journal for 2002-09-16


Lately, work seems both endless and pointless. The company’s continued focus on our ERP system makes me full of despair. I like Deming’s fourteen points for TQM; they make sense. Point twelve is (roughly): eliminate barries to pride of workmanship. With the system in place, we are implementing a workaround from day one. It’s a hack. It will look like a hack. It will smell like a hack. No one will ever say, after I write my pieces of the system, “Wow, Rik. You did a great job.” They will mutter something about the system being crap, when I leave the room.

I did a little work on one of our old systems today, though, which was a little liberating. I might complete some of the things that I’ve had on a back burner for a long time, which will be nice.

I think there’s some kind of major problem with society, or maybe humanity, in general. (I’m included in this complaint.) We don’t do things the right way, even though it’s clear to anyone who’ll think about it that we should. We cut corners, we shrug our shoulders, and we wonder why things suck. I like to think that, as a programmer, I have a sacred duty to do things The Right Way, and I try to do my (inadequate) best. My problem is that so many of my predecessors seem to have done much less of their duty and much more shrugging; either that or they just weren’t very good at their jobs.

déjà vu

While writing this, I had a really intense déjà vu. I also had the feeling that I’d had that feeling before, and that I’d journalized it. Grepping my entries didn’t help. I often have these really intense feelings, and a lot of the time they cascade over one another, and I remember remembering remembering. Sometimes, I wonder if I will ever be stuck in an infinite loop, and my consciousness will just vanish into remembering the moment about to happen.

So far, this has not happened.


Animal Crossing has been returned to Blockbuster, but EBX still doesn’t have my copy in. They said it’d be there tomorrow, and I can be patient. I played a little Smash Brothers, hoping to free the Mario and Yoshi trophy I’d read about, but no dice. (I did get a Shy Guy trophy, though.)

The guys in the UK have made it clear that I’ll have to play a lot of Empire Earth with them, which is fine with me. Empire Earth was way fun, although the later epochs got a little nutty. I’m still wondering if there’s a simple way to play a little GCN while I’m there, because I don’t want to let my town fall into disrepair while I’m gone. I also don’t want to spent more than a few bucks on any solution. A multi-system TV or mobile GCN monitor are Right Out.


On the subject of spending money, I’ve been looking (again) at digital cameras. I’d really enjoy having a nice one, but they’re just too expensive. The one I like is three hundred dollars, which could buy furniture, pay off loans, update my wardrobe, or just take Gloria and me to a few fancy dinners. I’m going to think about it some more before I leave for Cardiff, but I think I’m just going to start a small fund for a camera and hope that prices will fall as my cache grows. For the record, I’ve been looking at the Canon PowerShot S200.

I’d accumulated a short stack of bills over the past week, and I paid them today. This led me to write a little table of bills I get regularly and whether I’ve paid them, yet. What I really need to do it put together a few of my little apps like Debug, Countdown, Balance, and so on, and create a little PIM. Of course, I’ve been very good about talk, lately, and not so good about coding. Maybe I’ll be over that, soon, if work becomes less of a drain. Unfortunately, I don’t really expect that to happen anytime soon.

Written on September 16, 2002