b Papa Dog's Blog: Some Random Things, Including a Bit About the Hit Tracker that My Wife is Sure to Hate, and then a Kind of Amusing Look at My Stupid Job

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Some Random Things, Including a Bit About the Hit Tracker that My Wife is Sure to Hate, and then a Kind of Amusing Look at My Stupid Job

I still haven’t watched all of last night’s debate (have it on tape), so I’ll withhold comment for now.

I think paul would probably like it to be known by one and all that he caught up in reading the faversham this Tuesday past. I, on the other hand am still reading – or I guess I should say am still not reading – newspapers from August. So much time and so little to do.” – W. Wonka.

paul would probably also like it if I mentioned, as he did to me, that it was twenty years ago this weekend that we impetuously agreed to go into business together publishing comic books. He calls this the anniversary of our company’s birth, but I’d have to say it’s the anniversary of the company’s conception. Sort of a twentieth baek-il. The anniversary of the birth would be in February, when the articles of incorporation were filed. paul, you should fly down here in February and we could have a little party. We could get Simon down from Vancouver and maybe we could bring Mike over from D.C. so I could finally meet him. Then you could take us all out for Thai food.

Sorry, Anonymous in Beantown – may I call you Beantown Confidential? – but, no, that wasn’t you who made the hit counter roll over 1,000, unless you did it on a different computer from the one you normally use (#1,000 was running Windows 2000, whereas you run Windows XP). You were there earlier in the day, accounting for hit numbers 995 and 996. Yes, I know it’s kind of creepy that I know all this, but I think by now it’s well established that I really can’t help it.

Regardless, you’re sending me all those quarters, so I reckon a fabulous prize* is warranted anyway. It will be on its way in Monday’s post. In the meantime, the identity of lucky 1,000 remains a mystery.

And while I’m on the eternal subject of hit tracking, something weird happened last night. Round about ten o’clock my time, somebody posted this comment - that is, the second one, not signed by paul. The weird thing is, my hit tracker doesn’t show anybody on the page at the time. Is there some equivalent of Caller ID blocking going on here? Or maybe the last person who hit the page, a random next-blogger who looked in at seven o’clock, just left the page up for three hours before commenting? That doesn’t make much sense, does it? paul, were you the second anonymous commenter here? Most curious.

The long days I had at work yesterday and Thursday were mostly taken up putting together a report for two geotechnical engineers whom I’ll name Engineer X and The Little Napoleon. Charles can probably deduce the identity of the latter, at least. The Little Napoleon used to be a big cheese at my office, but felt underappreciated and left for greener pastures a year or two ago. Since then, Engineer X, his former number two, has been running the geotechnical group. The parting hasn’t been exactly definitive. There were several big long-term projects that The Little Napoleon had been overseeing since their inception, and the clients requested that he see them through to completion. Accordingly, TLN is subcontracting to my company as a Consultant, gradually tying up loose ends. This report is one of those loose ends. Engineer X told me he’d rather hoped that the thing could be done as a 9-page letter report, but by Thursday afternoon, TLN had it up to fifty pages and swelling. I guess they have different notions about how much information it’s necessary to provide to fulfill the terms of their contract.

I never noticed when they worked together in the same office, but since TLN left, I’ve come to the conclusion that Engineer X must have been chafing under TLN’s leadership for years, and now that he’s his own engineer so to speak, his long-bottled resentment periodically manifests itself in odd ways. One of the things he had me do was change the nomenclature for the technical drawings that accompany the report. TLN has always referred to these as “Plates.” Engineer X thinks “Plate” an archaic and senseless term, and prefers “Figure.” I’d be hard pressed to give a shit myself as the requisite search and replace takes seconds and even if it didn’t, hey, I get paid hourly and overtime is almost worth my while. Of course, when I sent the “Figure” laden draft of the paper over to TLN’s office, his edit came back with “Figure” crossed out wherever he noticed it (he missed the vast majority of them) and “Plate” written in. It didn’t make sense for me to randomly change half of the “Figure” references back to “Plate,” so I just left them the way they were. After he saw that draft, TLN called me and asked if the company had some new policy where Plates had to be referred to as Figures. “Not that I know of,” I said slowly, knowing that I had to tread carefully so as not to get caught in the middle of a boffin brawl, “that’s how Engineer X marked it in his draft.

Well, they don’t call him The Little Napoleon for nothing. He’s definitely the alpha boffin. Engineer X came back with the next draft and said, for the sake of consistency with the earlier reports from the same project, we’d change “Figures” back to “Plates.” But he’d made it clear to TLN that he detested the term and wouldn’t be using it in the future. I think he felt he’d salvaged a little dignity from the transaction, but don’t we all think that when we want to get through the day? Hell, I was rooting for him to stick to his guns. But, as noted earlier, I get paid either way.
*Fabulousness of prizes may vary and is adjudged solely by the standards of management. Papa Dog, Inc. accepts no responsibility if winners deem prizes to “suck.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twas not me who posted the second comment.

Since the company was incorporated in Edmonton, should that not be where we meet to celebrate the 20th anniversary?

Speaking of Mike, do you have a current email address for him?

paul Anonymous

7:53 AM  

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