Sunday, October 28, 2007

Didja See the Game?

I bought one of these hats for 5 bucks at Walmart about 6 months ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I needed a new hat and it was cheap. I like the state of West Virginia and the colors, gold and blue, are cool.

I need to find a new hat. Something not associated with college football or any other sports team.

At least twice a week someone makes a comment about it. From "nice hat!" to "did you go there?" to simply "Mountaineer!". The dénouement occurred yesterday whilst walking on some nature trails with my family. We passed another couple, and before I could even smile and say hi to the male half of the couple, he started immediately talking about the game that day. I was cornered because my wife was lagging behind waiting for my oldest son. Luckily, I HAD watched about 5 minutes of the game so I could almost sound intelligent and not even close to the poser I am.

Guy in woods: "What a great game today, huh? 31 to nothing. Rutgers didn't even make a game of it."

Me: "31?! Man. I had to leave and it was only 7 to zip. Wish I could have seen it all!"

Guy in woods: "Yeah, Rutgers had 7 dropped passes!"

Me: "Jeez. I saw one of them. It was the rain, tough."

Guy in woods agrees emphatically.

Me agree.

Guy in woods: "It was a great win for them."

Me: "It sure was."

I've tried to get to know the school's football team, watch a game here and there, but I can't just get into it. That 5 minutes of the game that I watched yesterday was only luck, because I was amazed out how clear the rain drops were in HD. I couldn't have watched a better game because I saved myself form total embarrassment.

If I see someone in a Red Sox hat and they know nothing of the team or who won the most recent game, well, verbal abuse and probably an arrest are in the cards.

The WVU hat has got to go, in case I meet someone like me someday and go home crying.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cute

I don't like job postings that try to be cute. If I can't be cute in my cover letter or whilst describing my current job responsibilities, then you shouldn't be allowed to be cute in your job description. Oh, wait, thats right, I need you more than you need me so you have the upper hand. Touché.

Anyway, I miss the humor in this little excerpt:

# Pixels count.

# Has an opinion on what Web 2.0 means (hint: not a pre-cursor to Web 2.01).

# Pixels count (repetition intended).

If anyone would care to explain it to me, please, feel free. In the meantime, I'll pass on this one.

Lawyers, Guns and Money

Why is it when you are not in the market for a house, car or job there seem to be plenty available, but as soon as you make up your mind and start looking the market dries up?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fabulous Movie Review®

Premonition
Without giving away any of the plot, all I can say is, "Whaa? I don't get it."

Unfortunately, now I have to fill up some space in order to have enough text to wrap around the image. Why is Sandra Bullock called everyone's favorite girl next door? I don't get it. Is it because she has brown hair? Isn't it kind of insulting to be called the girl next door? Implying, perhaps, that you are kinda plain and not pretty?

Phew. Done.

Gagknee's grade: C-

I Love Me Some Crying Indians

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Now Batting...JD Drew

Hey, you know what? Any season where you make it to the ALCS should be considered a success. But, man, this team should have been so much better.

We didn't get bounced out of the playoffs by the MFYs.

And we won the division.

I've had a really hard time rooting for this team all year. Not sure why. That's not true, I do know why. The don't have any fire. Listless. Disinterested.

There were many enjoyable moments to the season. None of which I will list now. There's no need. If you care, then you already know what they are, and if you don't then you certainly won't feel like reading them.

Anyway, no matter what happens tonight, it was a good season, and let's hope that JD Drew decides to hang up the cleats for good and Julio Lugo joins the Peace Corps.

Roofie

Burning the roof of your mouth on pizza is probably the most annoying, and surprisingly the most preventable, of all food related accidents.

At Work

The 6 month project to move all of our web apps to an IT supported web server from a Dell GX270 sitting in an empty cube is almost finished.

Today I began testing the two disaster recovery servers. On one of the servers, nothing worked. Twenty apps.

On the other server we had issues with images missing, third party controls and crystal reports not working. All of which we had fixed previously when moving from Dev to QA and from QA to the two production servers.

Did anybody in IT keep any notes? "Oh I need to do this and this and this after I move the applications." Apparently not. Again these are the same people who are going to "help" us point all of our apps to a newer, better SQL Server.

I had a conversation with one of these IT guys today, an Asian guy named Charlie, and he was asking me about some of the apps, specifically, what do you do if any of these things break, do you have someone in IT to help you?

No, Charlie, I avoid that at all costs.

Me and the new guy had a good chuckle about that one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm...

cleaning up my labels, in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fabulous Movie Review®

Grindhouse: Death Proof

When Grindhouse was released in the theaters it was originally two full-length films combined to make sort of a double feature. For the DVD release, they've been split into two. Death Proof is the first to be released.

This movie can be separated into two simple parts, first half and second half. Each of those halves can be further subdivided into "Boring Character Development and Irritating Dialog" and "Wrecked Cars".

Let's tackle the first half. Seems logical to me to begin the review at the beginning of the movie. On second thought, lets start with the first half of the second half, the Boring Character Development and Irritating Dialog (BCDID) half. Of course, I am not an enemy of character development and dialog, but I think Quentin Tarantino is. Yes, the man who made dialog cool again in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and even Kill Bill, now hates dialog with a passion usually reserved by Hollywoodians for Republicans. How else can the utter ridiculousness that is the BCDID of the second half of Death Proof be explained? The conversation that the four girls who appear in this portion of film have is awful. Barely watchable. Probably the worst thing I have ever seen put to film. Worse than any Ben Affleck movie, although I've never seen Gigli so I can't say that for sure. Ohhh, I get it. I am missing the whole point of the film. It is supposeda be awful and barely watchable. That's the whole effect Mr. Tarantino was trying to create. His vision. Riiight. How silly of me.

I'm sorry but there is a difference between being cheesy on purpose and being cheesy because you are trying too hard to be cheesy. Frankly, in the BCDID half of the second half of Death Proof, I think the writer, director and actors are trying too hard to be cheesy.

The first half of the movie is cool (Although, I will say, the BCDID half of the first half, runs waaay too long). Its definitely got a 70s vibe to it with poor picture quality, bad sound, cheesy (but not too cheesy) acting and dialog which I truly believe is the reason this movie was made. Put all of that together without going overboard, for the entire movie, and it gets a grade A-, in my book.

Unfortunately, it does not have all that for the entire movie. Tarantino gets lazy. The second half of Death Proof begins in black and white stays that way for a few minutes and then switches over to a perfectly edited and crisply filmed movie with modern cameras. Throw in overreaching dialog and lots of poor acting and it makes for disappointing viewing. It lacks the "1970s bad movie" feel and just screams "straight to DVD bad movie".

Ok, I've ranted incoherently long enough about the BCDIDs, how about some wrecked cars?

The second half of the second half, the Wrecked Car (WC) half, saves the film from the $7.50 rack at Walmart, I think. It'll probably never sink lower than the $9.49 rack. It's long but not too long. Two souped up musclecars + car wreck + three chicks beat up a dude = dyn-o-mite.

The first WC sequence is very good, I particularly liked how the scene is replayed to see the effect of the accident on each character. Well done, albeit too short.

Gagknees Grade: C+ First Half, c- Second Half

Actually lets break it down further:

C ~ BCDID First Half
B ~ WC First Half
D- ~ BCDID Second Half
B+ ~ WC Second Half

As you can see, the mind-numbing atrocity that is the first half of the second half really drags this movie down.

Phone Interview Post-Op


Well, I'm glad it wasn't in person as I forgot to rinse the shampoo out of my hair this morning, reminding me of the Shower Head episode of Seinfeld.

In other news, I kinda blew the interview. Out of practice I guess.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Gotta Phone Interview

Man. Do I hate those.

Face to face. That's the way it should be.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bullwinkle's Favorite

I was researching cheese for my next grilled cheese sandwich and stumbled upon this. I don't know why it repulses me. Cow is an animal too and I have no problem with that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fabulous Movie Review®

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Comic book movies. You either love'em or you hate'em. If you love this particular comic book movie, then you probably have mommy issues. Take down your Jessica Alba in Sin City posters, take a shower, comb your hair, brush your teeth, climb up the basement stairs and GET SOME FRESH AIR! Seriously, it will do you a lot of good.

The only worse adaptation to come out of Hollywood in my recent memory is Daredevil, starring my favorite whipping boy, Ben "Manny, you can have my wife anytime" Affleck. But now, on second thought, Elektra, ironically enough starring said wife, might actually be worse. I can't remember. I hit rock bottom during my first spiral into the twisted world of pork rind addiction around that time.

Rise of the Silver Surfer also featured the stupidest product placement I have ever seen in any film. The ugly scientist guy pulls up in their space rocket plane thing and the Human Torch asks if its got a Hemi. Camera points to the grill. Sure enough. It does. Imagine that.

And finally, let me pose a question for you. You know, Rogue, from X-Men? How she can't, ya know, do it with any guys because she might not be able to control her powers at critical mass? Couldn't the same thing happen to the Human Man-whore, err, Torch?

Gagknee's grade: D+

Coming soon...Grindhouse: Death Proof

Well, I did it

I applied for that job. Mostly out of curiosity. I want to see if it is a job in the sub department of IT that has been torturing me for the past year.

Leave Me Alone

I am working on my resume right now, and I am so sick of Word telling me I have fragments everytime I make a change. Cut it out. I know already!

Edit: I figured out how to turn it off. They don't pay me the small bucks for nothin'

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Job

I'm thinking about applying for this job.

It's exactly what I am doing now (well, in a perfect world it would be), it's the same company that the new guy works for which also happens to be my company's "preferred provider", and it was posted just a few days after IT decided it was going to "help" us migrate our apps from and old sql server to a new one. See the connection?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Yeesh

92 degrees today. I had already put all my shorts and t-shirts away in the attic. That's what you do in the fall, right?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Impressions So Far of Must See TV

30 Rock
Amazing. This is probably the funniest show of the three. Two words: MILF Island. Comedy gold. Also, read Frank's blog.







The Office
Yeah. I love this show, and the first two episodes were good, the 2nd clearly the best of the two, but I think it's suffered in an hour long format. Too much Michael Scott.











My Name is Earl
The funniest season premiere I had ever seen until 30 Rock's premiere this week. Oh well. Earl isn't my favorite Thursday night show but it is consistently solid week after week.

At Work

In my last post about work, I mentioned how IT was no longer adding users to a particular database on a particular server.

I had to relay my concerns to my supervisor*. Those concerns basically being if they remove that database entirely from that server without notifying us or giving us ample time to make the necessary adjustments, then we are hosed. Hosed being a technical term I use often.

She in turn forwarded my email asking the manager of that particular group in IT, if what I said could occur.

As a sidenote, the database that all of the department's applications use is also on this server.

I am getting tired of this post, so I will be brief. He said he wants everything off that server in a couple of weeks.

Riiight.

My supervisor* and now my manager called me into an office and grilled me about this because they really don't have much clue about the ramifications or what would be involved.

Basically, I told them it was impossible to do in a couple of weeks. Maybe in 6 months if I didn't have anything else to do.

Some of the highlights of my emphatic, but controlled, rant:


  • Every application would have to be modified, because currently all connection strings are hard coded

  • I don't have up to date source code for at least a couple of these applications, so if I recompile them, who knows what I'll get

  • Testing? I can't test these programs. I don't even know how to use most of them or know precisely what they do. There will be four levels of testing too. Development, QA, Production, and Disaster Recovery. So, me and a bunch of overworked end users are going to have to test all of these apps at each of these levels all the while keeping the current applications running and happy.

  • Responsiveness of the IT team. This is the same group of people who took 3 weeks getting the new guy access to our database. And I trust them with migrating data from 50 or 60 tables to each server? In a timely manner?

  • Documentation. If the migration of our rogue web server to an IT controlled environment is any indication, the change management documentation and forms that are required will be a nightmare.

  • The department might not even exist anymore before the project is completed, getting shipped off to St. Louis.



There were more but I am tired of typing, and it's hot in here.

*She isn't my supervisor, but just happens to be the one I deal with the most.

Fabulous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches®

My wife told me that her boss was going to make himself grilled cheese sandwiches using Gouda cheese. "What a fabulous idea," I thought to myself. So we stopped at Kroger for a loaf of freshly baked bread and a small block of Gouda.

The end result was fantastic, and once a week or every other week, I'll make grilled cheese sandwiches with a different kind of cheese. Next up, Jarlsberg.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Spooked

I was a little spooked about the idea of walking to the store after dark today. My wife offered to go with me, but what good would that do? I would have to defend her and not be able to run away.

Fabulous Movie Review®

Blades of Glory
What a wonderful film. Uplifting. Chicken soup for the soul. It took my breath away. The feel good movie of the year. I feel the need to apologize once again to Will Ferrell for saying he can't carry a movie, because I know that I hurt his feelings and he has yet to forgive me.

Gagknee's grade: A-




The Messengers
Something my wife added to the queue, and I had never heard of it. A PG-13 rated horror flick? Oh, lordy.

But wait! It was a really decent haunted house story. A nice scary ghost story. Very not bad. To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be not incorrect. The acting wasn't the best and Dylan McDermott's dreamy blue eyes make me want to punch myself repeatedly in the nads, but hey it made me jump a few times, something The Hills Have Eyes 2 didn't do. I don't base my ratings on IMDB ratings, but I am very disappointed in its 5.2 rating there.

Gagknee's grade: B-


Snakes on a Plane
I'll admit I was dying for the scene where Samuel L. Jackon says, "I have had it with these emeffing snakes on this emeffing plane!" Of course, they made me wait until three quarters of the movie had passed, just like the teasers on E! News.

The funny thing about this movie is that I can't really tell how good it was or if I liked it. I didn't not like it, but was I astounded and astonished and riveted to the screen? Nah, not really. Mindless entertainment in its purest form.

Gagknee's grade: C+

Arachnophobia

Another spider incident. I stepped into my bathroom and in my peripheral vision behind me I saw something zip past on the floor.

Turning around, an involuntary sissy shout left my lips, because there in the corner was an even bigger spider than the one who escaped through the underbrush. I would estimate its body size to be about the size of tootsie roll with inch long hairy legs.

What if one of those things crawled on my face whilst sleeping?

Jeez. I really really don't want to get under the house and insulate my crawlspace before winter.

Snakes are one thing, but I don't deal well with spiders. It's probably a good idea to invest in a Tyvek suit.

At Work

New guy didn't show up today. Man, those contractors. What a life!

Requested read-only access to two databases from IT today for a new user in the department. I was informed that they are no longer adding new users to those two databases on that server because they now have those two databases on a new better server.

I asked them if all of the users on the current server had been automagically moved to the new server. You bet, he said. Except me, apparently.

Fill out a form, send it to my boss for approval, she sends it the server owner for approval, who sends it to database access control who assigns it to a dba...Two weeks later, I will find out my request was rejected, but no one will have told me.

You laugh, but its true. This JUST happened last week with the new guy.

If I had to estimate I would say about a third of the applications in our department connect to the databases on the old server. Connection string hard coded of course. Given all of the missing source code I've come across and multiple copies of projects, percentage of converting all of those applications to use the new server without problems, 0.

I don't like those odds. Therefore, I will ignore the problem and I hope I find a new job. Soon.