19 December, 2006

Captcha

So the spammers have forced me to install a captcha system in the comments.

Thanks, jackasses.

(If you have problems with it, let me know in comments)

15 December, 2006

hallucinations

*walk downstairs at one in the morning*

*observe gary just getting in*

*realize jenny is tending to dog in sunroom*

me: "is this some scotch-induced hallucination?"

*pour glass of water*

gary: "no, it's not"

me: "oh, thank the gods"

alcoholism: the road to wellville

12 December, 2006

Porcupine Racetrack

Quote of the day (so far, at least):

[13:11] jgumby314: that's about 30% more urine than should really be involved in any love-making process
[13:12] GatLouca: you scare me.

07 December, 2006

Doomed

Useful phrases for when things just aren't going to get any better:

    It's like...
  • Polishing brass on the Titanic

  • Re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic

  • Changing seats on the Challenger

  • Adding sugar to the Jonestown Kool-Aid



Inspired by recent events at work, naturally. Got any more?

27 November, 2006

Welcome back

Monday morning, and I'm back from a week's worth of vacation. And already, it begins:

[phone rings]
"Hello"
"James, do you know where the USPC website is?"
"I think it's just usdoj.gov/uspc"
"Can you check?"
[checks]
"Yup, that's it"
"Can you please send me that link?"

*sigh* Looks like I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue.

23 November, 2006

some movie meme

some movie meme from jenny:

1. Popcorn or candy?

candy. too much popcorn makes me ill. and it's really difficult to find just the right balance of "enough to eat" vs. "i'm going to hurl".

2. Name a movie you’ve been meaning to see forever.

uhhh. hmmm. "deep throat" or "debbie does dallas"? the age of DVDs and the internets has allowed me to see pretty much everything i've ever wanted.

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?

warner baxter. yeah, that's right. i'm going there. chester morris was robbed!

(yeah, i really don't have anything serious to say for this one.)

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be?

ummmm

5. Your favorite film franchise is…

cliché, i know, but i'm going to have to go with "star wars"

okay, well, the star wars trilogy

the real trilogy

oh, you know which ones i'm talking about

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why’d you invite them? What do you feed them?

franka potente
milla jovovich
alyson hannigan

ummm...well, really, that's all i've ever wanted.

now, what's this about dinner?

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?

you know that scene in "american history x"...

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days.

mystique

9. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen in a movie?

really ugly people in the row in front of me making out.

10. Your favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is?

porn (inasmuch as it is a genre). otherwise, scifi

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?

see question 6

12. Bonnie or Clyde?

bonnie.

13. Who are you tagging to answer this survey? (Three or more)

yeah, whoever wants to

16 November, 2006

It is the color of poo

[10:49] jgumby314: huzzah. finally got around to depositing my bonus checks, so i am now flush with cash
[11:30] GatLouca: like a toilet?
[11:31] jgumby314: yes
[11:31] jgumby314: a money toilet
[11:32] GatLouca: fascinating.
[11:32] GatLouca: would that make the money "toilet paper"?
[11:32] jgumby314: oh, nono. i mean a toilet for money
[11:32] jgumby314: that's how we get coins
[11:33] GatLouca: aaah.
[11:33] jgumby314: dollar bills shit out quarters, dimes and nickels
[11:33] GatLouca: faskernating.
[11:34] jgumby314: pennies, on the other hand, are made from animal feces.
[11:34] jgumby314: which is why they're brown
[11:34] GatLouca: eeew.
[11:34] GatLouca: gross.
[11:34] jgumby314: it explains that old saying: "see a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have the smell of feces on your fingers"
[11:35] GatLouca: so it would.

14 November, 2006

13 November, 2006

Wordpress and lighttpd

In setting up this new hosting environment, I decided to go with lighttpd to handle webserving duties, as opposed to Apache. All-in-all, I'm quite happy with lighty. It's pretty damn fast, and the configuration file is both easy and amazingly powerful.

Of course, one of the things that lighty is missing is an .htaccess-type file. And some of Apache's more powerful rewriting capabilities. In particular, the ability to see if a file or directory actually exists, and then rewrite the URL based on that. All of this, of course, would be particularly helpful in setting up Wordpress, with its "clean" URLs.

Most of the solutions that I have seen to this problem involve a lot of lines of rewriting individual, hard-coded filenames. For me, not terribly optimal, especially since I'm mainly looking to rewrite things like http://blog.jgumby.com/something-that-doesnt-really-exist/ into http://blog.jgumby.com/index.php/something-that-doesnt-really-exist. So, basically, my feeds, archives, &c. What I've come up with is the following:

"^/(wp-.+)" => "$1",
"^/(.+)/$" => "/index.php/$1",
"^/(.+)/(.+)$" => "/index.php/$1/$2"


And that's it. I'm sure I'll find that I've missed something really obvious, particularly with a feature of Wordpress that I just don't use very much. But I'll cross that bridge once I get there. The main thing to remember is that if you have other directories in your Wordpress install directory that do actually exist, you'll have to add entries for them (or just modify the first line to include them, you regex guru).

05 November, 2006

Here it is

Sunday morning, and I'm in the office. Ostensibly to do regression testing of our systems after the building people did electrical work this morning. Never mind that a) we have no formal plans for testing, so it's pretty much me saying "yeah, they still work" and 2) most anything wrong with our systems, I can't do anything about, because our group doesn't actually admin these machines. But that's okay. The important thing is that my manager makes life just that much more annoying for me.

Also, I'm drinking Starbucks coffee. I feel like such a dirty, dirty whoo-er. May the Coffee Monkey have mercy on my soul.

Update: Apparently, at some point in the past week, someone said "It will be virtually impossible for all of the power to go out while we are working on the system."

Well, to corrupt Douglas Adams: A virtual impossibility of something happening means that there is, in fact, a finite, if somewhat small, possibility of that very same thing happening.

My only consolation is that there is someone else who has been stuck here longer, and actually has to deal with getting the damn machines to power on.

03 November, 2006

Creepy

Seriously fucking creepy ad for the PS3:



No, really. CREEPY!

Political Fliers

So in the mail today were two fliers from the Democratic Party of Virginia, urging us to vote, obviously, Democratic this coming Tuesday. (Although, technically, they're probably postcards, as they are on heavier stock than most fliers, and conform to the general height-width ratio of a postcard.) One mailing was addressed to myself, the other to Jenny. Very similar wording and layout on both. Mine, however, includes verbiage from the Arlington Young Democrats, encouraging young people to vote.

Needless to say, I find their demographic targeting highly amusing.

TTAMT: 3 Nov 2006


  • From Scott Adams' blog: "And Tom [Cruise] also had the supreme bad luck of picking the only religion in the world that isn't true. What were the odds of that?"

  • A really big burger. And images that make consider going back to being a vegetarian.

  • I really hope this guy's last name is pronounced differently than how it looks.

01 November, 2006

TTAMT: 1 Nov 2006



* I kid, I kid. Nursing a hangover with late morning TV will never be the same

30 October, 2006

TTAMT: 30 Oct 2006

Drinking

So, work today has helped me to decide that yes, I need to develop a drinking problem. With that in mind, which do you think would be the better option?


  1. Bring a bottle of whiskey to work, and Irish-up my coffee in the morning

  2. Start belting down scotch when I get home in the afternoons



Leave your vote in the comments area.

WTF, Amazon?

Dear Amazon,

Yesterday you sent me an e-mail saying my copy of Lost Girls Collected was going to be delayed in shipping. Which I can understand, what with it selling so well they've already done a second printing. But then today? I get an e-mail informing me that it has shipped. Could you please make up your frakkin' minds?

Thanks
-me

27 October, 2006

TTAMT: 27 Oct 2006

So I thought to myself

"Self, why are so many of your posts just random links to things that amuse you?"
"Dude, seriously, I'm busy. Work? Our job? You remember those things?"
"Oh, come on!"
"You're just going to keep bugging me about this, aren't you?"
"Pretty much"
"Fine, whatever..."

And it's about this time that I realize things could turn ugly. Also, that I really need to stop having conversations with myself.

Where was I?

Oh yes...So, in the spirit of being a bit more economical, I'm just going to do one post a day, collecting all of the things that amuse me in any given day. I call it: Things That Amused Me Today.




26 October, 2006

oh HELL no

Thank you for leaving the gene pool.

(Yeah, it's fake. But seriously, NSFW. In fact, not safe for most anyplace.)

It's a small wonder

If you have no idea who the following character is, consider yourself extremely lucky:
Small Wonder Costume

If you have no idea why this particular character warranted her own Halloween costume in the 80s, consider yourself normal.

(More horrible costumes from a bygone era)

Yes I am

[12:20] jgumby314: oh, so not right: http://www.gizmodiva.com/home_gadgets/
wacom_hello_kitty_edition_tablet.php

[12:20] GatLouca: why didn't you warn me that the link is not safe for eyes?
[12:21] jgumby314: because i'm an evil, cruel bastard
[12:21] GatLouca: you are.

25 October, 2006

Leaves on the Parkway

My parents, brother and sister-in-law took a trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway last weekend, and my dad took some pictures. Apparently a good year for looking at leaves, so why not check them out?

Transplant

"It's going to be just like that horrible John Travolta movie."

No, sorry, you're really going to have to be more specific than that.

24 October, 2006

Yes, we're nerds

Fantasy Congress.

I was going to say, "it's like fantasy football, except that the people you're playing with actually do something vital for the country", but then I realized....no, they don't.

Anyways, if you want to join the Filthy Filthy league, get in touch with either Jenny or myself, and we'll hook you up.

23 October, 2006

think of the children

Vote Yes For the Sake Of Marriage.

blah blah blah children blah blah blah traditional families blah blah blah

Seriously, just come right out and say it:

Vote Yes on #1, Because You Hate Fags


See how much easier that is? And it leaves no ambiguity about what you mean.

random post #(n+1)

[09:57] jgumby314: wow: http://smallhamster.blogspot.com/2006/10/
why-midterms-suck-above-all-part-1.html

[09:58] GatLouca: awwww. she linked to you!
[09:58] jgumby314: i know
[09:58] jgumby314: i'm all a-flutter
[09:58] GatLouca: heh

19 October, 2006

Absolute

The Absolute Sandman, Volume 1, is a fucking great big tome. I wasn't really expecting something so large.

Yes, yes....that's what she said.

16 October, 2006

My own little daily WTF

And this is why people who are not programmers need to stay the fuck out of programming:


<form name="redirect">
<input type="hidden" name="redirect2">
<input type="hidden" name="thisurl" value="http://www.someplace.com ">
</form>
<script>
<!--
var targetURL= document.redirect.thisurl.value

var countdownfrom=10

var currentsecond=document.redirect.redirect2.value=countdownfrom+1
function countredirect()
{
if (currentsecond!=1)
{
currentsecond-=1
document.redirect.redirect2.value=currentsecond
}
else
{
window.location=targetURL
return;
}
setTimeout("countredirect()",1000)
}
countredirect()
//-->
</script>


To the uninitiated, or those that don't want to traverse the function, all this function does is redirect the browser to a new page, after 10 seconds.

Yes, a browser redirect in just under 30 lines of code. Simply amazing. My somewhat annoyed e-mail response:


Is there any reason you did not do something like?

<script type="text/javascript">
function newRedirect() { window.location="http://www.someplace.com"; }
</script>
...
<body onload="setTimeout('newRedirect()', 2000)">

Or, more importantly, instead have done this:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2;url=http://www.someplace.com"/>

Not everyone has javascript turned on, whereas the meta refresh
method is supported by every modern browser out there.

And 10 seconds is an insanely long time to wait until redirecting.
Frankly, it should be an instantaneous redirect, with the text being
there to accomodate those people whose browsers do not support
whatever technology is being used to handle the redirect.


Generally a little more confrontational than my usual work e-mail tends to be, but damnit, it's just too early, and too Monday, for this kind of shit.

(And oh yeah, it only works in IE, because he doesn't provide a call to the main function in the onload method of the body tag. Way to test multiple browsers.)

26 September, 2006

20 September, 2006

Holy Fucktards, Batman

"Gee, James, you sure have an intricate system for keeping track of your work e-mails. I see you even have them archived going back to when you started here, in 2000."

Yes, I do. It might seem a bit anal-retentive (or at least OCD), but I've found that keeping such detailed records is quite helpful, especially when I get an e-mail request from a higher-up that references something I did, or at least something similar to it, from three years ago. It's been quite a time-saver.

"Wow, that's fantastic. And amazingly productive."

Yessss. Yes it is. Thank you. [suspicious look creeps on face]

"The funny thing is, there are people in our organization that can't keep themselves so well organized. Their inboxes are overflowing with e-mails, and quite often they hit their server quota, causing them all kinds of problems getting new e-mail."

Yes, I can see how that could be a problem. Especially since you've made it nearly impossible for a normal user to use the archive features of Outlook.

"What was that?"

Nothing at all. Please continue.

"Right, right. So we've decided to implement an "electronic vault". It will automagically archive any e-mails over one month old. Here, check it out for yourself. Open your "Current" folder, and click on a subfolder that's been around for a while."

Um, okay [opens oldest active ticket, which has been 'in progress' for the better part of a year now]

"You'll notice that it's practically empty!"

[room starts getting dark. sharp pains in left arm.]

"Oh, don't worry. We've conveniently moved every single e-mail in your mailbox that's over one month old, removed those pesky and easily-identifiable ticket numbers and folder names, and placed them in a big mass in 'the vault'." [beaming look of pride on face]

Wait, whu? Huh? Everything?

"Oh, yes, everything. Originally when we implemented this software, we only archived e-mails from your Inbox and Sent Mail folders. But we realized that those tricksy users were making an end-run around the vault, and merely filing all of their e-mails into different folders. And we just couldn't let that get by us. So now we archive everything."

Well, that's wonderful and all. But where are my e-mails?

"In the vault, silly. Just like we said. Here, click on 'Search EV'."

Right. [clicks]

"See how easy it is? Instead of navigating through folders that you've set up in a hierarchy, you just put in some words to search for."

What if I don't know what words I want to search for?

"How can you not know what words you want to search for?"

Well, oddly enough, knowing that all of my e-mails that are in any way related to, say, ticket #1861, would be in a folder called '1861', I didn't really bother coming up with my own personal search index for all of the hundreds of e-mails I have sitting around. In fact, considering that so many of my e-mails are sent to me, I have pracitcally no control over what is in them, and am unable to insure that specific keywords are available in each, related message.

"Well, why didn't you do that?"

Because apparently I'm not insane.

05 September, 2006

Here I am

Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they have me creating a webform that uses 'mailto' as its action.

Life...don't talk to me about life.

19 August, 2006

18 August, 2006

Viva Vienna

After a long hiatus from biking, and spending some time getting back into form, I've finally made it back to Vienna on the W&OD. Coming soon, Reston.

img055.jpg

16 August, 2006

The Stupidity Goes All the Way to 11!

Oh, how I seriously hope that the following code that I was given to review is only a "place-holder" of sorts, until the real login code can be created:


ENTER USER NAME :


ENTER PASSWORD :

onclick=javascript:validate(text2.value,"USERNAME",text1.value,"PASSWORD") >






For those not particularly up on HTML and Javascript, let me put it this way: this is much like taking a test in high school, and then seeing that the answers are up on the blackboard.

And yes, this is for a government site. Security at its finest.

10 August, 2006

Ah, Futility

A lesson in how government IT just doesn't work:

Step 1: Component makes request for some kind of web-based calendaring system. It doesn't have to be much, they want something to make their current appointment process a little more streamlined and user-friendly. Perfectly understandable.

Step 2: Lowly contractor is told to look at products. Yup, that lowly contractor would be me. I look at several that meet our current technology capabilities, and finally settle on a nice, open-source product that runs on PHP and MySQL.

Step 3: Higher ups in my group and the requesting component review the product. They like it, and the few minor problems that pop up are corrected, since I have the source code at my disposal.

Step 4: Request a security review. Security denies request to install the software. Claim that open-source is the work of the devil unsafe and provides no 24/7 support in case of problem. Also, fall back on ancient (1999ish) order from the Powers-That-Be that "thou shalt not use open-source", ignoring the fact that the previously mentioned PHP and MySQL are, in fact, OS.

Step 5: Appeal case to people with higher paygrades; also, find other components in need of calendar to add to business case.

Step 6: Find out real reason that the initial request was denied. To summarize the BS: Sure, they say they hate open-source and blah blah blah, but in fact it turns out that the Windows group (which is completely not affiliated in any way with any group that has been doing anything so far) has a product they want to make everyone use. And, to summarize the summary, the Windows group paid a lot of money for a POS product, and must now justify their expense by forcing it on other people.

Step 7: Review the Windows group's product for compatibility with our needs. Guess what, it sucks.

Step 8: Spend time staring at computer monitor, weeping over the futility of the situation.

Step 9: Six to twelve months later, finally install the product that I wanted in the first place. Fully maximizing the inconvenience to all parties involved.

*sigh* Although I'm still waiting for step 9 to happen.

04 August, 2006

Naked Flags

Man Jailed For Waving American Flag Naked

FORT PAYNE, Ala. -- A man was arrested and charged with public lewdness for walking naked near a highway while waving an American flag.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested Gerald Lynn Kelley, 52, the Fort Payne Times-Journal reported Tuesday.


My only question is: why do the sheriffs of DeKalb County HATE AMERICA so much?!

02 August, 2006

title

Our long, national nightmare is over. No, no, I'm not talking about war and terrorism. I'm talking about the food on Capital Hill. The Alsatians of the food world, freedom fries and freedom toast, are once again French.

I just hope that France has learned a valuable lesson.

28 July, 2006

Ferret video

Another test of the moblogging.

Video

Update: I've added the proper mime-type for 3GP video, so it should actually now activate a player if you click on the link. I might need to hack the plugin a bit to get it to properly output an object or embed for the video.

Testing moblogging

Let's see if this works.
As for the picture, it was either this or a cute blonde dancing. I think the choice is obvious.

img031.jpg

25 July, 2006

Crackberry update

Yup, I ported my number over. In under a week, even. The process was amazingly painless (ie, Sprextel didn't try to screw things up), and the Verizon Wireless support people I talked with were actually helpful.

I tell ya, if we end up getting FiOS (whenever they get around to rolling it out here, that is), I might have to stop hating C&P Bell Atlantic Verizon.

Time for some White Castle

Because the name cock ring was already taken

20 July, 2006

BSG, Season 3

Preview of Battlestar Galactica, season 3:



I even paused Zim to watch it.

Beer!

Marge: I'll just have a cup of coffee.
Bartender: Beer it is.
Marge: No, I said coffee.
Bartender: Beer.
Marge: Cof-fee.
Bartender: Be-er.
Marge: (spells) C-O...
Bartender: (spells) B-E...

Went beer shopping today. I look at it as research for home brewing. Walked out with:


  • Liefmans Frambozenbier

  • Wexford Irish Cream Ale

  • Skull Splitter Orkney Ale

  • St. Peter's English Ale

  • St. Peter's Old-Style Porter

  • St. Peter's Cream Stout

  • Celebrator Doppelbock

  • Hefeweizen

  • Duchesse de Bourgogne

  • Dogfish Head Aprihop

  • The Tanner's Jack



Cheers!

19 July, 2006

The Cult of the Crackberry

Motorola QAh, what hath god wrought?

Purchased a Motorola Q Monday, and had it in my hot, sweaty, little hands Tuesday afternoon (go, FedEx!). Definitely liking it so far, and now spending more time than I really should looking for stuff to put on it and do with it. I've still got a couple of weeks to decide if I'm going to keep it, and make the switch from Sprextel to Verizon, so we'll see how I'm feeling about it then. Although if the last 24 hours have been any indication, I will be porting my number over within a week and selling my old i850 on eBay, toot sweet.

18 July, 2006

Minor Site Improvements

Finally got around to upgrading Gallery, and moving my main photo album to the root of images.jgumby.com. There's also an RSS feed, if you're so inclined to check it out.

06 July, 2006

04 July, 2006

22 June, 2006

Yay, We're Doomed!

In news that will probably make Jenny pee her pants, Invader Zim is now available at the iTunes Music Store. The first episode is even free! So far, only Volume 1 is available, but hopefully the rest will soon follow.

Of course, now this means I have a more compelling reason to drop some money on a video iPod. Damn you, Apple.

19 June, 2006

Finally

Finally, my project is a success: a baboon with four asses a dog with two noses!

How does he smell?
Terrible
*yuk yuk yuk*

14 June, 2006

Getting old and going to shows

Last night, Jenny and I went to the Nissan Pavillion to see the Bauhaus/NIN show. The following is non-inclusive list of the ways we realized we're getting old (although, in Jenny's case, she is):


  • We dressed normally. No excessive black. No crazy makeup. No quick dyejobs of the hair. No fishnets. Nope. Jeans and a t-shirt. The closest I came was that I was wearing my Doc Martins, but as they're more like "business casual" Docs, they don't quite count.

  • We bought tickets on the lawn. Sure, there were plenty of seats left further up, but damnit, that music is just too loud!

  • Those damn kids. See Jenny's post about the most egregious incident.

  • The last time seeing the band in concert. It was so, so long ago.

  • Dancing? Pft, yeah right. Sit down, kids, and enjoy the music. Unless you're in the pit. Then yes, do something. And seriously, if you just have to dance, remember this isn't a rave. You don't have glowsticks and whistles. So don't dance like it, dumbass.

  • We left early. Yes, we did voluntarily left early. After about an hour of NIN's performance, it was 10:15'ism, and we realized: stick a fork in us, we're done. Suddenly, our parents wanting to leave public performances early made sense.



So, aside from the opening act, a pretty good show. Bauhaus could've performned longer, but oh well.

26 May, 2006

Proof Positive

I (and many, many other Northern Virginians) have been saying it for years: You Maryland and DC drivers really suck. Now, the proof.

18 May, 2006

Welcome to B'more

If you should decide to visit lovely Baltimore, don't get lost, because the cops are pretty much going tell you to go fuck yourself...and then arrest you.

12 May, 2006

07 May, 2006

Ideation

Yep, it's a word. (No etymology for it, though, so no telling just how old it is.)

27 April, 2006

Dilbert-esque

The following happened to me today work. I can't quite figure out if it's something out of Office Space, or just the general hassle of working for the government.


  • I get an e-mail from one of my supervisors (one of the many problems with being a contractor, I have way too many people in conflicting and unrelated supervisory roles above me), asking for a login to the web calendar application I've been testing. I promptly ignore the e-mail, as it is Low Priority.

  • Later on, said supervisor stops by my desk, to ask about getting some logins. Ah-ha! He's finally learning that I ignore many of the e-mails I receive, and the best way to actually get something from me is to bother me in person. It's only taken a few years for this to sink in.

  • I ask who all needs accounts on the system. I get a vague answer. (Thing 1. Thing 2.) But also a promise to check on it.

  • I send an e-mail later saying "Do you only need accounts for Blah and Blah?"

  • He forwards the message to one of our gov't workers, saying "Here are your credentials." Obviously, completely missing the point of reading an e-mail before acting on it.

  • Said government worker writes back to both of us, thanking us for such quick work.



*sigh*

19 April, 2006

Hey, Look, the Site's Broken!

And odds are, this message won't be displayed.

But then again, maybe it will, just to piss me off.

Update:  An upgrade to Wordpress 2 seems to have helped.

09 April, 2006

Book Haul

Because of my addiction I can't resist a bargain, I stopped by the City of Falls Church Recreation Center to check out the regular book sale that is sponsored by the American Association of University Women. There is something magical about walking into a gym filled with tables that have been stacked with books, all of them for low, low prices. As it was the second day of the sale, everything was half-price, so hardbacks were $1, and paperbacks were 50 cents. Talk about an offer I couldn't refuse.

Here's what $10.50 can buy you:


  • Various - The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume I

  • Various - The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume IIA

  • Joseph Heller - Catch-22*

  • Joseph Heller - Something Happened

  • Robert Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange Land

  • Robert Heinlein - Tomorrow, The Stars

  • Margaret Atwood - The Edible Woman

  • Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles

  • Aldous Huxley - Island

  • Arthur Bryant - Samuel Pepys, The Saviour of the Navy

  • Isaac Asimov - The Gods Themselves

  • Dave Miller - The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing

  • Alexis Lichine - Wines of France

  • François Bourlière - The Natural History of Mammals

  • Richard E. Lonsdale - Atlas of North Carolina



All in all, a pretty good haul. It's also nice to know that capitalism is in full swing at events like that. Why should someone who loves books and maybe doesn't have a lot of money get away with paying $1 for something he or she might enjoy, when instead they could go visit the used book store that just purchased that book and is now selling it for $8? There's always a profit to be made, somewhere.

*They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results. This is now the third time I've purchased this book in paperback form. Both previous copies have fallen apart on me, not from overreading, but from cheap glue used to hold them together. And I'm sure that the copy I just purchased is from that same general printing. Yet I just know this is the one that won't end up in a jumble of pages at the bottom of my bookbag. I just know it.

16 March, 2006

Theatres Get it Wrong, Again

Theaters may ask to jam cell phones


Movie theater owners faced with falling attendance are considering asking federal authorities for permission to jam cell phone reception in an attempt to stop annoying conversations during films, the head of the industry's trade group said on Tuesday.


Industry leaders at the ShoWest conference for theater owners want to find ways to win back crowds.


"I don't know what's going on with consumers that they have to talk on phones in the middle of theaters," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, told the ShoWest conference in Las Vegas.


Admittedly, people talking on their cellphones during a movie is pretty damn annoying. However, how much does this really happen? Is it really the epidemic the theatre owners want you to believe? I certainly don't go to all that many movies anymore, but when I do go, it's rare that someone starts up a phone conversation. Oddly enough, people have become, generally, polite enough to turn off their phones during movies. Or at least leave the auditorium to talk. And for those few who don't, you'd be amazed at how well turning to them and shouting "would you mind taking that outside?!" motivates them to not do it.

I know I'm going to repeat a lot of people, but it's not the cellphones that are keeping people away from the theatres. It's the crappy movies. Actors who suck, yet get rewarded with even more money to be in even crappier movies. The questionable remake of a movie that we didn't even know we liked so much we needed to see it all over again, this time starring the flavor-of-the-month. The sequel to a hugely successful film that attempts to become a franchise, and not telling more of the story that needs to be told. It's the overpriced tickets. It's the 30 minutes of advertising before a movie. The 20 minutes of trailers (for more crappy movies.) The tiny auditoriums with itty-bitty screens.

These are your problems. Fix them, and maybe people will start going out to see movies again.

I've Found the Interweb

And it's at DHS: http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/katrina.htm

I can only hope that someone named that directory ironically.

07 March, 2006

SWE

Who's having the Stupidest Week Ever? (To rip off VH-1's Best Week Ever)

At work, I've written a simple web app that allows our public affairs office to post their own press releases to the internet, just by doing a copy-and-paste from Word or Wordperfect, into a form in their browser. Simple application for simple people, you could say.

Well, I get an e-mail. "Everytime I paste the text into the form and hit review, the preview of the text is all mashed together", or something like that. I get a copy of the original document, and it looks like a normal document. I copy the text and paste it, and sure enough, it all mashes together.

Turns out, the genius who created this document formatted the paragraphs with tabs. Now, I don't mean they just hit tab at the beginning of every paragraph to have it indent (which is generally acceptable). Oh no, instead of hitting return at the end of a paragraph, they just hit tab. Over and over and over, until they were two lines further down the screen, and ready to start the next paragraph.

That's right. Someone's administrative assistant is having the Stupidest Week Ever. Congratulations!

04 March, 2006

DC Photo Safari

Images from a recent trip through Washington, DC

Let's Grow!

Well, I finally got around to setting up my grow lights today. Next up, time to start planting seeds.

Grow light
First up was my main light, a thirty-six inch light fixture that I got from Karen. I hung it from the drop-ceiling using velcro ties and some excess chain from Jenny's project to add a light to the living room.

 


Light box
Next up, creating a light box (of sorts) out of an old bookcase that I had sitting around. I picked up a couple of twenty-four inch light fixtures from Home Depot this afternoon, to replace my previous fixtures. I found that the low-power versions would not properly start up the flourescents, unless I physically moved the bulbs around. Not terribly optimal since I wanted all of this to be automated. A few wire connectors and screws later, I have what you see above. I've tied them all into an outdoor timer (since it can handle grounded plugs), and hopefully none of these will set the house on fire.
You can see all of the photos here

So far, I'm happy with how things look. The time works, and all of the bulbs come on when I give them juice (a definite plus.) Now I just need to find a bulb to replace the white bulb in my large grow light. Naturally, HD had a large assortment of 24" and 48" bulbs. But only one type of 36" bulb, but it wasn't a full-spectrum bulb. Oh well, I'm sure I can find one soon enough.

But until then, it's time to start planting some seeds and getting seedlings ready for the ground. I'm hoping that this warm winter we've had will mean I can plant fairly early. Of course, I fully expect a real cold snap to come along and ruin all of this. For the curious, below is my list of seeds that I ordered. I'm sure I won't plant all of the varieties this year, but hopefully I'll get a fair amount into some dirt.


  • Redventure Celery
  • Golden Beets
  • Verdi Cauliflower
  • Supersette Fava Beans
  • Atomic Red Carrots
  • Diablo Brussels Sprouts
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Kolibri Kohlrabi
  • Turkish Orange Eggplant
  • Fuego Radishes
  • Rat Tail Radishes
  • Round Red Core Shrinmei Daikon Radishes
  • Kyoto Mizuna
  • Red Perilla Akashiso
  • Aurora Orach Mixture
  • Springer Spinach
  • Mung Bean Sprouting Seeds
  • Morris Heading Collard Greens
  • German Red Rocambole Garlic
  • Panache Parsnips
  • Dakota Peas
  • Cotton Candy Pumpkins
  • Diamond Bell Peppers
  • Tabasco Chile Peppers
  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
  • Black Russian Tomatoes
  • Persimmon Tomatoes
  • Lime Basil
  • Mexican Spice Basil
  • Dulce Rojo Paprika Peppers
  • Aromatic Summer Savory
  • Catnip
  • Signet Paprika Marigolds
  • Sensationally Fragrant Niotiana Mixture
  • Victoria
  • Picante Salvia Splendens Mixture

03 March, 2006

Oh, It Is On

Update: Jenny has a much more succinct review on her site.

Christian: [takes film off the projector] You desecrated a classic film. This is worse than "Godfather III."
Gibson: Whoa, whoa, hey, whoa! Let's not say things we can't take back.
--The Simpsons


Now, I would not like to say I'm completely disappointed by Ultraviolet. To say I was disappointed would imply that I got absolutely nothing out of the movie. That's not true. I got two things from it:


  • The song 24 by Jem, which they play during the trailer for the movie. It's pretty good, and I liked it enough that I will keep an eye out for the complete album at the record store.

  • The knowledge that I had just spent 90 minutes watching what is easily the worst. film. of the decade.



Okay, I know that phrase gets used a lot. And I realize we're just barely past half-way mark of this particular decade. But I feel confident that my proclamation will stand the test of time.

(Dare I say it? Could this be the worst movie of this nascent century? It's entirely possible, but I have faith in Hollywood that they'll come up with something, or somethings, worse than Ultraviolet. For Ultraviolet's producers' sake, one can only hope they come up with this bad movie soon, so people will forget about UV.)

I won't bother going into any real detail about the movie. If you're a fan of Milla, you'll most likely go and see it. In fact, you probably went and saw it today, much like Jenny and myself. (See Jenny's earlier thoughts on the movie here.) All I can say is: Milla, you're incredibly hot, and you do have your moments at acting. Sure, not Oscar-worthy moments, but you have them. But mostly, we like watching you in movies where you kick ass and take names. (And hopefully, get full-frontal, even if only for a few, brief seconds. Ahhhhhh. That helps erase the pain of the movie from my mind.)

So, to sum up: There is no escaping the black hole of suckitude that this movie has created, once you have gone past the Suckass Event Horizon that it creates.

Comic Book Guy: Last night's "Itchy & Scratchy" was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured that I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world.
--The Simpsons

Poop

Cottonelle for Kids

Somewhere, there's a joke about dogs eating poop that's just waiting to happen.

Brokeback Bunnies

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

[Requires Flash]

02 March, 2006

Doo doo do doo do d'do

You're probably wondering, right about now, "what would the Super Mario theme sound like, played on two guitars?"

Well, wonder no more!

Damn you, MS

Napster rues Microsoft, player glitches

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Technical glitches by Microsoft and the digital music device makers have hampered Napster Inc.'s ability to close the gap with Apple's iTunes, the dominant online music service, Napster's chief executive said on Tuesday.

"There is no question that their execution has been less than brilliant over the last 12 months," Napster Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Gorog said at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.

"Our business does rely on Microsoft's digital rights management software and our business model also relies on Microsoft's ecosystem of device manufacturers," he added.


Yeah, way to blame everyone but yourself. Perhaps there's a chance that your music subscription service just isn't the greatest thing in the world?

21 February, 2006

Mmmmm....Roses of the Prophet Muhammad

Seriously, this is just as retarded as freedom fries

Iranians wishing to buy Danish pastries will now have to ask for "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad".

Bakeries across the capital, Tehran, are covering up signs advertising the pastries and replacing them with ones bearing the dessert's new name.

The confectioners' union ordered the name change in retaliation for the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.

06 February, 2006

They're just commercials

Damnit, people, what is wrong with you? I keep hearing, over and over this morning, about the fucking commercials during the super bowl.

"Oh, I really liked that one for blah blah blah."
"Did you see the one where yadda yadda?"
"The commercial for product X cured my herpes...it's a miracle!"

And so on.

They're commercials. Advertisers spend millions of dollars trying to pimp out their worthless crap, and you're eating it up like pudding. Some of you morons are watching a fucking game just to see them. Why? The other 364 days out of the year, you hit the fast-forward button on your DVR as soon as a commercial comes on.

What. The. Fuck?

Have you ever read a magazine for the ads? Do you purposely try to find the most banner-filled website, and go to that all the time? It just doesn't make any sense.

02 February, 2006

Spam spam spam

So something I never noticed before: The targeted advertising links that gmail provides for your spam folder are, in fact, links to recipes that involve Spam™. So now I know how to make French Fry Spam™ Casserole:

FRENCH FRY SPAM CASSEROLE

1 pk Frozen french fry potatoes, thawed (20 oz)
2 c Shredded Cheddar cheese
2 c Sour cream
1 cn Condensed cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz)
1 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed (12 oz)
1/2 c Chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c Chopped green onion
1/2 c Finely crushed corn flakes

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, sour cream, and soup. Stir in SPAM, bell pepper, and green onion. Spoon into 13x9" baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed flakes. Bake 30-40 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


Who's hungry?!

Groundhog Day

Today, Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow, so we get six more weeks of winter. Never mind that we haven't even had six weeks of winter previously.

But wait. The Canadian groundhog, Wiarton Willie, didn't see his shadow.

See, with all of these confusing reports, I can see why meteorologists have such a hard time predicting tomorrow's weather.

01 February, 2006

12 January, 2006

Beer Foamy

If you read Randy's blog, you've probably read about everyone's adventures in brewing beer. I've just opened up one of my bottles of stout, and it has definitely achieved foaminess. Still a bit sweet, and hopefully another week or so will process the rest of the sugar out. But other than that, quite tasty, although not as "meaty" as the Guinness I was attempting to mimic.

10 January, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

My resolutions for the new year:



  • Watch less TV. Of course, I don't mean cut out all TV. That's just ridiculous. Mainly I'm trying to break myself of my habit of just watching television, even when there's nothing on. I've had years (and years) of practice, so I really don't even realize I'm doing it. So basically, if I'm going to watch TV, it's because there is something to actually watch, that I plan on watching.

  • Exercise. Mostly, try to keep up the walking after work (which I'm doing so-so on so far), and start riding my bike as soon as it's feasible. Maybe this weekend, since the weather gods have decided to punish us with horribly fair weather this week!

  • Geocache. Which also ties in with exercising, since there's plenty of walking to get to a geocache (or so I've noticed). Of course, this means actually finding geocaches, something Randy and I have been having problems with as of late.

  • Update this site. Big plans in store for all of jgumby.com.
    Well, okay, probably not all that big, but plans none-the-less! Stay tuned, gentle reader, to find out more.



Let's hope that I least get that last one done. A whole year without getting anything done on the site is just going to be sad.

Where you at?

Blah blah blah post more often blah blah blah work blah blah blah we're not entertained blah blah blah blog hiatus blah blah blah false promises of more content blah blah blah.

That being said, I found out that my promotion at work is official as of next Monday. I get to move from junior level developer to senior level developer. Ooooh. Shiny.

Pretty much, it means I'll be doing exactly the same shit I've been doing. And I'll probably be required to care just a little bit more about what and how the company is doing. And I get more money.

That last part is key.

The first part is pretty cool, as well. It sure beats trying to learn new things.