Monday, March 31, 2008

Bookstore Photos

I was in Utah on Saturday engaging in some geekly hobbies, and while walking around the West Valley City Mall afterwards, I took a few photos of a bookstore display case. Interesting stuff:

Bookstore Display

You can see a larger version on the flickr page.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Waterfowl Boarders

Duck Crossing
This sign is posted in the entrance to our office building. There's a family of ducks that hang around the stream (drainage ditch?) on our property. Last week they made a reappearence for Spring.

Cute. And delicous with orange sauce.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Extra Money

Every spring around March or April, after the accounting department wraps up the fiscal year, they pay bonus to each employee, from the directors down to the retail store employees. It's a percentage of one's total anual income, factoring in extra hours you worked (for salaried employees) and how much profit they had this year.
So, I was left with a bit of extra disposable income, and the possibilites are many. This is the kind of windfall where one pays off old credit card debt or something, but being a paragon of fiscal responsibilty (sort of) I have no debt beyond some easily mangaged student loans and a lease on a car. I could put it in savings, which is probably the most responsible thing to do. after a long enough time, that could be turned into a money market account, certificate of deposit, be used to buy a house. or just go toward a rainy day fund. My future is worthwhile investment. Or....

Playstation 3

I could go out and buy a Playstation 3. C'mon. what did you THINK I was going to do with it?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Seen at the Grocery Store

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the "Mayor for Life" of Washington DC...

DC Mayor?

But really, it was pretty good. Tastes like something between a blackberry and blueberry. A "bruiseberry" if you will.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I ♥ My Job

Monday was review day at work. I was dreading the scrutiny of my superious but I left the directors office in a really good mood. Basically, they rate you on general metrics which is 35% of the score (plays well with others, loyalty, work ethic, etc), your general job duties specific to your job title, which is 40% (does this IT thing, does that IT thing), and the last 25% is how well you achived your goals specific to this year (in my case, learn how to do A, B, and C). They rate each metric on a scale of 1-4.

  • 1 means you suck, and need to straighten up and fly right
  • 2 is satisfactory, in other words, your not screwing it up
  • 3 is above average; "hey! we're glad we hired you! Hooray!"
  • 4 is supurb; they start chucking fat rolls of currency at your head until you argee to be their BFF.

all my numbers were 2's and 3's including 3's in interpersonal skills, Help Desk tasks, and Organization(?!). Anyone who knows me will know how unusual that last one is.

All of it brought up just about every reason why I didn't like my last job. BEGIN BITCHFEST:

  • I don't think they analyzed the need for the position before they posted the job. They Could've gotten away with hiring a part time person for data entry and some light filing, while my supervisor did most of the more interesting stuff.
  • When they finally DID hire a part time person to take over several of my job duties, my boss who was going to redefine my job description left to take another job, leaving me to mostly wonder what the hell I was supposed to be doing. Basically, my job was too look busy, which I am very bad at when I don't have anything to do.
  • My new boss' previous experience was managing data, which she was very good at. Her skills at managing people was GRAVELY LACKING. She made it clear that she didn't want me to do much more than breathe or blink without her written approval, then frowned on the fact that I didn't take more initative.
  • When I did something she didn't approve of, she didn't point it out or correct it, but rather added it to a list in my file until she complied enough of the little things to do a formal write-up of how I was a horrible employee and needs to focus and blah blah blah, which was sent to HR, the VP, and if she could have gotten away with it, probably my mother as well. She was like the fickle girlfriend I never had. I can't prove it, but I suspect that this was part of a goal to marginallize me until I left (if true, then SUCCESS!!), or just to eliminate my position without having to pay unemployment.
  • The technical duties that I had, which I think were a little overstated in the interview, were reduced to almost zero after two years there. I thought that if I stayed there for another year, my skills would lapse badly enough that I wouldn't be able to get a job in IT. This is probably what I was afraid of most.


Another reason why I really enjoyed review day was... well...

Pay Raise!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

How Do You Celebrate?

Just a reminder: March 15th is International Eat A Tasty Animal for PETA Day.

Remember to eat something that used to have a face this Saturday!!

I've already got things planned...

Omaha Steaks

Also, we're doing a potluck on St. Patrick's Day for the occasion. Yum.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Only About Three Years Behind

Ok, I saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith on Thursday. Yeah, I know, I'm late to the party. so late, in fact, that I arrived long after everyone else left and the host is dressed in his PJ's, wondering what the hell I'm doing at his door at 3AM with a bowl of French Onion Dip.

On one side, I have my friends who all loved it. But then again, several of them are Fanboys, who would be entertained by Yoda reading names from a phone book for two and a half hours. When I told them in September 2005 that I haddn't gotten arround to seeing it yet, they just looked at me like I had just told them I wasn't toilet trained or something.

Then there's my sister and brother-in-law who HATED IT. As I'm told, everyone they know hate it. It must be a DC/Northern Virginia thing, because they are the only two people I know personally that didnt' like it. Even the Fanboys (and Fangirl) who detested the first two prequels, were more than satisfied with the third.

Here's my impressions, long after anyone cares:
  • I couldn't figure out why the first half of the movie was composed fully of these panoramic shots of forests, with the sound of wind blowing through. Then I realized that those trees were just the actors talking, and it was just bad diologue, bad acting, and bad directing.
  • Not being a Star Wars guy, I have to ask, is there some kind of symbolism with peoples' hands or limbs in general getting lightsabred off? In the whole series, by my count, Luke gets it, Anikin loses an arm twice (once in Clonewars, once in RotJ) and gets his legs cut off by Obi Wan, Dooku loses both at once, Greivious loses two (but has two to spare), and I know I'm forgetting others.
  • Bad Acting? Awful Script? Whatever. Must like the first two, these can all be forgiven with proper light sabre fights and action scenes.
  • I know the Dark Side Corrupts your physical body as well as your soul, but why does Darth Sidieous's face go from 'I'm a distinguished gentleman' to 'bag of haggis sitting on my neck' after a few seconds of shooting Force-Lightning? Better question: If could turn yourself fugly to shoot Lightning from your hands, would you do it?
  • Sometimes when actors from other famous roles take parts in other important franchises, you start to mix together bits and pieces of both those roles. When Mace Windu finally confronted the Chancellor, I was waiting for him to break out some Ezekiel 25:17 on his ass. See also Hugo Weaving in Lord of the Rings. "The Ring must be destroyed... Deploy the Sentinals!"
  • Emotional impact of the extermination of several nameless Jedi: Much Sadness. Emotional Impact of Padame dying of a broken heart? Meh. The protagonists just weren't appealing.
  • About the alledged policital commentary in the movie: I think it's much ado about nothing. for the past 7 years, everyone's been looking for signs that BusHitler is cracking down on free speech and human rights or overanalyzing all media looking for pontification on the State Of Things. In either case, sometimes it's there, but not as often as we think it is. If you're jaded to look past those things now, maybe watch it again in 5 years. It was probably (possibly?) in your imagination.

Overall, I rank it as Satisfactory, despite the best efforts of the script writers and director to make it stupid. I'd make a recommenation to see it, but as I said at the beginning, Most of you already have about 3 years ago. Thankfully, Netflix is going to be catching me up on all the important movies I missed in the past 5 years.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Robert Jordan embraced death on September 16th, 2007.

Myron Cope waived his terr'ble taul for the last time on February 27th, 2008.

Gary Gygax failed his Save vs Death on March 4th, 2008.

That's it. I hearby forbid my Heroes to die until further notice. That is all.