Purple pants for Yoda

Jan. 30th, 2015 02:42 am
azurelunatic: Vuvuzela emitting sound waves in a black and yellow road sign style icon (vuvuzela)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Last night was the deadline for papers for a certain internal conference. Not the one I'm running, but the hella one that both lb and Purple were planning to submit papers for. lb submitted his in what must have been a sensible amount of time before the deadline. Up past the point we headed out of work last night (and I had occasion to explain Frank Chu very briefly in the parking lot, much to Purple's utter crogglement), Purple's conclusion was a succinct "(conclusion goes here)" sort of affair, which is more effective in a draft than in a submitted paper. I looked it over. I made a few comments, including a tentative go at a framework of a conclusion.

"$WORKNAME is fine, right?" Purple asked me. "For the paper?"

I reloaded the draft in the public folder of his server share and found my work-standardized legal name in the acknowledgements, tucked in with Mr. Bananas, his manager, lb, and a few other people. Yes, $WORKNAME is best because people can look me up by it. He got back online after getting home, and kept working on things.

It makes me quietly happy that I'm developing a few editing shorthand phrases that I can use with Purple. "Yoda" is one of them. Sometimes when he turns a sentence around, it turns out that he meant something entirely different than the first phrasing implied to me. Things like "it" and "this" sometimes have to get explicitly called, and sometimes, yep, different.

Azz: "Sounds good, Unit Test Jesus."
Purple: "I hope I don't find Unit Test Judas."

He got it submitted a comfortable hour-ish before deadline. By the end, I was able to say, "and it does not aesthetically offend me :)" He took that as the compliment it was meant as.

Azz: "unlike that combination of shirts :-P"
Purple: "that was the camel shirt with the fluorescent green shirt right?"
Azz: "yes"
Purple: "Shame I don't have purple pants"
Azz: "... ... ... you fucking eyetroll <3"

I took a long time to get to sleep last night, so I didn't wake up in time for the presentation I wanted to go to. (Purple, for his part, decided that he was going to wake up slowly reading, and then got a fifteen-minute alarm chime for the presentation, so he dialed in because there is no way to physically make it from his place to work in 15 minutes, and in any event he had been in bed at this point.) Then I had to refuel Vash, so that took longer.

Today I remembered to bring the sack of sawed-off pool noodles to work. I debated bringing one with me to lunch for Purple, but instead brought one to the conference meeting for the chairs. I gave it to Researcher Polka-Dot, and told her that it was a sawed-off pool noodle, and useful for keeping order. She was delighted, and toted it with her for the next three hours of meetings.

It was a long day full of meetings. I am really going to have to see if D16 is unoccupied before the team meetings, because going directly from the committee meeting upstairs to the team meeting is really a pain as it is at the opposite end of the building from the elevator. Since my knees and stairs shouldn't even be in the same sentence, you can imagine how well this goes. (Also, I tend to need the bathroom every hour because I drink a ridiculous amount of water to keep everything else happy, especially in meeting rooms which are overheating, which introduces more time between meetings.)

So today was the off-week for the team meeting, but our (gulp) acting director tracked down one of the higher-ups steering one of the products the team does a lot of work with, and he introduced himself and had some things to say, and the team had questions.

I am not freshly up on all the latest testing methods and also jargon, but the guy said a thing about a testing strategy which I had never heard of before. I wrote it down, resolved to google it later, and asked what his thoughts/familiarity with unit testing was. He had no thoughts, being zero familiar. I hoped that we had not just met Unit Test Judas.

After all that, the (fairly substantial) committee set off for the location where we are to hold the (small) internal conference. Since we were leaving from the ass-end of the building, we went down the stairs. That was two stairs today. I am bad at stairs. Madam Standards looked for me and waited for me to catch up. She is beginning to doubt the concept that I just ~*appear*~ everywhere. I explained the usual method.

Shenanigans resulted in some running around where Madam Standards went off with the people who were going UP the STEPS, despite her plan to walk back with me because she'd forgot her badge. Then she went back but by that time I'd already gone up in the elevator, then we were headed back but she wanted to scope out the power outlets, and so we went back...

By the end of all that, I'd exceeded my steps by a few hundred. I complained to Purple a bit. He was ... "helpful".

Now that I was back at my desk, I shared the hope that this guy is not Unit Test Judas. We all googled the test thing that he had mentioned. Purple, who knows more about testing ideologies than I do, declared that it wasn't quite even a buzzword, as one of the major requirements for a buzzword is buzz. This testing ideology had about as many other supporters besides the clickbait bingo bandits who have their writeup paywalled off as there are other plaintiffs in Frank Chu's labor dispute against the 12 Galaxies.

Eventually it was time to go. This time, I was the holdup -- I'd decided to go ahead and book the conference room we were planning for the green room. It didn't say it was restricted in the calendar system, so I set up an appointment. Then I got the rejection message -- it was restricted after all. Drat it. So I would have to file two tickets: one to ask for the room, and one to ask that the room be named to reflect its status (in accordance with the standards).

I filed the ticket to book the room. In doing so, I discovered that there were two ranks of tickyboxes, none of which were relevant to my needs in booking, but both of which were required, with no 'n/a' selection. So I would have to file a third ticket about that. Then, upon submitting, I saw that the terrible green UI showed up blank, although the terrible blue and white UI showed the details. Fourth ticket.

Again, I was still swearing when Purple came to retrieve me. I thanked him for being supportive and listening while I wrestled with the fucking thing. We headed out by way of the kitchen -- I had grabbed some toast and hot chocolate earlier, and had a plate and cup to drop in the dishes -- but the kitchen floor was being actively washed. I left the plate on a nearby table, as this was the lesser inconvenience.

He didn't see my car at first. "Where did you park?" "Near you." We rounded whatever it was that was blocking the view, and he saw the little white sedan in the space right next to his car, and he mused that he had in fact been in to work a little later than he'd planned on, due to the presentation that morning.

We chatted for a while in the parking lot.

Purple: "And the guy was -- what's-his-name, British, in a lot of romcoms..."
Azz: "...Alan Rickman?"
Purple: *doubles over laughing* "You're certainly watching different things than I am!"
Azz, slightly defensively: "The only British [male] actors I know are: Alan Rickman, Bendydick Cummerbund, Sir Ian, Sir Patrick... Oh! And John Cleese! Eric Idle! Eric-the-half-a-Bee!"
Purple, howling with laughter: "ERIC THE HALF A BEE IS NOT A REAL ACTOR. HE'S A BEE. HALF A BEE."

Somehow (via "Bad Touch") we got onto the time I sprayed myself in the face with glitter, twice, as a result of being too tired to play with physics.

We hugged goodnight. We still had a few words left. Then I bent over a bit, exposing the top of my head to him. He scritched me gently on the head, then told me I was weird. :)

The wonders of modern technology

Jan. 29th, 2015 03:50 pm
draigwen: (splat)
[personal profile] draigwen
Thanks to a memory bug on Android Lollipop on my phone I lost a long ranting post about family. It was probably a good thing as the desire to rant had lessoned. The upshot of the post was how difficult it is to sit and watch people do things to their children that aren't part of your own parenting philosophy. Interestingly and surprisingly I think M's dad is bothered by some of it as much as we are.

I currently have a sleeping girl on my lap. She rarely sleeps well in the day,but she's sleeping relatively well at night so I shouldn't complain. But I'm finding awake times hard. I can't think what I did with Sam when he was this age. I'm sure I played with him more. But when Sam's around I spend my time trying to deal with or play with him while holding the baby, and so when it's just the two of us I feel like I need a break from kids which I don't get. I occasionally get to do my own thing but often hurried in case Evie wakes up, and more often I'm doing laundry. Would love to play Golf Wars again but I know if I tried I'd get interrupted. And besides, I've got a job application to write.

On the productive side I am now a member of the Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) for the local health board. Looks like I may end up being vice chair, and also involved in a project looking at VBAC (vaginal birth after ceasarean section) which is something in really passionate about. I don't know if we'll ever have more children but if I can improve the experiences of future mothers that would be awesome.

(no subject)

Jan. 28th, 2015 10:33 am
bjornwilde: (01-Selina w/cat)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
 Oh Selina, why'd you have to go and crush wee Bruce's heart like that.

Being helpful

Jan. 28th, 2015 05:25 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
Another notable thing about that BBC website article is the attitude of the Polish government towards Ukraine vs Russia:

"The Kremlin accused Poland of engaging in anti-Russian 'hysteria' after Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna credited Ukrainian soldiers, rather than the Soviet army, with liberating Auschwitz."

Obviously the current situation between Ukraine and Russia plays a part, and obviously Poland has a very long history of problems with Russia: just looking at the 20th Century, a big chunk of what's now Poland was a puppet state of the Russian empire (for about a century prior to the end of WWI, the rest was part of Prussia / Germany); the Russian army failed to protect it against Germany and Austria-Hungary during that war; there was a war between the newly reborn Polish state and the Red Army in the 1920s that Poland came very close to losing before winning via by taking advantage of a gap between the two army groups sent against it;* the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939, killing tens of thousands of Polish leaders; in 1944, the Soviet Union failed to assist the Polish uprising against the Germans in any meaningful manner, then imposed a communist puppet government; and Poles take zero comfort in the way that that was probably the 'least worst' such government in Eastern Europe, blaming Russia for decades of oppression, mass arrests, torture, low living standards etc etc.

But the majority of the staff at the extermination camps were Hiwis - 'those willing to help' - and typically Ukrainian...

* This is a big reason why Britain allied with Poland before WWII - as well as not being communist, it was seen as more effective militarily. If Britain had allied with the Soviet Union instead, they'd have been no Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany to secretly divide up Poland and possibly no German invasion of Poland...

A high compliment

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:51 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
(linkdude has linked a thing where some straight person seems to be performing poutyface about having overheard some queerfolks blow off steam about "the straights" or whatevz, and is being all "LOOK IF YOU'N REALLY TRULY *WANT* ALLIES...". Channel has taken a digression or two. Highlights-involving-me with some context follow.)

Read more... )

The loonpills, they do nothing!

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:21 am
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (headset)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
04:22 Sunday, 25 January, 2015
This weekend is being much less exciting than last weekend. So far, I have: gone on a minor Costco run Friday night, slept, slept, gone out in semi-fruitless search of sourdough bread (the good sourdough at Sprouts vanishes quickly), and now re-indigoed my hair.

00:58 Wednesday, 28 January, 2015
Tuesday: didn't get as much sleep, slogged into work. Had a fascinating hallway chat with Mr. Wizard Beard, who has pruned his formerly glorious facial tresses back down to a reasonable inch or two of starting point. Lunch was nice even though the sandwich was uninspiring. Purple and the guys were talking about heat sinks. (A lot of times various of the guys will ask Purple to explain a thing. It's great.) I googled up illustrative pictures.

The Dean has made the jump from Extra Special Groundskeeper to HR (Parties Division). I think it's a good change for him. He wandered through on his way back from lunch. We are trying to pin down a date for the kickoff of the You Haven't Seen That?!?!? movie night series. On his way off, he made some casual reference to the contents of Blade Runner. I indicated confusion and unfamiliarity. "You haven't seen that?!!??!!" he asked, proving the relevance of the series title.

I do like taking notes on a nice large sheet of paper. I should make sure to do the Printout of Things for the 1:1 more often again, as it's a helpful framework. My manager said some reasonably encouraging things, even though they were not the sunny-day path. Also, some projects! Whee!

Among many other small items of the day, there was a fellow bemoaning the lack of jam in his building on [off-topic]. One of my unofficial duties is to make sure that random stuff that comes up in [off-topic] gets properly handled, so after mentioning that I had seen jam in my building (today, with no boom), I cracked open the user console for the helpdesk. After a few false starts, I selected the category most likely to correspond with jam tomorrow, even if there was no jam today.

"Jelly in [off-topic-guy's-building] invisible. Jelly in [ajlunatic's-building] visible. Please look into this." File on behalf of: remove ajlunatic, insert off-topic-guy, submit.

Watch confirmation page load. Look for link to ticket to add ajlunatic as cc. Realize that last week's overhaul of user-facing console removed the module containing the most recently filed ticket link from the left-hand side, perhaps because it was too fucking wide on a page with generally shittastic use of space. Realize that because some fuckhead thought all Facilities tickets (kitchen issues included) should be fucking private as all fuckery, I can't jump over to the terrible blue-and-white interface to add myself (or, well, grab the ticket number and whine to helpdesk).

Write up the newly fucking discovered goddamn bug involving the workflow of the fucking assistant, and file it the fuck against the goddamn system.

Call helpdesk. "Hi, I need to be added to a ticket I just filed on behalf of a colleague."
"No, I don't know the ticket number, and I can't find it, it's in Facilites."
"Let me spell his name."
Two minutes pass.
"No, it wasn't technical, it was in Facilities. Under Food & Drink, I think."
Another three minutes.
I spell my own user ID, and I am at last added to the ticket.

I am still cursing in IRC when Purple shows up to drag me away from the computer for the night. (My dad is much better about praise and constructive criticism.)

(no subject)

Jan. 27th, 2015 07:39 pm
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
 So I just finished a pretty good book that really reminded me of Shadow Run by way of Solarpunk. Best part was main characters/antagonists that were dragons. Worse part was the tendency to slip into cliched dialogue & writing, over dramatic narration, and not truly fleshed out world concepts. I am talking about Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron, which kept my attention and interest despite the flaws I mentioned. It was even sucking me in for a head voice before I realized I was more into the world and the idea of a RPGing a dragon in such a world.

Then along came this manipulative bastard of a seer. But no, I don't need anymore head voices. Really. Despite the fact it could be an excuse to research Mesoamerican cultures since the dragon clan has Quetzalcoatl as an ancestor. (Something the author didn't even really touch on, sadly.)

Then a tiny little voice said, "Antonio Banderas could be the PB" (yes, I know Antonio is Spanish and not Latin American, but canon is vague on physical details aside from hair and eye color, and come on, Antonio Banderas!) and think of what fun it could be if he met Santo.

Fuck you, impulsive head trap. Fuck you!

unformed thoughts, awful pots

Jan. 27th, 2015 05:56 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Ack. Sat down at 12:30 to read my book for half an hour, ended up buried under cats until nearly two. My entire schedule for the day has been thrown off.


The thing about learning the viola is that at this point it's all about getting to Carnegie Hall: that is, doing the same damn thing over and over and over again in the hope that eventually the muscle memory will stick. It uses effort and brain but not creative-brain, which is what seems to be more burnt out. So it's easy to put in an hour and a half of viola practice every day, but inordinately difficult to get through even an hour of (fiction) writing or revision.

The other thing about learning the viola is that I don't have to smash any of my awful pots. They come pre-smashed. This is sort of the nature of performative arts: you have to keep doing the same damn thing over and over again, but on the other hand there's (for me anyway) not the pressure to make it Absolutely Perfect In Every Particular.

I am, as it happens, horribly precious about my pots stories. I'm pretty sure that before I can really get anywhere as a writer I need to let go of that. I have little to no idea how to go about it.

("Just do it!" AHAHAHAHA yes. It really is just that easy. And it's just that impossible, too.)


Jan. 27th, 2015 01:30 pm
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
Just had my annual performance review and my manager gave me half a point more than I gave myself! \o/

A million deaths is a statistic

Jan. 27th, 2015 08:34 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
Today is of course the 70th anniversary of the Red Army's liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex of factories, concentration camps and extermination centre. As part of its story on the commemorations there, the BBC website says, "Some 300 Auschwitz survivors returned for the ceremony under a giant tent".

Why does so much of the Holocaust coverage deal with Auschwitz? Obviously, it was the site of about a million murders of Jewish people and several hundred thousand other murders, but that's 'only' a sixth of the Jewish total. A big reason is because there were a significant number of survivors and obvious physical evidence.

What the BBC story doesn't say is that 300 is almost double the total number who made it to May 1945 from the other extermination camps in Poland:

Chełmno - total of murders not known, but somewhere between a quarter and a third of a million. Survivors: seven, not all of whom made it to the end of WWII. For example, one escaped, wrote a report about what he'd seen, then was recaptured and died in...

Bełżec - total of murders not known, probably around half a million. Survivors: seven.

Sobibór - total of murders, about a quarter of a million. Survivors: about seventy, most as a result of a successful rebellion that led to the early closing of the camp.

Treblinka - total of murders, upwards of three quarters of a million, possibly nine hundred thousand. Survivors: about seventy and, again, most as a result of a rebellion.

.. so say 150-160 survivors vs roughly two million deaths. And that's getting to the end of the war alive: almost all of them are now dead.

In their main period, all of these four were just extermination camps: unlike Auschwitz, the overwhelmingly vast majority of people sent there were dead within a couple of hours. Unlike Auschwitz, all used carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes to kill: Chełmno in special vans, the others in gas chambers. And unlike Auschwitz, all were successfully destroyed before the Red Army arrived, leaving things like bits of bone in the soil as the evidence as to what had happened there.

The large majority of rest of the three million were killed by the mobile killing units of the Einsatzgruppen, following the German military into the Baltic republics, the Ukraine and Russia, and in the ghettos. There is even less public awareness about their fate...

(no subject)

Jan. 27th, 2015 09:17 am
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
 And the Fantastic Four trailer has finally hit. Over all I like it. They are going for a heavily Ultimate F4 feel, as the directors said in this director's commentary of the trailer. I am worried it is going to be too dark and dramatic. The film looks to dark visually for me also, the F4 are bright colors and hope through anything, just as much as they are about science and family. I also don't know about Ben having rough stone skin, as it seems here. Isolation is a big part of the albatross he carries but not being able to touch anything because of the risk of abrasions is pushing it a bit far.

Still damned excited.

I love my team

Jan. 27th, 2015 02:23 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Such wrangling with helpdesk. First the guy with the Fear & Loathing poster who fled the Monkey House had an entanglement with helpdesk.

Things I did not say to Helpdesk included: "Just because I write 'Dear Santa, I've been a very good Lunatic this year. Please send me a shiny new Macbook with all the trimmings! Here is a picture!' on the whiteboard, doesn't mean that Santa will have gotten the message; your ass is supposed to know how things are assigned to Logistics, and just because Chip wrote a Dear Logistics note in the ticket doesn't mean that they got it."

Things I did do: give Fear & Loathing some chocolate: some for him, some for Chip.

Lennon Glasses Guy is dabbling gently at bitcoin mining. I had some "helpful" ideas. Purple pointed out that the usual suspects for bitcoin mining are probably against all parts of the concept of a solar-and-bike-powered miner.

After lunch, a helpdesk guy had just pinged me about a particular contentious open ticket when a senior engineer commenced letting off steam about a known issue in IRC.

The helpdesk guy thought I was talking about another thing. I helped him see what I truly meant. He had thought I meant I couldn't see un-triaged tickets at all, which was wrong. What I meant was, if a person makes a ticket and adds me to the cc, I need to see it before it's triaged. He tried to make such a ticket and failed because that is not a thing helpdesk can do (it makes them triage first). I walked him through creating it like a normal user. He sounded shocked and hurt when the ticket he created didn't appear on my board.

He had to go rethink everything. Next, the very angry engineer. It was a known issue: helldesk notification emails were sending bad links.

Senior Engineer: WTF is with helldesk? I don't understand any part of it, and the link they gave me is 404-ing.
Azz: hang on, I'm chatting with helpdesk about another thing right now, but after that I will be right with you.
Senior Engineer: wtf wtf wtf do they even have QA?
Azz: *grimly* I think we're their QA.
Senior Engineer: *further detail about the 404 shenanigans*
Azz: Ugh, right, that one. I've CC-ed you on the ticket I've already filed, here is the ticket number, here is the link to the less-broken view of helldesk, and here is how you get back and forth.
Senior Engineer: I think you mean, *you're* their QA.
Senior Engineer: Thanks, this is a lot less broken. I'll bookmark that.

Much later, Researcher Polkadot said something hilarious in email. A crudely made animation ensued.

animated gif )

Later still, the guy who empties the bins came around. A brief but surreal chat about names ensued.

Purple was summoned. We headed out.

I do not know what the m2ma would say about off label uses for extra large finger cuffs, but they had best not have splinters.

Purple cannot have fruit punch on account of it punching back.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
My talk at this year's linux.conf.au was "When Your Codebase Is Nearly Old Enough To Vote": a case study of Dreamwidth and all the horrible horrible things we've found down there underneath the couch cushions, along with the lessons we've learned about when to rewrite them and when to leave them alone.

You can view the YouTube recording (sorry, no transcript), or check out the slides!
lovingboth: ([default])
[personal profile] lovingboth
Shoah is a documentary film on the Holocaust lasting over nine hours. What makes it special is that there is no archive footage and no voice-over, just interviews with survivors - perpetrators as well as survivors and witnesses - and footage of the sites in question now.

The original French version had no subtitles either - when someone speaks in another language, we hear the translator the director used to do those interviews at work. (I wonder if this is one reason for the UK version being shorter - we don't hear the French translation when someone speaks in English.)

With that sort of length it was clearly never going to be at many people's local cinema, so I first saw it when Channel Four put in on one evening in the mid 80s with no ad breaks - how could you have them in the middle of this? - but keeping the single intermission for toilet visits etc.

I'm pretty sure I haven't seen it since, so it was very good to see that the BBC are showing it in two halves. The first is on iPlayer for about another four weeks and doubtless the second will be too after it's shown next Sunday.


There are criticisms of it - if you look at the WP article, you'll see that there are Polish people who don't like it because there are Polish witnesses who don't look good in it. A specific complaint is that the suffering of the Polish under Nazi rule isn't shown enough, but that the majority of people who were murdered were Polish is. And one memory of a couple of holidays in Poland is looking at a modern 'history of Poland' guide book which barely mentions the Holocaust despite three million Poles killed in Poland as part of it. I think a castle changing hands in the 13th Century got more space.

There is a lack of context for some of this: this was made when Poland was under communist rule and right from the start, the communists took the attitude of 'de-Jewing' the Holocaust. Even the Soviets' great war correspondent wasn't allowed to tell the truth: Vasily Grossman's reports on places like Treblinka were censored to remove the ethnicity of the majority of victims, Jews like himself.

And there are some mistakes. There weren't just two survivors from Chełmno, where somewhere between a quarter and a third of a million were gassed in vans, for example. It was still in single figures though, and there are interviews with two of them, including the last who survived being shot in the head as the Nazis attempted to remove all the evidence of what they had done.

As I say, unforgettable.


Jan. 26th, 2015 01:47 pm
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
[personal profile] xnera
I went shopping yesterday. Yay!

First stop was Starbucks, as my sister had given me a gift card for Christmas. I forgot how expensive they are. I got a grande peppermint mocha and it cost $4.65, wow. I also got a salted caramel square and saved it for later.

Then it was onto GameSpot. I'm a bit superstitious - when the time is a repeated number like 11:11, I make wishes. One of my wishes was that GameSpot would have both games I wanted at an affordable price so I could just use the $25 gift card from my sister and the cash I had on hand, so I wouldn't have to dip into my $100 gift card which I want to use entirely on yarn. Happily, both games were in stock and were indeed cheap enough. I got Final Fantasy XIII-2 for 17.99 and Lost Odyssey (at [personal profile] lassarina's recommendation) for $14.99. Score!

Then it was over to Michaels for another skein of Red Heart Super Saver for my BAMCAL afghan. Truthfully, I like my local Joann better than Michaels, but I wasn't sure they had Red Heart Super Saver and I know Michaels does, so I went there. I was able to pay with cash. I think I have enough cash left over to get a haircut at Great Clips - I need to count it and see. It's about time for a haircut.

After that, my shopping was done, so it was back home. I worked on equalizing two more squares for the BAMCAL afghan. I have 5 large squares left to equalize, plus the 12 small squares. I'd like to finish this week, I think. Then I played some FFTA until dinner time.

After dinner it was time to try out the new toys! Originally I had planned on playing FFXIII-2 first, but I was lucky enough to get the manual for it and read that it featured Serah, which dimmed my interests a bit. So I fired up Lost Odyssey instead. I'm about four hours into the game and am enjoying it so far, though I wish I hadn't used up the 10 healing medicines you get at the start of the game.


Jan. 25th, 2015 12:36 pm
xnera: Icon of Kyo from Fruits Basket, captioned "Grumpypants-chan".  (Grumpypants-chan)
[personal profile] xnera
Looks like I won't be able to buy FFIX. Sony is not accepting my Vanilla Visa gift card as a valid payment option. Boo.
azurelunatic: A baji-naji symbol.  (baji-naji)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Earlier in the week, there was a small layoff. The unofficial communications networks at work have consequently been getting a lot of use as people attempt to figure out where the missing nodes are, beyond the obvious. There is a tradition of people sending a farewell email to their team and other close contacts. And then there are the people who use not!Facebook to do the same, and @-mention every group and individual who they can think of. Thus it was that I learned that Mr. Noise-to-Signal was laid off. Of my friends, the only person I know of who was laid off was R. There were no layoffs on my team.

R has been sent the information on where to find #adventuresofstnono. So have Mr. Zune and radius. (Yes, guys, I use an alias for this as well, and now you know where to find it. I started the practice of aliasing obscure/semi-private venues after the Incident where someone showed up uninvited in a different channel which I had mentioned, then never fit in well, angsted in-channel about not fitting in, and I eventually asked them to leave because I dreaded their presence and they were after all uninvited.)

Also leaving this week was one of the newer people on my team, whose wife got a dream job in another country, and (also as announced on not!Facebook) the second-in-command of the helldesk software. No word as to whether she was part of the layoff, or voluntarily heading for a lawn that hadn't been pissed on greener grass.

It being Friday and that point in the gas tank, I had to get gas before work, which resulted in a later arrival than would have otherwise been. Lunch was pleasant. It was the Rollercoaster Tycoon's last day (he's heading to a startup). I gave him my card.

A conference call with the vendor for the proposed new software followed. Researcher Haystack appears to have taken point on this one. His queries of the vendor's salesdudes are shaped slightly differently than mine. He's coming to it quite naturally from the perspective of the research utility of the thing; I'm coming at it from the shoving-all-the-things-in-it direction. Some of the things I had questions about had not occurred to him. He looks at the data structure of the Excel export of their template and goes "whaaaaaaaa---!!!" and I look at it and I go "wow, I would not have thought to do it like that, but I can do the thing", and most importantly the current thing we are using does not do the thing.

I still have many questions about their alleged choice of primary keys, but I think I can work with the thing.

Haystack likes Salesforce.

I made a list of my favorite software, starting from worst favorite and improving:

[that helldesk software]
[the procurement and expense software]
Outlook Web Access
Kipper/Llama (fondness for the devs is coloring this)

Haystack was slightly surprised. I can't imagine why; it's not as if I haven't made my feelings fairly clear.

It was a beer bash day. I snagged a table. lb was not in, but Mr. Zune soon joined me, followed by Purple and large chunks of his team. radius also joined us. I waved hi to another friend, but the table was not quite large enough, so they sat elsewhere. Mr. Zune told college dorm tales. It turns out that when you freeze and then drop a pumpkin, shards get all over, and then they melt on your bike. This is not pleasant.

Joining #fishbrick is the fishdiscus, or fishbee -- first you #fishbrick the window, and then you throw the much more aerodynamic and prone to shattering fishdiscus through the hole. You can't really handle it barehanded, so you wear gloves. You keep the fishdiscus from sticking to the gloves with herring oil. In case they're gloves you might want to use again, you wear rubber gloves over them. A pair or two.

Shortly after Mr. Zune headed off, Lennon Glasses Guy wandered over.

radius regaled us with some of his OWA war stories. All he was trying to do was to move about 2,000 messages from one folder to another. Several months of swearing ensued. Presently, in the new folder, there are somewhere upwards of 40,000...

Lennon Glasses Guy observed that he's heard about an IRC channel driving some of this group's shenanigans from time to time, and he was curious about it. So he was issued a formal invitation to #cupcake. I think he will appreciate it, because he appreciates it when Purple and I bounce off each other at lunch, and has enjoyed the #cupcake table at beer bash.

The group split up. I went back to my desk and hammered on my inbox and the helldesk stuff a bit, although I was distracted by something terrible happening in Outlook when I tried to pick a conference room. It's always startling to watch the list of conference rooms populate and then vanish...

Presently, Purple pinged me. This time he had indeed parked in the same parking lot as I had, and we walked out. He had a banana and a tangerine; he held them both out and offered me some fruit. I picked the one that would not cause me woe. He suggested a frying pan and some rum. We chatted for a bit, and then he zipped off, as he had places to be. I chatted with Nora on the way home.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Thursday involved a conference meeting right after lunch, and then a team meeting right after that.

I headed to fetch lunch a little early, because I was hungry. This was a good choice. The only thing that looked remotely palatable at the moment was the chicken cheesesteak, even though that involved bell peppers. I put in the grill order form with a hopeful "Avoid peppers". The guy said they were integrated. I sighed that I could pick them out: I wasn't allergic, I just hated them. He said to not worry about it, and within a much shorter time than I thought, I was handed a takeout box with a pepperless cheesesteak. I took it back to my desk, just in time to see Purple's lunch ping. So I headed back out and had a pleasant lunch with the table.

The conference meeting was about coming up with a theme for the conference, and a bit slap-happy. We came up with a promising initial list. We had to wait a bit for the conference room. It holds about 20-30 people. 40-50 people came pouring out of it like the proverbial clown car. It had been a meeting for my admin buddy's team. He oversees Quite A Large Department.

Things we cannot have for swag: things that get our people arrested if they bring it with them on the airplane.

The team meeting involved meeting a new guy in a slot Substantially Up The Org Chart. He said many of the correct things. That was also a mildly punchy meeting.

I was walking back from that meeting and swung by Mr. Zune's office; there I saw lb. lb and I went in search of frozen treats, but at the near location rather than the far one. We then repaired out to the fire pit, as the past two hours of meetings had been nearly unbearably hot.

I often choose that spot to enjoy the outdoors, have my ice cream, and perhaps work-from-mobile. It's pleasant, I have a personal attachment to the fire pit, and Purple's window overlooks the fire pit.

This time, the implied extra feature of the location activated, and Purple emerged from his dev-cave to clear his brain and chat a bit.

I came back to my email to find that the desktop guy had got a bit of the wrong end of the stick with my Outlook bug (he was trying to troubleshoot my problem adding the RSS feed, not my problem with Outlook's silent failure when not adding the RSS feed) so I went upstairs with chocolate in hopes of finding him. I didn't find him, but I did find Mr. Zune, and introduced myself to his new* officemate with chocolate.

* A month or two new, at this point.

I saw Mr. Zune's Overlord on approach, so I extracted the third square of chocolate from my pocket for him, then wandered over the bridge into the adjacent building in search of my buddy the admin with the final bit of chocolate. He wasn't there, but the ducks were! So that was lovely. I left the chocolate on his desk, as a bit of a calling card. He will know.

It was eventually time to go home. Purple wasn't braining as well as he might, and neither was I. It was 7, so traffic was calming down. He had been in a hurry in the morning, though, so he'd parked in the most convenient parking lot (the one which fills up particularly quickly) for his building. Due to where his office is, the parking lot next to my building is almost as convenient, but not quite.

I contemplated. I was tired, but my step count was a little low. "I could walk you out for a change," I offered.

He went quiet on IM, but it was about that time, so I picked up, grabbed my things, and headed over. He was chatting with one of his teammates, so I went and refilled my water bottle, then came back and perched in the guest chair (now a proper office chair, not one of the chairs clearly filched from a meeting room) while he talked unit testing.

He hadn't seen the IM yet. He'd thought I was just dropping by to say goodnight. I explained that if I wanted 1,200-odd more steps, then walking him out to his car and then taking the long way back around to mine was a reasonably pleasant way of getting them. That was fair.

Somehow we started at the way I knock on doors and arrived (through secret knocks) at the utter fuckwit who, among other charming personal traits, blackmail, plus other related matters )

"Rebar" is an ominous name for a rooster.

My knees got cranky. Purple got cold. He offered to drive me back to my car, but I pointed out that folding my knees up after they were angry would not lead to good things, that walking it off was good after standing, that being friends with him had in fact increased my capacity for standing around chatting, I did need the steps, and my hands were much warmer than his.

I did get my steps in.

I had some slightly weird dreams.


Jan. 24th, 2015 10:26 pm
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
[personal profile] xnera
I was bored so I did a search for "PSP browser games" and found out there was such a thing. They require Flash, which needed a system update. So I did another search for my missing memory card.

I FOUND IT! It was in a small basket I have. System has been updated and Flash is enabled, yay! I have yet to try it.

I'm thinking again about buying FFIX, now. I tried logging on the PSN Store but there's a forced password change which has to be done from a PC so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

(no subject)

Jan. 24th, 2015 02:54 pm
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
 Dear Urban and Classical Fantasy Writers:
If you have sentient races in your world that are not humanoid, please think twice before you have them be physically attracted to a human. Even if they are shapeshifted into a human body, their mind would not be human and while the body might react to a kiss, I would think a dragon would be a little weirder out.