Jan 30 2009

Consideration for others

Jamie Barrows

I was driving to work this morning and something happened that just struck me. It was an act of thoughtfulness and consideration from someone who had no need to do so and gained nothing tangible from doing it.

My drive is kind of long (about an hour) and I end up taking some back roads along the way. The speed limits (with the exception of one small town) are pretty high. So traffic usually moves along at a good speed. But every once in a while I will hit the road at just the wrong time and get stuck behind a school bus.

Now I don’t know how it is in other nations, but here in the US we have some specific traffic rules that apply to school buses. When a school bus stops to pick up a child, all traffic on the road going both directions must stop. The reasoning being that the child will be entering, and possibly crossing, the road to board the bus. So traffic should stop to ensure the safety of the child. And it really is a good rule.

The problem is that if you get stuck behind one of these school buses on your way to work, or wherever you are going, you will be stopping every few minutes until either you or the bus turns off the road. So it can get very annoying. And I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it was going to take me a lot longer to get to work than I had planned.

But then something happened. The school bus turned off the road. Which at first I didn’t think anything of. That is nothing other than relief that I was not going to have to spend the next 45 minutes to an hour behind it. But then I noticed that the bus had turned off, only to get back on. That is, the bus driver had deliberately turned off the road to allow the cars that were backed up behind it to get past. The driver had realized that there was a long line of cars behind the bus and was going out of his way to let that line past.

And he didn’t have to let us past. He was perfectly within his rights to simply continue along his route and let the line back up. The driver only did it out of consideration for those of us behind him.
Which really made me think about how often I could have been more considerate of others around me. How often have I blissfully continued along with whatever I was doing and gave no thought to others around me?

Jan 20 2009

No Internet!

Jamie Barrows


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Aug 23 2008

New iPhone

Jamie Barrows

I finally did it. I gave in to the pressure and bought an iPhone. I’ve had a Blackberry for a while now, but I finally decided to switch to the iPhone. The push email ability and the new 3G network were big factors in the decision.

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.

Jul 7 2008

Great Expectations

Jamie Barrows

Soccer Cleats
Last year I was playing soccer a lot with a group of my friends. The games were just informal pickup games, but we had a lot of fun. And it was great exercise. Then one of us, I don’t remember who, found out about a local soccer club. The club was just an amature soccer club, and the entrance requirements were pretty lax. Basically anyone who could get enough players together to form a team, could pay a fee and join up. That was it.
So we got our money together and picked a team from the best pickup players we had, and signed up. Now, none of us were really all that good. And we knew that. But the more we prepared for our first game, the better we convinced ourselves we were.
So our first game came up and we were excited. We got to the field and set up our stuff. Other friends and relatives showed up to cheer us on. We were sure we were going to do well.
Reality quickly stepped in. The other team literally ran circles around us. No matter what we tried, they kept scoring on us. And even worse, we couldn’t seem to score on them. When the game was finally over we hadn’t scored a single goal, but the other team had managed to score 19 goals! It turned out we weren’t anywhere near as good as we thought we were.
Over the course of the season, we did get better. And we never quit trying, but we also never managed to win a game. It just goes to show you that no matter how good you may be in your little sphere of influence, you are probably not as good as you think. Kind of a humbling thought, but at the same time good to recognize. That way, you won’t be surprised when you run up against a situation where that is made obvious.

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.

Dec 14 2007


Jamie Barrows

Phantom MaskWe all wear them. We all hate them.
We try to look like we aren’t.
We say things we don’t mean.
We do things we don’t like.
All to maintain an image of ourselves that isn’t really us.
An image of ourselves that we don’t even like!

I hate masks and fakeness in people. And yet no matter how much I hate it in others, I find myself wearing masks all the time. I hate it in others and I’m one of the worst offenders.