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July 24, 2004

Random 5 Bot Rewritten

Most of you are unaware of my little LiveJournal account, fusiongyro, which is a good thing because there's nothing there. However, I do use it in order to be a member of a certain LiveJournal community, musical_elitist. I'm sure you are all blindingly aware of what a good name that is.

At any rate, I had a piece of software called “Random 5 Email” which worked for about a month and then died mysteriously. I wrote it using a Ruby implementation of Prevayler, called Madeleine. Well, one day it just sort of stopped doing its thing, probably due to an upgrade of either Ruby or Prevayler. This is actually a pretty good case being careful with Prevayler, since you need to be sure that you are always using the right version of whatever you're using. If the dump format or object layout changes at all, you're fucked. There should be a solution to this problem.

Today I rewrote that piece of software. It works for me but I wouldn't call it production ready, so I'm going to hold off on releasing it until it's a little more stable.

Earlier on we went to Alex's old place and picked up some supplies, including a nuker, so we now have proper reheating action.

The cats have basically made up; they play together somewhat, sleep together, and eat from the same bowl. Lllama likes to hide underneath one of the chairs Faust is lending us, and Ebony found somewhere new to hide today that was so effective we were worried we had lost him. We don't know where that place is yet, either.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to writing some CORBA code just to get a feel for it. I would take suggestions if anyone were actually reading this blog. I think I will aim for some kind of networked jukebox, because we can never have enough of those. It might give me a chance to brush up on my Pthreads, too.

Posted by FusionGyro at 07:27 AM

July 08, 2004

Victor, the Moron-ator

I got this email from a moron named Victor “The Liberator.” Apparently, that wonderful used car salesman slash pothead Ed Berndt got high with this guy, and now I have to deal with the consequences. I’m not really willing to give this guy webspace, but since yesterday was a slow day, I’ll give you guys the email instead of real content.

Posted by FusionGyro at 01:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

An Event-Free Day

Today was the kind of day government employees dream about. No meetings, no distractions, just nice even-paced coding all day. There was a bit of rain.

In truth, I spent the better part of today debugging a single function with about 10 lines of extremely simple code. The problem turned out to be a property value which was 0 instead of 1, and which prevented an SSL connection from occurring in HTTPSecureSocket. Apparently, 0 means “SSLv2” and 1 means “SSLv3, or 2 if it isn’t there.” Would have been nice to have known in advance. Part of the day was spent debating database systems, too. And a good chunk of the day was spent documenting the existing interface. You can’t code a system you can’t understand. :) I also wrote my first progress bar.

Bill, his mother and I ate at a place that I can’t recall the name of. It was nice, we got takeout. It was hot. He also gave me this citrus fizzy thing, which tasted bland at the time, but is screwing my stomach something fierce right now. We wound up going to Albertson’s so I could get a batch of Prilosec, and also some bread. I was hoping to get these energy bars my father used to get: a dense bread with raisins and nuts in it. Instead I got dense oatmeal bars and a loaf of Challah (which I can now pronounce properly, but I probably can’t spell properly).

Nothing came of the security guard’s threats. No meeting was scheduled. Nobody came and spoke to us at 6 about having to leave. Completely uneventful.

What a great job. :)

Posted by FusionGyro at 05:33 AM

July 06, 2004

Independence Day Sucks, Wendy's Sucks, Everything Sucks

Night before last, Alex wanted to go see a professional fireworks display somewhere big, so that her clan and everyone could socialize and whatnot. We decided to go to the city display at Balloon Fiesta Park because of all the buzzing and chattering about how much money they were spending on the fireworks ($35,000, IIRC).

So we left at about 9, which meant we spent about 50 hellish minutes driving in. So then we walked in and stood near the edge of the park when the fireworks started. Just after the second or so burst, someone in a motorized wheelchair went skirting past and had it flip over, so we got the treat of seeing the crowds cheering at the pretty on the left and a poor old person unable to get up on the right, for a moment until a couple people jumped up and went over to help.

The fireworks themselves were quite nice. After a big burst, everyone around us stood up and slapped their lawn chairs together and started running towards the exit, and slowly it dawned on us that the event was over 15 minutes after getting there. Alex had proposed leaving early to get a jump on the traffic, but that plan was clearly out of the question as we saw the red-light molasses slowly drifting out the main exit.

We decided to hang out, so we spent an hour at the park before trying to leave. Leaving at 11:15 meant that it only took 15 minutes to get out, but I was zonked and annoyed. On the way home from the parent's place I saw a homeless guy sleeping on the bus stop bench. All the problems made me feel like the celebration was misplaced. “Yaaaay! We're all a bunch of lame fucksacks with no concern for fellow human beings! But we love pretty colors!”

Yesterday for lunch I wound up going to Wendy's and waiting in line for 30 minutes. So it's just been kind of a wait-in-line-forever kind of week.

In the evening at work we wound up getting yelled at by a fat 'n ugly security guard who wanted us to leave by 6 and “why can't you people get it through your heads.” Michael dealt with it about like I would, by explaining that we pay for it and if he has a problem with it he can go talk to his supervisor about it; he'll meet with whoever, it doesn't matter, we pay for it and fuck anyone who has a problem with it. I'm annoyed at the guard for yelling at us, if anything comes of it I hope Michael emphasizes the incredible rudeness of having your guard yell at your tenents and this grody fucksack gets fired. There's a Sikh temple down the road, why can't we have your standard Sikh security guards? Those guys wouldn't raise their voice if you were violating a puppy (though you'd be violated pretty well yourself).

Bill took his girlfriend Talia and myself out to eat at a place called Cowgirl's. I had a game burger which had about 3 different types of meat in it, it was very good. Then we saw a Japanese import movie named something like “100 Monsters,” which had great atmosphere and theme, but (being from the 70's) was somewhat lacking in terms of special effects. I would never let that kill my appreciation of a movie, especially when it can't be helped, so I guess I can say I recommend it.

Work is still excellent; I wound up getting to write AppleScript and REALbasic yesterday. Michael gave me another two projects to work on. I can see why he is having trouble getting things done—there's so much work to be done, and all in different places. Today should be interesting as well.

Posted by FusionGyro at 01:33 PM

July 04, 2004

It's Called a Work Order, You Tard, Not a Play Whenever

So a week ago when we turned in our 30 days notice, we also submitted a work order for our damned garbage disposal in the sink. Probably as a side effect of making ice cream and sending a cup or so of silt down the drain, the damn thing stopped working. Now, being not the slightest bit mechanically inclined, I know there's a button on these things that makes 'em work again, I just have no idea where it is located and can't find it when I try.

So a week went by and nobody came to fix it. I'm not fond of the idea of workmen entering my home when I'm not there, especially when the only things I've unpacked are computation-related (though Alex had to point this out). So I told them to call me and make an appointment. That hasn't happened; I have this nifty device called a cellular phone, which has these neato features like, telling me when I missed a call, and voice mail, which means the Man keeps my messages for me if I'm out of service. Didn't have either of those all week.

There are two people who are management-types here at Comanche Wells. The first is a wonderful youth named Key who generally is helpful and makes sure that when deadlines are set, they get met and so-forth. The other is a tard named Christy, who is the villain in the transcript that follows. She clearly has a great deal of experience in the field of pissing people off over the phone while sounding helpful and getting you nowhere. So this is more-or-less what happened:

  1. Call desk, it's Villain #1. “A week ago, I submitted a work order for our disposal, and it's still not fixed. Why?” “I don't know, I'll call the maint-men and ask 'em to call you.”
  2. 25 minutes later, call desk again. It's Villain #1.

    Me: “Hi Christy, it's Dan in XXXX again; I'm wondering why nobody has called me yet.”

    Villain: “Well, you see, I called the work men and they said they had been trying to call you all week and they never got an answer.”

    Me: “Well, I would believe that, except I have this nifty cell phone that tells me when I miss a call, and I haven't missed any all week, nor have I been out of the service area.”

    Villain: “Right, but you said that you wanted them to call to set up an appointment before coming in.” Blah blah, other stuff I don't hear

    Me: “Christy, what I don't need right now is excuses. I need a working disposal.”

    Villain: Angry, hissy, trying to remain calm, talking fast, hangs up.

    Me: Laughing.

  3. 45 minutes later, we have working disposal. God I love being an asshole!

Posted by FusionGyro at 03:19 AM

Why Dan Doesn't Like Commenting

People often ask me (not really, but I'll pretend), “Dan! Why don't you permit comments on your blog? That would be so rad! I mean, seriously!”

Here's why. Comments are there for squeaky girls with no self-esteem, so they can see that every guy on the block actually wants to fuck them. Comments are also there for lame guys with no self-esteem, to enable them to find girls with low self-esteem. Comments are there to make your blog an interactive medium; well guess what? If you want to “post something about my blog” you can go get your own damn blog with no readers, and using the power of the permalink, you can jolly-well link to whatever I said that pissed you off.

Comments are an artifact of Slashdot, to enable geeks to swing their mighty cocks and compare lengths in an expedient fashion while at work. Comments create an information society of wit rather than of content. For example, read Plastic, where the most well-worded rebuttal has the winner regardless of whether or not there are facts behind it. And then we have Kuro5hin, ostensibly a forum for article writers; 90% of the comments there are about the quality of the writing, usually missing the point of the forum altogether. And then we have blogging fucks like myself, who can't write and have nothing to say (like, for example, bitching about comments: no content whatsoever). It's as though in this new era, we have plenty of technology to use to speak our minds, and empty minds filled with usage instructions. And that sounds really witty, so I'm inclined not to believe what I just said.

And then we have LiveJournal. LiveJournal is basically a place where tards can go and spill all their personal information and not be expected to at any point, actually generate content. “Content,” my friends, is a Web Developer word that means, “everything that doesn't have to do with pretty fonts,” or, in English, the part that isn't logic or presentation. The problem with LiveJournal is that it's a dating service, and only the men on LiveJournal seem to understand that. It's a forum for people to get into your life. You put up your interests just like a personals service, and then you rant about your life so that people can “know” you. And every girl who's depressed because she just got dumped has five guys with piercings commenting in her journal, “awww... *huggles*”. “He's not so bad! I like him! heart heart heart” It makes me sick. And then when she rants about her current boyfriend, they still read, thinking, “This is the price I pay for happiness! Oh God, My Heart Yearns Like No Other” while the girls think that nothing has changed and nothing will.

Well, by the Power of Fuck I declare Fuck You on LiveJournal.

Posted by FusionGyro at 03:18 AM

July 03, 2004

Day 2 of Work

Working at Matterform Media is definitely an interesting experience. On the first day, I was mostly doing some routine image touchups and discussing XML. On the second day, I was designing a database and writing XSLT. I expect (and hope) that it continues to be this varied.

I took some code home and I expect I'll be studying it and possibly implementing it in a couple different languages shortly. I'm eager to implement in the Cocoa framework, but it seems to be hair-raising to learn on one's own. Nothing at Matterform is implemented in Cocoa at this point in time; everything is done in PHP or REALbasic. Still, Michael seems to be content with whatever works; they have C code laying around, they have ancient stuff that was originally in HyperCard. Michael doesn't really seem to care what the implementation language is, so long as the product works and can be sold. In fact, every internal-use program we write, we are expected to consider making a commercial product.

This level of commercialism is really quite new to me, but I find that it is acceptable. I would rather be developing handy, interesting Mac programs than developing dull satelite imaging programs. I wanted to be an application developer, and here I am, that's what I do. :)

I'm trying to think of a product I could write in my spare time that we could sell, so that I could have my job title changed and make some pretty serious money. That seems a long way off right now though, what with the move and whatnot.

We still haven't heard from Kent about our new apartment. I have agreed to hire Tim and a friend of his to do the moving for us, at half the cost of the UHaul and with movers carrying stuff for me rather than having to do all of the carrying. They were happy about the money side of things too so I think it will be pretty good, hopefully a less horrible move than the first one, though I'm still going to be stressed about it.

Bill and I (mostly Bill) managed the migration of storytotell to this server, so now all of these pages are going to becoming from the same machine. There seems to be some lingering issues with email, but we're going to have them sorted out pretty soon.

Posted by FusionGyro at 06:21 PM

JoAnns Restaurant, Española, NM

JoAnns is a nice New Mexican restaurant in Española. Driving past, there isn't much to the exterior to set it apart from the other thousand or so New Mexican places in the area. The inside is a bit nicer, and there are some big screen TV's about, which I'm not particularly fond of.

I had the combination plate, Michael had the relleno plate. The chile was hot—much hotter than I would have expected for a first visit, but it is a local place and Michael informs me that they actually have their own chile farm. The taco had shredded steak rather than ground beef, which always makes for a winner in my opinion, and the enchilada seemed to have green chile fillets inside improving the flavor. It was too much food for me to eat.

The food was about $10 a plate and extremely good though not very experimental. I will definitely be checking it out again, after trying Paragua's and the other place Shipman recommended.

Posted by FusionGyro at 05:58 PM

LiveJournal Mud Slinging

So apparently Eric is trying to get people onto LiveJournal, which is sort of like trying to get people to be on the Jerry Springer show. And I wasn't really interested in getting involved, but Schlake's been trying to piss Eric off on LiveJournal, and I've always kind of wanted to take a few pot-shots at Schlake, so I've posted some nasty stuff in the Eric-blog.

Right after I was about to give up on my boys, Jarrod and Bill decided they would swing by on Labor Day or the Sunday before, just to shoot the shit and maybe sleep on the floor. So I feel much better. I'm sure I don't wander into their thoughts as often as they wander into mine, but that's probably a function of how few friends I have here. Not that I'm complaining…it's nice to have such a simple life. Then again, I don't get much contact with people other than Michael and Alex, and that's probably going to get weird in the long run, or else Alex will learn a lot about programming.

Alex and I were in Santa Fe today to go to the Women's Health Clinic, so we wound up eating at a nice New Mexican cuisine restaurant with Hillary afterwards. The clinic appointment didn't go as we had expected—there are three questions which determine whether a person is eligible or not, but apparently it wasn't possible for the woman to ask us all three over the phone before we showed up. So there we were and she won't be eligible for another month. I wanted to just get the appointment done, but Alex doesn't want to waste (effectively) $135 on a doctor's visit, because it would be $150 today or $15 after she gets coverage. I guess this is reasonable, because she is basically healthy though she seems to have mono, but mostly I don't want to fight about it anymore. I'm glad if she gets in and does it at all.

Now, I'm not opposed to people in our state speaking Spanish at home, or being bilingual. It's never been an issue, living in Albuquerque or Socorro. Apparently, and this makes no sense to me whatsoever, there are more people who only speak Spanish in the northern half of our state than in the southern half. I guess this corroborates my statement to outsiders that, no, you fucks, New Mexicans aren't Mexican, because if that were true, it would be a gradient towards Mexico rather than away from Mexico. But I'm also sort of more generally offended by it because I don't like it when I'm standing in a Wal-Mart 500 miles from the border and they're speaking over the intercom in Spanish. I also don't like that half the time someone I don't know speaks to me, they're doing it in either broken English or Spanish which I don't really know.

Now, Matterform Media is located at the Johnson Controls building, which used to be basically a small business complex but was purchased by NNMU, so now we're one of three rooms that aren't classes. We also are the room which heats up the most, so we have to have our door open or we'll bake. This combination leads to particularly amazing levels of stupidity when we have random fucks walking in wanting information. We've had about six people ask us what happened to their class, and five fucks came in saying that someone told them to come to the office and talk to the lady about the form. We say, we have no idea what you're talking about, we're not part of the school or the government we're a small business. 95% of the time, they then reply with something like “Yes, but could you help me? I need to talk to the person about the thing, but I can't express to you verbally who they're affiliated with, if they're government or school, I just need to do this thing that I don't know what is or how or anything really, and plus I don't know English so if you try and help me I won't know what you're trying to say, so basically I just want you to make it all better so I can go home and blame it on the man at the office at the building who said it was all better so goddamn it, it's your fault now not mine.” Sorry. We don't speak your language. If we charged a dollar per question, we'd have made at least $10 right now, and we could afford to go out to lunch or something.

Alex and I watched a really cool movie today called Uzumaki. It's a Japanese horror flick; we've gotten really into Japanese horror because it seems to be where all the atmospheric, good horror is these days. We got this movie on Amazon on the strength of the review. It was the first movie from the director of the fucking awesome Tomie: Replay (though he apparently also did the original Tomie movie, and it sucked so badly someone wrote a hilarious review of it on Amazon that I'd link to if I weren't on dialup and downloading something right now). Great movie, very campy, almost no blood or violence but still amazingly effective. Good Lovecraftian decrepit ancient town with evil pagan history, too.

Posted by FusionGyro at 06:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Last Samurai

Last night, Alex, Faust, Hillary and I watched The Last Samurai. I must admit, I didn't manage to remain completely aware of what was happening through the whole thing, because I was sort of tired from the day, but what I did catch was quite good and I think I can safely recommend the movie.

The movie is a drama about the exploits of a former army captain under Custer's command. He's an alcoholic who hates his life because of the things he has done in the service of the government. He is hired by the Japanese government to squash a rebellion on the strength of his record with this kind of thing.

It seemed like a good movie for what I caught, and I definitely intend to catch it again before giving it the buck rating. Definitely has some heartstring tugging scenes, and it's noteworthy for taking a character so hatable and making him respectable, perhaps admirable. And of course, there are so many nipponiphiles around that will love it nothing more need be said.

Posted by FusionGyro at 05:51 AM

July 02, 2004

First Day of Work

Today was my first day at work. I signed some paperwork including an NDA and a non-compete (which I was expecting I suppose) and all that. Then I got to work on some websites, but no real code. We're still talking about what I'm going to implement first.

For lunch, Michael took me out to some place I think called Joann's, where I damn near burned my mouth and had a huge meal I wasn't able to finish. For dinner, Bill took me out to Bumble Bee's Baja Grill here in Santa Fe, where I am crashing until I get to move into the new apartment. Both meals were awesome; I really enjoy having good places to eat at, especially good new places.

Around 5pm, Michael got a call at work for some kind of mortgage company. He put them on speakerphone and waited for a human to offer to help him, then he offered them penis enlargement pills. They hung up immediately. Apparently he hates spam. :)

I'm zonked, so I'm going to bed now even though it's early. :)

Posted by FusionGyro at 05:53 AM

July 01, 2004

A New New Apartment

Today we headed back up to Española to look for a place to live again. To rehash the last one: Española is a dump, at least with respect to housing, though ironically the best housing is reserved for Section 8 folk on fixed or low income. We had made two appointments with two separate women wanting $500 for their 2 bedroom adobe abodes.

The first one, I remarked on the way out, was like the bastard child of the other two houses we had seen. It had uneven floors, but wasn't a fishbowl; it had ratty furniture included, but no washer and dryer; it had concrete steps which Alex loathed, but no the terrible neighborhood. Alex would have been satisfied with it, but there isn't much I hate in this life more than uneven floor. I'm not the best on my feet and I really dislike it when I have to think to maintain my already feeble balance.

So we were at an impasse—Alex wouldn't budge on her hatred of the fishbowl, and I wouldn't budge on my hatred of bad floor. We stopped at Blake's and got the phone book, ostensibly to locate a T-Mobile authorized fuckz0r. On a whim we decided to check the apartments section since it seemed to be a newer book, and found a place called Butterfly Spings in Pojoaque. Alex called and though they didn't have a two bedroom available immediately, we decided to head out there before seeing our 5 O'clock about whatever decrepit adobe shanty she was blessing with the presumptous title of “house.”

We got lost on the way in and wound up confused, on the wrong side of the road, nervous because it is also a storage unit. We called the old man back and he called our attention to the massively unmissable apartment complex just a few rows of housing behind the main drag. Sandwiched between two Route 66 gas stations, a Dairy Queen and a casino, I wouldn't think of it as a beautiful area, but it's very sparsely populated and there's lots of undeveloped land in the area which is very pleasing to the eye.

We came in and spoke to the man, who lives out of one of the units where he does business; he is apparently the owner as well as manager but was amicable to us and the other two people he dealt with. He has a 2 bedroom 2 bath opening up either on the second or the tenth, and our destiny lies there. We filled out the paperwork and we have a new apartment. We also skipped out on our 5 O'clock (it was about 5:45 when we made it out of the complex). If you factor in the old man we skipped out on on Monday, we have sort of a bad habit of calling people and not showing up.

We also find it really annoying that nobody in Española is willing to just give the damn directions to their place. Getting a place in Española is sort of like this:

  1. Call bitches. They aren't home. Wait until 7 to call.
  2. Bitches still don't pick up. Leave a message.
  3. Bitches call you back, but don't want to talk on the phone for more than 2 minutes or give you their address. Make arrangements to call bitches when 30 minutes from Española.
  4. Call bitches from 30 minutes outside town. Bitches say “thanks; call us from Qwik Stop” and give directions to Qwik Stop.
  5. Make it to Qwik Stop; call bitches. Bitches say great, will be there in 3 minutes.
  6. Fifteen minutes later, bitches show up. Drive 20 miles over speed limit to shack with “To Be Condemned” sign over top.
  7. Bitches explain how one heater is sufficient for entire house in winter, how neighborhood is good in spite of massive crime, how no A/C is necessary in spite of location in Sunny New Mexico, how former residents jimmy open storage doors, etc.
  8. Pretend to look interested by opening cabinets, fridge doors, asking inane questions, even though you made up your mind as soon as you saw the chipped exterior, sloped floor, and general malaise that goes hand-in-hand with this level of decay.
  9. Tell bitches you'll call them after your next appointment if you want to go with it and that you really like their place. It's a bald-faced lie, but they already lied to you when they called their place livable.

So tomorrow I head up to Bill's place with a change of clothes and some food money, my keyboard and my laptop, and I start work at 9 AM. I can't wait but I am tired as hell from all the driving these past two days. It will be an interesting commute from Santa Fe for these next few weeks.

Posted by FusionGyro at 04:11 AM