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11/30/08 10:27 - 35ºF - ID#46894 pmobl

odyssey

I just drove home from the Captiol Region and holy crap I haven't seen traffic this bad since I left the New York metro area. Granted the weather could have been more cooperative but I've certainly driven in worse without shitting myself. To call it a 'bloodbath' would not give enough credit to the little joys of mass murder.

I almost died a few miles past Syracuse. There was a slowdown in the right lane that everyone was passing on the left. Afterwards, the two drivers ahead of me had gotten over to the right lane; I opted to stay in the [now clear] left lane. I had half-passed the car in front when I saw it jerk away from me. I thought I'd be in the clear when he came fishtailing back, but he overcorrected faster than I thought and swerved directly at me diagonally across the Thruway. I swerved onto the center shoulder, which was wider at that point, avoiding the other car by maybe six inches tops. I hit the unpaved slush and held on for dear life. I managed to keep control and not fishtail. I corrected, got back in my lane, and booked the FUCK out of there. Watching in the rearview I saw Homeboy had kept it on the road and was driving right down the middle.

Then I spent an hour in a traffic jam- the kind where you'd really like to put the car in park until it all clears up, except you can't because it's moving about 5mph for 20ft every two minutes.

I thought I was home free when I passed Rochester until I saw a whole row of flashing lights across the eastbound lanes. They'd closed the eastbound lanes at the Pembroke exit overpass and were directing all traffic off the exit, around, and back onto the entrance. I had to exit for gas and the ticket taker said there was a 7-car accident. When I got back on the road, eastbound traffic was stopped past the Clarence rest stop. Thank God I dodged that bullet, yipes.

Trip: 300mi, 7hr, average speed 42.8mph.

- Z
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Permalink: odyssey.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: compost

11/20/08 09:55 - 30ºF - ID#46779

it brightened my day

I had a busy day Tuesday. Some good, some bad, but man it kicked my ass. At 11am I dashed back from the client's office to the contractor's office to fix some stuff before I had to go back to the client at 3pm. For those who don't work downtown or drive, 11am is probably the worst time to find a spot. Even latecomers are at work by then, but it's too early for anyone to have gone home. As is often the case, the Mohawk ramp was full so I went a couple blocks to the lot by the library. It's a huge expanse of pavement and I made a beeline straight for the last row, which was nearly full.

I found a spot right away but as I pulled closer I found out why it was a spot. Some douche had taken up about 1.1 parking spaces - probably about 18 inches over on the driver's side. Too pressed for time to be angry, I did the math, slid my 0.85-car-width Japanese subcompact right in, and got on my way.

Now at this point I should mention that when I came back to my car it was parked dead-nuts center. That could have left maybe two inches between the cars, max - not even wide enough to get to the door, much less open it. Some people have asked and yes I did briefly consider the possibility of a spite sideswipe but it wasn't borne out by the relative-perceived-worth test [other car was a Mercedes sedan].

So I went back to my car around 3pm dreading trying to squeeze back out, which is often harder than squeezing in. But when I got back to my car I found the situation had resolved itself with a cherry on top. Not only had Mr Congeniality vacated the premises ... not only did he avoid sideswiping me on the way out ... but he tucked this award under my windshield!

image

Knowing that he'd spent the time finding an envelope and a pen, and stood out in the freezing cold writing this out just for me, totally made my day. Maybe he'd even waited to give it to me in person! As you can tell I hung it up in a place of honor.

But then he stole my ticket! The attendant puts the ticket under your windshield wiper and gives you the stub, and he stole my ticket! It's not like they couldn't charge me based on the stub, and it's not like I didn't already have to pay the full daily fare, but still.

And see I think he got off easy. You can't do that shit in a pay lot because if you take up two spots, that's one spot they can't charge for, and fuck if they'll let that happen. They'll tow your ass. Instead all he had to do was a little freestyle pilates over this snug little piece of equipment:

image

'cause for $54,075, you don't get bench seats.

- Z

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Permalink: it_brightened_my_day.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: a series of tubes

11/14/08 06:46 - 57ºF - ID#46692

shocking

Huh.

image

- Z

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Permalink: shocking.html
Words: 17
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: politics

11/13/08 09:08 - 54ºF - ID#46681

call me crazy

So the auto makers say to the government: now that people aren't spending money they don't have, they're not buying cars they don't need and there's nothing left for us to make. If we go out of business, look at all these people who will be out of jobs. You can't let that happen.

The government will hem and haw long enough to make it look like they don't want to do it, but eventually they will have pity on all these people who will be out of jobs and give billions of dollars to their employers.

The auto manufacturers will say thanks for the cash but we're still a little bit fucked, so ... we're still going to have to lay these people off.

At which point we'll look at all these people who are now out of jobs and say: was this really worth it?

When the government's done hemming and hawing I think it would be better if they said you know what? The auto industry has been opposed to the government meddling in their affairs for years and maybe now is not the time to start. So this multibillion dollar bailout package goes to the employees caught in the middle when you go out of business.

Could somebody tell me why that's crazy?

- Z

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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: misc

11/12/08 01:15 - 46ºF - ID#46658

back to normal

I guess I'm back to posting geeky things I found on the Internet. Today's installment: Super Obama World a Flash game that starts in Alaska and ends, um, somewhere else in Alaska but they say they're going to add more levels.

My nephew is recovering from his skull surgery, so I can stop thinking about how gross that is. He's going to be in a special reshaping helmet for I think 3-4 months? so we were asked to send stickers. I need to find one of the Great Gazoo.

I had a weird dream this morning. I was on the bus and people were talking about the war. From context I gathered that it had just ended, ilke, in the time it takes to walk to the bus stop. So finally I asked and they said that after the election the president canceled the war. He said the will of the people was clear and just called it off, like that. I woke up because it seemed funny to me that the will of the people would matter.

In other nattering, I'm working with another consultant who is good at programming but bad at estimating time requirements. He says he'll be done by a certain date so, the client being impatient, the boss will schedule a demo for the afternoon of that date. When deadline comes, either the boss will get a panicked email first thing in the morning saying it isn't done, or no communication at all. This has caused no small amount of tension between client and boss, and between boss and consultant. It really only gets on my nerves when I get a panicked call from the boss to come in to the office and instant-learn .NET* so he can give a demo that looks like it works. But anyway.

So the boss was kvetching to me, because I'm the good consultant. And it's not that he works slow [he doesn't, really] but that he makes deadlines he can't meet. So I said yeah, if you say it'll be easy and you miss deadline you look like an incompetent. If you start right out with 'I don't think that's possible' you look like a genius if you deliver anything at all. Hints for living, I guess.

- Z

_______________
  • I'm such a n00b- is it .NET now? Didn't it used to be .net?
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Permalink: back_to_normal.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: a series of tubes

11/11/08 10:16 - 39ºF - ID#46641

clever

I heart stop-motion animation. This is from PES:



Check out his other stuff - 'Western Spaghetti' is cute and 'KaBoom' is really well done.

- Z
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Permalink: clever.html
Words: 31
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: geeky

11/09/08 09:10 - 40ºF - ID#46618

pretty keen

From the 'I wish I'd thought of it first' file, the world's first $200 HSDPA ocarina



I lost this weekend to an emergency instaproject. It was a necessary thing that will let us offload a crapton of work onto the client; I just wish it hadn't been sprung on me so late for delivery so soon. I don't think I've ever spent so much effort shirking responsibility.

- Z
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Permalink: pretty_keen.html
Words: 74
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: politics

11/08/08 09:34 - 49ºF - ID#46602

morning in america

Cat and Girl sums it up for me:

image

- Z
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Permalink: morning_in_america.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: politics

11/05/08 09:23 - 53ºF - ID#46545

california goddam

'Yes' on Proposition 8? Since when are the Mormons an authority on traditional marriage?

Update from my west-coast correspondent:

fuck, man.... if the entire rest of the insane country (read:midwest) hadn't gotten involved and funded the shit out of "Yes on 8", no would've passed.... don't get me started.



- Z
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Permalink: california_goddam.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: politics

11/04/08 11:21 - 63ºF - ID#46510

vote note

There is a proposition on the ballot today, which may be difficult to find on your voting machine. It will be at the very top, above all the candidates for office.

All candidates for government employment need to pass the Civil Service Exam. Veterans who were disabled in the line of duty are eligible to get extra points on the exam, but only if they are currently receiving disability benefits from the VA. Vote 'yes' if you approve of eliminating the second restriction; vote 'no' if you'd rather it be retained.

- Z
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Permalink: vote_note.html
Words: 93
Location: Buffalo, NY


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