Thursday, May 29, 2008

Scatter Shot Post - Fuzzy Goes to Washington

Some, but not all, of you know that I'm in the DC area this week to take a training for work, and to visit some family. Here's the bits:
  • While in Wyoming, I have missed alt-rock radio formats, strolling through streets lined with tall buildings, and conversation that doesn't involve ranching or ranching related topics.
  • While in Wyoming, I have not missed pretentions Indie music or issues, streets packed with parked cars (both moving cars and those parked on the shoulders), and conversation that revolve around politics, especially by those heavily entrenched in Red and Blue ideology.
  • Dumb: Fancy Hotels charging for Wi-Fi access. Dumber: Fancy Hotels charging for Wi-Fi access while the Panera Bread in same friggin' building give it away for free. I'm eating an Asiago Roast Beef sandwich as I type this. Yum.
  • Turndown Serivce. So, let me get this this straight: for a small fee, you'll have an employee hoist the crushing weight of a blanket and comforter on his/her broad shoulders and roll them away so my weary self has one less step to his slumber ritual? Unless this deal includes a glass of warm milk and a bedtime story read by a grandmotherly person, I ain't sold. And it better be a GOOD story, too. None of this lame-ass Goodnight Moon shit, either.
  • Learning Tree is probably as good as it gets for tech-related crash courses, both for the quality of the education, and the amenities they give the students. (Free continental breakfast, equipment that is both recent and functional, instructors that know what they're doing, etc.)
  • Reston Town Center is a place where I feel like I'm a bum by simply walking the same streets as the beautiful/rich/important people. But I still have an attractive personality :-)

That's all for today, join me next week when I espound a movie that was actually released less than 6 months ago: Indy 4. Short version: All the complaints, and most of the praise this movie has spawn is pretty much spot on.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gassin' Up!

Just one more reason to love it up here:

The cheapest gas by average is found in Wyoming ($3.646 per gallon), where no one lives, while the most expensive gas is in Connecticut and Hawaii ($4.171), where people take helicopters and boats to work.

Fill 'r up!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Limp Wristed Condiments

Friends, are you tired of sauces that are all heat and short on flavor, like mustard, ketchup and Ranch Salad Dressing?

Do you need to cut your V8 with milk or sour cream to make it bearable?

Do rush for a glass of water after you mistakenly bite into that Radish, thinking it was a cherry?

Do you find the cherries, take a bite... and run for a glass of water anyway?

Gentlemen, can the length of your penis be accurately described in Negative numbers?

Ladies, do you get the vapors any time someone uses strong angry language like "darn it," "jerkface," or the dreaded F-Bomb, "fiddlesticks?"

Is your favorite flavor of Popsicle "Ice Cube?" (The frozen water, not the rapper. Keep your fantasies to yourself, please).

Do you fast forward through all the intense/scary parts of horror films such as Sleepless in Seattle, Toy Story, March of the Penguins, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

Well, folks, I have good news!

Salsa for Wusses

Pace Extra Mild Salsa, to counter balance the intense flavor of the salt on the tortilla chip. Because just becuase you have the pallette of a four year old girl, doesn't mean you can't have a little Southwestern flavor. (But just a little Southwestern flavor. The thought of overdoing it makes my knees wobble!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anyone ever see Rollerball?

For the past two days, a problem with the water treatment facility that serves the entire Bridger Valley has been malfunctioning. Rumors of the cause include difficulty with the new equipment, computer malfuntions, and sabotage by Ninja Cowboy Gremlins. Ok, I made that last one up, but it would be kinda cool.

The local schools and restaurants have all been closed for the past few days. We just got running water back today, but there's a boil order in effect, so at this time we can't use it for more than laundry, toilets, or bathing. (don't swallow any water in the shower!)

Naturally, the levelheaded townsfolk are handling this in a rational and responsible fashion:


Run on Water
This was next to the doorway of the Grocery store. Thankfully, everything should be back in order by Friday if nothing else breaks down. Nice to see people are as panicy here as they are back home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Chronicles of Rewrites

Prince Caspian opened on Friday, but I was busy all weekend with other engagements, so I didn't get to see it until today.

If you believe that Canon needs to be respected at all costs, even to the detriment of the movie adaptation, you might want to sit this one out. Wardrobe was merely tweaked in a few places to add tension, but parts of this were rearranged, run together, and in a few places, written completely from scratch.

A few years ago I finally decided that this was ok, even desired, in order to make a good book into a good movie. "But Fuzzy," you might protest, "aren't you worried that Hollywood will turn our beloved classics into bastardized mockeries of themselves without close adherence to the author's original vision?" Sure, that's always a risk, but take the example of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

If you read the books, think about how long and detailed they were. How many pages were filled with hobbits crawling around through dark caves, marching through forests, and just generally doing mundane stuff. Imagine if all of that was transposed into a script. The LotR trilogy was long enough without of the drudgery of the journey. They cut out most of the ending of Return of the King and it was still good... and three hours.

Imaging converting a +600 page tome into a watchable flick that has to go under three hours. Any longer than that while sitting in a theater with a 44oz Cherry Coke in one's bladder , and even the best Book-to-Movie attempts just seem like they drag on. That's why things like Wurthering Heights and Shogun get turned into mini-series.

One of my friends always believed that Caspian was the most boring of the books. I couldn't understand why until tonight. For the first 15 minutes or so I was balking at all the things that got cut or changed. Eventually, I noticed the things that were removed wouldn't make the transition to the screen very well. Even though I enjoyed the book, I now remember the first time I read it, I skipped over several pages of the usual filler: Walking around in a forest for a long time, Councils of War which were eavesdropped on from the next room, dinking about on a runined island for a while. It's one thing to read them, but there's no need to put that humdrum in the movie unless you're intentionally giving the crowd an intermission to use the restroom.

Some of the good/important stuff also has to go, too. The history of Caspian's upbringing and tutelage could easily pack on another hour on what is already 150 minutes. The timeline is kind of... condensed for it all to fit.

My only real complaint is that they didn't cut out some of it cleanly. If your going to refer to Trumpkin as the D.L.F., you need to put in the scene where that nickname is earned, otherwise cut it completly. This happens with a few other small details that fans of the series will notice.

But the writting and casting of Reepicheep was well done (Eddie Izzard!?) and made a lovable personallity from what could have easily turned into the most obnoxious character if the book was to be followed too closely.

You go see. Now!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Single Friends Are Droppling Like Flies

Less than a year into the Wyoming Project, and the absense of the Magic Circle Against Romance continues to manifest itself. Three more of my gang has gotten engaged (one of these was back in December, but I didn't get the call until April), two of these, I never would have seen coming.

I have one week's Vacation, three weddings, a Christmas Visit, and a Convention in 2009 that will all need my attention. I might need to look into a Credit Card with a good SkyMiles program...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Unexpected Awesomeness

I was wondering how soon my Tax Refund and Stimulous Package would arrive.

I had forgotten that I opted to have that sent by direct deposit into my checking account. Refund's been there for two weeks, the StimPak there for 3 days. I thought I'd get a post card or an email or something.

Hooray for Refunds!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The IT department where I work has been complaining about a particular issue for a long time:
For over a year the Warehouse department has had difficulty keeping track of their inventory, and we're the ones to fix it.

There is a system in place that is supposed to keep track of it: When we recieve x BlueThings from a Vendor, they use a radio barcode scanner to scan all relevant items when they take them out of the box, and again when they put them on Shelf A. The scanner beams back that x BlueThings have been received, and there are x BlueThings on Shelf A.

When you take y BlueThings from Shelf A, you use a radio scanner to beam back that y things have been removed from Shelf A, and have been shipped. All of these movements will be recorded as long as everything is scanned correctly. There is robust validation in place to make sure that no one takes 10 RedThings off the Shelf B when there are only 4 RedThings on the Shelf B. The scanners even tell you which Shelf to get the Things from, so you don't have to look it up or wander around a Warehouse.

If an Item is serialized or unique in some way, it (usually) won't allow duplicates. If you try to put GreenThing001, GreenThing002, and GreenThing003 on the Shelf C, it won't allow it if there is a GreenThing 001, 002, or 003 anywhere in our Company.

But our Shelves are small, and sometimes only 40 of the 50 RedThings will physically fit on Shelf D. Now there is a way around this. They can put 40 RedThings on Shelf D, and put the other 10 on Shelf B or E or something. It doesn't dictate which Shelf you may put it on. You can even move things between Shelves as long as you use the function that says "I moved X RedThings to Shelf E." and the system updates the database and an entry in the history log is created.

Here's the problem. When putting things on Shelves, and the WH people don't have room, they often just put the the 10 RedThings that don't fit on Shelf D and just toss them on Shelf C next to it, or Shelf G below it, or even Shelf ZZZ in the dark corner of the Warehouse. They figure they'll see that these are right next to where they should be, or they'll just remember that they tossed them at ZZZ, and don't bother to use the scanner to move them.

Flash Forward a month or two and we get an email from the Warehouse staff asking us to delete 10 RedThings from their inventory becuase it mistakenly thinks there are 10 of them on Shelf D. The clincher is that they are absolutly convinced that there is a bug in the system that cause RedThings and BlueThings to disappear or spontainously generate in the database, and are annoyed by our refusal to fix it.

Nevermind that a few months ago, they asked us to remove 40 OrangeThings from Shelf M that popped into exisitance, then three days later asked us to replace 40 OrangeThings that the Alzhiemers riddled database forgot about and aren't showing up in the system.

Keep in mind, that the IT department is being used to cook the books hide other peoples' screw ups adjust inventory, which shouldn't be done by us AT ALL, but we'll not go into that right now.

This week they asked us to adjust GreyThing by about 30 (a rather large amount to lose), adding that she was soooo careful in counting these and made extra sure that the right number got shipped to the proper locations and there's NO WAY they'd loose track of 30 of these things, and it's frustrating and will we please look into it. Be careful what you wish for...

We were in luck, becuase GreyThing was a relativly new item, so the all the transaction history invloving GreyThings only goes back a few months. a Pure Sample, if you will.

I found all the times in the database history where GreyThings were recieved from our Vendors, and found every instance of GreyThings being shipped out to other places. But becuase the "flawed" system is not to be believed by itself, I asked the WH dept for the receipts and shipping orders for everything that included a GreyThing. I looked through them all (like I said, it is a new item, so it wasn't THAT many) and found no instance of something being short by that much. This means the they sent and recieved the proper number of GreyThings, and there's no reason why they shouldn't be sitting on Shelf H.

But they were not.

Now comes the task of delivering my findings in an email. Difficulty: one of my coworkers got reprimanded in the past for suggesting that WH was the problem, not us. He probably could have been more tactful, but still, this must be approached with some caution and humility. So instead of pointing out how it could be their fault, I set about providing the evidence I accumulated in order to eliminate the possibility that the system likes to add or subtract random numbers in the database.

Click Send.

Fast Forward a half hour, and guess who sends an email saying that after doing a search, they found a box full of 30(ish) GreyThings tossed onto Shelf Q?

And now, The Hives:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wise cracking at the Grocery Store

One of my favorite bloggers, James Lileks, posted on a topic that's near and dear to my heart: taking picutres of stuff at the local grocery store, and making clever remarks (towards the bottom). Like most of his posts, it's worth a look, if for no other reason then for a bit of entertainment.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Surfing the Web... a different context.

Spider on my computer

Saturday, May 10, 2008

More Road Hazards

Rabbits. Opossums. Squirrels. Groundhogs. Deer. We've all hit something before, but how about a Cow?

How about the entire herd?

Cattle Crossing

The ranchers move the cattle from pasture to pasture, and sometimes, you just gotta cross the road. Just one more thing to watch out for when driving.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Shopping Trends

Today I was doing a little Mother's Day Shopping for my grandparents when I found a nifty little tea gift basket that I'll probably pick out for the Maternal.GrandParents.

But I found this a bit odd:
So... I guess a lot of people's Moms love Tea and Bruce Willis?

Friday, May 2, 2008

How Low Will You Stoop, Tiffany?

Ok, I gotta clear the air here, becuase someone decided to get in a cheap shot, not just on me, but my parents, whom I love wholeheartedly.

Just because *I* wasn't some kind of emotionally unstable problem child who needed the constant supervsion of parents, parole officers, and case workers that must mean Mom and Dad were soft on me.

You earned every Time Out that you spent in the Attic Pillory and you know it.

What you don't know is the seldom spoke of "Crossing Guard Incident" that got the family court judge to have her monitored for the next 6 months with a radio ankle bracelet, which you tried to remove by biting it off, hence the name of her blog.

Our beloved parents gave us every chance, every opportunity to better ourselves, but only one of us ever showed any real appriciation for it. I'm not angry that you choose to blame Mother and Father for this, but I'm honestly a little upset that you would try to hurt them with your words.