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June 29, 2006

class n stuff

so have i told you i was taking a class with mikeintosh/mic/billyburke? oh yeah. and i LOVE IT so much. honestly, it is the craziest general ed required class i've ever had. ever. it's all touchy feely history, which i like, a lot, but i HATE THE TESTS.

wtf. general classes are not supposed to be "what do you think". how the hell can you give a grade on "what do you think"? apparently we're supposed to argue our positions (not just regurgitate facts) and then we get points. i suck at that worse than i suck at sports. and that's bad. i mean, now i've gotten so i just write and write till i cant write more, hoping that she finds some shred of goodness in it.

seriously, i'll be lucky to pull a B. this has to be the worst class ever for an intro class. yet the class average was a B on the first test (i swear because she reviewed moments before and GAVE US one of the answers). there are only 3 questions per test.

we've got a 3-page paper due monday. *sigh*

June 28, 2006

a quick note...

i'm off to seminars on OSX security and remote management. while everyone's eating pizza, i'll be learning about ancient civilizations.

i took some calla lily photos this morning.

callas 2

June 27, 2006

all over the news

did you see that some guys are suing that university in ohio? the one that lost all the soc numbers? yeah.

i cant say i dont blame them for being angry, but with the state of things today, that shit is bound to happen more and more. i'm not ignoring the fault of the university - and their $1.4M technology budget surplus, but simply saying, all you can do is make the holes smaller... the vermin who get in just have to fit thru a smaller hole.

it will happen again and again.

so, good luck mr. n and mr. k, and the thousands of others who will be joining you in this suit. just dont bankrupt the university in the process.

June 25, 2006

what the fee-fi-fuh...

so, we went to comfest. we got trapped during the parade. we saw dykes on bikes, THE lesbian, drag queen showgirls, lots of methodists, flaggots, and furries... and more saggy asses in dental floss than anyone should see outside of folsom street fair.

but where oh where was the topless lesbian coalition? had it lost its shock value? or has the law been changed back due to ms. jackson and her superbowl hijinks?

all in all, the pride parade was much more disappointing than i remember back when i lived in the area. i remember more floats, more drag, more buff dancing queens on the backs of pickup trucks, and anywhere from 50-150 topless lesbians marching through town.

i'd say that was possibly a sign that the need to expose onesself in shocking ways was over, but then again, WE HAVE FURRIES? YOU ARE F'CKING KIDDING ME? Really???

links to flickr soon.

June 23, 2006

no camera blues...

damn. no camera today. i made my friend paul wait for me while i checked the mail at home in hopes of a package with my name on it, but instead, i got nothing.

moms and dads

i talked to my mom last night for a good long time on the phone, asking about grandmothers, talking about friends who are now getting old and frail. it was a depressing conversation, really.

my mom is frustrated with her doctors. and the administrators at the hospital back home. she's been trying to get the results from her heart monitor forwarded to her cardiologist, but her family doc is involved. he's not showing up for work all the time, and "forgetting" appointments, and not returning phone calls. she went to the administrator, but he (or she?) is doing the same thing. she's filled all the proper paperwork, but without the doc's involvement, the results stay in limbo, and she doesnt get treatment, because her cardiologist won't treat with just a verbal diagnosis -- he wants to see the results (like all good docs should). so, meanwhile, she's living with it, un-necessarily, and getting more and more angry.

my grandmother (the 96 year old) has suffered another spontaneous spinal fracture, and had been screaming bloody murder for days. after consulting with the family, they changed her pain meds, (upped the dosage), and that seems to have helped, and I guess, on Tuesday, she finally went off the morphine. death, at this point, i think, might be a blessing. i cant imagine if i was lucid and in so much pain, and yet could not have the situation "fixed". she will, eventually, after much suffering, die. keeping her comfortable was the mandate. when does comfort equal death, i wonder? how much more is she going to have to suffer? it makes me crazy. i think, if i were lucid, and in her shoes, i would try to will myself to death, which she swore she would do. and maybe she will. maybe she hasn't decided it's bad enough. but maybe, she doesn't even know who she is or how she got there anymore. she doesn't know any of her family anymore (at least by name or relation), so maybe that isnt far fetched.

ok, enough depression for one morning. i'm going to get comics at lunchtime, and hope that my new camera has arrived before i get home. this week has been hell.

June 22, 2006

snapshot of anticipation

according to the USPS, my camera should arrive from California today or tomorrow. It would be nice to have it at ComFest this weekend, and that's what I'm hoping for. our alumni group is trying to informally meet up at the park, maybe see a couple bands and drink a couple beers together.

the other thing that's going on this weekend, that parade and all associated events, doesnt interest me, aside from the freakfest it usually is. i was asked to drive my truck for a group in the parade, but i declined. please, the freaks i drive for would only ride in the DooDah parade, and that's not till July. (yet another camera-heavy event!)

and, btw, i've already seen the cnet reviews of the sidekick 3, thanks. i'm still hoping amazon will do one of those deep rebate deals eventually, since i really do want one to replace my aging csk. maybe i could even get rid of my other phone at that point. who am i kidding -- i still NEED analog coverage, and finding even a regular phone for that is difficult. yes, that's right, there are some areas which still dont have digital. a lot of places in maine and ohio, in fact, barely have analog coverage.

biting the bullet and getting a new laptop and new phone is in my future, i know it. lets just hope i have the time to research what i really want, and that i can afford it when the time comes.

June 21, 2006

camera hunt, postgame

so, i decided to check out a local ritz camera store tonight, on the way to dinner. what i found was a really, really friendly manager who was willing to tell me the pros and cons, and recommendations regarding cameras. i would totally feel comfortable buying there, from him, because he spends time with the cameras, and explained benefits and flaws in each, and reasons why (for a beginner like me, at least) to not step into a $300 camera right off the bat.

he also explained the differences in some of the different model numbering systems in the Nikons, which I was curious about. after he showed me the P2, and why he liked it, and then showed me some of the flat Canons in contrast, and explained why (for different reasons) he liked them, too, then he explained the differences between the Nikon 7600 (which i just bought), and the Nikon P3/P4 series.

the man knew his cameras. he tested each. he printed photos from each to show the differences in quality between image sensors, lenses, etc. he could tell you which models sucked and why.

my next (new) digital camera buying experience will be better, thanks to him. but, i also feel better about my purchase. we'll see how good i feel once it arrives... it may go right back on ebay or craigslist, followed by my paying him another visit.

erm um...

so, i just posted a ton of found photos onto flickr... mid-90s, college party crap. it kinda sucks because digital cameras were rubbish in that age, but maybe the photos are kinder.

this was also in the era of IRC. and getting drunk as you possibly could.

anyway-- if you wanna see pics of me 40# lighter, red hair, and a bad haircut... i'm in there. jesus, why didnt anyone tell me how bad i looked.

June 20, 2006

nice hair, dumbass.

ha ha... me from late 1998. blonde. enough said.

time warp

i forgot to write about this (as did Nala) but on our extensive Sunday driving, we drove thru a wormhole in time and space. first of all, we found an old-school meijer where (I swear) there never was one before. then, we saw a ryan's steakhouse! and, upon entering, it was set up just like the old-school steakhouses of the 70s and 80s with the wrap-around queue management, and trays, and folks behind a counter handing you drinks and plates. but, the best part was finding, just around the corner from those two oddities, a DUNKIN DONUTS! where the hell were we? certainly not in Cowtown of 2006!

of all the days for Nala not to bring his camera! ACK!

June 19, 2006

got it coming

yeah, i finally got one. a nikon 7600. from ebay. we'll see how bad it is when it gets here, but it came with a card reader, and a high speed 1gb sd card, so i'm afraid, for the price i paid.

oh, and day one of History today. got there 2 minutes late, but was still greeted by Mic! bigger class than i expected, and it's going to be odd, packed into 5 weeks. only 19 more days or so to go. and then i get to do it again for the next class in the series.

work... is work. *sigh*

and i gotta remember to book my hotel for my trip in august.

June 18, 2006

nothing new

looked at cameras in stores today again. best buy, circuit city, compusa and wally world. target and meijer too. now bidding on cameras and losing. inevitably i will end up buying something i wont like. canon and nikon seem to be the safe bets, but i still cant rule out fuji or panasonic for features.

i'm ready to be done with the shopping.

of course with impending travel, who knows. between that and textbooks -- ick.

found out a friend of mine got a full ride for grad school at umaine and she's leaving in august, which is when i'm headed up. that could be a fun trip.

June 16, 2006


long week, but i saw some progress in my projects. i successfully edited a vendor-provided, poorly written WSDL to make it work, and managed to get the API calls to work properly for basic login/logout/whois functions. it's about time, really... i was starting to feel dumb, but i also realized when i keep getting interrupted with mundane "my computer isnt working" and forgotten password tasks, i lose focus, and it's hard to remember just where i left off.

sleep has helped, too. i actually worked one of the problems out in my dreams.

now, i get to start moving subsites from one url to another. fun stuff, i tell ya. i have 10+ to move. about 5 of those are simple. the rest require extra care (and possibly programming). my hope is to have them all done by lunchtime so i can start on some of the cooler things in store for me for next week.

but i have the bad feeling someone will forget a password, or how to map a drive, or something, at least once this afternoon.

June 13, 2006

slow start

it's tuesday. deb is in town. she's getting some well-deserved rest, i hope. i came in to work late, not because I was hungover (i wasnt) but because I had taken the morning off just in-case, and if she happened to get up before i left, i wanted to at least say goodbye.

my 9am meeting couldve been cancelled, because only 3 of us showed up. and of course, now I find out, our fearless leader is out for 3 weeks next week in Paris, and then out for a couple months after joint replacement.

and now, I realized I left my wallet at home. and my cash. I'm most definitely taking a lunch today.

June 12, 2006

schwag arrival

well, the may schwag finally arrived.
i've documented it in photos.
i'm kinda disappointed, but after reading other's accounts, i wasnt surprised.

expect a full review later.


where'd it go?

still not here. since pongo didnt like the thought of my hurting the dog... (and really, i wasnt too keen on it either), perhaps I'll threaten the kitties.

george 2
Starting with George. She's the oldest anyway.

And then...
hungry, chester?
Zig and Chester.

Do you hear me, Thor? Kitties. Three lovable (well, two anyway) kitties. Kitties who like to play with string and milk jug rings, eat catnip and run around the house striking fear in the hearts of dogs.


June 9, 2006

important facts

(via courtney)

Another meme:

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. Post it.

Three events:

1259 - Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agree to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounces his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.

1872 - The crewless American ship Mary Celeste is found by the British brig Dei Gratia (the ship was abandoned for 9 days but was only slightly damaged).

1945 - By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations (the UN was established on October 24, 1945).

Two important births:

1849 - Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux chief (d. 1877)
1934 - Wink Martindale, American game show host

One interesting death:
1642 - Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu, French statesman (b. 1585)

And, as expected, I'm tagging Kelmeister.

visited states

thanks to neekole, I now have this map showing how much of an east-coaster I really am. (and how I really need to travel west more.)

via here

so, am i destined for a life of meetings?

jesus. i cant go one day without at least 2 meetings. this week has been > 3 meetings per day. I've started to block off whole sections of my calendar, but some of the management is getting forceful and angry and telling me i've got to be in these meetings when THEY can meet. excuse me. that's why we have calendars! find a new time!

and, of course, our parent organization is pulling their website from us next week, and so that threw a whole 'nother layer of work on top of me.

thank god for lunchtime. they havent taken that away (yet).

June 7, 2006


i signed up for valleyschwag on may 1.
i got billed again june 1.
i never got another email.
i finally emailed to say "wtf, what's going on, where's my stuff?"

well, may was a little out of control for them.
and, today, it turns out, several packages were returned by USPS with bad shipping labels.
so now, may's going to be even later.

i respect the folks for trying. i respect the folks for sending emails, making funny videos, and generally trying to keep customers calm, while chaos surrounds them.

but this is the beginning of week 2 of month 2. i paid twice, i got nonce.
i want my schwag! do you hear me thor? I want my schwag!!!!!
send me the schwag or the dog gets it!
you dont want anything to happen to this pooch, do ya?

waaaah, i didnt get my schwag, waaaaah!

Update: Thor just emailed me to let me know June is on track to ship earlier, and "thanks for not being mean."

I guess that means I'll have to let the dog be, at least for now.
Neeed schwaaaag! Schwaaaaaaag!!!!

June 6, 2006

brain on verge of explosion

I HATE taking time off from work, simply because while gone, people fuck stuff up. Seriously, with two of us out, there's a 50/50 chance (or higher) of each individual managerial decision (or vendor decision) fucking up the entire work universe. And then we have to deal with cleaning up the mess.

Right now, I'm listening to two separate crazy-people rants on opposite ends of the hallway. I'm trying to keep my brain turned off, or tuned out, but it's hard when I hear things like "reload" and "tape drives" and "connection broken".

Seriously, it makes me wanna hide under my desk. They wonder why we're all like Nick Burns (your company's computer guy!) when they come to us AFTER they've fucked up the systems instead of while they're loading things.

And, I need a haircut, by the way. I'm tempted to try and get one on the way home. And then begin the cleaning/sanding/spackling I must do to prep the back room.

June 2, 2006

hooray for travel

so, it's on. the big extended family reunion is happenning. in august. in maine. good god, it's gonna be hot and gross. and, it's a potluck, which, as nala pointed out, is kind of crazy, at least for some of us. i mean, 3 of us might be coming from Ohio. then there's three in colorado. five in washington state, a few in virginia, a couple in florida, some in connecticut and massachusetts. i'm sure i'm forgetting some other states, but suffice it to say that even my generation of my grandmother's family is scattered. who knows about my extended family-- surely they didnt all stay in the northeast, too?

i suppose i could go to the co-op when i get there and make some organic cheesy potatoes.