Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Eat your heart out Walt Disney

I have decided I am going to take up a life in the theatre. I plan on working in the field of ice ballets. My first production will be a social commentary on the winter driving habits in the Pacific Northwest. I shall name it "Roundabouts on Ice".

I live somewhere between Seattle and Portland. We got a nice skim of ice on the roads this morning. I'm assuming it's due to freezing rain, but I didn't actually stop and interview the ice. I drive a small little car. It handles WONDERFULLY in icy weather, it's very similar to a snowmobile. But even I was having trouble this morning...

This area is well known for it's use of roundabouts, a funky sort of intersection that requires you to drive in circles until you feel dizzy. Cover these things in ice, and insanity happens. I come from the Midwest, where ice was easily battled with salt and sand. Apparently here, they don't believe in the magic powers of salt and sand. Instead everyone drives 5 miles an hour in the round abouts, run red lights because they can't stop, and fishtail all over the highway. They also like to panic and slam on their brakes.

I admit, it was bad road conditions. I did not expect it this morning, but I did have a warning before I hit the roads. And I can understand one or two mistakes being made on the icy roads. But I think they would do well to have someone actually tend to the roads. These people are not used to driving on icy roads, why make it more complex than needed?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where have all the geeks gone?

I watched I Am Legend this weekend. It was great, I loved it. It was a drama, when I was expecting a horror. Very fantastic movie.

I suggested my coworkers go and see it when they get a chance, and that got us talking about movies. One of them suggested that Transformers was the movie of the year. Seemed reasonable, but I said Pirates was in the running too, which they responded with 'meh'. 'Meh'?!? It's pirates! But alright, not everyone has the same tastes.

Then I mentioned the preview at the beginning of I Am Legend, the preview for the new Narnia movie. Oh it looked great! My coworker than said "I didn't see the first Narnia." I kinda blinked at him and asked if he read the book, he said "It was a book?" I kinda rubbed my temples, and said "You might like it. It's big, epic, awesome. The cinematics reminded me of the big battle scenes in Lord of the Rings." He said "I didn't watch that either." To which I responded "Wait, what? You didn't watch Lord of the Rings?!?" He kinda looked at me funny.

I shouted across the cubicle walls at the only other coworker that was in the office at the time "PLEASE tell me you have seen Lord of the Rings!!!" I got the response of "Uhm, I watched the movie once, I think..."

These people are programmers!!! Yet, they are not geeks. It is so strange. My Star Wars jokes fall flat on their ears also. The best I have gotten out of them is that most of them have seen Wrath of Khan (but they don't know it by name, I just say "That Sci-fi movie where they put the bug in the guy's ear" and they say "Oh yeah, I saw that once").

I think I might start performing experiments on them. Expose them to pieces of geek culture and see how the react to it. Will they embrace it? Will they reject it? Will they begin flinging their poo?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

N07 L337: Word of the year

Merriam-Webster every year holds a contest to see what should be the 'Word of the Year'. Who votes on these things? I haven't actually checked yet, but I am willing to bet very large sums of money that the vote is on the net, and that English professors don't vote much.

This year's word is: w00t

Don't be confused, those are indeed zeros. Yes, the time has come. L33t speak has made it to mainstream. Is it so elite now? The funny part is that this word hasn't even made it into the dictionary yet. The word of the year isn't even a word yet.

If they start adding l33t words to the dictionary, how will they be listed alphabetically? Things could get very complicated... for example, if a l33t word begins with E, we would instead use 3, but if a l33t word begins with A, it will use 4 (or sometimes on rare occasions @). But 3 comes before 4 in the standard alphanumeric, but A should come before E...

Runners up to the word of the year contest include: facebook, conundrum, quixotic, blamestorm, sardoodledom, apathetic, Pecksniffian, hypocrite, charlatan

What a fascinating list of words that is! I would classify all but facebook as being rather pessimistic words. They are so very 'glass is half empty', and some of them are a tad 'glass is empty because I threw it at the fucking wall'.

I think this clearly shows the direction that the world is going in... The words we use to signify this year are mostly pessimistic. However, the winning word is a neologism that signifies happiness, in a way that is young, upbeat, and digital. As a side note, in the unpopular MMORPG known MxO (Matrix Online) I played a hacker called: n07 l337 (yet everyone insisted on calling me 7, or Number 7... some even thought it was a reference to 7 of 9).

TPS Reports

I went to a conference last month, which was paid for by the company that employs me. It was a 3 day stay (two nights). I however am 90% college student, so on the first night I ordered Papa John's Pizza, which I ate for breakfast and dinner for all three days (using lined paper for a plate, and drinking Mountain Dew which I had brought with me).

When I got back, I filled out the expense reports. I attached my two receipts, and got the forms signed by the appropriate people. When I turned them in, I was informed that I needed the Visa statement with it also, so the forms were rejected. Today the statement came in, so I refilled out the forms, got the appropriate signatures, and resubmitted the paperwork. They then informed me that it was the wrong paperwork. So I filled out the correct paperwork, reattached my two receipts, got the signatures, and submitted them again.

At this point I was informed that the descriptions on the expense report were not very detailed. I had put down "Pizza for conference" when apparently I was supposed to put down "Papa John's Pizza - Pizza for conference". I also did not list the name of the hotel in the description of my hotel room. I only had 2 items, it was easy, they could have filled out the paperwork, they could have guided me through it. Or even better, they could have looked at the Visa statement and said "Gee, that's when he was at the conference, I bet that pizza was what he ate down there."

Next time, I'm going into more detail. It shall be "Papa John's Pizza - 1 large pizza with extra cheese, no other toppings. 1 garlic breadsticks. - Ate 2 slices of pizza on November 8th 8:30 pm, 1 slice on November 9th at 7:24 am and also at 9:44 PM".

I know, even better, I'll go ahead and order a pr0n movie on the pay per view in the hotel next time. That way when I fill out the description I'll go ahead and say what the movie was. I'll even describe what all positions were used. I mean, wouldn't it be better to be fired for something like that than to go insane mumbling something about my red stapler?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

MMORPG's can save your life

Finally, my belief that MMORPG's can save your life has been confirmed. A 12 year old Norwegian boy battled a real live moose and lived, all because of MMO's. The full tale can be read here. If you know Norwegian that is.

But if you don't know Norwegian, I'll sum it up for you. This 12 year old boy and his sister are walking through the woods IRL (they were probably hunting rats grinding XP or something). His sister Cheetah'ed and ran. But the hero boy (or would idiot be a better term?) decided to taunt the moose. The moose attacked. Luckily the boy's backpack had a deflection bonus. He was knocked to the ground, but was not harmed. So he decided to play possum, and feign death. The moose fell for it.

In the end, the boy and the girl survived. Another group of adventurers formed a raid and killed the moose. The noobs of Norway rejoiced. You might find this humorous, but in truth the boy said he learned the FD ability from playing WoW. Personally, I prefer Everquest 2, as there are less 12 year old boys that think they can pwn moose.

Wait, they have moose in Norway? I thought they were all in Canada eh?