We don’t give date estimates for bug fixes. Quit asking.

As a long time product manager, one of my pet peeves is the bug/hotfix process.  Stepping back, we have a well defined triage process, where a good team of dev, support, and support engineers (as well as myself) sit in a room, and agree on priority, severity, and even whether it is a defect, or just desired different behavior requested.  This works well.

Issues are brought in, verified, assigned severity (and if there is a work around, that lowers the severity, as you would expect), and tossed into the queue.

The maintenance team, 3 developers, then pull items from the queue in FIFO with some stack ranking due to priority.  At any one time we have 30 – 60 issues in queue.

What this rant is about is the constant badgering I get from sales.  “When will issue X be done?”  “Why isn’t {insert pet issue} done yet”, “I am going to go to the division GM if you can’t give me this this week”, among other less printable comments.

As there is a queue, and it is ranked by priority and severity, we get to them as we get to them.  We do not make duse dates available.  I will not commit to more than “It is in the queue, and the team will address it”.  

Sigh, I seem to lose 2 hours a week in these pointless discussions.  I have an idea, why don’t you find a bug in Windows, and call Microsoft support.  See how much “pull” you have there.

Great drive in music today – Steve Vai set

About 2 minutes into my drive to the office today, a great set of tunes popped up on the ol’ iPod plugged into my stereo.

From the forgettable movie, “Crossroads” (the Ralph Macchio one, not the britney spears one), there is a scene where Macchio’s character cuts heads with Jack Butler (played by Steve Vai), a guitar player who sold his soul to the devil.

The scene has for parts, “Fried Chicken”, “Butler’s Bag”, “Headcutting Duel” and the victorious response, “Eugene’s Bag of Tricks”.  Fantastic guitar work, and the piece de resistance, is the Eugene’s Bag of Tricks.  It is really one of Pagannini’s Caprices arranged for the guitar.  (In the soundtrack, all these parts are played by Vai, naturally).

What a great way to make it into the office.

Damn, didn’t need that. Lost my best friend a year ago today

Opened my email this morning and got sucker punched.  I knew it was coming but somehow put it out of my mind.  Not hard to believe.  I set an annual alert in my Google calendar to remind me of the passing of my greyhound Oliver.  One year ago today, I made the toughest decision of my life, to allow him to pass with dignity and grace.  

Oliver-1

We got him in early 2004.  He failed off the track, and never ran a race.  We liked to think that he was too smart to race.  All greyhounds have issues.  They spend their youths only in the company of other greyhounds, and live life in kenels.  It is hard, and it definitely affects them.

Oliver had needs.  He was afraid of most men, but I was the immediate exception,  He glommed on to me, and really was my biggest fan.  He would mope when I would leave on a business trip.  He would be bounce all over when I came home.  He was really a super companion.

As a greyhound, he loved to run.  It was in his blood, and he would turn it loose.  It was a thing of beauty. 

Oliver-3

Then, one day, he pulled up lame.  I thought nothing of it at the time.  He had over exerted him self a lot of times, and always snapped out of it.  This time was different.  Over a period of three weeks, he got progressively worse.  We tried metacam (an NSAID), and other pain medications.  We tested for Valley Fever.  We had x-rays done.  THe hope being that he had a bone chip, or torn cartilege, or some other explanation.  

Alas, that wasn’t the case.  Greyhounds are highly susceptible to osteo sarcoma.  It is a hell of a disease, and really hard on the dogs.  No really good treatment besides amputation, and chemo therapy.  The was never an issue, but research showed that the prognoses even with this aggressive treatment is poor.

On his last night, He was up, restless and whimpering all night.  I laid by his side, and came to the realization that it was time to end his suffering.  Anything else would be selfish.

I guess that since this hurts me so to write (I am blubbering and crying like a baby) it means that he touched me in a very deep and special way.  I miss him terribly, and will probably always miss him.

God speed Oliver, keep chasing those bunnies in doggie heaven.  I miss you.

Oliver-4

Travel Foibles: Part 4 (of many) – In room comfort

What is it with mid range business hotels?  They all race to the same amenities.  

Name brand toiletries (Neutrogena here at the Hilton Garden Inn).  

They have the wide shower curtain bars (so that you don’t notice that you are standing in your grandmother’s bath tub).

There is a pillow menu for soft to firm.

All to increase my comfort.

You know what would really help?  Getting rid of under window AC unit.  I would sleep tons better if it didn’t sound like a Boeing 747 powering up to a takeoff run.   

Travel Foibles: Part 3 (of many) – Rental car agencies

You know how hard it is to get a compact or ecnomony car?  

First, the travel agent seems to guide me into a midsize.  It is the “Corporate Standard”.  Really?  We have a standard class for rentals?

Next, the jockey working at the counter says “An economy car.  Are you sure?”  

After I say Yes, they then say “Well, for $5.00 a day, I can upgrade you to a fullsize, or an SUV”  #FAIL.  To me, an upgrage is a Posrche GT3, or a Bugatti Veryon.  Maybe a Bentley.  It isn’t a hunk of american steel in too big of a body size.

I really am just doing a few 10 mile trips, and back to the airport.  Yes, I will fill the tank (and not pay the $8.00 a gallon “convenience” fee).  Just give me the base econobox.  Really, it will be OK.

  • Exception.  When I am in Texas, I always upgrade to the sedab with a V8.  You gotta get up to speed on the freeway PRONTO.