September 2003 Archives

Some mornings, Angela & I would pull into work and there wouldn’t be many cars in the parking lot. I’d turn to her and say, “Hey, maybe they fired everybody!”

“Yeah,” she’d say, “let’s just assume we’re fired too and go home.”

And we’d just laugh and laugh. Because, at the time, it seemed pretty funny. Well…

Thursday afternoon, the company we work for gave us notice that, come November, we would no longer have jobs. In fact, 75% of the employees will be gone by the end of the year.

It’s not like this is completely unexpected. Things have been going downhill for about a year. They bet the farm on a single client, who ended up costing us more in development than we received from them in revenue. Those who make decisions had made a bad one, and they had absolutely no idea how to recover from it. They’ve been laying off people pretty steadily, and now they’re completely eliminating some of the services they provide. I don’t expect there to be anything left of the company in another year. I’m not sure who’s better off — those who got to keep their jobs, or those that didn’t.

I am sure that we will be fine, though. The job market is slim, but we have two months to look while we’re still getting a paycheck. We’ve got a home business, that I believe could take off if we concentrated on it more. And, we’ve got money in the bank, should it take a while to find new incomes. In other words, we have lots of options, and lots of decisions to make.

Whatever happens, it’s important to focus on what matter most: we won’t have to work at that cesspool any longer. :-)

Still high off the success of using Movable Type for an online newsletter, I decided I could use MT for OKMensa’s event calendar as well. This was more difficult, but the benefits were huge.

Continue reading “use MT::Everything, Part 2: An Events Calendar”…

We bought a game for our computer: Dance Dance Revolution. For those unfamiliar, this is a Japanese game where you jump around on a big game pad — a pad designed to be jumped around on — and try to match the pattern of steps appearing on screen while loud Asian dance music tries to distract you. Now, I’m not a dancer, nor am I into being distracted by loud Asian dance music. But I do like patterns. I spent my formative years perfecting my Tetris technique — which, by the way, would be an interesting game to play with this dance pad. Anyway, I like patterns, and I need exercise, so this seemed like a fun thing to try. And it is.

The dance pad came with an added bonus: Instructions obviously translated from Japanese! No offense to anyone — anytime one language is translated into another, hilarity ensues. I shudder to think what some English instructions I’ve read would mean translated into Japanese. Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the better warnings with you:

  • Forbidden to use this product if your feet are seriously injured. Stop immediately If there is abnormal phenomenon in you foot, waist and back when using it. In fact, it’s best to stay in bed if your feet are haunted.
  • Make sure to pave the cusion. That is the one piece of advice my mother gave me that I will never forget. Or understand.
  • Don not put it near the furniture and other odds and ends. If your name is not Don, it doesn’t matter.
  • Young children must be guided to use it or need parents and teaches to accompany, in case to be tumbled by it. This ones important. I went three rounds with the thing and it pinned me twice.
  • High technology product, do not apart, separate or fix it anyway. Or the damage can not be guaranteed. Most of the products I buy absolutely guarantee damage.
  • Do not keep it in the quite high or low temperature environment, especially far away from fireplace. Because, as we all know, the farther away from a fireplace one gets, the more extreme the temperature.
  • If this product can’t work well, please connect with your supplier directly. I would be very impressed if my supplier had a USB port.
  • This product is made for indoor games only. Do not use it outdoors or in other occasion. If you’re not indoors or outdoors, where are you exactly? And is that really a place to be playing any kind of game?
  • Do not wear sharp shoes when using it, that may cause damage to the product. Best to leave those shoes with the retractable six-inch blade in the closet.
  • Strong jump or shake may cause influence to the video and audio output. I thought this was the whole point!
  • Please do not jump strongly, that may bring troubles to the other person. Especially if you are standing on them at the time.

If you are at all interested in the semantic web, you should be following the SimpleQuiz series over at SimpleBits. The questions are trivial, but the discussions they spark are enlightening. It’s useful to see how other web developers are struggling with making their markup more meaningful.

I’ve become so awestruck by the power of Movable Type, the CMS that pretends to just be a blogging program, that I keep finding more excuses to use it. This is my first entry in what I hope will be a long-running series of practical uses for MT.

Continue reading “use MT::Everything, Part 1: An Online Newsletter”…

I’m trying to get myself back into “writing mode.” It’s so easy to get out of the habit of writing, and so hard to get back in. Especially when the pile of things I should be writing about just keeps getting larger and more daunting. I still need to finish writing about our trip. Also, I’ve done some interesting things for OKMensa that I want to write about. And, there’s the myriad of interesting things that come and go every day that I want to comment on, but I don’t, because I’m not writing.

But, now I am, so I will, I hope.