Showing posts from January, 2005
Nerd factor 5, ENGAGE!
A Long Way from Town

Good, soul-clearing rant from Mr. Sheffel responding to a Time article on dependent post-adolescence.

I've ruminated on this before, but it bears repeating: There needs to be a middle tier in this country between minimum-wage-earners and the lucky 5% who make $100k or more. We need honest work in trades, factories, farms, and mines for people who aren't cut out to go to college, but who want to contribute to society.

:-) Read his rant. It's awesome!
You Have A Type B+ Personality


You're a pro at going with the flow
You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer
A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.

While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity.
Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done
You're passionate - just selective about your passions

Do You Have a Type A Personality?

Amid a very boring status meeting, my co-worker S, from Ukraine broke out the following when someone said, "It's just that close to being done"

"Russian proverb says, 'Your elbow is near, but you can't bite it'."

:-) Worth going to that worthless meeting just for that.
Congratulations to Stacey and Charlie Davidson on the birth of their girl, Autumn Makenzie.

She was born on January 18th, 8lbs 11oz (!) and 21.5 in long.

Graduated with Stacey and Charlie from BHS.
Couple of movies this weekend:

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

The 70's were over, Reagan was restoring hope, and AIDS hadn't broken on the American consciousness. Ahhh...1982, the year Cameron Crowe's masterpiece, Fast Times at Ridgemont High premiered. Up-and-coming cast members included Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates (before 'Gremlins'), Forest Whitaker, Anthony Edwards as a Stoner (!), and a cameo by Nic Cage.

A highly watchable, if inconsequential, piece of fluff, I LOVE THIS MOVIE, if only for the reminder of 1980's style.

Garden State

It's hard to see Zach Braff as anyone but J.D. from television's "Scrubs", but he plays against type here as the numb Andrew Largemen in this late-twentysomething lament, which he also wrote and directed.

In its 102 minutes, the movie follows bit-part actor Andrew Largemen, an lapsed Jew from New Jersey as he returns home for the first time in 9 years to bury his mother, a d…
I can't sleep. I've tossed and turned for nearly two hours, but for some reason I just can't quiet my mind enough to fall asleep. Plus I have a headache. Plus, I have to be up in 5 hoursto go to my meaningless meeting so a bunch of Indians can piss and moan because I didn't get to answer their emails last week while I was killing myself to reach an arbitrary deadline set by a lame-duck team lead.

I halfway think they should require us all to write blogs about what we're actually doing, what actually works with our software and what doesn't, and what we really thing. There is an INCREDIBLE amount of out-and-out lying that goes on in the corporate world, and the pallative vent of blogging can at least lend some perspective.

So, the story about why I'm losing sleep over something so trivial as work:

It's been a year-long slog through a design and development of this new software thingamabobber. It's your classic designed-by-committee, ivory-tower …
Most addictive game in the world:


Download and play at your peril!
The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScorePurgatory (Repenting Believers)Very HighLevel 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)LowLevel 2 (Lustful)Very HighLevel 3 (Gluttonous)ModerateLevel 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)LowLevel 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)LowLevel 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very LowLevel 7 (Violent)ModerateLevel 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)LowLevel 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low
Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
I miss hockey.

I really miss being able to watch hockey LIVE, when the Thoroughblades were in Lexington.

America responded to the NHL lockout with a collective shrugh of the shoulders, but I CARE, darn it! Hockey is a wonderful sport: Grace, power, speed, action, and violence in one package.

Sadly, it's awful on Television, and unlike basketball or football, you don't grow-up playing pickup games of hockey in Florida, Texas, or California.
How to know you've been working some very long days:

Email from manager: "I'll be out for Jury Duty the next two days..."

You: [Homer Simpson voice] "mmmmmmmm.....Jury Duty".
The first Hummer I've ever liked:

The H3. Not too massive and it's well proportioned.
For two days, my project has beaten me. Never three days in a row!

/wishful thinking.
GEEZE it's cold.

I have plastic over both my windows, and towels under every door, and still yet my apartment is chilly. Spring is how many months away?

The Pup's hating her consignment outside this winter: The driver's side door's creaky, the engine takes forever to warm-up, and that pop-crackle-pop rattle under the engine (heat shield?) is back. Still, it's a superior car to drive in the winter--climate control, heated seats + mirrors, and snow tires.

* * *

Random thought that's been running through my mind for a Ph.D. thesis in Sociology: The internet has revolutionized the way people learn and share information, but so far no one has attempted to quantify that. Two areas I can give examples are programming and automobiles.

Programmers used to look-up code examples in dusty, out-of-date manuals and could only share information with one another via regular mail, at conferences, or in trade journals. Today, the next generation of programmers downloads… - Journalist: U.S. planning for possible�attack on Iran - Jan 16, 2005: "Hersh said Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld view Bush's re-election as 'a mandate to continue the war on terrorism,' despite problems with the U.S.-led war in Iraq."

Ah, such a relaxing weekend! The world freezes outside, and a gentle snow greeted me on my way to church this morning, consigning Thor to the garage in favor of the Pup's winter tires and FWD traction.

Whitney came down this weekend and we had great times at Ruby Tuesday's, going to watch "The Aviator", and then watching "King Arthur" off her Netflix queue. :-) Went bowling today and cracked 100, which is decent for me.

Movie reviews:

The Aviator In Scorsese's long homage to mad genius billionaire Howard Hughes, we see Leonardo DiCaprio star as Hughes taking us through periods of hubris, height, and humiliation on his way to a showdown with Juan Trippe and (it would seem) the entire United States government. (Really, what's $56 million between friends?)

The movie's uneven. The planes shimmer, wondrous CGI so real you can practially smell their exhaust. In his quest for detail and completeness, Scorsese misses that some parts of the film ar…
Alice and - Independent Tech

Because EVERYONE needs an underwater mp3 player.

God be with you L-Squared. You'll be in my prayers each day. Good luck in your fight to stay with us in God's Eden, and know that your attitude edifies my heart and brings a tear to my eye.

Peace be with you.
Great New Yorker this week:

Dan Baum writes a provocative article, "Battle Lessons", about how Captains and Lieutenants are using internet forums to exchange information about how to do their jobs. Just like my own addiction to Slashdot and The Car Lounge, warriors in the field check these sites daily for tips and community. The sites: CompanyCommand and PlatoonLeader.

Adam Gopnik reviews two new Leonardo da Vinci books, examining the ups and downs of Leo's life, and revealing, once again how extraordinary and (at times) maddening the man was.

Oh man...I'm calling it right now: Apple will sell a billion Mac mini's

Thing is 6.5"x6.5"x2"...Makes so much sense it's not even fair: Finally, an affordable mac that you can use any keyboard or monitor you have lying around. Finally a competitor to the PC.

Well, I'm one week into Giving Up Coffee and I'm doing great except for one thing: The Smell.

The heavenly smell of someone's cup of fresh-brewed, freshly-ground, single source beans. Black coffee, with all the nuances of taste and flavor explodes inside my brain--the aroma and earthy tones, the notes of bitterness and clarity. It's like the old bugs-bunny cartoons where the girl's perfume would tease the hapless fop's nose and drag him back to her mistress.

Yes, the smell gets me. But, my body likes me drinking more water and less pure poison.
Ahh, Mondays, the days I get up at 5 am, zombie-around for 2 hours, rush to the office in time to be 5 minutes late to my Monday Video Conference...

Some random thoughts:

My theory o' the day: You can tell how close a software development firm is to crunch time by the state of its snack machine. Full snack machines imply workers who aren't snacking, thus ones not in a hurry. These lucky hackers come to work after a good breakfast, take time for lunch out (or brownbag), and leave in time to eat dinner elsewhere.

An empty snack machine reveals the department crunched for time, with programmers consuming raw, sugary snacks like Pop Tarts, Zingers, and *gasp* Honey Buns. They're staying late, working into the wee hours to concoct our next killer, free (!) software product.

Our machine had only one package of Pop Tarts left, which is a sure sign of things ramping-up.

Brad Pitt wanted kids, and Jennifer Aniston didn't; that's my take on the whole Brad/Jen split. T…
Few pics from the 2004 Awards banquet

David Patrick

My 2nd place tropy:
From left, Chris Brown, Bill Randall, and Joe Guillory

A shout-out to my mom, the illustrious Dottie, who sent me this in response to my tongue in cheek blog entry below:

Write what you are feeling! Is that not what a blog is all about?

Love ya, mom!

And I always *will* write what I want.

Didn't realize my tongue-in-cheek post about Bill's criticism of all the "car crap" on my blog would cause such an uproar.
Report from some of my faithful readers:

Bill and his Mom are both tired of reading the tripe that currently passes for deep thought in my blog. They're tired of car-based topics, ramblings about pop-culture that are of no significance, and other topics not so funny as konichiwaffle.

Henceforth, my blog shall be devoid of such drivel.

...most of the time.

[AMENDMENT] Bill is just tired of the car stuff. The other stuff can remain :-D

* * *

Furthermore, Bill reported to me today that I read way too much into those postcards he sent me from Japan and Thailand.

[AMENDMENT] Bill reported that my report, above, makes no sense. The people responsible have been sacked.

Odd experience today:

One of my coworkers walked into my office and said, "Harold, are you keeping your MINI?" Faced with selling his Subaru Impreza wagon to a friend in Virginia, W came in and asked me if I was interested in selling my MINI to him.

:-) I told him I was not. Financially, it'd probably be smart if I downshifted to having only one car, but I love both my cars too much.
Now presenting,The Rotunda, a collective work of William Sanford Randall (Bill-san) and Robert Camp.
For all those of you who watched the Halftime show at the Orange Bowl, join me now in saying: TRAIN WRECK.

Kelly Clarkson's mike wasn't on.
Ashlee Simpson was 1/4 second off her backing vocal.