Archive of October, 2003
October 31, 2003:
Now go eat some candy.
October 30, 2003:
Traffic was backed up on Smallman driving into work Wednesday morning, beyond 17th St. Must've been an accident, I thought, and resigned myself to being late for work so I could see what had traffic so fouled up. 'Cause nothing makes up for being late like seeing a guy get put into two ambulances to be carted away.
(Un)fortunately it was more mundane than that. One of the 16th St. Bridge underpasses was closed down so they dould work underneath the deck, and traffic had to do the wait-your-turn thing through the one remaining lane.
Now I realize the work had to be done, but anyone with a brain would've seen the smarts behind waiting until after rush hour ended.
October 28, 2003:
Since I'm on contract I don't get any more than the bare minimum of paid holidays. Thus when Equitable gets the day off, I don't get paid for that day unless it's a "big" holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Anything else (day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, etc.) I have to work extra hours to make up the time for, or take a short paycheck.
I try to only work an hour of overtime at a time, since OT was one of the things I really disliked before. Well, today I found out that Equitable also takes off Veteran's Day, adding another eight hours to the pile. Working an hour of overtime per day, I don't get to leave at 5:00 until the middle of December.
October 27, 2003:
If you play the Chiefs, don't score a safety on them. All it does is piss them off.
October 24, 2003:
How did I spend my birthday? By watching three and a half hours of Blackadder.
October 23, 2003:
Three more years until Net Nanny censors my birthday :)
October 21, 2003:
The highs and lows of being a Browns fan: They beat the Steelers by 20 and lose to two winless teams, all in the span of a month. All we have to do is tell them they can't beat New England, and maybe they'll pull another 33 points out of their collective ass.
October 20, 2003:
October 17, 2003:
There's a Chinese food place I go to a couple times a week for lunch. Typical family operation by the look of things. I overheard a conversation today between the woman who takes the orders and the guy who does the cooking (husband and wife probably?) and realized: The guy has the same voice as the Chinese food guy from Rush Hour.
So for the rest of my lunch hour, I just kept hearing "I no punk bitch! You punk bitch!" over and over in my head.
October 16, 2003:
The world is in no danger of ending.
October 14, 2003:
They're making a movie out of Red Dwarf. I wonder if this means that Hol won't just be a guy in a black turtleneck against a black background...
October 13, 2003:
Finally got fed up with my Sprint phone's lousy reception, so I bought a phone off Amazon. After rebates the phone itself was free, so it's not too big a deal there.
Now I just have to buy the cable that connects the phone to my USB port, so I can use it as a camera. Note, 10/14: Which apparently doesn't exist. How the fuck can you expect everybody to have an IR port or Bluetooth? Hell, most people don't even know what Bluetooth is, let alone have a computer capable of using it. There's no way in hell I'm buying a piece of hardware just to download pictures. Guess I don't get to use the phone as a camera afer all. Goddamnit.
October 10, 2003:
I've got the client's server machine sitting in my living room next to my own POS. The client isn't exactly on the ball computer-wise, so I was just expecting a normal mid-tower or full-tower machine; but they went all out and got a nice-looking Dell. Five (apparently) hot-swappable drives, RAID, 1GHz P3 (not bad for being a couple years old), and two power supplies with fans that sound like Pratt & Whitneys and probably cycle all the air in my apartment every 20 minutes. I was half-expecting the lights to dim when I cranked that sucker up.
Right now I'm putting Windows 2000 Server on it; I may take a stab at Mandrake or Red Hat Linux once I make sure the Windows partition is working all right. On the one hand, installing Linux pretty much guarantees me some maintenance work; on the other installing Windows means I can just tell the client to run the updater once a week and not spend 20 minutes driving back and forth for 5 minutes of work.
October 09, 2003:
Now, I'm happy that the sicko got caught, but what worries me is how:
Officials at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which made the arrest, said Seljan had been tagged after a routine inspection of outbound foreign mail had turned up incriminating correspondence and parcels he was sending abroad.
Now, I may not be an expert on the laws regarding mail, but how can the US government "inspect" outgoing mail without probable cause at the very least? I realize that privacy may not be protected at the other end, and that anything strange could be reported back to the country of origin, but from the wording in the article it looks a lot like the guys at Immigration and Customs just decided to read this guy's mail for shits and grins.
This strikes me as even worse than what air travelers have to go through -- at least the monkeys at the TSA have to see something odd on the X-ray before they break into your luggage. This just seems like too much.
October 07, 2003:
Well, I'm pretty sure I won't have to hear that stupid "Here We Go" song this year. That alone makes the Browns' victory Sunday night worthwhile.
Side Note: Not worthy of its own entry, but check this out. You'll be glad you did.
Side Note #2: I give you the Tuesday Morning Quarterback's take on the game:
Tis Better to Have Rushed and Lost Than Never to Have Rushed At All: Trailing the Cleveland Browns (Release 2.1) 23-10 early in the third period, the Steelers faced third-and-one on the Cleveland 32. The home crowd was roaring at military-afterburner decibels; Pittsburgh staged a big comeback against the Browns the last time the teams met; there was almost a full half remaining in the game. Plus, this is the part of the field where logic dictates that you go for it on fourth down. So did the Steelers pound, pound for the almost-certain first?
You know what they did.
TMQ's reaction: "aaaiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeee!"
Tommy Maddox dropped back to pass, and it wasn't a 1960s-Packers-style attempt to hit the home run; no, some guys ran quick dodge routes designed for short gains. The Pittsburgh Steelers, playing at home, thought they had to throw a short junky pass because they could not run for one single yard against the team that just allowed Jamal Lewis the NFL's best-ever rushing day. Ye gods. That the pass was intercepted and returned for a Browns' touchdown, breaking open the game, was the direct intervention of the football gods: This pass-wacky moment could not have gone unpunished.
The Football Gods Chortled: The Steelers faced fourth-and-two on the Browns' 38, trailing 16-3. This is the part of the field where logic dictates that you go for it. Pittsburgh lined up, and Tommy Maddox used a "hard count" to try to get the Browns to jump offsides. The hard count made the Steelers jump offsides. Pushed back to fourth-and-seven, Pittsburgh punted and a scoring opportunity was lost.
Was it the football gods, or is Maddox just not that good? And does it matter?
October 06, 2003:
The Browns beat the Steelers in the Sunday Night game 33-13, during which time I screamed myself hoarse. I'm not sure how much of my voice I'll get back before work tomorrow, so the guys at Equitable may be spared my gloating :)
Oh, and if you were watching the game on ESPN, when they came back from one of the commercials in the first half they showed us at the bar. There was a row of guys in the background sitting at a table who stood up and gave each other high-tens (this was after the touchdown that led to the break). The heavyset balding guy who was wearing the #92 jersey was me. Not only did the camera add 10 pounds, it subtracted several hairs.
Anyway, I'm going to bed now. Hopefully I don't have too bad of a headache tomorrow.
October 03, 2003:
Turns out Rush Limbaugh quit his job at ESPN over some remarks he made before Sunday's games. That's a real shame. Y'see, I like Rush. He's like the Republican version of Michael Moore -- any time he opens his mouth you can be pretty certain he's going to make an ass out of himself. The two of them just seem to create some sort of cosmic balance.
As to his allegation that Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is only hyped because "the media" want to see a black quartberback do well, I'm calling BS on that one. McNabb gets press because the fans in Philadelphia (usually) like him. And if the fans in Philly like you, you're probably doing OK. Is he overhyped? Probably. But no more than half the other QBs in the league -- Kurt Warner anyone?
Anyway, one loudmouthed twit is gone from the show. Now all they have to do is get rid of the rest of 'em.
October 02, 2003:
This may or may not go against my decision never to talk about Brady again, but I think I can justify it as something that's still a problem today, so here goes.
While I was talking to my former co-worker earlier in the week, she mentioned that working at Brady tends to have a bad effect on people. Since I haven't had anything else for my brain to work on at home lately, I've been processing this for a couple days now.
She's right. I see where I do three different things related to my work that I really shouldn't do. And I'm pretty sure I can trace at least one of them back to my old job. The other two were already there, I think, and were just exacerbated by my 2½ years there.
I get defensive when I'm criticized. And it's not just negative criticisms either, I get pissy if someone doesn't phrase a positive criticism the right way. I remember doing that from time to time when I was in ROTC, but I start up almost at the drop of a hat sometimes. So far I've been lucky enough not to do it at work, but this client work I'm doing is with a friend of mine and I'm not exactly being professional about it.
Yes, this person is my friend and knows I'm not being a jerk (well, not any more than usual) but I still shouldn't be doing that. Just take the damn critique, analyze it and discuss. But somehow I manage to let things turn into a pissing contest. Odd thing is, I usually only act that way when I expect to get chewed out, which definitely isn't happening here. Can't explain it, but I would like to fix it.
I'm way too stubborn. I'll grant you that I was arrogant before I started working at Brady, but the "fine" art of steamrolling people I learned from John. All that stuff about communication and compromise? Forget it. I can be extremely conciliatory when I'm not 100% sure, but once I'm convinced I'm right, I might as well be having a religious argument. This is probably yet another reason people don't like talking politics with me.
And now the one that really bothers me. It's kind of tied to the "steamrolling" thing, but I let my temper show way too easily. Again, it comes out more on the freelance project than on the job, and my friend knows not to take offense, but I feel like the King of All Assholes when I do it. I used to be so much better at staying calm, but now I just opt for being a bastard. Wonderful.
Well, there you have it. Three stupid things that, when I do them all at once, I refer to as "being in John Mode." Not the worst or most noticable of my flaws, but the ones that are bothering me the most at the moment. Spotting them was easy enough. Fixing them's gonna be a bitch.
Note, 10/10/03: Got an e-mail from my sister this morning about this. Apparently I've had these things all along. Well, I s'pose my family would know best :) It does seem that they've been brought closer to the surface though.