25 December, 2004

Attention, Anal Retentives

Just what every LOTR fan needs

We Love the Moon

the moon
The moon is good to us.

Without a strong telephoto lense, and leaving the shutter open for 8 seconds, really makes the moon look like the sun. Just, y'know, with dark around it.

I saw a meteorite streak across the sky, and I was hoping that more would follow. But alas, none did. So no pix.

Fox Sports

Going through the DirectTV channel line-up at my parents' place, I found the following variations of Fox Sports Net:

  • World
  • New England
  • New York
  • Pittsburgh
  • South
  • Football (at least, I assume that's what FSFL means)
  • Detroit
  • Ohio
  • Ohio (probably Cincinnati, FSCN)
  • Chicago
  • North
  • Southwest
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Midwest
  • Arizona
  • Northwest
  • West
  • West (2)
  • Bay Area

My first thought is: overkill, much? My second thought is: with all of these channels, why must Sunday football overrun the regular FOX primetime lineup?

20 December, 2004

Don't Fear the Reaper

According to Revelations:

17Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe." 19The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. 20They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

16 December, 2004

TV God

<maude flanders>The clergy. Won't somebody please think of the clergy?</maude flanders>

15 December, 2004

Additions to the OED

Hey, yer mom made it into the dictionary.

Skating Rink

Oh goody. Another excuse for Arlington to raise property taxes. Plus, I'm sure it will bring more parking troubles to my neighborhood (right across Glebe from Ballston Common).

Maybe if the Caps were a good team, I'd be more enthusiastic about it. But all I see is even more fucking construction around Wilson and Glebe, for another of DC's sucktastic sport teams. Yee-fucking-haw!

14 December, 2004

The Secret to Webtrends

First off, if you're using Webtrends...my condolences. I've been dealing with it for about 3 years now. I started with Webtrends Analysis Series on an under-powered computer, generating more than 40 reports and processing 3+G worth of log files each week. And while it was shaky, I was usually able to keep it running. Now, I'm using WT Reporting Center. On a much faster computer. And it's still hell.

13 December, 2004

Snarky at work

I fucking hate people who find a technology, and figure that everything should be shoved into it. Case in point, from an e-mail I got today in regards to a project I'm working on:

This is my fault, but MPS had asked that the org charts and field maps be scanned in as pdfs this year. How long do you think it would take to do that and post them as alternate formats? I've asked Maria if it would be OK for us to post the OMF now and add the pdf files later.

Now consider that this is just links to images that I scanned in, currently in JPG format. Nothing too hard here. And yet, some idiot (and I'm not killing the messenger here...I know it's not her fault) decides that if PDFs are good for one thing, they must be good for everything.

I can only hope that my reply does not come off as too mean-spirited:

Okay, I'll be blunt: Why do they want them posted as PDFs?

I really need to see a compelling reason to switch from a small, light-weight image format that carries virtually no overhead, to a bulky PDF that will waste space and time as Acrobat as loaded to view each chart or map.

PDFs are _not_ the answer to everything. Particularly when it comes to individual image files. If MPS wants the whole thing scanned in as a PDF, I see no problem with that. Otherwise, we should stick with what we have.

Actually, I take that back. I don't hope for anything. I might be a jerk, but at least I've got my reasons for being such.

12 December, 2004


Randy and Katherine came back from Taiwan with whiskey! Woot! Welcome back.

You might remember Suntory from Lost in Translation, where Bill Murray was shilling it. So far, it's quite good. Here's what Stefan Gabányi's Whisk(e)y has to say about it:

Bloody Hippies

From the "please tell me this is a hoax story" file:

Cold storage: Despite a $7.5 million budget deficit, the city of Berkeley, Calif., bought a 40-foot-long refrigerated trailer last year for the sole purpose of storing shopping carts that had been commandeered by homeless people for their ''stuff'' but then abandoned. According to a November report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the city says the freezer prevents vermin infestation while authorities wait (up to 90 days) for the ''owners'' to reclaim their belongings. Critics of the program said the city should just confiscate the shopping carts, most of which had been stolen from merchants in the first place and almost all of which are never claimed, anyway.

Although if there is going to be any city in any state of this country that gets all concerned about a homeless person's belongings, it is going to be Berkeley, CA.

10 December, 2004

08 December, 2004


Tardy the TurtleGrading system gets an F

Personally, I have come to the conclusion that the University system makes absolutely no sense. Students pay teachers to educate us, yet they are then allowed to tell us how much we're learning. The whole situation seems akin to a boss paying her employee to clean toilets and the employee turning around and telling the employer how much she is or isn't happy with the cleaning job. If I'm paying someone to do my housekeeping, I'll be the one to tell the receiver of my hard-earned money exactly how well they did. Shouldn't it be the same with education?


I think many students have been part of a class in which they became exposed to important educational material and gained wonderful skills of analysis and understanding, however, their grade on a midterm or final did not necessarily reflect this education. A situation like this is the ultimate spit in the face: Students have paid someone to teach them, they have been taught, but an arbitrary grade makes it seem as though this learning never occurred. Their newfound education is not recognized, and they have, in essence, paid money to be told that they are idiots. If I want to be told that I'm an idiot, I could just get drunk and leave embarrassing messages on the phone machines of attractive men -- for free.

See, if you don't want that "spit in the face", as you call it, might I suggest you FUCKING STUDY and GET GOOD GRADES. When you get an A, it's like spitting in the teacher's face! Hey, how about that?

Eliminating the system of grading would surely do away with both of these problems. Suddenly, the purpose of schoolwork will be to garner knowledge, rather than to gain an artificial mark of how much learning one had achieved. Instead of concern about the symbol of achievement, achievement itself will be most prized. Stress in students will be significantly lessened once work is being done for reasons of personal satisfaction. Although some may argue that grades in college are essential to determining that the hardest workers are accepted to graduate school, perhaps a decrease of focus on grades will actually lead to more fair admission policies. Time not spent calculating grades could be used by teachers to write recommendations for the students who have truly shown the ability to work hard and be motivated to educate themselves.

Some might consider this communism. Personally, I consider this STUPID. More importantly, teachers writing recommendations "for the students who have truly shown the ability to work hard" is, y'know, GRADING.

Moron. Big mystery why you have such problems with your grades.

Hannukah Explained

Two cats with limited vocal capabilities explain Hannukah.

03 December, 2004

Red v. Blue Stores

Oh no, not Waffle House!

Although Vignette's support of the Republicans would certainly help to explain why we've been saddled with their crappy portal product, here at work.

02 December, 2004

Metro Board

Well said.


Full steam ahead.

From that guy what brought you Akira. Perhaps you're familiar with his work?

Although as a side-note, the idea of a steam-powered Victorian England sounds awfully familiar.