Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mmm cookies

Okay, so it's finally all gone. I have finally got rid of all my cookies. I am very happy as I thought I would never give them all away. You see, it all started on Saturday when I decided that I'd make a triple batch of chocolate chip cookies. I was making chocolate chip cookies for the company charity auction. Every year Intelerad, the company I work for, set up an auction site on the company LAN and employees can put things on the auction site and sell them to other employees. The idea is all proceeds go to charity. It's quite a lot of fun, although it can be quite distracting at times. I don't have any scientific data but I'm pretty sure most employees spend their time simply watching auctions and trying to snipe one another on various goods.

I don't like to buy things in the charity auction so much as sell things. I think this is partly because I don't like to buy things period. At any rate, what I usually do is cook up a couple of batches of chocolate chip cookies and sell those on the auction. I can't figure out why exactly, but everyone seems to like them almost to the point of farce. They sometimes act as if my chocolate chip cookies or some kind of drug. It's quite flattering, but also really silly. The recipe I use the one you find on the back of the Nestlé chocolate chip package. Many people have tried to equal my cookies but apparently all have failed. I'm not entirely sure how.

The weekend before the auction I decided to make a triple batch of cookies. I like making a large number of batches at once because it takes almost the same amount of time to make a triple batch or quadruple batch of cookies as it does to make a single batch of cookies. Making larger batches is better because eventually you end up with so many cookies you can start to make little houses out of them or put the, in long lines, all over your furniture (what? Only I do that?). After you finish playing with them you can then give them away and make lots of friends.

In the end, I couldn't make any cookies over the weekend and so I made them late on Monday night. On Tuesday, I took in the cookies I made the previous night and started putting them up on the auction site. I amused myself way too much putting cute, little, nonsensical descriptions of the cookies on the website. I would sell them in units of two or three cookies each. This works well however, I was putting in way too much work coming up with cute descriptions that I got tired and stopped. I then realized that all my auctions have it in time approximately 7 minutes from each other. This guaranteed that I would be bothered almost precisely every second minute when somebody coming to collect their cookies and chat. While fun, it made doing code reviews much more difficult. On Monday I got through about two thirds of the first half of the three batches of cookies. (For extra points, what fraction of the total number of cookies was that?)

On Wednesday I somehow tickled a bug that stopped me from making more than one auction at a time. Every time I created a new auction all it did was modify the last auction it created. I started selling cookies in larger batches feeling a slight twinge of panic that I might never be able to get rid of them all. On the plus side, I got slightly more done that day. I say slightly more because Wednesday was chilly day and I got involved helping others get everything ready. Chilly day is a great day. It's a almost spontaneous outpouring of food. I love spontaneous out pouring of things.

Today, Thursday, I managed to figure out how I tickled the bug and started to make multiple auctions again. This time I omitted the cute descriptions and placed the end of each auction at least fifteen minutes apart and often up till thirty minutes apart. This makes creating multiple auctions very quick and it only took me a fraction of the time it did on Tuesday. What is more, the end of the auctions were enough apart that they weren't a perpetual distraction. I managed to complete the work I wanted to do that week during that day and so it was a very productive. (I say this in case there are any Intelerad employees reading this)

Thursday also marks the last of the cookies. I am now officially out of cookies. I hope the cookie junkies don't come after me now.

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