Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball

Today was a most excellent day. First of all, there is a starbucks on the way to work that I didn't notice before. So I started of my day on time to my 9am meeting, and holding 20 ounces of low-fat hazlenut vitality. Nextly (and that is a perfectly cromulent word, you naysayers) I spent the morning arguing solution design for a problem our team was having with a certain part of the web application we are working on.

For those of you who don't understand how I am motivated, let me explain why that is cool. I am motivated by A) oodles of money and B) a challenge.

For the past several months before my current project started, not only was I not challenged, I was not given permission to be challenged. I was given no input into the solution of the project I was working on. I was simply told what to do in the rare event that the commitees and sub-committees and project managers figured out something that needed doing and for which I was qualified. I spent the rest of the time performing what amounted to glorified data entry, which is about as fun as shaving your scrotum with a rusty razor.

On THIS project I am presented with a problem and asked "How would you solve this?" When I present a theory I am told "Prove it" so I go to my laptop and start coding in a furious haze of logic and structure. I realize this is not exciting to others but it is to me, which is why I became a software engineer in the first place. It's also why my job has been fun for the past few weeks. I can only hope that when this project is finished I will find another similar one to work on.

Also for lunch I had a delicious pepper-smoked salmon and goat cheese sandwich and I am about to have some sweet ambrosia (aka coca cola) so I am sensually as well as mentally satisfied.

Mom is coming Friday and me, her and Casper are headed down to Illinois to hang with the fam down there, and then next weekend is Vegas. For those of you in the know, suddenly the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor! And then I blacked out.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

It's Been A While...

Well I just got out of the tub after 2 hours reading essays on Angel courtesy of the delightful Sara Brady and I decided that Royale was right, it was long past due for me to update this blog. So what have I been up to for the past 3 weeks?

Week 1: Was violently ill Friday and Saturday, with my fever spiking at 102. Had to go in to the office all day Sunday (still not in top form, but past the worst) to make up for Friday. Spent the rest of the week going through more toilet paper than a 13 year old vandal on Halloween.

Week 2: Mostly recovered (mostly) I embark on a very interesting work week. We begin our experiment of working off-site at a nearby consultant's firm from which we are leasing office space for our 5 man development team, and we discover that GASP! our efficiency skyrockets without office politics *cough cough bullshit cough* getting in our way. Additional bonus: new location is a good 3 blocks closer to my apartment. Negation of bonus: Nearest decent cup of coffee is 4 blocks out of my way.

Week 3: Continuing our offsite development, we make good progress. In particular I deliver a fully functional zip code resolution service for which the code is snatched away by 2 other massive projects back at the home office because it is so tasty and delicious. I begin working on a message queueing solution and deliver an initial design, after which I am ripped away to begin work tomorrow morning on something else of higher priority. The team visits Krispy Kreme and we all wear paper Krispy Hats on our heads as we sit in silence furiously typing away. We name our development iterations Plain, Frosted and Glazed. Project Codename: Baker's Dozen.

Last night I went to break the fast (haha, I didn't fast! ... I'm a bad Jew.) at Felicia Styler's place, where I promptly abandoned the adults and spent 4 hours playing variations on tag with the 8 children ages 2-13 who had been dragged along. Great fun was had by all, and the night culminated with me teaching them how to play manhunt.

Mom is coming for a visit next weekend so I guess at some point I have to spruce the place up a bit. Then again, you know my motto. Never do today what you can procrastinate until the last minute! (Is procrastinate a verb?) Of course there is a corollary: Never procrastinate today what you can get fired for not having done tomorrow. Hence the original maxim is suspended at work. BUT I think I'll manage to get my blogging back on a semi-regular schedule; after all I don't want to be Stuish.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Weekend Update (Sans Tina Fey, Jimmy "I Can't Act" Fallon, Colin Quinn, Norm McDonald, Kevin Nealon, Jane Curtin or Dan Akroyd)

This weekend was sheer awesomeness from start to finish. First of all, geek factor 5:

Got my dark-elf monk to level 13 in Dark Alliance 2.
Captured approx. 200 monkeys and am rated at 51% through Ape Escape 2.
Broke through to the parallel world of Teth'ealla after breaking the fourth and final seal in Symphonia.
Got level 20 fishing and level 20 cooking in FFXI.

I haven't opened Phantom Brave or Star Ocean 3 yet, I'm saving them for focused individual play when I get through the current crop. BUT all the message boards are lit up with praise for both, so I'm excited to play them soon.

Additional Geeky Tidbit: Transformers DVD's arrived in swank "Premier" mail room packaging from Sara Brady, may her awesomness prevail forever, including "Best of the Autobots" and "Best of the Decepticons". Seriously, whoever came up with the name Decepticons has got to spend every day of his life thinking "I came up with the coolest name for evil robots EVER." Anyway on top of everything else recieving free swag from my "hollywood connection / new best friend forever" just made my weekend.

So on Monday my cousin Jenny threw a labor day barbeque at her house. I showed up and was immediately swarmed with women who spent about an hour cornering me telling me how much they loved my father Edward. I have to say that after the 10th time this has happened to me since moving here I wish someone would just call everybody who could possibly care that I am his son and get them all together for a meet and greet so I can be done with it. There's only so many hours of listening to people reminisce about him in front of me while I smile awkwardly at people I don't know that I can handle. But after I made my escape I was swarmed by 4 year olds demanding rides and basketball dunks and various games so that was actually a lot of fun. The food was great, Annie looked good and was having a good time. I got a little buzz on my third beer and then switched to water so I could drive home in a couple hours.

Then after the bbq all the 20 somethings came over to our apartment to watch American Splendor. Great movie. But Stu, can you do something about the disc we rented from Blockbuster? It was all scratchy and we had to skip 2 chapters.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Super Happy Fun-Time Japanese-style Bonus Post +!!!!

Please do not put the post in the mouth of the danger causing.

Logitech's new wireless xbox controller is engineering magic. I love this controller. First of all the ergonomics are wonderful - imagine a slightly thinner more svelt controller-s with elongated handles - putting the white and black buttons at thumbable distance. Also it has toggleable rumble - with 50hours of moderate rumblage on 2 AA's. Also, it has NO ON SWITCH. It's just always on, it auto-sleeps after 5 minutes of inactivity and comes back on instantly at the press of the button.

Finally, there's no channels like on the wavebird. I read up on this - each controller/reciever pair has a 128 bit signature that it broadcasts. After handshaking a connection on the default channel (the packets are signed so that if you're using multiple wireless controllers each reciever can select out the packets designated to it) a random channel is chosen on the fly. Collision detection is just choosing a new channel. This controller is fucking awesome - pick one up today.

Digital Orgy

Current games purchased: Tales of Symphonia, Star Ocean 3, Phantom Brave, FFXI
Current games rented: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2, Ape Escape 2
Upcoming Purchases: Fable, Halo 2, Paper Mario 2, Chains of Promathia, Kingdom Hearts 2

It's a good time to be a gamer, god damnit! However my body is aging rapidly on 3 weeks of 5 hours of sleep a night. Whatever, I'll rest when I'm over 30.

P.S. I wish I had 3 local gamer friends in order to justify a purchase of X-Men: Legends. Maybe I'll just go visit Bent and his associates and make a gift of it to them in exchange for 24 hours of gamer servitude.

*need more coffee* *twitch, bitch, twitch*