Minor work frustrations

29
Oct
2009

The inability to correctly estimate time that will be spent on projects is one of the hazards of the freelancer. Usually, it is underestimation. But this week I have had a fair amount of both. Working on a multi part project for one client, I have come in far under estimate, and they (and I) are thrilled. And yet today, what I thought would be a three hour coding job for another client is STILL not finished. I got to the point where I was getting angry with it, and so I knew it was time to walk away and let it sit. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Status Updates for 2009-10-28

28
Oct
2009
  • Two women at the table next to us leaned over and asked us if the Yankees were playing tonight. To which I replied "Is that a sports thing?" #
  • decided to go lefty with my mouse hand for a week. It is harder than I thought. #

Quotas

28
Oct
2009

Yesterday I was rushing to meet a friend cross town for lunch, a journey that necessitated a subway train change. As I entered the second train, I noticed that I was at the wrong end of the train from where I was to exit, and so I passed through the doors of two or three cars to get closer to the end of the train. The train was not moving yet, and an ugly, heavy set woman in no kind of uniform taps me on the shoulder and shows me some sort of NYPD badge and asks me to step out of the train. I asked her what the problem was, and she says in an officious manner that it is illegal to move between cars. I told her that I thought that only applied to when they were moving, and other people on the train were passing between cars. She gave me a look that said “I despise your kind” and proceeded to slowly write me a ticket and fine for $75, despite my polite entreaties and promise to never do anything like this again. She and her cohorts took my license, called into “the station” to check that I wasn’t some international fugitive drug kingpin, and detained me for 15 minutes. She actually had the nerve to write on the ticket that I was “walking between cars without authority to do so, causing hazardous condition”. What bullshit. The train wasn’t moving, other people were also moving through the cars, and I struggle mightily to know what “hazardous condition” I could possibly have been guilty of. I realize that the city of New York needs a way to generate revenue, but this sort of action offends common decency.

I am so glad that there is no crime anywhere in the city anymore and the police have so much extra time on their hands to devote to important things like this. Anyone know the process for contesting this sort of police department abuse?

Trigger happy

27
Oct
2009

I think we may have dodged a bullet.

I woke up cautiously optimistic today about our chances for some real health care reform in this country. After watching the dispiriting circus of the past few months, it seems we are moving towards significant reform, especially now that the senate version will include a public option. Why this has even been a sticking point when vast majorities country wide approve of one is beyond me. Well, not really beyond me, but I hate being so cynical as to think that everyone against it is in the pocket of the insurance companies. Perhaps one or two of them really does believe that the “free market” is wonderful in the case of health care. Look how well it has already worked out. Perhaps they really believe that it would be “unfair” for the government to compete against the private sector in this area. Perhaps they don’t give a flying fig whether or not “some” people (read: poor) ever have health care.

Although not perfect, I am strongly in favor of this “opt out” public plan, because in practice I believe it will be hard for state governments to opt out unless they completely ignore the will of the people. Maybe some states like Texas will want to do that, but even there I would be surprised. The ridiculous idea of a trigger was upsetting from the start. I mean really, what was the point of that. “Gee, now that the insurance companies know we are REALLY serious about reform, they are going to lower their prices and change their practices…or else we pull the trigger.” What utter bullshit. A trigger is just a way for congress to kick the can down the road, doing nothing while pretending they are. There are almost no cases where a trigger provision in a congressional bill has actually resulted in the proposed trigger action happening (see here, here, and here).

Status Updates for 2009-10-25

25
Oct
2009
  • right on, this is how I feel too, Obama: http://bit.ly/mHFRk #
  • with each new episode, "Glee" seems more and more flaccid #
  • A woman just told me I have a very calm, centered energy. #
  • I heart Russ Feingold. #
  • any awesome massage therapists out there who would trade for some tech support (in nyc) :) ? #