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Pack it in, pack it out, and leave no trace unless it’s LWOP

Another day, another controversy on the internet. This time it’s North Face being two-faced and astroturfing Wikipedia.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and more cynical, or that I have less patience for incompetence and organizations acting in bad faith (ahem current U.S. politics), but this pisses me off and I told North Face as much.

Things have been getting under my skin more often lately. Maybe I need a vacation – I’ve been working overtime the past few months so I haven’t been able to relax and enjoy things. Or maybe the internet is full of stupid people who do stupid things that rile me up. Or both! It could very easily be both.

During the government shutdown I had to use up my paid time off and took 80 hours of leave without pay. Luckily a few months back my company was able to work out a deal with our contract so that we could earn back our paid time off (work 1 hour overtime = earn back 1 hour of PTO). At least I enjoy my work, and I’m finding trainings I can do when there’s not much extra work that needs doing, so working overtime isn’t so bad.

I figured that there probably wasn’t going to be anything to be done about my leave without pay so I’d just end up one full paycheck short this year, but as I was wrapping up my overtime for my PTO I got an email from payroll advising me that I could do overtime to earn back my leave without pay as well. Soon after, we were advised that we had until the end of June to finish earning back any time or pay that we wanted to recoup.

I worked out a schedule and found if I worked 8 extra hours per week I’d wrap up by the end of June, but I knew there would be at least one weekend where I’d be working extra no matter what to support our our system release. I also wanted to finish working overtime sooner rather than later so I’ve been working as much as I can as often as I can. I think last week I worked 66 hours in total, so, 26 hours of overtime last week alone; as of now I have 30 hours left to work of the original 80 hours of overtime.

But there’s also so many of my own things I want to do that I’ve effectively put off until the end of next month just so I can hurry up and finish my overtime work. No vegging out on the couch, no tinkering with my own software projects, no vacations. And while I could have done some of those on the weekends, my weekends during this time have been fun but also busy. There hasn’t been too much downtime in general these past few months.

Once this overtime work wraps up it’s going to feel weird having my work-life balance tip away from “work” and back towards “life”. I bet I’m not going to know what to do with myself, at least for a bit, but it’s going to be nice not having my schedule feel so full all time time.

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The internet is insufferable

People who get on their high horse and go off about something they know nothing about are the worst.

Why yes, I’m talking about the people complaining about Panic, the Playdate, and Panic’s handling of the Playdate trademark. How’d you guess?

Do I know everything about the situation? Am I a trademark lawyer? Have I read the article in Edge magazine yet? No, no, and not yet.

But I think what really gets me are the people who complain about Panic being a VC-funded company (I don’t think they are? in fact, I’m pretty sure they aren’t), that “Playdate” is a terrible name for a single-player console (you get a new game delivered each week for 12 weeks! in that sense it’s a perfect name!), that Panic is a mean capitalist tech bro company (I’ve used their software for 20 years and, except for “company”, never would have thought to call them any of those) that used the Playdate conference’s timing to force Playdate-the-conference out of the spotlight (I think that’s more Edge magazine’s fault than Panic’s).

As for people saying it shouldn’t have been named Playdate, it’s too generic a term for a video game system, well, what about the Switch? Isn’t that system’s name generic as well?

I can understand why Panic sent an email to Playdate-the-conference letting them know about Playdate-the-game, but can’t understand people upset about Panic trying to do the right thing and work with the conference so it wouldn’t become overshadowed by this new game console. And as for people asking “why didn’t they just rename the console when they learned about Playdate-the-conference?”, everything I’ve seen has the console named and trademarked before they found out the other existed. And how many “big” game companies would even bother to try to look out for others and not just send a cease-and-desist? No good deed goes unpunished, I guess! 😛

I doubt that Panic in general or Cabel specifically would want me to feel like it was my duty to stick up for them, especially when they readily admitted that they could have handled the situation better, but seeing people’s reactions really bothered me. Let’s just say I got a lot of use out of my block button on Twitter today.

Other than a few Twitter interactions I’ve never had anything to do with the people from Panic, but I’ll be disappointed if their seeing people up in arms about this situation is treated as a setback when it sounded like Playdate was supposed to be a celebration of a cool, fun, and otherwise quirky company, especially if I’m led to understand that development began sometime soon after Cabel’s XOXO presentation on how to ensure that the company continues to grow and what it’s like to be anxious about what they should do next. I like Panic, and though I’m not big into video games, I’m looking forward to Playdate.

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Search your feelings, you know it to be true

Fixed some issues with my website. One day the search function just stopped working. I guess there was a WordPress update that changed the way the search function, um, functioned. When I discovered that the site search no longer worked I just disabled it. Tonight though I went poking around and found that the theme I use (Bugis, by Elmastudio) had some custom code for its search function that no longer worked properly. Copied the function to my child theme, made a few tweaks, and now things work again.

Turns out that just today Elmastudio discontinued the Bugis theme, so once it gets posted to GitHub I’ll be able to merge my changes from my child theme into a full-fledged theme. While I’m disappointed that the Bugis theme is being discontinued I’m happy that it’s going to be released.

I considered leaving the search widget disabled because after 18 years of writing blog posts about my day-to-day activities who knows what embarrassments might lurk within my site. I thought before about adding something that shows up on posts a certain age and older to note that these are old posts – maybe I’ll do that once the Bugis theme is released.

I’ve been making some tweaks to my webservers as well. I’ve been putting together some scripts to restore a server to a base configuration and to run server software updates, but I also want to formalize my scripts for other server maintenance tasks. Eventually I want to use these scripts to reproduce the same basic configuration on my personal production and development servers, shut down / start up server processes, perform server backups/migrations, etc., etc. Things are mostly the same right now, but once I get these scripts together then they’ll be able to do much of the heavy lifting and will help keep me from forgetting something.

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Don’t count your chickens before they go nuclear

So you know how I was proud about following up last night on my promotion propsal?

Good news, the company VP was in my office today.

Bad news, he’s leaving the company and Friday is his last day.

I’ve been watching the Chernobyl docudrama on HBO and listening to the accompanying podcast. So many things happened that if you didn’t know they were true you would think that it was invented to ratchet up the tension: nuclear power plant explodes? and people just ignore it?? and the nearby city isn’t evacuated for days??? and then the fuel is going to catastrophically explode if they don’t pump the water out???? etc., etc.

I couldn’t have invented a better plot twist for myself if I tried.

I guess most of my disappointment is that after talking with the VP I felt so encouraged, that it felt like it was practically already a done deal. But at least my manager says that we’ll discuss it further, so, fingers still crossed!