Author Archives: Dennis

Work
So, today I’ll finish my first project at this company, with only a week and a half over the deadline, and present the code to the director of the company, who is in charge of all quality assurance. I’ll present the result to the clients in a couple of days.

Start Rant
Software development is becoming more and more fun for me. I am getting to more and more proficient in structured thinking and streamlining my own code. The thing that bothers me greatly is working with other people’s code, because for some reason it never really fits in my view of how things should’ve been done.

When I first started working at the company I work at now, I was confronted with a fact; I will work, and expand upon other people’s code. The program I work on is 9 years old. Nine! That’s practically ancient in terms of software solutions. Since it’s inception, it has been added and expanded upon, and – due to lack of time – the foundation hasn’t been updated often enough.

The spawning of methods, procedures, functions, classes and just rogue code is enormous, and my minimalistic side is just screaming to halt development for a year and simply streamline the code that we already have, structuring the foundation, expanding the foundation, and getting rid of this melon-headed program. It’s so top heavy due to ‘duct-tape’ development that a lot of the code just feels…wobbly. Like it might collapse at any moment.

On one hand, I’m lucky, since my director, and prime developer, agrees with me. But on the other hand, it’s just not economically viable to either start over and redo some, if not all, of this program in a .NET environment. Jesus, this program could be so much more stable if we moved the core computing from C++ to C# and just went over to Sql Server instead of also supporting a fucking FoxPro database!!!

I will need to start thinking of some ideas in order to utilise other environments than FoxPro, which is what I use mainly now. It’s ass. It’s a complete load of wank. Sadly, it’s fast, and easy to use, and the two other developers on the team beside the director don’t seem to want to change to a more stable environment.

What I wouldn’t give to start this program in a .NET environment.
End Rant

Relationships
Anyway, apart from that things are going really well. Or, at least, things are picking up from a couple of weeks ago where I definitely hit rock bottom with Moulsari. Those were some intensely rough weeks in which I took my frustrations out on those around me. So, Eva, Sam, Dennis, Richard, Wai, Mom, Dad, whoever…I apologise.

I guess it’s only natural if you want to achieve what Mouls and I are trying to achieve. To stay focussed on eachother, and give eachother the impression that it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be together is hard. I’m always reminded by what Thorn said some time ago on Bulldrek: A relationship is hard work. And I can only assume that when you’re in a long distance relationship, and you have to wait another year and a half to even think about being together, and only sporadically seeing eachother in the flesh in the mean time, it’ll be even harder.

Luckily, I have some good examples of how it can work. Marco en Clarissa, Eva and Earl, Adam and Sam…all of them are, or were in the same boat as I am. If they can do it, so can we. It requires some determination and dedication – which, I have to admit, sometimes I lack because of my laid back stance towards this relationship. I am in no rush, since it will be a year and a half still. And I feel no need to rush things, or pretend like this is a normal relationship, in which you talk to eachother everyday, because it isn’t a normal relationship, in which you talk everyday.

Anyway, needless to say, when you’re in a relationship closeness is important, even if it’s simulated closeness. And when one, or the other is going through a rough patch in their lives, you are supposed to be there, and that means sacrifices. I have to learn that.

Ex-Girlfriends
For some reason, ex-girlfriends are playing a big role in my life. Everyone who knows me knows that I’ve got a really good relationship with Eva. She’s a really good, valued friend, something that is rather rare, nowadays. When people break up they are much rather angry at their ex-partner than sad at the loss of their friend. I understand that; anger is a much easier emotion to deal with than sadness.

A couple of weeks ago, I bumped into Kim, the girlfriend I had before Eva. I hadn’t seen her in 8 years, and one day, she just walked into my Kung Fu school. It has been really good to see her again. She’s grown, and so have I, and it’s fun to see what has become of someone you shared intimacy with for so long. We’ve been out to dinner, out to drinks – and she has frequently brought an old class-mate of mine with her, whom I hadn’t talked to in 8 years either. It’s been really cool seeing him, too – and we’ve just been really friendly again. She’s so unlike me, and it’s fun to have someone around that has a different perspective than most other friends.

Incompetence
Dealing with another’s incompetence on a daily basis is really frustrating. Really, really frustrating. *frust* Damn, just thinking about it is sucking all my will to live. Perhaps I’ll bitch about that later.

Job: Week 10

Another small update about my job situation: I survived my probationary period. Hurrah!

So far, everything is going wonderful, and I’m getting quite a bit of satisfaction, as well as education out of the deal. I’m coding like there’s no tomorrow, and even though the coding environment is not the best, or most widely accepted in the world, it’s still doing my skills a lot of good.

So far, people are very happy with the work I’m doing, and even happier with the input I’m providing them. Most of my colleagues aren’t very knowledgable about the Internet, and all it’s possibilities. And while I’m far from an expert on the subject, I have done more web-developing than any of them put together, and I’m an expert, from a user-point of view. I’ve been living, and breathing the Internet for the last 8 or 9 years or so.

The last week I’ve been having some concentration difficulties. Old fashioned concentration difficulties, like the ones I was having at my former employer, and all throughout my unemployment. I have come to realise that I have trouble concentrating when I’m really not happy, but that’s not entirely the case – “not entirely,” but certainly not “entirely not.” The problem is that I’ve been working on this one project since I started working here, and though the end is almost upon me, it’s still wearing me down. I really can’t work on projects, or on things for very long, without a break, something to distract me, something that allows me to take a step back.

Anyway, I’m rambling. This was week 10.

The Second Rule of Thermodynamics

I have never been someone with a lot of friends, by choice rather than by necessity. I use the term “friend” far less easily than most people, so when I talk about my friends, I am talking about five or so people. The second tier I have some trouble giving a name; they’re all people that I’m very fond of, and I can count on to help me out when I’m in a jam…but I don’t feel comfortable enough to tax these “friendships” too much. That will probably change in a while, though.

I suppose the difference between first tier friends and second tier friends is a matter of time. Currently, I count Wai, Marco and Eva amongst my first tier friends. I count Richard, Dennis and Samantha amongst my second tier friends. And I don’t want to give people of exceptional importance a place in this structure; my parents, my girlfriend, etc.

Anyway, I was just sitting here, looking forward to a nice weekend, and I just realised that I wish I had more time to hang out with my friends. They make me so happy, they’re such good, trusted people.

According to the Second Rule of Thermodynamics, it’s only a matter of time before entropy fucks things up in a system. I feel that this is true for friends and friendships as well. And that’s so unfortunate, so saddening.

Well, at least tonight I get to spend time with one of my friends.

Sunglasses

Everyone who knows me just a bit knows that I have notoriously light-sensitive eyes – though I have to admit that I’m getting more and more used to the light-induced headaches. I got these really cool sunglasses from a friend of mine called Josh. A pair of “DV8” sunglasses. They were a bit surfer-boy, but they kinda looked good on me.

I was very happy with these because I have a head that is shaped like a punching bag, and I have, like, the least favourable shape for sunglasses. All my life I have been looking for sunglasses that look reasonable on me. And to Eva’s great dismay I’ve hardly ever been able to find any. So, when I broke it almost exactly a year later, I was terribly upset. However…Josh was with me at the time – which is remarkable since he lives an ocean away – and he galantly offered me his other, similar though not identical pair of “DV8” sunglasses. Yay for me.

Now, I crashed my car. It had to be repaired. I always keep sunglasses in my car. I got my car back. I’m really happy. I can’t find my sunglasses.

…!?

So I called both the garages that my car has been at for the repairs. One of which says that they usually take stuff out of the car when it’s kept in their parking lot. That way nobody has a reason to break in. Good thinking. However, the guy who usually does that is on vacation. More days until I can get closure on this.

The Power of Smells

Yesterday, as I was walking from the trainstation to my house – a trip of about three minutes – I walked past a chinese restaurant opposite of the station. This restaurant has probably been the largest and most hallmark restaurant in the area I live in for the past thirty years or so. Until recently it was owned and exploited by the parents of a guy who used to be one of my closest friends.

And incidentally, it’s a restaurant that I, and many of my friends, have worked at from the time where we could pick up a towel or a broom.

As I walked past the restaurant, I caught a scent of charred meat, the meat that “Uncle” – a cook at the restaurant for the past 20 years or so – used to relinguish to us when, dressed as comboys and indians, we came to stick him up. I was nine or maybe ten years old at the time, and it was a time where everything was simple.

Things became very complicated in my life shortly after that, and though it stabalised at times, it really hasn’t become more pleasant. I feel like I’m in a state of limbo, where there are so many loose ends that need to be tied up. Loose ends that will take a lot of time to tie up. At the moment I see many of my friends making plans to move away, without showing too much concern about those they leave behind, and my instinctual reaction to that is to claim immediate, emotional bankruptcy and cut them out of my life; better to get the pain or rejection over with.

Yes, I know that’s not very healthy.

My car has been repaired, and as soon as I’ve paid them the ungodly amount of money – which will add to the already outstanding debt I’m paying off – I can pick it up. I suppose that’s good, though the financial consequences won’t be an easy burden to carry. I’ll manage, though.

My girlfriend lives half a world away, and that won’t change until she’s done with her education. 18 months of college to go, and perhaps a year or two of internships that, most likely, won’t be anywhere close to where I am. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I had some money to squander, to hop up and down to New York, you know? The thing is, she has – on various occassions – came to a point where she needed to see me, and where not seeing eachother would mean a bust relationship. I suppose I can’t blame her, but she knew what she was getting into when we decided to try this out. It’s proving to be harder on her than it is on me. Can she last for another two years? Should I stiffle my natural reaction to cut her from my life for lack of tenacity? No, of course not…but I can’t give her what she wants until I’ve paid off a large chunk of my debt, and I don’t want her to give up before I can give her what she wants.

Which of course raises another question; how big is my responsibility in all of this? Shouldn’t she bear some of the burden? Yes, I think she should, but it’s not realistic since she’s not allowed to work in the United States on her student visa, and the first money she can, and does make goes to lighten the burden on her parents, which I find completely commendable.

At least I have a job that I’m enjoying.