Tag Archives: HAL

Goodbye Dave

XKCD Strip# 375

Pod Bay Doors

Mr. Munroe swings and hits my funny bone once again. Dang I love reading xkcd. *grin*

Team Fortress 2!

I used to love playing video games and would waste entire days doing nothing else, but over the last couple of years I’ve started slipping away from that hobby. The expense of keeping my computer updated to handle the latest games combined with the pain I’d get in my wrists just kind of killed the fun. Particularly since I wasn’t seeing a lot of new games to keep up my interest. Well, if the game behind this trailer plays anywhere close to as good as it looks; then I’ll be back to burning the midnight oil to lay waste to the enemy. *grin*

You see, one of my all-time favorite video games was the original Team Fortress mod for Half-Life. The class choices, mayhem and fun were an unbeatable combination1. Then as other mods were developed further; Valve announced they were going to go all out on making TF2. This was 5 years ago and was the last we heard from Valve about it. At least the last we heard until this month when they released the official trailer for TF2. The new character models are wicked cool and oddly enough something about the trailer reminds me of No One Lives Forever (another great video game).

Just wow! I cannot think of any better description of how cool this trailer looks. Go on, hit the link and watch it yourself!

1 At least I’ve always thought so, but others have preferred that POS called Counter-Strike.

Are you a hoopy frood, like me?

Towel Day Self Portait

If so, you better have your towel with you today! As today, is Towel Day.

For those not familiar, Douglas Adams was one of the funniest writers of our time. He wrote a wonderful series of radio plays which were converted in a a series of books and a TV show and later into a really awful movie. This was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In this, Mr. Adams wrote:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

After Mr. Adams’s death some lunatics decided to create Towel Day as a tribute to his genius. I only heard about it this year (about a week ago to be more precise) and decided to join in on the fun. And the fact that I’m telecommuting to work today had absolutely nothing to do with that decision. *grin*

Banana, Crackers and Gatorade… Oh my!

Well, I finally feel like I am at least partly back from the dead. But really, that’s getting ahead of myself; allow me to backtrack a bit.

2005. May. 7th. Ariesna and I were joined in wedded bliss. Unfortunately with her just finishing her degree and paying for a wedding money was tight so we didn’t have the cash to go some place exotic and we couldn’t really afford to spend more than a night away. So I picked a B&B just a few hours drive away. A helpful friend had recommended it as the most romantic B&B in the area. After the ceremony & reception, we drove out and enjoyed our one night there.

2006. Ariesna and I went back to the same B&B for an entire weekend. We ate out at a couple of nice restaurants, did a little shopping and hit up an art museum while we were there. It was a grand time, but by the end of it we were both tired. We got home, chilled for a while and eventually went to bed. Blissful slumber was interrupted at 4:30 AM by me waking up feeling like I was choking and/or drowning. I ran into the bathroom and spent the next 15 minutes or so kneeling in front of the porcelain throne. After getting myself cleaned up, I tried going back to bed but woke up a while later with the same problem. Again, I eventually got cleaned up and tried going back to bed. Later, I got the intense fun of making a trip to the doctor on what was supposed to be the last day of my vacation. I got weighed1, poked, prodded and a q-tip was shoved down my throat2. The doctor confirmed I had the flu combined with a sinus infection. However he was worried that I was severely dehydrated and wanted to put me on an IV to get some fluids in me. Alas after much poking (in both arms), they realized I was too dehydrated for the needle to go in properly. Eventually, they gave up on the IV and let Ariesna take me home. Though they did tell her to keep pushing fluids down me and recommended she get me to drink 2 liters of gatorade that day and keep pushing the fluids at me the next. She did so, continually waking me up from some of the best sleep I’ve ever had to drink, drink drink. And I don’t even like gatorade! *sigh* I mean the fruit punch version isn’t too bad but the rest…. yeck.

Anyhoo, I ended up spending the entire week home sick and now the night before I finally go back to the office I am feeling much better. I’m just not at 100% yet. My sinuses throb (and continually drain down my throat) and on top of that I’ve got an evening cough3 which feels like it’s going to rip my throat in half. But I’m still taking the anti-biotics the doctor prescribed and I’m hoping when the pills are gone so will be the last of my health problems.

Oh yeah, if you’re wondering about the title on this post that’s pretty much all the food I’ve eaten in the last week. It’s been thrilling. 🙁

1 No, I’m not repeating what that lying hunk of metal claimed was my weight.
2 Apparently, that’s part of the test for strep throat. Only nobody warned me in advance. Incidentally, the test came back negative but it has a 15% chance of failure.
3 It only happens after 5. No idea on why that is, but there you have it.

Employment Woes

Wednesday morning, my supervisor pulled me aside to tell me since management wants to go into beta just before I take 2 days of vacation. And since one of those vacation days conflicts with a week long Microsoft training course I was signed up for they are pulling me out of the class. I wasn’t happy about it. She wasn’t either but the decision came down from on high.

Wednesday afternoon, a co-worker and myself had to drive 4 hours to my current employer’s home office. Instead of heading straight to the hotel, we stopped along the way to get dinner. We ended up hitting the hotel around 8 PM. When we checked in there was a message asking us to call our supervisor. Neither one of us liked the sound of that. We tried calling her back but got her answering machine. We left a message and I went to my own room. I had been laying down for just about an hour and was thinking of hitting up the hotel’s hottub when the room phone rang. I picked it up and it was my supervisor. She was calling to tell me the company had decided to close our office once the lease runs out. Apparently, there’s going to be some sort of transition plan if you want to move out by the home office and continue working for the company. But as I told a co-worker, I’d rather slit my wrists then move to keep working for this company. So I’ve got somewhere between 4 – 8 months to find a different job1. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night and I wasn’t feeling motivated for teaching the next day.

Thursday, I went into the office. I chatted with a few people and they were all sympathetic (and wanting to know what we were going to do). Then I checked on the classroom and it wasn’t setup correctly, so I got to do some last minute running around to get it fixed. Then I taught, trying not to put them to sleep. The two big problems with the class were that it had to be put together at the last minute and I had 3 different groups of people attending the class. Each group having a different, non-overlapping skill set; making it impossible not to be too basic for one part of the class while being totally over the head of a different part. *sigh* Still some people seemed to get something out of the class and nobody actually snored through it.

Thursday night, we drove home.

Friday, I went into my soonish-to-be-closed office and while it was a dark humor going around; most people seemed happier than I’ve seen them for some time. Maybe good things will come of this moronic decision. Who knows? I just know that I’m going to be much more motivated to find a different job (I’d been half-heartedly looking already) and the company’s customers who pay support fees are going to get seriously pissed off2.

So if any of my readers are in the Eastern Iowa area and are hiring, maybe you could let me know?

1 We’ve got some kind of extension on the lease so it’s anybody’s guess when exactly our office will be closed, but we do know it will happen sometime between September and December.
2 From what I understand the majority of the company’s best help desk personnel are in my office. So the customers will have to wait longer to get somebody to talk to them about their issue(s) and then wait even longer for that person to fix their issue(s).

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