Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jay: Anticipatory Disruption is the Worst

The previous post reminded me of another item I had been meaning to link with extensive commentary about how I work on more than just programs - or don’t, all too readily - and ironically was not able to finish at the time I was writing it.  For me, writing is often the same type of thing, if not as complex as mentally loading and walking around a program.

Don’t be alarmed at the title Holding a Program in One’s Head.  It’s not about programming per se, but about classic geek work and thought styles.

And on that note, I must go, and am likely not to post again until late tonight or sometime tomorrow.  I have to get ready, take Sadie to my grandmother’s house, and then spend the rest of the day doing the final couple days worth of moving out of the old office.  Extended commentary or not, I wanted to get the link out there, because apparently it’s “differently brained” day here at Blogblivion.


02:22 PM | BusinessGeekery • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: The Doors of Perception Have Squeaky Hinges

Via Glenn, this is an utterly unsurprising yet fascinating article.

One funny thing about it is my perception of what I describe as “tunnel vision people” as being not all that bright, however unfairly.  The article points up the difference between them and someone like me.  I’ve always been bemused by the success of people who can filter so thoroughly and unconsciously that things can fall apart completely around them, because of my unfair equating of extreme filtering with limited intelligence.  Ultimately I’ve come to appreciate how helpful it might be to have nothing distract you.

I’m so amused that someone squeezed in the last four words of the article that I am using that in my title:

“We are very excited by the results of these studies,” says Peterson. “It appears that we have not only identified one of the biological bases of creativity but have moved towards cracking an age-old mystery: the relationship between genius, madness and the doors of perception.”


01:17 PM | NewsHealth CareTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To my newly blogging nephew Dan, who is 19 today.


12:26 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: She’s Gonna Love Christmas

Sadie thought her birthday was Best Thing Ever, especially the part about having people sing happy birthday to her, and getting to blow out her three blue candles, which she stuck on the cake herself.

I got about half the office moving done that I’d planned, but for the single worst item to move to the apartment, I had Dan’s help, then it made her birthday more special because Dan was here for Chinese food and cake.

In the morning Deb started the cake baking and then Sadie got to unwrap presents.  With Valerie’s help, on the 10-pack of Matchboxes, which they were both excited about.  Sadie opened the three cartoon DVDs, in which Popeye was on top, and exclaimed “a new movie!” She loved the wooden turtle puzzle, once she found out it was a puzzle and there was the challenge of putting it back together.  That’s one of the new class of “take care of it” toys that need to be specifically put away and kept safe from the younger kids.  Sadie got excellent pajamas she was excited about, a couple gorgeous shirts, and a cool pair of adjustable waist jeans.  She wore those and a rose colored shirt the rest of the day.  Valerie didn’t want to open the present for her, also gorgeous shirts from California, as it was much more fun to help open and investigate Sadie’s stuff.  Once they were out, though, Valerie eagerly wore a new green shirt most of the rest of the day.  Sadie also got a gorgeous baby blanket for Dee Dee, her doll, to use for her baby, which alternates between Molly and Holly.  Yes, we have four named dolls and a named rubber duck in the house.  Molly and Holly are cloth dolls, smaller than Dee Dee, who are dressed in green and brown, striking me as Irish and German, respectively.  Dee Dee shares Sadie’s birthday, so a gift was appropriate.

While I was gone, Deb made frosting and finished the cake, which was lemon by Sadie’s request.

I got Dan, we met Bob at the office, and while Bob grabbed two bookcases, we loaded the truck for storage.  I have to remember to bring pliers tomorrow.  I needed them the other day and found no pliers were in the office toolbag.  The matching wire cutters are there, but none of the set of good pliers.  Either someone took them, or I took them out and left them at home when I briefly had the toolbag here.  Bob could have used them in dismantling bookcases, and it was a reminder I also don’t have the toolkit in the truck that belongs there.  The van was supposed to get a toolbox, while the truck got the tool bag full of an extensive complement of tools, and supplemented by a ratchet set and driver handle/ratchet set that also fit neatly behind the seat.  And for some reason I left my giant pipe wrench there, apparently anticipating a close combat situation or need for demolition.  I never completed organizing a set of stuff into a toolbox and getting it into the van, so when I realized I was driving the van but the truck was parked, I switched the tool bag to the van.  Which is now sitting with a ton of tools in it.  And emergency supplies, including a windup flashlight, a big flashlight, and a tiny LED flashlight in a first aid kit, versus a tiny LED flashlight in a first aid kit and a small flashlight with dead batteries in the truck.  Since the pliers in the office tool bag are duplicated by ones at home, having left them home makes no sense.  It was a nice set of blunt and slim needlenose, curved pliers that if straight would look like blunt needlenose, wirecutters, and I possibly something else.  Unlike what I have at home, they were a name brand that actually cost something.

Anyway, I need pliers to pull some funky picture hangers out of the wall, before someone can hurt themselves on them.

Despite how much remains to be done to get out of the office by the end of tomorrow, I could do that without issue… except that Sadie will be expected for dinner and cake at my grandmother’s at noon.  And all the more so because Dan, whose birthday it is Sunday, won’t be there.  The plan is to try to get out of here fairly early, with Sadie, go to the office, load the truck, including a spare 17” monitor to leave at my grandmother’s for someone to take to the church to replace their dying tiny one, eat and have cake, leave Sadie for the afternoon, take the load home, go to the office, load and go to storage, go to the office, load and go to storage or home (I need to make a trip or two with nobody in the cab as there are things that must ride there, though some of that might be able to go to storage temporarily), and as much as possible and necessary, breaking to get Sadie on one trip home and going back for more as needed.

Based on today, the truck actually holds so much that the number of trips may not be that great and the challenge may be in sizes, shapes, and nature of what’s to be moved.  The truck held, without pushing, a large file cabinet, about a dozen boxes of books and such, four museum piece computers and one monitor, several boxes of software, around 1000 feet of raw ethernet cable, and in turn that all but disappeared into the previously underused storage unit.  Conveniently located just one town over and a few miles away from the office, which will no doubt sway me to put more there and bring less home, to the limits of its capacity.

But I digress.

Sadie loved having a birthday so much, she will just go nuts over Christmas.  Not just because of presents to open, but because of the specialness of the day and surrounding period of time; the ceremony involved, for lack of a better expression.  She could have had no gifts at all today, and it would still have made her whole year having cake, candles, and being sung happy birthday.  Chinese food made it even better!  She was so cute, saying “I want meat” when it was about time to serve the food.  She ate a whole beef terryaki, which was what she had in mind by “meat” in that case.  Later she ate an entire chicken finger, dipping it repeatedly and messily in duck sauce.  She pecked at the food on her plate, otherwise, but Val helped with that, eating a whole crab rangoon, then most of what she was served and part of what Sadie was served.  I gave them pork egg foo yong, orange chicken, pork fried rice, and then later they had bits of spare rib.  Then they each demolished oversized slices of cake.  And even ate a lot of it.

This will be Sadie’s first year truly aware that there’s anything special about the day, and able to appreciate fully the opening of presents, and especially of getting anything out of seeing the traditional holiday specials.  That will be so fun.


02:38 AM | BirthdaysBusinessFood & CookingKids • (1) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Jay: Happy Third Birthday Sadie Rose

That’s right, it’s Sadie’s birthday!  She is three years old today.  Boy, we have come a long way.

Here she is, creating the very latest in toddler geek fashions; a computer power cord belt*:

* It would be tempting to figure out something crafty to do with computer power cords, since I have perhaps as many as 200 of them kicking around.  Ditto for old RAM sticks.


01:38 PM | BirthdaysGeekeryKidsPictures • (3) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Hold It… Wasn’t There Another Birthday Today?

Hmmm… Whose could it be?


12:07 PM | BirthdaysKids • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Contagion.


12:06 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger spouse Mrs. Smash.


12:05 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To friend and blogger Kelly.


12:02 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, September 28, 2007

Jay: A Buying Experience

I went shopping for Sadie’s birthday last night.  She’s very hard to buy for these days!  For various couple reasons.  Are there too many pieces?  Will it be too messy or immediately destroyed?  Will it take too much space?  Is it young enough for her but bad with the other two a factor?  Will she have any interest?

I got three more of the $1 cartoon DVDs I’d probably have grabbed anyway.  Figured I could wrap and call them presents for her as something extra.

I considered getting her some kind of flashlight of her own.  Another dinosaur?  Maybe, but seems too little at 88 cents.  Doll?  But what?  And she has Dee Dee, is utterly devoted to her, but may well be a one doll mommy.  Play guitar?  She just got a Disney keyboard (which they both love and seem to be taking care of).  Sketch toy?  Maybe, but the ones that aren’t 5 and up seem a bit cheesy.

I ended up settling on a 10-pack of particularly nice steel Matchbox vehicles.  It seems redundant, but they both always like those.  Between that, the cartoons, and a wooden puzzle Deb got, she should be all set.  Especially after the gifts from extended family.

Sadie reminded me to write this post by buzzing this morning about her cake that would have twooooooo bluuuuuuue candles.  I told her three candles; she’s turning three.  She insisted; two candles.  She’s so funny!

On another note, I never saw the last Star Trek movie.  Wal-Mart now has a display of $3.92 DVDs, and that was one of them, so I grabbed a copy.


12:11 PM | KidsMovies • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To former blogger Victor of Publius.


11:25 AM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Deb: So Valerie…

Upon being removed from the tub by yours truly, rather than by her father (who is working late), said, clear as day: I want my daddy!

Way. Too. Cute.


10:32 PM | Kids • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Mmmm… TV Overload

The story of the TV season so far is overload.  There is one stretch when we have two simultaneous things and would be tempted by the third, if we had a second VCR.  Yes, I said VCR.  I still think of DVR as something for wealthy peiople, no offense to those who would consider $100 a month for cable TV a vital utility bill.

Wednesday there’s Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, with yesterday featuring the episode that got him sued because one of the most useless people ever to be a manager quit in the face of prospective firing.  Otherwise, apart from the sheer grossness encountered, it wasn’t really a more difficult turnaround than last week’s.

Opposite that is Bionic Woman.  So far?  Oooh yeah, nicely done.  One might even be excused for asking the network “who are you, and what have you done with NBC?”

The other Wednesday night thing is the Raymond Alumni Hour.  Still not sure I’m that keep on Back to You, but it’s kind of amusing and escapist, and the silly guy who’s trying hard to be Ted Knight reminds me of my step-uncle in his speech cadence and type and manner of story delivery.

Well, that and Top Model, which luckily is rebroadcast on Sundays, defusing the overload.

Tuesday we have House, starting with a bang, showing just how good a decision it was to replace the original support team with a new one to be named later.  There is also Biggest Loser, which is far more compelling than it ought to be, and on which Bob redeemed himself last week and became out hero.  This week’s lesson was “don’t be a jerk.”

Monday we have Chuck, Heroes (woohoo!), and Journeyman.  How I Met Your Mother loses out.

At least Thursday continues to be a TV wasteland, barring any impulse to watch Neela and Abby admiringly ER continue to limp along.  Well, Reaper could be amusing, and I might be watching Smallville had I not fallen out of the habit the past couple years.  Eventually we’ll see them all on DVD anyway.

The rest of the week is pretty much a wasteland too.  Perhaps it’s better to have to see two hours live and one taped on two nights, three hours live on another night, and not watch much the rest of the week than it would be to have something every night.  Still… that’s a lot.


05:33 PM | TV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Kelo, Tattered Constitution, and Oregon Enlightened

Part of the way through this article, Kelo was mentioned.  For some reason it tripped me over from merely thinking the court was moronic for Kelo, to a feeling that if the court cannot be trusted to rule correctly in a case that any idiot off the street can grasp is unconstitutional, then the country is seriously broken.

The other thing about the article in question is I can remember in the eighties reading about Oregon’s onerous land regulations.  To this day, it makes me reticent about ever living in Oregon.  I have a mental image of them being one of the worst anti-property states.  There must have been a backlash or sea change somewhere along the line, as they now correctly are required to compensate for regulatory impact on property value, not just outright takings.


03:13 PM | BusinessMoneyNewsPolitics • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Pet Peeve

Scroolbars getting “sticky.” I think Windows or whoever thought it was supposed to be “helpful,” but I will fucking decide when I want the mouse to control a scrollbar, and when I want it to then do something else, thankyouverymuch.


01:05 PM | Geekery • (0) CommentsPermalink
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