Cartoon: NP

Designers and developers don't really speak the same language.

(For the non CS geeks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NP-hard).


Cartoon: Earthquake Preparedness

This is pretty much what it was like yesterday at 3:30 in the morning in my house.


Rounding Factor

Light and fluffy,
Mostly round,
Worth its weight,
Pound for pound;
Donuts are the
Best I’ve found
For eating on a Friday.

It’s not as though
They're fancy food
Or subtle; donuts
Ain't subdued.
Some might, in fact,
Just find them crude.
They’re gourmet food made my way.

They’re shaped like some
Majestic crown
Then deeply fried
To golden brown,
Boiled in lard
Until they’re drowned,
Then dried upon a rack.

Covered with a
Sugar glaze
Or sprinkled with
A powdery haze,
Fill with goop
In many ways:
A torus heart attack.


Cartoon: Conference Presentations

Now that a major developer conference is over, I like to reflect on what went into it, how well it went, and what it was like to actually prepare for it.

The easiest was for me to explain it would be in cartoon form. There is always an awkward disconnect between the organizers of the conference who, by the very nature of who they are and what they do for a living, expect everyone to be very organized about their presentations, and the engineers speaking at the conference. The engineers, because of what they do for a living (write code, ship products) tend to, er, not have slides and presentations at the top of their priority list, so there tends to be a bit of conflict leading up to the conference. Something like this:


Today I am Older

Today I am older
And closer to death.
I can feel the clock ticking
With every breath.

(I can’t find a third word
To rhyme with death)
It was my birthday today.

It’s not that I’m sad about
Aging. In fact,
The alternative sucks,
To be quite exact.

So I’ll take getting older
Over getting whacked;
Living’s better than not any day.


When I am King: Driver's Seat

When I am King...

Dating couples will take each other for a test drive.

When you're auditioning future mates, it's important to know how things will pan out in the long run. There are obvious elements to consider such as food preferences, body hygiene, and likelihood that they'd be a serial-killer. But by far the most important factor in relationships is how compatible you will be in the cars that you will share.

Will they shift the seat way up and tilt it so far forward that they can drive with their chest? Will they lean it back so far that they could take a nap in traffic? Will they boost the height and make you scrape your head when you try to cram yourself into the car?

None of these things seat settings are permanent, obviously; that's why they make them adjustable. But all of them take time to readjust every time you get into the car.

Every. Single. Time.

Take just one of those times and multiply it by several times a day for the length of a marriage. Suddenly a minor annoyance that's fixed in a minute became a needless waste of hours or days per year. Think about the various hobbies that you never have time for, or the novel that you never get around to starting because you don't have the time in your life; this is where that time went. Your partner stole that time by their relentless insistence that your car seat fit their body.

According to the Bureau of Tedious and Made-up Statistics (BTMS), most marriages last far less than the lease on your car. So maybe you're thinking that this doesn't seem too terrible, and that they're really cute. But cuteness erodes like the skyline view from your condo that got obscured by the new office block across the street. And the hassle of repositioning your car seat never gets easier. I would argue that, in fact, most marriages implode early due to this one single painful dynamic; none of us wants to waste our time on our comfort level, we just want it the way we always had it, before that other person came into our lives and just messed everything up.

So do yourself a favor: put your partner in the driver's seat and see what they do there. And if they change things around, leave them there.