Wednesday, June 30, 2004

$5.99 Oil Change

Sometimes I am surprised by JD. Sometimes it is pleasantly, sometimes not. This is a not time. So I’m driving home from work (I am living in Atlanta still – JD has been down in South Florida for two months now) and my cell phone rings. It is a 954 area code (S. FL) so I pick it up. It is JD and she is telling me that she is getting the oil changed in the car. “It is really cheap. Only $5.99.” – Okay people, what does that mean to you? What would you think if some one was advertising a 6 dollar oil change? Would you think: “Great deal. I’m sure it is legitimate.” Or might you think: “Wow, that is cheap. I wonder how they make money on a low price like that. Oh, I know. I bet when I take my car in, they’ll find something ‘wrong’ with it and try to take me for some real $$$.” Of course it is a scam. I’m sure you get your oil changed fine, but then they try to sell you a 3 dollar air-filter for 30 bucks or wiper blades for 50. So JD calls and informs me that our transmission fluid is low and, I am laughing at the thought while I type this, it also smells funny. I must tell you I was shocked (sarcasm should be felt here). Here was my response to her: “A 5.99 oil change! Are you fucking nuts? Never go to a fucking 5 dollar oil change again!” Her response to my response: “They guy wants to talk to you.” The nerve! My response: I hang up the phone. I know that my words may have been harsh, but come on… she is by no means a stupid person. She is generally pretty much with it, but this transgression I could not let go with an “Oh, baby, you are so silly.” She is way too smart to be this foolish. Now I’m thinking the guy has loosened some bolts, maybe let some fluid we need out of the car, cut some cable somewhere. Uggggh! Every time I hear a noise in the car, or the engine stutters, I’ll think back to this day. Three years from now, five years from now. I now have to get a new car in order to be able to relax while I drive. Great.

An Email Exchange

This email is between myself and a co-worker. The first two parts might not make sense, but the last will. The co-worker is not a U.S., citizen or a permanent resident. He is in some sort of purgatory where immigrants fester for, sometimes, years and years. -----Original Message----- From: Worker, Ajay K. To: LawFool's Group Sent: 6/29/2004 5:24 PM Subject: cda28 Hi Anybody knows why cda28 is TEAL ?? -----Original Message----- From: Fool, Law Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 5:29 PM To: Worker, Ajay K. Subject: RE: cda28 I think we all climbed into a time machine back to the time where you changed the password without letting anyone know yesterday. -----Original Message----- From: Worker, Ajay K. Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 5:31 PM To: Fool, Law Subject: RE: cda28 if I had time machine, would like to go back a little more (34 yrs) and get borned in THE USofA

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Made Me Chuckle

When I turned in my rental car at the San Jose airport, a man in a turban greeted me. He opened my door and this was the conversation: Turban man: Did remember all your stuff? You remember cell phone? Me: Yeah... I think I have everything. Turban man (pointing to radio/CD player): Remember tapes? Me: Yeah, I do remember tapes. Ah. It was a simple exchange, and probably meant nothing to him, but I sure enjoyed reminiscing about old technology. I don't think he understood that I was answering a question he wasn't really asking. Remember tapes? He he he. Good stuff.

Monday, June 28, 2004

What the Heck Is With The Armbands?

Okay. Here is my feeling on the whole damn thing. If you are not playing sports, if you are not covering an open wound, or (and this is a stretch) you are not paid to endorse a company - you should not be wearing sweatbands. What gives with all these dudes walking around with sweatbands on? Is this it? Is this the point where I’ve left my fun life behind, and now I am a crotchety old man? I can understand a watch, as a watch has function, but that’s it. No gold bracelets, no gold chains with Italian horns hanging off of them, no bowties (when not at a formal affair), and certainly no sweatbands. I don’t know what anti-MTV MTV rocker is doing this, but you should stop. It is like when Milton bought himself one of those ‘messenger bags’ for no reason. He didn’t have books or anything he needed to carry around – nope – he just wanted one ‘cause they looked cool. Well, if it has no function, it is an accessory, and then it is no longer a messenger bag, rather, it is a purse. Not a sweatband – a bracelet. As for chicks in sweatbands… Right on! That’s hot.

Rotting animal carcasses screens

So, it seems I am the number two site returned on google when you type in 'rotting animal carcasses screensaver'. I was looking at my pathetic stats and I saw a referral page from google where this was the query string. Hey, I'll take visitors any way I can get them. I hope they found what they were looking for.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

A Gift from a Korean Wal-Mart

Well, the demo was finished this Friday, and to my great surprise, we were given gifts from the Korean company who is brokering the deal. Check out the pics. Yeah, baby! Some Korean dance tunes. Wow! A two disk set at that. One guy got classic Korean love songs - I guess they know who the party animal is - and the lover. I plan on hosting a Korean dance party as soon as I get back to Atlanta. I bet these songs are awesome! I haven't opened the package yet because I don't want to decrease its potential EBay value.

Lots of great tracks! Perhaps.

Party! Awesome.

HBO is the New MTV

One ‘new classic’ thing to lament about (or a t least it was - I've fallen behind on my issues of Lamenter's Quarterly) is how MTV, at one time, showed videos. But now it simply shows MTV shows. I declare HBO to have now fallen into that category. I don’t get pay TV where I live (because those bastards at DirecTV screwed up my system several years ago) – so I have been checking it out whilst staying at the Hayes. Remember when HBO, at one time, showed movies? I know, I know, some of the best TV shows are HBO originals – just one more thing to complain about. From now on, when someone says: “Remember when ___________ use to __________ ____________?” I’m going to say: “Yeah, well, remember when HBO use to show movies?” By the way, is it 'used to' or 'use to'?

Beauty Fades

San Jose is situated between two little mountain whatevers. I wouldn’t exactly call them ranges (they seem too small, but way bigger than hills), but for lack of knowledge of the correct geographical term, ranges is the best I’ve got. San Jose sits between these two mountain ranges in a valley – hence Silicon Valley. So, when I first came out here, and on each subsequent trip, I always find the scenery to be swell. I hail from South Florida (super flat) and have been living in Atlanta (which is hilly, and the start of the Appalachian Trail is there, but I wouldn’t call it mountainous). So I come to San Jose and I think “Man is this place pretty. I would love to live here.” Three weeks have gone by now, and I realized that I no longer see the mountains. I have become unaware of the beauty that surrounds me. All I see now is my path to and from work. I see the Taco Bell I am going to for dinner, the laundry-mat I am going to wash my clothes at, and the mall where I plan to catch a movie. All the landscape has somehow faded out of sight – within a few weeks I am already done. How pathetic is this? Or is it? We generally take for granted the things we come to see everyday. Family and friends come to mind as the biggest ‘taken for granted’ thing in our lives. Sometimes you have to stop and remember why it is you decided to devote spending your life with another person, or remember why you like to spend Thanksgiving at your sister’s house. It isn’t a bad thing to have to remind yourself of these things. Sometimes you realize it without consciously think about it, but most times you need to stop for a second and really take stock in the people you have come to love. I love JD because she supports me. I feel comfortable with her. I feel we can still be individuals as well as partners. I trust her, and it makes me happy to think she trusts me. She is funny, somewhat emotionally unstable, pretty, self conscious, painfully afraid of imposing upon others, strong, caring, fun, loving, and all the other crap that makes her the best friend ever. I remember why I love her a lot of the time without thinking about it, but it is the times when I make myself think about it that I appreciate it the most. Only one day left to appreciate the mountains. Within a month, I will have given my two weeks notice, and by the end of August, The Company will pretty much cease to be in San Jose.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Loud Talking Asshole

So, last time I was in San Jose I was sitting in pretty much the same spot as I am now. It is next to the office of this one guy who is a total prick. Last time I was here he was screaming on the phone to someone about a flyer that was placed on his Jaguar. "My car is worth more than you make in a year! Who gave you permission to touch it?! Where is the written permission to touch it?! If I get another one of these flyers on my car I'm going to sue your fucking company!" I wasn't even think about going to law school when I heard this horseshit the first time, so I concentrated on what a frickin' jerk this guy was. So what? He had a Jaguar. Wow. He claims it was worth more than the guy on the phone made in a year - asshole. During that visit, I also heard about how much money he made, how much his house cost, and how important he was to The Company - all from him, of course. I wanted to go into his office and say: "Hey, I heard you telling that guy about your expensive car. Sorry about the size of your dick." I haven't started school yet, but one thing I would have to ask now is: What kinds of damages would he being suing for? The guy touched his car - exactly what rights were violated and what would the damages for those rights being violated be in this case. Could he sue for harassment? Maybe, but maybe the guy who was being berated on the phone could sue as well. Nonsense. People get so afraid when other people start throwing around lawyers. Poor guy, small business, trying to drum up traffic - now he has some ass calling him and yelling at him because the ass' wife laughs at him when they are in bed. Pathetic. Now the ass is talking, at the top of his lungs, about how much he is selling his house for, and all the losers who couldn't come up with the $699,000 to buy it. Sure, buddy - people are pathetic because they can't come up with nearly a million dollars to buy your three bedroom house in an over-bloated market, just waiting for the next earthquake. Did I mention he has traded in the Jag for a PT Cruiser - nice step up. Jerk.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Stand Up Comedy

A guy here at The Company does stand-up comedy on the side. He is your typical comedian type. Angry, brooding, gruff - somewhat unapproachable. We are 'workplace friends' and I have seen him out doing his thing (twice now). As luck (or fate or chaos) would have it, he is out here in San Jose this week (my final week) and invited me to watch him at an open mic night in the next town over. He was much better than when I saw him last time, and has some good stuff. He seemed rigid and a bit nervous, but all the same - there he was. Up on stage - doing something he loves. For five minutes he was cranking through his stuff. It must be a blast for him to be up there. It was nice to see. The final comic was really funny too. His funniest stuff was how horrible the word 'rape' is, but, if you just put a 'g' in front of it, it becomes a delicious fruit. I know, I know, rape isn't funny - but he wasn't making fun of rape. There was also another guy who talked about avoiding diabetes and loosing weight by getting a tapeworm. Turns out his tapeworm got really sick with diabetes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

First List!

I know many of the things I list here I will find in the new direction my life is headed, but for now I'm going to pretend I'm leaving them behind. Some Things I Will Not Miss About Leaving Work: . Working . Fucking Field Issues - I hate Field Issues! . Writing Test Cases . Senseless Meetings . Customers . Dumbass Customers Things I will miss about leaving work: . Friends I've made . No more paycheck . No more free soda . No more free pens . Free Long Distance Phone Calls This list isn't very long for either column. I think it shows that I'm just in limbo. I don't love my job, but I don't hate it either. As I said in my law school personal statement: My life is an easy walk right now. And, if I stay on this path, it will probably stay that way. Not too hard, not too easy, just a stroll. A boring life with no challenge, no risk, and minimal rewards. Law may turn out to become the same trap, but at least I'm trying to change. At least I haven't settled on safety and boredom (and ease) already. At least I haven't given in and up. This sounds mega-lame... The way I see it, I will be getting about 9 months off from being among the 9 to 5-ers, but that's about it. I plan to work hard in school (probably a lot harder than I work now at the current job). After my first year I plan to start working in some capacity again. Ah, the never-ending drudge through life. A little break here and there, but a slave all the same. Just in a new town and a new job.

My Trip To San Jose - Part 6 - Hayes Mansion - Part 2

Things about the Hayes: Whenever you turn off the TV and then turn it on again, it puts you back to their Pay Per View channel. It is this endless loop of two sentences: "Get all the new release delivered right to your room." And "Play all the hottest N-64 games." The hottest N-64 games? What? Right, so which ones are those? I think it has been about 7 years since the last N-64 game came out. Also: The are trying to conserver water (and save money) by having the guest dictate when the towels and sheets should be changed. For the towels, you simply throw it on the floor if you want it changed or, to keep it, just hang it up over the shower curtain. For the sheets, there is this little card you place on the bed. When they see the card in place, they will change the sheets. No card, sheets stay. Simple --- However, they don't seem to follow these rules. As far as towels are concerned, they seem to change them no matter what. I asked The SanMan if he was saving the towels - and if they were following the directions. He assured me they were, indeed, following the rules in his room. However, after a bit more discussion, it seems he was assuming they were following the directions. Although each night a nicely folded, very dry towel awaited him, he was under the assumption that the attendant was re-folding his hanging towel. Idiot! "Yes", I told him "The very dry, very folded, very nice smelling towel in your room is the same one that you used in the morning to pat down your greasy, oily, stinky body! The attendant comes in at the very moment it has dried itself and nicely re-folds it for you." Fool. As for the sheets, it turned out to be a battle of wills. I was there for about five days when the card (which I had placed underneath the alarm clock) was placed, again, on my bed. It seems that they follow the card (unlike the bath towel rule) but can do their best to prod you into action. I didn't take their suggestion, and placed the card under the clock again. The next day, the card was not under the clock, instead it was wedged under the pillow on the side of the bed I do not sleep on. I only found it because I was looking for the remote (wanted to play some hot N-64 games). I think they tried to plant the card there so the next day they could change the sheets under 'my' demand. I would have loved to see the look on her face when she found the card back under the clock in the morning.

Monday, June 21, 2004

We're Going to the Moon for a Family Vacation - 2020

I told JD many years ago that I'd take her to the moon for a vacation. It looks like it is getting a little bit closer today. SpaceShipOne made its historic leap into space today. For only about 20 million bucks and a whole hell of a lot of brain power, this little craft made it over 50 miles up. The first civilian astronaut was crowned flying in technology not too far removed from the Wright Brother’s design - built 100 years ago. It was fueled by old tires and laughing gas. And, I'm happy to say (not that I'm a xenophobe) it was done in America. America's free markets spawned the best pieces of aviation a century ago, and the free market continues to move world innovations forward. It isn't only America which is innovative, but it just seems fitting that it is here where modern aviation was born and where it continues to make strides. Private industry is doing amazing things - more efficiently - more quickly - and much cheaper than central planning. I love the free market!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Maggots too

Heidi has a post on her blog about why she hates maggots. It reminded me a lot of JD. I remember her sitting up in our trailer at FSU all night because she found some maggots crawling on the floor. She was a mess. Crying shaking, and trying desperately to kill every single one. They made this little popping noise each time she smashed one. This pop made her shake violently each time. They were making a mad dash from the linoleum floor to the carpet. She new that if they made it to the carpet all was lost. Her only defense was a roll of paper towels and a half full bottle of Windex. She was jabbering on about how maggots were in her house, and how disgusting we were for letting this happen, and how she wanted to die. ****** Slightly disgusting part - be warned****** By the time we had discovered them, they were writhing about in the kitchen and had gotten into a pile of laundry. I picked up a pair of her 'unmentionables' and three maggots fell out. I had never seen her more disgusted before or since. She was gagging and convulsing. She snatched the undergarment from my hand and threw it out the back door into the lawn. The tears were pouring out of her eyes. At that point it became my fault. I was filthy, I was a pig, I was disgusting. The place was actually clean, but I guess some fly had made it into the house and decided to make a family in our trash. It wasn’t that we lived in filth, it was just an unfortunate occurrences. But, somehow, I became the target. This never would have happened if JD lived alone, without me. So, I now tell this story on occasion, and I’m sure to mention how I saw three very fat maggots fall from her underpants. At this, she has nothing to say. The truth is the truth, no matter how misleading. Maybe one day she’ll win the story from me in a bet, but I’m not likely to put this one in the pot unless the stakes are very high.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Marina?

What ever happen to the marina as a movie setting? In late 70's and early 80's movies, all sorts of stuff was going down at the marina. What happened? You never get taken down to the marina anymore. I think it is time for the marina to make a comeback. Exciting marina chases, exploding boats, dark shadows - Look out! - No, sorry, just a pelican. Man oh man.

The Marina. Will it make a movie comback?

Battered Women

I hereby declare that 'battered women' is the public interest vehicle of choice for most law schools, most law students, and, most definitely, most law firms. I am not a law student yet, but every damn blog I read talks about the work ________ does with battered women. Not that battered women don't need the help, I'm sure they do. I just think (read: know) that there is so much support for this group of needy people because it makes the person helping sound so heroic. And, regretfully, there seems to be a steady stream of asshole boyfriends/husbands to keep the supply plentiful.

The Power Point Trade

I work in a technology company. I have been in San Jose for two weeks now for a demo to a potential customer. This is not my first demo, but it will probably be my last. Knowing it is coming to an end, I am finding things which strike me as humorous. Not just the demo stuff, but all sorts of things about the job. Today I was really enjoying people talking about giving a presentation for some executives coming to town. We were each assigned a feature we would speak to, and then it began: The Power Point Slide Exchange. I swear, you could get some serious cash or premium items if you had enough power point slides. Because I work in technology, we can’t simply find clip-art on the internet. Instead, we have to either make our (sometimes) complex figures from scratch or ‘steal’ them from other people’s presentations. If people haven’t stock-piled the presentations, you can see the panic on their face when called upon to give a talk about this or that. They look up into their heads to try and remember who may have given a similar presentation, they look around the room, the start to send pleas via email. I must have 15 full presentations that I have picked through myself. If you happen to take the time to make a new figure (which I did several times this week) people can sense something is different. I don’t know if they understand just what is changed, but they know it is something. Undoubtedly, three or four people will ask me to send them the slides. They ask as if they are going to study the info, but really it is to keep the figures handy should they ever need to slap together some lame presentation. It is a sad thing to see sometimes. Mismatched fonts, colors, style. Some are completely synthetic --- a sick intermix of all kinds of presentations --- used, slapped together. So sad. So sad.

Friday, June 18, 2004

My Trip To San Jose - Part 5 - Hayes Mansion - Part 1

I have been here ten days now. I have showered every day. I have still been using the little bar of 'French Milled Soap' that was in the bathroom on day one. I have been quite worried over the past couple days, because the soap was getting to be about 1/8th of its initial size. Would I have to buy new soap? Nope! Today they gave me a brand new bar. And, they took away the remnants of the old bar. Nice! The toilet paper roll is getting really low... I'm ganna see who flinches first. Maybe I'll use it down to the last sheet, then I'll have a secret stash I'll use. It's not that it is their job, and I'm too good to do it, I just think they're trying to push me around.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Koreans, Koreans, Everywhere

One of my last tasks as an employee of The Company is to try and land a deal with a customer from Korea. They are holding the demo in San Jose (hence the reason I'm here). If you recall, The Company decided to close down the San Jose offices and make the 100s of people here start looking for real work. The cads! It is fine that The Company is laying-off 1/3 of its employees, business is business, but to have a demo for a possible customer in the midst of all this seems a little, hmm, dumb. All but one person involved in the demo is slated for early forced retirement. My guess is that The Company doesn’t think it has a chance. I think they do. All the people testing this for the customer speak very little English. They seem to understand it well, but don’t feel confident enough to try and speak with us. This makes a demo/testing hard because we can not tell if they are getting what we are saying, and if they like what they see. Without feedback it is hard to gauge what we are doing right or wrong, and we fear a misunderstanding because of a miscommunication could have pretty bad consequences. I think I’ll look into investing into companies which try to bridge this communications gap. We are now (officially I think) a global economy. The need to communicate not only across networks, but face to face, is becoming more and more important. I think they are all thinking: Man, this dude is a dumb-ass. I wish I knew for sure.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


The waterfall is over a 1000 feet high. The trees are giant pines. Try to imagine scale.

My Trip To San Jose - Part 4 - Tourism

Wow. JD flew in from Miami at 2am California time on Friday night. She, The SanMan, and myself planned a full weekend of sightseeing West Coast style. Day One: Napa Valley and San Francisco. Well, let me say this: If you aren’t a big wine drinker, and if you aren’t a really big wine drinker, and if you are a totally huge wine drinker, and if you aren’t the biggest wine drinking nerd-ass hustler this/that side of the Sierra Nevadas, and if you don’t really love all things boring as stale bread and wine oriented, don’t put Napa Valley on your list of things to do. Don’t get me wrong, it was some beautiful country, but with only 48 hours to rock the hell out of California, I feel my day was wasted. Maybe if you had a week and you needed to unwind, and you had a lot of cash, and you liked to spend said cash on lots of people rubbing mud on you, then maybe Napa would have been good. San Francisco. Damn! That city was rock solid. We stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge (of course!). It was, as most famous landmarks go for me, smaller in scale than I had imagined. I enjoyed seeing it, but when it comes to man-made structures I always think, “Nice, but now that you’ve done that, what next?” Pretty jerk-ass of me, I know. If it were up to people like me, we’d still be living in caves and eating what little we had raw. I love what people have accomplished, but I always think we can do better. I’m a real killjoy. Being from the East Coast, it was a thrill to see the Pacific. It was windy, windy, windy, and cold, cold, cold, but also fun, fun, fun! Some fool woman was swimming in the sub-arctic waters, but the best JD and I could (would) do was dip our toes into it. The SanMan was having none of the getting wet part, but seemed to enjoy the fierce winds. He found some seaweed with grapes in it. We drove all through the city seeing various landmark places, and just basically enjoying being out and about in the ‘City by the Bay’. Twin Peaks was sweet. The view of the city from way up high was freakin’ gorgeous. Golden Gate Park was rad! The day came to a crappy end though, when we decided to get some food in Little Italy. Parking sucked!!!! We drove around for a good 40 minutes before we finally found a spot. It was lame. We ate at a place called Caesar’s. The dudes in the place were swell, but the food bit. They were all older guys in red blazers with white towels wrapped over their arms. They did the “Bella – Datza good – Yez, yez, whateva you like-a” and all, but the food was no better than frozen stuff from the grocery store. But hey, The Company is paying since this is a business trip, so I wasn’t too sad about the dining. We got back to the hotel in San Jose late, and had to get up early the next day for Yosemite. Day Two: Yosemite. I drove on day one, so The SanMan volunteered to drive on the Yosemite leg of our fun filled weekend of kicking California’s ass. Holy shit! The road to Yosemite winds through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. These are mile high mountains with very steep drop offs. JD put her head down and closed her eyes for a good 3 hours of the 4 hour trip. The SanMan drove like he was delivering a heart. I was sure death was imminent, but what are you going to do? Yosemite is awesome. Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, giant sequoias, etc. I have pictures, but they never do justice to a place like that. You can’t gauge size, you can’t take it all in. Pictures of nature in all her splendor are a waste. With that said, I have about 50 pictures of some of the vistas. Maybe I’ll make a screen saver. All I can say is this: Go to Yosemite. Go to the Grand Canyon. Go skydiving. I will post a picture of one of the vistas. You probably won’t appreciate it that much. Try though. Just think, one of those little trees in the picture would be huge if you were standing below it. No, I mean huge, think bigger.

The SanMan and JD in Yosemite. The falls in the background is Yosemite Falls (the tallest in North America and second tallest in the world). Wow.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Animal Revolution?

Okay. If humans were waging massive wars against each other - suppose a colossal fight of good vs. Evil. Do you think that there would be some population of organism that wouldn't take notice? My guess if yes, of course. What would plankton or garden snails or moths necessarily care or even notice about some monumental clash between mankind? So now think, what if there were, going on right now, some sort of struggle of good vs. Evil in some animal realm of the world. A conflict of great consequence that us humans are completely unaware of. What if the bird chirping on your roof is some sort of birdie spy infiltrating deep into enemy territory, on a mission that could tilt the very balance of the birdie efforts of the Great Birdie War of 2004? Maybe, at this very moment, the horned krill shrimp are engaged in one of the greatest battles for power ever to bee seen on the face of this planet. And here you sit, reading this dumb-ass blog.

My Trip To San Jose - Part 3

So I've finally been to one of those restaurants where they put a little miniscule blip of food down in the center of your plate, drip some sauces down the side, stick a stale wafer into the blip, and charge you 50 bucks. I pretended I was Elroy Jetson, and the blip was my food pill for the day. I don't see how something so small could have nearly all the ingredients the menu suggested: Diced cubes of asahi tuna sashimi, mixed lime and mint leaves, a lemon base sauce with dill and blah, slivers of blah sautéed in blah, with a special fusion of blah, blah, blah... I wonder if this is the kind of life which awaits me after law school. I hope not. I can't imagine getting excited to go to a place like this. I'm sure it is a lot of fun for some people, but I just don't feel at ease at these places, and I doubt (hope) I (n)ever will. Give me 3 or 4 good friends, a pizza on one of those metal racks, a big glass of Diet Pepsi that I can refill myself, and a football game on the little TV above the bar. Of course, since the company is paying, I might as get an experience like this on their dime. And I was with the good friends part of the equation, so it wasn't all bad. Checking out the ladies all dolled up was nice too... hmmm, put a 300 dollar pizza on the menu and maybe I can get into it.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

My Trip To San Jose - Part 2

Boy oh boy are the people here pissed off. Not at me, mind you. Rather, they are pissed off at the company. Here's the deal, the company had three main sites in the U.S. San Jose being one of them. We aren't talking about a little office with 3 employees either. We are talking 100's of employees and a 'campus'. The company has told everyone of its plan to shut the place down by Aug/Sep - but they still expect the full amount of work from these people until then (the company expects it, the management seems to know better). Well, this puts the people here in a predicament: Stay and work for a company that has discarded you or say "Bite me" and leave now. Problem? Well, if they leave now, they miss out on the severance package (for most, this will be tens of thousands of dollars). Many are trying to get early release by threatening to leave (hence no work being done) if they are not laid off far before the Aug. date (people are finding work, and the new job won't hang on forever), but the company has some deliverables they need these people for. Employee wants out and his/her money - Company wants employee's work until certain date or no money. Of course, the third option is this (and the one most seem to be doing): Employee will stay, do very little work if any, and simply wait out the clock. I think some have new jobs already and are just stopping in on their lunch breaks to make an appearance. They know that the company will not fire them (the company is very afraid of law suits). As for me, I suffer because it seems that they have cut off the free soda supply. Diet Pepsis are slowly being bled dry, and I see no re-supply mission in the future. Oh cruel world, why me, why me?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

My Funny Joke

Okay. This joke I made up is really funny to me. Now, to understand how unbelievably hilarious this joke is, you must understand what I have been doing with the last 3 (plus) years of my life. I have been a test engineer at a 'high tech' fiber optic switch company. Awesome. Sure. So I am the bad-ass network management software ninja tester (read: I sit on my ass all day and look at senseless crap scroll by the screen). We manage a bunch of these switches (think Internet Backbone, people. Come on, work with me here). Anyway, a big part of what we do is monitor equipment for alarms (fires, cut lines, wild boar nestings). My company also has a knack for adding features and functionality to the product which look snazzy on paper, but have no real useful application in the real world. They spend tens of thousands of dollars developing requirements, coding it up, and testing it, all to fall flat since no paying customer really wants it. It is more used to say "My stuff is better than yours. Nanny nanny boo boo!" So here is the joke, and so worth your time if you have been reading this ---> We have this one requirements guy (they spend all day deciding how the features should work) named KD. He is a little British dude, who is all proper and reflective and whatnot. He spends days and weeks thinking about this stuff that no one is going to ever use, but he does his job well. So, he comes into our test lab and is asking all these questions about what types of alarms this thing should raise under what conditions, and I think: Maybe he doesn't realize that this is just an exercise in futility. So, I say this joke: Hey, KD, if an alarm raises in a network, but there isn't a customer around to see it, does it make a sound? Haw haw haw haw! Funny, right? No? Hmmmm... he didn't think it was very clever either. Suckers!

My Trip To San Jose - Part 1

Well, I have arrived at San Jose. It is now a ghost town since my company has decided to lay everyone that works out here off. Only about 1/3 of the people have been let go so far, but you'd think they all were given the boot by the look of the parking lot. I was flying in earlier today, but I hear they had an 'All Hands' meeting to go over the new opportunities coming down the pike for this company. What? Read my second sentence again. They laid off everyone here, yet they still had a meeting to discuss the great possibilities of the company? It's kind of like reading next week's 'Must See T.V.' lineup to some dude sitting on the electric chair. What the hell do they care about Monica and Chandler? They're ganna be dead. I haven't checked into my hotel yet. Came straight from the airport to the site and got straight to work. We have a demo to put on over the next three weeks. I plan to eat a lot of steak and sushi on the company dime. I am not bitter like the people out here, because I have chosen to leave of my own accord - I haven't been forced out. However, I will take full advantage of this final, gluttonous, fest before I become a poor college kid again. Bring on the t-bones!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Reagan

:-( Some good quotes: Trust, but verify. Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it. I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself. The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away. We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one! Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector. A Hippie is someone who walks like Tarzan, looks like Jane and smells like Cheetah. Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement. Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders. I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting. We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much. How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin. Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.

Random Crap

To the two women who walk side by side on the thin side walk. Fuck you! You should at least fake like you are trying to move into a single file formation when some one is coming from the opposite direction. You don’t own the frickin’ sidewalk, assholes! I am way bigger than you, and next time I am going to run right the hell through you. I will blast you so hard your fingernails are going to fall off. Jerks! What the hell is the smell in Milton’s apartment? I know, two guys, tiny-ass apartment, but really. It stinks. I feel bad that I’m not going to my friend D Mc D’s party today, but I hate going places where I don’t know at least 25% of the people. I am not a socialite. Sorry dude. I’m just sayin’ is all.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Blogs I Read

In preparation for law school, I have been reading other law/law school blogs. It is fun. I know no one is reading my stuff, but I want to link to theirs in case anyone does. I really enjoy Ditzy Genius and Letters of Marque. They are both law school chicks. Nice. I also read Anonymous Lawyer and Uncivil Litigator among others. I am adding links on the side. Blog-roll I think we are calling it in the blogsphere. I need to get me on that there Dreamhost and instal MT. Word.

Off to California

Sweet. 8 weeks left at work and my company is sending me to California (San Jose) for 3 of them. They know I am leaving soon, but there is a customer demo they want me to help with. Instead of living on the floor of ‘Milton’s’ apartment, I will be in a hotel, with a bed. Free meals! Free California gas! Awesome! A co-worker of mine will be out there as well. He is a vegetarian. So I can’t eat steak every night. But sushi, that should be doable. SWEEEET!!!!!

The $100 Dollar Rule

Not sure if you can call this a rule. It is the way I think you should go about thinking about life and money when you feel like a tough choice needs to be made. I really think most of us know what we should do, but sometimes it is hard to make a choice for various reasons (a big one being money). Pick a dollar amount that you feel is a decent smallish amount of money. X = 1,000, 5,000, 500, 100, whatever. Now ask: “Am I going to die with $X in my bank account?” Answer: “Of course.” So fine. Don’t sweat the money aspect of the decision. You are smart, you are hard working, you will survive. And more than likely, you will die with more money in the bank than you could have spent. A luxury not all of us have, but most who work hard, make good choices, and are somewhat smart, will. Pick a path based not on money, but other desires. I know money is important. When I work I want to be paid, and I like to be paid well, but that can’t be the main factor for your life.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Workin' Stiffs?

The countdown continues. About eight or nine weeks left. Awesome. I was hoping to get RIF’ed (it is the euphemism my work uses for fired – er, I mean laid-off) so I can cash in on some severance. But it looks unlikely. People always talk about having friends in high places, but if your friend is to chicken to help you out, well then what is it worth. Or maybe they are not your friend. Most of the days are spent standing around and chatting. Not just me, mind you, because I am leaving. In fact, on this past three day weekend I came in and worked. I am a sucker. Everyone has pretty much stopped working. It is obvious that the company is in bad shape. If the company is doing so poorly and the bad workers (slow, inept, just plain sucky) are still around, what incentive is there for the real go-getters to kick it out? Work ethic is fine and dandy, but work with no real reward is hard to do day after day no matter how much they are paying you. It may be a slow creep, but eventually, if you let the rotting, worthless carcasses pile up around your good employees, they too will become infected. Good leadership is knowing how to keep your people motivated. Sometimes that means taking out some of the weaker ones, so the good ones know that the slackers won’t get away with it. But at my current job, the slackers, the coasters, the lame-asses, they just keep piling up. No one will send them packing. It seems that we are all infected now. The black plague of listless, apathetic, indifference. It can wipe out a society. If there was ever a time to leave, now is it.