Saturday, October 30, 2010

Seems an Odd Design Choice

Ok, I fully admit that I'm a nerd and that I often times overthink the technical details shown in movies. It's especially hard for me to overlook computer-related gaffs in movies, given my profession. That said, this is more of what seems to be an architectural gaff in the Star Wars universe. Specifically, the design of the Deathstar.

In the "New Hope" (i.e., the real first Star Wars movie ...that came out when I was seven), the interior structure of the Deathstar was never really clearly spelled out. Yeah, where the Millenium Falcon gets drawn into the docking bay, it seemed to show that at least parts of the Deathstar were oriented in the stereotypical, lazy sci-fi, "there's a universal 'up' direction". However, they never really explicitly stated that the entire station was laid out in the same orientation. It's as logical to assume that the docking bay was oriented that way for functional reasons and that the rest of the Deathstar (at least, 'the rest' that wasn't also docking bays) might be laid out differently.

However, in "Revengeturn of the Jedi", it becomes fairly clear that the entirety of the Deathstar is laid out with a similar orientation:

Deathstar from Return of the Jedi

Looking at the picture, you see that it appears that the interior is made up of stacked, horizontal layers and that the layers are stacked parallel to the equatorial trench. Basically, given a spherical outer shell, the interior structure is stack-upon-stack of circular deck plates oriented along a central, virtically-oriented axis. That is, it's a giant layer-cake design with a spherical outer shell.

Now, to a hack sci-fi writer like George Lucas, this kind of layout might make sense. As a hack, you don't think about things like "how does one put artificial gravity into this kind of structure" (after all, you're too busy trying to imagine what energy-beam weapons sound like in the vacuum of space). To someone like me, and you wonder "how do people stay anchored to the deck they're moving about on?"

With the above type of design, I can only think of a couple ways that the occupants are able to stay anchored to the deck-plating an walk in a way that approaches "normal":

  • There's some gravitic-force at the bottom-most part of the Deathstar that exerts a pull all the way to the top-most part of the Deathstar.
  • Each deck-plate has a gravitic material that has a very localized effect, but is sufficient to keep deck-occupants walking relatively normally
  • The deck plates are made of ferrous materials and everyone's shoes have magnets in them.

Each of the above seems a pretty silly supposition and a horribly thought-out design choice.

  • The problem with a gravitic force rooted at the bottom of the Deathstar is the diminishing force of gravity, the further you get from the gravitic source. One would expect that, with such a design, gravitational pull would be highest in the lowest decks of the station and nearly non-existent in the topmost part. I guess that makes a sort of sense if you're using the upper reaches of the station as machinery or docking space for space ships. However, the scene with the Millennium Falcon demonstrates that at least some of the hanger space is at the station's equatorial region. The drawing above also seems to indicate that the upper reaches of the station doesn't contain the kinds of voids one would expect in a region used for the docking of spacecraft.
  • The problem with per-deck gravity generators is "how does one limit the direction of the gravitational effect". What I'm saying is, if I've got a gravitic force in my floors and a (presumably equal) gravitic force in my ceilings, how am I not being pulled towards the ceiling just as much as I am the floor? How are the forces not canceling each other out, leaving me suspended equidistant from my floor and ceiling. As far as I'm aware, gravity is a force that acts equally in all directions from the gravitational source. While there are theories about monopole magnets, their existence hasn't been proven, yet, and I don't know that there's an equivalent theory for gravitational directionality.
  • Of the three, the ferrous deck-plates is about the only thing that makes any kind of sense. Your anchoring force is very localizable and is easy to make consistent throughout the entire station. Down-side is, with magnetic shoes, I gotta think you still suffer the whole gamut of physical health problems you do with extended deployments on real life space stations (bone loss and muscle-mass loss and the like).

Maybe there's other anchoring technologies I'm not thinking of (beside the "it's some kind of wondrous alien technology" reason that a hack would use to defend his "art").

To me, a more logical design for a spherical Deathstar would be some kind of "concentric shells" design. Basically, a design reminiscent of an onion. That way, you could have a gravitational force at the station's core. Alternatively, you could simulate gravity by way of the station's rotation (this really only works for wheel or ring-style structures, however). It would fit with the whole central reactor core design. If you had some kind of artificial singularity (which, given the kind of power you'd need to be able to generate a planet-annihilating beam-weapon, makes sense), that could act as your gravity source. A gravitational core would also make sense given that "spherical" is the natural shape of celestial objects that have sufficient mass and gravity. It would probably minimize the demands to evenly distribute structural loading (whereas,with a bottom-sourced single gravity source "layer cake" design, creating a sphere shaped station would be a purely aeshtetic play. The location of the gravity source would tend to make exert a non-uniform pull across the station meaning that you'd have to put a lot of complex engineering in place to maintain a spherical shape and not make the station "fragile").

Bleah. Yeah. I overthink this shit.

Best Costume Idea Evar...

Genius, I Tell You

Consummate Hacks

Every year, I get the "joy" of listening to the Pittsburgh Penguins home commentators because of NHL Center Ice. For whatever reason, NHL Center Ice seems to prefer to use their broadcast feed when showing Penguins/Flyers games. I can only guess that the Pittsburgh broadcast has a lower carrying cost than what Comcast-Spectacor charges for their broadcast. This would make a certain sense, given that the Comcast production is a lot more professional: better video quality, better camera operations and commentators that are a lot less extreme on the "blind homer" scale.

On the plus side of the horror that is the Pittsburgh-based broadcast team: having the Pens' home commentators calling the game is extra sweet when the Pens lose.

Full Evening...

This evening we partook in the following:

  • Dinner at Maggianos (18:00-20:00) for their Virginia Wine fesitval dinner.
  • Voodoo Ball at the Loft (22:30-02:20)
  • Home to complete two daily challenges on Halo: Reach. (03:00-04:30)
Full evening. I'm thinking Saturday may be less eventful.

How Low Can You Go

No matter how far you lower your standards or expectations, someone will always come along who fails to meet them.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Old Pictures

You know you're looking at an old picture if it's a picture of Michael Jackson ...and he actually looks black in it.
Then again, what does it say about my age that I can still remember when Michael Jackson still looked black.

I Ain't That Bad

At least I'm not the only geek that sometimes takes things too literally...

So, this guy decides to be a little to literal on the whole "cookies dough" icecream thing. Now, I'll admit to having thought of doing things like this. Just never saw the point in actually carrying it out. Usually, the thought-exercise is enough. But, in the days of teh intarwebz, ya always need something to put out there.

Hmm... Maybe I should do less thought-exercises and more real activities? I mean, I really do need a hobby. Maye if I actually started acting on my more ridiculous thoughts, I'd be less bored. Who knows: might even be ale to turn it into a revenue-stream.

Not Much of a Prize

Commercial just ran for some random contest. The "prize" was a copy of Sex in the City 2 on BluRay or DVD.

How the hell is a DVD/BD of "Sex in the City 2" considered a "prize"? If that's your "prize", it ain't that good of a contest, eh?

Halloween on Price Is Right

So, today was this year's "Halloween" episode of Price Is Right. Drew and the rest of the cast dressed up like the cast from Wizard of Oz.

Now, if I recall, correctly, Price Is Right shoots it's episodes several days or weeks before actually broadcasting them (much like all the late-night shows are shot in the mid-afternoon or early evening). This means that, if they want audience members and/or contestants to be in costume, people have to be dressed up not on Halloween.

I know that Price Is Right sells advanced tickets, but, I imagine there's a lot that are sold "at the door". And, that aside, more than a few people in the audience are people who are non-local and are just taking the opportunity to get on TV while on vacation (thus, probably haven't packed costumes with them).

For the tickets sold in advance, they could print on the tickets "Halloween broadcast: please dress up". However, I don't think that's the case and, even if it was, probably wouldn't result in a great number of people dressing up at any rate.

Judging by the costumes, I'd say that most, if not all, of the costumes are show-issued. It looks like women who are cute and fairly petitely or slenderly built are given the option of wearing costume store tart-ware (sexy-cop, sexy-firegirl, sexy-nurse, etc.). The rest of the people are given Halloween-themed Price Is Right T-shirts, offered makeup and/or accessories. Given the number of non-svelte Price Is Right audience members, the makeup, t-shirt and/or (non body size-specific) accessories are the most flexible way to get the largest number of people "in theme".

Speaking of "non-svelte"... At the end of the show, they gave everyone a 5lb. Hershey's Chocolate chocolate bar. I wonder how many of the recipients already had "the diuhbeetus"?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm Lagging the Game?

So, I've been using XBox Live, lately, to rack up points on Halo: Reach (overall, I prefer to play online firefights). Most of the time, it's a pretty good experience with good, solid, stable, speedy servers. Other days... It's occasionally choppy and laggy.

Today, for the most part, it's been pretty good. I had one game where there were four of us playing. Ever so often the game would lock up and one player in the list would be shown as having a bad connection to the server (it was the same player, each time).

A couple games later, I was matched up on a map with just one other person. The game was kinda herky-jerky. The other guy starts whining about how laggy the game is. Starts whining that I'm causing the lagginess and that he's never had a laggy game before. Eventually, the tool quits out (presumably out of frustration). I was able to tell pretty much exactly when he quit - not because the quit notification but because the game pretty much immediately smoothed out.

Here's the deal: I have Verizon's FiOS with the 25/15 package. I'm not hurting for bandwidth. After the game ended, I went to my laptop and pulled up SpeedTest.Net:

So, I'm not getting the full download speed. But I'm getting more than my sold-level of upload bandwidth. In either case, I've got better than 15Mbps in each direction: this is more than enough to support online multi-play on XBox Live. Combine this with the server speeding up after bitchboy-bailed and it seems fairly obvious who the source of the lag was.

Guess ECW Wanted More Air Time

On the one hand, I'm bummed that Caprica got cancelled. After all, I really liked Battlestar Galactica and the story/universe its writers put together. Caprica also showed similar levels of production value and was fairly story-driven. I really wanted to like Caprica. Unfortunately, I just never really did.

The show always came off as a little too emo and a little too unsubtle. It was like the writers of Dawson's Creek were trying to tackle the issues of religious extremism and big brotherish responses. That's why, after two episodes, I started referring to it as "Dawson's Cylon".

I guess on the plus side of the cancellation, there'll be more room for RASSLIN' in the schedule!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tough Beans

Leaving jelly beans too close to the A/C vent kinda sucks. It's pretty much the exact opposite of the pleasure of eating jelly beans that have softened in your hands.

Survival Strategies

In the face of a zombie apocalypse, isn't the best survival strategy to hole-up with lots of slower friends?

Dear "Senator Barb":

So, were you on the front lines fighting for gender-neutral car insurance pricing? Or, more likely, because you're not being penalized and men generally don't whine as much about "fairness" as women, you sat quietly on the sidelines whenever pricing practices for auto insurance came up.

Nice pandering, by the way, "Senator Barb". Hopefully, enough of the men in Maryland realize "with people like her in office, my wallet will be raided to make things cheaper for some protected class."

Bringing Back Harvest Gold

Why is it that, when I hear the Fed talk about "quantitative easing", all I really hear is "inflation" (or, more likely, "stagflation").

New UPS?

Got a call from the wife, today. Apparently, everything plugged into the decade-old UPS was dark. Further, attempts at resetting the UPS failed to result in a return of power to the attached devices. So, I went online and looked around for a new UPS. I found what looked to be a decent one for $193. Unfortunately, when you added in shipping, it would have been $325.

Now, there was once a point in time when I could justify that kind of money for a UPS. Indeed, the UPS that had, apparently, died had once set me back nearly $800. However, it was providing power backup and conditioning for several computers that I was using to perform web, mail and file service out of my basement.

I'm not doing that, any more. Mostly, I just need something to keep my fileserver and my VOIP-stuff online. Thus, spending for a like-kind replacement just doesn't make sense.

So, I left work and dropped by MicroCenter on the way home. Picked up a consumer-grade 1350VA UPS for half that total outlay. Got home, swapped in the new UPS and everything's back online. Sadly, I couldn't leave well enough alone. So, be for tossing it out, I decided to see if I plug it in and see if I could get it working again. Plugged it in, clicked on the startup toggles and it sprang to life. Best I can figure is that, when lugging the 75lbs. beast upstairs, I had hit the circuit-breaker button. At any rate, it's still working, but, I don't feel like lugging it back downstairs and remounting it. So, out in the closet it went. Still just chapped that I wasted time and $160 at MicroCenter when I might not really have needed to.


An old boss is being quoted for a news article. I think I just died, a little, inside. At the risk of burning bridges, this is a person that I most definitely did not respect. I don't know anyone working under him that did. I mean, there was just a lot about his behaviors (at least during that time period) that were illustrative of how not to be a good boss.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gotta Love "Technicalities"

Hooray for being a pedestrian at 137KPH!

Negative Impacts On Shopping Districts?

If your on-street parking rates are so steep I need a credit card to use them, I don't need to shop in your city.

Seriously, it really makes me wonder what municipalities are thinking when they jack parking rates in retail enclaves. At the end of the day, I've got a bajillion options for spending my money. Even if I actually liked the shopping experience (I don't), I can get it elsewhere if you give me cause. I can go to another shopping center or district that has cheaper or free parking. I can go online and not even have to get out of my PJs.

Good Ideas™, Trivialized

Ok, first, let me start by saying that the idea of a sex-offender registry isn't inherently flawed. However, like many things that start out as "Good Ideas™", the execution frequently makes a mockery of the original idea. If the original idea is to provide a warning to people about rape, molestation or similar potential, why include other, non-relevant and (worse) trivial infringements in the same category. At the end of the day, is a sex-offender registry really worth having if you can get on it for taking a leak by the side of the road?


So many wonderful words in the English language. At the moment, I favor "gormless".

Mental Driftage

Ok, why did mudkipz just randomly float through my brain. Tenuous grasp of sanity, I tell you. My brain needs sanitized.

So You Got Stopped...

It really always makes me wonder what the point of getting pissed at a cop that just pulled you over is (note that I'm assuming the cop was courteous and professional during the encounter). For things like traffic violations, it's not that the cop is picking on you, it's that you did something they could site you for. You did something stupid - either out of poor habits, lack of knowledge, distraction or inattentiveness. The point is, you did something citable.

Overall, I just don't get being pissed at a cop because he nailed you for being stupid. Be mad at yourself, for being stupid.

Mostly, I don't get what the point of wasting the time yelling at the cop is. It's not going to get you out of the ticket. It's really only going to waste time that you could otherwise be using elsewhere. I got better things to do than waste my time trying to convince a cop not to cite me.

My Heart Bleeds for You, Potomac Greens

It's a damned shame that you might have to pay for a Metro stop just to serve your neighborhood. I mean, sure, it's reasonable to expect all Alexandrians or Fairfax County residents to subsidize you getting a new convenience. I'm sure that, being able to afford million-dollar luxury townhomes means you're too strapped to pay for things that benefit only you.

Didn't you read the fine-print on your purchase documents that told you you were part of a special tax-district? That's what a special tax-district is: you're subject to very localized taxes to pay for the things that benefit just your local area.

Has There Ever Been a Question As to Biden's Ass-clownery?

"Every single great idea"?? Yet more proof that this ass-clown should never have been allowed to hold any office that impacts the public at large. Too bad that holding national public office has become less an exercise in stewardship of the public good than it has self-enrichment.

Bullying's Like Art or Pornography

Sure, bullying ain't cool. But how does one *objectively* determine what it is? Seems a lot like defining art or pornography. All seems rather nebulous. It all seems like we're on a slipery-slope when we try to protect people's feelings and self-esteem. Remember: it's not the obvious cases that are going to be the undoing of us all: it will be the enlargement of definitions to include the smallest of slights.

Dietary Guidance?

If I had psychic octopus sushi, would it improve my gambling performance?

Stupidity Tax

Pretty much, that's how I look at moving violations (and similar fines). Mostly, you get nailed when you're doing something stupid, being impatient or just being inattentive.

Today, I got hit with a stupidity-tax by way of the Fairfax County police department. I was leaving work and my GPS alerted me to a major traffic problem on my usual route home. So, I took its suggestion and went a "back way". Unfortunately, not being familiar with it, I ended up "being stupid" and got nailed for it. Apparently, in Fairfax County, if you pull onto the shoulder before the lane markings officially designate it as the turn lane, it's a violation (specifically, "passing on the shoulder").

Oh well. Should be interesting to see how much fifty yards costs me.

At least the cop was really cool and professional about it. Given the horror-shows that are other local jurisdictions (I'm looking at you, PG County PD), it's nice to know that your local police act like professionals. Too bad the twat who got pulled over with me had to turn into a whiny bitch. As it was, from request to pull over to issuance of citation, I only lost six minutes of time - less time than what the GPS said getting stuck on my normal route would have cost me. Dunno how much time she was going to waste trying to fight a ticket she surely deserved.

Why I Love Shell-Scripting

For those times when you have a text file of host to IP bindings, it's easy to see if you need to add shit to your DNS servers. You can write a script like:

for i in `cat hosts.txt`
   HOSTIP=`echo $i | cut -d : -f 1`
   FOUNDNAME=`echo $i | cut -d : -f 2`
   DNSNAME=`dig -x ${HOSTIP} | egrep -v "^;" | awk '/PTR/{print $5}'`
   if [ "${DNSNAME}" = "" ]
   printf "%-15s%-40s%-40s\n" ${HOSTIP} ${DNSNAME} ${FOUNDNAME}

That gives you output that looks like:    #NOT_IN_DNS#                     labserv3014u    #NOT_IN_DNS#                     labserv1301u        labserv3132u        labserv1188u        labserv3131u        labserv3071u    #NOT_IN_DNS#                     labmgr13    #NOT_IN_DNS#                     labserv1073u    #NOT_IN_DNS#                     labserv1072u        labserv1073u    #NOT_IN_DNS#                     labserv1071u        labserv1186u

Then, you just grep for the "#NOT_IN_DNS#" lines and update your DNS servers to reflect your host table file.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Verizon's Still Got a Few Kinks to Work Out of FiOS

Ok, first, let me start by saying that when Cox advertises saying that their customer service is better than that for Verizon FiOS, this is not just marketing, it's verifiable fact. I had Cox as my video and internet provider for several years. So, I had several occasions on which I had to call them. I've now had Verizon for a little over eight months and I've called them more than I called Cox over the entire multi-year period I had their service.

Each time I called Cox, I was able to quickly navigate their call-tree and get a human on the line within a matter of a few minutes. Each time I've called Verizon, it takes at least ten minutes to get through their damned call-tree, and then you wait another 10-30 minutes just to get to speak to the first human in the chain you inevitably have to talk to.

Notice that I say first human. Each time I've called Verizon, I speak to a minimum of two people. Worse, with each hand-off, I have to go through the whole drill of "no, I don't have Verizon phone service" and provide alternate identifying information so they can find my record. Now, why, when they transfer you, the next CSR doesn't have all your info come up on their screen as part of the transfer process is beyond me. With Cox, I generally had a warm hand-off; on those occasions where I didn't, the next representative at least had all my info already on their screen.

Now, I was calling this time because, when I went to turn on tonight's Flyers game, I was met with the "you don't subscribe to this service" screen (and told to call their 800 number to change that). So, I called in. It took just shy of ten minutes to navigate their call-tree just to get to the point that I could be put in a hold-queue. I then spent just shy of fifteen minutes waiting for the first CSR. He got on the phone and we did the whole "find the account" dance. He locates my account and informs me, "that programming option's not on your plan. Does your set-top box not offer you the option of adding it?". I reply, "no, otherwise I'd not have called in." At which point, I'm informed that I'll have to speak to someone in their subscription/add-on services group and that I should, "please hold".

Another six-plus minutes passes on hold. As expected, the CSR that answers has us go through the whole no Verizon phone service dance. Ugh. He finds my account and then looks through it. Apparently, last winter, when I got my FiOS service, it was already at the halfway point of the season. My NHL Center Ice package only for the second half of the season. That half-season package was set to auto-renew in January. I start to laugh at how awfully moronic that was. I then ask him to go ahead and try to get the full-season package added and the half-season auto-renewal removed. It takes him another four minutes to navigate his computer systems (why is it every time I call a CSR organization, they always say "sorry, my computer's being slow"?). He gets the change sorted out. Unfortunately, it will take a minimum of 20 minutes for the change to show up on my set top box, and might even take until midnight for the change to take effect (depending on my market).

Whatever. I was already 40+ minutes into missing the game I wanted to see. Judging by the Flyers' web site, I wasn't really missing a game I wanted to see (they were losing 2-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets by this point). Maybe, by the time I next tune into NHL Center Ice, it will be up and running on my set top box and will be showing a game I'll be more happy to see.

So, uh, Verizon: you get yet another big, fat "F-" for this customer experience (as you did for the four, prior incidents). And, that's an "F-" by way of comparison to Cox, who isn't exactly known for being top of the heap for customer service.

Bunny: it's what's for dinner.

Tonight was our seventh anniversary. Each year, we either go out for dinner or Donna cooks up something special and serves it on the good china and silverware.
Rosemary Rabbit with Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto
Tonight, Donna made an herbed-rabbit and chanterelle mushroom risotto. The china and silverware is my (great grand) Uncle Harry's. Got it a number of years ago when my grandmother Ott went into her rest-home. My Uncle Harry had given them to her when he went into a rest home in his late 80s (he died several years ago at the age of 105). So, that's some old stuff, as it had been gifted to him when he'd gotten married.


The problem with turning systems over to users is that, invariably and inevitably, they fuck them up. Worse is turning systems (any technology, to be honest) over to privileged users. Unlike regular users, privileged-users have immense powers to fuck things up in ways that normal users don't. And, in the end, because you can't think down to their level, it leaves you scratching your head wondering just what the fuck they did and why it occurred to them to even try to do it that way.


Not sure how much faith I place in it, but NAI's website/tool supposedly allows you to opt out of targeted adverts.

I Think I'm Going to Be Ill

On the best days, working in an office is a trial. Then, you add in things like Mondays. Toss in horrible personal hygiene of co-workers. Throw in the noise associated with open office plans (i.e., "cube farms"). Take it all together and add in other annoyances and it's really a wonder that "going postal" isn't a daily occurrence.

Now, I like to think I'm fairly tolerant. I may bitch about things (a lot), but, I mostly put up with it. Then again, as a wage-slave, "what are ya gonna do". I also like to think that I'm fairly hard to shock or even surprise. Still, the personal habits of co-workers is always a source of amazement and, all-to-frequently, disgust.

Today is a perfect case in point. After my morning caffeine-infusion, I had to go use the bathroom. Mtn. Dew is great for waking you up, but it runs through you faster than an equivalent volume of beer does. My first trip to the bathroom, I was met with what would (mildly) be called and "unpleasant aroma". However, I was able to at least get in, get my business done, wash up and get out. Unfortunately, the quantity of this morning's Mtn. Dew was such that I needed to hit up the facilities again around an hour later.

This time, the lone urinal was in use. So, I had to resort to the sit-down stalls. I saw feet under the door of the first stall. I figured that accounted for the increase in the lovely aroma. That is, until I got to the other available stall. As I approached and was about to work my fly, I noticed a fecal stalactite hanging from the bowl of the toilet.

Disgusted, I thought to myself, "I'll hit one of the other bathrooms". So, I went upstairs to use that one. Unfortunately, I got there and the smell was even worse than the bathroom on my cube's floor. Again, feet visible under the door of one of the stalls, lone urinal in use. So, again, I sought out the remaining sit-down stall.

Whut-the-fuck: "Shit soup". Whoever'd made that mess couldn't be bothered to flush. Either that, they were in such a panic from what had just come out of them that they'd simply bolted and left it to brew.

So, I headed to the basement to find urinary refuge, there. Fortunately, that was clean. I can only guess that the authors of the prior fecal-crimes had yet to find that particular outlet on their rounds.

Note that I say "authors". As I said on Twitter, "I refuse to believe this morning's restroom atrocities were the work of a single, prolific author. Must have been a foreign foods fest in DC." However, in retrospect, I don't know which prospect is worse: that there's one person responsible for the multiple, heinous acts (and probably still skulking about, readying another "gift") or that more than one person could be that foul. Ugh.

Stuck in My Head

Too much gruntpocalypse on Halo: Reach leaves you shouting "SHAZOOK! SHAZOOK!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Good Food; Bad Website

I love Stachowski's products, but their website is rubbish. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's put together by the guy who runs their market stands. Nice guy, but, clearly not a graphic designer or marketer by trade.

You Call This a Snack??

Ok, clearly I've gotten old. I'm sitting here in a house full of sweets and junk:

  • there are left-over homemade cupcakes that Donna made for a party, yesterday
  • there's a couple of fruit hamantaschen with my name on them
  • there's a similar number of rugelach waiting for me
  • there's part of a bag of Jelly Belly jellybeans
  • there's two boxes of assorted gumdrops
  • there's even a mostly-full bag of Cheetos sitting on the end-table, next to me.

But, what did I end up having as a late afternoon snack? I had the below:

Sunday Snack

That's some slices of french baguette for dipping in the extra garlic hummus and a plate of vegetables (tomatoes from the garden, cauliflower from the farmers' market and pickled peperoncinis). What the hell am I thinking??

Bad Sports Day

My Eagles lost. The Deadskinz squeaked one out. The Ravens managed to not embarrass themselves with Buffalo. With the way the day's going, the freaking Cowpats will probably win, tonight.

I think it all really started to go to hell when, what looked to be the second TD scored by the Bears' defense was voided from a dead-ball foul (Deadskinz had let the play clock expire before snapping). Just before that got turned over: it was starting to look like the Bears were getting their shit together and would win; the Eagles were ahead; the Ravens were behind.

Fuck. I was really hoping the Bears' D would have more points than the Deadskinz O. Damned dead-ball foul.

I'm Not a Good Sport

In fact, in many sporting contests, I express my outcome preference in terms of who I'd rather see lose than who I'd rather see win. I mean, when it's not one of my teams (Flyers, Eagles, any PSU team), I generally don't care who wins other than how it best helps my team(s). That said, there are certain teams that I almost always want to see lose (Redwings, Penguins, Senators Cowboys, Redskins and pretty every college team that isn't PSU). There are also certain players that I take great joy from seeing lose, and, by extension, the teams they're on (I'm looking in your direction, T.O.).

I live in the DC Metro region. I don't like any of the teams here. Unfortunately, absent spending several $100s per year to see my teams, I'm stuck watching the local teams on TV. Right now, as I write this, I've the choice of the Deadskinz or Baltimore. I have a hard time caring about Baltimore in any way. So, I'm watching the Deadskinz. Now, I pretty much hate Chicago and its teams, but... Go Bears (beat the Deadskinz).

I Don't Get Advertising

I get that makers of products have a need to make potential consumers aware of their products. I also get that there's this belief that any attention is good attention. I don't agree with it, but I get that some people believe it to be true. Personally, I don't know why you'd want to start a potential business arrangement (which is what a decision to purchase is) off where parties to the transaction are pissed off. I mean, me being pissed at someone or something doesn't typically encourage me to become involved with them. So, whenever it happens, I always wonder, "do websites (etc). really think that obnoxious, loud, multimedia adverts are a good way to encourage return visits (or ad clicks)?"

Wish Granted

Often times, when reading news about particularly stupid behavior, I wish that stupidity was painful. Perhaps if it were painful enough, people might act less stupidly.

Today, I was pleased to Stumble upon this article. It shows that, sometimes, stupid *is* painful.

Petty Joys

If I won the lottery, I'd wish for enemies so that I might use my wealth to continually smite them. Well, maybe not, but it strikes me as an amusingly petty thing to do or want.


Sometimes, it feels as though my favorite sports teams do their best when I don't watch them. When I go to see my teams play live, it seems that, more times than not, they don't really put forth a good effort and frequently lose because of it. While winning's always better than losing, I always want to see my teams bust their asses to at least try to win. Unfortunately, it just seems that the best efforts I see from my teams are in rebroadcasts rather than in either watching live or watching a live broadcast. Could never figure out why this was.