One Step Up, 200 Steps Back

I got my car back tuesday. My brakes work. I’m poor now.

Over the weekend, my brake line popped rendering my car useless, got it towed to the brake shop, and had repairs started on saturday. They had originally quoted my repair at $106, which I was ok with. Now, fast forward to tuesday morning. I walked to work and, after clocking in, I called the brake shop.

“Hi, I’m calling for an update on my car.”
“Oh, did you get our message yesterday?”
“Sorry, I don’t check my voicemail often. It’s done then?”
“Yes. Pick it up when you want.”
“Great, I’ll be there as soon as possible.”

So, I scratch off my clock in, grab my backpack, and head out the door. No sooner did I turn the corner to walk 40 yards to the bus stop, my bus just sails right past. Fuck. So I cinch up my backpack and start sprinting down the block to the next stop, and I mean running faster than I’ve run since high school. My reserve energy drained off by mid-block, and I had to speed-walk the rest of the way. Damn. Getting too old for this shit. Luckily for me the bus was stopped at the red light. I reached the door, tapped on it, and got on.

So, after getting off at the right stop, I walk to the shop and, still out of breath, walk into the office. They present the bill: one-hundred and ninety-eight dollars! Much more than the original quote. “Well, we apparently gave you the book quote, and when the hoses came in they were more, and we had to flush and bleed the system,” etc., etc. I was sunk. So I pony up the debit card and hope for the best. Luckily it went through. I took my receipt, asked for the spare key back, and walk out the door muttering as dryly and as sternly as possible, “well, let’s go see these $200 hoses.” Mostly satisfied with the repair, I leave with my car, remove my sweaty shirt, and drive gingerly back to work.

So far, there’s been no problems with my brakes, but I’m not taking chances. The action is a bit different than it was before friday, so I’m getting accustomed to it. Almost a little more spongy on the top side of the pedal action, but when I clamp down it grabs good.

I had to cancel a layaway I had at a music shop and get my money back to help maintain a comfort zone in my bank account. The chargeback hasn’t posted to my account yet, but I have faith that it will post some time within the next month or so. Feh. Faith.

Well, roomate’s gone for the week. He has a family wedding to attend in Wisconsin, where he’s from, so he’s taking 10 days off of work, and about 3 days on the bus, to see his family and friends. The house is oddly quiet and still. Almost sane — everything is exactly as I leave it. I miss the bugger already.

Neverminding the monster migraine I had yesterday (and the spots in my vision in the hour leading up to it), I’ve been doing ok healthwise. Chest gets wonky on occasion, but other than that (and the maniacal sprint I did tuesday), I’m feeling fine. Usually hungry but feeling fine.

I’m getting a lot of programming done. Apparently I’m in a zone where I can get stuff hammered out fast enough to keep it all straight in my head. For me, that’s the key to programming. The section I’m working on is a group of classes and modules that allow me to, in an object-oriented way, access rows and tables in the database. There’s one parent class, and all the child classes inherit major chunks of generic code from the parent, thereby reducing (by a lot) the amount of work I have to do and code I have to write. When I create a new table in the database, I just duplicate a child class and slightly modify it to fit the table and voila I have a new object to handle data from that table.

Larry Wall, the original author of the programming language Perl (my language of choice), had this to say about programming: “There are three principle virtues of a good programmer, and those virtues are ‘laziness’,’impatience’, and ‘hubris’.” What he means is this:

  • laziness – doing more with the least amount of code or work
  • impatience – never wanting to wait on code to execute or do its job; never settling for slow programs
  • hubris – don’t just document everything, but document well. Make sure your code is straightforward enough to document itself, and illuminate what it does and, in special cases, why.

In programming, and in some parts of my life, I try my best to hold true to these principles. Doing more with less. Sounds like an excellent idea.

Ok, bedtime. G’nite y’all.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?