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  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:22 am on May 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fountain pen, , , Pens, , Rational temperament, smartphone, , , United States Army, , , Writing instruments   

    Military Clip 

    A programmer’s job is full of stress. The worst part of this stress is that you can’t stop thinking about your problems, and continue working on them 24/7. Literally.

    I read a blog of a developer who quit and took a job as a waiter in a Mexican restaurant. Being a server is one of the most stressful professions in the world, but that stress stops at the end of the work day. Problems that programmers face never end at the end of the day, they continue into the night, the next day, week, and year. Unless you fix them, that is. Then you get to solve a whole different set of problems.

    Working as a developer is like solving SAT problems for 24 hours a day with long procrastination breaks. No wonder it’s a ghetto job.

    I’ve recently had a series of recurring dreams about fishing. I come out to the beach, cast, and immediately the beach is filled with other fishermen. They all cast as well, the lines tangle, it’s impossible to fish. This is exactly like locking MySQL queries that I’ve been battling as of late.

    I am a proponent of the Danny Sorenson method of stress reduction. This basically means that I go out and buy pens.

    The cool thing about my new job is that I work right near a fountain pen store and a cigar store (which also helps in stress reduction). My latest stress-reducing fountain pen purchase is kind of interesting.

    It’s a fountain pen with a “military clip“. You see, U. S. Army Regulation AR670-1, paragraph 1-9a(1) had the following passage:

    “Soldiers will ensure that articles carried in pockets do not protrude from the pocket or present a bulky appearance.”

    A clip on most pens would create a bulge on a uniform pocket. Pen manufacturers were forced to create special pens with a clip that would not cause this problem, like the one that I purchased.

    While treating me and my team to dinner, my boss’ boss, watching as I stuffed a bulky Treo 650 smartphone into the front pocket of my shirt, quipped — “As soon as you put anything into your front pocket you automatically become a nerd”. I guess U.S. Army regulations have a point…

  • Michael Krakovskiy 11:27 am on March 19, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Danny Sorenson, Duofold, Fountain pen, high school physics teacher, Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder, , Parker Duofold, Rick Schroder, , , ,   

    Clippy? Is that You? 

    One of my favorite TV shows is NYPD Blue. There are a lot of little details on good shows that only become apparent if your read the FAQ. For instance, one of the detectives, Danny Sorenson sometimes did this weird thing – when upset, he would start putting office implements, usually paper clips into his shirt pocket. The explanation is in the FAQ:

    What’s the deal with Danny and those paperclips?
    During Rick Schroder’s first few episodes on the show, the writers introduced the idea that when Danny gets emotionally “stirred up,” he deals with it in part by grabbing office supplies — usually paperclips — and sticking them in his shirt pocket. And on one occasion, after getting a particular problem off his chest, we actually saw him take the clips out of his pocket and put them back in their caddy on his desk. At least one therapist who watches the show says this means that Danny had Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, which is a more mild version of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

    When I get stirred up, I go and buy office supplies. Especially pens. It seems to have a calming effect on me.

    I am especially lusting for a really really good fountain pen. I think one day, when I feel especially crappy, I’ll finally buy myself a modern Parker Duofold, a descendant of the noble offshoot of Parker’s Jack Knife Safety line. My high school physics teacher used to have one of those. They are great. Nibs made of osmium, iridium, ruthenium and other unobtainium, split by hand. Ooooh.

    Anyway, because the prospect of buying an apartment is making me poor, all I can afford right now is regular ballpoint pens at Staples. And writing in livejournal about that.

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