I seem to have solved the mystery e-mail problem.
It appears that the source of the empty email messages was search engine crawlers hitting the send mail page.
I have not received a blank message since I modified the code, so I guess that also explains why I haven't received a
deluge of e-mail from anyone else informing me of my non-responsiveness.
The flow of mediocrity continues unabated from my sketchpad.
The latest creations:
These have also been added to the various
I have added a few photos of my girls to the snapshots pages of the
section of the site. Two are Emeli and a third is from Abbie's birthday party (Keli's friend).
There really haven't been any changes to the site worth mentioning, but here's an embarrassing little
nugget that made Julie laugh uncontrollably for a while...
When I arrived at my office Monday morning and logged onto my computer, a new application popped up: Altiview. Altiview is a program that connects your PC to a phone server to allow access to voice mail and probably other telephone-ish functions as well, but, as I will clearly demonstrate, I am not the person to ask about Altiview's myriad functions.
I managed, with a co-worker's assistance, to log into the latest drain on my system's resources and proceeded to click buttons randomly and to play with my newfound toy, eventually succeeding in retrieving
the list of saved messages in my voice mailbox. As Dan stood nearby, I clicked on one of the messages and at that moment, my telephone rang. I quickly answered with my usual "This is Brett" and proceeded to hear the sweet little voice of my daughter, Keli, as Dan left my office. I thought it was odd that she would call so early in the day, but it wasn't completely unheard of.
Keli:"Hi Dad, this is Keli...Keli Wilkes..."
Me:"Hi Keli, what's going on?"
Keli:"Remember me? I'm your son...and I think you're on vacation..."
Me: "What do you mean? Where's mom?"
Keli: Making various strange noises Me: "Keli, let me talk to mom."
Keli"Hello there. I just got done playing with Haley...playing with Haley, and Parker...and Sydney..."
Me: "What are you doing playing with your friends so early..."
Imitating Dilbert to perfection, my employer felt the need to shake things up by bringing in a team of "Project" Managers. From what I can see, a project manager is someone with no real experience who is good at creating paper. The aforementioned project managers have absolutely no development experience, yet are now the intermediaries between the user/customer and the software development team. The only project management I have seen thus far has been a hastily scrawled note on the incomplete change requirements (created wholly by the user) with instructions to "let me know when you are finished so I can notify the customer." One would think that a Project Manager (i.e. the only guy that is supposed to talk to the customer directly) would take the time to clarify the requirements and verify that they were clear, complete and maybe even correct before I ever saw them (and maybe even make sure I received them in an electronic format). But what do I know? I'm just a lowly software engineer.
It could be worse. I could have the recurring nightmare my manager is enduring by meeting with these chimps daily.
I may have been harshly critical of Berke's latest Opus offerings.
I still think the artistic merit is declining, but the humor isn't really as bad as I made it out to be.
The last two weeks' strips were pretty funny.
strip returns to the Steve Dallas storyline (the whole reluctant fatherhood schtick).
Steve's inabilty to do the normal-dad stuff is once again manifested in a Field of Dreams
strip has Opus suffering the enthusiastic brunt of a fad dieter's (curiously Atkins-like) empty
optimism (the dieter's shock at Opus' comment about eating less and exercising is pretty funny).
I haven't finished any books (I am slowly working my way through another Philip K Dick, A Scanner Darkly), but there are a couple of movies to mention...
Dungeons and Dragons
I had heard how bad this movie was from several sources, but had to see it to really understand.
The film tries (and fails) to be a comedy set in a
fantasy world populated by the usual D&D suspects:
elves, dwarves, humans, orcs (playing no more than a peripheral role) and, of course,
dragons. The D&D universe is far from accurately portrayed in this movie; elves
carry axes and crossbows,
gold dragons are overwhelmed by red dragons in one-on-one combat, being a mage isn't a
vocation or calling so much as a social caste.
, though gorgeous as always, seemed ill-suited for her role as
of the fantasy kingdom and Jeremy Irons played the bad guy as well as could be expected.
None of the other characters is even worth mentioning. The ending was stupid, yet...confusing.
were well done, though. I'll give the movie that much credit. If the movie hadn't tried so hard
to be a comedy, it may have been watchable.
Leave medieval comedy to Monty Python.
In Good Company
And now, a movie that I actually enjoyed, although I find it difficult, a week after seeing this movie, to explain what I enjoyed about it.
Here's the movie in a nutshell: A 50 year old guy with 20+ years experience selling ads for a sports magazine find his world turned upside down when another company buys his magazine and puts a 26 year old kid with zero experience in his position. The kid is in over his head and relies heavily on Quaid's character for guidance. By the end, the old guy is back in and the kid is trying to find himself and his true calling.
I could relate to the cruel corporate machine firing employees in the name of cutting costs. I barely missed living through that myself (fortuitously leaving for a new job just before all my fellow programmers were let go so a few bucks could be saved by outsourcing the development to India).
Or I could talk about how I can relate when Dennis Quaid finds out his new boss is half his age. I'm getting pretty old, so every time they hire a new guy who has used all the latest graphics and development tools, I feel threatened. Fortunately, experience and analysis skills often count for more that surface experience with a few tools and I've outlasted them all.
/ Topher Grace relationship part of the story was also well done. I could appreciate the desperation
Topher's character felt, having been there a time or two.
The ending is surprising, but nice. Before I ruin the movie for anyone, you should just go see it.
I have decided, after reading the interesting comments that Dusty
gets when he posts to his site, to create a way for both of my semi-loyal readers (you know who you are) to tell me how bad my page is and how
wrong my opinions are.
If you want to disagree with my reviews, tell me that Project Managers are great and I suck or that my drawings look
like a two-year-old could have done them, then let the vitriol loose. But remember, I am the moderator and reserve the right to
"moderate" as I see fit (in regard to profanity--so keep it clean).