May 1, 2004
I could’ve been done with the documentation months ago, but the subject matter experts kept tweaking the system features for the debut release. Then Key’s financial problems emerged. The company shuffled executives around, and I think Key even figured out either the villain or convenient scapegoat for costing the company at least $80 million. The reshuffle created a chain of command whose links are committed to releasing KeyView. Fittingly, the executives have been mired in meetings to accelerate the release.
Among other things, they’re reconsidering the overall documentation plan. They’ve got a good head start. Thanks to me, Key has eight documents in one degree or another of completion, about 400 pages total on templates I created from scratch. If Key ends my contract, it won’t be from dissatisfaction with my output.
On the other hand, because Key's trying to cut expenses, I haven't had to go to Midland for a while, meaning I save $800 a visit in expenses that Key may or may not continue to reimburse.1 And I don’t have to contend with the airport security goons.2
So I’ll continue to milk my current job, or else I’m available to work the next contract in Austin (or elsewhere). Either way, I win.
Meanwhile, I lowered my debt-to-asset ratio by 4 percent after the last paycheck. I also felt flush enough to buy Miss KT lunch in exchange for her advice on buying a new computer system.
I saw “Kill Bill, Vol. 2” on opening night, so I can finally weigh in on the whole opus. Don’t bother to see it. It’s Tarantino at his laziest and most self-indulgent.3 You’d think a concoction from him of noir,4 anime,5 martial arts, Asian gangster and spaghetti western films, and kitschy pop culture would work. Not this time. Often, it's not even as entertaining as "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights."6
Yeah, I saw it at the discount theater, hoping to cop some dance moves, but you couldn’t get much from the way it’s edited. It’s fluff, and probably the most comsymp7 of the four movies I’ve seen set when Castro took over Cuba.8 I half expected to see Fredo dashing by the young lovers.9 But I’m still surprised it didn’t become a hit among teen-age girls, a la Titanic.10
Hollywood’s attention may be the peak of renewed popularity for Latin music and dance, which is another way of saying the waning phase is beginning, after a hot streak of five years or so.11 It’s happened before.12 Already, Miguel’s La Bodega, the top Latin club in Austin,13 announced it’s closing June 30.14 I suspect the local glut of such clubs, combined with the public’s fickle tastes,15 the recession, as well as the local power elite killing downtown with the endless tearing up of roads and no place to park,16 has contributed to Miguel’s demise.
The next trend will probably be all things Arabic. As Marines kill and die in the streets of Fallujah,17 on the “home front”18 Americans will take an ancient culture and turn it into a goofy appetizer, as “Mystery Science Theater” once put it.19
I figured out the optimal way of dunking a cookie in milk: use a martini glass. The glass’ shape allows you to dunk the cookie, which is usually larger than the circumference of other glasses. A bowl works even better, but what do you do with the milk? Drinking from the bowl is considered vulgar. Only Mom still thinks dunking cookies is vulgar.
The Apr. 16 Austin Chronicle’s cover story is about the new city arts czar, the unfortunately named Vincent Kitch.20
“Sesame Street” actress Alison Bartlett is appearing on “The Sopranos.”21
This is less of a stretch than you might suspect. Like many things, it was
adumbrated in Mad:22
North of the neighborhood, the city plans to annex the Robinson Ranch, the standing name for 6,300 acres of various residential and commercial properties between FM 1325 and RM 620 from Parmer Lane all the way into Williamson County.23
|1. Austin Chronicle
2. Austin American-Statesman
8. Austin Business Journal
10. Journal of Libertarian Studies
11. Washington Post
12. National Review
13. American Spectator
14. Libertarian Party News
15. Phoenix New Times
16. New York Times
17. Wall Street Journal
20. Dallas Morning News