Tuesday, December 30, 2008

back to the real world

Back to the real world this week. *sigh*

After a barely-working week at Christmas, and another barely-working week at New Years, I've really been scrambling to get caught up and organized. Things are getting closer to controlled, but I'm just not quite there yet. I've got a busy afternoon ahead of me, and I'm just scratching this post out to keep the whiners from complaining about the fact that the FRIDAY Waster has been a misnomer over the holidays.

The 3 younger kids are almost all back in school now, and doing the daily winter prayer for snow. I remember a whole series of superstitions that were supposed to bring winter weather and shut down school. I don't remember if throwing ice cubes on the front lawn ever actually worked, but dammit it was worth a try. There was something else about wearing pajamas backwards or inside out, but the only thing that ever produced was a bad night's sleep and a rash from the wrong parts of the jammies rubbing on the wrong parts of the berries.

Kid1 is a different story. Just before my holiday hiatus, I was trying and trying to find out what his grades were for the fall semester. After bringing home weak grades during freshman semesters 1 & 2, his results were looking even weaker during soph 1. Halfway thru the semester, he heard the news that if he had a third strike, I wouldn't be sending another check to college.

Well, I'm not sending a check.

I don't even know how bad the grades were, actually. He wouldn't even admit any details. He simply told me that I had one less thing to worry about paying for, and that he didn't want to confess the actual GPA results.

I'm totally struggling with this whole situation. On one hand, I've busted my tail to provide him the opportunities that I never took advantage of. I don't want to yank that opportunity away. On the other hand, it's stupid for me continue to do my part (pay) while he doesn't come thru on his part of the deal (study). I use the analogy of buying lunch at a drive thru: I bought him Combo #5, super-sized, and even added an apple pie. He threw the burger out the window, so I drove back around and bought a second meal. I even drove around a third time, to the same result. I'm not buying any more cheeseburgers, until after I know he's not going to throw food out the window anymore.

So like I said a minute ago, *sigh*

On the flip side of the coin, I've got good school news, too. After way too much time invested in my basement at 2am, I finally met all requirements to get my Associates degree in CIS...with a 4.0 GPA too. I know it's only the 2-year degree, but it's my first reward after so much effort, and I'm damn proud of it. I'm looking at it like it's halftime, b/c I'm continuing on to get my Bachelors. It may be unusual to celebrate my degree with an $8 beer, a greasy bratwurst, and a stale pretzel with no salt and lots n lots of mustard, but dammit, that's how you observe halftime. All I need now is a 20 minute wait to take a leak, and I'll be ready for the second half.

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This zombie game has been showing up all over the place. I personally could do without, and intentionally didn't include it in the last Waster. It kept coming back, and I'm starting to wonder why I'm the only one that doesn't like it. (From a geek perspective, the game is amazingly efficient. But we're here to waste time, not discuss code logic.)

So simple, but so totally frustrating. Similar to boomstick, here's BOOMSHINE.

I do like ninjas. It's a repeat offender on the Waster, and totally worth it.

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Every site and every blog seems to have a "top 10 of 2008" list of some sort or another. Some lists are cool, some are funny, some make you think a bit, and some just really kinda suck monkey nads. Here is a monster list of links to all those lists.

I love Trent Reznor. He just "accidentally" posted 400Gb of NIN live footage on the interwebs, for all the world to see and play with.

Eloquence in its finest hour (since Palin): "So I think in many ways, you know, we want to have all kinds of different voices, you know, representing us, and I think what I bring to it is, you know, my experience as a mother, as a woman, as a lawyer, you know, I've been an education activist for the last six years here, and, you know, I've written seven books – two on the Constitution, two on American politics. So obviously, you know, we have different strengths and weaknesses."
- - Caroline Kennedy, in an interview with a UK newspaper

Seca found a bunch of things that make you go hmmmm...

I think Mikey has problems than he lets on...

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

holidays and happy hours

I'm on vacation in just under 3 hours. This is a quick-rip of a waster before my brain checks out for a couple of days. We're not going anywhere, just hanging around the area with the fam and some friends. No holiday travels makes the whole thing a lot less stressful.

All the kids are on break already, and The First Lady is on vaca after working a 1/2 day tomorrow, too. I've got a last little bit of holiday prep to do tomorrow morning, then my to-do list consists of keeping the fire stoked and keeping the eggnog cold.

I've had dozens of people ask about Kid1's grades, and I still don't have an answer. I'm pretty stressed over the situation, too. My gut tells me that no news is bad news, although I don't have the specific information yet.

But holidays and happy hours have a way of easing the stress. Give me a ring if you're up for HH tonight. I'm hitting the first cold one in about 2.5 hours. If I don't see you out tonight, have a safe and happy holiday!

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Seth got this game into my inbox last week, but I didn't have a chance to play with it til the weekend. It may be a bit late, but it still gave me a good giggle.

Laura found the perfect game for us dizzy blondes!

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Not-quite-right Christmas lyrics.

I know how to pronounce it, but this isn't the proper spelling, is it?
(click to enlarge)

'tis the season for The Smoking Gun to reveal that Santa isn't always a model citizen.

I've been a complete 100% non-smoker for almost 6 months now. My last smoke was the same day as my last day behind the bar. I promise that I'm not now and won't ever be one of those militant anti-everything buzzkills; smoke 'em if you've got 'em. This pic did make me stop for a moment though:
(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

those effing LED tail lights

The new LED style tail lights bother the eff out of me. I hate the flickering strobe effect, especially when an LED car is in the middle of a pack of cars with normal tail lights. Every time my eyes move from one item to another, the trail of dot.dot.dot.dot strobing LEDs gets under my skins and worms around all my nerves. It's like morse code for "pain in my ass".

I've chatted about this with a couple people recently, and realized that it doesn't annoy everyone as much as it annoys me. Most people don't even notice the flickering at all, and think I'm a nutjob.

Now I'm all curious about whether my eyes see things too slow, or if my brain interprets the visual signals too slow, or if there's some disturbance on the optic nerve as the signal travels from my eyes to my brain. I wanna know what's wrong with me!

The other day on the beltway, I snapped a pic of the strobe effect. At least in this case, I know I'm not a nutjob.

Am I alone on this?

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Monday, December 15, 2008

will it please snow already?

dogs + snow = fun
Thanks Angela!

More of my favorite NSFW advent calendar counting down the days til Christmas...

This has been a really odd holiday season so far. Royally busy, but not really focused on holiday-stuff. Not bad, just odd.

Kid1 came home from school last weekend. He's done with the semester, and home for the holidays. His grades got posted yesterday, but I haven't been able to get ahold of them yet.

He started working as a server at the 'Hole this week, which is kinda cool. I'm totally jealous. I really miss that place. I miss the people a lot, and I also miss the complete lack of responsibility that I had there. It sucks to be a grown-up sometimes.

Anyway, he started as a server this week. He's planning to work during Christmas break, and maybe during breaks in the future. He's worked tables before, so there's not much of a learning curve. He should be on the floor and making cash by the end of this week. The only question I have is in reference to his grades. If he's bailing on school, then this is a career choice, and not just a way to make some cash over break. The answer lies in the report cards.

On a different topic, we've been dog-sitting for the past few weeks. Month. For effing ever. We've got an extra chihuahua in the house for about 2 months now. Ugh. Yappy Napoleon complex insecure slobbery pain in my tail. I'm sooooo done with him. The good news is that my Christmas present is that he's going home on Christmas Eve. WHOOOOOHOOOO!

I'm outta here now. Got a lot of kidstuff and holidaystuff to do this weekend. I'm working a partial next week, and the week after, so you may get limited posting to the Waster. It all depends on exactly how I bill my hours.

Happy weekend, happy holidays!

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The gameplay sucks, but the concept is pretty slick. Real World Racer lets you drive on top of Google Maps, and even make your own course on your own streets.

This game will frustrate the hell out of you. Either that, or I had one too many car-bombs at lunch.

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Keyboards for blondes (click the pic to zoom)

Sometimes I think Boston is one of the coolest cities ever. Not this time.

The Smoking Gun posts The Mug Shots of the Year!

I always thought I was alone with my control weaknesses. James found this vid that opened my eyes to the fact that there are others who suffer the same trouble.

I never really got how a nativity seems to be special no matter how retarded it may be.

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog!" - Muntadhar al-Zeidi

Monday, December 8, 2008

pleeeeez let it snow soon

(Original found on TheBeast.)

I've got so much to share this week. Nothing important to be sure, just lots of junk. There's just been a buttload of stuff going on in the world, and I've been getting a lot of quality submissions too. Maybe my friends are just getting funnier? I try to share only the highest quality low-brow silliness, so let me know if my standards are slipping.

Home and work and school and fam stuff are all entering holiday mode. All the decorations are done; nothing left to prepare but shopping and wrapping. And paying the invoice.

Kid1 is taking his last finals today, and driving home tonight. He'll be home for about a month (maybe longer, depending on the grades I haven't seen yet.) I've got my finals next week, then my classes are on winter break for a couple weeks, too. We're not going anywhere for the holidays, but we're all taking a few days' break from work to just hang out with the fam.

On a sad note: No Christmas party this year. It's become a regular thing over the past few years, but it's just not happening this time Scheds have just been crazy busy at home for the recent months, and the First Lady simply isn't prepped to hostess the festivities. I could do it myself, but my hosting skillz don't extend much farther than making sure that alcohol > guests and there are multiple types of Doritos available.

We had a teasing of snow the other day, and whispers of more in the forecast. Snow puts me in the holiday spirit, but NSFW advent calendars are why Christmas is my favorite time of the year. (check that link daily)

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Some of us feel dumb on a regular basis. Playing Endice will make all of us feel like short-bus riding window-lickers. (Hint: the "easy" levels are a LIE!)

Drawminoes has the potential to be fun & creative, but it's just a bit too slow to get anything done. Some of the 'favorites' are interesting though, mostly b/c somebody else has already done the boring part.

Ninja Line Rider!

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There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't. The Socratic method will help you understand. It's all about those two-fingered aliens.

Goodbye, Bettie Page. You managed to combine being a classy lady AND a dirty girl at the same time. Much love.

Hoh-Lee CRAP! I'm trying to describe these guys, and Hoh-Lee CRAP is the best I can do. Not so often that I'm at a loss for words, but this? WOW.

Jen sent this to me, and I thought it was just Entertainment Tonight schlock until I clicked the link. Jennifer Aniston is 40 years old and is smokin' hot!
Eff the interview, here is the slideshow.

I'd so totally win.

Taking the fun out of all the best kid games.

1980s Saturday morning cartoon theme songs.

Laura found this vid.... I'm not sure if she was trying to make a contribution to the blog or trying to send me a warning.

Another transparency development from Obama: docs from external groups meeting w/ the transition are posted online for review and comment. Totally cool.

(giggle - no more Bush!)

Mmmmm... bacon.

Eddi's closing this week's session with some of his hometown Düsseldorf music. Die Toten Hosen (The Dead Pants!) have a new album out: In Aller Stille (In Silence). The songs rock, and the video kicks ass!
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Monday, December 1, 2008

all the world's a stage

From sinfest, best comic around. (click the pic if you need a larger view)

Whoooohoooo, good news from DC!

So anyway, the tree chopping expedition went very well last weekend. There was a bit of tension between the fam trying to make the final decision, but overall everyone was pretty laid back about the whole process, and none of the disagreements escalated into for-real arguing.

The tree they selected is really cool, too. It's got all the typical features that make a good tree: symmetrical, no bare spots, not too prickly. It's also the fattest tree I've ever had. Fat like Butterbean. Fat like a bad YourMama joke. Fat like it should have kankles. It's not only 6' tall, it's 6' wide, too. It's standing in the corner of the living room, sprawling out to the middle of the floor. I love it.

Me and two of the kids got new cell phones last night. They both moved up to good quality flip phones, and I entered the world of CrackBerry. I've been very happy with my Treo700P for the past few years, but the machine has been slipping lately; slower and slower, and not as reliable anymore. I would have liked to move up to a current Palm option, but there's not much to choose from. Palm OS is EOL, and the Centro hardware just does nothing for me.

So now I'm a CrackHead. Actually, I'm worried about being a CrackHead. Don't wanna! I use my phone for everything, but I don't live for it. It's just a really good tool. My Treo was that pocketknife that you've had for 15 years; the knife that has jimmied open door locks, whittled wood, gutted fish, and cuts a slice of apple during lunch.

CrackBerries seem different. People are weird about that shit. They LOVE their effing phones. They give me a whole new mental picture for "phone sex". I was researching phones, and one loser wrote "I am nothing without my BlackBerry, and my BlackBerry is nothing without me." Somebody needs to get laid already, and not by setting the ringer on vibrate.

Beyond the tree and the phones, the rest of the week has been pretty drudging. Work has been heavy, school has been boring. The short week last week made this one seem even longer. No worries, now that it's done.

Happy weekend!

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OK, it's been a while since I've had any REALLY good games. A bunch of the wasters over the past couple weeks have been a real waste of good blogspace. Auditorium will make up for all that wasted time wasting, and provide a legitimate reason to waste company resources. (The directions are a bit weak. Basic concept: use game objects to redirect the sound waves over the meter to make the level meter rise to the top.)

Climb the dead.

Draw my thing. (Yes, I did giggle when I wrote that.)

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Obama really does get it. An announcement on his blog declares that his website, change.gov, is licensed for open use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Officially, permission is granted to SHARE or REMIX anything on the site.

Leslie's Christmas Wish List.

MMA arm wrestling? WTF?

Santa's gmail was hacked.

This little kid wrote a book about talking to, and understanding, girls. Strange thing is, I think he's got it all figured out.

I can't translate the text, but the pictures tell me that the king of all muscledorks is living in the Netherlands. UPDATE! Google proves the theory right when you read the site translated into English!

Sometimes my problems don't seem all that bad. Other times, they write songs about me.

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