Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Somedays it feels like the monkeys are winning.

While I can't physically use my clue-by-four on the monkeys, just the mental image (monkey baseball anyone?) sure helps my stress level.

And then comes the big monkey. The 800 lb gorilla type. Yep, upper management monkeys (they should have to wear tuxedos, not just tie and jacket (yep, monkey suits)).

I'm a computer programmer. I work for a big company, that a couple of years ago was bought out by a much smaller competitor and taken private. And they seem to be pushing us as hard as they can back into the 1980's - for management, technology, you name it. And proud of it.

Several years ago several of us worked on a project (I was not the chief architect of it, but was a major contributor) that solved a pretty nasty problem very elegantly. The company missed a huge marketing opportunity with it, but the software has been working, and working well, for several years. Gives us several advantages, and has some really neat features. Oh, and did I forget to mention that IT WORKS!!!

But the new 800 lb gorillas don't understand it, because it is based on technology newer than what was available in the 1980's. So they want to scrap it, and go back to what DIDN'T WORK before, because their small company had it working, for a much smaller customer base (like 10% of what we have).

The difference is scale. When we did it their way, we had a person dedicated nearly 100% of his time to fixing issues, and he is not looking forward to going back to that model.

Unfortunately I need my job. And I was feeling good about finally tracking down the latest screwup that the little monkeys had done and getting it fixed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some days are just better

Anyone who actually has to work for a living knows that work sucks. Not always, but in general. Sure some people love their jobs, but I believe most of use work to pay the bills, not because we just love what we are doing. As I tell my kids (and stole from "That 70's Show") if it were fun, then it would be called "Happy Fun Time", not "Work".

But, some days are better than others. And at times, you actually get to work with good people, instead of poo-flinging monkeys.

Case in point - my boss, this morning, brought me in my very own Clue-by-4, that he made in his workshop this weekend. (And if I haven't said it before, I do like my current boss!).

Unfortunately I do have to act like a reasonable person, so I can't bring it into the daily status meeting to 'impart' a clue to the team of monkeys, but just knowing it is sitting on my desk gives me a warm feeling inside. And being able to imagine using it just warms the cockles of my heart. And that yellow thing is back in the sky today. It looks like it could be a very good day!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What is that bright yellow thing . . .

up on the ceiling of the big room. You know the room - it used to be painted blue, but since October has been grey. The one that maintenance refuses to come and fix the leaks in - I swear the last two days there was water everywhere - almost like somebody turned on the sprinkler system. Someone managed to actually switch it back to blue again today, but what is that bright yellow thing?

Yes, today is the first day of spring. We have had a sun sighting. It is still cold, of course. We couldn't actually have a nice day, now could we? Of course after today it looks like more rain and snow for the next week. Since when did we move to Seattle anyway?

I know my SAD is getting worse. I keep hoping for some warm, sunny - dare I say "Spring Like" days - but not getting any. The irony is that if I got on medication to help, by the time it kicked in after 4-6 weeks, then we would actually have some sun which would help to take care of the problem anyway, without drugs. *sigh*

Clue by Four

Boy do I need one lately. Both for myself (occasionally), but more just to keep the monkeys at bay.

As my son pointed out - my name should be Goober DippenDoodle, showing that even I'm an idiot at times (quick hand count of everyone who is surprised. None - thought so!)

What is even scarier is trying to figure out how to use it such that you can 1) give the moron a clue but also 2) encourage them to use it! See, some of the monkeys actually have the capability to evolve. Yes, I have had the experience of them actually using more than one brain cell at a time, as hard as that is to believe, and we all want to encourage any sign of intelligent behavior, no matter how slim.

Otherwise we just have to spend our time behind the rotational cooling device, and hope it isn't pointing at us when the poo flinging starts and the excrement impacts said device.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Meme: Goober FeatherDoodle

See what your new name is…
We all need a little stress-reliever! This only takes a minute.
Sometimes when you have a stressful day or week, you need some silliness to break up the day. If we are honest, we have a lot more stressful days than not.
Here is your dose of humor, simply follow the instructions to find your new name.
And don't go all adult - my boss is now known far & wide as Crusty Pottyhump!
The following is excerpted from a children's book, Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants, by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...
1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your New first name:

  1. snickle

  2. doombah

  3. goober

  4. cheesey

  5. crusty

  6. greasy

  7. dumbo

  8. farcus

  9. dorky

  10. doofus

  11. funky

  12. boobie

  13. sleezy

  14. sloopy

  15. fluffy

  16. stinky

  17. slimy

  18. dorfus

  19. snooty

  20. tootsie

  21. dipsy

  22. sneezy

  23. liver

  24. skippy

  25. dinky

  26. zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

  1. dippin

  2. feather

  3. batty

  4. burger

  5. chicken

  6. barffy

  7. lizard

  8. waffle

  9. farkle

  10. monkey

  11. flippin

  12. fricken

  13. bubble

  14. rhino

  15. potty

  16. hamster

  17. buckle

  18. gizzard

  19. lickin

  20. snickle

  21. chuckle

  22. pickle

  23. hubble

  24. dingle

  25. gorilla

  26. girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

  1. butt

  2. boob

  3. face

  4. nose

  5. hump

  6. breath

  7. pants

  8. shorts

  9. lips

  10. honker

  11. head

  12. tush

  13. chunks

  14. dunkin

  15. brains

  16. biscuits

  17. toes

  18. doodle

  19. fanny

  20. sniffer

  21. sprinkles

  22. frack

  23. squirt

  24. humperdinck

  25. hiney

  26. juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is: Fluffy Chucklefanny.
And remember that children laugh an average of 146 times a day; adults laugh an average of 4 times a day. Put more laughter in your day
Let me know what you new name is!

BTW, I named all the monkeys I work with:

  • Crusty DippenChunks

  • Goober BattyShorts

  • Crusty ChickenDunkin

  • Doombah SnickleDoodle

  • Snickle PottySquirt

And the zookeepers (those who actually have a brain around here:)

  • Snooty FrickenButt

  • Dipsy FarkleDoodle

  • Farcus GizzardBrains

  • Crusty DippenShorts

  • Dorfus GizzardJuice

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Extra spoonful of stupid on your cornflakes this morning

I swear, some people just heap it on. I'd like to think it can't be natural, evolution should have weeded out anyone that stupid eaons ago. But I think that humans are breeding for it. But I digress.

What gets me the most aren't just the stupid people, the the ones who think you are as idiotic as they are.

Case in point, at work the other day (and why is there such a greater concentration of morons in the work force than in the rest of our life - or do we just notice them there more because we have to interact with them?). One of the monkeys asks for help doing their job (testing an app) in an email. I reply back that I need to know what it is they are working on specifically, not an unreasonable request, though you would think that anyone with a functioning brain stem would have included that information in the first place.

So this monkey sends off an email to another testing group, asking them to get me the information I need to do the monkey's job. And CC's me on the email - perfectly reasonable. I get my copy, as expected, and since I can use more than one brain cell concurrently, I understand that the monkey sent it to both of us (besides, I see my name on the CC line, as well as half the department).

The monkey then sends me an email, telling me that she just emailed this other persone and copied me on it. Because the monkey (and it is very difficult to write these without using pronouns that would reveal the sex of the monkey, which I'm deliberatetly hiding to protect the extremely guilty) somehow doesn't realize that I will get the copy she sent.

I'm going to email you to tell you I emailed you. That is like calling someone to tell them you are going to call them.

At least the monkeys haven't started to fling poo (at least not in the physical sense, though their emails would definitely qualify). Though there is a completely different monkey, who I don't work with but sits in my area, who if he can't learn to take one more step forward at the urinal so that he quits pissing on the floor is definitely going to continue to test my stress level until I do finally choke somebody!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cool Tools

It kind of amazes me how many cool things are out there, and the fact that they are free. For example, Google lets you know all sorts of stuff about how people find your sites etc, including your blogs.

Does it scare me that a major search item on my home site is "teenage boy streaks"? Slightly, but at least that isn't the phrase on the site, I just happen to use those
three words when describing puking down the side of a car.

Of course topless hits it the most :-) I bet those searching for that never expected the pic they find there!

Pretty easy, if a bit hard to find for those not quite inclined.

So, to see how google sees your site, simply follow these instructions:

  1. log in to If you don't have an account, create one.

  2. click on the My AccountU in the upper right corner.

  3. click on Webmaster Tools under My Products on the right.

  4. you will see a Dashboard, with all your sites. If your site (or blog) is not listed, enter the URL in the box and click Add.

  5. Verify your site. The instructions are simple for sites you actually code up - but how do you verify a blogger site? Click the Verify link, then select the Add a meta tag dropdown.

  6. Open a second browser window, and go to your blogger dashboard.

  7. Click settings for your blog, then choose the layout tab

  8. Click the Edit HTML link

  9. go back to the verify page, and copy the verify meta tag they display.

  10. In the Edit Template box, you should see a tag about 1/3 of the way down. Paste the meta tag on a separate line below this tag.

  11. click the SAVE TEMPLATE button.

  12. back on the verify page, click the Verify button.

If all my instructions made since, it should say you have verified it.

Now got to Statistics on the left, and top search queries, to see what things point to your site!

For February, people found this log all sorts of weird ways:
1 9% nutritional value frickers 8
2 9% twisted minds humble 8
3 9% cub scout pack 840 west carrollton 10
4 6% annette wild clairvoiance 4
5 6% frickers weightwatcher points 4
6 6% inside an egotistic mind 4
7 6% stubborn shit will not wipe up 5
8 6% frickers nutrition information 7
9 6% poems about kindness f0r weakness 9
10 6% wall chair lifting women can men "can t" 9
11 6% mind way 10
12 6% twisted minds lafayette 12
13 6% twisted mind blog adult 16
14 6% keeping it twisted 28
15 6% literary figures who are loyal and generous 53
16 6% nurgle "t shirt" 115

Some of my readers are just as weird as I am!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In Memorium

E. Gary Gygax

July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008

Sometimes even the best of us fail our saving throws eventually. CNN article

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lazy and Frustrated

Maybe I have an excuse, I'm not sure.

The stress level lately for me has been, if not astronimical, at least attempting valiently to achieve orbit and quickly approaching escape velocity.

At least the IRS stuff is done for now. Finding out that the Band Boosters weren't tax exempt was a big blow, but having to actually file for it (and pay the nice $750 tax to file it (and yes, it is basically a tax) was much, much worse. Trying to make sense (and find) the financial records before I took over was a stressful as filing the information tax return last year which started all of this.

Of course, I wonder if we would have ever been noticed had I not seen the notice saying all organizations now had to file. They had lost our tax id number after all. It was interesting finding out that our bank account was opened on 11/28/1952. Makes me glad we haven't ever switched banks, as the oldest records I have been able to find were in a water damaged box about 10 years old. But I sent that off today - it only took 5 stamps for the thing!

Work, or more specifically a group I work with here at work, are fullfilling the definition of stress to a T - "The confusion caused when the mind overrides the bodies desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole that desperately needs it." And this whole group needs it, every day, over and over and over again. Technically, they aren't stupid. They are ignorant. And apathetic. What is the difference? I don't know and I don't care.
I muttered to my boss that I was feeling like the guy in the commercial who just worked with a bunch of monkeys - except that if you got enough monkeys banging around on keyboards long enough they would eventually produce something profound - and there is no hope at all for these people to do that. So they have been firing the second stage of my stress rocket!

Then of course I can't seem to get back on my diet, and am up like 15 lbs. At this rate I'm going to have to go back up a pant size (and only because I bought some with some give in them.) I know I need to get back on it. I know I can get back on it. I just haven't done it.

And they turned down our loan request for Katie (see my other blog here). That means we either have to get a cosigner, raid either Diane or my 401K, or pull Katie from the program. And if that isn't an Estes E engine strapped to a Mosquito of my stress levels, then I don't know what is. (Does Estes even make the Mosquito any more? This was a tiny (used a 1/2 A engine) rocket that when launched, had no streamer or parachute - instead the engine would pop out and it would just tumble down - so light it wouldn't break. And E engines are the biggest they make - huge mothers).

I had to send my iPod off for new batteries - I never realized how much I depended on that thing at work anymore.

And the Plantar Fasciatitis in my left foot hurts like a m*****f****r!!!!!

Ok, I'm done venting for a while. Time to lock the lid back on - I wouldn't want all this carefully built up pressure to actually get out or anything :-)