personal comments edit

It got busy yesterday, so I didn’t get to fill y’all in on my weekend. Let’s give the whole rundown, since it was a pretty decent weekend, all things considered.

Friday night… I don’t remember what was going on Friday. Oh, wait, I remember. Jenn and I went over to my parents’ house and watched Survivor. That show never fails to piss me off. The stupidity exhibited by the people on the island rivals something out of Lord Of The Flies. Then again, I have to remind myself that I see a lot of stuff - interviews, secret meetings, etc. - that the people participating in the show don’t see, so they can’t take that into account. Still pisses me off, though.

Saturday… ugh.

Saturday morning I got all of my chores done, which this week consisted primarily of vacuuming and dusting. I tried out the Swiffer Duster we got and it works pretty well.

At four we went to see Jenn’s dad get made the Master of his Masonic lodge. That was… interesting… I had anticipated it being a much more formal experience than it was, considering that he wore a tuxedo and top hat during it, but it was surprisingly casual. Almost too casual to hold any reverence for me, which is unfortunate, because I have a feeling this is a big deal. The part that really killed it for me was the music. Every time someone would stand up and walk to the front of the room to say something or get initiated into office, this guy in the corner with a Casio keyboard would play a bad rendition of a Christmas carol, like “Frosty the Snowman” or “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.” Every time he fired it up, I wondered why the organ grinder started playing and where the little dancing monkey was. It was pretty terrible. I guess the person who was supposed to play music was sick so if the carols weren’t there, there’d be no music at all. Somehow I think that would have been a better option.

Towards the end of the ceremony I started getting stomach cramps something awful and had to make a mad dash for the bathroom. I’m not sure what was going on there, but my stomach never really recovered; I went back to see the end of the ceremony and was ill the whole time.

We had a hockey game to be at by seven and since dinner was part of this thing, we convinced the people cooking to speed ours along. Dinner was prime rib, and I discovered something while eating it.

I don’t like prime rib.

The other option was ham, and I’m not a ham-eater, either, so after Jenn was done, we left and stopped at Burger King on the way to the game. Let me tell you how happy I was to get some real food in my stomach.

Got to the Winter Hawks game in time to see the Hawks come out and the game start. The Hawks played their asses off and beat the best team in our division six-to-two. We got free pizza (because we scored during the “Pizza Schmizza Magic Minute,” which means everyone gets a free slice from the local Pizza Schmizza) and free chalupas from Taco Bell (because we scored six points). There were more fights than I could count, and most of them were actually awesome fights. I even got to talk to the best fighter on our team, Robin Big Snake, after he got kicked out of the game for fighting (the locker room entry is right next to the men’s restroom, and I happen to be heading in there and saw him hanging around just outside the locker room, watching the game).

I need to get a Big Snake jersey. That guy rocks. I’m still stoked about how great that game was.

Sunday we went to see Bad Santa with a couple of friends of ours, Jason and Tracy. The whole point of that movie is that it’s so offensive - it’s everything Santa Claus should never be associated with. I thought it was hilarious, and a perfect role for Billy Bob Thornton. Jenn seemed to sit there mortified half the time, Tracy, I think, was actually offended, and I think Jason laughed at parts but didn’t think it was as funny as I did. Regardless, it was good to hang with them and see a funny movie.

Don’t take your kids to that one, though. Yow.

We finished off Sunday night by catching the latest episode of Alias, a show that continues to be on the top of my list.

Yesterday, the CIT group I work in got to go to lunch at the Portland Steak and Chop House as a reward for doing such a good job in the past… quarter? Year? Whatever. Free lunch, man. I got a New York Peppersteak and had tiramisu for dessert. It was pretty good, but after seeing the prices on the menu, I don’t know that it was worth the price. I suppose the point is moot since I didn’t pay for it, but I didn’t feel like the steak I ate was a $35 steak. Maybe I’m just not the food connoisseur I’d like to think I am.

blog comments edit

I’ve added a new category, Tech Support, to the categories on the site. Right now there’s only one article in it, but as I find solutions to technical problems I’m having that other people might be having, I’ll post ‘em in that category.

traffic, humor comments edit

I’ve mentioned this idea before in passing, but I keep coming back to it, so I’ll post it again.

I think car insurance should be enhanced to handle rubbernecking.

What do I mean?

Well, let’s say you have an accident on a major freeway. You know how much traffic that backs up because of the rubberneckers out there having to catch a glimpse? And follow that through to the end results:

  • Lost time for everyone stuck in traffic
  • Depleted natural resources because of the decreased gas mileage of all of the idling vehicles
  • Increased stress on everyone in the traffic

If I’m caught up in traffic because of an accident that’s not my fault, I feel that I should be compensated for the time and resources wasted by the natural effect that others gawking will have on my time.

It would work like this: Someone has an accident and you get stuck in traffic. Once you get home, you go to a government web site (or some centralized location) and file your claim for reimbursement class-action style - give your name, contact info, etc. Then the reviewing agency would go through each filed claim, compare the claim information with the accident reports on file, and pay out accordingly.

The money to pay the claims would come from the insurance company of the at-fault party in the accident. You cause the accident, you cause the gawking, you pay.

I’ve only come up with two problems: First, there’s no way to prove you were actually caught in the traffic. You may have been, but you may also have gotten a tip-off from your friend. Everyone’s car would have to have, like, a GPS tracker or something (and that’s a whole other can of worms). Second, insurance companies would probably go broke (or insurance costs would skyrocket).

But that’s not the point!

Then again, maybe police and fire agencies should have giant privacy curtains they put up around wrecks so you can’t see anything. Might be inconvenient, but it would sure fix the traffic.

traffic comments edit

The latest Traffic Asshole isn’t even someone I found on the road… it’s someone next to the road, if you can believe that.

This happens every year, and I should have been expecting it, but somehow, just like every other year, it once again took me by surprise.

I was headed to work on Monday the first - the first work day back after the Thanksgiving holiday. At a normally fairly clear area, I noticed cars were jamming up all over the place.

With the density of the crowd, I started thinking, “I wonder if someone’s had a real wreck up there… Maybe someone’s dead. Of course, I’m gonna be pretty pissed off if there’s not someone dead up there, with this amount of traffic.”

Okay, so that’s a little mean and morbid. But true. If there’s not some life-threatening thing going on, what’s with the backup?

Behold, the Griswolds have arrived in Portland:

Griswold Family

That’s right - every year the Shilo Inns headquarters puts up the largest lights display ever, and it’s right along the most difficult freeway in the Portland metro area. So I have Shilo to thank for the so-called Gawker’s Block in effect. Let’s see that again:

Shilo Inns, Take

Oh, yeah.

And the thing is, it doesn’t get any better as the holidays approach. You’d think after the first week all the regular commuters would have seen this thing and be ready to move on. But they always slow down. So Shilo Inns has, once again, fucked up traffic for an entire month. Good job, guys.

personal comments edit

I’m still at work because traffic is terrible out there and I’d rather sit around here and get stuff done than sit in a car indefinitely. Ugh.

I was reading the blog of a friend of mine and it brought up an interesting question. Where do you work best?

For him, he works best “out of his element” - traveling, sitting at Starbucks, in someone else’s cube, etc.

For me, it’s a whole other story. If I’m out of my element (i.e., working at home or out of the office), while I will be more likely to come up with solutions to nagging problems, the amount of code I will churn out will be *less* than if I’m sitting in my sensory deprivation chamber at work. Why? Call it ADHD - there are too many things “out there” that I’d rather be doing than sitting and coding… Art projects, working on my own personal code projects, playing with my cat, watching movies, playing games, etc.

Being at work, I have more of a sense of dedication to the task at hand

  • I’m at work so I can work.

I think I solve my problems best in the shower or in the car in the morning. I’ll figure out how to deal with stuff I’m stuck on while I’m driving to work in the morning or coming home at night. (Actually, sitting on the pot’s a great place to solve problems, too.) Once I’m going to code, though, I need to put the headphones on (music with no words - trance/techno seems to be best for me) and not answer the phone or see any distractions around me. Otherwise, the workflow goes kaput.