Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Clearing My Throat 

Mysteries are always somewhat of a dissapointment when they're solved. Today, everyone finally got confirmation on the identity of the world's most infamously nicknamed newspaper source.

This guy: Mark Felt.


Mark Felt, AKA "Deep Throat" with his daughter at his home in Santa Rosa, CAPosted by Hello

Who????

I don't remember that name from AP History.

In a way, it's a shame to see him revealed in his last years. I know it's been over 30 years and that everyone gets old, but it still saddens me to see The Artist Formerly Known As Deep Throat using a walker.

Another thing I never understood: As a newspaper editor, why the hell would you nickname your most valuable source after the most infamous porno movie of the time? Don't answer that, I know: it was the 70's. What a strange and twisted decade.


The funny part of this story is that all the bloggers who wrote about "Deep Throat" today are likely to get a lot more hits from porno searchers.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Multi-Pronged Procrastinator At That 

Since I've put off posting for a few days, this seems particularly apt:

You scored as Crisis-maker. Your procrastination type the crisis-maker, the procrastinator who loves to live on the edge. This procrastinator is addicted to the adrenaline of the last-minute challenge. However, this form of procrastination often leads to missing deadlines, since living on the edge is a risky business.

Perfectionist

69%

Crisis-maker

69%

Worrier

69%

Overdoer

69%

Dreamer

63%

Defier/rebel

63%

ADD

63%

Teenager

50%

Not a procrastinator

38%

What type of procrastinator are you?
created with QuizFarm.com


Hey look! I'm not only a Crisis-Maker, I'm also a Worrier, Perfectionist and an Over-Doer. Sheesh, I'm a mess! I'll work to improve on all this...soon.

Via Doctor Caltechgirl.

Strengthen The Good 

Speaking of procrastination, I want to catch up on some business. One of the charities I have up on my blogrool is Strengthen the Good. It fits very well with what blogs are about, everyday people speaking their minds and trying to improve the world in their own small way. Strengthen the Good is a network of bloggers, led by Alan at The Command Post, who get the word out on worthy micro-charities. Please indulge me while I put on my do-gooder hat:

The micro-charity currently featured is disigned to help the amazing efforts of a Bay Area lady who has adopted eleven children with various physical disabilities. Her foundation is working on gathering up enough funds to be able to pay for her children's college expenses. Alan does a better job summing up Susan Tom's deeds here. Whether you decide to contribute a few dollars or not, it's still an inspring story to read.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Crying Fire 

During the rainy season in California, a major part of the local news is "Storm Watch" coverage. Usually this takes the form of devoting the first fifteen minutes of the newscast to cover every angle of a brief sprinkle. Now that the rainy season is coming to an end (finally), another story that gets recycled year after year has returned:

Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman told NBC4's Robert Kovacik that due to heavy rainfall earlier this year, 2005 could be the most dangerous fire season yet.

Of course people said that last year, and in 2002, and 2000. 2003, with its tragic fires in San Diego, actually lived up to the warnings.

Anyone who has lived in California can tell you that every year there will be a story (likely several) that includes the line "This has the potential to be the worst fire season ever." It doesn't matter if the rainfall was below average, above average, or normal. How can this be? Here's how:

If there is a drought: All the vegetation is tinder-dry and will catch fire more easily. The brush will be so dry that a fire will progress rapidly, especially if there are strong winds.

If rainfall is normal/above average: The rains allows more vegetation to grow. When the summer comes, that brush dries out. Because so much brush has grown a fire will progress rapidly, especially if there are strong winds.

I'm not saying fire isn't a serious danger every year. People lose homes, firefighters get injured, and sadly people will likely die every year from wildfires in the American West. People need to learn how they can help, like clearing brush from around their homes. I just worry that people will tire of the annual predictions and not follow through with what they need to do.

Fortunately, there are a few voices of reason, who do their best to educate the public without engaging in hyperbole:

The National Interagency Fire Center, which predicts the possibility of fires throughout the country, said there could be severe fires in the areas outside of Los Angeles this summer but Los Angeles should have a normal fire season through August.

"It's our feeling here that every summer is an active fire season," said Ron Hamilton, a fire-weather meteorologist for the U.S. Forest Service's Predictive Services group.

"We have hot, dry winter all summer, every summer. Yes, we're going to have a lot of fires. We're going to have a lot of initial attack activity, and those fires are going to burn fast and burn hot. But with the resources that exist here, we're not going to have a lot of unusually large fires."


People need to be vigilant for every fire season, but every fire season isn't going to be the worst fire season ever. I hope this one isn't.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

You Clanking Bucket of Bolts 

Tonight I offer up only a humble quiz, since my power cells need recharging, and my gears need to be fixed.

Robot
You are 71% Rational, 0% Extroverted, 14% Brutal, and 28% Arrogant.

You are the Robot! You are characterized by your rationality. In fact,
this is really ALL you are characterized by. Like a cold, heartless
machine, you are so logical and unemotional that you scarcely seem
human. For instance, you are very humble and don't bother thinking of
your own interests, you are very gentle and lack emotion, and you are
also very introverted and introspective. You may have noticed that
these traits are just as applicable to your laptop as they are to a
human being. In short, your personality defect is that you don't really
HAVE a personality. You are one of those annoying, super-logical people
that never gets upset or flustered. Unless, of course, you short
circuit.



To put it less negatively:

1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.

2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.



Compatibility:


Your exact opposite is the Class Clown.


Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Hand-Raiser, the Emo Kid, and the Haughty Intellectual.


*


*


If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you
could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42%
Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is
close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well.
Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can
determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored
near fifty percent for certain traits.


The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.




My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 57% on Rationality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on Extroversion
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 6% on Brutality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 18% on Arrogance
Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on Ok Cupid


Via Dirty Hippie Helen.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ewww! Tighty Whities! 

AsI was doing some background research via Technorati for the United 93 Memorial (see post below), I came across this picture.

Too funny! I guess this is about as low as a former despot can go. Best viewed on an empty stomach.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

United Flight 93 Memorial 

An exhibit of the finalist designs for the United Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania took place Thursday night in San Francisco. The event gave family member of those who died on Flight 93 a chance to see and comment on the designs chosen. The winning design is to be selected in September. The five proposals, as described by the Memorial website, are:

* Disturbed Harmony by Leor Lovinger and Gilat Lovinger. This design is focused on a 2.5 mile long Bravery Wall that visitors can walk along and read a timeline of events. The wall deepens as the ground slopes away to reveal a Memorial Wall with the names of the passengers and crew. The wall then wraps around the Sacred Ground as a sunken fence, with a Hemlock grove planted nearby.

* (F)light by Ken Lum. A Luminous Rooftop is the primary feature of this design. The memorial is in the shape of Flight 93's flight path from Newark to Ohio, then the sharp turn to its end point in Pennsylvania. The upper section is supposed to convey a sense of normal everyday live, the section after the turning point includes the memorial courtyard featuring an empty table for each passenger and crewmember, and a tree for each to represent renewed life. The Sacred Ground is bound by five pools and a line of trees.

* Fields, Forests, Fence by Laurel McSherry and Terry Surjan. This memorial takes much of its inspiration from the temporary fence memorial. The main feature would be a memorial fence where visitor could leave forestry tags with names and comments. Another fence would surround the Sacred Ground, where a grove of birch trees would be planted. Other features would include hemlock groves, meadows, and three reclaimed mining ponds to represent each of the September 11 sites.

* The Crescent of Embrace by Paul Murdoch Architects. An arc with a sidewalk and maple trees are the main feature of this entry. A Tower of Voices with wind chimes for each passenger and crewmember, plus a chapel, is located at the entrances to the memorial. Beyond the tower is the crescent, which visitors enter through a walled portal. At the end of the pathway is the Sacred Ground, surrounded by black marble wall with spaces to leave tributes. The fields of the Sacred Ground are painted with mountain laurel, designed to bloom pink and white in the spring.

* The Memory Trail by Fredrick Steiner, Karen Lewis, Jason Kentner, E. Lynn Miller. This proposal takes visitors on a walking tour of the grounds. The path takes visitor past an Information Center and Memorial Archive, and then leads to and around the Sacred Ground. A family-specific path leads directly to the Sacred Ground. The trail crosses a lake, and then passes next to a Remembrance Grove with 3,021 white oaks.

According to local news, the exhibit will be open to the public from May 21-30. For anyone interested who is in the Bay Area, the exhibit is at the Presidio in San Francisco at Building 989.

If I were in charge I would name the entire site the Shanksville National Battlefield, because even though events took place on a smaller scale and were up in the air, it's no less a National Battlefield than Antietam or Fort Necessity. But then again, that's just me.

Raptor? I Like It 


What military aircraft are you?

F/A-22 Raptor

You are an F/A-22. You are technologically inclined, and though you've never been tested in combat, your very name is feared. You like noise, but prefer not to pollute any more than you have to. And you can move with the best.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.



I'll take this over my Toyota.

Via Jen, who was a snazzy F-15.

Hat In Hand 

The job hunt today took a bit of a downturn today. I had a great interview last week, and this was after the last three or four interviews I did that were atrocious. So I was very disappointed to get the call with the Politically Correct rejection: "You weren't the right fit for the position."

Sigh.

To make up for it, I sent out a bunch of resumes. Okay, so doing that made me feel a little better. Sending out resumes to job postings on Monster is fine, but all the job search know-it-alls hit me with the same mantra: network, network, network.

Yeah great, network... Ugh.

I hate even giving the impression of begging. It's obvious where I get that attitude; my extended family gets into these obnoxious arguments about who is going to pay for something:

"I'll pay for it."
"No, I'll pay for it."
"No, I want to pay for it."

And I'm sitting there thinking "Well somebody pay for it."

That's the mentality I grew up with. Whenever I need to request something, I feel like a beggar in a Dickens novel, going hat in hand to passersby in order to get a few coins. Even if social networking is mostly just gathering information from people, I still feel like I'm wasting the other person's time and I have nothing to offer in return.

It feels like one "job" I had for about a week during a college summer. I was back from UCSB, at home in Fresno. I wanted to at least earn a little money to justify my existence. Since this was effectively pre-internet days for me (1997), my resource to find pay was the Fresno Bee classified ads.

I can't speak about newspapers in other cities, but at the time there were few things that would depress me more than looking for the work in the Bee classified. It seemed three-quarters of the listings were either 1.) Welders, 2.) Truck drivers, 3.)Restaurant jobs. There was that one position that was in the Bee for years: "Laborer, Daily Pay. Show up at Clinton and Highway 99, 6am, ready to work."

Okay, I guess I didn't want to earn money that badly.

But I digress; this is about one particular job: selling knives and kitchen products. I had been to plenty of those sales deals. You see the ad in the paper that says you can earn a good salary, show up at a certain time to learn more. You show up and the do their dog-and-pony show, describing the product you're going to sell to unsuspecting lucky customers.

I knew what was coming, and I decided to stick it out to see what the product was. It turned out to be Cutco knives. Shockingly, I was actually impressed by the product; I would still buy the knives and I would recommend them to anybody. This was enough to get me to stick out the training sessions and get my assignment. The business model was to make presentation of the product to close friends and relatives. They were supposed to buy the products, and then list the names of their friends which I was supposed to then subsequently make my pitch.

Perfectly fine in theory, but certainly not in practice for me. Not only am I supposed to eat up Aunt So-and-so's time with my presentation, but then she was going to inflict upon their friends a similar fate?

I set up a couple appointments, but couldn't go through with them. I was done.

So here I am, eight years later, looking yet again for a paycheck, and having to feel like I'm going to waste peoples' time. This time, however, I'm going to follow through. After all, everything I read says that 80-90% of jobs are found through networking. Plus someone in my family needs to learn the proper way to seek help from others.

And if anyone wants to know why a knife with a full tang is a superior product, just ask me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Jilted Lover I Am 



Why not? I got called Ben Kenobi all through elementary school.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when the first five blogs I checked had Star Wars related posts at the top.

The Force is with us all, whether we like it or not.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket. This upcoming Episode III seems to be the best of the recent SW movies. Sadly, that isn't saying too much. Forgive me for being a curmudgeon about the whole Star Wars mega-hype, but I speak as a jilted lover. I loved the original trilogy. My mom and I proudly own at three complete sets of the 1983 Burger King Return of the Jedi glasses:


The Burger King Return of the Jedi Glasses. Not a picture of my glasses, but you get the idea.Posted by Hello

I have the glasses, plus a bunch of toys and VHS copies of the Original Trilogy before George Lucas "improved" them. Still, I hold a grudge against the SW franchise. I was thrilled when Lucas re-released the Episodes IV, V, and VI in the theater, and I looked to the release of Phantom Menace as one of the most important movie-going experiences of my life. I even bought the soundtrack before I went to see the movie. Finally, a week after it opened, I saw the movie. Instead of the excitement and awe I felt as a kid when I first saw the landspeeder chase in Return of the Jedi, I got this:


Jar-jar "Jumping the Shark" BinksPosted by Hello

I didn't go into Phantom Menace completely naive. There was no way the movie could re-create the emotional impact of the Trilogy, or match its own uber-hype for that matter. But this was just too awful to bear. It's one thing for a movie to be disappointing on its own, but for it to contaminate childhood classics was just too much.

When Episode II was set to come out, I said to myself: "Ha! I got fooled once, I won't be suckered again." So I stayed home. That's right, I went from looking for that elusive Darth Maul Episode I action figure to refusing to see Attack of the Clones in a movie theater. I didn’t see Episode II until I watched a friend's DVD copy on his computer several years later.

So now we come to the end. Unless you were abducted by Sand People, it's impossible not to know Episode III is coming out this Friday Thursday. I just find it hugely grating that all the heroes and villains I remember so well, characters like Darth Vader and Chewbacca, are having to hock M&M and tacos. I just wish Darth Vader had the ability to force-choke the whole lot of people who have so shamelessly whored out the Star Wars franchise to every advertiser they could find.

The ones I feel most sorry for are those who are currently too young to see Revenge of the Sith in theaters. They will grow up, and likely watch the six movies in episode order. After Episode I, they will wonder what all the hype is about. By the time they get to Empire Strikes Back, they will already know about who Luke's father is, and there will be no surprise when Yoda is introduced. Even if the entire series is watched in the order of movie release, the most recently made episodes still hurt the original trilogy by comparison. In many ways, it seemed better to leave the events prior to A New Hope to the imagination.

I will probably go and see Revenge of the Sith, since it seems to have some kickass fight scenes, and lots of gratuitous violence. I won't be nearly as excited as some crazy fanatic fans, but I'll give George one last chance to get it right.

UPDATE: Whoops! Turns out I was mistaken about the movie's opening, which is midnight Thursday. I'm still going to wait unitl at least Friday next week to see it. And thanks to Deb and Ith for the links!

Houskeeping 

In keeping with my tradition of procrastination and general laziness, I am updating my Blogs of the Month. I'll probably leave the current batch up until the und of June. I also moved Bacon and Eh's down to the International Blogs section of the Blogroll.

* The Bull Moose. The Moose has become one of my favorite blogs. The Moose is a former Republican insider turned center-left Progressive Democrat independant. The Moose proves not everyone critical of the Bush Administration is a pinko-commie, Michael Moore-loving, latte-sipping peacenik. The Moose like's to speak of himself in the third person. Did Exgaucho mention he really likes the Moose?

* Blogmaverick.com. The weblog of self-made gazillionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. His latest post: How Yahoo's new $5 per month music service may finally leave the RIAA speechless.

* Craigblog. Craig Newmark, founder of Craig's List.

A bonus blog, Caltechgirl's Darling Husband has gone over to the Dark Side and has been reborn as...Grand Moff Trojan. The link will also be under the Friends' Blogs section.

Monday, May 16, 2005

How About: Get Out of My Way Day? 

Michele alerts us all that today is Drive Like An Asshole Day. Of course, every day in California is Drive Like An Asshole Day. Usually, it is coupled with it's twin: Road Rage Day. And in California, every rush hour is officially known as Rubbernecking Hour.

Insurance is a pain, but whenever some Darwin Award candidate cuts across four lanes to make a last-minute freeway exit, I'm relieved mine is paid up. For my birthday, I want a rear-mounted oil gun that triggers when a moron tailgaiter get within two inches of my rear bumper. I'll pay good money.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Insert Witty Post Here 

I'm alive! Honest. Most of the blame for a week's silence can be blamed on a missing laptop power cord, which my scatterbrain left at my mom's in Fresno. Fortunately, my cousin's wedding was this past weekend, so I was able to retrieve said power cord with only five days disruption.

I have several things I want to say, but the long posts take awhile to craft. If I only posted when I feel strongly creative, I would one post a few times a month (wait! But don't I....oh, never mind).

More silly stuff and personal news to come in the following days. Maybe even a job offer, but I have to wait to hear on that...

Well, Duh 













Your Deadly Sins



Sloth: 100%

Gluttony: 80%

Lust: 40%

Envy: 20%

Greed: 20%

Pride: 20%

Wrath: 20%

Chance You'll Go to Hell: 43%

You will die with your hand down your underwear, watching Star Trek.


How Sinful Are You?



I don't care too much for Star Trek, and my hands are my own business. Eewww!

(h/t: Caltechgirl.)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Meme Time 

Tag, I'm it.

The If It Could Be Me meme, originally from Ogre.

If I could be a scientist... I'm still trying to be just that. My primary interest and Bachelors degree are both in Marine Biology. However, my work experience and current job search is related to biotechnology.

Therefore, I'm already pretty involved in science. To answer the question, however, I would spend my days tidepooling somewhere here in California, attempting to figure out a ways to protect nearshore environments from things like invasive species, disease, and habitat loss.

If I could be a farmer... I would buy back my family's old raisin farm, grow some grapes and put Mr. Two-Buck Chuck out of business.

Oh, and have some horsies too.

If I could be a musician... I'd be a kickass drummer (I took drums in third and fourth grades). I would occasionally perform songs like the one on a Cheers episode, which featured a percussion rest so long that the percussionist was able to leave the symphony and get a beer. I'd probably go on tour with Stomp, because I would love to bang on all kinds everyday objects and get paid doing it.

If I could be a doctor..., I would be dating hot nurses. Yeah, sure...

If I could be a painter..., I would probably end up living in a shack by the beach or up in the mountains....and be very happy.

If I could be a gardener..., I would probably live a much simpler life (due to less income and better perspective).

If I could be a missionary..., heh heh, you said "missionary." OK, sorry. I would do the Lord's work in the toughest missionary field of all: Western Europe.

If I could be a chef..., I would take my Caifornian-Italian-French-Japanese fusion cuisine and go on Iron Chef. Make that the original Iron Chef.

If I could be an archetect..., I would do something about Fresno's God-awful urban sprawl.

If I could be a linguist...
, I would learn Spanish, German, Russian, Greek, Polish, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Cantonese, Japanese, Zulu,.....and English.

If I could be a psychologist..., I would be able to figure myself out.

If I could be a librarian..., I would be as funny as Laura Bush.

If I could be an athlete..., I would be the 49ers number one pick instead of Alex Smith.

If I could be a lawyer..., all my clients will get $2.1 million cash settlements. "I'll fight for you!"

If I could be an innkeeper..., I would run a quaint B&B in Vermont and find nice jobs for Larry, Darryl, and Darryl.

If I could be a professor..., I'd teach marine bio and have a lab with a view of the beach.

If I could be a proctologist..., I wouldn't be any more full of sh*t than I am right now.

If I could be an actor..., I would probably be wishing for a singing career.

If I could be a writer..., I would have a better blog and get more hits.

If I could be a back-up dancer..., I wouldn't let a hometown blog get a picture of my middle school ID cards.

If I could be a llama-rider..., I would move to Peru with my Peruvian college buddy Sandro and watch Universitario soccer games.

If I could be a bonnie pirate..., I would like to be the new Dread Pirate Roberts.

If I could be a midget stripper..., I would always hang out with Mini-Me. That guy is such a pimp!

If I could be a TV-Chat show host..., I would like to be as good as David Letterman. Plus I would take his "Will It Float?" and turn it into "Will It Burn?".

If I could be a Jedi..., I would use the Force to change the TV channel when I can't find the remote.

If I could be a judge..., I would punish people like her.

My contributions...

If I could be President...,I would make energy policy (conservation and new sources of energy) my second-most important priority behind The War on Terror.

If I could be an astronaut..., I would visit Mars, the rings of Saturn, and Uranus.

If I could be a gun-wielding vigilante..., I would start with the advertising agency responsible for the new Applebee's ads.

Helen and Bill (plus a blog to be named later), you have just been tagged. Answer at least five of the "If I could" statements, and add a few more if you like. Anyone else is certainly welcome to chime in, just leave a trackback link.

Tagged by Caltechgirl.

Printer, Redux 

That night of sleep after my aborted printer installation turned out to be magic. As in my printer magically decided to work. All I did was uninstall and reinstall the printer system files. Voila!

Not that I'm complaining, but why is it that electronics seem to often fix themselves for no reason? My current laptop used to freeze after coming out of Standby mode. I was putting off calling Dell Support about it; I was looking forward to making that call about as much as a cavity filling. Then, without any fix on my part, the problem went away. I reason that it's best not to ask questions; the thing fixed itself, so be it. I also had a television with occasional volume problems that were best treated with a swift slap to the side of the unit.

These are really the things that should be in the troubleshooting section of instruction manuals, not "Make sure the unit is plugged in".

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mi Blogoversavio 

Hoy es el dia de mi primer blogoversario. Quiero escribir mas y mejor en el ano proximo. Muchas gracicias de todos que visitaron en el ano pasado.

In the year this blog has been up, it has ebbed and flowed in the same way the rest of my life has. It has underacheved, been occasionaly busy and often slow, has had several instances of brilliance (IMHO), and has always been a slow-building work in progress. Kind of like me. Also like me, there's still plenty of time for it to get better. It's my job to make both of the above better, that is when I get done with any naps. Self-improvement is sure tiring work.

Happy blogoversary (or blogiversary or blogversary) to me, and Feliz Cinco de Mayo to you!

(This post is time-stamped to stay on top all day long. Any new stuff today will be below.)

Ow! That Fence Hurts! 

OK, here's a nice break from my recent bitching and moaning: Overdue quiz time!

I am:
42%
Republican.
"Congratulations, you're a swing voter. When they say 'Soccer Mom', they mean you. Every Democratic ad on the TV set was made just for your viewing enjoyment. Don't you feel special?"

Are You A Republican?


I didn't cheat too much (this time). It's funny though, because on some answers I was pretty Lefty and others I was fairly Right-wing. It all balances out.

And I am not a Soccer Mom. Maybe I'd date one though, if her kids keep quiet and out of sight. Was that an un-Liberal thing to say, heehee?

From Caltechgirl and Bill, from a few days back.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Printer Hell 

I hate printers.

Let me say that again, so everyone is clear:

I hate printers!!!!!!!

I've had six computer printers, and exactly one of those six actually worked. And that one often jammed.

The latest Expensive Paperweight is better known as the HP Officejet 6210xi, which I brought home just today. I took it out of the box, and tried to carefully follow the instructions, which practically warned the thing would spontaneously explode unless each step was carried out with clockwork precision.

So far so good, then I go to install the software.

Three hours later.....

Well, you can imagine. The bottom line is HP sent a screwed up disc, the software download from their site led to new bugs, and I'm going to guard the printer receipt more carefully than the Secret Service guards a US Senator.

HP has a 24-hour help line, but I think the call will go better after I've had a good night's sleep. I better get some good answers or a new free disc. There's no way I'm forking over another ten bucks to cover shipping on a new CD, I'll take the printer back to Costco before that happens.

What the holy hell is it about printers and copiers? I'm not the only one who's cursed with the damn things. Every company or organization I've ever worked for has had their copier/printer die on them, with no one having a clue as to how to fix it. If it isn't jammed paper, leaking toner, or the futile quest for a compatible printer cartridge, it's a printer queue that spontaneously begins printing out a week and a half of the office's unprinted documents for no particular reason. Can someone mechanically and/or computer literate explain to me why it's so hard to engineer a printer that actually does its job without the constant need for attention, as opposed to being such a piece of crap?

Can I just plug a USB port into an old-fashioned printing press and be done with it?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Emailers Anonomyous 

Stop reading, quick!

A new study claims that overdosing on email, instant messaging, ect. may be more harmful to your brain than smoking pot.


The research conducted for HP by scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London warns of the "abuse of always-on technology" in which "workers are literally addicted to checking e-mail and text messages during meetings, in the evening and at weekends."

The study called this condition info-mania.



If you want to stretch this, I suppose you could include news/blog aggregators like Sage. On some days, I hit "reload" every few minutes to see which blogs have just posted. In addition, the article tangentially provides more evidence of the polarization of opinions over technology:


The study also found that 89 percent of workers think colleagues who respond to e-mails or messages during meetings are "extremely rude." Paradoxically, 30 percent believe doing so is acceptable and even diligent.


I'm sure somewhere there is already a group for tech addicts, complete with a twelve-step program and everything. I don't think I will ever fall down into the dark pit of Technology Addiction. After all, I do everything half-assed, and I have an email inbox full of unread messages to prove it!

To everyone reading this, I have to reiterate that this article is total bunk. You should come back to this blog and check it early and often. The internet and computer commuications are wonderful inventions, providing hours of priceless entertainment and insightful knowledge.

That, and my site counter often gets lonely.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Quick Update 

Hello all:

I wanted to put a quick post up. I've been OK the past few days, doing some housecleaning and other related exciting things. Over the past few days/weeks, I've been pretty blu able the job situation, or lack thereof. There are a couple of prospects, but nothing to bet the farm on.

As for the lack of postings: well, being sad doesn't lend itself to wittiness. I have plenty to say, but haven't been able to, ....umm think good, yeah. All those ideas are still on the shelf, so I'll get around to writing new material more often. Hopefully in the coming weeks, things will perk up on both this blog and my labor situation.

(Insert clever ending comments here.)