Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nitro Tornadoes

I lived for a long time in the midwest and hadn't seen a tornado, though I saw the sky boil just prior to the Joplin disaster. However, that didn't mean that there wasn't any stress when they were forecasted -- at least until I checked out the real conditions. Rarely did they touch where I lived.

Here in Nitro, I don't have much of a worry about the things. Oh, there is always a possibility of anything, but the chances of a tornado here is so slim I'm not at all worried. I'm more worried about the weather forecasts becoming deadly.

The topology is all wrong. Tornadoes usually come from the southwest and go to the northeast. It is conceivable that one can come down the huge Teays Valley, but it will be north of us. It is conceivable that a tornado will turn south, but that rare instance is normally southeast, not due south.

It is also conceivable that a tornado will touch down in St. Albans just to our southwest, but then it will have to stay together as it approaches the steep hillside to our east. The turbulence would probably kill it.

Yeah, it is possible for a tornado to hit Nitro, but so is winning big in a lottery.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Babies, Bugs, and Books

Life was full of interest today.

First my wife woke me as I woke up (I think we tied) to tell me she was leaving. Friday morning at 0400 was when she was supposed to be leaving, but some little person decided to make other plans. I just heard my wife is in Kansas now and soon will be babysitting two little girls and some other thing. The two girls aren't really babies now, but toddlers, so one could say my wife is toddling. She'll be back in a couple of weeks, I hope and God willing.
Work was way interesting today. A little background. The companies produce a very flexible database. We have several internal applications that must work well, including that database. Staff throughout the company are the initial guinea pigs after it gets out of the developers' and testers' hands. The final clients are Fortune 500 type of companies and aren't too fond of incompetence. (Though we could tell you stories about some of our clients who famously didn't make it financially a few years ago.) So our product is necessary for our companies both in beta and final form.

I ran into one bug. Minor. Routine. I then tried to corral it so that the developers could duplicate it easily so they could dissect the thing. After a time I wanted to make a new record to strip it of as many variables as possible. I brought up the record template, tossed in some needed data, and tried to save. I couldn't. Why? I ended up hunting a new bug.

After some time, I got enough clues to get others into the bug hunt and we discovered the source. I went back to the original bug while the new bug was being fixed by someone who knew what they were doing than the bug's creator. At the end of the day, I downloaded the fix and updated. Will it work? I'll find out tomorrow morning.

That bug find was a feather in my cap and I'm certain will make my boss happy I'm around. If I hadn't caught it, the next level would have been the help, sales, administration, testing and development staff. That is, the whole company would have been at a standstill. Nothing like knowing that one is wanted.
I was able to get move several boxes of books back to storage and bring back several more. I'm listing them all by size and hope to keep them neatly in boxes on the shelves. Thus they will be arranged mainly by size and I'll have to have a database to tell me what I have and where.

What do you do with your books?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I recently read about someone named Samantha Brick, who wrote "I know I’m beautiful–Daddy told me so." It was reported on Yahoo and I read the comments from many people.

It was strange how so many of the people were very angry at her. One would think that she murdered people for fun and profit to have such a reception. I don't know, but perhaps all these people were envious. I don't think I've seen such anger even in politics. At least in politics you are usually defended by your own side.


I've had a long day at work today. The whole morning was devoted to a problem with the password. No helpful message was given, but I finally deduced that the age of the password was limited and figured out how to turn that off. I made out a bug report, too. That shouldn't be like that.

I doubt if the future users know what testers go through for their sake, but when you get something done almost without thinking on the computer, remember to thank all the people who worked on it in the past. :-)


Yesterday, my wife asked if I wanted to go for a walk and I assured her I did, but I wanted to keep it short. We ended up going halfway up the hill and walking along a trail for a little bit more than half-a-mile. There are some flowers that I vaguely remember that are beauties. I'll have to look them up soon before I forget. I wonder if my wife still has her camera?

We finally got to where the trail split and went straight up and down the side of the hill. We went down and walked home. That's my wife for you    as adventurous as she is sweet.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fork Fix

Busy day.
After finding out I was free, I wrote a couple of emails to several of those involved, then subsequently trashed them. The only one worth sending was to the web developer who is my "taskmaker." I do web work. Nothing more. The email was mainly a thank you note.

Then I went out and helped my Dad to spade several places for their veggies. I first jogged over to the storage place, got my garden fork and jogged back. Shortly after I started digging, the fork broke. After finishing the chore, we got together and mended that fork, which had been sold as a fiberglass. However, the manufacturer cheated and had wood, too, which had rotted.

My dad grew up in the Great Depression, a son of a coal miner out in the hills of Boone County. He learned early not to toss things just because they are broken, but fix them if possible and continue working.

My wrist hurt, but everything got done except for what I had been wanting to do, organizing the moved stuff. Priorities.

Tested and reCycled

I've had a month preparing for a tsunami of extra duties at work and yesterday was the breaking point -- I was to add my jobs to the Testing Cycle Incident report.

The wave broke, separated, and passed by on both sides. I seem to be safe for now.

My supervisor turned up the heat and I appealed to the team leader, who was under her. He subsequently arrived at her office during a discussion about me with the head of the company.

Turns out that there was a misunderstanding and all the pressure I was under wasn't necessary. I was relieved of the extra duties (which by now I had managed to automate) and the testing red tape, which was really the stuff I was going crazy from. So now I'm back to square one with only loss of their time -- I get paid for nothing, though I'm happy to learn more about the application.

I would even be happy to learn more about the Testing Cycle Incident report, but I'm afraid that the Lorentz transformation is a snap compared to that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Work and Insanity

Right now I'm trying to learn a bit more about the testing cycles to run some new tests. I'm becoming rather exasperated by the lack of information. I ended up developing the three tests myself with hardly any worthwhile input. Worthwhile because much of the input I did get was either, "I don't know," without someone to refer the question to, or just plain wrong answers. Crazy.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to document this stuff. The tests themselves are now more or less documented, but the procedure for reporting is still unknown and unknowable. I feel that I'm given a nibble a day of a different, unknown substance which could be poisonous or nourishing.

The ugly thing is all the to-dos piling up on me. I'm blocked by a revoked certificate. I'm told to chat with the keeper of security. The chat window is sitting there, waiting, getting in my way, but needing to stay uncovered so I can tell if someone is answering. I ask questions, but they are unanswered. Sooner or later, the testing cycle will end and I'll be asked, "Why didn't you hold up your end?"


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Broken bones and storage

After supper last afternoon, I went for a walk with my wife. As she attempted to converse with me, she fell off the sidewalk into the gutter onto her ribcage. She now wonders if she broke a rib. If so, then that could mean that she has about three broken bones currently healing up. She's upstairs now cleaning and waxing the kitchen floor.
Naturally, I feel a bit guilty for being the proximate cause. If she was talking with a friend, it would have been different.

It looks like we just need to sweep out the old storage place and remove the lock. Pretty soon we'll be finished. with that tiny phrase in our lives. The advantages of the old storage was that it was across the street from a laundry and the new one is across the street from a bar; and that the door was exposed to public view instead of hidden back in a niche. The advantages of the new storage is that it isn't a foot off the ground and therefore easier to get into; has a regular door instead of a garage door that lets everybody see what is within (Mainly our books will be exposed to public view and they're not something that a fence will pay a lot for); and it costs $35 a month less.

I think it's a good deal.

I've been asked to take over a website's updating and will need to check up on the stuff that they use in the website. If too difficult to learn or too much time, I'll say no. I asked for a month. I already looked at it and think I might be able to handle it. Just need to know all the gotchas.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Running to Stand Still

I keep trying to get started on my book classification scheme, but things keep coming up.

  • Fixits.
Fixed the knob of the front storm door before my parents came home as a surprise for them. That involved taking it off and looking at it to see why the whole thing revolved instead of just the knob when opening the door.

Flange with a threaded hole broken.

I found a long enough bolt, drilled a hole, tapped it, and reassembled. Works, but now I need to do something about a stub of a bolt waiting to slice someone's finger while opening the door. Life is dangerous is a good motto to get out of the responsibility, but if I tell my wife that, life indeed would be dangerous.

  • Move.
Moved a box full of broken-down cardboard boxes to the new storage. I plan to convert them to book boxes. I'll fit them to put in books of one size and be ready to close and go when moving again.
My book database should take care of the otherwise random book subjects.

Brought my second UPS in to charge. I'm hoping that if I need to note down where things are in storage, it will power the laptop for extended times. My main problem is setting up a good database.

I also put my tea things on shelving in the corner of the sewing room that my mother refuses to place things on due to the damp seeping in from outside. This is in the basement. I also put a small lamp above for dark morning start-ups.

  • Nap.
My wife took a nap just as I started to get ready to add books to my new Google form. I left. Strangely, I was able to keep from napping. I hope I get to sleep on time to balance that.

  • Offer for more work.
My parent's church ask me to maintain their site. Probably will, but I'm now in the process of learning Joomla. I'll need to figure out how to take notes. I wish Google had xml apps so I can work on the cloud.

I hadn't started with the books yet, but at least I roughed in a form. I just hope it will be easy to transfer to my xml database later.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Muddled Moving and Storage

I'm tired. Not the usual tiredness of the day, but a tiredness that comes from moving things, jogging back and forth, lifting things, and making a multitude of decisions.

We recently moved here to West Virginia and put most of our belongings in storage as we took up residence in my parent's house. They need help in their old age and requested that we come several years ago. I think. I might have gotten that wrong, though.

Almost immediately we found another storage place about 3/4 the cost of the other and a bit more room only a block away from the first and began to move everything over by hand. Yesterday and today were the days that we moved several large things. The beginning of next week we will completely finish and only have to continue to unpack the boxes and get rid of some of the excess.

However, our storage space is beginning to shape up. I finally found my box of Greek books and other references. Things that were lost in boxes were found and their recovery was a joy. But we still need to reorganize.

I'm considering the job of cataloging all my books again. I really need a method to find them. That way I can keep books in order of size in boxes on the shelves, but know exactly where to find what I want. That will be a big job that I don't relish.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm back

I now have Internet at home and my own computer and don't feel guilty about doing this. Well, yeah, I could have gotten around that by using the sneaker net, but I didn't think it feasible.

I moved in with my folks, who are needing care, so there will be many different things to blog about when I have time.