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If you volunteer to read and later review the ARC of a story collection for your local SF club’s newsletter and, after 107 pages out of 381, you still feel that this writer is not your cup of tea in spite of all the critical acclaim of his overall oeuvre, it might be better to give the ARC back to the club and move on to something else.
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"I wanted to see stories about how Earth people feel now that the sky literally opened up. I wanted to see stories where Coulson's attitude toward superpowered folks was shown to be really rotten, and how it made them into a threat because he kept drawing the attention of the bad guys to their existence."

So I said in response to someone's post about how disappointing "Agents of SHIELD" has been. Really, when you think about it, the only people who seem to have had their lives affected by an alien invasion are with SHIELD or with HYDRA. It's all contained inside one bubble while the rest of us are off the stage and go on as if we had not been told the hard way that We Are Not Alone. Yes, for most people, it wouldn't make a difference, and *I* would still be concerned with making my mortgage's monthly payment, but there are no real indications even in any every-day conversations.
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On March 19, I told the folks in charge of replacing the servers of one of our subsystems that they were planning to install the wrong version of our job scheduler's software, then I explained which version they should use and why. Guess what they wound up doing?
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"Hack me into little pieces and throw me off the mountain! Toss my head into the sky to make the moon! Make me immortal again!"

I just finished TL Morganfield's story "The Hearts of Men", about an Aztec god who wakes up in the 19th Century's American West, and who has to decide whether to give in to the old hunger or break the old cycles.

Recommended.
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On Friday, I read M.K. Hobson's "The Ladies and the Gentlemen", a novella set after the events of her novel "The Hidden Goddess" and available only to people who contributed to her Kickstarter. Don't you wish you too had done so?
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I can accept a world where an illusionist turns out to also have real magical powers. I can accept that this same world was also attacked by an alien dictator. But. My suspension of disbelief breaks when, after that alien basically fried all of Earth's computers, the worst effects of that attack appears to be people griping having to go back to using non-digital cameras. I was intrigued by the idea of this comic-book publisher putting Mandrake, the Phantom and Flash Gordon into one combined reality, but why did they decide it was necessary to throw Earth back to a Sixties technological level? It's a shame. I liked having Mandrake's friend Lothar take on the Phantom's mantle, but I can't believe in that world.
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I knew I'd be taken to task for calling another netizen sanctimonious. So it goes. He *is* a sanctimonious blankhole, but I'll confine such language to my own little corner of the blogosphere.

connections

Apr. 6th, 2015 01:59 pm
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That was an interesting experience.

The team has been keeping the details of our job flow in a spreadsheet, with one column saying which job's completion is a requirement for that other job. I'm in charge of our latest release's job flow, and have been implementing the spreadsheet changes in our test environment, but something was bugging me. I then spent more than one hour going thru those requirements, turning them into a flowchart using pen & paper. That made it obvious that some connections were missing, and that not even the contracting agency we pay boatloads of money to had noticed it.

That sound you hear is me patting myself on the back.
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I sort of accomplished an accomplishment today. Last week, I found that one of our team's people needed for my big project had scheduled his vacation at the same time but had omitted to tell me. So I looked into rescheduling the project, and got agreement for another target date. Today I found that the group that provides data to the group that provides data to our group is reprocessing its database contents on the new date. They HAD told their users - who also are our users - about this some time ago, but the users apparently had not seen fit to tell our tech team. Thank goodness I was able to get them to reschedule their project.
sergebroom: (Jefferies Tube)
I accomplished an accomplishment at the office yesterday too.
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I am proud of myself.

The boss pinged me, all worked up about some issue she'd just found out, saying "Don't they fix the issue and then rerun it? We can't just not run it at all without telling anyone." I calmly pointed out that this was a known issue that the appropriate people had been made aware of by me last week and that they were working on it, but I asked her to clarify which issue she was referring to, in case it was something new. I refrained from explicitly saying SHE was one of those people I had informed of the situation, and from making other sarcastic comments. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go pat myself on the back.
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I accomplished an accomplishment at the office yesterday.

smug check

Mar. 19th, 2015 11:11 am
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I probably need a smug check.
Because I feel quite smug right now.

Our system is made of subsystems, each with their own servers. One of those subsystems will soon migrate to new servers. The coordinator of that subsystem (the only higherup in the team who treats me with respect) asked me to join a meeting that he and other folks were having, and they had some questions about our job scheduler, which is my area of expertise. One of them then said that they'd opened a request for the scheduler's most recent release. I pointed out that our system uses an older release, and they kind of went "crap" about the wasted effort, but at least the error was caught early enough. I then explained why we use an older release instead of the most recent one. What I didn't say publicly, but said privately to the subsystem's coordinator is that, if our team's higherups had consulted me one year ago, I could have set up a way to use the most recent release.

So.
Once again, I saved the team's collective ass.
I should casually mention that to the people who have authority over me.
No, not the donkey part.

what works

Mar. 19th, 2015 11:06 am
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That works every time.

Your higher-ups say that this bit of the system may be a problem, and you do your research, and you don't get a response even two weeks later? Write back saying that you'll assume that they do not consider this a problem after all.
sergebroom: (Draco)
"So Dee, you were telling me screaming yams don't exist."
"Because they don't."
"Says the woman with snakes for hair."

I'm now reading Seanan McGuire's "Pocket Apocalypse".
Hail!
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Some of you may remember my expressing some amusement at a work meeting where some items were referred to as parking-lot items, an expression that has apparently been around for quite some time even though I myself have been around for quite some time. Today, someone suggested to parking-lot an item. Yes, it's now a verb.

minioning

Mar. 13th, 2015 10:16 am
sergebroom: (Moloch - kaboom)
That was funny.

My coordinator is off completing the assembly of a new human who should be released in April. While that's going on, my coordinator's henchman is in charge. This morning, he asked me why I had created a request to put some of our system's processes on hold. I suggested that he read a certain email exchange that had started yesterday, which explained why I was doing what I'm doing. That satisfied his question, and he then approved my request. The reason why this is funny is that HE is the very person who yesterday had told me that we needed to put those processes on hold.

bonused

Mar. 13th, 2015 07:43 am
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Last week, I got my yearly review, and this praise from my boss: "You do a lot of tasks that people don't want to." (Insert a pic of Superman holding the Daily Planet's giant globe, or of someone pumping out the contents of a portolet.)Today, the promised bonus showed up on my paycheck.
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I was amused that my manager finally sent an email to the team's coordinators who are below her and above me reminding them that I own all responsibilities for our sysyem's job scheduler and that they should involve me in discussions of possible changes to that job flow.
sergebroom: (Superman)
I just had my yearly review. I got a 3 out of 5, which is what I expected. Officially, 3 means that I have met all their expectations and even surpassed some of them. I see it as meaning 'mediocre', but at least I am getting a small raise and a nice bonus. My favorite part was when the boss said "You do a lot of tasks that people don't want to."