Tag Archives: work

Feels like Caturday

Pete, Shawn and I stayed late last night to crank out the integrated ecomm stuff that has been demanded of us. While it was extremely frustrating from a I-think-they-will-yank-it-in-6-months point of view, it was actually fun to hack away and actually produce working results. Pete pointed out that we had more consecutive coding hours in the office than we had been able to pull off in months. This managing thing really sucks your day away. Plenty of the other guys stayed later than normal to help (or at least offered to do so), plus Shawn insisted on staying until we were all done. Made all the difference, having the team unified like that. Oh, and our California colleague was right in it with us, though three time zones away (and he had to do all his work in C++).

With all it’s frustrations (and late nights) I love my job.

Since it is supposed to rain today, I had Kelly pick up some compost. Don’t worry, they loaded it for her. But with the late night I was out seeding and composting ‘bout 10:30. Kinda makes you wonder what the neighbours thought. Oh, I did screw it up a bit. I went down stairs and grabbed a bag of grass seed to come up and over seed the spots I burned with fertilizer. Well it was dark and I didn’t notice it was fertilizer and was able to dump a few good handfuls on a couple of the already burned spots. So I proceeded, in the dark, to try and pick it back up. I ripped up the dead grass, scrapped the dirt—barehanded—to get as much as I could. Noticing there was still a decent amount in the healthy grass next to the dead spot, I got out the hose to wash it out and attempted to scoop it up with my hands. This mostly resulted in what one could call a muddy mess. I did get alot back up, I just hope it is enough to save what healthy grass.

Fading Goats.

I really think fuzzymonk.com is way over due for an update, something to simplify things, but don’t think I am going to get any time to deal with that any time soon. Would really like to migrate the cookbook and dictionary to rails. Would be stupid easy.

We just got back from Colin Hay. Was our second time seeing him at the Birchmere, he was every bit as good as he was last time. We even had an extra ticket so were able to drag my esteemed colleague from the west out. I think everyone had a good time, nice chill show with some funny enter-song commentary.

I think the best part of the evening was coming home to and having our delightful babysitter, Mer, tell us how wonderful our daughter is. We always worry she won’t be good for other people, if for no other reason because we want them to come back and babysit again. But our worries were for nothing, and she was sweet as could be. Apparently liberal with the kisses and hugs, as well as easily entertained and didn’t mind going to bed. Score one for the little Sexton girl.

Oh, that silly girl:

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Pretty dress on a pretty day

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Cookin’ in the kitchen

Playin’ HR

I’ve been doing a bunch of interviews for programmers these days. I have been elected the phone screen guy, so whenever we get a new resume from the recruiter I get to give them a call to see if they are worth bringing in. Alot of them are not.

I have made a few rules for interviews. If any of these rules are broken, I promptly thank them for their time and get off the phone, otherwise I would simply be getting their hopes up.

Rule 1: Do not beg.

I don’t care how much you want the job, begging don’t help. Especially if you are under-qualified for the position.

Rule 2: Answer the question asked.

Seriously, I like when people say “I don’t know,” if you ramble off in an unrelated direction, I just get annoyed.

I am going to start writing down quotes. Here is a quick excerpt from a recent phone call:

Me: What is the difference between recursion and iteration?
Them: Oh, well, recursion, yeah I had a project that really needed that and I was going to implement it last year, but I didn’t get a chance to.

Later in that call:

Me: Can you name a few design patterns?
Them: Um, sure. Creator …. Polymorphism …. Protected.

I am sure there are plenty of rules where those came from.

Wait a second, what happened to January?

I am nto sure what happened to january. I think I remember christmas, and I know there was CES, but I think that was just the other day. Now my computer is telling me it is time we start thinking about February. Who knew!

I have been talking every last second of my free time to geek out on rails recently. One of our prestigious swapfriends is in town and I am stealing every bit of knowledge I possibly can while he is trying to do real work. It is working. I am learning alot. Of course this process leads to me reading/coding on the train, bus, at work, over lunch and at night when I should be sleeping. Heck I even tricked people into staying after work to “ya know, hang out and code”. It worked. Yes, I asked people to volunteer to stay and continue to work after work. They did. Sure some bailed once the pizza was gone, and a few more after a couple of beers, but we have a few rock out to the dev-tunes.

Anytime I am not squandering away with work is family time. I need to make sure to keep the family time top priority, because things are starting to slip, and I see it getting cut. But it is still top in my mind. And Leah and really become alot of fun. She can really play now. Proper little kid playing. Make believe, rough housing, dancin’, the works.

I cannot believe how surprised I am every time she shows her abstract abilities. A few of thing things I am the most impressed with are: Language comprehension (she can’t say it, but she knows what the elephant is, and how to find the matching shoe when you ask), imagination (changing dolly’s diaper, dressing up like mom), and trying to manipulate her parents (Yeah, I normally see though it, I just sometimes let it happen — it is just easier). I am sure all parents out there are equally astonished, but can’t understand how abstract thought can be learned, but I am watching it happen right in front of my eyes. Teh cool.

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Oh wait, it’s Christmas now

I have been running round like crazy at work and getting ready for the holidays, that I entirely forgot that it is gonna be Christmas. Still sorta feel like it is a week or two away.

Work has been alittle nuts because I am doing some last minute stuff for a lil networking company that wants neat stuff to show off at the CES. I am pretty pumped about the show, especially now that we are bringing more people and staying on the strip, but find it a little frustrating that they all get free trips (i.e. they don’t have to do any panic coding for bipolar partners FOR the show). The bad part about the panicked coding is that I had to wrap up my real work so that I could get to it.

Now I need to get good at Ruby fast (which is actually a little frustrating because I am finally comfortable in Python). Oh, and enforce deployment processes. Strike that, automated deployment process. The Doc is the testing nazi, I the equivalent for version control, and it looks like I get to be it for deployment too. I don’t want that job.

Kelly got what appears to be a stomach bug, and has been pretty weak – so much so that we had to send little miss to grandma’s so that she could rest. Poor girl got hit with it as soon as her vacation started. Fortunately we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now, she woke up feeling much better. Then felt worse, but not nearly as bad, and, the best part, ate an entire meal for breakfast. Yay for pamcakes!

Beej and Katie (and Maggie and Luke) also came out for breakfast, where we exchanged presents and set up plans for some new years boringness. Which from the sound of it the Eshlers will get to partake in. It was awesome hanging out and talking after we ate. Mags and Luke were so quiet and happy the entire time and we had lots to talk about (read: babies and electronics).

Well, everyone is down for a nap, I am wired from a half dozen cups of coffee and gonna go read Why the Lucky Stiff for a bit.

I just want to get home (or to work)

Getting to and from work has been a little frustrating the last couple of days. Maybe I am a little sensitive because I am writing this on the bus, but not the bus I wanted to catch. I got to see that one pull away as I ran up to the stop. Nope, the one that shows up 20 min after that.

Today wasn’t too bad. Yesterday was the real debacle. I tried to take the bus in, and apparently I missed it. I know the time it comes into the neighbourhood, and I was at the stop at that time, but it must have been ahead of schedule, cause it never showed. So I waited in the shelter, since it was raining. The next bus rolls past, and stops a little after the stop. So I run over and hop in. The driver scolds me for standing in the shelter “just cause you can see me doesn’t mean I can see you.” I apologize and go sit in the back. 20 minutes into the ride I notice we don’t get on the freeway. It hits me, I got on the local bus. I swear it said “express,” but it wasn’t. I was on the 17A. Burke to the Pentagon via Landmark Mall. ugh. Eventually I get there, hop off and have the nice walk from Navy Memorial to the office.

That evening Sean and Nina were coming over, and I thought I would be sneaky and bum a ride so I could skip the bus. I walk out the door only a few minutes late, pretty happy. I get down to the platform to find it mobbed. The board says there are residual delays. It took longer than normal but we get on the first orange line train that comes to the platform. And all was looking good until the operator couldn’t work the doors anymore. By the time we got to Foggy Bottom (the last stop in the district) we had to deboard the train. Now that platform was pressed-up-against-strangers packed. And we watched as packed train after packed train showed up to take 2, 3 people away. One of them even contained C-Dub who silently mocked me. After this happened 6 or 7 times I hop on the train going the other direction and get on there. It seemed pretty quick. As soon as I got to Farragut West I was able to run and get on an orange line train immediately. However by the time I got back to Foggy Bottom the platform was empty and it was very easy to get on the train I was on.

Luckily when I finally did get there Sean and Nina were still waiting. And we embarked in a whirlwind drive though Arlington in a lil pickup with 2 and a half seats.

I powned my client with named mutexes

Yes, I am that leet.

Unfortunately, I need to figure where the this dang memory leak is. Don’t mix C, C++, IE and Javascript and expect everything to behave.

So, no Leahtastic update right now, but don’t worry it’s on my list. I got some pictures that will flip you out the back of your chair with their cuteness.

In the mean time, django rocks (them judges won’t know what hit them).

Pitter patter of little feet

Whew, I gotta stay up-to-date with this thing here, because when you fall behind it becomes rather daunting to think about the huge write up that is necessary to bring things up to date.

Well, lets start with a quick recap of recent events.

I spent last week in Austin. Kelly even came out for a while. The original idea was that I would be there two weeks ago, but out meetings got moved after we booked the tickets. So, we did things in reverse. She went with me to teas on Friday and returned Sunday with out me. I have decided that was not the way to do it, our original plan was much better. You have to bear in mind that this was the first time Kelly was away from Leah overnight. That’s a huge deal for any mother. Honestly, I think she handled it great—but there was a few bumps along the way. I think they can all be attributed to the baby being off her normal routine. Nobody told me how crucial the baby’s routine was going to be.

Got that Tom? Routine. Schedule. They are your friends.

The rest of the week was full of brutal meetings (can I say code audits), and awesome food. Austin is known for Tex-mex and BBQ. In heaven I don’t plan on eating anything other than Tex-mex and BBQ. Needless to say I was happy. And in case your wondering I like County Line over Salt Lick. Both were great, but County Line had a talking cow head on the wall (and ribs that appeared to be from a brontosaur).

I was very happy to finally return home. I came in the door and the first thing Leah did was walk to me. She was holding onto the couch and just turned and nearly ran to me. Sure, some might call it a controlled fall, but is was definitely walking. Over the course of this week she has been doing more and more toddling around. I think the practice outside on the uneven grass has helped, it is much easier to walk on a flat carpet once you have been battling hills, sticks and pine cones.

Since I got back, I’ve had a new sense of urgency for my work, so I have been pushing hard on that. Poor C-Dub, I abuse that guy. Thank God he’s there. I meant to go to wushu on Tuesday, but forgot my shoes. I was going to go yesterday but wound up working till 7. I am feeling fat and inflexible.

Ok, Imma go do the splits. Cause I am cool like that.

C-O-H-F Based Propulsion

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I came home tonight and found this on the fridge.

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Swingin’ on some swings!

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We Built a fort at work. It was not appreciated. Drat monkeys.

I know I have been leaving poor ‘lil bloggie out of the loop recently, so here is a little recap.

As you can see from the pictures Leah is promptly becoming the cutest baby ever. She properly fun now. I know Kelly liked her teeny tiny little baby, but seriously, all she did was lie around and poo. Now she can crawl—and when she wants to crawl fast. It is the best thing, when she gets going really fast she does this high stepping thing where she picks up her knees and hands as high as she can then slams them back down on the floor to propel her along. I would think it would hurt her knees, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

Yesterday she was wearing a pretty, pretty dress and had a hard time crawling in it. Being the resourceful kid she is, she developed a crazy crawling-on-her-feet technique. COHF (pronounced cough) propulsion. She scooted across the floor with them little bloomers sticking up in the air, attacking the cats and removing magnets form the fridge with glee.

Last night I was supposed to go to wushu since Wednesday is the early class, but I skipped because it was so nice out side and I wanted to play with my ladies. And we played out in the front yard, chatted with the neighbors and ate leaves. Well, one of us ate leaves. Them leafs might be more fun than toys. I still think pinecones and sticks are all the toys kids need. Not that I don’t want to buy more toys (the little people sets are crazy fun, I want the Pirate Ship. And the Zoo. And the Barn) but I think kids have just as much fun with the basics. And we need to be saving, because there is one day that she will want iFrogs and sellPhones and other crazy gadgets (the answer of course is no, sorry Leah).

At work I have been buried in my big project. It is a lot of fun to design and build a big component from the ground up, but the fact that it is about 3 times more complicated than it needs to be is a little unsettling. You may ask, Chris, if you designed and built it, why0oh-why is it so much more complicated than it needs to be. Well, it’s in the requirements. Specifically it needed to be buzzword compliant. The software world is obsessed with these words and all their buzzing. It has really gotten our of hand.

Of course we have been fairly agreeable on this specific project, because if it works out like we hope it will, then we can do some cool stuff down the line. Way down the line, but this gets a big item crossed off our list.

Unfortunately, all this work at work (and at home) leave no time for personal geeky projects. The last thing I did was shorten my mouse cord. While useful I also have a couple of bigger projects I really should pay attention to—specifically the wushu tournament software I’d like to dig into. Hopefully I will have time to get into that before this summer.

What day is it?

I spent all day thinking it was Thursday. It is not. It is Wednesday.

This is actually a good thing, because I have been in a panic all day trying to get stuff done for the big project. But because of this I am in a little situation. I made a big deal about how I wasn’t going to be in the office tomorrow, ordering people around and pushing for extra help all day today. Now tomorrow I will get “aren’t you supposed to be on a plane” from everyone. I feel so smrt.

I feel as if I have a few options

A) Stay home
B) Act like they are the crazy ones
C) Do lots of back tucks and aerials so they talk about that instead

Lets go with A.