Showing posts from March, 2004
Seen on a Wendy's drive-thru window:

"Picture menus available on request"

ergo, "If you can't read this message, we have menus you can use."

Another famous one:

"Can't read? Call 1-800-...."

well, now this is just fun:

Physical Attraction Test

And here, supposedly, is my perfect woman:

Everyday; commonplace: “There's nothing quite like a real... train conductor to add color to a quotidian commute” (Anita Diamant).

Recurring daily. Used especially of attacks of malaria.

"Anglo-Saxon is a livlier tongue than Latin, so use Anglo-Saxon words" (Strunk + White, p77).

Still, cool word Laura!

Okay, from the same article:

Wow, imagine that-- students making rational decisions. So of course policy makers should be worried.

Let's see, you can:

a) Work your ass off for 4-5 years in, what is usually, a very difficult academic program. Then you can, if you are super lucky, find an engineering job where your employers will work you to death. You will live under the cloud of being reminded that your salary is 5X higher than those equally talented people from 3rd world countries, any one of which could be brought in on a moments notice to occupy your chair (h1b, L1), should you stumble. Of course, since there is an near infinite supply of technical labor available to US companies, you will have zero salary mobility. Well, ok I'm exagerating, you won't have *zero* salary mobility-- you'll have some *nagative* salary mobility, which is what is currently happening to most of the engineers I know.

As you get older, if you are stupid enought to not switch careers, your …
Daily wisdom from slashdot

Joe was an engineer. He worked hard, studied hard and took pride in his work. He was also faithful to his wife, raised two children to be solid members of the community and attended church every Sunday.

Finally after a full life Joe died in his sleep one night.

On awakening he found himself facing St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. Peter looks in his book, and finds that Joe is not in the Authorized list. He looks at Joe and says, sorry!, pulls the trapdoor lever and Joe starts falling. Joe yells "Wait there must be some Missstaaakeeee".

A few hundred years later God is auditing the Big Book and finds that Joe should have been listed as Authorized. We, he goes on a rampage, thunder and lighting, assorted Vengeful God stuff. After calming down God picks up the cellphone and rings up the Devil.

God: Hey Dev, remember Joe, that Engineer I sent you a few hundred years ago?

Devil: Yeah, I sure do. I want to thank you for sending him down here. He's got t…
Back in the halcyon days of high school (>>shudder<<), I had a friend name Shannon Bradley. Shannon was a somewhat portly, though pretty blonde girl who was in French class with me for 3 years. At least once a week, she would sit down just across from my secret crush Amy Roberts swivel around to me (sitting right behind my Valkyrie Mountain Goddess Amy, natch!) and say:

Harold I'm going to complain

Shannon, or "Bob" or "Shannon-Bob" (as everyone from Eastern Kentucky must have a suitable middle name to even-out the abruptness of their first name), was a complainer, you see. She didn't whine or wheedle, but she did complain about those things that irked her. And so, I warn you:

Dear reader, I'm about to complain.

Allergies have returned with a vengeance. Since my sojourn in the cold on Sunday, I've had constant post-nasal drip, a dry throat, and general lethargy
Cold medication makes you drowsy
Not sleeping makes you drowsy. Sleep debt…
My compliments to for making my day:

BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

SITCOMS: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to …
Great! The biggest competitor for the MINI comes from....BMW ITSELF:


Basically, what you have here is a rear-drive MINI, folks: A premium small car (priced in the low $20k's).

BMW swears it's not going to bring the car here, because it feels it will "dilute the brand image". Okaaaaay....a MINI shares about 50% of its mechanical & electrical parts with a 3-series Beamer (the 5-link rear suspension is basically identical, minus the driveline). Has that 'diluted the brand'. What I read here is: "We don't want to deal with the plebian VW crowd."

Look, a BMW dealership is in the business of selling cars at $35k and above; they may advertise the 3-series at around $30k, but rest assured, you'll never find such an animal on their lot. And, honestly, places like The BMW Store in Cincinnati are chock-full of BMWs already, so where are they going to put this new line (which would have high volume and need high inventories)

On the …
As I got up this morning, I heard an interview on abc "Good Morning America" with Richard A. Clarke, former Whitehouse advisor on counter-terrorism. Clarke alleges that immediately after 9/11, the Bush Whitehouse was looking for a way to go into Iraq, using Iraq as a scapegoat.

I don't know why, but above the din of pundits and allegations, I found this man compelling. In interests of balance, GMA had Condolezza Rice on immediately afterwards to allow equal time for rebuttal. Rice's statements were diffuse, ad hominem, and I got the distinct impression she was lying.

I'm withholding judgment at the moment, but if this does come out to be true, if Iraq was just the execution of the Bush agenda, then I'm not voting for Bush. No way, no how.

Article about it (from fox news, of all people...)

* * *

Things I learned this weekend:

Racing slicks don't like it when it's only 35 degrees outside
400Mhz Pentium 2's with 64 MB of ram can run Windows XP …
Thank you, fark!
Slashdot | Using Employee-Owned Technology in the Workplace?
But relationships are not just "put up with it or leave." The company presumably has an interest in you working for them because otherwise, well, they wouldn't employ you (ignoring the possibility they're doing this as a way to persuade people to quit so they can outsource them to India without severance pay or unemployment benefit hit). In the end, relationships where each party does the very minimal required of them sort of suck both on the personal and professional levels.
Requiem for a contractor:

Offshoring has taken an interesting twist, as those who seem most vulnerable at the moment are not the expensive regular employee's you'd expect, but rather their cheaper, domestic contractor bretheren:

"Seems like if you've been a contractor around here long enough, they either hire you on full time or fire you. Paying you by the hour is too expensive, when India's an option"

Maung, I hope you land on your feet, you happy little man. Keep reading those books, and don't worry: America will come to her senses one day.
Okay this is just cool: Google has a new application where you can find businesses and people who live around you:
Okay, so I've had car fever since the blasted auto show on Saturday, so in hopes of assuaging the Gods of Capitalism, I've weaned myself down from wanting to buy a new Toyota Tacoma:

(I will have one of these puppies one day, folks: Utterly reliable, simple, easy-to-work-on, efficient, and still with that simple truck image. These little workhorses aren't poseurs. They need to make 'em with a diesel engine from their European Yaris. Imagine, a little workhorse like this getting 40 mpg, with gobs of torque)

To a new iBook / Powerbook (can't DECIDE!!)

(Same disclaimer: I want one, but I can't justify one. They're overpriced, but even used ones on ebay run $1k or more.)

to a rice cooker.

That's $15k down to $30 folks. That's pretty darn good :)

* * *

Yes, yes, I'm gadget crazy: I've got a manual-drip coffee system, an iPod, a Palm TungstenT, the Nikon you see below, and now a rice maker. (And a kickass Rowenta iron, if you want to get …
Well, I'm about to join the ranks of the digital revolution. (::sigh::)

Finally going to buckle-down and get a digital camera. Normally I'd go whole-hog and get a digital SLR, but they're pricey ($1500 to $10k) and I just like shooting w/film, especially my Voigtlander rangefinder.

Anyway, got one off ebay for pretty cheap: A Nikon Coolpix 3500. Here's a pic of one:

It's 3.2 Megapixel, which is reasonably high-res for my use.

Should be here next week, so maybe the 'blog will have some original pics :)
A little plagiarism is good for the soul (from Gabe Bridger's site):

Mini designer Frank Stephenson explains what a can of Budweiser and the new MINI have in common: "We worked a number of 24-hour days trying to get the full-sized clay model completed for presentation to the board of directors," says Stephenson. "So when we finished the job with just hours to spare, I thought it appropriate that the team have a beer or two to celebrate. That's when I spotted the problem."

That problem was the complete absence of an exhaust tip on the otherwise complete clay. Thinking quickly, Stephenson stripped the paint from his beer can, punched a hole in the bottom, and fixed it in place on the model.

It wasn't long before he was called on the carpet by his boss at BMW. "It wasn't the shape (of the tip)," he says, "everybody liked it because it was unique yet oddly familiar. He was concerned that I had wasted a modeler&#…
Quick one:

Q: What's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?

A: A porcupine has pricks on the outside.
it seems odd to me, but George W Bush is seeming more and more the sacrificial lamb of America. Caught betwixt corporate interest, ultra-conservative isolationists, and his fundamentalist Christian supporters, his policies can't cover all the bases. If oil prices and inflation rise, he's one misstep away from being the Republican Jimmy Carter: Well meaning but inept, swept aside for the politician of the moment. In Carter's case, that was Ronald Reagan, who seduced the people with his eternal optimism, hard-line Cold War tactics, and military reinvigoration. The Good Son of the moment would seem to be Kerry, who appeals (if secretly) to many in the electorate, for several reasons:

He's liberal. It's easier to be relativistic during tough times; after all, what's more important, Gay marriage, or the war on terror? I'd argue equal importance in different ways, but in simple rhetoric, Kerry has an edge here. [sarcasm]And really, those hard morality que…
Depressing blog of the day:

My dreams have been trending towards the apocalyptic real idea why: Last night I was reading on fark about some pending announcement from NASA about a "significant" event in the solar system. So, of course, some fellas are making cracks about some comet or asteroid being inbound and them not wanting to tell us about it.

So, I promptly go to sleep (well, at 1:30 am, but more on that later) and have this ultra-vivid dream about the End of the World: For some reason, I was at work, and the skies were dark and ominous. We were all looking out the window of Building 082 towards the south, and I got hints of conversation:

"They say it's going to hit Texas"

"They split it in two with those nuclear missiles, but it was too late". (Obviously, mangled references from the highly disposable movie: "Armageddon").

So, for some reason we went outside to the parking garage (note: 082 doesn't HAVE a parking g…
Life after the Video Game Crash:

Gaming simply can't survive that way. There's a reason why you can still see a motion picture a century after they hit the scene, but Vaudeville shows are extinct. There's a reason why people still go to operas while live gladiator contests and public witch burnings are both rare and poorly-attended. In the entertainment world there are wives and then there are mistresses, long-term relationships and drunken one-night stands.

Our culture is married to the cinema. Gaming is a series of flings with continually younger, prettier partners.

Very incisive analysis of why you should sell your Nintendo stock asap.


A 10 year-old can come home from school in the afternoon and devote the rest of the day to the task of memorizing the exact sequence of finger twitches that will get him past the dark forces of the Empire. A college kid can do the same, often while high. Most employed and married adults cannot.

>>sigh<< Haven't even driven the darn thing today.

* * *

In other news, a bomb went off yesterday in Madrid during morning rush hour, killing 170 and wounding 600+. Several Islamic terrorist groups have emailed claiming responsibility.

This is a true wake-up call for Europe, IMHO. By and large, complacent European attitudes of appeasement regarding terrorism have led them to this low day. The EU (particularly Germany and France) don't seem to care that the war on terrorism is a global war, a zero-sum-game of civilization versus anarchy.

Honestly, wha…
Really tough teacher walks into her class one day and announces no one's getting out of the mid term the next day, not even "for grave illness"

Jock in the back yells: "What about sexual exhaustion?"

"Write with your other hand."

* * *

Well, it's good to be missed when you don't blog. I have a very small cadre of readers (no pun intended, honey!) but they seem loyal. Anyway, work been hell for the past few days. Don't really want to go into it for fear of enraging tech-savvy management who might google for this blog, but I can give it to you in outline:

I develop software, which falls somewhere on the difficulty scale between building the Golden Gate bridge and herding cats. Under the best of circumstances, it's a long, trying process that can come out badly. This release, sadly has not had the best of circumstances.
Your humble correspondent is 12 hours/day as a rule, 14 hrs/day on Mondays. (For some reason, everyone has an epiph…
Extreme Overclocking �-�Samsung ML-1710 Monochrome Laser Printer Review - Page: 1 - Tweaking PC Hardware To The Max: "Lasers, Not Just For Removing Unsightly Hair:"

Gotta love a true laser printer for like $150. 17 pages per minute. Not color, but DANG! $150 for the printer, plus a 6000 page toner cartridge (and toner cartridges don't dry-out like ink cartridges do).

If you printed that much w/a conventional inkjet printer that's probably $1k worth of printer + ink cartridges.
I miss you terribly tonight, my little darling.
I long for you as the seabird longs for the wind,
That he may be carried up above the waves to heaven.
That he may fly around the world on a single, sweet breeze,
Tasting life in each cloud.

Such is your love to me.
Why do women hate Hamburger Helper?

God knows the box is friendly enough:

It's a quick easy way to add protein, carbs, and nummy sodium to your daily intake of cold slop, vending machine slop, and coffee.

Why, then, do women hate it? Hate it so much that they will starve before consuming it....?

Mysteries of life...

* * *

Today was pretty darn productive, but I'm beside myself about tomorrow. I went to Phil's Rally School, which consisted of a class held around the kitchen table of his split-level off Harrodsburg Road. Rallying is like the older, more genteel side of Sports Car Club of America, predating most of the amateur events we do (specifically, autocross or "Solo II" as it's sometimes known).

Unlike the violence, squealing tires, sizzling brakes, and adrenaline of autocross, RoadRally is held, well, on a regular road, and you have to follow a set course at a set speed, entering/exiting various checkpoints. The one who crosses the last checkpoint wi…
Amazing how a small change is one routine machine can galvanize an office. Take, for instance, a coffee machine. What could be more pedestrian than a coffee machine? Well, to my amazement, a new Cuisinart coffee grinder + coffee machine has occupied our floor for most of the morning:

Here's a pic of what we got:

12 cup, glass carafe, grinder + permanent flter brewer.

Plus, we got some quality coffee beans and we've been enjoying all day.

* * *

On a personal note, I got a new 3/4 lb bag of Sumatran beans from Coffee Express in Georgetown, plus a 16oz ToGo mug of Kenyan pure (God, I sound like a Cocaine addict...."Columbian Pure kilo!"). I'll enjoy having a full thermos of that come tomorrow.

* * *

It may just be the coffee talking, but I'm insanely happy today. I'm working like a dog, but I feel confident in the work and the results I'm seeing, and I'm really inside our sourcecode rooting around finding and fixing problems. I'…
Ah yes, it's that time of year again, and Satan has concocted a new treat to destroy our waistlines:

That's right...I'm the proud renter of 4 boxes of GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! two of the new Pinatas and two of Samoas. The Pinatas are a new flavor, and they're very tasty: Sweet, not too heavy, and (unlike Samoas) they don't make you want to eat 15 at a time.

* * *

And now, for posterity, the Saga of me, The Pup, and the brake pads.

Everyone knows I love autocross. It's fun, it's addictive, and it's not TOO hard on your car (first one in Lex is March 21st, mark your calendars!) Anyway, I compete in a very restrictive class, H-stock. Basically, you can't change much on your car except for wear items: Tires, shocks, clutch, and brake pads. Anything else, and you're bound for STS or Street Prepared, classes where a regular MINI's going to get its butt handed to it in short order.

'Newaz, the brake pads that come with MINIs from the factory a…
Can I just say Seabiscuit got robbed? Come ON people...I know LOTR is the uber-movie, but for Cinematography at least, Seabiscuit deserved the oscar. LOTR was done mostly CGI, for goodness' sake!

I think 2003 will go down as a year of embarrassing riches. Four movies (At least!) that were worthy contenders in any category.

* * *

On a personal note, Squeeze and I have made plans to head for Rocky Mountain National Park September 1st through 5th. Really, really excited. Plane Tickets, car reservation, and hotel reservation (Holiday Inn). My compliments to my little love: She's a great planner--meticulous, single-minded, thorough.

Definitely looking forward to it!