Help I’m Drowning!!! ugh ugh ugh…blub.

WARNING! This is a big huge RANT!

Well it didn’t take very long now did it. Only back from vacation a week, and the ole’ cynicism is back. Man sometimes I hate my job. Especially when other people make it so difficult!

So I’m working on this project. It’s essentially a web-based CAD drawing tracking application. (Oh, the irony! I’ll explain that later.) Now their current process is highly paper-dependent…lots of forms to fill out with redundant information and so on. The problem is that I was brought into the project at the very end of the requirements gathering (which lasted a good 6 months, the process is so damn complicated currently). AFTER the database had completely been designed (what????) With the absolute worst mockup of the application screens I’ve ever seen, no use cases whatsoever, and I’m expected to knock this puppy out (including full-fledged reporting!!!!!!) in about 2.5 months. OMG!!!

Needless to say it’s been trying. I’m halfway through it, and we *might* hit the due date of the end of August. MIGHT. The project manager (who is older and …um…is widely considered to be somewhat ‘difficult’) doesn’t understand what I’m asking for, and I don’t understand her documentation (this is a web application, not a book for chrissake! gimme PICTURES!!!!)

Now if I’d been involved from the very beginning, this would be a totally different situation. I would have understood the process along with everyone else, and I could probably shed some efficient ideas to improve their existing process. Instead I have a database that merely emulates their current process and is still HIGHLY normalized (frankly I think normalization is great, in small doses…but this is ridiculous!)

Why is it that so many IT project managers think the developers don’t need to be involved from the beginning? Or at all in requirements gathering? And why is it that we here where I work design web applications starting with the database?!?!?! Clients don’t want to have to understand database structure. They want to SEE what it’s going to LOOK LIKE and SEE that it will do what they want it to do. Period. No database design sessions with the client, no explaining data elements blah blah blah.

/sigh

Ranting….complete.

For now.

Oh…to explain the irony thing…it was by virtue of me designing a CAD drawing tracking application in MS Access 95 that got me into programming in the first place. I was a drafter at the time. See? Irony!!

Category: Tech

What a long strange trip it was…

Whew! I’m back from my whirlwind tour of the Oregon coast and various points south! All in all, it was a great trip, and we had an absolute blast. We left Friday evening in a snazzy convertible Toyota Solara, and headed south. The first night we got as far as Lincoln City. After a swell (and HUGE) breakfast at a local diner filled with whale bones, and checking out the local underwater aquarium show complete with divers, we continued south and checked out the sea lion caves. It was an awesome sight to see…I got some great film out of it. But man did it stink!!!

Yep, those are sea lions!  No they're not dead.  It's a picture!

We continued south to the Florence area to do some dune buggyin, but we got there too late…so it’s off to a town called North Bank to spend the night, so we could hit the Spinreel outfitters when they opened at noon. Now there’s some fun! We had a great time tearin up the dunes in our little buggies…even though I got stuck twice ><. Apparently they had a choke lock on mine because it was so powerful...and because of it I couldn't make it up any of the dunes. Fortunately we left that part for last, and headed to the beach for some great fast fun. Guess who I'm gonna pass? :D  Mine was SO much faster!

Next it was off to the Oregon Caves outside of Grants Pass. This took us back to I-5, which means we missed some of the best coast on the 101 route, but it was worth it. We got the last tour of the day before the candlelight tour (we wanted to actually see stuff, so we opted out of that) and ended up getting a private tour since we were the only ones there. The caves are magnificent. Then we found out they actually have rooms there, so we stayed the night and had a fabulous breakfast at the little diner which looked out on a little waterfall pool. Ahhhhhhhhhh. So peaceful.

Nice view outside our room and the cozy retro diner where we had breakfast

Then we headed for Cali. WE spend the next day cruising through Redwood territory. We were worried we wouldn’t know when we hit the redwoods…but smacked ourselves when we did. Cuz they are HUGE. I mean…HUGE!!!. Ginourmous. All other trees look like bonsai next to them.

Wow.  I mean...wow.

The next day was hopping vineyards in the Sonoma Valley. Hic! We hit about 6 of them. That was great fun, and we spent way too much money on really great wine.

Winery number 1! Still sober.

Grapes outside winery number... Heck I don't remember!

Then we finally made it to The City By the Bay! We spend a couple days there, cruising Fisherman’s Wharf, the Castro district, the Mission district, and we even squeezed in a drive through the financial district, haight-ashbury, and Chinatown. All in less than two and a half days! Phew!

Is that a little tiny flash of rainbow down that street?

We headed to San Jose and found a hotel by the airport. They had a great little pool despite the french speaking family with a teenage boy who kept hanging around just sort of lurking there with a camera. I may have even learned how to swim without plugging my nose!

The next day, we dropped off the car, hopped the plane, and flew home. A quick taxi ride home, then we were back on the road to head to Dr. Hesla’s office…but that is the beginning of another story….

Category: Family

Photo Overload

I’m gonna go crazy now that I can upload pictures. This rocks :D

Here’s the current status of the garage project!


Actually we’ve come a bit further than that even…the two big flourescent lights were moved underneath the floor, and a couple new circuits where added to the fuse box to handle the load. We’ve got a bunch of lights to install still, but it’s coming along!

Category: Family

On the brink!!

Right now I feel normal – or at least the same as I usually do. But man, this morning…I don’t know if I’m imagining things, or what. But this morning I felt…well…funny. It was sort of a physical feeling, but not really…more of just a feeling I think. Man, but I don’t want to get my hopes up until I get that blood test this weekend. This weekend! Phew it’s been a looooong two weeks, but it’s almost over.

I’m going to have to be careful not to freak out if it turns up positive. I might freak it out of place!

Must be calm…peaceful. Like so:

ps: It’s about time they enabled photo uploading! Yay!!! Expect LOTS more pictures :D

Category: Family

Disturbation

The condition of being disturbed. I was moving through life, all signals where green, when I get smacked upside the head by the most unlikely of things: obsession. My own variety. I learned that prolonged exposure to the person that one is a fan of can be a very cataclysmic event. How? I had a dream last night, and that’s exactly what happened. In my dream, through no action on my part, I found myself face to face with a person I have idolized for nearly 12 years. And I spent a long time with this person. Long enough to transform the idol in my head into a person I know. And I woke up feeling…strange. Unsettled. Like my life underwent a small, say 4.6 earthquake. So I sit here and wrack my brain trying to figure out why, why is this affecting me? It was just a dream.

Maybe, because my soul is echoed so clearly in her music…I came face to face with my innermost creative soul. And the fact that I have neglected it for so long. My fingers are slow and soft, my soul is caged. Certainly no condition for a musician. I put it off and put it off, saying ‘Now is not the time for such things’, but then, what better time is there?

I should finish my music room. That’s what that dream says. The sleeper must awaken!!!

Category: Thoughts

The First Step is the Hardest.

Soo…I’m trying to get pregnant. I know I know, yikes! There goes my happy-go-lucky life with nary a care in the world. Hello baby bottles and baby poo, sleep deprivation (really, is there any better drug than that?? I think not!!) and worst of all, a money sponge like no other.

So why?

Yes, all my friends are doing it. And while I have to admit it *does* play a part, it certainly is not the primary motivating factor. But come on…one can only be surrounded by babies of varying ages on a constant basis and be in the prime of your baby-carrying life for so long without being affected.

When I was much younger, (say oh, 22, for grins) I made a Decision. I decided that I would Decide whether or not I wanted to have kids when I was 30. It was one of my two biggest Decisions I’ve made in this lifetime, and I adhered to it (by not deciding!) until I turned 30, a scant few years back. Yes, yes it was a SCANT!! dammit.

Anyway, I turned 30, and I sat down to Decide.

I thought a lot.

And then I Decided.

Before I impart my Decision to you, I want to make one thing clear. Despite the fact that is was only a few years ago, the people I am friends with now who have children either a) I did not know then or b) were not yet planning to have kids. So, the current baby-heavy atmosphere I find myself in now was NOT a factor when I made my Decision.

I Decided that I did indeed want to have children. Someday.

My Decision was based on one thing: I realized that when I lay on my death bed (assuming I get that luxury! Would that be a luxury? I dunno…) I would feel…empty…if I didn’t have children. If I didn’t create a family. If I didn’t have children to impart the lessons I have learned, whether or not they choose to learn them. Although I find that even when children don’t take their parents lessons to heart at first, they usually do later! I would regret it more than anything else.

And I also realized that children is the one true path to immortality. The one real way to leave your mark on the world is to create love and family while you’re here.

So I got that outta the way. Took me about an hour.

But notice, I didn’t specify when! I just figured I would know when the time is right.

And the time is right…right now. So wish me luck!

Category: Family

Exposed!!!

I was told a few days ago that a friend of mine, upon reading my blog, learned more about me in the 10 minutes he spent reading it then in all the time he’s known me.

Wow.

I guess I do sorta keep close to the vest…Probably from being burned SO MANY TIMES by people I thought I could trust. But you know what? I’m so totally a different person than the person who got burned all those times. More jaded? Well yeah, but… More grounded? Certainly. Happier? Definitely.

I was quite the rug back in my youth. I could’ve tattooed “WALK ALL OVER ME” on my forehead and it wouldn’t have been much worse.

So to all my friends and family who read this…and hell, to everyone else too: I hope this helps you get to know the “real me”! Because I guess it’s hard for me to open up in person unless I’ve known ya for years and years…and sure, a few more years.

Category: Thoughts

Ok…I’ve had my fill now, you can stop…

I really like this part of the world. The people are nice if you can get to know them, it doesn’t get too cold, and I have great friends.

But DAMN it rains a lot! I mean…DAMN!

DAMN!

But at least even on rainy days you often get a minute or three of sun…and if you’re lucky enough to be outside when it happens, it’s great.

But I’ve had enough rain for a while thank you very much! I’m ready for the summer!


Rain rain go away…

Category: Randoms

Sa-Weet

Well, seems like the drugs are working. I’m a lot less edgy the past couple of days.

So…

::toast to the wonders of modern chemistry::

And just in time too…the in-laws are coming tonight. Batten the hatches!! Brace for impact!! STEADY!!!! S T E A D Y ! ! ! ! !

“Sir, we can’t hold on! She’s going to blow!”

“You get back to your post sailor! Stand firm!”

“Yes sir!”

If I survive the next 48 hours, I’ll be in the clear until June at the earliest.

In case my in-laws ever find this blog…I’m exxagerating, really!!

Category: Randoms