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March 2008 Archives

March 5, 2008

i got two degrees and you get this

its been awhile since the last posting, but like I said, I was on vacation.

Now i recall leaving you all with some morbid and probably slightly disrespectful accounting of death on an airline. Well, today its time for some thing completely different.

Today is about design patterns. Some of you may be familiar with these in the computer science field, especially the book 'Design Patterns written by the GoF (Gang of Four). This was hot schnizz I got involved in when I was in college and I loved it. The idea is that for any given situation (assuming you were using object oriented programming), there is a correct solution or pattern. For example, you may have a situation where there are many objects that must have controlled interaction with the environment, much like airplanes at an airport. However, these objects don't need to communicate with each other; they can be controlled via a control tower. This solution is futher defined as a pattern and named "mediator" and the idea was that if you could identify enough patterns, you could establish a pattern language. Then as you were merrily designing your code, you could say.. "this is a great time to use mediator! or what about flyweight!"

Dorky eh? but what is interesting about this is where it comes from. If memory serves me correctly, the idea of a pattern language was presented by Christopher Alexander, an architect. He believed that for a given situation (here is a space 10 by 10 foot with certain characteristics), there were right patterns (a full length window, angled skylight, etc.). He also believed that if a solution would contain a certain feeling of "rightness" and without that, people would instinctively dislike the area. So his thing was that it was possible to design rooms, buildings, whole towns in a way that was right and made people feel good as a result.

so, now the point. How does this help you or more specifically me? Well, this is what I do. Many people have problems with using public toilets, for many reasons. The one that I can identify with is cleanliness. So when I visit one of these charming facilities, I immediately identify the most appealing looking stall, and then I avoid it. I then look for the creepiest stall there (not including the actually filthy one). I am looking for the one with the wacky door handle, strange alignment, bad lighting, anything that gives you a bad feeling about the stall. And that's the one I use.


I know, its a rather sad sketchy description of a great idea that impacts at least two fields of thinking, and I've reduced it to potty humor.

March 6, 2008

we all pay

I'd like to thank the loml for being amazing and getting me to read new books. The latest one of which is "Forty Signs of Rain" by Kim Stanley Robinson. Robinson is a good author and I recommend. Anyway, there was this nice section in the book where one of the characters remarks that people always like to get pissed off at the government for taking part of their paycheck. We all work and work and in the end get this paycheck and all we can see is that The Man has chunked off a piece. And to do what? Build roads, support schools, and assist with healthcare??? pah!

but what the book character mentions is that there is more to it. As workers, we generate a substantial amount of revenue, and its the company that decides how much to pay us. So what we think less about, or gripe less about, is the fact that The Man who is squirreling off with the money, is really our management. The CEO for instance, with his golden parachute. So after the righteous indignation fades, I wonder.. what happens to all that money?

Sure, Management is taking some, then probably marketing (cause those shitty advertisements come from somewhere), and then there is the money to maintain and support the infrastructure, money to investigate new products, money for customer service... all so that the glorious company can continue to grow, expand, and make more money?

So the next time we order a gratuitously large machine (because its coming from some other departments budget), sneak items into our expense reports, or make bad business decisions, don't worry about it. You and I are paying for it anyway.

March 10, 2008

say wat?

this is what I've learned today...
- motherhood is really tough and I'm really lucky that my mom had me without killing me, her, or anybody else. (thanks mom!)
- there are some interesting controversies going on with mount everest and the climbing of it. more on this later.
- american spirit cigarettes are all natural. no additive s!
- hot stone massages are awesome. so are saunas!

March 11, 2008

sorry everest

My dear friend in CO, I will not be talking about Mt Everest today, though I said I would. Sorry about that, but I know I will get there someday. Now on to today.

I had recently become concerned that my explorations in life had gotten a little crazy. i mean things like the vermicomposting, bowel cleansing, and the ten day silent meditation retreat. But today just takes the cake.

I have a shitty acid reflux condition. On the lighter side, I'm one of those 'lucky' people who don't get the heartburn but I get some of the other stuff: increasingly transparent looking teeth because of the acid, wicked stomach pains, terrible morning breath, and odd hiccups due to pressure on some nerve in my body (yes, I did see a doctor). The doctor put me on one of the pills but like some people, I noticed that repeated use of the pill seemed to make the reflux worse. So now I only take those when I'm in serious pain.

Medical Science had failed me, so today I decided to investigate the homebrew route a.k.a. apple cider vinegar. Like many folk remedies, many people swear by it, others refuse to believe it, and others believe that apple cider vinegar will cure cancer. And I was all for it until I came across this webpage explaining that I have to use organic apple cider vinegar because it contains this enzyme known as "mother". And before I drink the vinegar, I need to shake it up a bit so that I will get enough "mother" in me and then it can do its thing.

yeah, right.. ughh... why why why. Just for once can't there be a normal way to fix things?

March 13, 2008

every cowboy sings...

Today's entry is dedicated to sad. I mean the emotion, the feeling, you know what I mean "sad". I had to take all the cats to the vet today and one of them is still there, under observation. I'm pretty optimistic about the whole thing, but I can't explain any of this to the other cats who are at home. Mainly, the one who keeps pacing the house and crying because his sister is missing. He's been looking for hours now and every time he starts crying I wish that people like Michael Vick would die for the things that they do to animals.

So in the spirit of pain, I've decided to tell an old story. The story is called "I was stuck in the Denver Airport" and it takes place during the huge snowstorm/blizzard that hit that area in winter '06, dumping 25 inches of snow. About 4,700 people were stranded in the airport as nearly all flights were canceled for three days. I hope you like it.

March 17, 2008

websters

1. not employed; without a job; out of work: an unemployed secretary.
2. not currently in use: unemployed productive capacity.
3. not productively used: unemployed capital.

oh yeah... unemployed. Today is my first day of unemployment since my sophomore year in college, when I started working part time for the computer labs and stopped taking summer vacations. So far, I'm only 14 minutes in, but I can say one thing for sure.

I feel really good about life.

Day 1: no job

after considering my activities for the day, I will confess to some concern.

today i :
did a batch of laundry
engaged in light social interactions with friends and associates
washed dishes
went to the gym
made a pair of pants
took care of the animals (feeding, brushing, etc..)
prepared and ate 3 meals
listened to my entire collection of Depeche Mode

I own a lot of Depeche Mode. According to iTunes, I have 114 songs, 8.6 hours, 480 MB of Depeche Mode. My total music collection only amounts to 41 days of music. At this rate of consumption, I will be out of music in 3 months. I'll either have to start over or invest in XM radio.

March 19, 2008

how bout you?

yesterday I had the opportunity to donate blood during a trainee session. I heard all kinds of things about the donation process, like how to properly label the little plastic baggies and wrap everything up with rubber bands and stuff.

But the fun part for me was the sage advice on donors. According to the trainer, the longest part of donation is the screening process cause sometimes you get all bungeed up in what medication a person is on or whether they've been in a malaria zone. At this time, the trainer advises, you should just ask another person. Cause they probably know the answer already and you don't want to spend all day in the screening room. Also interesting to note is how to read a donor. Some donors want to talk, some donors don't. Donors like myself are "doing their own thing. She don't want to talk, see. but some people, they come in and good lord! all they want to do is talk!". at that point I thought I should say something on behalf of donors. "the one thing I don't like, is when the person who sticks me does a bad job. When blood starts shooting out, I don't like that." This made the trainee a little nervous and she started asking when she would get to practice learning how to stick a needle in a vein. Which was funny cause the trainer just fixed her with a steely look and said "there's no practice! you just do it! and if you get nervous, don't think you are going to get someone else to do it. I'll make you do it. Unless the donor starts getting that look where they are nervous about you. Then you can get someone else".

March 23, 2008

Week 1: no job

So, its been one week since my gainful unemployment began. How has it been?

Well, in a short summary: I have been very happy.

Really, the key to it has been to pace myself. I don't want to burn out on all this liberty. I admit, the first thing I did when I left my office was to go play Halo 3 for like 4+ hours. That game gets pretty creepy near the end, eh?

But one isolated incident of rampant gaming aside, I've been pretty good. I get up in the mornings, I dress myself (well), I feed the pets. Wow! I'm rolling in small successes already! I even feed myself and work out semi-regularly. amazing-ness.

here is what I've accomplished:
- learned how to make decent gnocci
- made meditation pants
- built a small siege tower

and sundry other small things.


where's my side of fries

ok. time to fess up. I've been holding out on you all.

The truth is that it takes effort to not go crazy when you're unemployed. I'm sure many people know this and yes, its true. So while I am much happier than I've been in many years (who knew work sucked this much?!), I also have to carefully plan my time out.

Today is a good example. During the weekdays, I had a pretty set schedule. Some housekeeping in the morning, a scheduled activity or two in the afternoon, and then some work for the evenings. Routine is good right? But then came the first weekend I'd ever had in this unemployment. So to make it special, I decided to toss the schedule and pretend it would be a regular weekend.

but the thing is, that it wasn't. It wasn't a regular weekend, because normally I stuff all the housecleaning and errands that I can't do during the workweek into my saturdays and sundays. When this weekend hit, I had nothing. and we all know how nature abhors a vacuum...

which leads us to now and the fessing up. I wasn't sure what to do today, so I decided that I would change my hair style. Now this is pretty standard; its an easy thing for a woman to do when she needs a change. but my hairdresser wasn't available, right when I'd decided to screw current fashion. Who needs long hair?? Let's go short short short! so then I realized, I'd have to cut my own hair.

Oddly enough, this was scary. I mean compared to the other stuff, you'd think this was small potatoes but no, it was scary. In the end I decided that I would just do bangs, and a few snips later (and one gash on a knuckle from a misplaced snip) and I'd done it. One modified haircut and not worth any of the anxiety that I had. Which meant of course that I had to keep going. So I decided maybe it was time for a new hair color. And off to the store I went. Since I no longer have a job, I can really do anything...

I'll reveal the color tomorrow.

March 26, 2008

all i need

I've been under a head cold these last few days. And its odd because I don't have work to relate to anymore. I mean that in the way that we don't always evaluate things on their intrinsic value, but more on their relative value. As in, Cordelia is the good daughter because she's the only one who didn't try to kill her daddy, King Lear.

anyway, if that didn't confuse you enough what i mean is that normally when i was sick, I'd take some medicine and go into work anyway. So I have no idea how bad my cold is since I can't compare it to the suck of working with a cold.

Yesterday, I took a nap with the cats on the floor. I think I might have been pretty sick cause I just about passed out. The sun was shining and the cats were all in on it, which just goes to show how messed up things are when I'm checking out what the cats are doing.

So maybe I should start engaging in more human contact. I'm thinking cooking classes or something. eh?

March 27, 2008

haiku of the moment

cats are sleeping. birds
chirping through the wet. and I
am full of it all.

March 29, 2008

Can you spare a dime

Today is for that guy who keeps trying.

I like shopping at Trader Joe's. Its a happy store and I like the items they sell. But there is that one cashier.. that one cashier who has a thing for asian chicks. and you know how I know? cause the last time I was there, the guy tried to speak to me in mandarin and I just said, "sorry". But he gave me my flowers for free, so I wasn't too miffed. (hey, what do you know? flowers do work with the ladies!)

Anyway, I went back there today and I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention and I wound up in this guy's line again. He starts checking me out (yeah, I know) and launches his opening salvo...

"soooo... you ever been to Beijing?"

and I can't believe this one, but I just say "uh, no".. but then I realize that I've completely forgotten to cruise the personal grooming section. So I say to him,

"oh, I completely forgot to buy hand soap. I'm going to need to take my basket back out there."

and he just looks at me and says "its ok. I'll wait." I can't even guess what he was thinking at this point, no wait I can guess. "the target is attempting to flee! Lock on!".

but whatever, I dash off, look at the hand soap, decide I don't want hand soap and pick up some conditioner instead. I haul back to the register where mr."you ever been to beijing" is packing up my groceries. and I have to squeeze past this woman who thinks I'm cutting in front of her.

So I hand him the conditioner, and he keeps right on going,

"Do you speak mandarin?"

And, I am just amazed with this dude. I also don't want to go through this again, so I just settle in for a minute and tell him.

"I don't speak chinese. I am not chinese. My mother is from <insert country that is NOT CHINA>" but then I relent in the name of honesty and fess up. "My mother is part chinese. So you see, I'm only sort of chinese."

and which point he hands me the groceries and we bid our adieus. And can you believe it?? He didn't give me one free item at all!

About March 2008

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in March 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2008 is the previous archive.

April 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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