music comments edit

A good weekend was generally had by all, yet it still seems like it could have been longer. Amazing how that is.

Friday my friend Darren called me up and let me know that his brothers Greg and Glen were in town on tour with Delerium and Conjure One, and wondered if I’d like to go.

Hell, yeah!

Headed over to the Crystal Ballroom, caught some awesome tunes, finally met Darren’s brothers, and had a great time.

Jenn wasn’t so into it, but what can I say? She likes what she likes and she’s not really a “music person,” if you know what I mean.

Saturday I went to Fry’s and Costco and ended up getting a couple more Best Of Saturday Night Live DVDs. I got the Adam Sandler one and the Molly Shannon one.

After watching them both, I’m now remembering that Adam Sandler, while funny, didn’t actually do a whole lot on SNL. Molly Shannon, though… she just cracks me up. I hope they come out with a Cheri Oteri disc. She’s my favorite.

Saturday afternoon Jenn and I went to my cousin Jenni’s son Shane’s (what does that make Shane to me? is that a cousin too?) birthday party. Pretty much my whole extended family was there from my mom’s side, so it was good to see them and catch up. Most of them live in the Seattle area, so I’m going to have to plan a trip up there to visit soon.

Cousin Jenni starts chemo for the tumor behind her left knee on Tuesday. Ugh. With any luck, she’ll pull through. I’m sure she’ll be fine; she’s a survivor.

The party was sort of interesting, though. Not only was my family there, but Jenni (and her husband Jesse) had their friends, too. Jenni and Jesse are into the Harley motorcycle thing, so there were a lot of biker folks there. Interesting people, but I did feel a bit like I was guest-starring on American Chopper.

Sunday was pretty relaxing. Didn’t do much, and it was the first day of rain we’ve had in a while, so it was a good day to stay in. Played some more PS2. Watched some movies (Identity, From Justin To Kelly, A Man Apart). That’s about it.

Today, I’m finally wearing normal shoes (not sandals) and one of my I [Heart] Toxic Waste shirts, Real Genius style. I have a test at 2:00 today on ASP.NET - the second to last test for my MCSD.NET certification. One more after this, and it’s done. Jury’s still out on whether I’ll go for the MCDBA. It’s a lot of work.

My boss finally put up his own blog. Took him long enough. I figured he’d have jumped on this bandwagon long ago. Let’s see how long he’ll keep up with it before he gets too busy and stops posting or just generally forgets it’s there…

personal comments edit

It turns out that my cousin has had a lump the size of a walnut sitting on the back of her knee for the past two years but was afraid to get it checked… and now it’s the size of a tennis ball and wrapped around her vascular system. She went in and got the official word - it’s cancer. She’ll be starting chemotherapy on Tuesday. Unfortunately, due to the way it’s wrapped around in there, they can’t operate on it. If the chemo doesn’t work, she may lose her leg.

The day just gets better and better.

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I scheduled my next test, MS 070-315: Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual C#.NET and Microsoft Visual Studio.NET, for this coming Monday at 2:00p. It’s scheduled to run for two-and-a-half hours, but I’m hoping it doesn’t actually take that long. The last few have been like that - scheduled for a long time but only taking about an hour. Here’s hoping. I’ve been studying the practice test I have and it’s feeling pretty good. It covers pretty much everything that wasn’t in the training course, which figures. I think I should be able to muddle through reasonably well with my existing experience and some good old logic. Maybe.

Jenn’s birthday is coming up and I nearly had to beat her to death to get a list of things she’d like for gifts. She says she doesn’t know what she wants, but somehow expects me to come up with some surprise thing that she wants but doesn’t know it. Riiiiight. I basically laid out that I’m tired of being the critical thinking problem solver when I provide a HUGE list for people every holiday (like, over a hundred different things) and people still complain that I didn’t provide a big enough selection. Fuck that, man. No list = Sizzler gift certificate.

I was playing Amplitude again last night and the more I play it, the more I realize how true it is that you can’t think while you play, you just have to play. I mean, like, Jenn was trying to talk at me (more “at” than “to” at the time, methinks) while I was working on a particularly difficult song, and while she was talking there was no way I could do it because I was trying to concentrate on her words. Same goes for checking the score - I can’t be looking around, thinking about the score or anything - I just have to play the game. No explicit brain work involved; simple implicit functioning. And let me tell you how nice and relaxing that is. To not have to think, just to do.

I believe that’s what’s wearing me out at work. When I’m at work (which, seriously, anymore I totally dread), I’m wiped out. Why? Because I don’t just get to program stuff and exercise knowledge that I’ve learned; I only ever get to fight these difficult uphill battles of me vs. technology - work on undocumented product with no help and too much to do… you don’t realize how totally exhausting it is.

Plus, for the last few months I go home and I study to take the certification tests. So it’s not like I get a break when I get home. I don’t remember most of college being this stressful, but the parts that were… well, let’s just say that I took a break from studying over the Labor Day holiday last weekend and I didn’t miss it a bit.

All that, combined with stuff like “I don’t know what I want for my birthday but I won’t be happy with a gift certificate so you’d best figure something out” makes me either want to pass out or kill someone. I’m honestly not sure which.

I’ll survive. It would just be nice to not have to fight all day to get things to work. It would be nice if I could do something easy for a change. It’d be nice to work on something other than SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Somehow, I don’t see ever escaping this thing, though. Even after rollout, there’s user training and continued development and everything else on SPS 2003, so regardless of how optimistic my boss is about “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” I’m convinced it’s more a black hole than a tunnel. There’s no light, just endless dark.

I wonder what’s on Monster today…

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So the mayor of Portland forced the police chief to resign a week ago and then had a press conference to tell us why.

She said something about how there was a “rift in the community” and that she was trying to get people to come together.

This morning it clicked for me as to why this happened, and it looks like Marty sort of had it click, too.

See, back in May, this cop pulled over Kendra James, an African-American individual who had existing drug and escape charges against her and a warrant out for her arrest. They told her to get out of the car, she didn’t. They tried to pull her out of the car. She wouldn’t come out. Then she started driving away, so they shot at her. One shot hit her and ended up killing her.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if the cops tell me to get out of the car and I decide not to and try to drive away, I fully expect them to shoot at me. If I end up getting killed, it’s probably because I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing. I mean, you get fair warning, right? It’s not like you don’t know you’re in trouble.

Further, consider this - she’d been in and out of jail for other robbery, theft, and drug convictions. Four times she’d been in and out of jail for this stuff. Am I sorry they shot her? Well, I don’t like the unnecessary loss of human life in any event, but let’s just say it’s not hurting my feelings that my tax dollars don’t have to support her delinquent ass in jail. Again.

So, anyway, this got huge in the press around here. Holy shit, man, a white cop from a precinct headed by a white cop shooting a black lady? What is the world coming to? God forbid we try to stop the bad people in the world, but especially don’t try if they’re a minority

Back to the forced resignation of the police chief:

The mayor said she wanted to get the community back behind the police, and I didn’t understand why the resignation of the chief would do that… until I saw that she had appointed a black guy to be the new chief.

Huh. That’s an interesting thing. Everything’s going well, except for the media coverage… but everything else is fine - the chief’s doing a decent job and wants to continue doing so. The media goes south, and we’ve got a new police chief. Funny how things work.

For the record, I hate racism. I think it’s a deplorable act to be prejudiced against someone based on the color of their skin (or, really, for any other reason - I’m totally in favor of tolerance and acceptance for all). And if you’re a criminal, you should get what’s coming to you. Regardless of your skin color. If you run from the cops, you’re taking that risk on yourself. It’s not the police’s fault you decided to resist arrest. And it’s not the color of your skin that’s making you rip off the local liquor store. Face up to your responsibilities and accept the consequences of your actions, people. Things would work a lot smoother around here if you would.

traffic comments edit

So I decided to go to Burger King for one of their tasty under-three-dollar cheeseburger meals today for lunch. I’m sitting, getting ready to turn left, when I notice something happen that probably should not have happened.

See, the street I’m turning left from has two lanes going in each direction and a single left-hand turn lane down the center. Like a lot of streets around here. I’m sitting in the left hand turn lane when I see this lady in a minivan pull up next to me on my left-hand side.

For the folks not from the US or those not really paying attention, that means she pulled up and stopped in an oncoming traffic lane. And she’s just sitting there, not really paying any attention to anything. I turn and look at her, horrified, and she looks around like a dazed panda and then looks back at me and gives me that “whoopsie!” shrug that moronic drivers give you when they know they’ve done something wrong but are too stupid to do anything about it.

Still flabbergasted, I watch as four or five more cars line up behind her. Like lemmings, ready to file off the edge of the cliff, they line up in oncoming traffic.

Meanwhile, the oncoming traffic has seen that there are morons in the way, so the largest traffic jam in the history of traffic jams proceeds to set in. Especially not helpful in a place where the lights only let like four or five cars through before changing again.

My light finally changed, so I went, and eventually I see her run the red (because she made no motion to go while the light was green - no signal or anything) into the oncoming traffic.

Sometimes I wish they would genetically engineer some sort of plague to kill off all the stupid people. The people sitting in oncoming traffic? Yeah, those are the people who call me up asking for technical support. Society, the welfare system, and yours truly don’t need those people clogging up the earth like shit in a drainpipe, needing to be plunged.