Friday, August 31, 2007

What...Is Are Those?

My apologies to all the sensible people out there, but of what are those made (hehe, nice grammar), clay?


At Work

A program that runs automagically crashed yesterday evening. A problem with a query. "Incorrect syntax near 'WATERHEATER'" was the exact error. Mmm. Informative.

This morning I needed to fix that error. Pulled up the source code, ran it in order to debug it. Got a different error. Type mismatch. Hmm, that's odd I say.

I start to root around in the program, trying to figure out this new error. Oh wait, I see, at one point in the program we have a 16 element array and at another point it is 11.

To make a long story short, the source code that I have in source safe, the ONLY source code that I have, is NOT the same as what was used to compile the last executable.

That big pile of crap on my desk just got a little bigger.

Fabulous Movie Reviews®

Featuring Dirk Diggler as an Army sniper who loses his best friend and decides to live way out in the mountains all by himself with his dog.

Pure unadulterated action movie. That's all this is. Oh, don't get me wrong, the story's not half bad, but it only serves as a necessary evil between all the explosions and kickassery. A very entertaining movie.

Gagknee's Grade: B+

The Hills Have Eyes II
I liked the first The Hills Have Eyes (the remake) and I gave it 3.8 stars out of 5. This one just plain sucked. The dialogue was awful. The characters were pulled straight out of the Stereotyper's Bible. Two white guys, two black guys, two girls and one Hispanic (actually one of the girls was Hispanic too). A lot of "cracker" and "homes" and "i'm a woman and therefore better than you" thrown around. Wow. Original. The story was lame, and there wasn't one scary moment. No tension. Nothing. Bad, bad movie.

To directly quote myself yesterday whilst talking to the Help Desk, "Pretty lame. Pretty laaaame."

Gagknee's Grade: D-

The Simpsons Movie
Wow. WOW. I went into the theater not knowing what to expect. Oh sure, people told me it was good, but since when have I put any stock into what people say? Well, those people were correct. It's the funniest thing to come out of Springfield since Clinton was the President. If they could guarantee the high quality of this film, then they should cancel the TV show and just concentrate on making a movie every other year.

Gagknee's Grade: A

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Camping Tales

Went camping last weekend. It was fun. I love to camp. The last few times that I have gone however the temperatures were a bit cooler. Those weren't family trips, just strictly Rubbed (haha. I love old nicknames. (really old, like 9th grade old.) I was Andscrew. Our other friend was Russhole, the best nickname evah.) and I.

October 2001. In the George Washington National Forest, specifically Tasker's Gap, after four wheeling all day getting wet and muddy, we discovered the temperature had dropped to an unseasonable level for Virginia and we shivered the night away in our summer weight sleeping bags. Miserable. The riding wasn't even that good because I blew a tire that day, and the next day, after almost dying in the cold, I threw a camshaft bearing.

May, 2002. First year at Hatfield-McCoy, we stayed at the Twin-Hollow Campground. While I will never say anything bad about the residents of West Virginia, that first foray into the wilds of their state for two Northerners (I will never call myself a Yankee) was a little bit scary. Especially when we couldn't understand their language. We've adjusted since then. Anyway, the weather at that time of year was perfect. And unlike the previous camping trip and subsequent camping trips where we had to subsist on a diet of cured tubed meats cooked over flame, we were able here to ride into town to get decent food, but we still ate plenty of sausage in the evenings.

November 2004. Again with the George Washington National Forest, but this time we started at the Pedlar trail system. I was nervous, and I packed accordingly. Last time I camped in this area it was a month earlier and freakin' cold. No need to worry, we were fine this time. It probably didn't get colder than 40. The only trouble we had was finding firewood in the dark when we arrived in order to cook our meat tubes. Man, they were good.

But anyway, my most recent camping trip was with the family and we went to Pocahontas State Park which is about 20 minutes south of where we live. Very family friendly, albeit boring, complete with four pools and two water slides. The only problem was the oppressinve heat. When it's a 100 its hard to sleep in, on or around a sleeping bag. Period. Other than that, it was good. And I made sure to ingest a healthy quantity of tubed meat. It was really hard to get a fire going in the humidity though. It took up to an hour of me babysitting the fire, coaxing it and telling it that it was the best fire in the world, before it worked up enough coals and caught on to some bigger pieces of wood to not need constant caring over.

Oh, I forgot to mention, while camping last weekend we saw several of these Skinks crawling up and over and around our tents and nearby trees. Apparently, they are pretty common.

At Work

"Let's give him as little information as possible, use as much financial mumbo jumbo as we can, act like the fate of the company is in his hands, and ask him to fix a program he has never seen or heard of, let alone written, which is performing a function he doesn't understand because he's only been here for 3 weeks and has never had any Dividend department training, and then ask him every 15 minutes how its going."

eff off.

Multiplied by five, the number of people who did this to me today. Oh yeah sure, suck it up, gagknee, you say. You're makin' the big bucks. Oh yeah, why don't you say it to my face? (hehehe, I'm kidding, I just like to repeat 6th grade playgroundese (then we would shove each other a few times before grappling into a mutual headlock)).

GIS Journal 6/7/1999

My supervisor always seems mad at me. I don't know what I am doing wrong. Hopefully, she won't get me fired.

Not A Fabulous Movie Review®

I started watching The Sentinel, twice, never a good sign, and I immediately spotted David Rasche, the President.

David Rasche!

DAVID RASCHE! TV's Sledge Hammer! My favorite show when I was in seventh grade. I've been meaning to get it from NetFlix, but I am afraid. Some things are better as happy memories. Like Welcome Back, Kotter, my favorite show when I was in fifth and sixth grade. My dad didn't like that show. I still remember vividly him saying, "It was banned in Boston!"

The Joys of Home Ownership and/or Fatherhood

My house has had several plumbing problems that I've had to fix since we moved in. All of them caused by poor workmanship (lousy plumber). But last night, my plumbing problems were caused by youngest son.

A little toy train was flushed down the toilet and got lodge inside. I bent a coat hanger so that it had a little hook at the end (for hooking the toy), but after 15 minutes that proved futile. So I dismantled the toilet in hopes of pushing the object out the other end.

Eventually I was able to get the train out, and the toilet back together. And it didn't leak when I was done. Nine times out of 10, in plumbing, if you take apart something that is working perfectly, with no leaks, it WILL leak after reassembly. This was my 1 time out of 10, I guess.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I stumbled upon this while reading something else on The Onion. I'm a little (very behind) on my Onion reading because I can't read it at work.

Link to The Onion. It makes fun of Ben Affleck.

At Work

There are always certain people at work who drive you nuts. All you have to do is see their face. They don't even have to speak in order for you to cringe and/or hide, and usually they each have their own personal catch phrase. Here are some of my coworkers catch phrases, past and present that make me shiver and sometimes wet my pants:

"Quick question for yuh"

"It's doing this and this and this. Why?" or simply "Why?"

"Recompile the kernel"

"We've got a problem"

"Whudya find?"

"Heeey, Andy"

"What would it take to..."

"I need you to fix my problem"

"Do you see what I mean?"

"That just can't happen"

"Why does it do that?"

"You got anything for me?"

In and of themselves most of these phrases are pretty innocuous, but I associate each one of them to a specific customer/user who has haunted me over the past ten years.

When I resigned from a job in Manch Vegas where I worked for three years, my boss said to me, "It's not because of Larry, right? Because there will be a Larry in any company you work for."

Obviously, I knew that, and its not the reason I quit, but it's true. Every company has its Larry.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

At Work

I tend to write programs based on what I would like to do rather than what I am supposed to do.

Boss #x: Did you go through that list of programs of which you know nothing about, dissect the code, and determine if it can be remediated?

Me (What I said): Phew, wow, all that stuff, it's such a maze, this program connects to that program and this program, and this program also feeds into this database. I'm trying but it's gonna take a little time.

Me (What I was thinking): Nah, as far as I am concerned all of your programs can be remediated, I spent the day writing something in to parse these gawd awful text files that our system generates and tomorrow I am going to do it in C#. Why? Because.

Not Just for Prospectors Anymore

For the first time in my life I find myself shopping for a pickaxe (I actually edited a small portion of this wikipedia entry (my first time ever doing that) because the grammar was just awfuller than anything I have read in recent memory).

I have a lot of gardening (I don't like that word, old women garden). I have a lot of yardscaping to do, and once you get below the topsoil the ground becomes hard-as-concrete clay. Digging through that with a Walmart spade is a bone jarring exercise in futility.

I recently removed
several Helly, err, Holly bushes from around my front steps. Now, there are many varieties of Holly, some of them, like the actual trees, are nice, but mine were almost deadly. The spines on the tips of the leaves are sharper than any thorn. They easily went through my leather gloves. I had one of these spines go through my fingernail. THROUGH it. The actual fingernail. That hurt. Another spine went into a knuckle and the tip must have broken off under the skin. The knuckle was swollen and purple for a month.

Anyway, I was glad to finally have these bushes gone. But now I have to replace them. I've been to three different nurseries, but my head just spins at all the choices. I'm leaning toward some mixture of dwarf crape myrtles, hydrangeas and other assorted small flowering plants.

Holy crap. That's enough talk about flowers for one post. Drink beer! Woohoo!

Getting back to the pickaxe...

It's a really dangerous looking thing. What if somebody is dumb enough to sneak up behind you whilst swinging it?

Fiberglass handle or wood?

Definitely gotta make sure I get the 5 lb head.

And in other tangents, Lowe's's website has issues with Firefox. Idiots. I don't have an example for you, because now it is working, but I swear it wasn't a minute ago. Don't make me go back to Home Depot.

Bodycount 2007

I really should put the little red table back up.

The total is now 19. He killed a vole. I'm surprised he hasn't killed more. They have extensive burrows all over my back yard.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

People are disgruntled at work

It's not just me and many of them are quitting. I can't wait until its my turn.

In other news, it was over a 100 degrees again today. I think I'll empty the icemaker into the kiddie pool while I watch TV.

One of my neighbor's cars (they have 6, 3 working) caught on fire. Apparently, the sun reflecting off the mirror ignited a pile of mulch.

Our cat, the one who disappeared for a month still isn't quite right. Probably suffering from post traumatic stress. He's very skittish and he has to be forced to go outside.

My daughter is watching Rachael Ray.

Today someone from my old department asked me if it was possible to do such and such. I nonchalantly told him, "Yeah." When I completed the task 15 minutes later you would think that I saved his granddaughter from a burning building. He was that excited. On and on he went about how much time I saved him. Later on in the day, he told me he and some of the other people in his group were "happier than pigs in sh*%" and "they've been looking for something like this for years." To which I replied, "I sat right next to those people for 9 months, all they had to do was ask me." But its just another example of why this job has been so frustrating ("Hey! Let's hire a programmer to fill out user request forms! Brilliant!"). Well, the old department anyway, the new department is frustrating in other ways. Like having a giant pile of poop dumped on your desk frustrating. It's not too bad most days though, except those days when there is an endless parade of whiners in and out of my office. If they offered me a sizable bonus (pretty dang sizable) to stay until the lights go out, I probably might not.

This guy who asked me to do this, he's alright, but I get a vibe from him that he probably has the largest collection of Asian porn in the South. Weird, I know.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Thoughts on Today's Red Sox Game

I never thought I would ever utter these words in my lifetime: Gagne sucks.

I didn't think we needed him, and now he's blown our bullpen's chemistry and effed up two games.

In other thoughts, J.D. Drew. Well done.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thanks for Nothing

Sorry for another work story, but I lead a pretty dull but angst filled life.

Yesterday, Thursday, apparently was designated "wear whatever the &#%! you want day" because of the 100 degree+ temperatures and the fact that our building is a dump and the AC doesn't always work.

The problem is nobody bother to tell me.

I show up wearing a long sleeve shirt (I've got some kind of allergy skin thing going on right now so I've been wearing long sleeves to keep from scratching) and khakis and everybody else is wearing flip flops, tshirts and shorts!

The last time I was that mad was when a previous boss told me to put down my pop tart and start making him some money.

Today was "wear whatever the #@$! you want day" too. Luckily, some people let me know. Its amazing what a little brute force and/or stealing their keyboards will do.

No flip flops for me but there is something about shorts and a t shirt that is so liberating. I do own a pair of flip flops, but I rarely wear them. My wife doesn't understand why. "What if I need to make a quick getaway or run away from some thugs?" Can't do that in flip flops. "What if I feel like whipping out my spade and digging a hole?" Can't do that in flip flops. The list of things I can't do in flip flops is too long to justify wearing them very often.


Here I am with a catfish I caught three weeks ago with Rob in the James River.

Why am I wearing gloves you ask? Because catfish secrete poison from their skin. Duh.

No, really, I had no desire to stick my bare hand into an animal's mouth who could literally swallow said hand whole. The glove on my right hand was merely because I didn't want to look stupid wearing only one glove.

I also caught a really big goldfish, err, carp, that day. It had teeth as big as me. I dragged it to shore and we safely removed the hook with pliers.

Random Quote from a Coworker whose Name I Do Not Know

"Theres a problem with the weeklies. I see that this one was supposed to pay on the 8th but it didn't build"



That was a pretty crappy ending to what have should have been a good baseball game.

My Thoughts

  1. Wily Mo Pena shouldn't have been batting in the 8th against the curveball chucking Bedard, but, hey, it worked out.
  2. The Orioles really should have left Bedard in rather than go to their bullpen.
  3. Gagne should have been taken out before he faced whatever left hander that was batting for the Orioles.
  4. J.D. Drew. Can't hit. Can't field.
  5. Okajima shouldn't have pitched the 9th. Papelbon should have been. It's a must win in my book, considering you already knew the MFYs had won.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thats What Happens

My neighbor dragged me over to her yard yesterday (I made the crucial mistake of making eye contact) to show me the squash and watermelon plants they have growing in various and random places in their yard.

She seemed excited about it, so I didn't rain on her parade by telling her that they should mow more than once a month.

Snakes on a Plant

Doing some yard work the other day, and a snake slithered out of a pile of dirt and roots that I was raking up. About 8 inches long. Still made me jump though. In telling this story to numerous people, the snake was described by me as looking "kinda like a big worm."

Well lo and behold, the mighty Eastern Wormsnake:

Fabulous Movie Review®

I haven't been in the mood to watch movies much lately, preferring to pass the evening hours with Lost season 2 and Simpsons season 9, not too mention the free couple of weeks of Extra Innings that I had, but I did manage to watch this movie. Even though I had never heard of it and didn't have high expections it turned out to be pretty good. Its based on that guy who sold information to the Russians a few years back, Robert Hanssen.

Chris Cooper, one of my favorite character actors, plays Hanssen. Also starring is the man who cheated on Reese Witherspoon.

Its not half bad. I guess thats all I have to say. 3 1/5 stars out of 5.


I want one of these, a Chevy Caprice:

or one of these, a Buick Roadmaster:

The 1994-96 models came with the LT1 V8. The same engine in the Camaro of that time.

New Job

I started my new job in the other department last week. Because I am a positive type guy I will start out by listing the good qualities of my position.

1. My own office
2. 21 inch LCD monitor

Now for the bad.

1. Too numerous to list.

These people in the new department are animals. A bunch of wolves. Savages.

Today somebody came into my office all in a tizzy. I don't even know this freakin' woman's name. She was going on and on about record dates and expiration dates and firm dates and pay dates and the program did something automatically and wah wah wah. I didn't know what to say or even what program she was talking about (they have dozens of ancillary programs written in every language under the sun from vb6 to python to PHP), so I said the only thing that popped into my head, "Do I look like I know what the difference between a record date and a firm date is?"

Monday, August 06, 2007

I Sweat, Therefore I Am

Its hot here right now. Real hot. The kinda heat you never get in New Hampshire, let alone for 3 or 4 days in a row.

The air is so thick and humid its like a fog and it limits your visibility. I went out yesterday afternoon and the neighborhood was completely deserted. Not a soul outside.

So, I took the opportunity to do some yardwork without having to worry about the neighbors talking to me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It's a Christmas Miracle!

We pulled onto our street tonight and there in the road was a black cat! "That's Papi!" I declared.

A month he has been gone. He doesn't look too bad. He lost weight but other than that he's the same as he was when he disappeared. His flea collar is still on even.

Two girls across the street later told me they found him that morning in the storm drain and they fed him some bologna.

Welcome back. I could have used you last weekend when I found two snakes in the yard whilst landscaping. Get back to work killing vermin and such.