Clients galore!


Mike came into the office today, warning Doyle and I we may have lost a client. All three of us were working full tilt on the emergency, get this six week project done in two weeks project, and none of us had worked on the small tweaks the first client needed done.

Just after saying this, Mike turned away, and started working on yet another third project for a different client than the first two just mentioned.

Doyle and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, thought, "eh," and went back to finishing up that two week project.

I'm not sure what else we were supposed to do.

Update: Apparently, Mike is hurt and angry at this post, feeling I left out critical facts about this event. Fortunately, this is my blog and I can write whatever the hell I want. Hell, I can even mother fucking thrice damned curse on this blog if I fucking want to.

That's the beauty of having my own site.

So, he fucking wanted me to say that he fucking received an EMERGENCY super dooper REALLY IMPORTANT email from the client whose project he went to work on.

So, there. The rest of the fucking facts.

When I get lunch


Mike: "That was easy," referring to my heading out of the office to pick up lunch for the three of us.

Me: "Of course it was easy! You just sat on your ass the whole time!"

Nothing like a dose of reality on the little comments.

Mike's scary moment

Date:     Fri, 16 Mar 2007 05:16:43 -0700
From:     Mike Gull
To:       Kitt Hodsden
Subject:  One of those scary moments...

Do a man on crontab.
Notice the -r option.
Notice how close the "e" key is to the "r" key.
And realize how pissed Mike is that there's no confirm on this  

Fortunately, still had a -l on my screen.

Look what they get


They move away from me, and look what they get:


Of course, having the car move from the top of the driveway to the bottom of the driveway overnight, while in park, probably wasn't what they were expecting.

Santa loves us


Santa was good to us today. He brought me a fabulous new printer, which works straight out of the box with my Apple laptop, via Kris. Also via Kris came a set of whisky cordials and some much needed wooden spoons for cooking, my previous ones having fallen victim to Annies over-aggressive "licking" that turned to "consuming" of the actual spoons.

Santa especially loved Kris, with a slew of gifties ranging from the Baseball Forecaster (guaranteed to help with the software he's developed for team drafting in the fantasy leagues he plays in) to a coffee grinder (from his Seekrit Santa, my sister-in-law) that is sure to enable that coffee addiction.

The biggest surprise of the morning, however, was the amazing gifts from the Gulls. It was pretty much the only gift I hadn't figured out before opening besides Heather's, and the only one I didn't know about.

Mike called in the morning to ask if Santa was good to us (he was). We chatted for a bit, and I asked how Santa was to the girls. He said they were good this year, so Santa was good back, but, unfortunately, he gave a gift that needed assembling. Tragically, their tools were buried somewhere in the boxes in the garage, could we help them out?

My initial thought was, um, uh, well, you've seen my tools, so, uh, I hope all you need is a screwdriver, and a flathead at that. Anything else, and you'll have one sad kid shortly.

Out loud, however, I was, sure, let me see what I have, and wandered over to the toolchest. Here I have this amazingly nice toolchest, and all my crappy tools that I've piecemealed together over the years, buying what I need at the time, but never big sets all at once.

In front of the toolchest on Christmas morning was a new full set of metric and standard sockets. Wow, this was so cool! My enthusiastic screaming was something along my most joyous cursing. When I returned to the phone to thank Mike, he asked if I had actually opened the toolchest. I hadn't, so I put the phone down to see what else there was.



Inside was the most awesomest, complete set of tools! The toolchest looked like my dad's set, I had all these really cool, totally awesome, amazing tools. WHoo!

My happy curing continued. I'm sure Mike turned off the speaker phone after the first five seconds of the minute long, "Oh My GOD! LOOK AT THIS! AND THIS! AND HOLY SH*T THIS! WOW!"

Mike later told me he and Liza snuck into the house yesterday when we were out buying souffle ramekins for John and Heidi. In and out in ten minutes, and Santa Gull was very good to us. Liza was thrilled to be his little accomplice.

Cookies at the Gulls


Kris and I went up to Mike and Kate's yesterday evening to make cookies with Liza. Kate invited a fairly big group of people (mostly all from work) to visit, I just hadn't realized how big of a group until we arrived there: everyone was tall. And I mean tall. Kate, Kris and I were the shortest adults there (exaggerating for effect, there were two other women shorter than I am at the party, but there were also five women taller, and all the men were definitely taller, it was like a giants' party, and we were there as midget entertainment).

Kris hadn't been to the Gulls' new house. After the drive up, I think he'll be even less likely to head up very often. Fortunately, they'll be coming down the mountain on a regular basis for work. We went up in Kris' car, and managed to drop his MPG down about five MPG on the way up. The drive took forty minutes, which may limit our visits, and definitely destroys any chance of our moving to the boonies before we're independently wealthy.

After a few minutes at the Gulls' house, it became very obvious that the trip up wasn't going to be a cookie baking event as I was expecting (i.e. similar to the Christmas cookie baking Mom and I would have with the Gudis twins). Liza was playing with a neighbor, who was maybe 13 years old (and, in the tall theme, nearly as tall as I), and much more interesting than a thirty-something ex-neighbor. The two of them dashed around the house, rolled cookies out, played in the loft, all the things two young girls do.

After an hour, I gave up and realized that, no, I wasn't going to have any cookie baking session with Liza, that their move to their fantastic new house essentially ended the ease and comfort of having good friends as neighbors.

I've been a bit upset recently at Mike for moving away. Less so in the last two weeks, but tonight just reminded me of it again. I know that the move is a great move for the family, more room, different lifestyle, and I'm happy for them. But in the way I know is selfish, I miss them a lot. Just as I still miss Ben and Lisa a lot. Life happens, people move, groups of friends change.

I guess I'm more frustrated that everyone around me seems to be moving on to the next phase of their lives and I'm stuck at a perpetual 29.

As insane as...


Mike: "Rarely do I meet someone as insane as Kitt."

Kitt: "What are you talking about? I'm perfectly sane."


Kitt: "In my own world."

Snap! = bitch


I snapped at Mike today.

I snapped at him, and I'm angry with myself for having done so. One of several of my goals/tasks/areas of improvement upon returning from vacation (or, maybe I should say, "vacation") has been to remain calm at work, and in general. I know that Mike and Doyle know my buttons and can easily push them, sending me into a fury of anger - awareness of this should help me avoid the fury, but hasn't quite so far.

And it's annoying me. Not that I should expect miracles, instant personality fixes, just decide to change and done. If it were that easy, I'd be perfect and life would be boring.

But at least I wouldn't be snapping at Mike.

Mike was talking about his parent-teacher conference he and Kate went to this morning. The previous one had high marks for Liza, with a subnote that she can be bossy at times. I asked for an update on that "blemish" in Liza's A+ record, and tossed an empty Gatorade bottle in the side trash next to our desks.

Mike immediately stopped talking about Liza and her bossy ways, to boss me, ordering me to, "Throw that away in the recycling!"

Now, there are several things wrong with this order, including,

  1. I'm the one that moves the trash from that trash can to the big one in the other room, and cleans out the recycling from the little can to the big can. If I do it now, or I do it in two days matters little to me. I don't recall when I last saw Mike empty that trash can.
  2. The cleaners will separate out the trash on the twice a month when they clean the office. If they see the recycling, they'll pull it out and put it in the proper place.
  3. The City of Sunnyvale will separate the recycling from the trash, and recycle what they can. Sure, it's easier for the city residents to each separate out the known recycling, but the job is still done before items end up in the landfill

When I refused to remove the empty bottle from the trashcan, knowing full well I'll be the one moving the trash anyway, and can remove it then, Mike and Doyle started cajoling, annoying and picking on me. "Oh, do you hate the environment?" "Master Gardener but environmental hater," and "Not such a big environmentalist afterall, are we?"

Images of Mike's coffee-a-day paper cups danced in my head. I immediately began calculating the number of miles each of us drives daily. I recalled full trash cans overflowing in front of his house, and the once a month trash cans we'd put out.

I managed all of maybe two minutes of this before I let loose a fury of, "Look at the amount of trash your household has produced and compare it to the amount of trash my house has produced and you'll see which of the two of us has a greater environmental impact. THEN you can call me a hater, because I assure you even with that bottle in the trash, my footprint is significantly less than yours."

Mike and Doyle looked at each other. Clearly I'm not able to handle this harrassment. I thought I was doing well, accepting ribbing from friends and teasing from teammates. That I snapped indicates that no, I'm still sensitive to it.

And it annoys me.

I clearly need a thicker hide. Just not sure where to get one...

Oh, she does that all the time


Kris was working late tonight, so I wandered over to Mike's for pizza. We watched a tivo'd version of Hustle that he had, ate pizza and lounged around with Mike and Maeryn. During most of the show, Maeryn was holding onto the edge of the couch and walking back and forth along it, demonstrating she knew how to walk, she just chose not to demonstrate such talents to the giants known as not-Mom.

At one point, she was at the end of the couch where Mike's feet were. She reached up, grabbed his foot, and shoved one of his big toes into her mouth.

I exclaimed, "Ewwww! She has your toe in her mouth!"

Mike looked down, and casually commented, "Yeah, she does that someti... YEH-OWWWWWW!"

Uh huh. She does that sometimes, eh? Does she always chomp down, too?



Mike's back! Mike's back! Oh, praise whatever deity you think may exist, Mike's back!

And now that he's back, changes are going to be made!

All of them good.

I somehow convinced him that daily walks to discuss daily progresses are a good thing. So, we discussed the current business status while running through the Sunnyvale parking lot maze at Evelyn, just north of Murphy. Mike looked at the progress of the maze, and skipped over lines, walking to the center, then back out, following the maze with his eyes. I, on the other hand, ran along the entire maze, giggling the whole time.

Mike, once again, had some brilliant insights. He commented that I always seem to have a stone around my neck, that I'm weighed down by some project that prevents me from doing the work I want to be doing. It frustrates me, it frustrates Mike, and it makes Doyle just laugh at the both of us.

He made the comment, and I had to wonder if I do this on purpose. I've been in the same position for two years now. Is it a defense mechanism? If I never work on my projects, they can't fail, right? What a horrible, horrible thought: that a fear of failing stops me from trying.

We talked and walked and talked and walked, and decided that half of our hours will be internal project hours. That's forty hours a week working on our own projects, 160 hours a month. We also agreed to increase our hourly rates so that we don't have as much work, giving us the time to work on our projects. Both of these are suggestions Wook suggested, and Mike whole-hearted agreed with them, so I'm happy and excited about the changes.

This time, the changes are going to stick. I'm beyond determined about this. Things have to change, and this feels like the right way to go.