Thursday, September 22, 2005

Job News Digest #1

Lately, we have had a rather hectic work schedule. I have been working 50-70 hours per week, trying to get our existing clients converted to v5.0 of our application. With a conversion every other week, the whole team has been putting in massive numbers of hours.

Monday, at about 7pm, I called Courtney. She was NOT having a good night with Mikayla. I had also worked Saturday, and worked late Thursday and Friday the week before. I asked Courtney what she wanted me to do, and she told me to start looking for another job.

So, of course, I chose family over job, and agreed. Previously, I had promised my manager Steve that when/if(mostly when) I started looking for a job, I would let him know. So, about an hour after I spoke with Courtney, I told Steve I was going to have to start looking for another job, and why.

Steve asked me if he could have a chance to fix things, rather than me just splitting. I told him I was totally into that, since I don't really want to leave the company, team, or project at this point.

At the risk of sounding cocky and self-important, the team needs me. You see, the same day I talked to Courtney, the execs decided to remove CoreSouth from active involvement in the project. CoreSouth is the consulting company that originally developed 5.0, and had been there all along, working on the project.

So, Steve called the powers-that-be that evening, to see what could be done about my unhappiness. His belief, and I agree, is that the other members of the team are in a similar situation, and may be considering the same course of action.

We'll have to wait and see what happens next, I guess.
Listening to: Song 2 - Blur - The Best of Blur (02:01)

Courtney wanted me to share a story

The last time I was at the grocery store, there was a woman in line in front of me. She was purchasing some items that were unusual (in my opinion). She was getting things like a coffee maker, and other household-type stuff that I would have gone to Target for, rather than Publix.
The cashier was curious and chatty, so she asked the lady if she was just moving to the area. The woman seemed pretty shy, but replied that she had just moved to the area. The cashier asked the lady where she moved from, and the quiet response was 'New Orleans'. Cashier asked if she had been back, or if she lost her home or what. The lady told her that she hadn't been allowed to go back to check on the house, but that her car insurance company had totalled her car. She was living right down the street from me, temporarily.

Well, Courtney and I had already spoken about donating to the Red Cross to help out. We had decided on roughly $100.00 as a donation. When I heard that this woman had just moved from New Orleans(fleeing from the hurricane), I thought it would be much more personal to help this nice, unassuming lady than donate to a huge organization.

When the woman's total for the night came to $103, I decided to do something. She had the cash in her hand to pay with. I interrupted her, and asked if she had just moved from New Orleans, and lost her house. She seemed a little freaked out, but replied that she had. I asked her to let us pay for her groceries.

She was stunned. I told her that we were going to donate to the red cross anyway, so we'd rather help her out. She stammered that I didn't have to do that, and I told her that I really wanted to. She said thank you, and introduced herself. I won't post her name, for two reasons:
  1. I don't think she would appreciate it. She seemed to want to avoid any attention.
  2. I don't remember it. Those of you who know me, know that I suck at remembering names, particularly the first time I meet someone.
I wasn't really going to share this story, since that makes it seem like I was looking for recognition when I helped the nice lady out. That wasn't the point at all. However, the wife wanted me to post the story, so it is posted.
Listening to: Bring It On - Insane Clown Posse - Big Money Hustlas OST (03:55)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Game Update

Ok, I know I haven't posted a game update in a while. It's been challenging lately to work on any personal code projects, so not much has happened for the game. I tried to get the ship showing up on the screen, but was thwarted. I added a bunch of logging to the game, and created a framework for additional logging. The code that is in the game (not much) is incredibly well tested, however. I'll have to look at the book's code more, to get the drawing worked out. I may ditch the book's approach to the drawing, and do my own thing. I'll keep you updated as things change.

Maybe people haven't all changed

I have said many times before in my life that people (all people) must have changed since the 1940's. I read accounts of World War II frequently. Pretty much any piece of material that I can get my hands on. One thing that all accounts agree on is that the young men and women of the United States were lying and cheating to JOIN the fight. The Marines' recruiting slogan at the time was 'First to Fight'. That encouraged recruits to join by the hundreds. Stop and think of that for a moment. The idea of getting into the war SOONER caused hundreds to join the most fearsome fighting force in the world.

Fast forward to my generation, and our war. We have people lying and cheating to get OUT of during their duty. We have reservists' parents fighting to bring their kids home from the battle they signed up to fight.

I have always felt that something is missing in the youth of America, and it is that sense of duty and honor and commitment to an ideal that is higher and stronger than any one person's life.

Today, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I am watching a documentary that details the actions aboard United Airways flight 93. The documentary includes recordings of the phone calls made by the passengers and crew of the flight to their loved ones at home.

It also includes the phone call which has changed my opinion of the average American. My father includes a quote in his emails. It says 'Are you ready? Let's Roll.' The man that said that then led a charge against the armed terrorists who had taken control of their aircraft. The passengers on that flight had learned that they terrorists planned to use their aircraft as a guided missile.

Those incredibly brave men and women then fought back. They fought back for their families at home, they fought back for freedom. They fought back because they were Americans, and by God, Americans don't sit idly by and watch innocent people be killed. They knew if they didn't do something, then an uncounted number of innocents would be murdered. They fought back for all of us. They fought back for America.

Those amazing men and women struck our first blow in the War on Terror. They have shown that America still has a backbone, and that we will NOT stand for the murder of innocents, and we WILL defend our citizens and our way of life by whatever means necessary, even if that means paying the ultimate sacrifice.

I only wish that there was something I could do to ease the suffering of the loved ones that were left behind. All I can do, however, is make sure that we continue to honor their memory. I will never forget, and I will do all I can to ensure that others remember. The things we forget are the things we are bound to relive.

Thank you for your sacrifice, and for restoring our faith in America, and its people.