Can’t blog now… coding…


Where the heck have I been all this week? I’ll tell you where. My project has me swamped dealing with every XML unit testing framework known to man. I’m tired of boring you all with discussion of transforms and angle-bracketed unit testing. I wanted to talk about something different. Due to my lack of imagination I haven’t been able to dream up anything worthwhile. I can’t devote my entire site, (or my life in entirety) to XML development so I gotsa’ try something. So here goes nothing… and I really mean nothing.

Life in my shoes this week
I started today wasting an hour over the phone with Microsoft tech support getting my copy of XP activated after the auto-internet-activator practically left me deactivated. (Why are there so many doggone digits in the manual activation key? Can you imagine if your phone number was that long?) Later I managed to get my hands on and start playing with a later build of IntelliJ Idea. There’s something about upgrading your IDE that gives you a clean feeling. Are you the type that just has to try out every new feature on an upgrade? If you’re a regular visitor to my site or a programmer or if you ever figured out how to work the child lock on your microwave oven then I know you’re feelin’ me when I say software updates are the essence of life as a techie. I spent an hour browsing the plugin manager listings. I installed plugins that I normally use, plugins that I plan to use, and plugins that just sounded cool. I then needlessly flipped through the daily tips at startup looking for new info. (I have read and used each “feature” featured on the tip browser from the prior version.)

A couple of days ago I took the day off from work to visit the doctor. It was nothing serious or relevant to coding so I shouldn’t even be mentioning it here. However, I did notice how my doctor’s office is run like a well oiled machine. I dreamt about the possibility of running my own business one day and running it into the ground. (If you are a programmer working on any application that doesn’t belong to you then you’ve had this very same dream, no doubt.) There are so many little challenges to having a successful business that I sometimes can’t imagine how any company can make profit. I easily psyched myself out of any hope of starting “Cliff Enterprises” but it’s still nice to dream. Why is it that developers always think they can run their own shop? Joel explains better than I could.

The day before my doctor’s appointment, I woke from a semi-hibernation to answer my wife what I had ate for dinner that night. (My wife, beautiful as she is, works nights and typically wakes me upon arriving home after her shift to inquire about such things like the content of my digestive system, the status of our two children, and my cognitive ability to record 24.) My well meaning reply to the beautiful creature, who apparently had vested interest in not only my eating habits but my cullinary capability also, was a lethargic “XML”. As my responses remained static and constant upon further interrogation, the lovely lady gave up hope of initiating a meaningful conversation with the half concious partially clad man of limited vocabulary. Either my babbling had become an acceptable answer to the consistent line of questioning or “XML” became an acceptable source of nutrition in our household.

Earlier in the week we (my family and I) spent the day pretending to barbecue chicken for the holiday. (By “pretending” I mean we cooked the chicken in the oven with barbecue sauce because we broke our grill beyond all reasonable use. (By “we cooked chicken” I mean she cooked chicken while I watched TV. (By “we broke the grill” I mean I neglected to install a soupcan typically used for catching hot grease befroe it falls on/burns through the main line to the propane tank.))) We also rented some moveis the following day to pass the time that I typically use to ramble on my site about how great XML is and how I am going to launch a tactical assault with the technologies I’ve been playing with. We rented one and bought three. Of them all I really enjoyed “Memoirs of a Geisha”.

Even earlier in the week I spent some time configuring a laptop computer for my brother in law. It has been so long since I setup WindowsXP that I forget how somethings work. I’m supposed to be the computer expert in the family but it’s times like this when I feel like the family idiot. I couldn’t figure out how to get pictures to move from a USB connected cell phone to computer harddrive. Shameful. Then I had trouble getting the dialup modem to work. I hate feeling like a moron in my field of expertise.

So there you have it. My week explained in reverse. As you can see, when you take XML out of the picture there’s not much left to my pathetic life. I’ll be back next week hopefully with some more interesting stuff. Until then, keep it real…

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