let me fix that for ya

Automation and Test Data

i drew a multidimensional model to illustrate a delivery problem. It got immediate traction, which was neat to see the notion of multiples affecting buyin and consensus.

When you are testing an api, you attack the environment and the identity, and then spin though multiples of four. When there is no identity and the ui is the same, you spin through multiples of four. I have done this with variables and method signatures, dropdown lists or landing pages. Peel the onion, with multiples of 4.

I liked Transcendence, he wasn’t omnipotent, he was just multiples of 4 better. If only he required pre-consensus to pitch. So I came up with some stretch goals.

IF I WAS SEMI-OMNIPOTENT

1. renewable, cheap, clean energy source
2. that would heal the planet
3. that would allow people to accumulate wealth, or not, as they chose. because there would be no food shortages
4. make everyone vote
5. make every school system employ, or subscribe to, a CoSuperIntendant who’s career was previously in private industry
6. repeal Citizens United

Stumble to Daylight: A Cubefarmist’s Paean

The Naked and Famous – Punching In A Dream

A year at PayPal felt like this

sometimes like this

It was never ‘For England! Long live the Queen‘. All nobility was denuded by flat smiles from foreign middle-managers who did not exercise or care about boundaries, and another $K and 401k match. Indians are a muted culture of acquiescence and assrape and technical skill. In moderation they are reliable, perfunctorily rah-rah, and and don’t whine wanting free trips to play paintball. En masse they overwhelm American ingenuity, encase autonomy in officialdom and tar. The 80% of my co-workers who were on H1 visas thought PayPal was worth it. Mostly. Where they came from and their disposition to deference didn’t stop them from complaining to me constantly, however, while still themselves contributing to the problem. When i gave notice they thought me heroic in my self-determination, and just a bit spoiled in my slothfulness.  I heard Americans rank 36th in math and 1st in self-esteem. They quickly went back to work; I quickly stopped showing up til my exit date.

Money can be worth less than it is. I took a pay cut to see my kids.

Walking away from money is deeply conflicting. Paternal responsibility as a provider, nurturer, role model. Status, validation, benchmarks of accomplishments are barometrics for my paradigm. While they are hollow, a pricey college degree and 15 years in the salt mines make them mean everything. It stings the car payments and tuition. I haven’t felt it yet, but i probably will in a year. I will always pine for Bagel Day, drawers of scotch tape and coffee, jugs of peanut butter.

I took a pay cut to see my kids. I ride more. I weigh less. We took the girls to a waterpark for 7 hours at 102 degrees, and I only yelled once when my wife spilled cherry soda all over the car. Cherry muthafuggin soda IN.THE.CAR! Give a dude a break!!

A friend said i was buying happiness.

No more TPS reports for Hari Kupanyavijayjay.  Instead I *pause* *blink* *blink blink* …develop software all day! Read code, tweak, polish, dig, streamline, scrum manage, config and release, document and control, peel onions and root out cancer. I bring order out of chaos and glue bonds no one knew existed so no one knew were brittle. The possibilities for precision and elegance are ecstafying. My spell-check isn’t sure that’s a word, but i’m sure its a state, as rewarding and effective as a left join pulling orphans out of a database. I have relearned more linux in 2 weeks than I forgot in 6 years.

I took a paycut to see my kids. There is no fax, no office phone, no sink, 1 router, a Dropbox account, and 2 other doods breathing and typing and tooting in a tiny office with me. I yell a lot less. I think a lot more, like Spring has come to my e-space bringing wildflowers and cool rivulets of runoff. I don’t dread starting the work day, or dread its end knowing there are still hours at home that make no difference whatsoever.

The new gig thinks its like this.

And maybe it is. Out of meatspace, if you believe in rainbows and unicorns, they are kinda true. Optimism about work is a welcome change after too many years of resignation and toil. 6 weeks have been really good.

There was one catch: I had to use a Mac.

Despite the rapidity with which  they identified me as Their Guy, and my palliative glow in someone wanting in my resume what I wanted in myself with only a 4 mile commute, Arabs and Jews seemed an easier problem to solve than learning a Mac.

Le MacBook sat on the table for 3 hrs while I waited for the seraphim to alight and begin programming for me. When they flaked, I couldn’t fathom how to login without an ALT key.  For 2 days i was driving in Britain, faucets plumbed backward burning me reaching for a cold drink, close rudely maximizing, save rudely closing, Star Bellied Sneetches. i was iFucking glad Steve Jobs got cancer, someone needed an iHug.

Day 3: more powerful than my come-to-Jesus snowboarding moment. The whole underlying linux shell hums for a web-based software engineer, with seamless UI integration that Winblows couldn’t master in 15 years. And unlike Windblows, you can actually turn off the iShit. The programs, plugins and  populace are all undeniably tighter. That so many Mac fanbois never conveyed the sheer technical superiority of the Mac allows my continued snootiness at their fantoms.

Day 4: zombie-apocalyse mode:  i will kill for my MacBook.  Once you go Mac you never go back.

My fast affection for the job was much the same. Going from a team of 10,000 to a team of 10 was still simply software development. But so lucid, tighter, and kinda a joy to use it. I look hipper carrying a MacBook and not a swipe card, and doing hip things, and soon hot hip chicks will flock to my hipness.

I actually like my coworkers again.

Everyone has a stake, but mostly keep the sabre-rattling to themselves. A professional crew, with a lot of impressive experience and weapons. Very hard to build in Phoenix. Very focused, and very fun.

Most days have felt like this. GO IGGLES!

I want to be a millionaire, so fucking bad. I want to spend each winter break snowboarding with my kids. I want to not work. I want to ride and cook healthy and walk the earth. Maybe. Mebbe not. But if you believe in rainbows and unicorns, they are kinda true.

Wandering Aimlessly in Mumbai

I’ve been mainlining tribal knowledge and frameworks and fiddlesticks, manuals and webinars and walk-thrus, 14 hrs to verify simple UI bugs that rely on six degrees of specialization, an isolated self-worthless humiliating thrash for oxygen and relevance. I’ve watched both my daughters born, and it looks better than this. Two months ago I had my hands on the shorthairs of millions of dollars of e-commerce, and today I am learning to raise my head. I will come out the other side, in another month or 2. Breathe Chollaball, you’ve done this before. I REFUSE TO DROWN!

Its not water i’m drowning in, its vampire blood. There’s no going back, at least til the 5 yr sabbatical. I see upside down processes that only make sense given their evolution, code knots so daunting bodies are thrown at them in human waves. I’m hardly the first smart guy to spot these problems, but every life has a narrative that led to its present; companies are no different. Preternatural vision will come soon, when my body finishes dying. I  the free cafe for stress eating, and after what we will call ‘the Paypal 10‘, I will stop binging on peanut butter&apple jacks samiches, and make it a healthy diet. There is a shower, and i can tuck my bike next to my cube. Its close enough to give hugs, but not so close that it crowds me off the bed. I think I will commute on the Bird, as a conversation starter, and since riding the Greenbelt on a 6.5 inch bike is CORE!

I digress…    For 1.5 yrs i had a draft post called ‘Low Level Noise‘, bitching about Snottsdale. It stewed while i acclimated and pondered and was busy trying to balance, then fizzled until all i could hate were the twats spending $8k on boob jobs instead of driving lessons, death to pedestrians coming between these pimpedMyLives and their iCalendars. My buddy Aaron offered a far better and faster summation than my 18 months of reconciling: ‘Scottsdale is a great place for families and kids, but its full of wankers.’

After interminable overthinking, i believe the lesson is best explained thusly:

CRASH: Guy hit the shit outta that one, eh?
NUKE: Well, I held it like an egg.
CRASH: An’ he scrambled the son of a bitch. Having fun yet?
NUKE: I’m having a blast. God, that sucker teed off on it just like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball.
CRASH He did know.
NUKE: How?
CRASH: I told him.
CRASH SMILES — Drops the mask, returns behind the plate.
NUKE SIGHS — Takes a deep breath.
NUKE: Don’t think. Just throw. Don’t think. Just throw.

The last 24 was a good day at work – I solved stuff and white boxxed. Each little win a mortgage payment on an appreciation, buying time or treading water, letting the game come to me, the first time hooking up 3 turns snowboarding, learning to ride a bike. 8 weeks later, I got my first W. All during a week of single-dadding where i’ve miraculously managed to not unload on my kids.

Tomorrow i am going to be dragging. Hooray for bagel day. Who figured a predominantly Indian company would so reliably order my favorite salmon-flavored shmear?

Cat on a Cactus

Authority Zero – Get It Right

I gave 3 weeks notice at work. 2 to do the right thing and wrap up a release, and an extra to burn down vacation. LiveNation stopped paying out vacation balance; all in all just another brick in the wall.

I had only ~4 days of work to do in that time, and the spaces in my Outlook calendar became a methadone program. The first day i forced myself not to check email at 9pm i got tremors. Other days i filled with bikes, house projects, trips to the pool. I finished Project Firebird, and tried new restaurants. Maad and I kayaked Saguaro Lake in the morning then installed blinds in the rental house – it was like a regular weekend day, including doing all the grocery shopping and not really feeling off work at all. I re-read my Java textbook – all 670 pages and a few of the indeces. It weighed more than my laptop, but i hauled it on commutes to work, to snatch some passages during the day and train a little. I slogged it on walks with Kila. When i was in Tent City there was this skinny, greasy dude passed out on his cinder-block sized bible during nearly all 7 hours in holding. I saw him the next day at kickout for another 3 hours, still wearing the dirty windbreaker, whispering his words, carrying his bible. Takes a junkie to spot one, i guess. A clean break, a payout, and a week off would have been smoother, but i’m not so sure better. A wean is more holistic.

I borrowed a big bike for a week, and hauled it up Mt. Elden, having so little fun i thought i’d skip replacing the Heckler entirely. It payed off on the downhill. I got this rock on Wasabi for the first time ever (pic, not of me, ganked off MTBR. thank you unknown photographer).

We daisychained onto Beckie’s Arizona Economic Roundtable Conference for 4 days in a nice hotel in downtown Flag, and didn’t move the car for 91 hrs. I couldn”t stop checking work email between trips with the girls around NAU, to Thorpe Park, the library, and Sunset Crater.

Cybro and I spent a lot of time together.

The 3 hrs I’d be in the office every other day, I mostly hid in my cube or scurried to the kitchen with my eyes down. Once I started shutting off, it was easier to continue distancing myself. The day after i dropped the bomb was filled with heavy conversations, which mercifully slowed or i subsequently managed to avoid . You get closer than you think after 7 years, and i struggled to balance closure with the reality that we hadn’t ever hung outside of work and weren’t about to start. Freedom to delete any incoming email that struck my fancy balmed a lot of the burns. All the shit i’d wanted to blow off i could, and tossed one deserving dilhole under the bus.  I went back for thirds on donuts and meeting leftovers and waved 6 times. I worked until 2:30 on my last Friday on an emergency release. Respect for great teammates. Then i wiped my drive.

My final week ‘at work‘ was about as much fun as you can have in Phx in summer. I commuted, then took the kids to the pool. I drank beer and got up at 4am for shuttles on Somo. On our first drive up the mountain we watched a cat bolt across the street with a dog right on its ass. It hucked itself up this saguaro, but was gone by the time we came down Geronimo. Pic courtesy of LateDropBob.

3 rides in armor and a full-face had me dizzy after the short climb on National to the dropin on 24th Street. It was worth it, to just geek out on trying the big bike. It was too big, literally, i needed a S not a M, and 4-5 lbs overbuilt for me. I liked it on the rock slots, where the wheels pushed back against everything that bucked me. I cleaned Trip to the Dentist on Holbert for the first time, and rolled the rock bridge and its exit and half of the boulder garden. It was partly me, partly the bike. The Heckler was a 4 yr old single pivot with a flexy rear, a 32mm fork and shitty rims. How can the next bike not be better, even if its not a 38 lb chro-mo sled?

Pro’s Market reopened their Central Avenue location. I brought home queso, pork, and a sack of roasted jalapenos.

I drank beer and got up at 4am for my first ride to Bartlett Lake. 65 miles, 4.25 hrs, and a lot of climbing. It started with a ~19 mile gradual ascent punctuated by a 3 mile climb up to Seven Springs Road. The drop into the lake was almost 14 miles, all but 4 of them down, and those 4 hurt. Statistically, the ride compared closely to Tortilla Flat, but felt little like it. The road was designed for cars with no speed limit less than 30. I hit stretches where I went almost 40mph for a minute at a time with no fear. It would be long slow death coming back up, with no switchbacks or narrow walls to distract me from my suffering. The three climbs out hurt, hurt less, and hurt more. I sailed home in under an hour.

hey buddy, there’s bacon a mile north!

The last day at work I commuted in, cause it was my idiom, and i was going to a happy hour. Another group of coworkers took me out to lunch. The 2 nicest places i’ve been in downtown Scottsdale. Outside of work, doing day-to-day things, watching people eat, i was overcome with melancholy. Work, workout, kids do not leave a lot of bandwidth. You miss out on good friends that way.

I see an Onion article out of this:

New Employee Won’t Stop Talking About Awesome Old Coworkers. Said new teammate Cybrothavan Gupta: ‘He’s sharp and easy to teach. We had a great lunch at the indian buffet. But he kept inviting us to a ‘street’ taco place near his old office. 15 years in software development and he ‘forgets’ about Hindus and cows? What a dick.’

Project Firebird

Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill

Project Firebird is a contract job I took on. I’ve been outriding the Heckler, and needed a new bike to progress. Such enablement tools cost about $4k, and I am a godlike-better QA Engineer than I am a bike mechanic. I need to clean Holbert, i need to push it at NRA, i need a rematch on Hangover.

I needed professional validation, i was losing focus and fight, slipping into the lukewarm pool of above-average nominal-commitment that my path at Ticketmaster carried me down. The raise and promotion i thought 2 years ago would come hasn’t come, the position in Dev would be a 50% paycut, and my lead developer was leaving. I wasn’t worried about my job, for at least the next 2 years, only that i would be doing exactly the same thing i was now. Stagnation = death in software. Eventually i would be expendable, with Live Nation having no more commitments to the Ticketmaster team. Shredding gnar is an expensive indulgence and daycare is not cheap. A festering clockpuncher’s acceptance of no-bonuses demanded a countermeasure of fiscal responsibility, along with a howl at the moon. Fuck yeah. The reward would be my first ever guilt-free bike, a nice bullet for the reso, and growing stronger from something not killing me.

I have done so many new and challenging projects in my career…I can solve a muthafuggin problem. I’m Duke Nukem with Rambo with an extra nut with a tesla gun. And yes, you diagrammed that sentence correctly; there is a functional energy canon blasting away off the extra cajone. Drop me into your program i will unwind it and break it and wash everything in arterial spray and get it ready for production. But being great within the structure of other top teammates is one thing; contracting you are alone. People are strange when you’re a stranger. Would 7 years working for The Man in the Big Leagues prove my shit the hardest?

Actually, yes.

Just about everything was easy, in stride. When it wasn’t, working through it or around it was not that hard. Worked up a good sweat, but not that hard. Nothing is as hard a TicketMaster’s 6-layer cake. The tech challenge was larger amounts of nominal, the real problem was the void – people who didn’t know what they wanted, how its built, or what acceptance criteria were.  I used new tools, parried verbage like ‘stakeholder‘ and ‘resource‘, defined, consensified, redefined and reconsensified and rediscoverd. I could still do an all-nighter, especially for $500. I learned a new tool and new language and was functional in 40 hours. I could cleanup good and write bloated spreadsheets explaining details in painstaking detail. I wore a tie and setup a LinkedIn account. The reward was creating a job for myself, a tax-writeoff, an empowerment. 3 months later I had 3 job offers. Fate and irony and opportunity all conspire, but after 1.5 years of fishing, 3 months later I had 3 job offers. I had a contract before i made the jump to Ticketmaster too, 16 hours at $100 an hour set me and Beckie up with full snowboard kits, and I’d say the whole TM move worked out pretty well.

At first it felt like an ATM machine. Need some money, go work on the contract. Maids coming, knock out some contract. Grocery store = contract. Overtime, bonuses, found money are the American Dream. They were in no hurry, and neither was I, and I banged and floated along enough for a drivetrain and 1 leg of a fork, taught myself MS Test Manager and Visual Studio in a single day, and whined about having to sit down and work for .17 hours of email and project management. The problems of startups showed themselves: amateurs and limited experience, talented people working alone instead of together, small-town mindset. Weeks went by with my hardware not working, timelines crept up, the reality of hacking through the weeds of a V1 program, coding test code around failures. Eventually I had to deliver all by myowndamself, which is pretty much how i knew it would be, which was why even though i loved the $bling$ i had a pissy attitude about it all along. Bush leagues. The level of tactical strategicness needed equaled that of a complex environment, so much shit did not work everything i did was an escher path through a barren network.  MS Test Manager is the worst thing i’ve ever smelled, in 2 hours I was the in-house expert.

Meanwhile, I got in the pipeline for 2 positions with huge potential, and an internal position requiring a move to LA. I went in heavy, striding up up with my 2 pistolas.  I was oddly calm and confident in ways I’d never really been about delivering a message, highlighting my strengths, and connecting with their needs. QAing a product was the easy part. So this is PR? I didn’t hate it, it was just boring, and stressful – finding ways to steer conversations back to examples i wanted to explain, contexts to provide, skills to demonstrate. I actually ate NOTHING (well, almost nothing) at a free lunch, I was so focused on proselytizing.

11pm on a Monday night i was getting the Heckler ready for a dawn National ride when I saw it – a crack in the weld between the chainstay and the triangle. My first thought was relief. Finally i can get rid of it. Then i cried realizing I’d be riding Desert Classic in the morning instead. My annual trip to the Helipad brought it all into focus: close the contract, close the new job, buy a new bike.

In the next 2 weeks I put in 35 hours on the contract, and did face-to-face interviews with Apollo Group and Paypal. The first I had no idea how it went until a follow up call with the Director where we hammered out the role.  The interview for Paypal was harder than a dirty century:  7 45-min 1-on-1s back to back, and then a phone screen at night from India.

Project Firebird ended with an evening of flashbang code generation reported as a failure, to spare us all when we’d gotten to the point of garbage in garbage out. For under 2 weeks billed they got a huge test plan and 300 bug reports, automation scripts to validate acceptance-level functionality, and working samples for a toolset they had limited knowledge about. It felt fair, and I was feeling the finish when i topped my target of $4500. I got to my mark after 6 pay periods, it ended up as 17% overtime for a quarter, I did the final report and meetings during a slow afternoon at my day job during my last 2 weeks. Nearly a perfect landing. I’m pretty sure I don’t want another contract ever again, but i am shopping for a new snowboard…

I continued to ride the Heckler on dog runs, to remember its touch upon me like an influential lover.  It became intolerably leaky on its last beer run home, forcing Kila and i to walk and shuffle and ride on the rims with our 30 pack of beer. As I drank and contemplated, the tire went completely flat. 

I was feeling part of the scenery, i walked right out of the machinery

I quoted that song for the Princeton yearbook too. Some days I’ve regretted it, some i haven’t. I’ve felt much the same about giving notice at Ticketmaster.

naturally, i had to change my FB avatar to this:

The day i did this jump, i held off until a local guy showed me where to land and how to get out. Once I had the plan, the rest was all on me to execute. The stakes are the challenge, the puzzle solved is not — the bike pointing down a boulder-garden, steep trees on the snowboard, AES races. It mental. I think I can do it, which means i should, knowing how much better i’ll feel coming out the other side. I try to choose well, liking to only go a little big while taking my talents to south beach. During the marathon interview with PayPal i said about 12 times ‘there are a lot of good engineers, and i’m one of them.

They bought it. I’m owning it. I started on Monday.

Laundry App

i’ve had the blues, the reds and the pinks. One thing’s for sure, love stinksThe J. Geils Band

love?

i’ll tell ya about love… its laundering a load of lights after a roadtrip. Endless stacks of tiny shirts and tinier shirts, lycra-woven socks that could almost fit any of us, and shirt-like pant-like flower blossoms that defy identification. My children are disgusting, they go through 2.8 outfits each, per day, more on weekends. I would kill myself if i thought about being reduced to this, but the residual stoke of the weekend makes it a game.

I should turn this into an app, dudes would so buy this. A next-gen version of my vaporware  Sorting Silverware, which was too easy to be profitable. You go for the bright-colored kids stuff, then the nipples and straws and air ducts, knives cause the handles give them away, forks, big\little spoons. 20 seconds, too easy.

V2 adds challenges and  noise, starting with color blindness. 2 little girls == 0 navy blue || hunter green.  The game also gets harder with fatigue from 4-6 more loads of laundry waiting for me, or that i’ve done, or that i’m doing.  Its like my commute – so horrible, that only a time trial and self-flagellation inspires enough motivation to make me believe its good.

Desperate Housewives, I bring you…

Bulletstorm X: Laundromat (working title)

Its going to kick ass! Sort or die, dive in, go!

  • ownership x 4
  • type {pants, shirt, socks, toy, towel, blankey, UNDERPANTS!, shorts, other}
  • hangers.  *oooph* didn’t see that one coming. big hangers, little hangers, pants hangers – getting past that is like a Boss round.
  • dryer vs air dry
  • which fucking drawer? I gave up with Alana, and she now has a drawer of anything with 2 leg holes

I think i can get my time down to 6 min per load.

My CraigsList App

Automated bid responder, for $1

Scans text of an incoming message, if no bid it asks for a bid. Gives a customizable reply based on percentage off your asking pirce. For an extra dollar, it has a keyword finder that sorts and adjusts reply based on phrases like ‘please‘, ‘thank you‘, and $‘i’ll give ya $x‘. For another quarter, it deletes replies that fail spell and grammar checking.

I think I can make $50k.

Asking Price Variant Automated Reply
>60% will your wife bang me for the other $X?
60% the dollar store opens at 10
50% kid’s birthday, or your meth habit – tough call
40% are you being foreclosed?
30% i’ve already turned down an offer for x+10%
20% no thank you
10% let me think it over, thank you for your interest

My New Toy

G, be careful its not a toy!

I kept saying this, but it was without conviction from either of us.  It looks like a toy, its fun to fiddle with like a toy, and I kept asking “hey, where’s my new toy” while we played with it for awhile.  Thanks KennyB for turning me onto this.

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if you’re listening to this, you are the resistance

work laid off more people, part of our new merger. the choices were the correct ones, as i’ve noticed our layoffs often are, between the competence and the relevance and the irreplaceability and compatibility. It makes you continue to value remaining valuable, if you are only clever enough to see the patterns before you.

Or lucky enough.  People interpret differnt things different ways. Vehement fights over the stress of the new house and the old house and the children with my wife who i know is smart and steady and capable and tenacious…proof that confidence without crippling doubt is precious and elusive.

Post merger, we are the 3rd largest ecommerce company in the world.  I alone must protect The Shopping Cart. I doubt it is that different at Microsoft.  To be effective, you must keep an edge, every employee up to the top needs motivation.  You need to be faster than the slowest guy, and smarter than the dinosaur, and specialize.

I am better than average.  I installed a new router, built a java keystore, and upgraded the backup plugin on my website while tracking the McNabb trades on espn and learning about SiteShield. i can now answer the night’s email while still cozy in bed, and surf for porn from my balcony at blazing fast speeds.  Project #5 was interrupted by Project #6. Upon returning to Projet #5, I will be immersed in a world of filters, forwarding and blacklists that I know little about. In a week I will be smarter and more marketable, during the next week I will be angst-ridden and ulcerated.

Last week I drove to the old home at rush hour, talked to the neighbors, went to veggies stand, gym, grocery store, then all the way out to scottsdale. It was trippy.  i pick up my kids from school in a bike, while parents in suits and lexus’ look askance. i dont want them overscheduled, and i dont want me overscheduled, and i dont want to pay for square footage only to park in my garage. I enjoy my work, and would be doing it even if i wasn’t working. is the rat racing if he enjoys the exercise and the cheese?

Natural Born Killer

Despite my best efforts, I stole some software today. It cant be helped when they price something too expensive for the value-add vs. freeware and the freeware that will be free in 6 months, and a crack comes up on the 2nd click in google. I wanted to pay about $30, they wanted $90. It literally took me 20% of the time to find and apply the crack as it would have to order it and pay with my credit card.

I am a bad person.

I don’t want to be a bad person.  Its just too easy to say no.  If Megan Fox strolled up to you and pushed up on you and pushed your hand to her button, would you say no?  Its that easy sometimes.

I have lost perspective if this is just me or if these are the times, when security lags too far behind accessibility.  I think its just me, cause pretty much no one else i know does this, except other geeks.  I fixed a problem with Beckie’s computer before it had even shut down, I fixed another one before it had even posted.  I QA for friends, I have found bugs in PERL, I solved my Dad’s BSOD sight-unseen in about 5 min and then 5 more min later, I am evaluating a product for a friend next week. This is what I do, puzzles are one of my passions, and I am good at it.  It doesn’t make me above the law, but when the law is based on an essential premise of capability and I am far beyond that capability, am I wrong?

X-Men and Watchmen and Heroes‘ Hiro and every other superhero has had this angst.  If you even have the angst, perhaps you are different?