An Open Letter to the Ford Motor Company on the Ford Fusion Hybrid Braking System

Dear Ford Motor Company, My 2010 Fusion Hybrid crashed today. No, I didn't smash into anything...the electric traction system in my car crashed in the computer sense as I was rolling towards a stop sign. I was left without power brakes. Thankfully this was at ~5 mph so just stomping really hard on the pedal yielded a stop. As I approached the stop sign in electric drive mode (engine off), my dashboard lit up light a Christmas tree, displaying warning lights I didn't know I even had. The display shouted 'SERVICE ADVANCE TRAC SYSTEM' and my brake pedal went almost to the floor. To fix this, I did the old IT trick: I turned it off and turned it back on. Problem "solved." This seems a rather serious failure mode, as without the engine running, there's no vacuum to power the brakes. As the car can run with the engine off up to 45 mph, I'd rather not imagine stopping from that speed sans a brake booster. Having been around embedded software, I can understa…

On Communication

Martin Lomasney, an old West End political boss from Boston, is best remembered for his warning to young politicians everywhere — “Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink”.

Review: "A Wrinkle in Time"

So yeah, let's spend 20 minutes flying around Pandora from Avatar but let's leave off the part that makes the plot work...

"There is such a thing as a tesseract" -- Miss WhatsIt

I'll never forget the day I read Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time for the first (and thus far only) time.  I was in 4th grade--11 years old--and I was in my Aunt Norie's house in Highway 205.  My mom dropped me off, and I was alone for hours.   I can't remember the occasion exactly, and especially the reason for my solitude, but it didn't matter.

I had a book.  I had the book.  I had A Wrinkle in Time.

Over the next six or so hours, I devoured the book.  I don't remember eating lunch or going to the bathroom.  L'Engle created not just a world, but a Universe, a story that spanned a galaxy and plumbed the depth of Love, Light, and Freedom.  I talked my poor mom's ear off about the book, then never mentioned it again.

The Nineties can have Harry Potter.  …

Age 39 Catchphrases

The following come to mind for being 39 years old ( I turn 40 in November )

"Killing yourself, one M&M at a time." Bonus points if you sing this to a "Fugees" tune and your coworker thinks you're having a stroke.
"The Advil Years".  Significant things cause you to be sore the next day.  Like walking.
"Remember when _____ didn't hurt all the time?" did these things pass design review?
"Yep, that's me."  You not only recognize the face in the mirror, you come to accept him.
"Remember when we didn't yell?"  Deafness.  Yep, that's what it is. Suuuure.
(Before Noon) "Coffee fixes....everything." 
(After 6pm) "Wine fixes...everything else."
"Teenage me was so naive."  Well, he was.
"Twentysomething me was so egotistical."  Yep.
(Tech-specific) "Remember the first two times they invented this same thing?"  It grows tiresome to write the same logic in a dif…

Git The Hence: A Programmer Dies and Goes to Heaven...

A programmer dies and goes to heaven, meeting a rather stern St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

"You do know we have a record of every sin you've committed?" Peter says.

"Sure, whatever...I've got nothing to hide.  I lived a very clean life."

Peter continued: "...and your full git history of every commit."

The programmer just smiled.  "Great!  I'm quite proud of everything.  I practiced Clean Code."

"...and the full DAG.  No rewrites of history in Heaven."

Programmer: NOOOOOOOOOO!


I'm exhausted.

Yes, I know all the motivational crap about The 40% Rule.  I can (and shall) push through this, Lord willing, creek don't rise, coffee maker don't fail.

Some things to highlight for future reflection:

I've crested 270 pounds.  I'm nearly 90 pounds up from where I was in 2012, and 30 more than when I moved here in 2016.   I'm eating myself to death.My exercise routine is nonexistent.My sleep metrics seem good, but I get no rest.I don't read regularly.I don't have any effective hobbies.  I basically work, sleep, repeat....and yes, I happen to be on-call for my current team this week. I begin to wonder (far too late, I suspect) that the above is unsustainable.  Other people seem to do this life thing well, and I....don't.  I seem to just work.
Forgive my conceit, but I begin to wonder if my "life" is all just a fever dream of me lying in a hospital bed, lamenting I chose work over everything else.

Re: Espresso

So, a colleague brought in an espresso machine, a burr grinder, and some beans.

So, now I know how to make espresso.

Brilliant Idea: I need to setup an espresso bar beside a cardiologist's office and take 10% of their profits.  My EYEBALLS ARE VIBRATING.