somewhat daily mutterings

/Personal_Mythology My Resume is Tops...

Well, according to Google, anyway. A colleague pointed out to me today that if you do a Google search for 'weblogic resume', my resume is the very first match. Wow. I'm sure it won't last. It's also ironic, given that I haven't worked with WebLogic for the last couple of years. However, if I ever did full-stack J2EE development, it would still be my platform of choice.

Posted: Tue Jan 31 20:25:43 -0800 2006

/Personal_Mythology My Top Ten Albums, 1984

Now, this is a blast from the past. I used to work for a record store (Recordsmith) in Richmond when I was in school at EKU. It was the coolest job ever (although programming pays a lot better), and I was the only employee while I was there. Anyway, in the winter of '84 Darrell (the owner) decided it would be cool to do "top ten album" lists from ourselves and the store regulars and post them in the store. I, of course, went a bit overboard, and whipped out the card stock, watercolors, and Letraset (how quaint):

Top Ten Albums, 1984

You know, Porcupine is still one of my favorite albums. I'd still look forward to listening to any of the stuff on the list, except for maybe the Icicle Works album, and I'm not quite sure about the Ramsey Lewis. I cut my "jazz teeth" on Ramsey Louis, but after nearly 20 years of listening to bebop and spacey ECM jazz, I'm not sure I could still appreciate his particular brand of fusion-lite.

Posted: Mon Sep 12 19:36:23 -0700 2005

/Personal_Mythology Hey man, good name for a band!

This little remembrance was triggered by Vivian.

When I was in college, and still living in Funchester, K-Y, I was in a garage band. Actually an attic band, or basement band, depending upon the time of year. Anyway, in those days of yore, we used to play the "good name for a band" game, partly because we never kept a band name for very long. I mean, there are so many to choose from. The name we kept the longest was Bad Actors. I actually have biz cards for the band, around here somewhere, that I designed and printed in a graphic arts class in school.

Our alternate names (among many others) were Your Future Husbands, Panel of Experts, and Policemania (something we'd call ourselves in a fit of band-self-hatred fueled by the fact that 95% of our playlist was songs by The Police, albeit without vocals).

Anyway, a few years ago I was in Funchester for a wedding. My hair was long, but not ponytailed, and I had a beard. My ex-bandmate bud Tony commented that I looked like Jesus. I replied, "yeah, fat Jesus". Naturally, he came back with "hey man, good name for a band!"

It's much funnier, really, if you are me and Tony.

Posted: Wed Jul 27 20:06:16 -0700 2005

/Personal_Mythology My Brush With Greatness

I went to school (and I mean from kindergarten through high school) with a guy who, rumor had it, had moved to Hollywood and become an actor. As little kids we were pretty good buds. Every once in a while his name will come up when I'm visiting old friends, and we wonder about his acting career. Turns out, he really did do some acting, for a while, anyway. You go, Ike!

Ike's IMDB Profile

Isaac Turner as "Carlos", in The Girl with the Hungry Eyes, 1995

Ike doesn't have any acting work listed after 1995, so I'm curious what he's up to now. If you happen to trip over this, Ike (or someone else who would know), mail me and catch me up.

Posted: Fri Feb 04 22:07:29 -0800 2005

/Personal_Mythology Job Change

My last day at BEA Systems was Friday 01/23. It had come to the point where I was relatively bored with what was going on (I'd been working in the same basic code for about 1.5 years), and so had started sending out resumes and contacting my "network nodes" for interesting opportunities. Over Christmas week, I interviewed at, and was made an offer by, a small financial services company.

I started at my new job last Friday. the new gig is downtown, rather than in the DTC, which represents a return to a significant commute for me. I'll be doing software development, as usual.

So far, my impression of the company is that it has all the hallmarks of a great small company - the freedom to do what makes sense at any particular time and a group of tightly-knit folks that have a lot of ownership in the product.

There are the traditional small-company downsides, as well - the processes and other development knowledge in a company like this tend to be passed along as an oral, shared, history. This tends to be tough on a new person coming in (like me). I have to remain an infant and be handheld until I gain experience in each area, rather than sequestering myself and reading documentation to get the basics.

Of course, back on the upside, is that fact that a small company can be more agile, and adapt to new practices more easily than a large organization. That's partially why I was hired - to help change (and hopefully improve) the processes and approaches that are currently in place, where it makes sense. The business side is totall behind these changes. It should be fun, and I'm looking forward to it.

Posted: Sun Feb 01 15:57:14 -0800 2004

/Personal_Mythology Pop-Tart Complaint Successful

I'm very surprised, but it seems that my Pop-Tart Complaint was heard. Now the machine is stocked only with delicious Strawberry, Cherry, and Brown Sugar & Cinnamon varieties (although something may need to be done about the latter :-)).

Posted: Mon Apr 21 08:13:09 -0700 2003

/Personal_Mythology People Suck (or is it just me?)

So, I headed down to the public bathroom/lockerroom/shower in our building at day's end to change into my cycling clothes. The changing room and shower are actually a small anteroom of the bathroom. There was already someone in the room when I got there, so I had to wait for five or so minutes before going in. No big deal. But then, when the guy came out, I went in to discover the floor almost completely wet. I'm not talking about the shower floor itself, but the entire 5x5 foot changing/locker room. (Some background: this has happened many times before, and it really pisses me off. For some reason, I have a pet peeve about folks leaving the room in what I consider to be a shambles (as we'll see, maybe that's just me)). So, for me, it's now basically impossible for to change in that room without getting my feet and/or clothing wet, so I have to pack up my stuff and head upstairs to change in the bathroom up there.

Anyway, the guy is still standing at the lavatories as I behold the wet floor, and I just couldn't help myself -- I had to say something. So, I say, "how'd the floor get so wet?" He responds, in a 'duh' tone, "I just took a shower". "Why don't you pull in the curtain?", I say. He says, "I did pull in the curtain." I decide not to respond to this, since I don't comprehend how the floor could get so flooded if you did pull in the curtain. But, as I pack my stuff up to take upstairs, I get more and more pissed. I just can't help myself, so as I walk past the guy I say, "somehow I manage to take a shower in there without getting the whole floor wet". "You're a great man then", he says (or something to that effect). My witty retort as I went out the door: "yeah, and you suck".

I guess I should be glad he didn't follow me out the door and start a fight.

I reflected on this on my bike ride home, and just couldn't see how I could be in the wrong in this matter. Isn't it simple courtesy to leave the shower room basically like you found it? (BTW, when I'm done in there, you wouldn't know that I'd taken a shower there except for the wet shower floor). I felt justified, even though I did feel a little bad about mouthing off to the guy. Did it make me a whiner to complain about it? Or did it mean that I was just being assertive?

I decided to get MB's opinion on the subject. I told her the story, feeling sure that she'd agree with me that people, in general, suck (but thinking she'd also worry about me mixing it up with a stranger). Surprise! Her opinion was basically this: that I shouldn't expect everyone else to be as anal-retentive as I am, and that I shouldn't be surprised to see the floor covered in water, given that it's a public shower (although we're talking about a changing area, IMO). Her point was that my reaction was my particular reaction, and maybe my standards are just too high.

I can see her point, although it took me a while to get there. So, what do you think? Was the guy a messy a-hole, or am I an anal-retentive baby? The world wants to know (or at least I do).

Posted: Wed Apr 09 21:00:33 -0700 2003

/Personal_Mythology Pop-tart Complaint

Today, after being forced to buy Chocolate Fudge Pop-tarts for the umpteenth time, I had to do something about it. I left the evil vending-machine stocker a formal complaint:

I am so very tired of having to buy Chocolate Fudge Pop-tarts just to get them out of the way whenever I want some edible Pop-tarts. I realize you probably have to stock them due to some arrangement with your supplier, or because it's a cheaper way to supply some variety. That may work well for you, but not for me (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this).

The problem is that I feel that 75 cents is being extorted from me every time I want a tasty Pop-tart. Once the chocolate ones come to the front, people avoid buying them. So, they sit there, mocking those of us who'd like to have a good-tasting Pop-tart but are unwilling (until dying for a fix) to purchase the chocolate cardboard in order to get to a palatable flavor. Eventually, the Pop-tart starved individual is forced to buy the shingle-flavor to get to something edible.

I have an idea: How 'bout you stock the mud-flavored ones in a separate bin. Then, you'll have deployed them, and can sleep soundly, but, conversely, no one is obliged to buy them, so the people can exercise their God-given right to avoid crappy Pop-tarts.

It will be an interesting experiment to see whether you *ever* have to stock the chocolate ones again. My guess is that you won't. They'll still be there when cockroaches have taken over the planet, and even the cockroaches will avoid them.

Of course running this experiment will mean that you won't make money off the chocolate ones, but the money you were making off of them was extorted most of the time, anyway. I'm sure you'll sleep better knowing you've done the right thing.

Ha-ha only serious :-)

Posted: Wed Apr 02 07:53:58 -0800 2003

/Personal_Mythology Booger Wall

So, there I am, in the restroom at work taking a whiz. My wandering eyes (wandering directly in front of me, thank you) fall on, of all things, a booger stuck to the wall. This is unreal to me. What twisted, tortured mind, in my theoretically professional workplace, would actually stick a booger to the restroom wall?

Actually, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, because there is a precedent. When I was at E&Y we had a similar bathroom wall booger-sticking incident. You'd go to take a whiz, and there before you would be someone's booger stuck to the wall, as if that's what it's there for. One of the more outraged guys on the team decided to take action and put up a post-it note sign saying essentially, "please Mr. Crazy Booger-sticker, don't stick your boogers to the wall. You are frightening those of us who are nearly civilized." As a response, the booger-sticker, with a well-developed sense of irony, stuck a booger to the sign. We are surely doomed.

Posted: Thu Feb 20 16:48:58 -0800 2003

Thanks for visiting! Send comments to Mike Thomas.