There's a commercial that's currently playing on Hulu that epitomizes pretty much everything that is wrong with the world today. It's a cell phone ad that brags about how long the battery life is by showing two boys in a tent with their dad, watching videos on the phone. Isn't it great? They can sit inside the tent in the woods and watch a four inch screen all day and the battery will last that long!
It makes me want to throw things.
Ironically, I work for the company that funds that ad. Even worse, I am now getting that exact phone because they've come up with some idiotic rule that says everyone needs to have carry a company phone at all times and that company phone number needs to be listed in the email directory that every employee has access to.
That seems a little bit like... oh, say, being on-call 24-7. And we've already established that I'm not an on-call sort of person. I don't work in support. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to have my phone number aside from my boss and friends and family. I don't answer my phone unless I recognize the number, and I sure as heck don't carry my phone with me all the time. And guess what? The world doesn't end when I walk the dogs without my phone. I don't need to be able to look up things online when I'm not in front of a computer. I'd rather just be in the place where I am at the moment.
So basically some poor kid in China is being abused so that more of the earth's resources can be used to create a phone that I don't need, don't want, and don't intend to do anything with other than turn off and put it in a locked drawer somewhere so that it doesn't get stolen.
So last week was the users' conference, during which a whole bunch of people got together in a hotel in some other state and did demos and training of a whole bunch of projects, including the one I work on. I had a great time, mostly because I didn't go, but also because a whole lot of people were at the conference and thus unavailable to bug me.
Even better, of the three remaining developers who were theoretically at work with me, one was sick and going on vacation, one was merely sick, and the third is so quiet I honestly had to stand up and look to see if he was even there. (He was.) Taken all together, that led to some fairly productive time, and I finally found the source of a problem in our product that has been plaguing me for months.
Naturally I sent Rvan email at about 9pm with the subject "The users should go away more often..." and then followed it with information about the bug and what was triggering it. I wasn't even thinking about the fact that Rvan would be projecting the contents of his laptop screen during his presentations the next day.
Luckily (or maybe unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), Rvan thinks about these sorts of things, and replied saying he was glad that I found it, but that he was going to delete that email so he didn't have that subject line presented to a few hundred of our users. The thing is, he didn't change the subject of the email when he replied, so when I got in the next morning and replied to his email telling him he was a spoilsport, I came really close to sending mail with the exact same subject. And that might have been a problem because Microsoft Outlook (ptui!) has a feature where it pops up a small window with the subject of newly-receive email.
I did happen to notice the subject before I sent it, and changed it to "RE: Great job Rvan!". Because, you know, sometimes I try to be nice.
Sadly, he had disabled the notification popup during his talks, so I wasn't able to use all of the rest of the subject lines I spent the rest of the afternoon coming up with.
Here's the problem with my neighborhood: my neighbors work too hard on the weekend. Sure, the fact that they keep up their yards and don't park their cars on the lawn are good things that keep the housing prices up (sort of) and keep the riffraff out. (Yes, I might be one of the riffraff...)
On the other hand, it's hard to really enjoy being slothful on the weekends when you can hear people working hard on the other side of the fence. While I'm lying on the futon out on the cat porch with the big dog snoring on the ground next to me, contemplating eventually getting a broom and knocking down the cobwebs that I've been staring at for the last two hours (or maybe just leaving them there for another week -- no rush), I can hear one neighbor using his leaf blower, and the other neighbor raking. It makes me feel, I don't know, lazy or something.
I don't think my neighbors realize how much they're hurting my feelings by making me feel this way.
My original degree is in electrical engineering, I was a veterinarian for a while, and then I spent more time as a programmer for a large cell phone company. Now I'm my own boss. It's all good until the money runs out...