Archive for November, 2013

Wal-Mart isn’t hiring the best programmers it would seem

Friday, November 29th, 2013

More likely, it’s some non-technical ‘inventory specialist’ that screwed things up, but either way, their system refuses to let you order a memory card to be shipped to your home, with a bogus claim that Washington state regulations prevent it.  It could be a simple error in setting up the product, or it could be a deliberate attempt to get online buyers into a physical store, in hopes of selling them unrelated stuff.  Either way, it is annoying and glaring sign of incompetence during the biggest retail time of the year.

Power failure fallout

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

I haven’t thrown out any food from the fridge yet, I was more worried about all the electronics. So far, they all seem to have survived the experience none the worse for wear, except suddenly sshfs and apache aren’t playing nice anymore.

Not sure if it’s worth trying to debug, or just easier to copy everything locally and move on with life. Still, it worked yesterday, nothing seems to have changed that would matter, and yet….

Capitals Matter

Monday, November 25th, 2013

There’s a world of difference between AllWomensTalk and AllWomenStalk. One is presumably a safe place for female empowerment; the other sounds like a place where a rejected paranoid rants.

There are no stairs

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

There are no stairs, to the basement of the heart
Any journey in that direction tends to be much more abrupt
Like a slide, or trapdoor,
That moment when you are suddenly falling
Realizing what you thought you could count on forever
has disappeared like mist

And then you hit the floor
Break your legs
or sprain an ankle,
The climb up is going to be hard


There are no stairs, out of the basement of the heart
Any journey in that direction tends to be much more abrupt
A hand from above that pulls you out
A side door that opens into the light
The moment when you are suddenly flying
Realizing that the despair you thought would last forever
Has been replaced with joy

Subversion, worst source code control system ever?

Monday, November 18th, 2013

When people complained about Subversion, I just smiled and nodded. Seemed like it worked as well as any other system I had experience with. Until today, when I found out about it’s lovely ‘feature’ where people can delete a file you are actively editing, and there’s no way to get it back, thru the system. Thank goodness for Time Machine.

If you worked on SVN, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Sometimes I wonder

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Sometimes I wonder

what it’s like, to not be afraid of your own family

what it’s like, to break up with someone, feeling certain you can find someone new

what it’s like, to go out alone and not feel afraid

what it’s like, to feel loved


Sometimes I wonder

why I keep on trying

why I keep on lying, to myself

why I keep on believing,

that hope can ever apply

to the kind of guy

I am



Made me laugh anyways

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

I see Mabel has pooped on the rug again, and I’ve got my rubber glove on, and am checking out the bedroom, poop in hand, to see if there’s more to be found.

The poop rolls out of my hand, onto the floor, and bounces under the bed.

I say, “Oh shit!”

And then think just how literally appropriate it is to say, for once.


Ugmo the Unloveable Unicorn

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Everyone thinks being a unicorn is awesome, but they never met Ugmo. Ugmo was a unicorn, in the sense that he had 4 legs, and 1 horn, but he wasn’t a very pretty unicorn, so people often liked to pretend he didn’t exist, even more than the pretty unicorns don’t exist.
Like vampires, unicorns can’t use mirrors. Unlike vampires, unicorns’ reason is that they have no hands to hold the mirror with. This meant that Ugmo lived a long life before he found out what he actually looked like. Which is not to say that he didn’t grow up taunted and teased for his deformity, he was just always foolish enough to believe the older unicorns, who said the teasers and taunters were the ones with problems. But as he got older, and watched all the other unicorns find mates, build families, and mature into parenthood, he realized there was something different about him. Maybe it wasn’t “wrong” in a moral sense, but whatever it was, it wasn’t appealing to people who met him. But still, he wanted to believe in a just and decent universe, where the story of the ugly ducking wasn’t intended as a cruel joke to nurture false hope, and so as each year went by, marked more by the lackings than the havings, he tried to keep hope alive, tried to have faith in the goodness of the average unicorn.
But it was not to be. There were those who found amusement in his pain. There were those who said they cared, but walked away and never looked back. There were so many that just looked and laughed.
Never was there a moment of redemption, no new group to truly belong to, no soul that could bear the sight.

Eventually, Ugmo could take it no more.

Forgetting the wrong things

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Memory is a funny bitch. The things we wish we could forget, stay with us for life, while the memories we need most, seem to slip through our fingers like sand.
I forgot that ‘he’ would be at the show, but I can’t forget how foolish he made me feel.


Friday, November 8th, 2013

The poor young woman behind the counter at Starbucks this morning, managed to at one point ring up my drink & pastry, for the staggering amount of $12,543.71.  She started to get panicked, then paused, said, “I’m not going to get flustered”, and slowly worked us back to a more reasonable figure, which of course is when my phone crashes, and we have to wait for me to reboot this time.

I’ll give it a few minutes before I check the balance on my card =p

As I walked home, the whole thing seems more and more like a software failure.  There should be a reasonable upper limit on sales that a normal employee can even attempt in a single transaction.  There should be obvious and intuitive ways to undo a transaction step before finalization.  A well designed system should guide you through the steps you need to take, for any reasonably foreseeable use-case.  But that takes time, and time is money, sometimes 13 grand.