This blog is maintained outside office hours. The views stated in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of our employers.

Monday, April 25, 2005

'Tis Monday evening...

Weekend's over again. Been busy playing with shopping carts of the electronic variety the last few days (apart from the few hours I spent pasted since last Friday), so let's put on a quick recap of the events of the last few days.

On Friday, we got into a discussion about the multitudinous features of online shopping carts. Inspired by a note in a site somewhere, which said roughly that an online shopping cart should emulate the wheely, physical sort as closely as possible, #2 (a man occasionally described as a short version of Keanu Reeves with a goat taped to his chin) launched in some seriously deep reverse philosophy. It's like reverse engineering, only more abstract and slightly more legal.

The reasoning was sound. Starting from the premise that an online cart is created in the likeness of the real thing, it stands to reason that the real thing is therefore like unto the online one. So far so good, except that the online carts aren't much use when you try to do Ben-Hur re-enactments in a crowded supermarket.

Now, reasoned our #2, some online shopping carts only allow you to remove stuff from your cart by placing 0 items in it - if I recall correctly, amazon was the cited example. According to our philosophical friend, this means that you can actually put 0 items in a cart. While he elucidated the idea by miming it, in my opinion the argument is rather shaky. At the very least, shop staff might mistake you for a rapper or a mime and shoot you on the spot.

The conversation eventually led to a deeply philosophical question by an unusually pensive #3. If a shopping cart falls in the woods, and there are 0 items in it, do you get charged?

Had a passably pleasant weekend. Friday night playing munchkin with some old friends and trying to get drunk, Saturday getting intimately acquainted with SQL Server's more obscure functions and still trying to get drunk, and Sunday watching cartoons and Jay Leno and wondering why they don't make alcohol like they used to. When I was a kid we could get two decent bottles of something potentially toxic for under a fiver and still have enough change left over for the smokes. No wonder kids these days spend all their time in front of their PCs and never get out.

Today was a pretty relaxing affair. Although we've been working down to the metal, I'm pretty happy at the clip we're moving at. Even managed to find time for an impromtu snowball fight. There's nothing quite like the squeals of panic you get when you make VERY loud blowing-your-nose kind of noises and lobbing a rolled up ball of paper across the room at random. It's more fun if you really do blow your nose in the paper beforehand, but unfortunately that usually means having to wipe puke off the floor when the guys realize what's hit them.

Also started being nasty to Rennie the happy kangaroo. Further details will be brought to you tomorrow on the same channel.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The gift that keeps on giving

Late posting today. My sustained efforts to play World of Warcraft have so far been fruitless. What's up with software these days? In my days, software used to fit on an 80kb floppy, and pretty decent software it was too. These days, you have to buy yourself a product spanning four CDs AND download a 112Mb patch.

Anyway, on to today's inane rant. #2 and I were discussing the zen of people buying 5 burgers plus a diet coke to go with them. The discussion rapidly spiralled downwards to gater (google branded water) and then to spam, which inevitably resulted in a discussion about the possible merits of, shall we say, google branded gentlemanly attribute enchancers.

I used to work for a company providing payment gateway services. One of our prospective clients was the purveyor of such equipment (they never became actual clients, mainly due to the fact that the bank we were working with turned down their application because they had the word "Penis" in their company name). Such was the hilarilty engendered by the idea of transacting such equipment over my pet project (the payment gateway) that we took the liberty of nosing over to this client's site to see WTF this product was.

We were horrified.

Basically it involves strapping this device to your waist, in belt-like fashion, and slipping a noose-like appendage over the head of man's best friend. The pull generated by the device is supposed to stretch out said body part, and lengthen it.

Now, I'm sort of not ok with this. The various parts of my body and I grew up together like, and we're really attached to each other in an emotional kind of way. The whole idea feels like, I don't know, your leg suddenly deciding to strangle your ear to make it look sexier.

Back to the point in question. We were discussing the merits of a google made enlarger - I'm sure it would be a hit with the more self concious members of the male species (no pun intended), especially if they do it like gmail... the gift that keeps on giving. Personal opinion has it that the people who designed that system should have incense burnt to them every day - mailbox size has now peaked 2.2 Gb and growing.

Just imagine, every morning this little guy would gt up and see a counter ticking up on his little friend. Wahey.

Most of the day was pretty sucky. I'm still trying to figure out a way to break the language barrier and communicate with consultants. Maybe I'm using the wrong signals. I mean, it might be possible that "DO NOT COPY AND PASTE STUFF FROM WORD INTO THE APPLICATION!!!" might be interpreted as "Yes, please do copy and paste stuff from word". By a drunk. With a concussion. And ear problems. In swalhili. Underwater.

It's possible that I'm just using the wrong body language to express myself. I'll try to fix that, preferably with a big hammer.

Sigh. They never thaught us these things in University.

Choking Hazard

And here we are at the end of another productive day at the office. #2 and #3 are swearing at the latest batch of fixes - you know, the kind that roll in at 16.59. We're also discussing whether we should get hold of some t-shirts to advertise our products, preferably at a wet t-shirt contest. On a chick preferably, not on us. None of us have the kind of physique that makes prospective clients drool.

It's irrelevant philosophy o'clock now (To hear #2 yawning, you'd think it's sleep o'clock, but it isn't). Since yesterday's habemus papam, we've been hearing a lot about the new pope, most of which sucks royal wind. Take yesterday for instance. I was buying my daily stock of cigarettes, I overheard these two old slags chatting in the background. So here's my fairly liberal translation from Maltese...

"S'a good thing they elected a German pope"
"Why's that, Mary"
"Cuz them Germans still got a lot to pay for due to WW2, s'about time they start"

I was sort of like... hey, what the hell does producing a pope have to do with that? Let the old man get his backside on the seat at least.

Plus, Ok, I heard he was in the Hitlerjungen when he was a kid, but... er... look, he's sort of 78 bloody years old now, I suppose he got over it in the meantime. Besides, if we're going to nitpick on this sort of thing, we're going to have a VERY long evening. My take on the subject is this: there was a war. It was pretty fucked up, but it's over now. By now, most of the people responsible have been either brought to justice, have croaked, or are about to. It's important not to let it happen again, but hey, repression won't work. They tried that out after WW1 and all they got out of it was WW2.

Back to the new pope thingy... I guess if old John Paul 2 saw fit not to bludgeon him about the head with a big stick, we shouldn't really, either. Time to call it a day and head for home.

Extreme Measures!!

Ever though about society today?....all the fuss over courteous approach and etiquette….well it seems to me (and today I had proof) that all these hinder from attaining the wanted results and in short it is a load of bollocks!!!

True, to be polite and pleasant can have its benefits, though sometimes a good whack in the head, or mild though very firm and clear verbal contradiction, is seen to have better effects on certain people, especially on superiors. In my opinion to be compliant and accept every remark (no matter how stupid and arrogant) is just not the way. Apart from creating mental frustration upon one’s self, this allows ignorant, egocentric and arrogant beings to trample over your whole being.

While, on the other hand, a good vent to what you really think can open new horizons in the office. That is what I did, and believe me, not only it felt good, but the bugger seemed to have taken the message!!

WARNING: This advice must only be taken if used in small, non-frequent doses. Otherwise make sure you are indispensable to the company you work for, as sometimes such measures can have collateral effects!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Rennie the happy Kangaroo Posted by Hello

#1' s voodoo programming shrine (chickens not included) Posted by Hello

Our rendition of "The 10 Commandments" Posted by Hello

Quote of the Day

It's just past halftime over here in the office and all is well. Sort of. For some unfathomable reason #2 is reading his junkmail aloud - winkie enlargement time again - and #3 just came up with this quote which will surely go into the anals (sic.) of history as the most obscure remark made in here by a intelligent organism (no, consultants don't count as intelligent organisms)

"I'm a white nigger"


I'm still trying to figure out what that means. Answers on a postcard please.

Meanwhile, #3 has made himself useful and has taken some pics of the office, notably of Rennie the Happy kangaroo, the pic of Moses from yesterday (see below), our desks, my Voodoo Programming Shrinetm and #2 and me. You at the back, pull your pants back up - we're all decently dressed.

Finally, we've got some reinforcements on the board in the form of External Correspondent #1. She's probably a loony on occupational therapy, but we have to fill in our equal opportunity slots if we're to qualify as a good, humanitarian blog. On the other hand, her sense of humour is rather nasty so we can all look forward to some jovial character trashing. Hooray.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More stress balling

Well... the most interesting part about these stress balls is the motto printed on them...

'Microsoft: Your potential. Our passion'

Well it sounds kind of strange printed on a stress ball... does this mean my potential is squeezing round, soft objects? and m$'s passion is getting squeezed?

hmmm...!

Habbemus Stressball


This morning our manager kindly supplied us with 3 microsoft branded stressballs, one for each office worker. One question? Arent stressballs supposed to relieve stress?! Well think again, constantly dodging stress balls can be quite stress inducing! Not to mention the effort needed to squeeze the stress ball. Geez thats one hard stress ball.

Goodies

Things got pretty good today. Apart from the fact that #2 managed to throw up a roughly complete database schema overnight, today we received some much appreciated goodies in the form of three stress balls kindly provided by Microsoft. Time to make a public apology to Bill for every time I uttered his name in vain every time Windows crashed on me. Sorry Bill.

Now the thing about stress balls is that they evoke some sort of primal response in humans... In our case we started a highly stress relieving stressball fight, which was particularly vicious due to the fact that these ones were obviously hot off the mould and hard enough to crunch through plate glass (some artistic license here. #3 did complain a bit when I cracked him one on the ribs though.)

It all quietened down when #2 commented that the balls smelled funny. Cue several minutes of us smelling each others' balls.

It's pretty quiet now, and #2 and #3 are philosophising as developers tend to do. Someone drew an amusing picture of Moses carrying the database schema on the whiteboard (just a bit to the left of Rennie the Happy Kangaroo, who should shortly feature on this blog.) and they're arguing that God created the business logic, not the data structure. Poor heathen fools. Every developer knows God created the Kernel, and all came from that.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Life, the universe and the balance of nature.

It sucks being an office worker sometimes, but I guess things can be worse. This afternoon #2, #3 and I wandered off to the park for a design meeting, and witnessed two cats doing some... natural acts in public. Apart from the disturbance caused by #3 when he started lobbing stuff at them to quieten them down, the scene was quite amusing as we speculated on why it was called "doggy" style.

The odd bit was when the cat-lady moved off and turned her back on the cat-gentleman, and he ended up staring at her for the rest of the 30-odd minutes we were there. Now I don't want to sound racist or anything, but it sure looks like women are the same everywhere.

A new dawn

Hi, and welcome to our new blog. Before you get any funny ideas or anything, we're straight. Ok, now that the formalities are out of the way, here's a quick rundown of what we are. We're three (no, really. look at the title) web developers. Now I'm sure that many of you are asking (yeah, like you really give a shit) why three web developers are using google blogs rather than writing their own blog software. Well, my developmentally challenged friends, we decided that, since this rather spiffy software is available already, our time would be better spent sleeping or watching pr0n, so here we are, ready to blog without doing much work beyond setting this up. Enjoy.