Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I don't hate snow on principle. I am not a winter person, I don't ski or snowboard or whatever, so the hassles that come with snow seem even worse because I don't really see the positive side. I hate the byproducts that snow causes - driveway scooping, coldness, and idiot drivers (as a few examples).
Monday, December 7, 2009
I would highly suggest anyone with a Facebook account to set their language to "Pirate (English)."
It is pretty much the best thing about Facebook. What does it do, you ask?
Regular Facebook: "xxx became friends with xxx and thinks you may know them too".
Pirate Facebook "Arr! XXX became mateys with XXX! That landlubber thinks ye know xxx too. Spy this matey and send the name o' xxx out to other pirates. Follow the map below." BTW - the map is the link.
It cracks me up every time. It almost...almost...makes me like Facebook.
My absolute favorite part is in the options menu. "Mobile" is now called "Pocket Parrot." I think I may start calling my phone "pocket parrot" in real life.
I proudly fly the pirate flag in life.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Lack of Consistency (in computer programs)
I use a lot of Microsoft Office programs during the work day. I am not a Microsoft fanboy, nor am I am person who refers to them as Micro$oft. I think they have decent programs for the most part but I find it hard to really love or hate a company that makes utilitarian products.
I will admit that it the various programs do drive me a little crazy once in a while. My biggest pet peeve is that inconsistency in the features of the programs. I think if I get a program from the same manufacturer (in the same suite) that they should have similar options. I am not talking about the main function of the program - I don't expect MS Word to be a full database program, and I don't expect Access to be able to type letters. I am talking about the smaller things, the options that it seems would be easy to implement to allow all the programs to work similarly.
A few Examples:
- In Excel, there is the option where you can choose that you want to print your data X pages wide by X pages tall. This is pretty much the greatest thing when printing. To have the program automatically scale everything down to fit in my desired size is awesome, I use this all the time. Why can't I do this on Word? Why do I manually have to play with borders, line-spacing, and font size to get a letter that is just a few words over 1 page in length to print on one page? Why can't I have the button to click that says - "hey print this all on one sheet"?
- In Word, I can "Snake" columns of data, so that when it gets to the end of the page it continues the data in the next column on the same page. Why can't Excel handle this? It is a database program...why can't I specify that I want there to be 3 columns per page and I want the data to snake? Seriously, this would save so much time and paper.
- Excel can have cells with 32,000ish characters in them, a memo field in Access can have 63,000ish. Why can't these be the same? In fact, as they are, they don't seem to work have the time when exporting & importing. My data almost always gets trimmed to 255 "text" field characters. What is up with that? It should be much easier.
- I usually want my default views, my toolbars, and other defaults to be very similar between programs. Why can't I set a master toolbar that works for all MS Office programs and then have another program specific toolbar that contains more specific functions. Why do I have to go into each program and say that I want "New File, Open Close, Save, Save As, Print Preview, Quick Print" to show up on each program?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
No-Shave November exists for a few reasons
A) gives me a chance to hit snooze again in the morning, I hate getting up when the weather starts changing to winter.
B) gives me an excuse to look all scruffy (besides being totally lazy)
C) makes me appreciate shaving for a couple months afterwards
D) lets me see if I have matured into an adult male able to grow a beard.
I am calling an early end to No-Shave November (again). I have once again proven that I am incapable of growing decent looking facial hair, and would rather look clean shaving for the family holiday gathering. It also itches like crazy and makes it hard to sleep. Once again, I am a failure in life (even at my own, pretend holiday). Some day, maybe I will grow up to be a manly man who can grow a respectable beard, but it is not this day.
Goodbye scruffy, weak-ass beard...I will most likely kill you in the morning.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Every holiday season at my place of employment (Gubbyco, a division of Fuckyco International), we work with a local charity group to help provide gifts to underprivileged children. Human resources call them "Star Kids" because if you want to buy a gift for a child you are given a star shaped piece of paper with the child's name, age, interests, and gift ideas. I call them Gubby Kids.
This is where "Gubby" actually came from (in case you were wondering - I'm sure you weren't). The first year that I participated in the Star Kids program, my brother invited me to go out and do something one evening but I emailed him back saying "Can't got to go buy a present for my little, grubby kid." Of course I was joking, I know it is not the children's fault that they are growing up underprivileged (and I have loved the term grubby since local band Grubby Ernie). But I mistyped and it ended up 'gubby' instead of 'grubby.' That lead to a "What's gubby?" and I realised that it was too good of a word to forget about, so I adopted it. The real meaning of gubby is nothing, but yet it is like "smurf" and can match whatever context it is used it.
I have been a big supporter of the Gubby kid program over the years. HR usually calls me as soon as the Stars come in so that I can pick out my kids first. I want to make sure that I get kids that have good interests and tastes that don't just reflect the latest fads. I prefer creativity and books over dolls and video games. I like giving gifts that although the kids to use their mind's (because honestly, growing up underprivileged they probably don't have much more...and I know if I get anything that takes batteries that within a month they probably won't be able to play with it). I usually try to get one gubby boy and one gubby girl (at the minimum).
It used to be that the best toy wish would trump everything else. I like buying cool toys, books, art supplies. Those are the things that I would have wanted when I was a kid. I think Christmas should be about toys for the kids. Then Amanda The First had to come along and put social commentary into my gift buying by saying "You know, the kids that ask for clothes and other necessities probably REALLY need those items." That actually bothered me quite a bit because she was right. I loved buying the kids the coolest toys, books, art supplies but the ones that really needed a good Christmas were the ones that required necessities just to live life. Not just a toy to make them happy at Christmas time but coats to keep them warm all winter or clothing to wear to school. These were the kids that really needed help. I really don't enjoy buying those things though, so it seemed more like a chore than a fun activity. I now compromise and choose children that have both toys and other fun items as well as more necessity items on their wish list. This way, I still get to shop for smaller toys but also fulfill some requirements for living. So far, it has been working out well for me (hopefully for the children too).
I was a little disappointed with the boys this year though as it was mostly Transformers and Bakugan. I finally chose a young boy who wanted Hot Wheels and clothes. I wasn't crazy about the Hot Wheels but knew that I could find a couple small sets to go together to make a good experience and have money left over for clothing. I was really happy with my girl this year as she was a preteen who wanted science fiction and some school clothing. She was at the perfect age I think to really appreciate the Ugly series of books and a blossoming interest in sci-fi should be nurtured because I know she is probably getting all kinds of shit for being a dork at school. I hope they enjoy their gifts and hope they and all the rest of the underprivileged children have a really good Christmas.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I would like to make it known that I re-read The Catcher in the Rye a couple months ago. After giving some time to digest and mull over, I have decided that it is not nearly as bad as I thought. It has gone from "What a god awful piece of shit" to "It's OK, I can see how some people would like it." That is an improvement of vast proportions in my mind. A book has rarely made that type of leap before.
I still think it is way over-hyped. I still think Holden is boorish (CT actually gave me that description when I was re-reading it and it was perfect). However, I will no longer think people who love this book are idiots. I can see some of the charm and see why some people connect with it so well. I might even recommend it to someone in the future (although with a caveat "don't believe the hype")
Good job J.D. Salinger. I was wrong.
1as long as you don't count my love life, personal life, and work life
2I'm actually sitting - typing while standing is weird
3not a big deal at all
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This post is going to go in a little different musical direction than my norm. I am not much of a Rap type person. I've always been much more Rock, Metal, Punk, and even Classical and a little John Denver thrown in before rap type person. That's not to say that I don't enjoy some good rap every now and then. When I say good rap, there were two kinds of rap that I liked funny and not serious humor rap like the Beastie Boys or Hardcore rap in the vein of Public Enemy, NWA, and Ice-T. I always had a problem with the middle ground type of rap/hip hop because it was either forgettable or too corny for me to really like. I just couldn't take it seriously - like when they tried to re-invent Hammer as a Gangsta Rapper. I just couldn't listen to it. I either wanted something that was not serious at all and the artist new it or I wanted really hardcore stuff. I also liked artists who used to actually rap and not just go "Ugh" and shake their head like P.Diddy seemed to be up to all the time in the 90's. I'm also not a big fan of total digitally enhanced singing like Kanye (although I do love T.Pain on backups). I liked good word play and interesting music. In the late 90's and early 2000's it had been years since I had really listened to anything hip hop or rap related because nothing stuck with me. Maybe a little bit of Tupac, Snoop, and Eminem but mostly Rap was dead to me.
I am really only familiar with their debut CD - Twist the Knob. Not everything on it is a masterpiece but I find that I can listen to it all in a sitting very easily and not get bored (which is pretty rare for any rap/hip-hop album for me). It is one of those albums where I am constantly discovering new lyrics that I had overlooked and they always bring me new appreciation for the Prophets. Here are a few of my favorites off the album:
Girlfriend is the Best
So why am I am only familiar with their debut album? Well, I actually ordered their second album Bohemian Rap CD (which still makes me chuckle) when it first came out. I listened to it once and it disappeared. Completely. Gone. No sign of the CD, the case, or even the packaging that I received it in. It was kind of weird...I have lost CDs before, many times in fact, but this was strange as I could not even start to guess where it went. Usually I have some idea, whether I left if at work, accidentally dropped it out of a car, or loaned it to someone...I usually halfway know what happened to it. Marginal Prophets? No trace, the men and black must have come and repo'd it. It had too much power for this world. I need to buy it again but you don't mess with forces like that. What were my first impressions? Well that it was much more polished than their original. Truthfully, not sure if that was bad or good. I remember it being decent but nothing grabbed my attention but that is not rare for a rap album, my ear is just not attuned. I remember thinking it was pretty decent though (and it won a California Music Award for Outstanding Rap Album 2004). You can check out a couple tracks on the MP site.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I've said it many times before - I am just not a big fan of facebook. Don't get me wrong, it is decent when it is used correctly (solely judged by me on what I want to see). I don't mind when people post or update their status once or twice a day - and trust me, I don't know anyone interesting enough that I want to know more than that about their life. I don't care for your announcements that "It's Friday!" or that you feel the need to update me every 15 minutes on your day. I don't care! Keep it to the major stuff or keep the posts to a minimum. But that is not even the worst thing. I can not stand the apps that post stupid updates and messages. I don't care that you are level 246 in Mafia Wars, that you baked a souffle in Cafe World, or that you found a lost cow in Farmville. Not only do these kind of updates piss me off because I think they are pointless, but they make me think you are a loser. I love dorky stuff and really bad video games (I played through Sneakers twice after all)...but this stuff seems way too lame even for me. Twenty updates in a row about some stupid game is annoying and makes it so hard to find important info.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
I often don't know what year it is. I'm not stupid (OK, maybe) or that I can't remember the date. It's just that I spend of lot of my time at work forecasting sales of some 4000+ part numbers. I study trends, look over promotions, gauge customer support, judge product lifespans, etc... and then for about 2 weeks each month I enter the forecast into our system. This forecast is 6-12 months in the future, so I am constantly typing dates like 01/15/2010. After typing out 6 months worth of dates for 4000 part numbers, my brain starts to forget that it is actually 2009. It makes sense, 2010 has just been pounded into it 20,000 times, but it does make me feel like an idiot some times. I know it is 2009 after I think about it but my mind first jumps to 2010.
I often fear that I will faint, bump my head, or fall unconscious. Then upon being shaken awake by nearby people, someone will ask me what year it is to test my mental faculties and I will give the wrong year. Of course they will then think that I am crazy (or maybe I traveled back in time) and I will be locked away in some institution.
Just another reason why I suck.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
People Who Use Texting Slang/Shorthand in Business Emails
I am not a big fan of all the abbreviations and texting slang in the first place. I don't mind a LOL OMG, BTW, or WTF thrown in a personal message every once in a while but once they reach the point of IDK My BFF Jill levels I am completely turned off. However, there is no reason that this type of lexicon should be used in business emails.
It looks completely unprofessional. Even though you may be sending a message to someone internally (although I have seen it on external emails also), you never know when that message will be forwarded or CC to someone outside the company.
Personally, I find it more difficult to read...being slightly dyslexic, I've had to train my brain quite a bit to learn words. If you do not have any problems in this area you have no idea how much work it can be to decipher a message. "U'll" does not equal "You'll" in my mind very easily. Yes, I know they sound the same so my mind should quickly make the connection but my reading and writing doesn't work that way. It takes me much longer to read a shorthand message than regular writing. And writing it is just a disaster...I just can not do it, my mind has a specific set of rules and doesn't change or substitute well.
My usual response to someone who sends me an email asking me something with this kind of shorthand is "OMG, U must think Ai iz stoopid." (I've practised this one enough that I can pound it out fast). That is pretty much the only response I give until they ask me in an appropriate manner. The best part is that they won't even get half the time and keep sending me the same message.
It's not that I am completely against this form of shorthand. I think it is great for texting (although I still can't do it) because of its personal and informal nature, and limited space. Just remember there is a time and a place people. In the office is not it.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It is just not true. It is much easier to make an intersection safer by having a longer yellow light, then a pause between the traffic light turning red and the next light turning green. This will make intersections safer.
If the various police departments and cities would actually say that the Red Light Cameras are to help the police department make money, I would support them. Though my support would be with reservations because of the big brother and privacy issues. However it would be a truthful statement of purpose. It is much cheaper to have a camera citing people 24 hours a day than have a police officer sitting there.
Another thing that they should promote the cameras as doing is "Stopping the assholes who keep turning left even though their light has been red for quite a while." If they could stop this behavior with a camera and keep traffic flowing I would be a strong supporter. I can even name a couple intersections that need these cameras. Just yesterday, I was sitting at an intersection and my light changed to green but I didn't get to go for 90% of the light because people where still turning left in front of me. Out of the 10 cars waiting to go straight, two made it through the light because of these idiots. OK, I guess on second thought the cameras might make it safer because it would eliminate my increasing road rage desire to floor it and T-bone one these inconsiderate fuckers. It's not like this is a one time deal...it happens every time at a couple lights and it is getting worse because idiots imitate idiots when they see there is no repercussions.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
First and by far foremost, if I pledge or not you are still going to annoy me for the following two to four weeks. When I have donated in the past, it has driven me nuts that I still have to listen/watch the pledge drive crap. If there is some kind of technology that would get me back to regular programming without interruptions as soon as I pledged, I would pledge right away. Then I would be happily to miss lines like "They call it 'Breaking News' but the news isn't broke(sic) here at Iowa Public Radio." That made me want to stab people.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Dead Moines is a locally created horror flick. I wouldn't call it low budget but small budget definitely applies. I won't say it is the greatest thing that I have ever seen but it is definitely not the worst...in fact it was a million times better than 2012:Doomsday, a movie that Jessica wanted to watch the other night (yes, one of those low budgets trying to cash in on the interest and publicity of the big budget movie soon to be released...it received a 1.8 out of 10 stars on IMDB but I think that was generous).
Dead Moines was decent...pretty much what I would expect from a locally made (and amateur) production. It was definitely a great project for people to start honing their talents. Sure it had its share of issues that any small budget film has...but they never represented themselves as Hollywood professionals. You have to take this for what it was...a good starting point. It looked like a bunch of friends got together to make a movie. I really hope these guys continue to develop their skills because there was promise. Plus you always want to support your local artists, musicians, filmmakers, sports teams, restaurants, and strippers. Local is good, be part of the community
My one biggest complaint is that they didn't do a very good job of setting up the story...the story itself was OK, but they didn't set it up well. Basically, three friends from Des Moines go to Chicago for the weekend and when they come back home to DM everyone is missing. The problem is that they really didn't show Des Moines alive. There was basically one shot of children on swings and a scene where a neighbor lady walks past with her dog. The way it was shot, DM looked as dead before they left as when they came back. Could have used some shots of traffic, people walking downtown, people outside mowing their lawns, etc...
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Fine Print at the Bottom of Car Commercials
Have you ever read the fine print at the bottom of a car commercial? It is a bunch of total bullshit.
First of all, no matter what the car is doing...even just driving done a road, it is always "Professional Driver on a Closed Course." Is this implying that I shouldn't or couldn't drive this car down a road? I understand this warning when the car/truck is doing something extraordinary, doing stunts, crashing, or something other than the type of driving that I would expect to encounter. But it is now on every commercial. Every commercial. I want a car that normal people can drive well, not something that can only be handled by a professional.
Second, is that the vehicles shown always contain optional accessories or equipment. I don't mind them show this but they always promote the low price but show the expensive version. To me this is like going to McDonalds and having a picture of the Big Mac next to where it says "Hamburger $0.89" Yes, the Big Mac is a burger but it definitely not the burger that you are getting for 89 cents. Same with cars, your are not going to get what you see for the money they advertise. Larger engine, upgraded wheels, better suspension, upgraded sound system, leather seats, power windows & locks, special order paint color, added navigation, etc... And that is just some of the options that are added to commercials. If you want the car in the commercial you are going to have to thousands more than the price they advertise...you can increase the price of the the car by at least a third, maybe more. It is just ridiculous - I believe you should advertise what you get for the price given.
I know, I know, honest advertising is pretty much an oxymoron.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Picture By Ariy_Chan
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Mad Scientist courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and J.J.
I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I eat them at least once a week. Many people I know think this is weird since I am in my thirties. I guess they think it is childish or something...but I tell you that deliciousness has no age limit. I am not going to miss out on a great PB&J just because I think I am too sophisticated for it. It tastes great and I don't need any food snobs telling me otherwise.
I am a grape jelly person. It is a classic for a reason, it is awesome. I throw in some other flavors every once in a while to mix it up - appricot, orange marmelade, or cherry jelly all get a little bit of action but grape jelly is by far the most common partner for my peanut butter. It is just something that always works well. Every once in a great while, I am just not in the mood for jelly...grape or otherwise. This leads to experimentation. Past experiments have included:
- Peanut Butter and Fruit - any kind works well, but especially bananas or apples are good.
- Peanut Butter and Sugar - my mom made these for me as a kid - it is basically getting jelly down to its main component. Getting the right mix of sugar is tricky. Too much and it leaks out of the bread (and is really dry), too little and you don't really taste it.
- Peanut Butter and Cinnamon and Sugar - the extra kick of the cinnamon allows you to use less sugar but get more taste. Still a little dry though.
- Peanut Butter and Honey - good but I've never been a big fan of the stickiness of honey.
- Peanut Butter and Cereal - who hasn't tried this since the Breakfast club came out? Fruity Pebbles are my favorite (since they are my favorite cereal) but Cap'n Crunch, Cookie Crisp, and corn pops all work well. Not a big fan of marshmallow cereals on my sandwich. Something this crunchy is a weird texture for a sandwich.
- Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup - tasted good but was too runny. Syrup just soaked into bread making it squishy.
- Peanut Butter and Hersey Syrup - thought this would make a good Reese's type sandwich. It was good but like maple before it, it was too thin and messy and just soaked into the bread. Using Hersey Candy Bars or mini chocolate chips works better. How about using chocolate cake for bread with peanut butter between them?
- Peanut Butter and Bacon - kind of a take on the Elvis special but I didn't have any bananas and didn't fry it. Not a bad sandwich at all. I can see how the bananas are needed for a hint of sweetness though.
- Peanut Butter and Potato Chips - decent, I was hoping for kind of a salted nut roll type flavor, but it didn't quite match that. Also too crispy for me (like the cereal). Would probably be really good (sweet & salty, creamy & crunchy) if someone was high.
There has been many other variations...and most are surprisingly good. The other night, I came up with new inspiration and I can't believe I hadn't thought of this before:
Peanut Butter and Pudding Sandwiches
I used half a chocolate pudding snack-pack for the filling with my peanut butter. This has turned out much better for the sandwich than chocolate syrup or even candy bars. It is pretty close to a traditional PB&J as far as consistency, texture, and ease. The creaminess of both the peanut butter and the pudding made it a delight to eat. It tasted pretty darn good. Plus PB&P works as an acronym too. I wish I would have taken a picture because it really was a thing of beauty.
Now I am really looking forward to trying something a little more exotic - PB & Tapioca or maybe PB & Butterscotch. I bet PB with banana pudding and banana slices would be wonderful. Oh just had another idea - Peanut Butter and Cake Frosting!
Don't be afraid of PB&J and don't be afraid to mix it up a little.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
I don't care about the porn itself, but I enjoy the fact that someone actually took the time to tag their porn site/photo with all these non-related search terms. Of course typing in the names of any of my top five brought up inappropriate images (as I expected) but pretty much anything you type in will pull up something totally inappropriate. I think Google is actually doing a better job to sort these out recently (even with safe mode off) but they still pop up and they always make me laugh. I know when I am searching for Pinball...I really mean I am searching for naked lesbians. Honestly, isn't that what we are all searching for, all the time?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I have been told this a couple times in the last month by people who are trying to be witty (I think). The problem is that I am ALWAYS right...OK, maybe not always but more times than not when dealing with these people.
Not that I really care if they think I am right or even if they try to insult me. I just think this is a stupid try at an insult...because really what they mean is "Even a Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day." A broken clock could be anything. It could be stopped due to low battery or the hands could be rusted into position, and yes in this case the clock would be right twice a day. But what if the clock is smashed to bits, missing its hands or even just 15 minutes slow...then the clock would never be right. How about a digital clock with no batteries?
Get your proverbs right! It does make a difference, no matter how much you try to argue. This is why you did poorly of the SATs and didn't go to college.
I am sure the above (awesome) image is copyrighted by the Dali Estate...used here as Fair Use.
Monday, October 5, 2009
#4 Zooey Deschanel - To me, Zooey seems like the sister of one of your best friends. You've grown up with her and seen her around quite a bit but she has always been "little sister." Then one day, you actually hang out with her and find out that she is really smart with a sarcastic edge and really fun to be with. She is a totally different and more complete person than you ever thought about...you just never noticed. I don't know why I get this feeling from her, I just do. I love her deep set, big eyes and her bangs (I totally hate bangs but they look awesome on her). Her music ability is also a big turn on. Since I have ZERO talent in that field, I am always impressed by others talent and she has an awesomely smokey voice. I've dated a girls who have claimed to loved to sing but I can only think of one that I have ever heard sing. Zooey seems like the type of person that wouldn't be afraid to sing in front of her boyfriend. I've liked Zooey since Almost Famous.
#2 Rachel Leigh Cook - Rachel has incredible eyes, cheeks, and smile. But of course, no one would ever see that if she wore glasses, had her hair tied up, and wore clothes with paint on them. Ha ha. I thought she looked wonderful in glasses. Rachel's smiles just light up her whole face and she looks completely adorable. Big eyes that just pop out at you. Rachel reminds me of the really cute girl in high school that was not stuck up and would talk to everyone, even us losers. I must admit that I like her a lot more in dark hair than blond, but even blond she always looks lovely. I've like Rachel since She's All That (yes, I could have done the cop out and said the Brain on Drugs PSA, but really she seemed a little too crazy to find attractive at that moment).
If you are these women, know these women, or know someone like these women...hook me up. Okay, actually I am not that picky - feel free to set me up with most any single female :) I'm not desperate, but I am not ruling out and options or assistance either.