candidates are also sitting members of the US senate (and the only other officially running but mathematically eliminated candidate is in the US House), I will challenge them, or request, that they “put their money where their mouth is.”

Instead of promising to fix things if elected, they should start the ball rolling by introducing the legislation now. I’d be much more impressed with a candidate who said “I believe that [whatever] is how to fix [problem of the day], so I’ve introduced legislation to do this” then one who says “If elected I will [whatever] to fix [problem of the day].”

Of course, I’m probably being an unrealistic idealist to think that any of the noticeable candidates would do such a thing. After all, why fix things as a senator when you can become the savior when president.

An idea for the “We shouldn’t pay to vote for Hugos” debate

Over the last couple of months, I’ve observed a debate/discussion pitting people who think that it is unfair that we (Worldcon fandom, WSFS, SMoFS, or whoever “we” are) charge for the privilege of nominating and voting for the Hugo awards against those who understand the need and history of this. The back of my brain has generated an idea that may, or may not, help with this situation.

Here I go into the deep end of SMOF politics

Another data point to define “frustrating”

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been updating the DucKon registration database program to validate the special badges. Part of this prevents it from actually issuing a badge number (which will also prevent it from printing the badge itself) until we have the necessary information for the special badges.

I had tested this pretty well for staff badges — which have the biggest issue because I also added some additional checks there — but hadn’t tried on GoH badges, until I got a few quiet minutes this morning.

I dug up the e-mail that had our GoH contact information and started adding them. But I got stopped after adding the record. My servlet that processes new and updated memberships threw a “null pointer exception,” which then spread to the JSP page that displays the information as well.

I was able to find and fix at least one of the bugs from work, but I cannot actually put the fix onto the system to test or verify it since I require access to at least two Unix systems (my system at home where I do testing, and the production system), and I cannot use ssh to connect to servers outside of the firewall.

So, I’ve got a bug that is probably fixed (and another I’ll need to track down, since I lost the location), but I’m stuck until I get home this afternoon before I can see if I’ve fixed it. I also cannot add any more GoH memberships since I add them in a specific order to get specific badge numbers, and all of the others will probably throw the same errors if I try.

Interesting hapenstance

My boss just sent out an e-mail informing us that our Bangalore office is closed today. Included in the e-mail was a quote from the site manager:

…just to let you know, that Friday Mar 21 is a holiday in BLR on account of Good Friday/Id-Milad/Holi religious celebrations !!

A very rare and special significance of this holiday particularly this year is that three major religions Christianity, Islam and Hinduism all have major religious significance on the same
day (i don’t ever recall any holiday where three religions had a festival on the same day) !!!

I wonder how often this happens — especially since all three holidays drift according to the Gregorian calendar (or at least I presume they do since the Islamic calendar is strictly Lunar and drifts quite a bit, and the Hindu calendar is, like the Jewish calendar, more lunar and solar)

I feel a bit dirty

Today while being more aggressive in searching for jobs, I went ahead and applied for a few positions at *shudder* Microsoft.

I suppose the worst thing that would happen is I’d get a job there and would have a chance to try to improve the quality of their tools.

Just as long as they don’t make me use the newest version of MS office (which I’ve now encountered twice) and expect me to actually accomplish anything other than getting annoyed at the UI, I’d probably be OK. I just wouldn’t want them to look too closely at what I was running at home.

Rare Sports Commentary — How I’d Seed the NCAA Tournament

I can assure you that CBS, ESPN and probably some of the major universities don’t want me to ever be given dictatorial powers at the NCAA. Because if I did, I’d push the seeding of the NCAA basketball tournament down to pure mathematics — or at least a simple and understandable algorithm that would be public knowledge before the season ever began.

How I’d do it

Is Srping in the Air?

Or at least one the roof?

I just heard one of the annoying annual sounds of spring in my office — geese running across the roof above my head.

Of course it could be worse. When I worked at Sony in 1998 and 1999 we had a crow that attacked its rival, the reflection in the windows outside my cube, on a nearly daily basis. The geese seem to settle down eventually.

I Didn’t Get the Seattle Job

After having everything go WAY better than any job search in 11 years (since the last one where I got a job offer), I got the response from the Seattle company, which was “we found a better candidate for the position.”

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I’ve gotten better, but I’m still a bit depressed. At least I am still employed and making a decent income. It is just that my job satisfaction is slipping knowing that my job is rapidly morphing into a nearly no-development position (all ClearCase support and possibly builds) and I want to be writing useful code. My concerns about our team, and company, aren’t getting any better either. {Just before I left I overheard a conversation that sounds like the main customer for the main product still in development that my team supports isn’t happy, and I’m not sure I blame them}.

All weekend, and for much of the last week, I kept telling myself, don’t get too excited about the job. I kept telling myself, and praying, that I didn’t want to risk being horribly disappointed, or even depressed, over not getting this. But that is exactly what happened, and that has added to my annoyance.

I do plan on replying to the e-mail, thanking the recruiter again, and thanking her for keeping my information in the database — I still wouldn’t mind working for that company — and asking if she or the heiring department has any feedback. Beyond that, I guess I just need to keep up — or increase the aggressiveness — the job search I have going on. I just know that I’m LOUSY at job searching, and I don’t know if there are many jobs that come close to matching what I want to do, and I’m afraid that if I compromise too far I’ll end up back where I was 13-15 years ago when I was considered a poor employee mostly because I didn’t have a good match to the job.

What I’m looking for

Trip Report — Seattle for Interview

Sunday afternoon, I flew to Seattle for a job interview. I think the interview went well, and expect to hear one way or another by the end of the week. The rest of this is about the trip itself.

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