Archive of June, 2003
June 30, 2003:
Ever since my evolution post, I've been thinking about modern humans and Neanderthals. (Well, obviously not the whole time. You know what I mean.) For quite a while, scientists have been arguing about whether Neanderthals were another subspecies of Homo sapiens, like us, or whether they're different enough to be Homo neanderthalensis.
There were good arguments both ways: From what we can tell, they acted like humans in ceremonially burying their dead and making new tools. But they were also very noticably different physically. Now it turns out that some fossils found in Ethiopia are 160,000 years old. They're not quite human (their skulls are a bit larger) but they're a lot closer to us than Neanderthals were -- they're currently being called Homo sapiens idaltu, compared to us being Homo sapiens sapiens.
The article says, regarding their similarities to modern humans, "And yet they were also like modern-day humans in almost every feature. The face is flat with prominent cheekbones, but without the protruding brow ridge of pre-human ancestors or Neanderthals." The Neanderthals, of course, are no longer around. There are two hypotheses about this: (1) They were wiped out by early humans, (2) They were "bred out" from intermingling with early humans. The second one got me thinking.
As far as I can tell, Neanderthals fossils haven't been found anywhere outside of the Middle East and Europe. Assuming that Neanderthals didn't make it into Asia, that means that if there was any interbreeding it would be show most prominently in Caucasians. Well, let's look at that for a second. Looking at the different races (sub-species, whatever you want to call them) in the general sense...
Brow ridges. Whites tend to have a slightly heavier brow, especially compared to Asians. (A lot of Asians I've seen, partucularly Chinese, have very flat-looking faces relative to white people. In my less-sensitive moments I joke that they look like they've been smacked with a frying pan a la "Tom & Jerry.") Given that Neanderthal fossils show pronounced brow ridges, this could be a link. Of course, black people tend to have slightly heavier brows, too. I never said this guess of mine didn't have problems.
Body hair. More or less limited to whites. Asians tend to have almost none; blacks and Indians (the ones from India) have more than Asians and less than whites. This one seems like a better link since, if body hair is based on climate, Asians should have almost as much body hair as whites.
Legs. I think I remember seeing a long time ago, and I couldn't provide a cite to save my life right now, that Neanderthals were pretty much bow-legged. From what I've seen (which admittedly isn't much) the only people who have any tendency toward bow-leggedness are whites.
Well, it's not a terribly convincing argument, but I think it might be worth looking in to. Maybe for all the Nazi/Klan talk about whites being a "master race" it'll turn out that, thanks to some indiscriminate humping 100,000 years ago, whites are actually the least evolved out of all the different types of human.
Now I'll grant that isn't saying much: Neanderthals seem to have been every bit as intelligent as their "modern" counterparts and there doesn't seem to be any difference at all in intelligence between the races nowadays.
Well, I'm probably full of it anyway. But who knows what archaeologists will discover in the coming years/decades. And I'll feel a little better about myself the next time I want to bash my computer with a big, heavy rock. It's just the Neanderthal in me trying to resurface after all these millennia.
June 27, 2003:
Wish I'd seen this sooner: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/sfgiants/stories/14giants_c11.html
(If you don't know what the Infield Fly Rule is, and don't care to learn, don't bother with the link.)
June 26, 2003:
Don't get me wrong, I like my job. I'm just ready to kill a couple of my coworkers. You see, they eat lunch at their desks.
That's something I never really understood. In addition to the fact that you may muck up your keyboard with either crumbs or a misplaced spill, I never could figure out why people would take their one hour and spend it where they're already spending half their waking hours. I mean, don't their chairs get uncomfortable after a while? Aren't they tired of staring at their computers?
But the fact that they do it doesn't really bother me; maybe they're just wierd. The problem is I know they're doing it.
The guy two cubes over brings in lefotvers and microwave meals. Which means he basically stinks up the whole area. His lunch doesn't smell bad; in fact that's the problem. He gets in early, so he eats early, like at 11:30 or so. Meaning that just as I'm starting to think about lunch, I get the small of whatever he's eating wafting over. It's annoying to say the least, because if I ate as early as he did, I know the afternoon would drag. So I sit around smelling his food for half an hour.
Then there's the guy in the cube next to me. He doesn't like noise. Any noise. And he usually gets his wish -- this office is too quiet for me to be able to concentrate most of the time. But he brings chips in with his lunch. And he eats at his desk.
And since this place is usually crypt-like in its quietness, I hear every bite, every munch, every chew. Don't get me wrong; he's chewing with his mouth shut. But I can still hear it clearly, and it annoys me. (And now he's slupring his fucking soda. Wonderful.)
For some reason the sound of chewing grates on me. Don't know why. Lip-smacking and other stuff like that drive me half-nuts. But even just the munchmunchmunch of my neighbor's chips is an irritant. And he comes in early too, so he starts up right after Stinky Dude. So every day at around 11:30, I get to deal with this for half an hour:
*sniffsniff* "Hm, that smells pretty good. Wonder what it is..."
*rummmmmble* "Not yet, dammit, it's only 25 after."
*rummmmmble* "Erg. Still only 20 till."
[Repeat for at least 30 minutes.]
I know, I know. I pick awfully wierd things to get neurotic about. But we have a lunch room. A room where you're supposed to go to eat lunch. So you don't have to sit at your desk and make everyone else hungry. Or make them listen to you eat and slurp your drink. But these two (and nobody in this whole building, as far as I can tell) uses the thing.
Well, it's 12:00 now. I'm getting the hell out of here.
Update, half an hour later: Never let it be said that I'm not petty. I stopped by CVS on my way back from lunch and grabbed a large bag of Reese's Pieces.
June 24, 2003:
Saw a fairly old page the other day called "Things Creationists Hate." Basically, it's a bunch of evidence that humanity did, in fact, evolve from earlier forms of life, and that the dirtball we call home really is more than 6000 years old.
One of the indirect proofs mentioned in favor of evolution (which I'll admit wouldn't mean much if it was the only evidence) is that, bipedalism aside, we're still apes. We have fourth molars that don't fit in our mouths. Why? 'Cause apes have them. Our jaws have shrunk over the millennia, but the number of teeth hasn't.
I got to thinking about that after my "dental fun" entry. Fifty-thousand years ago, there was an advantage to not growing a fourth set of molars -- you wouldn't wind up with misaligned teeth and a fair amount of pain. Now, with dental surgery we can solve the problem easily. In the caveman days, a near-sighted hunter wouldn't be much use. Other members of his tribe/clan would take care of him, but since he'd be basically useless he probably wouldn't have much of a chance to mate. Now we have glasses, and some of us think that people who wear them look smarter.
Which lead me to this: Have we stopped human evolution? Since we can correct so many imperfections, there's no selection pressure for or against -- a diabetic has just as great a chance of having children as a non-diabetic. Would any genetic aberration allow a person a better chance to reproduce? In x millions of years, will we still be Homo sapiens sapiens?
Will it matter if we still are? After all, we've reached the point where we can adapt our environment to suit us, not the other way 'round, at least to a degree.
Or, what if we start trying to steer evolution? Shutting off the gene that makes wisdom teeth doesn't seem like a bad idea, and I don't think there would be any arguments about counteracting sickle-cell anemia, but where's a good place to stop? Is making a world full of Yao Ming-sized people OK? Or people who can metabolize food quickly and thus aren't as likely to become overweight?
Let's go farther: What if we could add in the genes that allow chameleons to blend in with their surroundings. I bet the Marines would love that. We could add the antifreeze compound that some species have that keeps their tissues from becoming damaged when they're frozen -- imagine the boon that would be to cryogenics. What if parents who wanted to raise a master piano player could deliberately cause polydactylism -- perfect for some whacked-out chords.
How far could we go, and still consider ourselves human? Are we human if that's the base model we start with, regardless of how much futzing we do? Are we human as long as we can create non-sterile offspring with some baseline, archetypical human? Who gets to define what the archetype is? If we could find a way to repair the chromosomal damage caused by mitosis that leads to aging, we could basically become immortal. Would it even matter then?
As always seems to happen when I get philosophical, I have no clue. We don't even have to worry about it for quite a while, since screwing around with DNA is currently limited to lesser lifeforms like E. coli and lab rats. But one day we'll have to figure it out.
June 23, 2003:
After four hours and fifty-eight minutes, the Indians lost to the Pirates in 15, 7-6.
On a wild pitch.
(Think this post was dull? You shoulda been at the game.)
June 20, 2003:
Got in my car after work Wednesday afternoon, hit the auto-power window. *WhirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrCLUNK* "Uh-oh."
Well, it's screwed now. It had always sounded like it was on the verge of dying, and now it's dead. The window only goes about a third of the way up. So it's sitting happily in a garage waiting for someone to take a look at it Thursday.
This should be good and expensive :/
Update: Well, the window itself is cracked, and thus needs to be replaced. And since they had to order the thing I currently have a non-functional (but at least stuck in the up position) window. Dunno when they'll get it in; I'm guessing next Tuesday seems fair. Whee.
June 19, 2003:
Saw on the way in to work this morning that there's going to be a Bruce Springsteen concert at PNC Park this August. Sounds good, I thought. So I checked online and saw that every ticket in the stadium -- even the ones behind home plate in the mezzanine level, farthest from the stage in the outfield -- cost $75.
I'm thinking, No. Maybe if some of the tickets were about $40 cheaper, I'd go. I'm curious to see if they sell out the concert, though...
June 17, 2003:
Forty-five minutes and fifty-three seconds. That's how long it takes to transfer phone service and DSL from my old address to my new address. There's a good chance it won't take that long to load the truck on the morning of the 12th.
I wish there was a way, some secret code word, that would just say, "keep everything exactly as it is, just change the service address." 'Cause as it is now, I had to repeat statements like that about half a dozen times.
I just hope that for draining my cell phone's battery a third of the way I'll at least avoid the problems I had with my connection last summer.
June 16, 2003:
It's official; I've got an apartment for next month. Dropped off the lease and security deposit earlier this week. Now I have to pay for two apartments worth of rent in July :/
I'm moving a couple blocks over to the other side of the East Busway, into Shadyside. Rent's going up, but I have a nicer apartment to show for it: No cat-pee stink, no water seeping in, no landlord who thinks repairs are optional. A little smaller, but I'll take it gladly to be out of here.
Oh, I also have a dishwasher (no more dish Jenga!) and a garbage disposal (no more funny-smelling kitchen trash can!). That extra $125 a month doesn't sound so bad now, does it?
Anyway, I'll be moving in mid-July so there may be a minor hiccup in new entries then. Kinda doubt it though, since I'll be able to post from work.
Ugh. Three years, three apartments. Plus schlepping office stuff in December '01. I'm really sick of hauling boxes around.
June 13, 2003:
Well, well, well. Looks like Mario Lemieux is threatening to move the Penguins out of town if the city doesn't promise him a new arena in the next two months. "This club is a free agent in 2007" at the end of its contract to use Mellon Arena, he said.
What a dumbass. Hey, Mario, take a look around: Those nifty stadiums along the Allegheny were built with state money 'cause nobody wanted those, either. And now the state's having money troubles. Have you been reading the paper about how the bus system is running millions in the red due to Rendell slashing the state money coming in? Have you noticed that the tax base here is less than half of what is was 30 years ago? Did you see how the city is thinking of doing asinine things like a drinks tax or multiplying the occupational tax by a factor of 10 to make ends meet?
And you honestly expect us to fall over ourselves to build a new arena for one of the worst teams in the league when you can't even fill the one you've got now? Well, enjoy whatever poor city has to suffer through more of the Pens' losing seasons. 'Cause I doubt you'll be missed here.
June 12, 2003:
(Tuesday, June 10th)
Finally got the post and temporary cap done today, five months after the root canal. Things didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped.
First, there was a good thing disguised as a bad thing -- the dentist actually touched the nerve when he was giving me the novocaine shot. This is good, since that means the nerve will get 100% of the anesthetic (I'm still very numb more than three hours later), but bad in that it felt like every tooth on the left side of my lower jaw was going to explode.
(Oh, and it's a little bad also because I can't really have lunch until I de-numb a bit. Wouldn't want to walk around work covered in Chinese food or something.)
The post work went well, although when I saw the screw that they use to secure the filling to the jaw (since the tooth itself is dead), I half-expected Norm Abram to come in and install it. This friggin' thing was huge.
Measuring for the cap went well, too. Installing the temporary acrylic one was the problem.
See, my mouth is much too small for my jaw. This is true in most humans, which is why almost all of us have to have our wisdom teeth (fourth molars) removed, but I'm even worse. The tissue at the back of my mouth basically runs right up to the surface of the third molar (where the root canal was done) instead of leaving more of the tooth's back exposed. Which meant that to make a place for the cap, some of the tissue had to be removed.
Quite bloody, as you might have guessed. I'm tasting just a tiny bit of metallicness, meaning it hasn't quite healed over yet. Hopefully I don't swallow too much blood; that's a good way to make yourself lose lunch. Odds are, that part of my mouth's gonna be a little tender for a few days.
But now I can chomp down on a pretzel without worrying about destroying the work that I've had done. Just not right now.
Update, next day: After all this time, it's kinda weird not having to have to dig a small snack out of that tooth after I finish a meal. A rather pleasant change, actually.
Update 2, Thursday: I wonder if I can get copies of the X-rays from the dentist -- that might make for a somewhat interesting entry...
June 11, 2003:
This was originally a page of its own. I have no idea why I did that. Since it ain't exactly new, I dropped it in on a Wednesday to avoid pushing back anything new.
I saw a page on zompist.com about what's wrong with Libertarianism. He makes some valid points, if you accept that the fringe is all there is to libertarians. Unfortunately, that's as accurate as saying everyone who ventures at all to the left of center is a communist. I think you can see where that would be inaccurate.
Libertarianism taken to its extreme is just as untenable as communism. Both fail because people are imprefect and greedy. (Other things too, but greedy is the biggest part of it.) In a communist society, everyone receives the basics of life in exchange for their work. No faith in the market, total faith in the government. Except that if someone gets paid regardless of work done, that person will do as little work as possible. Libertarianism is the polar opposite. No faith in the government (in the extreme case, no government at all) and total faith in the market. Again it fails -- the perfect end result is sometimes a monopoly (or an oligopoly with very few corporations controlling supply, identical to a monopoly in all but name) and that causes a great deal of harm.
Well then, why would I say I'm a Libertarian? Because I feel that for the most part it is the correct way of going about things. We just need to make corrections -- as few as necessary -- to prevent abuses. This means that on economic issues I tend to sound like a Republican. On social issues I sound very much like a Democrat. Unfortunately no other party I know of matches that mix very well, so Libertarian it is.
The economic portion of Libertarianism states that the market is the best provider of goods and services, and that the government will do the same thing poorly. In cases where there is profit available this is usually true. All we really need are rules to prevent monopolies (and price-fixing in the case of oligopolies) and force individuals at corporations to be accountable to both the shareholders (i.e. owners) and their employees (hello, Ken Lay!).
How do we go about this? I don't know. I'm not an economist or a business major. The post-Enron legistlation sounds like a step in the right direction, but my gut tells me it also doesn't go far enough. We also have monopolies that the government allows, proving how poor monopolies are -- Amtrak is a shining example. Not only is it a monopoly, it's a government-run monopoly. Double-whammy.
Oligopolies also rule the roost. Ever notice how all the gas stations in town raise their prices on the weekends, even though crude oil's price hasn't changed a cent? Welcome to price fixing, ladies and gentlemen.
There's probably a lot of fine-tuning that would need to be done, trying to find the balance between the free market and government oversight. And there are other, smaller rules that I don't go into here. No monopolistic behavior and No screwing your employees are the two basic rules.
Unions are a tough case: I agree with them in principle -- namely the principles they were founded on the better part of a century ago. A fair amount of work for a fair pay. Who can argue with that? I sure can't.
But the way unions currently operate leaves a lot to be desired. They seem less interested now in securing their workers' rights than they are in political prick-waving. Forcing employers to pay more than the market can bear and committing violent acts against non-union workers and those who hire them don't exactly endear today's unions to me.
Again, I have lofty ideals but no easy answers. Obviously nobody should be forced to join a union, and no employer should be forced to hire people for more than they're worth to the company. And I don't think that near-riot behavior can be mistaken for acceptable. But where does taking the unions' power away infringe on their original purpose? I have no idea.
Some things can only operate at a loss, and businesses are right to avoid them. Things like unemployment compensation and welfare, schooling, national defense and law enforcement don't make money; they only spend it. But we need all of them.
And that's why we have a government. That's a good thing -- we need an educated populace, we need to assist people who are out of work, and we need to protect ourselves from our enemies and (sometimes) each other. The government is the only entity that can do these things, because the government doesn't have to sell people anything to get their money from them. I think just about anyone can agree that taxes are worthwhile in this case.
But the government also needs to spend the money wisely. To keep their yearly costs down, many government agencies (think about your state's Department of Transportation) contract out their work to the lowest bidder. Unfortunately, this year-to-year view costs more in the long run because it doesn't factor in money and time needed for early repairs due to lower-quality work and materials.
Thing is, there's so much bureaucracy in place that it would take years to sort out what's what.
Now for the biggie: Social Security. The inter-generational Ponzi scheme. Forget "lockboxes" and half-hearted attempts at reform; this program needs serious work.
Even with all the stock market problems, I believe that people should be allowed to take a mandatory deduction from their paycheck and invest it as they wish. Savings bonds, T-bills, 401(k) accounts, I don't care how. But what passes for the government's repayment plan is a joke and should be abolished. Pay out to the people who paid in, of course, and make partial replayments directly to a taxpayer's investment account of choice depending on age for the rest. But end this nonsense before it gets any more broken.
Another case where the market alone doesn't work out like we'd want it to. Simply being "green" doesn't guarantee profits because the company in question usually has to charge more for its products and services. Yep, we need an EPA. Maybe not in its current form, but it is useful.
Industry causes pollution. It can't be helped. But we can try to minimize its impact and I think that's a good idea, when the economy's in good shape. When the economy's hurting, though, I don't think it's a good idea to pile on more environmental laws.
The way most environmental legislation works is that it's slowly brought in to play -- reduce CO2 emissions by 5% this year, another 5% the next year, and so on. This works pretty well; it lets companies spread out the necessary R&D and implementation costs. My only change would be to temporarily suspend the increases during a recession. Not roll them back, mind you -- the money's already been spent so there's no good in letting things get worse -- just delay the next increase.
There should also be a scientific review of proposed legislation before it goes into effect. Too often we jump in based on a gut feeling instead of thinking things through. And it cuts both ways: Drilling in ANWR is dumb, if for no other reason than there's not a lot of oil there and it'll take years to gain access to it.
Here's where I swing from the far right to the far left. Don't watch; you may get dizzy.
The major focus of my take on social issues is affirmation of individual rights and curtailing of government "rights." You wanna snort your paycheck? Be my guest. You want to beat people up? Prepare for a trip to jail.
Your rights stop where someone else's rights start. That pretty much takes care of just about anything someone might do; all we need is to establish the proper penalties for violations.
What rights do these include? For starters you can marry anybody you want. Male, female, both, neither; have a blast. There is no need for "life-partner benefits" -- if you want someone on your insurance, go marry him/her/it.
On the topic of marriage, do it as often as you want. If your first wife doesn't mind you starting a harem, then feel free to do so. Just remember that you now have to support both wives and any children they have with you. Oh, and don't expect the wives to limit themselves to one husban, either. And, as marriage is a contract, you do need your S.O.'s permission to bring home your co-S.O.
Can't get any? Want to pay for sex? Be my guest. Like any small business-person, hookers will have to follow standard rules for transactions.
You may want to see the results of an STD test before you charge that hummer...
Congratulations for making it this far. I know, my writing style leaves a lot to be desired and I have lots of ideas but no plans. But it's at least a start.
June 10, 2003:
Just shooting the breeze earlier today at work, I said something along the lines of "I've never let the fact that I don't know what I'm talking about stop me."
I'm thinking this may be why people don't like talking politics with me...
June 09, 2003:
That's right folks, it's another edition of "Jason's Mind Won't Leave Him Alone." Strap in, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
At what point does failure become a way of life? Or, to the point, when did it become my way of life? I've become so certain of failure that most of the time I don't even bother trying.
Three years ago, when I was in the middle of my time at Brady, I was cocky as all hell. And I knew almost nothing about Web Development. I had just learned ASP and put together my first attempt at a project -- an automated version of the job assignment board we had -- and we used it for all of two weeks before ditching it in favor of something else.
That didn't really bother me though. I mean, I was pissed that I'd sunk that much time into something to have it tossed out, but it wasn't my programming that was the problem. So, I carried on.
Fast forward to the spring of '02, when I lost my job. I actually didn't start looking for work right away. I didn't even sign up for unemployment until more than a month later. I was that sure I could get a job quickly.
Then I went on a couple interviews and got the same thanks-but-no response. I wasn't some punk kid fresh out of college; I did some pretty heavy stuff at Brady. Sure I had help, but that was just a consideration of time constraints.
So why wasn't I hired? I don't think I was asking for too much money; in fact I'm pretty sure that I'm still underpaid, just not as badly. And I know that some of the money being paid for me is probably staying at Tek, since they're technically the ones I work for. (I didn't ask, but I assume that's the way it has to be -- otherwise they wouldn't be able to stay in business.)
By process of elimination, that must mean there's something wrong with me, right? I'd go on an interview, I'd think it went great, and I'd never hear back. I kinda got used to it in a way.
I didn't expect to get the job at Equitable. I thought the interview went horribly, and the guy I interviewed with was a total cypher. To tell the truth, I stll don't know why they picked me over the other people they talked to. But I'm trying really hard to justify the money they're spending on me, and hoping they don't realize their mistake.
In just 13 months I got so used to failing that now that I have a job I wonder of there was some sort of mistake. When I go to bed at night, sometimes I expect to wake up with no job and a kitchen with nothing in the cupboards but ramen. I just can't shake it.
And that's at something I know I'm good at, and after only a year. Imagine how much of a wreck I'd be if it's something I wasn't sure I could do, and it had been going on for more than a decade. How neurotic could I possibly be then?
Well, if you've seen me around a cute girl, you know. I have never been able to talk to women easily. I'm always afraid of saying something stupid. So I either freeze up and don't say anything, or I babble like a fool and wind up saying something really stupid. Go, me.
Around women who are unavailable, or who I'm not interested in, I think I do OK. I mean, they don't recoil in horror when I look like I'm about to say something, but maybe they're just being polite. I've been told by more than one person, just pretend they're not available. Then the pressure will be off. Sorry, I don't have that vivid of an imagination. I tried it; I can't do it.
When I talk about my hang-ups with women, I usually say I got shot down in high school a lot, and that's the source of my problem. Unfortunately it's nothing but a convenient lie. I asked out maybe two girls while I was at East, and that's if you allow an extremely generous definition of asking a girl out. My problems really date back much farther than that, and I don't even know for sure what their root causes are.
Sadly enough, this is who I am. I can't count the number of times I've decided that I'm just going to say the hell with it and talk to some girl, only to wimp out once again. "Well, just be confident," I've been told. "Women like confident men." You know what I hear when somebody says that to me? "Just don't bother concerning youself with getting laid, 'cause it ain't gonna happen." Yeah, thanks for cheering me up, bucko. I'll just go weep quitely in the corner if you don't mind.
To tell the truth, I hate having these conversations with people. Because they always try to do it in an "I did it, so can you" type of way. Except I've already seen that I can't do it, so I just come out of there feeling lower than a dog turd. In fact, if I could turn off comments I would, since all anybody's "help" would do is further ingrain the sense of failure I already feel.
Y'know, when I was living over in Greenfield I had my own little world. I got up, I went to work, I came home, I watched TV, I went to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. I didn't have a girlfriend, but I didn't really know what I was missing. I knew in the general sense, of course. But I didn't have many particular aspects of my life I could point to and say "this would be better if I had a woman in my life."
Then I moved over to Negley. And now I can tell what I'm missing out on. And all these doubts that I'd hidden away have come back. Because I want this, and I don't for the life of me see any way I can make it happen.
I can't remember how the topic of conversation drifted over to me and women, but not too long ago while I was haging out with that girl it did. And she was doing the whole "I changed, so can you" spiel, while I tryed to convince her that people just can't up and change who they are.
I don't know if the look she gave me was disgust, pity, or both. But it's one I don't care to be on the receiving end of ever again from anybody.
Christ, I can't belive I wrote this. Or that you slogged through it all. I'm sorry, I really am. I probably sound like some whiny teenage LJer, just without all the 1337-5p34k. But if it makes you feel any better, I'm done bitching and moaning now. So maybe I can get some sleep.
June 06, 2003:
I just wrote check number 666 to the credit card company. Only DFAS would've been better-suited for it.
June 05, 2003:
I'm working on a small project, cleaning up someone else's scripts and database. It's using PHP and Access. (Yes, PHP can use Windows ODBC. It just sucks a lot.) I'm using SQL that's been standard since 1988, and Access is choking all over it and giving an unintelligible error.
God, I hate Access.
Update: Finally got it figured out; there's a type of INSERT statement that Access just can't do. Breaking it into many little statements works fine, although it creats more server overhead. Ah well. It's humming along fine now; in fact the people who couldn't register yesterday have all registered today!
Jason 1, Shitty MS DB App 0
June 03, 2003:
Those golf lessons are paying off a little bit. Cut 10 strokes off my game playing over Memorial Day, and managed to get my good-shot ratio up to about 50-50 at the simulator today. Kinda fun; no lost balls to worry about and they exaggerate the size of the ball on the screen so you can actually follow its flight.
Maybe after the last two lessons I'll be within a decent range of par. Or at least the other people I'm golfing with.
June 02, 2003:
Dear God/Mother Nature/Illuminati/Whom It May Concern,
OK, it's June 1st (for another few minutes anyway)... could we get nighttime temperatures that aren't in the low 40s please?
Thanks a ton,