Sunday, March 27, 2011

Asleep

I was just thinking (as I sit here listening to Pandora)...  Aside from irony, I wonder what it would mean if I fell asleep at the wheel while listening to the group, "Asleep At The Wheel."  Sounds like a good question for philosoraptor.

Today I was able to watch the person who introduced me to Blogger a few years ago - Speck of Texas - get married.  It was a small wedding but very nicely done.  I think she should post the wedding vows on her blog, because she mentioned how difficult they were to write.  In the end, they were perfect, and I feel that they were really meaningful.  It's amazing how so many people go through the motions of what are in the standard vows, and that she really took the time to think about what she was really committing to.  Anyhow, one of many things that was good about the wedding.  I don't like the dressing-up part of weddings.  In spite of the dressing-up stuff, this was a good wedding in that it brought people together to share in celebrating two people committing to sharing their lives with one another with good food and conversation in a beautiful venue.  It beats the heck out of the usual weddings that I have come to dislike with the loud music, obnoxious DJ, and .. well .. let me just not think about it...

OUCH!  Well, I experienced an extreme pain yesterday in the calf of my right leg that seems, as near as I can tell, torn calf muscle.  In point of fact, I have never felt pain so bad in my life.  It happened as I stepped-up on a short brick retaining wall around a garden trying to go around the irrigation (sprinkler) heads I was adjusting on the system in my yard.  That put a complete finish on any yard work.  I now need to see the doctor for advice, to make sure it isn't something worse.  Argh.  Thanks to about.com, there's a great article explaining what happened and what needs to be done at http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/legpainandinjuries/a/calf-strain.htm.  I need to stop thinking about this as I start to feel worse when I think more about it.  Just last week, I had a lesser injury to the calf of my left leg...at least I think it was that one.  I can't catch a damn break.

Anyhow, time for bed.  I need some sleep.  I'm tired.  It has been a big weekend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Note to Blogger

Okay, I do have one more thing to say...  I saw a message that Blogger (who does a fine job of hosting this blog) is planning to revamp the user interface.

Please, oh, please, do not force this on us...   Please.  I beg you.

What I see quite plainly on your sample "original version" screens is a landscape display with the entire web browser filling the screen and lots of empty space in the left and right margins.  That IS NOT the way my screen looks!  I don't fill my entire display with my web browser, and the screen resolution (on my larger laptop) is 1024x768.  If you force this new format on me, then I will be constantly using horizontal scrollbars to get to the right side of the browser window (where the useful content is, in your examples).

THIS CONSTANT FORCING OF PEOPLE TO FILL THEIR ENTIRE SCREEN WITH A WEB BROWSER IS WRONG, WRONG, and ENTIRELY WRONG!

How many Javascript wizards are we going to need to hunt down to rid ourselves of this nonsense?  I already am running a browser plug-in to get rid of Google's idiotic left-hand margin nonsense area so I don't have to keep scrolling to the right hand side of the browser content.

Seriously.  Stop it.  Cut it out.  I like having a terminal window open to my e-mail display and/or whatever else I'm working on, and keeping other non-web applications open simultaneously.  I don't want my whole screen to be a browser.  Give me that option.

Really, why on Earth would I want my picture and my name and everything on THE LEFT HAND MARGIN OF MY BROWSER when I already know what I look like and don't need to reference it all the time.

Sigh.  I guess I'm doomed to live life annoyed constantly by this.  What a depressing thought right before heading off to sleep...

It Comes and Goes

A couple of weeks ago I completed another year of experience in life.  Like many things these days, it was good (as in, I survived it), it was real, but I'm not sure it was really good.  In fact, in some ways the past year downright sucked.

I've wanted to write and, believe it or not, I have written a fair amount...but it was a fair amount I decided not to publish.  In point of fact, in the past 4 weeks I wrote 4 entries that I never finished and never published.  The content was too controversial and there wasn't an easy way to keep it down to length that would enable someone to read it.  However, most of all, I got tired of writing what I felt was me providing opinions that I felt would never be corroborated.  That may be what turning 48 has meant to me - another year has past, and another year that I feel like an outsider and completely misunderstood.

Unlike some people, I don't hold differing opinions just to play "devil's advocate" or to seek attention.  I feel that I'm able to see the world from a slightly different perspective than the popular one...and I can't really say exactly why.  I have always been this way, and it has always kept me dealing with life on my own.  Lately, though, I do wonder where I'm headed next.  I keep remembering the immortal words of Yukon Cornelius when he said to King Moonraiser, the leader of the Island of Unwanted Toys, "Even among misfits you're misfits!"  Sometimes my opinions are spot-on, at other times they're just a spot (aka. blemish)...but I do feel we don't get anywhere by doing the same wrong things and expecting everything to just get better.  I seem to find that happening a lot, too.

So here are some things to think about, if not do...based on my "out there" ideas...
  • I just got done seeing the movie "Fat Head," a documentary that takes-on Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me."  I strongly recommend seeing this movie (Fat Head, that is...).  First, it is absolutely funny.  Really, it is, and it is funny without lots of shock value.  Second, it really does take Spurlock to task on his documentary, with some very interesting results.  Finally, what it does is encourage people to stop acting as though they're stupid.  See this movie.  I strongly recommend it.  You will like it much better if you've already seen "Super Size Me" and it convinced you that McDonald's is the evil empire.
  • I just heard that at&t has purchased T-Mobile (okay, in point of fact, the purchase has begun but will take some time and regulatory approval to complete).  ARGH!  I really, really hate at&t.  I hate T-Mobile also, in a way, but I was happy not to have to deal with at&t.  I'm wondering if CB radios could somehow come back into style again...  Hmmm...  (note: in case it wasn't abundantly clear, my mobile phone provider is T-Mobile)
  • An update on Cisco and the incredible 3750-X switch's malfunctioning port status LEDs:  Latest is that the IOS release that will allegedly fix this problem has been delayed to an April release instead of March.  Why doesn't this surprise me?  I think that Cisco is too far gone to ever recover from what they've become, I'm sad to say.  I can only hope that someone else can push the obese remains of this networking technology giant out of the way so we can have quality and innovation again.  Cisco is no longer an innovator.
  • Speaking of bad technology...  My evaluation of Juniper Networks' equipment has begun, and I was horrified to discover that their built-in web-based switch management heavily uses Flash.  Thankfully, I never use these web-based tools anyway, having a strong preference for the command-line interface (CLI).  However, it leaves me a bit sad in that people still haven't discovered that Flash is an abomination that must go away and get replaced by open standards if we are ever to move forward.
  • Speaking of Adobe (who owns Flash technology, by the way)...  I wanted to download the Adobe Reader for Windows 7 so I could look at some PDF documents.  You can't download Adobe Reader anymore without Adobe tainting your browser with their plug-in.  No more just downloading the application and installing it...  After about 15 minutes of trying to find some way of downloading just the reader, I decided to just install the Cygwin X server (which includes the open source xpdf reader) and just viewed the documents that way.  Shame again on Adobe...  I hate that company with a passion.
You may be wondering what's happening with Emmy (my cat).  Well, I'm delighted to report that she and I are coming to a bit more of an understanding as of late.  I suspect that she was a bit younger than she was reported to be, and was still getting out some of that kitten mischief that anyone who has owned a kitten knows all-too-well.  It is clear that she's starting to appreciate my serious side, and I'm appreciating some of her rebellious side.  Given that me and humans can't seem to grok each other, it's good to have a cat around the house who at least somewhat "gets" me.

I'm not sure where this "blog" is headed next.  I realize that it was resurrected from the dead last year after I all but signed its funeral papers.  There is a part of me that feels this needs to happen again, only permanently.  There's another part of me that feels compelled to keep writing.  There will be some information I'm sure I can provide about Juniper's EX series of switches after I'm finished evaluating them that could probably be a big help to those who need to manage them.  I wonder, though, just how useful that will be, and it really isn't something I want to do with my spare time...  We'll see how things go...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

le road rage


Dear City of Austin:

I recently noticed the new bus stop you put just before the entrance to the J.J. Pickle Research Center restricted entrance.

WHAT IN THE FSCK WERE YOU PEOPLE SMOKING WHEN YOU CAME UP WITH THIS CRAP?

DID YOU EVER STOP TO THINK THAT WHEN PEOPLE NOW STOP HERE (BUSSES, SHITHEADS WITH ENTITLEMENT COMPLEXES LETTING PASSENGERS OFF) THAT THIS COULD VERY POSSIBLY BE A SERIOUS SAFETY HAZARD?  NEVER MIND THE INCONVENIENCE OF HAVING TO WAIT BEHIND A BUS LETTING PEOPLE OFF/ON AT THAT STOP WHILE WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE A RIGHT-HAND TURN INTO "PRC" IN ORDER TO GET TO OUR JOB!

DO YOU MORONS ACTUALLY DRIVE ON THESE ROADS WITH MOTOR VEHICLES LIKE MOST OF US HAVE TO DO (BECAUSE WE DON'T LIVE IN A FAIRY TALE WORLD WHERE THE BUS ACTUALLY COMES WITHIN A REASONABLE DISTANCE OF OUR HOMES AND CAN TAKE US TO WORK IN LESS THAN TWICE THE TIME IT WOULD TAKE TO DRIVE)?  I BET YOU PEOPLE DON'T USE BRAKER LANE EXCEPT TO SHOP AT THE DOMAIN (ANOTHER OF YOUR MORONIC DECISIONS).

It is hard enough to get around in this city.  I know that you pot-smoking, bicycle-obsessed, tie-die hippie, green-dreaming pig fsckers (thank you, South Park) think that if you can succeed in making the roads we paid (and are still paying) for so inconvenient to use for driving cars that we'll all stop driving and ride a bicycle to work.  Well, pardon me for taking fscking exception to your Utopian, impossible, impractical dream.  I purchased a low-emission, gas-saving vehicle and moved close to where I work so that I could help achieve the lofty goals of trying to be kind to the environment while still having the convenience and practicality of having air conditioning while commuting 5 miles each way to work in 90+ degree weather.  Now, my car no longer is very efficient since you put (and are continuing to put) obstacles like frequent, mis-sequenced traffic lights, skinny unsafe lanes due to restriping the roads for bike lanes, and POORLY PLACED BUS STOPS as additional obstacles on the road.
Before you think about making any further idiotic changes to the roadways, please consider that the roads are already difficult enough to drive on.  People are already driving around with their head up their ass.  I try my best to be considerate and careful on the roads.  However, as the number of idiots and the number of idiotic road design decisions increase, that causes more and more frustration for those people like myself who do try to be considerate and who do have a place we need to be.  You know, work.  That thing that I need in order to pay the taxes that pays your salaries.

Sincerely,

The Mad Computer Scientist
(today, just a bit madder)

A special thanks goes out to icanhascheezburger.com ... not only for helping me maintain my sanity when my day starts off with a moronic driver blocking a three-lane busy road (and the entrance to where I work) in order to let someone off at a bus stop, but also for providing the fun graphics for this rant (see also Memebase, part of the "cheezburger network," for much of the inspiration for this)