What’s in a title?

Riffing off the sci-fi novel "Bowl of Heaven" with Husband, I was sad to find out the second book in the series was not "Spoon of Heaven," or "Weetabix of Heaven," because it would fit perfectly. We came up with some other novel titles that could be tweaked:

  • Rendezvous with Breakfast
  • Bun Diver
  • Revelation Spork

George R. R. Martin gets his own section:

  • The Song of Fire and Ice Cream
  • A Game of Toasts
  • A Clash of Crumpets
  • A Storm of Soup
  • A Feast for Croissants
  • A Dance with Donuts
  • The Winds of Wintergreen (forthcoming)
  • A Dream of Spring Rolls (forthcoming)

Then there’s the Jim Butcher section (I skipped some titles):

  • Storm Fridge
  • Full Moon Pie
  • Blood Pudding Rites
  • White Chocolate Night
  • Turnover Coat

Travel lessons

Airplane travel

Some day, you and your checked luggage will be parted. Maybe for a day, maybe forever. Have enough in carry-on that you can survive a day while you get replacements for the essentials.

Medications go in carry-on bags.

If you fly more than twice a year, do the TSA Pre-Check and get a Known Traveller Number. You can keep your liquids in your bag and use the short line for screening, and it lasts for five years.

Driving for business

Classical music is not your friend. Find something with a beat that you can sing along to, especially if you’re driving multiple hours.

Drink lots of water and take stops every hour. The one may facilitate the other.

Don’t be the fastest thing on the road.

Chocolate left in your car all day will probably melt, especially in summer.

Bring one book, not three.

General travel

When you’re in a new city, ask people for recommendations of places to go and places to eat. Then take the recommendations. This got me to Askinosie a fantastic chocolate factory in Springfield MO, and Farmer’s Gastropub, which is the closest thing to a British pub I’ve found in America.

Explore on your own.

Take the time to introvert and be alone.

Back to back travel is best avoided. You need a break in between trips.

Coming home is the best part of travelling.

What NOT to say to your QA

It’s a feature, not a bug.
But why would you even do that?
QAs are just failed developers.
My code is perfect, I don’t write bugs.
You’re not supposed to do that in the app.
It’s a design error, not a bug.
I’m not fixing that.
Why are you worried about that? No one ever does THAT…
QAs aren’t technical, they don’t need to attend to that meeting.
You’re testing it wrong.
This doesn’t concern QA.
Get me on %MANAGER%’s calendar for tomorrow afternoon.
It works on MY machine, so it’s fine.
Load testing is for developers to do, not QAs.
We turned off all the tests.
The user will never be able to do that, so it’s an invalid test.
It’ll be fine in production.
You’re using invalid data, that’s why you think it’s a bug.
This way is better.
You need to take notes in the meeting for everyone.
QA can do that admin task, they’re not doing anything worthwhile.
Where are the batteries kept?
This has to be tested by developers, not QA
Can you hurry up? We have a deadline.
I thought you were a nice person.
So when will you be DONE?

(Some mine, others collected from Asynchrony QAs Slack channel.)

Your software project might have a QA if…

Some of these are mine, some I lifted from the company Slack channel for Quality Advocacy.

  • You’re used to finding Cyrillic or Greek or Mandarin in the database
  • There’s code in place to stop you copying War and Peace into the app multiple times
  • You know how the system reacts with 10 users, or 50, or 500, or 5000
  • Your developers know what happened in Europe between 4th and 15th October 1582
  • You have client-side and server-side data validation
  • This conversation: "But why would you even do that?" "Because there was nothing to stop me."
  • You know when Daylight Savings Time starts in Australia
  • Names and addresses make you nervous
  • Your app looks stunning with the colors reversed
  • You know how to close your h3 tags
  • You fear what will happen to everything run by computers in January of 2038
  • Your app survives a genuine DDoS attack in production and everyone shrugs because "she’s done worse to us in dev."

Sh*t my QA says

There is a bug, I just haven’t found it yet.
Well, it’s broken on my machine!
In the Danish version of Windows, if you click really fast, the app just crashes.
It doesn’t work when I put Cyrillic text in. Or Greek, Hebrew, or Mandarin.
One copy of “War and Peace” in the description field was OK, but the second crashed it.
What if you rotate the screen/turn on airplane mode/get a text/drop the phone into the toilet from ten feet up?
The app doesn’t handle itself well if you delete its database after you log in.
Ooh, I haven’t seen it do that before! Wonder if it’ll do it again?
Can’t stop, I saw a bug and I’m trying to find it again.

(From a QA friend) There you are, you little sh*t! I have you now!

Unlucky Fried Kitten

It’s been a long time since I put together a list for my humour section. I learned from the comedy courses at Writer’s Village University that comedy writing is harder work than writing straight because you have to keep polishing the almost-funny parts until the almost is gone.

The course textbook was The Comic Toolbox, by Jon Vorhaus, and it’s a great book for comedy writing. One of the first things we learned from it was the rule of ten: Write out ten things, and one will be funny. Keep that one, and write out another ten. Eventually you have ten funny things, but you have to be OK with writing the ninety unfunny ones to get there. So I used that method to come up with some restaurant names, based on places in St Louis. The post title isn’t mine, it was on a t-shirt in Guildford.

  • Buffalo Wild Wheels
  • Lardee’s
  • Cinnabarf
  • Poodle House
  • Booger Queen
  • Coldstone Watery
  • Outhouse Steakhouse
  • White Pass-All
  • International House of Asparagus
  • Applebutt’s
  • The Cheesecake Sweatshop

Sehlat came up with these:

  • Snake and Shake
  • Mac-a-Phony Grill
  • Sick-Fil-A
  • Fourbucks
  • O’Snarlys

Then there was Bohr‘s Bagels, but you’d need some quantum physics to get that one…