Thursday, January 31, 2008

What the hell is wrong with you people....

I've been neglecting this like a crack addict neglects eating or flushing the toilet.

I've spent much of my time lately watching movies, spent the weekend watching the Extended editions of all three Lord of the Rings movies. (Man, thats ALOT of movie.)

Speaking of which, go right now to your local video store, rent "Eastern Promises". Watch it, and tell me 2 things you hated about the movie, I think you'll have a hard time with it. Such a wonderful movie, its hard and grim but you can't make a mafia movie in the style of Disney.

Now to the bitching:

I have a pretty standard work week, generally I work Monday to Friday 8-5. Which is nice to be back to a normal schedule. And since I've been back with the company I've been in a number of meetings furthering the software and keeping the clients happy.

Last week I spend about 10 hours of my week in meetings, now I don't mind being in the meetings because it makes me feel important and it helps take my mind off of the daily happenings of the office.

But then I come back to reality with a sharp kick the groin when the meetings are over.

Like this morning for example.

I had a very short meeting concerning one of the projects that we are working on, and that I have taken over since my return (not by my choice, but the clients requested me). When I was finished with the meeting I went back to my desk to research some of the items that were there that need to be completed tomorrow during my consultation visit.

One of the items is outstanding since the beginning of December, way too long for an issue to be unresolved. I talked to the guy who was working on it.

It went something like this....

Me: Do you remember this problem that Client X is having?
CB: Yes, I remember testing it to see if was a solution.
Me: Did you fix this problem for the client at their location?
CB: No. Two other people fixed it.

I went to talk to those two people.

Me: They didn't fix it, they told you about the problem and that you had to fix it.
CB: Oh, I remember testing some fixes.
Me: What were they.
CB: I don't know.
Me: Did anyone give them to the client?
CB: I don't know.
Me: Do you have the files so that I may test it?
CB: No.

This is the point where I wanted to slap this guy into next week for being a complete f*cking idiot.

He then went on to say that the guy whom I replaced fixed the problem and that I should email him. (I have proven documentation that he himself went to the client to fix the problem and not the other fellow he likes to blame all the time.)

Stupid people generally make me laugh, but not when they keep me from doing my job properly.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The benefits of complaining...

Music: Holy Fuck - Bontempi Latin

Because I'm being viewed as such a whiner here at work, I've become rewarded. I've been constantly complaining about the processes involved in the installation of the updates and Service Packs for the software we distribute. A new version would come out, I'd test it, tell them that it sucks and give them a list of things that were wrong.

If they were lucky, I would tell them how to fix it as well.

But with any bureaucratic process there are hangups. The hangup for this instance is documentation, there is a lot of paper work that goes along with the creation and update of the software. For instance, to produce the update there are meetings to be had, five or six documents to write and have approved. Then you get to write the code, all the while documenting what changed.

Some of the problems I've found have been minor that require a simple one line change in a configuration file somewhere. But, because of the process thats involved in getting the software ready they'd have to redo the entire process just for these changes. They do not want to.

To make matters worse, the people who create the installation break stuff by making changes to the program forget what they changed and then do not know how to get it back to a point where it works. I just want to kill people now. Who does this? Seriously? Why don't they have the same process to follow than everyone else?

Because of all this, I've been rewarded. For the next release I get to manage, document and plan the *ENTIRE* installation process so that it will work (here are the key words) how *I* want it to work. Hell yeah! Thats what I'm talkin about.


I was just interrupted for 15 minutes by the project coordinator for the Brunei project that I'm involved with. Have you ever met someone who just talks for the sake of talking? You ask them a question and they continue talking like you never opened your mouth? How continually interrupts their own sentences to talk about something completely separate to what they were mentioning to begin with?

I asked him, what do you want me to do with the paper you handed me?

He looks at me puzzled, well, here is how the training is going to break down and attempts to explain the training sessions which are on the paper.

I look at him and laugh to myself while he continues to talk. I interrupt, what is this? Pointing to an item on the paper.

Well, the guy before you had set this up as a training session.

Whats the point of it? Is it necessary?

He put it there so I'm keeping it there? I don't know what it is but he said it would be useful?

Without showing frustration or annoyance, I ask again, What do you want me to do with this paper? Approve, modify the training days?

Yeah, that sounds good. You can do that as well as doing this...

I begin to tune him out because he begins to ramble on how the training flights will be and condensing training that we do not provide to make it faster with fewer flights.

Some people just don't get it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cool as...


Google released an online API for their Charts application. You can build a chart in a URL an link to it and have a functional chart.

Here's the URL to create it:,60,80,10,10,10,10&chs=350x200&chdl=Value1|Value2|Value3

I must say this is the coolest thing Google's done since yesterday.

Source: Google Charts API

Testing can be fun

Music: Ministry - LiesLiesLies (Cognitive Dissonance Mix) & Abby Travis - Wink

Boy, I'm really starting to suck at updating this. Who would have thought that being at work would hinder my ability to write and contribute to my existence on the web.

Although, I'm not really sure that anyone is complaining or noticing my missing venture on the web.

I've spent the better part of a week ticking off the product manager (PM) for the software that I support here at work. When I was working here before the PM would tell me when there was a new release or update coming out so that I could test the bejesus out of it before any of the clients seen it. The new PM that they hired since I vacated my position back in September seems to enjoy testing things himself.

There is not really a problem with this, under normal circumstances. But the word normal does not apply to this situation. When testing new functions, its generally a good idea to test out the new items to make sure that they work, and then test some of the major fuctions to see if they got broken. He didn't do the second thing.

*Background* I work for a software company that specializes in mapping software. We create the software that the people at Google Maps use to create the maps that you see. We have our own online mapping software which I deal with that allows users to better interact with the data on the map, you can search the map for certain feature (like road names, city names) and you can also click on different areas of the map and get information about the area.

You see, the last two items I mention, the search and select, are very important components of the software.

It turns out that they released the new upgrade without seeing if those items actually worked. Within 6 hours of releasing it to the public, there was a problem. BOTH of those functions didn't work and weren't tested to begin with.

*Moving forward* I arrive back at work, and see that the upgrade was released. I start to test it and discovered no less than 14 or 15 items in the installation of the upgrade that are broken which could potentially cripple the software when its used.

After resolving most of the issues with the PM, there was another build of the upgrade today to be tested. I found two more problems.

The PM told me jokingly to go home for the day so that they can release the upgrade, albeit 20 days late.

Its not my fault they used the words: "We'll release the Service Pack when Albert has finished testing it."

Those are fateful words if you ask me.

P.S. - At the rate they are building replacement installations, this is going to be 22 days late before I am finally happy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Funny things....

that I find amusing.

music: The Shins - Turn on Me & Holy Fuck - Safari

Three funny things that have happened since I started back at work:

1. I realized how neglectful I've been of this blog. I will attempt to rectify this in the near future.

Why is this funny? Because, everyday when I show up to work, while I'm surfing the internet on my break at lunch I think of really important things that I need to share with people. I formulate exactly what needs to be said and how I need to say it and then I completely ignore putting anything down. Its like I'm thinking that everyone will just read my mind and assume to know what I'm talking about and thinking. Yeah, if only I was so lucky. Wait, that would be a bad thing....

2. That we're actually going to my sisters wedding in Mexico. Not really funny, but its important. I'm still undecided on whether or not we'll tell people or let them find out on their own. Its funny because I called my sister, which I never do and should call her more, to tell her but she was out having some food. So, I left a message. She gets home and hears that I called and immediately telephones.... her twin. Why? To find out if I called her because she swore that my wife was pregnant. Why not call me to find out why I called? Though, I can't say much, I'd have done the same thing.

3. While driving to an AWESOME holiday vacation in Cape Breton my wife decided to have fun with me in the car. She began demanding that I call her by a special name that I had called her once before. Now, I call her many things, Sweet Pea, Honey Muffin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie, Jerkhead, Ass-Munch. Basically whatever I'm feeling like at the time. She had something in mind that I had use about a year and a half ago. I don't remember what it was anymore.

We spent 6 hours in the car driving to my mom's house and an hour of that trying to guess what she was thinking. I gave up and decided that she needed a new pet name that would be special and NEVER EVER used for anyone throughout time. I took two things that I was looking at and called her "Road Tree". She looked at me kind of puzzled and continued to sing to the music.

About 20 minutes later I asked her if she wanted to do something maybe stop for a bite to eat or I could have been tickling her, she looked at me sternly and said, "Road Tree says NO!" I near killed us I laughed so hard.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Breaks over

So, the Xmas holidays were long. And fantastic.

i've been so busy at my new job that I haven't had much time to do anything really. Let alone update this. I shall try to write more this weekend to keep everyone informed of the items that I feel are important. :)