February 2002 Archives


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Heather Hamilton of Dooce.com was fired[1, 2] because of her weblog. Yuck. A quote:

As for those of you who think I was stupid to post things on my website about my job and about co-workers: I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to be censored. I've lived my life far too long in fear of disrupting expectations. I made a conscious decision when I conceived dooce.com that I would never bow to the intimidation of others, including employers or pussy-ass cocksmacks who think I should just stop complaining and be a good worker bee already.

Good for her. I hold back  a lot of what I am thinking about work and co-workers because of that fear. It sux... I hate it... but it isn't something I'm ready to take on yet. In this current job I wouldn't be comfortable with it. I'm feeling too vulnerable I think. 

Meanwhile I fight the pressures to just be a good worker bee every fucking day. This seems to be a recurring conflict for me. All through University and now in my working life. I want more than to just be a worker bee. I'm sick of insecure managers who cannot deal with a managee who thinks for themselves. Who questions the thinking behind a decision. Who has constant ideas on how things can be improved. Who would rather slam his head against a wall than sacrifice quality in his work.

Every ounce of reasoning and logic I can muster tells me that this kind of thinking is what you want in an employee! Is what makes companies successful! Is what produces innovative concepts and new ideas! Yet the standard corporate world does everything it can to stifle this type of person. Which is why I quit from my last job. And is why I will likely quit from this one. I hate quitting. But I hate wasting my time as a cog even more.

Interesting Referers

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My first interesting referers (referrers?). And I got two of them in one day. Both are searches on Google.

1st on Google with: my warm ass
4th on Google with: "blogged"

Click on the blogged one and check out the groovy internationalization in Google.


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This cold is still hanging on. I'm feeling better now, but still pretty stuffed up.

The stereotype of someone with a cold usually has them complaining that they can't smell and taste things. I've never experienced that until just a few days ago. My nasal passages were relatively clear, but no matter how strong the smell, nothing was capable of triggering my olfactory glands into doing their thing. It's kinda bizarre actually. The act of eating literally turns into chewing and being amused by the different temperatures and textures.

Tracey got home from a two week trip on Friday, and asked what the weird smell was in the fridge. I couldn't smell it! heh. Some old soup was going rancid, and I had no clue. It didn't help with her opinion of me as the irresponsible bachelor mind you.

Anyway, my sense of smell is returning today. I'm glad. Definitely one of the easier senses to do without for a few days, but still irritating. I can't
imagine a cold that knocks out your sense of sight for week or so. One potential setback for my sense of smell returning is I can now fully appreciate the gourmet phlegm my body has been cooking up in my lungs. Yuck. The smell/taste I am detecting in the back of my throat when I cough is worse than any other bodily emission I can imagine. Pretty grim. Ok, nuff said. Remember to eat your vitamins.


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After a gruelling QA cycle, we're releasing. And as a reward, we get friday off. Cool. So I'm at home, SICK. again. *sigh*

Just got back from a lunch with a manager from my previous company. He was 'let go' 3 days after I quit. We of course had lots to talk about, and without the professional constraints were able to be very candid with each other. Very informative.

He and his wife just had a baby 6 weeks ago. Very cool. Madeline Claire is her name (the baby that is). He is taking at least 3 months off to hang out with his new kid, and he highly reccommends the baby experience. Tracey and I definitely want kids... so we'll get there.


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Auto-generated teen weblog... I actually think it is more interesting than mine! =)

Onion Soulmates

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[Onion] :: 18-Year-Old Miraculouly Finds Soulmate in Hometown. Wow! Someone 'up there' is looking out for this kid.. =)

Amazon Easter Egg

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There's an easter egg? hidden on Amazon's site. Apparently a farewell message to an employee. From the Amazon main page, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Directory of All Stores", then scroll down to the bottom again and there is a hidden link under the copyright years (1996-2002). You may have to 'select' that area to make the invisible image visible so you can find it. Want the satisfaction now? Then just click here.

TV bad

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THE ZEN TV EXPERIEMENT. Adbusters rocks. I do not own a TV and barely a week goes by where I am not thankful for this. I have a love/hate relationship with TV. When one is around I watch it. I can't help it. While in University, I would 'reward' myself after a good hour of studying with an hour of daytime TV crap. It didn't matter what was on, I'd watch it. We didn't even have CABLE.. which meant I was watching lame shock-tv talk shows (or god-forbid the shopping channel). It didn't matter. I ate it up. And because of that I hate TV. I hate that it can put me into that state. Once I get some, I want more. Maybe this is how an alcoholic feels about alcohol? Sitting in a bar with a TV is the worst though. It's a little rude to become vegetative over a pint of beer while someone is talking to you. "yeah.. uh huh"... meanwhile my mind has turned off as I suck in the 300 technical events / minute in an MTV video. So we don't have a TV. Without TV, you suddenly have TIME for all those things you didn't before. We garden, talk, READ(!!!)... Life is relatively short... too short to waste my waking time with my eyes glued and body disconnected. Kill Your Television.

eXtreme Programming

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eXtreme Programming (XP)

I think the XP philosophy is an extremely (no pun intended) valuable and worthwhile approach to programming. So much so that I decided to start my own list of resources on the subject.

eXtreme Programming Explained - Kent Beck
Just buy it.

This site is dedicated to software developers using JUnit or one of the other XUnit testing frameworks. We'll be adding more content and web-based services over time. Initially we'll be providing links to give you a one-stop destination to learn the latest information on unit testing.

Test-first coding - Kent Beck, IEEE, May 2000

Test-first challenge
Interesting challenege geared towards people with little experience in test-first coding. A complete set of tests is provided for un-written code. That's the challenge, you write the code. Gives an interesting introduction to what it means to write code to make tests pass.

Articles and resources on the concept, application and benefit of pair programming.

All I Really Need to Know about Pair Programming I Learned In Kindergarten - Laurie Williams and Robert R. Kessler. Communications of the ACM, May 2000.


Google Ads

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[Excite] Google sells ad-space rankings to highest bidder - "Popular online search engine maker Google Inc. is introducing a new program that allows Web sites to be displayed more prominently by paying more money - an advertising-driven system derided by critics as an invitation to deceptive business practices."

Apparently they are positioning themselves to compete more directly with overture.com. "Who?" you ask? That's what I thought as well. I had never even heard of these guys. Apparently they make a bundle every year from selling search results hits to the highest bidder. They've got ties into the results of AltaVista, Lycos, MSN etc etc etc..

update: Cindy McCaffrey emailed Dave Winer because apparently the AP article isn't totally accurate (are we surprised?).. Google's information about the changes are here.

Be sues Microsoft

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[Excite] Be Inc. sues Microsoft - "Defunct software maker Be Incorporated filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging that software giant Microsoft Corp. forced it out of business through anticompetitive practices."

Test First Coding

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After being around and (somewhat) experiencing eXtreme Programming (XP) at a previous company, I've recently gotten the XP bug and am trying to learn all I can. Kent Beck and XP are joined at the hip. You can barely read a paragraph anywhere about XP without tripping over a reference to Beck. I haven't talked about XP in my weblog before, and not wanting to break tradition, I'm going to start with a reference to a Kent Beck article, Aim, Fire, on the topic of test-first coding.

Segway and Amazon

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Wow. Amazon and Segway team up. Segway is auctioning off 3 Segways on Amazon Auctions. Last I checked the cheapest was $17,600!!

What's so strange about the whole thing is it is setup like a game of chance.. with the 'lucky' winner going to DisneyLand.. there isn't any chance... it isn't about luck... whoever pays the most wins. End of story.

These Segway guys are brilliant.


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Look at all those gaps in the calendar... transitioning transitioning... my mind is elsewhere and I can't get motivated to put it into my weblog right now.

Meanwhile, I'm coding... reading... working... thinking... planning... blah blah blah...

I've started writing a few things... stupidly lost them both... didn't really care. Figuring my life out a bit I think. Time to re-orient.



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JDK 1.4 is released. The download link is at the TOP RIGHT of the linked-to page. I am telling you this because I didn't see it for about 5 minutes. Very bad location for the download link.

Taco Love

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CmdrTaco (Rob Malda of Slashdot) just proposed to his wife as a Slashdot Story! And she said yes!

Questionable Referer

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What the hell is http://frontier.userland.com/xmlAggregator ? My referer logs always contain entries with that URL. Does that mean people are aggregating my site? Only people from UserLand? If the person is using Radio to aggregate news, does it still show up as the above URL?

Occidental Tourist

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Today I drive from Palo Alto to Occidental and back. Oh boy! heh. Really though... it is a beautiful day... so will likely be lovely.

Bringing my wyband up to a conference. Woah! 2 weeks wyband-free! What will I do with myself? Actually I'm sorta looking forward to it.. Nothing give you more free time than being a bachelor when you aren't. Does that make any sense? Back later tonight.


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Cringely. Creating his own 2MB wireless internet connection by banking the signal off a mountain. Too friggin cool.

type type type

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Well slap my ass and call me Betty. Why? I don't know. On second thought.. don't.

I'm a fast typer.. and when I get going I can type like a maniac. My wyband is not such a fast typer. She's fast but not as fast as me! heh. Anyway... sometimes when typing to my her through MSN messenger I'm a total jerk and see how many times I can write "type type type" before she replies...

So an interaction might go like this:

Me: Hey, tmel... [I call her tmel.. don't ask] how's it going there in at-home land?

Me: type type type

Me: type type type

Me: type type type

Me: type type type

Her: ok. you?

haha.. =) Ok.. maybe not that funny.. but I have to keep myself amused in my 'fabric-covered box' here at work.

The original reason I typed 'type type type'.. is because at the bottom of the MSN chat box.. it TELLS you when the other person starts typing... so as I'm sitting there thinking about the fact they they are typing... I decided to add some sound effects (so-to-speak)... so I type 'type type type' to accompany the little "tmel is typing" status message.

Ok. That's all for now. Now shoo.. shoo! Go back to whatever you were doing before you got side-tracked on weblogs.com hehe.


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I'm better today. Back at work. Got 3 packs of Ricola beside me to keep my throat company. Cherry-Honey, Echinacea-Honey-Lemon and Honey-Herb. I like Cherry-Honey the best so far.

I left a mug on my desk last Friday. It had about an inch of water with chunks of ginger and ground licorice root floating around. Today it is all foamy and smells pretty damn bad. Foamy! heh. Too funny. Think it is alcoholic? Should I drink it? Will it cure me? heh.

Sunny day. Warm. Around 12C I think. Welcome to Palo Alto California winters!

Google Programming Contest

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Very cool. Google is putting on a programming contest! I just read through the details... this company is incredible. It reads as informally and casually as a magic show being put on at the library. Very approachable. Very friendly. DAMN I would like to work for them... maybe this is my in?!? =) =) =)

The Button

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This is the monitor that I look at while I work. Well almost. Mine isn't black... but whatever. When I first got this monitor at work, I thought that big round thing at the bottom-center of the monitor was a button. But I didn't know what it did. So for about 2 weeks I didn't touch it. I was afraid it would revert to factory-defaults though... or resize the viewable area to what it thinks is best (rarely is it better).

The thing is though... you sit there working with this stupid circle-button-looking thing with the DELL logo on it staring at you constantly. It looks like a button! And as we know from Mr Donald Norman, buttons are for pushing.*sigh* It was killing me... what did it do?!? And then at some point, in a fit of defiance while musing about something or other... I looked down with glazed-over eyes... stared unseeing at the big DELL monitor button... reached out without really thinking about it.... and pushed it.


Nothing happened. It's not even a button. Just decoration. Those bastards!


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Been sick. Still sick. Leave me alone.


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What a way to start the new month. ARGH! I am not having a good day at work... becoming very frustrated with politics, management and overall goals. A whole LIST of stupid things I could list off...  Everybody else is so goddamn calm about the whole thing... I want to run through the cube-ville naked just to get a reaction!!

I need a solid, justified goal. I need a team atmosphere. I need leadership that I trust. I need to work on a product that I can relate to. I need to believe.


I don't know if this job is going to work.



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2002 is the previous archive.

March 2002 is the next archive.

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