To make up for going to bed early instead of writing a real article

For the past two weeks I’ve been neck deep in the gut grinding anxiety that comes from a rapid, broadside influx of “Things I Should Know About But Don’t”. Who knew “growing up” would be a pimp slap to my intelligence? (besides both my parents, my brothers and every person older than me that I’ve ever met.)

So… What do you know that you wish you had known before you found out about it? Drop some knowledge on me… please.

Weekend Tidbits: Halloween

In a rare occurrence I’m glad it’s Monday. Of course it’s less about Halloween and more about the fact that my weekend stunk worse than fish emulsion on a hot day. If you don’t know how that smells… count your blessings.

I’m exaggerating a bit though, so I’ll give you the high points.

Kicking things up a notch

For the second weekend in a row I’ve actually cooked. I think maybe it’s the weather. Fall makes me crave vegetables like nobody’s business. Last weekend I made collard greens (still good even though I scorched them a bit) and oatmeal cookie dough. This weekend I did baked chicken and potato salad. I think my next attempt will be yellow squash which is incredibly easy to make but soooo good. We’ll see though. If I’m not in the mood to cook the food never comes out right so generally I don’t force it.

Reader Rabbit

I read four really good books this weekend. Yes I’m a fast reader but they are also young adult books so it’s not as amazing as it could be.

The first was incredible… as have been all of the other books I’ve read by Nancy Farmer. The House of Scorpions is a disturbing but incredibly human science fiction story that takes place some unknown time in the future. I had no expectations when I started it because I didn’t even read the cover flap. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t because I normally avoid futuristic sci-fi. I had to stop reading several times because things got too real or too overwhelmingly deep (which for me is about 6 inches… I like my reading light ;)). My little reality breaks never really lasted long because I wanted to find out what would happen next too badly. The story makes you think and for me stirred up some strong reactions. I would recommend this one to anyone of any age.

The other three were the first in Tamora Pierce‘s Protector of the Small series, her second series about a girl studying to be a knight. I’ve read them before and I will probably read them again. A bit under the radar of my audience but if you have a younger (precocious 8 to fantasy loving 16) sister, niece or cousin this is a good author to turn them onto.

In other news…

  • I got invited to a Halloween party. I’m becoming one of the popular kids maybe? Maybe not. But even if I don’t go thanks for thinking of me. 🙂
  • 19 more days until Goblet of Fire. I’m getting so excited. I don’t know if I’m going opening day or not but I am going. I would love to go with a big group of people but if that doesn’t happen I’ll go all by my lonesome and be just as happy.
  • I downloaded and installed the WordPress Tiger Admin plugin and now my WP admin is all sexy. It’s taking a bit to get used to the color scheme but I love the menu system. Fellow WordPress users (or those that like to develop back end interfaces) should take a look.

Weekend tidbits

A Winner Am I

I won an Xbox. It’s almost less about the prize and more about the confirmation that my internet search skills rock the house. Go me.

Obligatory Weather Chatter

It’s finally cooling off around here. Today was absolutely beautiful; sunny, windy and downright chilly at times. and lower temps mean lower utilities and better chance of Sunshine actually cooking something.


I want to have a halloween party without scary movies (or scary anything else… My nerves are bad). Too bad my apartment isn’t primed for entertaining. Maybe one of my projects this week will be to rearrange furniture. I have a (round) table and chairs I’ve been wanting to get rid of if anyone is in the market for at set. They’re perfectly good… just too big for my little space.

Lowered Expectations

OMNI & Peoplefirst are perfect examples of the fact that systems don’t have to be great… or even good… hell a majority of users don’t even have to like them for them to be successful and widely used. Makes me think I should stop holding out for good ideas and start to act on the crappy ones that I have all the time.

Useful link of the weekend

Speed Demos Archive. Just in case you ever needed to see Max Payne frantically rolling through a drug trip.

Flashback of the weekend

Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers Gadget was of course… my favorite. And the game was the best. I never beat it though.

Rage and technology

This is an exercise in taking two different concepts and bringing them into togetherness and love. Please keep your divs inside the allotted browser window. No malformed code allowed, not even in the comment box. Today’s post is brought to you by the letters “ooooooooh” and the word “lovely”. Lets now commence with the sense making.


For the past few weeks I’ve been watching my good buddy (you know the one with too much spare time) whenever he can pull himself away from the PSP as he manuevers the incredibly hot (and viscious) Kratos on his quest to kill Ares the God of War . What a sentence.

Now some of you might be thinking things like “that’s got to be boring” or “normal people would prefer to play the game themselves”. Not at all. This game is awesome and has only been made more awesome by the fact that I don’t have to worry about being eaten by Cerebus puppies and can pay attention to things like the lovely tilework and the fact that in a certain room you get three warnings before the floor opens up and you fall to your death.

Kratos looking hot and bloody

Also it can rest heavily on someone elses concious that we missed the sex minigame or that to progress past a certain point requires “the ultimate sacrifice”. I rather enjoy the decapitations and breaking of necks and the ripping off (and out) of vital body parts. I even think it’s humorous that Kratos can kill the innocent run-around-in-the-middle-of-the-fight-with-my-hands-over-my-head bystanders for some more rage. but the sacrifice thing would have probably taken me a couple hours to figure out and sort of threw me off. The really odd and addictive part is that we’ve got to be almost to the middle of the game and and I’ve learned more about the story from the splash page on the game site than from the 8 or so hours of (watched) gameplay.

It does cause a tiny bit of anxiety that Jordan’s method of gaming is to go immediately to the most obvious next step (say killing all 600 medusas) and never look back whereas I tend to explore every accessible unit of space before weighing my options (ooohh you mean I can get past them without actually killing them all?) and moving on. Jordan has been very good about sensing my anxiety when it reaches critical points and going back to explore. Over all it’s a pretty synergetic mix of running commentary, sarcastic interjection and proper appreciation that reminds me of the good old days of web dev.

The Technology

In other news.. I have joined the masses of people in Tallahassee (and around the world) that own a cell phone. I’m rather happy about it even though it wasn’t my idea and left up to me would have probably never happened. But it wasn’t left up to me and I picked it up at Greyhound package express almost a week ago. I almost have my number memorized.
Samsung e105. Sleek and pretty
It’s a lovely little flip phone with no camera, no keyboard, no intergalatic remote control… it’s just a phone. And I love it that way. It does have the capability for instant messaging and web browsing but I’m not impressed. I’m currently doing both of those things quite well on a 19 inch flat panel monitor with a nice full sized keyboard and wireless mouse. The thought of switching to an almost-two-inch cell phone display with a number pad is not appealing.

We’re using T-mobile and my phone is Samsung and between the two they have the worst user manual and written documentation ever. Ok it’s not the worst ever but kinda bad isn’t as dramatic. Basically I’ve been trying to figure out how I need to enter numbers into the phonebook so that they work when I try to call them. Seems like it should be a pretty basic need but I appear to be wrong since no help exists on the site or in the rather thick (and mostly useles) user manual for the phone. Such is life.

In conclusion…

So thats the news from Lake Sparkalyn. Where all the women are geeks, all the men are obsessive and all the cell phone manuals are a waste of time. Images taken from and respectively.

How not to manage

Dear Managers,

If you would like to keep your day job and have the minimum of people disgusted by you… then please don’t push your responsibilities onto others… especially if they are your customers.

For example…

Lets say that I come into your restaurant one fine spring evening for a my red meat and carbohydrate fix. I’m happy and in a lovely mood so I don’t really get irritated that it takes the waitress an abnormally long time to show up and offer me liquid refreshment. Furthermore, by the time I notice that the same waitress is sitting conversing with (apparent) freinds at the adjacent table, I’m pretty ambivalent because I’ve already got my beverage and buns.

It becomes an issue when the aforementioned staff member breaks her promise to restock the warm rolls “as soon as they get out of the oven”. It doesn’t help the situation when I bite into my previously lovely (if slightly rare) burger and have my taste buds assaulted by a taste so foul and putrid that my eyes begin to water. The multiple unsuccessful attempts to make eye contact with my server to bring this to her attention only increase my annoyance. This also leads me to notice that while there appear to be several hundred wait staff members… there is only one manager visible… and he is working the bar. I am a very sympathetic person so I understand that shit happens. But sympathy runs thin as minutes add up.

Now pay attention kiddies because this is the important part.

You’re dealing with a customer who has had an overall subpar experience in your restaurant but who is nevetheless smiling at you and explaining the situation in a calm and reasonable voice and who has demonstrated much patience as movie time draws closer and closer.

You should not

  • Come over to the table and ask in a worried and above all distracted voice what the problem is
  • Make a face and say “that’s odd” when I explain to you the stomach turning and unpleasant addition to my burger, as if to say…”You’re obviously lying. Our restaurant would never let that happen”
    Practically calling me a liar is bad enough but to act as if it is completely inconceivable when the foul-smelling partially chewed remains are right there on my plate instead of apologizing as if your life depended on it… well that’s just rude.
  • Ask what I would like you to do.
    Why are you asking me? You’re the manager and I’m the upset customer. Tell me what you will do to make it better and if that is not acceptable… I will let you know. I would like you to do your job and try to make me happy. Thanks.
  • When you are told what I would like you to do (pay the bill) hesitate for a good minute with a pained look on your face as if you are about to say no.
    This is why you shouldn’t ask that question dear. If you’re not prepared to accept whatever the customer “would like you to do” then don’t even go there. Offer to the pay the tab or replace the food. Otherwise be prepared to smile and accept whatever the customer wishes without batting an eye or have a damn smooth reason for why you can’t/won’t.
  • Look as if you are about to cry as you offer a limp handshake and beg us to “come back and see us.”



I don’t know that he ever actually apologized. (not an apology worth remembering anyway) I think he just said “that shouldn’t happen.” I should have let him smell it.

Robots was good even though I completely destroyed a bag of skittles while attempting to open it sending a rainbow (get it??) of artificially flavored pellets all over my lap and the heads of the people below me. Go me! Thanks Jordan for leaving the incident at your initial eyeroll of disbelief (which was priceless by the way). Now you can tell me that I’m being overly dramatic. And I owe you some skittles. 😀