traffic comments edit

It’s time once again for… Traffic Asshole of the Week! This week, the Traffic Asshole is brought to you by Lexus, which is the kind of car the asshole was driving.

Or, at least, he was brought to my bumper by his Lexus.

So here’s me: Cruising along coming in to work this morning, going reasonably fast (the freeway’s only a 55, so… well, faster than that), and I’m in the fast lane, passing people in the slow lane (only two lanes, mind you), when this guy comes flying on the freeway and runs right up on my bumper. I’m not really sure what he’s trying to accomplish, since we’re already going both faster than the speed limit and faster than the slow lane. Not to mention I see that, just up ahead, everyone’s slowing way down because of an interchange where folks are merging.

This guy continues to ride me, close enough that I can’t even see his headlights, which is pretty fucking close. I consider doing the brake-tap thing, but then I think, “I don’t trust this guy’s ability to actually stop in time,” so I don’t.

Instead, I decide to try to take a picture. Perfect traffic asshole moment, right? Camera’s right there, so I pick it up, flip it around, and snap a photo:

Um... that's not what I was going for. (3k

Okay, so that didn’t work too well. (You guys all think I’m taking a bunch of time when I get these pictures, but I’m actually just pointing the camera in the general direction and snapping a bunch of them, hoping for a decent one.)

That’s when I get this idea - take a picture of him in the rear view mirror!

Asshole in the rear view (9k

That works much better. You can see just the tops of his headlights because he’s backed off a little there.

At this point, the asshole decides that, even though we’re almost to this interchange and traffic’s really slow, he’s going to try to pass me on the right.

Uh uh. You wanna be an asshole? I can be one, too. Plus, I’m pretty sure I can give you a good run for your money any day of the week, buddy. Time to floor it.

I end up running the guy right up to the slow traffic, when he decides to cave in and get back behind me.

Long about the time I’m getting ready to exit for work, I find out that he’s exiting at the same place. Now’s his chance! Time to make the move!

Getting ready to exit (3k

Well, exit time, so I’d best get over, too. Oh, no! I’m feeling bad about myself now! I’m behind the asshole!

Oh, wait a sec, we’re all going really slow in a big long line of cars. Gee, getting that one car in front of me really got you far, man.

Hey, look! You're stuck in the same line I am! (4k

I know what it was, though: He was excited to get to work to see if he had made Traffic Asshole of the Week. Congratulations, buddy, you did it!

personal, traffic comments edit

The commute home sucked. It’s only 14.3 miles between work and home, and it took me an hour and a quarter. That averages out to around 11.5 miles per hour.

Here, check this out:

Now THAT'S some TRAFFIC! (12k

Traffic backed up as far as the eye could see. Ridiculous. And you know what it was? An accident coming in the opposite direction. Good, people. Rubberneck. That’ll definitely get us home faster.

Got home, gave Jenn her presents. I got her some movies (Amelie, Pretty Woman, and Can’t Buy Me Love), a foot massage spa thing, a Perfect Pancake, and a sewing machine. Not a bad haul considering none of her family showed up. Her parents are out of town for their annivesary and her sister had plans involving Jenn’s niece and a school get together or something. So it was me, Jenn, and my parents eating tiramisu torte and berry pie. Yum.

[Tubby Cat as Gene Simmons (4k
image)During the party, I noticed that the Tubby Cat was doing her best impersonation of Gene Simmons. She’s funny when she does that, and I can’t figure out why. I heard that when cats are content they stick their tongues out. She must love laying on that paper! Click her head to see the full-body view.

Aside from that excitement, it was a nice, quiet evening at home. And now we’re at today, the tomorrow we talked about yesterday, and it’s back to the grinder for me.

personal, blog comments edit

Lots of stuff getting upgraded. Let’s see…

Jenn’s birthday is today, so her age has been upgraded. We’ll be getting together tonight with my parents and her sister and niece.

I got - free from MSDN - a ViewSonic V37 PocketPC. Very nice, if I do say so myself. I’ve migrated the stuff from my old Compaq iPaq 3600 onto this new machine and I’m not looking back.

I’ve installed pMachine so I can potentially provide some better blog features for you nameless masses who show up here to read about me every day. I’ve just got the base install complete, no customizations or anything, but I’ll be working on setting that up and getting it just right, after which I’ll import my blog entries from here over to there and get you going over there. I think my templates will change a bit, since I’d like to shake things up. My current idea is sort of a cobalt blue and black theme a la Mulholland Drive. So that’s getting upgraded.

Speaking of cobalt blue, I somehow lost my Fisher Space Pen. My favorite pen, black with a gold “US Ski Team” logo on it (I could have done without the logo, but the pen itself was the bomb. I had it in my pocket yesterday, and now… nothing. No idea where it went. So I ordered me up a new blue one, sort of like something you’d see out of Mulholland Drive. It’s cool, and I’m looking forward to getting it. So my pen is getting upgraded (from “no pen” to “really cool pen”).

Finally, I forgot to mention it, but a couple of days ago I broke down and ordered my new dining room table. I had found it at a different site, but then at the last minute I saw it on the Sears web site, for $55 cheaper. Can’t beat that. So my dining room is getting an upgrade. Of course, that’s not going to be here until October 13 or so. Shipping. Bah.

personal comments edit

Neighbors in the fire lane again... (4k
image)Got home Friday after work to find my neighbors were in the fucking fire lane again.

Other than that, didn’t do much Friday night. I rented, um… I don’t even remember. Oh, wait - it was Malibu’s Most Wanted, which was reasonably funny, but I’m glad I only paid a buck for it.

Saturday was quite the day. I went down to Fry’s Electronics and picked up some CD cases for my DVDs. We had our DVDs on a bookshelf but ran out of room, so we decided it was time to put them into binders. I chose CD binders instead of DVD binders because of the cost - I have about 300 DVDs, and most DVD binders only hold 40 discs with the paper insert things… which means I would need like eight binders to hold everything, whereas I only need four of the CD binders and I still have plenty of room to grow. Of course, I miscounted the movies the first time around and ended up having to go back to Fry’s on Sunday to get another binder. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Saturday afternoon was Jenn’s parents’ anniversary party at the local Masonic lodge. There were no fez-wearers, which I was disappointed by (though should have expected), and the “party” itself was more of a calm social gathering with food involved. Nothing too much. I did notice a couple of things I thought interesting, though.

First, I realized that at these sorts of gatherings there is always a “grandma” entity who sits semi-alone wearing those gigantic black sunglasses, and there was the token sunglass wearer at this party, too:

Stylin'! (7k

Second, there was this guy in the back who was wearing quite the interesting “American Flag” shirt. “Fashion Police! Pull over!”

This flag needs to be burned. (3k

We saw Jenn’s grandparents there, which was nice, and they gave Jenn her birthday gift since Jenn’s birthday is on Tuesday (tomorrow). The thing is, these grandparents are notorious for the… interesting… gifts. For example, the gift wrap is always re-gifted / recycled. Looking at the top of Jenn’s gift, you wouldn’t notice, but flip it over…

For your WEDDING? (11k

…and we see there’s a little bit of wedding wrapping paper in there.

[20030915_frame_sm (8k
image)Inside that package we found a frame that allows you to “magically” swap your pictures in it like an album. Check the close-up on that frame. Like the plastic wicker look? So did we.

Jenn also got a wool blanket (in a Christmas box marked “To Jim From Louise”) that has probably been in someone’s attic for 30 years (the stink was incredible). Navy blue with snowflakes on it the size of dinner plates that have been cut out and sewn on. We think we can redeem that one by trimming off the snowflakes and giving it a thorough washing.

Sunday Jenn and I washed our cars (it’d been a while and they both looked terrible) and watched View From The Top with my parents. I made that second trip to Fry’s to get the last binder we needed and I studied for my next test.

Speaking of my next test, I’m not sure about how well I’m going to do. They refer to things I’ve never heard of, and it’s all case study sorts of things (you read a case study then answer questions about it). But it’s not even entirely logical. Here’s an example question with all the background info you’re given:

Events Plus (the company you’re contracting with) currently books 5000 events per month using their existing booking system. You’re creating a new system for them. This new system should allow multiple rate schedules for each event. Most events should have fewer than 20 different rate schedules associated with it, and rate schedules should only change two or three times per event.

During the first two years after they release the new system, they anticipate it will increase their event bookings by 20%. After the first two years they expect a 10% increase in bookings each year.

Audit information for rate schedule changes must be stored in the new system. You are estimating the additional amount of storage needed for this audit information. Each audit trail record will be approximately 850 bytes. Based on the information from the case study (reprinted above), approximately how much disk space will be required for the audit trail during the first two years?

972MB 2334MB 1GB 2.6GB 26GB

Give up?

Now when I solved this, I figured it this way:

5000 events per month * 12 months per year * 1.2 (for the 20% annual growth) = 72000 events for the first year 72000 events the first year * 1.2 (for the 20% annual growth) = 86400 events the second year 72000 first year events + 86400 second year events = 158400 total events 20 rate schedules * 3 times each schedule can be changed = 60 audit records to maintain per event 158400 events * 60 audit records * 850 bytes per record = 8078400000 bytes = 7889062.5KB = 7704.2MB = 7.52GB

Notice how that’s not one of the choices?!

The way THEY calculate it is:

5000 events * 1.20 (for the annual growth) * 24 months * 850 bytes * 20 rate schedules = 2448000000 bytes (the storage required for the rate schedules proper) 5000 events * 3 rate changes * 24 months * 850 bytes = 306000000 bytes (for the audit trail records) 2448000000 bytes + 306000000 bytes = 2754000000 bytes = 2.56GB

Huh? Why are they calculating how much storage is for the rate schedules themselves? That wasn’t the question. And when they calculate for the audit trail records, what happened to the annual growth? And why is the annual growth averaged over two years and not compounded like annual growth is supposed to be? And I thought each rate schedule could be changed 3 times… it’s 3 times TOTAL?! ARGH!!! (You might think I shorted you on the info I provided in the question, but I didn’t; that’s seriously all you get.)

When you look at the “References” section on the practice test to see what you can study to figure out how to answer this, it says,”References: General Knowledge and Information – None.” Gee, thanks.

Anyway, all the questions are ridiculous like this. I don’t know how folks pass these things, since there’s no logic to me. Plus, if you have any questions in the real world, you can make a quick phone call and find out what someone meant. They expect you to make assumptions on incomplete information here and to make the same assumptions that they do. What a load.

traffic comments edit

I said that Traffic Asshole of the Week may occur more often than once a week, and I was dead on. This morning I found another candidate for the title.

I was heading in to work, when I see this guy in an SUV (big surprise there) fly across three lanes of traffic without signaling:

Zoom Zoom! (6k

That’s right, all the way from the on ramp to the fast lane, no signal, no pause. He then runs right up on the bumper of the car in front of me and slams on the brakes. Good job there, man.

Then, just as fast as he flew into the fast lane, he flies back across the three lanes of traffic…

Gettin' back over... (5k

… and gets OFF THE FREEWAY!

Outta here! (6k

What, may I ask, was the purpose of that? He wasn’t on the freeway for more than maybe a mile or so; why do all this ridiculous maneuvering?

A perfect candidate for the title Traffic Asshole of the Week.