Non-nap day!

Got nothing on this Monday besides going to work and having hardly anyone return my emails. Kind of pathetic, but there’s a lot of open source software out there that just is too complicated for my brain to figure out quickly, so I ask questions. When nobody answers me, I have to make up answers.

Also, my boss gave me the stink-eye today, so who knows what’s happening with me or my job.

So there you go, another day in the life of a high-tech goofus. Now if I could only figure out WHY I got an SSL certificate for my web site. You can probably read by blog with https:// something-or-another, but it’s not like any of it should be secret.

Nap day!

Well, I suppose I did a couple of hours of gardening including shoveling the output of the wood chipper, cutting branches, starting up the wood chipper, and then shoveling the new output of the wood chipper. Not great planning, that.

But after all the chipping and eating lunch, I wanted to take a nap. And that nap ended up being a couple of hours long! I suppose it might have been the weather. It was 103°F last Sunday, and only 71°F today. I was even thinking of going to the gym, but I figure the shoveling was as close as I got.

Menace to society.

I spent most of the day in Lake Zero, putatively repairing my old explorer post advisor’s computer. He needed to access some ham radio devices, and get a beat up old digital camera working. I think we succeeded in most of the tasks.

This evening I attended a birthday party for Melissa, who is married to a guy I’ve known since before kindergarten. He lives just down the street, in a house he bought from his mom and then remodeled. It’s her second 39th birthday, and I got her some flowers.

Melissa's flowers.

I had to get kicked out when the party was officially over. I spent a lot of time talking to his relatives, since I’ve know the guy for 38+ years. But I had selfish thoughts about the flowers I bought his wife, and how, somehow, He owes me. He makes a bunch more money than I do, and is a Harvard MBA internet millionaire and CEO of yet another internet company. I had to go walking all over the neighborhood looking for an open florist (even asking the owners of my local bicycle shop:

You’re married guys, where do you buy flowers?

Guy 1: I don’t do flowers.

Guy 2: I don’t do flowers.

Some help they were.)

I did the following calculation:

Gift calculation.

Which amounts to:

Gift calculation.

Or, in other words, No matter how thin you slice it, it’s still baloney.

Anyway, it was a good time, and while describing my life with my parents and being an Asian son I quoted my co-worker who said I was a menace to society. Then I found out that this quote is often attributed to Brigham Young:

Any young man who is unmarried at the age of twenty-seven is a menace to the community.

Fifteen years of menacing society and still going strong!


New signs of geekdom.

First, let me tell you that I sent some heated emails today, because I work in Linux Standards. Well, I can back up and say I work with Linux ANYTHING and you should figure that heated emails are probably par for the course. I had to get very blunt and rude because the German guy I was corresponding with just plain doesn’t get it, and if he keeps up his behavior while I expect him to be a normally functioning human being, I’m going to get fired. Anyway, he seems to like forwarding my emails around without thinking of how it would affect me, so I shouldn’t have said, “You’re annoying me to the point of wanting to give megacorp the middle finger and walking out.”

I felt much better after seeing the Schwag Storm and going to the gym. (The Schwag Storm occurs when the exhibit hall is being dismantled and everyone dumps all the goodies they don’t want to take home. Including books that people were selling!

Anyway, the new sign of geekdom is that after 20 years I got my membership card to the Tech Coop again, so I’m back getting discounts on things with the MIT (or, ugh, Harvard) logo! Membership costs $1/year, and there was a time after graduation where I told them I wanted nothing to do with MIT or The Coop. Now if I could only afford those things with logos from my alma mater. Right now I have to save up for my impending doom.


I left work early to hit the Open Source Convention (i.e. geek day number 2) and it was much more productive than I thought it would be. I met old acquaintances, old teachers, and several people who I talked to about work. In fact, the people I talked to about work helped me understand some more of the stuff I’m supposed to be doing. It was worth going, and I’m going again tomorrow.

Now I’ve forgotten what else I was thinking about. Certainly not squirrals.

Geek day!

Not only did I wear my MIT hat, but I also watched Eureka today. I like all the fake geek talk.

I heard this story today from a co-worker that his buddy used to ride the TriMet bus (our public transportation) and had the pleasure of sitting next to a couple of meth-heads and overheard their conversation. The best I ever did was sat behind a guy writing a manifesto that included:

  1. Have sex with as many women as possible, but only blondes and sometimes redheads.
  2. Learn to kill. Start with squirrals. (sic)

Ok, so I’m not quite sure about that list, but I’m sure I have it written down SOMEWHERE.

But I’m getting off the topic of what was overheard. The meth-heads were going to go to OHSU for a medical study to map the effects of methamphetamines on the brain. One of the guys was saying crack screws you up, but meth makes you clairvoyant. His plan was to go to the cafeteria at the hospital and pick up the residents there. My co-worker then said ridiculed the clairvoyance of the meth-head, asking, “How likely is it that a doctor in residency is going to go out with a jobless meth addict?”

A hell of a lot more likely than with a Software Engineer from Megacorp.

So I can’t remember this blog any more.

I blame the heat. So Saturday was only in the mid 90’s here, but it was also about as humid as it could get. It even started raining at one point. And then Sunday was a another scorcher with a high, at the airport which is several degrees cooler than in town, of 101°F, and yesterday was 97°F. Out at my co-worker’s fancy weather station near Megacorp it was 104.4°F and 99.4°F.

Meanwhile, at Megacorp, I’m in trouble for voicing my opinion on the technical aspects of the project I’m working on. Pie-in-the-sky estimators think everything is fine and working, but I’m convinced that people are ingesting controlled substances. Well, I guess that’s what I get for caring. My boss says I’m supposed to “affect change” but what he really wants me to do is to agree to whatever is given to me and then pretend that I had something to do with the decision. Which is fine since we’re all getting laid off soon anyway.

Meanwhile, my 90-year-old dad is doing his best to make the heat unbearable, closing the windows when it gets cool out, turn off fans, leaving doors open to rooms that don’t need air conditioning (like upstairs bathrooms). Life in the heat is a joy. (The average temperature in Oregon for this time of year is the low 80’s!)

Today was not the hideously hot day they predicted.

It was supposed to be 106°F today, but it only got up in the 90’s. Unfortunately, it was also quite overcast and humid. I stayed inside most of the day and read a book my sister gave me, Summer of the Big Bachi but nothing seemed to go right for the protagonist in the end.

I did leave the house to get my hair cut. The woman who usually cuts my hair is leaving, so this is my last haircut from her. Either that, or I have to drive out of the neighborhood to get it cut. I suppose it’s only fair, since she drives in from Damascus (far away) to get to work. Her new place is halfway between here and there, or at least that’s the theory.

Where the heck was I last night?

Last night my buddy said he wanted to go out and have a beer. I knew this was a bad idea on a school night. I didn’t stay out that late, nor did I have many beers. However, it did mean that after I got home I stayed up for a bit and that meant I was kind of late to bed.

So Monday a guy sent me an email asking, “Are you going to be at the ham radio club meeting on Thursday?” I didn’t think much about it, but I figured as the treasurer I should show up more than twice a year. Tuesday I cancelled my Thursday session with Dave the Trainer. This morning I packed up all the crap I have to take to the meeting (checks, receipt book, rubber stamps, etc) and put them in my car. I stayed an hour and a half later at my miserable job than I usually do on Thursday, and then started the drive towards the meeting. I was halfway there when I realized, this isn’t the last Thursday of the month! I’m pretty cheesed off about the whole thing, but why would a guy say, “Are you going to the ham radio club meeting on Thursday?” a week and a half early?

So I’m not hating my co-workers so much now that I’m resigned to the job I’m doing. However, the situation at work isn’t all that pretty. People are getting axed, and that’s never very cheery. So it’s not like I needed anything else to go wrong this week. I mean, it’s supposed to be over a hundred degrees for the next two days, and then not too much cooler for a couple of days following that. I’m a big fan of 70-degree days, myself. At least I have this air conditioner that I run for about one week out of the year. Maybe this is the week.

Half-year update on the resolutions.

Hmm. Come to think of it, I’m a bit late on this. But I was late on the resolutions in the first place. Let’s see how I’m doing.

  1. Attend more parties. I think I’ve gone to just about everything I’ve been invited to. Movie nights and etc. I even went to a barbecue that I didn’t want to. I don’t get invited to too many things, so this one has been easy this year.
  2. Haven’t eaten nor have I even found anyplace that has Turducken. Last time I even mentioned Turducken was in the elevator at the Omni Parker House in Boston. The guy I was rambling at said, “Come on down to Texas. We’ve got it.”
  3. I haven’t visited Reno or Las Vegas or somewhere else in the Southwest. Well, I sure as hell am not going to do it in the middle of the summer.
  4. I haven’t hiked any trails in the gorge. There’s still time for that.

So, at megacorp I’d be only 1/4 and they’d probably rate me as a failure at this point. My sister has mid-year resolution for me, too. Don’t quit my job until I’ve bought her a birthday present. HAHAHAHA.

Neighborhood picnic.

We had our “block” party today where the neighbors on my street from several blocks descend upon one neighbor’s pool and then go across the street for a potluck. We had an incredible turnout, so the food actually ran out. I felt like an incredible cheapskate because I brought a quart of potato salad. The trick with the potato salad is that people like the $0.99/lb stuff from Fred Meyer. In fact, it was the salad that ran out first! My buddy Greg even did a side-by-side comparison between the $0.99/lb stuff and the roasted potato stuff, and people hardly touched the expensive stuff. The cheap stuff was all gone.

Which reminds me, I feel like eating a Big Mac. I don’t think I’ve had one in years. They kind of make my stomach hurt, but still, one every few years couldn’t be that bad, could it?

Some things just make me nervous.

Everyone has certain things that make them nervous, and as a geek I feel like there should be a graph of nervous, and if you’re likely to do it. For example, I’m never completely comfortable talking to my boss about my performance. It’s something I always will do, because I have to do it.

Higher up on the scale is like getting up out of bed and telling the loud kids to go the hell home. I just ran off some kids who were way too young to be out this late (I know, it’s only midnight) and were talking too loudly while hanging out by the school. I’ll do that sometimes, but much more often I just bother the police about it. They’re usually just regular (rich) kids from the neighborhood and they’re easy to run off.

Highest on the scale is actually asking anyone out. I never do that. (Besides, I have empirical evidence that I just get shut down, so there’s really no reason to even have to do anything.)

I’m just writing this all down because I’m still jittery from having to confront the future of America and wonder where their adult supervision is. A childless man living with his elderly parents shouldn’t be the one getting these kids home before curfew, it should be their own parents. BREEDERS, I’M TALKING TO YOU!