Saturday, December 22, 2007

Much Love!! And a Hiatus....

Yeah, no good excuse for being gone. But that's the typical story isn't it. How about to make up for it, I give you THIS:

I do declare this AWESOME. And if there's something this blog doesn't have enough of, it's awesome dancing girls.


Monday, November 5, 2007

.....the man without purpose.......

Throughout the course of my life, the little sphere of existence that is mine has crossed with a wide array of persons / alternate spheres of existence, some good, some bad, and some so incredibly mediocre that they don't even register until the time has passed and we've both moved on. For the most part, if I haven't been able to enjoy those brief brushes with another human, then at the very least they managed to impart some tidbit of understanding as to the reason why they are here, if not a glimpse into why I am here.

But then there are the select few who leave me utterly confused, the types that pretty much disprove any concept of Intelligent Design, because you are left feeling kind of dirty, and wondering "Now why was that person made? Can there possibly be a purpose?"

I'm reading Atlas Shrugged (again) by Ayn Rand, and the one quote that has stuck with me is "The most despicable kind of man, is the man without purpose." I see so many people so desperate for purpose, for that little bit to prove their actual existence, that they would choose trees over their fellow men.

I'm not here to discuss today the ideologies behind what makes men climb trees (and subsequently fall out of them), but rather I had a brush this week with someone from my past that was so far from serving a purpose that she might in fact suck purpose from the world around her, and consume it.

We were discussing life, and the way it's turning out when she mentions that she wants children, which is a comment quite contrary to previous beliefs she's openly held. Upon further question as to why she wants children, her response was "I don't want to work, and just want to stay home, so I suppose I'll have to do something to get that."

Words fail me.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Has it really been months?

I can't even remember the last post I made. Man I need to get back to this damn it. I've been thinking quite a bit about throwing a lot of the work I've been doing up here, kind of giving the blog a little more of a tech feel. Hmm, we'll have to think about that one.

Anyway, in the past month, what's happened? Well I've gotten and beaten BioShock, and Halo 3. Bioshock was absolutely amazing. I mean amazing to the point that it has me reading Altas Shrugged again (and even enjoying it this time.....despite Rands inability to write concise thoughts and keep paragraphs from spaning pages.....).

Halo 3, it was everything I had hoped it would be, and even a little more. Sure it was typical 1st person shooter, but in my mind anyway, I was buying the game much less for the hope of revolutionized game play, as much as to continue the story. It's like waiting for the next book in a enthralling series, you can barely wait for the continuation, and when it gets here, it's a physical relief.

On Halo 3, retarded me goes ahead and pre-orders the game, then picks it up. The only problem is that The Brother was not around his XBox for 3 weeks, and the family tradition has been to play Halo together, so the game sat for 3 weeks in its wrapper, sitting right next to the XBox. But it was worth it.

Well, I think that's about all for now. peace and misanthropy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A dream comes true.

Just a quick I got THE call. Friday I go in for orientation.....and then I get to start a part time gig play-testing video games. Ahh, life she is good.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Dr. Tran

Many long month-years ago I saw a video up on YouTube called Dr. Tran. For some reason I wasn't able to find it again. I found it now though. Behold the wonder that is.....Dr. Tran!!!!

And once you're done there, head on over to their site and buy their shit.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Red Wine == Drunk

Yeah, so long and short of the deal......I'm drunk. Been a long time since I sat down by myself with the internet and drank myself retarded. Man, this is the good life. Please tell me that I'm not the only one that enjoys a good "alone drunk".

Anyway, I might have to say that I'm quite the XBox fanboy. I love all things Msft (hell I work there), and so it's fair enough to say, that I'll probably take anything they say, and take it for truth. This being said, just yesterday my XBox 360 started freaking out on me. I have been pretty damn careful trying to keep it safe and cool and what not, but as of yesterday, my base cooling "system" for it no longer works alone.

Most people will automatically go "Oh this retard has it in a closed cabinet with no space." Not the case, if I wasn't too drunk to figure out how to opperate my camera, I'd take a picture to show you that it is in fact on top of my entertainment center, uncrowded by anything.

Now unfortunately the only way I can get Gears to work for longer than 15 minutes is to take a fan and have it blowing on the 360. Suck balls.

Then tonight I see this article on the webs. Now I appreciate the fuck out of Msft extending the warantee for 3 years, but it also woulde be exceedingly cool if the problem was not an issue in the first place.

Here's a question, has Msft learned from their mistakes and corrected it in the new "Elite" version of the 360s?


is the coolest music video EVER!!!

Sleep is needed.

Some people might not know this about me, but I like to read. I like to read just about everything. I like to read even more when it is free (and thus my fascination with the interwebs).

So I found today a website that provides free eBook type things. Basically PDF books for download. I haven't gotten to far into it, but here's the LINK. It's called WOWIO, and if anyone's heard of them, I'd be quite interested in hearing what you had to say..



Saturday, August 11, 2007

So this is the West Coast......

So my internet was finally turned on today. "Internet?? Turned on?? WTF's he talking about?" you might be asking yourself. Well let me tell you something. It's a secret, and thus I'm typing it on the interwebs.

I moved.

I moved to Kirkland Wa.

I now work with Microsoft. I drive every morning to the Microsoft campus, wave my card at the door, and go to work.

Freaking. Cool.

More Laters.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Not dead yet.....

......but close. I'll get more details out soon.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

.....and that my friend, is why I'm terrified of the Future.

I read. I read a lot. And while the contextual quality of my choices might not be on par with War and Peace, it doesn't change the fact that I spend a good portion of my day soaking up information. If one was to follow the vast majority of my web-surfing, my technophilia would be apparent to even the most casual observer. I care about all things computer related, be it solid state hard drives, new graphics cards, or alternate OSs, and I honestly feel as a generation (ours and the ones following us), technology is so infused into every aspect of our lives, that it has become an external appendage to our natural bodies.

We use technology in such a natural way, we don't really stop to consider the ramifications of our usage in the eyes of the casual observer, the uninformed, and especially the technophobe. I'm speaking of the proverbial "The Man" here, as he has evolved in my mind over the last decade, from the upper class suit who kept the working man down (or so I've been told), to the law author and politician, who's goal is to control the use and activities of the every growing technology.

The Man terrifies me, but not because I think "he's evil, and that in general, government should stay out of my buisiness, but rather because I feel that when it comes to the cognition of technologies, and how they should be used, the current establishment falls short.

People are making laws regulating topics that they have absolutely no understanding of. I'll go ahead and dredge up Sen. Ted Stevens "The internet is a series of tubes..." analogy, made excruciatingly painful by the simple fact that he was, at the time, the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Today I found an article that scares me almost as much. Apparently there is a British judge that admitted to not understanding what exactly a "Web Site" was, among other things, and then relied on the prosecution to provide a viable definition. I don't know, if I were the one being prosecuted, if i would be overjoyed, or incredulous to find out that my judge did not even possess the base knowledge to make a good decision upon.

Basically what it's boiling down to is that the current governmental body is creating laws and policies that are directly effecting me and my interests for the first time ever. What's worse is they're making uninformed decisions based on misleading information, and in many cases, just plain incorrect and in many cases inaccurate information.

Good night, and Good Luck.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

One code to Screw them all.

AA-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-XX (first and last two chars removed to protect the innocent. And kittens. And deaf people. And your mom.)

Who would have thought that one little code could cause so many problems? And so much anger? If you take the code, and remove all the dashes, you would be left with quite possibly the most famous number on the internet right now.

The first part of this week saw the advent of an attempt at stifling the circulation of this special number, but what do you do when all it takes is a copy and paste to add yet another reference? Apparently you whip out Cease and Desists. The plan? Blanket Cease and Desist. Hit everything that you think you have a chance in hell of influencing. Digg?? Yup, hit. Google? Yeah they got it too.

But that pesky code keeps popping up everywhere!! Like in site banners(at least at the time of this posting). Hell, it's even already a registered domain!! Viva la resistance!!

I personally think this is further testament to the phrase: "What one man builds, another can destroy." No matter what encryption you put on something, no matter the copy protection or verification, it's all a matter of time until someone just as smart as you cracks it, and distributes it.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Microsoft. Really the Antichrist?

Looking back, I've been a Microsoft monkey for as long as I can remember. Commodore 64 aside, one of my earliest computing memories was manipulating DOS on my fathers monochrome display work laptop, and playing Battle Chess off of a floppy. Windows 3.1? I still have my install disks. Hell I think I still have a Windows ME hiding somewhere (you know, just in case the zombies attack).

Over the course of the years, I've caught quite a bit of flak for being a MS Whore, from the Linux Fanatics to the Mac Junkies. After having the pleasure of trying to support Macs on a college campus, coupled with the pretentious cork soaker-ness of the Mac community on a whole, it's a safe bet that I will never jump that ship. I don't even own an IPod because I'm too afraid of being forced to kill some fanboy/girl at the Mac store, and I don't want to go to jail. In fact, I just might dislike Mac enough to buy me a Zune out of spite!

Now for you Linux-ers, my home machine is currently dual booting WinXP64 and Debian 4 (64 bit as well), and I absolutely love my Linux. The thing about Linux is hardware support, especially when it comes to newer hardware. Sure I have gotten most everything working (aside from random issues with my usb mouse), but it's taken me hours of work / research to do, WHICH I THINK IS FUN! I love working through issues and convincing things to function properly, but apparently the wife thinks I should be focusing elsewhere, like on her.

My point is, sometimes its nice to have things just work (OK, so as long as you're not a complete moron, things just work). Microsoft, through debatable tactics, has provided a relatively solid platform and product series to work from. I found a great article here, which explores this topic a little bit, more from the .Net development standpoint, but I think the core message is very applicable to more than just development.

I do believe that MS does have one thing going, and that would be "Solidarity". By providing a cohesive base of operations, it has provided a solid framework for development and growth. Personally, I think that this is one of the major problems with the open source community. There's just too much, and if all the effort was combined for a single purpose, well the sky would be the limit!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Avenged Sevenfold - Exploding through your ear hole, and sodomizing your pleasure a good way.

Avenged Sevenfold. They create music that is so full of awesome that it could rape your mother and you'd be like "That's coo." Well maybe not, but it has been quite a while since I've been rocked quite like I'm being rocked now. A friend referred to them as "A little hardcore don't you think?" to which I promptly kicked him in the face and called him a "pussy".

I'm not going to waste valuable time trying to put into words what it feels to be rocked like this, just go to their website and download some of the free samples, and witness the rocking-ness for yourselves. Go. Now.

Ok, if you're still here, I do in fact have more things to say regarding Avenged Sevenfold. One of their songs "Beast and the Harlot" (Available for download from their site...go get it!!!) makes an appearance in Guitar Hero 2. Now I've been able to resist the call of GH II for quite a while now, despite the fact that it combines 2 of my favorite 3 things in the world, Guitars and Video Games. The third favorite of course being sex, but the combination of Guitars and Video Games just might be enough so supersede sex.

As I said, I've been able to resist the ever seductive call of GH II, but with the advent of my discovery of "Beast and the Harlot", I might break. I have never in my life thought I would see the day when I'd buy a video game simply because of a song in it.


Friday, April 6, 2007

A total and complete lack of inspiration.

I'm sure we've all done it. You've had "another one of those weeks", and when Friday finally rolls around, the most productive thing you can manage is bringing up Visual Studio (or your IDE of choice), and staring at the same function for *HOURS*. Holy balls of suckage Batman.

As it is, most of the time when I'm not getting jack done with work, I try to open up blogger and write a little bit, but today........well today I opened up the window around 8:00, and now it's 11:09, and I'm just finding the motivation to even type this up. C'est la vi.

Well since today is pretty much a bust, go ahead and check out Too Similar, a comic created by 2 artists that I read regularly. Thank god for *something* that passes the time.


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Updating existing ASP.Net pages to implement AJAX

Recently at work it fell to me to take an existing ASP.Net project / product, and implement AJAX. Although I despise AJAX for becoming the buzzword of the month, and I do honestly believe that I just might punch the next person that walks up and mentions it without being able to tell me what exactly AJAX is and how it works. Salesmen be warned, I will hit you.

All of the changes required to get AJAX to function correctly in existing ASP.Net web pages (and projects) are made in the existing web.config file for that project. The details can be found here:

with one major change. In the “Controls Element” section of the article, the recommended action is to place the following in the web.config:

[add tagPrefix="asp" namespace="System.Web.UI" assembly="System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35"/]

For some reason, Visual Studio does not like to add the AJAX controls to the TagPrefix library “asp”, and the controls will not show up or be useable. Rather, you need to choose a different tagPrefix:

[add tagPrefix="ajax" namespace="System.Web.UI" assembly="System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35"/]

Obviously the server must have AJAX installed on it, the install can be found here, with the toolkit being a optional download:

If you follow the article correctly, your asp project should now be “AJAX Enabled”, but if you are working in a Web Application Project, there is another step that needs to be taken. WAPs add an extra tag to the web.config:

[xhtmlConformance mode="Legacy" /]

This needs to be removed for AJAX controls to work propertly. If not removed, tags will appear to function properly, but when you actually “run” the site, they will not function at all.

(Reference for this issue)

(Good info on the background of the problem)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

It just makes you laugh.....

I'm not sure what it was about this one, but it just tickled the funny bone. You can find a large version (un-shrunk by blogger) over here. Besides, you might as well give the man the traffic as I'm stealing his comic.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I love me some Friday!

Wow, maybe this is just a weak attempt at making up for posting NOTHING for the first part of the month, that or I'm in a lull in projects, or it's Friday and I'm feeling about as motivated as an apathetic stoner surrounded by cheetos. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it's kind of an interesting mental image.

As I've said before, every once in a while, I find myself reading some article / blog that is so earth shattering or mind boggling that I'm forced to blog about it. This would be another one of those. Originally I found it in some random forum about 90,000 years ago, and for some odd reason it came to mind again today, and it still was able to reduce me to tears. Everyone needs a good laugh on a Friday, and this'll get the job done perfectly.

Over on 1Up, they have an article about Video Game Obsessions and what not. My only thought throughout the whole article was "What?? Theses are bad things? Shit, I thought they were typical behaviors and features of being a gamer." Apparently now I have to rethink my life's direction. Meh, fuck it. ;o)

On a side note, I am implementing a proxy client for all my browsing needs here at work, because......well because I don't like people spying on my activities. And because I blog at work, and they might not like that. Anyway, I'm using Tor, and my exit point is always bouncing, which is kind of fun for sites that try and delve your physical location and apply settings based off of that information. Like right now, Blogger seems to think I'm Russian, as all the text is in Russian (or some other such language that I don't know). It's actually really cool if you ask me. So you should check it out if you're looking to beat some corporate filters. Or if your internet is moving too fast and you want to slow it down.

Or something.


Edit: LOTR has an Open Public Beta going on. Go get your Key!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's like a startling glimpse into the future


If that's not the type of father that I theoretically could / will be, then I don't know what is.

So I'll leave you with this:

Roy Zimmerman. Genius.

Peace and War,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I try to steer clear of politics but.....

Sure it's been a long time since I've written. Sure you might have thought I was dead. Sure I almost was a time or two. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm back. It'll probably be a quick post this time, as I'm at work, and the super is in town today, so that means that busy is the look for today.

I found this early this morning. I think it's a sign of the time when ALL of the presidential hopefuls in the coming election have public MySpace pages (aside from Giuliani, but really, can you blame him?) One one hand I feel that it is a good thing that "serious" public peoples are beginning to take the internet, and it's wide array of advertising opportunities / avenues seriously. As a techno-geek, I find this instills me with hope.

But then you get the obvious side effects (caution, site might cause seizures or explosive hurling) of embracing such a mainstream, and accessible frontier, the influence of the general public. For instance, in one "righteous hack", l33t h4><0r Mike D of NewsVine (who created the myspace template McCains party used, as well as had access to the hosted images of said template). To call this a hack is just depressing to me. :o( (that's a sad face, because people make me sad....).

Enough, I'm out!

Monday, March 12, 2007

See all the code and I watch it run....

Wednesday. It Snows. Thursday. It Snows, no office. Friday. It snows, no office. Monday. Whoa buddy, shit's fucked up! A week later, and it's finally slowing down. As with everyone I'm sure, I love me my Mondays. In fact I spend the vast majority of any given weekend just dreaming about what is going wrong while no one is around to touch servers.

So, come Monday, it's a virtual Russian Roulette, press the power button on the computron, and speculate at the wonders that will great my eyes. Through all, I find that the correct theme music could sooth even the worst of days. Some days it's a O.A.R. day, other it's definitely Blood for Blood. This week, it's Nerdcore ( again ), in it's various emulations.

I am not entirely sure how this man has slipped under my radar for so long, but no longer. Personally, I'm not overly a "Rap" or "Hip Hop" proponent, but there something about hearing music that has is a direct reflection of my personal hobbies and obsessions that just bends tastes and likes.

I also managed to find a nice article on Nerdcore found over here. I mean hell, it's even in Newsweek. It's gotta be awesome is my standard for awesomeness......or something.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

An All Too Convenient Hypocrite

There are things out in the world that just really push my buttons, and then there are things that are so far beyond ludicrous that you just can't help but look on as a casual observer, shake your head in dismay, and continue on with your day.

THIS would be one of those. (I'll try and keep the link updated).

A typical case of "Practice what you preach you self righteous prick", but on a national level. People of this caliber pretty much deserve to be bound, gaged, and shackled to their soap box while the rest of humanity, whom he refers to with such open contempt, lights the box on fire underneath him. [sarcasm]Good Job Al Gore, you and your inflated ego definitely get my vote in '08[/sarcasm].

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The subtle collapse of my tiny Universe.

All too often, whilst perusing the vast info-byways of the internet, I find myself reading some article or another (be it a blog or otherwise), and think to myself "I should put this in my blog to share with anyone who accidentally finds themselves at the mercy of my musings." And then I go on about my business, never giving it even a second thought.

Much less often do I read something and become so enthralled that I am shocked into motion and actually post it here. THIS is one of those articles. First off, it's an article about The Pirates Bay, which, as any good BitTorrent-er knows is the housing structure of one of the more renown and respected BitTorrent sites. But then comes the shock. Its a well written, informative, enthralling article......published by Vanity Fair. My amazement was so complete that here I am, sharing with you.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did,

Monday, February 12, 2007

Another Monday, and a week of Teh Suck.

It is a damn good thing that no one actually reads this blog, or depends on my ramblings for any semblance of entertainment throughout the course of their day, because I would have more than let them down, and depending on the mental depravity of some readers, possibly sparked a massacre.

Well last week was a complete wash, and I must say, I hope to never have one quite like it again. While nothing specific happened to make it a "Bad Week", there was a general pall in the air that make more sensitive persons quiver with distaste. Projects in the air, projects coming to ends, and friends leaving. I have hope for this week, as I'm a firm believer of The Wheel of Fortune (not the game show), though probably not as literally as some cultures.

Basically it's like gravity, what goes up, must come down, but unlike gravity, what goes down, does also in turn go back up. At the very heart of it, throughout the course of ones life / hour / day / year, there are ups and downs. As much as I wish that I would only have the ups, you need the downs to re-establish yourself. It serves to remind you that the goods are in fact good. If everything was good all the time, well then what would that serve? What would be our point of reference, we would become spoiled.

Yes, we do in fact need the downs, a friendly reminder that what we have is in fact good, and that happiness is much deserved. Lets just hope that the rock bottom of the downs isn't filled with sharp pointy rocks.

Sunday was quite possibly the greatest day I have had in a long time. Without a doubt, it was the most satisfying day. It was so great in fact that I will extend it's greatness not just through Sunday, but let if flow backwards and include Saturday Night. While Saturday was filled with paying homage to the Great Behemoth,the IRS, Saturday night was spent in the company of caring friends and neighbors. This was only the precursor to the awesomeness that became Sunday.

Sunday Morning. One wakes up after a refreshing night, having actually slept in for a change. The Wife leaves with her mother, leaving One alone at home. Oh what to do, how to fill my time? Lucky for me, a new book had come in the mail, just Friday. With just the tingling of a headache, I was able to celebrate the silence by spending the entire afternoon reading. It has been AGES since I've had the time (and a book that would keep me interested) long enough to read for hours, of which I finished the first book (as it was a trilogy wrapped all in one gargantuan book).

For any A) SciFi fans and especially B) Warhammer 40K fans, I would highly suggest Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn. While I'll probably withhold from scrawling a complete book report until I have finished the final book, I will say a few things. Dan Abnett has managed to find that indistinct line at which the author paints just enough detail to give the reader the form and function of his world, but leaves enough ambiguousness that the reader is drawn into a world shaped by an author, but painted by him or herself.

Another Day, hopefully another dollar or two......

Friday, February 2, 2007

To heck with a cup, I'll take my coffee main line.

Holy Crap, here it is Friday again. It's Friday, and I'm chasing memory leaks. God bless them one and all. At least I have my good friend Coffee to keep me awake.

The greatest possible invention ever would be a IV hookup for the coffee pot. I personally have thought about this many many times, but then decided that 2nd degree burns on the inside of major arteries is not necessarily a good thing. So therefore, there must be a controlled cooling unit external the body cavity. Hmmm, intriguing development indeed!

I used to laugh that I was training my body to metabolize pure caffeine and monitor radiation, you know, because I thought it was funny. Now, if you throw a single serving size Cheetos in there, and you have a pretty typical lunch for me. I have decided that this is just sad. Or great. Depending completely on my current caffeine level, the lower, the more abysmal the Life Outlook. I LOVE COFFEE.

I don't know how I missed it, but apparently there's a fan made re-make of the original Half Life using the source engine. If there's one thing that I love, I love me some Half Life. The first time I sat down to play the original, it was 2 days before I ate again. I only briefly paused long enough to make a quick dash to the dorm bathrooms (because I didn't have any bottles in the room to pee into), and then I was back shooting marines and monsters alike.

One last thing before I go, you might want to spray paint your laptop, grab your joystick, and get ready to hack a Gibson, because this right here is just about the greatest wallpaper ever.

And finally, in conclusion, every day is a good day for the Spin Doctors!

Peace and War,

Friday, January 26, 2007 New York?!?!?!?!?

The other night The Wife and I were watching some Tele (if we were Ausies or English. Fucking Brits. ;o) ), or for the literate among us, watching some television, viewing our nightly programs, or gluing ourselves too the boob-tube. Anyway, the show we were watching this particular evening was "I love New York", and for those lucky enough to not know what I"m talking about, I'll expound.

"I Love New York" is a show building upon the popularity of "The Flavor of Love", a "Reality Dating" show in which the has-been rapper Flavor Flav (correct me if I misspelled the misspelled name of such an influential rapper please.....don't actually.) searched for love from the hoards of females who still remembered who he was. The entire show followed the format of The Bachelor (and related shows), minus proper english, and plus crack whores......loud obnoxious crack whores. In fact, referring to some of the women on that show as "Crack Whores" is an insult to hard working crack whores the nation over.

So, New York was the title given to one of the contestants of the original series, who turned out to be no only the loudest of the "ladies", but the most shit insane. Yes, bat shit insane would definitely be a very applicable description, as would "Bitch", "Fucking Nut Job", and "WTF is WRONG with her??". Those are official diagnosi (the plural of diagnosis, as defined by me) by the way.

Now "I Love New York" is an exact ripoff, stealing the exact format of the Flavor of Love, but without the mental stability. And intellectual ability. If you were looking for proof of the de-evolution of the human race, this show and it's contestants would be brilliant proof. VH1 has actually managed to create a show that reaches through your television, into your brain, finds the portion of your brain that controls happy, and kills it. It doesn't just kill it, it shoots it, stabs it with a brick, runs over it with a truck, tracks down it's family, kills them, abducts their cat, and gives it's sister melanoma.

On the brighter side of things, we do have the Ultimate Showdown for your viewing pleasure....

Peace and stuff,

Monday, January 15, 2007

This was so NOT in my job description.

It came to my attention today that I have not posted in an entire week. WTF? I mean, I can see missing a day or two, but an entire week? In my defense, I did have to run to the Main Office, which not only adds an hour to my commute, but they tend to be a little more strict on work web access there than in my remote office here. Meh, what do you do?

To the best of my experience, with any given job, there is a certain level of "bend over and take it"-ness, and that it really is impractical and unwarranted for me to complain at all about what I am going to be forced to label as one of the better jobs that I have ever had. And I suppose that people are continuing to use VB6 much for the same reason that there are companies out there that are continuing to manage COBOL systems. They're in place, and they work. Kind of.

So the other day I was voicing an opinion of VB6, when a co-worker of mine, Speed Racer, gave me one of those quizzical looks that imply "what're you talking about man? You on drugs again?" "VB's not so bad" he says, "It's only a marginal pain in the butt, I was a Java developer before I came here, and sure there's some differences, but it's not that bad!" To which I replay "As a Java programmer, you don't have a soul to crush, so it doesn't surprise me VB doesn't hurt you."

I bet you can now guess what my next project is in. Damn.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Adventure Time - It's like Crack Cocain for your eyes!!

Adventure Time
Created by Pendleton Ward
A Random! Cartoons short for Nickelodeon

A Frederator Studios Original Cartoon Production
Executive Producers: Larry Huber & Fred Seibert

©2007, Viacom Intl. All rights reserved.

Ok, so I found this linked off of another site, but I found it just absolutely inspiring. Enjoy!

Your brain has been transported back in time!!! AND to Mars!

Corporate Bean Counters and the Bottom Line *GASP*

I guess I'm still adjusting to working for a "Real Company", as there are some aspects that completely baffle me yet. And by "some", I mean "the absolute vast majority". I don't think a day goes by that I'm not floored, or at the very least, mildly caught off guard by some new concept of the work environment. And yesterday I came face to face the most intriguing of individuals in the Company Melting Pot, the Lead Project Manager.

As far as I can tell, the Lead Project Manager's duty is to manage the Project Managers, and keep tabs on the ongoing projects, to ensure that they're at least pretending to stay on budget. Now I understand the need for checks and balances, and that it is defiantly in the best of interest of the company to make sure that, from a financial standpoint, the projects themselves stay within scope, but doesn't this strike anyone as unneeded overhead? I'll quote one of my heroes, John Carmack, in this article (and paraphrased a bit) where he refers to this type of thing as "......the parasitic management overhead on top of all of it."

What kind of person makes the best Manager of Managers? What are the qualities such a person possesses that instills value to an organization by organizing the various facets of modern business execution? In my opinion, this kind of person can have only one thing in mind. The Bottom Line, the "In order to make money on X, Y must be pushed to the limits and then beyond. Kill as many of the grunts as needed, there's plenty where they came from. I swear they breed like rabbits!". In fact I'm not quite sure that they are actually human, as my current theory is that they're some sort of denizen of the lower levels of hell, whom take great pleasure in proverbially flailing the flesh from the backs of employees and crushing their souls, just to mix in with his / her morning coffee.

And how about their bottom line? How much are these people getting paid to inspire the lower untrustables (us not-management-type employees) to greatness? If I understand the pay-scale at all, on the bottom you have the people that actually are doing the work, then the managers, and after that, I'm going to be forced to assume are the Manager Managers. But what do I know, I'm just a Code Monkey.

Watch out for that tree!

Just found this comic from Penny Arcade hilarious for some odd reason. Because you know, I'm always up for some good old Canada Bashing!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Nerdcore Rising....of the Nerds.

Nerdcore Hip Hop. A seeming paradox, but to some of us, it's the flavor of choice for listening enjoyment. Yes, I myself have fallen (or have been raised ever you choose to look at it) from the masses of popular music, and succumbed to the temptations of Nerdcore. And I must say, it's quite the fit.

I have a full hour commute, one way, every day for work. This isn't really that big of a deal, as I'm sure many many people in the world have AT LEAST a hour commute from their home, to their no-fun home (work). I'm not complaining mind you, having an hour before and after a grueling day of code-churning is kind of nice, gives me a chance to get fired up (thank you Red Bull) and then unwind for the evening.

The contemplation of the week, why for I have no clue, has been the Geek sub-culture and wither or not we deserve the stereotypes applied to us. One of the initial topics I thought about was exactly how big of a geek I am personally. I hardly consider myself a "geek" in the traditional sense of the word. I feel as though I'm fairly socially adjusted, and my personal hygiene is probably as good as the next. Beings I'm musically inclined, I've performed many times (in front of real people), and did my fair share of sowing of the "wild oats".

But there is a dark side I've discovered. For one, my music tastes. There's something awesome about hearing mention of topics close to my hearts in songs that gives me the tingles. All you have to do is mention code, frags, fps, etc and I'm hooked. One of my favorite songs now (which incidentally is not Nerdcore) is Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton, because......well I guess because I am a code monkey.

Then there's my computers. I love computers and gadgets more than probably anything. I love playing with them tweeking them, breaking them. In fact if The Wife made an ultimatum, either her or the computers, I don't know which one I'd choose. A friend of mine actually commented once "I don't know anyone who has more computer problems than you. Are you sure you're a geek?" The answer, Yes I am. I just can't leave well enough alone. I always have to play, try new things / software. I have to see what happens if I tweek that multiplier just a little more to maybe pull a little more performance.

And then, in an incident that I probably will never live down (in fact I'm sure The Wife will lord it over my head for years....), I even turned down sex to "play with my computer". Apparently one night Princess Leah (once again, not her real protect the innocent) made a promiscuous offer which I failed to close on. I don't even remember the incident, I was too busy configuring my dual monitors on my Linux box.

On an unrelated note Leah Culver did some laser etching on her MacBook. Hit up YouTube, I'm sure you can find it. I don't actually know who she is, but she's a geek. AND pleasing to the eyes? Unheard of.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ly yours

Friday, January 5, 2007

Where has my job market gone?

When I went to college, Computer Science was toted as THE major, with graduates able to command $80K salaries for working 35 hours a week. And the Universities and Tech schools began churning out programmers by the hundreds. Fast forward about 5 years or so. I have been out of college for 4.5 years now, and we have 3 Universities / Tech Schools offering computer programming degrees of some sorts, and we have a market absolutely saturated with average to less than average programmers.

Approximately 4 months ago I began the search for, as my father puts it, a "Real Job", implying one that was continuous, had an actual office, and provided Health Insurance. I'm sure there's other criteria for a job to be classified as "Real", including but not limited to: Dress Codes, Regular Working Hours, and Having A Real Phone System, but we'll leave those details to speculation.

The very first thing that became apparent was that the job market, at least in the technology sector, has become absolutely SATURATED with programmers. What once was a rare and valuable resource had become as common as quartz! No longer was I a part of an elite society of techno-addicts, but rather my colleagues became any person with the cash and urge to take a few night classes, and recent college grads who wouldn't know a pointer from a div.

It's almost gotten to the point that programmers are as numerous as Mexican workers in Austin or Dallas. Anymore, all the corporations / companies have to do is drive up to the corner and say "I need 2 dotNet programmers to do XYZ for $.50 an hour." and it's a bloody fight as programmers scramble to be the first on the back of the pickup truck.

Now that being said, there is also another trend that is becoming apparent. As the quantity of programmers rises, the quality falls. One of the biggest complaints I heard as I was going through the interviews was that there were absolutely no good programmers out there anymore.

Never before has there been a truer statement. And this is because Microsoft and Google have already snatched up all the good programmers! Well that's only partially true, all the good programmers already have jobs, and are getting paid on a level coordinating with their abilities.

But this is not the only reason there are no good programmers around, the root of the problem lies within the hiring companies themselves. Just because there's a desperately high level of programmers in the "programmer pool", the only ones that you are going to get to bite a 20K-30K level jobs are 20K-30K and lower level programmers. As with any desired skill, you get what you pay for. That's just the long and short of it!

Jesus loves....well me at least....