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Archive for January, 2003

the end

Friday, January 31st, 2003

Today was my last day as a Lockheed Martin employee. I’m not sad to go, I was board out of my mind sitting in the AWC. The project that Rob and I started, to automate some of the reports the administrators, long ago moved on without me. Curtis, who signed on to help with the GUI, because he know how to write swing better than Rob or I, has really totally taken over the project. Most of the work ended up being in the GUI. I have sat next to him and helped him a few times to figure out stuff, or made his job harder by saying ‘we need to include X functionality,’ but the coding and hard thinking is all him and has been for a while now.

So for quite a while now I have spent most of my days doing nothing again and my brain has slowly leaked out of my skull to form a small pool by my cube. I will not miss that. I will miss the people in the AWC, I hope they keep in touch. I think I got lucky, by sitting on the smaller side of the conference room which divided the AWC about 70/30 I sat in the area which lent itself to a more intimate setting where we all know each other and we laughed and joked all day—often we where too loud, mostly me, but we had fun.

I have not filled out any paperwork for my resignation. I sent an email to my manager two weeks ago, which he never responded to. That is all the administrators of the AWC knew I needed to do. But I have the strangest feeling that in two weeks I will receive a paycheck for $0.00 because I failed to enter my time. The whole awaiting clearance center is so badly managed by the company higher ups and so ‘out of the loop’ that I had to take the initiative to walk over to the badging office to day to hand in my security badge—with which I can get into the Lockheed buildings. I could have walked out with it, and no one would have known better or said anything about it.

I am looking forward to starting my new job on Monday. Already my boss has sent me a long white paper on the system I will be programming and on Monday morning I have a meeting to go over the architecture with the designers and coders. I get to jump right in and start coding and testing. I am so looking forward to this while, at the same time, being a little scared that the first thing I will see when my feet hit the floor is the ground rushing up to flatten my nose because I’m not running fast enough. It’s the old, ‘when it rains, it pours’ saying. I go from having nothing to do, to having an overwhelming amount to do. In a month I will be complaining about being behind and having to work late to get everything done. C’est la vie!

more natural selection

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

A British woman in Spain climbed a three meter high wall to stick her hand in the lion cage. The lions then ripped her arm off. Good. Some stupid woman, 54 years old, climbs a protective fence to “pet the pretty kitties.” They should have ripped her fucking head off…. (Reuters story: here)

and there was much drunkenness…

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

Ya! Went to Binghamton this weekend to hand with Flugie! Great weekend, aside from it being so cold you could not be outside for more than then minutes at a time. I drive up on Saturday and when I got there Flugie and his flat mates where unloading a keg. Needless to say with a beginning of like that there was much drinking that night. After a few hours of watching people play beer pong while A—– and I caught up. We headed downtown to the bars.

At the bars A—– kept handing me money and saying get us something to drink… A hundred dollars later A—– did not know where he was and was being undressed in the club several hot girls. So Mike a friend of A—–s and I left him in one of their hands and headed home.

Ten o’clock the next morning A—– called me to say he would be home soon. Apparently he had walked with the girl back to her house to get her car and then while they where talking he fell asleep. When he woke up he fell off the bed and broke the girls turtle tank—drunkard!

We just chilled all day talked and played on the computer—I got to talk to C——- which was very, very nice. Not to mention convoluted and funny with A—– in the room. Anyway, that night was, of course, Superbowl Sunday and A—– and his roomies rented a projector and stole a screen for it. There where 30 or so people at the house for the game—which sucked.. the Raiders did not look like they know it was the Superbowl. They looked nonchalant about the whole thing, like it was a mid season game. Oh well, I don’t watch football anyway. Afterwards we watched ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and fell asleep.

On Monday Sherman called to say that Lockheed had decided to offer him a job. Very cool, I hope he takes it, would be great if he lived around here. I got to talk to C——- on messenger again. I wish I could talk to her everyday like that. I headed out around five pm. After locking my keys in my truck—which is all A—–s falt! I was going to clean the snow off the truck and A—– said to let it warm up. Normal enough but I never do it. So I turned the truck on and the heat. Then I closed the door and started scraping the snow. When I got done I remembered that when you first turn the ignition on the truck locks all the doors! Shit. Luckily I was able to use a coat hanger to push the auto window down button. So I finally managed to leave about 5:30. The East coast is so cold right now that the ice on the hood of my truck was still there when I got home—five hours of strait driving and there was still ice on my hood!

Anyway it was a great weekend, I wish C——- could have been there in person rather than on messenger but there is nothing I can do about that right now… I can’t wait to do it all again. But with less alcohol!

sherman

Thursday, January 23rd, 2003

Oh my god! The wind chill right now is negative fucking freezing! It’s so cold and windy. You get brain freeze just walking down the street!

Anyway, I went to dinner with Sherman tonight. He’s in town because he has an interview with Lockheed Martin tomorrow. So I gave him the inside scoop—on how cool the projects are, how boring the awaiting clearance process is and how painful the polygraph is! Hope I did not scare him too badly! I really hope he gets the job, or some other job in the NoVa/DC area. It would be great to have another friend who is a city person here. Pub crawls and nights out! He said he would want to live in the District if he lived here.

I’m going to see A—– this weekend, so I will get to relive some more England memories. I really miss London. I miss all of Europe. I was stumbling around the web today and ran across more pictures of London and Paris. I don’t know there is just a feeling of home in the pictures, even when they where of places in the cities I never went or saw they still felt like home. Maybe it’s just that I still feel uprooted from my moves (London to C’ville, C’ville to NoVA, NoVa to C’ville and then C’ville to DC all in one summer!) or maybe it’s my biggest emotional connection is to London, or maybe it’s my subconscious desire to be euro-trash. I don’t know, most times I don’t think about it but every once in a while I just feel in the pit of my stomach that I would be happier in London, and I curse the way immigration and national borders work…

keeping in touch

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003

Oh… haven’t ranted in a few days… nothing much happening right now. Finishing my last few days at Lockheed, I won’t be sorry that I am gone from the job, but I will miss some of the people. Hope they keep in touch. Speaking of keeping in touch with people; I’m taking a couple of days off the beginning of next week to and will head up to Binghamton [binghamton.edu] to see Flugie. And tomorrow Sherman will be here in DC to interview for a job, so I am going to dinner with him! Yea! Get to relive London days!

anti-war rally wrap up

Sunday, January 19th, 2003

Real quick roundup of the anti-war rally; Meet Garth at 10:00am at Metro Center. From there we grabbed some coffee and a bite to eat before heading down to the mall for the rally. There where quite a few people already milling around on the mall. It was freezing cold—the high for the day was only 24 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the weather there was a really good turnout, around 250,000 people.

Th speakers started around 11 o’clock, including Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jessica Lange and Rep. John Conyers Jr. I have to say I don’t agree with much of what most of the speakers stand for, they used the anti-war rally to speak about various causes that have nothing to do with the war, but that’s the way these things always go. (though I will say there was far less socialist influence than at the anti-war rally I went to in England before the Afghan campaign began.)

By 1:30 the key-note speakers where done and the front of the crowd had begun the march to Navy Yard in Southeast. The march took over an hour, and at one point while Garth and I where at the top of a hill the crowd stretched as far as we could see in front of us and behind us and we where near the front of the crowd when the march started.

On of the best moments of the march was when we passed a group of seven or eight people all dressed up and sipping champaign on a second story balcony with a white board that they had written “hippies go home” on. The crowd stopped in the street below the building and chanted “we are home.”

The protest went off peacefully without any violence or mass arrests. The media gave it better coverage than the last rally in October, so maybe more people will see it and public opinion in favor of Bush’s warmongering can be changed. I don’t think that war is a priori bad in this case, but I think that if the Bush administration really does have evidence of Iraq having these weapons of mass destruction (which I don’t doubt Iraq does have) then they should be taking this evidence to the leaders of the free country and giving it to the weapons inspectors so they can show the world that there is in fact a threat, that we need to use force to deal with this situation.

Anyway, the rally was for a good cause and was a success. Afterwards Garth and I went over to Fado’s and had dinner then bar hopped across Adams Morgan. All in all a good day, that my body is complaining about today.

moving on…

Friday, January 17th, 2003

Well, it’s official, effective January 31, 2003 I will no longer be an employee of Lockheed Martin, and on February 3, 2003 I will be an employee of Inphomatch, Inc. I get to jump right into the pot and start programming and working on requirements gathering for a new project when I start. Get to put all those software engineering classes to work… Ouch! Painful memories of professors who compare engineering to making cookies! Thats gonna leave a scar!

I have some vacation/floating holiday time at Lockheed that I want to use up before I am gone, so I thought I would go to England to see C——-—no such luck, I have to be at Lockheed on the 31st for paperwork, et al and to get tickets I could leave no sooner than the 25th. That is not a good window for C——- with classes just ramping up for the new term, so I will have to wait till this summer to see her. Trying to hook up a backup plan to go see A—– in NY for a few days. Might as well use the vacation while I have it!

Anyway, I am REALLY looking forward to actually doing some programming for a real project, I have not ever been so ready to start a job, if it was not for the need to show Lockheed some common courtesy I would show up at Inphomatch on Monday! Oh well, I’ve been doing nothing for three months, two more weeks is not going to kill me. Hell, fist time a deadline hits me with 24 hour days I bet I start whining about having too much to do. The grass is always greener!

bush to do good?

Thursday, January 16th, 2003

Bush is pushing the courts to declare affirmative action unconstitutional, this is a good thing in my opinion. Affirmative action is a concept past it’s time, now it is a vehicle for, not against, discrimination. I understand that there is still discrimination, but affirmative action promotes one set of discriminating practices in an attempt to eliminate another set. I am all for equality, a color/sex/age/religion blind, uber-PC society but now that affirmative action has run it’s course and opened doors for those who needed them opened forcefully it is time to let time itself fix the problem. Affirmative action was a satisfactory solution for an overwhelming problem, now before it has a chance to become an overwhelming problem itself, it is time to move on.

Bush is also proposing a cap on medical malpractice lawsuits. I think he is a little off here. I fully agree that there needs to be something done about the sky rocketing cost of insurance for doctors which in turn leads to higer health care cost for us, which then causes our insurance to go up. But capping malpractice at a quarter million is not an idea I favor. I think that if a doctor does something that causes a patient to be be disabled and unable to work or become permanently disfigured then the person may well need more than a $250K to live off for the rest of their lives. However I think a million would be more than enough for almost all cases here, with the possibility of judicial discretion to increase that amount in rare extenuating circumstances. So I think an upper limit on rewards is a good thing—STOP THE GREED!—but this should apply to ALL civil cases, not just malpractice.

Bush doing good? Somebody pinch me! I must be dreaming… Then again all this is insignificant in the face of his continual warmongering, and the opinion polls are starting to show we are heading to a new Vietnam era like division in America. Not there yet but getting closer, whole cities are passing anti-war resolutions now! (that said there is an anti-war rally in DC this weekend, come join Codejunkie and me! Go to A.N.S.W.E.R. for more info.)

geoURL

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

listed on GeoURL now. Click the green button –&gt Vive la metaspace!!!

site smited

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

Ok, the site was down for the past 36 hours—anyone notice? No? Didn’t think so. Well anyway, the reason was (Warning: Geeky stuff ahead…) that on Sunday afternoon while I was editing some pages I got disconnected. I think it was a problem with Verizon as I could not check my email or other web sites either. I did not think much of is and just turned the computer off and read some of my book before heading to work. Then Monday afternoon, while at work, I pointed my web browser at confusion and what came up was a banner saying that my account had been suspended and that I needed to contact the host. One trouble ticket later and I was informed that I had been abusing the system with ‘vim’ and as a result my account was suspended and I would have to pay $100 do get it turned back on. $100!!!! Abused by vim????

As best I can tell the problem was that when I got disconnected my vim process did not die, (I should have realized this.) Said vim process then apparently decided it needed 100% of the processor to do absolutely not a damn thing! This prompted my hosting company to smite said vim process with much authority and then punish the wicked by suspending my account (kind of akin to purgatory!)

Anyway, I have to admit I got a little rude with tech support by email and they have decided to wave the fee this time. But I best watch out—the next time they smite me it will be with furious vengeance and great wrath!