denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
Ex-employer has sent me a contract to sign regarding the severance payment I will receive from them. I need (as one of its conditions, not to mention out of general common sense) to get it very seriously looked at by a lawyer. They are offering to pay up to £200 of the cost of hiring said lawyer. Does anybody have any recommendations of good lawyers/companies/whatever? (or ones to avoid)
denny: (You make me laugh)
(for background, see - read from the bottom up)

I'll probably want to check you out? No, it's okay, I think I might just remember you... )

I am literally crying with laughter.

In other news, 10am this morning was the official meeting to decide if there was any alternative to being made redundant. I agreed that there wasn't in my opening sentence, established that I'd like the extra money for leaving quietly about two sentences later, made small talk for a while and was home before half past.

So, if anyone hears of any interesting jobs going for developers, please do bring them to my attention, or me to theirs - cheers. I've already got a few good leads but more choice is always a good thing in these circumstances.
denny: (Toon)
I've just been made redundant.

Some paperwork bullshit to occur over the next week or two before it's official, but the bomb's been dropped and in a company this small, the paperwork is just a formality.

Time to tidy up the CV I guess.


People keep asking 'why?' on IRC/IM/etc...

The company failed to get as much funding as they'd hoped for in their current round of financing talks. In combination with a very noticeable drop in the amount of work they have coming in, it was belt-tightening time. They decided that my position was the most expensive thing that they can limp along without until the workload picks up again. I'm told I'll get a good reference etc.
denny: (I'd rather be flying)
Does anybody know where the docs are for the 'share this link with your friends' API on MySpace and/or Bebo? I'm assuming they do have such a feature, but neither their help pages nor Google searches are finding me what I need to know...


Oct. 26th, 2007 09:54 am
denny: (Toon)
Wednesday night after flying, I forgot to set my alarm clock, and hence slept soundly through to about half ten in the morning, when I was woken by a text message from my boss. I got to work at 11am.

This morning, I have a letter inviting me to a disciplinary meeting to discuss my "poor attendance" (presumably meaning timekeeping).

denny: (I need stuff!)
I saw these gadgets in someone else's journal:

Now they were talking about getting one to help with their possible SAD. I pretty sure I don't have SAD - I'm just a lazy fucker who hates mornings regardless of what the season is. Unfortunately this is one of the main points of conflict I have left with my boss, who is getting mighty pissed off with me turning up 'late' most mornings (i.e. after the people I'm managing, who have a disturbing tendency to turn up at 9am every day despite having flexitime).

Does anybody have experience of using one of these clocks just to make getting up a bit less painful, rather than as an attempt to perform minor brane-surgery on themselves? Or indeed, am I just failing to self-diagnose with SAD here? (I'll put it alongside AADD, autism, and all the other things that seem to have got trendy on the internets over the last few years)

The theory behind the clock does seem like a potentially workable idea, but then I think about how much light my bedroom blinds let in during summer and I don't recall being any keener to wake up or get up then, so maybe it's not going to make any difference?

Still... it sure is shiny.
denny: (Stretch)
Saturday (last weekend) I went to Raindance, with [ profile] libellum, [ profile] flippit and [ profile] fire_brand. The music was fantastic - I could have danced all night on any one of five of the dancefloors (drum and bass, happy hardcore, hard house, old skool, and um, something else), and half the night on the sixth (90s cheese).

The drunk guy who stuck his hand up Fliss's skirt was less fantastic. Especially when, after I grabbed his wrists to stop him groping her, he headbutted me in the face and nearly broke my nose. I hate drunks.

So, we left relatively early (4am), and headed back to the House of Monkeys, where we found a sleepy [ profile] denari just finishing an epic video game mission. We chatted quietly for an hour or two, then all headed off to our various beds.

Sunday we got up late and had breakfast, then we had roast dinner not that long after it. So that was filling. Then we set fire to things and whirled them around, as per video already posted. I really need to spin fire more often, I keep forgetting how much fun it is.

During the week I've been steadily coming down with the lurgies of doom that everybody else has already been attacked by. I had Tuesday off work, and seriously considered taking Friday off too but decided against it in the end - work has been busy lately and I don't like taking time off unless I really feel like I need it. Speaking of work, on Thursday we had an excellent strategy meeting in the afternoon. I can only assume that I'm now fully into pointy-haired manager territory, when I leave a four hour meeting feeling like it was an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Last night I went flying again - this time for 8 minutes (4 x 2 minute slots). It was really good - I spent the first couple of minutes just arsing around, rather than trying to learn anything, which put me in a really good mood for the rest of the session. [ profile] skorpionuk and [ profile] dakeyras were with me as part of his birthday present, as was [ profile] pieces_of_ele as part of her mission to do everything possible in the six days remaining before she heads back to Australia (via the USA). They all did really well, and had lots of fun too from what I could tell.

In my other slots I practised some of the things I've been trying to learn recently, and roamed around the tunnel touching the wall wherever the instructor pointed at it as quickly as possible, which was fun. I get in and out of the tunnel by myself now, rather than being helped in and out, which helps me to feel a bit more competent. In the last session we did 'stability training', which was hilarious... the instructor got me to fly in the middle of the tunnel at about head height, then got me to do a serious of increasingly absurd actions; nazi-salute sort of movements, putting my hands on my head, putting one hand on my hip (didn't manage that one, it's bloody tricky!), and so on. Oh yes, and 'doggy paddle' - good lord that was silly. It's really hard not to flail your legs around when you're doing that with your arms :) As Col's flight was a birthday present, Bec paid for a DVD of the occasion, which should also feature my inane activities - I'll try to get some clips posted up at some point.

The next part of stability training was when the instructor started wandering behind me and 'stealing' the airflow from underneath various bits of me. It's quite disconcerting when (for instance) one of your legs suddenly loses all lift, and compensating for it was an interesting challenge. This part of the session culminated in him putting his feet centrally underneath me, with his body facing me but his back arched so much that his torso was nearly horizontal, and then spinning around underneath me in a very disconcerting fashion. It felt quite a lot like being in a small dinghy on large swell waves - odd rolling sensation. I did a very credible job of not falling out of the air, although I did giggle quite a lot when he came into view at such an odd angle beneath me.

I was pretty pleased with the whole session really, and was on an endorphin/adrenaline high all the way back to London and to [ profile] steerpikelet's birthday party.

Said party was fun in places, but my adrenaline did wear off fairly swiftly, so I gave Ele a lift home and headed back to my bed at about 4am, where I stayed until gone midday today. The cold/cough seems to have quite a thorough foothold now, so I'm probably going to spend the rest of the weekend lurking in bed and sulking. Boo, germs. On the bright side, I have a lot of shiny new books to read.
denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (ADD)
denny> and today, I'll be visiting an antique clock dealership for a tour of their stock
denny> can you feel my excitement from there? I bet you can.
HauntedUnix> denny: whut?
denny> HauntedUnix: apparently today's 'team building exercise' is a tour of one of our clients' showroom and a fascinating lecture about his stock
denny> possibly my boss is intending to unite us against a common enemy, I dunno
HauntedUnix> denny: Or he just hates you and wants to punish you, cruelly? :(
denny> HauntedUnix: now there's a theory that covers all the observed facts
denny: (Hold me)
"I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart.
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when I tried so hard ..."
-- Linkin Park, In The End
I'm feeling quite a bit better today. I think my head broke so badly yesterday that the only way I could go was up. I'm still very sad, but it seems more controllable now. Mornings are still the most difficult bit... they meant a lot, and now there's a gap in them.

Last night I failed to hit a fairly important and easily achievable deadline at work, even after it had been extended twice (originally it was last Thursday). This has, unsurprisingly, failed to impress my boss. I'm a bit worried after the talk we had a few weeks ago... I can only hope that he can see the difference between me not putting enough effort in, and me trying really hard but failing. And that he cares about the difference.

I'm not really sure what's happening about my birthday... I had tentative plans for it to be really quite fantastic, but now it seems quite likely that they're not going to happen. I was also planning a bit of a party, which also won't happen as Helen is moving house that weekend. I may have to compensate for this problem by having a monster moving-in party when I get the new flat, although that's a way off. Still, maybe I'll be in a better mood for it by then... things keep changing so fast at the minute, at least some of them have got to change for the better again soon, right?
denny: (Unhappy Star)
Things seem to have gone quite badly and very unexpectedly wrong in one little area of my life. Unfortunately it's one that was bringing me a great deal of happiness lately, so now I'm really quite sad and upset. Normal service will hopefully be resumed at some point, once I've got over the shock.

Sometimes it's very difficult to remember the good things about life at these times, so let's look at those:

* My girlfriend is great. She is snuggly and lovely and has tried very hard to be patient with my somewhat wonky moods this week.

* I was starting to get my focus back at work, although the above-mentioned turn in fortunes did derail me somewhat. Hopefully I can get it together again this week and stay on track this time.

* Flat purchase still apparently going according to plan. Valuation was agreed on Thursday, so just waiting for mortgage to be approved I guess, then it's time for the lawyers to do their thing. The seller wants to complete by the end of the month, which seems a bit unrealistic to me, but if the lawyers can be persuaded to move that quickly then I have no real objection to the idea. I have been cheering myself up by trying to work out what I'll be doing about redecorating. Which probably says a lot about my state of mind actually.

While I'm here, a reminder: Helen and Kristen are about to have their first art exhibition, running for the next two weeks at The Foundry. You should all come :) Preferably to the opening night, which is on Wednesday.
denny: (Warning - Group intellect)
From an article linked by [ profile] dryad_wombat:
I’ve been using a term to describe my experience of Twitter (and also Flickr and reading blog posts and Upcoming). I call it Ambient Intimacy.

Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.

I've been worrying quite a bit lately about how many good friends I have these days. Not the greatest of hardships, I realise :) but it means that these days I can't spend enough quality time with all the people I'd like to spend lots of quality time with. It's frustrating - I worry that they won't realise how much they mean to me if I don't spend enough time with them. Also, of course, they're wonderful people and I want to spend more time with them, so not being able to is annoying for purely selfish reasons.

I've been working on the theory that they're all stuck in pretty much the same boat, and so what's holding our friendships together at a higher level than would seem possible if you measure our face-to-face time is that we all know we're doing our best to see each other as much as we can... but actually, almost all of us are on LJ, facebook, etc etc... maybe we're benefiting from ambient intimacy?

In other news, last night at 03:45 my phones both started ringing, and the landline got called back every ten minutes. I finally got up and looked at the incoming number when they rang back a third time on my landline, didn't recognise it, pulled the wire and went back to bed. 10 minutes after that, I realised it was the company that monitors the alarm system at work.

So, I get out of bed and drive to work in the pouring rain. The office has lost power for some reason (rest of the block is fine) and that's set the alarm into some kind of 'mildly aggravated' mode. Not really worth getting up for, but I suppose theoretically it could have been someone cutting the power prior to breaking in. So I poked around for a while, then came home again around half four. Driving wakes me up (as soon as I get behind the wheel - I've always thought of this as a Good Thing :) ), so I had to read for an hour before I could get back to sleep.

Tired now.
denny: (Loser)
At work we have clients. It's a shame, because things would be much quieter without them. However, I'm given to understand that they pay our wages or something, so I suppose it's for the best really...

Said clients tend to be running Windows (XP mostly) and IE (6 or 7). They have a section of our site where they can log in and access restricted documents and so on. Or at least, where they should be able to log in. A number of them have complained that they can't log in - the system 'just takes me back to the login page over and over again'. At least one of them can log in to but not, which is particularly irritating.

My first guess was that they'd blocked cookies somehow, but getting them to set all the cookie options I can find in Internet Options to 'allow, yes please, woohoo, go go go' doesn't seem to have made any difference. Does IE have per-site cookie-blocking, or are there just the global settings? I couldn't find any per-site stuff, which confused me a bit.

Any suggestions on other things I could/should check?

Naturally, logging in to the site works perfectly from every PC we have in the office, which is Linux/Firefox1.5, Linux/Firefox2, Linux/IE6, Windows/Firefox1.5, Windows/IE5.5, Windows/IE6, Windows/IE7, MacOSX/Firefox2 and MacOSX/Safari. It also works from [ profile] libellum's Windows machine at her place. I can't think of anything that would explain the problems our users are having other than PEBCAK, but I need to figure out which Problem Exists and how to fix it, so that I can explain it to the bit BCAK over the phone.
denny: (King of all Londinium)
My company is hiring again. There's an advert here:

For any vegetarians reading - a number of popular chocolate bars have stopped being vegetarian:

Picnics. I assume everyone is aware of the reason that I haven't organised any more picnics since the (very successful) first two. If anyone is on first-name terms with any weather deities, give them a slap. Normal service will be resumed as soon as the summer comes back from wherever it's gone and hidden.
denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
I have some time booked off work at various points this year - I thought I'd note it here in case anyone is interested.

8-11 May (4 working days) - imminent downtime requirement - I just need some rest. Unfortunately I may not get all this week off if we don't get one particular project pushed live by the end of next week, but I intend to take at least a couple of days.
19-27 July (7 working days) - Glade, and the week following it.
3-7 September (5 working days) - my birthday week.

4 days left to take - probably saving these for emergencies or end of year stuff.
denny: (Toon) my mum used to tell me.

So today, I'm having an odd problem with email at work. I track it down as far as finding out that we've run out of disk space on the email hosting service we use, and this appears to be because one user has 2000+ emails in their inbox. However, connecting to that inbox gives me half a dozen emails and an error message.

Fortunately (I thought), the email hosting company has an unofficial presence on IRC. So along I trot to ask for their advice:

Is it just me, or was this conversation less helpful than it could have been? )

Or am I just being touchy here?

I mean, if it was a free service, then fine. If I'd bothered their official support system with a problem that wasn't their fault, fine. In those cases maybe I deserve to be given the geeky superiority attitude problem you'd expect on usenet. But in the context of a paid service and an unofficial help channel, is it really necessary to be all superior at people who are having problems? If he didn't want to talk to me, he could have perfectly reasonably ignored me.

(For what it's worth, the second guy's suggestion would quite possibly have worked if I'd known how to get mutt to talk to an SSL IMAP inbox - Evolution is cautious about odd IMAP responses where pine and mutt tend to just bluff their way through.)

* They only offer IMAP using SSL and SMTP using TLS. It took me some considerable time when we first started using their service to find out that using TLS with Outlook 2003 required at least Service Pack 2 before it would work. Again, this was a technical issue with which they seemed to regard as entirely my responsibility to figure out.
denny: (King of all Londinium)
We hit DEFCON 1 at work at 4pm this afternoon, when our previously well-behaved (well, okay, but it mostly works) web application suddenly ate all the RAM and swap space on one server, locking the entire machine solid. A few emergency reboots proved that this wasn't an isolated incident, but got us no closer to finding the cause.

At 7pm one of my team headed home, leaving two of us still trying to figure out wtf was going on. At 9pm I rang the MD and told him that we couldn't find the problem, and we were going home. He pointed out rather firmly that we (or at least I) wasn't allowed to leave all of our websites offline for the entire weekend. Fair point, although it took me a while to accept it, given that I had commitments for this weekend that I really didn't want to back out of.

The MD wanted me to go home, rest, and come back in the morning, but we all know when coders are at their best... so while the other dev headed home, I settled in for a long night. At 10pm, the MD turned up at the office to keep me company, which was nice of him. He did offer to make the tea, but I got him to pay for my pizza instead :)

I just got home a few minutes ago, having finally isolated the one missing semi-colon that was causing the whole thing at around half past midnight, and restoring it to its rightful place with suitable before and after testing.

Not the most promising start to the weekend. Tomorrow I get to go to MK to try to figure out what the hell I'm doing with the huge drumkit and various other crap that's clagging up my mate's garage... something I'm really not looking forward to, but then that's exactly why I didn't want to back out of it.

denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
Today I went to the gym. Yesterday too. Bored now.

Oh, I went to work yesterday afternoon as well. It was quite nice to get on with writing a bit of code without feeling like I had to be aware of any crises that might spring up in all the other projects going on around me... might make a habit of popping into the office for a couple of hours at the weekend in future.

That said, right now I urgently need to start sorting out all the stuff from my old house in MK, which is currently filling my friend's garage in MK - he wants it shifted in the next few weeks so he can start installing a doorway into the garage wall and then painting it. Some of my friends have got so domesticated it's scary. It was very good of him to let me dump all that shit there on short notice though, so I really need to be on top of getting it back out of his way when I said I would (i.e. February/March). So that's my weekends a bit stuffed for the foreseeable.

[ profile] arachne posted this comic, which is great:

[ profile] libellum made us pancakes again last night. <3

Not really looking forward to this coming week at work... got some tight deadlines on a project for a difficult client and I can see major stress ahead. Ho hum.
denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
Just got home from my friendly Valentines evening with [ profile] arachne, who very kindly took me out to see a comedy show at a venue I'd never heard of before. Apparently the Science Museum has an over 18s bar with all kinds of interesting events running in it - well worth checking out!

We had a good evening (comedy about sex and science), followed by organic pizza at some overly trendy place nearby, and then I wandered happily homeward.

Shame about the minor irritation on my way home:

The one in which Denny gets the arse and emails someone who probably couldn't care less )

In other news, I'm very tired all the time lately... I think it's partly my seasonal hibernating instinct, but mostly the mental effort involved in being manglement at work. It's all going really well so far, all crises have been handled as well as I could hope, but it still seems to be taking far more toll on my energy levels than I'd realised it would. More (or any) early nights required, I suspect.
denny: (Aim to misbehave)
This morning I was the first person in, so I changed everybody's desktop wallpaper to this image )
denny: (Pintsize Love)
My Valentinr - denny

In other news, today I am in charge of the entire company, and will be so for the rest of the week, due to my boss's partner having their baby on the night before the admin girl went on holiday.

*hides under desk*

November 2017



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