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calmingshoggoth

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[16 Sep 2005|10:20am]
[ mood | in pain ]

I razed a three foot radius garden plot yesterday. I extracted four azalea bushes (out of five) and left one tree (out of two) standing. We were going to plant the azaleas along the side of the house, but the irrigation control box was right where we wanted to plant the first one (yea, irrigation control box! We spent an hour trying to find it Wednesday.) so we are just going to trash them. There were more vines than plants in the plot. Nasty sticker vines with huge potato like root tubers and loooooooong woody vines that had root systems that went out six feet into the yard around the bed (it now looks like gophers have been in the yard).

I think it is nap time now.

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[16 Sep 2005|09:47am]
[ mood | in pain ]

I got a piece of mail today from the person who hired me to be Uncle Sam for two non-contiguous months (3/2003 and 2/2005). It is an International Money Order for twenty-two dollars and two cents: my last paycheck. I worked a few hours my last week in FL before starting my new contract in DC and forgot to pick up the last check. My wife eventually picked up the check and then lost it. Someone found it and called him. He called my wife and let her know he had it, but for one reason or another we never picked it back up. I am guessing he used the IMO because he is not certain which country I am currently in (and given my highly mobile work life the uncertainty was not unfounded).

Not only is he cool, the check is cool as well. It has heat sensitive ink, magnetic ink, and other security features. A part of me does not want to cash it.

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[14 Jun 2005|11:44pm]
[ mood | alive ]


Crawling out of depression. Friday I fly to FL and pick up
the wife and our stuff and drive back to DC.

5 comments|post comment

Naked surfing! [20 May 2005|08:41pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Well, Verizon lied again, twice. Fortunatly this time the lies were in my favor: DSL is up and running (on 20th not the 23th) and neither MS Windows nor MacOS were required. Actually I guess it was three lies since I didn't need to disconnect my wireless router (which was good becuase I didn't have justjayj's old machine up and running yet and my laptop doesn't have an ethernet card).
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Why do I bother? [19 May 2005|07:45pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

I am trying really hard to get the output of the DB2 code to match the output of the Informix code in production. It is nearly impossible as they did several things you should never do (in DB2 or Informix). So, I am putting together some test data from production so we can do an end-to-end test and I notice an odd gap in the data for one table. It looks like they didn't do a load for that table on 2005-04-14. All of the other tables got updated on that date. My natural curiosity made me dig a little deeper; I started trying to find the log for that run of the load script. I found the log and, lo and behold, there was an error on that day. There is no sign that any attempt was made to fix the error. The data was just never loaded for that table. Here I am trying to fix a discrepancy of a few rows (no more than five) and they let a discrepancy of over a hundred thousand rows into production.

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Wonk wonk wonk-wonk wonk [17 May 2005|07:28pm]
[ mood | Perversely Amused ]

So, DB2 sucks, but the people using Informix suck more. There are lots of migration guides on the Internet that tell you how to port an Informix database to DB2. None of them mention even a quarter of the issues we have had to deal with. what follows is just a short list of the issues we have had to deal with that aren't mentioned in any of the guides: Read more...Collapse )

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Long time away [17 May 2005|06:56pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Okay, I have been away from LJ for a long time, but I don't ever remember seeing this before:
Comment Posted Successfully

Has "Comment Posted Successfully" always been there?


In other news Verizon lied to me about the DSL a second time. They now claim I should have service by the 23rd (as opposed to the 18th, formerly the 13th). They also put in some weasel words: Please keep in mind that although your phone number pre-qualified for DSL in the initial stages of the order process, further processing may reveal that DSL service cannot be provided on your line. A question for my English major friends: shouldn't they have used a semi-colon between process and further? I know that other people in my building are using Verizon for their DSL provider, so I am not worried…yet.

5 comments|post comment

relocated [08 May 2005|02:20pm]
[ mood | lethargic ]

On Saturday I took possession of our new apartment in Washington, D.C. It is a fifteen minute bus ride from work. I have power, water, and gas, but will not have phone or internet access until Friday. This weekend I am flying down to Florida to bring most of our stuff, and possibly the wife, up here. I no longer have a vote in Congress. It doesn't bother me much yet.

This post was brought to you by the wonderful folks at Panera Bread™ and their open wireless access point.

4 comments|post comment

[08 Mar 2005|03:47pm]
[ mood | sick ]



I am a d8


Take the quiz at dicepool.com

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IP space [25 Feb 2005|01:17am]
[ mood | amused ]


Just the other day I was telling justjayj about the methods private pilots and glider pilots use to handle bodily functions in the air. Now ThinkGeek has come out with a branded version of one of them.


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new style [24 Feb 2005|11:28pm]
<p style="
white-space: pre-wrap;
text-align: justify;
text-indent: 3em;
margin-right: 3em;
"></p>

The above is the new code I am using to create my paragraphs. I used it on my previous post. Let me know what you think.

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joy [24 Feb 2005|10:03pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

On the way home today I hit a pile of slush in the road and went skidding into a curb. I am fine; however, Hunter (our car) most likely has a broken axle. The insurance company will probably total the car. There is good news though: while waiting for justjayj to pick me up at the dealership I applied for credit and have been approved. So, next friday -- when I get my first paycheck (evidence of a job and my salary) -- I can buy a new car if I wish to. I am rethinking buying a car here though. I think it is my wife's turn to get the car she wants (she is still in Florida), and, having just looked at the Metro maps again, I don't think it won't be that difficult to get to work without a car (especially if I get an apartment on the Red Line).

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Snow! [24 Feb 2005|07:11am]
[ mood | cold ]

Hello snow, it has been a long time since I saw you last. How are you? Still cold I see. Yes, this is the coat I wore last time. I always wear a coat just for you.

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Top ten things I have done that you probably haven't [23 Feb 2005|07:11pm]
[ mood | relaxed ]

I have

  1. successfully performed an inverted lotus (when I was skinny)
  2. installed Linux (or Minix in the case of the 286) on every computer I have owned (including a PA-RISC box).
  3. used lynx to browse the web from a Sidekick II ssh'ed into a BSD box.
  4. had an eight inch beard.
  5. lived so infrequently in my “home” that I have forgotten its street address
  6. worked several thirty-six hour days with only a shower and a three hour nap in between.
  7. stood naked in front of a plate glass window and waved to the frauleins.
  8. stood on the side of the road for a month dressed in an Uncle Sam suit waving at traffic and juggling for money -- not once, but twice now.
  9. gone from making ten dollars an hour to forty-nine dollars an hour in a week.
  10. lived on nothing but Dr Pepper for a month.
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depressed yeast wants to nap [20 Feb 2005|09:09pm]
[ mood | cooking ]

So, I like 66°F, but yeast just wants to nap. I have placed the bread dough in an oven that I am cycling on and off to keep warm. It already appears to be working.

Meanwhile on the job front: the office sucks, the (lack of) parking sucks ($45 dollars a week), the code is disturbing, but I do have most of my passwords already (unheard of in corporate America). I am hoping *********** will hire me soon. I would rather be doing something interesting that matters than porting code and moving data that no one will probably ever use again.

As some of you may know, I take anti-depressants (Paxil CR 25mg). So I went to refill my prescription yesterday and the pharmacist told me “Those have been recalled.” My heart stopped for a moment. Then he said he would have some more in on Monday. Apparently there was a manufacturing problem, not a new problem with with the drug itself (which has enough as it is). This just worries me about the last batch I had. Were they affected?

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homeless [13 Feb 2005|02:56am]
[ mood | nervous ]

All of my useful possessions are packed in my car and I am effectively homeless sleeping on friend's couches. It is an odd state to be in. Doubly so since I will be making ass-loads of money shortly. I have landed a year long contract at ***** doing a DB conversion. This is a good thing, but I cannot be happy about it because the jobs I want are still out of reach. One because I am a numbnut who won't get off his lazy ass to fight for it and the other because they are too disorganized by the proximity of Linux World to hire me. The later issue will be solved by time, and that is my problem. They will likely offer me a job in the next few weeks. At that point I have to decided if I should jump ship and leave ***** in a lurch and embarrass the contracting company I am going through. I really want that job, but I don't like the idea of being the sort of ass who would come on a contract and leave in the first month.

By the way, I am trying something new with my footnotes: they are in an unstyled (or should that be destyled) unordered list. Let me know how they show up in your browser.

  • † as in useful to a homeless computer guy: books, tapes, CDs, DVDs, spare parts, and cloths (in order of usefulness)
  • ‡ Well, that and the fact that I am walking into a completely new office where I know nobody and will have to go through that whole “yes, I am very weird” thing again
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Don't panic [13 Feb 2005|02:44am]
[ mood | nervous ]

So, I am sitting here in justjayj's empty apartment (she and satanlvsu2 are in NJ) reading her copy of Don't Panic: douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I am trying desperately, and failing, to not panic (see next post) when I come across a blank page. So I think “maybe I flipped two pages and this is one of those filler pages that are sometimes added to the end of a chapter to make the printing come out right.” A quick check of the page numbers shows that no, this is the next page. Then the page number hits me. I fall over laughing and at least a little of the tension is gone.

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An Abecedarian Autobiography [22 Dec 2004|02:34pm]
A is for Apple™, which is where I started
B is for black, a color to die for
C is for computers, which I love open hearted
D is for distance, which is between my lover an I no more

E is for Evilily, a joke too long to say
F is for Florida, a state I do hate
G is for games I do love to play
H is for Her, my lovely mate

I is for Indian food, which is really good stuff
J is for juggling, a minor past-time
K is for kilobyte, 64 of which should be be enough
L is for loving she who is mine

M is for she who wishes privacy
N is for normal, which I am not even a part
O is for Ogg Vorbis, which is not used for piracy
P is for punning, a despicable art

Q is for questions, of which I have some
R is for R, recursion you know
S is for the Sun, from which I want to run
T is for text, row after row

U is for umbrage, which I try not take
V is for vi, the ultimate editor
W is for words, the things I forsake
X is for The X Windowing System, my GUI core

Y is for Yes, which is what she said
Z is simply for zed
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long time no post [05 Dec 2004|10:06pm]
[ mood | tired ]

Well, I have not had a chance to post for the last eighteen days. I have been working ten hours a day, seven days a week, since the twenty-second of November. I have lost about ten pounds. Unloading trucks is not as bad as loading them. Loading trucks at Circuit City's depot entails waiting at the end of a conveyor belt stacking boxes (which range in size from shoebox to 32″ TV sets) in a trailer. If all of the boxes fit (something I have, thankfully, never had happen) you must unpack the truck and repack it. It is a hot, tiring task. On the other hand, unloading trucks is mostly done by motorized clamp vehicles and forklifts. Your job as a peon is to make sure the vehicle operators have to leave their vehicles as little as possible. This means you spend most of time cutting ties, removing plastic wrapping from boxes, rotating big screen tv set boxes so that the front of the boxes are facing inward (so the screen isn't crushed by the clamp). There are two peons and five to six vehicle operators so you are kept busy running from one truck to the next.

I do have good news on the job hunt front. I have an opportunity in Orlando. I will post more about it as I find out more. All I know at the moment is that it is in Orlando and will involve C, Perl, and a RDBMS.

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I have arrived... [17 Nov 2004|11:05am]
[ mood | calm ]

I am now in the <span class="sarcasm">great</span> state of Florida. The job I should have started yesterday has not panned out, but there is still hope (if you are a moron). I have taken back my job at the temp agency. Starting on Monday I will be unloading trucks at Circuit City's depot. I think of it as being paid to lose weight.

In Halo II news (the reason I was in Atlanta): Lance and I beat the Covenant down in about ten hours on Heroic. We tried Legendary, but we got stuck at the same place for about four hours and decided that we were not that interested in beating the game on that level. I don't know why everyone is complaining about the ending. Admittedly the last boss is not that hard once you figure out what you are doing, but the cut–scene at the end is fine. The storyline is progressing nicely. The multi–player is also excellent; however, I found myself getting lost on some of the maps. I assume I will eventually figure them out and I am just forgetting my original experiences on the first multi–player maps (or everybody else was so lost that it didn't matter).

My wife was in a car accident, which is why she has not been posting. She is fine, but the blue car is totaled. A big blue truck came around a corner in the middle of a two lane road. When the driver of the truck saw her, he/she/it moved to one lane. She had to gun the engine and get into the lane the truck should have been in. She then lost control of the car and crashed into some trees on the side of the road. It was a good thing the trees were there, otherwise she would have ended up in a lake. She has some very funny stories about the incident and I will let her tell them on her journal when she is in less pain (her shoulder hurts when she types).

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