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azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Today was just a kind of great day all around.

I got some lovely quality time with someone important, and acted as an inadvertent muse for some writing. :)

It turns out that someone I have long been acquainted with via the internet is now local, and we met up for hot chocolate and gossip at Borderlands. I look forward to many more beverages-gossip-and-writing meetups as long as we remain local!

It turns out that when I'm forced to choose between Foreigner and Rosemary and Rue, I will go with Bren. They're for different things, with me, and the application here felt more like that one.


There was dinner with a friend who was in from out of town. Purple had offered that he might be available, but teased me that he didn't *have* to be available, if it was that kind of dinner.

It was the kind of dinner where things that had previously been hinted at were made somewhat less oblique. It was also the kind of dinner where my phone decided to malfunction by turning itself off repeatedly, in a way that made me despair for its actual lifespan. Fortunately, applying power made it behave itself better. (Even though the battery was showing 30-something percent.)

It took us a while to actually successfully wish each other goodnight, as additional topics of discussion kept occurring. But I was home at a sensible hour, and gave Dawn the promised update. (My primary partner got first update.)

And tomorrow will be General Togetherness! Should be fun.
azurelunatic: Computer with a wind-up key captioned "Which version of STUPID are you running?" (stupid)
Ev is applying to All The Internships, at a very sensible and sustainable rate. This week's applications includes a little company whose product I was ... privileged ... to have been introduced to during my time at Virtual Hammer.

I speak, of course, of the "new" (July '14) helldesk software.

Ev: "how did you hear about our company?" "my godmother wants to stab the hci designers"
Azz: not *just* the HCI designers
Azz: also the API designers
Ev: "my godmother wants to stab everyone"

I have asked Ev to ask some mutual friends about their impressions of the place, based on the words I've emitted about it over my 1.5 years of experience with the thing. So far the timing hasn't worked out so well.
azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
Purple has a flip-phone that's about ... 5? 6? years old now. It charges off MiniUSB (not MicroUSB). Every now and then someone calls him "Captain Kirk" for using it. This tends to result in some parking lot improv.

Every now and then someone suggests to Purple that because he is a software engineer in the tech industry, perhaps he should be getting with a smartphone. Purple has a standard rant prepared for this occasion. The gist of it is:

Purple has a home phone. Purple has a work phone. When you find a smartphone plan that costs $100 a year, come tell him about it. Meanwhile, Purple is over here with his prepaid flip phone, which works perfectly well at getting him calls and texts while he is out and about; while he is out and about he is also not likely to need to be emailed, because he's generally driving or at dinner or in some other situation where really, you should not need email. (Also, in recent years he has added an iPad to his set of gear, and you often don't need a second portable computing machine at that point.)

Now, that's been the situation for nearly as long as I've known Purple. It's something that I've come to accept and even like about him.

Over the past months and weeks, Purple has noticed that his signal has become patchy. His noble little cellphone (which often does fun tricks like leaving the screen light on, which chews through battery, or failing to charge for some reason, or occasionally even pocket-dialing) has been getting signal in fewer places. First he noticed he wasn't getting it reliably inside his office anymore. (That chewed up battery.) Then there were other spots of spotty service. At some point, his prepaid cell outfit gently pointed out that his little old phone was 2G only, and the 2G network around these parts is going away. Soon. Now. And maybe you should get a new phone, bro.

I would describe myself as a procrastinator.
I would describe Purple as the kind of procrastinator who will cheerfully spend 15 minutes every week and a half to twice a week (depending on temperature) using a cigarette lighter plug portable air compressor to refill his slow-leaking tire, for over a year, rather than making the appointment to get the tire fixed or replaced. (I cannot throw too many stones. He knows where a lot of my stuff is hidden, too.)

Purple has allowed as how he will probably need to get himself a new prepaid flip phone that uses a slightly more modern cell network, and maybe takes a charger that more people are likely to have on them. He allows as how he may continue to put this off.

Last Friday at the ex-co-worker-crowd dinner, Purple invited his old friend GG (and her husband) as well as Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly and me. I texted Purple to let him know that I was running about 10 minutes late. I arrived to find that he hadn't got my text, as he'd no signal in the restaurant. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly arrived somewhat after me. She'd become delayed in some event-related fuckery on 101. She'd tried to call Purple!

GG proceeded to give Purple a hard time about his Luddite refusal to have a smartphone, pointing out that Purple is a well-paid engineer who can afford a fucking smartphone and a data plan. GG does this sort of thing, it turns out -- gives Purple a hard time about things. And Purple continues to be his cheerfully procrastinatory and stubborn self.

I learned long ago that when Purple took a hard stance about something, that I was wasting everyone's time if I kept arguing about it, and the way to get around it was to accept his viewpoint and let him get around to it in his own time. Possibly by setting a good example by way of my own anti-procrastination efforts. Occasionally by saying "Eh, maybe you should get on that thing?" but not when he'd just been ranting about it.

Tonight I was halfway to dinner when I realized that I hadn't let Purple know that after we'd agreed on a time and place, I'd poked our mutual friend phone (whose favorite lunch spot it was) to let him know that we were convening for dinner and he'd be welcome. I thought about texting (hands-free, wheeee!) but realized: Purple wouldn't get that text. Anyway, I wasn't sure whether phone would be able to make it. So, we might as well see if he showed up...

I eventually remembered to text phone to let him know where we were sitting. He and his boyfriend showed up quite promptly thereafter, and we took a bit bigger table, and had a lovely time.

I may inquire gently with Purple, tomorrow, when he thinks he's going to actually get that new flip phone. 💜💜💜☎️🙄😘
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
I still keep getting ambushed by mandatory naps, but I have notice on them, and today I actually did (post-nap) get up the coherence to do a small shopping run. I drove; my pain levels have been low enough that the last srs bzns painkiller was either late Friday or early Saturday, so it's well cleared my system.

Purple did not come visit this weekend -- I was feeling pretty awful on Saturday (there are certain well-known side effects of srs bzns painkillers on the digestive system, and it turns out that coming *off* also has effects), and then he was feeling pretty awful Sunday. So.

I haven't actually watched any of the tv I was planning to watch, yet. Other things have been poking into my sphere of attention.

I have discovered that getting Windows 10 to not reboot you without permission is much more difficult on the wired network. Swearing ensued, followed by modifying the permissions on the registry such that the registry could be edited to mark all internet connections as metered, not just the wireless sort.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
So I headed off to phone's party! phone lives not that far away from the conference venue, and the party was already swinging pretty vividly when I got there. I found parking (leaving a space behind me) and came in, bearing a small potted rose and the tray of sandwiches. The apartment was cheerfully decorated visible from outside with some delightful purple fairy lights. The level of sparkle visible from without was only a hint at the level of sparkle within. phone's boyfriend answered the door. He is an elegantly flamboyant man of a certain age, with a flair for striking outfits and costumes. On this occasion he was wearing a skin-tight silver jumpsuit with a mesh sweater over top and also amazing high-heeled silver holographic boots. He was not the only person wearing a super-sparkly outfit that night, as there was a guy in a long robe and top hat both made out of flat-sequined silver fabric (with reflectors larger than my beloved late disco ball dress, but similar). There were all sorts of colored sparkly lights. I got a drink and found a chair in the corner, where I wound up chatting with Jen, who has a small flock of chickens and a number of amusing (and occasionally terrible) stories involving them. Exactly my kind of person. Her husband was also at the party. phone tried to troubleshoot the rainbow fairy lights.

I texted Purple to let him know I was there, since I hadn't seen him. He texted back to say he would be there in about 20. And in about 20, I saw his silhouette through the patio door, and then he was coming out back and saying hi to phone and taking his accustomed place next to me. We had a silly exchange and he ruffled my hair. When he wandered off to grab a drink after a while, the party shifted around, and a small crowd gathered in my corner. I noticed him come back with drink in hand, notice the crowd, shrug, and strike up a conversation with someone near him. I wasn't bothered: Jen and I were getting on quite well.

Jen is a non-techie. phone's boyfriend is a non-techie. Jen, Jen's husband, phone's boyfriend, and I got in a discussion about some of the ways that conversations involving techies can go. The phrase "I need sympathy, not troubleshooting" can be key. (I looked fondly over at the very nicely sympathetic techie holding the neon green drink, holding forth on some topic with phone.)

The party shifted again, and sight lines between Purple and me were restored. We flashed an ironic wave at each other, and Purple made a semi-apology for not having come back directly that matched my assessment. (And, again, I'd been having a great time talking to Jen, so it wasn't like I was completely on my own at this party, even though I knew three, now four, people there out of quite a few more than four.)

It turns out that not only was Jen's husband at the party, but Jen's husband has known phone for years and years and years online, and has also known Purple for years and years, but this was the first time they'd met in person. The meeting was pleasing to both of them, and I was delighted to witness it.

It began to get chilly, so everyone went inside. I had already passed my step count for the day, so standing up was not the best idea for my back, but it was the best idea in light of the crowd. I wound up in the kitchen chatting with Jen's husband, tucked comfortably in a corner at Purple's elbow. There was enough light, finally, that I could see what was on my plate. I sighed and showed Purple some diced bell pepper. He laughed at me, and explained to Jen's husband that I had been in an un-merry war with work catering over bell peppers.

Jen's husband changed places with phone's boyfriend, and desserts were sampled. Someone found the raspberry bars; Purple nabbed one; I asked if he could pass me one; he handed me the first while claiming another for himself. Raspberry bar relay. Despite my back's complaints, it was nice being there: insulated from the most intense bits of crowd, but still engaging.

phone wandered up and chatted with us while his boyfriend circulated. People started filtering over to say goodnight to phone and wish him happy birthday, including the guy who had been wearing the disco ball robe until he'd changed back into street clothes.

At length the party size shrank, until at last it was phone and his boyfriend, Jen and her husband, Purple, and me. I was in one corner of the couch, Jen was curled up next to me, and eventually her husband sat down at the other end. "Fuck" is not just a spice, it's punctuation, except most editors would take a red pen to that many punctuation marks. It turns out that when Jen and I get going, we might sort of feed off each other a bit. phone likes it when I swear about the helldesk software, because when I get going, I really get going. Sometimes I get somewhat creative beyond the mere f-bomb, too...

At one point someone claimed that the iPad was not a data entry device; I declared that one could helpfully render it one by means of a portable keyboard, and that I had one in my pocket. Purple claimed that I had too many things in my pockets. Someone, perhaps phone, made a "Precious" joke, and my hand diverted its path. I had been going for the pocket that contained the keyboard. I was now going for the shorts pocket with the little brocade box with the mirror inside: the one that just that morning I had loaded with a few BPAL vials, a USB stick, my pair of shiny peacock earrings, a lip balm, and other bits of jewelry that I hadn't wanted to wear while possibly hauling tables around at the conference. Including -- I held a shiny silver ring aloft. phone cracked up.

Shortly after midnight the party broke up. Purple had parked right behind me, so we walked out together. He stuck around while I fished through three bags in search of my satnav, which I found in the last place I looked for it, then very carefully dodged the spikes in my hairdo after hugging me goodnight. I'm not usually quite so spiky!

To say "this party was better than any of Shawn's parties" demeans this party merely by the comparison, but that's the only referent I have for some of the vibe. This was what Shawn's parties wanted to be when they grew up.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Let's start with the Internet of Shit. I had an Internet of Shit moment right before going to bed, which resulted in me on the phone with Belkin going "I don't have time to give you my name and email, I just want to turn off my light so I can go to sleep and I don't want to move two shelves" in the most pathetic of tones. I have a relatively ancient iPod Touch which won't run the latest version. In the not-latest version, which I have, when there's a "cloud outage" there's a friendly notice that you can still use the app to control your switches on your local network. Except ... the notice covers over the controls entirely, and it's iOS and unlike Android there's no motherfucking back button. And however you clear running apps from memory in whatever old-ass version of iOS I have, it wasn't how the customer service agent was describing. After a few rounds, we tried rebooting. That worked.

Then I woke up about 15 minutes before my alarm, and very sensibly stopped reading a thing in the middle of the thing and went off to the conference when my snooze-alarm told me that I had 1 hour until setup started.

I got there 15 minutes early from the planned unlock time. I saw another little (white?) car pull up and it was the chair emeritus.

By the time someone got there to let us in, about 6 of us, maybe more, had gathered. I chirpily spun it to CE as "having crucial hallway conversations", which made her laugh. (Context: she had no idea how to pose this in a helpful fashion.)

The morning got off to a rough start because nobody quite knew what they were doing, and everyone was duckling-ing after me, but fortunately past-me had Written Lists, and also had printed them out, and had broken things done in terms of tasks as well as roles, because I had foreseen that Morning Stuff might have an over-abundance of people trying to do one role and not enough of any of the others, so I sort of decreed that Morning Stuff would have everyone pitch in until people and food started showing up.

I think I was right about needing to buy bowls, for the record. :-P

The food arrived and that was okay. People started checking in and that was okay. The paper check-in list worked like a charm with no terrible woe, and having a ticket type that said essentially "Volunteer - Check in with Azz" served to redirect everyone who was a speaker or volunteer to check in with me after doing the normal check-in! Which was good!

I am so proud of my volunteers. They came together and did the thing, and even when I was completely incoherent from trying to do all the things at once and make all the decisions at once, they followed my lists and I was able to delegate them to do things! All I had to do was say "Yes, that needs doing. You, do #1. You, do #2." and people did it!!!

Instead of 3 tables for the 3 lower-tier sponsors, there were 2. It being bad form to make people share a table, I liberated 2 of the little round tables from the speaker green room, hauled them out, got someone to help me scootch the two beverage coolers onto separate round tables, then carried off the 6' table to the sponsor area of the lobby to deploy.

We were missing a dedicated person on the food, but I was able to fill in at the expense of having someone not at the front desk 100% of the time. It worked partly because there was a recruiter table there, and it was a group that is on long-standing great terms with the organization. So there was that! We needed someone at the front because the event space was not super private -- randos would barge up, and would occasionally wander back to try and scam free food.

The event did not start on time. The first panel ran over. These combined made the carefully-crafted morning schedule go kerplooie. My amazing room wranglers sailed right on through and set timers to follow the timeframe, and everybody was okay. I needed to print 3 sheets of "and this is what is in this room when" instead of 2 -- one for each entrance, plus one for the room-wrangler.

Just before lunch, we'd nearly run out of bottled water, and were down to our last half-bag of tangerines. I was summarily dispatched to Costco, and picked up two flats of bottled water and two bags of tangerines. I think I could have safely have got 3. I had very good luck with parking (partly because I decided to try for the furthest-away spots) and got there and back in record time.

Lunch arrived during the second passing period (of three), so the schedule pivoted: grab lunch now, hit third tech talk, then have a brief social-and-food-if-you-missed-it-earlier window and then dive straight the fuck into the workshops.

There were vegan-and-gluten-free meals which they'd got from the shop across the way; we worked it by setting the whole paper bag on one of the lesser-traffic tables and writing "VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE" on the bag in Sharpie. This way it was visible to people who'd need it without asking, very clearly reserved for people who needed it, and not sitting there and looking visibly delicious for people who ignore signs.

Midway through the afternoon, about an hour before the earliest time the tea (coffee and tea and cookies and mini bundt cakes, with non-gluten-containing chocolates and tangerines and Kind Bars) was set to arrive, R was fading fast and complaining that she needed sugar. (She had also underslept.) I towed her gently along after me into the green room and retrieved some fruit jellies for her, from my Magic Bag of Trader Joe's Food Which I Made Sure To Get So Nobody With Atypical Dietary Needs Would Starve. She started to perk up, and eventually did cave and had coffee.

The workshops let out early, so tea time happened a little scattershot, and everybody piled into one room for the last panel and wrap-up. I started packing up and breaking down, knowing that it would be a while and otherwise I wasn't doing anything else. I used the now-empty trays from the cookies to separate the leftover sandwich halves into more easily carried portions that someone might take home without worrying about where to put it or if they were going to get through all of those. I claimed one. (After lunch they went in the fridge. Thank goodness for fridges.)

Various people stayed to help clean up. The actual most involved part was me sorting out my stuff back into its boxes, because I had brought A Lot Of Things, many of which were useful. See: tape, label maker, markers, other tape, other markers, and gods know what else.

([twitter.com profile] acidhelm rocks, incidentally.)

There was a small convocation in the parking lot and then we-all split our separate ways. R had been invited to the party at phone's, but was too tired and was going home directly. My way was in the direction of the party at phone's. ;)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
In which [personal profile] sgsabbage, [personal profile] kareila, and [personal profile] alierak discuss time. And, inevitably, time zones.

Read more... )
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
My first act of the morning was to respond to the guy newly in charge of Helldesk 2.0 thus:
As a general philosophy of Helldesk 2.0, I would caution you against using Helldesk 1.x as a user-accepted baseline. Helldesk 1.x has been violently rejected by the users.

This is why I had concerns about the intended survey for Helldesk 2. Using Helldesk 1.x as a point of comparison is similar to "do you like this better than being punched in the face". Nearly anything else would be better.

The lady who's been doing bug triage on the thing for the past year replied in a state of hilarity.

I called lunch as it was after 12:30 and I was hungry. Then I headed off to the cafeteria without waiting for a response from Purple. I'd had my eye on the macaroni and cheese served from the pizza station. I regarded the salad the guy was transferring between containers with suspicion, and was "rewarded" with the sight of some bell peppers. Yay. Not yay. )

I have sent an email to the main cafeteria address, and also included the manager. Also also included: caps lock, swearing. I have additionally forwarded him about nine months of previous communication on the topic.

As I told Purple, the thought of how long I have been fighting this battle is an unguarded path into the depths of my anticipation of missing this beloved workplace.

I was thinking about Manager Can You Even YouTube Bro's mention of Greek cuisine, and contemplating that I was in the mood for Mediterranean as an option for dinner tonight. Then the email about the theme for beer bash crossed my watch, and I had to open the email to see what food was going to go with the somewhat ridic theme. Greek. Naturally! I was amused by the coincidence.

A previous designer stopped through. My manager still has her cat (the cat is now timeshare, apparently).

I made an appearance at beer bash. I looked at the food options but saw that everything except the pita bread and hummus was laced with bell pepper. I got a bit of two of the lovely fruit crumbles, and wound up chatting with Chicken Guy.

I let him know that it had been a pleasure working with him all these years. That's one of those phrases that heralds "and I'm leaving".

To be clear, I think the trend towards limiting the institutional memory of the groups responsible for your infrastructure to a year and a half at most is a stupid-ass move that's in the process of very slowly and methodically shooting off any organization's toes one by one before moving on to larger and more important foot bones. This is what relying on people who you can only keep for one year (or a year and a half, in rare circumstances) will do to you. I wonder if there's a suitable all-hands coming up, because people are still talking about the helpdesk question that I asked in the last round. (oh god. I am imagining my manager's look of horror.) On the gripping hand, the drawbacks are minimal and the possible benefit to other people in my boat (and there are so many) are huge.

Designer Sparkles said hi to Chicken Guy, who tried to introduce us. Designer Sparkles said that we worked together. "Assistant, hero." She'd not heard the previous topic, so her comment was illustrative.

We wandered in different directions. Purple not being visible, I settled down with teammates (Huckleberry and R, the guy who's getting married shortly). Rocky joined us. Rocky wound up telling us this amazing story about an early 80s concert a friend had let him sit in the booth for, where the main attraction guy was on serious drugs and got into a beef with a punk in the audience heckling him. The punk was climbing on stage, whereupon the guy wallops the punk with his guitar, to the detriment of both punk and instrument. (Punk here is both general and fandom-specific.)

The Chicken Guy joined the group at the table. Purple showed up, and the group cycled, so it was Chicken Guy, me, Purple, and Mr. Tux. I pulled out my crocheting. Chicken Guy mentioned that there was crocheting in his family, but he'd never quite picked it up. He thought it might be good to be able to do the thing, as he has that AD(H)D thing where he needs to be occupied with something physical in order to focus on information.

Somehow the topic of crop circles got us on to Viagra jokes, and they just kept popping up.

At length, I pulled out the other yarn and one of the other crochet hooks, and walked Chicken Guy through the process of crocheting plain old chain stitch. He made a decent start before heading off.

I laughingly suggested Greek cuisine for dinner; Purple contemplated some Mediterranean places he knew of. I looked up the place he was thinking of while he was on the phone with Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. It turned out they were booked solid for a while, but there were other places.

I ran into the Singing PM while washing out my coffee cup, and we chatted about our breaks.

I complained to Purple about the current state of my mouth, as two taste buds had gone rogue. Apparently his mouth does not do that. We compared notes on our least favorite colds while waiting to be seated.

Dinner was lovely. I got a sip of Purple's lemonade (definitely tasty, and this was the place that had had the inch worm on the fresh mint that time) and we shared our side dishes. He took some of my carrots, and I had one of his balls. The phrase "Where have you been all of my life!" when uttered to vegetables is amusing. (Purple had said this to the cucumber and parsley dish some years ago.)

A note: if you have an object that's roughly cylindrical, except for a wider part at the base ... plastic wrap is not going to help the phallic effect. Just so you know.
azurelunatic: "catch me if I fall", shooting star (catch me if I fall . . .)
Went to bed early; woke up early. Went to work in a timely fashion. Was early enough to get a kiwi (not wiki, fingers!). Purple told me that I would not have wanted his kiwi, as it had been rock hard. My kiwi was similarly hard. We walked abruptly away from this line of conversation, as there was nowhere it could go that wouldn't become worse.

The conversations between my team and the database vendors had me at one point stomping into Haystack's office with a very "CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE THIS?!?!" gait. His officemate was somewhat surprised. This was, I believe, when the sales guy suggested that the actual fucking bug that Haystack and I had managed to replicate (on two different installs) was user error.

Fishie and I are working out logistics for her visit.

Got "key member" orientated at my hackerspace this weekend. (I didn't bother at the old location because there would have been no point -- my knees couldn't do that many stairs casually, and the person who needs the elevator could never have been the first one in or last one out.) I have plans that may all turn out to nothing but something may come of them.

Re-did my blue dye this weekend, and just in time, too: Purple declared that he'd have had to start calling me the Bronze Lunatic instead. :-P

I brought a box of buttons cookies to work. ;)

In dim indoor light, you can almost mistake my hair for a natural color. In bright light, it is very very much bright. Right now my hair is a fantastic gradient from purple to teal. I am delight ^_^ One of the people in the cafeteria complimented me on my purple hair, right in front of Purple. He seemed pleased.

Dear gender-norm-enforcing fuckheads of the world: you drain the joy from everything you touch and the rest of us would be justified in leaving you to the hollow shell of a world that you're assiduously trying to create. Also, I am probably larger and scarier than you, and you wouldn't like me when I am specifically angry at you for hurting one of my own.

Dear dudes who like nifty old buttons: this is a hobby I can totally get behind.

I wind up talking through basically everything with Purple these days, and Friday night's assorted woe was no exception. It was kind of a terrible night for everybody, and it did me good to hear his side of things. After examining my reactions for a while, I've determined that my phobia gives me various amounts of space based on how much I am/am called upon to be the grown-ass adult in the situation. A short list. )

I picked up dinner. Before I placed my order, though, I got out of the way so two people going out could pass me, and the younger enthusiastically asked me what hairdye was that because she had been longing for purple hair and my hair was exactly the color. So I wrote it down for her on her phone, and included the bleach too, because her hair is darker than mine.
azurelunatic: Egyptian Fayoumis hen in full cry.  (loud fayoumis)
So partway through the evening, Purple had come back to his computer after a long day of coordinating with the guy who's about to go on a month-long vacation (interrupted by an offsite lunch), and we checked in with each other. I had, I announced cheerfully, just found a bug!

Purple sounded sympathetic.
Sympathy was not what I was going for here. I had found a bug! It was awesome! I didn't have to fix it myself.
Purple told me in no uncertain terms that I was weird, and that he hates bugs, doesn't matter which side he's on, dev or user. (Also, that he'd pulled an adorable little caterpillar out of the mint in his lemonade at lunch. He'd been the only one to keep drinking the lemonade after that, since it was a harmless little caterpillar and he's a country boy...)

I explained: if it was a big bug, I would not be happy. But if it was a little bug, I was happy! I found some images to illustrate:

Warnings apply. )
Little: http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/soldier-grubs-hand-feeding-2-BL.jpg

The problem is that under certain circumstances, I can make the tool fail to save data that I've entered. The question is, what are the circumstances, as while I replicated it three times, I'm not sure what exact combination of things I did. I'm going to have to do it again. Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Purple says I'm very, very weird.
I say that these bugs are juicy and delicious. Buk buk buk buk buk buk!
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
(I was headed to bed, but then my brain was full.)

Woke up, stopped by aunt's but she wasn't there, got coffee, took morning pills, picked up prescription, hit work. Realized that having taken morning pills on 40g carb which was *also liquid and coffee* was not a suitable "snack"; effects were to make me owlish with a -17 modifier to my DEX. Fortunately I was rolling 19s pretty consistently until I got food, at which point the handicap started dropping precipitiously.

Purple and his crew opted for lunch inside Purple's building; Mr. Tux and I joined the three of them.

Even now, the ghost of Brad haunts us. I explained the 90% programmer (yet again): the one who says "This is 90% done, someone else can complete the other 10%" and the person/people tasked to complete the other 10% say: "What the shit were you smoking? This is 10% done." "But it's working!" "It's not usable." "*I* can use it!" "You're not a user."

I proceeded through my inbox, and popped out of my building with coffee at the appointed time. Two people from a friend's department were due a ducking in the duck pond. Two ducks were present, which I felt was a good omen. They did not fly off.

The first guy asked was he going to have to duck himself??? Eventually they got things straightened out, and people picked him up, waded out with him, and tossed him in. The other guy couldn't go actually in the duck pond for health reasons, but had cheerfully agreed to a "virtual ducking", where they took pictures in front of the pond, paraded him into the adjacent building and doused him in the convenient shower, then brought him back out for more pictures. I came down to offer both gentlemen cellophane-wrapped packets of boozecandies, and fairly terrible slide whistles.

One of the apparent traditions is also that the team provides dry clothing, often of a hilarious nature. Mr. Zune's Overlord, a dyed-in-the-wool Stanford man, had been given sports attire of a rival institution. One of the guys came out of the building wearing a red Angry Bird costume -- a red sack with a surly face on his belly -- with violently orange shorts. The other guy came out in a giant cigarette box and plaid pajama pants. He held the slide whistle in his teeth and clutched the packet of boozecandy, giving the effect of a box of cigarettes who was also smoking.

#3 suggested that I come back for cake, but I had a meeting and also blood sugar that said no.

The meeting was button construction with the Commandant. Breast cancer awareness! )

Exchange's message for when you accidentally put a period at the end of an email address contains, in point of fact, a period directly after the example of what an email address should look like. Since I had copied the address (period and all) from not!Facebook's email integration helpy dialog, I submitted a suggestion to the not!Facebook gods to risk the wrath of the commafuckers and remove the period from the email integration dialog (to help the careless copiers).

There will be a meeting tomorrow morning. I will be taking notes. I coaxed Purple out before the hour got too late.

Since every employee who chooses to go to the Halloween extravaganza gets to bring two guests, Purple had claimed a wristband for me (as well as his own and one for his buddy from the condo board) and dropped it on my desk while I was off with the Commandant. I tried it on. Wow, was it tight. I concluded from that and from something someone said on [off-topic] that the guest wristbands were sized for kids. I left feedback, that maybe there should be some non-kid-sized wristbands next year. The person replied (in a way that wouldn't inform anyone else of what to do) that in fact there were two sizes. So I wandered down to the security office to swap mine for a grown-up sized wristband. The security guy hadn't realized there were two sizes.

Purple and I are comfortable enough to twit each other about gender a bit. He showed up to walk out, and I mentioned that I'd got the wristband thing sorted out. "What kind of woman are you?" he teased.

"I'm a man," I declared in my lowest comfortable speaking voice.

Purple busted out laughing in sheer surprise. He hadn't been expecting that. Mind, he didn't know what he had been expecting, but it hadn't been that.

My gender is a miasma of incandescent plasma.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Woke up, called the one place and waited on hold interminably to get a price check, then meandered down to the other pharmacy to ask for a transfer. I of course got in the wrong line, so had to queue up twice. However, the prescription should be ready tomorrow, eleven or noonish.

I saw a message about weird roped-off stuff in the parking lot, followed a while later by the actual parking lot, which was alarmingly full and buzzing with valets. There were also more people than usual around, much to our collective confusion.

Got in to work; saw in #cupcake backscroll that R was back from GHC and had wandered up to the top of the hill for lunch with Purple. As he'd gone idle with no lunch ping, and it was a good twenty minutes after, I realized that it was unlikely that I'd get there and get food in time to join them, they were due some 1:1 chat probably, and my team was due custody of me as well. So I had lunch at the team's new preferred table, overlooking the duck pond. The Commandant and I strategized about stuff, too.

I showed Huckleberry Designer the button-making machine. Whee!

I've been having troubles with OWA Thick Client for Windows (2013). I suppose at this point it's worthless to complain about it, because OWA Thick Client for Windows (2016) is in the pipeline and I'll be getting it at work at some point. However, some ass at tier 1 helldesk assigned my rantfest about the thing to my building's desktop support, the long-suffering and overworked Chip. Never mind that this rant included the sentiment that this was not a user education issue, this was an issue that had a needlessly complicated workaround, the user was self-educating, and their software needlessly hides the email address which is a PROBLEM WHEN THE PERSON NO LONGER WORKS THERE, IF YOU WANT TO FIND SPECIFIC EMAILS FROM THEM WITH A COMPLICATED SEARCH. *kicks LDAP in the database*

I chatted about my costume plans with the evening janitor. He doesn't do Halloween but he knows that I do. My costume comes down to a sort of gory shenanigan which has some body horror, and the thought clearly squicked him some. Alas.

Purple was ready early-ish, and we wandered out into the evening. We discussed the flagged-off area, and how it is probably too early to have anything to do with the planned Halloween shenanigans. I asked whether I could bum a wristband off him or whether all his were spoken for. He's going to give an external friend first refusal.

My plans for the evening involved laundry.

Tomorrow, I plan to:
* Reconnect my chat clients if the outage lasted past their reconnect limit
* Close the window because gutter washing
* Drop by my aunt's to pick up the cheese I forgot
* Drop by the bank, maybe
* Pick up my prescription
* Hope I'm not late for lunch

(And then I slept through the entire night after Comcast crapped out, so I'm posting this in the morning.)
* Attend a duck pond appointment
* Attend the button-making party
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
I am losing track of my days again.

Stuff has been happening at work.

Being a parent, even a fishparent, is hard. (But very worth it.)

Purple said a thing and it stuck in my brain and played all sorts of havoc on various functions because brains. It wasn't a bad thing for him to have said, but my brain grabbed it and sort of dragged it under the couch and stayed there with glowing eyes for a while. That was last night. Fortunately a round with the database seems to have knocked that clear of my brain.

Yesterday some of the lights in the cafeteria were flickering weirdly. I filed a ticket, then called security and asked them to summon the electrician.

Today, while the entire table was on a topic that they found very concerning and of immediate interest, but I found tedious as hell, I spotted someone walk in with bright blue hair. It was, of course, the fellow to whom I had caused to be mailed a sawed-off pool noodle! I excused myself and popped up to go say hello. (I had to. Our hairs match!)

He was happy to see me, and mentioned that his group had been taking my name in vain that morning, talking about the helldesk software. He introduced me to the guy he was standing next to, likewise in from out of town, but a rather lot further away out of town. The other dude has been with the company like forever, and is something like employee #3. That's some history there. I explained why I'm feeling optimistic about the direction the helldesk software is taking: the underlying technology is not terrible (apparently), the layer they put on top of it was misguided at best, and happily the group working on it now hates it more than I do. And I described the experience of being in what was supposed to be a user session, but one of the guys who was supposed to be quietly listening and maybe asking questions kept jumping in with details about how the thing was *worse than we thought*. #terribleparfait Plus I was one of the movers/shakers in the IRC preservation effort.

So I've now shaken the hand of that dude.

When I got back to the lunch table, the conversation was still going on.

Between a Windows 10 upgrade gone weird, a normal Windows update gone severely rebooty, and a number of away-from-desk tasks, Purple wasn't around for much of the afternoon and evening. Around about 6:30 I tiptoed over with a can of the good (blue) mountain dew to check-see if he was doing all right. I poked my head into an office gone still and cold, all screens off, laptop bag still leaning against a file cabinet. So he was in the office (somewhere), just not there. Possibly not for a few hours, my nose said. I set the can of Dew on the desk and headed back for my own cozy little cube, reflecting on how I had come to the conclusion that the office had not been sat in for a while, and tracing it back to the stillness, smell, and temperature of the air -- all of which sensing had apparently been done by my nose.

It was, at length, time to go home. I had hit my second wind and was Doing Various Things when Purple wrapped up. I could have kept going for at least another half-hour.

Purple, it seems, is a colorful guy. Today he was wearing that really bright green shirt. He reminisced about a time a friend addressed him making reference to that color, even though that friend might have never seen him in that shirt. I reminisced about that time he'd worn that shirt with the camel-colored overshirt. "Dress to wound," he said smugly. Then we played imaginary dressup and tried to put him in the intentionally worst plausible outfit we could think of.

Flip-flops with fuzzy socks, plaid pajama pants, polo shirt with a standard tie (or maybe a 70s button-down open down to the last 2 buttons with gold chains), a smoking jacket or a tracksuit jacket, and ... a hat.

I argued for a fedora. He declared that a propeller beanie would be over the top, but a newsboy cap...

"You know what the Library Monkeys called that back in high school?"
"A Shawn hat."

After we finished giggling from that, we made to split, but got sidetracked talking about me vs. the database tool. He seemed concerned that I was still wrestling with it, and offered troubleshooty helpiness. Eventually, after kind of going "er ... mostly I haven't had enough time with it..." I pointed out that it looked like he was trying to troubleshoot, and I didn't really think it could be helped further except by more time and fewer random ... I paused. It wasn't quite that the horses had got out of the barn and now the barn was on fire, it was that the barn hadn't even been there five minutes ago. So, yeah.

On my way home, I encountered "UTF 8" on the highway. Hi!
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)






Work IRC

Sep. 30th, 2015 01:12 am
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
I have advanced from a little shaky to tired and somewhat headachey, but!

I am yet again the person who stuck their neck out about infrastructure stuff. As the somewhat inevitable result, I have been voluntold as the person who is now responsible for the workplace IRC server.

Mr. Wizard Beard has been involved, to find a corner on a box. (Mr. Wizard Beard is the person who will stab you if you drop one crumb in the server room that lives in the back corner of the office building that lb, Purple, and radius are all in.)

There are several retired IRC admins who spend time on the server, who might be bribed out of retirement with chocolate and/or jellybeans.

The existing VM has been up for nearly 2 years now with scarcely a bobble, so that aspect of it seems least likely to attract trouble.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
When I wake up in the middle of the night freaking out over Something Or Other, I now have the energy to get up and start Doing Things. This is not always the greatest move. However, when I do start doing this, it does sometimes effectively call my body's bluff on whether this was a good idea, and I find myself going back to bed in short order instead of lying awake freaking out for an hour or two.

Last night's freakout was approximately:
* I am slowly recovering from a pretty gnarly low point, in which I was basically functional enough to go to work, but nothing else.
* For about a month, subsisting on frozen, single-portion-no-prep, and takeout while at home, has meant that my kitchen sink has seen little to no action.
* For the past week-ish, I've been doing enough cooking to wash/rewash a plate and a fork, although not particularly address the forest floor coating of forks in the bottom of the sink.
* Running water in a sink means that whatever's gone down the drain starts to take notice.
* And then there was The Stench.
* An unused garbage disposal, in want of a good hard kick, sits there and hums.
* Reset did not do the job.
* Somehow in some previous cleanup effort, I had put away or recycled all my IKEA hex-keys.

So in the middle of the night I got it into my head that there was no way I could make the kitchen look presentable at *all* (in order to be able to summon the maintenance guy to get the disposal functional to make the smell go away) before my neighbors wound up having the smell get into their apartments (via the kitchen and bathroom vents, which are all connected, so this isn't 100% paranoid fantasy) and complained and of course I would be immediately evicted.

Therefore I got up and about 2 minutes into tidying some of the most obvious kitchen stuff my body realized that actually sleep was a really excellent life choice and I went back to bed. And in the morning I did feel better.

I had a disturbing dream in which I found myself dream violence and dysphoria )

Lunch involved the usual suspects shoving two little round tables together, since there were no available big tables. Conversation started somewhere around The 300 and wound up at the Winchester Mystery House, having detoured through war and armies, Nepal's relationships with India and China, Switzerland's military force and neutrality, what sort of weapons the Swiss army had, and whether the "oh, everyone has their gear at home" meant an airplane in someone's garage, whether or not Winchester made ammunition (yes) and were they still around (yes), and the nature of the Mystery House, and how it's better than the Mystery Spot, and a few other bits and bobs.

At work, I am somewhat waiting on an install of the new version of the database tool to get all up ins and yell about. My aspirational duties also involve a certain amount of Research Logistics Yelling, which is part of the Plan.

After my 1:1, I opened up my email to find that locked entrythis guy will be in my building sometime in the near future. I will make a point of poking my face in with jellybeans during a coffee break or something!

Tomorrow is radius's 40th birthday. Since it was already tomorrow in Australia, we wound up at the cafe (the closer one) in search of ice cream. I looked tragically at the bins with their delicious delicious carbohydrates, and allowed myself a half-scoop. (Upon which Purple did the *facepalm* "Sorry I forgot!" thing. He is a good Purple.)

Mid-evening, I looked back at my personal email and discovered that I was in receipt of a 36-hour notice to enter (24 hours, but they'd been somewhat generous and sent at the end of the previous day rather than the beginning of the next day) because there are Investors, and they are Visiting, and They Will Be Poking Around. Upon which I decided that I was going home at a sensible hour and not attempting to wait up for Mr. Deadline, though I would wait for traffic to die down.

In riveting Helldesk Software news, the team that's to fix the fucker has had a strategic meeting (the recording was posted to not!Facebook) lasting about 2 hours. I pulled up the viewer, popped on my headphones, and started sorting through my mail backlog. The conclusions involve ripping off the terrible front end and just going with the base SaaS package, which is in fact configurable, and they have no fucking reason to be developing bells and whistles on top of it. It also sounds like there are a few departments which may be getting some percussive maintenance in order to conform to some standard of service.

On the one hand, there are departments that really need it. On the other hand, I hope it doesn't interfere with departments which are functioning well.

I wandered over to say goodnight to Purple, with a butterscotch candy and some Mountain Dew. I eyed his whiteboard. I understood the 'It'\''s' and the It's in contrast to it, but what in the name of all *fuckery* was the 'It'"'"'s' ?????????!?!?! He explained. (His whiteboard writing does not differentiate particularly between double and single quotes, so it looked like a line of single quotes.) I got a hug goodnight and headed out.

bluetooth drama )

I picked up a $5 pack of hex keys (including the vital 1/4" one) at Home Depot, as it was cheaper than the manufacturer's $7 single 1/4" hex key, and grabbed dinner on my way home.

Presented with overriding force in the person of someone mechanically turning the wedged-in-place blades, the garbage disposal whirred into action, and the ambient scent in my apartment improved notably. I shall sleep in peace.

Tidying continues. It may not reach a point that I'm actually comfortable with by Thursday, but it's already improved over yesterday, and there have been incremental improvements over the last few weeks.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
I've spent a lot of this week digging through my work inbox and strewing things all over busily and happily.

Wednesday was the emergency response team mass casualty incident drill. The idea is that you have more people hurt than you have responders. I signed up to be "hurt".

It turns out that I've missed acting. Read more... )

After an hour, the exercise concluded and we went back in for lunch and discussion. There were some guys from the county there, who reminded us that they treat it as a crime scene, especially if someone has died.

People were peeling off their makeup. I kept delightedly poking at mine. "You're going to wear that all day, aren't you," several people asked me. That was correct.

My team expressed their slight disappointment that it wasn't Halloween and therefore my fake injury wasn't a costume. They made it clear that they expect me to trump last year's loon head. I have an idea now.

Purple was doing other things for Thursday lunch. (I had been scheduled for a thing at the doctor's Thursday morning all morning, but Other Stuff Happened.) Therefore my team got custody of me. There was silliness, discussion of cheese and cheesemongers, and two mangoes. The Dogesitter had brought one very ripe one, and the designer who shares an office with the Hulk had brought a slightly less ripe one. We all had pieces of the ripest one, and it was sweet and tangy and delicious. Haystack tested to make sure that my Monty Python references were intact.

Purple wound up working super late Thursday evening. At the point when he gave in and decided that it was time for dinner-at-work, I decided to bail; he offered to walk me out. Whereupon I learned that his hair does not knot like mine does. I grumbled enviously. We swapped beauty tips.

This morning, [personal profile] norabombay pointed out the lack of a bedazzler in my life.

I am sure that Aunt-Manager will brief me on exactly what I need to do with her email, but this afternoon's major shenanigan set was attempting to walk her through granting delegate access and folder viewing permissions -- from OWA. (In our infinite jest, some of the Linux users of #cupcake have commenced calling the desktop versions OWA Thick Client for Windows and OWA Thick Client for Mac respectively.)

This evening, I was complaining to Purple about something, and he expressed sympathy and a helpful spirit in the best way he knew how. Since by this point I would trust him to pick a meandering eyelash out of my eye, I took it in the spirit intended as it clearly posed no threat. Read more... )

It was a long week, and I'm tired.
azurelunatic: California poppies, with a bright blue sky and the sun. (California girl)
There's a love meme on, one of the self-nomination kinds that evades the third-person pronounery that I usually find so fraught in the nominate-others sorts. My thread: http://radioaches.dreamwidth.org/81108.html?thread=1190356#cmt1190356

Over last week the ant profusion at work was on the decline. I was cheered. I was still squishing them at a rate of about 4 per hour, but that was much better than previous.

Sadly, Polka-Dot Researcher has left the company; I'll miss her. She's been very sick for a while; she came back briefly with visible pain patches on her injured shoulder and then went back out again. I'm sure there's a story but I don't know much of it.

Rather a lot more of other things! )
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Monday night involved more sleep than Sunday, but not entirely enough. The customer session on Tuesday was okay, albeit minus a person.

I got enough sleep on Tuesday night. It was glorious. There was a "farmer's market" at work on Wednesday. Like a real one, there was questionable music, too much sun, and not enough water. Nobody fell over.

I came in on I think Tuesday to a guy up on a ladder adjacent to the doors. He was disconnecting the power supply from the offending door, prior to actual repair.

I printed up a "Use other door" sign for both sides of the door.

It was good that I did, because Purple's friend from out of town sort of smacked into it noisily on the way in anyway.

Today I came in and the door seems to be fixed. Both sides are working and I haven't seen the other side being terrible.

Did I mention the radical transparency tale here? Because I had a really surreal conversation with someone on the fixit team for the helldesk. Apparently she likes working with me. This is good because I know I can be hard to work with if your product is terrible. Mostly I have a low tolerance for bullshit and I just want it to work. Also, the phrase "they hate it more than I do" is a telling one, and one that is getting impressed noises from co-workers.

Purple couldn't hang around chatting for too long tonight because he had some friends to go see. I am pleased: Purple is a social dude, and him having the energy to do such things is a good sign.

A periodic reminder to adult men in assorted professional fields: if she is old enough to have a shiny new college degree and a shiny new job here, she is a woman unless she tells you otherwise. In formal contexts like a presentation to co-workers in which you are encouraging diversity in a group you'd like to work with, "women" is the word you want, not "girls". That's the high school mentorship group down the hall and to your left.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
So the ants have decided to swarm into my building at work. That was what started the whole mess. From there, they discovered my coffee syrups. I am one of the team's suppliers of sugars, so needless to say I was alarmed at the whole thing. I set about combat in the way of my people: putting everything sugary into ziploc even if it was already in a sealed bag, and squishing the hell out of the ants that I did find.

Read more... )


azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
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