Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holidays, a recap.

Well, I suppose I should give an overview of the last week since I've been putting it off (i.e. recovering) for the last few days. heh

I wrangled it so that I had a few days in a row that I could spend doing little or nothing on project work (mostly because everyone else is out of the office too) and spent a few days with Karyl.

The drive up, which normally takes an hour and a half or so took almost three due to freezing rain hitting when I was within 20 miles of her place. Thankfully I was driving through a suburb at the time and not on the outerbelt, so I didn't have to deal with idiots trying to drive at normal highway speeds in the ice. As an added plus, it was one of the nicer suburbs (one of the top 100 places to live in 2007), so the other drivers were all fairly great about letting each other change lanes, etc.

After I arrived, that evening and the next day were filled largely with catching up, watching movies, and generally enjoying each other's company. It was a nice change of pace from the insane stress we've both been dealing with over the last several months.

At some point during all of this, her DSL finally got hooked up, so I spent a little while getting that set up. We never did get Earthlink's email program to actually transfer out her messages through any sane means, though. I even tried to get it to use imap with a gmail account so the messages would replicate to the gmail's servers and we could just set up thunderbird to snag them all with pop3.

Earthlink's mail program just stuck its tongue out at me. It wasn't a huge deal; just frustrating.

Christmas morning saw us getting up at about 6am to get ready to go to her parents' house. This is, I think, a form of torture for me at the moment because I've been used to working until about 3am for the last couple of years, so I was sort of zombie-like until after breakfast.

According to her parents, it's nothing compared to what she and her sister used to do as kids - waking them up at 3am to open presents. Apparently they've been getting this as payback for years lol

Presents were opened (after hearing about mine and how much I like it, her mother got her father a gps), lunch was had, Christmas Vacation was watched, and we finally piled back into the car to return to her place where I helped put together her new office chair.

A few hours later, due to weather forecasts (the possibility of more freezing rain) and the knowledge that traffic on the 26th would be a nightmare, I started my drive back. Thankfully it only took about 1:45 this time, and traffic was light in the direction I was headed.

Totally exhausted from the trip (I only got about 6 hours sleep over the course of 3 days), I ended up crashing for 10-11 hours that night and still woke up tired lol

In fact, I think I'm still recovering...

All in all, it was a nice trip despite the weather. In addition, I have to say that I think I'm falling in love with my gps.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Ghost in the Shell SAC - Living Inside the Shell

Monday, December 22, 2008

I don't think you understand what that word means

It seems that Google is giving all of its employees an unlocked android phone as a year end bonus (along with the extra money to cover the taxes on said bonus).

Okay, so they're dogfooding their employees on this one. It's not as good as the cash they usually give, but it's still a $400 phone that can be used with any provider.

However, I have a problem with part of this. From the same article is a portion of an internal email from management to the employees which sort of gets me:

Q: Can I resell my phone?
Googlers should not resell any item given to them by Google. Please review our Personal Transactions policy [removed].

Sorry, folks, but it doesn't work that way. You gave them the phone as a taxable part of their salary (and to prove that, you are including enough money to cover the taxes for it in their check by your own admission). That means that you basically have zero say in what they do with it.

You transfered the property and the ownership of said property to someone else. You no longer have control over it. That would be like me selling someone a house and telling them that they couldn't put blue carpet in it.

Or, more to the point, paying someone for their work and then telling them what they have to use their paycheck on. Sorry, but that doesn't wash.

Yet another reason I'm glad I ended up telling the folks at Google I wasn't interested.

Current mood: cold (hey, it's freaking freezing here)
Current music: Shooter - Life's a Bitch

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This post brought to you by the letters W, T, and F.

The Republicans in this state are trying to push through a law that would shrink the early in-person voting period from 35 days before election day to 20 days. Their reasoning is that the week long period in which people can register to vote and actually vote in the same day invites fraud.

I can sort of agree with the thought that that might be a problem, but somehow I doubt that is the real reason they're doing it considering the turnout of new voters (most of which probably voted Democrat).

However, that isn't the point of this post. The point of this post is the reaction from one of the locals on the forums for this town's paper. The following is the full comment (user name withheld). It contains no editing for content, grammar, spelling, etc.

"Oh, now that the Democrats stole the election they can change the rules back. I see how it is. A Republican can't buy a break. I wish George W. Bush would declair that he can't step down as President and just keep going until his Brother wants to take over. This country was just getting over the economic mess the Clintons made of our Nation and now we are about to be sent back into it by another Tax and Spend Democrat. Maybe I should go back to school and learn how to give abortions since that is all the jobs that will be left."

First off, this person wants Bush, the man who has trashed civil rights left and right and run this country into the ground as a *dictator*??

Secondly "the economic mess the Clintons made of our Nation"? You mean that period of time when we had a budget surplus and low unemployment? If that's a mess, I'll take that any day of the week, thanks. He can have all the willing interns he likes as well as long as his wife is fine with it (the locals think that is worse than what Bush has done. Seriously).

To be honest, most of the presidents have probably had all of the willing interns that they've wanted anyway.

I'd recommend the poster go back to school, but more in the hopes that he might get some of that "liberal brainwashing" that they claim goes on at schools (and especially colleges).

I'm not even going to go into stolen elections where Bush is concerned.

Good grief.

Current mood: my head hurts
Current music: Machines of Loving Grace - Butterfly Wings

Just because I feel the need to say it.

I love you very much and I miss you.

Current mood: ...
Current music: Nickelback - If Everyone Cared

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dear Dr Dobb's…

Tis the season – the time for planning gatherings with family and friends, buying presents, and pondering the greater meaning of life.

It’s also the end of the fiscal year for some places I deal with which means in addition to planning a holiday with Karyl, I’m getting requests like “We’re over budget for the rest of the year. Can we bump the payment date a few weeks?” and “We need to use the rest of our budget before the end of the year so we don’t lose it next year. Can we start the billing cycle a little early?”

Neither of those are things I really have a problem with. Most of my clients have been really great about paying on time, so it’s not a big deal. It just makes life a little crazy for the last few weeks of the year.

Consequently, I just got to yesterday’s mail this evening. That’s right, everything that wasn’t either a bill, a check, or something immediately recognizable as having come from a friend was put into a pile on the side of my desk until I had time to give it a glance.

One of those things was the latest issue of Dr Dobb's.

The moment I looked at it, I had to suppress a giggle because there was a mistake on the front cover. In large, bold letters, in order to announce its feature article, it read:

“Functional Programming: Has It’s Ship Come In?”

That’s right. The editors at one of the best regarded programming magazines apparently don’t know the difference between “It’s” and “Its”.

So, if any of the staff of Dr Dobb's read this blog (unlikely, but weirder things have happened), drop me a line via email or give me a call at the number listed on my homepage should you like to hire a new editor.

After all, I have worked in the IT field for a number of years, have been the executive editor of a magazine read by 500,000+ people worldwide and, most importantly, I know the difference between “It’s” and “Its”. =]

Current mood: amused
Current music: Feeder - Shatter
Slice of Life.

Sometimes there are conversations that just have to be shared for the amusement factor. This is a snippet of one of those between my girlfriend, Karyl, and myself carried out via email while we were both taking a break from working.

Karyl: What kind of chocolate have YOU been eating? lol
Me: The chocolate of the innocent :P
Karyl: Who do you know that bleeds chocolate and where can I find them? :P
Me: They're really rare. They were especially prized by the Mayans and Aztecs, so they went into hiding...
Karyl: Find me a colony of them. I might just have to turn vampire. :P mmm chooocolate.

Monday, December 01, 2008

GPS Fun.

Over the last few days, I've been playing with my new GPS. Among other things, I've had great fun looking through the local points of interest.

It's taught me a few things. Among them:
  • There are 3 libraries in this town including the genealogy library (I already knew this, but I wasn't sure where the other two were).
  • There are 20 banks/atms within 6.1 miles of where I currently am.
  • There are 52 churches within 6.1 miles of my current location.
Think about that for a second. There are 3 libraries in the whole town, but within just 6.1 miles of where I am sitting right now, there are 52 churches. That says a lot about this area.

Then I started noticing the names of some of the churches.

The First Church of God - That's a little pretentious don't you think? I mean, honestly...

Chillicothe Bible Church
- I wasn't aware that this town had it's very own bible, but that might help to explain some of the really screwed up parts of the worldview around here. They probably took out all of the love thy neighbor stuff and added in more than a little extra fire and brimstone...

And my favorite of the ones I saw...

Deliverance Baptist Church - I kind of wonder if there's a kid playing banjo outside the door and if sermons start with "Boy, you've got a pertty mouth..."
(I can make those jokes. I grew up around an area that could have inspired that movie...)

Though I have to say that none of the names are as good as the one that has to be my favorite.

About 10 miles or so from where I grew up, sitting at the side of a road I used to drive to go to one of my favorite fishing spots, was a little church. It wasn't always a church. In fact, it started out its life as a one room schoolhouse, but it had been a church for quite some time by the time I was born.

But yes, it was a tiny little church with a hand painted sign - The Holy Ghost Filled Church of Jesus Christ.

The name has since changed, and I wish I had gotten a photo.

My second favorite church name had to be one in my hometown. It was called The Church on the Move. The only problem is that, as long as I knew it was there, it never seemed to go anywhere unless it was like Baba Yaga's hut and grew chicken legs to run around the town with while everyone was asleep...

I somehow doubt it, but you have to admit that a church running around town on a set of chicken legs is sort of a fun mental image. Especially if there were unsuspecting people inside at the time *giggles*

Current mood: Tired but ammused
Current music: New Order - Crystal