My Life and Times

27 September 2006

the mind of a software engineer

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 11:22 pm

All engineers do this; it’s just a matter of to what degree.

An engineer thinks about the world through the carefully crafted principles of his profession. A carpenter is bound to think of masonry or pottery in terms that he’s more familiar with. The turn-table becomes a lathe, etc etc. Well, a software engineer looks out for algorithms and specifications, interfaces and languages. It’s not easy for me to explain, because it’s fairly internalized. But here’s an example. Our security guards are contracted. It’d be kind of silly to have them employed by our company itself, better to have each local site strike a deal. Ours is with Wackenhut or something. Anyways, at some point today I realized that however our security operates, that policy must be agreed upon and understood by both our side and their side. But naturally come a lot of questions — how flexible is the policy? Does the contractor offer several plans, between which our management must choose? Is a policy developed from scratch to the vagaries of our company? Does the contractor have 1 fit-all policy? The overarching theme to these questions is — what practices, what interface between the two parties, achieves the optimal result?

If you’re not into programming or software engineering, I wonder if you can see how the questions naturally stem from concerns in my daily work. There’s that oft-trotted Chinese proverb, to understand one thing completely is to understand everything. I hope you can at least see how seriously and earnestly I take that philosophy.

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this is my life, this is my soul

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 11:22 pm

It’s been about a month since I last was blogging. Mostly because of my new life working and living in the apartment. My life is different from what it used to be, that’s for sure. Take my dinner — a 50ยข can of sardines in tomato sauce, on sale at the grocery store. And some bread. What’s this all about? There’s two reasons. First, I grew up on this food. There was a time in my youth when my family was dirt poor, and we ate a lot of really cheap food, including sardines in tomato sauce. In typical pedestrian fashion, I love my childhood. I love every little detail, and there’s no way I could forget, or shy away from something like sardines in tomato sauce. The best part, IMO, is that the can is still the same fucking shape. Is it like a Golden oval? Beautiful, whatever its name. The second reason is that I just want to be myself. What a vague way of putting it. I’ve never been a picky eater. But, having a can of pressure cooked fish for dinner is pretty much the pits (more so for others, I ween). If I can eliminate food from my thoughts, I can pare down, I can get to the bottom of things. What are my limits? What do I really care about? Sort of like the ascetic Siddharth ran into in that book, but not nearly as bent on self-deprivation. It’s better to take a moderate, Buddhist middle path.

30 August 2006

a bird died today

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 9:19 am

All jokes about Emo Girl and dead birds on the street aside, I’m pretty sad this morning.

Two days ago, I saw a young bird huddled under a bush while it was drizzling outside. Its feathers were waterlogged, so it couldn’t even keep warm. I doubt it was old enough to fly somewhere. I wondered where its mother was. I’d heard that if you touch a bird too much, its mother won’t take it back. So all I could do was get a paper bag with paper napkins in it and scoop up the bird, covering it up some from the rain and hopefully keeping it warmer. The next morning I saw that someone had taken my bag cover away, and the bird was sitting there still. I was pretty pissed but didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t going to take it inside and raise it. Not that that wouldn’t make me feel good, but it’s not natural, not what nature intends. So what if it got warm and survived a few days? What then? So I gritted my teeth and let it be. Hoping the rain would let up.

That night, I drove past a vet’s. This little city has one of everything, so I assume that one was the only one for miles. I took mental stock, but decided not to do anything. Same story — what’s the bird gonna do? The next morning, I walk outside and it’s lying there dead, feathers all askew and wet, no sign of life. It’s one of those things you don’t see a lot here in America, where everything is nice. Can’t imagine what it’d be like to see dying or starving people in other countries. I feel like there’d be a cost on one’s soul.

A bird died today, and surely some piece of me died with it.

24 August 2006

todo

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 3:13 am

get groceries
get haircut

apply for e-trade cd
apply for citibank card

call insurance to switch residence
put label on mailbox

find domokun – he could be lost forever. Sad; I had a familiy heirloom tied to him.
find thai pads
get clothes

get XP cd (sad I know)

when you work a lot, you tend to drop the basics. oops.

the crack of noon

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 3:07 am

Moved into my new digs closer to work. It’s pretty spare right now.
I’ve got a sleeping bag spread out in the living room (it’s a single with 2 rooms),
and can stare straight up out the sky light. This way, I’ll at least get a tan
if I sleep in late.

I’m not sure if there’ll be any long term physiological and/or socioeconomic
toll on my body/person for sleeping on the ground. It’s one of those things
that no one ever does anymore. What am I, a caveman?

16 August 2006

do blind people…

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 3:40 pm

leave their seeing-eye dogs outside the bathroom, or have it wait inside??

karma points

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 8:33 am

I started noticing and looking at my actions as +/- karma-worthy. The goal is to stay above 0. I dunno why it’s a big deal to me, but I’ll go with it for now. My officemate hasn’t been in the office for over a week. I really like it, but I get docked a few points for wishing he’d stay out. A lot more for wondering if he was dead so I could get it to myself for a long time. When I assigned negative points to myself for being a bad person, will I try to correct myself? We’ll see. Probably not though.

Though… karma does have its advantages. Last night, I went to pick up my friend from the airport. On the way back, I was totally tired and ran through the first of a series of 4 close-together stop lights. There was a cop right up at the next one, and I didn’t get busted. So there, karma had saved my ass.

primordial ooze redux

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 8:29 am

One day I got nowhere with my Diet coke in a foam cup (one of the few minor job perks — free fountain drinks), and left it for a few days. The next time I checked on it, it was getting scummy, with clearly not Diet coke things growing in it. So I figured what the heck, let that civilization run its course. After a few weeks or so, I figured the whole mess would dry up and disappear, not really thinking about how if it wasn’t clear before, it wouldn’t dry up clear. But I finally did catch on today. I have what seems to be a solid brick of dehydrate Diet coke (plus exotic lifeforms) on the bottom. What am I gonna do with it?

15 August 2006

it’s gonna be a slow day

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 8:46 am

part of our code involves an alert that happens 3s after an action, when it’s working. So when I test it, i always go 1-one thousand 2-one thousand 3-one thousand, and if it’s working, it’ll pop up around 3. This morning, it surprised me at around 1-one thousand. I need to get some sleep.

14 August 2006

pop sensation – integrity be damned

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 11:57 pm

I realized some time today (it was brewing inside me subconsciously) that I was seeing two ads with the same song – Nip/Tuck’s season 4 ad, and in the ad for the Chocolate phone. It sorta of sucks for those two sound/music engineers who decided on the same song. Unless it was the same person in the same agency. Whatever the circumstance, you gotta hand it to the artist Goldfrapp (and the song, Strict Machine). Her popularity must be through the roof, in terms of mindshare among people who watch TV. I’m not the type to look down on one-hit wonders, so this is a smash success in my book. I’m jealous that some other blogger noticed the song coincidence on 8/4. Observant bastard.

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