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.

personal comments edit

I got in this morning, all ready to get down to it, if you know what I mean, when I got a call from one of our sales guys saying that there was a problem with this event registration app I have running - a customer tried to register and got an error.

On quick investigation I found that in the new site conversion, a part of this app was overlooked. No biggie, this was a chance to improve the app.

I worked on the update all morning and finally got the functionality done. The last step was to import the existing registration data from the app into the new database. In the meantime, I thought it would be nice to show the guy I know has a vested interest in seeing how the new app works. I sent him a link to the app and said, basically, “Here’s the app. Give it a look. The last step is importing the existing data, which is what I’m working on right now.” Short, to the point, just an FYI.

No problem, right?


This guy forwarded the email (intact) to his supervisor, who is pretty high up in the company. The supervisor then forwarded that to something like half the living population of the US. Finally, the supervisor sent me - and copied all of these folks - a note that said, basically, “Hey, that’s great and all, but not all of the data’s in there. We need that data in there!”

No shit, Sherlock. Did you read the email? That part where I said, “I’m working on importing the data now” - that translates into “I’m working on importing the data now.” Just in case that wasn’t clear.

Gotta love people. Sort of leads me to believe that the higher ranking you are, the less literate you become.

traffic comments edit

Saw a good suggestion from Marty to have a Traffic Asshole of the Week feature, so I’ll start that up and try to keep it going. I usually have no shortage of candidates for the position, so it may be more than once a week. But maybe not. Let’s just try this out and see how she goes, shall we?

The Traffic Asshole of the Week will be anyone who has trouble properly working with their automobile. This could be someone who can’t drive, someone who can’t figure out the rules of the road, or even someone who can’t comprehend the concept of parking.

There were three candidates for Traffic Asshole of the Week just yesterday, so let’s run them down in ascending order.

In third place, and probably in the Traffic Asshole Hall of Fame, are my neighbors, who were, once again, parked in the fire lane and effectively blocking me from my parking spot.

In second place is a guy in a U-Haul truck that I saw on my way home from work yesterday. At the intersection of highways 26 and 217 (for those in the cheap seats, these are two really busy, terrible commuter freeways), there was an SUV parked in the emergency lane with its hood up. U-Haul truck guy, towing a Mercedes behind the truck, decided it would be nice to stop and help SUV guy, so U-Haul guy parks the truck in the fast lane and gets out. As I passed, the U-Haul was sitting there, driver’s door hanging open, with the U-Haul driver talking to the SUV driver. Good job, buddy.

And in first place… I came out of work, ready to go home last evening, when I was greeted with the sight of yet another SUV owner who doesn’t know how to park. Check this shit out:

Wow, that looks a little close... (8k

Hey, doesn’t that look a little close? I thought so, but I figured I’d just sort of squeeze my ass in my door and call it a day. But when I opened my door…

Next time, leave me a can opener! (10k

…I found that the guy had actually parked so close that I couldn’t even fit my leg inside. Next time, leave me a fucking can opener, asshole.

This just goes to prove that SUVs are the bane of human existence. Not only are they resource guzzlers, but they are driven by idiots and soccer moms who never go offroad and never actually have to haul anything. (My parents bought his-and-hers Ford Explorers, and they’re well aware of my feelings about that.)

If you’re going to own an SUV, at least learn how to park it. Yes, that may mean you get out of the truck and see that, “Oh, shit, I didn’t park very well.” Get back in the truck and fix it, shithead. “Whoopsie!” and walking into the store (or wherever) doesn’t make it so I can get into my vehicle. Oh, and understand this: Your SUV is not compact, so don’t try to park it in a compact spot. It’s not going to work. Learn to fucking park, or don’t drive the SUV. It’s that simple.

personal comments edit

I realize that the whole September 11 attack thing was a really tragic, terrible occurrence. Am I the only one in the world who thinks society would be better served by remembering but moving on? It seems to me that folks seem just a little too emotional about the whole thing.

For example, New York wants to build new stuff on the site of the old World Trade Center twin towers. I think that’s great - a positive action moving forward with a memorial statue or something on the grounds. But there are all these protesters who are concerned with the fact that the new building may not use the same foundation as the old building… What difference does it make? It’s called a new building, not rebuilding the old twin towers. There are limits to my abilities to respect tragedies like this, especially in regards to people who are so emotional they can’t rationally contribute to a positive comeback.

Oh, and (admittedly selfish, but) let me say how tired I am of hearing about it on the news. Seriously. Move on.

As mentioned previously, Jenn’s birthday is coming up. I, as always, ended up ordering stuff from Amazon. Now, usually Amazon is pretty good with their packaging. They throw whatever it is into a plain brown box (porn style, right?) and it’s a mystery what’s inside. Is it your whole order? Half the order? One thing? A bunch of things? Who knows? Knowing that, I figured I’d be okay shipping everything to our apartment. Add a little pre-birthday mystery to the gifts. Imagine my surprise, then, when I see this (which Jenn has pulled in from the doorstep):

Amazon - So discreet! (6k

Hey, Amazon! Thanks! I wonder what’s in that box?!


Misappropriation of resources? (6k
image)On my way home from work yesterday I noticed a cop in front of me in an unfamiliar car. On closer inspection, it was a Washington cop. What are Washington cops doing patrolling 20 minutes south of the border? Or is it a joyride? Misappropriation of resources? Hmmm…

I saw that Marty suggested a new potential feature, Traffic Asshole of the Week. I think that’s a pretty keen idea, and no sooner had he recommended it than I had multiple candidates in a day. So I’ll get on that next.