Older blog entries for deirdre (starting at number 22)

Nice to be back in the Linux space again. After the short "Focus Shift Purple Heart" award-winning experience recently, ::shakes head:: well, it's good to be home, let's leave it at that.

I really like many (OK, most) of my former coworkers and we're all bummed we can't work together.

Off to Hawaii for some much-needed R&R this weekend.

Been depressed since the weekend. It's a long story. The upside is that Rick and I have decided to go to Conolulu, the annual Westercon (science fiction convention). But I feel so awful I can't even get excited about going to Hawaii in a month.

All I want to do today is knit. I'll probably go to the local knitting store for the evening's knit-in. At least there's something I typically want to do when I really feel down -- something that doesn't have the calories of ice cream. Then again, I could really go for some Krispy Kreme doughnuts, gluten reaction or no gluten reaction.

Some birdie suggested that I post a note for the ex-Linuxcare people, many of whom are on Advogato. There is a mailing list that's existed since the first departure from Linuxcare[1] called linuxcare-alumni. Former Linuxcare folk can join.

[1]: Roger Gregory of the Xanadu project, fired basically for calling his boss an asshole. Thus proving the point. Clearly Roger felt backed into a corner, but it became really apparent that the wrong person had been fired. Thus leading to the verbalization of Deirdre's Rule of Bad Managers[2].

While some might question my feelings on this matter, my fundamental assumption is that it is the role of a manager to help their employees GET the work done. An upset employee is not productive, thus the role of a manager is to deflate the situation and, if necessary, resolve it later. Instead, a shouting match ensued. This kind of thing happens when managers look at themselves as "over" or "superior to" their employees rather than seeing their role as simply having different responsibilities.

[2]: "Bad Managers almost always outlast good employees."

I ran into ESR the other night; he and Rick went to BayLISA and I went with my friend Vinnie and my mom. The talk was a howl.

Just reading a bit before doing more writing tonight. Deadlines loom.

I have to disagree with Elise about how good the last Baylinuxchix meeting was. In fact, I was seriously considering, given how lame it was, never going again. Let's just say it was all way too newage (rhymes with "sewage") for me. Elise mentioned two of the reasons I think it was so pathetic: tarot readings and bird burials, neither of which have to do with Linux or chix.

And, to my immense embarrassment and horror[1], Lile and Gail decided to go to DevCon and *have a panel* on how you didn't have to be male to be a hacker. No, and you don't have to be male to be a twit either. How about if you just produce some insanely cool piece of code? Or would that be so fscking difficult? ::rolls eyes::

For GOOD examples of group meetings, there was last week's FreeBSD meeting in Foster City. I've been to other good meetings of course, but that stands out as a recent example.

[1] Speaking as someone who makes a living as a coder.

Been doing a lot of BeOS hacking lately. My C++ was slightly rusty, but fortunately my recent PHP coding bouts had gotten me back in the habits of braces and semicolons. Perhaps some cool stuff to come out in the near future, but some of it I can't talk about.

Busy week this week, and depressed about my cat, who was injured (not badly, but he needed antibiotics). He had two infections and, it was pointed out, a heart murmur. It's the last part that is somewhat depressing.

Spent time learning more about programming for BeOS this week and, I must confess, it has really changed my opinion of the suitability of C++ for core libraries. Favorably.

My coauthor and I received the contracts for our book on Python thiss week. I'm quite excited.

Last night, Linuxstammtisch in Mountain View. As Seth says, Mountain View's not all that bad a place. Not all the peninsula or south bay cities have "charm clusters" like downtown MV, but there's a few that are OK. I'm now working in downtown Menlo Park, which isn't as charming but still pretty nice.

Update: I'm very sad to hear about Elise's cat dying. I've met him and know how much she loves him.

Slept in until after noon today, then ran some errands. I may finally put a finish on the bookcase I bought two years ago.

Talked to mom about my vision problems (where I sometimes have randomly bad vision in one eye) only to find out she's had that, from time to time, for 20 years. Maybe it's just another stress-related genetic fluke. ::sigh:: In retrospect, I should have talked to her before I panicked.

She's on Vancouver Island and has been looking for a summer interneship in web design, databases, programming or something. It's not a heavily-populated area and I know I could find her something here in Silicon Valley, but if anyone knows of anything even in the Vancouver area, let me know. She's got lots of skills other than computers including as a financial manager. But she really wants a tech job. She's also a US citizen.

I'm very very glad that Deb is not going to get her cat declawed. I missed the posting about her intent, but I'm glad others talked to her about it. A few years ago, I was very badly bitten by a declawed cat. We were playing, but he couldn't claw me to signify I'd gone too far and, not picking up on the clue, he bit me. The bill for the antibiotics (as it was a deep puncture wound and quickly turned into a very nasty infection) was $150 (some high-tech combo that was very new and countered antibiotic-resistence well, thus the price) plus I couldn't use my hand for a week. Oh, and there was the doctor bill, not to mention having to tell the constable NOT to put the cat down as I was sure he wasn't rabid. The owners volunteered to pay, but it really was my fault, so I paid. At the time, I had to be checked every 6 hours as if it got worse, they were going to put me on IV antibiotics to make sure I didn't lose my hand.

Just a note that declawed cats aren't necessarily less expensive to own. Besides, in a couple of years, you'll want new fabric on the sofa anyway. ;) Even *with* cats, the fabric on my sofa has *got* to be about 15 years old, though it really has faded and should be replaced. But it's still in reasonable condition.

Heard from Arnaud this morning. He says about two weeks to something pre-alpha. I can hardly wait! I was so excited I put up the project page on SourceForge and gave a heads up to the gtk.org webmaster.

It's not until now that I truly realized some of the very extensive work put into SourceForge. Truly cool and very appreciated.

Today's my last day here, the new project starts next week. Almost a whole week off. Whee!

I worked more on CottonBale last night (when I desperately needed sleep). I'm sure I'll have it done by Weds next week. I signed up for a SourceForge account for it too. I might even move ALL the projects I have there, especially Poppy. I want to finish Poppy before starting the next work project.

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