semperfiona: Picture of a gas cloud in space that looks like an upraised middle finger (fuck you universe)
So my workplace is working on a new software project. Whenever the designers talk about a potential user who is a customer service representative, they use the pronoun "she". Whenever they talk about a potential user who is a technician of some sort, they use the pronoun "he". I scribbled the word "they" on my notepad as a reminder to myself to make sure not to fall into that habit.
semperfiona: (dilbert)
Our team has a tradition of tossing around a football during our morning meetings. I usually abstain, on grounds of being lousy at throwing footballs. So today, the folks for the next meeting in the room had started to trickle in, and were shaking their heads over the current topic of our conversation: Deb's imminent surgery to remove two football-sized ovarian cysts. I picked up the football and threw it in their direction...and hit Randy's full cup of coffee absolutely square on, showering him, Pat and the floor in (thankfully not very hot) coffee.

I couldn't have hit it on purpose to save my life, but yikes. It's a good thing Randy and I have a longstanding good working relationship and he's an easygoing guy who will probably have forgotten about it before I do.
semperfiona: (Default)
I just committed all my work on the current bastarding project from hell. Phew!
semperfiona: (castle)
This afternoon Chris and I are headed to Chicagoland to fetch his daughter and her boyfriend. She'll be living with us for the foreseeable; the boyfriend starts college on the other side of the river in August.

We've been working like fiends for the last month trying to make the basement ready for them. We got stairs put in to make the attic usable, and have been moving the enormous pile of stuff out of the basement and up to the attic instead. It's not finished by a long chalk, although we've made huge progress. But the kids will help with the rest of it, and we'll help them paint and furnish the space. She's talking about purple and red--a big change from the current cafe-au-lait color scheme.

Life is going to be a bit different around here. Sitting around in just a bathrobe, like I'm doing right now and have been doing all week, is going to become not-possible. I think I mentioned that my desk at work is currently non-existent? Should be back on Monday, but I've been displaced all week while they remodel our cubicles. Photos of the progress and updates from the facilities manager show that they're not going to be *quite* as bad as I'd feared--we're getting higher side walls than originally anticipated, so at least we'll not be on top of each other that way.

Moving Day

Jun. 14th, 2013 01:42 pm
semperfiona: (dilbert)
Our floor at the office is being remodeled from 8x8 cubes to 6x4 cubelets, and the teardown of our area happens this weekend/Monday, so we have to have all our stuff packed and/or moved somewhere else by end of today.

New cubelets will not have enough wall or desk space for my immense collection of cube decor, so I've already moved three boxes and a pile of pictures to the car (there's not really anywhere at home for it either) and my plants are going today.

As of right now, all my remaining stuff is packed up except for the computer setup itself, and I'm pretending to work for another couple hours or so before packing that up too and calling it a day.

The new space my team is moving into is actually not being built until Monday week, so I'll be working at home all of next week along with the rest of my whole team (well, obvs they'll be working at *their* homes, not mine).

Not at all thrilled to be losing so much space and any modicum of privacy, but I suppose needs must.
semperfiona: (work motto)
What's that saying about insanity? Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results?

Cause that's where I am today...and for about the last week. I have no idea what happened, I really don't, but ever since sometime last week I can't run any of my development environments. At first they wouldn't even build, but now they build beautifully but fail to run. This is the *exact same* codebase as had been running perfectly fine on the test servers. I have tried everything I can think of, even deleting and re-getting the codebase from Subversion. No joy.

Fiona is frustrated and annoyed and tired and going slowly insane.

Five things

Aug. 5th, 2010 05:21 pm
semperfiona: (hope)
1. In honor of Prop. H8 being overturned, I bring back the Hope icon. This morning I even had a surprisingly positive conversation with several coworkers who were also pleased by the outcome. Even in Missouri, folks, the world is changing.

2. Rosa just got back from Camp yesterday afternoon. I haven't seen her yet but I talked to her on the phone for a while and it sounds like she had a good time. She didn't enjoy canoeing but it was due more to the other girls in her canoe shrieking every time they wobbled than to the exercise.

3. Read Julian Comstock the other night. I requested it from the library after reading the thread on Making Light. It's well-written and frightening, the world-building is quite convincing, and I didn't like it. For several reasons: one, I can imagine a theocratic nightmare dystopia just fine for myself, and it's not a world I want to reside in even for the length of a book; two, preaching to the choir, dude!; three, I found the narrator's extreme and willful naivete annoying; four, hope-dashing ending.

4. This has been a very exhausting week. The city sent us a nastygram for excessive weeds in the back yard, and I spent most of Saturday, part of Sunday and part of Monday weeding. It's been the hottest week of the year, and I am only now recovering from all that exertion and the near heat prostration I suffered on Monday.

5. I got a shiny new computer at work on Tuesday, and suddenly I find the computer is actually waiting for me rather than the other way around. Wahoo!
semperfiona: (work motto)
Terry comes over to my desk to say that one of our customers is getting a database error on startup of the application: "table or view not found", and would I figure out what table it was looking for.

I do that, then look up the machine name in our CR list, and go to the database connection to look at that table. Um, the schema is empty. There are NO TABLES.

At about this point I overhear the DBA swearing about an empty schema, and darkly muttering that one of the Member Reps was "doing something".
semperfiona: (daisy)
When I arrived at the office this morning, all the way across the room I could see a group of balloons. Bet those are for me, I thought.

Sure enough...

When I got to my desk, I also found a bouquet of daisies (see new userpic) and a German chocolate cake. Amanda strikes again!

semperfiona: (misbehave)
Debbie was talking about her iRobot falling down the stairs, and then Brian mentioned that he'd like to watch the movie again, and then Terry asked if he'd seen the chopper that American Choppers made for Will Smith. And commented that Will Smith had said, "This is a motorcycle that makes me want to sit on it naked."

I'll be in my bunk.
semperfiona: (work motto)
In something of a coincidence, since there was a conversation about cows at dinner last night, too...And no, I did not bring up the topic. I can't remember who did. But anyway, at the daily meeting, somehow the subject of Cow Tipping comes up.

Terry: "Hey, you're from Wisconsin, did you ever tip cows?"

Someone: "Is it even really possible?"

Me: "Cow weighs nearly a ton, you'd need some damn good leverage." [my weight estimate is doubtless wildly inaccurate]

Amanda: "I think it's probably like hunting snipes."

So Matt goes off and comes back with this in an email:

from Wikipedia

According to popular belief, cows can easily be pushed over without much force because they are slow-moving, slow-witted and weak-legged, have a high center of gravity and sleep standing up. Numerous publications have debunked cow-tipping as a myth. Cows do not sleep standing up, nor do their knees lock, making the act of cow-tipping impossible.[2]

A variety of calculations have been performed to determine if cow tipping is physically possible.[1][3] A study led by Margo Lillie, a doctor of zoology at the University of British Columbia, concludes that cow tipping by a single person is impossible. Her calculations found that it would take at least two people to apply enough force to push over a cow if the cow does not react and reorient its footing. If the cow does react, it would take at least four people to push it over. Professor Lillie noted that, contrary to the myth, cows are well aware of their surroundings (they have excellent senses of smell and hearing) and are very difficult to sneak up upon.[1][4][5][6]

Just thought all y'all would want to know that.


Mar. 31st, 2009 04:56 pm
semperfiona: (work motto)
Yet another exciting three hours of Customer Service Training this afternoon. Today's episode: Email and Forums.

I am at odds with one of the big things they kept reiterating, and I'm curious about the views of my Loyal Readership.

Copied from the manual:

Email Rule:
Creating an email is much like writing a letter.
You need:

  • An opening

  • The body of the email

  • A polite close

It has always been my belief that email requires neither a salutation nor a closing because the names of the addressee and sender are right there in the header; I liken email to verbal conversation. To some degree I do use greetings, especially when the email is a new start to a conversation or I haven't communicated with the recipient in a long time, but only on the first one in a thread, very-rarely-to-never on a reply, and I don't generally sign them unless to add other contact information.

Am I obliviously rude in this regard, or are they being backward and old-fashioned?

Love is.

Feb. 15th, 2009 01:05 pm
semperfiona: A pile of conversation hearts (love hearts)
Valentine's Day was a busy one for the Rivendell household. [ profile] lavendargrrl went to work at the yarn shop, and I logged in remotely and spent three hours or so working myself. Then I sneaked upstairs to wrap the supersecrets before [ profile] ohari, the Baby and I took ourselves to Poly Munch.

But not directly. I was driving, and Chris doled out the directions for the side trip as we went.

Chris: Go north on Kingshighway.

Me: Is it okay if I pick it up at Chippewa, or are we going somewhere between?

Chris: No, that's fine.

*drive drive drive*

Chris: Turn right at Vandeventer; go .4 mile. Turn right at Shaw; go 264 feet.

Me: Are we going to Gringo Jones or the Bug Store? Cause that's all there is right there...

Gringo Jones it was. My big Valentine's present is a new pair of griffins for the front steps, to replace the ones that went walkies three years ago during the time this house was being rented out. (Tenants said, "We never saw them!" Yeah right. But I discovered their absence after I'd already returned their deposit.) They weren't in stock and will have to be ordered, so we'll probably get them in mid-March. This time they will be epoxied to the porch, TYVM.

Stopped by the String Store to check in on Tammie and see if we could extricate her for the rest of the afternoon. String Store was bouncy with puppies (a 12-week-old chocolate lab/shepherd/something mix that Sandy is fostering, as well as her own two dogs), but we got Tammie out of there anyway.

Off to Munch, where we ran into Modrid whom I haven't seen in quite a while, as well as most of the Usual Suspects and [ profile] soraidh.

"Once you fall under the spell of Rivendell, forever shall it dominate your destiny..." - [ profile] reannon (Correct the quote, ekd, if you remember, cause I don't think this is quite right at the beginning.)

After much eating of not-very-good pizza, Rosa had a date with Daddy. They had a Valentine's Day reservation at White Castle. Yeah, the idea boggled my mind too. But in any case we dropped her off and took ourselves to our next event: Coraline at Ronnies. Where we bumped into and sat next to [ profile] tsita and her mystery date. *wink*

Before the movie, there was a text update from [ profile] transplantmom...we decided to invite her to join us for our dinner reservation after the movie.

Movie was fantastic, in the original sense as well as the modern one. We, or some subset of us, will be going back to take the Baby. Not as creepy as it could have been, but plenty of satisfactory creepiness.

Then dinner at Onesto, where the Valentine's Day theme was "Lady and the Tramp". Tables had been re-dressed in red and white checked tablecloths, chianti bottles with candles, the whole bit. There was a photographer doing pictures with a backdrop from the movie and bits of spaghetti for posing; of course we had one taken. Tammie convinced them to give us the file, so when that arrives I will post it for your delectation. The chef had come up with some fabulous specials and desserts. Dinner was lovely, and it was great that Selena was able to join us. Tammie and I had wild mushroom spaghetti, Selena had lobster and goat cheese not-ravioli (they were stuffed pasta, but I can't remember the correct name), and Chris had a pizza.

Just now, Chris and I got home from breakfast and a quick grocery trip, just in time for Rosa to arrive back from Daddy's house. Daddy has a date (woohoo!) so we're "babysitting". Baby and I are going to decorate sugar cookie hearts for Valentine's Day. Maybe there will be pictures later.

And after that I have to work some more. Being on jury duty this week has put me quite a bit behind on my project due Monday.
semperfiona: (kiss)
Mai prezdint, let me sho u him.

Tuesday was a very emotional day. Driving to work, listening to NPR as usual, I started crying every time they interviewed an ordinary Joe or Jane about their experiences. Didn't get an opportunity to watch the inauguration festivities myself, even though $COMPANY had a big-screen set up for the purpose: too busy. This may be for the best, as a face covered in tears, even happy hopeful ones, is not the professional image I try to project.

Then I cried the next day at my lunch table while reading the text of Obama's inauguration speech.

Still haven't watched any of the ceremonies beyond what's been on the regular news coverage. Chris tivoed it though, so I will do that soon.

Wednesday I printed out a copy of +Gene Robinson's invocation from Sunday and stuck it to my cubicle wall, where it remains. I made another one and stuck it on the wall in the break room, but that one has mysteriously disappeared. I'm not really surprised; I expected that to happen. After all, when I occasionally find anonymous copies of homophobic, racist or sexist nonsense posted or left on tables in the breakrooms, or still on the printer, I throw them in the wastebasket immediately like the trash they are. I suspect the anonymous leaver of such things found Bishop Robinson's prayer offensive and did likewise.

Wednesday night was the $COMPANY service awards banquet. I have just completed ten years of service (officially--I worked a year for them as a contractor prior to that), so I was up for an award. When the invitation came, Chris said, "I went with you last time so you should take your girlfriend. It's her turn." After some trepidation, we decided to do just that.

Spent a goodly part of Wednesday afternoon agonizing over the just-right fashion choices, including a purchase of new shoes for each of us, and ended up wearing velvet dresses and tall shoes. Tall enough that I could look Chris in the eye.

Coworkers were...daunted, I think. Everyone was very nice to Tammie, whom I introduced as "my girlfriend Tammie". I let people think that meant whatever they liked to think it meant. It did make one person eat his words, though. He said, "something-something your friend," where we were going to leave it, but then he asked how we know each other. Tammie said, "Um, we live together." He recovered well, though, following up with "and how did you meet?"

I am gratified, for the purpose of my continued employment, that I did not think of the obvious response to "how do you know each other?" until the next evening. Somehow I don't think "carnally" would have been a good choice of riposte under the circumstances.

I didn't sleep very well that night, in part due to temperature issues with the heat in the house, and in part because I was nervous about work the next day. I know what a rumor mill this place is, and I was concerned that people would have been gossiping about me. *shrug* They may well have, but it's been two days now and I haven't heard a single word of it. Either people are minding their own business, they interpreted 'girlfriend' according to their heterocentric mindset as 'close female buddy', or they're managing some really quiet talk that hasn't yet reached any of my closest friends.

I got nuthin else. I just like to say "President Obama".


Jan. 7th, 2009 11:54 am
semperfiona: (work motto)
I was having a really hard time driving to work today, since I didn't have time to get any coffee and the sleepies were attacking with ferocity. But that changed suddenly...

When I got to the third floor I could see a group of guys hanging around Rob's cube. And when I got there, what should I see but Terry brandishing a machete!

Today is Rob's last day before shipping out to a couple weeks of refresher training and then he's off to Iraq. The guys and Amanda got him a backpack full of useful stuff for his journey: mosquito netting, a camo sippy cup, a baggie labeled "personal sticky bomb kit", a plastic pith helmet, and the aforementioned machete.
semperfiona: (work motto)
I just spent a tedious half hour watching a sexual harassment prevention training video. Lots of blatant examples of bad behavior, but I am feeling the need for vengeance on behalf of the English language.

"Intimidating or demeaning language is automatically sexual harassment." Hello? It is most certainly harassment, and is very likely to be discrimination, depending on what was said, but in what world is intimidation part of sex?

An example from one of the vignettes: "What's the difference between Bigfoot and a smart woman? Bigfoot has been spotted!" Discrimination and misogyny, absolutely; harassment if it keeps up, certainly, but where's the sexual content in that? Yet the narrator kept insisting that it was sexual harassment.

Why can't they just say that harassment OF ANY KIND is unacceptable, without having to stretch definitions beyond their breaking point?
semperfiona: (maple)
This week was the second time I've found a bird outside our building lying dead of a broken neck, presumably from flying into the window. Last time it was an indigo bunting; this time tells me it's a yellow-shafted northern flicker. Both of those are relatively common bird species, but nonetheless I'd never seen one before. It's sad to have one's first glimpse of a bird species be a dead one.

I think I'm going to inquire with building maintenance as to whether there's anything we can do to help prevent the bird deaths. If I've seen two, and I know I've heard rumors of at least a couple others, it seems very likely that there have been more.
semperfiona: (holly snow)
After dropping Chris at work (8:52 am), I was driving along listening to the news. Several schools in St. Charles County have been closed for the day due to a massive manhunt around Hwy K, Bryan Road, Feise Road.

I drive along wondering why close the schools...dude is suspected of shooting a kid through the wall of a house in Granite City, yes, but that doesn't mean he's specifically preying on kids. Then I forget the whole thing since I don't go to school in St. Charles County and neither does my daughter.

I get off I-70 at Hwy K and drive along down to Feise Road, turn right (west). Huh. There is a backup of cars trying to go east and a large number of police cars. Wonder if there was a big accident. But that first car, the yellow van, has all its doors open, and then the cops walk away from it and she drives off. The cops move on to the next car. Light dawns. I'm not at my brightest first thing in the morning when I haven't had any coffee yet. Well, they're not stopping anyone going west, so I carry on.

Just before Bryan Road I find the roadblock for the westbound traffic. No backup to speak of, however, so my turn comes up right away. Officer asks me to pop the trunk. I push the remote button repeatedly, to no avail, and soon give up in favor of giving him the key. But the key won't come out of the ignition. Officer says, "Ma'am, put the car in park." I say, "Sorry, I'm flustered," extricate the key and hand it to him. He verifies that there are no murderers in my trunk, thanks me for my time, and I'm quickly on my way again.

When I get to work at 9:35ish, the normally-unlocked back door is locked. While I'm rummaging in my purse for my id badge/door key, my buddy Mark opens it for me and says, "Doors are all locked due to the manhunt." Aha, that's the point of closing the's a place the guy could've gotten into and hidden.

Get to my desk, and find that several co-workers who live in the immediate area have had far worse trouble getting here. John even ditched his car somewhere on Bryan and decided to walk the rest of the way--probably three or five miles. Matt's house is visible on the live feed from the police helicopter.

(Update, 10:35: just received an email announcing that the suspect had been captured.)

(Update 2, 10:39: John just got here, to a large prairie-dogging audience.)
semperfiona: (work motto)
Correct data is all alike. Incorrect data is all incorrect in its own way.
semperfiona: (work motto)
I can has ethernet!

I'm here in Huntsville, Alabama. Chris had a business trip, and Tammie and I accompanied him. But because I have a project for work due soon, I needed to put in a few hours a day towards its completion. Hotel offers both wireless and ethernet.

My laptop does not have wireless. The card broke some time back, and I've had to use direct ethernet connection ever since.

Sunday night when we got here, I plugged it right in. No love from the wired internet. I called the tech service number, and the guy said it was probable that the whole hotel ethernet was down. Indeed, we switched rooms Monday[1], and it was down in the new room too.

I've been using Tammie's machine every day, preventing her from doing the things she needed to do. But every day, I've also checked my machine...and today, I can has ethernet!

Of course, I'm about to abandon it temporarily in order to acquire breakfast. Hopefully it will still be here when I get back. *crosses fingers*

[1] After the third time we had to call to have maintenance plunge the commode (it never did sound right even when it seemed to work)... we requested a room change.


semperfiona: (Default)

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