Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Sweet Taste of Power

There's been a reshuffle of positions at my client's site that has ended with me taking on more responsibility and more work, which has in turn extended the contract.

With this new position and mandate, I find I'm more motivated and feel better about my contribution to the project. I guess being in charge really suits me better.

In other business-related news, I'm working on a formal business plan with a consultant for my other writing business and I got a call from someone who is interested in me taking pictures of their handfasting (wedding).

If I could balance my worklife between writing, teaching, storytelling, and photography, I believe I'd be more fulfilled. That's important to me and I suspect it's important to you.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Writer's Block of the type of blockWriter block block

I'm documenting a system for my client (I'm a techwriter y'know) and had written up a few definitions for some parts of the application. When I'm defining a term, I try not to use the term itself in the definition. If you know what that term meant, then you wouldn't be looking it up right?

I sent the definitions out for review and I just got them back. I had to laugh when one of the definitions I wrote was scribbled out and, in its place, was written something like the following (I changed the actual terms to protect the inept):

RedBlockType is a block type declaration that defines a block of type “redblocktype”.

Note: the more you read it aloud, the dizzier you get. It helps if you spin your chair in place while you giggle non-sensically, waving your hands.

The funny (tragic?) thing is that programmers really think their writing is clear, concise, and a joy to read. And if you can't understand it, then you're just not smart enough to get it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Postcards of the World: Lick!

I was listening to the CBC during my errands and I heard an interview with Mr. Risley, a Grade 6 teacher in California. He just started a project with his class that he hopes will open their minds and understanding on the different peoples of the world.

But his project depends upon those people of the world. He needs folks to send his students postcards from the edge of the earth that they are from. I'll be trying to find a unique postcard to send him, but if you're interested, here's his note:

Hi. My name is Jason. I teach 6th grade (11-12 year olds) in Perris, California. I am trying to improve my students' view of the world and increase their knowledge of geography. I am asking friends, acquaintances and even strangers to send an appropriate postcard to my class at:
Mr. Risley's Class
c/o "A" Street Elementary School
755 North "A" St.
Perris, CA 92570

Please tell us: Your name, where your from, what you do for work and the subject of the picture on your postcard.

I would really appreciate any help in this. Your kindness will be VERY appreciated. :)

BTW, I really did hear the interview today on the CBC. This isn't some Internet mailing hoax that travels from Inbox to Inbox. And if you send him a postcard because you read this blog, could you mention the blog (shameless plug)?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ig'nance of non-tea drinkers

I'm a tea guy; I've never gotten into the whole coffee-culture thing, although Ms.Carotte has gotten me addicted to Ice Cappacinos (which is the first step down a slippery slope, I realize).

But Tim's has decided to go after us, the utapped Tea Market and offer steeped tea, which to tea drinkers, is infinitely better than dropping a poor, unsuspecting tea bag into a boiling, screaming death pit. Kinda like sticking a live lobster tail first into a vat of boiling water: the agonizing death just does something nasty to the overall culinary experience.

But not all Tim's understand this. I went to a Tim's on St. Jacques and rolled up to the mechanical Tim attendant and said "I'll have a steeped tea, please."

"A what?" the speaker garbled.

"Tea. Steeped Tea, please," I replied.

There was a pause. "We only have regular tea sir," she replied.

"Steeped tea is regular tea! It's just been steeped!"


"Do you have any prepared tea? Instead of just the hot water and tea bag?"

Another pause. "I'm sorry sir, we only have Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe."

Fine. I took what they had to offer, but the person I dealt with was obviously not a tea drinker. Apparently, Tim's will have to send their employees on a 6-week Tea Orientation course to understand the subtlties of tea drinking.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I have a Question

I heard with some relief that the gas prices were coming down off the Island of Montreal. It's dropping from 1.39 ot 1.15. Still outrageous though.

My question is this though: since we get most of our gas and oil from Alaska, Alberta, and Saudi Arabia, why is the devastation in New Orleans doubling the cost of our gas? Am I over-simplifying the situation?

This would be the equivalent of a couple of farms burning down in Saskatchewan and having bread shoot up to $5 a loaf.

Something capitalistic is afoot.