food, auto comments edit

Cold coffee (not iced, just plain cold) has to be one of the grossest things ever. I see now why they sell those mug warmer things that you can plug in to keep your coffee hot.

I tried to schedule an oil change for my car this weekend, but the dealership is all booked up so I gotta wait until next weekend. Figures. They do have little things of touch-up paint, though, for $5, so I will probably pick one of those up this weekend so I can fix a couple little rock chips I’ve got on the rear of the car.

gaming, medical comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 21]

Not to sound like a whiny grandmother, but my sinuses have been acting up something awful lately. I’ve noticed it slowly getting worse over the last couple of years and I’ve turned into an antihistamine junkie, which I’m sure is damaging my liver or some other critical organ, so I’ve made a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday to get some Allegra-D or something similar that might be able to relieve this trauma.

My copy of Dance Dance Revolution came in the mail yesterday. The dance pad should be here today or tomorrow. Admittedly, I was skeptical about the idea of a dancing game. I’ve seen clips of games like PaRappa the Rapper and such, and the whole concept sounded, well, stupid. Hit the buttons with the beat of the music? Puh-leeze. But I put DDR into the PS2 and fired it up… and surprisingly, it’s a lot of fun, even with the standard game controller. I can see how it could be addictive. The music’s pretty cool, too, and I thought it was really going to suck. I’m looking forward to the dance pad now to see how much more difficult it is. Considering I was having a hard time just keeping up with the buttons I can only imagine the terror I’m going to bring into the apartment when I bust out my oh-so-coordinated dance skillz. I suppose practice makes perfect.

That all said, I am not going out to get Mr. Mosquito or any of the other “fascinating” life-fantasy games the Japanese people come up with. I have my limits.

In other news, and it’s not so much news as a general realization I’ve made and feel like sharing, I have gotten to a point in my career where I am unable to explain what I am currently working on to anyone except other application developers in my boat. That’s a little disheartening, to be honest, since I find it nice to share work-related joys and pains with others. If other folks don’t get it, the sharing becomes sort of moot; it takes the punch out of a story if you have to explain the details you figure are common knowledge (at least in your own circles). I’ve even gotten past the point where I can adequately explain what I’m doing or how it works to my boss; he’s a web developer like myself, but more into the administrative side of things, so when I get into XML and Web Services and such, I just get a blank look…

Another poor segue: I think I want a SoundBug. It’s this cool device that you can affix to any hard surface and turn that surface into a speaker. Connect two together - stereo. Apparently, it sounds a lot like notebook computer speakers, which isn’t too bad. The novelty of the whole thing is really what gets me. The only thing stopping me is they’re $50. Each. I really don’t have that kind of disposable income, especially after my DDR investment. I guess we’ll see.

business comments edit

Fucking Lattice Semiconductor took a nosedive today, closing down $4.31. Normally I don’t care a whole lot about that, but Lattice happens to be one of the two companies I hold stock in. I was hoping they’d come out of the slump so my purchase of my stock options might not be in utter vain, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, I will probably have to write these assholes off as a loss, which means I’m totally screwed since I don’t have a house and don’t have enough stuff to deduct to really make any use of losses.

The long and the short of it is, these bitches won’t come out of donkey-suck land any time soon, I’m thinking, since I sold half my stupid options to buy the other half of my stupid options back when they were at $29. What the hell am I supposed to do with it at fucking $12?

activities, gaming comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 25]

I decided the other day that I’m not as active as I should be. What I mean by that is, since I’m not actually required to get up during the day except to use the restroom, I should probably do something about my physical health before I atrophy into nonexistence.

I have tried several different exercise methods, but none of them work. More to the point, none of them are interesting enough to keep my attention, convenient enough to do when I have time, and terribly cost-effective. I considered the whole Rollerblade thing, since I do like skating, but not only do the skates themselves cost a lot, the weather around here is dubious enough to never really allow you to go outside on a regular basis. I can’t run or do anything too repetitive involving feet or legs - I have flat feet, and even with orthotics, it’s not a recommended course of action (besides, it’s boring as hell). I like swimming, but getting the time to go to the gym/club, get ready to swim (shower, etc.), go swimming for an hour or so, get out, shower, and finally return home is just not in the cards. Plus, joining one of those clubs is not the cheapest proposition in the world. Tried the Tae Bo thing and quickly found out that there just isn’t enough room in the apartment for that sort of activity.

You see where I’m going with this.

So I started looking around for something that fits the qualifications I require for exercise.

I found… Dance Dance Revolution! It’s this Playstation game that is apparently very popular in arcades in Japan and Europe. The game plays a song and shows you various moves on the screen that occur in time with the music. You have to push the buttons on the controller that match the moves in order to score points. Sort of a “dance simulation.” Doesn’t sound at all like exercise, right? Well, once you get a dance pad controller, it is. What the pad does is allow you to stand up and step on the buttons instead of just pushing them with your thumbs, effectively making you dance along with the game. Brilliance, huh? Now it’s not exercise, it’s a video game, something my mind can handle a lot easier.

The game even has a “workout mode” that allows you to get an aerobic workout. Now that’s entertainment.

I ordered my copy of the game and a pad yesterday. Got the notice they were shipped today, so next week I should be dancing my way to freedom and leisure. I’m stoked. I hear it’s exceptionally addictive, which is fine by me. It’s probably healthier to be addicted to a dancing game than it is to sit on your ass all day long. Which is what I’m doing right now.

food, humor comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 26]

Before I get going on this, just let me state for the record that I am not a big coffee drinker. It’s just a little too bitter for me, regardless of what “roast” or “flavor” the coffee claims to be. I’m a “three-creams-four-sugars” kind of coffee drinker. Why do you think I’m down with the Ventitm Mocha Frappuccino®?

Some things just set me off, though. That’s pretty much why I even have this blog thing - so I can go off in a semi-public fashion about how totally stupid people are.

Oh, also for the record - I hate people. But that’s a whole other issue.

At work we have these common coffee pots that you can get coffee from any time you want it. There are three different blends: “Viennese,” “Sumatra,” and “French Roast Decaffeinated.” On the rare occasions I go get coffee, I drink the Sumatra. The Viennese is too bitter, even with extra cream and sugar, and the decaffeinated… eh, what’s the point? The thing about the coffee pots is, the employees themselves have to keep the coffee brewed; there’s not someone whose job it is to just brew coffee all day. As such, there are large signs all over the place telling people that if they take the last cup, they need to make another pot.

We all see where this is going.

What that amounts to is that the coffee pots are in one of two states at all times:

  • Half a cup of coffee in the bottom of the pot, cold; or
  • Empty and abandoned

The side product of this is that any time I want to get my seldom-drunk cup of coffee, I get to be the guy who brews the new pot. (I’m getting to be the Coffee-Frickin’-Masta. I gots the mad coffee brewing skillz.)

Apparently, this also produces large quantities of people who drink coffee but don’t have a clue how to brew it. Even though there are directions taped to the side of the coffee maker.

For example, even I knew, before brewing my first pot of coffee ever, that you have to grind the beans. I guess some folks don’t realize that. Grind the
beans! Today I entered upon an entirely new situation - someone decided they wanted to brew coffee into a full pot. This amounted to a pot-full of coffee all over the counter, the floor, under the coffee maker, behind the sink, down the front of the cabinets… you get the idea.

So, for those of you in the cheap seats, here’s how to make coffee:

  1. Get some coffee beans.
  2. Grind the beans.
  3. Check: is that enough to make a whole pot of coffee? If not, you’ll need more [ground] [coffee] beans.
  4. Put the beans in a coffee filter. If you don’t use a filter, you’re gonna get chunky coffee. Most people don’t like that.
  5. Put the filter into the filter holder of the machine. The ones here at work are a separate item, but I’ve seen machines where the filter just sticks right in the machine. I’ll have to trust you to figure out where the filter goes.
  6. Get an empty, clean pot that will be large enough to hold the coffee you’re brewing.
  7. Put that empty, clean pot under (what we will call) the coffee nozzle.
  8. Push the GO button.
  9. Wait until the coffee is finished brewing before you remove the pot.
  10. Dispose of the filter and used coffee grounds. You can not use the grounds again. If you’re environmentally conscious, compost them. Normal people will send them to the landfill. The point here is that you don’t leave nasty, congealing coffee grounds for the next person.
  11. Clean up any spillage. Yes, there’s some there. Use your eyes. Congratulations! You’ve just made a pot of coffee!

    I think my work is done here. I gotta go wash my hands - they smell like nasty cold coffee.