Archive of April, 2003
April 29, 2003:
Had my first golf lesson today. Worked on putting for an hour. I can pretty consistenly get the ball to the point that I can tap it in.
Of course, that's the part of the game I was already OK at. The ginormous scores come from everything between the tee and the short grass. But it's a start at least.
April 28, 2003:
Popped over to the Eckerd's over the weekend to change a dollar for laundry. Get to the front of the line, and the woman there tells me they won't open the register for non-purchases.
Now, I'll grant that she did make change when the next person in line bought something. And her argument that the store isn't a cash machine is fairly persuasive. But ATMs don't dispense quarters. (Yes, banks do; I usually do that and just forgot to get a roll of quarters this time around when my supply ran low.)
It just seems that, on a not-busy weekend afternoon, that a convenience store should be, y'know, convenient.
April 25, 2003:
Backstory: Quite a while ago, a few programmers on the Mozilla project decided to make a standalone browser with a simpler, more flexible UI. It was called mozilla/browser after the directory it lived in on the CVS server. The project petered out after a while, then was restarted by a couple new programmers. This "reborn" project was named Phoenix.
Except the BIOS company Phoenix is making a Web browser that you can run directly without starting an OS. Since they were already using the name Phoenix, they had rights to it and Mozilla's Phoenix had to rename. After a few months of legal stuff, they settled on Firebird. (Yes, I know the URL still says "phoenix"; I'm guessing that'll change eventually. Mozilla.org is notoriously slow at updating their site.)
Which brings us to the present day (well, a couple days ago, anyway). There's already an open-source project called Firebird. Granted it's a database, and Mozilla Firebird's a Web browser, but the Firebird DB people had a shit-fit.
I kinda understand; recycling the name, albeit a common one, is bad form even though it's apparently legal -- open source projects have enough problems without smacking each other around. The problem's really a small one, though, since Firebird is more or less a code name. The browser will be called Mozilla Firebird. Whether that gets shortened to just "Firebird" in popular usage is neither here nor there.
I doubt there's likely to be confusion, either -- people who can't tell a Web browser from a database have no business using a database. And searching on Google (which the Firebird DB people say will confuse users) is basically a red herring. People -- Americans, anyway -- know that Firebird is a common name for things, since it's been a car for a few decades, and will search for "firebird browser" or "firebird database" to avoid getting garbage returns.
I dunno; this whole thing just seems like a tempest in a teapot to me, along with some PR-seeking by the Firebird DB people -- had anyone heard of them beforehand? -- at the expense of a better-known project like Mozilla. What's my opinion? All of 'em can get bent: Mozilla for stooping to get a name 'cause it sounded cool, and the DB crew for their spam crusade. Live and let live, people.
April 24, 2003:
Thought it was going to rain yesterday evening, so I skipped the rollerblading thing and headed for Monroeville to replenish the work-clothes supply. Most of the stuff I had dates to my first week at Brady more than three and a half years ago, and the clothes were showing their age: Collars on shirts didn't lay down right, seams were starting to fade from washings, a couple shirts had noticeable pit-stains, the bottom hems of my pants were starting to fray, and my shoes had developed a new feature I like to call "automatic puddle detection."
To make a long and boring story short and boring, I'm now $320 poorer. For my trouble I have new khakis, new shirts, new work shoes and new sneakers. And it's not the fact that I spent 320 dollars -- that's almost reasonable considering how much I bought -- it's that between sales and discounts it would have come out to $480 instead. And that's just frickin' ridiculous. I could've bought a new computer for that much, and a good one at that considering I wouldn't have needed a monitor.
Eh, that's about all I have on that; it's just rubbing me the wrong way. Or maybe that's the new work shoes trying to give me blisters.
April 22, 2003:
I got a letter a little while ago from my landlord asking if I wanted to renew my lease. Now, let's see here...
· I have a front window that doesn't open, thereby making the air in the apartment rather stagnant during the summer.
· I have a side window that does open (thankfully) but has broken glass covered in duct tape.
· I still don't have a doorbell, even though I told them it was broken in October.
· I fixed the shelf over the fireplace myself, rather than wait for them to take care of it.
· The house leaks heat like a mofo (to the tune of a $190 gas bill in January).
Now I'll grant you that I knew going in this was going to be a less-than-wonderful apartment. At the time I was looking for cheap, not nice. But after all this, they want to raise my rent by $10 a month.
Now ten bucks isn't all that big a deal, even though it adds up to $120 over the course of a lease. But how, after all that, can they even come close to justifying raising the rent?! Leaving it the same, fine, but raising it? Oh, hell no.
So I'm going to wander around Shadyside, Bloomfield and Friendship for the next several weekends, looking for rental phone numbers. I need the exercise anyway.
April 21, 2003:
And, to avoid you thinking less of me (like that's possible), this happened after I left. Although I do know the girl in the memo, and she didn't deserve the abuse she took in the comments. Fun as hell to read though :)
April 18, 2003:
On this, one of the most important days in the Christian calendar (Good Friday), I would like to quote this bit of wisdom from bash.org:
"Jesus rules. He's born, I get presents. He dies, I get candy."
April 17, 2003:
For the third year in a row, I'm trying to go rollerblading every day, to try and drop at leats a couple pounds. Yesterday was the first attempt this year and it went well. Now I just have to last more than three weeks without either breaking the skates (like I did two years ago) or just plain giving up (last year).
Bets are now being taken on whether one of these will occur, and when.
Random update not worthy of its own post: Got the first weekly paycheck today. I am once again a hundredaire :)
April 15, 2003:
Just saw on Headline News (hey, you probably won't have to see that phrase for quite a while) that some state is moving to lower penalties for people who smoke medical marijuana. Of course, they show some people using marijuana medicinally. Glaucoma patients, for the most part. The same five old people they use every time they talk about this.
I don't think I'll ever get used to people who look like my grandparents hitting the bowl.
April 14, 2003:
No, this isn't about work -- I'm not at Brady anymore, remember. No, this is all from the time I got home.
· The cable's out. In most cities this isn't too big of a hassle, but with all the hills around here the only channel I get is the CBS affiliate. Even though I'm less than 3 miles away from the ABC station's transmitter. And we all know how good CBS's programming is.
· DXSTG.org's down. I forgot that Verisign started the clock when we registered, whereas Pair started the clock when they got out money. Basically, even though we have another couple weeks of hosting, the domain registration expired. Let's hope we can get set up at the new place soon.
· My Netflix DVD (Star Wars Ep II in this case) is so horribly botched up that it can't even finish the opening crawl. Not even hitting it with Windex helped. So not only do I not have TV, I can't watch my movie either. Or, maybe the player just heard how bad the movie is, and isn't letting me watch. Hmmm....
· I had to send an e-mail to one of the people I worked with in December, looking for her boss (who I haven't heard from in almost two months, even after multiple e-mails and a voicemail) so I can get paid for the work. It's not even half a week's worth for the whole month, a matter of a few hundred dollars, but it's really starting to piss me off. If I don't hear back from this other person soon, my only options are going to be getting the placement company on them, or showing up at the office like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.
But other than that things are peachy.
April 11, 2003:
I really can't follow that. Just go look for yourself.
April 10, 2003:
Already, after just two days on the job, I woke up Wednesday morning and thought "Christ, isn't it Friday yet?"
April 08, 2003:
What is the Iraqi air force motto?
- I came, I saw, Iran.
Have you heard about the new Iraqi army exercise program?
- Each morning you raise your hands above your head and leave them there.
What's the five-day forecast for Baghdad?
- Two days.
What do Miss Muffet and Saddam have in common?
- They both have Kurds in their way.
What is the best Iraqi job?
- Foreign ambassador.
Did you hear that it is twice as easy to train Iraqi fighter pilots?
- You only have to teach them to take off.
How do you play Iraqi bingo?
- B-52 ... F-16 ... B-52
What is Iraq's national bird?
What do Saddam Hussein and General Custer have in common?
- They both want to know where the hell those Tomahawks are coming from!
Why does the Iraqi navy have glass bottom boats?
- So they can see their air force.
April 04, 2003:
I was filling out the last of the paperwork for the contract (permission to do a background check) and was worrying just a little bit -- this place ain't going to wind up being another Brady, is it?
Then as I drove to the other side of Crafton for the drug test (I kinda figured they'd get to it eventually) I realized something: There might have been days when I was really hating my job, but it could never compare to the person who has to handle the urine sample after I'm done making it.
I mean, I know I didn't piss all over the thing, but that person doesn't. Sure, they wear rubber gloves to keep god-knows-what disease off their hands, but still.
And, secondly, they have to handle people's piss all day. Sealed container or no, sterile fluid or no, they're still dealing with piss all day.
I just hope they don't have lemonade in the cafeteria...
April 03, 2003:
So, my April Fool's joke was to not have a pointless blog entry. You know, like this one.
Or maybe I just didn't have anything to write. Except this: Beginning Monday, my workday starts at 8:00 AM. Eight. O'Clock. In the morning. Fuckity-fuck-fuck. Hope they don't need me to accomplish anything before 10...