April 29, 2003

Press 9 to get another copy of that memo...
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

What’s worse than not knowing what to press in telephone menu hell? At some point in our lives, everyone’s made the wrong choice. But that’s fine, you can just start over, right? Have you ever made the wrong choice and got chastised by the customer support representative?

I had to call my insurance company, my car had the pleasure of meeting a stray rock on the highway, and I have a large crack in my windshield.

“Press 1 if this is your first time calling us. Press 2 if you have an existing claim number. Press 3 if you are reporting a new claim. Press 4 if you are calling about auto glass repair. Press 5 if….”

Well, it WAS my first time calling. But then I needed glass repair. But what if there was important news for first time callers that I might miss by choosing number 4? But it’s also a new claim.

Before the cold sweats set in, I made my choice. I pressed 1.

“Good afternoon, , may I help you?”

“Yes, this is my first time calling. A stray rock hit my car, and there is a crack a foot and a half long on my front windshield”.

“Weeeeellll, did you take the time to hear the menu option about auto glass repair?”

“Yes, but as it was my first time calling, I figured that should override any other possible choices”.

“Riiiiiiiight. Okay, here’s what you can do….”

I felt like telling him where he could stick his TPS reports. But, no matter how razzed I get, that’s just not my style.

April 26, 2003

Equalizers rock.
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

Growing up in a household of electronic musicians, my bro, my dad and I each had to take our turns on the keyboards (not the computer kind). For whatever reason, we usually all used headphones to practice, therefore quality was important. Due to the quality I had growing up, I am forever cursed with being a compulsive EQ fiddler to try and get the most out of any electronic device as possible.

Whenever the power goes out in our house, furnace schmurnace. Did our TV and receiver retain their settings? Do I have to block out the calendar again to recalibrate all the speakers?

Matt cringes every time I borrow his car. Because he knows when he gets back in it, the settings on his stereo are all changed. He once joked that when couples argue, they threaten to break favorite vases and such. He, however, said if it ever happened he would pick up the remote and threaten to change all the settings.

I can be in the bedroom, with the stereo playing in the living room, perk up my head and say, “there’s an airy noise coming from the speakers. They’re not balanced”.

Now if you REALLY want to see me cringe and develop sudden ticks of the neck, watch me in the car with someone who has the bass turned all the way down, one speaker all the way to the right, and the fader all the way to the front.

April 24, 2003

Reply To All - literally
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

This happened while ago (and probably doesn't happen with ND6) , but I thought I'd mention it. So here I was, choosing Reply To All in my email to 3 other people. I send it off, and then one of them writes back saying "who's *[email protected]*"?

Good question! Apparently, the email made it to everyone on the list, and one extra person from a NAB I had somewhere on my hard drive (long forgotten it was still in Preferences for addressing). This person had the same last name as someone in the original sender list.

For some reason, my client felt compelled to ADD this 4th recipient to my email when it refreshed.

Here's what I think happened. One person had a "." in his email address. I read that there is a chance that using Reply to All, it might bounce to this person because it can do all sorts of funky stuff depending on how it's formatted. However, it did NOT strip off the domain, but apparently it thought it did. Because it felt compelled to look up the user in my forgotten NAB and add in an entry who had the same last name!

I think it THOUGHT it couldn't resolve the person's name, but it really could. But by that time, it had already looked up a similar name and dropped it in also.

So, needless to say, I had to write a "sorry 'bout that" email to the person who it got sent to by mistake, and now I always refresh first JUST in case.

And I stopped using that darned extra addressbook!

April 23, 2003

Hypothesis becomes Theory
Posted by Matt in Day to Day

Have you ever started thinking of a song for some odd reason and wish you could hear it? Then one day you get in the car, flip on the radio, and there it is! Well, it happens to me a lot in the US and I am not talking about the "song of the week" type of song. I am talking about obscure songs like Def-Leopard Pour Some Sugar on Me or Snow-Informer. Well, since Monday, I have been singing Europe's Final Countdown. It was from the 80s and I began to sing it when I woke up Monday morning and said to myself "Well, the final countdown has begun... only 5 more days". So here I am riding the train, singing to myself and wishing that I could hear it. Sitting at work and doing the same. Then last night Kenshi asked me to go out to dinner with him.

I was honored once again and actually he asked me last week but I could not make it then. So here we are, driving around in his car and I hear this faint sound in the background. It sounds a lot like The Final Countdown. I interrupt him (appologizing of course) and ask if I can turn the song up. I was so excited. I had had such a crazy day at work and I was drained but the song was revitalizing! I was giddy. I started dancing in my seat and clapping my hands (I avoided the "air drumming"). I was once again happy.

We then went out for sushi and a few drinks. We got into a lot of different discussions over sake but the most memorable discussion we had was when I had a revalation at a bar while drinking some cognac. We began to discuss our relationships because he is very excited to be having his first baby. He was explaining how things change when begin to try and have a child. Sex is no longer just for pleasure but for creation and it is a wonderful time.

We then began to discuss my relationship with Jess and I explained how since day one, Jess & I have been together as much as possible. We have yet to fight (I have said it before and I will say it again, the fact that we don't fight does not mean we dont disagree. When we do disagree, we discuss the situation and reach an outcome without raising our voices at eachother. We dont fall into the "door slamming" and "storming off" routines). Also, through talking with Kenshi and trying to find the best words to use, I made the statement that there is 100% trust in our relationship and 0% jelousy. I followed it up with saying "Jess could go out with 10 male strippers and I would not care". I know she would not do anything just like she knows I will not do anything here. I then explained how I look at things. When I am presented with a situtation, no matter what my state of mind may be, I know that I have Jess and I would not risk losing her for anything in the world. But in Japan, around 10 pm, the girls hit the street and offer you massages (mentioned in another post). I then said that the way I look at situations like that is would I want to have one night of crazy exotic hanging from the ceiling sex to spend the rest of my life living in misery for the fact that I ruined something so perfect.

So many people have asked me how I can have a relationship like I do and I have never really had a solid explanation. Now I do. You have to ask yourself "would you risk everything you have right now for one night of promiscuity, our would you like assurance that for the rest of your life that you will have someone who will love you unconditionally for who you are and not for reasons that are taken on face value?" To me, it is a no-brainer.

There is another theory that evoloved from the conversation and that is the fact that I like to keep a balance in my life. Granted the scales sometimes go in favor of one side or the other but as long as the average is equal, you are doing ok. At one point in our relationship, this was not the case. The balance was heavilly shifted in my favor and Jess was neglected. For those who knew me durring these dark times, you will remember that the root of evil was a game called EverQuest (EQ). I played it for a 6 month period and it is an online game where you adventer in the world of EQ and build up your virtual character. When I first began playing, I was working for the Department of Defence. My daily routine changed because I "needed" to play EQ more then anything else. At the time, Jess was not only working her 9-5 job but also making house calls fixing peoples computers. Her normal time of getting home was arround 9 or 10 pm. When she would get home at these times, I would still be playing but I would finish up and sit with her to talk about our days. However, when the holiday season came around, her housecalls dwindled and she was getting in arround 5 pm. She then saw what it was like for me.

I would get home from work around 3 pm, pee really quick and sit down at the computer to play. It was my food, my drink, but not my niccotene. I must have smoked a pack just playing the game. Jess was used to me stopping playing when she got in or a 1/2 hr later. Now she was sitting on the couch, alone, and missing our conversations. I finally saw the light (it used to be when the sun came up and I was still playing) but in that 6 month period, I spent a total of 93 "real life" days in front of the computer just playing. 3 months of my life were wasted being a slave to a game that cost me a monthly fee to play.

Maybe Japan caused me to step back and look at my life in a different way. I have found that in Japan, so many things are different. The atmosphere is more relaxed (for the most part). But I realize that I like to keep a balance no matter what. This is why I dont get hang-overs. I realize that all a hangover is is dehydration. Drinking plenty of water before going to bed (and the fact that I can pee for 1 min 26 sec *yes I timed it and I had a witness* so you know my bladder is huge) or drinking sports drinks like gatorade. As long as you can balance the rate of hydration with the rate of dehydration, you will be fine. Jess has tried it after a night of heavy drinking and she woke up refreshed instead of hungover.

This is most likely my last post from Japan and I cant wait to head back to the states. I have had a good time here in Japan but with all the work I have been doing, sightseeing will have to be done on the next trip. I do hope to bring Jess with me the next time so she too can experience the culture. Also, it would make things easier on me knowing that even tho I am in Japan, I can still go home to my wife every day after work. Si-ah-nah-ra everyone :-)

The Care and Feeding of your Geek
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

Congratulations! You’re the proud owner of a geek. With the proper care and feeding, your geek will flourish and give you years of satisfaction. Improper care can cause your geek to wither. With that in mind, we’ve set up some guidelines so you’ll know you’re taking care of your geek in the best possible way.

Language – It’s ok to say hello to your geek before asking them to fix something for you. In fact, you may notice that the more you engage your geek in pleasant conversation, the happier your geek will be to fix something for you in subsequent visits.

Toys – Your geek requires a substantial amount of toys, and it is recommended that you keep their area filled at all times. New toys come out every day, be sure you stay on top of what your geek needs to play with.

House Training – Your geek has to go to the bathroom just like everyone else. While housebroken, it is still recommended that if they pass you on their way to the bathroom, let them go. You can ask your question when they are on their way back.

Sunlight – Never, ever, under any circumstances, expose your geek to sunlight.

Typing – Yes, your geek can type fast, probably faster than you can. It’s what they do. They should be fast at typing. They are aware of how fast they type.

Territories – Your geek can be very territorial, especially towards what is commonly called “the server room”. While there is no danger of them peeing on the servers (see HOUSE TRAINING), it is highly recommended that you do not enter their territory.

Alcohol – Contrary to popular belief, geeks drink alcohol too, so it’s ok to invite them out with you after work. However, geeks can easily drink too much. The warning signs that your geek has drunk too much alcohol are when they brag about their ability to recite the Fibonacci sequence. Backwards.

Rewarding – Your geek needs to know when they’ve done a good job. While a simple “thank you” is sufficient, other rewards will do the trick (see TOYS).

Follow these simple rules, and enjoy years of rewarding experiences with your geek.

April 22, 2003

Oops, I did it again.
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

Remember when I talked about disk-thrashing sentences?

It seems to be a problem I have that just will not go away.

Last night, I was telling my family about my recent trip to NYC. For some reason, I couldn’t say "Times Square". It was always "Times New Square".

When Matt asked me earlier if I still had the photocopies of his identity just in case, I said, “yes, I didn’t delete any of those files. I mean throw them away!”.

Being an optimist, I supose at the very least, I do realize what I’ve said right after. The day it rolls of my tongue with neither myself or anyone else noticing, I’ll be very, very worried.

April 21, 2003

Takin' ya back to the old school, cuz I'm an old fool thats so cool
Posted by Matt in Day to Day

I saw something that caught my eye the other day and I hope it makes it to the US. First off, skirt lenght here is "WICKED" short (schwing) and second some women wear these white skirts that are see through. Anyway, I was getting off the train and this girl was in front of me. I must say, it was a very nice leopard skin thong that she was wearing. As for other fashions, some of it takes you back to the days of "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo". Every night on the way back to my hotel in Utsunomia, I walk down a long corridor and on my left are about 3-5 kids bustin out windmills and backspins. It is complete with the "boom box" blasin the loud music for all to hear. Makes me wish I never gave up break dancing, I would have loved to bust out in some old school moves. I wonder if they ever saw all the movies I grew up with. Of them, Beat Street was my favorite. There was a graffiti artist in it called Remo who dies dramatically after getting in a fight with "Spit", another graffiti artist who was painting over everyones graffiti. Thinking back on it, there is this whole situation which was cool back then but just screams "loser" now. Remo gets his girlfriend pregnant so he gets an appartment for them to move in together. He cant afford any furniture so he graffitis the house with the artwork of furniture. He painted a fridge, a sofa, and some paintings on the wall before falling on to the third track on the subway (the electric track, high voltage).

Anyhoo, graffiti is starting to pop up here. Nothing like it was back home but it is more like the 80's when block letters were cool rather then the so called "wild style" it evolved into. I am curious if in 10 yrs, their graffiti will catch up to us as well.

Well peace out homies - keep it real :-P

April 20, 2003

C’mon, just give me one little error!
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

We’ve all done it. Sat through virus scans, those Norton remove utilities, disk scans, etc. I had to on Friday, and I see that Mike had a similar problem recently. I, however, had no luck.

Is it just me, or do you feel a little cheated when nothing is found?

I mean, c’mon. I take the time to run this program. Even on an old 4G hard drive, it still takes about a half and hour to run a thorough scan disk for errors. At least give me ONE error. Something to fix for my trouble? I’ll take one file fragment. Okay, fine, just PICK a file. Any file. Rename the extension to .000.

Just promise me you’ll tell me about after so I can rename it back and know that it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

And that virus removal tool? Don’t tell me you found no instances of the virus on the computer. You took the time to scan every single file on the computer, at least have the mercy to make up the fact that you found something and removed it.

Next thing you know, I’ll have to run through the entire disk defragmenter (we used to sit around watching the paint peel, now we watch the disk defragmenter) before it tells me that my disk doesn’t need defragmenting.

Maybe they could throw in some added bonuses for us. “We scanned your disk for errors. We didn’t find any. BUT, you’ll be happy to know, that over the past hour, we finished your thesis for you and solved Myst.”

Sunday Night in Japan
Posted by Matt in Day to Day

Tonight I was honored by Oe-san and his family (No relation to Kintaro :-P) and they had me over for dinner. We dined at his house and also went out for the best sushi I have ever had! Little bit of Toro, some red snapper, oyster, pickled veggies and a great chef! I am up-loading the pics and until they are resized, they will cause the page to have a slow load time (sorry bout that but I am sure Jess will be resizing them soon. I just dont have a photo editor at my disposal). I am wearing a bandana on my head that was given to me by the sushi chef (he gave me some great smokes too ;-) He took two polaroid photos of me but I dont have a scanner so those will just go into the trip folder when I get home. The way I am wearing the bandana in the photo is traditional style but the sushi chef also showed me how to wear it samurai style (so anyone who laughs at me will feel the wrath of my katana!) Well, I am typing this up at their house and dont want to be rude. I will post again tomorrow.


From left to right it is Sachi and her dog Kuri, Kazue and of course me in the bandana.


And here is a pic of just me so you can get a nice close up of the bandanna :-)

April 19, 2003

My weekend in Japan
Posted by Matt in Day to Day

It began Friday night when I manged to get out of work early. I got on the train at Nozaki and took it to Utsunomiya. Once there, I switched to the Shinkansen (Bullet) train and headed up to Tokyo. Once I checked into my hotel, I made a quick change and headed to Roppongi to unwind. I met up with Matt Z. and we grabbed a bite to eat at TGI Fridays. I don’t know why, but I have to try buffalo chicken wherever I go and Tokyo is no exception. The buffalo tenders at Fridays were great.

Around 10, the partying commenced. I went to a bunch of places and drank WAY too much! I lost count somewhere around 6, but I would have to say I had at LEAST a half case of Coronnas. I have not been drinking like that since it was illegal for me to drink. Also, I smoke WAY too much when I have been drinking. Yes I like to smoke but when I hit an all time high for cigarette consumption in a single day and have a raspy voice as a result, I remember why, in fact, I don’t drink like that anymore.

Sadly, I had to leave the party scene while it was still hopping at 3 AM. I had to get some sleep and my voice sounded worse then a “Speak and Spell”. I got to the hotel at 3:30 AM and made a quick call home (actually called Jess at work). She recognized my voice even through the raspyness of it.

If you have been following along with the posts and comments, you would know that I have yet to have a hangover. Saturday morning was no exception (I apologize that I can not experience drinking like the rest of you :-P ) and as always I was up early. Later in the day, I went to Akihabara which is basically the electronics capitol AND it had DUTY FREE shopping (woot!). Of course, because I hardly ever use my credit card (and being like a kid in a candy store), it set off alarms at Citi-Bank and I ended up waiting a half hour for them to call back to the US to authorize my purchase.

I got some great stuff to bring back! You can all drool as I describe them in great detail or check out the pic. So just what did I get? For starters I got a new set of head phones because the ones I currently have are broken. Not too exciting right? Well they are rechargeable cordless headphones with a duration of 35 hrs rechargeable/60 hrs regular battery. They are compatible with TV, Audio and PC equipment and have a range of about 7 meters. To make life even easier on me, the volume control is on the headphones.

Ok… your mouth may have started to salivate but if not, let me move on to my new memory bar. I am sure a lot of you have seen these great little inventions but for those who don’t know, it is basically an external hard drive that you plug into the USB port on your computer. What is so great about the one I bought was that its capacity is 1 GB. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the stick has an “Auto Boot Feature” which enables me to boot my system as if I was booting from a floppy. By flipping a switch, it partitions itself and I get 2 separate drives, one being 1.44 MB. I am sure by this point, Jess’s brother is getting ready to send me an email telling me “I SUCK”. I look forward to your email Jay. :-)

Well, there is only one more thing that I bought (unless you want to count accessories like the 128 MB memory card and the carrying case). So what do these two things go with? They go with the new digital camera I bought. It not only has the ability to take pictures (up to 3x zoom optical / 6x digital) with the typical “auto focus” ability but with the 128 MB card I got to replace the 16MB standard, I can now choose to take pictures in various sizes. Here are my options

Image Size Examples
3.1 M 2048x1536 Printing A4 size images
2.8 M 3:2 2048 (3:2) 3:2 Prints
2.0 M 1632x1224 Printing A5 size images
1.2 M 1280x960 Printing postcard sizeImages
VGA 640x480 Creating home pages

So I got options. The one I like the best is the 2.8M 3:2. What that allows me to do is record images in a horizontal to vertical proportion of 3:2 to match the size of the print paper used.

Along with being able to set the quality of the images, I can also create a folder structure for different types of images. Did he say different types of images? Why yes I did, I am glad you asked. Not only can I take normal still pictures but I can create MPEG 1 movies (up to 90 minutes thanks to the 128 card) , shoot bursts which are basically frame by frame sequence of events (basically like being at a night club with strobe lights), take pictures for email (320x240) image and of course, I can shoot consecutive still images and save them in GIF format for creating animated gifs for web pages.

I know there is plenty more this little gadget can do (did I mention it is small enough to fit in your pocket?) but I don’t have time to read the 100+ page manual. I just figured I would fill you in on all of its cool abilities.

So those are the high points of my weekend. Hope you all enjoyed it :-)

April 17, 2003

Golden Boy
Posted by Matt in Day to Day

This is SO Educational! Just wish I had my notebook :-P For those who don't get the reference I am talking about Kintaro Oe a.k.a. Golden Boy. For those who love anime, this is a must see. The episode in particular that I am thinking of is the one where Kintaro goes to work for these women as a software engineer. The big boss woman has these huge knockers (I only say this cause they make sure that you notice it) and she does not like Kintaro. Sometimes, I feel like I am in his shoes. I am bewildered at times because even though it is "educational" it is also confusing. Take this morning for instance. I got up and checked out of the hotel for a few days to head up to Tokyo after work. However I had the same look in my eyes this morning when I was trying to find my train.


Funny thing is, he sorta looks like me too with his hat on backwards and all. Anyhoo, I got on the train which I am still not "sure" if it was the right one and once the train left the station at Utsonomiya, I got off at the next stop (Okamoto). I went to the guy at the ticket booth and asked him how to get to Nozaki... granted it took me 5 minutes to figure out what he was telling me. Then I went to track 4 and the train came. Still at this point in time, I am thinking the train is going in the wrong direction so I ask someone. That too took too long and I missed the current train. He was very helpful however and told me the next train was not the one I wanted but the following was. I got on that train and arrived at work by 9:15 (did I mention I originally got on a 7:15 train and the whole trip should take about a half hour?). So here I am at work, blogging away and fixing bugs.

Well enough about today, how bout a quick look at last night. It was a lot of fun. Matt Z., a co-worker, and I went out for a bite to eat and some BEER (mmmm). Our first stop was a pub that served Guiness (woot). I guzzled a pint and a half before we found out they did not serve food (cept for the peanuts at the bar). We left to find some food and once we walked out the door, these chics started to call to us saying "helooow" ( I do my best to type the japanese accent). Not only do they give massages but they go above and beyond the call of duty. THIS IS SO EDUCATIONAL. Granted, I did not learn anything from them.

We continued to walk and found a great chinese food restaurant where we had some sweet and sour pork, some dumplings and some noodles. We did a lot of walking last night and I woke up with athletes foot. Now it is either of one of two things. 1. It is because my dress shoes do not allow my feet to breathe or 2. the shady hotel I am staying at does not know how to use bleach in the tub. I am leaning towards #2. THIS IS SO EDUCATIONAL!

Well, I am off to do some more work and then head up to Tokyo. I plan on trying to act dumb and enter the no-gaijin areas :-) THAT SHOULD BE EDUCATIONAL :-P


Change is in the hair. I mean, the air.
Posted by Jess in Announcements

Remember how I said I loved the spring because it's time for renewed energy and hope? I was serious!

Sometimes it's the small things that make the difference. A new picture on the wall, a clean of your car, a new candle, sometimes that's all I need to give me a boost of encouragement. But sometimes you gotta bring out the heavy artillery!

While Matt's working hard across the globe, I felt the need to give myself a makeover last night back here in Rhode Island. Change is good. And it's springtime. So Matt, here's me before, and here's me now.

Just for kicks, I was very tempted to digitally insert an IBM Thinkpad in the "after" picture in honor of this thread at Notestips. :-)

April 16, 2003

Posted by Matt in Day to Day

SARS is the big question on a lot of peoples minds back in the states and FIRST OFF, I would like to point out that Japan has been commended on their ability to keep it out of the country. So just what does it stand for? Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. But it seems like it has more then one meaning. Granted, this does not apply to everyone but I have made an observation while here in Japan and I propose that it has a second meaning. Scary American Run away Syndrome. So what do I mean by this? Well, there are many smoking areas here, some outside but there are plenty inside as well. The ones inside are a confined area that can hold maybe 5 people comfortably.

I openly admit that I like to smoke (sorry mom) and here in Japan, smoking is allowed in areas that you would need to think back to the 80's to remember. Shoping areas, Mc Donalds!, public areas and at work. And when I say at work, I am talking about the designated smoking areas INSIDE the building, not walking outside in the pouring rain to get a fix.

What I am beginning to notice is that when I go into one of these areas, some (not all) people immediately assume that because I am a foreigner, I have SARS. People who have just lit up, put out their cig and leave and people who are having a conversation post cig get up and walk about 5 - 10 ft away and continue it. This is why I have given this virus a new name. I believe that some who read this may be visiting a foreign land and I would like to prove my hypothesis. You dont need to be an American to do this of course and you can speed up the process by letting out a tiny cough just to clear your throat. See the reaction and please post a comment. I would love to know if the "Run Away"ness exists elsewhere as well.


April 15, 2003

Tune In Tokyo
Posted by Matt in Day to Day

Well, I landed in Japan yesterday at 3:00 PM (2 AM EST). So far, I seem to be adjusting to the time zone difference quite well. We shall see later on today (If I make it past 4PM, rumor has it I am doing ok). I have uploaded some pics as you can see from Jess's post. Sad part was I did not have a window seat to witness them first hand. Richard, the photographer shown in one of the photos, took the pictures and they are amazing! I will keep you all informed of events as they go. This weekend, it looks like I may get to do some shopping in Tokyo. I will be checking out the "up and coming" electronics shop and I am pretty sure I will be picking up SOMETHING... I will be like a kid in a candy store.

I will keep you all posted on any events going on but please remember I dont have "MUCH" room in my duffle bag if you are all requesting me to bring back a bunch of sake. One per customer please :-)


Posted by Jess in Day to Day

Matt's the only guy I know that can take a trip to Japan, and end up with beautiful pics of Alaska.

He was kind enough to loan-the-loaner camera to his neighbor behind him on the plane to get some shots, and got his email address to give them to him. Here they are!

Many thanks to Chris for the IM welcome yesterday. Apparently I have firewall issues with Trillian here at the office, so looks like it's just home for me. Bummer! But on a good note, Chris had my site URL wrong. Which in a strange twisted way is a good thing, because I didn't hear from anyone. :-)


April 14, 2003

Matthew san
Posted by Jess in Announcements

Matt is now en route to Japan. Sigh. He left early this morning, and I came home, and before I started work, I did what I usually do when I'm stressed: clean. Though Matt would argue that I don't need to be stressed to do that; I'm compulsive enough about it. But to start vacuuming at 8 in the morning is kind of pushing it. But it made me feel better!

Two whole weeks... in nine years, we've never been apart longer than a few days, so this shall be interesting. I'm sufficiently armed with lots of work, some chick flicks, and several invitations from good friends.

Go get em' hunny!!

Oh, side note, I put my ICQ, YIM and AIM numbers on the side there. Drop me a line!

April 10, 2003

Traffic waves
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

Matt and I both love science, and especially love when science fundamentals show up in everyday life.

(I gasped in amazement one night when Matt showed me how I could bounce the remote control signal off the wall behind me and turn off the TV. We spent the rest of the night creating complex setups with mirrors and such in an effort to turn off the TV from three rooms away.)

William Beaty, over at Science Hobbyist has created a really, really neat site describing Traffic Waves.

He discusses the dynamics of traffic, and what causes it. Have you ever noticed how you can be in a traffic jam, then all of a sudden you get to the end and cars start speeding up, with nary an accident to be seen or found? What caused the jam in the first place?

If you continue to Page 2, he goes on to share traffic experiments you can do in your own commuter boredom. He actually single-handedly slowly got rid of an entire traffic jam one day. As we drive standards, it may be worth trying one of these days!

Such amazing stuff. Kinda makes you want to go out and find random things to try. I bet you'd never guess that when I was a kid I was incredibly fascinated with the ol' thumb-being-cut-off-from-the-finger trick.

April 08, 2003

Spring in the air. Oh wait, no it isn't.
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

There's just something a little disconcerting about observing Daylight Saving Time, and then having a snowstorm the very next day.

(And I'm not talking about disconcerting in the fact that they call it 'observing', yet I have to physically change my clock. Don't get me started. :-)

It's just strange when it's 7PM outside, yet it's still bright enough to see, and it's snowing. Some of our neighbors have some cheery spring front door decorations now, and it's snowing. We bought shrubs to landscape our front yard last week, and now it's snowing.

However, I think the main reason I'm so thrown off course is because of what Daylight Saving Time usually means for me. It's SPRING. It's a tangible way to start one of my favorite seasons, that of rejuvenation, energy, and hope.

We'll see what the week brings.

April 06, 2003

Disk-thrashing sentences...
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

Every so often we immerse ourselves in our trade so much that it begins to creep into everyday communications and thought processes. This is not unlike my mother, who I called at home one night and she answered "Good afternoon, *place of business* may I help you?"

Or myself, who was chosen to drive and pick up the pizza that was already called in. Upon leaving, I asked what every other normal computer professional would say when asking what name the pizza was ordered under:

"What did you save it as?"

Okay everyone, make me feel better. 'Fess up!

April 04, 2003

The crankiness before the coffee?
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

Imagine bringing this into work one morning?


April 01, 2003

C++ under trademark infringement on the school grading system
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of the C++ computer language is under trademark infringement by the Scholastic Standards Committee (SSC), the creators of the common A-F grading system used by elementary, middle, and high schools across the nation. Grades can include plusses and minuses as needed.

“Not only is it a programming language, it’s obviously sub-par at that” said Keller Marks, President of the SSC. “Did he just pick a name from his old report card grade for phys-ed?”

When asked why the SSC was trying to sue Stroustrup, the response was purely for monetary reasons. “Everyone sues everyone nowadays for copyright infringement, and we could sure use the money”, Marks continues. “Do you have any idea how many packs of crayons we could buy with this lawsuit?”

Though not confirmed, Marks let on that they had explicitly pointed to Stroustrup that he was in violation of the trademark for all values of ‘C’ several years ago, but had received no response.

A court date has not been set yet, but sources say it will be in the next 0x00000010 days, and will be a private class that’s available to members and friends only.

When asked to comment, Stroustrup replied “This is so crufty.”

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