Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Am So Over It

Working for a big corporation ticks me off a LOT of the time. I am in a stituation where I am trying to help a customer out and said I would test some CPUs for them. So I have seen about a hundred emails on the paperwork for these CPUs, where are they, when are they coming back etc...

All because the people who were responsible for changing them drug their feet.

Well I got an email from a manager all ticked off because the form they sent me to fill out had his name on it and apparently he is the wrong guy to have on the form. So he gripes me out in the email. Then my BIG BOSS'S BOSS tells me to hurry up and get the parts back.

OK, so I will be sending the parts back tomorrow as no good deed goes unpunished.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nightmares and Scapegoats

Sorry Stephen King, I had a weird dream I wanted to share.

Last night I had a bad dream. Now I won't call it a nightmare because it wasn't one I woke up bathed in sweat muttering the two scariest words any person can say on my lips...

"President Biden."

Nope, nothing anything like that. What I had was jsut a plain old bad dream about a job I no longer have. Yep I dreamed I was fielding tech support calls last night.

I know, weird huh?

Dreams about work happen to me from time to time when I have a big project or have a lot of pressure on me. I once even tried to push THE WIFE out of our bed in my sleep induced stupor as I dreamed she was sleeping on a concrete foundation I was trying to finish. (Honestly I can blame that one on another guy who told me HE had that dream, then I promptly had it. CURSE YOU CHUCK!) Before last night I had NEVER, EVERhad a dream about a former job (that I can think of at this moment so just go along with me on my astonishment OK?).

It began with some kind of back story which I will equate to an HR benefits meeting. Lots of "Yeah yeah" nodding and change of leadership. What it all boils down to was I was back in tech support fielding calls. I happened to get an after hours call right before we were supposed to start work. The genius I got on the line immediated ticked me off.

me: "... Ugh.... Hello, PHONECO..."
him: "Oh hey man, I'm calling on issue number ID10T Roger Roger Pappa Hotel Juliet Puppy."
me: "OK, so what's going on?"
him: "Sure hang on one sec, I have to drop these other lines before someone else answers."
me: "What are you talking about?"
him: "Well I made sever calls in so I could get answered quicker. You were the first one to pick up."
me: "WHAT? How many calls did you make?"
him: "I don't know, three or four. Why?"
me: "Because you are killing our Grade Of Service! That rates as three abandonded calls! That costs us money! Don't do that!"

Side note to people who have never worked call centers. One of the terms you hear in a call center is "Grade of Service." This is how many calls you take, how quickly they are answered and how many callers hang up before ever getting answered. Many places bas pay or bonuses on Grade of Service. It is also used to indicate how well, or poor you are doing and in today's economy determines whether your department keeps the current employees or not.

him: "Oh, OK. So anyway, I'm working on a blahblahblahyaddayadda."
me: "OK, what PBX is it connected to?"
him: "Why? No one has ever needed to know before? What's it matter?"
me: "What's it matter? Because how you program it is based on what you connect to!"

Anyway, so obviously it was technical bullcrap after this point. let's just say it ended with me threatening to call his boss, him threatening to call his boss and me like totally bluffing like crap because I knew I would be skewered alive when he called my boss.

Whatever. Today I am grumpy, but normal.

him: "O

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bad Cop

I really hate being the "Bad Cop" around the house. This afternoon some kids decided cleaning their crap up wasn't in their game plan. After an afternoon of not doing anything, Dad had to finally "Lose it" and sternly get their toys up and get rid of them.

Yes, they are now in the garage.

So Lucie and Saide were terribly distrsessed and I had to send them off to their room for a nap so they could calm down.

Lucie came down and said she wasn't sleeping. I told her she had to, then THE WIFE pointed out she had gotten her two favorite teddy bears so she could "Run Away."

THE WIFE got her back upstairs with hope if she could show she could clean up and behave, maybe things would be OK and dad would let them have their toys back.


It sucks. All I want to do is be my kids best buddy, but I can't. I also had to fuss at Chris for not cleaning his room and told him he couldn't go over to his friend's house because he had lied to us about school work.

Andrew and I talked about his ex-girlfriend and her psycho mom. It won't take much and the psycho and I will have a very short and direct conversation. Hopefully it won't matter anyway.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Somebody Please Buy Me This!

We're All Gonna DIE!!!

Alarmist? I think not!


You're welcome.

My Big Giant Head

Apparently I have a massive cranium. This is a fact I have been reminded of many times throughout my life, but few times as bluntly as when my Aspie kid Ben pointed this out to me at the dinner table.

Somehow the subject of my massive head came up and Ben chimes in with "Hey Dad. Your head is so big you look like a life-sized bobble head doll."

Ahhhhhh, so nice. Ben picks me to pull a funny on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dear Body

Dear Body,

Why is it I ate a bag of popcorn and had to run to the potty like a four year old who busted into Grandma's stash of emergency ExLax? POPCORN!!!

Look, I know I wasn't good to you when I was younger, I am somewhat better now, at least I don't smoke and try to keep you up all night at the clubs like I did when I was in bamds. I don't keep a bass slung around your neck all night. Just ask the back, he'll tell you.

Look, I understand the thing with Mexican food, or Cheeseburgers from a greasy spoon, but to have my colon explode over popcorn is unacceptable.

Just ask my neighbors in the lab. It isn't pretty.

Could we work out an understanding? What went wrong? Don't you love me anymore?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Catherding 101

OK, so yesterday I took the day off to chaperone for my son Chris and his absorbed twin on his knee "Jim" on a 6th grade field trip to the Ft. Worth zoo. It was a beautiful day here in North Texas, cool (in the 70's) and no rain in sight. It is also May so the 100 degree plus weather has not begun yet so I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful day.

The BOY had his weirdo level turned up PAST ELEVEN (to tweleve or more) as he intorduced me to any kid who walked by him. The amazing thing is most of the kids tolerated him and didn't act like they thought I was a total tool (thank you kids, more than you will ever know).

The trip itself was great except for the poor planning on the part of the school. No information had been sent home after the great SWINE FLU CANCELLATION OF '09, so it was a crap shoot to guess when we were leaving. The front office had no idea so Chris had to text me and let me know I was supposed to be there "RIGHT NOW!!!!"

We were "Supposed" to leave at 8:15 AM, we left after 8:30 AM, arrived at the zoo at around 10:30 and got inside after 11:00AM. We went to eat lunch at 12:00PM (one hot dog, a small bag of Ruffles and a can of Minute Maid Lemonade to fuel us for walking a KABILLION MILES?) and we were scheduled to leave at 2:15 PM.

Three hours to see the Ft. Worth Zoo? WTF? Imagine the Family Vacation fast version... "look kids a Lion, look kids a Llama, Look kids a Puma!"

I survived, all kids were accounted for and lost no digits in the process.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thank GOD It Is Friday!

OK, I got to eat at my favorite hole in the wall Hererra's today. (Number 18, Bean Soup and about 100 pounds of chips).

Well worth the damage I must inflict in the bathroom afterwards.

Anyway, not much happening other than still fighting my way through Project Purgatory. After the developer worked on the server, I had to completely reload the app to get stuff I had already tested to work again. Let's just say that once they get this good to go on this phone system, I am not 100% sure it will be OK for the one I cleared it on.

Oh well. Life sucks sometimes I guess.

My tummy is full, I am catching up on paperwork. I loaded Winders 7 RC 1 for evaluation on a PC today, so I will be using it via Remote Desktop a lot over the next few months.

Anyone miss me? Anyone care?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Batman, The Ride (Or Not)

OK, so I have my little tag of "Getting My Sexy Back" for working out, but it is time for me to come to grips with things. I've struggled with my weight for a long time starting with high school once I quit sports. In 2001 I went on the "Body For Life" program and followed it religiously. I finally decided to myself I wasn't going to worry if I was losing weight or not, I was just going to work out and improve my health. I decided I had enough and I wanted to live as long as I could.

I weighed 326 pounds.

After about seven weeks I was at a Cici's pizza on my free day stuffing myself with pizza and I ran into a buddy of mine's wife. I said hi and started talking to her but her mouth hung open the whole time and she wouldn't talk to me. I thought she was mad or something. Turns out, she didn't recognize me because I had lost so much weight.

I didn't notice, it just seemed to happen overnight that suddenly my clothes didn't fit anymore and I had to punch new holes in my belt to hold it up around my waist. People noticed and I was proud. I actually had a waitress double check another form of ID because she couldn't believe the guy on the front of the credit card was the same guy at her table.

I lost somewhere between 60 and 70 pounds and I slowly returned to normal eating, dropping off the program. Returned to my old eating habits. Started drinking soda again, getting more sporadic with my exercise.

One day I would up in the floor screaming in pain. Something in my abdomen was killing me. I though my appendix must have suddenly ruptured and I expected to die. THE WIFE finally convinced me to go to the hospital, but the pain just went away. One minute I thought I was going to die, the next minute, I was fine. No pain at all. I told her to go home. It was stupid to go sit in the ER and wait for a doctor to tell me they couldn't find anything.

I continued on my merry way and before long it happened again. This time when the pain quit on the way to the hospital, THE WIFE convinced me to go on. I was seen and had an ultrasound. The prognosis was gallstones and I needed to have my gallbladder out.

Surgery WAS NOT something I wanted but the doctors told me it was really the only option I had. There was no other effective treatment and the only real side effect would be diarrhea if I ate fatty foods.

The surgery itself wasn't too bad but I did wind up passing out beforehand. THE WIFE was asking about the blood sample they took prior to surgery. I told he the phlebotomist sucked as she kept moving the needle around. I then thought about it, got light headed. I remember THE WIFE telling me to sit down right before I went out.

I woke up on the floor hearing voices way off in the background talking. I remember thinking that I didn't remember the surgery at all and I couldn't figure out what was going on. THE WIFE explained I passed out and bashed my head into the wall. The Doctors then rushed me back to pre-op. (Turns out passing out is a great way to avoid sitting in a waiting room. Note for all you all.)

After the surgery I had to wait six weeks before working out again. At that point, I was out of the routine and could not get back on track.

The last time I went to the doctor (about three weeks ago) I weighed 322 pounds. I was kind of depressed, but I went with my family to Six Flags yesterday (THE WIFE is a roller coaster junkie). She asked me to ride "Batman The Ride" with her. I love the ride so we went and got in line with the oldest boy to ride up front, but I can't buckle the harness on it.

I am officially too fat to ride "Batman."

I don't know what to think. I keep "Planning" to work out. I have pretty much quit my carpooling because there was no way to workout while I did that. Now it's a matter of sucking it up and getting down to brass tacks.

I once again see an impossible task before me. Can I do it again? Can I go beyond where I am?

When I lost my weight I went from size 44 pants to size 38. I really really miss those size 38 pants. I only wore 36 in high school.

I am so depressed. Maybe I need to go eat some chocolate.

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Movie About THE WIFE

Why should I pay to see this when I have the REAL Wonder Woman at home?

Wonder Woman Official Trailer

How I Am Spending My Time

ccording to my oldest son who reads my blog at school when he should be doing work, I have slipped in the quality of my blog postings. I apologize to all. A little thing called WORK and other side projects have gotten in the way.

Even of the Pirates of Texas project. ARRGH! It had so much potential.

Anyway, I am trying to finish a kid's book I wrote a long time ago and mock it up so I can sell it. I doubt if I can get a book deal, so I may try to push it over the web, I don't know. I'll finish it first, then see what I decide to do. Currently I am trying to finish cleaning up the illustrations and color. I am missing acouple of panels for illustrations (so I will have to fill those in) but the fact I am actually finishing this thing gives me hope.

Anyway, here is a copy of the rough book cover. I may change it around based on feedback and what the first mock up looks like.

So, comments, suggestions?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Writing Projects

Well, I was a good boy last night and spent some time on my writing projects. I decided to clean up and prep some of the illustrations for one of the kid books I am writing. I also printed off the opening couple of pages to one I was writing to educate kids on Asperger's syndrome so Ben could read it.

Ben started reading it and said, "Hey this kid sounds like me!"

"Really," I said while being totally happy he had connected with the character I had modeled after him. I was ready to get the big head and listen to him talk about how I was spot on in nailing his feelings and putting them to paper. I imagined how my kids book would revolutionize the way Asperger's and Autism is viewed by the world.


"So, what about the kid reminds you of yourself?" I had to know.

"Well, he does imitiations. I do imitations, I can sound just liek anyone."

"... Uh Really? Any thing else?" Confusion was setting in. I never included anything about "Imitatation" in the opening draft.

"He like to act like a cat. I like to act like a cat. He's just like me."

"Cool." I was still confused. I started thinking back through the draft and then a line jumped out at me:
He could talk like everyone, but his voice sounded different, kind of like a robot.
Oops. May need to do a bit of a touch up there. I think Ben kind of missed the point of the statement from my 8 year old narrator.

Monday, May 04, 2009

How NOT To Handle Things

OK, sorry, I am going to vent for a few minutes.

I am responsible for testing a certain project (we'll call it Project X). Project X was sent to us last year and it was TERRIBLE. We sent it back and 4 months later or so we got it back and it was much better. Ready for testing we declared. We told them it would be a while, but we would get it scheduled in and tested for release.

Well the manager over Project X pulled political strings and said we HAVE to get Project X out the door NOW! We have NEW SALES RIDING ON THIS!

My uber-boss came to me and we hammer out I would need three weeks to test everything (I had around 300 + tests to run on it). Then I was told I also had to test it on two other phone systems that I don't normally work on.

I made my three week test period. Of course it FAILED MISERABLY on the second phone system I tested on and Project X wouldn't even CONNECT to the third phone system so I couldn't test on it at all.

So now here I am like 6 weeks after the fact floating around, waiting on the next load of Project X. This one is supposed to be ready to connect to the third phone system. The second phone system will be documentation changes saying we don't support most everything that failed.

Folks, so now my numbers look terrible, I cannot plan to be included in the IMPORTANT TESTING on FINISHED PRODUCTS because I have to babysit this turd.

I am not a happy camper and I feel like I am now in a position where I am very much not a REQUIRED TEAM MEMBER seeing as how I am trying to find things to keep me busy in between loads.

Also, the manger of Project X, well he's not manager of it anymore, it's under another guy who knows nothing about it. So this one will probably die a slow death (based on the way the new manager managed his last project).

Thank you. I will kick you in the Ding-Ding when I get a chance for putting me and my family in a precarious situation so you could push your project through. Also now with the HUGE amount of man WEEKS we have spent testing this "Simple little app" which has "New sales riding on it." we will NEVER make our money back.

OK, rant over. Sorry folks. If anyone needs me I will be updating my resume.