I just read that the Apple iPhone (pictured right) will be released on June 29.  Coincidentally, that's the date of my first marriage.  Had she and I stayed married, it would be 22 years.
It then occurred to me that my first wife and the iPhone have a lot in common.
So in that vein, let me share with you the top 10 reasons why the iPhone is like my ex-wife.

  1. It's expensive.
  2. It seems special because it's unique, but ultimately it's just a mediocre piece (of equipment).
  3. People will want one,if for no other reason that they know how easy it is.
  4. You don't have to be smart to do everything it's capable of.  In fact, it helps if you're not.
  5. It comes with a lot of baggage you may not want (in the case of the iPhone, that would be iTunes).
  6. It's got a lot of open connectivity to the world.
  7. At first it sounds like a great idea, but once you've had it for a while you realize you're stuck with it.  (iPhone requires a 2 year contract).
  8. You can put a nice package on it, but inside it's based on old technology and eventually you're going to get tired of its annoying way of doing things.
  9. "Think Different" is not always better than "Be Normal"
  10. No matter how fun it will be to play with, you'll soon realize that because of all of the things above, you shouldn't have got one in the first place and if you can't find exactly what you want that will last you a long time, you'd have been better off with a Palm.  It may not do everything, it may not be as fun, and it's not something you brag about to your friends, but it's reliable, somewhat enjoyable, and it'll get the job done.

CVS Decides it Knows More Than Physicians

CVS has decided that it will only fill opioid prescriptions for short term pain for up to 7 days.

This really ticks me off. For starters, I know that this is for short-term pain and it wouldn't directly affect my family, if we actually went to CVS. But that's not my point.

When I voted for the first medical marijuana law in the nation when I lived in California, I didn't do it because I approved of its use. I didn't do it because I believed it was an effective medication for anything. I did it solely because I believe a doctor should be free to prescribe whatever they feel will work without interference. I still feel that way.

Who the heck is CVS to second-guess a physician and unilaterally decide that 7 days is long enough? Are some doctors over-prescribing? Certainly. The answer is to GO AFTER THOSE DOCTORS. CVS' job isn't to evaluate a licensed medical doctor's treatment. It's to fill the prescriptions.

The problem is that once again, some people who abuse opioids make it more difficult for those who have a genuine need for that medication.

When referring to my wife’s pain medication, I once had a person tell me, "There are always alternatives." I responded, "Who are you to second-guess my wife's doctor who has decades of experience and is double-board certified, AND does try alternative and has done several procedures?!"

It's ridiculous when you can't go to a pharmacy and fill legitimate prescriptions without pharmacists actually LYING about whether they have it (and yes, they were lying, a different pharmacist confirmed that) and/or look at you like you're a crackhead!

A doctor should be able to write whatever he feels is necessary and the patient should be able to get it filled. That's why we license doctors. That's why we license pharmacists. If they really want to do things to help, investigate and DO SOMETHING about so-called pill mills and the doctors. If 90% of a doctor's practice involves writing schedule 3 and 2 prescriptions, maybe that doctor is a problem. Research delivery methods that limit the potential for resale and/or abuse.

But the opioid witch hunt really isn't helping anyone right now and the only ones it's affecting are those patients with GOOD doctors and a legitimate need for chronic pain relief.

In the mean time, I'll just stop going to CVS.

Blasts From My Past

I used to blog quite a bit and I’d like to get back into it more often. I’m quite proud of my blogs but they’re broken to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the blog. Broken links are everywhere, pictures are missing and in some cases the posts were just personal. Personal posts are great for the time and I don’t want to lose them, but they’re also not something I want on my new site.

So I’ve decided to migrate the ones I’ve found clever or interesting. This doesn’t mean that the overtly personal posts aren’t great but just that they’re nothing to brag about. They’re not what I would call “Gems”.  It’s those gems that I’m going to be bringing here.  I may comment on them or just leave them be.  I’ll be giving them their original dates as well. Oh, and reading over them after 10 years, let me say how glad I am that none of my coworkers read my blog back then.


The Post-It boy for better management

I’ve been a software developer for over 30 years. In that time, I’ve met some good bosses, I’ve met some bad bosses. This is a story about one of them. My intent is to make this a series, sort of a “Boss-Stream of Consciousness” if you will. I’ll talk about the ones I’ve liked and the ones I’ve loathed and some of the ones in between. Names and places may or may not be changed, depending on the passage of time, my feelings about said boss and frankly, my mood.

Canadian educator Laurence J. Peter defined a management concept called The Peter Principle which basically says “ In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” This was my boss Raj.

When I came to 4D Enterprises, my orientation told me how Raj single-handedly built all of the software upon which the company was built. I was informed that Raj was not only the author of book on technology that nobody used anymore with reviews lavishing praise like “slapdash” and “some value” but also wrote many articles on a website notorious for blinding its readers. I was pumped!

After showing me to my office and moving the source code from his hard drive to a hastily deployed TFS server, Raj shared with me the cardinal rule of software development. I’m guessing that he considered this the secret of his success and the foundation upon which all good software was written, given the importance he placed on this mission-critical software. That software is…

Bad dev, bad dev! Whatcha gonna do?

I was informed that under no circumstance was I to deviate from StyleCop. StyleCop is Mother, StyleCop is Father. We live for the StyleCop. We die for the StyleCop. I initially doubted his devotion to StyleCop, to my detriment. Making everything conform to StyleCop was my first responsibility. That was his command. So I spent literally weeks conforming every line of code of every package he’d committed to TFS with StyleCop. He even went overseas while I was diligently beating his code into submission. He returned and bestowed on me the the glorious commendation, “You didn’t do anything.”

I’m sure it was my fault. I should have known to do what he wanted in the future rather than what he was telling me in the present. He was the great Raj and I was the pleb. Surely he knew best. Even if he didn’t, he was the boss. But undoubtedly he did. I knew the author of any book that “has some value” could not steer me wrong!

I was then given actual tasks to complete. I would write what was expected making sure to pay homage and obeisance to the many-horned god of StyleCop. I became intimately familiar with the following:

  • SA1600: ElementsMustBeDocumented and all of it’s friends. If it could possibly be documented, I was going to document it!
  • Curly brackets in code are heaven-sent and can never be left out. Ever. Never Ever. Like Taylor Swift getting back with her ex, Never Ever Ever.
  • Blank lines are da debil! You can never have blank lines. See above about Taylor’s ex for more information. It doesn’t matter if it makes it actually readable, blank lines apparently make you have dirty, dirty thoughts or something and must be avoided at all costs.
  • Naming conventions are crucial. And inflexible. And not Hungarian because we said so.
  • Microsoft themselves don’t adhere to many, many of these rules. Good thing I have StyleCop to tell me where Microsoft screwed up when generating the code I need!
  • It’s a good thing that StyleCop is all I had to use, right? Right? Wrong! I also had,

    Code Analysis

    That’s right, Boy and Girls! When my code got the A-OK from StyleCop, Code Analysis had it’s way! Every. Single. Rule. And if they conflicted with StyleCop…well, StyleCop is holy, remember?

    Thanks to this unholy union of StyleCop and Code Analysis, I had to write code that couldn’t use the latest features of C# and/or .Net because rules hadn’t been written for them yet. I tried discussing these with Raj, but was met with a response similar to telling the Pope that Jesus was a girl. It was sacrilege and it was not to be spoken again. I suggested setting “company standards” which was what Microsoft actually suggested. He looked at me like I wanted to create my own programming language. (In retrospect, it would have been faster and I wouldn’t have StyleCop to deal with)

    New Digs

    It was about this time that we “loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly…” or about 2 miles away in this case. As I was the only software engineer in the company who didn’t have a title like “Grand Architect and High Puba” Raj was very excited to tell me about the working space that he’d designed for me and the other 7 developers. You know, that he was going to hire. Someday. In the Future. Even though it had been pretty much him and up to one other for the last 12 years. Furthermore, we had the whole end of the building that would be just ours. And by ours, I mean mine.

    When the time came, you can imagine how eager I was to get away from my stuffy office and it’s annoying door that kept me from enjoying the passing conversations of my coworkers. I mean, who would want and office like this…

    When you can have THIS…

    But at least Raj would be there as well and I could bask in his wisdom. Oh wait. He still got to have an office. I was the only one in this wonderful new space of which he was so proud.

    There will be post-its

    It was then that development really kicked in. There was a workflow that took shape and went something like this. I would complete the task and check it in to TFS when I went home. The next day or the day after we would have the same conversation:

    Me: Why did you change the code after I checked it in? It was working when I left. Was there something I missed or was there a new requirement?
    Raj: You did it wrong.
    Me: It works fine, it passes StyleCop and Code Analysis. It's tight, follows best practices and meets every requirement.
    Raj: That's not how you should do it. You should do it like me.

    As I alluded to above, this was not a single conversation. I’m not exaggerating when I say that he would change my code every single time I checked it in. But he was the boss and I do what I’m told. Even if he pretends that he didn’t tell me later (which is why I kept notes).

    Raj was the boss, as I said. And because he was the “Grand High Puba and Architect” the existence and future of the entire company rested squarely on his shoulders. So let me introduce to you his project management style:

    I’m not exaggerating in the least. There are only 3 differences between the above picture and Raj’s project management.

  • He used nothing but the littlest yellow post-it notes.
  • They were all in very precise rows and columns.
  • There were many, many more notes. They covered a good portion of one wall and also a portion of another.
  • One time when I completed all the tasks I had I went to his office and tried to discuss my frustrations. I told him that I was having difficulty seeing how the parts I’m writing fit into the whole. I said that I would understand things better if I knew the architectural direction and knew what my upcoming tasks were expected to be. Raj said, “If you have a question or want to know something just ask.” I asked if there was a roadmap I could take a look at or some kind of master task list. He said, “Just do the tasks I give you,” and pulled one of the tiny post it notes off the wall, gave me a 2 minute explanation of what I should do and sent me on my way.

    The next 3 or 4 times I needed more work, I sent an email hoping he would just reply back with instructions or hopefully attach some kind of document or email where this was planned. Without fail Raj would reply telling me to come to his office and he would give me another post it and a 2 minute verbal explanation.

    …And I feel fine.

    It was around that time that I started putting out feelers for another job. This wasn’t working for me and the stress was taking its toll.

    I wasn’t terribly surprised when one day at 5:00 I got called into Raj’s office and the owner let me go. There’s was a small attempt to discuss what they felt went wrong but when Raj said, “you didn’t do anything when I went overseas. You didn’t do anything at all. What were you doing?” I just stared at him dumbfounded. I wanted to stand up and scream at him, “I did what you told me to do! I kept notes! So stop saying I didn’t! It’s not my fault that the only notes you keep are the ones that you stick on a wall.” But of course, I didn’t.

    It wouldn’t have done any good to show them my notes, I know that. Businesses will always defend their managers. It’s the way things are. And notes can certainly be forged or just contain false information. I’m not a fighter. I don’t care for conflict and honestly, I don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t want me. Moreover, I don’t want to work for someone who is either dishonest enough to lie or incompetent enough to not even realize what tasks were given or to see your own shortcomings.

    It wasn’t the end of the world as I knew it and I felt fine.


    Getting fired is an undignified process in the best of situations. Incompetent technical people can only make it worse. When I was let go, I naturally needed to take my stuff with me. Since my “desk” was located at the opposite end of the building from the main doors, I parked by one of the side doors that day, like I always did along with Raj. In the time I signed my exit-interview form (I don’t go stomping out usually) and took the first of two boxes to my car, Fuller, the aforementioned incompetent tech, already locked me out of the building. This was 5:05 in the afternoon and there were literally 4 people left in the building. If he was concerned about security, why didn’t he just follow me around and watch me like anyone else would for a terminated employee? And if he was so concerned why did he let me take my stuff unattended so he could lock me out? There was literally nothing preventing me from throwing hardware in a box and walking it out before he’d locked the door.

    So I was forced to bang on the door with my ring for about 4 minutes until he happened to hear me. All the other doors would be locked too so there was no sense in walking around front. Eventually Fuller came and opened the door. I asked him, “Why couldn’t you wait just 2 minutes till I got the rest of my stuff?” he just looked and me and grunted something and gave a half shrug. I expected the next word out of his mouth to be “Hodor” but he just walked off. I got the rest of my stuff (alone) and then walked through the building to my car (again, alone). As I said, incompetent. And this isn’t the only reason why.

    There’s one more little postscript to this story. About 3 weeks later I got a call from the local police department. It was a detective. His tone was oddly sympathetic, sighing a lot as he told me what happened and asked his questions.

    Mr. Estep, I hate to bother you *sigh* but I have to ask you some questions. I apologize. A few nights ago on [date], 4D Enterprises was broken into and some computer equipment was taken. *sigh* And your name was given as a possible suspect.

    I wasn’t sure whether to be shocked, amused or angry. It turns out that I was all 3. I was shocked because one of the things they bragged about when they moved into this mostly empty building was the security system they had put in. They told us it had everything, perimeter sensors, motion detectors and even cameras around the exterior.

    I was amused because I knew Fuller’s inflated opinion of himself. He acted like he was a wizard at hardware and the original BOFH. Simply put, he was arrogant. And if they were blaming me, it meant that the security system didn’t quite work out as advertised.

    I was angry because in my whole life, I’d never had the police accuse me of stealing. And it was an indignity I had to suffer because of (at least) one man’s incompetence. In retrospect, I had to wonder who was watching the watchman?

    I denied even having been in that part of town since I was let go and then I asked the police why 4D Enterprises were trying to blame me and did he look at the security video.

    *sigh* Well, either it wasn’t working or it doesn’t exist. I asked and they just said “there is no video.” I’m sorry to bother you.

    I gave them 60 hours a week and more. I did everything I was asked and received nothing but derision and lies from Raj. Ok, I got paid too. There is that. And I learned what the Peter Principle truly is.

    Some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned

    Something I’ve always tried to do following a job (I do a lot of contracts) is a post-mortem, the same thing you do following business ventures, software projects and death. I like to list out what I’ve learned.

    The good

  • Raj is actually a really great programmer. His ability can actually be intimidating at first because what he knows, he knows well. It makes disagreeing with him something you’re more careful about because you don’t want him coming back demonstrating you’re wrong. He challenged me often and for that I’m grateful.
  • The CEO of 4D is really a great guy. He is genuine and he knows his market and his business very well. He’s built a good company with good people. While he has some obvious flaws (see below) I learned how he treated people can build cohesion and loyalty. He’s one of the most well-liked CEO’s I’ve ever known.
  • The ordeal with StyleCop forced me to think about my programming style and the goals of code analysis in general. I was also exposed heavily to Microsoft UI guidelines, something I didn’t address here but caused similar conflict to the StyleCop farce.

  • The bad

  • Rigidity to certain standards and practices without a rationale behind it is as harmful as no standards at all. It causes conflict in the organization as well as confusion as to what is most important.
  • Open workspaces suck. There’s no ifs, ands or buts. They suck. Collaboration is nice and collaboration is necessary. But you know what is even more necessary? Focus. Programmers need to focus.Why would you put someone in a place with distractions if you don’t want them to be distracted? Distractions come in many forms. Open workspaces actually promote the two biggest kind, aural and visual. I’ll probably blog on that at some other point.
  • I’ll never take a job that has a pay period longer than semi-monthly again. I was paid monthly and it made managing my finances much more difficult. Yes, it requires more discipline. Clearly I don’t have that discipline.
  • I need to consider the cost of benefits before settling on desired salary. Not just the cost of premiums but how much I’ll have to pay out of pocket because your new employer doesn’t have high benefit plans so the people who don’t have children could save money (yes, that was directly stated in a meeting).
  • Don’t claim your company is “like a family” and then put the new guy all by himself at the end of the building where he literally will encounter nobody else and then wonder why he never quite assimilated. After 6 months there were still people who didn’t know who I was other than “the new guy working for Raj”.

  • The ugly

  • I was right to take notes. I need to do a better job of it though.
  • I need to stand up for myself more. I let Raj walk all over me. It would have led to my exit sooner but I should have pushed back harder on what I knew.
  • Some people are just lousy managers. I suspect Raj has never actually managed people and it’s obvious he’s never properly managed a project. He is the Peter Principle personified.
  • The CEO delegates but he doesn’t recognize when someone isn’t suited for a job. It’s one thing to be hands off and let your subordinates manage, but it’s like he doesn’t realize that he has to manage people as well. Just because you call them “Grand Chief Architect and High Lama” doesn’t mean they still don’t need management. Raj had a superior but he didn’t have a boss. I can’t imagine why any CEO would tolerate the tasks and plans for their flagship product to be post-it notes on a wall. What if it was the fire alarm that had failed instead of the burglar alarm? Moreover, what if something happened to Raj and the building in a short period of time? That’s not responsible leadership.
  • Promotions shouldn’t be given as rewards for longevity without regard to suitability. Raj is an unbelievable programmer and probably a great architect too. But the bottom line is he is a lousy manager and a reckless project manager. He should be part of a team, not in charge of it.
  • Project management is a discipline not a side duty or job. Correctly done, it’s time consuming and not something you can do with post-it notes. I already knew that but my time there reinforced it. It’s not simply a skill that you magically acquire because you’ve been in charge of projects before. It blows my mind how many people think that nobody needs training to be an effective project manager.
  • When someone lies to you about something that matters and you can prove it, call them on it.
  • If the person lying to you is your boss, start looking for new work immediately. Like a spouse that cheats, the trust is gone and you don’t want to work for someone dishonest anyway.

  • The names of the company and individuals have been changed in whole, in part or not all. The names aren’t important. They are tangential to the story and to my experience. While the names may or may not be changed, the experiences are real and each and every one happened as I have stated them.

    If you want to figure out who this is, don’t. It’s really not that important. But if you do it anyway and you happen to be one of the people in this story, I don’t want to hear it. I wish you no ill but I’m also not going to debate history. It’s not about you. This blog is my catharsis. It’s putting down in black and white my experiences so I don’t have to think about it anymore.

    The next post in this series will be about a great boss I had a long time ago who taught me a lot about IT and also about office politics.

    Official Google Blog: Cookies: expiring sooner to improve privacy

    After I read the following from Google's official blog, I seriously had to check what I was reading to make sure it wasn't a parody:

    After listening to feedback from our users and from privacy advocates, we've concluded that it would be a good thing for privacy to significantly shorten the lifetime of our cookies — as long as we could find a way to do so without artificially forcing users to re-enter their basic preferences at arbitrary points in time. And this is why we’re announcing a new cookie policy.
    In the coming months, Google will start issuing our users cookies that will be set to auto-expire after 2 years, while auto-renewing the cookies of active users during this time period. In other words, users who do not return to Google will have their cookies auto-expire after 2 years. Regular Google users will have their cookies auto-renew, so that their preferences are not lost. And, as always, all users will still be able to control their cookies at any time via their browsers.

    Umm...2 years?  This isn't a joke.  They are serious!  Now this doesn't mean that Google is going to keep their cookies on your system for 2 years, it means that they're going to keep them for 2 years from the last time you accessed a Google site!

    Did you see their reasoning?  "so that their preferences are not lost"  That's NUTS!  Does anyone even remember their preferences after 2 years much less be angry if they're still not on the computer?

    Believe me, I'm not a cookie Nazi.  I don't keep track of what sites put what cookies on my computer and I'm sure I'm tracked all over the internet.  But even for me, this is stupid.  It's one thing to plan on keeping cookies on computers indefinitely as a matter of practice, but it's completely different to make it a matter of policy that you announce and defend!

    Of course, they say that users will still be able to control their cookies at any time via their browsers.  Yeah, and I'm sure spyware companies say that users are able manage their add-ins and apps with the Add/Remove menu, too.

    Official Google Blog: Cookies: expiring sooner to improve privacy

    Rudeness Isn’t Supposed to be Funny

    Something that has always bothered me is when people find a total lack of courtesy to be funny.  The first instance that comes to mind is a number of years back when the family of a little brat won $10,000 on Funniest Home Videos because this little kid said to a Santa upon whose lap he was sitting, "You have bad breath!"  He was being a brat.  Instead of being mortified, the parents thought it was funny and sent the tape in.  Apparently enough other people thought it was funny to vote for them to win.  I personally think that self-centered and bratty kids grow up to be self-centered and rude adults.

    It appears that I am right.  There is a site called Regiftable where people share funny stories of how they were rude to someone by giving as a present a gift that they didn't want.  This practice (popularized with the term "regifting" on Seinfeld) mocks the notion that "it's the thought that counts".  I find the practice to be sad, rude, and inconsiderate.  I don't know who is being insulted the most.  Is it the giver because he is having his gift rejected or the receiver because she obviously isn't even getting the courtesy of a well-thought out gift.

    When did “visitation” become “parenting time”?

    In dealing with an issue up north, I was reading something that kept referring to "parenting time".  My first thought was that this was just this website's way of being kind and patronizing to non-custodial fathers parents. Further research showed me that not only is this now an official term, but it is used by other states as well.

    This is ridiculous to me.  As a non-custodial parent of nearly 20 years (and counting) I'm more than sensitive and empathetic to the plight and sensitivities of those to whom this is direct.  But this is beyond silly.  What is this politically correct notion that you have to attempt to change the meanings of words to make someone feel better?  Do they really think that by calling it something different that it's actually going to affect the practice itself?  Of course it won't!  You can change the name of something, but it doesn't change what it is.  It's still visitation!

    A non-custodial father visits his kids.  There's no other way to put it.  She has custody.   It's not really "parenting time" because you simply can't "parent" every other weekend.  You can't parent if you add one night a week and half the summer.

    The irony of this whole renaming scheme is that by calling it parenting time they devalue another term that the political correctness crowd holds dear: "single parent".  They don't look at the term to mean "a parent that is single" but rather "a single who parents alone".  If a noncustodial now has "parenting time" rather than visitation, they they too "parent".  If two people parent, they aren't parenting alone now are they?  And if she's not parenting alone, "single parent" has lost much of its value and power as part of our lexicon.

    There's another way this dilutes the term "single parent".  If a non-custodial parent (who has no children at home and isn't married) now has "parenting time", he must be, by definition, a single parent.

    The problem with political correctness is that they want to have it both ways and they can't.  I won't allow it.

    The Video Game Accessory of the Future

    [CE: The Oculus Rift and the Vive look just like this when you get them out of the box]

    I just can't stop laughing at this.  Every time I look at it and think of something to say about it, I keep laughing.  I'm not even going to try to explain it except to say that it's real and it's current.  Click the pic to go see.
    Luke.  I am your father...

    Funny Link of the Day

    Shamelessly taken from Overheard in the Office:

    Old man: Excuse me.
    CD store employee: Yes.
    Old man: Where do you keep your Negro music?
    CD store employee: What?
    Old man: Your Negro music!
    Grandson: He means rap music.
    CD store employee: Oh, over there.

    Word of the Day–Craplet

    [CE: Little did I know that as smartphones became popular, this word would describe most of what comes on it.]

    A takeoff of the word Applet which is basically a small application or a piece of code that runs on a much larger framework but does a small task.

    Craplet - A small program written to perform a specific task without regard to the quality of the code, specifically error trapping.

    I’m a Bigot

    It's a difficult thing to have to admit, but I'm afraid it's true. As I come clean and admit my horrible bias, let me give you a little backstory first.

    In my career, I listen to a lot of podcasts. For the uninitiated, podcasts are just downloadable audio talk shows on whatever subject you may choose. Mine are obviously technical oriented. Some are good, some are awful, some purport to be related to one subject and then for some reason choose to focus on another (a rant that will come later today). But regardless, they are all technically related.

    I tried listening to one called Plumbers @ Work. The content is actually pretty good but there's one huge problem.

    They're Canadian.

    Having grown up near Canada and having watched NHL hockey all my life, I'm very sensitive to Canadian accents. I hear them without even trying. The problem is that while it's amusing during a hockey game, it's very irritating while I'm trying to work. I'm trying to work and I keep hearing things like "I'm a-boot to do a conference that's a-boot .NET" "It's a-boot time Microsoft did something a-boot that problem. I get emails a-boot that all the time."

    And another thing. You know the round pork-based meat that we put on Egg McMuffins? It's HAM! It's not bacon, it's HAM!! Putting the word "Canadian" in front of something won't change what is. Just because you don't have a cuisine of your own doesn't mean you should go trying to co-opt meats as something that's yours.

    "Mmmm...this is good turkey!" "It's not turkey, it's Canadian chicken!"

    And what's with your flag?

    A big leaf? At least you have a good national anthem. I suppose that has to count for something.

    Speaking of leaves. What's up with that? The plural of leaf is LEAVES. So why do you have the Toronto Maple Leafs? Shouldn't it be the Toronto Maple LEAVES?

    See? This is what happens when I have to listen to Canadian accents. I need to get back to work.

    Women & Shoes

    I just don't get it.

    I don't mean that I don't get why women feel they have to own thousands of pairs of shoes, but why so many have to have loud ones.

    There's a woman in my office who has the loudest shoes without bells. CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP she walks by my cubicle. CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP she goes back. This goes on all day. I listen to other people and I can barely hear them walk. Yet, for some reason, Mister Ed's wife, Missus Ed gallops merrily along.

    It's really annoying.