Well... she did finally pay me.... She still won't tell me how her father is doing... and that's fine... I told her that I hope she finds what she's looking for....
Unfortunately I wasn't wrong.
So I got an email last Monday saying that her father was in the hospital so she couldn't pay me. She said "... you have to have a heart ...".
First of all... I do have a heart. I like her parents... I asked how he's doing and I've gotten no response... I've asked twice, and both times have been answered with silence.
Second... what does her father being in the hospital have anything to do with sticking a check in an envelope?
Anyway... so she said she'd drop it off tonight (Friday). 7:25pm and I haven't heard from her.
Kind = Sucker
So it's on record... and I HOPE I'm wrong... but I am predicing that I'm being SCREWED.
When me and my ex were still together, I did several things in the name of kindness, more than I'll document here.
For this story, I'll document but a few:
- Lent her money to pay car insurance
- Lent her money to cover her cell phone bill
- Lent her money for a Family vacation (I was going to go with her as well)
Anyway, when we broke up, she noted that the vacation (a Criuse) was sold out, and if I just took my money back and canceled, she wouldn't be able to go on her family vacation.
Even though she broke my heart... I didn't want to do that to her.
So I agreed that if she payed me ALL of the money she owed me, in installments, by the end of November, I'd release the tickets into her name right away.
This is where I made my first mistake. You see, the vacation is set for the first two weeks of November. I meant to say: "By the BEGINNING of November", or, "By the End of October". Releasing the tickets right away was not a mistake, that part, for the travel agent, needed to happen.
Anyway, she agreed, so I released the tickets.
She made 3 payments: $200ish, $60ish, $50ish.... then stopped.
Several weeks later she called me and asked if she could just make one final lump payment. This is where I made my second mistake... I agreed.
A couple of weeks ago (End of October), she INFORMED me that she didn't have the money and that she'd pay me $50ish a month until it was paid back (this would take over an additional year). I told her: NO. "This was not our agreement. I lived up to my part, now you have to live up to yours or I'll take the tickets back." She said "Ok" she'd have the money paid back by the end of November.
Do you see something strange here... she couldn't pay me for the next year, then I threaten to take the tickets back and she sais she will pay me as we first agreed.
So, here is where I made my second, and I fear, fatal mistake. I again said OK.
Now, I really hope I'm wrong, because don't believe that it's in her morals to screw someone like this, but I have an eating feeling in the bottom of my stomach that she's going to go on this vacation, and then since I wouldn't have anything to hold against her, I'll never see the money.
I guess, only time will tell.
Calling Out Grey's Anatomy
Ok.... TV Writers of Grey's Anatomy... maybe you didin't HEAR ME!!!!
Enough is enough.... we are ALL loosing our jobs... we don't need to keep hearing about it.
Now we have yet another episode of someone loosing their job for something stupid.... no... I'm not saying that someone dying is stupid... but it's a learning hospital, as fictional as it is, someone made a mistake and the economy is, AGAIN used as an excuse for letting some one go.... no that's too nice... let's use the words from the show...
TV Writers... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Ok, enough is enough... almost every current TV show and commercial I watch is about the economy. Look at my previous blog posts... I WAS A VICTOM OF THE ECONOMY. The company I was with let about 5% of their workforce go and I WAS ONE OF THEM!
I've been looking for work, I've been trying to start my own company, and when I'm done I go home, turn on the TV and try to escape the DISASTER that is my life.
TV use to be GREAT for that! Shows like LOST, Mythbusters, Warehouse 13, House, CSI (Las Vegas, not that other crap), the list goes on... they ALL let me escape my life and enter another world for an hour.
BUT NOT ANY MORE. Actually those shows still do, but others like Gray's Anatomy, The Office, Family Guy, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Medium, and this list goes on FURTHER, all decide to be topical. Normally this is WHY I watch these shows, but this hit's too close to home. I have to live with being out of work and few people purchasing my products, but I shouldn't have to be bombarded with it when I watch fiction on TV.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. There are other things going on in the world that we can be topical about and that we need to be reminded of. Being out of work is not something we need to be reminded of, and not only is it too soon after the event to joke about it, IT'S NOT AFTER THE EVENT... IT'S STILL HAPPENING AND IT'S GETTING WORSE!
Being out of work and having no retirement left IS NOT SOMETHING WE NEED TO BE REMINDED ABOUT when we are trying to relax!
So, for the love of all that is sacred, TV Writers, PLEASE STOP!
The Duration of Life
I was working on my website software... and in testing one page, it contained this story from the Grimm's Tails... I found it very accurate (as far as I know), and I thought you might get a chuckle.
The Duration of Life
When God had created the world and was about to fix the length of each creature's life, the ass came and asked, "Lord, how long shall I live?" "Thirty years," replied God; "does that content thee?" "Ah, Lord," answered the ass, "that is a long time. Think of my painful existence! To carry heavy burdens from morning to night, to drag sacks of corn to the mill, that others may eat bread, to be cheered and refreshed with nothing but blows and kicks. Relieve me of a portion of this long time." Then God had pity on him and relieved him of eighteen years. The ass went away comforted, and the dog appeared. "How long wouldst thou like to live?" said God to him. "Thirty years are too many for the ass, but thou wilt be satisfied with that." "Lord," answered the dog, "is that thy will? Consider how I shall have to run, my feet will never hold out so long, and when I have once lost my voice for barking, and my teeth for biting, what will be left for me to do but run from one corner to another and growl?" God saw that he was right, and released him from twelve years of life. Then came the monkey. "Thou wilt certainly live thirty years willingly?" said the Lord to him. "Thou hast no need to work as the ass and the dog have to do, and wilt always enjoy thyself." "Ah! Lord," he answered, "it may seem as if that were the case, but it is quite different. When it rains porridge I have no spoon. I am always to play merry pranks, and make faces which force people to laugh, and if they give me an apple, and I bite into it, why it is sour! How often sadness hides itself behind mirth! I shall never be able to hold out for thirty years." God was gracious and took off ten.
At last man appeared, joyous, healthy and vigorous, and begged God to appoint his time for him. "Thirty years shalt thou live," said the Lord. "Is that enough for thee?" "What a short time," cried man, "when I have built my house and my fire burns on my own hearth; when I have planted trees which blossom and bear fruit, and am just intending to enjoy my life, I am to die! O Lord, lengthen my time." "I will add to it the ass's eighteen years," said God. "That is not enough," replied the man. "Thou shalt also have the dog's twelve years." "Still too little!" "Well, then," said God, "I will give thee the monkey's ten years also, but more thou shalt not have." The man went away, but was not satisfied.
So man lives seventy years. The first thirty are his human years, which are soon gone; then is he healthy, merry, works with pleasure, and is glad of his life. Then follow the ass's eighteen years, when one burden after another is laid on him, he has to carry the corn which feeds others, and blows and kicks are the reward of his faithful services. Then come the dog's twelve years, when he lies in the corner, and growls and has no longer any teeth to bite with, and when this time is over the monkey's ten years form the end. Then man is weak- headed and foolish, does silly things, and becomes the jest of the children.
Website needs some work!
Was showing a friend the new Graffiti feature.... but he didn't quite pick it up as fast as I wanted.... I guess I have more work to do.
Effective Management of Developers
Someone at work sent this to me and I think it absolutely tells the story of how many companies manage their people... sad really!
Encourage proactivity: Management loves that word. It means that the employees don’t have to react, but to act in advance. This roughly translates into easier management. No documentation, specs or any kind of information needs to be provided to the employees as they will have to proactively seek for it.
Discourage excessive proactivity: If some employee still feels like doing things on their own, trying to document things himself to lower the learning curve of (your) future hires, develop an in-house tool to save (you) time or money or to do things like refactoring code or implementing agile methodologies, simply smash the enthusiast’s morale by drowning his efforts with indifference, corporate policies, lack of management back up and other tools at your disposal. Simply discard any suggestion on improvement; either say no directly, or say yes, yes and let it die slowly. Either way works fine.
Don’t let your managers get involved: Don’t ever promote any veteran team member, who’s apt to the task to a management position. Things might get too smooth, as that person might not only be able manage the team great but also have a deep understanding on the subject being managed. Simply hire someone from the outside who only knows about management (carrying around a leather agenda and/or an iPhone, arrange meetings, speaking about subjects with no expertise, without saying anything of value and still sound serious, etc). The less your manager knows about the team, the better. After all, it’s the soldiers who must receive the gunshots.
Give awards: Before you think this might drive someone’s morale up, think about the other team members (and other teams) who don’t get one. It’s a no brainer: one morale up, a lot down. Give it to the people who deserve it less: those who spend their time speaking about how great their work is instead of actually doing something. That will definitively piss off everyone else.
Sever their tools: If your employees need tools, like a computer, an operating system, a database, and some tools to work better, then the best thing you can do is to deprive them of these; not of all at once, but of one by one, to extend the agony. If they need commercial tools, say they are off-budget. If they need open-source tools, say it doesn’t comply with internal norm X and that it requires special authorization (which of course they will never get). Make them fill endless forms and write emails. Don’t renew their licenses. Make them work online on a server located in another continent with more than 10 seconds latency. Forbid the use of putty for console work. All gradually, while demanding the same results.
Spoil their focus: Make sure they are included in every possible, unrelated mailing list. You will make them waste hours of e-mail reading and manual filtering. Remove any abstraction layer that prevents them from knowing problems that don’t concern them. Your best weapon here is an open space (like a whole floor) where there are 100+ people working, without walls in the middle. Encourage loud ringtones of cellphones abandoned at their desks and coffee chats that distract others.
Hit their interest with a train(ing): Give them obligatory training on subjects that don’t interest them, and have no interdisciplinary connection with their job.
Bug them: Make sure all defects are carefully prioritized as high. If someone breaks the code (specially if that someone breaks it repeatedly), don’t let that person fix the code they broke. Instead make someone else (preferably with no background on the subject) fix it in a very narrow timeframe. Let anyone assign bugs to anyone, without any knowledge of the developers available time. Preferably, in a system on which you cannot track who assigned it to you.
Bill Plympton is an Unappreciated Genius!
Ok, first, credit where credit is due... My girlfriend is AWESOME... For my Birthday, Sarah bought us tickets to Comic-Con in New York!!! Isn't she the BEST!!!!
Anyway... I'm a BIG Anime fan, but not the biggest comic book fan... ok... don't be hatin... I have only so much time and I have to pick my vices... moving on... I thought, and so did Sarah, that Comic-Con would have a lot of Anime as well as Comics... we were wrong.
We still had LOTS of fun, walking up and down the isles, looking at all of the incredible artwork, when I just came to an abrupt stop...
That person looks familiar... who is that... Damn... I can't place him, but I know I've seen that face before... wait a minute... NOOooooo... it can't be, he wasn't on the Comic-Con web site as an attendee.. SHIT... it is! BILL PLYMPTON!
I remember watching MTV (ya know, back when they actually played music and showed AWESOME animations) when this REALLY weird animation came on... rough looking, hand drawn... and ... WEIRD.
It was on a segment called "Liquid Television", and the animation was called "Push Comes to Shove". It was funny, intelligent and just made you go... "WHAT the F*** was that?!?!?!" I was an instant fan. But, sadly, that was the last I saw of his work. I wen't to store after store, looking for that video, or any other video of his work and I cam up dry!
... the Internet became popular enough that more than computer geeks like me got online. I was just wondering around the net one day and low and behold... like a shining light of severely disturbed dementia... there it was... "25 Ways to Quit Smoking" ... I was Laughing my A** off!
I told people about it and they said "Bill Who?". I tried to explain the style... but I couldn't do it justice. I wanted to show it to them, but they didn't have the internet in their house yet (it was still early days). So I wen't home and downloaded everything I could find of his and burned it to a Video CD (DVD Burners were still toooooo expensive). Yes, I know it was probably illegal, but I couldn't find his work anywhere and it would have been a crying shame not to expose his genius with the world.
Everyone I showed it to LOVED it.
Years, and Years later, Sarah had moved in, I was cleaning up the living room, and what did I find? That old dusty Video CD with "25 Ways to Quit Smoking"... She won't admit it, but I know she loved it... That was kinda a "Make or Break" thing to do... you show someone you love a Bill Plympton video, and if they stay with you... you know you have something very special! ... anyway.. I digress.
Just a few weeks later, we end up at Comic-Con, and there he is, the Genius himself... Bill Plympton.
I told him the story I just told you... but when I got to the part "...I went home and downloaded everything I could find...", well... let's just say he wasn't very happy, and I can certainly understand why. I'm a software developer and if people were downloading my stuff without paying for it, I'd be mad too!!!!...
... Well until I realized that most people that were taking it, if they could have bought it, would have, and if they didn't, and still downloaded it, they weren't going to buy it anyway, so I wouldn't have lost any money... I'd have to look at it as advertising... If nothing else... if they like it, I'd hope they'd buy it.. anyway... I digress again...
I explained that I would have bought it if I could have found it but I couldn't... and that everyone I showed it to... LOVED IT... and the small fact that I was... right then... buying EVERY DVD he had, and just about everyone I showed it to has at least one as well... I think... I hope... that took the sting out of it...
I couldn't stand it if he was angry with me.
After talking with him for a little bit, I don't think he was. He signed EVERY DVD I bought, told me about the screening of his new movie "Angles and Idiots"...
He also showed a short he was working on called "Hot Dog"...
and the Pièce de résistance, this hand drawn sketch from his new movie "Angles and Idiots"
Thank you Mr. Plympton!
Go to his website at www.plymptoons.com... buy everything he has... you WONT regret it!
(tell him I sent you)
And thank you Sarah for the BEST Birthday Present EVER!
Last to 5, First to 6!
First to Six Rings baby!