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Aug 9 2011

And now I bring you a picture of a cat

Jamie Barrows

After all the meetings and rushed code fixes today, my brain is not up to writing a long blog post. So what you get is this lovely picture of a cat. It’s about all I have the energy or motivation to put up today. So enjoy the cat.


Aug 6 2011

Yard day

Jamie Barrows

Today is a Yard work day.

I didn’t mow my yard last weekend because we were visiting family in Atlanta, and I can’t mow it next weekend because I have a wedding to go to. So unless I want to have a jungle in my yard, I really need to mow it this weekend.

Of course today is supposed to be one of the hottest days we have had all year. So I fully expect to be covered in sweat and be totally worn out by the time I’m done.

There is something really satisfying to me about working on a garden/yard. Maybe it is because I work in an office all week and don’t get to work with my hands all that much. My job consists of writing reports, designing data management screens, and coding SQL statements all day. And I enjoy what I do, but there are times when doing something that is totally different is actually relaxing. So getting out and mowing my grass or weeding my garden is a good way for me to unwind and clear off stress.


Aug 5 2011

No ideas for a post today

Jamie Barrows


So today I have no ideas for a post. But since I’m trying to make sure I post every day for the next 30 days (This is day 3 of that process) I really have to post something. So this is going to be a boring post about my day.

I did read a lot of news today, but there really wasn’t all that much happening. The biggest news was the little war of words between Google and Microsoft over the Nortel Patents. Which really isn’t that exciting.

The only other thing I did was work. I got a lot done, but nothing I was working on was all that exciting. So all in all, it was kind of a boring day. Which I guess isn’t so bad. A normal boring day is kind of relaxing.


May 26 2009

Work vs Vacation

Jamie Barrows

phd052509s

The problem some of us have when it comes to leaving work at the office.


May 13 2009

Reputation: You vs. The other you

Jamie Barrows

lemon1
I read an article the other day on Scott Adam’s blog titled The Other Scott Adams” In case you don’t know, Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic. A comic that helps all of us office workers keep a little sanity. And ever since I found his blog, I’ve been enjoying his daily(ish) comments on society and current events.

So anyway, back to the article. The gist of it was that in this day and age, if you have a common name, your reputation ends up closely tied to the actions of the “other” you(s) that are out there. This isn’t really a new thing. Throughout the history you can watch the popularity of names rise and fall based on the actions of prominent people. After all, no one wants to be named after a mass murderer or even have themselves associated with one via their name. What makes today’s name associations different from those of the past, is the ease with which those associations can be found.

In the past, it was unlikely that someone(with the same name) else’s actions would ever be noticed by your friends, coworkers, and relatives unless they became famous/infamous for them. These days those other you’s are a simple Google search away. And as people search engines(which I mentioned in a previous post) become more common and better at finding details about individuals, those other people with your name are going to be noticed by you and your friends even more.

So try it. Google your name and see how many other you’s there are in the first two or three pages that come back. Unless you post a lot online under your own name, you will probably be surprised at how many other you’s there are in the first three pages. Now ask yourself, is it likely that people who don’t know you very well or are potential employers likely to be able to tell which of those “you’s” that come back are really you?


May 12 2009

Hard work, and beautiful results

Jamie Barrows

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work on my house in preparation for my soon to be wife. Basically I’m trying to fix it it up and make it special for her. To that end, I’m doing a lot of repainting and even some remodeling.

One of the things I did, was combine two bedrooms into one to make a master bedroom. Now, initially I wasn’t all that excited about the project. Mainly because it was going to be a lot of work. I had to rip out the wall between the two bedrooms, put in a new door to the bathroom that would be accessible from the bedroom, and build a new wall for the closet. All a rather large quantity of work. And on top of that, I also was replacing all the trim in the rooms. So I had to put up new crown molding, new baseboard, and a chair rail.

Furthermore, that work had to be done after my normal work day in the evenings. That meant I was working late into the night. And I was also using up my weekends on this project. I’m sure that for a professional the whole project would have been done in just a few weekends, but for me a few weekends wasn’t enough time. Hence the long hours.

But now that I’m finally done with the remodeling (still some other projects I want to do before July), I am actually pretty satisfied with the result. And even though the remodeling wasn’t something I was very excited about doing initially, I am very happy I did it now.

The following is a gallery of pictures of the new room. Now you can see what I’ve been doing for the past few months and see why I haven’t been posting here as much.


Nov 20 2008

Back into Programming

Jamie Barrows

news-may-08-005

I know I’ve been a bit remiss in my posting lately, but I have a good reason. Apart from being engaged(which takes up a lot of my free time. lol), I’ve also recently changed my place of employment again.

Yes, I know it wasn’t all that long ago that I changed jobs, but this job is a bit more suited to me than the last job.

In the first place, it doesn’t involve any travel. Which will be a good thing when it comes to getting married. Travel is fine when you are single, but not so great when you are married.

Second, it gets me back into programming full time. Which is something I really missed at my last job. Don’t get me wrong, my last job was pretty exciting. Doing avionics work on aircraft was pretty cool. The only problem was that I wasn’t really trained for that type of work. Plus, I really like programming.

So as of last Monday(the 10th of November), I started a new job working at Columbia Southern University.


Jul 17 2008

Back at home

Jamie Barrows


Well, I’m finally back home and happy to be here. The above pic is what I look like after three months of traveling. The whole time I was overseas I didn’t bother to shave or cut my hair. Now that I’m home, I’m shaving it all off.


Jun 12 2008

Thinking the Best

Jamie Barrows

reaching for the sky

At my current job, I work with a pretty good group of guys. Most of them are easy to get along with, and all of them work pretty hard. One guy in particular is an extremely hard worker. He does his job without being told, and will even go out of his way to find work to do when his normal duties are completed.

You’re probably thinking that this guy sounds like a model employee. Someone who works without supervision. An employee that goes above and beyond what is required. The thing is that he has one big glaring fault. A fault that negates most of the good qualities I mentioned above. He literally can’t work with anyone.

The reason he can’t work with anyone is that he always assumes the worst about his fellow employees. By that, I don’t mean that he thinks all of his fellow employees are evil. What I mean is that whenever something comes up (good or bad), he assumes the worst possible motives of those involved.

So advice or critiques of his work (which is actually pretty good) is taken as a personal attack by the person giving the advice. And praise for his work is taken as an attempt to suck up to him for some future gain. If one of us is falling behind, he automatically assumes that the person falling behind was slacking off and not working. Any mistakes other employees make are taken as evidence that that person is stupid or doesn’t listen to instructions. Even in normal conversation, he assumes attacks on him whenever something is said that offends him.

With an attitude like that, you can understand why he can’t work with anyone. He claims that everyone he has ever worked with has “stabbed him in the back” at some time. If you always assume the worst of everyone around you, then it has to seem that way. You end up angry at everyone around you all the time. Which can’t be fun or even healthy.

The thing is, that most of the time he is completely wrong about people’s motives. But because he always assumes the worst, he always feels let down. Wouldn’t it be better to assume the best of someone? At least until the person has proved you wrong several times.

There are plenty of bad people in the world, who do have bad motives for what they do. But there are plenty of people out there who are just normal and don’t have an ulterior motive. If you just give them the benefit of the doubt sometimes, you will be surprised at how often you are right. And in the end you’ll be a lot happier and have more friends.


Mar 8 2008

Last Day at Silver Bullet

Jamie Barrows

Foot Prints
Well, yesterday was my last day at Silver Bullet Technology. I would have posted this yesterday, but I was so busy trying to wrap things up on my projects, that I just didn’t have time. I ended up working pretty late Friday trying to leave projects in a state where other programmers can pick them up, and writing emails to those same coworkers describing last minute things that I had forgotten to tell them.

When you work for a small company for any length of time, you end up becoming the expert at way too many different systems and projects. So when you leave, it becomes a huge effort to pass on that knowledge to others. Especially if you don’t have a replacement to train. So my last two weeks at Silver Bullet involved a lot of documentation and process writing, as well as a lot of coding to wrap up projects.

I’m sorry to go, but it really was time for a change in my life. So I’m moving on. I still stay in contact with everyone at Silver Bullet, and I’ll still be available to them all via email or phone. But they won’t see me already there early in the morning, with the coffee already brewed. And I’ll miss having those first of the day discussions with each of my coworkers as they walk past my office.