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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
September 2009
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while we were laughing and smoking and drinking

Today started off rough and got worse. Got up, took Bear to work, went to the post office and home to get my shit and ran back to school to meet a new guy because his installs on his personal laptop aren’t working. Walked in to find out that he just left for “class” despite telling me that his class didn’t start for 40 minutes after I showed up. I swallowed that down, because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have gone in today. I ended up answering a lot of questions about an assignment I created for a class that two students I’m in the lab with are taking, so I’m telling myself it was worth it.

I then started working on the next assignment I’m giving (thankfully I’m only giving two). The last one, creating the assignment went pretty well and was fun except for figuring out exactly what to ask. This one, just figuring out what the assignment should cover or how it should cover it was hell. The tools I have available BLOW in terms of documentation. One is so bad I think the creators and collectors for the different tools don’t even understand the concept. I spent hours just figuring out which stupid Pin tools do what. I’m still not sure whether one metric I want is available or if I’d have to create my own tool (not doing that). Some of these tools give numbers and I’m like…. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN SIGNIFY? And gprof failed me. The program we want the students to work on it too short for it to get actual timing for each of the functions and if I make them use a longer version it defeats the point of using this program. So I’ve spent an increasing amount of time glaring and huffing and growling at my computer screen while I work my way through what feels like three billion different tools that are all undocumented and some without any kind of readable LABELS trying to piece together enough information to ask the students for any kind of analysis of the assembly they are supposed to deconstruct.

In the middle of all this my mom tells me that IE doesn’t work for her anymore. I spend a lot of time fighting with her to get logmein set up on her computer (omg, how did my mother forget how to figure out the USERNAME for her account on her laptop???? how did she not already KNOW IT???????????). Eventually I log in and start poking around with IE and realize that the pages that have the most trouble use java, but I can’t click any links and I can’t click buttons and I was losing my mind. Finally I was like, I don’t know. I asked Bear to check it out and he said, you can’t install anything either. So I tried, and it’s fucked. I thank Bear for spend half an hour during his workday messing with my mom’s computer and I call her back. I tell her, do you see this isn’t working? It’s worse than you thought. And she says (I have it on my phone, she actually said this) “The cat did it.” My response: “That is not acceptable mother.” It was at least worth a shocked giggle I guess. My brother got about a million IMs during this going, “where is our mother’s brain?” and “I’m going to kill her.” His response was to make sure I didn’t make a mess. I really do thank God for giving me my brother. Bear and he are my boys.

So yeah. I’ve now racked up more than 24 hours playing with assembly instructions and really frustrating tools for this assignment alone and I haven’t written a solution yet. In addition to my mother acting brainless and like a 5th grader, I had a new labmate stand me up. I can’t tell if I’d be more frustrated if I’d found out he never showed than knowing he showed, he just decided not to stick around. But I really really want to do something that WORKS right now. I just don’t know what. I’m worried if I try to read, the story will be bad or silly or not make enough sense for me right now and I’ll just combust from the accumulated frustration.