In the ink well

Dog Ear

July 12, 2019

Among our subscribers (DOG EAR)

n Doctor Horrible’s Singalong Blog, a supervillain who maintains a video blog boasts on his podcast how he is going to attack the city. He gloats about his plans, his goals, and his likely success. Then he clicks off. The next image is him (quite disheveled) blogging a few hours later. Shakily, he notes that he should count the LAPD and Captain Hammer among his viewers. “They were waiting for me. Captain Hammer threw a car at my head…” Longtime readers of this blog will remember a couple of weeks back, where I reviewed The Decision Book. My wife had […]
July 4, 2019

Forced (DOG EAR)

o one of our senior executives (who I trust does not bother with this little blog) told everyone at work they had to read three specific books on software principles and practices. And thus Caesar sent forth his decree. Really, how many people (other than the guppy-swallowing career-jumpers) are going to bother? We work in an environment of churn, where we see management say one thing and do another, where our development jobs have shipped overseas (the shortcomings of this lost on those Olympians who never do code reviews on these guys), and where every sprint has some emergency that […]
June 27, 2019

Tired (DOG EAR)

riters are supposed to sit up all night in French cafés. And sleep until noon. And then, after pushing the prostitute out of their garret, they write totally magnificent prose. Some writers, anyway. Well, probbaly none. Right now I’m tired. Got the kittens fixed yesterday so between hunger, soreness, coming off their cat drugs and complete confusion, they were both up and down all night. And I didn’t get to bed until 1am anyway. No French cafés. Working on StoreyMinus, comforting whiny cats, and talking a lot on the phone. So there went the evening. Now I’m here at work […]
June 20, 2019

Wake up call (DOG EAR)

he alarm is set for 6:50 – car day, so no early-morning cycling. But it’s 5:50 and the wild things awake. From cute warm fir-bagels laying against my legs, suddenly on cue they become little sabretooths, rolling and biting and squeaking. Yes, Chinki and Ritz, our two little kittens, are activated. There isn’t much for it. Once they’re up, they’re up.  So I do the old trick – I roll out of bed, fake a few wake-up yawns, walk to the doorway. Two furry flashes tear by, bound for the kitchen and points east. Then I close the door and […]
June 14, 2019

Sulking in his tent (DOG EAR)

nd there will be pasta! From a top-end Italian restaurant!” I’m still stinging from my corporation’s hi-jinks. On top of everything else theyve done wrong or badly over the last few years, they offered a buyout. Of course, it was phrased to sound like it was fair and equitable and dispassionate. But it turned out that they were just golden-parachuting a lot of their overpaid, underperforming execs, tossing handouts to forty-year deadwoods and picking off one or two incompetents. So yes, I didn’t get it. What I was to get was an “appreciation” lunch, a little thing put on by […]
June 6, 2019

The Long, Hard Road (DOG EAR)

’m currently working through Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes. I’ll probably cover the first book (which I just finished) now, and then approach the second book (which I just started) in a couple of weeks. But even then, outside of splitting this in half and doing my best to get through the second book, I’ll be focused on it for some weeks. And that means I won’t be able to get anything else read. I’ve got some ideas on how to get around this (I’ve faced this same issue before). First, I can always use guest reviewers (hint hint) […]
May 30, 2019

Your audience (DOG EAR)

eorge Carlin once said he played Spy at the Airport. “Your job? Find him!” The other day I was left on a seat in the terminal, waiting for an unlikely meetup (long story, but I didn’t know any flight information for the arrival). Since I had to sit for hours and watch for a specific person, I watched people. And I’ll say this – unlike the 70’s when Carlin referred to this, there was nobody I would categorize as being particularly spy-ish. I can’t imagine someone who’s fought their way up the bloody rungs of the KGB dressing in flip […]
May 23, 2019

Early ReTesterment

bout a year or so ago, I took a week off and hung out at the beach with the wife. Mookie the cat loved it – she’d watch the ocean for hours. And I planned to work on whatever it was I was writing then. Just six days of yawning mornings and productive days. Didn’t happen. No, I played computer games. I read. I walked on the beach. I ate too much. And I took a lot of naps. Hardly wrote a thing. Recently at work we were offered buy outs (actually, I thought they said buy outs, but they […]
May 15, 2019

Inventory (DOG EAR)

’m reading Don Quixote right now (which is  long, slow novel, which means any guest reviews in the interim are welcome). It’s a great book, and for those who don’t know it, it’s about a threadbare Spanish nobleman (more of a country nobleman) who, having read far too many books on knights and chivalry, saddles up his bony horse, slaps on his corroding, mismatched armor, and with the help of Sancho, his squire, rides about looking for adventure and excitement. Of course, he gets the crap beat out of him by everything from indignant peasants to ignorant windmills. It’s quite […]
May 8, 2019

For myself (DOG EAR)

won’t say who said this (they, alone, will know the bitter salty tears I wept) but a friend told me that he’d played my interactive fiction StoreyMinus a few times and went “Meh”. That’s a tough nut to swallow, if you are into swallowing nuts. I mean, how many hundred hours have a spent coding this monster? For those who don’t know about it (which, outside of my friend, is pretty much everone on Earth), StoreyMinus is my interactive fiction written with the Squiffy game driver. It involves a fictional character in some sort of situation in the tunnels and […]