Updates and Other News

Wow, that was a long hiatus, wasn’t it?

I don’t always plan what I’m going to write about. Usually I just plod along in my daily grind and problems present themselves. I spend time figuring out what’s going on, and if the solution is somewhat weird, I try to explain why I thought so.

In the last twelve months or so, I’ve taken up residence at a Berlin startup called Arzttermine.de. They specialise in taking appointments for doctors online. It also lets me forget about agency work for a while and instead focus on developing a single piece of software.

…Aaand still here we are. The problem with the platform we had was that it was… old. It was built in about 14(!) days from scratch using a very old (scratch-built) CMS platform. A miracle by any stretch of investor imagination. After number of, let’s say, less-than-qualified contractors worked on it, it became a staggeringly bloated mess full of untestable spaghetti-code.

At the moment, it feels like I’m poking my head up from underwater, as the codebase is somewhat refactored and new features can be developed again without big if/else blocks wrapping method calls. I wish I worked on something interesting in the last twelve months. I like breaking down my problems into dumb little pieces and then explaining it online. I’ve been told more than a few times that my posts are helpful, and that is amazing to know.

Due to this lack of work-related creativity, I’ve started producing trite little YouTube videos that some people appear to like. If this is your thing, give it a quick look and say hi. If it isn’t, well come to Twitter and say hi anyway. I welcome the distraction from work.

– Neill

LinkedIn – Lesson #1

My battle against recruiters continues with a strange and random request from LinkedIn.

I consider rejecting unsolicited LinkedIn mail my sisyphean punishment for some mysterious crime I did not commit. An ever-present tide of human ignorance washing against the grainy shore of my day, snuffing out what little hope I had left that the entire population was not – at some fundamental level – simply a dipshit.

It is no wonder, then, that I grew weary of replying to people who couldn’t do their job. The ever-persistent advance of this multi-headed hydra was eroding my enthusiasm for being a twat. Apathy was winning.

Another day, another email, and I replied with a terse “contact the manager”. A little while later, I was surprised to find the following response:

> Who is the GM?

Now, I’m no expert on LinkedIn (hell, I rarely venture from my own profile), but I certainly know how to click a link when I see one. Several, in fact. Sometimes in a row. So when the information you’re after is fewer clicks away than finding your inbox, you should probably just take the easier option. But if this is something you need to be told, I guess there is probably a greater concern here, right?

Instead of giving him a real answer, I decided to be a complete dick about it and go ahead and create this handy little video tutorial. Take note, LinkedIn trawlers.

I think my passion has returned.


It didn’t have to be like this

Welcome to Cancer Council Victoria’s latest campaign against cervical cancer.

Although I enjoyed the absurdity of the video, a few questions remain:

  1. What was the author trying to convey with their selection of background music? Romance? Sleaze? Seems too slow and deliberate for just a bit of the old in-out.
  2. Why did Joey McStudsalot go straight for the prize? Cool your jets, soldier, you’ve got all night. We’re listening to the same soundtrack, right? There’s nothing more embarassing than finishing before the album, let alone the first song.
  3. What the hell is powering her panties? I’m guessing some type of bio-fuel. I bet there are some sweet government subsidies on that. Probably renewable, too.
  4. Is Nanna Likestowatch dead? Alive? Part of an experimental ASIO project? Whichever it is, it seems like her granddaughter’s hamfisted attempt at getting laid has bothered her enough to pipe-up. I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me want to unhave sex more than my dead grandmother telling me about my potentially-festering loins.
  5. Is McStudsalot a robot? Or at least a futuristic fusion of man and machine? Then how the hell is he still raring to go after getting a lecture on his girlfriend’s nethers by a photo on a mantelpiece? I would’ve tipped off down the street, underwear in one hand and a phonecall to the Scooby Gang in the other.

Hopefully these are all answers we can get straight from the cutting room floor. I expect no fewer than two follow-up videos to this: one from the Erectile Dysfunction Centre, and the other as an episode of C.O.P.S.


“Boyfriend went Vegan”

Here’s one of many new ads aimed at promoting veganism (a noble goal, I’m sure) by our good friends over at PETA.


Wait. This isn’t funny or clever, it’s an abomination. If I were vegan, I’d pretend that I wasn’t until this atrocious “marketing” campaign passed and we all walked around like it never happened.

“Remember those ads by PETA?”
“Wha- what? HELL NO. Let’s go eat some cabbage.”
“Rock on, pasty friend.”

Yeah, just like that.

Vegans get all the breaks
The battered wife look is so hot right now