journal for 2002-08-16

the rules

Alright, I admit it! I meant to write an entry last night, and I just didn’t. I was tired, and I didn’t feel like it, so I didn’t. I think that I need to write down the rules—rules for when I’m allowed to buy things, what I’m allowed to eat, and when I’m going to update my journal. Then, I can cite myself for non-compliance with my rules and initiate a corrective action.

I think a good plan is to wait for a reference parser for the Cobalt markup language, then write it in that. That way, until mdxi comes out with one, I can blame him when I overeat, overspend, or ignore Debug. This is My Kind of Plan.


…speaking of corrective actions…

I had a long talk with people in Quality today about making MASH track ICAR</a>s. We’ve got this semi-new employee whose job is to look at all the redundant systems and pick the one we’ll use as our Single Solution. His stated criterion for chosing the best is, “The one I like more.” I’m not making that up.

In answer to that, I’ve made it a pet mission of mine to ensure that he likes the better one more and that the adopted solution remains better. The reason this matters is that we’ll soon be comparing a few distinct ICAR systems, and I’ve been asked to demo and possibly extend MASH to cover these reports. I hope that happens, because I think it could be a slick solution, but I’m getting worried about the amount of nebulous projects congealing onto my plate. I’m getting a lot of people telling me that they can’t wait until I rewrite whatever crufty software has been causing the most trouble lately, and some of the crufty software I’m looking at rewriting is huge. Just writing a spec is non-trivial, and solo implementation could take months, assuming that I can convince them that finalized specs don’t get changed unless the fate of the Free World is at stake.

So, yeah, work has been busy, and I’ve pulled a few long nights this week. Strangely, despite my expectations, I don’t think there were any firings this week. That might be for the best!

We’re also having a hardware auction at work. There’s some decent hardware up for grabs, but I think I can safely refrain from getting any of it. There’s a machine or two that I might try to acquire to upgrade cheshirecat, but that’s a non-priority. There’s also a nice subnotebook, but I think it’ll go for an exorbitant price. Its keyboard is a little too small, anyway.


John and I got some beers last night and griped about our jobs, which was good. We debated whether ‘tis nobler in the job to be (a) a decent programmer regarded as a real whiz-bang problem solver, but have no clued coworkers or (b) a decent programmer surrounded by peers who offer good input and criticism but severely deflate the ego boost found in option (a).

I’m not sure I have a conclusion, but I think that if only I was less competant, I might have a partner-in-coding. Of course, I might also have been canned. Who can say?

I also gave John his first taste of whiskey. I feel I have accomplished a solemn duty. I gave him about an ounce of the Rare Breed I picked up last month, and when he left, he still wasn’t quite sure how he felt about it. Next time, I’ll probably try to have something weaker on hand. I think the Rare Breed is about 110 proof, which is pretty darn strong.

Countdown tells me that there is a week and two days left until Mario Sunshine. I am getting impatient! Really, I’m looking forward to Animal Crossing more than Mario (or Super Monkey Ball 2), but I’ve gotten bored enough with my current games that I’m just going to try to focus on the most immediate gratification. The fact that IGN has been serving up more and more teasing clips has not helped my anticipation. I can only hope that I’ll be able to get one of the first batch, as I pre-ordered it in May.

Meanwhile, I’ll finish watching Black Adder and play some more SSX.

Written on August 16, 2002