I’ve realized that I have a gigantic set of blinders on. I can ignore stuff that doesn’t work or look good as long as I think it’s cool, or even worse, if I built it. It happens at work all the time, I’ve just been oblivious to it. This fabulous intranet I built for our group is cool. I built it. Therefore, I’ve reserved my biggest blinders for criticism of it. Now, I realize that the criticism is valid, and the site is really geeky (look at who built it) and not terribly easy to navigate.
At least I’m being big about it and admitting it. I had to send mail asking for help, “I know it sucks, how can I fix it.” What fun! I should leave the design stuff to the experts and just stick to building stuff and then make it look like they want. But, will pride let me? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I’m wearing my humble little blinders and trying not to make much noise… let’s see how that works.
I have been naughty, I know, but I’m still fighting this stupid sinus infection and hoping that my face doesn’t just pop. I keep seeing it in my head, my whole face exploding like a baloon in a Bill Plympton cartoon. It wouldn’t just, just be unfortunate and would probably just float back into place. I just wish it would get over with so it didn’t have to hurt anymore. It’s hard going through the day feeling like my eyes are some shape they’re not supposed to be and that maybe there’s another face underneath mine trying to get out. So, that explains it; I feel no guilt. ::sniffle::
Why am I such a baby? Someone sent me a flame mail about our group’s site. It’s someone in the group, but not someone I work with. Basically, the trashed everything I’d done on the site for three months and said it was unusable. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, and I’m not sure why this did. Is it because I spent a lot of time on it, built some amazingly cool AOLserver stuff, did it all myself, configured the box from scratch (installed RedHat, AOLserver, PostgreSQL, etc), and then pored over it every day for a month (in between my real work)? Or, was it the dismissive tone? “and I hate the studio site.. ” Wow, thanks, that was constructive, baby. That told me what you think is REALLY wrong with the site. Educated, and thorough in your criticism.
Or, wait, is it because it’s the Friday before Memorial Day and I’m the only person in my group left in the building, because I had to go to some stupid two hour meeting AFTER solving the world’s problems and continuing to make this company millions? Oh maybe… Maybe I just need a vacation and two Exedrin.
I miss the NFL. This is the time of year I get tired of watching baseball highlights on SportsCenter. I’m only kind of into the NBA playoffs this year because neither the Suns or Jazz are still in it. It’s been fun, but it’s not FOOTBALL!! I miss Chris Berman, Al Michaels, Dennis Miller, and even white bread Dan Fouts. I miss the whole thing. I miss the postgame interviews with guys who can’t seem to string sentances together or catch their breath. It’s GREAT!!
I even love pre-season. Actually, I almost like pre-season more than the regular season. That’s the time of year when you get to see everyone on your team. Everyone’s full of hope, and you get to watch all the young guys play for spots on the team. It’s great. Like last year, everyone in DC was enthralled with Chad Dukes. Other than having a great name, was just a bruiser. No one said he was Stephen Davis, but damned if we all didn’t want him to get the starters job for the month of September.
The Hall of Fame game can’t come soon enough…
You know what sucks about having a job? I have to do stuff even when I’m uninspired. On most of the stuff I build, I find some way to get there. I find some new trick, or concept and blow it out in whatever the project is. Now, I’m working on something I’ve already done once, and I’m just not there. I don’t feel like rebuilding the wheel. I don’t feel like hours and hours of pushing pixels around, squashing bugs and answering the inevitable “That’s not like what I sent you.”, “Why does it do that?” questions. Maybe it’s time for another vacation, or at least, a donut.
Unfortunately, I have no donuts. I only have my Powerbook. My PC at work fried somehow this weekend. I came in yesterday morning, and the video card is all messed up. It’s bleeding all over the screen so everything looks like it’s behind chifon venetian blinds, and semi-distorted. I called our help desk people, and am still waiting for them to come fix it. So, I’m uninspired on a computer I’m not used to using for code, and tired of sitting here. Maybe I’ll go work in the cafe or something.
It’s times like these that I miss working in Tucson. When I was uninspired, I could stop. The stuff I built didn’t have deadlines or money attached to them. They were for fun. Now, everything has to be done now. It has to get out the door yesterday or I get calls from people all over. It’s fun to live a stressfree life, only it doesn’t pay so well. Ok, enough rambling… lunch is over and I have work to do.
I get so tired of talking. I get tired of communication. I’m tired of sitting in meetings that feel pointless and stupid. These meetings have no real point other than making people feel like they’re doing something. They sit around saying the same things over and over again, deciding things that have already been decided and giving me a headache. Why not just send e-mail? Why not just tell me what you’ve decided, because it’s obvious you don’t really want to know what I think. I know I’m switching person here, and I don’t care. Anger = bad grammer. Boredom = frustration. Ugh, I’d love to work on something that was built because it was cool and did something important instead of something that someone thinks will look cool, but that they have no idea how it’s supposed to work. I’m tired of madlib products where someone gives me a flat piece of paper and tells me to fill in the blanks of functionality with no real understanding of what that means, or appreciation for how difficult it can be. Oh forget it… let’s just build crap and let the users sort it out.
Monday Night at Morton’s – I consider this a kind of blog. It’s Ben Stein’s semi-regular column from E. I’ve been reading it for about three years, and it’s always interesting. We get to hear what happens to Mr. Stein, the host of his own game and talk shows, and star of Ferris Beuler (well, not THE star, but everyone knows that line). It’s fun to see a little bit of the life of a semi-celebrity, someone who actually works in Hollywood and isn’t a “star”. Just sharing the joy…
From my wife, sent to me with the subject if I had a blog. Anytime, sweetie, anytime.
“If I had a blog, today my rant would be on bread! yes, you read right. At lunch, I ate not one, but two peices of bread, whole wheat! I used to hate bread. It seemed a total waste of time and calories. Now, I am forgoing a salad and perhaps dessert in favor of it. How weird is that? Is it maturity creeping up on me in this inane form? Or has my bread-loving husband wooed me away from gooey chocolate confections in favor of what used to be the bane of my dinner table? I have converted, I admit it! I see the future and the future is home-made bread! “
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs by people who’ve been around a loooooong time. Like Zeldman. His site’s been online for 6 years. That seems like a long time. How could anyone have been online that long? Then I remember… I’ve been online for 6 years too.
I haven’t had a site that whole time, but I’ve been building sites for four, and have had my own site off and on since I started my members.aol.com collection of animated gifs (why do I even admit that?).
When I started with AOL, we were doing the final beta tests of AOL 2.5, the first client with a web browser. 14.4 modems were brand new, and faaaa-aaaast. We worked on 486/66 machines with 16 megs of RAM and Windows 3.11. I used Netscape 2.0. A SoundBlaster 16 was the cutting edge. SGI was still the king. I had never heard of Linux. Windows 95 was in the future.
I remember when Win95 was released, I ran to Egghead (they used to have real stores, you know), bought it and Pittfall and spent the weekend installing and breaking it on my Pentium 60.
I remember the first site I built for anyone other than myself. I built a site for the Volunteer Center of Tucson. It had a FORM on it that sent mail. I thought I was SO cool, and what’s funny, so did they.
1995 is when it all really started happening. I’m glad I’ve been around this long and can’t wait to see what happens next. You know what’s funny… this makes me sound and feel old. I’m only 26. Go figure.
I’ve been on the slow road to this discovery, but I think it’s finally sinking in. There is no They. There’s no shadowy group trying to screw you over. There’s no malevolent hand telling your boss to be an ass. There’s just a bunch of people slogging away at their crappy jobs while you tramp along in yours. Now, there are some evil people in the world who do some rotten things. But, they’re the tiny minority compared to the shmucks and shmoes just trying to get through the day. We are all a part of the “unwashed masses”. Things we do piss people off, and cause them pain, whether we know it or not.
It’s the chaos theory of personal interaction. Something I do at my job could affect some poor bastard in San Francisco without me doing anything on purpose or meaning him any ill will. The jerks who make my job a living hell aren’t doing it on purpose. They’re just trying to do their job. Ok, this isn’t coming out right, but you get the idea. Drop the conspiracy theories – they’re all just doing what they do, like the frog and the scorpion. Sermon is over, soapbox is back in the garage (damn, I wish I had a garage).