Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

Good things come to those who wait tables.

Haste makes waste. Donuts make waist.

Honesty is the best policy, but the premiums are unaffordable.

If we were meant to fly, we'd have wings. If we were meant to be too fat to fly, we'd have wings with ranch sauce.


Epiblog: The Rest of the Story

No jokes today; just a quick and completely self-serving note about a story I wrote a few weeks ago (The Day of Rest). I decided that it was more of a standalone 'story' than my typical pieces, so I wanted to try to publish it somewhere in addition to my blog. It turns out that writing for my blog and publishing books has taught me zilch about publishing stories. Where to send it? Who publishes humor? Online or print? Do I have to use Comic Sans font?

In the end, like we do for all of life's many mysteries, I searched the web for answers. My search came up with humorpress.com. They have a humor story contest every couple of months. I'd never heard of them before, but they had the words 'humor' and 'story' in the contest title, so it looked perfect.

I just got word yesterday that my little story won 1st Prize for February/March. Here's the ribbon to prove it:

Or if you need more proof, check it out on the winners' site on humorpress.com. You'll recognize my story on that page by the part that has my name on it. Unless there's someone else with my name, which would be even more bizarre than my winning this contest.


When I am King: What's the Worst that Could Happen?

When I am King...

Doctors will predict the worst possible outcome for their patients.

Whenever I go to my doctor, I try to envision the worst-case scenario for my latest injury. For a neck issue, I went with paralysis. For my shoulder, I opted for amputation. And I make a habit of telling my doctor that I’ll see her the next time my body falls apart, unless I’m dead.

My doctor seems to find these predictions alarming and rushes to assure me that the surgeon is not going to amputate, or that my cold is not lethal. But I find it comforting to know the worst that can happen and to verbalize it. Sure, I probably just have a sore throat - but what if it's an early indicator of Bubonic Plague? Or what if that slight headache really is a brain tumor?

The optimist would say that you should look on the bright side. See the positive aspects of any situation and hope for the best. I do consider myself an optimist. To me, the glass is always half full. But I wouldn't drink it because it could be laced with cyanide.

My method of hoping for the best is to realistically consider the worst. Then things can only get better from there. And if things are as bad as I predict, I have the satisfaction of being right, which always feels good.

For example, maybe amputation is an extreme outcome for a sore shoulder. But what if the injury takes a long time to heal? Or what if it requires surgery, which can have risks and complications? These would be unfortunate to one simply hoping for the best. But in my world, they’re not so bad compared to hauling out the bone saw and hacking off the limb.

When I am King, doctors will clearly outline the bleakest possibilities for patients. For example, your doctor might say, “You appear to have a cough, Mr. Jones. This may just be the cold that is going around, but it could also be the beginning stages of any number of terminal diseases. You should put your affairs in order just in case. See you next time, unless you’re dead.”

Sure, these consultations might be a bit of a shock at first. But imagine, after each illness recedes, how wonderful you’ll feel just to be alive. Until the last one, of course. Your doctor will eventually be right about the worst case scenario, which will give them that satisfying "I told you so" feeling. That'll be nice for them.


Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

Love is blind. This explains why it feels like it keeps whacking you with its cane.

Misery loves company. Especially this one company I used to work for.

Nature abhors a vacuum. So does my house.


Things I Believe: Thoughts for Friday

Time wounds all heels.

Forewarned is forearmed, but oblivious is elbowed in the gut.

If you can't beat them, join them to a chair with duct tape. Then beat them.

Money is the root of all evil. So money does grow on trees; you just have to dig for it.


Au Pair Programming

In a former life, I wrote a piece called Crystal Methodology about several important programming methodologies. Time has passed and new practices have risen from the primordial programming soup. I'll discuss one of these newcomers today:

Au Pair Programming

Based on the popular Pair Programming technique, where two programmers work together, au pair programming also centers around a paired collaboration.

In the classic Pair Programming approach, both programmers assume different roles, with one writing the code (the Driver) and the other reviewing (the Observer or Navigator). In Au Pair Programming, there is only one person responsible for the actual engineering work (the Programmer). The other member of the team (the Au Pair) facilitates the work by taking on other activities that the Programmer has no time for, such as keeping the work area clean, fetching coffee, and taking care of the children (these may be actual children or, in the case of a management au pair, the employee minions of the manager). This even division of labor allows the Programmer to focus solely on the task at hand, enabling excellent productivity since they do not have to worry about superfluous tasks they don't enjoy anyway, like human interaction and showering.

The Au Pair may occasionally chime in with ideas of their own, in which case they are referred to as the Backseat Driver. These ideas are generally ignored and dismissed as the Programmer takes on their other role of the Jerk.

Ideal pairings are still being worked out in this new approach. Some Au Pairs have been French schoolgirls, although more successful pairings have used interns.