Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Requiescat in pacem

It started as two men having a friendly chat at a neighborhood bar, but police say within seconds one of them was dead.
 I knew Terry Baird.  We used to live in the same town.  He was a Realtor, and the business turned south.  He was able to land himself another job, in the same general line of work, and ended up moving.

We were both huge Big XII football fans, but for opposite teams.  We spent many a time generally ribbing each other and joshing about whose team was better, and was that a clean hit or not.

We also talked about more serious things.  He had a son (one of three) that had seen some rough times.  The son was straightening things out, and Terry was there to give him a shoulder, a hand, a place to stay.  Life was getting better.

He bought me beers, I bought him beers.  We shared appetizers and arguments.  We always walked away friends at the end of an evening.  I always looked forward to seeing him when our paths next crossed.

It was a bit of a sad day when he moved away, because that meant I wouldn't see him as often.  I enjoyed spending time with him.

Even though I've moved 1,000 miles away, I still remember Terry.  I remember his raspy voice, his joy at going to Austin to see a football game, his excitement at the latest big deal he'd landed.  I remember him agonizing over his son, and wanting to provide as best he could.  I remember him opining about politics, and even sometimes agreeing with him.

In all, I remember enjoying his company, even if we did occasionally curse one another.  After all, what are friends for?

All I know is that today I am saddened, and disgusted, and frustrated.

I hadn't thought of Terry in 7 or 8 months, to be honest.  Well, maybe once or twice as I thought "The next time I'm in town I'll need to swing by and see if he's there."  That won't happen again.  At least, I should say, it won't happen with him on his stool and me on mine.  I guess I'll always know now where I can swing by and see him.

I read a bunch of the local articles today about this, and I scrolled through the comments.  Most everything agrees that it was "senseless".  They weren't arguing, they were just talking.  One commenter opined that it was over a game of pool or a pool table.  Another claimed that he knew the suspect, and that he was mentally unstable and had been in and out of facilities.  I finally had to stop reading, because I realized that IT.  DIDN'T. MATTER!!!!

A good man is dead, for no good reason.  The world is a lesser place because of it.

I pray for Terry's family and friends.  I pray that God will help them understand, as best one can a violent and undeserved end, and most of all help them cope.

Terry Baird - We argued, we disagreed, we laughed and cried and made fun.  While we might not have been friends, we were acquaintances, and I will miss you.

Hook 'em Horns!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comprehension is apparently a lost art

The following conversation occurred in an email thread:

Me: I cannot ping or browse to the server name you gave me.  Also, I need to know the UNC path to the directory where I'm supposed to drop the files.
Him: (forwarding an old email) You mean this server?
Me: Yes, that one (copies and pastes in the ping results)
Him: Oh, I had a typo in the server name.  Oh, and here's the FTP account information you need.
Me: Um, my process doesn't use FTP.  It uses UNC paths to a file share.  I need either the UNC path or if this process is going to run local on that server, the actual physical path.
Him: FTP is not configured on that server yet, but it's getting set up today.
Me: o.O

Seriously, people.  I've been in 3 meetings for this project, and in each one I specified that the process we're migrating uses UNC, not FTP.  It would require a significant rewrite to get it to use FTP.  I even sent out email messages documenting that requirement.

Reading comprehension is not that difficult.  Oh, and when you are a Business Analyst and part of your job function is gathering and documenting requirements, don't you think it would be a good idea to actually make note of an iron-clad requirement that is called out?

Color me unimpressed with this particular BA.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Schadenfreude, perhaps?

So, when we moved to NKY about 7 months, we first rented a 4-bedroom house.  At the time, it seemed quite the blessing as we the landlord was willing to give us a 6-month lease and allowed pets.  It was perfect for our situation.

As I've blogged before, there were some periodic issues with the landlord, but I decided to write them off.  Come time to move out, however, I was starting to get frustrated.  I sent him our cessation notice, and called several times asking about receiving our refund.  I never received a response.

According to state law, security deposit refunds are due within 2 weeks of move-out.  Needless to say, we did not receive our refund in that specified timeframe.  I called, and I called, and I called, and I never received a response from our landlord.  Upon the advice of my lawyer, I mailed him two copies of a demand letter.  One was sent registered mail, and was sent normal post.  I must confess I didn't understand the reason for sending two letters at first.  However, it soon made sense.  According to, the registered letter still has not been receipted.  I do know that he received the regular letter.

You see, I've been convinced for months that he's been ducking my phone calls.  I always called him from either my mobile or home phone.  Finally, one day about a week ago, I called him from my work phone.  I'd never previously given this number to him.  He actually answered my call.  It went something like this:

Him: "Hello"
Me: "Is this $landlord"
Him: "Yes. . . ."
Me: "This is $merlin. . ."
Him: ". . . . . . . . . . "
(I swear I could her the mental OH ##)(*$@)*#@#$#@#@$) on his part)
Me: "Just wanted to touch base with you as we still haven't received our refund."
Him: "Oh, yeah.  I received your letter.  I'll put the check in the mail tomorrow."

This conversation happened Wednesday evening.  Based on his mailing address (it's one small town over), if he put the check in the mail on Thursday I should have received it today.

I didn't.

I called him this evening and once again rolled over to his voice mail (I've only physically spoken with him on 3 occasions, maybe 4).  I left him a message letting him know that we hadn't received the check and reminding him he had until Monday to get the money to us before I went to small claims court.

Honestly, I didn't expect any sort of response, and fully anticipated having to call him tomorrow as well.

Imagine my surprise when I received a text message from him this evening.  He said that he'd been busy and didn't put the check in the mail today.  We should receive it tomorrow.  I texted back thanking him and letting him know that I'd notify him when I received the check.  He actually responded AGAIN (making 2 times total in 7 months that he'd responded to me, both on the same day) assuring me we'd have it tomorrow.

I think I've finally got this guy running scared.  It's a shame that it took the threat of legal action to get him to comply with his business obligations.  I'll definitely be contacting the local Better Business Bureau and filing a complaint, as much good as that will do.

Oh, and I won't feel completely satisfied until the check has been deposited and cleared.  Not that I'm cynical or anything, but I just don't really trust the guy for some reason.

Monday, April 12, 2010