Learning flex without spending $0.01, day one.

I downloaded the command-line compiler and lots of documentation PDF files from here earlier today.

Then I started working through the “getting started” tutorial PDF.

I made a few edits to my ~/_vimrc file so that working with mxml files would be a little easier:

” Do some specific maps for flex files (.mxml files).
” F10 rebuilds the swf.
autocmd BufNewFile,BufRead *.mxml map <F10> :! mxmlc %<CR>

” F11 executes the swf.
autocmd BufNewFile,BufRead *.mxml map <F11> :! start %<.swf<CR>

And I was able to build this do-nothing widget after about 15 minutes of goofing off:


That’s a screenshot of my homemade swf running above the vim session where I wrote it.

Next stuff to figure out:

  • Where do my trace statements go?
  • I need to figure out how to pass in locations of actionscript files when I compile my mxml files into swf files.
  • I need to learn the tags in MXML. They’re different than HTML.
  • I need to learn how to talk to a webserver.

Pre-employment drug screens ate my balls

This is a really old k5 diary that I’m proud of. The original post is here. I made some minor edits.

The bratty and unhelpful HR troglodyte just called and said she forgot to mention earlier that I’ve gotta take a pre-employment drug screening.

Now I gotta go and piss in a goddamn cup.

She’s unhelpful because so far, she’s been unable to answer even one of my questions about vacation, benefits, health insurance or retirement without putting me on hold and asking somebody else first. She’s bratty because she doesn’t like how I ask her to explain the nonsensical corporate jargon she throws out; I think she’d prefer that I just trust her judgement about my options rather than try to comprehend them myself.

Anyway, she should have told me about the drug test two weeks ago when I got the offer. Now I gotta get to the new city a few days ahead of my original time so I can excrete urine for these fuckers.

Dogs urinate as a sign of submission. Maybe that’s how this drug-testing thing got started; it’s just a way to break the worker’s spirit right off the bat.

I tend to glaze over when libertarians fuss about stuff like grocery store club cards, or Radio Shack asking for my address. I agree with them, but I don’t really get upset about it.

But pre-employment drug tests really make me mad. It’s not what you’re thinking. I’m clean, man. Just like our president, I can pass the FBI background check that examines the last seven years.

And I doubt these tests really accomplish anything, anyway. It’s not as if American productivity shot up after employers started screening new hires. Almost any of the tests can be easily circumvented. They’re just another sign that we’re slowly giving our dignity away.

I’m not mad because I think drugs ought to be legal. I don’t really care anymore about whether they should or shouldn’t be illegal; they are illegal, and most likely, they’re going to be illegal for a really long time. People might as well rant about bad weather. Furthermore, I wouldn’t touch them anyway.

I don’t like being treated like a criminal. Drug screening places are always shitty hellhole offices, with employees that are unhappy at the fact that they handle piss all day, so they take it out on the poor saps that need work bad enough to submit to this degradation.

This job didn’t perform a credit check (well, at least not to my knowledge) but I’ve been asked to grant permission for those for other jobs.

My sister had to take a lie detector test in order to get a promotion at one job. Where does it fucking end? Will firms send out investigators to root around houses of job applicants and look for anything that might mark them as a bad employee? Why not profile family members and find out if any of them indicate a family predisposition towards deviance? Maybe future junior partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers will have to go out and kill some nameless victim in order to make it to full partner; that way, the company always has something on them.

It’s days like this that make me want to cash out my retirement and head out of town, buy a farm, and live off the grid. But that’s not really very safe anymore either, right? A bunch of bored ATF assholes would probably come after me.

A friend warned me not to eat any poppy-seed muffins before the test. That got me thinking. In some other parallel universe, I’m gonna look up every drug analog possible and eat all of them: poppy seeds, cough syrup, cranberry juice, etc, and try to grand-slam that drug test. I want a goddamn siren to go off because of everything I (falsely) test positive for. Based on the results, doctors will want to know how I can remain standing.

But in this universe, I figured out what I’m gonna do. I’m going on an all-asparagus diet the week before my test. My piss is gonna stink so bad, lab techs will have to wear masks or risk losing consciousness. They’ll have to close the place down to fumigate.