Thursday 19th November 2009

these are the things that are broken

ordered list, i choose you:

  1. the car thing that's supposed to save the world. you see, those awesome batteries occasionally die. and apparently they're awesomely expensive. but i have some good news! i just paid a bunch of money to someone to basically let me keep using what i had already paid for.
  2. the iphone. though at&t doesn't know it's an iphone, and that's kind of at the root of the problem. in order to avoid allowing them to ream you on the data plan you have to perform some digital magic, among other steps. but this magic has certain side effects, including people can't call you. ask your doctor if ultrasn0w is right for you—i should have.
  3. the roof. it has holes. in it.
  4. the stereo of my other vehicle. a long time ago i turned the ignition in my truck a certain number of clicks so i could listen to the radio or whatever, but went one click too far, and then back a click, all in rapid succession, and this let the magic smoke out of the shiny lights of the faceplate. and magic smoke, as any scientist will tell you, is hard to put back in a device after it has escaped.
  5. the nail of my left index finger. and now every time i use it it's like the terrorists won their war against the kittens.
  6. the dog. i've made clear my thoughts on the matter of sub-sentient life forms. they exude smelly substances and totally ignorant of this fact. they whine for attention. and not one of them has a job.
  7. the internet. conservapedia.com will eventually become skynet.
  8. my liver. and i have the other items in this list to blame.

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Wednesday 4th February 2009

he promised me five sevens of uptime

apologies for the downtime yesterday and the previous evening. a month-ish ago i made a conscious choice to pay zero dollars for hosting; occasionally you will get what i paid for. … actually, technically, it was charter's fault for making bits of the internet go dark yesterday. blame an isp, you know, on general principle.

(it's all academic, dear reader. you weren't even aware of it. save us both some time and admit the fact.)


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Thursday 8th January 2009

there's more to life than this

i bet even you know the old saying about how when you reach the end of your life, you'll look back on it and not think, 'man, i wish i had spent more time at work.'

in my future i see data mining and analyses and reports, a dancelike feedback loop of things happening, to data, to knowledge, to other things happening. and i'm good at it, dig? so obviously it's what i want to do forever, right?

we come to the point. i tend to do this thing when i encounter something i like: i binge on it, totally saturate myself with it, eventually get turned off, stop liking it. it's an extremely male-brained thing to do. i do it all the time in many and varied parts of my life, but so far, not in any of the really important parts. my fear is that i'll inexorably work my way through all my dream jobs, all those things i'd do for free if i had nothing else to do, in exactly this manner—loved intensely, but shortly, and discarded.

i like my job. i really do. it gives me little fixes of certain things i like (including, not least of which, money). i want to continue liking my job. but the first six weeks of the year are my hell weeks, and i'm definitely smelling the brimstone; i hope this is not the year i discover i forgot to pack my asbestos armor. or my boots of +5 fire resist.

i wonder how long i could string this metaphor along. if i really tried.


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Thursday 11th December 2008

when i unzip a particular pair of my dress pants, the sound is that of the intro to 'feel good inc' by the gorillaz.

do you understand what i'm saying? do you really?

EVERY TIME I DROP MY PANTS, SOMEONE LAUGHS AT ME


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Monday 8th January 2007

comprehensive life update

i've logged 33 hours so far this week. it's monday.


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Tuesday 5th December 2006

second mondays

i now understand that a tuesday is an illusion. what we instead have is a failure of monday to cease—effectively a second monday.

this particular second monday started very early with a dream. in this particular dream i was a close personal friend of elliott smith.

elliott smith, it turns out, is a regular guy. i know this because i lived next door to him, and we were mates. he had legos on his bedroom floor, fantasy books on his shelves, an old home-built computer on the desk, a playstation under the television, outdated glasses. a card-carrying geek, if so unimaginative an epithet may be ascribed. he had a set of utterly loving parents and a cat who knew her name.

of course, elliott smith is no longer living in the strictest sense of the word, though this didn't keep him from speaking with me throughout the dream. and listen when i say that he's just like me. in fact, all throughout the dream, he didn't say a single thing that i myself wouldn't have said, were i in his position. the entire experience was eerily similar to talking to myself. i know what this is like because i do it most of the time.

i've long given up on the theory that dreams mean anything, but think about it this way: a good novel is one that lies to tell you the truth.

i'm trying to say something here, i just don't know what. it's been quite a long time since i wrote directly about a dream because it's a pretty cheap source of words, invariably flippant, ridiculous, meaningless, and meritless. it should, then, be regarded as a telling thing when it is about just such a dream that i now write, after such a long hiatus*. exactly why it is telling i leave as an exercise for the reader (hint: there are multiple solutions).

*hiatus n. period of laziness. see also: respite, suspension, you have become a boring person


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Tuesday 8th August 2006

the kenwood technical support process

is a highly refined process, one to be marveled at. marvel with me, if you will.

first, you will unwrap your product. you will take everything out of the packaging, place vital components in their long-determined places, drool over them. it shall be christmas-esque.

but wait! where are your speaker cord connectors? here are your speaker cords … here is the spot on the receiver for your speaker cord connectors, into which your speaker cords will inevitably plug …

you will diligently search the original packaging, the trash, under your couch, under your wife, in your hair, in your cat, and in your mailbox. you will not find them. resignedly, you will sit at your desk and type an email to the vendor who sent did not send your four speaker cord connectors.

patiently, and with hands tied, you will wait. for three days you will wait for the following response from the aforementioned vendor:

all missing part inquiries should be sent directly to kenwood at the following email address (…)

resignedly, you will sit at your desk and type an email to the company who sent did not send your four speaker cord connectors in the box they sent to the aforementioned vendor.

patiently, and with hands tied, you will wait. for three days you will wait for the following response from the aforementioned company:

replacement parts may be ordered through the kenwood authorized parts distributors (…)

you will browse through the multitude of options they will provide you. you will be overjoyed to learn that you have the opportunity to pay US$20 plus shipping and handling (no extra charge for dropping and being left in the sun) for four little nubbins of plastic and copper that should have been included with your original shipment. you will be so overjoyed that you will once again sit down at your desk and share your overjoyment with the people of kenwood themselves. you will most profusely thank them for the opportunity.

as you will now be a repeat contact, your message will be placed in a priority queue and beamed to the rings of neptune. there, the text of your message will be compressed and stored as crystals of methane and photographed by amateur astronomer philip drake of new guinea. phil will not at first understand what he sees, but after some analysis will decrypt the message and pass it along to kenwood support. here, it will be accidentally deleted, then accidentally recovered, then ignored, then finally misunderstood. by the fifth day you can expect the following response:

please reply with your mailing address and we will send you the speaker cords at no charge.

you will again sit down at your desk and very precisely explain the difference between the cords themselves and the speaker cord connectors, and clarify that it is not the cords you are missing, but the cord connectors.

as a third-time contact, this message will be printed out and fed to a bear in the san diego zoo while japanese tourists snap photos; the digital copy will then be deleted from the server (and the server itself burned). since no humans actually involved will actually read your most recent email describing the desired change, five days later you will receive two surround sound speaker cables.

you will curse.

now thoroughly miffed, you will call the number on the packing slip. this number, by design, will connect you to a latex factory in south wales. a bully chap whose welsh-accented name you absolutely will not be able to understand will answer, shout gibberish at you, and hang up. you will look up kenwood's number on the internet; you will completely fail to find it.

you will pay a shady figure a large sum of money to hack into the nsa's server farm and locate kenwood's true number, which you will call during their regular business hours of 0517 and 0518. the call will be answered by a finite number of monkeys who will attempt to connect you to the support department (the digits of whose extension map exactly to the letters of shakespeare's hamlet) by pressing number sequences at random. this will take several minutes. at the end you will be in touch with the gentleman who sent you the original emails. you will again explain to him the difference between speaker cords and speaker cord connectors until you are satisfied he sufficiently understands the distinction. you will then kindly ask him to send you four speaker cord connectors. he will concur and say you will have your speaker cord connectors before the week is out.

ten days later you will receive four surround sound speaker cables.

you will blog.


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