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.

personal, music comments edit

I was going to write about this one yesterday but forgot. I remembered yesterday evening on the way home.

It rained yesterday. The weather report had called for rain (“chance of showers” usually indicates “it’s gonna pour”) for a week.

On the way to work, I saw this guy driving a convertible Mazda Miata with the top down. It was totally raining, as the weather report said it would. That got me thinking. Either that guy was a frickin’ moron and decided to ignore the fact that the sky was all clouding that morning, or he was utterly dedicated to having his top down that day, come hell or high water.

I vote “moron.”

Another thing I thought about last night on the way home: hip-hop music.

I hate hip-hop. There’s something about the way they can’t decide on a tempo or the way everything is so utterly ebonic that just turns me off.

However, I like hip-hop that features clarinets. Like Blu Cantrell’s Hit ‘Em Up Style and Dani Stevenson’s Yo, Yo, Yo. I’m not sure why I figure those songs are better, they just seem to be more catchy or something. Almost like there’s some implicit amount of class in the song if they can squeeze a clarinet into the mix. Maybe I just like clarinets.

American Idol last night rocked. I’ve been waiting for them to get a little more contemporary with the tunes, and they finally did. Nikki also finally found her niche, which is good, because based on last week’s performance I’d have voted her off. Now I’m thinking Justin needs to go. The best is still Kelly.

personal comments edit

Jenn and I were talking last night about, well, nothing in particular, and I took one of my random sidetracks as usual and she wondered why I had said something I did and how my train of thought had reached it. Stopping to think about it, I realize that I have very quick, very divergent trains of thought when it comes to conversations, and most of the time it has to do with a pop culture reference.

For example, this morning in the car I was listening to Kylie Minogue’s Fever album, to the song Love at First Sight, and I suddenly wondered what ever happened to Crazy Daisy Ed

How did I get there? It went something like this:

  • Heard lyrics to Kylie Minogue song: “I thought that I was going crazy / Just having one of those days, yeah…”
  • I wonder why she used “days, yeah” to rhyme with “crazy.” That doesn’t really work. What rhymes with “crazy?” “Daisy” works…
  • Crazy / Daisy…
  • Hey, I wonder what happened to Crazy Daisy Ed?

See how that works? That one was pretty simple. It’s sort of like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” - any thought can be connected to any other thought. Just like that.

I framed my Bières de la Meuse print last night using a frame I had been trying to find a use for. The frame was 18” x 25” and the print is 18” x 24”, so I had to do a little trimming. The frame is metal, but I have this keen little saw and mitre box that worked just as well on metal as it does on wood. Yay, me! I didn’t quite make the cleanest cut on one of the frame pieces, so I had to Dremel it down… but I think I either used the wrong bit or maybe just went a little too hard on it because now there’s melted metal all over the bit and I’ve gotta get a new one. Oh, well. It was something to do that wasn’t watching television, so I can’t really complain. Plus, the picture looks really good in the frame, so all’s well that ends well or something like that.

personal, tv, movies comments edit

I was watching Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back last night and started to realize that movies totally shape the way I speak. I’m not sure if I actively try to change to speak like movies, or if I just sort of pick up on little phrases, but I know that there are phrases and patterns I pick up from watching these things. Now that I think about it, it’s usually more phrases than anything. For example, if someone has a collection of items and asks me which one’s mine, I’m hard pressed not to answer, “Mine’s the one that says ‘bad mother fucker’ on it.” Describing a chaotic scene? “Dogs and cats living together…”

I’m not sure I can control it. Maybe I don’t even want to. I guess I assume it makes me a more interesting person to talk to (especially if you know which movie I’m referencing) but maybe it just makes me annoying.

The new season of Alias starts on September 29. I’m so looking forward to it. Honestly, more than any other show I watch, I’m waiting for Alias. Those bastards know how to keep you on the edge of your seat. Plus, Jennifer Garner. Yow.

And they have Alias trading cards coming out. Gotta be gettin’ these.

Oh! Jenn and I saw Signs this weekend. I thought it was pretty good. I can’t say it’s my favorite M. Night Shyamalan movie, but it was good. If aliens really were to invade, I think it would happen a lot like that, rather than the more commercial-yet-action-oriented Independence Day. I’d recommend seeing it, but don’t look for the traditional M. Night twist-at-the-end. It was just a straight-up, good film. I don’t know that I’ll be getting it on DVD, though. It was good, but I’m not sure that I’d watch it over and over. Give it a run, see what you think.

Watching my Buffy Season 2 DVDs this weekend I noticed that on disc 2, title 3 (“Lie To Me”), starting at chapter 5, 1:52 into it until chapter 6, 0:16 into it, the disc won’t play. I’m not sure why. It isn’t dirty or scratched. I tried it in my PS2 and the same problem occurred. So it’s not the player, it’s something wrong with the disc.

I went to Fred Meyer to exchange it, but after finding that they didn’t have it and then calling several other locations, I am going to have to wait until Tuesday when they get a new shipment in. I even tried the Freddy’s by work, but no luck.

I did, however, exercise my distinct lack of self control and purchased a Mucha print (Bières de la Meuse) that I’ve been wanting for a month or so now. Couldn’t stand it any longer. I don’t think we have any room for it at home, but we’ll see. If not, it’ll go up at work. Love the Mucha.

I also bought a ratcheting screwdriver with a set of bits because we have tools around work but… no one can ever find them. It cost me all of $6 for the thing, so I can’t really complain. Now I’ll have my own screwdriver, so I’ll always know where it is.

No, you can’t borrow it. It’s mine.