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Posts by Kate Paulk

The Shameless Kitteh Post

After getting home from the test conference (and being completely exhausted), I became a kitty-mommy again. Her Royal Highness, Princess Buttercup had been getting rather needy and demanding since we lost both Baby and Bugger within a few months of each other, so The Husband and I had been making inquiries with the local shelter.

We’d been approved to adopt, but I didn’t expect the Husband to come home with two new kittehs.

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Why I Hate Flying

Fair warning: this post is going to be something of an extended whine. I am writing this in a hotel room with the inevitable “joy” of hotel internet after attending day one of a testing conference on the left coast of the US.

I live on the right side of the country, so this meant a plane flight.

Since this particular conference comes with two optional events – a pre-conference meetup the night before and a post-conference meetup on the night of the last day, I naturally wanted to attend both. Since my experience with the same setup last year was that after connections I really didn’t want anything to do with any kind of activity after checking in, I naturally booked a nonstop flight so I’d have a nice early-ish arrival with plenty of time to take a nap so I’d be able to go to the pre-conference meetup.

Yeah. Riiiight.

First, the non-stop flight is cancelled. The replacement has a moderately tight connection, but isn’t too bad. Then the first leg of the trip runs late. It lands with room for me to make the connection if I hustle… Except that the airport is having a little issue finding enough gate staff to bring the flight into a gate. So we sit on the taxiway for half a bloody hour before we can get into a gate.

Naturally, I book it for the connection. Arrive just after the doors close, to be told that I’ve been booked onto a different flight leaving an hour later, and due to start boarding in the next 1/2 hour. Yay…

Time is spent with phone notifying the hotel that my check in might be a wee bit later than planned since instead of arriving between 11 am and 12 as I’d originally booked, or even between 2 & 3 according to rebooking version 1 I now don expect to reach them before 4.

I am in fact correct. The connecting flight loads up on time. Leaves the terminal on time. Sits on the taxiway for half an hour before getting to takeoff. The rest of the trip, no real problems.

Heck, the flights themselves weren’t too horrible, mostly because both were very lightly booked – instead of the usual “we’re completely full so expect to have your carryon changed to booked baggage” it was “we’re very empty so for weight distribution reasons we need people to volunteer to move to the rows behind the wings or we’ll move you ourselves.”

The extra space was nice, and I’ve got to admit that if I have to choose between a mini TV screen in the back of the seat in front or a power point built into the thing, I’ll take the power point thanks. I can flip the phone or the tablet into flight mode and do what I want instead of having to deal with having something I don’t care about shown at me. Or course, I may be one of the few people in the universe this applies to.

I miss the days when flying was an adventure. When it was a big thing, and you didn’t have to deal with TSA lines (no matter how efficiently they’re set up, the whole thing is still a big vulnerable mess). I don’t know how they’ve managed it, but the combination of government mandates, airlines looking for the cheapest options, customers looking for the cheapest options, and airports looking for the cheapest options, the whole experience has turned into a kind of hell.

I’ll be glad to get home Friday (late) and recover. No matter how much fun the convention is, getting there and back is a trial.

Blast from the Past – The Fine Art of Character Torture

It’s been another insane week – which has, yet again vanished without trace (honestly, whoever is vacuuming the sands of time really needs to stop before I run out of them). And yet again I find myself with a thunderous lack of something to write about.

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Another One Down

Another week, that is.

Not to mention most likely a valuable forum for techy types, since it would seem that the Stack Overflow network has acquired itself that terrible combination of terminally well-meaning but horrifyingly naïve HR-type folks who have come to the conclusion that they need to enforce proper pronominal behavior upon us peons whose main concern is high quality content.

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Apart from being about the scariest word ever in rather a lot of situations, it’s also pretty much where I am right now. Sorry for forgetting to post the last couple of weeks. I’m about as scatterbrained as it’s possible to be and I’m pretty much holding on and hoping it gets better soon. Or even just gets better. Because it would be nice to actually possess a functioning brain again rather than the current model that would probably fail a lemon law check.

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Judge Not

One thing that I’ve found over the years is that people are generally really bad at judging themselves. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told something about myself that I would never have considered a defining factor – but when enough people say the same thing, there’s got to be something to it.

Apparently I’m scary (that’s the most common one). I’ve never been able to see that one, especially since I’m one of the most conflict-averse people on the planet. I’m also ridiculously stubborn, though, and when it comes to something I think needs to happen or be said I tend to go all mulish and not back down. Maybe that’s what gives the “scary” vibe? Read more

Birthday Musings

Okay, it’s not quite the illustrious anniversary of the day I arrived kicking and screaming after 30 hours of labor, but it’s close. It’s also – to my continuing shock – more than 50 years since that happened. I still haven’t figured out how that one snuck up on me. It just doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in my 20s.

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