Monday, December 19, 2005
I ask for a Jack and Coke in Dallas Airport…
“Umm… I don’t have Jack Daniels…”
“…I’ve got Crown…”
I’m 0 for 2.
“Aren’t I in Texas?”
“Umm… *looks around*… Yes?”
Now I’m 0 for 3.
“Givvus a shot of tequila”
“On the rocks?”
“Straight up with salt and lime.” I say not wanting to strain her mental capacity by using words like "twist".
*Does nothing for 4 1/2 minutes* “Here you go...” *hands me so little tequila there's barely enough to recognize gold from white*
*contemplates pouring it on the bar in protest/disgust*
*hands me bill for $7.50*
I’ve been a bit worries about me not being well-rounded enough. I’m sk8illed in language (but not languages), mathematics, electronics, art, but have no skills in musical instruments. For some reason I think I’d prefer a wind instrument, though only because they’re small (mostly) I suppose I’d be open to any small instrument.
I spoke with a fellow on the plane interested in becoming a priest. His religion was brought up through another topic (so he wasn’t just barge in into the topic). After I told him I was agnostic he started asking me questions and we engaged in a pretty good debate. I did my part to lead him to my conclusions and he told me what he believed and why; and I did the same. I definitely learned some new things about myself and the limits of my beliefs. I also gained some good insight into how he believed what he believed. What I (somewhat) determined is that people shouldn’t be able to escape their sins by changing their ways at the last minute. The experience was very thought provoking and I wouldn’t mind probing my own beliefs a bit more.
Ah, the excitement. I’m bored in my flight. I’ve run out of attempted small talk topics. The clouds we’re flying above are like fluffy white sand dunes that stretch across a desert forever… So I was thinking about fabricating my own reality. Well, actually I was thinking about just accepting that all my reality could just be an illusion. I suspect things would be more interesting were I more mindful of the possibility that everything I see could not be there. What’s interesting is that your memories are mostly devoid of details. Do you remember the face of the last person who washed their hands next to you? Did you even look? In your memories, that person is not John or Joe, It’s just a person. Look at the people around you now. Whom among them are you going to remember in a day, week, month, year? How important can the world around up really be if a vast percentage of it is forgotten
We’re on our second flight and I’m finding myself a little tense. I think it’s because I don’t’ usually fly on planes this small. The fear is entirely irrational but its fear nonetheless. Writing about it has calmed me a bit. I think too much. Actually I think I may be getting claustrophobic, coupled with my irrational fear, it’s making for an interesting cocktail. I can’t listen to my music until we take off, so I’ve got to cowboy up. The pilot just applied the breaks suddenly, and I got a mental image of some other plane cutting him off. (after which he would of course hand out the window and shake his fist in the air, while calling him an asshole) (in a New York accent, naturally). I’m upset I didn’t bring my monocular. There were some pretty great views to be seen. We’re taking off. No, someone else is taking off. We’re waiting. Looking at the big planes makes me calm. Here we go… *Death* just kidding. We’re still waiting. I suspect our tiny plane got bullied to the back of the line by the bigger ones. Waiting… The waiting is making it worse. Aahh! The girls next to me is writing in her journal and her writing is much better than mine! My pages always look like the ravings of an angry chimp. Still I like the hurried look, and my girlfriend liked that my notes to her were always (here we go…) (well that was faster and smoother than the big planes) very expressive in their writing style.
My art style, I fear, is limiting. I’m used to applying hard, sharp lines to my work which limits my ability to draw softer objects. My charcoal control is such that the drawing may start soft but end up much harder and more overdone than intended. Recently I picked my space pen backup and was once again reminded of its ability as an instrument. I enjoy mucking about with charcoal but ballpoint pen (especially my space pen) affords me much more control and range than my current skill level in charcoal allows. I worry that my skills will become limited as I continue to use the same style. But whatever. I’ve taken to drawing odd shapes and lines and seeing what I can make of them. It’s much more interesting than attempting to draw “X”. My last drawing was done this way. I always surprise myself when I’m done. It’s hard to believe I drew something so well. No matter how much I deny it, I seem to be somewhat skilled.
I openly agree with those internet zealots (and I use the term affectionately) like O’Reilly, who believe the internet is more a state of mind or out new zeitgeist instead of simply a tool for ordering socks in your underwear or locating the nearest Thai place. The internet is the idea of complete interconnectivity of everyone. It’s like the impact of the invention of the phone on steroids. The idea that you can punch some numbers into a handheld device and instantly be talking to someone on the other side of the world is huge! One of so many advancements in communication that we just take for granted. Well the internet takes the idea of connecting people with people and connects people with the collective intelligence and knowledge held in the entire internet. This must be that Web 2.0 they keep trying to explain to us. It’s like ascending to another plain, like groking the universe.
For all my posturizing about how great the internet is about data transmission and information exchange I still and skeptical of the connectivity between the web world and the real one. I’m still a little surprised when something I do on the internet causes a package to arrive at my door. I suppose I should stop worrying, clearly my actions on the internet consistently cause my credit card to be charged! Companies like Amazon have done an excellent job connecting our money with their merchandise. I should just accept that there exists a reliable connection between the net and the physical earth. It seems, however, perverse to imply such a thing.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
While the lure of the country was never something I found particularly aluring(sp?) I have yet to experience the... well... experience.
I'm kind of looking forward to it. It's turned into a bit of a vacation during which I'm unsure what I'll occupy myself with. I'd happily bring a set of unfinished projects, however I'd be inclined to think that bringing them would only make me inclined to, you know... *do* them.
In short, I don't know what I'll be doing on this vacation, and I'm not entirely sure that I'd like to.
The past two days at work have been especially taxing (short staffed), and I worry that the remaining 3 days will be difficult for my coworkers. I, however, guiltily savor my escape.
I've been neglecting my drawings for some time, and think they deserve more attention than I've been giving them. Additionally, I've been furiously using my moleskin book to jot down the little bits of nonsense that float to the top of my brain. Both endevors have been fulfilling (and suprisingly fruitful), and I (unofficially) plan to pursue them in my down time.
Another concern of mine is that I *greatly* dislike checking luggage. This is not a problem of packing space, but a problem of what I can't bring with me. If I'm only using carry-ons, I'd have to board the plane sanstools. No knife, pocket knife, swiss card, or multi-tool. I'm *very* rarely without my Benchmade knife. This prospect worries me, but only slightly, as I'm also interested in seeing how it is to be tool-less for 5 days. I'm sure I could do no better than finding it inconveniencing, but suspect I'm only placating myself in preparation for what could prove to be an uncomfortable period.
I'll add my moleskin entries in when I get back, and try to upload some artwork. Thanks for reading.
We have natural properties that allow us to compete in nature. Our minds allow us to create simple or complex tools that give us the edge against creatures that have more obvious tools. Since we can't "think" our enemies to death we think of ways to accomplish our goals and to maintin our edge in nature. One may agrue that we don't need our tools in modern society, but to be without our natural edge is naturally suicide.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
If you prefer not to comment, please take the time to read the following article written by a liberal, Why Liberals Should Love The Second Amendment
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
-Benjamin Franklin, 1759
40 reasons to ban guns.....
1. Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, & Chicago cops need guns.
2. Washington DC's low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict gun
control, and Indianapolis' high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the
lack of gun control.
3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics
showing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."
4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into
effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates,
which have been declining since 1991.
5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting
spree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a
lunatic is paranoid.
6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.
7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot
with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.
8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking
gun and a dead rapist at her feet.
9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should "put up no defense -
give them what they want, or run" (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman Pete
Shields, Guns Don't Die - People Do, 1981, p. 125).
10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about
guns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.
11. One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seatbelts, a civil
engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for internal medicine, a computer
programmer for hard drive problems, and Sarah Brady for firearms expertise.
12. The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, refers to the National Guard, which
was created 130 years later, in 1917.
13. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, using
federally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishing
trespassers under federal law, is a "state" militia.
14. These phrases: "right of the people peaceably to assemble," "right of
the people to be secure in their homes," "enumerations herein of certain
rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people,"
and "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states
respectively, and to the people" all refer to individuals, but "the right of
the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.
15. "The Constitution is strong and will never change." But we should ban
and seize all guns thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to
16. Rifles and handguns aren't necessary to national defense! Of course, the
army has hundreds of thousands of them.
17. Private citizens shouldn't have handguns, because they aren't "military
weapons'', but private citizens shouldn't have "assault rifles'', because
they are military weapons.
18. In spite of waiting periods, background checks, fingerprinting,
government forms, etc., guns today are too readily available, which is
responsible for recent school shootings. In the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's,
anyone could buy guns at hardware stores, army surplus stores, gas stations,
variety stores, Sears mail order, no waiting, no background check, no
fingerprints, no government forms and there were no school shootings.
19. The NRA's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign about kids handling
guns is propaganda, but the anti-gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch"
campaign is responsible social activity.
20. Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use them
properly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.
21. A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical
adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.
22. Women are just as intelligent and capable as men but a woman with a gun
is "an accident waiting to happen" and gun makers' advertisements aimed at
women are "preying on their fears."
23. Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchers
but revert to normal when the weapon is removed.
24. Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun
25. A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority
of the population supported owning slaves.
26. Any self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a
"weapon of mass destruction" or an "assault weapon."
27. Most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which
most people will abide by because they can be trusted.
28. The right of Internet pornographers to exist cannot be questioned
because it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the use
of handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.
29. Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and
typewriters, but self- defense only justifies bare hands.
30. The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of
the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the
31. Charlton Heston, a movie actor as president of the NRA is a cheap
lunatic who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas, a movie actor as a
representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is
entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.
32. Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need larger
capacity pistol magazines than do "civilians" who must face criminals alone
and therefore need less ammunition.
33. We should ban "Saturday Night Specials" and other inexpensive guns
because it's not fair that poor people have access to guns too.
34. Police officers have some special Jedi-like mastery over handguns that
private citizens can never hope to obtain.
35. Private citizens don't need a gun for self- protection because the
police are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says the
police are not responsible for their protection.
36. Citizens don't need to carry a gun for personal protection but police
chiefs, who are desk-bound administrators who work in a building filled with
cops, need a gun.
37. "Assault weapons" have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of
people. The police need assault weapons. You do not.
38. When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferential
promotion, that's bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities to
buy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that's good.
39. Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun for
defensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their
40. Handgun Control, Inc., says they want to "keep guns out of the wrong
hands." Guess what? You have the wrong hands.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Trees shed their leaves, and leave them on your lawn
1. Pick them up
2. Gather them into a pile
3. Move them over 30 feet, immediately exonerating your of their ownership.
Best invention ever.
You can just see the informercial...
Blonde airhead with big tits: Bob, I'm tired of having to deal with leaves!
Dumbass 45 year old virgin with wig: Me too Doubledee, that's why I use the Leafblower 3000ZXarrrrgh!!!!11 Why actually deal with your problems when you can just move them enough that you won't have to worry about them?!?!?!?
Blonde: Did you say *blow*??? *wink* Cue laugh track
This amazing ability to absolve yourself of the responsability of your garbage by simply moving it farther from you must be harnessed to be used on other even more useful (yes, I know) applications!
Tired of taking out the trash? Kick over the can, and blow your trash out your door and into the street! Immediately relieving yourself of its ownership!
Hate to clean out that litterbox? dump it in the gutter! Hey, why walk the extra three feet? Dump it on the sidewalk! It's city property!
Kids, hate eating your peas? Chuck them off of your plate! Once they're off, they're not your problem! Daddy can't argue with the logic!
Trying to get rid of the recently deceased? Toss him over the hedges! He's the Jones' problem now!
Relatives got ya down? Move them to Florida!
Teenagers acting up? Leave them at the bus station!
Even better... We could just focus on the multiple uses the gas leafblower has in everyday life!
Use it for "Handling" paperwork at the office!
Crank it up to drown out the sound of those attempting to initiate annoying conversations!
Boss bothering you? Just keep blowing it in his face! Eventually he'll get tired and leave!
Neighbor cutting wood in his driveway and getting sawdust all over yours? Bludgeon him into submission!!! (Bludgeon is such a fun word and I so rarely get to use it!)
Load the tube with confetti for birthday and new year parties!
Ladies, does your hair take a long time to dry? Not anymore!
Feeling depressed? Hop in the car, roll up the windows, fire it up, and breathe deep! That's the smell of utility!
Yes the leaf blower has so many uses when you just apply a bit of creativity!
Next week we consider: the common molotov cocktail! STAY TUNED!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me. can't sleep. splenda will kill me.
A must read for anyone in an even REMOTELY technical position!
The Bastard Operator From Hell is a character created by Simon Travaglia, a system administrator who takes out his anger on lusers. This is one of the few things, I can sit down and read over and over and laugh each time. The british wit just bleeds through the monitor. Make sure you can keep up!
Here's one of my favorites...
Monday, October 10, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
It is my experience that people as children are who they really are, and as they grow older they simply become more adept at hiding that child. But the child never leaves, it's just squelched a little bit. You may, however, find that in times of extreme emotion your child takes control because your adult simply doesn't have the faculties to handle the situation. Your adult will always try to find a way to box life, to set parameters, to quantify and qualify, to understand. But it is when you experience your child that you are truly understanding life.
It is when you experience your child that you understand that life can not be understood, boxed, quantified, or qualified. It is when you realize that you are still that child, wandering through an immense world, seeing things with new eyes, never knowledgeable, but always seeking knowledge, unaffected by the societal filters our adults are slaves to.
Free to be free. Free to be me.
When a time of change approaches our adults will die a hundred deaths before they can pick out curtains. Our children embrace change as a new adventure. Someone worth quoting said "Childhood is that state which ends when a puddle is viewed as an obstacle instead of an opportunity." Your child will live through this change, and actually embrace the excitement of it.
In a life full of change and philosophy there will always be a few things that remain unchanged. These inescapable static truths. No matter how far off the path or along the path you may venture, you will always come across them. At times when they were the farthest thing from your mind, they will be there. Ineptitude. Possibilities. Love. Haunting you. But why?
This is the real question. Why? Why are they always there? Are they torments, or are they reminders? Are they some higher power trying to point you in the right direction? Or are they fates twisting your will, driving you inwardly mad?
There is only one way to find out. To embrace the ideal this truth is offering. To examine it with your new eyes. To believe that this truth could provide you with a new life of endless happiness. And to accept that it could hurt you more deeply than anything you ever thought possible.
This is the meaning of life.
To exist on that fine line. To experience the elating highs, and the crushing lows. To seek those truths which exist forever inside you.
Without the drive to seek those truths, you exist in limbo. Always waiting, waiting for something to happen for you. Or to you. Instead of passing through life, life passes through you. And beyond all, you feel an emptiness. You've felt it your whole life. Some inperceptiable imperfection in your reality. Something missing, some purpose, some direction, some truth.
This is why you must seek those truths. Because they are intangibly important. Because without them you lack meaning. Because they prove your existence. Because they are the only things in your life that never change.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Everytime someone visits the page (hopefully lots of people) they will have to load a chunk of bandwidth from the target's server. Depending on how popular the forum is, you could cause a huge amount of traffic, eat up their bandwidth, and possibly cause lengths of DoS. (pick a juicy post topic!!)
Heh... maybe it's a bad idea to share this...
Spider/crawler: A program that browses (usually) multiple webpages for you, and finds content you ask it to.
Scraper: A program that "scrapes" data of a certain type off of a webpage. If you download a picture you are "scraping" that picture. Automating the process means you can let the computer get it for you.
Ok, so my most recent project has been this Spider/scraper Spiderfetch.pl. It was originally intended to scrape manga off of webservers, but it had the (obvious) functionallity to pull porn off of free servers. I found the necessity to add some counter-obfuscation methodologies some webmasters were implimenting (they really don't want you to scrape their content :-P )I later incorperated the ability to follow links and search the linked pages for the content you want. There are a lot of pages that sort, catagorize, and link directly to sample/free content. This makes your free porn collection endeavors considerably easier. However, many "link pages" have some form of process which counts how many each link is clicked so they can get stats on what most visitors prefer to see, and where they came from. This also serves as a form of link obfuscation that must be circumvented. So I added the functionality to deal with these "processed links", I still can't follow unobvious links, but that functionallity should be coming soon! Since I had already built in the ability to pick up different extensions, it was already programmed to pick up movies of different extensions, mp3s whatever you want. I've yet to add the functionallity to pick up content on the page (it only picks up content linked from the page), but that will come soon too.
But does it work???
Currently, my girlfriend and I *actually* have more porn than we know what to do with.
I even added more functionallity to circumvent spider prevention tools/forms/etc. after a while it became less about the porn, and more about the programming challenge... but that's how most of my projects work out anyways!
My friend was (understandably) interested in the prospect of the script, and asked that I send him a copy. I had just worked a tough site, and had a hard-coded version of the script, and found it amusing that instead of trading porn, I was providing the means to obtain the porn I had. Know what I mean? Kind of like bittorrent, you don't send the file, you send the ability to obtain the file.
Essencially I've reduced 100MB of data into a 3K perl script that can be run, or not run at his lesure to obtain the mass of data. Cool eh?
of course as opposed to bittorrent, this is contrived without the concerns for the host's bandwidth, but... then... hey... free porn! :-D
I've been meaning to get some hosting, but I don't care enough to. And since some of the characters in the script get fuxored with the HTML formatting, I can't just post the plain text. Whatever.
I'd been thinking about picking up an autococker (paintball marker) for quite some time. Not really for the want of another semiautomatic marker, but so I could invite more people along. An impediment had been that everyone complains about their autocockers. They're complex pieces of equipment, which lends them to failure. Though many will argue that once an autococker is timed it needs little attention, I've found this to be true.
The autococker internals consists of a sear, hammer, and valve just as other markers do. To cock bolt back and forth the use of gas pressure and a ram is used. In normal cocked and gassed position, the hammer waits to be released into the valve whereupon the air will be released into the hollow bolt which blows the air and paintball out the barrel. The trigger releases the hammer and actuates an arm which controls a valve which controls where the air goes to the ram. When the trigger is pulled back all the way, the valve directs the air to the back of the ram which is attached to a rod which runs down the body and "cocks" the back block which sets the hammer, and pulls the bolt back letting another paintball in the breach. When the trigger is released, the ram pulls the rod forward and pulls the back block forward, now the bolt is set forward with a new ball in front of it, and the hammer can be released.
As you can (or even can't) understand there are quite a few things that need to happen exactly as timed or you have yourself a patented 'cocker problem! Getting your cocker retimed is usually a pain if you don't know an airsmith (and sometimes even if you do!). Autocockers have a reputation for being a handfull.
In just looking for autocockers one really seemed to stand out the ones made by Chipley Custom Machine (CCM). One of the major deciding factors was their great support (said to be second only to CCI). Knowing I could just send it in and have them fix it (if I got overzealous and screwed it up :-> ). The fact that they had one of the smoothest pump conversions on the market was also helpful :-D. I looked for a long time and finally found one for what I thought was a good price. I picked up the marker from a friend from the PHoG for $290 shipped, timed, and drop-forward-ed(?).
When I picked it up for the first time I was so suprised at how slick it looked. It has a very plain body and most paintballers would fault them for that, it didn't have any creative milling (funky/cool lines cut into the body), nor did it have some crazy anno. I liked black, and I liked simple. At the time I did not notice the weight but I later realized that it was quite light. I also picked up my first hpa tank (68/4500) for a good price from a friend.
Not being used to playing with a full hopper or a tank more than 3.5oz my first play with it was kind of a trial. Man, all that stuff is bloody heavy! I got a few eliminations on my first few games out with it, but I didn't intend on playing a full day with it (and I was only out for a half day that time anyways!).
So, satisfied that it worked I left it in the corner until I invited someone else along who would need to use it.
Some weeks later, I played a *single* game with a sniper2 pump that belonged to a friend of mine. I was blown away with the comfort and ease of motion. Sure, it wasn't that light, but different pumps for different games. My intrest was piqued.
About a week ago, I picked up the CCM (just because it looks-a soo good!) and started to wonder what I should do with it. I already knew it could be a mean speedball machine, but what else could it do? I've never been a fan of slinging paint, so the need for a gi-normous 20bps hopper seemed silly to me. I picked up a brass eagle 50 round hopper to keep the weight down, and keep me from overusing that lovely electro-style double trigger! I also picked up a 12oz CO2 tank for it's slim, long shape. I began to fiddle with different configurations, and in the process put my old tippmann back-bottle ASA on the grip (has about a 15 degree downward angle), when I picked it up, I was stunned at how much it felt like my phantom! Since my phantom has the T-stock at about the same angle it felt perfect. Even with the huge hpa tank sticking way out like that, it felt better than being hunched up on the marker. Putting the marker farther from my body gave it more stability, and with the back-bottle replacement stock I could do all the tricks I'd done with my phantom's stock for increased stability in wierd positions!
With all this fiddling though I couldn't help but take the marker completely apart. I did all but remove the valve, and disassemble the pneumatics (I'm not stupid!). I put it back together with a better mechanical understanding of how it worked and knowledge on how shorten the trigger pull, back block motion (faster cycling), and generally how to get maximum speed out of it (theoretically of course! I had no reason or desire to fux with it then). I appreciated the simple-yet-complex design for a bit, and then put it back together. (it still worked of course :-> )
I think I've decided on a configuration; back bottle with a 15(?) degree drop, running hpa (if the co2 sucks) in a 33ci tank ($37 from whitewolfairsmithing.com), delrin pump kit, and smoked 50 round hopper. I'd also run the same configuration as an autococker, and hopefully one-ball as long as the situation would allow. I like the double trigger, so I plan on keeping it on both configurations. I don't have much intrest in an autotrigger or an 86 degree frame for some reason. Perhaps I'm too used to the phantom feel, and need to be weened onto possibly better alternative configurations (shoulder stock, 45 grip frame, light weight, maximum consistency) slowly, but only if the desired configuration has shortcomings! (if it ain't broke...)
My pump kit should arrive today.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Outside my office is a section of plants to inject some vibrant green into this concrete techno-city. Every once in a while I'd spot a brown object dart from view when I passed on the walkway. I suspected a more annoying animal and was suprised to see that our "garden" was home to a few brown bunnies (less than a year old). One of the high-points of my day became catching fleeting glimpses of these elusive lagomorphs.I became more interested in them, and did some research. What? We don't watch TV! I found that there were a lot of people who thought that rabbits made good house-pets.
I would be more than interested in a pet, but our apartment complex only allows house cats, and I wasn't too keen on keeping a cat inside. I love cats, but given our relatively small living quarters, I found the idea of a litter box a problem. I began to read more about rabbit care and expressed slight interest in getting a rabbit. The more I read the more I was attracted to the idea of caring for a house rabbit. They can be litter trained, and once spayed or neutered, can be rid of most habits that uneducated rabbit owners find less than endearing. They can learn their name, and are rather intelligent. Something I especially liked about the information provided on the website is that it let you know how to allow the rabbit to do what they naturally want to do. Rabbits have a natural inclination to dig, chew, and play. Failing to provide outlets for these actions will cause your rabbit to become unhappy, and act out (dig up the carpet, chew up something important, or play with something they're not supposed to). "A bored rabbit it a naughty rabbit!" as stated on the website. The reason this problem isn't such a problem with dogs/cats is because they can be better trained to suspend those scratching/digging/playing urges. This is good and bad. Because to me, there's nothing sadder than a pet that's been trained not to do the things it enjoys. The rabbit probably cannot be trained to stop doing what it likes entirely, but since it's a smaller animal, you can make special allowances to contain the "distruction". Providing chew sticks or something interesting to chew on will keep the rabbit from chewing up your baseboards. If a rabbit likes to dig a certain area/corner you can put a small stack of cardboard or newspaper there and the rabbit will happily dig on those surfaces instead of your carpet. Accidents can be cleaned up with white vinegar, and pellets are easily vacuumed/swept up, but if the rabbit prefers to "go" in a certain area, provide them with another litter box nearby or on that spot. Meet you pet half way, don't force your will on the poor thing.
One thing that particularly interested me was their innate apprehension for other creatures (especially bigger ones). They are prey animals and should therefore be afraid of unknown things. I was particularly interested in the stories of owners achieving a comfort and trust level with thier rabbit that is usually simply the norm with other pets. I wished I could build this kind of trust in a naturally fearful (albeit cuddly) animal.
After talking about it for a long time we started looking into the logistics and everything seemed to fall into place from there.
We located a semi-local animal shelter and visited (which was heartbreaking, by the way). When we were approaching the rabbit area, they had a "bunny run" set up outside. Fenced off areas where the rabbits can get out of their cages and get some air and excersise. When we passed, we saw one of the workers chasing after a rabbit calling, "come here Eva... come on." We looked at eachother and smiled because we've been working our way through the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series. If you like anime, and you've never seen the entire series (including "The End of Evangelion" replacement movie for the last two episodes) I've put together four easy steps to remedy the problem:
1. find the nearest mirror
2. take a long, hard look at what you call an "anime fan"
3. slap yourself
Anyways, the series is lovingly referred to as "Eva" so hearing the rabbit's name caught our attention for a short while. When we got inside we walked passed all the poor cats who need loving homes, and made it to the rabbit section. Outside the area was a pegboard with tips of caring for rabbits. I was reassured to know that I already knew most of the information from my visits to www.rabbit.org. We were suprised to see that most of the rabbits there were older than we expected. Apparently rabbits get pretty big in the first year (aside from dwarf rabbits), we realized that caring for a rabbit under a year old would be a bit of a hassle especially for our first. As we wandered the area, none of the rabbits paid us much mind (as most were eating). I noticed one watching me lazily as I walked around, but I paid it no mind. When I passed by it, it just looked at me. I knelt down to look in the cage below that one, and when I was satisfied I looked up to stand, and saw that the rabbit in the cage above me was laying at the cage door looking down at me. The room was cramped, and I suspected when I stood up it would back up into the cage, but it didn't. I looked around the cage and saw rabbit pellets around the cage, and some in the litterbox. This usually indicates that the rabbit feels the need to mark its territory. Usually if there is another rabbit in the area, or if the area is new to the rabbit. I checked the clipboard, "Ava". different spelling, but still wierd She had only been there 3 weeks which could be why she had marked her territory. I wanted to avoid getting a rabbit who had been at the shelter a long time, because I thought the shock of moving would be increased if the rabbit was especially comfortable in the shelter. Her age was unknown, though she was more than a year old. Since rabbits usually live 10 years, her age wasn't a huge factor. We decided on Ava.
The website stated that we needed a letter from our appartment manager stating we were able to have rabbits, we didn't have that nor did we have the supplies we needed. Had we, though, we would have started the adoption process right then. As it stands, we have the supplies, and have yet to recieve our letter (she said she'd get it to us last tuesday...). This Saturday is set aside for picking Ava up. I'm excited.
On a side note; having an indoor rabbit requires that we "rabbit-proof" our appartment. Block off small spaces she could get trapped in, removing dangerous or valuable chewable items (electrical cords) from the ground, moving any houseplants (most indoor plants are toxic), etc. The process gave us an excuse to do some much needed cleaning of the appartment. Additionally, rabbits enjoy treats such as fruits and dark greens, this will entice us to actually purchase (and presumably eat) healthier foods. As a bonus, this rabbit is giving us an opportunity to start living cleaner and healthier. Cool.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
(Don't you go too near them!)
Trout are very valuable, and immensely powerful!
(Keep away from the trout!)
I overheard this song while eating at Chipotle. It was so freaking random I had to try to find it. The only part I knew was that it has a chorus where I says:
Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish;
Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Eating fish!
I somehow found it by googling around and picked it up off iTunes.
Fish by Mr. Scruff on the Keep it Unreal album.
Worth the $0.99 if only for novelty. I loved the hell out of the trance/dance/lounge/jazz sound, and bought his Mrs. Cruff album. It's quite good.
Eterm with VIM open on one of my latest projects
XMMS playing Perl's Girl by Underworld
Eterm playing Nethack
xine playing FLCL (note "dvd" location =)
and a quick shell script displaying my wireless link quality
Hosted (and probably wrongly linked) from FedoraForum.org awesome resource for Fedora Core help!
Let me preface all this by saying that I've never nor had I ever had an interest in copying DVDs. I know a little bit about it, mainly the different encoding schemes used, and that everything has to be just right. Since I didn't have any future intrest in copying DVDs I decided i wouldn't bother with all that encoding/decoding/recoding/size/quality/height/width/bullshit/etc crap. I was going to do it quick and dirty. I was going to use Linux.
I rebooted my laptop into Fedora Core 4 Linux and played the movie with xine (media player) with no problems. The way xine plays DVDs is that you create a symbolic link called /dev/dvd and point it to your dvd drive (in my case /dev/hdc). Since I had tons of space on my laptop I simply copied the entire 4.3 gigs of the DVD onto my hard drive.** I then changed the /dev/dvd symbolic link from /dev/hdc to /mnt/dmz/gitssac/ (the directory I copied it to) fired up xine and clicked the DVD button and it came up like it was the real DVD. The software didn't even know the difference.
The reason I was able to do this with linux is because everything is a file. There's no registry, no drivers that have to answer to software, no WMI components, or any other crap to seperate me from my hardware.
Funny I should bring up seperating me from my hardware... You could never do this with Windows.
What's funnier is that the reason you couldn't do this in Windows is not because your computer isn't capable, it's because because windows wouldn't let you.
Which is very strange. You bought the computer, paid the extra $50 for that DVD player, paid for a network card so you could get DSL/Cable, got the huge hard drive, and by simply installing Windows you're unable to get the fullest usage out of that hardware.
Your DVD watching is subject to Licensing crap, copy protection (which can foul up and leave you unable to watch a DVD), and anything else MS gets pressured into adding to "Curb the tide of illegal ______ing"
Your network card will not allow you to use raw sockets which (if your a programmer) can make things very difficuilt. There are many tools out that require raw sockets, and you just don't get them.
Your Hard Drive comes standard with NTFS which while claiming to be more stable causes more headaches than it prevents in a standard home environment. FAT32 is slightly faster, but not enough to speak of. Of more intrest is the recovery from a crash or lost data is simple with FAT32, but with NTFS it's a pain and a half. Anyways, proprietary formats simiply complicate things.
So if your Operating System doesn't do what you want it to do, who exactly does it work for?
If it disables any form of functionality because of pressure from the RIAA, MPAA, and anyone else with deep pockets *cough*DRM*cough*, it really belongs to them. so why the FUCK are you shelling out $199 for it?! Especially when you can get an OS that WON'T limit the abilities of you hardware for FUCKING FREE! To quote the song I'm currently listening to; "Where's your head at?!" (it must be up M$'s ass, because they have you so surrounded with shit that it's almost impossible to see that you have alternatives)
Take back your computer. Use Linux.
** incidently, it took so long to copy all that data that I hacked together a shell script that would output the percentage complete by finding the disk usage of the directory I was copying it to, and piping it to AWK where it was divided by the disk usage (size) of the dvd and multiplied by 100 to get a perentage, coupled with some leading newlines I just squished the terminal so the newlines caried the last output off the screen, and i got an hacker's copy percentage! (also I added a sleep .3 to keep it from pegging my CPU)
Interesting idea for renting dvds right? No worrying about late fees, or that 11:52pm trip to the video store.
Except for one thing.
It now costs the manufacturer more to make the DVD.
It now costs MORE to process and make the DVD.
And yet, they can somehow afford the cost of this extra treatment process, and can charge less than $5 for it.
So your choices are to purchase the official copy of the DVD and get all it's digital clarity and special features for $18.99 or, to buy the exact same DVD with all the same amenities, for $3.50 but you can only view it for 5 days because it underwent an extra form of treatment.
How much do you really think it costs to stamp out DVDs? Not even knowing what you just guessed, I'd bet $18.99 that you guessed way too high.
Why do they charge as much as they do?
because they can
By owning rights to sell a particular DVD movie, they have a monopoly on the sale of that movie. If you want to see it again, you have to buy the movie, and if you have to buy the movie, you can only buy it from them, and if you can only buy it from them, they are free to charge whatever they want for it. Of course, we're also free to choose not to buy it. And we have.
*click* *download* *watch* *piss off the MPAA*
(this isn't exactly true though, because if they charged $100 for a DVD almost no one would buy it) (although the MPAA claims that almost no one is buying DVDs for $18.99 anyways, so there are two solutions, stop selling movies, or charge less so people will pay for the movie.)
You wouldn't steal a purse, why would you steal a movie?
This is part of the MPAA's Oversimplification Campaign. They'd like you to think that theft is theft. The fact that downloading movies is a "victimless crime" makes it so a small group of people will do it. The fact that DVDs are ludicrously overpriced makes it so another small group of people will do it. And the fact that a huge national comglomerate likes to bully and extort $2000 apologies from 8 year old inner city girls makes a larger group of people hate the MPAA and download out of spite. (this is their end of the oversimplification campaign, breaking the law is breaking the law, and if you're 8 years old and weren't aware that your computer was allowing other people to upload other movies so more people could download them, tough luck. Now fork over $2000 for every movie someone downloaded off your computer (estimated more than 10,000) or write how sorry you are in an essay, and we'll only charge you $2000) Add all those small groups of pissed off people together and you have a sizable number of people who would download movies. But of them probably about 20% actually do (which is a shame). If everyone actually did, maybe those other ludicrous numbers (IE their estimated profit losses**) could start to become a reality. We can only hope.
MPAA, first let me say this, "Chill the fuck out!" You have the incredible fortune of being in an industry that will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be in demand! (only one other group has this; the RIAA =) You have little to no competition (there's not Other Motion Picture Association of America) and you will always make money as long as you make good investments. Hell, even if you don't you'll make ungodly amounts of money! If you do little to nothing, you will STILL make money. So Chill.
Movie industry, buy a clue. The MPAA really just a large group of lawyers sitting around bored out of thier skulls looking for something to sue! I mean "do"... No wait... Fuck the MPAA, and let your fans dictate how they want to see movies. I garantee you, you'll still make your tens of millions. You'll just do it without seeming like cold, heartless, schoolyard bullies.
** Estimated profit loss due to movies is a number that cannot technically be figured due to the nature of P2P downloads. Therefore it can only be determined by how much they estimated a movie to make. So when they hyped the FUCK out of that train wreck John Travolta movie where he's an alien or some shit (I was able to find it by googling "worst movie ever travolta" (no quotes). The movie was Battlefield Earth) and when if bombs like... like... hmmm. Nothing to compair it to, because nothing bombed more than "Battlefield Earth"! They blame it on "those damn filesharers!" It has nothing to do with the fact that Hollywood is mostly out of touch with most of America. Nooooo... Nor that it costs $35 to take my girlfriend to the movies. Noooo... It must be those damn filesharers.
Best thing about defcon was just being there with all those other like-minded, curious, inquisitive, intelligent people. The chill out room, constantly playing music and movies on projectors gave the place a seriously cool atmosphere. Additionally, there was a group there displaying their "Wall o' Sheep" which was an application they made that scans wireless internet traffic and picks web/pop3/webmail/rdp/etc usernames and passwords out of the air and displays on the page the site visited (or app used), the username, the password, and the service. Yes it really is that easy to pick your username and password out of the air when you use wireless to connect to any site (yes, banking sites too) BTW, cisco sucks. GO LYNN!
Monday, July 11, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
I'm going to Defcon 13. And from the look of the schedule... It's going to kick ass... Defcon is a hacking convention that takes place in Las Vegas once a year. I'm going with my friend, and, uh... it's going to kick ass.
I'm a-gonna git me a lanyard!
Monday, June 27, 2005
/ REST \
/ IN \
/ PEACE \
| Hiroyuki |
| 10451 Au |
| petrified by a |
| cockatrice |
| corpse |
| 2005 |
*| * * * | *
Sayonara Hiroyuki the Samurai...
You turned to stone in The Dungeons of Doom on dungeon level 20 with 86483
and 10451 pieces of gold, after 13279 moves.
You were level 12 with a maximum of 110 hit points when you turned to stone.
I got off to a great start, and proceeded to kick some serious ass! Along the way, I picked up the much sought amulet of life-saving (after your die, you get resurrected!) and I nearly used it on three occasions, including my fight with the white dragon, as depicted in the title of this post. As you can see from my tombstone, I made it to level 20, and was petrefied by a cocatrice corpse. You may be wondering... why were you petrefied by a cocatrice CORPSE?! Well, to those patrons of Nethack, the answer would be obvious... I was blindfolded. Why was I blindfolded? Because when you are telepathic, you can "see" any living monster on the level, but only when you are blind. I used the blindfold to see what monsters I were on the level.
Which begs the question: "why would being blindfolded cause you to die at the hands of a dead cocatrice???"
When you are blind you cannot see (I'm glad that's clear) and therefore, to find items, and other inanimate objects around you, you must feel for them. SOOOOO, if I were to walk over some items, I would feel on the ground, and find out what they are. If I feel on the ground, and find a cocatrice corpse, I would have to touch the cocatrice, and those who know their mythical beasts, know that a cocatrice is a dragon which rooster-like features who can turn you to stone with a simple touch!
Yikes... better keep some dead lizards handy!
My first death (and use of my amulet of life-saving) was after a huge fight (which included my slaying the white dragon :) I defeated a cocatrice sometime during the fight. While I was navigating the dungeon blindfolded to make sure nothing could sneak up on me, I happened upon a cocatrice corpse, which turned me to stone and forced the use of my amulet of life-saving. Once on level 20, I fought off some elf lords, and apes, and (with the help of my telepathy and blindfold) avoided the invisable cocatrice for as long as I could. When it came time to fight it, I killed it, and then (not learning from my previous mistake) walked over the body, felt what was on the ground, and...
Sayonara Hiroyuki the Samurai...
Though I wonder, if I walk up to a cocatrice corpse with my blindfold off, I can see the cocatrice corpse, and don't have to touch it. But what if I walked up to an invisable cocatrice corpse? Would I have to feel for it anyways? I hope not, because the DEV team thinks of EVERYTHING!!
On a side note, one can avoid such a fate by simply wearing some form of gloves. I had only run across one pair of gloves on my adventures into the Mazes of Menace and they were cursed anyways... Though wearing those cursed gloves would have saved me from those two deaths... and it IS possible to remove curses by dipping the item in water... aw crap... I could have survived... Oh well. Now I have to get to thinking up a new Japanese name for my new samurai character. Nethack, why must I love you so?
Those who wish to learn more about Nethack, can head over to www.Nethack.org and get some more information. Those who want to play, follow this link:
Critics call nethack "ASCIIcking"
If you laughed at that, you are a geek, I know because I did!
And for those of you who are interested, here's an artist's rendition of Hiroyuki snowboarding...
Saturday, June 18, 2005
I promised to post more, so here I am, back to post on what? why, paintball of course! :>
I've played once in the past two months. And that time was five weeks ago. Heh... I had a pretty negative experience (which has never been enough to deter me from playing) But, for some reason, I just didn't have the drive to go out and play. So I got rusty... Ahem...
So I went out today because I REALLY wanted to go. My girlfriend was at a family thing, so it was just me. It was the Friendly Fire event I mentioned a few posts ago, so I was ready to have a good time. Before we get started, I take a swig of mountain dew livewire (the BEST dew EVER!) and head out to the field.
Once I get out there I test fire a few times, and see that I'm not getting any air. great, the screwy valve on my 4oz is acting up again. figures. So I unscrew the tank, and change to 12 grams (they always work =)) It was still firing weird, so I gave up and walked back to the car. On the way, I realized that I must have put it together wrong, because phantoms don't just *stop working* I mean... They're not Shockers! (burn!) So I start opening it up in the trunk when it hits me, I haven't oiled my baby in months! I quickly drop some oil in the ASA, charge it, and dry fire a few times. *whew* I head to the range and fire off a few, and discover that I'm shooting real low. I check out the TCP and it looks like it's all the way down... With my new light springs, the velocity needs to be set as high as it can be to make it to 280. Now I start to wonder if my springs are acting funny from the heat. (very remote...) I head back to the car and start searching for the spring set. Only to find that I left them at home. Could this be the end for our hero?! In desperation I decide that I should try to get a few more turns out of my velocity adjuster, so I start turning it, and it turns about 7 times... Ok, I must have turned it out while cleaning it ^_^;; I take a few shots, and my phantom is back in action!
Now that I've de-rustified my phantom... I've just got to de-rust myself.
We play a few uneventful games and I start feeling queasy. normal. you just haven't played in so long that the stress and strain of playing is making your stomach upset. this happened the first time you played. no big. I continue to feel worse, and decide it might we wise to sit down. I then proceeded to throw up the entirety of the small swig of mountain dew I took before playing. Wow, ok, THAT was making my stomach upset?! Whatever. I start to feel better but not yet play better! and resume one of the games in progress.
We play about three more games inwhich I play a very small part. it sure it taking some time for me to get back into the swing of things! We have lunch, and I head to the 3 man speedball field to wait for the start of the "1 on 1"s. There's a small group of what one could only describe as agg hk kids with an apparent JT sponsorship... riiiiight... I count them and see that they're even, so I don't ask if I can play on like I usually do. (I'm always eager at the opportunity to take a willing pupil to pump school) They turn to me, and ask if I want to play. I [insert evil grin here] accept. I take out 3 or 4 of them, and pretty much end the game. Afterwards they're all standing around and I tell them that a private group is coming and if they want to play again, they'll need to play quickly. The resounding reply is "err, we need more paint... yeah... more paint..." One of the players is upset that they're not playing again. I offer to play him, to which he replies, "... can you DO that?" "err, what?" "play me with a pump?" 0_0 "yes. I can." "You know that I've got a semi right?" "yeah, don't worry about me. I'll be fine." I fire one shot at him, and after seeing him play, decide to take it easy on him. I toy with him for a bit, and then when he tries to flank me I hit him in the leg. Two shots fired After the round, the group insists that they still need to leave to get paint, then hang out to watch the 1 on 1s for 15 minutes. Despite my preparedness I step onto my first round of 1 on 1s with a near-empty 12 gram... Intelligent! So it takes me all of ONE shot to realize that I need to change 12 grams. So, I very carefully divide attention between changing the 12 gram, and not looking like I'm trying to change a 12 gram. =) I get it changed and it takes me all of two shots (the first bounced) to get him. On my next 1 on 1 round I get gogged for playing sloppy. a little pissed at myself, but I didn't really care. I'd rather have someone else win and come back again I like the time after the 1 on 1s because everyone is just standing around, and it usually turns into a few pretty good games on the 3 man speedball field. We play a 5 on 5 game where I do alright, but by the time the next game starts I'm at 100% of my game. I run a pattern to the center 50 off the break, and take out the back right who was playing his bunker so loose that I could see more than half his body when I looked out. After he went out, I saw a 6"x3" area between the spool and the standup that was dark. I shot at it and heard the tell-tail sound of pants being hit I called the player out and he reluctantly left the field. I then moved my attention to the back center player, and after a bit of a fight he went out. There were two in the back left spool/standup I was in the center 50 and keeping an eye on them. After a bit of battle, I started to hear some shots where they shouldn't have been. I suspected one of the players moved to the left 40 spool. So I posted just to the left of it to make sure I caught him in case he decided to make a bunker move to the 50. I was just about to check on the guy in the back left, when I saw a blue vforce profiler pop into my sites, which was soon obscured by a splat of white paint over the mouth. I checked on the back left player quickly to find him moving to bunker up the left tape, I took a shot at him, and ran back to the right side of the 50 bunker as he hit the left side running and firing. He kept running past the 50, and curved around another bunker still firing, it took me two shots to get him. When he started walking off the field, I heard from the side-lines: "The pump wins!" Oh yeah. I'm back.
Afterwards, I caught up with some of my friends who are on a pump team. They are also quite good. I can only consistently eliminate one member of their team. I've hit another member once, and I've never hit the last. They ask me to join them on speedzone and by the time I get there they're about to play some poor souls. The two pump teammates against a pump and two semis, until I walk on to "even" the teams [insert another evil grin here]. We make short work of them, and one of the semis on the opposing team leaves, so I go on their team. After a long battle, I finally shoot out the guy I've never shot out before. twice... oops... He was stepping out, and I took the shot at him, and got back in, when I came back out, I saw him there still and shot him again. When I took the first shot, he was just standing there, so I wondered what was wrong, so I asked him, and before he could respond, his teammate bunkered me, and made short work of the my teammate. I'd like to think that if I knew for sure that the first player was out, I would have turned my attention to his teammate, and nailed him mid-bunker. But that's just speculation... The next round we all broke to our positions, and after some battling I moved up a couple bunkers to a better position (just to keep them from taking them), and we lose our semi teammate. After some more battling, the first guy I shot out the last time popped up out of a bunker 10 feet from me much to my surprise I then battled with him for about 10 more rounds before I needed to change 12grams... fuck. if he hears even the SLIGHTEST hiss from me changing 12 grams, I'm fucked with no lube. I stifle the sound with one glove, and twist with the other, fortunately, there was only a very small hiss as I unscrewed the empty powerlet. After I was back in action I battled a bit more with him, knowing too well how close I was to being bunkered, until it ended abruptly, I shot him out in one of our exchanges of fire. Wow. A few long balls is one thing, but to nail him in an evenly matched close range snap shooting contest? Awesome. by the way, when I play these guys, I have to get in so quickly, I rarely see whether or not my shots hit so when he got up to leave, I asked him what was wrong again. still not fully believing my skill. I was a little perplexed at how to get a better angle on the remaining player. I battled with him a bit and finally decided that my best move would be to a bunker in the middle (he was in a bunker to the center-left) The only problem was that the bunker was parallel to his, and about 10 feet ahead of his. So I would have a good angle on him, but very little cover (because I'd be sitting in the corner farthest from him), and very little chance of not getting spotting running there, or being heard either running there and sliding in. (still remembering that I could hear his approach before his bunker the last game) Just then I hear the train passing... I'm such a dick. I use the sound of the train to mask my approach to the bunker, and catch him totally by surprise, but still his reflexes save him from getting hit. He moves back and I sit at my bunker properly happy to use it for its fullest abilities. My teammate moves up and gets shot out just as I take out the last guy. My second shot on this player. Great fucking day.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
I suppose you think you deserve an update... Well... whatever.
Ok, so I wound up getting an iPod for my girlfriend. She enjoyed it so much I wound up getting one of my own. I'm listening to it right now, but yeah I forgot what I was going to say.
I'm just a little preoccupied with work recently. RECENTLY?! Ok, so work's great, but it's just really taking a lot out of me. (Like this web log) Most recently, I've been stressing this report/project thing for the past four days. Yeah, about 5 hours a day on average Which, coupled with the urgency associated with it for some reason They wanted us to hurry up, and then took forever sending the check... a week and a half later they're all about hurrying up! go fig. Oh, yeah, and they're doing some kind of monkey business to keep me from getting a solid bead on their network. I'm convinced they're screwing with me. What's worse, is that the lead engineer, and the CTO are just letting it slide. What the fuck ever happened to integrity??? When I told the CTO about the initial bit of strangeness, and what I suspected was happening (they were trying to get a gold star on their security test by cheating)
He was really upset by it, and was not going to sign his name on an incomplete report. So then, more wierdness happens, and I just kind of blow it off, THEN even MORE unexplainable crap starts happening, and when I send the e-mail saying that I'm almost sure they're fucking around on this report to get a better score, noone give a shit. "eh, well, it really needs to be done by tomorrow... But it would be incomplete then. Well... it really needs to be done by tomorrow...
I mean, I'm not really a dick, but that's fucked. And on TOP of that, the engineer that's going to be presenting the report, wants a day or two to change the format that is (agreeably) old, to something more user-friendly. Cool! But then she gets on my tits about turning it in "late" I really needed more time to reformat it, because the director of IT isn't going to understand what you gave me. If I was to give it to you in another format, I missed the e-mail. Well I know it's the same format that has always been used, but I just wanted to change it all around. I just rescheduled the meeting for Monday. That's fine. I understand. But when it gets down to the wire, and the customer (or one of their IT staff) is fucking up the results, you have to make the decision between complete, or now. And for all we know, the IT guy is fucking us up, so he can make us look bad. not that turning in an incomplete report doesn't make us look bad all by itself...
And what really gets me, is that the customer won't even know it's incomplete! They'll glance at it, and toss it into the pile of SEC filings! And what gets me EVEN MORE, is that the head engineer, and the CTO know this, and they're getting away with the incomplete report because they want it on Friday. I'm the only one saying "yeah, I COULD send it over, but it would be incomplete!" "Yeah... well... friday..." Well excuse me for taking some pride in my work damnit. I'm the only one upset by the fact that the customer isn't getting what they're paying for. Oh, by the way the customer doesn't even WANT it, they HAVE to do it because they're a publicly traded company!
So, to recap, the customer HAS to get a security audit done, they contract us to do it, they don't pay us for a week and a half, they demand we hurry after we finally get the check, they procede to disturb my ability to do the work we were contracted for, they want the report ASAP, I keep seeing wierd shit, so I have to backtrack, and do things over, I share this fact with everyone concerned, and they reply with a resounding; "Well... just finish it up, the customer is clapping his hands impatiently!" Way to go guys. Show some fucking backbone. At least pretend not to roll over so easily. It's not like we don't make bank. What's another 5 grand if we earned it by cutting corners and letting our customer tamper with the results and let them get away with it.
I can understand wanting to make the customer happy, but letting the customer dictate what happens when, how, and why is not (in my experience) our company style. ESPECIALLY when the the customer is paying for it against their will.
I'm just really starting to feel work catching up with me. Physically I mean. There aren't many mental things that can make me physically ill, because there are very few things that I take so seriously. But, like it or not, it seems work has become one of those things. Greaaaaaaat...
I guess there's two ways you can take work... You can either keep work and not-work completely seperate, in mind and practice, or you can mesh the two together, and hope the reaction of the two doesn't tie your intestines into a sheep's shank knot. it's not pretty... I guess you could call me idealistic, but I actually believe in "riding the brand". It's so rare that you find a company that you'd even be willing to put 75% of yourself into, that if you do, I figgure go for it. Everyone wants to belong to something bigger than themselves (it's what religion is about). Maybe business is religion to some people.
The only problem, is that lately, the brand has been riding you. You've got hoof-prints up your back, but you're still trying not to wince. maybe I'm not doing things the way I should be. Well, this is just an isolated incident. is it? is it possible you've been so blinded by your devotion the brand, that things have been getting worse and you haven't even noticed? if I haven't noticed, then how am I supposed to answer that? do you feel you're being taken advantage of? what's your real value to the company? i think this is the hole people find themselves in when they overthink things. I don't want to be in that hole. Were they overthinking things or just seeing clearly? there's no way to know that because you leave the company and either made a huge mistake or made the best most you could have. There's no way of knowing after it's done. Fair enough, continue to bust your but for a company that doesn't pay you what you're worth
better to make less working for a company you like with people you can believe in, than making more working at a job you hate with people you hate. is it? is work your life? I don't know. do you want it to be? I'm not sure. I don't think so. then why let work get to you when it can be vestigial to your life's experiences? i think it would be hard to not let work get to you at all, it takes up so much of your life, how could it not? it's been done. rethink your allegance. dont forget that at the end of the day, you are the one living your life. yeah, but at the end of the day, I also have to look at myself in the mirror. there's no shame is being selfish. and your friends and coworkers would WANT you to go some place better. it's not really so selfish if others would want the same for you. If I think bob is a nice guy and I wish him success, and he screws over jim to obtain success, am I happy for him? but you're not screwing over anyone.
youre just trying to be happy be happy by letting down my friends/coworkers? don't be so dramatic they want what's best for you. if what's best for you lies elsewhere, they'd be remiss to keep you from your opportunity.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Usually because bills come at different times 1st-14th and 15th-30th and because some bills are bigger than others, it can be cumbersome balancing everything, ESPECIALLY when some unexpected expense comes up. But that goes without saying... Anyway, to the balancing!
Our rent is due on the first. It is paid with a check from my girlfriend. I give her the money, she deposits it into her account, and the check goes in the box. Well, I get paid on the first, so when the first rolls around, it didn't make much sense to be scrambling to the bank (especially with their hours!) to get the money out, only to have my girlfriend deposit it in time for the check to go through. So, one month, I paid my portion of the rent with my check on the first, and took out half the money for the next rent. Then on the 15th, took out the other half, and had 15 days to get it into her account for everything to go smoothly. So I "paid" a little extra off my first check to get ahead and have the money early, instead of scrambling on the first of the next month.
There have been two occasions where my company was a day late to direct deposit. Each time, the accounting department is full of apologies, and offers of advances, and driving out from Trabuco Canyon to deliver a check so there will be money in the account on the first. Both times I declined, and assured them, that nothing was going to bounce, explode, or rain brimstone from the sky if I didn't have the money in my account at 12:00:01 AM on the first.
but enough stating the obvious I managed to do the same thing with all of my bills. Or, rather, figured out HOW I could do the same thing. It would keep everything balanced, so I would have the same amount of money after bills each paycheck. No more waiting till the 15th because I have fewer bills than the 1st. But, as before, I'm going to have to pay a little extra in April. It *should* work out. Actually, there's no reason it wouldn't... two words... i, pod! Oh yeah, that. Well that's obviously going to have to wait. But for that, I plan to pay down my credit card, and use it for that purchase. keeping your credit card at 75% "full" may cost you in intrest, but is great for improving your credit. If april goes off without a hitch (<-ipod) I'll also be able to institute a good savings regiment. And put it all towards closing out some of these meddlesome bills...
So, uh... yeah. Not sure why you all needed to know that... I was just kind of proud of myself for figuring out how to balance all the crap that's been weighing me down lately.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Now, don't get me wrong... I'm no mac-hater. I just hate the people who use them. People with purple hair, no less than 5 piercings, eyeshadow, and a big neon sign strapped to their back blinking "TORTURED ARTIST" (or "EMO", whatever the fuck that is). Generally, they're the crowd who got a hardon when they read apple's logo/motto thing, Think Different If... If I buy that... then I'll be different too! Yeah, dipshit. buy it. Buy it all.
Of course I'm generalizing, and I'd do it less if generalizations weren't so damned accurate.
Ok, so attention freaks who take hours engineering their hair to appear messy aside, I don't have much against Macs. especially since OS X runs on a Unix kernel! god I'm a geek. So I was just a cup of tea away from seriously considering purchasing a mac laptop.
But change is not to be taken lightly, especially THIS change There was a mac store at south coast plaza, a mall my girlfriend and I frequent. I'd resolved to take a look around, and told my girlfriend. Who probably wondered why it was such a big deal. We went to the mac store, and I couldn't do it. I felt like I was betraying all those PCs whom I'd loved so much. As we walked around I re-resolved to go in on our way out.
I cautiously approached the store, and held my breath. I was in apple country now.
Before I could take a look at some laptop specs or prices I was suprised to see how many people were in the store, clammering to get this, or buy that, asking questions to salespeople with hair colors that probably matched the "flavors" of the iMAC. We walked on. I had a tough time seeing the merchansise through the people milling about, or asking idiotic questions. "I need to get on the internet, can this do that?" My head began to hurt. I spotted the iPOD display, and wanted to check it out, but alas, surrounded by people. We walked on. Then, suddenly, sales people jumped from nowhere, asking if we needed any help! A quick, deflective retort; "no thanks." prevented almost certain annoyance! that was needlessly dramatic. Kinda funny, but still needlessly dramatic We neared the exit and left. My girlfriend asked, "Well? Did you see anything?" I replied, "Yes, I saw all the people I talk to on the phone who need help clicking on the start button"
I can't get a mac. It would be like denying my heritage. It would be like selling out. It would be like admitting defeat. Plus, this is fuggin' hilarious: http://www.ancientspear.com/mac.wvx
I won't buy a Mac.
This does not mean I won't consider an iPOD... From everything I've read, it seems nothing can stack up to it. Every "iPOD Killer" has floundered and failed, and served only to underscore the reasons for the iPOD's impressive market share.
For the longest time I'd been hard-pressed to find a reason for adding the iPOD to my portable music player collection. CD players, Mp3 players, MiniDisc players, the list goes on. iPOD's 9 hours of battery life was a great deterrent compaired to my MiniDisc player's GODLIKE 52 hours of battery life. CD players for sitting an listening to, mp3 players for listening while actively moving (they never skip), MiniDisc for everything in-between. I didn't really see why one would want an iPOD. A little bit ago, it clicked. I grabbed my MiniDisc player and my "James Bond MiniDisc case" (discontinued, it carries four minidiscs as compactly as possible. It gets its name because if James Bond had a minidisc case, this is the one he would have!) Anyways, I was trying to make a selection of minidiscs to place in the case. I was limited to 4, so I had to choose carefully. It was at this point I realized that the reason the iPOD is so popular, is because you don't have to choose. You can put every cd and MP3 you own onto it, sort them, and listen to any one of them you want in seconds. Actually, I'm remembering using the xbox to listen to music, and thinking of how nice it was to have all the music at my fingertips. Listen to two songs from this cd, then skip over to this one, then that, whatever you want. At that moment, I was sold.
I appreciate my music, and very often I find myself remembering songs or humming songs and trying to remember to listen to them when I get home. This usually leads to me forgetting, and I get stuck humming them the next day too! As a side note, when I began looking into the iPODs again, I found that the price had been lowered, and the mini now came in a 6GB version. Additionally, they've upped the battery life to a tolerable 18 hours! Score. I will have to get one as soon as I can furthur justify the purchase to myself. I'm weak, it won't take long.
I went and saw this Disney movie for some reason. Mid-way through the movie I stopped and tried to recall what exactly made me want to see this movie. There was no misleading advertising. There was no shameless editing of scenes to make them appear funnier. There was nothing to lead you to expect anything more from the movie than one could ascertain by watching a 30 second preview. But for some reason I wanted to see this movie. So we went to see it Saturday night... Or sunday... no, it was saturday. Ok, so we saw it on Saturday night. And I honestly believe the only thing that kept me from vomiting all over the person in the row ahead of me, was that the director, writer, and actors, seemed to know that this was a hack movie. Same tired story, same quick puns, same token comic relief characters, same tired ending. They knew what they were doing was old news, but instead of pretending it was new and novel, they just seemed to have more fun with it. It's hard to explain.
Vin Diesel, who's real name is probably Ira Haslowzski, played his typical bad-ass self (the same self I loved to listen to in "The Chronicles of Riddick" (on xbox), and when it was time for him to put on the fake plastic tear, he did. They even injected a little bit of "coming of age" bull-shit into the movie, and I still didn't seem to mind.
This movie had everything I hate and three thing I love! A teenage boy who didn't fit in, a snobby older sister type, some "girl-power" crap, that "coming of age" bs I told you about, stupid one-liners, a vice-principal who thinks he's god, a crotch biting duck, a goofy foreigner, unreal computers, booby traps, korean ninjas, Vin Diesel covered in human waste, montages that show gradual improvement, discrimination, the phrase "You're not my REAL dad!", crappy CG explosions (way to splurge Disney), the movie Ghost, a "daring" jet ski chase, and lastly, a dance made up by a top-level scientist to put his little kid to sleep which actually is the secret method of navigating the booby-trapped hallway to his secret vault hidden in a steel-walled secret facility under his garage accessable by a trap door and a spiral staircase. try to figure out which are the three I like
Anyways, I still have no idea why I went to see this movie, but I have even less of an idea as to why I actually enjoyed it. But don't see it. This is a "blockbuster night" waiting to happen.
It was jungle and there were two girls behind the house hiding from an enemy in the next bunker up (20 ft away), they were just hiding, but I got right next to them, and urged them to shoot back, and told them where to look out and shoot. Their teammates were cheering them on, and they were afraid, but returned fire anyways. But one ran out of air, and the other ran out of paint. Anticlimactic? Yes. But exciting? Definately. Afterwards I heard the girls talking about how much fun it was. That's what it's all about, getting the young ones to enjoy the sport
It got rather hot that day, and I (by instruction of a more seasoned reff) stuck to the group, who offered me water and food at every turn. I gladly accepted the water, but thought food would be an imposition. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to play town, but I'm actually happy we played the fields we did, because Easter Saturday was the busiest I'd ever seen Tombstone. There were 11 private groups, and an advanced, intermediate, and beginner walk-on. Wow. Which, as a matter of fact, totaled to more fields than tombstone even had to offer. So, balance and communication was the name of the game. Unfortunately I had to take them to boot hill for the last round, which was bad, as expected. But unavoidable.
Anyways, the kids seemed to have fun, and it was fun to see the adults shrink to little kids. if only for a day
My girlfriend played the day by herself, and had a good time. She got quite a few eliminations, but was unhappy with the way the day ended. As I usually am. Near the end of the day, groups meld together, and things get rather loose. This is usually when I try to escape the walk-on groups for some private group that doesn't mind a walk-on. But she had a good time, and got some good eliminations. Oh, and she was playing really aggressively! this makes me happy. this is the one guranteed way to increase your game, play aggressively! Apparently the reffs were mocking the rest of her team for staying back, when a girl was in the front doing all the hard work. She really seems to like this.
For my reffing, I got a $30 tip, very nice of them two cases of mid-grade paint and I'll be damned if it wasn't ONE NOTCH above mid-grade, and a month of free entry that's $30 a weekend for three weekends. I normally wouldn't bother with the paint, but with my girlfriend playing, paint is necessary, so I did kinda do this for her, too.
I do plan, however, to use the paint on our next outting. I didn't get a chance to try my Frantom I barrel, so I checked for the best freak insert for the mid-grade paint and filled my tubes monday morning. I have some old Evil paint, which should still be good, but I have another motive for using the mid-grade, it has a different fill color than the shell. Purple shell (which looks cool by the way), and yellow fill will allow me to better ascertain when my paint has broken on a target. There have been cases in the past when my orange shell orange fill Evil seemed to not break on the target, or seemed to get cleaned off shortly after the break. And I, being the fair player that I am, cannot say anything besides I know the ball hit, but I don't know for sure that it broke. But with a different fill color, I'll know for sure when someone needs to get out... Excellent. I am still bringing the evil along this saturday just in case the paint (which does not have a gel shell) is reluctant to break on softer targets. The evil is a smaller bore than I would be comfortable shooting through the frantom (I don't have an insert that small) and would have to use the stock barrel and a detent ring. Maybe I could use the frantom with the smallest insert with a detent ring... I may try that.
Friday, March 25, 2005
My girlfriend covering me before I make a run along the tapeline to bunker the last of the team.
The images don't allow linking, you have to click on the glider to see the pictures... click away!
Click on any of the images for the FRIGGIN HUGE version...
We went out with group called "Friendly Fire", and or "Too Much Phun". They run every first Saturday to SC Village, and third Saturday to Tombstone Paintball park. I usually try to avoid SC Village, but considering the last time I went there was a long time ago, I'm considering going with them next month.
A quick aside about why I like FF. Friendly Fire is $20 admission, BYOP (bring your own paint), free entry to the raffle (and you can buy more tickets at less then a dollar a piece) I usually by $20 worth of tickets, and get somewhere between $30-$100 worth of gear, free lunch and I'm not talking about no shitty "continental breakfast" free food, this is a jumbo jack, two 1/2 liter bottles of water, soda (name brand stuff too!), and candy (nutter-butter, famos amos cookies, etc.) Plus, there's always extra water and soda. Free CO2 fills ($6 at tombstone for a 20oz!), free marker tech (alone worth the $20!!!) I know the tech, and he's no dummy. And a fun day of ballin'! The last one usually costs extra =) This is EASILY the best deal in paintball.
I. Shit. You. NOT.
Anyway, for more info on FF, comment on the post. I get the e-mails.
Oop, almost forgot, there's a photography crew there. They follow you onto every field and take whatever pictures seem like good ones to take! At the end of the day, they post all the pictures they took (in small form, like 50 to a page), you look over them, ask to see a few full sized, and either buy them, or don't! Oh, the options! They do photo-quality print outs in 5x7 and 8x10, trim them for you, and will even provide frames if you want. Friendly Fire is kind of based around bringing in people new to the sport in a friendly environment. and for pretty frickin' cheap at that! You come out, you pay a bit of money, get the chance to win some paintball gear (they raffle off a marker every time), and get some pictures to commemorate your outing! Ok, enough shameless plugging!
Back to my day... The group was rather small, which I like, but it verged on too small... If the group is too small, you have trouble on larger fields. We played a larger field, and it actually didn't go so badly, because I was still able to control where everyone was (another benefit of smaller groups), and was able to get some good barrel tags, and look good doing it!
In one case we were on back trenches, and another pump player was occuping (occupying?) behind a set of spools, firing to the right and left of the field. I was on the right, and instead of battling with him, I saw a blind spot, right in front of the spool he was behind. I used his cover as my cover. remember kids! always wrap around your bunkers!!! I dropped down into a trench, and ran to the center of the field, and cautiously got out of the trench and made the run across the 30 ft road to the bunker without being noticed. I began to cut around the bunker to check for feet, when I did, I saw a player sitting to the side of the spool in a trench. I shot him out, and heard from behind the spool, "are you out?" and the response from the dead man, "he's right there!". I snap around the right corner knowing he was firing to the left before his friend called me out. I see his back two feet from me, and must reign in my eager Phantom MAETH, and inform the player that he is out. It took a couple of times to convince him of that fact.
In another instance we pushed them back to their first bunker line on boxes. My girlfriend covered me while I ran in to take the last bunker. I couldn't resist buying the picture that was taken just before my run, it will follow. I ran to the last bunker, careful not to overrun it, because you can't really take a long bunker wide without being able to lay paint. I hit the corner of the bunker, and pop out autotriggering a group of three at my feet. I get back in because of a player 6 feet ahead with some cover between me and he. It takes two shots to gog him, I then run down the bunker line to the corner, and approach the last enemy low behind a board covering the trench-type bunker he was in. I popped up above the board once I got there, and let the player know that he was now out. Again, I had to tell him a few times. Afterwards the guy told me that he was confused why someone from his side of the field was telling him that he was out, and then he saw my band flying out from behind my head. (Bands are used to seperate the teams, one side ties orange bands to the back of their masks, and the other team doesn't. The teams: Bands and No-Bands) And the peasants rejoice.
We later played town. For those of you who may know the field, we were on the side nearest the back speedball field There were about 8 of us, five took left and myself, my girlfriend, and another (pretty skilled) player took right. The 5 were a group of 5, and didn't want the likely possibility of getting owned for being underpowered on an important side of the field break up their group. Fine. More elimination for us. We had little trouble taking the right side, and were soon at their 10. Perhaps the No-Bands had the same problem with the same side. Should have selected more skilled players. We began working our way toward the left side of the field from their starting point to take them by suprise. Well, the (pretty skilled) player took the far side, and jumped the gun. He unloaded a hopper in the general direction of a group of 4 of the opposing team. I think he hit one of them, but as a bonus, our cover was blown! We began battling with the players in a couple of houses who were also battling our teammates on the other side of them. To properly explain the tactics involved in the following manuver please imagine 9 square houses set up in a 3x3 pattern (as it would appear from above. Just three rows of three boxes (houses) forming a square Now remove the bottom middle box. I was in the bottom left house, in the bottom right corner (door), when I see across the open space (empty bottom middle space) an enemy in the window of the house across mine (the bottom right house, window in the bottom left corner of the house, another window in the left middle of the house). We fire at eachother a bit, and when he gets in his window I exit my door into the empty space, and run toward the side of the house in the center of the 3x3. I see his barrel stick out the window, aiming at the door where I was. Once I'm at enough of an angle, I run towards the center window of the house he's in, quickly check the other walls of the house to see if I'm safe to hang in the window, and pop through the window facing the player in the corner. He is crouched down leaning out the door aiming at the door I was at. I think he saw something out the corner of his eye and ignored it to pay attention my door. I say "Hey player, you're out." He turns his head to see me, looks back at the door, and puts his marker up and walks off. I enter the house and move to the door joining the bottom right house and the right center house. I slice the pie on the door, and see a player sitting with his back to the wall between two windows, with his marker in his lap aiming in my general direction. I took him by suprise, but since I could see down the barrel I shot him in the mask before he could react. A split second after I shot him before he could react, he reacted. He put his empty hands forward showing me his palms and said "I surrender!" yeah. You can't surrender if you're already dead! :P
I'd been thinking about reffing for Tombstone for a while, but had just decided I should do it. Everyone there knows me (or rather knows of me), and I'd like to do my part to make sure everyone has fun. aaaand... you get free admission for a month, and two cases of (mid-grade) paint! That's worth about $100 to me. I'm probably going to ref this Saturday. Rest assured that you all will know my thoughts afterwards. Update: I will be reffing this Saturday. So if anyone is reading this, look for the ref with the grey profiler and the black 100th monkey hat
Ah yes, after paintball... We went home, got cleaned up and headed to Main street to check out the NPPL Huntington Beach Tournament. When we got there, I called my friend and he got us VIP behind the main field. We had front row seats to see Infamous get totaled. It was nice. Afterwards we had dinner at Wahoo's on Main. Got the Bonzai burrito, it was good stuff. I look forward to going there in the future. Had dinner with my friend, his brother, who was in the tournament, and some of his teammates.
All-in-all, a kick-ass day. Oh yeah, my girlfriend is getting pretty good. I'm proud.