Random notes

I just got done being a juror on a very short two-day trial (about as short as they come). This was a criminal case that wasn’t even close. We reached our decision in about 30 seconds, spent ten or fifteen minutes tossing the evidence around and being absolutely sure, and then we sent a guy to jail for a while.

Words of advice:

  • If you have been arrested and are being video taped by the police, shut the fuck up until you have legal representation. Realio trulio honest to God just shut your damned pie-hole and be quiet. What the guy said on camera wasn’t a key piece of evidence, but it sure didn’t help.
  • Meatloaf may turn up in unexpected places. If you’re ever up to something sketchy and a small voice in your brain is trying to say, “Hey, rest of my brain, you might want to reconsider this thing you’re about to do because it’s against the law and also kind of fucked up, too,” you should listen. Because: Meatloaf.

I’ll leave you with that little mystery and I’m never going to explain it.


I got a second call from “Microsoft Support” this evening and it was another lost opportunity because my dinner was ready and frankly I wasn’t in the mood to troll the scammer after battling the Forces of Criminal Idiocy earlier. “Sir, your license to run Windows has been revoked because of viruses and we must check your registry.” / “Oh no! This sounds serious. We’d better do something about it!” Then the microwave beeped and I lost heart. I told the scammer to get an honest job and stop being a crook and hung up.

Any other day and it would have been epic, though.


I know, first we hang all the lawyers. But soon after that, maybe when the telephone sanitizers have stopped kicking (a little mission creep never hurt anyone, right?) we line up the recruiters and introduce them to a little high school physics. F=MA and G=Mm over R-squared something something and you can’t push a rope. Oh, and when you meet the Big Guy, you should know that we made a couple of minor changes to your resume, so just go along with the modifications, okay? It’ll be totally cool, don’t worry, nobody ever checks that stuff.

But . . . I know, you’re a /good/ recruiter, right? You never cold-emailed an employer and said “I’ve got a bunch of super red hot engineers” and then started pimping knuckle-draggers incapable of spelling ‘C’ without looking up the answer on The Google. No, you’re not one of /those/ recruiters, and that makes me happy because you are special and sure, we’ll work with you. Let’s see some of your best clients.

And suddenly it’s like that sequence in Mrs Doubtfire where Robin Williams is faking calls from various inappropriate prospective nannies in order to nail the nanny job himself, except that the people on the other end of the phone are a lot less funny than Robin Williams.

“Print the numbers from 1 to 100? Sure? First we fill a table with numbers 1 to 100, then we run SELECT on the table. Easy!”

“This is like code, right? It’s been a while. Let’s see. Um. FOR. No, IF. Wait, I know this. PRINT 1 TO 100. Okay, that was easy. Next question?”

“Here in Havenukeistan we have many fine count. You relocate, yes? Then I write count for you, best you ever see.”


This works in the other direction, too. 30 years ago a recruiter sent me to the hinterlands outside of Minneapolis, and in that flat desolation surrounded by wheat fields was a small brick building with a bunch of workers in it. I walked in, introduced myself as the candidate, and spent an hour laughing with someone while we tried to figure out what my recruiter figured a game programmer and systems guy would do at a company that made sewing machines and that didn’t even have a computer on the premises. (A couple of later start-ups I was at made me wonder if bolting together light machinery and sleeping in a cow barn would have been a good choice of career change).

Ever wonder how those little bobbin things work? Fascinating, now /there/ is genius we should all aspire to.