November 13th, 2012

krazy koati

Whoo-ee, ride me high

The whole point of my trip east was to attend a meeting with people who were showing off technology, by which they meant talking about technology while fiddling with a Mi-Fi device. But before that I'd have an epic traffic jam to deal with. The Wednesday before my visit a truck on the Turnpike went out of control and smashed into the I-195 bridge supports, and the Department of Transportation decided that only one lane of the bridge could be safely used. Luckily, a replacement bridge was about two months away from going into service and that was fine, but, it couldn't be rushed into service because of this. And so commuters going west would be socked with --- at the early hours my office demands --- delays of better than an hour, whether you use the overloaded I-195 or the overloaded roads around it. The Friday before I'd been taken by surprise; I didn't imagine they really meant how stopped traffic would be. Monday, I was ready and accepting that I just wasn't going to be in the office for 8 am no matter what. Also I got some Egg McMuffins to eat.

The technology looked like it was fairly good, I guess, and probably would have made my job really easy if it had been available when I started this particular draft eighteen months ago, although I wouldn't have understood the fundamentals behind it back then. I've learned a lot, particularly about Javascript and Ajax, since then, and a lot of what I'm doing now is replacing my code with much less code that works much better. We came away with a general agrement that we were all in agreement generally, which is how I come away from every business meeting involving at least five people.

After lunch --- where I spotted a black squirrel, rare in that part of the country and to me a good omen --- I got caught in a weird traffic jam of a discussion with the boss and one client. The client wanted to have data organized and presented in a way that's not actually radically different, but would require either expanding our current databases or building a new one. I explained this to the client. Client then took this as an indication that it was necessary to explain what was wanted, all over again, using more words. I explained again that it was possible, but we would need to do these things in order to achieve it. Clearly, I needed to have the idea explained to me again. We were at this for, without exaggeration, litereally hours. Even after I switched to explaining it wasn't possible, I couldn't get out. I did manage to whisper to a friend that I wanted her to ``wait five minutes, then set my hair on fire,'' but she tragically thought I was kidding.

I got out of this after about three hours (and well past an hour past the normal close of business) and after the client explained how he had to be getting going. The boss and the client continued discussing it, according to reports, nearly two more hours after that.

I have not yet heard any indication that we are to do the database reconstruction projects which would be necessary for the client's desire.

Trivia: The Marquis de Lafayette was nineteen years old when he arrived in America. Source: Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, Christopher Hibbert.

Currently Reading: 1848: The Revolutionary Tide In Europe, Peter N Stearns.

PS: Reading the Comics, November 11, 2012, more of my most popular roundup of observations that comic strips sometimes say mathematics things.