Archive for the ‘Whatever’ Category

This is kind of sad.

Sometimes I like to see how small or obtuse of a string I can put into the search box on iTunes to return a specific result. Yeah, I could just type in the album name, but I feel like I can avoid typing a character here and there and still get the same results. Ironically, the  cumulative number of characters I’ve managed to avoid typing while doing this probably add up to less than the number of keystrokes I’m putting into this post explaining the whole ridiculous process.

For example, kr ope is specific enough to return Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express, and thei co will give me all my Thievery Corporation albums. wu 8 returns Wu-Tang’s 8 Diagrams, while wu 3 returns 36 chambers.

Granted, those are just typing in the first few letters of each word until I get down to something specific, but yah yo, somewhat hilariously, is enough to find Matiyahu - Youth, and hiv is two extraneous songs away from sorting to just The Hives.

These are the things I waste my time figuring out. It’s really pretty stupid.

Yeah, you should probably stop wasting my time.

I wasn’t sure if I should post this, since it’s a) horrible lame E/N, and b) kind of a call out, but whatever.

I got a phone call at work last week, from someone I haven’t seen in a while. We used to work together, back in my working-retail-during-college days, but fell out of touch shortly thereafter, given my propensity to forget people exist if I don’t see them every day (speaking of which, I need to call my parents).

Anyway, I don’t answer the phone, because I’m at work, but I check the voicemail when I get off. Apparently her computer died, and she needs help fixing it, or at least for me to tell her what broke.

This actually doesn’t bother me. I have to help Sean with his computing woes every time he breaks something, but it usually turns into a thing after that - we hang out, eat some food, drink some beers, it’s a pretty good way to kill an evening. The dude is genuinely grateful that his stuff is getting fixed, and what the hell, I like fixing things. Not saying I want to do help desk for a living ever again, but problem solving, particularly tech problems, is why I got into the field I’m in.

So, anyway, I call her back, and the conversation goes right to business. Just “Hello”, and then “So here’s the problem…”. Not even a cursory “How’s work?” or anything like that. It doesn’t bode well, but I explain what I think the problem is (for the curious, hitting the power switch does nothing, not even spin up the fans, so I’m pretty sure the power supply croaked), and give the most detailed description I can on how to fix it. And what do I get for it?

“Ok, thanks. Talk to you later.” Conversation over.

I’m sorry, but what the hell is that? If I can squeeze answering your question into my schedule, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you budget time for some small talk or something. You know, at least pretend you aren’t calling specifically because there’s a fire to put out.

Look, I know I’m pretty much the last person allowed to criticize anyone for their behavior, but this is just insulting. It says, with no degree of subtlety, that “we will only talk when I want something from you”. I’d have to be out of my mind to think that was a fair deal.

That said: Whatever, it really isn’t a big deal. I’m not going to hold a grudge over it, and in all matters not-fixing-someone-elses-computer, I’m (schedule permitting) down with hangouts. But don’t take it for granted that I’m going to field these questions out of the blue, for someone, functionally speaking, that I don’t really know.

Contrast this with another former co-worker I haven’t seen or talked to, this one for close to three years, who randomly sent me a Facebook invite yesterday. Even though I generally hate social networking, and it’s more than likely a fetishistic “collect em all” sort of thing, it’s an unexpected surprise, and maybe we’ll end up hanging out. Probably not, since I don’t even know which state she lives at this point, but you never know.

That’s how you get back in touch, folks. By acknowledging that we might actually be friends, or at least interact in a social context. Not by pretending I’m your personal fucking tech support.

Rant over. Back to not updating but every two weeks.

So it goes.

So there have been a few things I wanted to blog about, recently: more about Ubuntu on my laptop, what it does right and what it does wrong, Hot Fuzz or Spiderman 3, Chris Shiflett’s awesome Web App Security talk at work today (we’re hiring, fyi), my pending engagement and other Becki-related things. But around 3 today, I got a call that cleared my plate for the rest of the week, far beyond just worrying about blogging. When my parents call me at work, I know it’s something important.

My grandfather, on my dad’s side of the family, died this morning. Apparently this didn’t come as a shock to anyone in the family but me. I knew he had terminal cancer, but I’d been told he had another six months or so, enough that he might have been able to make it to his fiftieth anniversary. Enough that I could’ve gotten past my current cash problems and trucked up to Boston to see him. Apparently, at least to the people that aren’t horrible about keeping in touch with other people, this wasn’t the case.

I’m a little surprised by how people are handling this, so far.

My dad, the person I’d expect to be the most torn up about this, is doing a good job dealing with it. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is an absolutely murderous time for him, just like I know I’d be losing my mind if it were me, and my dad had passed away, but he rolls with the punches better than anyone I’ve ever known. He mentioned, and I agreed, that a) he was probably the best prepared for this, having talked to his father every day for the past couple of months, and b) the reality hasn’t really hit him full-force yet. When we get to Boston, I’m sure that will change, but the result of that one hitting home isn’t something I look forward to seeing. I can only hope that I can be that stoic when I end up in his situation.

My brother, for the first time since we were in High School, seems to be the go-to guy for my parents. Normally, they book tickets or hotel rooms in my name, but this time, I was at work and had to get the news from a voicemail half an hour later, and he answered the phone. I’m glad he’s finally gotten himself together to the point that I don’t have to be the one in charge. He got the hotel, he moved his finals up (I didn’t even know he was in school!) to make time, and we’re taking his car up. He’s working tomorrow, taking a Math exam, and taking minutes at an AA meeting

All that I, personally, had to do was call out of work and tell Rob I wasn’t going to make the gym this week, or his birthday party Thursday. I think I’m holding it together by focusing on the immediate plan - to go to work, run errands, and get to Boston. No time for feelings and such, there’s business to take care of, and I have a plan. The curious doublethink of knowing that I’m distracting myself before the storm, but still carrying on with it.

Personal business aside, work was really nice about giving me the time off on such short notice. Seriously, if you live near Columbia, MD, and are looking for a challenging but rewarding IT/web development consulting job, give OmniTI a call.

I’m looking forward to going back to Boston, a city I fell in love with growing up, and seeing my brother and parents, who I haven’t seen since last Christmas, and my extended family, who I haven’t talked to, or even so much as emailed, in over a decade. I’m not exaggerating there. It really has been that long, and it’s a little sad that it takes something like this to get us all together.

I’m leaving tomorrow night, and I’ll be back on Saturday.

print Dumper $life{recent};

It’s perl, you jackass.
To start, I fixed some stuff on the site that was bothering me. The Asides are spaced out a bit, and there are fewer of them - those columns are far too narrow for that many posts. I also stopped comments flagged as spam from appearing on the Recent Comments sidebar, and if you noticed that the permalinks to posts on those comments didn’t work, you noticed it too late, because it’s fixed now.  Finally, I fixed the photos not appearing. In a stellar example of why I prefer not to use other people’s services or software, flickr blocked the API key that FAlbum was using, due to overuse. Which, considering how many people like me were using the key through that plugin, is hardly a shock.

It might be my own fault for not changing it, but I really do not recall seeing anything about changing that in the docs or comments. Whatever, I applied for a new API key, and it works now, and should stay working forever.

In other news, I screwed up on my taxes and owed quite a bit of money to the government. It’s not that I did the math wrong or anything, but I took too many exemptions, and have been drastically underpaying all year. Whoops!

It just so happens that I realized this, as is typical for me, on April 15th. Which not only gave me no time to prepare for it, it was also the same day that I had to take my car in for service. Which also cost quite a bit. I ended up driving a Ford Taurus until yesterday, which had two things going for it: decently quick, and gave me the opportunity to come up with stupid acronyms for it.

Flimsy Overnight Rental Due To - Again, Unexpectedly - Ride Undergoing Service

Other than that, totally didn’t like the car. Weak brakes, terribly mileage, soft and floaty ride, cheap interior (column shift?!?!), and it barely fit in the garage. I’m really not a Ford fan.

This is the sort of E/N crap I told myself I wouldn’t bother posting, but I’m trying to force myself to update, even if E/N is all I’ve got to post. Expect real content later this week, including poorly written reviews of the new Nine Inch Nails and VNV Nation albums.