December 29, 2003

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

Well, Happy Christmas at least still sounds right to me....

My mother is English*, and I've always loved how she says "Happy Christmas" instead of "Merry Christmas". I think it sounds cheerier.

This January, some changes are afoot in the blog. Be prepared to look out for the "Giration of the month" award. That's all I'll say for now. But you have been warned.

I've been saving up my cool examples of how great our little state of Rhode Island is. So also be on the lookout for "Rhode Island Stories" which will find their way here every so often.

Here's to a new year full of hope, cheer, and healing.

* Yes, I am also Italian. In fact, if you've ever seen me in person, my physical appearance is 100% Italian. But I am an English girl at heart. The way I sum it up is quite simple. I burp a LOT, but I _always_ say excuse me. :-)

December 23, 2003

Time is Relative.
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Maybe it's because I have NO sense of time whatsover. I'm great with direction sense. I can face a particular way, point left, and say, "we need to go THAT way to get out of here."

Time? Forget it. One day I'll think it will only take me 5 minutes to make a 20 mile drive. The next day I'll be sure to leave 20 minutes early, because that's how long I think it will take. But it will leave me enough time to get gas and stop somewhere for coffee, right?

Perhaps the best example (at least my friends probably think so) is when we were at Denny's, and reminiscing about high school songs we used to listen to. This was last year. I started talking about one particular song I listened to when I was a sophomore, it was 1992. I said, "gosh, it seems so long ago. But it's not like it was 10 years or anything."

Cue blank stares from my friends. "Ummmm, Jess, it WAS exactly 10 years ago."

Don't get me started on the time I said that Denny's had their anniversary special a few weeks ago. Matt said it was more like 6 months ago. He was right.

I suppose my clock situation in my bedroom doesn't help things at all. We have two clocks. One on my bedside table. One is across the room. When I set the alarms for them, I set the one on my bedside table a 1/2 hour early so I can keep hitting snooze. Finally, the one across the room goes off, and that's when I need to actually get up.

Oh, and did I mention that they were both 45 minutes fast? It's a psychological thing. Matt and I just decided yesterday that when I tell him what time the alarm is set, or if he asks what time it is, I can tell him two ways:

"8 o'clock CT", or "7:15 RT".

Real Time and Clock Time.

But I don't have issues or anything. just a very, very bad (nonexistant) sense of time. :-)

December 15, 2003

ICP Strikes Again
Posted by Matt in Gaming

Well the ICP (Insane Craps Posse) made it back to the casino once again. This time we rocked the table for over four hours and hit the slots. We got to the casino around 6:30 and saw our favorite pit boss (John). We asked him where he would be setting up and we followed him over to a small group of 3 tables. One of the tables was good to us before so Bill & I stood there to guarantee a spot. The ladies were off to play the slots.

Just to give you a bit of background, a lady (also named Jessica so I wont add any confusion) at my office does astrology and said that Dec 12 was "Jess's Night" to go to the casino. This started to prove itself before we even played craps. Jess sat down at a slot machine and without any money in the slot, the machine started flickering and adjusting its wheels. Jess hit the button and it spun up! Ok, one free spin but that gave Jess 16 coins. By the time craps started, we had to drag her away from the machine (not really, we dont want to get kicked out of the casino before we even play).

So, now back on topic, we were hoping to have a $5 table. John was nice enough to start our table off as a $5 but either after one roll or before any, he changed it to a 10 and the dealers at the table were shouting "Grandfathered In". Basically, anyone else coming to the table had the $10 minimum bet but we got to keep our $5. That was pretty sweet.

Anyhoo, we were piggy-backing bets, making come bets, and place bets up the wahzoo. I had a steady income from the hard way bets and everyone else was hitting yo's, points etc. The night was off to a good start. I was doing well so I asked the dealer how many people were at the table. He said 10 so I counted up $11 and tossed out a one-time bet of a YO for everyone. Well the lady hit and everyone got paid $15, including the dealers. Nobody knew why they were getting paid. It was a mass of confusion until they all realized what I had done. Then it was a table of hooting and hollering.

I made a lot of instictive bets friday night and they paid off. A last minute "any seven" bet got me an extra $35 on Jess's roll. Even I was rolling well and making points. Everyone left a winner.

So what time did we leave the casino? Oh, about 1-1:30 am. Not too shabby. We were at the craps table for four hours in which time we also made over $300 for the dealers. They were lovin' us (except for Jess apparently which I will get to). We then proceeded to the slots where I made a quick fifty. Around midnight, we went to the martini bar to reflect on our day. We were talking about the 11 way yo I made and all the hardways, our new found love of the come bet and just how much fun the night was overall. Then we started to try and guess what they gave us for points. I said at least ten but everyone else was a bit skeptical of it. Turns out that Bill, April and I got close to 24 points while poor jess got shafted with about 11 points. Every time we go, she seems to get the least amount of points out of all of us. We dont know why, but I have a few theorys. I think the best theory right now is I dropped all the money on the table for chips and just gave Jess half of it. They saw me change double of what I was playing with which could have had a lot of weight on the points. We are going to ask next time we got though.

Well, that was our night and we cant wait to go again. The dealers love us for making the game more exciting for them as well. We bring so much excitement to the table, they dont even want to go on break. With all our cheering for the "shoo-tah", we bring more bets to the table so we (only me so far) get some perks. And when we left we asked to see the box with all the chips we won for them. It was over 3/4 full!

If it didn't before, our file in the players club should say some really good things about us now :-) Cant wait to see what happens next time!

December 14, 2003

What a maroon....
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

Matt: "Jess, what kind of car is that next to us?"

Jess: "An echo."

Matt: "A what?"

Jess: "A Ford Echo, I think."

Matt: "A what?"

Jess: "An ech- D'OH!"

Matt: "*snicker*. Every time...."

December 11, 2003

Pulling a zoolander
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

Ben Stiller, as Zoolander in one of my favorite movie quotes: "They'll be looking for us at Maury's. But they WON'T be looking for... (pause)... not us."

Sigh. I always thought that was such a funny line, how Zoolander couldn't figure out how to make something out of nothing.

But then I realized that it's the same problem that plagues me every time I have to write an IF statement, write it backwards, and then can't for the life of me figure out how to reverse it. Every time, I always want my test to do nothing the majority of the time.


A good example of what gets me every time is when I want the value to do something, except when the value is blank. I stumble over myself. I can't even think of ways to reverse the statement so it makes more sense to me.

If num=""
Do nothing
do stuff because num is something!!

I usually end up 'zoolandering' it as such:
If NOT num=""
do stuff!

However, I have no idea if that's a terrible approach, or a good approach, or the ONLY approach. Or, do I wrap the entire code around a different statement?

I have no idea what sort of childhood trauma induced this "If anxiety". Probably when I was eight and had a 400-line BASIC program written, then realized I needed to insert a line right in the middle and re-number them all.

I think it's because for some reason, even though I always end up at the same point as everyone else, I feel compelled to take the long way around to get there. If I'm standing facing foward, and need to end up facing the left, 9 times out of 10 I will make three rights instead of one left. Don't ask me why.

But at least I get there. Though I usually have to ask Matt for help. At least with the IF statements. ;-)

December 08, 2003

Reboot's amazing intuitiveness...
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

We've all known how smart Reboot is, it's been vividly apparent ever since the moment we brought her to our house.

But intuitiveness cannot be taught, and tricks go only as far as the treat bag.

I was home the other day and had to change my home voice mail message. I was in the kitchen, and called the phone using my cell. Reboot was in the bedroom playing with the ferrets.

I had to call the phone to let it bring itself into voicemail. Reboot immediately made the connection that:

1. The phone was ringing
2. There was no movement from me, no rush to answer the phone, and
3. It had rung more times than necessary, especially as I was home.

She ran into the kitchen and paused, looking at me with a worried look on her face. I told her it was OK, and instantly her tail started wagging and her ears went down.

Dogs are so incredible, especially to be able to learn everyday activities enough to make a connection when a red flag is raised. My mother was telling me that Reboot sounds like a great candidate as an assisted-living helper dog. I would agree, though I'd also be the first to say that I could never give her up!



December 02, 2003

Doesn't everybody?
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

Jess: "During poker last night, I usurped Matt's attempts to steal my chips."

Matt: "Who the heck uses the word 'usurp' in a sentence?"

Jess: "Didn't I just use it?"


December 01, 2003

Some Monday morning humanity
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

I was thinking about this in the car over the weekend.

Picture the most corporate, busy, always-on-the-phone CEO-type you can think of. Always untouchable, usually a little intimidating, even their name gets talked about with hushed voices.

There's almost a certain mystique about them, a business air that sends out vibes of profit margins, ROI and financials.

Now, I thought of a way to bring a dose of humanity into my thoughts of them.

Picture this very person on Thanksgiving day with NO thoughts of work, dressed in casual clothes, and spending the day carving a turkey and playing with their families, children and/or grandchildren.

On a related note:
I always thought it was neat that so many people hit this blog (Fractals and Thanksgiving Dinner). Then I realized that all this time I had spelled the title wrong, and everyone that was searching for 'Thanskiving' was being sent here. What's even MORE ironic is that the subject of the blog is about college. I can see I learned a lot.

On a different note:
Remember this blog? (The unstoppable G.B.E)
I just got a funny insult/comment posted the other day, and felt compelled to reply. Go take a peek.

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