Illiterate tech writer?

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Written on Thursday, September 29, 2005 by Jessica

I'm working in our bug-tracking system, verifying fixes of bugs I reported. I'm horrified by some of my write-ups. In one, I wrote "behaviour" instead of "behavior" (too much Pride and Prejudice) and "affect" instead of "effect." I'm supposed to know better!

Katrina disaster victims

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Written on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 by Jessica

Hurricane Katrina has created a nightmare of a project for me at work. (I work for the leading provider of software to public housing authorities and housing finance agencies.) I'm having to summarize all the housing relief information being put out by HUD, FEMA, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the IRS. It could be worse, though: I could be one of the victims.

Tag

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Written on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 by Jessica

The Rules:

  1. Go into your archive.
  2. Find your twenty-third post.
  3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
  5. Tag five other people to do the same.
The fifth sentence of my twenty-third post: Susan and I are both on diets, so when I have the urge to go down the vending machine, I have to tell her so she can stop me (and vice versa).

Regarding rule #5: I'm not popular like Sherri, so I don't have five blogging friends to tag. :)

Crappy software

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Written on Friday, September 23, 2005 by Jessica

One of my jobs as a tech writer is to write help for software. (Press F1 and ta da! --useless information appears.) I'm working on a new piece of software that is just terrible. The programer left out crucial cues to help the user know what to do. This guy no longer works for us. He now works for Microsoft. (I'm not kidding.)

Today's Google ads...

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Written on Friday, September 23, 2005 by Jessica

...are toothache and dentistry related. :)

(I amuse easily.)

101 things you might not know about me

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Written on Thursday, September 22, 2005 by Jessica

  1. My favorite joke is a ridiculous knock-knock joke about a cow.
  2. I scored really well on my ACTs, but then I went to community college, where your ACTs don't matter at all.
  3. I often imagine what I'd do if I woke up tomorrow as a ten year old who had all the knowledge of my thirty-year-old self. It would suck being a teenager again, but I would make up for it by getting rich off the stock market boom of the 90s. (Do you Yahoo?)
  4. I can't swim.
  5. I'm afraid of the dark.
  6. If I eat whatever I want, I'll gain two pounds a week. This is a documented fact.
  7. To clarify, "whatever I want" would consist of a giant custard long john, a quart of chocolate milk, a pizza, cinnamon sticks, several candy bars, and a quart of Moose Tracks ice cream.
  8. I have a really skinny mother, brother, and sister. (Actually, my mom recently gained a bunch of weight. She's now normal sized.)
  9. I don't like fruit and vegetables because of their texture, but I eat them anyway.
  10. I spend way too much time reading Pride and Prejudice over and over.
  11. I like Harry Potter books, and I don't care what people say about that.
  12. I like Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," and I'm a little embarrassed about that.
  13. I have a cousin whose married surname is Hollerback. I bet she was just thrilled when that song came out (she said sarcastically).
  14. In general, I'm far too reticent and let people walk all over me.
  15. I was a sophomore in college before I lost my virginity...
  16. ...to a boy in high school...
  17. ...who is now my husband.
  18. It was sweet the way he proposed, but looking back, I think he was just trying to get me in the sack.
  19. It worked.
  20. I wish I'd waited longer.
  21. I still harbor feelings of resentment toward a former boss who told me Bob was going to propose. She ruined the surprise and I hate her for it.
  22. I avoid her when I see her in public.
  23. I've been married for nine years, which is too long to hold a grudge.
  24. I don't like my husband's name.
  25. I wish he went by Rob.
  26. I was dazzled by Titanic when I saw it in the theater, but when I watched it later on video, I realized just how bad the dialog really is. Two hundred million dollars and Spielberg couldn't afford someone to write some decent dialog?
  27. I used to be funny, but not anymore. I'm not sure why.
  28. I know what Jake brakes are and how they work, but I'm not sure if "Jake" is actually supposed to be capitalized.
  29. I often eat questionable food. I think I had food poisoning once.
  30. Although I don't mind bad spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc., in informal situations (e.g., e-mail, personal blogs, chat rooms, IM), I think it's unpardonable to screw up high-profile, permanent items such as signs, business cards, advertisements, articles in newspapers and magazines, and websites.
  31. I think "they," "their," and "them" ought to be accepted as singular gender-neutral pronouns.
  32. I've wasted a part of my life thinking about whether "they," "their," and "them" ought to be accepted as singular gender-neutral pronouns.
  33. I've been depressed about getting older every year since I turned twenty-four.
  34. My mother cried on her twenty-first birthday because she was already married with two kids. What more did she have left to accomplish?
  35. I attended my mother's high-school graduation. I don't remember it (as I was still a baby).
  36. I generally don't finish what I start. I'll be quite proud of myself if I finish this list.
  37. I regret almost everything, especially little things.
  38. I wish I didn't care about money.
  39. I'm not a morning person.
  40. I'm really looking forward to Aunt Tessy Pate's visit.
  41. It's one thing to gloss over a letter that is in a word, but I'm baffled by the British propensity to add sounds that aren't actually contained in the letters: e.g., lieutenant (pronounced lef-ten-ent). Even Americans are sometimes prone to it: e.g., colonel -- how do you get ker-nl out of that?
  42. When my sister was about ten, we got into an argument about whether the "t" in "often" is pronounced. Technically, it's silent, although pronouncing it is gaining acceptance. She was right and I was wrong, which I found humiliating.
  43. My sister is more than ten years younger than I am. It's something she really enjoys.
  44. Last year, when I began to lament turning thirty, she said, "You know, when you turn forty, I'll still be twenty-nine!"
  45. And once, when I let the words, "When I was your age..." slip out, she retorted with, "Yeah, yeah. And then the glaciers receded to form the Great Lakes."
  46. My sister is obviously a brat.
  47. She still lives at home, which shows you how much smarter she is than I was. I moved out at seventeen. Why pay rent when you can live at home for free?
  48. She's really bad a math, though.
  49. She sells porn on eBay. (Her main business is hunting accessories and outdoor gear, but I discovered Playgirl porn star photos among her listings a few weeks ago.)
  50. No, I didn't bid on anything.
  51. Her boyfriend of nearly two years is thirteen years older than she is. He has two kids from a previous marriage. I went to high school with his younger brother. Frank is a nice guy. The younger brother is iffy.
  52. My friend, Amy, is convinced that Frank is a bad influence, which is the reason my sister is selling porn.
  53. I doubt it.
  54. But I do wonder what they talk about.
  55. Guns, I guess. They both have a lot of guns.
  56. I only have two -- a nine millimeter pistol and a .22 pistol.
  57. If you can believe it, my husband bought me the nine millimeter for our anniversary one year.
  58. That was early on. We've worked on the gift-giving thing since then. Guys, for the right girl, guns are okay for birthdays and Christmas, but consider flowers for anniversaries. :)
  59. In fact, there's a whole gift-giving guide for wedding anniversaries. Use it.
  60. I'm lazy, but I take the stairs.
  61. I live in a tiny house, which makes for a small mortgage, but not a lot of storage space.
  62. My aunt has a new deck with more square footage than my house (780 vs. 744).
  63. Last year, I lost thirty-seven pounds in four months, but I gained twenty-five back over the next five months. It was the first time I ever lost more than five pounds at once.
  64. I started dieting last year after doing a little math: according to my calculations, if I continued to gain weight at the current pace, I'd weigh 300 pounds by the time I was thirty-six.
  65. I don't do my share of the housework, but I take care of the bills.
  66. I sometimes imagine what I'd wish for if I were granted one wish each day for the rest of my life.
  67. I used to believe in God, but now I'm not so sure.
  68. I don't drink enough water.
  69. I know that drivers talking on cell phones are just as dangerous as drunken drivers, and I think it's wrong to use a cell phone while driving, but I do it anyway.
  70. I would never drink and drive.
  71. It's easy for me to say that, because I never drink.
  72. The last time I was drunk was on Valentine's Day when I was twenty-one. I didn't even know I was drunk until I tried to turn off the light in the bathroom. I completely missed the switch the first three times.
  73. I no longer have Internet access at home because we dumped our land line in favor of cell phones, and I only get a 14.4 K connection on my cell phone, which is unbearable when compared to my T1 line at work.
  74. I can't believe Apple is dumping the iPod mini in favor of the iPod nano. The brushed metal colors of the mini were its biggest attraction. The nano offers white and black.
  75. And if you get black, you're still stuck with white earbuds.
  76. I've had the same computer here at work for four and half years. I'm now getting a new one, and I'm inordinately excited about that.
  77. I have two cousins in jail: one received two years for negligent homicide; the other received twenty years for "managing a drug house." That seems wrong to me.
  78. My brother's girlfriend got pregnant on my nineteenth birthday after they were kissing and I joked, "Get a room."
  79. On their wedding day, I told my husband it wouldn't last six months.
  80. She left him three years later for my brother's best friend, who also happens to be our second cousin.
  81. Now my niece has a half-brother and two half-sisters who are also her third cousins.
  82. My brother is still best friends with this guy. I suppose it's better for my niece to have all her parents and stepparents on friendly terms with each other, but sometimes I just gotta ask myself, "WTF??"
  83. My brother's second wife is good friends with his ex-wife. WTF??
  84. Being fat isn't all bad. I used to get teased in high school for being flat chested (even though I wasn't). Now I wear a D-cup, so there's no doubt.
  85. I once invented a word, "liabilititties" -- what you have when you wear size double-D and above.
  86. No one, and I mean no one, found it anywhere near as funny as I did.
  87. I was too embarrassed to wear a bra as a kid, so I spent my middle-school years wearing sweatshirts every single day, even in the summer.
  88. I also have chicken legs, so I never wore shorts as a kid, either.
  89. For the most part, I still don't wear shorts.
  90. I didn't get to work today until 10:15 A.M.
  91. That happens a lot.
  92. Parents always tell me to have kids, which will cure my not-a-morning-person problem.
  93. I know how to use styles in Microsoft Word.
  94. I have a friend who doesn't watch the news. She didn't know about Y2K until 1998, and she didn't find out about Hurricane Katrina until four days after it destroyed the Gulf Coast.
  95. I hate it when people refer to femininely named hurricanes as "she,"mostly because I've never heard anyone refer to a masculinely named hurricane as "he." Otherwise, it probably wouldn't bug me.
  96. If I were a smart person with amazing foresight, I would have bought www.jessica.com before it became a porn site.
  97. I once caught my husband at hotbox.com. He says he meant to go to a search site named hitbox.com.
  98. He's been known to lie.
  99. He's only allowed to watch and "read" porn if I don't know about it.
  100. Of course, he doesn't know that. :)
  101. I like ragtime music.

Root canal was last Friday

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Written on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 by Jessica

I survived the root canal. It wasn't pleasant. Despite the antibiotics, I still had a raging infection, which made it difficult for the anesthetic to work. After an extra shot and about five minutes of sensation during the initial drilling, it finally soaked it. It immediately felt better, especially with respect to cold drinks and food, although it was still a bit sore over the weekend.
My regular dentist put on a temporary crown yesterday. My tooth hurts like crazy today, which worries me. It's not supposed to hurt except during pressure--that's what my dentsist and all the online sources say--but it hurts all the time, and it tingles a little, too. That can't be a good sign. The tingling several weeks ago is what first clued me into the fact that something was really wrong.

Me, I, number one (oh my, me, my)

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Written on Monday, September 12, 2005 by Jessica

I used to take antidepressants, but I stopped about four-and-a-half months ago. I have to say that being drug free isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not only am I depressed most of the time (more so now that the days are getting shorter), I'm also finding myself overtaken by inexplicable pangs of anxiety, which I don't think used to happen before, but I can't really remember. The idea of being dependent on drugs used to bother me, but not as much as feeling this way.