I Don't Get It
According to the San Jose Convention Center a dish such as Chicken Soulvaki consists of…
Lots and lots and lots of cilantro.
And some steamed chicken.
No yoghurt and cucumber dip.
No pita bread.
It is a bit like describing the music of Mozart in the written word.
Nothing conveys the experience of the music except the music itself.
Who the fuck let the six year old with the box of rainbow Crayola run loose in the Skype offices and scrawl all over the UI diagrams?
With the new version of Skype I feel like all of the colour has been sucked out of my world…
And placed in to the user interface of the application.
What kind of moron sends a recruitment email with 28 separate images attached to it?
Why the fuck do I need to be informed by every fucking device in the house that I signed in my Google account from a different computer?
And no way to turn it off.
Sorry Amazon & Mr Bezos, but I want notifications in my app that a package has been delivered.
I do not need a notification every time this goes on sale or that goes on sale or an item I looked at in curiousity goes on sale or that there are only N shopping days left to Christmas.
Too many notifications gets the app blocked completely from sending notifications.
And I don’t really use the app except to get the notification that a package has been delivered which reminds me to get up from the desk and open the front door.
Too many trivial notifications becomes annoying.
I guess my next step is to uninstall the app because apparently I never actually use it except to dismiss notifications.
A child doing perceived as dangerous activities outdoors?
Or a child swaddled in cotton wool, growing up in front of a TV?
I’d rather have a child with a few broken bones than an adult with a broken mind.
I do not understand why Microsoft Windows 8 & 10 and Ubuntu need to include web based search results as part of the standard, local desktop search.
“Hey, you searched for something in your documents, so here’s some results from Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, eBay, Amazon, an online music store, Netflix, another video streaming store, and a few other sources that we think might be relevant.”
Frankly I think we should also, by default, include results from Tinder, PornHub, KickAss Torrents, Match.com, and whatever child porn, fetish porn, gay porn and shock image websites anybody might be interested in, as a default, and let people turn off (but not completely remove) the ones they don’t need.
Then turn them all back on again in another software update for all users on the system.
I don’t think I need to be “sold too” in my desktop operating system.
I don’t need to be told “that’s an integral part of the operating system” when it clearly isn’t.
If we are going to allow one online service to show results I believe all online services, websites and companies should have an equal opportunity to shove shit you don’t need down your throat 24/7 in the privacy of your own home.
Or am I just stuck in my ways and this is the new economy?
If you enjoy Pokemon Go, and I cannot fault you for that, here’s a useful tip for prolonging the battery life of your phone.
Put your fucking phone in your fucking pocket when you come in to the meeting.
I do not know why we need five different conditioners, three shampoos and four types of bubble bath.
Is this like a “wine” thing where people pontificate on nose, mouth feel, regions and varietals?
Is there such a thing as a soap sommelier?
On the one hand, I must count my blessings that my wife is willing to make me a cappuccino and take care of me.
On the other hand, I must question how she has the capacity to turn out the foulest tasting drink from a Jura J9 that requires you to put a cup under the spout and press one button.
But I still count my blessings though.
And cherish every cup she brings me.
Best proposition I ever got was when I was (much) younger.
I played in a small-time punk band and we were about a week away from going on tour in Germany.
Somebody I didn’t know very well at all who was in my Tang-Soo Do karate class, whose band played free gigs of cover songs at local student bars, said “If you write this software for free for my Dad’s business we’ll let you play a few sets with our band sometime.”
Not only do I get to do free software development work for the Dad (which I already get paid really well for), but you’ll let me play in your shitty student band for free too!
Neighbourhood car alarms are much like the average idiot on Facebook.
They make a lot of noise to attract attention but generally do fuck all that’s useful to society.
I cannot decide if I am being trolled or these twits are actually serious.
“We’re recent graduates from [redacted.] We’re seeking an experienced CTO who has launched a few startups of their own and seen multiple successes and possibly a couple of successful exits. This CTO is a rockstar [sic] of cutting edge hardware design, robotics, machine learning and machine vision, capable of designing, building and writing a new operating system and developer tools for the hardware they design based on our ideas. A verifiable genius. A real hustler. We will put you in front of investors and you have to be good at pitching our company. You must have deep connections to multiple investors and venture capitalists. Do you think you can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us [the idea people]? You should also be willing to inject your own investment money of at least mid-six figures to demonstrate commitment. Do you honestly think your [sic] good enough to work with us? We are willing to put you on our calendar next week.”
Okay… so you want a naive version of Tony Stark then.
Yes I hustle.
Yes I can pitch to investors.
Yes I can put in my own money.
Yes I have deep connections to VCs.
Yes I can write the software and tools.
Yes I can do robotics.
Yes I can do machine learning.
Yes I can do machine vision.
Yes I can design the hardware.
Yes I have launched startups.
Yes I have had an exit or two.
Can I do all that at once to launch a business? No.
And no, I won’t be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you.
“If it hadn’t been for that gorilla, I never would have figured out which bathroom I should use.”
A zookeeper shoots an animal and suddenly we forget about which bathroom to use.
This is the mob mentality at work.
Wisdom of the crowds my arse.
“Ah, Aesop’s Fables. I read that when I was about your age, back in the 80’s. You don’t really appreciate his teachings until 20 years later.”
“I think you’re lying. The publication date…” flips to inside front cover, “…says 2012.”
“I’m not lying. And you’re an idiot.”
Oddest comment I’ve encountered when I mention I don’t own a TV: “You don’t own a TV? What do you watch?”
“We can’t give you access to the database because that would pose a security risk and expose all of our customer data to you.”
Instead, I was provided with an SQL dump, attached to an email in plain text, with all of the user accounts, passwords and credit card numbers stored un-encrypted.
Perhaps they were thinking of a different security risk I am not aware of.
During a technical interview from my past: “So dictate the code over the phone of how you would solve this algorithm and I’ll tell you whether you are correct.”
Ummm… how about no?
“I am surprised you are making an apple pie, you hate apple pie.” said the in-law.
“No, I fucking love apple pie.” I replied. “I hate American apple pie.”
“What’s the difference?”
“American apple pie is an overly sweet confection with no depth of taste and utterly lacking in character ruined by that most accursed spice of American households everywhere.”
“Oh that’s right, I forgot you hate cinnamon.”
“No, I fucking love cinnamon. I just don’t think it should be used in every dessert, dish or drink between Oct 1st and January 1st as though the entire country simultaneously forgot how to cook.”
Two weeks later. Same in-law.
“Don’t eat that, you won’t like it, it has cinnamon in it and I know how much you hate cinnamon.”
“You seem like a job hopper” said the potential client at the networking meeting on Monday.
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“You’ve had a lot of jobs.”
“What would you consider a lot of jobs?”
“More than 2 or 3.” He replied.
“I’ve had a 38 year career in the video game industry. I cannot name a single person who has ever had 2 or 3 jobs and been in this industry longer than five years.” I countered.
“We’re really looking for someone who demonstrates commitment.”
This gentleman was concerned I would “job hop” out of a two month long, part-time contract.
Life is just too short to deal with that special kind of stupid.
You’re giving me a heads up that you will be adding me to your mailing list so I am more receptive to receiving them. Well that is awfully generous of you.
I insist on reciprocating by giving you a heads up that in about 18 seconds I will be disconnecting on LinkedIn from you and in about 37 seconds my script that automatically adds your personal email address to over 500 no-opt-in mailing lists will have finished running.
“I need an RMA for the LED bulb you shipped me.” I said to the CSR. “Two out of the four of the LED ‘filaments’ don’t work and there is visible damage to the circuit inside.”
“If you opened the device to inspect the damage, that voids your warranty.” responded the CSR.
“No, I didn’t open it, I just looked inside the bulb and can see the damage to the circuit on the inside.” I countered.
“How did you determine there was damage inside if you didn’t open it up?” asked the CSR.
“Because it’s a bulb…” I replied, my voice trailing off.
The CSR repeated their question: “So you haven’t opened the bulb up?”
“But you’re certain there is internal damage?”
“Yes, because it’s a bulb…” again, my voice trailed off
Most people’s approach to their career and getting what they want out of life is the same one your spouse will use when trying to find something they have misplaced.
“It did not fall in to my open, outstretched hands, therefore I cannot find it. Can somebody else do this for me?”
The issue over the Occulus Rift pricing is not even a radar blip in the grand scheme of things. But it speaks volumes about how people interact with brands.
Perhaps this is the new state of being: “I am upset because a faceless corporation failed to manage my emotions for me and I am so socially and financially impotent that all I can do is vent about how unfair it is.”
I see a long, dark road ahead for people so shallow that they will permit a corporation to indirectly dictate that person’s mental state.
What unadventurous spirit must you possess to travel 3,000 miles from home (and still be in the same country) to then only desire to eat at a chain restaurant?
I think there are far too many people in this world looking for free work and hold the mistaken belief that I stepped off the boat just yesterday.
“We’ve got a kickstarter and everything!”
Omigosh! You must be a serious client, let me drop everything right now for you.
“Hey! We didn’t hire you to build our website. We went with lowest bidder. But the developer buggered off. We were wondering, could you fix it? For free.”
Met a developer today on our team at eBay who is still using Vim for his code editor.
Has been for several years.
I believe it is because he hasn’t figured out the command to exit.
“Do you use sea salt?” asked the acquaintance I ran in to at a BBQ where we got around to discussing my culinary studies.
“When it’s appropriate.” I responded.
“Ah, I knew it. That’s what your secret is. That’s how you made that dish taste how it did.”
And I just stood there, in silence and a little smug, not because this acquaintance had figured out my culinary secret but because it was the software development equivalent of figuring out which super-awesome secret C++ compiler I used to create award winning games.
My Saturday & Sunday…
Me: “Okay, I’ve got your laptop rebuilding the search index and verifying the integrity of your mailbox.”
Relation: “Can I do other things?”
Me: “Sure, you just cannot open Outlook. And any files you need to search for will be slow.”
A little while later…
Relation: “It stopped working and I have this scary popup.”
Me: “I did say you couldn’t open Outlook.”
Relation: “But I didn’t think reading email would be a problem.”.
A little while later…
Relation: “It still cannot find my email.”
Me: “Let me check the index and the scan. Huh, it seems you closed the scan window and paused the index. Why?”
Relation: “Progress boxes make me anxious.”
Me: “Let me restart the index. And this time, don’t touch anything.”
36 hours later.
Relation: “The index and the email scan still hasn’t finished. It’s barely moved forward. I thought you said this would be fast.”
Me: “Let me look. Well, it seems to be moving now. Has it been running all this time?”
Relation: “Yep, I left it run over night, I closed the laptop when we all sat down to dinner and opened it back up just a few minutes ago.”
Automated cars with no human controls are a complete non-starter where my future mother-in-law is concerned.
Take away the indicator, the horn and the ability to flash the high beams at other drivers and she will have nothing to do whilst I’m driving her around.
I find that most people on social media make an awful lot of noise but rarely have much to say.
I did some contract work for a “gentleman” many years ago who was having difficulty getting the performance he needed out of a homegrown, poorly implemented 3D rendering engine created by developers who had never built a 3D rendering engine before.
I had developed, as a separate personal project, a 3D rendering engine that would fit the bill, solve many of the problems we were suffering.
He wanted me to hand over the 3D rendering engine for free, with a perpetual, exclusive license.
He pleaded, he threatened, he cajoled, he tried to reason endlessly with me that I should give him the source code “because I wasn’t using it.”
He attempted to reason that because I was not using it for anything at the time, that I had no right to attempt to charge him for all of the hours I had put in to the work beforehand.
Have we reached peak outrage yet?
Client: “The latest version of the app crashes when I click on the button.”
Me: “Crashes? How? I’m not seeing anything in the log files.”
Client: “It is pretty obvious a crash. The app shouldn’t just close when I click on the home button.”
Invoking your God (or any religion (or lack thereof)), your veganism, your feminism, your gender or your homosexuality casually in a conversation is akin to me swearing a blue streak.
It’s not offensive.
It’s just unnecessary.
It’s mental noise that points out “I have nothing interesting to say at this point so I shall make an audible pause by pointing out some irrelevant detail about myself.”
“And while you’re working for us, we want you to put a disclaimer on your websites that say your opinions are your own and not the opinions of
“Working with you. I’m a consultant, not an employee. And no.”
“Then we don’t see a future here for you. Perhaps you aren’t the person we need for this project.”
”Fine by me.”
So this is what it’s like to look for work in the 21st century apparently.
I work at my desk late in to the night and regularly go to bed at 5AM, and then, and then, a short while later get up at 10AM (5 hours).
My girlfriend goes to bed at 10PM and gets up at 8AM (10 hours).
My family and my girlfriend’s family believe I am the laziest person in existence for “sleeping in.”
“If you have to ask, you cannot afford it” is not a suitable response to a job that you estimate will take at most five hours with a labour cost of $30 an hour.
The problem with ubiquitous access to computers and a network is not that people start to ask interesting questions about the world but that they ask is always “Is Facebook down?”
My room-mate and I have been room-mates for so long that at some meals I will sit across from her for an hour or two and not say a word to her.
I just don’t want to interrupt her.
Have you noticed how it is mostly poor people, (journalists mostly (but I repeat myself) or ill-funded scientists doing an incomplete study) stating that money doesn’t buy happiness or help you sleep more soundly at night.
Are they willing themselves to be poor and the only way they can hold on to that notion is by convincing you to be poor right along with them?
Vaguebooking – when the person posting the status update is being vague enough to not mention details about the situation but still seeking sympathy and attention.
Many years ago I had a friend (or someone who I thought was a friend) who we shall refer to as S.
My friend, S, wanted to go out for a ride.
I didn’t. I had work to do. And it was a cold, wet week day.
He convinced me to go and he would gladly pick up the tab.
We ride out.
We get to a garage to fill up our bikes.
But S had forgotten his wallet.
Legitimately had forgotten his wallet.
So I filled up the bikes.
We rode around for a bit before getting hungry.
We went to a local pub called the Arms where I paid for lunch for the both of us.
And a couple of coffees at the tea trailer on Caerphilly mountain.
S promised to “pay me back” for the day out that he was supposed to pay for.
Months went by and S never paid me back.
But he did mention once or twice that he had treated me to a day out, and I sort of owed him.
In 1990 I wanted to buy a new bike, but I had to sell my current GSX-R first.
S agreed to buy it from me for £3,500.
S gave me a cheque for five hundred quid but made me promise to not cash it until he got paid from his job.
S never did pay me for the bike.
And he was always a bit short so I couldn’t cash the cheque.
Eventually, late in 1993 I just tore up the cheque.
S got in to a bit of financial trouble, couldn’t make rent.
I loaned him £1,500 cash to pay his rent. Buy some food.
He gave me £200 back as “part payment for the bike” so he wouldn’t have too “listen too me go on about it” those two times I had mentioned he owed me for the bike in a three year period.
He bought £100 of food. I was there when he did it. He spent the remainder (or most of it) on parts for his (actually my) bike (that he still owed me for).
In 1994 S was planning to get married to a girl.
We went to the jeweler because he wanted to look at engagement rings.
He picked out one for £800.
So there we were. Myself, another chap called J, and S.
J and I agreed to chip in £500 each for the cost of the ring because S didn’t have the money.
Don’t ask why S needed £1000, it isn’t germane to this story.
S bought the ring.
Proposed to this girl three days later.
Got turned down.
S took the ring back to the shop and got his money back.
But didn’t pay back either J or myself any of the money he owed us.
In November of 1995 I bumped in S at a Chinese takeaway.
We struck up a conversation, or rather S badgered me and I reluctantly listened. I had not spoken to S in 18 months, not until a few months after he cashed in the engagement ring.
I said that I absolved him of all his debts to me and that the money no longer mattered.
S said to me “You still owe me fifty quid. If you pay me back I’ll treat you to some takeaway.”
“For what?” I asked.
“That day we went out to Caerphilly and I treated you to lunch and a tank of petrol for the bike. You owe me fifty quid as your half for the day out.”
Bear in mind, two coffees, two pints of cider, two plates of chicken and chips and two tanks of petrol for the bikes probably only came out to about 40 quid for the two of us.
Which I paid for.
My “half” — that S wanted me to pay for seven years later — was going to be fifty quid. On the day we went out I paid for everything because S forgot his wallet.
This is a time when I surprisingly was not inclined to violence — I was about to emigrate to the US and didn’t want to be in legal trouble.
“I hope you die of an aggressive brain cancer you little fucker.” I said and I walked away.
I don’t need that kind of parasite in my life.
I got an email years later (in 2002) from S asking if I could loan him rent money.
Right out of the blue.
“Can you loan me money to pay my rent?”
And you are left to scratch your head and ponder the temerity of some people.
Ah clients, the bane of every contractors life.
Sat in a meeting earlier this week, where the client was trying to browbeat me in to lowering my prices and he says to me, “Well if I had your experience and computer I could just do it myself for free, so I don’t see why you need to charge so much.”
Any certifying body that can only exist because of (a non-legal requirement for) member dues or requires new members and their application/certifying fees to keep the certifying body in business is, by definition, just that.
And if a certifying body is a business then it has no business being in business.
And it most certainly has no business telling people who can and cannot work based on the purchase of some faux credential.
P.S. A certifying body that demands (not requests) I pay member dues for the book review column I write and thereby, by their torturous logic I am “practicing unlicensed journalism” needs to be told to go fuck themselves.
“You will feel different once you have kids of your own.” said the condescending friend rather smugly.
So you’re saying I should undergo a life-altering, irreversible event just to see if I like it.
How about “no.”
“These are really good” I said, politely after I had finished crunching on an under-cooked, over-salted potato. “Would love to get the recipe.”
“I don’t share my recipes” said the family member. “I consider them family secrets.”
I stopped, the next slice of potato half-way to my mouth. “Really? Boiled red potatoes, dried thyme, several pats of butter. Some salt. Anything I’m missing?”
The family relation sat there quietly, visibly upset that I had spilled their secret boiled potato recipe to the rest of the family members (all family members) gathered around the table.
I am not known for my diplomacy when it comes to family members, determining a recipe, or fools.