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Diary
By duxup (Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 01:15:52 PM EST) (all tags)
It has been way too long since I posted a Huisary




Back to the Bay

Going out on another business trip to San Jose in a couple days.  Flying in Monday afternoon.  I'm off Monday so I'm going to run to the hotel, throw my stuff in my room and jump onto the CalTran and head to San Francisco.  I got me a ticket to the Giants game that night.  That should work out well I think.  I'll be a bit tired the next morning but oh well.


Work Stuff

We've been slowly transitioning working on some newer eqipment at work.  Most support quests come in via e-mail rather than phone on these products.  I'd say 90% of the time when an "OMG URGENT!" request comes in I don't get a response to my e-mail sent to the customer for at least 24 hours.   Maybe half the time it is 48 hours plus.  Also a good 30% of my time working these cases is just following up on cases asking the customer what is up because again they haven't responded for days.

The equipment my group usually works on just seems to work with different people.  I belive because the contacts are mostly done over the phone rather than e-mail and the fact that our group is way small means we've established a certian amount of familiarity and responsevness from the customers.  If I ask for something with our usual customers, they get it, if they don't know, they find someone who does.  If I ask for stuff from the customers on the new eqipment we're supporting they stall, don't respond, respond innacuratly, deamnd to know what the next 12 steps will be because again they don't know.  It doesn't help there are a good chunk of cases where everything is thru an OEM.

Dux:  We need X, Y, and Z informaton to address this issue.

OEM: Um, well can't you do it with A and B?  (A and B being thrid hand guesswork by an OEM who doesn't know ####)

Dux: No.  We need X, Y, and Z to address this issue.  We'll have a better idea where we stand then. 

OEM: I don't think we can do that.  I think the customer will be quite upset if we ask them for that info.

Dux: Why would that be? (they never answer this question, usually because the OEM is the reason they're upset) Gathering the information is entirely non intrusive...

OEM: Can you work with the information you have?

Argh.


East Coast Customers vs. All

For whatever reason we've had fewer contacts with folks from the East Coast than in the past.  Sepecificly New England and New York.  I like these people and I miss them.

Being from the Midwest we're very indrect and less blunt as the good folks on the East Coast.  There is often a bit of culture shock with the Midwestern vs. East Coast folk situation.  However, I find it is all in the presentation.  The folks in the east are just a lot more direct, loud, and so on.  They're not necessarly pissed off.  Hell they might be having a great time and sound mad as hell.

I find the east coast customers far more likely to get stuff done in my experence.  dux: "Hey I need X." East Coast Customer: "Ok I'll get dude A to do it."  Five minutes later East Coste Customer: "Where the fuck is dude A??!?!? We want to get the hell out of here sometime today!" I don't even have to raise the issue.

West Coast, they seem more likely to ignore your request, make up excuses why they can't do what you want, add managers to the conference call, and say they're going to do it and don't, and so on.

I had a great conference call recently, conf calls with the folks from the east are awesome:

Dux: Well I'm seeing-

East Coast Dude A: Hold on!  Hold on!  Whoever has the fucking dog that is barking in the room with them on this call mute your phone.  Ok go ahead.

Dux:  I'm -

East Coast Dude A: Whoever is making godamn dinner on this call mute your phone!  Go ahead.

Dux:  I'm seeing X.  Not sure what this means in this case, has this ever worked before?

East Coast Dude A:  Ok hey Dude B, has this ever worked before?

East Coast Dude A:  Ok hey Dude B, are you even there!?!?!

East Coast Dude B:  Yeah we're here, why the hell does that matter?

East Coast Dude A:  Cuz I want to know that's why and I'm troubleshooting this fucking call!

East Coast Dude B:  FINE, yeah it has NEVER worked.

And the call then just goes on like normal.  Everyone lets off steam, nobody takes it personal.  It is awesome, and I get a good laugh in my cube in the meantime.  Dude A and B will even swap stories about drinking it up or whatnot and so forth.


Even More Work Stuff

Having a meeting with my manager man sometime soon.  Looking for some sort of a promotion or so forth.  No threats on my part or anything silly.  I work for good people (well the immedate people I work with) and have been putting in the extra effort.  I think they've been noticing but think it would be best to meet to ask "how am I doing?" and so forth. 


I'm Done with Video Games

Well not entirely, but I'm done for the most part.  I've not touched a major console game in ages and just once in a while fired up Sins of A Solar empire.  I also canceled my Gamefly account.  Tightening the budigtary belt, wanting to spend more time on photography, and the baby on the way just left the video games out in the cold.  Not that I don't WANT to play them.  I've played some awesome games recently, Fallout 3 (well crappy ending) and so on.  I just don't want to cram them in there.

What is out:

360, PS3, major consoles, full priced console games.  Too expensive, too much time taken up.  The 360 will just sit in the basement and hold the excersize videos.
Upgrading the PC for games.  PC games had gotten so buggy and PIA anyway that was already happening but it is offical now.

What is still in:

A few TBS style games once in a blue moon.  I'll still pickup the Civ games of course.
The Wii, still some good games to waggle about with other people.

What should still be in but is out:

Playstation Store, XBLA, and Wii Virtual Console Games.  All just seem to be priced a couple bucks too much, and the quality is insanely variable.  Too bad because some quck fun games like that should be right up my alley.  Then again I wasn't going to buy a newer Xbox or PS4 when they come out for just that anyway.



WallPaper Removal

Been working on removing the wallpaper from what will become the baby's room.  The previous owners put up wallapaper on one wall, and then a wallpaper border at the top around the whole room.  So wallpaper on top of wallpaper at some points.  WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!?!?!?


Baby Prep

Mrs. duxup has been visiting garage sales picking up this or that along the way.  Additionally the first pile of diapers were purchased, car seat, stroller.  We've been watching episodes of Bringing Home Baby too just for fun.  Mrs. duxup is looking quite round in the tummy and we have a few months to go still.  Several visits to the Doctor have gone well.


True Stories of Crime

My 14 year old Honda Accord was broken into.  Got to work at 8 am, off at 4:30 so they broke into it in broad daylight.  The cop who came by noted a bunch of older model cars were hit.  Cripes the lot is just a surface lot and I was parked right by the building.  I guess they knew how to get into that type of car or something because nothing of any value was in plain sight.

Lost items:

A leatherman like tool.
About $10 - 15 in spare change.
Car jack from trunk (weird)



Movie Talk: Four Films

I rewatched (time at work while on the night shift) The Age of Innocence, Blade Runner, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and Gattaca all four films that I think I enjoy more the more I've seen them.


Movie Talk: Unbreakable

I was chatting with some folks on another forum talking about how much I think the M. Night Shyamalan films I've seen stink.  In general I've find them painfully contrived and sort of self important.  I hadn't seen Unbreakable and thought I'd give it a spin.

Much like the other Shyamalan films so much of it just seems overplayed and contrived.  Yeah we get it this guy's life is a bit rough right now, ok I get it, yeah, ok, come on we get it already.  The contrivances like the kid who seems a bit too old to still think Dad is a super hero, and the painfully predictable  weight lifting scene are classic Shyamalan to me.   So this kid can't do math and add up the weights he is putting on the bench press? The father never bothers to look at the weights?  Maybe another director could have played it out in a way I would have bought into.

That said I enjoined it more than most Shyamalan films.  It could have / maybe should have ended a scene or two earlier than it did.  It all would have been much more cohesive and poetic had they done so IMO.  The tacked on scene at the very end also raised and issue I have had with some comic book films or at least films inspired by comic books.   Like the Batman Begins movie Unbreakable does a fairly good job balancing reality with the comic book / super hero world, and then they take that one step over the line and IMO ruin it all, both films did it at the end. I know in Unbreakable they hint at the final scene but heck it would have been more interesting to hint at it and let the audience wonder about that detail rather than play it out IMO awkwardly. 

I give it a 1.75 out of 3.14 stars.  Shyamalan is in rare mostly tolerable form here and despite the ending and a bit of an overload on Bruce Willis staring into the camera sadly, I'm glad I saw the film.



Movie Talk: The English Patient

Dear gord this film took forever.  An ok film but a few things didn't work for me. Some character lines, choices and actions felt like they were just a mechanism to get the story from point A to B rather than a natural progression.  Willem Dafoe's character doesn't seem to act like some dude looking to avenge himself on some various folk as the movie claims.  I'm sure the film had to fit some scenes into it and cut others out and it isn't always going to conform to the film format still that isn't much of an excuse.  I give it a 1.51 out of 3.14. 


Movie Talk: The Great Happiness Space

A documentary about a male Japanese host club (sort of a male geisha).  Those interviewed for the documentary are surprisingly frank, well that is assuming they're being honest.  There is a bit of a surprise about half way thru. The documentary goes from fascinating to heartbreaking and even disturbing quite quickly. 

I give it 2.92 out of 3.14.


Movie Talk: Hancock

As I mentioned before I like the idea of a superhero film with one foot grounded in reality, but they always seem to only go thru the first few motions.  Additionally I'm not a fan of Jason Bateman.  Rather than a character I always find him to be more of a caricature and distracting.  There is a twist that happens in the last half or third of the film. It seems that is where you'll either like the film or not.  I did not.  In short Hancock finds something interesting out, and then the climax of the film is just sort of an inexplicable decision by a villain combined some unfortunate timing...  Additionally the rules that are laid down for the plot twist that occurs are seemingly ignored in the final scene if for no reason at all.  It has a good start but the last third just asked for too much faith without giving back much.  1 out of 3.14.


Movie Talk: Taken

Former government agent's daughter is kidnapped to be sold into white slavery.  Action time.  Liam Neeson stars in a B grade action movie.  His presence brings it up to a B+ but not without a few really low grade B movie scenes.  Liam must have invested heavily in mortgage backed securities.  A big jeer to the scene where someone is driving quickly along the river in Paris and is chasing a boat and you keep thinking "Oh man he's going to jump the car onto the boat!" and he doesn't.  WTF? 1 out of 3.14


Movie Talk: Revolutionary Road

Responsibility and the 1950s kick the asses of some white folk.  In my experience mildly good movies based on a books always gives them self away with one or two inexplicably well written scenes.  This isn't a bad thing, just always something I notice.  I've never read the book but I enjoyed the film a great deal.  There were a lot of moments that I thought the film could have just ended, and had it just been a Hollywood script from the start I think it would have ended rather than taking things a step further.  A solid 3 out of 3.14, but with the note that this is not the feel good film of the year.  The last scene that involves the character John r0x0rs the big one!!1111.



Movie Talk:  Seven Pounds

Will Smith does some stuff, it isn't supposed to make sense until the end of the film but you'll figure it out pretty quickly.   I'm not sure why it is but the independent small films always do a better job hiding a secret in a film. Rather his is one of those films that sort of wave's its finger at you saying "oh you just try to figure me out while you weep at every scene we've got here!" when it is just sort of annoying because it doesn't take much to figure it out.  The 123 minutes Netflix says this movie runs feels like a good 180.  If it wasn't for Smith I would have hated the main character even more than I did.   He has all the altruism of a 15 year old who just had his girlfriend dump him.  "Oh woe is me!  HEY!  I SAID WOE IS ME ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME!?!?!?"

1.22 out of 3.14



Movie Talk: 3:10 to Yuma

Well acted western, but it was just too implausible for me to buy into.  Too many scenes where the "bad guy" seems to all to easily sympathize with the good guy.  Rather than a bad guy who does some inexplicably good things the the whole premise is just inexplicable by the end.















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I could vent about supporting a Bay Area by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 01:50:16 PM EST
digital front end company.

"What is the status on the problem we sent you six months ago?"

"Oh, I might try to recreate this week."


You got a response! by duxup (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 02:04:28 PM EST
Congrats!

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[ Parent ]
They had to respond by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:28:50 PM EST
their DFE's were useless without our color printers.

They just didn't have to fix stuff.


[ Parent ]
Blade Runner, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:00:58 PM EST
Hated Blade Runner when I saw it in the theater. Mainly because I was a young teen who thought, because Harrison Ford was in it, that it was an StarWars/IndianaJones type action flick. Now I love it. One of the top SF movies ever, and the best adaptation of a PK Dick novel ever.

MM3 was the other way around. Loved it at first, can't stand it now.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

MM by duxup (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:39:08 PM EST
I really like MM3.  It feels like a fairly unique film (at least in terms of film) that is nicely cohesive.   Granted it is just an apocalyptic fantasy film but it feels quite rich for one.

I watched blade runner for the first time about 10 years ago.  Quite late.  Yeah I just didn't enjoy it much then.  Later I've been able to appreciate it far more.  That is one heck of an ending.


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no time for games by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:32:03 PM EST
once the baby is here.  Kids are a blast, but they take up a lot of your time.  You have to pick and choose what hobbies are most important to you.

We started playing Lego Star Wars last spring (2008) after we put The Dude to bed.  We're now finishing up Lego Batman and wondering what we'll play next.  I'm not a gamer by any means, but I've really enjoyed the Lego games and they're very easy to pick up and put down.  We only get to play maybe an hour a week, so we get a lot of milage out of each game.

Lego by duxup (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:41:41 PM EST
Yeah the lego games are fun stuff. They were getting a bit think last I tried them but they knew they had a good thing going and haven't been afraid to toss out more games.   For me I don't think I could quite cut that though with just once in a while at night.  It is an all or very little thing with the video games for me.  

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[ Parent ]
Kill me now by darkbrown (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:44:59 PM EST
An HOUR a WEEK????? That'd take a whole year to get anywhere near finishing some games.

[ Parent ]
just the lego ones, dude by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:08:29 PM EST
i think lego star wars II took us 43 hours or some such (it clocks time for you).  so yeah, 6 months or so.

[ Parent ]
Work, East vs Everyone Else by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 06:21:34 PM EST

The company I work for is nationwide with offices in every region.  I can absolutely agree with your comments there.  West has excuses, Mid-west and South are too polite.  East Coast gets everything done and in the process everyone's spirit is crushed just a little more.






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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
So... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:52:19 PM EST
Some of us husites work 150 yards from the Caltrain station...
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Holy shit that's right by duxup (2.00 / 0) #11 Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 04:54:37 PM EST
We should meet for drinks or something before I run to the game.

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[ Parent ]
So by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #12 Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 07:24:39 PM EST
What time do you expect to arrive?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Humm by duxup (2.00 / 0) #14 Sun Aug 09, 2009 at 12:05:08 PM EST
Flight lands in San Jose around 1pm.  I then head to hotel and drop off stuff, grab a bite to eat.  Run to the CalTrain station and then ride to S.F.  I'd say I'll be in SF around 3:30 or 4pm at the latest. Not that I've made this run before so my experience may vary.  Game I gotta run to is at 7 I think.

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[ Parent ]
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