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Whatnot [23 Jul 2008|07:28pm]
I got this bag as a gift from a Chinese trainee who's wife got hit by a car causing him to return to China. The wife was not injured too critically and is busy recovering.

I don't want to be picky about a gift but... I kind of suspect he was asked to hand it out given the Olympic theme and the extreme effort the Chinese have made. I'm fairly sure people don't normally give out fanny packs that have a picture of... blushing panda Planeteers? That one on the left looks more like a witch actually. It's hard to be sure.

Anyways, I'm sad to see him go under such circumstances. He had that deathly stressed look so told him to take care of himself. His departure leaves us with the three trainees who have the hardest time as they are switching what type of coding they are doing and don't speak English very well.

My immediate manager keeps fussing with the schedule. I completed a set of tasks that was supposed to take 60 work days in about 8 days. I'm not the best at estimating things but: (60 / 8 = 7.5). Not the best guess. I can take the next 52 days off right? right?!

Oh, and I'm glad I don't work for The State of California. The governator is planning on punting many of the state employees to the federal minimum wage. The state minimum wage being much too high of course.

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Yay hallucination! [18 Jul 2008|08:56pm]
I was suddenly woken up this morning and I hallucinated some scorpion creature (with no tail) on my bookshelf. I then turned my head and hallucinated another one, or perhaps the same one, next to my alarm clock. Fortunately, I was aware of it being unreal and just sat up in bed reading the time on my alarm clock and they went away in about a half second.

That's the first time I've visualized something like that. I suspect I was dreaming something and it didn't quite go away for a second or two despite waking up. I also sat up suddenly after being awakened which can cause all the blood to rush from your head if the reflex to constrict your blood flow doesn't kick in.

Despite the phantom scorpions, that was not the strangest I felt this week. Two days ago I was rather confused while taking my usual walk after noticing that there was not much water in the creek and that it was flowing uphill. I stared at the creek for a bit wondering if there had been a major earthquake I hadn't noticed when I remembered that they had just recently installed large pipes behind me.

I walked upstream and, sure enough, they had planted two large water pumps and they were piping the water further downstream so they could drain an area to work and do flood prevention work. I was amused to see two young boys playing in the newly exposed mud. I was not familiar with the particular game but I believe it was some variation on the timeless "hit your younger brother with big clods of mud".

And now for Daily Show + tea.

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Meetings [15 Jul 2008|05:50pm]
I got away with hosting only three or four meetings in two years but I had to schedule three this week. I feel so guilty. My hands are tainted by an act that will slowly grind away the sanity and the very humanity of my fellow engineers.

Maybe I'll send out an email promising they will be short. Give them hope. False as it may be.
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Cleaning [03 Jul 2008|04:54pm]
People need to visit me more often so I will clean more often.
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Light speed is too slow! We're going to have to go right to... ludicrous speed! [30 Jun 2008|09:35pm]
I pirated Final Fantasy Tactics Advance back when I was in college (I know, I'm a criminal) and played it on an emulator. Now that I'm employed I went and purchased the new one for my Nintendo DS.

The emulator I was using allowed you to increase the game's speed by skipping frames. Unfortunately, I played the older one in constant 5 times fast forward. As you might imagine, this did cause me to make a certain number of mistakes, but it cut out a lot of the useless animations. Now that I don't have that option the new game seems just unbelievably slow. It's painstaking enough that I poked around the internet for an illegal copy and emulator to play it on even though I own a legitimate copy...

My brain refuses to play the game at this new lower speed. I logged like 30 hours in the previous game. I live in fast forward now. My brain refuses to be retrained.

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New paintings [30 Jun 2008|08:26pm]
As promised. Pictures of new paintings (monotypes technically). Don't worry, my wall is not caving in. I'm just not photoshop savvy enough to undo the curvature caused by the camera lens.

They were made by Linda Yoshizawa who coincidentally lives down the street from my mother. They were purchased directly from the art studio in her back yard. They are one time prints made using oil and water based paint. The shadow image you can see in the background is her roller picking up a copy from the first pass which she then runs past the image again.

The prints substantially improve the appearance of my apartment. It now looks like I attempted to decorate.

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Fires [28 Jun 2008|06:27pm]
The air quality has improved to typical LA levels. Everyone seems certain that everything will catch fire again on the forth of July when everyone gets drunk and plays with explosives. There are signs up all over town put up by the city council warning "Rohnert Park has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy on illegal fireworks!".
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Words of wisdom [27 Jun 2008|10:11pm]
From co-worker in Shanghai:

On the internet everyone knows you're not actually an elf.
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Cost efficiency in entertainment [27 Jun 2008|09:12pm]
I produced the following estimates for a co-worker. I wasn't trying too hard for accuracy.

Golf: $15.00 per hour
Comic book: $10.00 per hour
Movie: $6.50 per hour
Movie rental: $1.75 per hour
World of Warcraft: $1.36 (Based on average use)
Typical video game: $1.30 per hour
Purchased book: $.80 per hour
Cable TV: $.50 per hour (Based on average use and guess at average cost)
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A look into the scrying bowl [26 Jun 2008|10:45pm]
Fluffy Scott predicts:
  • Obama will pick a female running mate not named Hillary Clinton.
  • The fall television schedule will be more crammed with shows than usual due to backlog of projects delayed from writers strike.
  • Someone in Bush's cabinet will mumble something about kinda-sorta-maybe chatting with Hamas indirectly as Israel is kinda-sorta doing that already and then retract their statement.
  • "Safer" money products such as treasuries will increase in value as worry about a commodity bubble popping increases.
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Automotive warrenty scam [26 Jun 2008|08:19pm]
I feel I should warn people that there appears to be a borderline legal auto-warranty scam going around.

I have gotten several cell phone calls, as have co-workers, claiming that our car's warranty is about to expire and that we should call to get it extended. Of course, the calls are automated, or refuse to identify themselves and are not actually from any dealership. They are just trying to sign people up for overpriced warranties that cover nothing or have no company backing them.

If you search Google for auto warranty scam you will see this has quickly become a big con. If a scam is common it tends to indicate they are successfully cheating a lot of people.

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Smoke [26 Jun 2008|06:14pm]
California needs to stop being on fire. The air quality has been amazingly bad for three days. It is impossible to make out the nearby hills through the gray. I can't take a walk as I'm afraid my lungs will decide it's not worth living anymore and give up on breathing.

It would be really nice if people stopped throwing cigarettes into giant fields of dry kindling. We usually get a bunch of arsonists who start fires once a bunch are going as they think they won't be caught though *sigh*.
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Pork invaders [22 Jun 2008|10:41am]
The McCain campaign has posted a space invaders like game on facebook as a campaign ad. In it you steer your McCain campaign sign back and forth firing vetos at pigs while barrels fly past overhead. When you beat a level you get a dose of McCain campaign propaganda.

I feel they made an error in that the pigs are much too cute and they make this really sad "oink" noise when you destroy them (if you turn the sound on). I'm a little curious why barrels make UFO noises...

ScreenshotCollapse )

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Good old luck [21 Jun 2008|07:10pm]
Occasionally I enjoy reading history but I always get annoyed at historians. There is this strong tendency to portray certain historical events as "inevitable" for some reason or another.

Lets be honest, individuals have an enormous impact on history and it is essentially random who gets born, who dies of disease, who gets injured and so on. Alexander the Great could have died of typhoid at the age of two, he could have fallen down some stairs or he could have been hit by a rock on some battlefield. The same could be said for any other figure in history. Although Lincoln might have been in less danger from rocks.

Part of it is that a given historian wants to display their research and their book needs a conclusion. I suspect, however, that the deeper reason is the tendency of humans to prefer discrete cause and effect. The historians ignore chance because it's uncomfortable and they don't know how to deal with it.

I guess I would at least prefer an acknowledgment of the role of "luck" in how things turn out. There are billions of people in the world so I imagine that events with billion to one odds are occurring with great regularity.

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Assorted Ramblings [18 Jun 2008|07:10pm]
They aren't fully trained, but on average, the Chinese trainees appear to be more useful than an average existing employee. I'm sure they sent over the smartest of the bunch, but I still find this somewhat humorous. I still can't keep two of their names straight.

I keep getting in the position of having to tell the managers what they don't want to hear which is getting on my nerves. It's not fun being the one to sit there popping their bubbles. It wouldn't be so bad if it was about things in the future but it's more like, "Yes, you released a product that's totally broken to customers who are going to be pissed".


Saw Hulk movie with friends. It was better than the last Hulk movie. Also acquired two new paintings. I will post photo's shortly. I need to get hangers for them. I don't think I want to put holes in the walls.

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Not quite the face I expected [18 Jun 2008|06:57pm]
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Cthulhu Gundam [04 Jun 2008|06:06pm]
Metal Gundam figure purchased at wind fair + Cthulhu plushy from friend = Cthulhu Gundam.

Edit: Website for the guys who made the figure -> http://www.metalsouls.com/
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Haven't posted in a while so... [28 May 2008|09:30pm]
Time for an inappropriately brief unsorted list!

  • Went to BBQ. Invited hadrianthegreat along. She had a cute outfit that did not involve swishy pants. Watched large man beat people up in Wii boxing.
  • Got a 13% raise and new job title. Care surprisingly little about this.
  • Went to wind fair with assorted types. There was this thing I wanted but it was $1500 (it got some awards) so I settled for a small metal robot thing which my parents really liked. Go figure.
  • I still keep getting job inquiries from my old resume back when I first graduated.
  • I wrote a program that shows how much code each programmer is contributing at work but I don't want to show anyone the results because... well... *cough*.
  • Still training Chinese workers. Have noticed that the ones that speak English better tend to be more competent at other things. Suspect the ones who did well in English did better at school in general.
  • Have apparently changed father's behavior as a manager by complaining about my managers.
And my journal is now fully up to date. Sort of. :)
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*melts* [15 May 2008|02:32pm]
It is slightly over 100 degrees Fahrenheit here in Petaluma and the server I was using for work had its AC unit die, causing it to overheat. It is probably now a write off. People are shutting down other equipment and moving fans into the server room.

I'm considering sneaking home even though it's only 2:38 PM. It is tempting, very tempting.

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Bills [13 May 2008|07:40pm]
I love getting bills for $0.00. Somewhere there is a company spending its hard earned money just to let me know "Don't worry, you don't owe us anything". Awfully nice of them.
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