Friday, March 31, 2006

Great job... now you're fired!

I'm not fired (yet) and probably won't be, but there is more than a little tension at work. The company I work for announced record earnings and major increases in revenue and profit, then in the same memo said that the company would be restructuring to "capitalize on efficiencies". That's corporatese for some folks are losing their jobs. Word on the street was that they were looking at a 5% reduction. This is our reward for busting our asses through Christmas... it showed them they could run stores on less manpower and still get results.

What they don't realize is that kind of "adrenaline" only carries the work force so far. If they make cuts at the line level, it will come back to bite them in the ass.

Right now, it looks almost certain we'll be losing manager spots in each store.

Good thing I got out of management when I did.

I shouldn't have to worry. I'm the best there is at my discipline in the market. They can't eliminate my department. But they can change things, and folks I know and work with may be impacted.

On top of this we have Physical Inventory (we count 110,000 pieces) on Sunday, some other projects that came down the pike, people quitting, gettting fired, or calling in sick, and a nice sinus/stress headache over my right eye.

If only there was some magical liquid that could make me forget... mmmmm, beer.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Gospel of the FSM

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is coming out and there was an article on USA

The FSM website can be found here.

And remember... Arrrrr! for the environment!

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

In case Chicken Little calls in sick

It's hard to come up with a funny bird flu headline.

I decided that I had better take some steps in case bird flu does become the pandemic that some think it could become. After Katrina, we have seen that we sure as heck can't rely on the government for a quick response to a crisis, and to be honest I don't think they really could react to a country wide outbreak.

The biggest need I see is food. I'm assuming that bird flu won't make the utilities go off-line. If that happens, then it's really bad. So today when I went shopping I bought enough canned, dry and frozen food to give me an additional 2 week reserve for myself and Ryoga. Ryoga was easy, I bought an extra bag of dry cat food and a case of canned. I almost bought a cheap bag of cat food, but decided that in the middle of a crisis I didn't want to deal with him getting finicky or something because he didn't like the cheap food.

For myself, I stocked up on tv dinners, rice, and lots of canned food. By my reckoning, I have about 3 to 4 weeks worth of food for myself, assuming 2 meals a day, with about a third of it being frozen. Hell, I'll probably lose weight. I need a national crisis to diet.

Next I'll stock up on some first aid supplies, though I shouldn't need a lot. I should ask my friend Sherri for advice... she's a lot better at this kind of preparation stuff than I am.

And no, Ozling, a bottle of bourbon doesn't qualify as emergency supplies.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Rap lyrics translated

In this video, Bill Maher translates some rap lyrics into white in what he calls "Master P's Theater".

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Darth Vader vs. Japanese Police

This video comes courtesy of my Euro buddies in my SWG guild. Hence, the site itself is in German or Swedish or something. But that's ok... the video is in Japanese.

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2000 hits

W00t! Ok, so real website get that many hits in an hour.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Firefly music video

This video is set to "Driven" by Rush. It takes a while to load.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

"V"iva la Revolucion

It's no surprise given my views on things like government and organized religion that I would be interested in V for Vendetta. However, with mixed reviews and having been soured on the Wachowski Brothers by the last two Matrix movies, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

George Lucas kind of made us forget that Natalie Portman was a good actress, and Hugo "Agent Elrond" Weaving had to act from behind a solid mask. (If I get a mask, does that mean Natalie Portman will be my leading lady?) Natalie makes you forget about awkward, stilted dialogue from Sith and Hugo makes you forget that in the last movie he wore a tiara. Both do a great job.

It's no secret that the allusions made in the movie aren't just to the past, but also a warning of the future. That it is possible to give up too much in the name of so called security and that religion and government should not mix. I wish I could delve more into the details of what I really enjoyed within the movie, but I don't want to give anything away.

On my way home from the theater, I could see Bush and Cheney watching this movie. Cheny is busy taking notes. "Curfews. Outlaw free speech and non-Christian religions. Religious gestapo roaming the neighborhoods with badges to do whatever they want in the name of church and government. Exxxxcccellent."

Meanwhile, Bush is confused. "Ah don't get it Dick. If he's a mime, why is he talking? And ah thought mimes are supposed to be sad, not angry."

Overall, this movie rates 5 out of 5 Guy-Fawkes-mask wearing flying monkees.

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My Personality DNA

When my friend Jeani posted on her blog that she was a Benevolent Dictator, I thought it was some sort of political quiz. Hey, I'd be benevolent as a dictator... honest.

Turns out it was a personality quiz. I came out as a Genuine Analyst.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Music Mill

While waiting to see Gaelic Storm at the Music Mill, I sent a text message to a friend.

"This venue sucks."

When I first heard about the Music Mill, I thought it was a great idea... a place that combines a small music venue with a bar and restaurant. I envisioned a place a lot like Hollywood Bar & Filmworks.

Not so much.

At $16 a ticket, you'd think that they would provide seating for more than 40 or so people. There were 10 tables (roughly) with 4 chairs each. The rest was floor space or partitions you could lean on while balancing your drink. And while they had 2 bars, if you wanted food, that was in a seperate part of the building.

The set-up was confusing as well. I arrived to find a "line" already in the foyer. Granted there was only room for maybe 3 dozen people or so in line, so it didn't take much to reach this point. Fortunayely, I overheard this was not the line for tickets. That was inside. So I had to go in, buy my tickets, then come back out and get back in this line.

Once I got inside, I found out that I couldn't get food. Now I understood why that lady in line had a bag of Chik-fil-a. I hadn't eaten in anticipation of eating here. Lunch had consisted of a Slim-fast and a granola bar. It was 7:30pm. I got my hand stamped and walked to Chik-fil-a.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Top 10 Strange Lego Creations

Here's Tech Blogs top ten list for strange Lego creations (including a functional knitting machine for you fiber fans out there).

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Work Ethic

Earlier this week I was sick as a dog. As soon as I woke up I knew I was in bad shape. I have crap loads of sick time and my boss knows I almost never call off. But I figured I felt bad because I had overindulged the night before, therefore there would be no calling off. It's okay to call off if it's some microbe's fault, but not if it's the result of me being careless. So I forced myself through my morning routine and left for work.

By the time I got to work, I realized that my state wasn't the result of one beer too many (which if I would have really thought about it would it would have occured to me that I hadn't had enough to drink to feel like this) but the flu bug that's been going around. But I was already at work. If I'm well enough to drive, I'm well enough to work, and I had stuff to get done. And if I needed to yak, I could dash to the bathroom.

Staying turned out to be unproductive, but for different reasons. There was a guy there to service our powerlift, and he needed to change some part buried inside it. A part that would require cutting open the lift to get at. Which means he had to run a hose from his air compressor in his truck through our back door to run his saw and metal grinder. I had to sit back there for 6 hours (fortunately there was a well timed break) while he cut and ground heavy duty steel.

Good thing it wasn't a hang over. That would have been hell.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Jet powered VW Bug

Let's see Herbie beat this bug. Best of all... it's street legal.

I wonder if I could put a jet in the PT?

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New X-Men III Trailer


Clicky here.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Star Trek movie contributions

We had an interesting discussion at work that led me to naming off the contributions each Star Trek movie made to the franchise (at least as I saw it).

ST 1: The Motion Picture
    It gave us what became the iconic theme for post TOS Star Trek.
    New starship architecture in the upgraded Enterprise.
    The Klingon theme music, which also endured throughout the franchise.
    Klingons that weren't just guys in greasepaint.
    The reason why some people might not want to use the transporter.
    Great views of the Klingon battlecruiser, including the interior.

ST 2: The Wrath of Khan
IMO, the best of the movies. It had humor, it had action, and it even brought a tear to the most hardened Vulcan-wannabe geeks. It is full of classic lines that have become part of not just geek culture but common parlance.

It's contributions:

    More starship architecture (the Miranda Class as seen in the Reliant).
    Ship-to-ship combat that was more than just some flashes and everyone on the bridge leaning one way then the other.
    The Kobiyashi Maru Scenario.
    Acknowledgement of a Z-axis in space.

ST 3: The Search for Plot
Even though the movie wasn't good, there were still a lot of elements that could be appreciated:
    Starship architecture: The Excelsior Class, which continued to appear in the franchise.
    The reason why you don't try to run a 400-man starship with 7 people and the computers.
    Federation starships have self-destructs.
    The Enterprise is destroyed for the first time.
    Lots of spoken and written Klingon. Even though we hear it in TMP, this is the movie that really sparks interest in the Klingon language.
    Another iconic ship: the Klingon Bird-of-Prey, probably the most used adversary vessel in the franchise.

ST 4: Save the Whales
It's a comedy! It's an environmental moral story! It helps establish the even-odd movie rule. OK, it's a fun movie, but doesn't add a lot to the franchise. It does have some great lines, like the Kirk-Spock banter about "colorful metaphors", Scotty's "hello computer" and Chekov's "vhere do you keep your nuclear wessels?"
It added:
    Anyone with a warp ship and a brainiac science guy can do time-travel.
    Real world science: Transparent aluminum.

ST 5: The Search for God

ST 6: The Undiscovered Country
This movie was a good end to the original crew. It didn't add a lot to the franchise, but it was a solid entry.

ST 7: Generations
This movie wasn't horrible... it's probably the best of the odd numbered movies. But it seems stupid to have the most "heroic" character of the franchise fall to his death. Ironically, Kirk's final words was probably Shatner's best acting.
    Confirms that the saucer section of the 1701-D can land on a planet. Once.
    Data's emotion chip.

ST 8: First Contact
This is a close contender with WoK for the best Trek movie. Great space combat, Picard going Ahab, Data getting to deal with emotions, Worf kicking ass... Ar! Ar! Ar!
What did it add?

    Starship architecture: NCC 1701-E
    Starfleet finally figured out that keeping more than 1 ship in the sector is a good idea.
    The holo-doc is used on more than just Voyager.
    The Vulcan's of the First Contact era had crappy sensors.
    Yes, you can still do time-travel.

ST 9: Insurrection
Ummm. Maybe I've been typing this piece for too long now, but this movie seems pretty forgettable.

ST 10: Nemesis
Probably the weakest of the even movies. I don't remember it adding anything either.

I'll update this if I remember anything. And folks can always remind me in comments.

Most pictures were found here.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

All Goods Things Must End

Last night was a little sad... it was the last session for my D&D campaign that has run for 5.5 years. We played nearly 150 sessions of the same campaign. But several players developed scheduling conflicts, the characters were massively powerful and I was starting to burn out a little, so the campaign has been retired.

Of course, this means I get to start a shiny new campaign with low level characters that might actually be afraid of an ogre. And of course that means I'll also get to experiment with some new rules.

But it's still a little sad, like when one of your favorite tv shows comes to an end.

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