shocking and refreshing
Tuesday, April 27 2010
David and I attempted a mass-mailing again this morning with my spamming tool, but this time it mostly worked. There was a glitch at one point where it began spamming again from the beginning of the list, but I was able to abort that only ten mailings in. Such a glitch is not something one wants in a zero-maintenance tool (which this mailer aspires to be), so I immediately wrote some code to keep that from ever happening again. At some point David told me he was getting back the usual number of "out of office" response mails, indicating that this time the emails were actually reaching their targets. Great, this meant I could move on to other things.
I actually have a real paying gig for the first time in months, and I'm trying to do it right. But as usual for the kind of jobs I've been getting lately, my assignment is a big vaguely-defined ball of mud, and what I know about what I must do doesn't even amount to a pithy PowerPoint presentation's worth. So I'm trying to track down what I need to know to do the job. My point of contact is good at answering questions, but I am still at the point where I don't even know what questions to ask. Also, because I'm completely self-educated and results-driven in this field, I tend not to know (and actually to loath) the jargon associated with it. For example, though I've been a professional PHP developer on and off since 2004, I only learned that LAMP stood for Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP about a year and a half ago. My point-of-contact tends to throw around such jargon with abandon, not even bothering to capitalize it. This has the effect of laying stupidity mines throughout his emails, because these tempt me to ask questions that he would surely consider head-scratchingly stupid. For example, the other day he referred to something being done in a "restful" way, and I thought he was making a poetic reference to something that would, I don't know, make a systems administator rest more easily at night. But no, it turns out that "REST" is a pseudoacronym for Representational State Transfer and refers to the stateless model of client-server interaction typical of the web. Mind you, I'm not normally the kind of person who acts like he knows something when he actually doesn't. Indeed, I actually take delight in being direct about my ignorance whenever it crops up (since, at least in this field, such honesty is a combination of shocking and refreshing for employers). But the projects sent to me by this particular employer are so convoluted and technical that I fear I'll scare him if I let on that I'm having to do Google searches as I read his emails.
Sally today. Click for the version that might be used as a desktop background.
Ah, spring! Our house as viewed from the road. Click for the big version.
The Shagbark Hickory just north of the house.
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