Math and Lego

Okay, so: I suck at math. This isn't precisely because I lack the aptitude, it's more from a near-total lack of education in anything beyond pre-algebra. You can chalk this up to not paying attention in school, dropping out, and skating by on the GED on the strength of my then-advanced language skills. That was almost 20 years ago, and it still continues to bite me in the ass every now and then.

The first time was a few years after I dropped out, when I was making a half-decent living writing shareware. I needed to plot the distance of a hyperspace route on a simple two-dimensional square grid, and it took someone spelling out the formula before I realized what it meant to calculate the hypotenuse of a triangle, and how to do it. My deficiency in math is one of the biggest reasons I stopped pursuing a career in programming.

Fast-forward to now. What follows is unlikely to interest anyone but Collapse )

Apple Juice and Analog Twitter

I hate high fructose corn syrup. It gives me headaches like you wouldn't believe, and it's in almost everything. I wish that were hyperbole, but you try finding, say, a variety of creamy horseradish spread that doesn't have HFCS. This was problematic for me, as I work in IT and have access to an effectively unlimited supply of free soda when I'm at work--and I used to take full advantage of that perk. Back in '96 when I was doing ISP tech support, my cube was host to the floor's "Temple of Dew". I drank a lot of soda.

I don't do that anymore. In addition to getting rid of the headaches, it's done wonders for helping me lose weight. The problem is that I don't really like drinking water or other unflavored liquids, which means that about the only thing provided at work that I can drink is Welch's Apple Juice, which is juice from concentrate and does not contain HFCS. I go through at least three or four cans a day.

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Blood in the Snow

So I've got this Lego hobby. Y'all know that. Periodically in some of the Flickr groups in which I participate, people will hold a challenge or contest of one sort or another. The purpose is to inspire people to build and foster community involvement, but there are sometimes great prizes awarded as well.

One of the themes in which I build is post-apoc, and the ApocaLego group is my home for that. A couple months ago, one of the mods announced a contest called Blood in the Snow, where the purpose was to build a scene that depicted post-apoc life after civilization ended in an ice age. The premise of the contest was inspiring enough to break weeks of builder's block for me, and in a single day I built and photographed what I think may be one of my best works yet, which I titled Bird's Eye. It was an experiment in forced perspective, and it worked better than I'd hoped--it's been my most popular photo by far, and ended up getting blogged on The Brothers Brick, which is kind of a big deal (and drives a lot of traffic).

The deadline for the contest was Collapse )


Steve Jobs could have walked on stage and squeezed out a steaming three-coiler into a aluminum punch bowl with a flush button, and the next day there would be fifty blog posts about how fantastic the iCrap is and how three years from now no one will use legacy toilets anymore.
  • Current Mood

What an AWESOME start to my day.

And I'm not sure if I mean that sarcastically or not. Perhaps a little of both.

I have a thing about people parking big vehicles in compact spaces. It bugs the crap out of me. Even when someone has managed to maneuver one of the smaller SUVs into a compact parking spot without obstructing the cars to either side, it still grates on me--the parking lot at our work is oversold, and I've lost count of the times that I've had to hunt around for a spot because some jackass in a truck has camped out in a way that renders one or more spots unusable. Call it a pet peeve of mine.

I notify a parking attendant of the really egregious offenders, and occasionally I've left notes on people's windshields to this effect--they're not always nice. I've considered ordering some of those "you park like an asshole" stickers, but they strike me as the sort of thing you'd have to be very careful about using (and which I'd never use at work)--I have no /moral/ qualms about stickering a vehicle that's parked so improperly that it's posing a hazard or making a spot unusable, but it's not something I care to get in a fight or lose my job over.

So this morning I'm pulling in to the spot I usually use if I get there early enough, and as I do, pulling in right beside me is an SUV I've seen use the compact spots before. Not one of the giant ones, but big enough that it has no business being in these spots.

She's in the spot immediately to my left. I can't /not/ say anything. My window is already down, so I call over to her: "That's not anywhere close to a compact vehicle, you know."

She just kind of stares at me, so I go about the business of shutting off my vehicle and gathering up my stuff. And as I'm getting out of my car, she confronts me with the "do you have something to say to me" speech. I'm very proud of myself: I did not raise my voice, I did not insult her or swear at her, I called her ma'am frequently, and I laid out the simple fact: this is a compact spot, and she has improperly parked her vehicle in it.

What ensues is an epic display of Collapse )
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W7 bleg

Yup, it's that time again. I need to get a legitimate copy of Windows 7 Professional, and preferably two copies. I'm willing to pay Microsoft Store prices, but not retail. The upgrade version is fine, as I have at least four different legit copies of Windows in one flavor or another, but I'd prefer standalone.

If there's anyone with access to the Store who can help, let me know?

In a timeline not so different from ours...

President Barack Obama: My fellow Americans, it is my distinct pleasure to announce that thanks to increased public funding, researchers have discovered a cure for cancer, which has been approved by the FDA. I call on Congress to fast-track legislation that will approve funds to provide this cure to every American that suffers from this cruel and indiscriminate disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people across the world every day.

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