Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sheetiron blah blah blah

This post is totally late. Paul and I did the Sheetiron May 19th and 20th. I won't write anything nearly as entertaining as previous entries (see 2003 and 2004) because we took it fairly easy. I actually get worse at this every year, and without James to keep pushing me to hard splits, and with the real problem: heavy traffic, I have just opted for slow and steady. there seemed to be about 500 riders, which is too goddam many for me to want to try the hard splits. Most of those guys want to blow through as fast as they can (indeed, many seem to be regular enduro riders who forget and anre not accustomed to riding with two-way car traffic) and that leaves no time and space for me to "try" harder stuff.

Or something.

Anyway. We took Friday off, and Lional and Jason came to Berkeley to pick us up with our bikes. Nice! No riding 4 hours north on knobbies after work! I was good and beer-y by the time we got to Stonyford, and we set up tents and checked in while I drank more beer and got loud.

Saturday was a lovely day, which just meant that Paul was suffering miserably from allergies. Like, really miserable. So we cut out after Ukiah and took the street to Fort Bragg to get Paul into a shower and bed for a while.

sunday we left early, arrived late, and I crashed once in between. Once is still really not enough for a good Sheetiron experience, so meh. I did break a lever and because something similar had happened to me before, I was carrying spares. Paul fixed it in no time, and we were backon the road. Phil Douglas was not on the ride, so I decided against getting a flat tire. Maybe next time!
The Tank Trapper didn't materialize (never again?) but it was less flat than last year. A few puddles, a few ruts, a lot of pretty vistas.

There was snow at Mendocino pass, but a little less than usual (and a lot less than last year) The weather was beautiful, unlike last year. Dust made it hard to see after someone passed, but was temporary, unlike last year's constant zero-visibility.

After arriving back in Stonyford, we watched folks fart around a while before finally getting loaded up (and then getting loaded?) and back on our way. Lionel dropped us off in Berkeley around 10:30. It was sooooo nice having a ride up and back, and getting to spend time chatting with Lionel who is one of the nicest people I know. (but, as he noted, not quite as nice as Clay) Lionel is teh cool. Thanks for the ride, Lionel! And the beer!

"Road not Maintained During Winter Months" We missed you James.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why I'm not complaining today

This past Friday I experienced a calm, the likes of which I can't even remember. It makes me sad to think that there is something about me that prohibits me from ever feeling right, and calm, except perhaps in short bursts. Maybe it is really a good thing, that I don't rest, but it is nice, very nice, even if only for a short burst. I'm enjoying this short burst.

Friday morning I gave notice at the job I hate.
I'm accepting a position in a totally different job, in a totally different industry. There won't be anything calm about this, once I get thrown in to the wolves. I fully expect a steep learning curve and a few months of hell while I get up to speed. But for now, I am calm. I feel great. I did a little sewing, and I even enjoyed it.

My new career will start in two weeks, and I don't really know where it will take me, but I'm satisfied that it will be somewhere different. I must have already proved my point, that my degree wasn't wasted, that there is indeed a career for a Fashion degree. There are better careers even, ones I didn't feel like pursuing. Partly I think I didn't want to finally burn that bridge down, maybe thinking it would be a failure. Actually, I don't regret a thing about my college choice, I only wish that I would have been able to do the coop degree with USF, but they thought they knew me better than I did. Screw the Jesuits; they know nothing!

My time at the Academy of Art was some of the best time I've had in my life. I would not trade it for anything. It was the first time I was ever good at anything. I was, really, really good at it. They wanted to send me to France. I didn't go; I'm stubborn, and a creature of habit.

Now I'll be doing something new and challenging, and if I've judged it well, I think it will be something defined by my own work and talents and potentials. I suspect this will grow with me, and be limited mostly by me. Maybe I'm just overly idealistic. Whatever, but I'm calm. For now.

When I gave notice Friday morning, my boss told me it was his worst nightmare. Later, he came back and tried to offer me significantly more money, and a "directorship down the line" with staff, and whatnot. I had to say no. I'll sacrifice the ($15K) for the chance for growth and more later. Financially, this makes no sense. I could very easily stay in my current place for many, many years. The current company has a culture of keeping people forever, growing old, retiring in place. I could make some money, sit in my desk surfing the internet, doing the same thing over and over, learning nothing, growing old and brittle...

Instead I'll be tripling my commute and taking less money, and working hard and risking failure. It just feels better.

It's been so long since I had a coworker I liked, since I felt like a human around the people I see every day. I haven't had a single review since I started at my current job (4.5 years). The culture is a bizarre one of secretive non-communication and finger-pointing. I can't think of a single person to miss, or to be kept in touch with. I can't wait to start fresh, and tell that one story about the time I totaled my first bike (will it get a laugh?), or bring in some homemade brownies, or commiserate about Catholic high school, maybe have happy hour with a coworker, or... something. Anything new and real would be nice.

I'm done with a chapter of my life. I don't think I'll miss the apparel industry.. It made me feel trapped more and more the longer I stayed in it. I started wishing I'd gotten out long ago, couldn't I have gotten so much farther?
Now I can.

I feel calm.

tasty gene damage!

Oh, yuck. Like I needed another reason to not want to drink soda. Destroys your mitochondria?!?! Combines with Vitamin C to make benzene?!?!??!

Whatever happened to good old fashioned food poisoning? Now we have to deal with genetic damage from our "foods?"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

droppin' hamiltons like it's hot


If you love LOL Cats (and how could you not?)
you love presidential history? (how could you not?)

Proceed at once to LOL Presidents! it is teh funny! (unless you are too old to know what any of this means)

All yanked from BoingBoing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4, oh, and plus you're a Squid!

Bottom line, officer Mr. Moustache:

I will NEVER. NEVER. listen to a motorcycle safety lecture given by a guy who rides a bike known for it's poor handling and braking, wearing a half helmet and essentially a T-Shirt. NOTHING you say to me, from "do you know why I pulled you over," to the "motorcycling is a blast, but is is dangerous," to the "be careful pulling back into traffic," will register with me AT ALL. I make fun of people like you all day long. "Haha, look at that dumbass wearing a T-Shirt and no gloves on his motorcycle!" You, sir, are a well paid SQUID.

Hello? Motorcycles are dangerous? I am dressed head to toe in a full faced helmet, heavy textile gear of a high quality brand, including CE-approved armor, the best gloves I believe you can buy, and eye-talian CE approved riding boots. Every bit of me is covered. You? Might as well ride naked. Except you've got big boots. Yay for you. You'll have no face and no arms and a ton of roadrash when you crash, but at least you'll be able to walk home. Have fun picking that short-sleeved polyester shirt out of your skin. Nevermind, it will probably be melted in.

"When someone changes lanes on you, you won't be able to stop. You just won't." Um? Speak for yourself, jackass! I'm not the dipshit riding the 4 million pound Harley. YOU won't be able to stop.

Finally, the last reason I won't listen to the rest of your lecture? You're flat out wrong. Headlight modulators ARE legal, and the fact that you don't know that means I don't respect the law portion of you lecture either. I always figured cops would just respect me a little more for taking the effort to be visible and use my LEGAL modulator for such. Not you! You're offended, self-righteous, and most importantly, WRONG. It was funny that you gave such detail about how and when and how many feet. All those incredible details that YOU MADE UP.

"I wasn't aware of that, officer. I was not aware that they were illegal." Specifically, I WAS aware that they ARE legal, but will get a sense of satisfaction when I hand the judge a bit of legal code in court making you look like an ass. Oh, and it is federal code, not CVC. So good luck with that.

Title 49 USC 30103(b1) (US Codes) prohibits any state from forbidding a system that conforms to FMVSS 108.

S7.9 Motorcycles. Each motorcycle shall be equipped with a
headlighting system designed to conform to the following requirements.
S7.9.1 A motorcycle manufactured before September 1, 2000, may be
equipped with--
(a) A headlighting system designed to conform to SAE Standard J584
Motorcycle Headlamps April 1964, or to SAE Standard J584 April 1964 with
the photometric specifications of Figure 32 and the upper beam
aimability specifications of paragraph S7.9.3; or
(b) One half of any headlighting system specified in S7.1 through
S7.6 which provides both a full upper beam and full lower beam. Where
more than one lamp must be used, the lamps shall be mounted vertically,
with the lower beam as high as practicable.
S7.9.2 A motorcycle manufactured on or after September 1, 2000,
shall be equipped with--
(a) A headlighting system designed to conform to SAE Standard J584
Motorcycle Headlamps April 1964 with the photometric specifications of
Figure 32 and the upper beam aimability specifications of paragraph
S7.9.3; or
(b) A headlighting system that conforms to S7.9.1(b).
S7.9.3 The upper beam of a multiple beam headlamp designed to
conform to the photometric requirements of Figure 32 shall be aimed
photoelectrically during the photometric test in the manner prescribed
in SAE Standard J584 OCT93 Motorcycle Headlamps.
S7.9.4 Motorcycle headlamp modulation system.
S7.9.4.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either
the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser
intensity, provided that:
(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 40
cycles per minute.
(b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70
percent of each cycle.
(c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17
percent of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the
beam filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper

[[Page 318]]

remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its
sensing element perpendicular to a horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation
shall cease whenever the level of light emitted by a tungsten filament
light operating at 3000[deg] Kelvin is either less than 270 lux (25
foot-candles) of direct light for upward pointing sensors or less than
60 lux (5.6 foot-candles) of reflected light for downward pointing
sensors. The light is measured by a silicon cell type light meter that
is located at the sensor and pointing in the same direction as the
sensor. A Kodak Gray Card (Kodak R-27) is placed at ground level to
simulate the road surface in testing downward pointing sensors.
(g) When tested in accordance with the test profile shown in Figure
9, the voltage drop across the modulator when the lamp is on at all test
conditions for 12 volt systems and 6 volt systems shall not be greater
than .45 volt. The modulator shall meet all the provisions of the
standard after completion of the test profile shown in Figure 9.
(h) Means shall be provided so that both the lower and upper beam
function at design voltage when the headlamp control switch is in either
the lower or upper beam position when the modulator is off.
S7.9.4.2(a) Each motorcycle headlamp modulator not intended as
original equipment, or its container, shall be labeled with the maximum
wattage, and the minimum wattage appropriate for its use. Additionally,
each such modulator shall comply with S7.9.4.1 (a) through (g) when
connected to a headlamp of the maximum rated power and a headlamp of the
minimum rated power, and shall provide means so that the modulated beam
functions at design voltage when the modulator is off.
(b) Instructions, with a diagram, shall be provided for mounting the
light sensor including location on the motorcycle, distance above the
road surface, and orientation with respect to the light.
S7.9.5 Each replaceable bulb headlamp that is designed to meet the
photometric requirements of paragraph S7.9.1(a) or paragraph S7.9.2(a)
and that is equipped with a light source other than a replaceable light
source meeting the requirements of paragraph S7.7, shall have the word
``motorcycle'' permanently marked on the lens in characters not less
than 0.114 in. (3 mm) in height.
S7.9.6 A headlamp system shall be installed on a motorcycle in
accordance with the requirements of this paragraph.
S7.9.6.1 The headlamp system shall be located on the front of the
S7.9.6.2 (a) If the system consists of a single headlamp, it shall
be mounted on the vertical centerline of the motorcycle. If the headlamp
contains more than one light source, each light source shall be mounted
on the vertical centerline with the upper beam no higher than the lower
beam, or horizontally disposed about the vertical centerline and mounted
at the same height. If the light sources are horizontally disposed about
the vertical centerline, the distance between the closest edges of the
effective projected luminous lens area in front of the light sources
shall not be greater than 200 mm (8 in.).
(b) If the system consists of two headlamps, each of which provides
both an upper and lower beam, the headlamps shall be mounted either at
the same height and symmetrically disposed about the vertical centerline
or mounted on the vertical centerline. If the headlamps are horizontally
disposed about the vertical centerline, the distance between the closest
edges of their effective projected luminous lens areas shall not be
greater than 200 mm (8 in.).
(c) If the system consists of two headlamps, one of which provides
an upper beam and one of which provides the lower beam, the headlamps
shall be located on the vertical centerline with the upper beam no
higher than the lower beam, or horizontally disposed about the vertical
centerline and mounted at the same height. If the headlamps are
horizontally disposed about the vertical centerline, the distance
between the closest edges of their effective projected luminous lens
areas shall not be greater than 200 mm (8 in.).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

do it for the monkeys!

This boggles my little mind.

14:39 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Monkeys waving white flags joined protesters outside the district office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco today to speak out against the Democratic leader's support for measures that organizers say undercuts the mission of the troops in Iraq.

Now, I thought that monkeys were illegal in California. I could be wrong. I know helper monkeys are illegal here, but perhaps protesting monkeys are not. When I read the article, I assumed they meant "dumbasses dressed as monkeys," but, no, these appear to be actual monkeys (dressed as dumbasses, but I don't think they chose their outfits)

So you have a monkey. And that monkey is protesting. I wonder how many monkeys they polled to find two who supported the war effort. I have to think most of them were like "No time for that. Can't talk now. Flinging poo." Not Jake and April. They jumped at the chance to exercise their First Amendment rights! Yay two party monkey system?

(I can't be the only one who thinks it's funny that these people chose the animal that is so often used in cartoons to mimic Dubya's facial features)

April looks very stylish in her beret, but she should learn to sit like a lady, not some wild west liberal hussy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I certainly didn't learn this from my mother

Tuesday night, I learned the joys of spray starch for ironing. wonder of wonders! It is wonderful! Now I just need an ironing board. This gave me an absurd amount of joy.

I did not learn many of these once-basic domestic skills from my mother. I can't picture her ironing, actually. For some reason, I don't mind ironing, though I do need a board to make it nice.

She did teach me a lot of other wonderful things, like how to make Peanut Butter Playdough, sewing, knitting (sort of), and the simple, profound joy of being able to answer a compliment with "thanks, I made it." She taught me how to be an artist and craftsman and create beautiful things, too many at a time. And definetely how to overextend myself and make big messy piles all over my desk and then somehow, in a way no one else will ever understand, deliver it all in the end more skillfully and naturally than a real "organizer."

I'm always so proud of my mom. Cooking and cleaning and boring house chores aside, how many other people can say their mom knows how to tat, do blackwork, build a website, run a conference for non-profits, make jam, run a girl scout troop, and, most impressively in my book, get a priest to swear at her?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the threat of a brittle brain

I guess it's kind of a good thing, that I'm starting to clench my teeth again. That means the new teeth are starting to fit, and ceasing to hurt? Hope I don't just crack them again. They are essspensive!

So apparently, my boss thinks it's a good thing that this work is unchallenging. As in, he told the office manager as much when she started here about a year ago. Something to the effect of "The pay is good, and there's not much work to do. It's easy." (first off, he's wrong about the first part, but given that he's worked here forever, how would he know that? Actually, his pay is good, it's the rest of us that suffer.) He is basically retired in place here. He has been here for a looooong time, and will never leave. Where would he go? I think after too many years in one place like this, you really can't transfer to new jobs very well. This is one of my driving factors in wanting to jump ship. I could easily stay here forever. They would never fire me and my work would just get easier and easier. But the longer I stay, the more stunted I feel, the less able I am to jump to something challenging. My skills will get stale, my mind brittle. I already wish I could go back five years and start over then. What kind of person would stay in this place for that long? Doesn't he realize that while he finds it a benefit, the younger people in the department keep cycling through because growing old here without growth and challenge scares the crap out of us?

I've been reading a bit about the supposed difference in the workplace between Boomers and Gen X (am I Gen X? I can't remember). There's a lot of stereotyping about Boomers resenting us for job-hopping, and there's the correlational frustration X'ers supposedly have at Boomers for not retiring or letting the Gen X'ers grow into more responsible positions. I do not know if I am an X, but I do have frustration at the idea of staying here forever just to wait for someone to finally retire, all the while being bored and unchallenged. Of course, younger workers are also more accustomed to the idea that the company may just "restructure" us at any moment. That wouldn't happen where I'm at right now, but I almost wish it were a possibility. It would force us to be more nimble, more growth and challenge oriented. It would keep my boss from sitting in his chair thinking only of how to keep from rocking the boat. It would keep my mind active, learning and creating new ways to be useful and productive and eminently un-restructurable.

The water is too still. Aren't there any sharks to slap?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Are you going to eat that?

This rant about breakfast foods and marketing is quite funny, and spot on. I have for the past few months been eating a bowl of oatmeal at my desk every morning, and though oatmeal isn't on the chart, I would wager it would outperform the cheerios, based on nothing other than my general rule that the more processing, the worse it is for you. I think I feel better these days? Skipping breakfast made me lazy all day, and eating at my desk is a nice way to say "yes, I could do this at home on my own time, but I choose to do it here, on your time." 'Nuff said! Actually, eating at the office just makes me more consistent about actually having breakfast, and helps me settle into my day. I put in more hours here than anyone else, so no complaints.

The tagline "Cheerios - better for you than starvation" is pretty funny, and why not?

We watched Super Size Me recently, and while I really think the guy was hamming it up for the camera, there was a lot in the movie that was, in my mind, pretty clear. The doctors' reactions halfway through the movie were funny, the kind of funny that only happens when someone you don't know is causing himself possibly irreversible bodily harm.

Why do we eat so much crap?

I love food. Have you seen my family? We are champion eaters. Eating is a ritual, it's what we do to connect, to visit, to show love. I am in no means wanting to give that up. But we don't have to eat absolute crap.

(actually, my family rarely eats fast food, generally only on the way to grandma's house when we use the Burger King bathroom, and my mom feels guilty if we don't give back by buying something. But I recently pointed out that we were supporting them already with our tax dollars in terms of all the treatments for obesity which they caused.)

It worries me that so many people eat all these processed foods on a daily basis. I mean, sure, every once in a while, here and there, fine. But it's clear that it has become a majority of our "meals." Do people even know where food comes from anymore? I can't pronounce any of these ingredients. Here are a few of my rules about what I feel OK eating (not to say I don't eat other things, but I have goals)

1.) I'd rather eat the full fat, traditional yummy version than the "diet" version. I KNOW I should not eat cake and cookies. So I will have a small amount, and enjoy the heck out of them. The "diet" version gives the message "it's OK, it's DIET, eat all you want." It's not OK, it's still crap. And the real version is more satisfying, so I will eat less of it.
2.) Ideally, I can not only pronounce all of the ingredients, but I could actually draw you a picture of, if not the ingredient, at least where it came from (Honey is hard to draw, bees are much easier, and cuter.) If I had kids, I would practice drawing the food they eat. Encourages creativity as well as awareness of your food.
3.) The more marketing, the worse it is for you. Companies that process the hell out of their foods, and fill them with cheap crap have the most money left for marketing. Milk, lettuce, and rice have no big budgets, because they are too simple and close to the farmer to have such deep pockets. A good sign that it's bad, is that you can remember the TV jingle or mascot. Food shouldn't need a mascot.
4.) Anytime you can buy something from the person who made it, that's a good thing. I have experienced this with chocolate, ice cream, various fruit and vegetable stands, and of course, a lot of wine. (A lot. Really)

This is a real problem. All those kids stuffing their faces at McDonalds, or chowing down a bag of potato chips every day? Costing me money. Health care costs are through the roof, and we can't even hope to have universal health coverage when we are causing so much heart disease, type II diabetes, liver damage, and an endless list of other diseases, ON OUR OWN, with the crap we stuff in our pieholes. It's hurting families, who have to suffer, emotionally as well as financially, through the diseases people bring upon themselves. Health care spending is choking social welfare programs and business, in turn destroying our country's ability to stay solvent. At the top somewhere, a few "food" companies are profiting while the rest of us destroy ourselves, our country, and our families.

We don't have to buy this crap.
At least not so much of it.

These days, I try to be a little more mindful of the way what I eat changes the way I feel. Mood and energy levels are greatly affected by foods. Some foods make you feel more full, while some additives actually make you more hungry (do you need that? I sure don't.)

I still eat the hell out of some ice cream, dark chocolate, beer, and pizza. But I go for the simpler ones, ice cream from our local shop that makes it by hand with simple ingredients. dark chocolate without Hershey-style additives and fillers, beer and pizza, I haven't quite figured out yet.

Everything, in moderation.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

phone screen 3

Texans are a tough crowd.

"Tell me what you know about DNS"
OK (this is the thing that tells you which of the series of tubes...)

When asked what qualities they would seek in this person...

"YES, I CAN DO THAT!" is, of course, the answer to everything.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Stonyford or bust (or both, more likely)

Somehow, the Sheetiron sneakily came upon us, only two weeks away. All plans about getting in some dirt riding practice, finally learning how to wheelie, or even making sure I still fit in my MX pants have fallen by the wayside. It is nearly here!

this time, I will be taking the Friday off (my boss doesn't know this yet, but how can I tell him if he's never here? More importantly, why should I tell him if he's never here?) so that we can go up to Stonyford in a reasonable time, and probably camp there. We'll see... I don't mind the camping idea but don't want to carry all that crap. My chest protector is already so cumbersome, there won't be room for tent and all that. We'll probably find someone to carry our junk up there since most people take trucks.

I'm sure the weather won't be cold and uber-foggy like it was last time. This time I'm more worried about 100+ temperatures? Ugh, well, at least I can see that way. Last year's weather was pretty miserable, and sometimes the visibility was zero.

It follows that this coming weekend will be tire and oil changes, shopping, fretting.

Someone want to teach me how to wheelie finally?

Not as easy as you might think.

1. Where is your cell phone? Jacket

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend? Perfect

3. Your hair? long

4. Work? Stale

5. Your father? Loving

6. Your favorite thing? Family

7. Your dream last night? Forgotten

8. Your favorite drink? Strong

9. Your dream car? sidehack

10. The room you're in? Corner

11. Your pet? Imaginary

12. Your fears? Unfounded

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Happy

14. Where did you hang out last night? Hammock

15. What you're not good at? Patience

16. Eyebrow rings on the opposite sex? why?

17. One of your wish list items? Career

18. Where you grew up? Suburban

19. The last thing you did? type

20. What are you wearing? work

21. what aren't you wearing? Helmet

22. Who do you like? Charles

23. Your computer? cute

24. Your life? stalled

25. Your mood? hopeful

26. Missing? direction

27. What are you thinking about right now? career

28. Your car? motorcycle

29. Your work? projects

30. Your summer? undecided

31. Your relationship status? ecstatic

32. Your favorite color? red

33. When is the last time you laughed? traffic

34. Last time you cried? recently

35. School? always

Thursday, May 03, 2007

OK, but I don't kiss on the first interview

I'm told that the job interviewing process can be seen a lot like dating.

In that case, can I just have a beer first?

I mean, I never really got this nervous about dating. I just baked Paul some brownies and that was that. Can I just do that now? I can bake the hell out of some brownies.

I am supposed to have various witty tales of funny things, fabulous things, inspiring things I've done. Most of these involve getting tossed off of a dirtbike several times and then going over the bars in front of a bunch of strangers. (funny, perhaps could be twisted into a tale of perseverance, or just blind stupidity, but, hey, we made it! Teamwork!) Or, as Paul reminded me, that one time I nearly broke a glass over some jackass' head (I didn't, so this might be a wonderful tale of my ability to think clearly under pressure and execute alternative solutions that are more satisfying to all players involved?) There was that one time, at Burning Man... oh, nevermind that one.

Project management? um? No, wait, it's there, I just have to dig for it.
  • The James Cornell Fund, definitely. Talk about a motley crew. It's really challenging to work with volunteers, and we did it, and pulled off some wonderful things. I was central to getting these things done, acting as secretary to meetings, creating action item lists, pre-digesting information for people who needed to get work done, but didn't have time to deal with all the other details, finding people and resources to get work done or bring services to events, and pep talking the heck out of some clearly insane people. I pushed completion of a good chunk of those activities and needs. Followed up with vendor-types, worked out details and who could best execute them, planned and ran meetings, gave status reports along the way. Did I mention that most of the people involved were insane? OK, maybe not most, but the vocal minority. Volunteers are a special challenge, and we were all in a very emotional state. And nobody got killed in the process! Yay, teamwork! I did not do this alone. There were other wonderful people working on this.
  • Ostensibly, every pant we develop is a little project around here. Which means every day I'm juggling 5 definable projects, and a lot of more nebulous ones (wherein we can't really think of it as a project because it can't be described-- the goal posts move constantly, and there is an odd culture of non-communication here. It's actually a lot easier for me to work with outside customers in many cases)
  • And I'd love to say the implementation of the Gerber system (which was already here, but not used much) but the fact is, it all fell apart when my boss decided he didn't want to support the use of technology and would prefer the many-paper-napkins-of-information style. (it's an odd work culture around here, and one of the things I find most un-appealing). Oh well, whether they use it or not, I did it, right? I think with the new tools I'm working on, they may be persuaded, since it's a really robust tool, and more flexible and secure than what they are doing now. Well, I can create all good arguments, but some old dogs don't like new tricks. I'm creating a manual for it so that it can continue in my absence, and hopefully grow to use more of its potential.
  • Project management might better be expressed through the work we did at my previous job, breaking out large scale sample projects into bits that could be moved around as necessary to be flexible with the arrival of changes or materials, and involving outside vendors.

I'm just thinking out loud.

I guess in order to make it more like dating, I just need to interview a lot of places that I don't really have any interest in, just to get the practice in. there's another good story, about the time I went out with a guy I met in the gutter, just so I could say I went out with a guy I met in the gutter. (for the sake of a good story, I guess) It gets better, it turned out he had been arrested for trying (poorly, very poorly) to rob a bank. It was his own regular branch, and while he was waiting in line to make a deposit or something, he had the brilliant idea that he could just pretend he was armed and get money from them. OK, but A.) they know you already since it's your bank, and B.) you're an idiot and the money was marked. He also asked me if he could watch me drain my carb, because he didn't know how. this involves a tool and one moving part and about five minutes! I told him not to bother, after springing his motorbike out of the slammer from getting picked up for riding without a license. It's a funny story though, right? Worth it, I think.

I guess that's not the sort of story an interviewer is looking for though.

Brownies would be a lot easier.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

cookie monster!

yanked from Boingboing today, tasty computers!

Dear George

Can I have my trillion dollars back?

Dear MSM

Dear Mainstream Media,
I do not give a flying crap about Anna Nicole Smith's baby. I know you think Craigslist is what destroyed you, but perhaps it could be the fact that you are giving me a blow-by-blow update on the whereabouts of a some dead lady's baby. "Anna Nicole Smith's baby to leave tomorrow," then "Anna Nicole Smith's Baby on way to United States," and now "Anna Nicole Smith's baby lands in Kentucky."


I am a news hound. I like to read about (but mostly see pictures of) alligators tying up traffic in Minnesota, or Japanese people finding out their dogs are really sheep (OK, it would have been better if it was true, but at least it was interesting, which this baby is not.) But this? This is CRAP. Plain and simple CRAP. You should be ashamed. All of you.

(My second favorite "news" item today bore the headline "Bush readies veto pen." I actually envisioned a giant oversized pen, like something you'd use to sign one of those enormous checks they're always delivering on TV. Sadly, it was not the case. If any of our presidents had a giant cartoon pen, it would be this one, right?)