27 January 2009

Zero Thinks He's a Cat

Here I am, sitting at the computer, when Zero walks over, his tail wagging. SHBLURT! Puke noises! And then he walked away, tail still wagging.

See? Cat.

20 January 2009

C'est la vie.

For the three people on earth who couldn't tell, I love my job. Except for the part where, as of 30 January, it will be loved. Due to a lack of funding, I am among those the company had to let go on 9 January. Everyone else facing the firing squad ceased working the same day, making me the "fortunate" one who gets to stay through the end of the month, which is especially lucky when considering how rare it is to have employees continue working instead of locking them out of every computer system.

The upside of this is that the office might finally be cleaned. Might.

If anyone wants or knows someone who wants a Java software engineer, please let me know.

14 January 2009

CES 2009

Best Product That I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On: OLED displays

Biggest Television: 108" Sharp Aquos

Coolest Swag: Flexicord USB Cable

Best Swag That I Didn't Get My Hands On: ThermaPak - they were only given away for one hour on Friday, and Adam got two

Most Useful Swag: MicroSD to USB converter from NBCUniversal

Most Appropriate License Plate: "EXPRESO"

Most Surreal Moment: Adam winning the AMD Dragon text message scavenger hunt - PDF ALERT!

Weirdest Moment: walking past a guy peeing with the door open in the ladies' room, who then asked us womenfolk why we were in the wrong bathroom

Most Victorious Moment: winning a poker tournament at Wynn, buy-in = $140 on 01/10/2009 - we chopped at four players left, at which point two of us were tied for first

Stupidest Sign: "Wynn WD*" - indicates that Wynn is walking distance from the Las Vegas Convention Center

Most Impressive Booth: Samsung

Random Picture That Had To Be Included: Toasters!

08 January 2009

Woohoo I'm Important!

As some of you may have noticed, I travel a lot. And a large percentage of it involves trips originating at LAX and landing at JFK. Each of those trips results in 2490 elite-qualifying frequent flier miles. Do that five times in one year, and throw a few other random trips (Japan didn't count since those were award tickets), and you've hit 25,000 miles. That's the magic number for American Airlines to deem you a human worthy of talking to other real humans and skipping ridiculous lines. It's also called AAdvantage Gold Elite, if you want to feel really special. The benefits of Gold include exit row seats, earning extra miles, and using the Priority AAccess (yes, I too want to vomit all over everything with an extra A in it) lines. Nothing to spectacular. Until last weekend.

We booked tickets on the 430 flight from LAX to JFK. Having only flow this route 70 million times, we were both home by 2. At least we thought we were. A person (see? real humans!) called to let us know that our flight had been delayed until 730, but we could take the 1105 flight that had been delayed until 415. If there is one thing that sucks more than being locked in an airplane bathroom for 6 hours, it would have to be rushing to the airport. Wait, that's reversed. Regardless, Matt turned down their offer, while I struggled to avoid squeezing his neck until his eyes popped out. I was NOT making my dad pick us up at the airport at 330 in the morning. 1230 was bad enough, but 330? That's cruel. I'd rather pay a driver to retrieve us.

With some shoving and much ado, we were out the door a half hour later. At the airport, we strode past the peons to the special people ticket counters, hoping that an agent would make our dreams come true by putting us on the earlier flight. Sadly, she wasn't able to make those kind of changes, so it was time to be violated by the TSA. Whoever thought giving them fake badges and dark blue shirts would gain the agents more respect obviously forgot that the people wearing them were still going to be mean and bossy. Blech.

Once fully dressed, we high tailed it to gate 49A, which was conveniently located on the other end of the terminal. Shockingly, there was a long line of people waiting to talk to the gate agent. Passengers from our flight and from a diverted San Francisco flight we're vying for the few open seats. We didn't have to wait long as the ogre/gate agent declared that he was not putting any more people on standby. While there were already 28 people on the list, just kicking everyone away was not appreciated. To avoid the impending riot, we walked at a leisurely pace to the Admiral's Club (hmm - they seem to have forgotten an A there).

Once inside, we spoke to one of the nice and helpful miracle workers in a vain attempt to get to JFK before sunrise. We told her what happened, and she said if the gate agent really said that, then she wasn't supposed to put more people on the list. So she didn't. She also didn't print out standby tickets for us and suggest running. Take that subspace.

Back at the gate, the standby list had grown to 31. But we were 4 and 5. Why? Gold! We automatically were put in front of the peons. Not only did we get on the plane, we got seats next to each other! Victory!

*weekend and birthday party noises*

On Sunday morning, AA called my cell phone. I picked it up and asked what horrible thing had happened. Our flight out of EWR was overbooked, but if we were willing to take the 500 or 730 flight out of JFK, we'd be bumped up to first class. Hmm, let me think ab.... YES! HELL YES! Humans say such wonderful things compared to the drivel spewed by automated systems.

At the airport, we calmly walked past the never ending line of infrequent travelers and into the Priority AAccess area. Sure enough, there were two first class tickets waiting to be printed for us. At the gate, there were 16,000 people waiting to glare at us. First class boards first, and quite a few people were more than unwilling to let me through. I actually had to push past the final human barrier after she ignored three requests to let me pass.

While not the newest seats in the world, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There was a five course meal, warm cookies and milk before landing, and a first class only bathroom that was significantly less sticky than the one in the back of the plane. It even nice paper towels and some napkins folded into decorations. As an added bonus, we were loaned portable dvrs loaded with games, movies, and tv shows. Now it's going to extra super suck next time we fly and are stuck in steerage.

The moral of this story? If you fly way too much, AA will treat you like a human being instead of an object en route. And when it finally happens, all the crappy flights spent in the middle seat suddenly a means to an end instead of just pure hell.

06 January 2009

The War Has Been Won

Comrade Polyp was merely an insensitive clod angry at having been forced from office.

02 January 2009

New Year, New Power Tool!

There is no better way to spend 9 days of planless vacation than to turn the cat6 residing in our walls into a useful network.

Step 1: Put RJ45 adapters on the ends sticking out of walls around the house.
Step 2: Attach all the other ends to the patch panel in the garage.
Step 3: Crimp a billion short cables to go from the patch panel to the switch.
Step 4: Mount a shelf on the garage wall for the patch panel and switch.
Step 5: Plug in everything.

Simple enough, until you realize that your bracket for the patch panel doesn't actually fit, so you suddenly can't just put that and the switch on a shelf. And you don't want to buy a rack. So what's a girl to do? Make one! That's when things got fun.

I was just planning on buying a hand saw and miter box since I was NOT planning anything resembling fancy. Matt looked at me, looked at the miter box, and declared "huh?" This was closely followed by, "I thought you were going to get a skil saw or something." In case you misread that, yes, Matt did suggest that I get a jig saw instead of a boring old hand saw. Even more shocking was my response indicating that this was supposed to be cheaper than buying a rack. Silly me, I thought that they were at least a hundred dollars. Luckily, Matt was aware that this is not the case and that I'd probably die if I had to all the sawing by hand.

By now, you must be dying to know what new toy I went home with. A Ryobi 4.8A Jigsaw with a laser guide. Yay!

Oh yeah, I finished the shelf. It's just waited to be painted violet eclipse, to match the railing and garage door. Since it's not a shelf until it's purple.