jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I had fun today. We had a problem on our live servers. An end user reported it. It hadn't been noticed by the developer, the code reviewer, the QA team, or the acceptance testers.

Why was it fun? Because just for once, we get to do fix-it-now, fly-by-the-seat-or-your-pants work. There's no lead time, no meetings, no prioritisation. "Find out what's wrong and fix it today."

Tomorrow, back to dull production line normal.

Oldies

Nov. 18th, 2015 07:35 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
This year I bought a new turntable, amp and speakers, so I can listen to vinyl again. Lots of old stuff I haven't heard for years has had another play. Two things jump out at me. The new equipment is a lot better than anything I had before, which surprised me - lots more detail in the sound. The other is that things I used to really like often don't sound as good as I remember (Parallel Lines was a surprisingly thin listen). My mind has a rose-tinted rear view mirror. A few things are much better. I had to listen to a live version of Red Barchetta several times (B-side of the single Subdivisions).

Ambulances

Oct. 21st, 2015 03:19 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I saw Ghostbusters recently. It was pretty good. When the song asked "Who you gonna call?", lots of people answered.

One thing that I remembered clearly from seeing it years ago was the car they used, because I as a child had had a toy ambulance that shape.


But the strange thing about it was that I'd never seen an ambulance like that. Ambulances looked like this.


To resolve the confusion, child me decided that Americans are weird.

I like...

Oct. 21st, 2015 01:13 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
  • Afternoons
  • Raw carrots
  • Tea (if you make it in a teapot)
  • Trees
...and a lot of other things I can't recall at the minute.

Cuppa

Aug. 26th, 2015 01:41 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I'm having Yogi Tea Classic. Apparently, its...
Heart-warming, relaxing, delicious, spicy and wonderful.
I'll just go with "quite pleasant".

Murmurer

Jul. 20th, 2015 02:11 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I sat in Brookes Market to eat my lunch, sharing a bench with another bloke. A woman came and sat between us. She had some food in a box - some little sausage-shaped things. They must have been good, because every time she ate one, she murmured "Mmm, mmm!". She finished eating and looked at something amusing on facebook on her phone, and murmured "Hmm hmm!" I wondered if she knew we could hear her. Was I supposed to reply? Then she left.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Churchill said "If you're going through hell, keep going." It's surprisingly hard.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Have you ever seen Scrapheap Challenge? Apparently it's called Junkyard Wars in the US.

It suddenly occurred to me today that writing software is a lot like that. There's an impossible time limit. You only get one go at doing it because the next build is something completely different. Most of the focus is on just making something that works. You spend a lot of time bolting together stuff that's already been made for some other purpose. And when it's time to show it to the world, it often breaks spectacularly.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Lots of things are hard with one arm.

I fell off my bike (yes, again), broke my left arm, and I've been in plaster for a fortnight. There's only a few things I really can't do at all - shoe laces and cuffs seem impossible, and driving and bike riding are off-limits - but everything else gets done. I even found how to butter toast today, although it's cheating a bit because it uses the little strength I can exert with the fingers of my left hand.

But everything takes so long, and my right arm gets tired out, and my left arm gets stiff from disuse, and my neck hurts from the sling. I apologise to people everywhere who only have one arm, but I can't wait to get back to two.

The only upside is I've been taking paracetamol and codeine at night, which makes me sleep really well.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
On my current project we're using Eclipse. As with all IDEs, it lets you do some things quite easily, but makes other things painfully hard.

Today's frustration was word wrap. All text editors should let you wrap long lines. Even Notepad can do this. Eclipse can't. Googling tells me that I have to install a plugin. Only after lots more googling do I find that you use the Help menu for that. WTF?

Ouch

Jan. 28th, 2015 10:41 am
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
This morning, cycling down hill, in the rain, turning right, and seeing unexpected traffic coming towards me, I braked hard. Ambition was greater than adhesion. My back wheel locked and slid to the left. I tried to correct, teetered for a bit, then fell to the right. I landed on my right hip and broke my back light.

A sensible person could have
  • taken more care at junctions
  • noticed that it had started raining
  • made allowances for oncoming traffic
  • released the back brake
  • bailed out of the turn and carried on down the hill, making braking unnecessary
  • been in a better mood and less of a hurry
Ho hum. At least I didn't break the laptop I had on my back.

Wot?

Oct. 14th, 2014 04:13 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
You don't often hear a cockney accent nowadays. Young Londoners aim for Jafaican, Estuary or RP, but there's a few left. Today I heard a woman talking about her work. She said "I'm on the counter" with her tone of voice adding an implied "stupid" But I heard "I'm on the canter" which came across as mildly alarming - no man is safe!

Veg

Oct. 6th, 2014 12:13 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Going down to the compost last night, I noticed two tiny tomatoes still on the almost-dead tomato plants. So guess what I have in my sandwich today.

I still have to dig up a load of onions, and maybe some garlic, if it's survived.

I'm not sure about growing veg. It seems like a lot of effort for something I could buy very cheaply. On the other hand, it's quite satisfying to eat stuff you've grown yourself.

Stand up

Sep. 24th, 2014 04:31 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I wanted to make fewer gags. I'm failing.

It's a common thing in computing projects to have a daily "stand up". Everyone say what they're doing and if they have any problems (while standing up, hence the name - it's supposed to keep it short). I'm the new boy on a project that's been running for a while, so what I've been doing isn't interesting - beginners' stuff. So I make a joke. Bit sad, really.

I only just noticed the double meaning of "stand up".

Dead funny

Aug. 12th, 2014 03:06 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/robin-williams-why-funny-people-kill-themselves/

I was once a poor comedian*. I was dying for a laugh*. But for a long time now I've been trying to be less funny*.

* The asterisks mark gags I didn't make. I'm taking it one day at a time

Poland

Jun. 10th, 2014 01:57 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I had Polish food that I couldn't pronounce for lunch. Polish food seems heavy on meat. I had veg stew with buckwheat, quite pleasant but tasted like it might have been made with meat stock. Ho hum. The man in the cafe was surprised that I would have a beer at lunch time. I can report that Polish lager tastes the same as any other lager.

Anyway, cautious thumbs up for Mamuska, and bonus points for being in the Elephant shopping centre. Wikipedia says:
The shopping centre, designed by Boissenvain & Osmond for the Willets Group, was opened in March 1965. It was the first covered shopping mall in Europe, with 120 shops on three levels and a two-storey underground car-park. In the sales brochure (1963), Willets claimed it to be the "largest and most ambitious shopping venture ever to be embarked upon in London. In design planning and vision it represents an entirely new approach to retailing, setting standards for the sixties that will revolutionise shopping concepts throughout Britain."
I say:
Very shabby old shopping centre, but sells cheap stuff and has a Polish cafe.

Yesterday

Feb. 27th, 2014 11:25 am
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Having a day off in the middle of the week is like having a little holiday.

I fixed a fence with EC, went out to lunch with EC and my SO, added gamma correction to my ascii art thing, bought another fence panel, and went to scouts on the wrong day (on purpose - I was organising stuff) and went to bed early because I was tired for once.

This morning I got up a bit earlier than usual, feeling fairly perky, got to the station in time for an earlier train, and it was cancelled (perk only slightly dented).
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I once saw a small statue of Ball in a portrait exhibition somewhere. It stayed with me, perhaps because I knew who he was, or perhaps because it was quite a dramatic little thing.

Now thanks to the internet I found out where I can see the little fellow again - walking distance from my office:
http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw00307/Albert-Ball
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Warning: this post about swear words contains swear words.

Swearing doesn't bother me at all, but I'd rather not offend people who are bothered by it. My quest to be inoffensive is made harder by the changes that take place in what's considered taboo. My children don't think that "crap" is swearing, but "shit" is; when I was young these were pretty equivalent. The word "bitch" as changed from an insult into a word so unspeakable that my children won't say it even if they're reporting what someone else said.

It gets difficult when other people remove letters in some words to protect my delicate eyes. Today I was reading a blog post which reported someone saying "Those worthless w****s" and I have no idea what was said (please swear in the comments if you can enlighten me). And are the stars in "d***" really there to protect me from the word "damn", or have I misunderstood? In the context, it mattered.

I was once on a walk with some kids to a waterfall. I was trying to get to the front to take some photos of them coming toward me, and I came up behind some girls. One said "Where is this fucking waterfall?" Then she saw me and looked appalled that I'd heard. I just smiled at her and carried on. Eventually we arrived and sat on the grass. I went over to her and said quietly "There's the fucking waterfall."

The story is only amusing because children especially shouldn't swear. Is the special children's rule just because they don't know when swearing might offend someone?

I'm tempted to re-write this post with swearing in every fucking sentence.

Days

Dec. 16th, 2013 09:38 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Some days it's hard just to put one foot in front of the other and to do the everyday things that you have to do.

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