Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff

Monthly Archives: April 2006

A week later…

So, first off, I gotta say I like Sophie’s collage of me enough to post it on the front page. It’s too good to keep it hidden in the comments:

That’s not me today, that’s me the day before the surgery. Okay, now that I’m over that little bit of ironic narcissism…

I’m going to talk to my doctor to see if they can still get the plate out. He implied it was possible but a little more work and a little more risk. I think that part of the reason he didn’t go for it was because it was a surprise. I mean, he’s a busy guy, right? He can’t get the screws out in a timely manner and what’s he going to do? Tell the guy on the next gurney to stick a finger in that squirting jugular and hold on? I don’t know how that kind of thing works in a hospital (I didn’t watch enough TV when ER was on apparently). So I just want to talk to him, and see if another safe and effective surgery can be planned that will, get the plate out now that we know it’s got those stripped screws. And if so, maybe we should do that now before my incision totally heals up. We’ll see. This may not be over yet.

Surgery pretty much sucks, as does the weeks of recovery. But the best part is that I have an excuse to eat whatever I want in whatever quantities i want. I mean, I don’t want to deny my body a single calorie or nutrient that it might need for healing!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Best Dev Team Ever

No really… forget about all those times I threw around superlatives like styrofoam peanuts, this is the real deal: Zappos has the best dev team ever. Don’t believe me? Check this out:

It was my first day back in the office after my less-than-stellar week in SF. At around 1:30 PM I get off the phone from a drawn out conference call and I start talking to Aki. I notice he’s wearing a bright orange shirt, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t wearing it before, but I continue talking to him without looking at it closely. Then it slowly dawns on me that everyone on the team is suddenly wearing bright orange shirts. It takes me a moment to focus on the image on the front. But when i do, here is what I see…

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments


It’s the day after my surgery and here I am touch typing so you can pretty safely assume I am alive and still in possession of both hands.

That is a good thing. However I would still say it has been a below average week.

1. On Monday night I pushed some Zappos code changes that caused enormous trouble… the site was down and/or behaving badly for about 2 1/2 hours. Hundreds of customers got error pages or erratic behavior. Because I was leaving Tuesday it was left for my good team to do the cleanup.

2. Upon arrival in San Francisco I foolishly left my backpack in the backseat of Sophie’s car while dining. The window was smashed upon our return and my bag was gone. The limited edition Zappos bag contained: my new 17″ PowerBook G4, my new electric shaver, some of my favorite clothes, my retainer, my checkbook, season two DVD’s for Millennium, the Cryptionomicon book, a Serenity comic and BBC Blue Ocean DVD set borrowed from a friend, my keys, and a pair of nice headphones. It also included a handful of business cards so at least i may have accomplished some networking.

3. Though no harm was done, the surgery didn’t go as planned. There was the plate and 9 screws… but after getting out six they couldn’t get out the last three. Apparently the bone had grown too hard around them and they stripped the heads trying to back them out. Somewhere in my mind I’m wondering why a $15K set of screws has allen heads instead of torx, but that’s not for me to judge. Anyways, the options at that point included prying and drilling out the screws, but Dr. Prieto felt it was too risky as it might re-break the bone, so they closed up and left the plate in. Though I’m disappointed that the plate and screws will be in there permanently, I do trust his judgment on the risk of having forced things. They did get to clean up the scar, though we won’t know how much of an improvement it is for months. And I do have the six screws that came out. They’re nice and shiny.

So time to move on. The arm is what it is. Hopefully there will be no complications later in life. I’ll probably buy an intel MacBook Pro to replace my stolen 17″. I’ve got a good todo list for Zappos to get things back on track.

Oh, I do plan to write up a sort of journal/story of my whole arm experience from beginning to end with pictures. Not that a lot of people will encounter anything similar, but I remember appreciating what little info I found when I poked around online after my injury. So I’ll add my experience to the mix. Sophie took some great pictures of me pre-surgery so I’ll remember what the scar looked like the first time. Hopefully something I’ll have up in the next couple months.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments


My work day after a night of non-sleep went pretty well; I actually didn’t feel particularly awful. But man, I sure fell asleep fast and easy when I got back to the hotel.

So why have I been up since 5AM? Because the Zappos primary DB went down! Whee! That hasn’t happened in a very long time. But at around 1AM PDT the filesystem got corrupt — duplicate inodes. Damn you ReiserFS! So I assisted our excellent sysadmin Kris as best I could while he wrangled things back into order. Props to Richard for answering the call, and Eric for identifying the source of the problem.

In all fairness to ReiserFS, it’s never done this before and we’ve been hammering on it for years now. Everyone is entitled to a little mistake every few billion transactions I suppose.

Alright, see if I can get another hour of sleep…

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

It’s been too long!

Yes, it’s been too long since I posted. It’s also been too long since I slept.

I’m in Kentucky, and though the bed is comfy, the air is fresh, and the gun show is in town, I just can’t get my sorry ass to sleep. I’m darn tired and I’ve been in bed for about 5 hours now. This often happens to me in Kentucky. Why? Damn alarm is going off in a few more hours and then I’ve got a full day. Just thought I’d whine.

Whine, whine, whine.

I’ve had a couple things I wanted to post about recently, but haven’t found the time to flesh them out. I really should do a couple more posts before I FACE DEATH next week in San Fran. Well, I face death all the time, I suppose. Why does it feel vaguely more threataning when going in for surgery? I’ve probably been at greater statistical risk in the past week without even realizing. Like when I came to Kentucky during a gun show.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments