First submission

I finally submitted my first photo to JPG Magazine. It’s an old photo, but once they announced the theme “Embrace the Blur” I decided I had to give it a try. Not to be cocky about it (the shot was pretty much an accident) but this photo to me epitomizes how great blur can be:

Industrial Performer

Check it out, and vote for it if you agree. I really need to sort through my “portfolio” and try submitting other photos.

EDIT: I ditched the little javascript thingie and linked directly to the photo since it shows up better. Now I’m sure the votes will come pouring in. 🙂

Sometimes my gender makes me cringe

Driving into work today I paused on 92.3 Free FM (whatever the hell that means) as a couple guys were talking about childbirth. Specifically, they were talking about c-sections and how much better they seem than “traditional” childbirth (as they called it). Now, this wasn’t about the convenience, or anything, it was about their assumption that marriages lose the whole intimacy factor afterwards due to a woman… er… not quite going back to the right shape. And no, I’m not talking about stomachs. Yes, these men were honestly suggesting that c-sections were better because the mother and child can more easily recover from any complications due to that than his pleasure could recover from a “traditional” birth.

Sometimes I am truly embarrassed by other men. The number of times I hear supposed “ladies men” display utter ignorance about the most basic functions of a woman’s body is staggering. Not that I’m an expert… I’m just saying…

At least this morning’s Tyra Banks Showhad a bright spot. Oh crap, did I just admit that I was watching Tyra? In my defense, Fox is pretty much all we get with the current antenna. And further in my defense, I was just checking some DVDs and forgot to turn off the TV as I got ready for work. That’s why I accidentally left Tyra’s show about lingerie on – yup, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Anywho, they had a couple self-professed “panty experts” on (I’m hoping that they were self-professed, as I would hate to think there’s a certification for such things) who were trying to guess what underwear women walking by wore. And these guys weren’t just wrong, they showed they had zero clue about how women dress outside of their fantasies. Each time they assumed that the woman had on some sort of sexy underthing, when most of them were just wearing your typical plain cotton numbers. I enjoyed watching them act smug and cocky while the audience laughed at them, much as I’ve enjoyed watching egotistically guys try to hit on friends of mine ready and willing to crush their spirits.

I don’t normally rant about men. It’s not like I’m trying to score any brownie points, as most females in my life know I’m way too effeminate to ever be mistaken for a womanizer or misogynist. But I think I just needed to write something to clear my head of such stupidity.

Greatest warning ever!

While trying to repair yet another botched Ubuntu upgrade, I got this fabulous warning message:

Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?]
The following ESSENTIAL packages will be REMOVED!

WARNING: Performing this action will probably cause your system to break!
Do NOT continue unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing!
To continue, type the phrase "I am aware that this is a very bad idea":

I was rushing through, so a simply Y/n prompt probably would have left me screwed (still my own fault) – but this one pretty much slams you in the face with how bad a move you might be about to make. And you just know that there are people on message boards complaining that this broke their system.

It reminds of this school I did work for at my old job. When they insisted on buying and maintaining their own firewall, rather than going through us, we made them sign a document explaining how that was entirely 100% their machine to deal with and we were not responsible for supporting it at all. Sure enough, as soon as they had problems they said something to the effect of, “We know we signed that document absolving you of responsibility, but we still think this is your responsibility.” Sometimes spelling it out just ain’t enough…

These pipes are (almost) clean

I think we were one clogged toilet from having to use our backyard as a very public bathroom. We’re talking 2 bathrooms containing: 1 busted shower, 1 clogged tub, 1 clogged sink, and 1 broken faucet. Each time something broke I was all, “That’s okay, at least the other bathroom still works!” That only lasts for so long before you’re knee deep in crap – and that ain’t just an analogy.

The upstairs shower is the least of our concerns as we’ve gotten used to just using the one downstairs anyway. No, I haven’t conceded that battle – I’m just letting the infidels enjoy the broken fixtures until a time that I feel confident busting through that wall. But once the tub downstairs started filling halfway up our calves when we showered… well, let’s just say that it was no longer the cleansing process we desired. Sick of dumping random chemicals that could be killing cute frogs and stuff down a drainpipe that went from slow to stopped up almost overnight, I started with ye olde baking soda trick. And after a few boxes of baking soda and several gallons of boiling water and vinegar were poured down I learned something – environmentally safe clog removal methods ain’t worth crap…

But before I switched back to the mighty gods of Drano and Liquid Plumber, I decided to give snaking a try. Thankfully that removed a wig’s worth of hair to clear the upstairs bathroom sink, because all it managed to do in the tub was frustrate me to the point of tears. Half a bottle of Drano later (down the drain, not my throat) and I didn’t care if the pipes below were being completely eaten through – let the damn shower just drain out into the basement for all I care! At least I won’t feel like I’m showering in the local crick! Miraculously, just as I had given up on the process, water just started rushing through as if the pipes suddenly discovered just what the hell their purpose was in life. Hours of bleaching later, and showering downstairs had quickly turned into a pleasant experience once again.

As for the faucet downstairs, I already hated that fixture, so my only beef with the hot water handle ripping out right in my hand was that it happened at the same time as EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR HOUSE SUDDENLY BREAKING!! Seriously, double-you tee eff?!?! Did the warranty on our happiness just expire? Can we not just continue our peaceful existence? So I find myself buying the one of the cheapest faucets I can find at Home Despot (they were out of the $20 one, so that forced me to upgrade to one of the nicer looking units) and then having to learn some basic plumbing. The faucet replacement was actually a breeze – that told me something else would have to be totally FUBAR before I could wrap this project up. Sure enough, I found out that the drain underneath was wrapped in duct tape because the metal pipes had eroded down to aluminum foil. At this point I’ve still just got a bucket under the new sink drain as I haven’t had a chance to pick up the elbow PVC that I need.

At least the new boiler is in. Considering how much that cost (even going the lowest bidder route), I’m praying for cold weather to rush right in and justify the expense. Either that, or I’m keeping our house at 80 degrees until spring. I’m getting my money’s worth one way or another dammit!

Too geeky for me

I swung by Best Buy yesterday for my weekly what-newly-released-CDs-are-under-ten-bucks trip to find a growing campsite out front. I was briefly perplexed by the number of homeless people who would choose that area for bedding down when I remembered just how stupid people (read: boys in their twenties) can be. OMFG!! The PS3 is coming out!!1!!1 LOLOLOL!!! And some geeks just can’t get it fast enough. I guess I should give these guys some credit – perhaps they are planning to turn around and sell it on ebay with an exorbitant markup. For that I would salute them. Otherwise they just deserve ridicule and possibly even BB pellets.

At this point it’s not the price or the unwieldy waiting list that will keep me away from the PS3. Rather it’s the sheer evilness of Sony. I truly hope they go out of business. And since I’m trying to stick with convictions these days (I’m still not paying for TV!), I’m avoiding as many Sony products as I can (okay, I do get their blank DVDs when on sale). And don’t try that “but they lose money on every PS3 they sell” crap on me – hey morons, they lose even more money when that PS3 just sits on a shelf in GameStop collecting dust.

Maybe someday when our finances are more in order I’ll take a look at upgrading to an XBOX 360 or Nintendo WHEEEEEEE! But for now I’ll just say no, and keep playing my YARGH! pirated PS2 games.

One of these days…

These are the things homeownership is now forcing us to deal with:

  • Forget a possible simple fix for the heater-thingy in the basement. We’re talking replacement now. Just a little rewiring was likely to coast a grand, and there was no guarantee we could even start the boiler after that was done. So it looks like we have to pony up the cash and get us a system that wasn’t initially designed to burst into flames.
  • Now the oven is in on it. That’s right, our oven stopped working. I don’t even know how that happens. It’s the most basic model you can get with built-in ignition. You just open up a pipe o’ gas and add a spark – how does that break? I could possibly understand it if the burners weren’t working… but just the oven? Dammit, I just want to cook the Trader Joe’s pizza already…
  • And of course the basement is still causing problems. I was so excited when cleaning the gutters seemed to stop the flooding. And then we really cleaned up down there, got rid of a lot of crap, installed a deep freezer, and generally made it less creepy. But that just seemed to encourage the water. Now it’s coming in from the other side and generally disguising its advances. The plumber said they could also install a sump pump for around $1100, but I say screw that – I’ve got a sledgehammer, plenty o’ liquor, and even more frustration. A concrete floor is no match.

Amazingly, this wouldn’t be so bad if work weren’t becoming truly stressful for the first time in my 3 and a half year tenure. The year end audit isn’t quite as bad this year, but when combined with being brought in as a major part of some litigation (nothing confidential here – you can read about it on our website) it really starts to drag. I’ve suddenly been getting headaches on a regular basis from all the tension in my body. It’s gotten so bad some days that I just have to shut down for an hour or so to cope.

Thankfully Mark provided me with a “copy” of Justice League Whatever that has given me the ability to prance around as a sexy, yet annoying magician who can turn robots into bunnies for a large Martian to smash with cars. Now that’s what I call stress relief…

Breaking News!

On a day when the nation rushes to the polls to determine the course of US politics for the next few years – a day where we could truly shift the direction we as a people are headed in – CNN makes sure to deliver the most important news first:
!@(images/screwcnn.jpg:L480px popimg: “What’s a KFed to do?”)

EDIT: I’m not sure why the thumbnail isn’t displaying properly on this. It seems to be a problem with the LazyImageLayout plugin and the k2 theme. Just click on it anyway.

Happy Whole Foods Day!

And a merry healthy eating season to all!

The day I’ve been counting down to for months has finally arrived. That’s right, the 55,000 square foot Whole Foods has opened across the street. You just can’t imagine how excited Lisa and I have been as we’ve watched this megastore be constructed, the workers hired, and the shelves stocked. Unless, of course, you too are dorky suburbanites with no lives. 😛

This weekend we were checking out the Whole Foods website to find out any details we could. We almost passed out from the thrill of finding out that it would open on November 1st – that’s today! There was even a preview party Monday night (which I sadly skipped, as Lisa was working late). But this morning I slipped in on my way to work; and let me tell you, I fell in love. I swear, I’m ready to sell our house and claim a corner as our new living quarters.

Tonight we’ll take a walk over for a deeper investigation. Hopefully I’ll even be able to provide some tasty photos of the mounds of fresh fish, perfectly stacked fruit, and deadly chocolate counters to make you all drool with envy – deliciously sinful envy!