Blogger Template by Blogcrowds

Got Vista? Got Problems?

Friday, September 28, 2007
Solve your Vista problems here.

An inconvenient shutdown

Seriously? Was it really unexpected?

What's really key is the Problem Event Name. How can this be? The problem didn't cause the BSOD. The BSOD was the problem. No shit.

It's so hard being a Microsoft sympathizer when you get things like this coming at you. This and User Account Control.

"What the hell is that", you ask?

"Hey, you're trying to install something! Install now?"
"The thing that you just clicked is trying to run, do you want it to run?"
"Hey yo! Stop what you're doing, cause I'm about to ruin, the image and the style that you're working on..."

My favorite is when I try to download something using IE. I realize that it's supposed to be for my own good, but can't they figure out a way to secure the browser just enough to make sure I've actually clicked my mouse? It can't be that hard.

I want to strangle Vista and Iexplore.exe everyday. Editors Don't Work Past 11PM

Thursday, September 27, 2007
Fun with extra prepositions!

haiku on my recent activity

orbital sander
power tool so versatile
wallpaper, be gone!

Please. Don't!

Today , I tried a "Bud Light & Clamato." Editors Stutter

Two things: First, that photo is pretty funny. Second, apparently that Clinton article is worth a second look.

Headline of the Day

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Bush: 'Childrens Do Learn'

The System - a Tribute

Friday, September 21, 2007
Yesterday, we decommissioned a stats collection system that had been operating in one form or another for roughly 20 years. I commemorated the event with a little poetry:
The System
by Z

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a faint and green-and-white print-out of mem’ry stores,
While I sat there, doughnut-snacking, suddenly I heard tick-tacking,
As on key-caps gently hacking, hacking at the system's core,
"Tis some programmer," I muttered, "hacking at the system's core --
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember late-night disconnecting members,
And each separate signed-off screenname made me wonder even more,
Eagerly, I scanned the day's log -- vainly tried to clear the brain fog,
From the many failures to log on and off the system's core,
Obfuscated, evermore.

And the tappa-tappa sounding of each keystroke felt a pounding
To me -- drumming on my head as with a knocker on a door,
So that now, to stop the thrumming in my brain, I sat there humming,
"Tis some programmer who's bumming lines from out the system's core,
Maybe Janet Hunter's bumming lines from out the system's core,
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my head grew clearer, and I drew the print-out nearer,
"Korn," said I, "or Huntsman, would you mind not typing more?
For the fact is I was reading, and to you now I am pleading
Stop your typing! Oh, these bleeding stats make my eyes sore!"
Then I tossed the papers wildly, and they fell upon the floor,
Piles and piles of stats galore.

Then there fell an awkward silence from my momentary violence,
And my coworkers retreated, leaving me alone once more,
And I wished that I could count each error line, take that amount,
And use the total log lines as the basis for a score,
I would normalize these stats and so reduce this endless chore
To a simply tallied score.

Then each abby-disconnected session would be, thus detected,
Not rejected as some anecdotal evidential bore,
But the stats could now be trended! And my nightmare would be ended,
No more reading till the numbers bled from each and every pore,
We would let our new computers do the job, that's what they're for:
That's a goal worth shooting for.

PL/1 code then was ported, and my headache thus aborted.
Teams of compu-science people wrote in C, and Perl, and more,
Hell with malloc, and realloc, I am such a smarty-alec
I will rewrite Perl to use some better algorithmic lore,
Yes, I'll rewrite Perl to use a better algorithmic lore,
And upgrade it nevermore.

Bring on multisite and sttr -- while our bosses pace and mutter
'Cause our stock is in the gutter and our login failures soar,
We'll debate the daily cut-off -- is it when the system's shut off?
Is it better that we end the day at midnight, or at four?
Let's hope global mem'ry mapping will avoid a program core,
stats_exec runs evermore.

We must have been such haughty asses to create spaghetti masses
And morasses of procedures that an expert would abhor,
Late night sessions, caffeine chugging, TIH-Stats needs debugging!
Else the short priv 2 report will never make it out the door,
And the management will never know the abby logfail score,
And our jobs will be no more.

I have heard it said quite often that the last nail in the coffin
Was the constant watching for a crash and starting it once more,
But the truth is more elusive. Just: the system was abusive
To the programmers who tried to keep it running more and more
With the only time for upgrades 'tween the hours of three and four
We maintained it nevermore.

Now this code base we are quitting, and I'm guilty of omitting
All the years of toil and labor into which our hearts we poured.
But this tale has nearly ended, with the code at last ab-ended
In a final blaze of glory let the rusty boxes roar,
Let us raise our glasses, make a toast, and drink! 'Cause heretofore,
Stats is running nevermore.


In my ranting, I forgot to publish my latest courtroom creation. It follows.

Jail, jail, jail
You ain't got no bail
They put you on probation
But you just had to fail

Life deviation
Do as you're told
Or society vacation

The Big House, The Castle, The Slammer or The Penn
The Gray Bar Hotel and The Okaloosa Hilton
The color of your jumpsuit
Depending on your scene
Orange, blue, red, yellow
Crazy? Then it's green

I'm forced to write a closing to my cacaphonic verse
Although my pen's intention was to make your stomach burst
If I failed to meet success before the bitter end
Love Court happens once a month so something better then.

I never said it was a good creation.

Just Venting

Thursday, September 20, 2007
I am having quite the day. The judge threw a lady in jail yesterday because she failed to pay off the restitution when she got into an accident back in 2001. She was only charged with Driving on a Suspended License and Attaching an Improper Tag. The victims of the accident somehow managed to get the Judge to order restitution, which is illegal for two reasons.

1. You can order restitution on a suspended license charge unless a causal nexus exists between the charge and restitution.

2. A court cannot fail to order restitution at sentencing and then remedy the situation by ordering restition when more than sixty days has passed since sentencing.

3. If the court does order restitution (illegally as it did here), restitution payments may not be ordered past the period of supervision (also done illegally here).

Now, this woman who is the sole supporter of her disabled hisband in is jail. She has lost the fourth job she has had in the last six years becuase the court keeps throwing her in jail for failing to pay restitution. Interestingly enough, we abolished debtors prison as to not end up throwing poor prople in jail because they chose to eat instead of pay restitution.

Well, how is the lady supposed to get her money? Civil court. Today, you can sue for anything! Whether you get paid is a different story and is the legal system upon which we have decided to model our society. If you recall, I had to sue some roommates of my when I was still at UVA - I still have not been paid! Yeah, I won the suit, but blood from a stone you will never get!

Damn I need a drink. back to motion writing. Sorry about the venting.

The Basement (Parts 1 & 2 of 184)

Sunday, September 16, 2007
I've decided to post updates here about our progress finishing the basement. Why are you interested in this? Well, you're probably not - but if you read about it here, then when you come over and we try to bore you with a basement progress report, you can just say "Yeah, I know, I read about it on the blog."

Also, I'm excited about it, and blogging will help the Type-A, "J" side of my personality to cope with the extremely slow progress.

There IS some (extremely minor) progress though - we have a floorplan (below) - the second one shows how the current office furniture will fit downstairs, and how the future den furniture will go.

And we got a shed! We haven't put it together yet, but the plan is to do that sometime this week...most of the stuff in the basement right now will go in the shed. Once it's mostly empty, we can clean! Then we'll actually be ready to start.

So, a plan and a shed - Woohoo! That's steps 1 and 2, done. Only 182 more to go.

A List of Places...

Friday, September 14, 2007 avoid in Mr. & Mrs. B's house, as per previous posts:

  1. dining room

  2. any corner of the kitchen

  3. guest bathroom sink

  4. basement floors (without socks, shoes, and stilts)

The Back Story

Thursday, September 13, 2007
or, Why I Let My Husband Take Monet To The Vet

As my dear husband mentioned, I took Monet to the vet on Monday. See, several months ago Monet began pooping outside her litterbox (ok, her Litter Robot) in the basement - always in the same general area, on the concrete. Since she was only doing this every once in a while, I was fairly certain it was just a behavioral problem, not medical, and I tried a couple of deterrents to no avail.

The pooping-on-the-concrete got more frequent, so a few weeks ago I decided to move the cats' litter and food/water bowls out of the basement and into the guest bathroom upstairs. There were two reasons for this: first, I was sincerely hoping that Monet just really, really liked that concrete and would get over it if she couldn't go down to the basement; and second, I wasn't 100% sure that it was Monet. I mean, Ellie is generally the more well-behaved cat, and I was pretty sure it was Monet, but I wanted to keep a closer eye on them.

Two weeks went by with no inappropriate pooping. But then, just when I started to relax and think the problem was solved, it happened: poop in the dining room. I informed Monet forcefully that she was a bad cat, a very bad cat, and confined her to the guest bathroom until she used the litter again. A week went by...then it happened again: poop in the dining room, in the same spot. At my dear sister's suggestion - she just went through this with her cat, oddly enough - I moved the food bowl to the spot where Monet had pooped. Cats are pretty dumb, but they know not to poop in their food.

All was well for a few days, until I walked into the kitchen one day to find Monet standing oddly in the corner. She turned, looked at me...and pooped. I grabbed her and took her upstairs and left her in the guest bathroom to do her business. And she the sink. And this poop (I really hope you're not eating) was gross. Really gross. Okay, I can't even bring myself to describe it. Just trust me on this one.

This was last Friday, and I made a vet appointment for Monday morning. The visit went reasonably well, right up until the rectal exam. Have you ever tried to hold a cat that didn't want to be held, and who was willing to risk life and limb - well, YOUR life and limb - to get away? They had to wrap her in a towel, and one of the techs and I held her down. Still, she got away, and managed to scratch the tech, so they re-wrapped her and put a mask on her. Yes, a mask - like the one they made Hannibal Lecter wear. And she made the most horrific noise I've ever heard... Later, telling Mr. B about this, he remarked that it probably sounded like the noise she made once when he accidentally stepped on her. My response: Maybe. Did you step on her and then shove something up her ass?

The vet said they'd check her stool and made a followup appointment for today. Monet was pretty good on the ride home, right up until we pulled in the driveway, at which point she pooped in her carrier. Her carrier, where she had no choice then but to sit in her poop. And you can imagine how much she wanted me to hold her down and clean her off once we got inside...

So, that's the back story (ha). I'm not sure who was more traumatized, Monet or me. But stay tuned for the next installment of the Monet saga, which is about the process I use to administer medicine to her - a process that now brings Ellie running (to watch) every time.

My Date with R. Kitty

On Monday, Mrs B. took the evil cat, Monet, to the vet. Monet has been letting herself go (around the house) recently (aren't we all) and she's got this eye thing...let's just say that we're terrible pet owners. That vet trip is another story. As a gesture of my love and affection for my wife and my desire to not step in cat poo, I offered to take the evil cat to her follow up appointment.

Despite great resistance, Maggie loaded the cat into the carrier. We put the cat in the car and I performed my usual carpooling ritual - except I wasn't headed to work, I was taking a strangely quiet Monet to the vet. About half-way there, Monet began scratching the carrier walls. Anyone who knows me would see this as a cause of great concern for me because I hate poo (yes, I know that everybody poops). However, I smelled no poo and that made me happy.

Upon arriving at the vet's office, we were placed in an exam room where I could let Monet frolic and scent things. When I opened the carrier door, Monet walked out cautiously. As she exited, her tail began to shake forcefully, throwing some sort of liquid onto my face...she hadn't pooped after all.

Surprisingly, I didn't freak out. I was concerned about what had just happened to me, but more concerned with they way she was tracking it all over exam room. I felt pretty terrible when the assistant had to mop the floor and clean out the carrier. When we left the exam room (we'll have to return next week), there were many cats waiting in the lobby with their humans.

R. Kitty began to meow so I knelt down to pet her through the cage. She wouldn't come near me. I looked at the woman next to me, an acquaintance (who probably didn't realize that we'd met before), and said, "I am not her person." I'm not. I'm also not the person that will be driving her to the vet next week (not by myself). At least she didn't poop on the way home.

How can I forget?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
That morning, I woke up late for class. Smitty IM'd me about some planes hitting the WTC. I didn't believe it. Being the technophile that I am, I attempted to login to to get the news. No go. No go. Nope... Only after 5 minutes of trying to get into websites did I realize that I could just turn on the TV.

I tried to call Peter and Sam to see if they were ok, but couldn't get through. I went to class...they cancelled the rest of the day...still no calls getting though. Later, it was confirmed that everyone (but no one was ok) was ok. I think that was by email.

I can't forget that day because I think that was the day that I became afraid of flying, and afraid of dying. I, like everyone else, wish that day had never happened. I will never have trouble remembering it.

Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home Alive

Sunday, September 09, 2007
Following is an actual e-mail I received from an actual person I know who actually supports the troops, and actually supports the war. Images included here show how hard our armed forces work to carry out the mission that our President gives them, even though they are aware this mission sometimes requires they give up their lives to gain even a small victory. That these are dedicated men and women there is no doubt.

So why send them on a foolish mission? What is to be gained on this fool's errand? And why, if we are fighting this phantom war on terror abroad are we still afraid at home? After years of Our President King George sending the strongest of American blood to the sands of the Middle East, should we not have some progress to show for it? We are sinking into the ground over there, and have had to desert our liberties here to soothe President Bush's fears — yet we are still afraid.

The best way we can support the troops is to bring them out of unnecessary danger. Let's find a way to bring them home, alive and whole, and thank them for a job well done. Let's give them a chance to rest, to enjoy the freedoms they're dying to protect. Then we will have them to send to where they're really needed next.

Actual text of e-mail I received (I've removed some of the blurrier images):

Please send this on after a short prayer. Prayer for our soldiers Don't break it!
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."
Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.
There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.

Big PUNisher

Friday, September 07, 2007

Just scroll

Wrecked 'em

Last night, I stayed up all night to write the first graded paper I've written since my thesis. What the hell is wrong with me?

Am I the only person I know...

Thursday, September 06, 2007
...that still finds himself listening to the occasional Culture Club tune? I guess I can't really help what the iPod does anyway. I had to ask myself that question this morning as I gladly clicked to the next tune, away from Poison's "Nothing But a Good Time" to "Church of the Poison Mind." "Overkill" is still one of my favorite songs (partially due to Colin Haye's reappearance). Maybe it just reminds me of being a kid again.

It was at that point that I realized that I was driving by Burley Middle School...and that Mrs. B. definitely wasn't in the car (she's sick). I'd been on autopilot. That's when the Pet Shop Boys' "What Have I Done To Deserve This" came on. An 80s morning I'd say.

As I considered the best way to get to work after my gaffe, my iPod started playing "Hey Nineteen." George Carlin fans may remember one of his rants about Baby Bjorns and Steely Dan. I realize that I'm not, but I think both are kind of cool.

After experiencing the usual morning rage, I made it to Arlington Boulevard. MJ was saying something about a "Pretty Young Thing." Now there's some quality music. Of course, that song and its title seem to evoke completely different thoughts about Michael today. So sad, so sad...

This may be the best picture I've ever taken.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The focus on her face is a bit soft, but the pose is perfect. The best part about it is that I didn't ask her to pose. She just happened to be walking by that post. About a second later she was playing again. It was just the right moment. In any case, I love this shot and the new lens.