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User Journal

Journal Journal: Free At Last

Well, I finally escaped the EmailCop mess, only to find myself working at a company that was in many ways worse. At least it was profitable. After a year and a half of complete incompetence throughout the organization, a buddy who had already bailed told me about an opportunity at a marketing firm where we'd basically run the web division.

So far I'm loving life here. I'll not be developing enterprise applications or changing the way people use email, but for now that's just fine with me. I have time to learn new technologies and apply them where they fit for our clients. I (theoretically - not been here that long) have lots of different projects to work on, so the day-to-day tasks don't get stale. I get treated like a professional and paid like one too. You wouldn't think it'd take so long to find somewhere like this, but I guess I'm just a sucker for punishment.

Anyway, I don't know how many of my old /. "friends" still read journals, but thought I'd post this here anyway.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Zoo finds new solution to cub feeding problem.

In case this gets rejected.

For those missing out on more of their favorite poll option, the Salt Lake Tribune has an interesting article about one zoo's solution to a problem with some of its young animals. It seems the Yangon Zoological Gardens had some tiger cubs that refused the bottle. Since the cubs birth mother refused to feed them, zoo officials brought in a local woman to help out.

User Journal

Journal Journal: For Posterity's Sake


Dear (USER):

We of the Interweb apologize that you were not sufficiently entertained, amused, and/or informed by (TITLE). As seems to be our habit, we forgot to ask your expert opinion on the (NARROWLY DEFINED DEFINITION) of (SUBJECT 1) and (SUBJECT 2) before publishing (TITLE), resulting in the boring mess you see before you.

Thank goodness there are people like you, (USER), to point out the shortcomings of (WEBSITE) and other online entities. Where would the rest of the Interweb be without you? We can only apologize your busy day was interrupted by the necessity of pointing out the awful pile of steaming crap that is (TITLE).

And now, (USER), back to your busy day with (PRETEND JOB) working on (PRETEND WORK). God be with you in your never-ceasing quest to keep the Interweb safe and sane. And God bless America.

The Interweb


Journal Journal: Well, we're kinda launching 2

My company is now giving out free-for-life accounts using our new anti-spam email. I'm supposed to spread the word and hopefully get some "geek-cred." If you're interested, it is free, so please take a look. :)


Update: Thanks, Sol, for pointing out the free30days coupon code in the "setup wizard." That's for when we officially launch on the 16th. Anyone signing up between now and then is part of the "beta test" group and has a free for life account. It shouldn't ask you to enter a credit card number; if it does, something as gone seriously wrong, so don't continue until we can fix it. :)
Sorry for any confusion.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Meme

You are a XSIG--Expressive Sentimental Intellectual Giver. This makes you a Teddy Bear.

Hee! I just want to give you a big squeeze. You are tender, honest, generous and fair. You are an excellent kisser and a sensitive, communicative lover, and you know it. You would never intentionally hurt someone's feelings or overstep his/her boundaries. You have beautiful eyes.

Most people take your laid-back attitude, blazing wit and subtle sexiness and stick you in "friend." But some see your extreme hotness for what it is and latch on. This means you have a few members of your target sex in the bank at all times -- I call this "money in the sex bank" -- but you're too sensitive and thoughtful to exploit them. More than once.

You are so rational and deliberate in an argument that it can frustrate and exhaust your partner. Your fights can take forever, but your press on with them until they are completely resolved and both you and your partner are satisfied. If your partner is weak of will, s/he may just give in -- be wary of this! An emotional or passive-aggressive outburst later will hurt and horrify you.

It is *critically important* that you are able to respect your partner. The moment you lose respect for him/her, you lose everything.

When you make friends, you make them for life -- you can go without speaking to a friend for years and pick up right where you left off. You are completely faithful, both physically and emotionally. You are the second best (to XPIG) parent of any type.

I don't know what it is about these quizzes, I have to compulsively take them. By all means, keep them coming. :p

User Journal

Journal Journal: Baaa 2

You are mRNA. You're brilliant, full of important, interesting information and you're a great friend to the people you care about. You may have sides to you that no one understands. But while you understand more than most people, you're only half-there most of the time.
United States

Journal Journal: Who'd a thunk it?

1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Cobb, David - Green Party (73%)
3. Nader, Ralph - Independent (73%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (67%)
5. Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (59%)
6. Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (36%)
7. Bush, President George W. - Republican (24%)
8. Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (17%)

I'd have thought I'd be a lot closer to the middle.
User Journal

Journal Journal: The Slashdot Crowd 4

I am simultaneously amazed and puzzled by the slashdot crowd, the journal circle that seems to have its hub at FortKnox specifically.

Dang it, I had this whole thing in my mind that I was going to write about, but after I started typing it came out all wrong. It feels like one of those dreams where you come up with a stunning idea, then when you try to implement it, it either doesn't make sense or has some serious flaws.

Anyway, I had wanted to jump into this journal discussion, but by the time I saw it, it was fifty-five comments deep. The conversations that go on between those who claim association with a monotheistic religion(that's my attempt at a diplomatic description) and those who mark atheism or agnosticism as their creed are really what I wanted to make this JE about. I fall into the first crowd, but I generally stay away from messageboard discussions when the topic of religion arises. I've seen very few occurrences of this phenomenon that could be called civil.

I'm going nowhere fast here, but I guess I just wanted to say that I find this circle of people to be very rare, because they manage to be mostly civil (except in politics, ouch).

Yeah, I guess that's all. I wish that I could capture my thoughts better, but this will have to do.


Journal Journal: Lunch Group

I thought I'd try cross-posting something from my site. Some people found this humorous, heaven help them.

Having never worked in an office environment before, I have no way to judge the level of Nerdliness that permeates the group here. I do know that if we were put in charge of the world, things would be run very differently. I'm not saying we'd solve all the world's problems, but we could probably create a whole bunch of new ones. While our company is not particularly large, it's very clear where the lines of group chemistry fall. Johnny Elbows, Sideshow, Radar, Mother, Uncle Walt, and I (the Angry Man a.k.a. the Mad Giggler) are a very close-knit group. If one member doesn't make it into work, it throws off the whole balance for the day. Today is shaping up to be frighteningly unbalanced, since three of the guys are yet to make it in. My penchant for following tangents to their illogical conclusions will get me into trouble someday.

Balance issues aside, we have a tradition of eating lunch together. I'm not sure when it started exactly, because I used to have a lunch group with people from my ward. The less said about that the better, but at some point, the idea must have carried over to the Crazy Guys group. No one actually calls us that, I just made it up on the spot. Mental note: bring up naming our group at lunch today. On a side note, we did actually come up with an idea for a comic book where each of us had special powers, but I don't think we'd given our team of superheroes a name.

Anyway, each day about 11:30, somebody mentions that they're hungry. Depending on the proximity of payday, the conversation that ensues varies between two responses: "Well, where do you want to eat?" and "Let's all go downstairs and make sandwiches." The first response generally results in a trip to the mall. In either case, once the food is before us, the magic begins.

Sometimes it's a joke of very poor taste, other times it's the latest act of clumsiness, and there are even occasions where current events give it life, but each day the world-altering conversation starts to flow.
"Man! when are you guys going to see Napoleon Dynamite?!? I keep quoting it, but no one understands what I'm talking about! Gosh!"
"You would not believe the girls I met last night. I thought my jaw would have a major bruise the way it hit the floor."
"When are you going to finish your story? Three episodes a day just doesn't cut it."
"Dude, the Pats are going all the way, the Rams just don't have what it takes."
"The XSLT ribbon cable doesn't interface properly with the USB cooling fan and the CSS port." "HAHAHAHA!"
"The Simpsons is an amoral show." "No it's not, you're amoral." "What kind of ad hominem argument is that?" "You're an ad hominem."

I could go on, but I don't think it's necessary. Just reading through that tells me there are very few lunch groups more Nerdly than ours. If you know of one, let me know, so we can have a back-alley brawl, hopefully with the guys from PBS involved...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Nerd of the Highest Degree

At what point do you know that there is no hope for you? Today, we were mocking the incorrect use of the word "literally" when someone mentioned littering. Then another guy said that if you littered books you'd be literally littering literature. So, I walked up to one of our friends who hadn't been in the room and handed him a book. Then I told him to throw it on the floor. Chaos (including high fives and clapping) ensued.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Self-congratulatory notes 5

I'll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back. I don't remember if I mentioned this before (and can't be bothered with searching through journals past to verify it), but I created a website for my apartment back in February. I did most of the work myself, but my (now former) roommate who is a web programmer helped out from time to time. It's nothing spectacular, but all along we've struggled to find something to keep people coming back to it.

At first we thought that putting up party announcements would get people filling up our logs, but the parties kind of dried up a few months back. Then, I created a mailing list for friends to get together downtown to eat lunch. That's just led to more inconvenience to me rather than an increase in traffic. Finally, a few weeks ago, a thought occurred to us that seems to be working out. Since I gave up any pretense at regularly posting journal entries here at Slashdot, I thought it would be a great idea to start over with twice-a-week articles on our website. My friend was supposed to help by posting at least one article a week, but so far, it looks like one a month will be it.

In any case, I've now successfully posted at least two articles a week for three weeks. It was a close one this week, but Some Woman's Note-Passing saga provided the requisite inspiration for today's article.

In related news, my arm continues to be in danger due to our product nearing beta test. Yes, we were supposed to release on the 20th, but apparently the feature set we promised was insufficient. So now, we get to add more stuff and then get real people to start using it. I will give out as many free passes as I can to those interested in trying out our anti-spam solution.


Journal Journal: Office Space 3

According to one of my coworkers, "There's nothing sexier than a woman using a Mac." As our release date of July 20 approaches, I continue to discover hidden depths of madness in those around me (including that funny-looking guy in the mirror). Outside my window, there is an alley, then another office building. In that office building, there is a window almost directly opposite mine. Through that window there is a very beautiful young woman. Our local Radar (or Ring Wraith, as he likes to be called) tells me that she is married. That's probably just as well, because finding the courage and opportunity to talk to her would exhaust vast resources of energy better put to use working. I'm not sure that she actually uses a Mac, but our office Mac-Daddy (he prefers the title Uncle Walt -- big Disneyland fan, worships Walt) was apparently looking at her when he uttered the profound statement leading off this journal entry.

I simultaneously love and loathe Gmail. Its interface is so beautiful, but our company is providing a webmail companion to our anti-spam email accounts. Comparing the two causes me no end of shame. I don't think that our client is really that bad; it's just that Gmail turns me into a hopelessly in love Geek. What can I say more?

Going back to the original theme of this entry (I'm not really sure what got me onto the Gmail thread), my co-workers are cool guys. There aren't a lot of us, so coming up with nicknames for everyone wasn't that tough. I'm the Mad Giggler, I sit next to Johnny Elbows, and he in turn sits next to Sideshow. In the dark corner of the next room sits Mother (a not-so-oblique reference to Sneakers). That reminds me of that movie The Avengers (based on an old television series) with Uma Thurman. I really liked that movie. It was very odd; the characters Mother and Father in particular were very amusing. I can't say that I cared for Sean Connery in that movie, though.

Since I seem to have succumbed to stream of consciousness writing, I might as well comment on the Slashdot's Most Eligible...um, thing. I can't say that I know Sol well enough to want to get involved in that, but the idea of having a Letter of Recommendation, so to speak, really piqued my interest. Perhaps it's my natural aversion to the spotlight, but I have a difficult time *selling* myself. Handing out a letter of recommendation to a prospective date seems like a really funny way to convince someone that an evening on the town might not be so bad. This requires more thought, so if I remember anything else that I was going to throw under the title Office Space, it'll have to go under Part Two.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pensieve (collection of thoughts) 2

I currently have 2 gmail invites, but I suspect that nearly everyone who wants one already has one. I love the interface, by the way, but I'm geeky like that.

I think I'm a little too excited by this NBA draft thing, especially considering how poorly prepared for professional ball most of the potential draftees look so far. All the trade rumours floating around (most involving moving up or down in the draft) have got me looking like a *gossip-monger*. Thankfully football season starts soon, so I can satisfy the sports part of my brain with something yummy (baseball just isn't my thing, sorry).

Wow, it's been a while since I talked video games, so let's just get right into that. Currently playing:

  • PC (WinXP)
  • Counter-Strike (still)
  • Icewind Dale
  • Neverwinter Nights (with roommate)
  • UT2004 (but not as much lately)
  • XBox
  • Crimson Skies
  • Came back and finished KotOR
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Fire Emblem (it got tough)
  • Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga

I'm currently looking forward to actually playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. It's been sitting on my desk for close to two months, but I swore I wouldn't start it until I'd beaten Fire Emblem. I realize from looking at that list, that I should be more worried about finishing those games than thinking about future releases, but I can't help but be geekily excited for The Sims 2. I'm also apparently more insane for RPGs than previously thought. City of Heroes and Mario Golf Advance Tour (a golf rpg of all things!) are looking very tempting.

Ok, good to get that out of my system, but now this entry is starting to look perilously long. Work has been a lot of good and bad lately. I really like programming and stretching myself a little, but some of the other things going on here are not so fun. I guess that's the joy of working for a start-up company. I remember the days when I couldn't understand why you'd want a guy exclusively devoted to database design and maintenance. Man, that's funny. I also seem to recall thinking that javascript was a silly little by-product of browsers. Now when I see the GMail interface, I'm dutifully impressed.

Ok, I think that I've put enough into this pensieve for today.

Internet Explorer

Journal Journal: Web Programming at its finest 3

About two and a half years ago when I was prepping for my final semester of college, I signed up for a web programming class. The course would mostly be using Java (applets, servlets, swing, etc, etc,), and although I'd been programming mostly in PHP at work, I figured it would be a breeze. The homework assignments were, the exams were not (due to never ever bothering to attend the lectures). In the last couple of months, I have discovered once again that web programming is more involved than it looks on the surface. I really hate it when I underestimate a project. The good side of things is that I still have a job and that I'm a lot better at it.

If we ever actually launch our product, I'll post a link here for everyone to try it out. The last I heard, our marketing department was still going ahead with a "free for Linux users" campaign. I'm not sure if free means free for a year, for two years, or for as long as we're in charge of the company, but I do know that the last I heard we were counting pretty heavily on viral marketing to move this thing.

Is anyone else as displeased with Firefox 0.9 as I am? I mean I know I'm critiquing free software and that it's not even to a full 1.0 release yet, but that themes manager sucks eggs. And where's the support for users (not developers)? Maybe I should apply my vast repertoire of web programming skills to helping out the team. ;)

I actually had more I was going to say, but everything I've posted so far is related to web stuff, and I'm so rarely that coherent in my posts, I'd hate to ruin it.

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