Work

Find your place on the Red Planet

Today is one day before my one-year anniversary at the Mars Space Flight Facility, and also one day after I finally got something else launched that the public might have a remote interest in.

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Thoughts on telecommuting

Søren* is two weeks, three days old today. Through Betsy's doctor-mandated bed rest, and Søren's first weeks, I've relocated from my office at ASU to my new corner office:

View from the office

NASA: Making it as difficult as possible to get the data you need

It's becoming clear to me that many (perhaps not all) NASA web sites and web services are set up in such a way that it's damn near impossible to get the information you need out of them without chanting the correct incantation and sacrificing a chicken. It's a bit frustrating, and a bit like the web c. 1999.

Moving to Arizona, workin' for the gub-mint

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That's right. The two whitest people on the planet are moving to one of the hottest, sunniest regions of the country. What could possibly go wrong? I've got my SPF-80 ready, along with my UV protection suit.

Don't repeat yourself

I'm in Boston at Drupalcon 2008, in a discussion of working together and not reinventing the wheel, where the participants are from competing development shops.

They're looking for ways they can work together, to avoid duplication of effort, and reduce their overall costs.

I find it amusing (and sad) that the company I work for (on the corporate level) has the same problem, but doesn't seem to be working toward solving it.

How to: Save a crapload of money converting from print to web

We spend lots of dough each year converting material from our dead-tree editions into web-friendlier versions for our web sites. We crank out a bunch of PDFs, and send them through the ether to somewhere where the labor is cheap and the workday long, like Vietnam, Indonesia or Canada or something. Then some poor soul slices 'n dices them into jpegs and links and such, and sends 'em on back, and posts them on our site.

Pointless office fun

I found this and of course, having the sense of humor of your average (or maybe below-average) teenager, I could not resist. I even considered rigging up a script to use nmap to find all of the jetdirect servers on our network and change them all at once.

Helpful tips for email productivity

I'm amazed at how poorly people communicate in the workplace. I blame much of this on email, where a lack of direct contact is coupled with a lack of accountability, and the fact that most people can't read or write for shit anyway, to form a seething clusterfuck of lost productivity and angry coworkers. So, gentle reader, I bring you:

Chris's helpful email tips

The silence is deafening

The air handler above my office just shut off (hopefully intentionally, and not because it's broken), and it's shocking to hear the difference between the constant din of rushing air and the quiet.

Of course, I can still hear the women over in advertising clucking away about their offspring. At least I can shut my office door to fix that.

Edit: Dammit, that didn't last long. The infernal whirring is back. I'm sure it's resulted in some long-term hearing loss, brain damage, or both.

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Sweet Jesus, that hurt

On our last building project, I messed up my knees pretty bad. I crawled around on the floor for at least a week laying and grouting slate tile, and my knees still snap, crackle and pop when I walk up stairs. That was more than three years ago.

Today I think I dealt my patellar cartilage its death blow with one of these here gizmos:

One uses such a device to stretch and anchor carpet into place. One does this by smashing on the padded end with one's knees, repeatedly, whilst the teeth on the business end dig into the carpet.

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