Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Panasonic introduces JenniCam in a Box.

I really can't think of any other use for this. Any business needing security would use CCTV.

Don't forget your Brain Shaker Extreme Headphones while you're there.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I suppose I should have expected it, but it came as a shock nonetheless.

Cat Herding on the Military Range. Courtesy of the Department of Defense.

Monday, December 22, 2003

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself.

A coworker's computer seemed possessed today. It would start typing a few words of gibberish from time to time into applications. Stuff like "the inferno Irish firefly ravishing purple bulldozer."

A bunch of us crowded around to watch -- it got weirder and weirder. Thinking that his computer had been hacked and an intruder was doing this, the admin pulled the network connection to his computer.

It kept on going.

We downloaded AdAware; nope, no spyware found. Virus checks found nothing. It truly seemed possessed.

Finally, we realized that it was only happening in Internet Explorer and various Office applications. After a bit of searching -- through Mozilla, which was unaffected -- we found out that it was the speech recognition engine, installed by OfficeXP, going haywire (details here).
Hm... the upper managers are all walking around with expressions like they were force-fed a bullfrog for breakfast.

My prediction: layoffs/sacking will occur on Friday or next Monday.

Edit: Actually, I think I've figured it out -- a sacking will occur, but only one. And he's (don't worry, not me, and I wouldn't mind seeing this person go) not going without a fight.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Surely, I can't be the only one to use the word cruft.

My coworkers are getting far too much entertainment out of this...

Thursday, December 18, 2003

If I have to explain the same thing to the same guy for the third time in a row... augh. How *thick* can one person be?

Something is going on at work, but nobody seems to know what. But upper management has been involved in far too many secret meetings as of late and being very particular about ensuring that the whiteboards in the meeting rooms are thoroughly erased afterwards. Managers have also been told to ask who is and who isn't going to be here next Monday and Tuesday. Curious, neh?

I just want to go home and sleep.

[Edit: Just as I posted this, my manager and his manager got pulled into the big boss' office, and the door promptly shut.]

Friday, December 12, 2003

How the heck did I become so dang old? Ok, so 30 isn't that old... but I have memories of my parents when they were in their 30s.

Mattel recently announced the release of Limited-Edition "So-Cal" dolls for
the Southern California market:

Irvine Barbie
This princess Barbie is only sold at The Irvine Spectrum. She comes with an
assortment of Kate Spade handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog
named Honey, and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy
tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with
"augmented" version.

Tustin Barbie
This modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar minivan and
matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full time occupation
or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone sold separately.

Cerritos Barbie
In addition to perfect English, this Barbie also speaks fluent Japanese,
Chinese, Mandarin, and Pilipino. She earned a full scholarship to
Princeton, even though she didn't need one. Comes with her own
street-racing import car, complete with Japanese animation decals. Large
collection of video games sold separately. Careers or homes for this Barbie
are not available, because she will stay with her parents until they die.
If you purchase a Ken doll, he must move into her family's home and wait for
their inheritance.

Van Nuys Barbie
This recently paroled former "Porn Actress" Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun,
a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a methlab kit.
This model is only available after dark and can only be paid for in cash.
Preferably small, untraceable bills. Unless you are a cop, then we don't
know what you are talking about.

Santa Monica Barbie
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2.
Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card, and country club
membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School
Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

Fontana Barbie
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small,
a NASCAR shirt, and a Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a
six-pack of Coors Light and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over
5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's ass when she is drunk. Purchase her
pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely

Newport Beach Barbie
This collagen injected, rhinoplastic Barbie wears a leopard print designer
bikini outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends at the
beach house. Percocet prescription, and monthly alimony checks are

Riverside Barbie
This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled
sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer-Gut Ken out of
Fontana Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans,
fake fingernails, and a see-through halter top. Also available with a
mobile home.

Laguna Beach Barbie
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair,
archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup, and Birkenstocks with white socks.
She prefers that you call her "Willow". She does not want or need a Ken
doll, but if you purchase two Laguna Beach Barbie's and the optional Subaru
wagon, you get a rainbow flag sticker for free.

Long Beach Barbie
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories
include a GED and a bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his '79 Caddy were available,
but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

Rancho Santa Margarita Barbie
She's perfect in every way. Her home is perfect. Her family is perfect.
Comes with a part time job to earn her own spending money and a bible for
church on Sundays. Also has a pre-assigned carpool day. We don't know who
Ken is because he's always away hunting or biking or something....

City of Industry Barbie
This Spanish-speaking-only Barbie comes with a 1984 Toyota with expired
temporary plates and three baby Barbies in the back seat, but no car seats.
The optional Ken doll comes with a meat-packer's uniform and is missing
three fingers on his left hand. Green cards are not available for City of
Industry Barbie or Ken.

West Hollywood Barbie/Ken
This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply
adding or subtracting the multiple "snap-on" parts.

Thursday, December 4, 2003

1956... Budapest is rising...

First, if you haven't already, please send me your address for Christmas/Chanukah cards!

While waiting for a lengthy compile to complete at work today, I got the idea to remake Chess. I've only heard the music; it's never been well-received as a musical, so I haven't been able to see it. Downloaded the libretto...

Ugh. I see why. The first act builds the suspense so well, only to fall completely flat in the second act. We're talking month-old open bottle of soda flat.

My thought is to tweak it a bit... keep as much of the original music as possible, but change the roles a bit, and change plot complete. Perhaps instead of US vs. USSR, recast it as Kasparov vs. HyperBlue, a mythical successor to IBM's DeepBlue. The American will instead be the project manager, set on not just proving his excellence in creating such a powerful machine but also humiliating Kasparov.