Print Story Merry three days after Christmas!
By duxup (Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 12:24:27 PM EST) (all tags)
Inside: A dog eats pie, photos, baby talk, story from work


I got a few hours to myself allowing me to catch up a bit on my photographs. I selected a few from the Twins / Yankee's Game 1 ALDS game this past fa to post to flickr.

Corporate Stupid

Dear companies I may have some association with. I do not care if a soulless corporation wants to wish me a happy holidays via a mass e-mail. Same go with facebook status updates to that effect.

Great Stories From Work: OEMs

We work with a lot of OEMs. They resell our stuff either alone or bundled with their stuff and we help them support their customers. This is always a bit of a dance as I'd say about 30% of the cases I've worked the OEM has wasted time, done stupid things or nothing, for too long and there are political / customer trust issues at play that they're sometimes not even willing to tell us about. Therefore they make stupid comments, don't answer our questions, and in rare cases even manipulate data and somehow with that expect us solve the problem, and make them look good. Regularly when on a conference call with OEM, customer, and me I can almost hear the customer wondering why they're paying an OEM for support. It isn't unusual for customers to switch support contracts from OEMs to us after a few positive encounters with us.

Anyway OEM I have been working with has two identical pieces of hardware running identical code. Equipment A, and Equipment B. Oddly some other equipment plugged into both reacts differently to each of our pieces of equipment. The OEM provided lots of data and indeed the description seems to be accurate. However, the OEM won't give us any logs or info on what the "other" equipment plugged into us thinks is happening exactly or much detail on it at all. They also have been stalling / not answering questions on testing we have proposed. Other times they refuse to do something "because X" and I look at the data I have and... it is straight up not true. I call them on it and then they sometimes will do what I want, sort of. When they do try something we suggest they manage to do everything about half way so the result tells us nothing... or they go and change a TON of things (most we didn't suggest) at once so even when we get a new result we've no idea what caused the new result.

Recently they announced they aren't going to do anymore testing and are just going to replace Equipment B because that is "less impacting to the customer". Really? Just up and deciding to replace equipment with no justification making you look like idiots taking shots in the dark is less of an impact?

Today they announced things "still don't work right" after replacing the equipment B. Lots of panic and dude even had a veiled threatened to involve senior management at my company because we haven't fixed the problem and the case has been open for weeks. I did him a favor and included senior my management and his management in my reply noting my suggestions and the big e-mail chain noting we have just been along for the ride while they ignore our advice and do stupid ass stuff.

I called your bluff OEM dude... roll for initiative.


My Haul:

* University of Minnesota scarf that looks identical to Harry Potter's scarf he wears in those movies due to the University's color scheme.
* A University of Minnesota visor thingy.
* Money (always helpful).
* A some sort of game that is a play on the rubix cube (I'm not going to solve anything there).
* Some chocolates.
* A nice panorama of the first game played at the new University of Minnesota football stadium last year that I attended with my Grandfather.
* Socks.

Light bitching about family follows that I've likely said before, also a dog eats a pie:

As noted in a hole diary the in-laws were in town for another holiday. Accordingly they started by making good decisions like dumping a ton of potato skins down the garbage disposal. Let's ignore the fact that such stuff shouldn't even go down a disposal, the skins were already piled up in a plastic shopping bag and could have easily been tossed in the trash in the frozen garage . . . and it was decided to dump it down the garbage disposal. Some people are drawn to just dump stuff down the disposal that need not go there. At one point a pecan pie that a dog had barely eaten (more n that story later) was in my home. It could easily have been turned upside down and dumped whole in the trash in one easy motion... I caught someone preparing to dump it down the disposal... WHY PEOPLE!?!?!? HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT YOUR LIFE MAKING DECISIONS LIKE THIS AND NOT WREAKING HAVOC WHERE EVER YOU GO?

Anyway story about the dog pie incident. We arrived at a relatives house for a dinner over Christmas. Someone who brought pies to that event (who was staying at my place) chose to put the pies outside on the deck. This isn't an entirely odd call in my part of the world where the outside was cold, but not super cold enough to freeze the pie where otherwise they'd be jamming a ton of pies in an already over packed fridge. So far no problem. Except there is a dog on the deck, right there, in plain sight. Person sets pies in a big box on the deck and walks away. I wondered how long it would take until the dog went after the pies. I watched and counted, thirty seconds. I pointed another relative in the direction of the dog / pie action. Thankfully the cheesecake was unharmed.

In the meantime I again fought the battle of changing the TV channel to the happy Christmas music channel away from 24 hours of CNN blasting at full volume trying to scare the shit out of my in-laws who insist on watching that garbage. A year or two ago CNN was covering the horrible terrorist attack in India and my wife changed the channel and they protested, when asked why it NEEDs to be on CNN as they recount horrible stories and idiot commentators speculate with grade school level reasoning she was told "In case something happens". Guess what people? A damn holiday is happening right here and that is what we're going to cover in this house!

That isn't to say my family is much better, they are full fledged fans of murder and sex crimes TV. The TV shows would tell you they're dramas about solving crimes, but no, they're all about reenacting nasty shit in a way that makes people feel like they're normal people cheering for the good guy when really there there for the nasty shit. Walking into the last five minutes of one show I asked "Can we watch something HAPPY on Christmas?" I was greeted with "Oh, is there something else on?" I found The Sound of Music and we stuck with that for a while. I can take that any day over that other stuff.

Maybe I should just declare the TV off limits next holiday.


We have gotten some snow this year.

Baby Progress: 13 Months

The little guy enjoyed Christmas a great deal. Both pairs of Grandparents, two aunts, one uncle and mommy and daddy for a good five days at home and a short trip to a home with 20+ relatives. He was a bit clingy with Mommy and Daddy at times and those who didn't make a good enough effort he determined were not fit to hold him. He was happy to play with anyone who got down on the floor with him. He is a little high strung in the aftermath but handled it all very well. In fact he is so high strung in the aftermath I'd like to take him and just sort of relax him a bit but he isn't a baby who likes to relax much. We will have to let the usual routine take hold.

He handled opening gifts pretty well for a 13 month old. He opened his gifts carefully and surprisingly discarded the wrapping paper (usually he enjoys tearing and then eating paper more than most things) and then played with his toys. I was surprised.

New developments:

* I was stacking blocks in front of the boy and he uncharacteristically wasn't knocking them over. He just watched carefully When I got a nice tall stack of blicks he looked at me with BIG eyes and eyebrows raised and said emphatically "WOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHH!" Damn funny, he says woah once in a while now.
* The little guy now likes to stack blocks himself, and he's surprisingly good at it.
* When an event happens that is interesting but not worthy of a full blown "WOAH!" he says with big exaggerated fish lips "OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!"
* He blows kisses now. He picked that up so fast I suspect he knew it but didn't think it was worth using at home until recently.
* His exaggerated super smile is back after being gone for several months. He loves to see people's reactions to it.
* The boy likes to eat with his spoon although we have to add food to it for him and it has to be pretty sticky to stay on the spoon with his awkward movements with the spoon getting to his mouth.
* We dressed the boy up and put him in the snow for his first snow play. Not much play occurred, he was not impressed. He kept putting his hand in the snow, crying about it, and then when better would stick his hand in the cold snow... and cry about it a bit more.
* On occasion the little guy will be standing holding onto the couch or a table or something and he will let go and clearly stand on both feet on his own for a while. He doesn't seem to notice that it is a notable achievement and just goes about his day most of the time.
* We cleared some boxes of toys from a little inset... cubbyhole (can't think of what else to call it) that exists next to our fireplace. This quickly became his place and he decides what goes in there. Note if you go sit in there he WILL come over and try to pull you out or otherwise try to move you from his space. If he can't move you he will crawl in and sit in there with you and watch you as if to let you know this is his space.

About a week and a half ago he got ANOTHER ear infection. He plowed through it pretty well but with the usual difficulty sleeping. He seems to have recovered from the ear issues with MORE teething. The kid has to have twice as many teeth as most humans or something. Anyway that has ALSO caused sleeping issues and taken its toll lately. In fact when he does wake up crying he stands at his crib now and when he sees us coming he bends over and picks up one of his blankets so he can cuddle it while you put him back to sleep. He clearly WANTS to go back to sleep but the teething at time is such a pain that he gets frustrated, cries, and wakes up completely unsure what to do. So then he wants to play for a bit, a few times for a good hour and a half. He was so bad one night he made me miss work as he wore out both parents. When he does fall asleep again either after playing or after you pick him up you seem to have to hold him forever before he is in deep enough sleep to put down.

Over the counter pain meds have limited the length of awake time to some extent, and the past week no major crying. However, the frequency waking is still high and he squirms in your arms trying to go to sleep. It makes daddy sad. I hate giving him meds, and the usual conundrum is that Advil is rough on the stomach but lasts much longer than Tylenol (or equivalent generics). He has shown no obvious ill effects from the pain meds but telling anything (even being sure he is teething) is hard so I'm reluctant to drug him too much, on the other hand he clearly doesn't like the teething. We try the oragel topical pain reliever stuff but he isn't good at letting us get it in his mouth well, and I really haven't noticed much impact that stuff has had.

< I've had enough of 2010 | Christmas time is here. >
Merry three days after Christmas! | 23 comments (23 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
dogs and pie type food by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 12:57:13 PM EST
Years ago, Mrs. Ha (she may even have been girlfriend Ha at the time) made a crab meat quiche for Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve at her moms, some big feasting family event where it was cold out. Her mom also made a crab meat quiche. There wasn't room for both in the refrigerator, so Mrs. Ha's went out into the unheated garage, atop the chest freezer.

The same unheated garage the setter/retriever type dog traversed to go outside.

The cubbyhole, too cute.

I was at Como zoo yesterday by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 01:00:40 PM EST
I saw a mini person near the seal exhibit that resembled your mini person, but on closer examination did not seem to be your mini person.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

Awe by duxup (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 01:56:04 PM EST
We haven't taken him to Como yet, or a zoo even.  We might this summer as now he is more aware of such things. 

Our little dude's lighter top hair / lower amount of hair and round face seems to make him match any number of similar kids. 

[ Parent ]
well... by clock (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 01:24:54 PM EST
we killed cable.  that solves all of our tv related issues with family.  my f-i-l and dad would both have it on all the time if we hadn't.  as it stands, they can watch PBS or listen to whatever music i have on at the moment.  after seeing what they watch (and what i have to turn off when go to their places with The Dude) i am full on alpha male about that shit.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Hell yah! by duxup (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:02:21 PM EST
I'd do that if it weren't for being a sports fan and pretty much every "kill your cable" plan I've found notes... this plan works great, except for sports.  DOH.

Also I'm not sure the Mrs. would approve.   She like's her hospital dramas.

[ Parent ]
TV news by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 01:42:44 PM EST
There is nothing you need to know.  When I was in college, I was so out of touch that I didn't know about the Challenger Disaster for two days.  Did this matter at all in my life?  Nope.

TV news destroys the psyche.

When my in-laws visit, they always stay at a hotel.  They say it is because they want to make it easy on us (which, Gord knows, it does) but I suspect the real reason is that we don't have the TV on at night normally and my Father-in-Law needs his CSI fix.

At this rate, I think there's something like 50 TV serial killers for every one in real life.  This certainly creates subconscious fear.  It is amazing how many people actively worry about this sort of thing when your chances of actually encountering such a person are about on par with being run over by the Oscar Meyer weinermobile.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Amen by duxup (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:04:31 PM EST
The only TV news I ever watch is an ocasional PBS News Hour.  Otherwise I cringe anytime I hear the usual TV news garbage.

[ Parent ]
what is need? by R343L (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:38:11 PM EST
I agree there is no fundamental "need" to keep up with the news, especially at a one day family event, but I submit one "needs" to know what is going on in the world to be a responsible member of society. How can you vote on things or contact your representatives or choose charities to give to or any number of things if you don't have some idea of the important events in the nation and world?

Of course, I wouldn't consider CNN a very effective way to find out what is going on so the TV issue is irrelevant. Certainly I see no need for the TV to be on at family holidays except possible if everyone wants to watch a movie or something (preferably uplifting) together. Of course, we watched The Descent Saturday night which was a bit weird ...

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
i guess i thought... by clock (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 03:21:46 PM EST
...that everything ucb said was in reference to TV news.  and i have to agree with that.  TV is quickly becoming the single worst way to get any kind of information since it is all about keeping you glued to that channel for the requisite time.

knowing things is pretty important.  getting stuff from TV just ain't the way.



and stuff.

or sumpin'.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I go a little further. by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 03:36:08 PM EST
The newspapers/news magazines (in this country) are mostly useless.

Honestly, a ten-minute skim of the Yahoo headlines every day plus reading in-depth stuff from blogs like metafilter gives you all you need, IMHO.  I'm increasingly feeling like the political blogs are a bad thing for the psyche as well.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
unless you're careful by garlic (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Jan 04, 2011 at 12:55:42 PM EST
this could leave you woefully informed for local issues.

I seek some of this local stuff out, but I see almost nothing for my suburb and everything for Chicago proper.

[ Parent ]
Other sources by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Jan 04, 2011 at 01:16:08 PM EST
I read a couple local blogs.  They are much more informative than the local papers.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I agree /nt by R343L (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 06:29:08 PM EST

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
"What is going on" by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 03:26:58 PM EST
I am increasingly subscribing to the theory that you are often better off ignoring things in the initial rush of events and only paying attention a few weeks later, when people actually know what happened.

Plus, I've noticed that many news junkies I know are completely ignorant about actual history.  Knowing about the latest violent idiot duped into trying to set off an FBI-provided fake bomb tells you far less about what you need to know than knowing the difference between Shi'ite and Sunni.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
news junkies by duxup (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 05:16:07 PM EST
Yar about the news junkies.

Heck I'd go as far to say that political pundits, and politics watchers / fans seem to know shockingly little about actual policy.

[ Parent ]
I don't know about weeks by R343L (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 06:32:28 PM EST
It probably depends on what kind of event you're talking about. Certainly I think it important to revisit previous events to rejudge the importance -- a major problem with modern news (TV, papers, etc) is that they report on something and then you never hear another word about it. Is that the last word? Maybe it turned out to be false or more complicated (it usually is)? This is especially problematic with science reporting. In other words, I don't think it a problem to "keep up" if you're also willing to go look at events again (or read news sources that tend to revisit past reporting).

I definitely agree about the pointlessness of knowing what's happening now without a good grounding in history.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
it's the same for most violence by garlic (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Jan 04, 2011 at 12:52:49 PM EST
Chicago had 400 murders last year in a city of 2.8 million people.

[ Parent ]
teething by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:00:18 PM EST
we got Hyland's Teething Tablets for The Dude.  it's not a drug, it's homeopathic.  I have no friggin clue what's in the stuff, but it WORKED for him!  When he would wake up, we'd give him a shot of Tylenol (I, too, didn't dig on ibuprofin, esp not at that age) and the teething tablets.  The Tylenol was for long-term, but tablets allowed him to go back to sleep immediately.  Seriously, those tablets were magic.

oh, and the tablets dissolve quickly in the mouth, so there's no risk of choking.

I will give them a spin! by duxup (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 02:04:56 PM EST
I'll try anything at this point.

[ Parent ]
You may want to consider that carefully. by ni (4.00 / 3) #18 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 07:39:00 PM EST
They contain belladonna, the active ingredient in which is atropine, which is most assuredly 'a drug' -- a very dangerous one. They are appear unable to consistently dilute their product to homeopathic "dosages" (the word gives it an air of legitimacy it doesn't deserve, but I cannot think of a better one), and the FDA has warned consumers to avoid their products.

Ibuprofen is a well-accepted teething remedy.

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
God to know by duxup (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 09:16:04 AM EST
I saw the FDA recall notice when googling too.

[ Parent ]
I believe by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 05:27:01 PM EST
it's belladonna.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
everything is a drug. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #22 Tue Jan 04, 2011 at 12:57:56 PM EST
arsenic is all natural.

[ Parent ]
Merry three days after Christmas! | 23 comments (23 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback