Saturday, June 18, 2005
GREG WILLIAMS SIGHTING #563
At 4:35pm today, I was on a #17 bus heading west. As the bus crossed the intersection at W. Broadway at Fir, I saw Greg Williams. He was in the process of either locking or unlocking his Dodge Charger. I wonder if he was getting a late lunch?
posted by Erwin |
Thursday, June 16, 2005
BUS PASSES OR FARECARDS
Despite all my research on-line, I've come to realization that I have no idea how to bus a monthly bus pass. Yeah, I know I can go to like London Drugs or Safeway to get one, but beyond that the details are a mystery to me.
I've heard that you have to buy a bus pass at the beginning of a month because you just can't get a pass that's valid for only 30 days. They're valid from the 1st of the month on and if you buy it like 6 days into a month, that's 6 days of transit you've wasted. Am I right people? Then again, I think I've also heard that you have a chance to buy a bus pass half way into the month, so you don't have to wait the whole month before getting in on the deal. Does this make any sense?
Anyways, Jon Stewart is almost on. Please, if you know anything about this bus pass stuff, try to comment here (if it works).
posted by Erwin |
First, I'd like to apologize for the comments being down for the last few days. It's a situation that's out of my control. There is nothing I can do to fix it on my end.
I'm pretty sure someone at work will probably stumble upon my web site sooner or later. In fact, it would surprise me if someone hasn't seen it already. If I were an HR person, I'd Google all potential hires just for the hell of it. Not a lot of people at work know me too well just yet, so perhaps I can fly underneath the radar for a while yet.
Today, I was asked for instant messaging info at work. IM is a legitimate business productivity tool. It can help with the instant flow of information at a busy office. Since I only have one IM account, I gave out the info for that one. Then I realized I had just mixed my personal IM contacts with now my work ones. I hope it won't be a big problem, but now work contacts will be able to see when I sign on at home. I wonder if they'll ask me work related questions when I'm away from the office.
Anyways, I need some rest. Have a good one.
posted by Erwin |
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
So this morning, I leave for the bus loop with plenty of time on my side. I'm so early in fact that I have time to speak to Sarah K when I run into her as she's making her way to her work. When I arrive at the bus loop, I look at my watch. I have a good five minutes before my bus is scheduled to leave.
Strangely though, I see a #17 bus pull away from the curb and drive away. I'm thinking, that can't be my bus. I know buses can be known for inaccurate timing, but come on, five minutes is a major chunk of time, especially when this is the originating point of departure.
As it takes off, I take a look at the schedule to see if maybe this was the earlier bus. Hmmm... that bus was supposed to take off seven minutes ago. I see no other #17 in sight. I get the feeling the idiot driver did indeed take off early.
I decide to walk over to the #4 stop to when it leaves. The #4 gets me close to my workplace, but I have walk a little further. As I'm examining the schedule, a #4 pulls up and people start to leave the bus. Among the passengers are these four hot sorority girls with their luggage. How do I know they were sorority girls? Because when they got off the bus, they asked someone if they knew where the sorority houses were. Well ok, they might have been just visiting or staying at the sorority houses, but the cliche makes my story more interesting.
I wound up taking the #4 and was only late by like two minutes.
posted by Erwin |
Monday, June 13, 2005
DAY ONE REPORT
I survived my first day of work as a software engineer. Other than missing my bus on the way home from work, the day went quite well actually.
I arrived at work at 10am just like I was instructed to. The receptionist introduced herself to me and I was immediately handed off to the head IT person for an "IT overview". This consisted of sitting down at my computer, logging in, and her showing me the various network drives and what they were for. I was also told about virus scanning procedures. Here's a little bit of trivia, my computer used to belong to a recently departed employee of the company. She had been on the job for only two weeks and then accepted another job offer.
I was also told that I won't have access to my company e-mail account for at least several days. Apparently the guy in charge of setting up accounts is away on a family matter and won't be back anytime soon. Until then, I'll have to be updated on project details by word of mouth.
After the computer stuff, I was handed back to the receptionist who brought me into the boardroom. I was given a whole stack of papers. There were several forms to fill out having to do with taxes, benefits, and non-disclosure agreements. One of the forms was this "get-to-know-you" type of deal where my answers would be sent out to the company, along with my picture. Of course, without an e-mail address, I never did get that e-mail today.
I was also given a company t-shirt, in my size no less. I think this speaks volumes about a company when they have t-shirts in many sizes and not just XL.
I then was given a tour of the place. I was shown where the printers and scanners were located. I was told that groceries are delivered every Tuesday and that the food is available for anyone in the company, this includes things like pop. Free munchies!
The security and access procedures were also described to me. Arriving early in the morning and leaving late can be problematic because of the various alarms you can set off. Things will be made a little bit easier next week when some of the areas will be transferred over to keycard access.
After the tour, I returned to my desk where I did some customizing of my computer. I checked out what was underneath the hood of my computer. It's pretty decent, it's fast and has a ton of RAM. I then started to read the design doc for the game I'm working on. For a game, the design doc is the most definitive source of information. It describes the game in great detail from game play mechanics, to characters, and conceptual artwork. This design doc was a huge Word document, well in excess of 200 pages.
I was only several pages in when the producer for our game came over to invite me to lunch. Two other guys joined us. One of them seemed familiar and it turned out we had both worked at EA before. I had a good lunch with the boys and the producer picked up the tab. What a nice gesture!
After lunch, I continued to read over the design doc, skipping pages whenever I could. As my eyes were just about to glaze over, the lead programmer for our project came over to see how I was doing. He also showed me the game in its current state. He went over various gameplay features and explained the stuff that still had to be done. I was also told that I hadn't looked at the technical design doc which another huge file. There are a lot of dev tools that still need to be installed on my machine before I can start being productive, but that will happen tomorrow.
For the rest of the day I just read more of the design doc and managed to finish it before quitting time.
From just the first day, I got the impression that it's a pretty cool place to be working at. The people are really nice and I'm being slowly eased into my job, which I appreciate. My body, however, is still getting used to waking up early. I am tired.
Well, I better finish here and get some rest.
posted by Erwin |
Sunday, June 12, 2005
FIRST DAY OF WORK
My first day of work is tomorrow. Not counting co-op and summer jobs, this will be only my third full-time job ever. I will admit I am a bit nervous about the prospect of starting a new job. I think my nervousness stems mainly from the fear of the unknown. Though I know the name of the game I'm working on and the platform it will run on, I know nothing else about what I'll be doing.
I didn't have a chance to meet any of the people on my development team nor did I even get the chance to take a look around the office. I have no clue as to what exactly I'll be contributing to the game. I think if I had just been able to meet a few of the guys and just see the work environment, I'd probably a little less nervous about the whole thing.
Strangely enough, I have no memory of being nervous before my first day at EA, so many years ago. I wonder if I was indeed on edge. I should have been, that was my first important foray into the world of video game development. As it stands, I only remember two things about that day: sitting across from my friend Garrett Knights in the lobby at 9am (we didn't know each other back then) and the impressive set of orientation activities that EA has scheduled.
I hope tomorrow will go as smoothly as my first day at EA. All I want for this job is to recapture even just some of the magic I felt when I first starting working at EA. Back in those early months, I was completely content and happy with my job. I had never experienced that with a job before and it was euphoric. If they had paid testers just even a little more money, I'd probably be still working there now.
That's all in the past now of course and tomorrow I start not only a new job, but a new career as a software engineer. We were told in undergrad that some of us would wind up changing careers several times but I never thought that would apply to me.
I'm hoping that after the first day, after meeting my team and getting settled, I'll feel more comfortable about the situation. I'll be back with more tomorrow after my first day of work!
posted by Erwin |
YOUR KIRK CAMERON UPDATE
For people around my age, you no doubt know who Kirk Cameron is. He was the teen idol who starred in the ABC sitcom Growing Pains, along with Canadian treasure, Alan Thicke. Since the series ended, I haven't heard much of Cameron. I did read that he became quite religious and was now a devoted Christian.
Recently, I discovered that Cameron has a web site called The Way of the Master. Though it sounds like a martial arts web site, it is in fact completely devoted to spreading Christianity. After the snazzy intro, Cameron asks you if you are a Christian or not. If you answer no, Cameron will go over the Ten Commandments with you. After the lesson, Cameron, in a not so subtle way, suggests that anyone who has sinned will be cast into Hell by God. He even provides you with links to descriptions of what Hell is like.
If you answer yes to being a Christian, then Cameron will give you a series of descriptions, which you are to pick which one is the closest match to your situation. If you are a Christian, Cameron seems quite serious about helping you save your friends and family from going to Hell. He'll then try to sell you his Way of the Master Foundation Course, which is apparently some method of effectively spreading the word of God.
I don't mind Cameron trying to spread his religion around, but he sure seems to use the Hell thing a lot. I understand the concept of Heaven and Hell is a part of Christianity, but to tell me almost immediately that I'm going to Hell is not a good way to get me to like his religion. He appears really focussed on that part. If I didn't know better, he makes Christianity sound like avoiding Hell is the main goal.
Anyways, check it out yourself and try to avoid that Hell thing.
posted by Erwin |