Really tough teacher walks into her class one day and announces no one's getting out of the mid term the next day, not even "for grave illness"

Jock in the back yells: "What about sexual exhaustion?"

"Write with your other hand."

* * *

Well, it's good to be missed when you don't blog. I have a very small cadre of readers (no pun intended, honey!) but they seem loyal. Anyway, work been hell for the past few days. Don't really want to go into it for fear of enraging tech-savvy management who might google for this blog, but I can give it to you in outline:

  • I develop software, which falls somewhere on the difficulty scale between building the Golden Gate bridge and herding cats. Under the best of circumstances, it's a long, trying process that can come out badly. This release, sadly has not had the best of circumstances.

  • Your humble correspondent is 12 hours/day as a rule, 14 hrs/day on Mondays. (For some reason, everyone has an epiphany that requires a 2 page long email during the weekend. Hence, Mondays I feel like my fingers are going to fall off....)

  • My product's a really good product, but it's getting crufty. Cruft is just entropy. No system is immune to it, and the longer a system goes on or the more complex it is, the more of your time is spent fighting it. Or, in my case, 110% of your time is spent fighting it.

  • My product had one guy start this release (he got promoted), another guy do the schedule (he got reassigned), and another guy try and finish it. Not exactly a recipe for success. Don't get me wrong, I like all three of these guys (well, one less than the others...If you guys find this, figure out which of you I don't like...)

so yeah, it's freaky. But it's fun, folks. God help me, I've been loving my job for the past month (since my nervous breakdown) so incredibly much, and I'll tell you why: I get to make stuff work. For all the people out there who shuffle paper, deal with smarmy customers, and shovel the crap that keeps civilization afloat, I wish you knew the joy of making things. Dreaming up a design in your head, sitting at your computer, and watch it come to life, doing exactly as you'd imagined (once your Unit Tests all pass, that is.)

It's kind of indescribable, but it's neat, let's leave it at that.

* * *

Random experience today: I'm going to be on KET's telethon on Friday night from 6 to 11, so I trekked over to the Human resources office to pick-up my Lexmark-official, made in Taiwan, gonna-shrink-the-first-time-ya-wash-it shirt. Now, you know you work for a sprawling evil empir...uh...CORPORATION when it takes you 10 minutes of concerted effort to go from your particular Ivory Tower to the dungeonlike confines of Human Resources.

But it was a nice day outside, so I thought I'd take a shortcut.

eschewing my normal route by the main cafeteria I headed for the whole in the plant where an old building had been, walking up the sole remnant of that building, it's old cracked sidewalk. Once I got inside I knew:

I was lost.

Lexmark used to be a main manufacturing facility for IBM Typewriters. If your mom or aunt had one of those battleship things on her desk like they had in 9 to 5, it was probably made there. Something like 10 acres under roof. Yeah, big, scary, empty building, that's what remains. So, I struck out due west and a hoped for the best.

So, what would be a 10 minute jaunt turned into a 30 minute "where the freak am I" excursion by lots of old printers, shrinkwrapped AIOs, and scary looking doors that said "Authorized personnel Only". Eventually, though, I made my way to the HR person's office to find...

..she was out to lunch...

I feel like I'm telling Josh Sheffel's famous "Blue Marble" joke (I'd give a link, but for all my googling, I can't find the text...)

* * *

Which brings me to my next topic. The perfect lunch, served at Lexmark's cafeteria: The Mexican Haystack. Far from a swarthy band of gardeners from Meh-Hee-Co, this delicious combination comes our way every-other Wednesday. Used to be every Wed, but then engineers started dying....

anyways, it's nachos by any other name, served in heaping portions:

  1. Take an 8"x8" Styrofoam to-go box (no partitions!)

  2. fill the bottom with tortilla chips

  3. add taco meat

  4. add refried beans

  5. put on a layer of shredded lettuce and tomatoes

  6. add lotsa salsa

  7. put on some jalepeno slices

  8. top with sour cream

Okay, it weighs about a pound when you're going through the checkout and it takes ~20 minutes to eat if your shoveling it hand over fist, but it's GREAT!

* * *

So, after my haystack, I got my shirt. Yeah, no climax for the rising action. Welcome to the last 3 years of my life ;-)

* * *

Volkswagen is apparently in deep trouble. The automaker that was nearly defunct in this country in 1993 is once again on the ropes, as sales have plummeted. All I can say is they sold their soul (good, solid transportation, German engineering) in exchange for short-term profits. Who wants a $90k, 12-cylinder Volkswagen?

>>sigh<< I mean, I like cars, but my 'Dub had no soul. It was a good car, if rather unsporting and inefficient on interior space: Fast, stable at speed, decent mileage. But there was just no personality there to love. As the problems mounted and the trips to the dealer became a regular event, I just wanted rid of it.

pic for old times' sake:

* * *

Random: Guilty pleasures (food)

  • Spaghetti, freshly boiled, w/Ragu sauce

  • A cookie-dough blizzard from Dairy Queen

  • Chipotle Chicken Strips from O'Charley's

  • Ramen noodles

  • Friday's Jack Daniel's Chicken strips

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