journal for 2002-09-11

animal crossing

Gravy went to see Tom this morning to see what he owed for the renovation. UGH! I’m now (after some decent payment) about 125,000 AXB in debt. I guess Maella and I will have to become better friends; I’ll be taking her a lot of apples.

Then again, I might just take my time. I don’t want to finish expanding my house too early. I’m definitely getting the idea that Animal Crossing is a game for about an hour or two of play a day, at the most: a half hour, or so, in the morning, an hour in the afternoon, and an hour at night. In a few weeks, I’ll probably only play every other day or so, too—assuming I have a way of playing at all in the UK. I’d asked IGN for their bright ideas, but nothing came in reply. Shawn’s suggestion was to pick up a TV on the cheap here and take (or send) it across. That’s still an awful lot of money for such a stupid hobby!

In other AX news, I’ve now got a fishing rod, a net, and a shovel. I think that, once I acquire an axe, I’ll have all the basic tools there are; I’m not sure, though. I’ve taken to shaking trees, but I haven’t found much of interest yet. I did find a cool watermelon-shaped table, which looks good in my newly-expanded crib. I think I’ll work on catching bugs, next.

My real hope is that I stop digging up fossils for a while. They’re in, like, every hole!

patriot day

So, today was “Patriot Day.” Ugh.

Red, white, and blue ribbons were being worn, at work. That’s fine. The volunteer fireman in the office was in full dress regalia. That’s fine, too. I worked quietly through the “moment of silence,” and I guess moments of silence are actually nice little rituals.

I can even, mostly, deal with the huge amount of press coverage and image saturation. It’s a little unpleasant when weighed against the awful things going on in government right now, but even if the Administration was being sane, I’d expect some of this stuff.

What gets me is the “Average Joe Reaction.” The custodian asked me, this morning, “They hit anything yet?” I said, “No,” and did my best to indicate that I really didn’t think that was amusing or likely. He went on though, about how he didn’t trust Them, and if They attacked us, we’d show’M hell like They hadn’t seen before. I was half expecting him to say, “We oughta nuke Them bastards!” Maybe we oughta stop creating political situations that spawn dictatorships and terrorist regimes.

There was a great article on BBC News today. Nelson Mandela, always a Voice of Reason, decried the US government’s yelling about wanting to attack Iraq. He said Bush was just trying to help American arms and oil companies, and that most of the administration is comprised of dinosaurs. (He made a reasonable exception for Powell.) The best bit was his mention of the fact that, Back In The Day, Vice-President “Dick” Cheney had opposed Mandela’s release from prison. Jeez!


There was more to work, today, than “patriotic” nonsense. I’m being asked to extend a broken system to (probably incorrectly) model a seemingly undefined process. I’m actually being asked to do this on several fronts. I feel, sometimes, like our “process” is totally out of control, and while I can make my tiny stand to enforce some order, I realize that I will eventually become just one more barrier for people to circumvent. (“Yeah, we know you coded in the restriction to allow only correct data, so now we’re writing an extension to get around that.”)

Someone, showing me one of these, forwarded me a memo describing how “X will be stored in the Y slot” because there is no X slot. Did anyone ever request an X slot? Of course not.

A common complaint at work is that some of the scientists seem to claim that their work is an art, and can’t be quantified. “It’s more like voodoo than factory work.” I think, though, that this is just smoke and mirrors. This is The Cathedral of corporate science: “We can’t admit that it can be documented and studied, because then we would not be The High Priests.”

This kind of thinking makes me, Bazaar guy that I am, grumbly.

There haven’t been any more layoffs, but I’m still sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. On a more callous note, I was somewhat disappointed to learn, today, that despite the recent exodus of staff, I will probably not be getting a more modern laptop.

Written on September 11, 2002