Bring your own fork

January 31, 2006 - Tuesday

 R.I.P., Evaporation

Evaporation has ended.

Sigh…

It was one of the best journals out there, bar none. No matter how long or short he was writing, Steve could turn a phrase and hit a nerve like nobody else. The web will be a little duller now without his journal.

Fortunately, he has a new project on the horizon, so we have something new to look forward to. But I think I’ll always miss Evaporation a little bit.


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January 30, 2006 - Monday

 Take Off, to the Great White North

I’m taking Bob and Doug McKenzie‘s advice: I’m going to take off to the Great White North. It’s a beauty way to go, after all. I’m flying to Calgary Wednesday, and I’ll be there ’til Friday.

That’s one of the nice things about this job (aside from watching The Office at the office) — I’m still traveling but the trips are short. Instead of being stuck in a hotel room and away from Beth and Zoe for 10 days like I was for my last job, with this company it’s a 2 day quick in-and-out. I fly in the night before, train on-site for two days, then fly home the evening of the 2nd day. Nice.

This will be my second time going to Canadia, and each time has had something to like it for. The first time, in Vancouver, I enjoyed dirt cheap sushi. My boss and I feasted like kings for something like $11 US each. And Calgary has the Elbow River and Stampede casinos going for it, with poker rooms and blackjack and craps tables and everything else I love about a casino. I like Calgary already, and I haven’t even been there yet.

Koooo-loo-koo-koo-koo-loo-koo-koo!


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January 25, 2006 - Wednesday

 PEBCAK

Part of my job is to back up the Help Desk, so I get to see all the help email that come in. I’ve done tech support before, and if there’s one thing it teaches you, it’s that people are stupid. Witness the following email that just came in:

“We are getting kicked out of (your software) after about 20 minutes. Are you having others with the same problem?”

Our software is designed to log you out after 20 minutes of inactivity. It’s a security feature. It tells you it’s doing this. You get two pop-up messages warning you about it: one tells you you’re going to be logged out in 2 minutes if you don’t do something, then after you’ve been logged out another window pops up telling you that you’ve been logged out and why. So it’s not like there aren’t any clues to what’s happening.

But still, Genius up there wants to know if there’s a problem. Yes, in fact there is, and there’s a name for it. You’re experiencing a PEBCAK error: Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard. There’s also the ID-10-T error, which also applies. Pick one. Or both.

People are stupid.


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January 23, 2006 - Monday

 The Office @ The Office

I like my job pretty much these days. I don’t think I’ll ever love a job — I’m just not wired that way (translation: “lazy motherfucker”) — but I like this one pretty good. Last Friday is a good example of why.

My boss and I are big fans of NBC’s The Office. We throw favorite lines back and forth and talk about what happened in last night’s episode and generally carry on like Office geeks. Because we are. So when episodes of The Office became available on iTunes, my boss ran right out and downloaded them to her computer.

So last Friday afternoon we’re sitting around talking about The Office and the phones are pretty quiet and there’s not much going on and we were talking about the previous night’s episode… And she says “Fuck it, come over here and let’s watch it again!” So I rolled my chair over next to hers and she fired up The Office on her computer and we watched it all over again. And when it was over, she wanted to watch another episode, too. And then when that one was over, a little after 5:00, she said “Go home.”

That’s the way to spend a Friday afternoon at work: watch your favorite TV show with your boss for an hour, then go home early.


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January 18, 2006 - Wednesday

 The View From North Andover, MA

Greetings from room 512 of the Hampton Inn in North Andover, MA. First the photos, then the complaining:

The View from North Andover, MA
What a nice view!

Room 512, North Andover, MA
What a nice room!

And now, let’s commence with the bitching. Oh. My. God. My trip out here was not fun At All. I left for the airport in L.A. at about 9:30 a.m and finally got to my room here at 2:30 a.m. the next day. Fun, it was not.

On second thought… Eh, who cares about the bitching. Here’s the short version: I had to wait several hours for a connecting flight at Dulles. Poor widdle me.

Anyway, I’m here now, and on tap for tonight is dinner with my former coworker Gavin. He lives about in Salem, about 20 minutes from my hotel. Small world, eh? I haven’t seen him since we both got laid off from the Evil Empire, and he’s now working for the San Francisco company I interviewed with a year ago that didn’t hire me because (I think) I held out for another $5k/year.

Maybe, if I’m lucky, he’ll take my picture at the Samantha “Bewitched” statue!


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January 14, 2006 - Saturday

 Playing The Rush

I hit the Commerce for some poker last night and absolutely killed. I bought in for just $60 and cashed out about 2 hours later + $250. Sweet. I was in the zone and on a rush and absolutely ran over everyone at the table.

I usually play no-limit, but since I’ve been so up and down there lately and have gotten my ass handed to me the last few sessions, this time I decided to just play 3/6. You know, go back to my roots. I also decided to play more aggressively than I usually do and see how that worked for me. Conclusion: like a charm.

The worst hand of the night was also the one that seemed to spark my rush. I had suited J4 and I forget exactly what happened with the initial round of pre-flop betting, but I accidentally raised once thinking I was calling someone else’s raise, and then someone else re-raised that and then the button re-raised that and capped the betting and I ended up calling all the raises because I was already in for two bets and it was only $6 more and what the hell.

So the flop came J4x. Sweet. Two pair for me. That had to be a pretty good hand in the face of all that pre-flop betting.

I bet out $3 and most of the table folded, but the button — the one who capped it pre-flop — raised me. I re-raised him and that made everyone else fold, and the he re-re-raised me back and I called.

At this point I put him on maybe a big pocket pair — A, K or Q — or maybe a Jack, and I was mostly afraid that I’d have kicker problems, that he had paired his Jack and would make a bigger second pair.

The turn was a 7. I bet, he raised, I re-raised and he called. When he didn’t re-re-raise me I was pretty sure he just had the one Jack and was still trying to catch a second pair, so I was in good shape.

But then the river was another 7. I knew I was dead.

Sure enough, he turned up a J8. It was a crap hand, but the two sevens on the board gave both of us a bigger two pair than I started with, and his kicker was bigger than mine and so it played. The pot was his.

But on the other hand, after I lost that pot I started a monster winning streak. It seemed that half the time the flops would hit me over the head and everybody would call me all the way down and I’d win the showdown, or I’d bluff and check-raise with nothing and everyone would fold to me. It was a beautiful thing.

For awhile there, I was invincible and I was running the table. But all good things come to an end, and so did my rush. I eventually lost a few small pots and could feel the magic was gone, and then when I misread two hands in a row (one I won, the other I lost) I figured I was tired and it was time to go.


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January 3, 2006 - Tuesday

 Brown Pants Day

Republican leaders are all wearing their brown pants today. Not because they talked on the phone last night and coordinated their outfits like schoolgirls do, but because of this story on the wires today:

WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud charges on Tuesday and agreed to help U.S. prosecutors in a corruption probe that could involve several top Republican lawmakers, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Bend over, boys. What goes around comes around and you’ve got some some serious buttfucking on the way.

My glee is tempered only by the sure and certain knowledge that the Democratic party will somehow fuck this gift up.


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 That New Car Smell

We’re getting the new year off to a roaring start here at Chez Atkins: we both got new cars!

Here’s Beth with her brand-spanking-new 2006 Lexus IS 250:

A Neeew Car!

And my new car… Well, my new car isn’t really new — it’s Beth’s old Volvo S70. It’s a hand-me-down, but it’s new to me! And it runs! Reliably, even!

That’s something I can’t say about the Land Cruiser anymore. (You can see it there, peeking in from the side of Beth’s picture, sniffing her New Car Smell.) It’s gotten to the point with the Cruiser that anytime I go anywhere that involves a “long” drive — the 40 miles down to San Pedro to board the boat to go scuba diving, for example — in the back of my mind there’s always the worry that “Gee, I hope I make it.” I won’t have that worry in the Volvo. I won’t look as cool in it as I do in the Cruiser but I’m not all that cool anyway, so it’s kind of a wash. So, sadly, I’ll be retiring the Cruisier, selling it off in the next couple of weeks.

I’ll miss it. But I won’t miss failing the friggin’ smog test every year when I try to register it.


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January 1, 2006 - Sunday

 Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!


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Charismatic misanthrope.

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