26 September 2004

What an awful week

What an awful week this has been. I've been working every day from last Saturday to Friday. I don't think I made it home before 7:00 any night in the past week. This is all due to a set of mistakes made in August.

In August, my employer bid on a new corporate website for a client. The client had a site but wanted a new CMS that would allow for central management of all their geographic sites. They wanted it by the end of September. Without going into great depth, the project was poorly planned, scoped, and budgeted.

Mid-July saw the first crisis. The client had lost faith in the single developer we had assigned to the project. Never mind that no one had given this developer any clear definition of goals or even a simple list of items to build and tasks to accomplish. I was forced onto the project to augment the single developer. I couldn't believe how much work was left.

One developer my ass.

The two of us have worked late and long every week since mid-July. Two weeks ago we finished primary programming and moved to content development. This required even more developers and even later hours. This past week we had five people working ten hour days. Three of us didn't leave until 9:30pm Friday night.

And it's not over yet. The main US site and two of the localized sites are released for review. We'll be getting feedback in a few days. Everything has to be "perfect" by the end of the month.

I'm too old for this shit.

16 September 2004

Photo journal: America's uninsured

BCC News online photo journal of American's that lack health insurance.

Stories like this really upset me. My degree is in Economics so I'm ignorant of the benefits of free market captialism. I'm also aware that sometimes the free market fails to allocate resources in the most productive way. I cannot agree with a system that does not provide universal healthcare. To force people to work just to stay healthy is immoral.

15 September 2004

No Yoga today

After waking up this morning and weighing myself I decided to get to work early instead of going to yoga class. I've dropped three pounds in the last three days due to working so late that I couldn't eat dinner. That is way too much weight loss way too fast. Three pounds in three days is not healthy. Some of that loss is almost certainly muscle. I have put too much time money and effort into my physical health over the last year to accept this type of loss. So I decided to bag yoga in the hope that I can get enough work done to go home on time and eat dinner for once. I spent half of Sunday making chili and I haven't had one spoonful yet. Maybe tonight I will finally make a dent in something other than my belly.

14 September 2004

Home late again

I got home late again tonight. Too late for a decent dinner again. It may be like this all week. My only stress-free time seems to be while riding on the train to and from work. Hopefully Yoga class tomorrow morning will push some of the stress out.

I'm going to put a Chieftains album on repeat and read until bed.

No dinner

I had to work late last night to help a junior developer fix a problem. I didn't get home until 9:00 PM. Since I go to bed at 9:30 - no dinner for Kevin last night. Luckily my trainer cancelled my session this morning so I did an easy workout and got to work a bit early.

I'll have to find something big and nasty for lunch to make up for skipping dinner. There's a Baltic restaurant around the corner that makes an insane hamburger with creamy imported feta and a delicious vegetable spread called Ajvar that is amazing. Very bad for me but so very good.

Update: Some nice co-worker deposited a huge basket of freshly picked yellow cherry tomatoes in the kitchen. I'm saved!

13 September 2004

Morning Workout

Distance run today:

Miles: 6.8
Time: 60 minutes flat
HRavg: 163
HRmax: 192
Recovery120: 38

Still not real happy with that Recovery but my speed is increasing yet my HRavg and HRmax is pretty constant. Plus my weight is still holding at 126lbs.

12 September 2004

Storm moving in

I just got back from the bookstore and noticed there is a storm moving in from the West. The prevailing wind here is from the South. Only strong nasty lightning-filled storms move in from the West. It might still turn South but I doubt it. The radar track indicates I'll at least catch a piece.

Update: I'm boned. Here comes the nasty stuff. I'll be dreaming about wind tunnels and banging pots tonight.

Light

I just read John Vandemeer's glowing review of M. John Harrison's Light. I'm off to the book store.

Old photo of me

Okay, here's a slightly old photo of me. I look a fair amount different now. I'm in color. I'm 20 pounds lighter. My hair is red not black.

Actually my hair is really a mess of brown, black, red, blond, and four strands of gray that I'm sure no one noticed but me. I colored it red to get rid of the gray....



Now If I would only spend some time to hook up my cameraphone to my computer.

Firefox ate my bookmarks - Update

Remember when I said I had a backup of my bookmarks file?

Crap.

Headgear is for dorks

I don't understand why people are so hyped over bluetooth headsets. Every single one that I've seen is a bulky mess that looks set to tear off an ear. Every time I see a person walking or driving with a headset I immediately think "dork". If you are so busy that you can't stop to concentrate on what another person is saying perhaps you should delay the conversation. Not giving your full attention to a conversation is rude.

Gmail's Spam Policy

It looks like Gmail has instituted a new policy to delete spam messages after 30 days. This is great for me since I get about 50 spam emails a day from my old college address.

11 September 2004

Firefox ate my bookmarks

I use my iPod mini to store my FireFox bookmarks. This way I can have the same bookmarks at work as I have at home. Pretty smart I thought. Except that Firefox occasionally eats bookmark files.

I Obviously Don't Know What I'm talking about

I received the following comment from capsandxfilesfan1242 who apparently likes hats and X-files. Not sure what the 1242 is all about though.
The petition to bring The X-Files back to Sci-Fi is a great idea! You obviously don't know what a quality TV show is supposed to be like. In a recent TV Guide article it ranks The X-Files at #2 for the top 25 cult TV shows of all time, and let me tell you The X-Files has a huge following. Gillian Anderson is great and her acting is fantastic. You probably haven't seen the part of the series when Mulder gets abducted or when he "dies", Scully is very emotional then, which Gillian does a great job acting. Scully was not a sidekick, but a partner, scientist, and a loyal friend. There are also X-Files references all the time like on the news, radio, TV shows, and songs. You can go to http://mywebpages.comcast.net/injoke/xfoutsid.html to see just how many references there are of The X-Files, and even that isn’t correct because there are more shows all the time that have X-Files references in them like the Navy NCIS episode “The Truth is Out There.” I don’t think that any other show has this may references because no other show is as good as The X-Files.

I'd like to hear what you favorite show is because I bet its something really stupid.
Well that must be it. I'm stupid for having a contrary opinion. That's what I get for going against the rabid fans of a cult show.

Yup. Me's a dummy.

05 September 2004

This is what happens

This is what happens when you have a President that doesn't give a shit about what half the country thinks of him. Because Bush is so dismissive his opponents are desperate to get their message across. Innocent people get dragged in by mistake.

Don't be a dick. Don't elect a President that thinks half the country is wrong and not worth caring about.

Did T-Mobile block TxTMOB messages during Convention?

There's a lot of speculation that T-Mobile, my carrier, blocked text-messaging during the RNC convention to hamper protestors. If this is true, wouldn't it violate T-Mobile's status as a common carrier?

My next phone

will be a Treo 650. But short-sighted crap like no WiFi support really makes me wonder.

Beer sales down in Ireland: Guinness blames the iPod

Not that I care since all the Guiness around here is 3.2%, but Guinness should partner with Apple to provide free downloads with every glass.

The case of Turkish İ & Turkish I

This reminds me of a problem I had with a current developer-client. I am part of a team that is co-developing a new website CMS for a client. The lead developer for the client is also the designer of the application. The trouble is he's a terrible designer that is not very familiar with the .NET Framework. He's especially unfamiliar with the i18n portions. That's a big problem when the website is in six languages.

The client developer took the time to develop his own i18n facilities in the CMS. He completely bypassed the built-in objects. That was until I needed to change the format of a date by culture. To do this I created a table in the database to associate a custom date format string with specific cultures. I then set the executing thread to the culture provided by the client's custom objects. Finally, I set the date format provided by the database table. Simple.

Well, the client saw this and immediately wanted to set the ThreadCulture for the entire site. Now that would have been the right thing to do at the begining of the project. But we are only three weeks from testing. It took me a long time to explain to the client developer that ThreadCulture has an effect beyond data format.

Sometimes I really hate clients.

03 September 2004

Je ne regrette rien

Last week The Economist newspaper published an excellent survey of George Bush's first term. The article is incisive and critical. While it appears that the Economist board still favors Bush they are very troubled about how things have progressed so far. The editors are particularly concerned about his handling of the Economy, meddling in citizen's private affairs, constant need for secrecy, and audacious manipulation of the truth boarding on bald lies. There are some very positive bits as well but I let you dig them out. It's a very well done and chilling article.

Kerry's probably screwed

I really want John Kerry to be the next President. I live in Utah so my vote doesn't count but I'll still vote for Kerry. He's probably screwed. Kerry has been doing nothing but reacting. Bush is doing what I expected, what he's done in every campaign, he's attacking Kerry's strength - service in Vietnam. This is where Bush is weak and Kerry should be strong. Yet Kerry has been able to do nothing but defend his war record. That shouldn't be happening.

Bush should be explaining why there are gaps in his record. Bush should be explaining why he claims to want government out of people's lives yet can't help meddling. Bush should be explaining why his deficit spending is necessary. Bush should be explaining but he's not. Kerry's probably screwed.

Next on the list will be Kerry's Senate record which is a weakness. People want a decisive leader but legislators aren't decisive. Legislators try to see all sides. They compromise to make deals. They vote for something distasteful in exchange for support on something they want. No legislator leaves office with a clear record. That's why Congressmen almost never get to be President while Governors cruise right in.

Kerry's service record should have been his ace. It's damaged goods now. By the time Kerry gets around to brining up Bush's lack of a service record the electorate will be tired of hearing about Vietnam. This is what happens when you pick a legislator for a candidate. Kerry's probably screwed.

What to do this weekend?

I have no plans for the glorious three day Labor-Day weekend. None at all. My family would love it if I drove down to Vegas for a visit. They want to see the new truck but I really don't want to drive six hours each way in three days. The truck will keep.

What should I do?

I can't go hiking, the weather's going to be sketchy.
I will not be playing computer games.
I could work on a personal project that's sitting for a while.
I have to build a simple tool for a friend's site so I can maintain my free all-you-can-eat yoga pass.
I need some new clothes for Fall.
I was going to get my hair cut but my hairdresser realized it was a three day weekend and took off.
I could see a movie.

I know! I go to sleep early and figure it out in the morning.

PHILES UNITE!!!

Someone has started a petition to bring back the X-files on SciFi. Why? It was a terrible show. Really terrible. The wooden acting. The idiotic plots. Gillian Anderson was nothing more than the typical side-kick help-meat.

Does anyone really want to see the FBI running around chasing ghosts & aliens anymore?

02 September 2004

Doom 3

I recently started playing Doom 3. It was nice a scary for the first night. The sound is great and the graphics are amazing. But the gameplay sucks. It's boring! It's easy! I'm on the highest difficulty setting and I'm breezing right through. Not a challenge at all. I don't think I'll be playing for much longer.

Morning Workout

I hate interval workouts. I really hate them.


  • Total Time: 1:20.36

  • HRavg: 158

  • HRmax: 194

  • Distance: 5.7 miles

  • Warmup


    • Time: 10:00

    • HRavg: 116

    • HRmax: 151


  • Intervals: 5:00 / HR 145
    1. HRavg: 158
      HRmax: 165
      Reco: 28
      Speed: 6mph
    2. HRavg: 161
      HRmax: 172
      Reco: 42
      Speed: 6mph
    3. HRavg: 162
      HRmax: 172
      Reco: 28
      Speed: 6mph
    4. HRavg: 166
      HRmax: 178
      Reco: 33
      Speed: 6mph
    5. HRavg: 168
      HRmax: 179
      Reco: 56
      Speed: 6mph
    6. HRavg: 170
      HRmax: 182
      Reco: 1:12
      Speed: 6.5mph
    7. HRavg: 171
      HRmax: 179
      Reco: 1:08
      Speed: 6.5mph
    8. HRavg: 173
      HRmax: 187
      Reco: 1:40
      Speed: 6.7mph
    9. HRavg: 167
      HRmax: 191
      Reco: 1:22
      Speed: 7mph
    10. HRavg: 177
      HRmax: 192
      Reco: 1:34
      Speed: 7mph



As much as I hate Intervals (really alot) I have to admit those are really good times. Plus I don't ache at all. Usually I'm a mess for at least the day after but I feel fine.

01 September 2004

Yoga Day!

Nothing beats Yoga Day!