October 29, 2003

Ripple Fire*

Our T1’s are back this morning. After running the usual batch of Wednesday morning jobs, I kicked off a little monster that’s going to give me plenty of time to catch up on email and do a little blogging. I wrote it Monday morning and it ran for 3½ hours before coming up with nada. That’s ok, because the null result told me something all by itself. A little tweaking, and she’s off and running again this morning. It’s pretty cool, because we have our own mainframe to play on when I need to run some brute-force number crunching.

I have this cooking pot that I absolutely love. It’s huge, non-stick, and shaped like a cross between a wok and a frying pan. It also has a nice glass lid that I hate with a passion. Monday night while cooking, I lifted the lid – away from me to avoid the scalding steam – and the condensation trapped in the steam vents went pouring down over my hand. Since it’s a glass lid, I couldn’t throw it (although I wanted to), I had to find a place to set it down before doing the ouchie dance. Minor burns, and just one blister on my ring finger. Naturally, when I lanced the blister, it squirted like a grapefruit and got me right in the eye. Yuk.

Jennifer answered questions submitted by folks, graciously hosted by Daniel. Since I work at McDonalds have a liberal arts degree with a minor in psychology, I must say that her answers are very revealing. She reminds me of my mom in that she has that straightforward Iowa attitude. Watch the first part of The Music Man (the Robert Preston version please), and you’ll see what I mean. (disclaimer: it's a joke. I don't have a liberal arts degree.)

The new Disintegrator at work is tres cool! It’s like the 7-11 Big Gulp of shredders, except it handles metal too. The biggest problem they’ve had was feeding it telephones, because while it was chewing up the metal and circuit boards inside, it was melting the plastic cases, which dripped down into works and gummed things up. It eats hard drives all day long. Tim Allen would love this thing.

Writing is hard work for me. I so envy those people who’s words just seem to flow effortlessly. I hated English in school, and my first jobs didn’t require writing skills. Once I gained a couple of stripes in the Air Force and became a supervisor, I had to learn how to write and I worked hard to improve. Writing for the military is unlike any other in the world, the style and conventions are downright alien at times. My next phase of learning to write was technical writing as a programmer/analyst. Once again, this isn’t a whole lot like what ordinary people write like. Finally, once I got out of the military, I had to learn to write 'government'. Most of my consulting jobs since then have been with various Departments and Agencies, and they have their own ideas of what constitutes acceptable writing. Throw in my own natural tendency to write like I speak, including incomplete sentences, slang and intentional odd spellings, and you can see why I suck. At least I’m good at spelling.

I just started playing StarCraft about a year ago, thanks to Mookie. She regularly kicks my butt, but not easily. I usually play the Terrans. Before that, the last computer game I played with any regularity was SimTower, and before that SimLife, and before that SimCity, and before that SimAnt. See the trend?

Spork invited people to tell about their personal boycotts and I went off a bit in his comments about a few peeves of mine. Although not quite in the same category, I’m also sick and tired of commercials telling me that I should donate my car, house, boat, airplane, inheritance property (seriously!), etc. to such-and-such charity. The most annoying in this area is Melwood Academy for ‘special’ kids. I’m sure they do fine work, but quit using the kids to guilt people into donating. And as for donating inherited property and such – get real. I have a friend who tried to donate a car to a charity, and they wouldn’t take it unless it was less than a few years old and in perfect shape. Screw ‘em. When we have something for charity, it goes to the veterans.

Not to be totally ornery this morning (I did sleep good after all), but if someone says they want to 'axe' me anything, they're inviting personal injury as I go into self-defense mode. Hearing that particular mispronunciation is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

And to end on a happier note, Mookie made the Carnival of the Vanities.

* ‘Ripple Fire’ is a mode whereas multiple military rockets are launched at a (usually ground) target in rapid sequence. It’s similar to machine-gun fire, but with big booms at the receiving end.
I use the title for disjointed snippets and thoughts too short for their own posts.

Posted by Ted at October 29, 2003 12:44 PM
Category: Square Pegs
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