Timeout or bath?

So recently we’ve been using timeouts as a disciplinary tool for Ruby. We put her in the laundry room and let her calm down or become more agreeable.

Yesterday’s exchange (rough translation to English):

Dad: Ok Ruby!  Time for a bath!
Ruby: Don't want to!
Dad: Have to bath!
Ruby: Don't want to!
Dad: Have to bath!
Ruby: Don't want to!
Dad: Ok, timeout or bath?
Ruby: Timeout!  <runs to laundry room, sits there and starts singing happily>

… a couple minutes later she ran to the bathroom for her bath.


This lady is the gatekeeper to all of my applications’ data. Without her, I cannot deploy any schema changes out into production. I cannot do anything without her.

This lady instills fear in me. It’s not just because she is the gatekeeper to all of my applications’ data, or that only through her, can I deploy any schema changes out into production. It’s also because she shares the same first name as the woman who gave me life and the same last name as the woman who sustains me in my marriage. As I have two important women in my personal life, she is symbolically the one important woman who holds the key to my progress at work. She is my database admin.

So for tonight’s deployment, I hadn’t heard word from her at all. She didn’t make yesterday’s pre-deployment meeting, and she didn’t respond to an email that I wrote to her this morning to confirm her attendance. So I nervously messaged her.

“Can you make it to tonight’s deployment?”

Robin Yan [1:49 PM]:
did you get my email about tonight’s deployment?
****** ** [1:52 PM]:
Robin Yan [1:52 PM]:
can you or someone else support the implementation tongiht at 11pm?
****** ** [1:53 PM]:
Robin Yan [1:53 PM]:
schema change required
****** ** [1:53 PM]:
I already promissed to support why you ask again

…ok, ok, that doesn’t sound too bad. I’m always joking with my coworker friend about her unique attitude at work. This humor is my way of dealing with the mortal fear I have every time I deal with her.

Offer accepted + Surprise Baby Shower!

what a memorable day/week! Our offer was accepted on Wednesday, and as a first-time homebuyer, and especially since this deals with a lot of money, I was scrambling the whole week to understand what needs to be done and getting everything lined up.

The offer was verbally accepted on Wednesday and signed on Thursday. We didn’t get escrow information until late Thursday night. Since I’m in San Diego, I decided to have my mom drive the deposit check to escrow in Long Beach, since it gave me better peace of mind. This idea was cleared by my agent and my lender. My mom dropped off the check first thing Friday morning. And while doing some due diligence and comparing lenders, I found out at about 10:20am that the lender will not like it if the deposit was written by someone else other than the buyer. I suddenly needed to drive home, get the checkbook, and write a check and send it overnight/certified. I wrote an email to my group saying that I needed to attend to a personal matter immediately and that I would be back online at home to telecommute.

I had already gotten to my apartment, grabbed the checkbook, and was driving into Postal Annex, when two things happened : I saw that Postal Annex had closed, and I received a phone call from my analyst saying that there was a late scheduled, high priority meeting at noon, and that I was to be there in person and that I couldn’t conference in. It was highly unusual because we’re always allowed the flexibility to conference into meetings, especially in circumstances like this. This sudden development added more stress onto an already-crazy morning.

Rewind two weeks. There were two things I observed that were kind of suspicious:
1. a coworker at lunch mentioned some party on “Thursday” and I was unaware of it. He thought it was kind of strange that I didn’t know about it, but then that topic got dropped.
2. another coworker, later that day, asked me for Illie’s number. After giving her Illie’s number, I asked her why she wanted it, and she wouldn’t tell me, and then weaseled out some excuse to talk about “girl stuff”.

I mentally correlated those two things and two nights later interrogated Illie about it for fun. Since Illie and I don’t lie each other, she simply wouldn’t release any details about her conversation with my coworker. As my usual silly self, I started making wild conclusions in a teasing manner and then received more silence. It was then that I basically confirmed some kind of baby shower planning, but I didn’t know the details.

Fast forward to last Sunday. We submitted an offer for the house and my mind was completely preoccupied with negotiations. On Wednesday, my agent was completely unreachable for the whole day, and I was left hanging for the whole day, wondering what the seller’s response to my last counter-offer from noon the previous day. I got word from her on Wednesday night that it was accepted. First thing I needed to do was to get the earnest money deposit in within the three day time period. We didn’t get the escrow information until late Thursday, so I had already lost time to get a personally signed check from San Diego to Long Beach. That’s why I asked my mom to write a check from her account on my behalf. And besides that, I’ve been scrambling, shopping between lenders, finding out about homeowner’s insurance, double checking my agent’s data for errors, and going back and forth with an inspector to schedule an inspection date. This whole week I was completely preoccupied with these tasks, and I was called back into office on what seemed to be an emergency high priority meeting.

As I was driving into the lot, I saw my analyst and her boyfriend walking into the building carrying boxes of soda. Odd?? I was still a bit hyped on adrenaline, frantic about having to attend a high priority meeting in person, but when I saw that, I did more mental correlation.. I checked Outlook and saw four attendees to the meeting invite : my boss, me, my analyst, and the lead. Unusual? The IBP folks weren’t included in the invite, and that’s what the meeting was supposedly about. And lastly, big 4th floor conference room? Rare?? That’s when I started feeling a sense of relief.

It was the very first surprise party I’ve had thrown for me. The sleuthing made it even more fun, and it was a welcome distraction from both work and homebuying. It was a very special and memorable day.

How’s the patient?

On Thursday night I had a late-night application deployment for work. Illie had gone to sleep at 9:30pm knowing that I was finishing up some work, and I didn’t finish until 11:30pm. I joined her in bed. She was half asleep, and dazed:

Illie(sleepily): “How’s the patient?”
Robin: “I don’t have patients”
Illie(confused): “Huh?”
Robin: “I don’t have patients”
Illie(still confused): ??? …for about ten seconds
Robin: “I’m not a doctor!”

Illie drifted out of the half-asleep state, became more conscious, and started laughing. It was pretty funny. She woke up the following morning still laughing about it.

This is so bad, it’s funny…

An analyst working on a project I moved out of last January forwarded this block of code to me.

boolean isNullPtrException = false;
try {
	bean = auth.findByLogin(login);

	if(bean == null) {
		isNullPtrException = true;

} catch (Exception e) {
	if(isNullPtrException) {
		request.setAttribute(SERVLET_ERROR, new ServletError("Contact IT Customer Service Help 
Desk at tie line ####-####, option #"));
	} else {
		request.setAttribute(SERVLET_ERROR, new ServletError(e.getMessage()));

At initial look I can count three serious problems and two minor issues with this code. It takes some of the best features of Java and uses them in the worst ways.

Sad thing is, not even the worst Java programmer I know would write something as bad as this.

La Jolla Half Marathon

no, I didn’t run it. I was too late to register for it. Turned out to be a good thing, since I’m injured anyway and it was an extremely hot day, terrible running conditions.

I cycled over to the course to support my friends. First I saw Gilbert. He had just finished running up a huge Torrey Pines hill and turned a corner when I saw him. I accompanied him on my bike for about three miles and got some great pictures. Then a runner up front did a crazy monkey dance and collapsed. I’ve never seen a runner collapse. It was scary. Other runners helped him off into the shade near a house, and the homeowner came running out. Some of the runners stopped to help him out – they seemed like extremely knowledgeable about what to do in that situation, so I learned a little bit.

I then saw Jerry and accompanied him to about mile 11-12 down a huge hill. I got some even better running pictures with a oceanside view. I cycled up the hill again to wait for more runners, and when I got to the spot where the runner collapsed, I couldn’t continue because the runners were taking up both lanes, as the owner of the house was spraying them down with a hose. They were all very thankful and gracious as they were running by. The collapsed runner was lying on the grass with his eyes closed, pretty much unresponsive. I saw Jeff run by and was with him for a bit, and then went back to the same spot. A fire truck came by and gave the collapsed runner an IV, and took him off to the hospital.

I then saw my two coworkers Rich and Larry. They were suffering under the extreme heat for way too long, and it definitely took a toll. I accompanied Larry to about the 12.5 mile mark before I turned around and came home.

While conditions were bad, apparently it wasn’t as bad as it was in AFC last August. But all-in-all, I saw about 4-5 collapsed runners and a couple of ambulances driving by. I hope they’re all okay.


An email fiasco happened at work this week that caused me to laugh so hard and continuously, I don’t even remember the last time I laughed like that.

My blog description of what happened won’t even begin to do merit to the hilarity of the situation.

It all started with the very first email. Somebody must have been playing with a new email alias “Test1”, which sends email to *everyone* in the bank. As I understand it, there are about 11,000 employees who are receiving emails to this list. Started out with an email with no body, and just a header, “Test”.

Minutes later, a reply all, which means everyone receives it:

Right back at you

Then, curiosity (on reply-all):

who is this????


Am I supposed to be getting these test e-mails?

Then a flood to reply-all:


Stop emailing please because you are responding to everyone. Thanks.

Please remove me from this list.

What are you doing?

Please do not respond to these test emails

Then lots of annoyance, with some trying to rectify the situation (but actually making it worse). But some think that replying all and asking to removed is the solution:

remove me too


Remove me from your email list.

Stop replying to all

Unless there is some purpose to this could you remove my address. – *name removed*

Then utter irritation and failed attempts at stopping the emails, still at reply-all:

I don’t appreciate the non-sense. Please stop!


Please stop sending the e-mails. You are destructing employees!!!


Am I supposed to be in this distribution?

Please advise.


Please remove me from this list

Please stop sending any response to these emails. Test1 has numerous names on it that do not belong.

Please stop these SPAM e-mails! You are destucting the employees!


Not sure what is going on, but please remove my address

Please do not send anything to me. Too many e-mail to delete and not too happy about this,


Please stop sending me e-mails………… this is not funny…………….

what the heck knock it off….really annoying

Stop please everytime you respond it emails everyone

Please remove me for this list ALSO !!!


And these quotes are just a small snippet of what was going on. It totalled out to be about 80 emails over the course of about 20 minutes. There’d be a clump of three to five emails every half a minute or so, each one a reply-all that sends bank-wide telling everyone to stop. I was on the phone helping a coworker out, and as the emails kept on coming in, my laughter became more uncontrollable… which is probably bad of me, because I know that many recipients were genuinely irritated.

It was kind of like an itch that gets itchier as you scratch it. And everyone thinks that scratching it will relieve it, though they’re only making it worse ( …more entertaining??)

Anyway, those are some of the ones from 78 emails I got on Tuesday. Then, one of the three more emails on Wednesday morning…

Yesterday I was bombarded by 55 e-mails connected with this test. It interfered with communications with my customers and clogged up my BlackBerry. I don’t want to experience that again please. REMOVE MY NAME FORM THE LIST!!

I’d hate to admit it, but part of me wanted it to start up again just for entertainment. It didn’t start up again though, I think everyone quickly got wiser for it. Hopefully no one got fired 🙂