2010-07-31

Unmitigated Disaster...

This week has been just ridiculous. Simply absurd.

Last Sunday afternoon I left for Roswell, NM, yet again, because my customer "didn't have time" to install the latest version of our software. I was there for less than 24 hours. I landed at 8:00 pm Sunday and left on the last flight out at 3:45 pm Monday. I sat down at their computer at 7:00 am Monday, installed the latest version, and it worked without a hitch. I was so mad about being there that I couldn't even be excited that it worked. After all, I had spent days and days in our testing lab making sure it worked, but they couldn't even bother to install it to test it themselves.

When I got back, I had three days to write some code for a HD video capture card (it was supposed to be more, but I wasted all that time getting ready for and traveling to Roswell). In this case, the capture card came with a software development kit (SDK) from the manufacturer that we had to pay 5000 bucks to use. For 5000 bucks, I figured that it would probably be the easiest thing I'd ever done. Well, the SDK consisted of about 40 pages of documentation and about a dozen sample applications -- none of which came close to doing the very simple thing I needed. On top of that, the sample applications very devoid of any useful comments. The comments that were included said things like, "//bill was too lazy to fix this, so I'm going to hack around it too", and my personal favorite, "//NOTE: convert ignored for now do [sic] to excessive laziness."

It took 3 twelve hour days to get it figured out. Talk about cutting it to the wire. On Friday afternoon, the co-worker who needed the capture card stuff spent the afternoon in my office as we integrated his code with mine. He left at 6:00. I left at 10:00. Enough said about that.

And then, something not about work at all. This afternoon, I decided to fix my bathroom sink. About a year ago, the puller that raises and lowers the drain stopper stopped working. In my own extreme laziness, I just pulled out the stopper altogether and have been operating without it for about a year. Not a bad deal, really, except that I've dropped a lot of pills down that drain that I might have been able to rescue. I'm guessing the fish downstream of me are well medicated.

So, for whatever reason, I picked this afternoon to fix the stopper-puller-thingy. I remove all the junk from underneath the sink. I fiddle with the stopper mechanism for about 30 minutes, and then it's off to Lowe's. I find the part I need. I buy said part and return home. At home, said part does not work with my old drain stopper. "Universal" my eye. Shoot. I go to Dick's Hardware (yes, it's really called that), and find another stopper. I buy said stopper. This one works. Whew.

I am reassembling the sink drain, specifically the p-trap, when one of the pipes breaks. This isn't cheap plastic crap people, it's chrome plated galvanized drain pipe, and it cracks and splits apart as I am tightening the connectors. Sigh. As sewer gases waft out the open drain pipe, I realize that I have to go to Lowe's again. In contrast to the stopper, which you can live without, the sink is basically unusable if the drain isn't hooked up, and I'm going to need to buy a new p-trap.

Fortunately, the new p-trap installed without incident. I'm still not sure it was worth it, though. Why is it a universal law of home repair that every task will require at least 3 trips to the hardware store? Well, I hope the world sleeps better knowing that I now have a functioning drain stopper puller thingy.