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Category: work

07/13/08 11:05 - ID#44998

i hate brussels sprouts too

image
- tinfoilraccoon @ flickr

Just for the record, I worked 64hr in five days last week. Those of you who are not suitably impressed should keep in mind that I am a total slacker and one of the reasons I work from home is so that I can generally get away with working about half that. I don't live to work, I work to live.

The office manager [who can never seem to remember to pay me] asked why I don't work full-time at the office instead. Among other things, I said, when you work 'part-time' you get paid hourly. [It seemed unprofessional to say that I do better work with a kitty on my lap and bangin' tunes on the stereo.]

So when I totalled up my invoice [and it was a lot of money - it would have taken me a month to make that much at my old job] I looked at it and (e:dragonlady7) looked at it and she said Hm! and I said yeah, that's nice but I think I would rather have eaten and slept instead.

The good news is I think I'm done.

--

The problem with working for such a large client is their ubiquity. I went with (e:dragonlady7) to the Century to forget about life for an hour or two. But while we're eating our wings a baseball game comes on and my client had bought all of the advertising space in both dugouts. Another guy on the project went to Las Vegas last week and one of the first things he saw was an enormous billboard advertising their products.

But my boss has the worst story: so he's on vacation in the country - no cell phone reception, no internet access, no buildings even. He's walking through the woods and he sees one of their products on the ground. He's like no, you're kidding me. Picks it up and sees the logo. KHAAANNN!!!

- Z
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Category: work

04/03/08 11:29 - ID#43889

crazy busy!

My aunt called me up yesterday, as she is wont to do when she has computer problems. I told her that I was working [it was about 4:45] but I'd be over once I was done. She told me she was impressed with my self-control, and that she'd sort of figured that working at home meant I could take it easy. Meanwhile I'm thinking yeah ... I could probably be billing 50 hours a week, if I were interested in working 50 hours a week. Which explains the dearth of (e:strip)ness.

Anyway, a screenshot from my client's current website, for your amusement.

image

Secretly I hope beyond hope that there's a guy in Member Services who is maybe just a little bit Willy Wonka and who maybe refers to their customers as Memblers on those days when he's mixed a scoop of regular in with the decaf ...

- Z
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Category: work

03/20/08 11:11 - ID#43739

@_@

So this week I finally went from the ranks of the nearly-employed to the ranks of the telecommuting. That is, I still sit around the house in my underwear, only now I get paid for it. [cha-chingg!]

I thought once I'd gotten into a routine where I had to wake up early and do stuff all day, that I'd be less likely to start going all buggy. Not so! Whenever I got bored with something I could go putter somewhere else. But now I sit in my living room all day staring at Flash Player. I think this kind of shit is hilarious. My only social interaction spends 23 hours a day sleeping and one hour a day climbing the curtains. I haven't left the house since Tuesday nad it's really freeking me out.

- Z


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Category: work

03/03/08 01:48 - ID#43539

let's go exploring

(e:dragonlady7) says she thinks time should be a boolean. Either it's time, or it's not time. When people ask what time it is, nobody cares what the numbers are; they only want to know if it's time or not.

I quit my job today. I don't have any plans - but when it's time, there's no sense arguing.

- Z

image
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Category: work

05/23/07 12:49 - ID#39388

early adopters?

We got any early adopters here? I'm putting together a little toy for work and I'd like some real preliminary feedback. Concept: all-local Internet radio - runs as a tiny window on your desktop while you're working & shows who's playing. Currently 137 songs, ~10hour playlist.

Known bugs:
- loading message doesn't show [you have to wait a couple minutes before it starts playing]
- volume slider doesn't work [use system volume]
- a number of the songs have f*d up ID3 tags [these won't show any info]
- the mysterious white box doesn't show ads yet
- pause/fast forward buttons don't exist
- a lot of the music is crap*ola

- Z
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Category: work

01/22/07 02:12 - ID#37818

the serenity to avoid strangling clients

A local CD duplication services is sponsoring our Battle of the Bands [as they did last round, fair play to 'em]. They're the only sponsor to come back from last time, and it's great that they're supporting the local music scene.

However, for the last three workdays, I have been trying to figure out why this guy can't see his sponsor logo on our website. He is using Netscape 7. My usual response in such cases ['perhaps you should stick to web browsers produced by organizations that still exist'] will not work, because of course, Dude is giving us like $500 worth of merch to give away.

So we've been going back and forth - me tweaking things, he saying it still doesn't show up. And I know he's getting nervous. And it's not making my job any easier knowing that he's getting nervous.

Turns out that the problem is:

He's got ad blocking software running.

- Z
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Category: work

11/30/06 10:01 - ID#37397

may you code in interesting times

On Tuesday, I received an unusual message from an unusual person best known for his work on a highly regarded local website - 'due to creative differences we have decided to part ways, and I wonder if we could be of service to your company in the future.'

Naturally I was dying of curiosity as to what constitutes creative differences these days. Answer: Zack believes 'content is king' while George is enamored with bells and whistles . Whereas the visual signal-to-noise ratio of their current site is about 60:40, the SNR of their new site [due out by the end of the year] bottoms out at around 35:65 - and that is past a critical threshold. With our better content and his better site, he believes we can rule the universe. I tend to agree.

Of course, their timing couldn't be better - we've been focusing strongly on our website lately, and we have a number of huge changes planned. Thus far, my greatest concern is one of staffing. I am the web department, and thus far any requests for more staff have been met with suggestions to hire part-time unpaid interns. This is where it gets funny: while I don't think I'll ever get actual funding for the actual website, I will bet that we can get as much funding as we need to drive certain people crazy. And if the most efficient way of getting things done right is to play personalities off each other, well - I'm not above doing that.

We shall see. We code in interesting times.

- Z
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Category: work

11/22/06 03:52 - ID#37394

marketing

I think this should be our new marketing campaign:

image

Very succinct, and it sure beats all these pretentious 'The Art Of Thinking' and 'Welcome to the 21st Century' bumper stickers we've got slapped on every available surface around here.

- Z

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Category: work

10/26/06 08:00 - ID#37387

productivity is down

because my laptop is in the shop. See, the thermostat is mounted to the heat sink and wired to the power management unit. When the heat sink expands, the thermostat shifts just so and disconnects from the PMU. The PMU assumes catastrophic failure and cuts the power. It's an academically-amusing butterfly effect kind of deal, but I'm not really amused anymore and I kind of want my computer back.

I've also found myself near the center of a number of poorly-conceived Vision of the Future meetings. Normally I dig Vision of the Future meetings, since it's a chance for Management to give us underlings direction and motivation. The focus of the meetings is We Need a Better Website, which I don't disagree with. Our online readership is, frankly, abysmal. From where I sit, the largest obstacle we're facing is that the website we have is just about as much [if not slightly more] than our current staff and organization can handle. If we want more, we need more staff and better organization.

I think we have two options. The first is that we can continue doing what we're doing. The website exists mostly as a byproduct of our daily operations, and as such, it really only needs a one-person web department and a small amount of cooperation from other departments. It is cheap and functional, and we're not going to go out of business if we keep it the way it is. If this is what we decide, I would only wish that we'd stop pretending small usability improvements and devastatingly grandiose gimmicks would magically net us a million hits a month.

The only other option I see is to 'go daily' online. We have 19 articles this week, and no new content until next Thursday. A certain competitor has 16 new articles today and more on the way tomorrow. And before you say I'm crazy to insist on nothing short of total organizational overhaul - Editorial is behind me on this one 100%.

So we seem to be having a meeting every week now. For fifteen minutes every Thursday afternoon, we have a premeeting meeting wherein we get our stories straight about what we're doing to follow up on miscellaneous ineffictive ideas. Then we sit at a table for an hour while the Boss shows us some keen websites he found, with the implication that we should be more like them [here is a true, honest-to-God example; I wish I were making this up]. Then there's a tense fifteen minutes where we try to regroup in a secure location [which is difficult to do in a blind rage] and spend fifteen minutes calming down by deciding what we're actually going to do before the next meeting.

It's fucking ridiculous, really, that we have to secretly plot how to be productive and organizationally successful.

- Z
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Category: work

09/28/06 10:53 - ID#37380

the gulag archipelago

I have not posted in a while, because I have sequestered myself in the attic until I finish writing a new backend for our calendar database. This may strike you as a weird thing to do, but the attic is comfortable this time of year, quiet, and relatively clean. I have weird mannerisms when I am deep in thought, and when I am in the attic nobody says anything when I pace around the room, pulling my hair and chewing my beard. I have put in fifty hours this week [well, starting Friday after work] and I am thrilled to be able to concentrate so completely. I am making excellent progress. I have assured both Management and (e:dragonlady7) that the overtime will become a vacation in the not too distant future.

I have also promised Management that I will return Monday with my shield or upon it; this does not bode well for my attendance at the housewarming party. The question is not whether I will be there -- I will -- but when.

- Z
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