Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fuzzy Goes West: Now Firefox Friendly!

If you use the Firefox browser to read Fuzzy Goes West, you probably noticed that all my posts up until now dropped below the sidebar on the left. This was caused by some tinkering with the HTML by me, which was done in order to make my pictures appear in full; the medium sized ones from Flickr were being cut off on the right side. After fumbling with the values for a while, I finally got it to display everything the way I wanted it to. That is, until I tried to load it in Firefox.

I let this slide for a while, but after a classic Mac vs. PC skirmish with my sister, I decided to just go back and adjust it properly.

Summation of the Argument:
ME: If my blog is changed the way I want it to, and it appears correctly in the brower I use, why are you telling me Internet Explorer sucks becuase my blog displays incorrectly in your browser?

HER: By using an inferior product that encorages sloppy coding, you are contributing (in a small way) to Micro$oft's mission to crush all it's competitors, especially the better ones, and bringing an additude of apathy to standardized coding!

I know there's many ligitimate reasons for the disdain of IE over Firefox (mostly security), but this isn't one of them. Nevertheless, it was way past time to fix the template so it displays correctly.

Missing Out

When I took a job in Wyoming, I knew there would be sacrifices, especially the first year. One of those is manifisting itself right now.

Why am I not here, getting my geek on at this very moment? I could be casting magic missiles at the darkness, or other such fun :-(

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Death and Burial

Yesterday at lunch, some coworkers were discussing how they wanted to die, which led to how they wanted to be burried. One of them is considering burial at sea, an option for those who spent a certain number of years in any branch of the armed services, not just the Navy. The macarbe fact is that they don't let the family on board the boat when they go out to dispose of you. This is becuase there's a chance that your body doesn't sink when you get tossed in the drink, and if that happens, the usual way they get you to sink is to fill your body with small lead weights, inserted into your corpse via a special insertion device. In other words, they shoot at you from the deck until your full of enough bullets to drop, and the servicemen don't want to deal with hysterical shrieking widows as they take aim.

One woman wants to be creamated. Nothing unusual there until she told us what she wants done with the ashes. They are to be divided up and mixed with ground black pepper into pepper shakers, which will be distibuted at truckstops all across America.

She gets a 10, both for style, and creepiness.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

MS Access 2007: Open Your Heart to the Database

I haven't had a very thorough look at the new version of Microsoft Access yet, because being a good IT professional, I prefer to use Big Boy database management software. But on the surface it does look like they managed to make it easier to use and update tables. But their security protocols caught my eye. In the old days, you'd grant permissions to files, folders, and tables and such to allow some or all of the users to add, modify, delete, or pervert your data. MS Access dresses that up a little differently by calling this interface...

♥☺ The Trust Center ☺♥

I'd expect this kind of wishy-washy feel-good drivel from Apple, who's kinder, gentler approach to computer hardware and software has turned out quite profitable, but I thought Microsoft was above this stuff.

I began to visualize the full implimentation of this, where to Access the files, you have to turn around and let yourself fall backwards into the strong loving arms of your workstation, or walk blindfolded to your desk while Access calls out directions in a sweet musical voice, kinda like GlaDOS singing Still Alive.

But the problem comes when you accidentally compromise the database and you have to restore from backup. I wonder if Access could forgive that. After the restoration, could it as easily trust you to access its tender data again? A user might find himself locked out of the Database, and when the Admin tries to put him back in the Trust Center a diolouge box pops up: "Error: I just don't think I can trust this user again after he broke my heart."

Not to mention the possiblity of a complete network lock out while the database curls up on its server crying while shoving Ben and Jerry's into its ports. "How could he?? I let him into my Trust Center, and he abused it!" Eventually, Access gets rid of everything belonging to this user and deletes it, because these things reminds it of him. All his Seether MP3s? Gone. Those snapshots of the database just before the Server Migration? Gone. All the user manuals on PDF files for that skank, Oracle? deleted, and repartitioned that storage. It would always be ugly to have to deal with this at every errant update.

The risk of this just reinforces my believe that Access should be passed over for serious database work. It just has too much baggage. Anyway, I look forward to viewing the comments from the indignant Mac users who percieve a slight for suggesting that they like their computers to be cute and cuddly.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Totally Thought of it First!

I had this great idea for a board game. Sort of a party game where everyone gets a fist full of various dice. These dice would be rolled in order to simulate a combat system sometimes, or try to roll certain numbers to accomplish goals that vary from scoring points, or gaining/loseing dice to roll in order to win. I haddn't worked out all the details, but essientially, the game would just be a vehicle for rolling fistfuls of dice. I thought it was clever.

But darn it all, if somebody else didn't think of it first!

DiceCapades
Back to my day job, then.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Harold and Kumar Skip This One

Krystal Burger at Atlanta International Airport

The story as I understand it, when my mother was pregnant with me, she had occasional cravings for Krystal Burgers. For those that don't know, Krystal Burger is a White Castle wannabe fast food joint that found in the Southern States. I came across one at the Atlanta Airport, so I decided to bring this thing full circle and get lunch here.


Krystal B


C'mon, Mom, I know you have better standards than this! Ok, it wasn't bad, but still no White Castle. The chili-fries could have been better, too.

BONUS FACT: When Mom was pregnant with my sister, she had a passion for roller coasters. Yeah, they don't want you doing that kinda stuff when expecting a child these days.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cardstock Tragedy

You always hear about these horror stories that happen to friends, or a friend of a friend. You listen casually and think "Oh my! How terrible!" and then walk away thinking that it can never happen to you. You keep your things tucked away in a secure location. You think your somehow immune.

Then, it happens.

For a while, you're stunned. Looking at those things that took so long to store up. Destroyed before your eyes. All the good times dancing in your memory, once taken for granted, now all you have left of your possessions. You know you should be thankful that no one was hurt, but in the short term, that's just not comforting enough.

My landlord will be getting a call about the leak in the closet ceiling. I'll try not to get too choked up when I tell him about this:


Magic: The Floodening

If you have the stomach, click the picutre for a full autopsy of the damage.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Abused Franchise

The first time I heard about a fourth Indiana Jones film, I think I was about 15 or 16. At 20, I had lost all hope. About two years ago, reliable sources told us that it was filming at last. I had high hopes that after over ten years of delays, we'd get a finished product that could live up to the Indiana Jones legacy.

:-(

My sister and brother-in-law met up in the Big Bowl in Reston, VA for some Chinese Food and discussed the problems with it over Kung Pao Chicken and Pad Thai. My thoughts bascially echo everyone else's thoughts that I've read, but here's the gist with spoilers fully functional:

Action: we need more of it. There was a nice opening scene in the Government Warehouse (Same one at the end of Raiders) that ends with a nuclear explosion. Good. There was a nice little motorcycle chase Shia LeBouf, or LeDoof, or whatever his name is. It was a little too short, but it was done satisfactorily. Then there's the Jeep chase in the Jungle which is the 3rd action scene in the movie, at about the halfway mark. Set's a good tempo, but then it's a snooze fest.

Do a tally of all the action scenes from the first three movies and compare them to this. Kingdom falls a bit short. And the worst part is that you could see where they could have put in some gratuitous action in quite easily. It almost feels like they were trying to dull the pace a bit.

Speaking of the Jeeps in the Jungle, let's talk about ill advised CGI. I'm all for CG for things most things, like fighting 100 Agent Smith Clones, or the afore mentioned nuclear explosion ("What? You couldn't be bothered to get a REAL atomic bomb for this movie?"). But what's with the CG animals? Opening the movie with a CG Gopher? I'll ignore it. Ending the scene with a family of 4 gophers that serve no purposes except to show you CG Gophers? Lame. The same can be said for CG monkeys as well. Shia LePew's scene where he swings on vines to land himself in the Commie-Mobile worked just fine without them. This whole issue of adding-cute-things-that-serve-no-purpose can probably be traced back to it's roots with the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi.

Also, I can understand the need to use CG to simulate LeBeef's riding two Jeeps with a leg on each one, but could you polish it up so that it's less obvious that you had to make his legs spontaniously grow 8 inches to accomplish that? or at least make some allusion some kind of stretchy-limb super power that he has, so it's just a little less out of place? maybe?

Kate Allen reprises her role as Marion Ravenwood from Raiders. She was good then, she's good here. She might be even better this time, but that could be due to her surroundings being a bit lackluster.

And these crystal skulls? Yawn. I guess this is really a half hearted complaint, but what ever happened to the Judeo-Christian Artifacts? I guess you can't top the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, but I was hoping for something less X-files.

And as long as we're splattering Sci-Fi all over Indyland, the rumor is that one of the reasons why this movie took so long was that there was several script rewrites ordered by Ford and Spielberg becuase Lucas was trying to put too much Star Wars into it. Almost as if the original title was Indiana Jones and the Men from Mars.

Villians: In two of the previous three movies, it's been Nazis, which always make a great villian just becuase the're friggin' Nazis. You don't need any other reason to hate them; they're the greatest symbol of evil the 20th century has to offer. Russian Comunists? A good start but you need something more. There was no reason given to Hate Cate Blanchet's character other than she's a Ruskie. We needed her to make us hate her by doing something. Throw someone in a Gulag, set off a nuke in a metropolis, give Indy a wedgie, do SOMETHING. The indifference to the villian does NOT help the slow pace of the movie.

The actor who played Marcus is dead, Sean Connery declined to come out of retirement to be Jones Senior, so some things you can't work around. But John Rhyes-Davies is alive and well, so where's Sallah? C'mon, you couldn't write him into this mess somehow?

One last note on the Action scenes, becuase they are vital. My brother-in-law summed it up thusly: Whenever Indy does someting cool, or makes off with the goods, the iconic Raiders March theme music is played. This is done when he hand-hitches a ride on the Submarine in Raiders, drives a tank full of Nazis off a cliff and survives, etc. This theme isn't played at all until the End Credits, which is just as well, becuase nothing happens that's cool enough to warrant it.

In spite of all this, the movie is still watchable, but I can't tell you that it's good. See it in the cheap theaters, only because you have too. Last but not least, I'm to tired/lazy to proof-read this post for spelling, grammar, or flow, but I assue you, it's better than the writing for the movie.