" /> gigamatic: March 2003 Archives

« February 2003 | Main | April 2003 »

March 31, 2003

Monday Mission 3.13

1. How old will you be on your next birthday?

I will hit the big 30.

2. What is your favorite gadget?

My favorite gadgets would be my laptop and my new TiVo.

3. Tell me about someone that you lost touch with several years ago. Would you like to get back in touch with them again? What caused the separation? Has enough time passed? Would you still get along?

I really haven't lost touch with anyone like that. Thankfully.

4. Is there a difference between your online personality and your real-life version? Or are you pretty much the same person either way?

My blog personality is more outwardly angry and bitter. However, my former online chat personality was quite different than my shy self. It was always fun to adopt another persona, complete with photo, to annoy and lead-on the slimy old guys trolling for cock in the chatrooms.

5. Can you think of any ways that the Internet hinders person-to-person communication? What could we do to change things?

I think there is a lack of feeling that is conveyed with the typewritten word, as opposed to communication in the real world. Especially in emails and message boards. There's a certain amount of anonymity that we hide behind in those places which also makes it easier to lash out against each other without a second thought.

6. When was the last time you felt truly happy, or had that sense of perfect inner-peace? What does it take to get that feeling back when you need it?

Last time I felt that way was Thursday, in Athens, in the spring sunshine, sitting under the trees, gazing at the sky, listening to the water flow into the pond, surrounded by blooming daffodils and magnolias. It's not often I feel that way, and there's almost no rhyme or reason to when I do. Sometimes, all it takes is a quiet morning in bed with him and the Meow.

7. If you could just verbally let loose on someone and be able to say anything you want, without repercussions, who would you say it to and what would you say?

Bahahaha. Not my friends or family, for sure. And i certainly won'y get into what I would say here.

March 29, 2003

Friday Five a Day Late

1. What was your most memorable moment from the last week?

Getting my TiVo? Or perhaps realizing what a slut I was in college...

2. What one person touched your life this week?

Annalisa for her advice on househunting.

3. How have you helped someone this week?

I fixed a client's website. I installed the Tivo. I took Nala to and picked him up from the airport.

4. What one thing do you need to get done by this time next week?

Resubmit my tax returns since OSU screwed up my w2s. Bastards.

5. What one thing will you do over the next seven days to make your world a better place?

Finish laundry.

March 28, 2003

A Day at OU...

Ugh. Well, the conference was ok, I guess.

I gained a better understanding of firewalls, and of css, which means "lookout, matt's going to make another change..."

Best of all, I came close to a moment of nirvana. Not web nirvana, or server nirvana. Pure, unobstructed, peaceful, this is right with the world nirvana. I fucking love moments like that. I had just walked 2 miles and was sitting under a tree near a new lake at OU, looking up at the sky, for about 20 minutes. For that 20 minutes there weren't any wars. There weren't any bosses. There wasn't any stress. Only sky, and the sound of water from the nearby falls.

I did, however, have a more uncomfortable, unsettling moment in one of the seminars. I realized I had had sex in every room the conference was using. Ack! Talk about memories of the old days... And then OhioJay's friend Andy and his two tagalong twinks showed up and sat right behind me. Why does he always date flaming nelly boys? I don't get it.

Of course, despite these things, I still had an appetite, and wanted to get some photos of campus, so I took a walk up to Wendy's. Now, Wendy's usually has SOME students working there no matter what. Being that I was there during break, this seemed to not be the case. Instead, I had Cletus-the-Slackjawed-Yokel's gay brother, and his sister/wife Gummy Sue to greet me at the counter. You think I'm joking. I wish I was. And the food was nasty too. I watched Cletus's brother mess up 5 orders in a row. 5!! and he was still working the register?

So, I took my bad Wendy's food, and ate under a tree on Court Street by Chubb Hall. Then I wandered down Richland past the new Bentley Annex. (This replaced the DU house, for anyone wondering. It has a weird porch, but I like it. Photos to appear soon.

Anyone reading this who has been to OU might think "but what about The Wall??" Relax, it was safely built into the design. And, I might add, is now 3 walls. So, 3 messages can be put safely next to each other, I assume. This time, it was 2 messages directly related to the murder at University Commons and one regarding peace. Again, photos as soon as I get them off the camera.

Oh, and they didnt stop with painting the wall. They also painted all the concrete construction barriers with political commentary. (Yes, Jen, these photos will be here too).

So, I walked down Richland bridge, then turned left past the lab at the bottom of the hill, and back the road by the hockey rink and the aquatic center. Some new building is going in between the aquatic center and the old ballfield. Interesting.

I took the path across to the Geography building, along which they'd built the new park I spoke about earlier. I didnt stop, because I wanted to go see the bike path by the river. I walked across to Cady Hall, my old dorm, and then past my friends Link and Jessica's old dorms, and then over to the path, where I started walking around to Richland, since they had just reseeded the golf course, and I couldnt shortcut through without heavy fines. When I got back, I took some photos of the building by the baseball field, then the park, and then the hill and the new wall, and Bentley Annex.

By then, lunch was over. Jen called me to ask about giving her realtor our number, and of course, I said "Sure". Then I went on to the conference. The bad thing about a conference like that is, you can only touch on the topics. It was kinda lame.

I had a bad headache, and my vertigo was back (with a vengeance), so I decided to skip the prizes and the last lecture, and head on home, but not without a couple stops. I drove by my old house, still there, as was the groundhog in the back yard (pictures!) then stopped at my old landlord's ice cream shop for a large raspberry shake. God, I love that place... and then thru The Plains and back up 33 to Lancaster, where I stopped at the only comic shop I know of in that town (I'm sure there are more). Figures figures figures, and all at double the prices in small shops in Columbus. The guy that ran the place swore our guy in Columbus was selling for under cost. I find that hard to believe, since Chas has less business than this guy. Anyway... I did get Moltar and Brak for decent prices.

Ok, I gotta go before this battery dies again. Wow. -40% in a half hour. That's not good. Maybe I will have to buy a new battery.

Oh, and maybe go look at that house again this weekend.

March 26, 2003

May the Force be With You

Yet another of my friends is off to war. Yes, it's their job. Do what the bossman says. Bossman says "Go get me some oil fields", then they do it. Much less glamourous than defending our shores or even defending some small country from oppression and ethnic cleansing. That's not to say Mr. Hussein isnt evil, and I don't disagree with removing his regime. It's the way this war has been portrayed as something other than what it is. Last time, people said it was for oil, but it really could be justified as a police action. And we had allies. We had the UN on our side. This time, who really IS on our side? A bunch of folks we paid off? Nice.

On some completely unrelated notes, Nala comes home late tonight, and then I'm off to Athens in the morning for a web developers conference. Mmm Baker Center in Spring. Sitting outside sipping iced mochas watching all the eye candy pass by. Of course, this is spring break, so the hotties might all be still on vacation. But, ah, the memories.

The TiVo of much anticipation is due to arrive today... I only hope I'm home to greet it when it comes. FedEx is a little more unpredictible than UPS when it comes to delivering in our neighborhood. UPS is almost always between 3 and 5. FedEx is almost anytime.

March 25, 2003

Bullrider's Son

This guy's son's name is Lathan Dunn. Yeah, I know it's not quite the same, but it's weird to see it together like that.

March 24, 2003

Monday Mission 3.12

It's a "real fun" Monday Mission, as now I write about Funerals.

1. When you do die, would you like to be able to watch your funeral?

No. Not anymore. When I was little, I read about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and thought seeing my own funeral would be cool, but now, I think even if I could see it, I wouldnt want to.

2. What type of funeral would you plan for yourself?

Cremation with a memorial party. A wake, if you want to call it that. There has to be some semblance of normalcy and rememberance of fun.

3. When did you first realize that life was so fragile?

A playmate, Weener, had an accident and died by falling off the swings onto the concrete when I was in kindergarten. My friend Tim had a heart attack in second grade, and was in a coma for a while, lost his speech for a while, had a pacemaker put in, but died when I was in eighth grade. My friend Paul from my days playing football died when I was 18 while waiting on a heart transplant. My sister's Chinese roommate drowned while on a camping trip a couple years ago. My best friend died three times in December 2001 before finally stabilizing in a coma and then recovering completely. My friend Shawn died last year.

4. Of the people you've known personally who have passed away, what sort of legacy, impact, mark or achievement did they leave behind?

Tim taught me that geeks stuck together, no matter what. Weener taught me that concrete is not a good place to put a swingset. Paul taught me that sitting the bench was not a bad thing. Jenny was the first Chinese national I knew and taught me that despite the differences in culture, a Methodist tomboy from the midwest and a mother from a communist country across the globe still can have a lot in common. My best friend taught me when you're sick, go to the doctor. My friend Shawn taught me that putting religious beliefs aside, absurd humor makes great friends.

5. Do you think there is an "appropriate" way  to dress for attending a funeral? Or is it even important?

It's funny, I still think there is an appropriate way to dress, but I also think it's hard to define. I mean, Daisy Dukes are a bad idea, but khakis (or jeans, I suppose) and a golf shirt would be fine. Casual wins over formal. Grief wins out.

6. What are some of the more memorable songs you've heard played at funerals?

I honestly cant remember any. After all, I've only been to 3. Jenny, Shawn, and Nala's uncle's father.

7. Do you have any favorite foods that only one relative made, and the recipe died with them?

Thank god, all the recipes seem well preserved so far. My great-grandmother's cookies are the very best (ask Nala) no matter who makes them. Both my grandmothers are still alive, although not cooking for others, and my mom has a lot of both of their recipes, and if she doesn't, she knows who to ask.

BONUS: Is it true, all of those things that they say about you?

Thankfully, no.

Auf Deutsch

Vielleicht hab' ich mein Kopf verloren.

Or maybe just my motivation.

"From Home"

Sometimes, it makes me feel very insignificant to reflect upon my education and lack thereof, my occupation and the fact that what I do is very dull and lifeless.

Especially when I find out that one of the kids who I used to tutor "auf Deutsch" is now a big-shot usability guru out in San Francisco, who, after finishing his Bachelors in Philosophy at Miami University ("Directing Resources in the New Paradigm of Business to Create Social Change" was his topic of research), went to the Netherlands to study Urban Sociology.

You know, I've been doing what I do for 9 years. I just DO. I don't dream. I don't deviate. I don't develop new ways of completing my tasks.

I'm a worker bee, not a supervisor bee.

The one who knows how will be doing the work.
The one who knows why will be bossing the jerk.

CSS and Java and German, oh my

Wow. Reading Juice's blog really got me thinking I need to hang out at Stauf's in Grandview more often. Since the closing of the smoky haus called Basso, my next favourite has been Cup-O-Joe in German Village. Yes, it's owned by Stauf's, and offers the same coffees, and Internet access. It's also (usually) less crowded during "off hours" (evenings). But, I'm rediscovering the charm of Grandview, and since my favorite German and her boyfriend, Juice, are hanging out there, and I could use more exposure to her language and I could definitely use the people-watching for my writing... maybe I will start hanging out there instead. Cup-O-Joe folks are frequently annoyingly normal.

Oh, and I saw the plans for the former ACHumko area... I agree it's nice, but sort of wish they'd salvage and renovate the old buildings as lofts... As Vijay said, the property values in that area will be going up and up.

March 23, 2003

Sunday Sunday Sunday

My Sunday can be summed up in one word: laundry.

However, I did START to clean my desk, and I continued to work on my site and managed to sort through a huge pile of mail.

My goals for this week include finishing the templates for the slipcovers and moving much furniture around. And removing trash from the attic and basement (always important!) And moving Preston's remaining boxes from the attic (hear that, Mr. P? You have boxes of trophies and photos upstairs still! You havent lived here in years!) Then I can rearrange some furniture, the weight bench, and we can get our front room back.

Oh, and the TiVo comes this week. I know you're tired of hearing about it, but TIVO TIVO TIVO. I cant wait!.

I shouldve taken a week's vacation for this coming week. It's the only time I'll have time to work on anything!

March 22, 2003

Birthday Recovery

Hahaha. The evening got more interesting post-dinner, when we all decided to go to Tradewinds. Now, normally, I would not set foot in that place, but when we all could go together, it makes it not so bad. Nala got in for free and we had plenty of booze to liven us up, and the scenery was pretty funny.

Nekkid ass man and bouncy pidgeon-dance man were fun to watch, like a train wreck. And the cowboys and creepy leather cop guys... sheesh.

Today was spent in recovery, more or less, and helping a friend get his Movable Type blog set up. I have to say, I saw more mac users in that coffee shop than I've seen in ANY one place in Cowtown.

Oh, and grades came out today! I more than passed the class. I'm thrilled! In fact, I did a little dance and sang a little song when I found out. And, I got confirmation on my Tivo shipment. Woohoo!

March 21, 2003

Friday Five, 3/21

This Friday Five is such a Twilight Zone episode waiting to happen...

1. If you had the chance to meet someone you've never met, from the past or present, who would it be?

Probably my grandfathers and their fathers. Both grandfathers died within a month of each other when I was 18 months old. The fragmentation of my family seems to stem from those two deaths. I'd like to get to know them, and what made my family what it is.

2. If you had to live in a different century, past or future, which would it be?

Wow. Maybe the 1800s. Late 1800s would have been interesting, I think. Smaller populations, more self-reliance. Totally different economy here in Ohio.

3. If you had to move anywhere else on Earth, where would it be?

Great Britain, Germany, Canada, New England or SF. I still havent been to the ancestral homelands, but think they might offer something worthwhile. Canada and New England offer familiarity either by climate or by family. And San Francisco since many of my friends are already there, it's sunny, and no Ohio-like winters from Hell.

4. If you had to be a fictional character, who would it be?

I've tried to think which fictional character I would like to be. I can't narrow it down since none of them are perfect. It would be cool to travel around in a TARDIS, so, The Doctor from Gallifrey might be a choice. Plus he lived >950 years. But fighting a universe full of people who hate your guts would suck. It would also be cool to be JeanLuc Picard and travel around as the commander of a starship. God I am such a geek. I'm shutting up now.

5. If you had to live with having someone else's face as your own for the rest of your life, whose would it be?

Um. No grandiose ideas here, but I think my cousins all are quite handsome, so if I looked a little more like them and less like me, I might be happier? Who knows.

Happy Birthday Nala!!!

It's 4:21pm you're officially 33!

March 20, 2003

Aaaack... I just bought a TiVo...

So, I said I wouldn't geek out any more this month, but you know, I went to eBay and got me a 30 hour TiVo... there's not much good TV on these days, and to be able to capture what is there efficiently and without tapes... Well, I realize it was a purchase made out of laziness, but it will be nice to get things digitally and high quality...

Time Wasters

Everybody, check out Puppetmaster II, a web-based "reality" game from the master of web games himself, Ernie.

So angry...

It's taking all I have to remain calm in the face of so many "thank you's" to our servicemen and women. Yes, I am thankful for them being able to protect us in time of need, sure.

I have 2 friends in the Army who are fighting in this mess. Am I thankful? No. Are they thankful? No. Are they happy? No. It's a job, and you make sacrifices to feed your family and get an education.

I won't argue the necessity of war in general. I won't argue with anyone over the reasons behind THIS war. I've missed so much news about the whole prequel to war that I'm not sure if this even IS a "war", legally.

Just like I tend to stay out of discussions with religious zealots, I will stay out of discussions with warmongers and peaceniks. I am unhappy with the situation for several reasons, and I plan to leave my commentary at that. At least for now.

Times of war make friends into enemies, even on the "same side". I do not need to lose any friends or make any enemies, but if I keep reading certain blogs, I'm sure to speak out against someone, and it's much better to agree to disagree, and abstain from discussion.

So, let's hope (and pray if you like) that this is all resolved soon, and we can begin the fight here at home over what went wrong.

War... what is it good for?

So, whilst I was sleeping I got a couple messages from my friend in the Army. At 11:25 pm Eastern:

It's on. We're rolling. Wish me luck.

Then at 12:58 am:

Here's what I can tell you:

We had a better than good idea that [Saddam] was hiding out with his command staff at one of those targeted sites. So we struck.

Expect the heavy bombing to begin later today; possibly tomorrow, but NLT Friday.

Will post more info when & where appropriate.

Oh, and if so inclined, pray. We're about to enter a very trying time. This war will not be easy, and casualties may be higher than expected. We'll see.

Much love...

That's all I have this morning.

[Note: I edited out a potentially strategic paragraph...]

March 19, 2003

Random Thoughts

1) Stress free evenings are cool
2) New recliners are cool
3) Security Lockdown at work because our President Select is NOT cool
4) By-the-seat-of-your-pants last minute report writing at work is NOT cool
5) Grandmothers who love you and give you things even though you're a grown up are very cool.
6) Grandmothers who think you now live in San Francisco because you sent them a postcard while on vacation are still cool, even though they are confused.
7) Websites under construction are not cool, unless they're close to being completed, which will make them cooler.
8) Audioblogging with PHP and TellMe Studio is gonna be way cool.
9) iLife and Keynote for $15 delivered is definitely cool. (They came today).

Ok, time to go finish another project... hopefully.

It's Over

Well, the studying I did wouldve helped had it been a code-intensive final like last quarter, but it wasn't. Silly book definitions appeared from the FIRST 2 weeks of the class. 100 points were CUT from the exam, leaving us with a meager 100 instead of the hefty 200 from last time. This means that grading will be more strict. Fucking yay.

About 45 points were book definitions. Lets hope I aced those. About 25 were code, and another 30 were essay questions ("why will this/won't this work")

I've never studied so intensely nor have I ever felt so ill prepared. My only hope is I managed to squeak out 61 points on the final, since you had to pass the final on a non-curved scale to pass the class.

March 17, 2003

Morning Reflections

It seemed really bright as I left for work this morning... like winter was finally over. Like uncovering your head after being buried under a pile of big, thick, downy blankets, to discover the rest of the world was already awake and moving. This only reminded me of the morning in March of 1995 when some friends and I left at 6am for Daytona Beach for Spring Break. 4 people in a Geo Metro! Woo hoo! 24 hours later, after stopping in Athens OH and Athens GA, we arrived at Denny's on the strip, across from our hotel. Yes, we were tired, and yes, we were stiff, and yes, we needed showers, but it felt good to not be in cold weather anymore.

The house hunting we've done these past couple weeks has me wondering what's in store in the near future. Yes, I have reservations. About everything. I'm fucking scared. What if we do buy a house. What if we go to war. What if one or both of us loses our job and cant make the payments. What if we get a house and something catastrophic goes wrong with it.

So much going through my head. Would I admit it, flat out, in discussion? No, but for some reason I'm letting it out here. I'm scared. That's part of the reason I want to buy a cheap house and trade up "later". I'm fucking petrified.

Maybe it's all anxiety because of ongoing budget discussions and the threat of losing my job. And final exam stress.

I loved several of the houses we looked at, and LIKED another. Almost all of them seemed like unrealistic and unattainable goals saved for someone with a 6-figure income and a trust fund.

I am fucking petrified. I got over the fear of losing him, and that took me years of him reiterating "I'm leaving I'm leaving I'm leaving." How long is it going to take me to get used to the idea of buying a house? I mean, my car loan still scares me.

I need to start playing the lottery again. Can't win if you don't play, and if I win, I can buy the house. Fer sher.

In other news, OhioJay is moving home. I can't wait.

March 16, 2003

Weekend of Nothing

Well, aside from Asa's party, this has been a very very boring weekend. However, I did start on a couple things to prep for Naladahc's birthday, and our coming new furniture.

We do so need to finish organizing and throwing out/selling the books in the front room, and hang the letter holder and new coat rack. Add the new lamps and bookcase. I need to tackle the attic as well.

We've been halfheartedly house-hunting these last couple weeks, and we managed to find a few places worth looking at again. A condo on the edge of the Olentangy, and a few others. The problem is pricing for what we have found. Several places have the space and character, but few are perfect for what you're paying. For instance, many of the older homes have leaky basements.

And, with condos, very few actually seem to provide you with the details of the condo fees and associated payments and responsibilities when it comes to the structure and surroundings.

One house we found needed SOME work, but did provide both enough space and a dry basement, and it had a security system. It had quite a few unique features, including an interior best described as country overkill meets old lady. Unfortunately, old lady passed away, and left her house to be sold.

Home ownership is a scary proposition when you think of how much money per month vs. how much major stuff could go wrong. I think that's what scares me most: the unexpected and unforeseen.

Ok, time to clean some more downstairs, do some more laundry, and see what else I can get into.

March 14, 2003

We were joking

Really, Nala and I (and our neighbors) used to joke about putting up a "Hippy Cam" when Erik lived next door. Hell, Erik was in on the joke.

But this, this is serious. I'll leave the warnings to that page.

Friday Five 3/14

It's that time again...

1. Do you like talking on the phone? Why or why not?

Not really, at least not at work, since usually everything I do here requires what seems like hours of explanation.

2. Who is the last person you talked to on the phone?

Coworker Jacob. Waiting for him to come in so I can demonstrate how to install a web server certificate.

3. About how many telephones do you have at home?

Four, connected. One cordless, one in the kitchen, one in the office, one in the bedroom.

4. Have you encountered anyone who has really bad phone manners? What happened?

Bad phone manners? Like what? Not saying hello/goodbye? Yeah. My boss is like that. My best friend, too. But the person who is worst is my grandmother. She just hangs up when she's done.

5. Would you rather pick up the phone and call someone or write them an e-mail or a letter? Why or why not?

Email or letter, depending on the urgency. Letters are somehow more special. Phone calls are great too, when I can get motivated, but also require both parties to be interested in holding a conversation, while letters and email are one-way.

Keep Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

So, I havent uploaded the Mister Slave/TA mp3s yet.

I still need to decide what to do with the sidebar navigation.

I want to do an audioblog entry, for fun. Maybe I'll just encode some of my old aircheck tapes.

This weekend is desk-cleaning time. Need to reorganize the computers and set up the new equipment.

Oh the skanks that you'll see

I just happened to notice Skanky Ho posted a couple comments down on the "Freedom Fries" entry. I'm surprised in all her time living in Ohio, she never got it on with Mr. Freedom Toast himself. I mean, that bitch gets around.

Girl, you better get your blog on, or I'm gonna have to smack you! Ohkay? Or you might find "two cars, N N" rollin over your not-so-sweet ass.

And what is up with DoubleD, SweaterGirl and the Busty Bostonian not popping up more often. Bitchez, you better not be workin some other pimp.

March 13, 2003

TA Mister Slave

First of all, for those of you not in the know, here at my university, we call grad students who are teaching classes TAs, which stands for Teaching Assistants. I know some people call them GAs (Graduate Assistants), but here, they're TAs.

Mister Slave is the assistant to South Park's Mister Garrison. He's a leather daddy who likes to be spanked and likes to have gerbils like Lemmiwinks up his butt. He also speaks in a sort of whiny slurred stoner-speak.

Now put them both together (minus the leather, in all seriousness) and you have my programming TA. He's a really nice guy, but when I hear him talk, I hear Mister Slave. I've tried a couple times to capture this on a digital recording (without being obvious) but it's really hard. I think I got a couple decent samples, but they arent such great examples for this comparison.

It's quiet, but you can kinda hear him. Best I could do with a built-in mic from the back of the room...

March 12, 2003

More to say

Got a lot to say on a lot of different things, but I'm really tired and I need to sleep. So tired, in fact that I forgot most of what I wanted to talk about.

The two things I wanted to talk about (more on these tomorrow):
online stationery ordering/processing/workflow
computer usage policy at work.

Still not sure whats up with the battery.

madness, i tell you

Did you hear about the congressman from Ohio who wasted time changing the menus in restaurants at the House of Representatives to offer "Freedom Fries" and "Freedom Toast" to show his (and other Republicans') displeasure with the French?

You didn't? Surely you jest. Get thee to a news agency and type in a search for "French fries".

What you will see is an asshat from MY HOMETOWN wasting time and money. I didn't like him then and I don't like him now. And his wife is a bitch. I had classes with her in college.

This just in from another alum:

When I have a salad, I often like it smothered in "Freedom" dressing, with a loaf of "Freedom" bread on the side.

After the meal, I get horny, and ask my wife to dress up in the "Freedom" maid outfit. We begin with a "Freedom" kiss.

After the romantic interlude, I watch old videotapes of my all-time hero, basketball superstar, Larry Bird, who hails from "Freedom" Lick, Indiana.

And if Belgium isn't our side, then dammit, we'll eat only "Freedom" waffles.

Software Updates

Well, I ordered a copy of Keynote and iLife for $15.00 total as part of a deal for educators. I was perusing the Apple Education store as well, and came across Jaguar for $69??? Where was I? I missed that, for sure.

10.2.4 battery drama

DO NOT UPGRADE TO 10.2.4 till you read all about the battery life issues over at MacFixIt.com and at apple's discussion groups (specifically, here for ibooks).

I'm currently experiencing this issue where 10.2.4 basically kills your battery life. While details of HOW are sort of fuzzy, it is definite that it happened after I upgraded to 10.2.4.

In 3 minutes, I've lost 12% of my battery life. I'm told the problem only gets worse.

Apple, you fucks, what have you done to us? FIX THIS!


Courtney asks, "What was the last book you read, and how long ago did you finish it?"

Well, Courtney, because you know I live to answer questions instead of doing work, I'll tell you that the last book I read was Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I couldnt tell you when I actually finished it, but I think it may have been Christmas 2001. The last 6 months, I've been buried under school work, and haven't been able to take on the herculean task of reading both Children of Dune and Dune Messiah before the upcoming Sci-Fi Channel mini-series.

I also need to get around to finishing A.R. Stone's The War of Desire and Technology.

Before American Gods, the last books I read were Philip K. Dick's Radio Free Albemuth and Jon Katz's Geeks.

Oh, and I also need to finish Gregory Maguire's Wicked. It's very dry in the beginning.

Hopefully, with a lighter courseload this coming quarter, I'll have time to finish a few of these.

March 11, 2003

Transfer Credit R Us

So, I talked to my advisor again this morning, and I now have a list of GEC-fulfilling classes. She also says she's managed (so far) to apply two other of my OU classes to fulfill GEC requirements. Which two, she didn't say, nor does my degree audit report. So, I've got another email in to her. Which she will probably answer at 5ish tonight. So I'll miss another day of scheduling.


Well, I goofed yesterday when I turned in my self-eval at work. I forgot to fill in the REQUIRED(!!!) narratives, simply because I didnt really read the thing and it was due at 8am yesterday.

So, today, I'm reviewing the narrative questions (and answers), and thought, for fun, I'd post them here.

Keep in mind, you're seeing things JUST AS VAGUE as they appeared in my eval.

Quality and Service:

Last Year's Goal: To continue documenting processes (especially in regard to data reporting) in order to cross-train other employees and aid in problem resolution.

Resolution: Provided documentation on all monthly and quarterly data reporting in MSWord format to supervisor for distribution.


Last Year's Goal: Continuing Education

Resolution: We continue to look for training opportunities which can accommodate our tight fiscal resources. (Read: I continue to fund my own training on my own time.)

Teamwork and People:

Last Year's Goal: Work in cross-functional teams to accomplish larger projects.

Resolution: In co-worker's absence, worked with vendor, client, and systems staff to solve and document solutions to complex data import problems.

Committment/Focus on Results:

Last Year's Goal: For some reason, my boss skipped this one.

Resolution: None


Last Year's Goal: Keep clients and vendors abreast of project status details, including lack of information from one or the other which is hindering the project.

Resolution: CC'd and BCC'd clients/vendors on project status and requests for info which were holding us up.

March 10, 2003

Monday Mission 3.10

1. What is the most boring project you have ever had to do?

Think think... um. Probably any of the data conversions at work.

2. If you could be anyone or anything you wish, who or what would you want to be? Why?

I would say, I'd really like to be him some days. His memory is so good, and he's absorbed so much knowledge from his studies, and from everything he reads. Plus, he has a good job, and a sharp wit, and a jovial demeanor. And just a fun personality. I'm in awe most days. He really is the most fantastic guy I know. And now I feel completely stupid writing this. I always feel so small, intellectually, next to him. And I wish I could be as outgoing, and spontaneous.

3. What is one thing you refuse to ever put in your mouth?

Dog doo. Enough said.

4.If you could film a documentary about yourself and have yourself followed for 1 day, what would that day look like? And why?

My god. My life is so dull, you'd might as well film paint drying.

5. What is the longest distance you have ever traveled to meet someone for the first time (blind date, blogger meet-up, etc). Was it worth the trip?

The longest distance I've ever travelled specifically to meet someone for the first time (and not just as a bonus to my normal plans) would be my trip to Andover, ME to meet my grandfather's sister, Addie. That's just about 1000 miles if I did the math right, since I flew into Hartford via Cleveland and then drove thru Lowell on the way up. And I'm very glad to have made the trip.

6. What do people usually assume about you that isn't true?

It depends. Some assume I'm heterosexual, which isnt true. Some assume I'm homosexual, which, despite my current arrangements, isn't entirely true either. I'm sure Nala could come up with some other comments to go here, too.

7. What are you craving for lunch today?

Well, for dinner, I'm craving just about anything. Of course, it's already 8pm so I probably wont eat much more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a bowl of cereal.

Job Performance Evals

It's that special time of year again! Performance review season is upon us.

In your workplace, as part of a yearly employee evaluation, do you have to fill out a self-evaluation? our self-evals are combined with those of our supervisor to produce an "accurate" evaluation of our year's performance, for the purpose of raises and promotions.

how does your employer do it? do you have differing methods for hourly vs. salaried employees? or part-time vs. full-time?

Quick! Get me a loan!

People who send email saying "I tried to contact you and couldn't get through" when you've given them 3 phone numbers, 2 of which you've been monitoring all morning and a third which shows no messages, piss me off.

What pisses me off more is the fact that this email is in response to a "thirty-second" loan application which I made online on Saturday, when I found out about the $65/month house. Which, as you can see, took much longer than 30 seconds for approval. In fact, they required a LOT more information.

Now, since that house has now got a "sale pending" sign, I no longer have need for a $14k loan. So the mortgage company can stick it up their collective asses.

Yes, I'm back to my old cranky self. No offense or copyright infringement to crankychick intended.

March 9, 2003

No $65 house for me

My parents drove by the house I wanted. Of course, someone else had already snapped it up.

Today, Nala and I went to a couple open houses. $240k. What the fuck ever. Gentrification in action. I'm amazed at the difference between rental prices and purchase prices. We would have to double what we pay in rent to be able to purchase an equivalent property (3br 1ba condo with attic and basement and no amenities).

This sucks ass. So therefore you have people like us, paying $750 in rent next to people paying $1500-1800 to own. Plus, they also have to come up with a huge down payment.

Who the fuck owns these houses? I mean, they're not even perfect.

March 8, 2003

Homeowner sooner than later?

Well, on a whim, I went online to see if there were any houses in my hometown for sale. Lo and behold, I found 2 very affordable multi-unit homes. The one is two units and I know the previous owner/tenants. Currently, one side is rented for $100/month and the mortgage is conservatively $65/month. Yes, $65. SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH. That's 3 meals out. What the hell.

I can't imagine. SIXTY FIVE. Sure, it needs to be painted. Sure, it may need improvements inside. It means you would make $35/month even if you left the one half empty.

The Surprise of the Week

The surprise of my week came this morning as I was leaving the house. The phone rang, and it was my dad calling from Meijer on the east side. They'd come to Cowtown to buy supplies and sell books dad found, and when I said we were on our way to brunch with the gang, they asked where and when, which resulted in them joining us at Annies.

Not much new with them, but it looks like I'll be backing off on the house hunting till May or so. Oh, and they've found a plan to make my grandma a little happier: ordering fresh flowers for her every week. It's a small thing, but I think everyone could appreciate something like that. Best of all, it's basically free.

Ok, I have some cleanup work to do on this here site... and add some more links. And then maybe watch some tv.

March 7, 2003

A Note from Mom

Subject: School

Too bad it will take so long. We're proud you're working at it. We wouldn't trade you for anyone else.

I just realized that my parents never got the chance to finish school. My dad didnt have the money to continue. He graduated with an associates when he was 31 -- we were dirt poor and he was trying to get an education to get a better job, which he did. Associate degrees meant more back then. My mom quit school right around the time she married my dad, and became not only a housewife, but a farmhand, a seamstress, a cook, a maid, a gardener, and an accountant to all of us. So much for teaching art to kids.

Yeah, I'll be 30 this year, and I'll likely be pushing 40 when I graduate. Maybe that isnt so bad after all.

Unique fact #853: my parents never call me by my real name, as you'll note from the email I posted above. You might think my name would be Jacob Matthew or Matthew Jacob. You'd be wrong. The name came from my grandfather's old hat, which became mine when I was still in diapers... I used to wear it all the time. Someone made the comment, "He looks like a jake" -- and it stuck. When I was little, it was referred to as my "Jakey hat". Ever since, I've always been Jake, both to them and to their friends. I was only Matt in school, and only since 5th grade when our school librarian started calling me Matt instead of Matthew. My family only calls me Matthew when I'm in trouble.

One more week

One more god-forsaken week of class till my final exam. 4 more classes. All review. One more programming assignment. No more written homeworks.

It's crunch time.

Another Friday Five

1. What was the last song you heard?

Deadeye Dick: Molly

2. What were the last two movies you saw?

Daredevil and Metropolis (anime remake)

3. What were the last three things you purchased?

Aside from food: gas for the gigamobile, comics on Wednesday, a Batman Animated Robin, Battle of the Planets Jason and Mark figures.

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?

Four? Laundry, clean the bathroom, clean the office, set up the kvm switch, set up the router (the electronic kind, not the kind that knawed up the palm of Pickett's hand), take out the garbage, change the kitty litter. Oh, and start on Lab 6.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?

Orally... Connie, Dan, Debby, Diane, and Don.
Electronically... Andrea, Jeff, Kelmeister, Nala, and Cranky.

Girl Scout Goodness

Oh shit. Girl Scout Cookies are in. There goes my diet.

Aloha Chips: 53 cal, 3g fat each
Samoas: 75 cal, 4g fat each
Tagalongs: 70 cal, 4.5g fat each
Thin Mints: 35 cal, 1.75g fat each

Suggested serving sizes? 2 on Samoas and Tagalongs, 3 on Aloha Chops, 4 on Thin Mints.

Farming vs. Big Business

I was over at CrankyChick.net reading her post about Holocaust on your Plate and rather than tie up her space in the comments section with my babbling, I decided to do it here.

Small farming is very different than big business farming. Most of the kids I knew who didn't live in town either raised their own food animals or grew up eating food animals grown by other small farmers. I grew up eating my animals. The most we ever had were 22 head of cattle, and we never had sheep, pigs, chickens, etc. My friend Ben raised sheep, cattle and chickens. At my house, all the animals had names. His, not so much, since his farm was bigger.

Whenever my dad decided it was time, and we needed meat in the freezer, we would load up a cow (male or female) in the back of our truck, and take it to this other farmer, who gave us beef in return. I was 7 when I found out the truth. I never quit eating beef. As payment for the butchering, the butcher took half the meat. Not a bad deal for him. That's the way it was with all of my farmer friends. If you wanted good, fresh, local-raised meat, you went to Mr. Moore's butcher shop.

I laughed when I saw the episode of South Park with the calves being sold as veal. (Dead Baby Cows). If we had a calf who was too rowdy, we either sold him at the cattle auction or he became veal.

Granted, I know the difference between small-town and big-business farming. I am, indeed, deluding myself into thinking all farmers have some respect for the animals they raise and eat.

When I was 7, we had 2 cows of the same age and identical markings, who became known as Crunchy and Munchy. I think there was some sort of tv commercial for Crunch and Munch, and they used to eat vegetables like cucumbers, radishes-- no, I mean, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, etc., and when they did, they made crunching noises... so they became Crunchy and Munchy.

One day, my dad and I loaded up the truck to take Crunchy to the other farmer (the butcher). A few days later, we picked up a lot of meat from the farmer, and my mom made baked steak with mushroom gravy for dinner. I don't remember why or how, but I came to the realization I was eating Crunchy. I put my fork down and told my dad I wasn't eating it. "Why?" he asked.

"Because that was Crunchy!" I said.
"Do you like the taste of it?" he asked.
"Do you like cheeseburgers?"
"Then what's the problem?"

And after that, I never questioned it. Sure, sometimes I was sad, but I always ate up.

Irony: Now my parents are vegetarian. For health's sake.

March 6, 2003

She don't eat meat...

I recently encoded an old album of mine which I won through WOMP-FM when I lived with my parents... can you guess?

Deadeye Dick: A Different Story

Over the years, it has been a guilty pleasure of mine that I enjoyed the entire cd of a one-hit-wonder band from 1994. Surely you remember the song about the New Age Girl -- Mary Moon. She's a vegetarian. She'll outlive all the septuagenarians.

I'm not sure where they've gone and I don't know where they've been. All I know is lovin' them has gotta be a sin.

Ice and Icyhot

Slipped on the ice. Threw out my back.
While defrosting and scraping my car, I ran out of gas.
Late for work.

And that's all before 7am!

March 5, 2003

Almost done with Ebaying...

Tonight I won the Battle of the Planets pearlescent ToyFair 2002 Jason figure. Now my set is complete (or it will be, when he and Princess arrive).

My kvm switch arrived today. I think that's everything for now. At least till I save some more money. I do need the Justice League figures, and the Birds of Prey arrive on Friday.

I am such a geek.

wonky reports

My workday opened with my boss's now-common swearing. Followed by my swearing about these god-foresaken reports which we're changing assumptions on in mid-stride.

Remember what I said about calling in dead? Tomorrow and Friday seem like good bets.

Why am I discouraged?

Why did my advisor even bother asking me why I was discouraged? I mean, being in school for almost 20 years for a bachelor degree sounds discouraging, doesn't it?

I would think they would be actively trying to discourage me, since they're paying for the damn degree and my seat in these classes could be given to someone who actually has to pay them money.

March 4, 2003

Keyboard Shmeyboard

So, I've decided to stick with the old Apple standard blue & white USB keyboard, at least until I can find one I want: a slimline USB which is both Mac and Wintel compatible. Nala now knows why I was searching for all this USB stuff (compatability, baby!) which he wasnt ever certain of when I asked him for the USB card back at Christmas. The kvm switch I got also allows for peripheral sharing! Woohoo. Soon I will have all the pieces to make my office a powerhouse.

Well, a powerhouse of sorts.

I've decided to stop focusing so much on action figures and dvds, and more on the things in life that give me more comfort: office accoutrements. You know, like keyboards and scanners and software and desks and bookcases and and and...

Ok, I need to stop dreaming and get back to work.

Asshats and GECs

Asshat is my new favourite insult.

GEC is my least favourite acronym. (General Education Curriculum)

I will be in school till I'm 35. Literally. Why do I fucking bother? My advisor just gave me the low-down dirty details, and it doesnt look good. Taking one course per quarter, I still need 4 years worth of GEC's. That makes me 33-34ish. Then, I still need classes toward whatever major! Keep in mind, I was a senior at Ohio U when I left, and I'm a senior here, but because some credits dont transfer, and schools graduation requirements can vary drastically (obviously... i was done with GECs at OU) I'm stuck as a senior with 189 hours but no graduation in sight.

MicroCenter Break

I jetted up to MicroCenter on a "smoke break" to see what kind of keyboard selection THEY had, and I have to say, although better than Circuit City, they didnt have many different name-brand keyboards on display (even though they had racks full of Kensington), and some of the more obscure (and usable) keyboards were either in the HUNDREDS of dollars or not available.

Needless to say, I came back emptyhanded.

Thursday, maybe I'll go get the matte I wanted. No, not that Matte.

My boss's day has seemingly gotten worse. He's very close to locking himself in his office and turning off the phone. Hooray for budget time!

When you hear your boss screaming...

When you hear your boss screaming "GOD FUCKING DAMMIT! DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT!" down the hall from the server room at 6:30am, you know it's going to be a bad day.

Referrer log fun:
I am the NUMBER ONE google for "Max & Ermas banana pie"! Woohoo!
And, welcome, new reader Kat

March 3, 2003

More Geeking

So, I did a bit more eBay geeking today... and got a MOC Batman Animated Tim Drake Robin.

Tomorrow, I'm really going to try to get my new keyboard, and a matte for my Philip Moy Batman animated-style print. Then my next purchase will be that neat little iBook stand.


Nala and I decided to go shopping yesterday to the wastelands that are known as West Broad Street. It's a depressing and economically depressed area, full of retail stores well past their prime. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but we found that not to be true.

The plan was to hit Toys-R-Us, and maybe Media Play. Well, we threw in Circuit City for good measure.

Boy was that a bad idea.

Circuit City at West Broad sucked ASS. Why? The store had a bad selection, poor customer service (usually they're too attentive), and messy shelves. When I did finally find the computer keyboard section, they had 2 on display and only 3 in boxes on the shelves. Shelf tags were there for a dozen different models, but there were only 3 kinds.

That should've been our clue to skip the rest and head north to some real stores. But, we proceeded undaunted to Media Play.

Let me say that the West Broad Media Play has always been the worst in the metro area, but sometimes has some really good deals in their action figure section. This was no disappointment, but an overpriced DVD and CD inventory have driven all the customers out of this store, and along with it, the desire to clean. Nothing was in the correct bin, and the store's floorspace literally was half empty. And then the poor tard shat himself, I think. He kept shouting "Help me!", and on our way out I smelled poop. His guardian asked for a mop, bucket, and some paper towels.

Next was our main destination, the West Broad Toys-R-Us. Crossing the parking lot from Media Play to TRU, we noticed the lack of care in plowing the lots, the collapsing storm sewers, and the lack of cars in the parking lot. Again, upon entering the store, we immediately faced a disheveled inventory.

But, I did find two new 4-packs of Batman Animated figures, and a huge inventory of the other later issues.

Online, I found my Battle of the Planets "civilian" Princess at Tower Records, and a pearlescent painted Mark figure from the San Diego Comic Con on Ebay. This morning, I ordered my USB kvm switch from thenerds.net. Later, I'll be trying for a Battle of the Planets pearlescent Jason exclusive figure, and probably a new keyboard.

And, have you seen THIS?

Class Notes: Layering and Pointers: 2 different ways to implement components.

Happy Birthday, StarSearch!

Happy Birthday to my friend StarSearch, aka Chicago Scott, who is pictured in the front of the greenish photo.

May your day be full of slack-time and presents which may or may not include various forms of intoxicating substances and sex with your lovely lady.

That's about the most concrete and realistic (and legal) wish I could think of...

You're too old for AHSP.

Junk to the left of me, junk to the right of me

I discovered that in IE6 WinXP, the photos I added on the right do not appear at the top, like they do in IE5 OSX. And in NS7, they appear on the top left.

Fun fun fun.

March 1, 2003

I'm still fiddling with it...

Please, let me know what you think of this so far. I was thinking of trying to throw in some type of graphic element to delineate between the dates, like I had in my old system, but hadn't thought of anything yet. I think I'll also throw in some rounded rectangles behind the links, which will go in the area on the right.

Gallery previews may also go on the right or up on top. That includes cam and desktop shots, trimmed or scaled appropriately.

Update: It looks crappy in NS6 and iCab for OS X. Seems to work fine in IE5 and NS7 for Win2K. (note: without the photos on the right)

Still haven't decided whether to move this site with all my others to phpwebhosting.com.

In other geek news, I'll be ordering my 4-port USB KVM switch, (I'd get an 8 for practicality's sake, but they're 3x the price!) and I'm gonna pick up one of those MacAlly slim usb keyboards too. Well, at least I think I am, since MicroCenter has them for 20% off. Maybe I can find another brand that also has the Windows keys.

I really like the feel of the MacAlly, since it feels much more like my laptop keyboard, with which I've gotten really good at touchtyping. Suggestions, please...