Random Firings from My Brain

March 26, 2008

Two Weeks Notice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 7:45 pm

Like it or not, its the convention here in the US. Recently at the Business of Software forum, some pissant little kid was shocked, shocked I say, that when he walked in one day, announced he was quitting, and his old boss didn’t fall all over himself to give him a recommendation. He said he would be available on an as needed basis. Like he was doing everyone a favor. Based on context, I’d have to say that the individual in question was probably in his early 20’s, just leaving his first job after probably six months, and had a very, very strong sense of entitlement. One might call him a Precious Little Snowflake. He is probably trying to job hop his way to a six figure salary by 25. He’s also probably the sort of asshole that can do it. I hope no one accidentally runs him over someday.

You don’t have to give notice. There is no law. Its courteous, not to the company you work for but to the people who are going to have to cover for you when you are gone until a replacement can be found. The company, especially if it is a big one, would cut your throat if they thought it would raise their stock price a nickel. Maybe you’re not even needed for those two weeks. I’ve given notice and then spent two weeks surfing the web, cleaning out my desk, saying goodbye, and going to my farewell lunch. My “transition” took all of a half hour to hand off my projects. That wasn’t the point though, I played by the rules and I left on good terms. If you feel like you owe nothing to anyone when you want to leave a job, they probably feel the same way about you.

Being a reasonable and enlightened man, I think of it from someone else’s perspetive. If my boss came to me at 1pm and told me that I was fired but could I finish out the day anyway. I would deem the rest of the day not worth the effort, tell my boss where he stick those four hours, and go home to drink myself into a stupor. But if he told me that in two weeks I was going to be laid off, I would be grateful that I at least would get another two weeks pay and use the time to find a new job. They know that they can’t afford to keep me on anymore but they will carry me for two weeks for whatever reason they have(maybe they want to work me like a mule, whatever, I’ve got to put food on the table).

My point is not two weeks notice. I give fuck all about two weeks(or whatever it is in your country, I understand its three months in some countries). My major problem is people who expect something for nothing because mommy and daddy never told them they were not special. My problem is the overwhelming sense of entitlement that seems to have gripped this country. Am I part of the last batch of young adults who actually is going to work for the things I want even if it means doing things I don’t want to do? Or am I an anomaly among my age group even?

March 25, 2008

And so kids, that’s why we’re burning hundred dollar bills to keep warm.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 12:15 pm

Back before I was famous (well, technically I am still not famous but who cares) I wrote an Angry Rant about the economy. My lovely wife read it this morning and pointed out that if we don’t bail out the dumb asses who made stupid decisions then the economy would plummet to unfathomable depths and take me with it. I’ll concede the point and further admit that I failed to recognize the decline in the purchasing power of the US dollar as another reason gas is now $3.20/gallon (and around here its actually pretty cheap)(also, would you believe boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost more now than they did a year ago. Come on, chicken is a cheap dinner). I’m still angry and bitter about the entire situation of course. Yes, we need the power of the US government to save us but we need to be saved from the stupidity of the ordinary consumer and the greed of the financial and other industries that got rich creating this crisis. Where is this going? Well, I want to link to a concise explanation of our current housing crisis that I found informative though if you are part of the reason we have a housing crisis (the aforementioned ordinary consumer) I hold your intelligence in such contempt that I believe you probably won’t get it anyway. Here it is, courtesy of the Accordion Guy(he got it from somewhere else but he links to it in the top of his post).

A Rare Bit of Excitement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 9:08 am

Yesterday I decided to talk a little smack and instead got taken out to the woodshed.  It wasn’t that bad actually, he is a cool guy and he made a good point about how when you make your living as a writer sometimes you have balance the desires of your publisher, your fans, and your desire to evolve as an artist.  Look at J.K. Rowling and ignore the fact that she is now a billionaire and that she only makes enough for a decent living but not enough to retire.  At that point, wouldn’t Harry Potter be more of a straight jacket and less of a winning lottery ticket?  I guess it depends because some writers are very happy to crank out the same thing year after year.  On the other hand, Charlie Stross can’t be pinned down, and he always seems to bring something new to the table.  He has his merchant prince series and his singularity/eschaton series and his whatever strikes me as interesting books and he probably makes a good living but not a “I’m rich  biatch!” living.  I hope the writer we shall not name here(I didn’t want to get caught talking some shit, I certainly don’t want to get caught capitalizing on the notoriety of having gotten caught talking shit so I will not mention his name and hopefully his daily ego surfing will not bring him here) is able to expand his voice while maintaining commercial success.  Thanks to his response, I have decided to risk reading The Sagan Diary and when I finish I will write about it here.  Hopefully this doesn’t mean I have to become a science fiction blog.  I don’t want to be pigeonholed.  And if you are here from yesterday and decided to stick around despite a lack of content, welcome to my humble abode.

March 24, 2008

The Nine Billion Names of God

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 10:00 am

Arthur C. Clarke died last week (March 19). In memory of him, I read The Nine Billion Names of God which I had not read since college. Then, because I am somewhat OCD, I wrote a program to list the Nine Billion (or so) names of God given the following constraints: The English alphabet, no more than nine letters, and no letter will repeat more than 2 times. Its not a brilliant program(there are probably better ways to calculate the combinations of letters) but I wrote it long hand while my wife looked at me funny and then tested it the next day. Its written in java because for whatever reason, it came to pass in my career that I think best in java(in college I would have said it would be c but I don’t’ think I’ve written any c code for 7 years). Here it is(ugh, wordpress really screwed up the formatting of the code):

PrintWriter out = new PrintWriter(new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter("ninebillion.txt")));
char min = 'A';
char max = 'Z';
int numChars = 9;
int diff = (int)max - (int)min + 1;
for (int len = 1; len <= numChars; len ++) {
char count[] = new char[len];
for (int i = 0; i < count.length; i ++) {
count[i] = min;
}
int lim = (int)Math.pow((double)diff, (double)len);
for (int i = 0; i < lim; i++) {
count[0]++;
for (int j = 0; j < count.length; j++) {
if (count[j] > max) {
if (j < (count.length - 1)) {
count[j+1]++;
}
count[j] = min;
}
}
int numLetters = 0;
char lastLetter = 0;
boolean good = true;
for (int j = 0; (j < count.length) && (good); j++) {
if (count[j] == lastLetter) {
numLetters++;
if (numLetters > 2) good = false;
} else {
numLetters = 1;
}
lastLetter = count[j];
}
if (good) {
//String tmp = new String(count);
out.println(count);
}
}

}
out.close();

Hugo Nominee John Scalzi

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 9:46 am

 I liked the world famous snarkiness of John Scalzi so much better when it was just on his blog.  Now, when I read his newer books, such as the Hugo Nominated The Last Colony, I feel like I am reading a very extended blog entry, Whatever in Space!  I’m almost scared to read The Sagan Diary, which is written from the point of view of Jane Sagan.  A Vaguely Feminine Whatever in Space!  I liked Old Man’s War a lot and The Ghost Brigades too.  But more and more it seems like, as a novelist, Scalzi is just a one trick pony.  I don’t begrudge the man making a living or winning awards, but I do think I can wait for the mass market paperback of Zoe’s Tale.

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