Mom’s, Hockey, vuvuzelas and dentists

First and foremost, I would like to say Happy Mother’s day to my Mother and to my Wife. They are both great parents, and I am lucky to have both of them teaching me what to do.  All kidding aside, happy Mothers Day to them and to all Mothers around the world. My mom  taught me it was ok to question everything – or maybe she just put up with my questioning everything – and that has served me well in my life. My wife is the best female role model I could ask for to help my four children become responsible, caring, but still having fun adults.

Sadly, my hockey season is over (except for the games my son plays every Sunday, of course). All of my favorite teams are out. The Vancouver Canucks went down in flames in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the LA Kings. I hate the LA Kings, jut a little. But Jonatan Quick is really quick. I am sure I am not the first commentator to play on his last name.  In any case, the Canucks are gone.  The Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins – the AHL farm team to the Pittsburgh Penguins – lost in game seven of the second round to their rivals in St. Johns, Newfoundland. And in the WHL the Portland Winterhawks lost game seven in the final to the Edmonton Oil Kings. We, my family and I, went to game 6.  It was played in Portland last Saturday, May 12,. And it was a pretty damn good game. Portland outplayed Edmonton.  They deserved the win, and the got the win. Unfortunately for them, they did not carry the same sense of purpose into game 7 in Edmonton the next night. The Oil Kings wanted the championship more than the Winterhawks, and the handily won the game.

But I learned something about myself. As has become more common lately, there was a number of fans attending the aforementioned game 6 that arrived with the dreaded vuvuzela – the montonic peice of crap instrument first shown to the western world during the world cup that was held in South Africa a few years ago. The World Cup action was great. The fan noise was terrible. (I thought it was swarms of killer bees, the first time I heard them). Personally, I despise them. They take away from the game of hockey. Even some drunk fam shouting “Get some glasses, ref” has more depth of expression than a fam with a 3 foot piece of plastic stuck between his lips. Ironically, the next day at my sons game, I was happy to join the other parents wailing wildly on a cowbell every time little Johnny or not-so-little Ryan, managed to get their stick on the puck. I realized there was little difference between sound of a cow bell and the sound of a vuvuzela when measured on any rational scale – ability to communicate corrections to the referee, ability to insult the other teams players.  Both suck at it. They are just noise. But still, the sound of a small cheap cowbell at a hockey game still sounds better to me than a vuvuzela. Someone needs to look into them!!

Finally, a couple of days ago I was at the dentist.  Now dentists are not my favorite people.  I contend that in my life as a software engineer and architect, I have caused less pain than any dentist has last Thursday, although my manager might disagree with this assertion.  As I settled into the dentists chair for a quick repair, one of the computer monitors was displaying the appointments of my dentist for the day. My name was up there at the correct time. Although it was not the same program, the screen was enough like the calendaring system used by the company I work for, that it reminded me of my own schedule. I have to attend too many phone meeting everyday, and sometimes I get double booked.The one difference was my dentist did not have any double book slots.  One patient at a time. Probably a good idea. It got me thinking about the difference between architects and dentists …..If I am in a meeting that I am not that interested in, I will often do some other work – like debugging a s/w module, replying to some email or maybe check my Twitter feed – while paying a little attention to the phone call. Dentists should not do this. If the meeting is pretty simple, I might try to resolve what ever issue exists via Instant Messaging and cancel the meeting. Again, not likely to be useful for a dentist. Finally, I have mentioned to my manager on more than one occasion, that I need to have less meetings inorder to meet my deadlines. I just can’t see a dentist saying “Cancel all of my appointments today – I need to get some *real* work done!!” Maybe this difference explains why I hate them so much. Maybe not. 🙂

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