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Laurels and Tardies

This is kind of a big deal for me per­son­ally. This web­site. It is because the engine that does the squishy tech­ni­cal stuff is Word­Press, one of the amaz­ing soft­ware sys­tems that is avail­able on the inter­net. The con­tent is stored in a MySQL data­base. Here’s the amaz­ing part: Word­Press and MySQL are absolutely free. Word­Press is wran­gled by a bunch of scripts that will make the best com­puter pro­gram­mer go glassy eyed just before falling over in con­vul­sions. MySQ, but the scripts usu­ally get the job done. MySQL used to be some­thing of a joke around com­put­eroids, but the data­base devel­op­ers got them­selves a seri­ous case of whoop-ass which they pro­ceeded to pour all over Ora­cle and Sybase. The point is this: free soft­ware rocks. It is almost like they took a cue from… I don’t know… who? Fidonet? Opus?

It still gnaws at me. Because I spent years pro­gram­ming these sill silicon-based whooz­its, I have a deeply held belief that I could prob­a­bly do a bet­ter job. Belief? No: absolute knowl­edge that I could do a bet­ter job. It is the kind of cor­ro­sive knowl­edge that is bub­bles around every time I launch some­body else’s program.

That’s one side of it. The other side is that run­ning some­body else’s code is lazy. It is like the gar­den cen­ter at one local Home Depot. They actu­ally have a tree stak­ing kit. A what? No, really. It is a sharply pack­aged bag of wire and short wooden stakes, and there’s some kind of wrap to keep the wire away from the tree trunk. What’s more, they actu­ally printed instruc­tions for the kit. I’m sur­prised they didn’t include a ham­mer… unless the instruc­tions tell the pur­chaser to go to the tool sec­tion to buy the ham­mer of their choice. I mean, give me a plank and some wire. I’ll break off some wood strips to use as stakes, and I’ll have the tree aligned and fas­tened in less time than a Gen-X Green-jeans can read the damned instruc­tion booklet.

On the other hand, I’m retired from pro­gram­ming com­put­ers. I can rest on my … no, I don’t have any lau­rels. Where are my god­dam lau­rels? WAIT, do lau­rels have thorns? I’m not putting my tush on top of any thorns for any­body. I’m retired, for Pete’s sake.