Archive of June, 2001
June 30, 2001:
Been reading the comics at work a lot lately. Found a couple more that hit a little too close to home.
Makes me wonder if Scott Adams is being tipped off by one of my coworkers...
June 29, 2001:
So much for telling my family I'm the smart one...
With Spinn taking the week off from "Brain Shots" I started digging through the archives. In particular, there's a class of Brain Shots called "997 to Go." They're all pictures. And if you look at them all, you'll see why it's called "997 to Go." Or you'll get hopelessly confused like I did.
So I filled out the feedback form, and Spinn was kind enough to give me a hint -- all the pictures are similar in some way. Still didn't get it.
In the next e-mail he told me outright. I now feel like the biggest idiot in the history of Mankind.
If you want to have a look for yourself, go to the Brain Shots page and click the "997 to Go" category in the left column. When you hit Update Filters it'll show you the five entries under that category.
June 28, 2001:
Sitting here at work, with nothing to do, I discovered the "Reactor" section of Cartoon Network's Toonami site. I just spent the last hour or so watching old episodes of StarBlazers, which I haven't seen since I was a kid. It seems to have held up better than other anime I used to watch -- Voltron is downright cheesy now, and not in a good way -- which probably explains why it's so popular.
In fact, if the information they put on the site is correct, StarBlazers is even more popular in Japan than the Star Trek series are here in the States. And think of how many Trekkies of varying degrees you know.
So at least I have something to do while I'm sitting at work doing nothing for a while. I think there are 50-some-odd episodes, and I've watched the first three just this afternoon.
June 27, 2001:
Yet another reason I hate people... On the way home from work yesterday I was stuck behind an old woman in a Honda Prelude. Never got closer than four car-lengths to the car in front of her, and was driving slowly.
So people would pull out from behind the traffic jam she was causing, zoom out in front of her, and dive back into the lane. Since there was now another car in front of her, she had to regain her distance, driving even slower.
This progresses all the way out Second Avenue, and onto Greenfield Avenue, going up the hill. She's keeping her 100 feet of distance behind a PAT bus that is itself laboring to get up the hill. I felt kinda bad for the bus driver. You know he wanted to go faster; he's got a schedule to at least pretend to keep. So you know he didn't want to be creeping up the hill at 7 MPH.
Near the top of the hill, right before the high school, the bus gives up. The brake lights and the four-ways come on, and it isn't making noise any more. The driver gets as close to the curb as he can, and starts to motion people around him.
Except this senile old bat seems to have forgotten the international signal for "come around." After about 5 seconds the horns start blaring (mine included) and the bus driver starts waving her around more emphatically -- "come around, you (*^% idiot, come around!" She eventually gets the idea and goes around the bus at approximately ¼ MPH.
No clever ending here; just still ticked about it.
June 26, 2001:
Went golfing again the first weekend in June. Took 33 strokes off my game :)
Of course, thay means I'm down to "only" 80 for nine holes, or 47 over par. That's a lot of quintuple-bogeys and beyond.
My problem is that a golf swing is just so unnatural. I always wind up trying to shift my weight around like I'm swinging a baseball bat. That works OK, comapred to the usual, but only if I make it a full-fledged swing. This half-and-half swing I usually take just makes me top off the ball and results in a 45-yard drive. How many other people do you know tee up on a 127-yard hole with their driver and still don't get on the green before their 5th shot?
Don't get me wrong, I usually have a good time, drinking beer and zipping around in the golf cart. It's just the actual game that gives me problems.
June 25, 2001:
Saw this in the paper a little while ago, and didn't know whether to laugh or cry:
June 23, 2001:
Just got done reading one of my favorite sites trash on some dimwitted college kid's pages. Thing comes complete with that annoying logo that tracks down the side of the page as you scroll.
Anyway, I just got this kinda paranoid feeling about the uber-cheese I have floating around here. But the rest of the site serves a purpose, so I think I'm OK.
June 22, 2001:
It's pretty disappointing when you go to a strip club and the waitress is better looking than 75% of the dancers...
June 21, 2001:
That was the average amount of time, assuming the show was 22 minutes long, between instances of the word "shit" on the season premiere of South Park last night. Right around usage number 40, it ceased to be funny. Well, except for the old guy's "ah, shit" in the library with the dusty old book.
Which, from what I can tell, proved their point: The only reason "shit" is a big deal at all is because there's a taboo associated with it. And we need that taboo, for the word to keep its utility. Basically, if "shit" becomes commonplace, what will become the standard for stubbing your toe? We need naughty words, simply because they're naughty.
Of course, I may just be full of shit.
June 20, 2001:
Wow... now that my resumé is online, nothing makes me angry at work any more. I just shrug it off. It's very liberating, actually, to not have to get caught up in all the petty nonsense that goes on in one's day-to-day life.
June 19, 2001:
Arrrggh... Just had a nice "you guys all suck" meeting. That's always a good way to kick off your work week, isn't it? Basically, the head cheese is pissed about the lack of billable time we're turning in (40%, give or take a few) and told us, basically, that we'd better shape up.
Except, we can't fix the underlying problem. The reason we're not working isn't because we're lazy. It's because -- gasp -- there's no work to be done. When I run out of work, and I take up up someone else's extra, what do I do after that? The project manager knows I have a light load; the account manager does too, because the project manager passed it on. Everyone who can get me work knows the situation and is trying to deal with it. So don't blame me if I'm reading CNN when you make your inspection tour, OK?
Then he tells us, in consecutive sentences, the following: (1) We should tell him when we have nothing to do. (2) He doesn't want to micromanage us. Ain't boss-logic grand?
Off to the Tech Council Web site. I'm sick of this shit.
June 18, 2001:
Just in case anybody's wondering, here's how I came up the the idea for the name "Brain Farts" for this section -- there was no reason behind it. I just needed a short phrase including the word "mind" or "brain" and that sounded cool.
But looking at it now, I've come up with a reason that I'm going to make retroactive. I wanted something that would catch the brief nature of these thoughts, and people's potential reaction to them. Reactions that range from "Good one!" to "You disgust me." And the fact that some of these may stay with you for a while as you continue on your way.
I didn't say it was a good reason, I just said it was a reason :)
June 16, 2001:
Well, the JBDC site is now up and running. And short of importing some of the database functionality I wrote for the MindChisel site, I didn't have a damn thing to do with it.
Far be it for me to want extra work, but I feel a little bit like I was left high and dry, considering all the work I'd put into the two previous attempts at the MindChisel site.
June 15, 2001:
As I was driving into work at 6:35 AM recently (don't get me started), I was just amazed at the number of poor suckers who were already headed downtown at that time of morning. Traffic on the Parkway East was already so bad in the construction zone that I spent most of the time there in first gear.
Won't stop me from bitching about being to work at 7:00 though.
June 14, 2001:
In the Post Gazette lately, there've been a lot of anti-immigration letters to the editor. Even had a woman write in from California saying how badly the Mexicans had fouled things up by arriving illegally en masse and going on welfare, just to fan the flames.
Keep in mind, this is Pittsburgh. There's a neighborhood called Polish Hill. This place was built by immigrants. Hell, even Andrew Carnegie was from another country. I'd be willing to bet that half the population of this city can trace its roots back fewer than three generations before they have someone getting off the boat in New York and coming here.
But now immigration = bad. Just because California has probems with poor Mexicans walking across the border to have kids and collect welfare. And I doubt that that's even as bad as the anti-immigration groups would have us believe.
Look around and think about this. We're living longer (I think the life expectancy in the US is 72 or 74 now), and having fewer children. Why are there still plenty of people going to work? Because of immigrants. If we shut down immigration, like Japan did/does, we'd be in the same boat as Japan -- mired in a decade-long recession with no sign of an end.
Never mind the cultural and moral diversity newcomers have to offer. Letting people come here from other countries makes sense monetarily. As long as we've got jobs for 'em, keep 'em coming in.
June 13, 2001:
There were quite a few letters to the editor in Tuesday's Post Gazette about Timothy McVeigh. A few more people arguing with a columnist saying we shouldn't kill him than agreeing, but that's to be expected -- ol' Timmy really hit a nerve.
So I'll just come out and say I'm for the death penalty, but not for the usual reasons.
I don't believe in that "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" nonsense. Back in Biblical times when it was customary to stone a man to death for looking at your ox wrong, that was a much-needed dose of civilization.
But times have changed. Now people hold up the Bible as a means of justifying their blood-lust. Granted, this is nothing new, but that doesn't make it right. Those people will say that McVeigh deserved to die because he didn't show remorse. Sounds like something straight out of the Salem Witch Trials, doesn't it?
I feel that as long as there is the slightest chance of the accused becoming a useful member of society that he shouldn't be put to death. Then the question becomes, was Timothy McVeigh redeemable?
Tough one. The humanitarian in me believes that anyone can change, provided they truly want to. But my inner humanitarian saw a man who didn't want to change. A man who went to his grave thinking that if he had it all to do over, he'd do it again.
In that case, the most humane thing to do is to put him to sleep, like you do a sick dog. And that's what happened here. They even used the same chemicals. Timothy McVeigh went to sleep and didn't wake up. The human race was served, not vengeance.
The thing that bothers me as I'm writing is this: Am I somehow more enlightened than those who called for McVeigh to be tortured and killed -- electrocuted, shot, even drawn and quartered? Or am I just trying to hide my own blood-lust behind a thin veneer of humanity? Is the only difference between the masses cheering on the executioner and me just my choice of words?
What scares the hell out of me is that I don't know.
June 12, 2001:
Another reason I hate people:
On the way into work today, it was raining pretty heavily. I mean, it was coming down in sheets. Dark and overcast, the whole nine yards. I hit my blinker to change lanes, and start to move over. I hear a horn blast at me and jump back in.
Then I check my mirror really closely, and see some nitwit was driving a black car with no lights on in the middle of a downpour.
I shoulda hit him.
June 11, 2001:
Just a quick one today: Congratulations to the Colorado Avalanche, and especially Ray Borque, for winning the Stanley Cup in Game Seven on Saturday night.
For the non-hockey fan, Ray Borque is the ultimate fan-favorite underdog. Before Saturday night he had played more than 1,800 games without winning hockey's ultimate prize. That's 22 years -- there were members of the opposing team who were born after he began playing.
All he ever did was go out and play his heart out for more than two decades. And he's finally gotten his reward.
June 09, 2001:
On the way back from the mall (buying a friend's wedding present), I saw a Pittsburgh police car being towed around. Now, I know it had simply broken down, but part of me couldn't help but hope that it had been illegally parked.
June 08, 2001:
There's hope... The stats package I receive every month says that in April, Netscape 4's share of the browser market dropped to 7%. I just might be able to stop supporting its hideous DOM and CSS implementation before the end of the year.
June 07, 2001:
It's just so refreshing to see the New Jersey Devils, who so effectively dismantled the Penguins in the Conference Finals, get bitch-slapped by the Avalanche in Game One. There's just nothing like sitting on the sofa and saying to yourself, "the Pens lost to those guys?!"
Maybe watching Lemieux hoist the Cup one more time was a bit more of a pipe dream than I'd have liked to think...
June 06, 2001:
Over the Memorial Day weekend I drove back to Akron to go golfing. Everyone I went with pretty much sucks (but not quite as badly as me) so it isn't too bad. And this time out, I actually learned some things:
- The 3- and 5-woods suck.
- So do the 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-irons.
In short, I could golf just as well as I did using just the driver, the 7- and 9-irons, a wedge and the putter.
Of course, that probably also has to do with my best hole being 4 over par and my worst hole being 19 over par. That one was just a little frustrating. I'll have a chance to test my theory a couple weeks later, when I drive back to go golfing again.
June 05, 2001:
Well, my resumé is now out on the Web, so I just might get people looking in on me.
As a result, I'm going to offer up examples of what I can do with a bit more regularity. I'm also taking requests. If someone's looking for XYZ project, and I show it can be done, that probably helps me :)
So if you have any ideas for projects you'd like to see using DHTML, PHP and ASP, just drop me a line.
June 04, 2001:
On a random note, the DJ at my friend's wedding Friday night was a Sigma Tau Gamma (the same fraternity as me) from Point Park College, right here in Pittsburgh.
June 02, 2001:
Nothing much to say today; saw "Shrek" over the weekend. It's a good movie, go see it. Think "Fairy tale on acid."
June 01, 2001:
I'm going to a Pirates game this weekend. Anyone wanna lay odds on whether they get slaughtered?