Monthly Archives: March 2007

You know, they say that as you get older the mind is the first thing to go.

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And evidentially mine has already went.

During the storm last night, when I was pulling into the parking garage, the electricity in the garage went out (the residence power stayed on, just the parking garage blacked out). And let me be the first to say, a blacked out parking garage is dark.

But I parked, took in my groceries, toweled off (the run from the grocery store to the truck soaked me to the skin – even my underwear was wet) and put away the food. I then started dinner, and while cooking, we had a brown out. I gave the ceiling a hairy eyeball, but went on about my business.

So after dinner, I curled up and read the first few chapters of For a Few Demons More, and then went to bed.

I woke up this morning with the alarm going off, I glanced at the clock and thought it read 6:30, squawked and bounded out of bed. I was showered, dressed, etc and out the door in 30 minutes. About seven minutes after that I was down Garland road, and just turning onto Loop 12 when I looked around and thought to myself “Self, its awfully dark.” So I looked at the car clock, blinked and double checked it with the clock on my phone.

It was only 6:09 am.

So I got to work one hour and fifteen minutes early.

And now?

Now the adrenaline is wearing off, and I am ready for a short powernap.

I need a keeper.

Protected: I think I just scared the piss out of one of my cow-workers

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*sniff*

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The wonderful magic coffee I got at 7:30 this morning is all gone.

*cries*

Life, as they say, is crazy – Dallas Traffic (Cthulhu fhtagn!) and Wonderful Music

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The only thing more deranged than some of my co-workers is Dallas Traffic.

I live some 17 miles from work, and getting to work is …… different.

I leave the house at 7:10 in the morning. Normally I get to work at about 7:45, but if someone gets stupid and has a major accident, I could arrive as late at 8:20. Or I can do like I did this morning, traffic was so perfect, that I arrived at work at 7:32.

The millage never changes, the route does not change. But damn, the drivers are so totally insane, I would swear that they had participated in a staring contest with Great Cthulhu.

Anyway, I had plenty of time to go get uber coffee and settle down to a nice morning’s assigning metric craptons of work to other people (one of my favorite things to do) – You know, I like it when my boss asks me to handles ticket disbursement to the other engineers, I still have a lot to do but things get spread a little more evenly.

So I am getting ready to dive into work, and what do I find, when I check for new music to listen to? Mary Jane Lamond has a new CD out! The title is Stòras – Click here to read the lyrics and listen to clips.

I was lucky to get to see her perform live about four years ago in Dallas – and DAMN as much as I love the music on CD, when you are hearing it live it is transcendent. She is on my “short list” – the list of artists that will have my personal patronage when I take over and rule as Supreme Overlord

Now as most of you all know, I am proud of my Irish heritage, and I have made attempts to learn Gaelic, much to the amusement of my Irish cousins (evidentially I butcher some of the pronunciations pretty badly) but Mary Jane Lamond can turn it into pure beauty. All of her music is in Gaelic (the CDs come with English translations for those of us who are working to try and learn it) and the music runs the gamut of beautiful ballads (Gur e mo rùn an Dòmhnallach from the new CD Stòras) and some fairly up and high energy classic Gaelic music that is perfect for exercise and walking (Horo Ghoid Thu Nighean from Suas e! and Mo Ghille Mór Foghain’each from Làn Dùil are great examples of this)

NOTE – the links I made to the songs are for 30 second MP3 clips of the music that Mary Jane Lamond made available on her site to let you try her music before you buy it – I think that is a great way to promote one’s music so you may want to take a listen.

You can even see a clip (or four) from her music video for Horo Ghoid Thu Nighean in the following Quicktime Clips – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Go. Listen. Watch. Share.

Protected: *whimper*

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Oh Frelling Hell

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Anti-Clinton Web ad draws attention

WASHINGTON – It’s guerrilla politics at its cleverest. The mysterious Internet video that compares Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to Big Brother is the boffo hit of the YouTube Web site.

The 74-second clip, a copy of a 1984 Apple ad for its Macintosh computer, has recorded more than 1 million views, with an enormous surge in the past two days.

While the video’s final image reads “BarackObama.com,” the campaign of the Illinois senator has denied being behind it.

Its creator, known only as ParkRidge47, remained hidden, protected by the anonymity afforded by YouTube and the absence of federal regulations governing most Internet political speech.

Oh this sets me on edge for so many reasons. The AP writer (at least in my mind) makes an implication with this sentence “Its creator, known only as ParkRidge47, remained hidden, protected by the anonymity afforded by YouTube and the absence of federal regulations governing most Internet political speech.” that the lack of federal regulations is what allows “bad things” like this to happen.

Look people, this is one freaking person’s opinion. The Internet does not belong to America – it is a planetary resource, all nations share in it. So keep your frigging regulations to your frigging self.

If I had my druthers, there would be a “None Of The Above” option to pick in the election which would allow us to dump all of the candidates for that race and hopefully get a better set the next time – but taking into account my experience with politics, I somehow doubt that it would work.

Possibly if we selected the grand poobah via an “American Idol” type of voting? Or even (my favorite) gladiatorial combat to the death? Hell I’d pay money to watch that.

Addendum – so we find out that the ad was created by a person who worked for an ad firm that did ads for Obama – and the ad firm immediately canned him. You know, the cynical and suspicious side of me could make a lot out of that.

I’m starting to wonder if it is not time for me to just take over and become the Supreme Overlord of the Western Hemisphere – twfarlan, you can have Europe and Asia, and I think that betnoir might enjoy Australia and Antarctica.

EDIT – It was pointed out to me that I forgot to dole out Africa – who wants to be the Supreme Overlord of Africa?

And I guess I was being a mite greedy with the whole western hemisphere – Who would like South America and who else wants Central America?

Cool.

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Microsoft has added a new feature to Live Messenger.

It is called I’m – when you enroll yourself in I’m, you pick a cause that you want to back – currently there are nine, which Microsoft considers some of the world’s most effective organizations dedicated to social causes.

The American Red Cross
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
National AIDS Fund
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
ninemillion.org
Sierra Club
stopglobalwarming.org
Susan G Komen for the cure
UNICEF

All you have to do is enroll, and then IM people, every time you start an conversation using I’m, Microsoft shares a portion of the program’s ad revenue, and according to Microsoft, they have set no cap on the amount that they will donate to each organization, so the more conversations, the more money that goes to the cause you believe in.

All you have to do, is append a text code to the end of your display name in Messenger.

So get out there already – I don’t care which cause you pick, they are all very worthy.

Whew! I am so glad that I am not this other dude!

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Computer error rocks Alaska’s fund

JUNEAU, Alaska – Perhaps you know that sinking feeling when a single keystroke accidentally destroys hours of work. Now imagine wiping out a disc drive containing an account worth $38 billion.

That’s what happened to a computer technician reformatting a disk drive at the Alaska Department of Revenue. While doing routine maintenance work, the technician accidentally deleted applicant information for an oil-funded account — one of Alaska residents’ biggest perks — and mistakenly reformatted the backup drive, as well.

There was still hope, until the department discovered its third line of defense, backup tapes, were unreadable.

Somehow I doubt that the computer tech who started this brownstorm is still in his position, but damn I feel for him – 800,000 records trashed, the only backups being the original paper that it was all entered from, and it all comes back to you.

Nine months worth of information concerning the yearly payout from the Alaska Permanent Fund was gone: some 800,000 electronic images that had been painstakingly scanned into the system months earlier, the 2006 paper applications that people had either mailed in or filed over the counter, and supporting documentation such as birth certificates and proof of residence.

And the only backup was the paperwork itself — stored in more than 300 cardboard boxes.

“We had to bring that paper back to the scanning room, and send it through again, and quality control it, and then you have to have a way to link that paper to that person’s file,” Skow said.

Half a dozen seasonal workers came back to assist the regular division staff, and about 70 people working overtime and weekends re-entered all the lost data by the end of August.

“They were just ready, willing and able to chip in and, in fact, we needed all of them to chip in to get all the paperwork rescanned in a timely manner so that we could meet our obligations to the public,” Skow said.

Last October and November, the department met its obligation to the public. A majority of the estimated 600,000 payments for last year’s $1,106.96 individual dividends went out on schedule, including those for 28,000 applicants who were still under review when the computer disaster struck.

Had I been that guy, I would have been tempted to go out into the wilds and feed myself to a polar bear.

A moment of silence for this guy from engineers everywhere.

Oh it is *on* now. . . .

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This makes me want to get the popcorn and watch the fun.

The Democratic Primary for the 2008 election is going to be a show to remember.

Apple ‘1984’ ad mashup markets Barack Obama, not Macs

Rather than pitch a new-fangled computer, the 74-second video now on YouTube replaces the droning Big Brother of the original with images and words from Obama’s rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.). And when it ends — after the hammer tossed by an updated female athlete wearing, what else, an iPod, smashes an immense screen — it’s a revamped Obama campaign logo left standing, not the iconic Apple trademark.

Video Follows

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo

EDIT – Am I a bad person that I find it amusing that they gave Hillary Stormtroopers?

Damn locked door mysteries

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Body in dorm’s locked utility room ID’d

So a freshman disappeared on campus on 13 January. They searched the college, but didn’t find him.

And a maintenance worker opened up a locked (double locked at that) high voltage utility room in one of the dorms to find his body, slumped over a transformer.

Now I can understand how horrified the worker must have been. But what I want to know is this:

The area around Owen Hall had been repeatedly searched after Steffey was reported missing, and maintenance staff had opened the utility room, but Norberg said they didn’t fully inspect the interior because of the risk posed by the high-voltage equipment.

On Monday, a worker unlocked the door leading to the utility room’s interior and found the student’s body slumped over a piece of machinery, Norberg said.

“The utility worker went in and found a body in this room,” Norberg said. “She was traumatized. It’s a very difficult situation for her.”

I want to know how the maintenance staff had missed a dead body when they looked back in January, but the worker who came in on Monday spotted it right off. I know that the spokesperson said that they didn’t fully inspect due to the danger of the high voltage equipment, but dead bodies are kind of hard to miss, especially if you are searching for a missing person.

The ground-level utility room isn’t accessible from Owen Hall, and it’s locked with two sets of keys, one each for two sets of doors, she said. It wasn’t clear how Steffey was able to get in or when the doors were locked behind him.

I also want to know how the student got into the room in the first place if it was not accessible from the dorm itself and it required two sets of keys to get into it in the first place.

I’m sorry, but to me at least, this is way too fishy to write off as a simple accident.

The PC Police have officially taken over the world – Film at 11

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‘Dukes of Hazzard’ nixed in Cincinnati

Schneider says the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra canceled a planned “Dukes”-themed appearance after contracts were signed because some in the community found the show racist and offensive.

You know – words fail me.

Now I moved away from the coast to get away from this!

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So Houston is exporting their weather to us now.

For Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the weather report is the same: Highs in the mid 70s (I’m good with that), lows in the low 60s (Once again, cool), high humidity (boo!), mostly cloudy and breezy with a stray shower. (Meh, but I can handle it)

Then comes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Highs in the mid 70s (Again, I’m good with that), lows in the low 60s (Once again, cool), high humidity (*grumble*), and then comes the fun part – cloudy and breezy with showers and thunderstorms.

So, it is starting to look as if things are going to be soggy this weekend.

Protected: Oh so bored……

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Protected: Oh no. I just had a thought…….

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Protected: My customers are my bitches!

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No, not dead

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But I am/have the following.

Total laryngitis – I can’t manage anything over a whisper right now.

AT&T are bastards and STILL don’t have my DSL up.

Need to assemble my new bedframe but probably will not until this weekend

Starting the hell that is unpacking.

Starting week four of no access to the net outside of work. (Damn you AT&T! Get your act together!)

Next week starts my new and improved work week. Instead of working the 12 hour hell days, my wonderful boss is having me work 8-5 Tuesday through Saturday.

The pros:

  • Eight hour days instead of twelve hour days.
  • No more getting up at frelling 5
  • Sleep!
  • No more working until I drop.

The cons:

  • Only two days off a week
  • Still no Saturdays off for a while as I am still senior engineer on site

Oh, did I mention that I get an eight hour work day?