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Category: misc

01/22/09 01:09 - 21ºF - ID#47483


I've been crabby lately.

1. Saying 'guesstimate' instead of 'estimate' doesn't make you sound clever. I could be persuaded, but only if you could convince me that you invented the word. I would be on the brink of respecting your wit, until you also told me you were responsible for tarzhay, at which point I would punch you in the teeth until you couldn't say any more words at all, except perhaps a mushy slobbery bloody gurgle. Society would understand and forgive me.

2. Can I be opposed to the ceaseless Israeli-Palestinian violence without taking a side? I am. Seriously people, grow up. You're 50% right, 50% wrong, and 150% loud, and I'm sick of hearing about you. I'm not even entertaining comments about this, because if you're taking a side you're half wrong too.

3. Barack Obama is a rock star. I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing. But you have to admit, it's kind of nice to be worrying about whether the President's going to get to keep his CrackBerry rather than worrying about whether he's going to start hauling people in for sedition.

4. You want my opinion on the poem? Nobody got it. If a poem can't be read effectively by its author, can it be read effectively? We'll let Philosophy 101 talk themselves in circles for an hour. Meanwhile I'll ponder on what would make a writer decide to give up on sentences and

just say words at people
slowly (perhaps)
one by one
until they get it
or not

It's probably the same neural trigger that makes people snap and become Lisp programmers.

5. Yo-Yo Ma. You can't fuck with that.

- Z

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Permalink: venting.html
Words: 275
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: items

01/08/09 09:28 - 22ºF - ID#47335



by Jeremy Fish

- Z
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Permalink: item.html
Words: 10
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: merch

01/06/09 01:27 - 21ºF - ID#47301

a terrifying glimpse into the future

Don't ask me how, but we somehow started getting the geezer-est catalog in America I'm not the kind of dude who worries much about getting older but holy crap these products are giving me mad anxieties about gettin' on in years.

About a third of the catalog is housecoats nightgowns muumuus and comfort-fit undergarments which are to be expected and don't really warrant further discussion. However, due to the way the catalog is organized [it isn't], they're on pretty much every page, just kind of scattered through the catalog. It makes for some weird juxtapositions, though, like: Rooster Lamp , Pie Crust Shield ... compression socks !!

The inside front cover advertises the Barack Obama Gold Coin Set which appears to be a Sacajawea with a sticker on it. I'm not going to say something snarky about how hokey it is, or why their website says it's related to 'Leather Cushion.' What I will say is that a couple weeks ago we received a notice in the mail, to our address [but not our names] thanking us for ordering our set. (e:dragonlady7) said she thought it was a lie but I think it's forealz. Stay tuned, (e:strip)pers!

There's a whole lot of incontinence aids in here, and it makes me wonder if maybe some people take incontinence beyond 'unfortunate occurrence' to 'hobby,' say, or 'job.' I mean, this catalog is like the Brookstone of pissing yourself. You got the waterproof mattress pads fair enough, and sponge shorts that range from 'woops' to 'god damn!' and I'm ok with that. These are kind of on the edge as long as you don't think too much about how to get them off when they're full. They try to make this jug seem like a normal thing to have, but do you really want to be the guy who brings this on the bus with you? And then there's this item pictured below which looks like it came out of some German porn I downloaded by accident last week.


But then i saw, sandwiched between the Hair Cutting Umbrella and the Sonic Molechaser -- the sex toy department! I know we all got needs, and you're not really going to use that 9 1/2" massager on your neck -- but I still don't want these products three pages from the incontinence aids. I gotta admit I'm oddly intrigued by the 'Totally Nude Aerobics, Yoga, and Tai Chi' videos . The cover of the aerobics video says 'Both the nude and clothed versions,' and my inner fourteen-year-old wonders if maybe you could push a button to switch between them. There's also this web-exclusive device that lets you have sex without all the bother of getting an erection. Half of me is weeping, half of me is wishing I'd thought of it first, and half of me is wondering how the Hell you're supposed to hook that thing on your junk.

And for those of you geezers who are still kids at heart, you can order a Matchbox hearse with a trunk that opens and a casket inside. The casket also opens, prompting (e:dragonlady7) to ask me what's supposed to be inside. It doesn't say - maybe your stash?

- Z
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Permalink: a_terrifying_glimpse_into_the_future.html
Words: 704
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: music

01/04/09 04:15 - 32ºF - ID#47280

i want my brain back

There's a theory that you never actually forget anything - the memory is intact but the last pathway to it gets dropped. The upshot is, if you can forge a new neural pathway to one part of the memory, the whole thing becomes available immediately.

In computer science we would call this a memory leak, and it would be a bad thing.

Last night at the roller derby post-after-party-party I found myself mouthing with great accuracy the words to a song I can't even believe I listened to in the first place:

Give me that donkey butt and them big old legs,
I ain't too proud to beg.
Ain't no shame in this game.
I'm going to break it down and beg like James:
Please, &c.

I want my brain back, ok?

- Z

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Permalink: i_want_my_brain_back.html
Words: 137
Location: Buffalo, NY

12/13/08 12:49 - 25ºF - ID#47053


So I've been totally effing swamped at work. As a result I haven't got a whole lot to report, and what I do have to report is pretty dang boring. My world the last couple weeks has been mostly just me, my cats, and my nurbs.

I managed to avoid getting any Action Items on Thursday and, being a dude who works at home, fucked around all day. But don't worry nine-to-fivers, karma's coming to get me this weekend. The client's near deadline on their North American SAP Integration Project and somehow my dorky little drawing program* is mission-critical. Go figure.

But I'm such a loser - even when I'm 'fucking around' it can still be loosely considered to be 'professional development.' I've been fiddling around with Amazon Web Services . I think this stuff is great for small application developers. You can build a server appliance from the OS on up to your custom applications and deploy it on as many [virtualized] servers as you need, with 'practically unlimited' bandwidth and storage. Everything is metered but the prices seem pretty reasonable. Server time starts at 10 cents per hour, which is about $75/mo if you leave it on.

You can also mark your application bundle as requiring payment, with pretty flexible pricing options. The plan seems to be that you'd sell a turnkey solution to the general public, but I could see negotiating pricing with a client and using Amazon to collect setup & support fees.

I don't know what I'm going to do with this knowledge, but I figured I'd share with you geeky types.

- Z

  • Somehow I've become a graphics programmer. You'd think that would be an easy field to be in, and I admit it's kind of fun sailing through meetings about browser incompatibilities, database architecture, legacy integration, and usability bugs without getting any action items. But when all you ever say on-site is variations on 'yeah I understand where you're coming from but that's not really my problem,' the client starts to wonder why they're paying you.** But when a bug really is mine and the answer is something like 'woops - forgot to overwrite C0 in the Type 2 tint transform function when converting an RGB separation to CMYK, ha ha silly me' it tends to remind them. I can read PDF documents with a text editor, and that freaks me out.

  • Although yesterday when trying to get the [somewhat difficult] web app developer to do something the client urgently needed, I whipped off an SQL query over the phone while a roomful of people just kind of stared at me. I think they were making fun of me but I sort of didn't have a whole lot of patience at the time.

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Permalink: _.html
Words: 463
Location: Buffalo, NY

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


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
Words: 356
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!


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:


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

- Z

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Permalink: it_brightened_my_day.html
Words: 503
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: a series of tubes

11/14/08 06:46 - 57ºF - ID#46692




- 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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Permalink: call_me_crazy.html
Words: 218
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
Words: 399
Location: Buffalo, NY



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