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Play my games, filthy humans!

Hey, kids! Want to play pointless and slightly buggy Java games? Check out weegames.com. So far I have a color matching game, a number crunching game, and a bizarre and unplayable Majongg isomorph.

If you like them, tell your friends to add links from their web pages to weegames, I'm trying to drum up traffic.

Thinking of you
Monday will be my 6-month anniversary of having a job for which I don't actually write code. I'm coping better than I expected... it's amazing how once you cross that line, the feeling that everyone who doesn't code should be fired kind of subsides. I can feel my grip on reality... slipping... away... In fact yesterday I saw an org chart of our marketing department, and the fact that it contained at least 80 people with 6 digit salaries and completely unexplainable, unjustifyable roles didn't even really bug me that much.

But looking back, thinking about all of the programming challenges I've faced, there's still one that comes to mind that makes feel a bit defeated.

I guess V was my white whale. Will anyone ever bring it down?

Car washing outsourced
I've made an executive decision: I think I'm going to go back to having my car washed by undocumented labor.

In the 3 years I've had this car no one has ever touched the paint but me. And what have I gotten for my efforts? Hundreds of hours of washing and waxing, and my bumper just looks like crap. (This picture was taken after I washed it-- it's chipped and ruined.)

My reasoning up to now has been that I would do a better job than a professional service--- but I'm not satisfied with my own work, so why not just save myself the time and let somebody else floss my spoiler?

Pure. Simple. Overpriced.
While shopping at a bourgeois hardwood-floors-and-track-lighting grocery store in Seattle, I came upon this product:

I had to buy it of course, and really it wasn't bad. Kind of like chewing gum while drinking water. I'm sure you could make it for less than $60.00 per gallon by tipping a bit of peppermint extract into some tap water. Mostly I bought it because the packaging is a riot.

"Pure. Simple. Mintwater."

Like "Mintwater" is some new word that they hope will become as household as "Kleenex" as soon as their revolutionary new trend in drinking water catches on.

Good luck, guys.

I'm in the wrong business
I think if you don't think that cars are fun to drive, you have no reason on Earth to not own a Honda Accord. It's the best car ever built for getting 5 people safely, economically, and comfortably from Point A to Point B along paved roads. Any other car is a waste of money.

But I really like driving cars, so I allow myself to buy more expensive, less practical cars than I otherwise would. I make decent money, I guess, so I can afford it, right? This is my current car:
Apart from wasting money on my car, I'm relatively frugal. (Some would say "cheap", but I would say "frugal".) With the money I was able to save with my frugal ways, I put a down payment on a house.

The realtor who helped me buy the house drives this car:
Of course I can't afford to buy a house with cash, so I had to get a loan. At the time we thought we had gotten a pretty good deal.

Recently I found out that immediately after my broker helped me get a loan, he bought this car:
So it begs the question: if I can just barely afford a small house and a car that is 5 times cheaper than my loan broker's car, who exactly got a good deal?

Never mind... don't answer that.
On Instability

Back in the bad old days of Windows 3.1 and 95, I came to expect that my computer would randomly crash, reboot, or otherwise spiral into some sad state that could only be corrected by interrupting the flow of AC power.

It made me so crazy that I switched to Windows NT 4.0, even though it was crappy back then--- suffering terrible multimedia and game support just so I could know that my workstation is at least stable.

So when I found that my ultra-stable Windows XP machine had rebooted itself this morning, losing some of my work in Photoshop and discarding an email I was in the middle of, I assumed it had a good excuse--- maybe it overheated or something; I've heard of that happening.

But ACTUALLY, it was because F#$%king Windows Update decided that applying a security patch to my already-firewalled computer was more important than the work I was in the middle of... so even though Microsoft says Windows XP is the most stable OS ever, it still reboots at random times by design.

If that's not instability, I don't know what is.

Fight for your right

I happened to stray into the "B" section of my playlist today, and now I'm listening to the "Fight For your Right to Party" song by the Beastie Boys. It's a stupid song, but a classic. I guess there's a market for shouting out the plight of the generic, shallow middle class white kid.

I knew this guy Kevin, who really liked that song, I guess because he was a generic, shallow, middle-class white kid. He had a "FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY" banner in his room that he made. Our group of friends played DND and made dry ice bombs and drank slurpees all summer--- the idle, pointless fun of middle school. That must have been 15 years ago now.

A few years ago, Kevin's dad died (his mom had died years ago of cancer) and he got a life insurance check. I heard he spent it on stupid stuff like a hot tub, and I guess the next year he got in some trouble over the taxes due on his dad's estate. He didn't really understand the IRS audit and thought he might go to jail.

He killed himself. He was 31.

So when I hear that song I mostly just feel guilty. We weren't good friends, didn't have a lot in common. He was kind of boring and not that smart, and back then I didn't make much room in my life for aquaintances--- you were my good friend or else a stranger. I guess I'm still kind of like that, but I'm trying.

When we all went away to college, he didn't really have anyone. If I had just bothered to talk to him a few times a year, maybe he would have thought to pick up the phone and call me when he got in trouble. I bet I could have talked him down.

But that didn't happen, so instead I have a dumb song in my playlist that reminds me of the importance of staying in touch.

Fire Drill

Today we had a fire drill at work, just like in elementary school. Select members of our staff volunteered to help in the event of an emergency (thereby guaranteeing that we would mock their little outfits).

Once we were outside, we didn't have to line up by height, though. That I felt was disappointing.

Animated GIFs are still better than Flash

By popular request, I removed this image. But you can still see it if you click here.


Here's a sampling of the pictures we took on our trip. My apologies in advance that the annotations aren't very quippy... it was late when I wrote these.

Where have I been?

I'm back from my trip. It was... far. Pictures coming soon.

California: Mt Shasta

I promise an exhaustive and boring supply of pictures once we return, but for now, this will have to do.

Still plenty of snow on Mt. Shasta in July, evidentally.

Dog Toy Cemetery

Presented to you by Natalie Dee:

Today's Quote

I lifted this one from Matt:

Some people are like Slinkys: Totally useless, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

A Familiar Experience

Trying to get free fonts out of the Internet turns out to be extremely similar to trying to get free porn. Including:

  • Lots of popups

  • Misleading redirects between different sites that don't actually have any content

  • Miscommunication about what "free" means

  • Low quality or ameteur content

  • Left with vague feeling of dissatisfaction when it's all over


I appreciate that Microsoft had enough money to pay someone to add this dialog to Excel, but not enough money to just fix the bug. What must the Office codebase be like?

The views expressed on this site are mine personally, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.