Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cheese Don't Fail Me Now

Tonight, Donna made a wonderful dinner of cassoulet. We had a guest over to help us eat it. Even pared-down, cassoulet recipes make for a lot of food. Besides: it meant that someone else could bring wine.

After killing the dinner, we opted to hang out for a bit and watch movies. Having an XBox and FiOS, we have a lot of movie options without having to leave the house. I decided to look through our Zune options, first. As I scanned through the "New Releases" menu, I found Nude Nuns with Big Guns ...How do you NOT watch that??

Well, in hindsight, you just go right the hell ahead and skip it. It was rather sucktastic. I'd assumed it'd be in a similar category to Machete: so bad it's good. Nope. It was just bad - awful, actually. I'd embraced the cheese and the cheese utterly failed me.

I Like Mountain Dew...

I like Mountain Dew, especially the "Throwback" stuff. I guess because there's so many cocktails that feature any given softdrink I figured I'd look to see what might be out there for Mountain Dew. So, I put "Mountain Dew cocktail" into Google and I found a page on the subject. Most seem like fairly predictable variations on other common, citrus-based cocktails. That said, I think I'd be hard-pressed to like even a few of these...

Laptop Cleanup Day

My work laptop has a 250GB hard drive in it. Years ago, I would have assumed that was more than plenty of space. Nowadays... "not so much". Even though I keep a lot of stuff offloaded onto my (once ginormous 1.5TB) NAS, crap still manages to build up and eat all the space on my laptop's hard drive. Every so often, I dig through the crap to delete the stuff I don't need and offload the stuff that I want to keep.

I only ever have my laptop connected via WiFi and the network my old NAS is connected to only runs at 100Mbps. So, it's a slow process. The NAS, itself, is fairly old and, by reasonable standards, rather under-powered. Factor in the flaky wireless on this laptop and the crappy AP that Verizon provides with their FiOS service (I'd tired running a couple network configurations that allowed me to not use their AP, but none of them really played that well), and it's rather a slog to move things from the laptop to the NAS. I'd identified one particular set of files I wanted to offload. I did the click-n-drag to start the move and the dialogue box came up with the estimated time to do the work: 9 hours to move 36.4GB worth of files to my NAS? Seems reasonable (!), I guess.

Obviously, I canceled the job and re-evaluated whether I really needed to keep those files. I looked at them, again, and decided that I did. However, I wanted to organize their storage a bit differently than I'd originally set the transfer up for. I re-started the transfer - this time as three, smaller moves. Same number of files. Same amount of data. All in all, only actually took a little less than an hour and a half to do. Still butt-slow, but much more bearable than nine-plus hours would have been

Friday, February 17, 2012

Not a "LOL", But Definitely a "Snerk"

I think I found this site via StumbleUpon. It may have been directly sent to me or I may have just clicked on a link on another page I'd Stumbled.

Food On My Dog is definitely a silly and amusing site. Now, there wasn't anything on it that actually evoked a LOL from me, but it did manage to evoke a snerk. Good stuff. Very patient bully.

People of Walmart

I'll admit that, from time to time, I'll go check out People of Walmart to see what displays of human heinousness is to be found. That said, please tell me I'll never see this guy's picture [note: no actual picture, it's just a news story, so you shouldn't have any problems keeping your lunch down] on there!

On a related note, if you're ever feeling like you need to do something towards appetite-control, just watch this video:

Linux 10.0?

In reading this summary of Linux 3.0, one wonders if we'll ever see a Linux 10.0? I mean, it's interesting that the OS that Linux is spawned off from is, itself, is over forty years old. I guess it's conceivable that Linux - particularly if you'd count it's direct descendants (such as Android) - might create a century-long chain. It wouldn't be any less mind-numbing a thought, when you consider the overall pace of change in technology and how many technological deadends there've been just in my lifetime. I do gotta wonder, if a centennial edition of Linux ever sees the light of day, whether it will even slightly resemble its progenitors.

Inspired Advertising

I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again: if more advertising were well-conceived, fewer people, myself included, would have problems being advertised to. Yes, I get that we all have different tastes and that few attempts to sell will work universally well - but then, that's what the various targeted-advertising engines (like Google and FaceBook) are supposed to help advertisers do. The advertisers just gotta keep up their end of the deal by actually making an effort to reach us beyond just shoveling any old steaming pile of shit in front of us and saying, "eat."

At any rate, found this one Australian college's commercial online, recently. It's wicked funny, if a bit gross:

While I'm happy with the school I went to, I don't think I'll ever see my alma mater advertising itself like this.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Not About Religion

So, part of me is a bit squicked by the feds' attempts to force church-funded employers to offer counter-faith services as part of their employment benefits. I think it mostly comes from the standpoint of "keep da gummint outta things" feelings I generally hold to.

I think we've kind of moved (or at least those who have money to lose on the deal) from a country where you're "free to worship how you please" is being replaced with the supposition that "if I claim religion, I should feel free to act however I please, so long as I can site religious beliefs as my rationale."

When I look at the specific issues, it strikes me that the potential for conflict wouldn't exist if the potentially-effected organizations stuck to their operational cores. If they wanted to offer public services and chose to only people those service providers with people who were strictly volunteers rather than employees, there'd be no problems. In the capacity of a volunteer organization, indeed, the government would have no place to dictate acceptable compensation and benefits arrangements.

It's that these organizations have crossed from being volunteer-efforts to being employers that introduces the problems. Realistically speaking, as an _employer_, they should be subject to the same standards, expectations and legal obligations that any other employer is subject to. Even if the money for that employment comes from purely church-derived sources, it's still an employment construct rather than a volunteer construct. These organizations are already subject to other regulatory processes because of the industries they play in (just cuz it's "God's hospital" doesn't mean you get to ignore health regulations such as HIPAA) - so why should they be exempt from regulations surrounding terms of employment?

But, that's just my view on things. I don't really have any skin in the game, one way or the other (I'm not religious and I don't work for church-funded organizations - I'm just a tax-paying citizen).

Fucking *OUCH*!

Before going to the dentist, my mouth was aching, but at an ignorable level. AFTER the dentist, I'm wishing I had some topical anesthetic (hopefully, the Bookers bourbon will make a worthy substitute). 

Now, I get that they wanted to figure out which tooth to X-ray, first. But I think the tooth-pinging thing may have utterly pissed off the faulty tooth. This is gonna be a long-assed wait for the periodontist and endodontist consults - and an even longer wait to actually getting this shit taken care of.

No wonder there's people out there that think that going to doctors is what makes you sick.

PSU Proud

Most of the time I find things online that've been done by PSU (my alma mater) researchers, I'm kind of impressed by what I read (and puff with a little bit of pride). This most recent article, I'm not sure what to feel. Either way, I must go grab my morning Mtn. Dew... 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You Sunk My (Electronic) Battleship!

Did toy manufacturers learn the wrong lessons from Electronic Battleship??

When I was a kid, toy manufacturers tried to make old games and toys more "relevant" by "modernizing" them. Apparently, games like Battleship were much more likely to be desired by ADHD-addled kids if they made it "electronic".

Yeah, "not so much".

Judging by the new story that was just on Fox5DC, it looks like toy manufacturers are gone once more into the toy-modernization breech. Parents that don't like the mess of crayons are being offered Crayola electronic crayons (basically, a very limited use iPad like toy that replaces real crayons with a touch-sensitive coloring app). Classic board games are either being re-created as Android/iPhone apps or having links to online components added to the games.

Freaking awesome.

Funny How That Works

Every so often, I receive emails, like the following, from Verizon:
Dear Customer,

On, or after, March 15 2012, Funimation (channel 262) and Bridges TV (channel 278) will be removed from the FiOS TV® lineup and you will no longer be able to view this content.

This programming has been discontinued due to very low viewership and the continued effort of Verizon to offer our customers the most popular channels while keeping our rates reasonable.

We appreciate your loyalty to Verizon FiOS TV and apologize for any inconvenience.

Remember that you can access the most current local TV line-up 24 hours a day/7 days a week at

Thank you for choosing Verizon.


I have yet to receive an email such as this telling me that they are increasing the number of free/included channels I have.

I guess I can expect to see even more "VOD" channels showing up in my channel guide. Verizon FiOS has been absolutely awesome about winnowing down our included channels ...and replacing them with their Video On Demand channels (and, how "on demand" is it when you have to wait for a show's start time??).

Fuck you, Verizon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Modern romantic Valentines Day:

 ...playing co-op firefight doubles on Halo.

Old Sayings

"Liberal Arts degree: knowing just enough about everything to be really annoying."

I'm a tech guy. But, I'm the kind of tech guy that more than a few other tech guys have wondered "WTF" about over the years. Even though I've worked for a number of IT software and hardware vendors - either as a direct employee or a hired-gun (a.k.a., "third party consultant"), I don't have the educational pedigree of someone that does or has done the stuff I've done. I don't have a CS degree. Hell, I don't have a "hard degree" in any of the sciences. Nope, I have a BS in Psychology from a very large state university. So, I'm one of those annoying liberal arts assholes. Which, probably explains part of why I've been kind of all over the place, professionally.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What's the More Apt Description.

If asked which were the better description of my job, I'm not sure I could pick a winner between "cat-herding" or "goat-rodeo". Both are apropos. "Cat-herding" is more generic, however. Given who I've spent the last several years working for, "goat-rodeo" is probably more aptly-specific and technically correct.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Celebrity Death Watch

Clearly there's something wrong with me that, almost every time they announced that some celebrity has died, the most emotional response I can muster is something akin to, "and...?"

Sorry, but not everyone's passing is a fucking tragedy.

Not everyone's death is a surprise. Many celebrities' deaths are only surprising in that they managed to live as long as they did. Others are people you assumed died long ago (e.g., the only surprise I'll have when Abe Vigoda finally kicks it is the surprise that he was still alive - dude's older than friggin' God, by now).

Death doesn't wash away all sins. Not everyone is worthy of the sanctification that the popular press seems to like to try to convey.

Sorry, but, if you weren't a meaningful part of my life, I probably won't care if you've died - not matter what level of notoriety (or notoriousness) you might have achieved.

Internet "Facts"

When reading "interesting facts" on random internet pages, I often wonder what percentage are correct "facts". Most of these pages need to limit themselves to one "fact" per page. It seems like the more "facts" they try to stuff on the page, the greater the likelihood of publishing a "fact" that isn't quite right. Many "interesting facts" I see in such lists include at least one fact that is either:

  • A misinterpretation
  • A mischaracterization
  • Out-dated
  • Out-right wrong
I can at least forgive the first three ...if they're presented in good faith. However, many times, it seems like people are either presenting things as "facts" when, in reality, they're not - but they conform with an over-arching agenda the author is trying to support.

At any rate, when I see such "errors" - particularly when you can tell they aren't in good faith - it makes me doubt everything else in the list. The only saving grace of the other (now) doubtful facts is if I already knew them to be true and accurate (even then, if the errors and/or distortions are grievous enough, it will cause me to go research to verify that my prior understanding is correct or at least still valid).

Easy Fashion

So, there's a service out there that lets you fill out some interests/preferences form and will send you a regular package of new, complete (head-to-toe) outfits. Given what's in my closet, I'd be interested in seeing what arrived (and how much I'd have to send back).