iRude

I would like to redefine the word iRude. Right now it applies to the snobbishness exhibited by iPhone owners, to us not appled pleople. However, I think that iRude should apply to anyone that is more connected to a wireless device than the people around them IRL (In Real Life).

Tweetups are a perfect example, even though we are all there, there are people still freaking tweeting! isn’t the point to actually talk IRL with the people you “follow.” I guess we have to keep all those not in attendance, or those hiding in a basement, with all of our not so remarkable shenanigans.

You would think the most iRude person I know is my wife, who is connected to her social media and somewhat neglecting her actual blog, but no its actually my buddy Wookieluv. His iTouch gets more play than his nose has seen since the third grade. The thing is that he claims he is still connected and paying attention while he tries to beat an digital evil cheating penguin at Monopoly, or beating his score on TapDefense, or whatever the latest little iPhone app is. Obviously we cannot compete with something that gives tactile feedback, but I find it iRude to talk to the top of his head while he skee-balls his way to yet another high score.

Don’t get me wrong, I see the allure of those gadgets, so much so that when my old phone started to crap out I considered leaving verizon for ATT and joined the iRude crowd. Canceling my service with verizon proved to be a little harder since they gave me rebates and promised that the LG Versa would make coffee for me in the mornings. Turns out it was all a lie, I hated the LG Versa. I gave it a good try, but its gimmicky interface made it look like just a wannabe iPhone that did not excel at anything. Making a phone call would take sometimes 5 click! and thanks to screen “un-sensitivity” sometimes 7. So when I heard that crackberry’s were buy one get one free I mentioned it to the wife. She did not reveal that she always wanted one, but seemed interested so last night we went to check them out. Buy one, get one free and help the economy! win-win in my opinion.

This weekend talking to Nuke killed my desire for an iPhone. I have heard of the issues with the iPhone, and even though both of the issues that he has encountered were resolved, I found them to be a hassle that I just don’t want to deal with.

We both walked out of the first verizon store where I did not come out fuming with new crackberry curves. Same phone, different colors and different covers… mine is an industrial like tire thread, and hers feels like silk… kind of freaky and at the same time cool plastic material that feels soft to the touch. We went to dinner and I think we said 3 words to each other, and the only thing that brought us to reality was the server that was a super nice guy.

We both became iRude, and continued the rest of the night. I cannot get over how cool this device is. There has only been two drawbacks that I have been able to find, one is the button sensitivity of the side voice recognition button, which has since been turned off. The other one was the lack of games for it, but I am sure if I dig I will find some. The brick breaker that comes with is fun enough. However, the google, twitter and facebook apps work very well. The interface is one of the most intuitive that I have found in a long time.

I thought about still getting a iTouch to get the MP3 storage as well as the cool games available, but after the crackberry recognized all the songs I already had on the microSD card and played them on my car in full stereo sound it killed my desire.

So I guess I have now become one of the many minions of the technology age by having a device that I find more interesting than any conversation that does not happen 140 characters at a time. I am now iRude too.

Not So Serious

This week has left me with too many serious topics to talk about. I think my draft count jumped by 10. I might actually have to take some time and just write this weekend, but being the photographer for a wedding on Saturday and potentially seeing the little brother on Sunday might not be conducive to it.

I have a couple of serious posts written that I can post today but I decided to keep it on the light side. Bad think is that I don’t feel particularly funny today, and the topic that I want to be funny about I just don’t post about here.

I have already used the embarrassing pictures too, the bunny, the batman outfit, the nacho libre… and no I am not linking, you will have to find it on your own!

I also don’t know what my current audience finds funny either. 5 years ago, the mood panties were a total comedic hit, but today? My attempts at delurking people are not being successful either.

I hope no Mormons visit my site or follow my twitter stream, because magical underwear came into discussion this week. And while I have no problem with someone making fun of my rosary or my devotion to the virgin, some people don’t like to joke about their religion. I in the other hand find Dogma to be a hilarious movie and would totally have a Buddy Christ on my desk along with my Gundam.

Thinking about it, I think the only jokes that I find somewhat offensive are family jokes. Racist and stereotype jokes can be funny, but I find them somewhat lazy when it comes to comedy. Can you guys think of any type of jokes that you just don’t appreciate?

Dirty Audiologist?

For those of you that have asked I will give you an update. I saw my doctor today for my post-op and everything looked great. I am healed up and I am super excited about being cleared to swim again! Woohoo, pool here I come!

There is another post that I will be posting tonight or tomorrow about having my hearing back, and what the experience meant, but I wanted to quickly share something funny.

My surgeon has had me take audio tests before and after each operation. I had the same audiologist for the last two. She is very young and very nice. She almost looks like a high school girl, but I am getting old and it might just be my point of view. She obviously finished some kind of college.

The first time she did my test she asked me about my accent because she is also a speech therapist and has friends from South America. She knew at least that my accent was from the lower part of the continent. She said it was very similar to her friends from Chile.

She brought up the conversation again today and I thought it was nice she noticed. The audio test is interesting but long. They hook you up and make you press a button to see if you pick up on different tones. However, there is another part of the test where you repeat words the audiologist says. Even though I had always over analyzed the words, trying to figure out maybe a pattern or a group of words that belonged together, I never concentrated beyond that wondering stage.

Today I was repeating, cowboy, baseball when she said something that totally tripped me. I am sure most of you have seen American Pie when the flute girl is telling Jimbo to say her name. Yeap, that is what she sounded like when she asked me to say “IT.” I am not making this up, she did not say, “Say” pause “it,” she said “SAY IT.” 99% of the time I would have replied with a comeback but I was not ready for this… so I came back with a dumb, “I did not catch that.” This time though, she did say, “Say, it.” So I did.

I would probably have let it go and not said anything if the following word was not, “as” and even though this is my second language I totally heard another s added at the end of that one. So I obliged. It continued getting worse and this time I could not hold the chuckle back when she said, “Say, Wet!” and finally “Say, Nun.” Trust me, I did not expect to crack up at an audiology test, but I figured they have to have fun too. I did call her on it and the only thing she would admit to, even though she repeated the “SAY IT” one more time, was that I said the as with an extra s and she hoped I did not think she was swearing at me. We both laughed and were glad that my right ear is almost at 100% now, and my left is probably in the high 80s.

The Orangutan Architect

One of my most successful articles was the IT Animal Kingdom piece I wrote a couple of years ago. It was picked up by both BlogCritics and Internet Duct Tape. I wrote the article based on many of my past experiences in the IT world and even though I made fun of the Orangutan Architect, I am starting to understand him that character a little more.

In that article I defined this animal as the ones that…

create the most complex systems for simple solutions. If you have ever had a conversation with someone that talks in circles, never getting to a point, you might have encountered an Orangutan. Like their conversational skills their code is extremely hard to follow and it resembles a bowl of spaghetti. Somehow they are also backed by the predators, I believe because of their uncanny capability to confuse.

If you had to study its DNA, it would have come from two of the great software architects I have worked with in the past. The tone of the article only captured the funny and satirical side of what an architect is, however it did not talk about their brilliance when it came to being able to see systems as a fully integrated machine where they were aware of the skeleton and many other pieces inside of it. Now that I have 10+ years of experience in the world of IT I find myself becoming more and more like they were.

When talking about software development there are many schools of thinking. Some of them are almost like religions and you can encounter people that blindly follow a methodology even it if leads them into dead ends. One of the most dangerous is how configurable and flexible a software has to be. Most architects that I have met love making something so generic that we can use it for any widget. I still think this is the wrong approach for most solutionas and adhere myself to the mentality that it has to solve the problem first and then become generic, not build something generic that also solves the problem. Neither approach is wrong all together; finding the happy medium is what good designers ultimately have to do. It also varies greatly between internal IT shops and people that write software to be packaged. The closer the IT shop is to supporting the software and have ownership of it, the less generic you the software tends to be.

Now we get to the part where I am becoming more like the orangutan, and it has some to do with time management. Every architect I have met does not have time to explain details to others and they want to be trusted fully by everyone in the team. I personally lean more towards the business analysis side where I want to be close to the problem that is at hand and providing the right solution. Some of it can be attributed to the many small environments that I have worked inside where I saw my user all the time. That made me a better analyst, but it also tends to make me more reactive. The right thing to do is to compromise between talking and doing, and I have slowly come to realize that if you talk too much, meet too much, plan too much, you end up not doing a lot.

Navigating the sea of users trying to please them as well as the decision makers is quite a task. I have learned from the architects that being good at it is not just about being able to describe the big picture, but at the same time understand all the details that make it up. That skill develops being involved in various projects and being able to see things coming that others never expect. It is great to know methodologies and know how structures get built on top of solid frameworks, but the architect should plan for the pitfalls that others don’t see. It is not a perfect science, but it is something good architects do well.

After writing the article two years ago I thought about what it really meant. In some ways I was trying to see what traits I did not want fall pray of as my career started to get to the next level. Business Analysis and Software Architecture are both things that I have been doing for some years now, but it is recently that I feel confident that I can play in both of those realms with some authority. The key to all of it is not only experience, but realizing that you truly need a full zoo to really run a successful IT shop.

Dumb Moment

We have all had dumb moments, I have plenty of clumsy moments, definitely got that gene from one of my aunts. Martial Arts did help my reflexes quite a bit, but overall if a glass is sitting too close to the edge it is only a matter of time before it goes down. Heck just Friday I spilled about half of my chili on my lap when I was over at Spyder’s but I managed to get it only on my pants and not spill it all over the couch.

I have been taking the CSV off brand of Ariborne which is basically a vitamin C table that also has other stuff to help boost your immune system. I am trying not to get sick before or after my next surgery which should be happening some time in December if all goes well.

I have taken alka-seltzer all my life, it works and it does not taste horrible to me. It does not taste good either, but it helps with everything for hangovers to bad tacos or too many good tacos for that matter. So I can say that I have experience with effervescent medicine.

I have been taking this airbone thing at my Mom’s request for a little bit over a week and it does seem to work well. No problems so far, but then this week I had a dumb moment.

I was walking around our place picking up stuff and turning lights off before going upstairs. I poured a glass of water and dropped the tablet. Went to the living room and did a couple of things then came right back to the kitchen. Here was my mistake.

All the other times I had watched the airborn do its thing, I recognize the color of the water and saw it dissolve. There is always a little left but nothing that cannot be dealt with… but living it alone was a bad idea.

I came back and saw what to me looked like all liquid dissolved airborne. I did not see that in the bottom almost the full table had not dissipated completely. Mind you this thing is about the size of a quarter. So I chug this thing full force, and when i realized that it was still almost intact it was too late, it had already lodged on my throat.

I tried though about spitting it back out, and that is what I should have done. The force of the liquid would have surely dislodged it and I would just have spit it back out… so here my dumb moment continues. I think well, give it more water it will dissolve.

Now it starting to hurt, and even though I am not choking or panicking yet I am getting close to it.

Glass full of water and no change on it, just discomfort, so what do I do… more water… and then some more. Thankfully by the third glass full of water it dissolved enough to go down my throat and it did not hurt, but yea… I am feeling pretty dumb right about now. I did not even tell Bea about it, I am sure I will hear about it as soon as she reads this.

So lets hear them, or rather read them, share one of your dumb moments with us!

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