personal comments edit

I went to lunch today with my friend Colin. He introduced me to a local joint called “Reo’s Ribs.” I guess the place used to be one of those traveling roach coaches and now it’s expanding to be more of a full-size restaurant. It’s this guy named Reo who has this huge oil-drum-style grill and cooks up pork, chicken, and beef products on it, dowsing it generously in his special BBQ sauce.

I had the BBQ beef sandwich, and let me tell you - it was the best BBQ beef sandwich I’ve ever had.

I mean, this is the Krispy Kreme of barbecue. Dollar for dollar, you can’t go wrong with this place. I ate the sandwich and the side of red beans and rice (even the side dishes rule), then went for a slice of sweet potato pie. I could have eaten more until I got sick and still wanted it. It was that good.

I actually got to meet Reo while I was there. Nice guy.

Anyway, you have to go. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Side note: I am still trying to find a place to exchange my Buffy season 2 DVD set. I’ve tried all the local Fred Meyer stores, but none of them ever seem to have it in stock. I tried Best Buy last night, but they were jerks about the whole thing, so I left.

This got me frustrated, so I called my mom. (Mom works in the main office at Fred Meyer so I figured she’d know what to do.) Mom gave me the number for the DVD buyer at the main office, who I called and found that the closest store to me that has it in stock is in Salem. (Incidentally, they also have it at the Juneau, AK, store, but I’m not ready to make the drive.) Anyway, since they don’t have it, they’re going to set one aside for me in the next shipment so I can swap out the next time some come in.

Thank goodness. I really don’t know what I’d do if Mom didn’t work in the main office of Freddy’s. I guess I’d be a frustrated consumer just like everyone else out there. It’s good to be me.

tv, music comments edit

Well, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised by the outcome of last night’s American Idol show. Nikki’s been voted out of the competition. I say I’m not surprised because she was so outclassed vocally by the two other contestants that if it hadn’t happened, I’d wonder what was wrong with America.

So Nikki’s gone, but not forgotten. I hope she continues to pursue her career, because I’d buy a Nikki McKibbin album. She has that rocker edge to her that makes her entertaining.

I still hope Kelly wins, though. Justin’s good, but I like Kelly better.

I am glad that we got to hear Nikki sing Stevie Nicks’s Edge of Seventeen. I think that was a great song for her. It doesn’t hurt that I like that song a lot, either.

Speaking of Edge of Seventeen and songs I like… I was listening to Mark and Brian the other morning and after they played whatever bumper music they were playing, Brian said something about that bumper music being “the perfect song.” I don’t remember what the song was, but the idea of “the perfect song” stuck in my head. I don’t think there is any one “perfect song,” but there are certain songs I feel are “perfect.” Edge of Seventeen is one of those. I’m not even sure really why. Maybe it’s the little background guitar riff thing going on. Maybe it’s the harmony. Maybe it’s just Stevie. Who knows. But it’s one of those songs that sounds better the louder you play it, and you can listen to it over and over without really getting tired of it. Sometimes I wish there were like 20 minute long mixes of some of these “perfect songs.”

What else would I consider a “perfect song?” Let’s see… a list of some of them (that I thought up in the car this morning) include:

There are lots of others, I just happen to think of these today.

I read somewhere (or maybe I heard it?) that music is completely mathematically related. The vibrations of the strings on the instruments and the meter the song is carried out in, etc. I wonder what the mathematic commonalities between the songs are? If someone could figure that out, it would follow that you could potentially reverse-engineer what makes a “perfect song” and come up with a mathematical formula that you could plug a couple of numbers into and generate a “perfect song” every time. Would that take the artistry out of the song, or would the generation of the song itself be the art?

tv comments edit

It’s amazing the stupid shit I find funny.

For example, a long time ago (okay, it was around three years ago, but it seems a lot longer) I saw a skit on Saturday Night Live called “Celebrity Jeopardy” (here’s the transcript) where Norm MacDonald played Burt Reynolds during a Celebrity Jeopardy tournament. Right in the middle of it, he changes the name on his name tag from “Burt Reynolds” to “Turd Ferguson.”

I laughed my ass off. Every time I hear it or even think about it, I can’t stop laughing. I don’t know why - it’s totally random, but it just cracks me up.

Another one that gets me - “Carl the Big Mean Bagpipe Eater” from the John Goodman episode of Muppets Tonight. Right in the middle of the show, this monster comes out, says, “Hi! My name is Carl, and now I’m gonna eat these bagpipes,” stuffs some bagpipes in his mouth, and burps. It’s random. It’s stupid.

I watched that and rewound the video tape and watched it again probably 30 times in a row the night that aired. It just doesn’t get old.

I sort of think it’s the randomness of the thing that cracks me up. But I hate slapstick comedy (the Naked Gun movies are the height of all that is wrong with American cinema) and those are the most random things I can think of. Hmmmm. I suppose I’ll have to puzzle on that and get back to you.

personal comments edit

It’s Friday, August 23, but this probably won’t get posted until Monday. I’m in the second day of .NET developer training, bored as hell, disconnected from the Internet, and totally unable to blog, so I’ll write this now and post it later.

I’m working on an art project where I’m separating a Mucha piece into layers and then I’m going to print it on transparency to give it dimension. I’ve been working on it for around three months now, and I’ve finally finished cleaning up the scanned image and separating it into layers. Now I just have to print it out and figure out how to frame it. I think the hard part is done. (I finished that while sitting here in training. Took about 10 hours, for a total of around 100 hours of working on this thing. Not easy, but it looks really good now.)

I’m noticing there are several classes of people in this training. I’m not sure which class I fit in, but let’s see if you know what I’m talking about:

  • The Managers: The Managers don’t know how to code and they’ll probably never actually do anything in the development environment. They’ll watch, ask stupid questions, and “assess,” but for all intents and purposes, they shouldn’t be here. Most likely, they’re just here to see if the developers that work under them are lying when they say something is technologically impossible.
  • The Over-Participants: An Over-Participant wants so badly to be the teacher’s pet that they’ll ask questions that were just answered or just simply restate what was just said by prepending it with “So, let me get this straight…” For example, the teacher will say, “If you add two and two, you get four.” The Over-Participant will then raise his/her hand and, when called on, say, “So, let me get this straight - if you add two and two, you get four.”
  • The Talkers: Talkers don’t care if you’re trying to listen. They don’t care how loud they are, and they sure as hell don’t realize their voices are very nasal and carry throughout the room. All they care about is the fact that they have something to say during the lecture. The Talkers always sit right behind me. I’m not sure why. Usually the Talkers are talking to the Over-Participants.
  • The Dirty Programmers: I’m talking actually, physically dirty. These are the people who program so much that they forget about hygiene. Greasy hair, strong body odor, and clothing requiring a good laundering are all required. I think my favorite example of this from the training is this guy, probably 5’ 10”, 300 pounds, who never combed his hair and wore oil-stained “Big Dog” t-shirts and faded cargo pants both days. Yow. Usually poor social skills accompany the Dirty Programmer.
  • The Non-Technical Programmers: These are the people who are hired to program commercial products but can’t figure out how to change their own screen resolution in Windows. You usually see the Non-Technical Programmer listening intently to the lecturer and nodding at intervals to indicate their apparent understanding of the concept being discussed.
  • The Too-Technical Programmers: These people already know all about what’s being lectured on. They’re bored, but they do want to learn, so they ask questions that go way beyond the scope of the lecture, stuff the lecturer would have no way of knowing or even finding out.

I think I probably fit in the “Too-Technical Programmer” category, if anywhere, but who knows? I’d like to think I don’t fit anywhere, but there’s probably another category… The Attention-Deficit Attendee: This person can’t pay attention to the lecture regardless of what they do because there’s not enough going on. Rather than pay attention, they find anything else to do (like write posts for their blog) and listen through their periphery.

I am the Attention-Deficit Attendee.

I’ve played more Solitaire, Freecell, and Minesweeper than I care to think about. I’ve done all I can on my art project. I’ve even come up with a logo for a company event we’re having soon. Bored, bored, bored.

personal, activities comments edit

This weekend was made interesting by a trip to the Oregon State Fair. I usually go every year with my friend Torin, but we didn’t make it last year because it was raining. Luckily, the rain didn’t show up this year and the fair was attended.

Lots of cool things at the fair, and a lot of stuff I really wanted but didn’t buy for lack of funding and/or space. For example, I really wanted a Shopsmith Mark V 5-in-1 woodworking tool. It was so cool. In one machine, it’s a lathe, a table saw, a sander, a drill press, and a horizontal boring machine. It took the guy demonstrating the machine about six seconds to make this really cool table leg that had a sort of ring “trapped” around a section of it and then bore out a hole for a dowel to join it to a table. It was so amazing. If I had the money and the room for it, I’d have bought it. I’ve always been interested in building stuff, and they’ll even train you on how to use it and give you all sorts of self-study material to take home. Not bad, eh?

I also saw the Bernina Artista 180E, and wanted it really bad. Actually, looking at the Artista 200E, I want that one even more. These are sewing machines where you can scan in a picture and it’ll automatically figure out how to cross-stitch or embroider that picture (any size!) on whatever fabric you give it. Want a button hole? Stick the button up to the touch screen and the machine measures the button and makes the hole the right size. It threads the needle for you. Lots of cool stuff like that. Anyway, the 200E, which I’m looking at right now on the web site, actually has more stuff than the 180E, and it’s even got a color screen and runs Windows, right on the machine. How messed up is that? Not that I’m a huge tailor or anything, but I could get into the whole “sewing thing” if I had a machine running like that. A little on the expensive side, though, at nearly $4000 for the 180E. I can only imagine how much the 200E costs.

We also saw a pretty cool cheese grating gizmo that will grate both soft and hard cheeses for you. It’ll also shred unpeeled garlic and separate the peels from the garlic. I actually nearly bought one of those, but I didn’t because it would have taken away from my food money. They apparently carry these at Lechters Housewares, so I’ll have to go there and find one. I haven’t found it online yet, but I haven’t looked very hard, either.

So the fair was cool. I had my funnel cake, I had my BBQ beef sandwich… I’m a happy camper. That’s the fair.

On a whole separate note, I found out that Kristy Swanson is going to be in Playboy next month. Hell, yeah! I’ve had her on my top 10 list since the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. Woohoo!

Speaking of Buffy, I have the second season DVD set and the second disc is bad. So I’ve been trying to find a Fred Meyer locally to exchange it, but no Freddy’s in the Portland metro area has it. Unbelievable. So I’m still looking. Guess I’ll have to try again this weekend.