Archive for the ‘Hired and Uninspired’ Category

Is it unprofessional to impersonate a zucchini at work?

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Somewhere between South East 52nd Street and South West First Street the lid slipped off of the container of my delectable and healthy home-made vegetable soup.


A Newbie’s Report – the personal version – part 2

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Here are the things that I left out of the article I wrote for my company’s newsletter. I left them out because I was trying to be professional…


A Newbie’s Report – the personal version – part 1

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

I was actually in Las Vegas primarily to be on-call for my Grandparents (the G’s) while Mom went on vacation. I G-sat Wednesday-Sunday, then attended the NCTA conference (see previous post) Monday and Tuesday.

It was an exhausting week of pure culture shock jumping between the highly oxygenated, slow-paced halls of the assisted living facility, to the smokey casino floors and Armani clad businessmen who populate the cable TV industry – not to mention a brief time-travel back to high-school curfews.


A Newbie’s Report from the 2007 NCTA Expo Floor

Monday, May 14th, 2007

I just attended a work-related tradeshow, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association show, in Las Vegas. I was asked to write an article for the company newsletter. A reprint of that article follows. This is the professional version of my report – the personal version will follow in a separate post.



Uninspired Anniversary

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Well, it has been about a year since that fateful day I was fired, my work-related trip was cancelled but I went anyway, and Uninspired was born. Believe it or not, I just returend from a work-related tradeshow. Here is what is different a year later:

1) I am happy in my job (which has comparable pay and better benefits than the job I was fired from)

2) I like my boss.

3) I am getting the opportunity to learn new things at work.

4) My company trusts me enough to let me set my own schedule, decide how to go about doing the work I am assigned, share company information with me with a minimum of up-the-ass smoke blowing.

5) I work with balanced people with normal egos, respect for their co-workers, who can have conversations and question things without getting all threatened and twitchy.

It is amazing what can happen in a year!!

A Must Read Book

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Hi All,

This site is not dead. I promise! I’ve had some sick family members this year and I’ve been travelling A LOT doing hospice care. I have a bunch of half-written posts that I hope to get done soon.

During all this travel I read a fantabulous book called Bitter is the New Black by Jennifer Lancaster. If you’ve ever been laid-off and are slightly bitter about it, you must read this book. The author also goes down in my list of Fearless People. Her priorities changed a lot after her experience and she took the leap to become a writer instead of continuing to sign up for jobs that made her unhappy, but paid the rent. AND it seems to be working out for her. You can read her blog at  I suggest you pour yourself a nice martini and settle into the couch with your lap-top while you peruse her blog. It will enhance the experience.

A Day (and Playlist) in the Life of a Software Test Engineer

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I was asked to write this for my current job’s newsletter. My family is always asking me what I do for a living, and rarely understands my response – so I thought it’d be good to reprint this here. Enjoy!


Some of my favorite things that happened to other people at work

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

These are some stories that I love. They didn’t happen to me, but I heard about them first hand from family and friends.


Take 30

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

I have been remiss in posting to this thread. However, I have not been remiss in taking ‘Windows of Time’ to stop and enjoy myself. Here is a list of 10 things I’ve discovered ( all less than 30 minutes) that help me relax, slow down, spend time with the fam and be more healthy.


VHF, UHF … WTF??? An example of confusing UI design.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Today I was reading about how television works, because I am now in the television industry. (Yes, I still work on software, but software for TV)

I like to think about how the user interface of stuff is designed. Why did the designer(s) think something was a good idea? What about the thing makes it so a certain design was chosen? Did the designer(s) understand their audience?

Another thing I think is very interesting is to watch how people use stuff. People use tools in ways that were never intended by the tool’s designers, and people do some pretty imaginative things to get around a tool’s design flaws.

Very rarely, have I found a software tool that just does what I need it to do without me having to spend extra time tweaking it. When developing software, is there a perspective that can help you create an intuitive tool that just works in an obvious way without the user having to invest extra time to get the tool to work?

Today, while reading about how television works, I was struck by a very simple analogy that helped me generate a quick list of things to think about as I design my next ‘get-rich quick’ widget. (OK…not my next…actually my first, but next makes me sound more credible.)