costumes comments edit

I got home last night and Jenn was working with the new sewing machine I bought her for her birthday. She’s making some pajama shorts or something. I went in the room to see how she was doing, and she was fussing around with some fabric, mumbling about the buttonhole foot on it. It sounded to me like she thought it was broken or something. She just couldn’t get it to work.

I sat down and asked her if she followed the instructions. “Oh, yes,” she said, “of course I did!” All of the instructions? She looked insulted.

I started looking at the instructions, at which point she decided it was time to start cutting something and then get pissed off because I was instantly in the way, so I left and figured I’d look at it later.

She left for her meeting, and after a while I decided I’d check it out. I mean, how hard could it be? Don’t these machines do everything for you?

I picked up the piece of test fabric she had sitting there, and, following the instructions in the manual, proceeded to try three times to make a buttonhole. And you know what?

The test fabric with both Jenn's and my buttonholes (6k

It is that easy. The machine does do everything for you and I got three perfect buttonholes - one on each try.

Let’s get a closer look at this, shall we?

Here’s one of Jenn’s “buttonholes.” Note it’s not so much a “hole” as a “rat’s nest of thread.”

Jenn's rat's nest (4k

Here are my buttonholes. Note that I am the Buttonhole Master.

My buttonholes. Buttonhole KING am I. (9k

Turns out that Jenn didn’t really follow all of the instructions, just most. Funny how you can’t just skip the steps you don’t understand or don’t “feel like” doing.

Reminds me of this one time I sent some instructions to one of my users on how to fix a problem he was having. He calls me back a few minutes later and asks how come step 8 isn’t working. I’m like, “Did you follow all the instructions?” and he said, “Yeah - I did step 2, then 4, then I went back and did 3, then 1…” You get the idea. I never thought I’d actually have to specify that you need to follow the numbered steps in the order they’re provided.

Lesson learned: Follow all of the instructions in order prior to saying a process doesn’t work. Chances are, the instructions are there for a reason.

personal comments edit

Remember the Space Pen I lost a while ago so I ended up buying a new one? Yeah, well, I found the one I lost. It was in my car, under the seat, between the floor mat and the metal track that the seat sits on. Since it’s dark down there, the track is black, the carpet’s black, and the pen’s black, I didn’t see it. But I dropped a quarter in there, and when I reached in to get it, there was the pen. So now I have two Space Pens, which isn’t a bad thing.

personal comments edit

I posted my Underworld review yesterday, so I’ll tell you what I did this weekend today. Now that it’s already Tuesday.

20030922_tjfront (4k
image)Friday was the intern at work’s last day, so we took him out to lunch at Chang’s Mongolian Grill and signed this terrible shirt that Jenn’s grandparents got me for Christmas and gave it to him. The Worst Shirt Ever. And there’s another one, waiting here for the next intern. Yeah, I got two of those mothers.

After work, Greg and I went to see Underworld, the review for which I’ve posted already. It was decent.

Woke up the next morning to find that Chang’s had a negative effect on me all the way around. My stomach was rumbly and the apartment smelled of farts and garlic. I guess I woke Jenn up in the middle of the night by farting in my sleep (hehehehehe). I think I’d best lay off the Chang’s.

Saturday I went to the first Winter Hawks game of the season, and I hope that the season opener is indicative of what we can expect the rest of the season. Not only did they win and fight, but they also scored during the “Pizza Schmizza Magic Minute,” which means we all got free pizza. Doesn’t get much better than that.

While at the hockey game, I was talking to my friend Jerry’s daughter, Suzanne (who, by the way, is hot like Alicia Silverstone in Clueless), and I came to find that she didn’t know what funk music was. How do you describe funk? I named several artists, and she’d never heard of any of them. She’s 21, and I’m only 27, but that makes me feel old. Kids nowadays, man.

Sunday I went to see Bubba Ho-Tep at Cinema 21 with my friend Darren. It was a reasonably funny movie about Elvis in a rest home, fighting a mummy who eats the souls of old people. Sound silly? It was, but it was entertaining.

Yesterday was my sister Tai’s birthday, so Jenn and I headed over to my parents’ house for cake and ice cream. It was a decent family gathering. Tai said she was glad I was there, but was a little disappointed that I didn’t call her in the morning to say happy birthday. Two things on that: first, I don’t call anyone for holidays, or much anything else for that matter; second, I don’t remember getting any call on my birthday. Hmmm. Okay, then.

Sunday (the 28th) is Tori’s birthday (my other sister). But she’s in Utah, so no family gathering.

I was listening to the Scorpions song, “Rock You Like A Hurricane,” and I was thinking about the whole “Hurricane Isabel” thing going on right now and how it used to be “Tropical Storm Isabel,” and it got me wondering… when the Scorpions wrote that song, did they sit around and think, “Hmmm… ‘Rock you like a tropical storm?’ No… ‘Rock you like a tornado?’ No… How about ‘rock you like a squall?’ Uh-uh. Oh, I got it! ‘Rock you like a hurricane!’ Yeah, I like that!”

movies comments edit

Friday night I went immediately after work to see Underworld, the new hyper-stylized Matrix-wannabe film.

Don’t worry, I knew exactly what I was going into.

See, I liked The Matrix. I liked Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I liked that both had their own interesting visual styles and artistic approaches. So when I saw the previews for Underworld, I was all over it. I mean, how can you pass up something like that? Two great tastes that go great together.

The story is about Selene (played by the almost ridiculously hot Kate Beckinsale), a vampire “death dealer.” She and a group of other gun-toting vampires spearhead the vampire side of the vampire/werewolf battle. (See, they have silver nitrate-filled bullets that they shoot the werewolves with, right? And the werewolves have UV irradiated liquid filled bullets that they shoot the vampires with. That’s how they rationalize the guns. Just accept it and move on.) While Selene is out hunting one day, she sees that the werewolves (or “lycans,” as they are called in the film) are taking a special interest in this particular human. Turns out the human has a special quality to his blood that lets him become both a vampire and a werewolf, and stronger than both. The werewolves think this is great; the vampires, not so much. Battle ensues. Asses get kicked. Much shooting. All becomes well with the world.

In all honesty, I wasn’t disappointed. They did a great job of bringing the whole vampire/werewolf mythos into a contemporary Matrix-esque setting. The visual style was keen, the guns were cool, the chicks were hot. What more could you ask?

Well, there were a few issues I had that would have made the movie just a little better.

First, the visual style, while keen, was a little overdone. Ever notice how everything in The Matrix has a sort of greenish tinge to it? Everything in Underworld was done in twilight blue. There really wasn’t much in the way of color or light, which made it hard to see what was going on at times. Cool? Yes. Hard to see? Also, yes. I mean, blood runs black in twilight. That’s great and all, but it sort of lacks some of the power of seeing the red of blood in battle. Maybe laying off the camera filters just a little would have been helpful.

Second, the guns. I thought it was a really, really cool idea to have fully automatic pistols. Portable death in quantities. I like that. But, you know, pistol clips only hold like 9 or 14 rounds in them. And with these huge .50 caliber bullets (or what looked like something that large, since you have to have a huge bullet to hold all the liquid you’re shooting), you’re only going to get 9 in there. Which means if you hold down the trigger on your fully automatic pistol, you’ve got about a second worth of shooting in it, then you’ve got to reload. Where was the reloading? You can’t take out an army on two clips. They reloaded sometimes, but not nearly enough.

Third, the love interest. Selene gets this vampire/werewolf/human guy and runs him all over town trying to save him (over the course of a couple of days) and somehow, without really having any conversation with the guy, falls in love with him. No, no, no. If Kate Beckinsale drug my ass around town for two days and all I ever did was cause her trouble, she’d only end up hating me. Not so in this movie. I didn’t buy that part.

Finally, the chicks. I won’t see eye-to-eye with some of you on this one, but the folks in my camp will know what I’m saying here. If you’re going to stick Kate Beckinsale in latex (or leather or whatever), and you’re going to parade around a bunch of vampire women in ultra-tight corset-style tops and so on and so forth, and you’re going to the trouble of putting in the obligatory love interest, and you’re going to get your movie rated R for violence and language, then you’d best go all the way and show me some tits. Seriously. Where were the boobs in this film? This is worse than a Washington strip club. Don’t start the launch sequence if you’re not going to fire the missile. Here’s hoping that stuff shows up in the deleted scenes or the director’s cut or something on DVD.

Long story short, I liked this and I’d say it’d be good for a matinee or a rental, but don’t pay full price unless you’re really into the vampire/werewolf thing.

food, personal comments edit

We went yesterday to Chang’s Mongolian Grill (all you can eat, baby!) for lunch, and while I love Chang’s, Chang’s doesn’t seem to love me. I’ve had terrible gas since then (woke Jenn up at around four this morning with my farting in my sleep), our whole apartment smells like garlic, and I just dropped a loaf that would kill a small army. Damn.

I’m still working on my pMachine upgrade. I’ve got some good ideas on paper, now I just have to compose my thoughts on the computer. I tried a couple of things yesterday that turned out like crap, so I’ve started that over. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve been working with the Microsoft Log Parser, a tool that allows you to query - like a database - activity logs from your web site. It’s pretty slick and really fast. Plus, it comes with a programmatic component you can use to write your own programs that take advantage of the fast and easy parsing capabilities that Microsoft has already built.

We have a guy at our company who wrote his own log parser that analyzes logs for security attacks. I suggested that he look into using the programmatic component in his analyzer because, well, why reinvent the wheel? Especially in the case of program code that you don’t want to have to maintain. Why not use the robust engine provided you for free?

I got the response that the log parser isn’t smart enough. Huh? Sure, maybe the canned executable version isn’t, but the componentized version is only as smart as you make it. Sounds like the thing not smart enough is the guy writing the program. Oh, well. Can’t save everyone from themselves.

I guess they’re trying to patent this thing, too, which I hope does not imply that they’re going to try to sell it, because I’ve seen the reports it spits out and legible they are not. Maybe they should hire a UI guy to look at that stuff… but, of course, with the code they’ve got built up, who knows how maintainable (or adjustable) it is? Some people program when they really just shouldn’t.

I got my new Fisher Space Pen yesterday in the mail.

Fisher Space Pen... straight from Mulholland Drive! (5k

I’m actually pretty stoked about it. It looks really cool, and I think the grip on the end of the pen is pretty nifty. Anyway, there it is - if you find it somewhere, it will be because I lost it, so please give it back if you do. So far, I’ve had it sitting right here just fine all morning.

I think tonight I’m going to go see Underworld. Can’t really pass on the whole Matrix-like thing, plus, you really can’t beat Kate Beckinsale in tight garb.

And one final treat - a great picture of Jennifer Garner arriving at last year’s Emmy Awards ceremony. Yow!