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The Syndicate

 The week so far (day 4) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, July 29 2004 @ 03:00 AM PDT
 Viewed:  815 times  
LifeSuffice it to say that things just aren't getting any better.

After oversleeping a bit due to a late night of ranting, I dragged ass into work and started dicking around with an idea I had to eliminate most of the reporting system I'm using to generate the contracts.

Essentially it boils down to taking this very expensive piece of software and reducing it to acting like a bunch of buckets which I would then fill with legalese programatically. This would let me use flexible templates to do the formatting instead of the clunky interface presented to me by the aforementioned expensive piece of software. For simplicity's sake, I wanted to reduce the number of buckets required by using some sort of layout formatting (HTML, RTF, whatever) directly in the data, because otherwise everything that needed to be bold, for instance, would need its own bucket. I eventually sorted out a way to do it with RTF (Rich Text Formatting), and I think it's going to work out well, because the customer can simply type up how they want a piece of the contract to look in Word or WordPad or whatever, and I can pull out the RTF data, store it, and use it in my code.

So, that's the good news.

The bad news is that I've pretty much given up hope of talking to the CEO about a raise, not because I don't need one (I do) or can't corner him (I can't), but because today I heard from my roommate/boss that it was possible, due to external factors, that I might not get a full check on payday. I won't go into the factors involved, except to say that overall the company seems to be doing fine, and I believe it's just myself and maybe one other person that are getting screwed.

So, aside from Monster, Dice, etc., anybody have any recommendations on where a guy with a metric assload (working his way toward an imperial assload) of experience in a wide variety of platforms and situations, but no college degree, can get a well-paying job in IT|Software Development|Gas Station?

Most Recent Post: 07/29 09:14AM by Dan4th

 The week so far (days 2 & 3) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 04:15 AM PDT
 Viewed:  860 times  
LifeMonday morning started off predictably. I was supposed to get lunch with my old roommate on my way to work. I called him at about quarter to twelve to ask him when he'd be getting to the restaurant, but it turned out that he had ended up in Pennsylvania at the last minute and forgot to call me. No problem. Of course then he starts venting to me about how the company he's currently working for is about seven weeks behind on checks, and that he's currently owed... well, that's his business. Suffice it to say, more than I've got in the bank.

Saturday, I had some time to think while I was sitting next to the pool before dinner, and I had come to a conclusion about my current state of affairs. I concluded that I really ought to be doing better than I am. After getting the IRS letter, it weighed on my mind even more heavily until I decided that something had to be done.

I was resolved that Monday afternoon, I'd have a little sit down with the CEO to discuss the fact that I'd be making more money managing a McDonald's, and probably have a lot more leisure time to boot.

 The week so far (day 1) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 03:39 AM PDT
 Viewed:  847 times  
LifeSunday morning I woke up at about 7:45. Normally, that in and of itself would be a problem, but since I was in Arizona at the time, my body grudgingly conceded that quarter to eleven is an acceptable time to wake up, especially if there's a flight to make. Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm supposed to be on an airplane anytime before lunch, I want to get my shit together and get to the airport. My mother, on the other hand, thought it'd be a good idea to have breakfast at one of the restaurants in the hotel, then make our way over to the airport to be there by 9:30 or so.

We had breakfast, which was very good. I feel the need to point out that the food I had in Scottsdale ranged from "damn good" to "bow down at the feet of the magical creature that manufactured this bliss". I digress.

We headed to the airport and made it there by about 10:00. I was fine with that, providing there wasn't a long line at security, since it meant we had about a half hour to check our bags at a counter that I saw had no line, make it through security, get to the gate, and glide right onto the plane when they started boarding. The first indication that something was wrong was when the self-service check-in computer said that we needed to see an agent.

 Going to hell Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, July 22 2004 @ 11:23 PM PDT
 Viewed:  753 times  
LifeIf anyone needs me this weekend, I'll be in hell... but just as a tourist.

Specifically, I'm going to see my uncle get his Master's degree there.

Most Recent Post: 07/27 04:39PM by matt

 AFK Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Friday, July 02 2004 @ 05:05 PM PDT
 Viewed:  670 times  
LifeIf anyone needs me, I'll be the guy drowning himself in cheap domestic beer in the woods in Maine for a few days (though not the whole week as I had originally hoped.)

If you happen to see America in corporeal form this weekend, tell it happy birthday for me.

 Terse Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, June 23 2004 @ 02:55 AM PDT
 Viewed:  687 times  
LifeSick, tired, overworked, underpaid, wah, wah, wah.

The phlegm has gone from chunky yellow to smooth (but still opaque) white, so I figure things are getting better.

I'll get back to it soon... I've got a bit of writer's constipation going on. It ain't coming out now, but when it does, there's likely to be a lot of it in a fast-moving stream.

Yup, I think that takes care of the bodily fluid quota for the month.

 I survived the Crimson Permanent Assurance* Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Sunday, June 06 2004 @ 03:44 PM PDT
 Viewed:  969 times  
Life"Something is wrong", I thought.

I sat up, as if to grab my cape and head out into Gotham, and instead had a sudden realization of what the problem was. The change in position had triggered a searing pain in my head and a vague sense of nausea. I had a hangover.

Waking up in a hotel room in the insurance capital of the world was a little unnerving for some reason. I knew where I was, why I was there, and (unfortunately) why my head hurt so much, but I couldn't help thinking how everything seemed a little strange. The statehouse was a bit too ornamented, the grass a bit too green, and the streets a bit too clean. It didn't feel like Massachusetts. It felt like I was in a different country or something, though even in the dense haze of my hangover, I noted that people drove on the right side of the road in what were predominantly american cars, so I had at least stayed on the same continent. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Ottawa.

I fumbled for a cigarette while I waited for the remaining three or four hangover symptoms to manifest themselves. The statehouse flag flying at half-mast reminded me that Reagan had died yesterday. More pertinently to the subject at hand, Forrest and Angel got married yesterday.

I won't get into the gory details of the alcohol consumed last night. I don't really feel like remembering the two Bass Ales, glass of champagne, amaretto sour, jamaican stout, pale ale, and four or five pints of unfiltered wheat beer that I had. I don't need to relate stories about telling the waitress, "I need two shots of your harshest tequila" and "Bring me a kamikaze on the rocks in the largest glass allowed by the state of Connecticut" (about 16 oz., if you're curious), and then there was the whole drinking from the beer tap thing. None of those things are important.

What is important is that I absolutely fell in love with that family all over again. There's a certain easiness I feel with them that I had expected with those that I already knew, but it seemed magically to extend to the others as well in a way that made it seem (and this may well be the case) that it didn't so much extend to cover them, but that it was innately of them.

Being around that family causes all sorts of emotions for me. I'm happy that my friends have found love and joy in their lives. I'm in awe of the fact that both brothers have found the most amazing women (and vice-versa, I might say). I'm jealous as hell of all of the above. I'm grateful that they let me into their lives, and I'm going to miss them when they move out west.


Most Recent Post: 06/08 05:51PM by matt

 Boo-ya Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Friday, May 21 2004 @ 10:48 PM PDT
 Viewed:  797 times  
LifeA buddy of mine just asked if I wanted to go to the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival at Six Flags this year.

In a word: "Hell", but one word isn't enough.

In two words: "Hell, yes."

From the Six Flags site:
The hugely popular Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival returned in 2003 after a six-year vacation. And we plan to keep the good times rolling in 2004. Planned enhancements for 2004 include: two full days of Blues, Blues Rock and Southern Rock music, a true Craft Brew exhibit featuring 20 of New England's finest microbreweries and brewpubs, such as Paper City Brewery in Holyoke, MA. Plus, more BBQ vendors and the first ever Rock 102 Chili Cook-Off!

Potentially good music? Check.
Good beer? Check.
Spicy food? Check.
Roller coasters? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.

Oh yeah, and that weekend is also my birthday. Sounds like a good way to spend the day to me.

Most Recent Post: 05/22 02:44PM by Dan4th

 Concise Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Friday, May 14 2004 @ 04:08 AM PDT
 Viewed:  645 times  
LifeThe software I'm working on now is my baby, and this is the lullaby I sing to it.

 dead... lines Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Saturday, May 08 2004 @ 04:09 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1073 times  
LifeLate Tuesday night I logged into a development server, and this is what it said:
Last login: Tue May 4 21:51:39 from localhost

Q: Know what the difference between your latest project
and putting wings on an elephant is?
A: Who knows? The elephant *might* fly, heh, heh...

Oh, how true.

We were supposed to deliver another beta release Wednesday morning, but some last minute bugs (vicious, nasty creatures with teeth and sharp eyesies), well, fucked us. Sans lubrifiant. The customer was not amused.

Earlier tonight I managed to get things to where they need to be for minimal acceptance, but we've really got to get more than that in the release to help restore some comfort level, so I'm going to be working through the weekend.

Hopefully someday I'll be able to look back at this product through the halcyonizing filter of old age and say, "but it was worth it." I'm not holding my breath.

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