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|Tuesday, August 17th, 2010|
|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 ( math geeks.Collapse )
|Tuesday, June 15th, 2010|
|Thursday, June 10th, 2010|
On the internets somewhere there is a minor web site for a relatively unknown company called Bungie
I'm sure it will scroll off within a day or two, but as I write this there is a link in the left-hand column on the front page to a particular post
on Bungie's official blog.
That post links to this other post
on another blog, which in turn links to this Flickr photoset
That is responsible for this
I'm all verklempt.
|Tuesday, May 11th, 2010|
|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.
( It has been days since our cooler was stocked with AJ.Collapse )
|Wednesday, April 7th, 2010|
|Friday, April 2nd, 2010|
|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 ( last night.Collapse )
|Friday, January 29th, 2010|
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: disappointed
|Friday, January 8th, 2010|
|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 ( not getting the point.Collapse ) Current Mood: triumphant
|Wednesday, October 28th, 2009|
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?
|Monday, September 7th, 2009|
|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.( The media responds...Collapse )
|Monday, August 10th, 2009|
|Microsoft Money, 2000-2011
So it's my first post in a dog's age, and what do I use it for? Bitching about software.
Some things never change.
While reconciling my finances on my lunch break, I had trouble logging into Microsoft Money--actually, into the Live service on which it depends--and upon visiting their network status page, found a link to this bit of lovely news
Important notice: Microsoft Money Plus is no longer available for purchase. All purchased Money Plus products must be activated prior to Jan. 31, 2011.( Yeah, and fuck you too.Collapse )
Later this year, Microsoft will release versions of Money Plus Deluxe and Money Plus Home & Business that will not require online activation. This version will allow you to keep your Money files and transactional history but will not allow access to online services or premium services. Check back here for additional information or look for future announcements in Money Plus.
I'm sure they thought this was a brilliant business decision. What it's actually done is ensure that Microsoft has permanently lost my business when it comes to providing services of any sort. Oh, I'll still use some of their software--after all, I still run a Windows OS. But for all that Microsoft would like to be a player in the realm of providing online services and not just software, their track record of supporting such ventures is abominable. Time and time again, they've demonstrated a total lack of long-term commitment to their customers, and an unwillingness to continue supporting older technologies or services that have fallen into disfavor. Couple this with a design philosophy that emphasizes dependency on their undependable services in order for products to run or be activated, and it becomes crystal clear that it's impossible to trust Microsoft to provide any service or service-dependent software on a long-term basis for anything important.
This is why I wouldn't consider buying a Zune.
This is why I will be migrating to Quicken or some such for my finances.
This is why I don't care about Xbox Live.
This is why I refuse to buy games that require Games For Windows Live.
This is why I use Gmail instead of Hotmail.
This and incidents like it--Microsoft execs take note--are why Google is now a verb, while Bing is still just a kind of cherry.
|Tuesday, February 10th, 2009|
|Friday, March 28th, 2008|
|Upgrade Saga Part 2: Higher Definition, Bitches
In the previous post, I mentioned that I had eBayed a 60G PS3 and that it should be arriving shortly. Thus far, my very expensive upgrade saga had had somewhat underwhelming results, and I had been questioning the wisdom of dropping all this money for what has been, aside from the HTPC, relatively minimal improvements weighed against an extraordinary amount of bullshit in getting it to work.
So you can imagine the mixture of joy and trepidation that greeted ( the box that arrived on my doorstep Wednesday.Collapse )
|Saturday, March 22nd, 2008|
|The Great White Upgrade Saga
Apparently Catsy has done something right: I got a bonus this year. I think this may actually be the first time I've ever gotten a bonus (as opposed to just a raise) from any place I've ever worked. Thus began the mixed blessing of having to decide what to spend a chunk of money on, whether to put it away, use it for debts, or go for the rare splurge.
My reasoning played out more or less as follows: I do not have a small salary. When both Jess and I are working, and things do not suck, we have a fair amount of money coming in on a regular basis and can reasonably expect to save up for most small- to medium-ticket items in the short run without much difficulty, requiring only the discipline to actually bother to do so. With this in mind, it seemed to me that I should use this bonus for the things that I would never actually buy if I had to save up for them.
After much thought, this led me to only one conclusion. This was the time to dramatically ( upgrade the home theater.Collapse )
|Wednesday, November 7th, 2007|
Ladies and gentlemen, I have achieved gaming Nirvana. If you don't care about this kind of stuff, don't read ( any further.Collapse )
|Thursday, September 20th, 2007|
|Sunday, August 19th, 2007|
Well, it's nice to know that my sporadic LJ-updating habits have nothing to do with my free time, and everything to do with my usual cyclic attention span. This is the first post I've even begun to write since the day we set out from Bellevue. To be fair, at first it was circumstances--I was doing most of the driving on the trip out, which left Jess with more time in the copilot's chair to write her LJ posts, and left me exhausted at night's end. In addition, after we left WA we encountered almost no usable WiFi hotspots until we stopped for the night. At which point most of my limited computer time was spent plotting the next day's journey and doing the finances, not writing content.
But still. If you want a blow by blow account of our vacation, I recommend bayushi
's LJ, as she has been writing more or less daily, and in far greater detail than I have the wherewithal to put forth. For my part, I've been taking pictures, and lots of them. I'm trying to put together a photo essay about certain parts of our journey; we'll see if it actually happens. In the meantime, some thoughts, factoids, and lessons learned in ( no particular order:Collapse )
And wow, the new LJ post interface is even more horrible than I previously thought. It just managed to utterly butcher a simple lj cut, linked user, and bulleted list. Please revert this worthless piece of shit, it's choad code.
|Sunday, August 12th, 2007|
|End of Day One, Beginning of Day Two
7:47 AM MDT
Our morning began at 5:00 AM sharp with the alarm clock. Well, not really /sharp/--it actually began about 15 minutes and two snoozes later. We reviewed our Last Minute checklist, checked our blogs and news sites and comics, said goodbye to Suede, packed up the car, and ( headed out.Collapse )
Wow, the new LJ post interface is a total piece of shit.
|Friday, August 10th, 2007|
Some of you know, and some of you don't--Jess and I are going on a road trip. I haven't had a vacation since I started working at my current job over three years ago, and I haven't seen my mother in longer. So we're road tripping coast to coast, Bellevue to Charlottesville, for three whole glorious weeks.
Along the way we're going to take in Devil's Tower and Mount Rushmore, and while we're in the D.C. area we will of course be spending a lot of time at the Smithsonian and Air & Space Museum, as well as visiting a lot of areas where I grew up.
Jess and I have done cross country road trips before, both together and separately, but there are a few things that make this one special. The Tadlet is in Florida for the summer, so we're on our own schedule. We both can drive, so we can take turns. And we are bringing along a GPS-enabled laptop, and plan to do our best to keep up with LJ and email at rest stops and hotels.
It will be full of awesomeness and win.
We leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow.
|Wednesday, June 27th, 2007|
There are two showings at the Seattle Cinerama for the new Transformers movie on Monday, July 2nd: 8pm and midnight.
I now have two tickets for the 8pm showing. Anyone who would like to go with Jess and I should go here
and buy tickets while they're still available.
If you have been living under a rock and don't know what I'm talking about, I command you to go watch Theatrical Trailer #2
. Download the HD version, if you can. Tell me you don't get a thrill right where it counts when you see Starscream transform, or hear the original transformation sound.
Look at it this way: the worst it can be is an excuse for shit to blow up and robots to transform.