Wednesday, August 01, 2007


A rather common sight here in Munich is two or three women leading anything from one to three dozen generally well-behaved little monsters who are forced to hold hands and walk in twosies. Kindergarteners usually, my observations have been that they have to hold hands until at least the second grade. While waiting for my subway to get to work today, one such group was being shepherded by three women off the U2 and upstairs via the escalator. As one child reached for the handrail, the oldest leader chided him, telling him to get his hand off the rail this instant. The criticism grew sharper when he didn't react immediately.

It happened again as another well-trained child put her hand on the rail, then another boy, each either oblivious to the chewing out the others received previously, or caught in the terrible conflict of following the teacher's arbitrary orders rather than following the instructions drilled in by their parents. Escalator safety is a pretty big thing here in Munich; some kid lost a few fingers back in March.

Every goddamned escalator in this country -- just about everywhere in Europe for that matter -- has a fucking sign showing that you're supposed to hold onto the handrail. The escalator could suddenly stop, your shoe could rub up against the edge and your foot might be pulled out from under you, you could simply lose your balance. There's a reason so much effort went into designing the damned handrail and making it run at exactly the same speed as the stairs, and this idiot woman was telling the kids not to do exactly what they should.

She's not the only one. Jamie at $CompanyCorp kept telling everyone to keep using the MSJVM. She locked down all workstations with the Global Policy Editor, forcing them to use the JVM while banning the Sun JRE. The workstations run Microsoft's OS so theirs must be the right Java environment to use, never mind that the MSJVM was deprecated in 2004, ripped out of most machines which accepted automatic updates a couple years ago, and that we reprogrammed everything to work more efficiently with Sun's JRE. Forget the fact that our docs specifically state that browser should be set to use the JRE and not the MSJVM. Pay no attention to the warnings that $OurBigApp throws if the JRE isn't the default Java environment. Jamie knows better. She's an MCP.

"Jamie, even Microsoft says to drop the JVM and use Sun's JRE."
"They do not!"
"Yes, they do."

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