Saturday, June 30, 2007

Video game oncology

Guitar Hero is like a cancer. Once it's been brought out at a party or other social gathering, it's there to stay. It doesn't go away, you can't avoid hearing it, and it turns everyone in the house into zombies.

I guess cancer doesn't generally turn people into zombies. It's more like an undead plague, perhaps.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sometimes it is as if I am still in college

What do a few dozen Microsoft employees do when their division takes an afternoon off for a BBQ in the park? Beer pong.

Woe be to the enemies of a team with an intern, for interns are still in college and have practiced the most.

Currently listening: Snow Patrol—Hands Open

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Customer service has really good customer service. I've contacted them a few times, and always been pleased. It might seem that if I've had to contact them multiple times it would imply that their service sucks, but I'm sure that by this point I've placed a hundred or two orders with them, so a few mistakes is to be expected. In the past, they've replaced broken CD cases, and sent me a new copy of one of the seasons of Star Trek: Voyager on DVD months after my order, as I hadn't gotten to that point in the series yet to see that my disc was scratched. Most recently, they let me exchange my full-screen Indiana Jones DVD set for a widescreen one and still keep the 20% discount I got when I first placed the order. I didn't even ask for anything special; I just wrote "meant to order widescreen" on the invoice when I sent it back. It's my favorite store on the internet.

I've also had very good luck with Comcast's customer service. I've called them a few times for various reasons, and it's always been fast and pleasant. My call to downgrade my cable service from $40 basic cable to $10 limited cable took all of a couple minutes, with no pressure or badgering. Last time I called them it was because I got a past due notice for all of my cable service since moving here. I was on auto-pay at my old apartment, and my payment information didn't survive the transitions, so I really hadn't been paying them. Within like three minutes I was off the phone, with my bill paid, autopay reinstated, and late fees removed from my account, all without having to plead for anything.

I had a very different experience with I ordered a fairly expensive large framed print from them a while back, and when it arrived, the plastic cover keeping it safe from the outside world... was taped to the frame. The frame had a nice gold foil coating, except for that one tape-shaped black spot. So, I emailed them to get return authorization. They sent me, via UPS, a shipping label. (This is kind of silly, since you can just print a UPS shipping label, but whatever.) They also promised that they had paid for the pickup, but when I called UPS to schedule it, they assured me that had not paid for anything; they just paid for the label to be delivered to me. So, I had to pay $11 to return my item. They didn't want to send a replacement until they received my returned item, which is somewhat reasonable since it was a large custom-made picture, but they also didn't want to apply the coupon code that they sent me in my first order's receipt. I explained that I could just as easily get a full refund for my initial purchase price, and place a new order to be shipped immediately using the new coupon code, but they didn't get it. Finally, I was sick of them and just demanded that they cancel my order and get a refund instead of a replacement. Well, apparently "cancel" was the magic word, because from that point forward I was emailing a new customer service rep, who was happy to adjust the total on my order. In the end I got what I paid for, but a couple weeks late, with a whole lot of hassle, and I still haven't gotten my $11 back for the UPS fees. In the end they got what they paid for too: a customer who's placed a half dozen orders with them that is quite unlikely to ever order from or again.

So, the moral is: spend lots of money at, and avoid

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Oh, the shame

I accidentally purchased a full-screen DVD. Normally, I would not admit to this, but this is my blog, and I try to be open and honest here. I had to send it back. I could have, I suppose, tried to hide my shame by burning the evidence and then calmly ordering a copy of the widescreen version, but that just raises the stakes... were anyone else to someday hear of my sin, that would make it only more embarrassing.

Perhaps worse, it was not just one DVD, but four. I ordered the Indiana Jones boxed set. I've had it in my order queue since before the movies were ever released on DVD, but finally got around to ordering. I haven't seen any of the Indiana Jones movies, other than a few clips, but I know that they involve Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, and Nazis, so they must be good.

My order queue is actually empty now. I'm mulling over subscribing to Netflix or Blockbuster Online in a month or so once I start wishing I had something to watch.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Nguyen, Wang, and Chan walk into a bar...

One area of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace where there's still plenty of room for improvement is for English-speaking people finding Asian people they know. Visit your favorite social site and do a search for the name Nguyen, or Wang, or Chan. You'll get a bajillion hits. Even with a first and last name, you're pretty likely to get dozens of hits on people with identical or very similar names.

Worse, often people go by names that aren't their given names. There's a guy on my team who goes by Robert, but his name is actually Xiaofeng or something very similar to that, and even that of course is just an English transliteration of something in Chinese. Some people I know spell their names differently depending on the nationality of the person they're talking to. And, a couple Mexican ex-coworkers of mine sometimes went by their full names, and sometimes only the first of their two or three last names; the multiple-name phenomenon is by no means exclusive to Asian people.

It's hard enough writing software that's smart about nicknames and slightly-misspelled names.

It can be very difficult to find people you know on these sites. Facebook does decently in this area, showing you pictures, schools, class years, et cetera when you're searching for a person, and it gives preference to people who work with you or go to school with you or are friends of your friends. That's a great step in the right direction. But name searches with basic string comparisons aren't good enough to get enough hits in many cases, and at the same time, we need better methods of refining the number of hits for a name search.

I think that there are solutions, but I sure don't know what they are. Most Americans, myself included, don't really know much about how names work in other places around the world, but some of these problems have probably already been solved on Asian social networking sites. Go fix it!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Where art thou, toenail

There's a little chunk missing from the end of my toenail. I only have a vague idea how that might have happened. As I was talking to my neighbors last night, I was playing with one of their cats, and the cat was playing with my toes for a while. Maybe it bit through the tip of my toenail. But then again, toenails are pretty thick, and this is a teeny kitty.


Broken window theory

I think I've killed my Google page rankings. I forgot to check them before I made my latest big change, so I'm just guessing, but I think I used to be on the first 10 results for "free crossword." Now I'm #11. Over the past couple months I've moved from having point to a subsite of my main site,, to having it really be its own site. The problem is that a great deal of the links to my site were from people who just copied the URL from their address bar, which gets them, and not To make things worse, there were actually four different ways to get to the same site:

I now have all of these sites permanently redirecting (as in, HTTP 301-ing) to my main site. The hope, after reading through Google's and Live Search's documentation, is that the search engines will learn over time that those URLs aren't ideal anymore, and will fix things up to point to the "new" domain name, without losing all of the goodwill and name recognition I've built up over the past half a decade.

From what I can tell, I've kind of screwed myself over in the past by letting the site go for months at a time without being updated; the longer you go without updating, the less frequently search engines pay attention to your site, and the lower your search rankings fall. I'm currently shooting for updating the site at least once a week with new content; I don't plan on maintaining that pace for the long term, but for now it's fun to work on a site that isn't ugly and dead like it used to be. It's kind of like the broken window theory—I had let the site grow stale for quite a while, and it got to the point where I didn't want to update it because it was old and crusty. But, now that it's gotten a complete overhaul and it's pretty and finally has some useful content, I feel much more motivated to continue to improve it.

Anyway, I think that I've probably hurt my Google page rankings in the short term by the change, but in the long term, it should only help, as there will be exactly one EclipseCrossword site that everyone will link to. Maybe then I'll make it (back?) to the first page of Google results.


I'm a very risk-averse person. This applies to me in just about every way. I don't make risky investments, I don't go out of my way to meet people, and I always fall back to the same thing I've done a thousand times in the same way that I've always done it. I've always had a desire to start my own business, be my own boss, et cetera, but I don't really have the risk tolerance for it. I think from time to time that I'd be happier if there was no one who could tell me what to do, but in reality, I don't know if I'd like it—I might just break down without the stability that a "regular job" brings.

The quality of one's neighbors

I have good neighbors. When you can stand out in the street for an hour and a half talking to your neighbors and not want to kill yourself afterward, you have good neighbors. That seems like an accurate test.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Well, I'm completely moved in, and completely unpacked. My storage room is organized and well-utilized, I've gotten all of the junk out of my bedroom, all of my furniture and decorations have arrived, and I have cooling for the summertime. I've got a new computer and a new TV to go with the new house. So... I'm basically broke now. But, in a few months, looking at bank statements will be much less terrifying.

I need to see if my ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) is even worth participating in now that I have loans looming. It seems almost crazy to get out of a program that essentially just gives you free cash, but I could also be using that money to directly pay off loans.

Anyway, anything new at this point qualifies as home improvement. I hereby declare my move-in complete. Hopefully the stress level will go down a bit now.

UPDATE: My ESPP benefit yields about $350 in profit quarterly assuming I sell the shares I buy at a discounted price immediately. I pay far more than $350 every three months in interest on my second mortgage... like triple that or something, which more than covers the tax benefits I get from paying mortgage interest. I'm going to withdraw from the ESPP for now and use that money to start paying off more of my second mortgage early, and see how that goes. I think it's the smarter choice.


In case anyone is wondering, the total cost of getting a heat pump, new furnace, thermostat, and permits is $7,720. That is, if you live in exactly the same house as me.

It's nice, though.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I just got a spam advertising Father's Day specials on Viagra and Cialis. I don't want to think about that for too long.

Heh, long.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I am now a cool guy

Well, my electrical inspection and final heat pump installation happened this morning, so I'll now have cool air on demand. They may need to come back and install a pole of some sort in front of it to protect it from drunk and/or careless drivers, as is apparently the code around here. (It's at the end of one of my carports.)

I'm glad to have it in. Now I just need to "set it and forget it." I've got a neat little programmable touchscreen thermostat with all sorts of features that I need to learn.

Working from home

Whereas working from home Monday was not effective at all, due to constant interruptions and sounds of hammering and sawing while my heat pump was installed, today was great. I only had a couple interruptions all day, and I got a ton done. I can only hope to be this productive again tomorrow.

Sadly, while my furnace was installed and my heat pump was almost completely installed, it's not quite finished yet. There are 1-2 hours of work left that they need to do. They've scheduled them early tomorrow morning, but I don't know if that will happen since the city electrical inspector was a no-show today. At least it's not terribly hot out right now, but it will be this weekend, and I'd love to give the thing a try really soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Too much information by a great deal

Sometimes when I put undue pressure on a muscle or, well, I don't really know why it happens most of the time, but occasionally I get these muscle spasms for ten seconds or so. They kind of tickle, but they're mostly just amusing. I've been typing up some documents for quite a while now, and I've been leaning with quite poor posture while doing so. I lifted my right arm just moments ago, which was leaning against the right side of my body, and I got one of those. My right manboob started twitching on its own. It was quite the show. You should have seen it.


I waited all day today for the city electrical inspector to show up. I got up at 7. He never came.

Angry Travis.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


As a reasonable person, I don't support any sort of tax on the exchange of virtual currency and goods. But... if that did come to pass, could I write off my World of Warcraft subscription fees as a business expense?


Of course, today has not been all about roses and music and Dark Messiah. My big accomplishment for the weekend has been to finish unpacking and cleaning up and arranging my storage room. This has the excellent side effect of removing a ton of clutter that was previously lying around in my bedroom. I dislike clutter. It reduces my morale. Removing it will make home life more pleasant... my unfinished storage room and ugly bedroom were these horrid, looming spectres, and now I've banished them. Life is happier when it's simpler.

Things you can listen to

The short version:
Linkin Park—Minutes to Midnight: 6/10
Cut Chemist—The Audience's Listening: 4/10

As I've mentioned before, I've been listening to the new Linkin Park CD, Minutes to Midnight. This is an interesting disc. On one hand, it's clear that they've changed musically, and this album has a bit more variety than the previous two. On the other hand, it's not as good. There's much more emo whining. Some of it replaces screaming (though, oh my, there is still plenty of screaming), and some of it replaces rap—my favorite band member Mike Shinoda is sitting on a chair in the back for most of this disc. Many of the songs are slow and, well, bitchy. Take Valentine's Day—it's not bad, but it's not great, and it's pretty much just three minutes of Chester bitching about how much it sucks to not have a girlfriend on that particular holiday. Deep. Musically, there's just something different between that and their much earlier My December, and I don't really know what to call it besides whining. Besides practically dropping their rapper, they've also seemingly reduced the subtle electronic components of their previous albums. It's purer rock, which might appeal to some, but a lot of what I liked about Linkin Park was their rapper and DJ.

Anyway, I've painted the picture that I hate the disc, and that's not true. Overall I think it's still pretty decent. It's not really what I was expecting or hoping for, but it could have been worse. My favorite tracks on here are the excellent and peppy Bleed it Out, the interesting In Pieces, and the single What I've Done, which is almost a musical summary of the album as a whole.

I've also been listening to The Audience's Listening, the first solo album by the DJ who left Jurassic 5, Cut Chemist. It's weird. The CD it reminds me of most is Since I Left You by The Avalanches, except it's not as good. The Avalanches disc is great because it's so odd, with new sounds around every corner, but this one doesn't quite pull it off—(My 1st) Big Break is a good example of this. The best track by far is The Garden, though I am also attached to the weird song featuring Hymnal, What's the Altitude. Anyway, it's pretty average. Cut Chemist should have stayed with Jurassic 5; he fit the band better than their new DJ, and I'm not convinced from this CD that there's a reason for him to be putting out solo records.

Best B-side that only made it onto one of his singles and not the main album? The Audience is Rural. It's a little over-the-top, but fun.

I've also started We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse, which sounds pretty much exactly like all of their other albums: insane bipolar yelling.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Frustrating Rope Bow of Might and Magic

Well, I just finished up Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Overall, it's a decent action RPG, but I can't recommend it without reservations. Let me cover a few basics...

The graphics are excellent overall. They're powered by the Half-Life 2 engine, complete with HDR effects, and things look pretty nice. Weapons look pretty cool, the enemies and architecture are detailed, and it's just nicely polished. Polygon count seems to be a little less than Half-Life 2, particularly in peoples' faces. The only real problem with the graphics is that so many of the environments are extremely dark if you have your brightness set to the suggested level. Your character can see in the dark, but it just means that you spend a third of the game in blue night vision, and the graphics are far less flattering in night vision.

The RPG aspects are actually very well done. I wasn't so sure how well they'd be able to tack on meaningful RPG gameplay onto what is essentialy still a first-person shooter, but it fits perfectly. You don't ever get experience points, but rather skill points for completing optional and required quests. Skill points are spent on one of three trees: combat, magic, and utility/stealth. So, by the late game you can be a great warrior, a powerful sorcerer, a stealthy rogue, or some form of hybrid of the three. You'll acquire a large arsenal of weapons, rings, armor, magic items, et cetera throughout the game, and you'll put them to good use.

The combat is probably the highlight of the game, which makes sense, since it's an action game at the core. It's probably the best melee combat of any game I've played. It's more complex and rewarding than in Oblivion. You have a variety of different attacks... quick strikes, power strikes, backstabs, charges, disarming attacks, kicks, shield bashes, bows, spells, and more, and the game makes great use of the physics engine. Whereas in Half-Life 2, I felt that the physics engine mostly just served as a tech demo, in this game, throwing barrels at your opponents to knock them down so you can get away or kick 'em while they're down is strategic and interesting. If you're more observant than I am, you can also spring traps on your enemies, as each room seems to have a stone block that you can cut down with a well-aimed arrow, or heavy crates that you can release with a swing of your sword. You can kick enemies onto spikes or off of ledges.

Deserving of special mention is the adrenaline bar. The faster you kill your opponents, the more adrenaline you build up. Once the bar fills, the edge of the screen gets wavy and red, and your next strike will be a guaranteed kill against anything but a boss. The best part is that when you make these attacks, the game goes all Matrix (or Max Payne) so you can see your extra-brutal adrenaline kill in sexy slow motion. Daggers are used to decapitate or disembowel, swords chop off limbs, and so on. It's always very satisfying to watch.

Not all is rosy, though. The enemies start to get pretty repetitive. The first time it's just you and a massive cyclops in a big room, it's exciting. But, I'll just go ahead and give a teensy spoiler and say that you're gonna do it about eight more times. At the beginning of the game, you might get attacked by one or two of the extremely lethal ghouls, and by the end of the game, it's eight of them, rather than too many new enemies. You're a better player with more damage and more armor class, but by halfway through or even less you've basically seen everything you're going to fight for the rest of the game. I can deal with repetitive enemies, though. I mean, I fought the same things a thousand times in Oblivion before I stopped.

The absolute worst part of this game is that it suffers from the FPS "where do I go next" syndrome far more severely than any other game I've played before. The cause of this is that, fairly early in the game (another minor spoiler) you find a magical bow that shoots arrows with ropes attached. For the rest of the game, anytime you see wooden planks or beams overhead, you can shoot them to create a rope you can climb. Unfortunately, there are many places in the game where you have to do this to continue, and when the environments are so dark, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between the useless stone ceiling and the necessary wooden beams when everything's blue in your night vision. In a good FPS like Half-Life 2 or Doom 3, I'm lost maybe 5% of the time or less. In Far Cry and the Splinter Cell games I'm lost 10 or maybe 15% of the time. In Dark Messiah at least 20% of my game time was spent backtracking and looking at the ceiling.

If you could somehow cut out that frustrating 20% of the game, Dark Messiah would be excellent and I'd heartily recommend it. I don't know; either require less use of the rope bow, or show little red sparkles everywhere the level designers think you need to use it. But, it's so frustrating that it really scars the game. The other annoyances about the game, like the fact that it's pretty much impossible if you don't choose the Heal spell as soon as you can learn it, or an abundance of enemies that poison you, I could deal with if I just hadn't been lost so much.

So, if you think that the whole getting-lost thing won't bother you, I definitely recommend the game. (Fans of Japanese games seem to, in my opinion, have a higher tolerance for irritating games than I do.) There's a demo available that shows you like a sixth of a level in the game. It's a huge download and doesn't last terribly long, but it gives you a good taste of how it plays.


I have several large rose bushes outside in front of my house. Louise informed me that rose bushes need to be pruned, and these had finished blooming and were beginning to look pretty sad, so I set about doing that. Well, I intended to. Every time I left my house I'd see the dying flowers, and remember that they needed to be pruned. So, I'd resolve to write myself a note as soon as I got to work.

Ha. That never happened. On the way home, it's dark, so I don't see that they need trimming. It wasn't until yesterday, after a couple weeks of daily forgetting, that I finally had the good sense to go back in the house immediately and write a note, instead of waiting until I got to work so I could forget it. I was waiting for my same-side-of-the-street neighbor so I could show him my plans for the heat pump installation on Monday, and my across-the-street neighbor showed up, and we began to chat. She also mentioned the roses, and I told her that I was going to trim them tomorrow; I just needed to Google it and see exactly what I had to do. She showed me where to trim things, and that a web search should indeed come up with better instructions.

So, this morning, I saw "prune your roses" on my to-do list, and Googled it. (Well, technically, I Live Searched it. Yeah, I'm trying that out...) I figured out what I'd do. I grabbed some scissors, hoping they'd be strong enough, and opened the front door.

They were already trimmed. I don't know what to make of it.

1) She was annoyed that I didn't trim them Friday night, so she trimmed them herself.
2) She didn't think I would ever actually do it, so she trimmed them herself.
3) She was just being nice, felt like doing a little gardening, and trimmed them for me.

Really, it's probably #3. She's a really nice lady. (She has a couple cats too, which is nice—the benefits of the occasional cat, without the care or hair.) I certainly don't mind that they were trimmed for me; I have no particular attachment to them. It's just a bit strange. Next time I see her I'll find out what's up.

Currently listening: Linkin Park—In Pieces

Friday, June 8, 2007

Neighbor relations

This morning I went over my heat pump plans with my neighbor so that I could assure him that it would "probably" not be an eyesore and "probably" not be loud. Things went over well, and we decided that if it ends up being ugly, I can block it off with some plants that don't require direct sunlight. But, only the two of us will ever see it, so it's not too big of a deal. All of my neighbors are really nice, which is certainly a plus.

I'm pretty excited. It hasn't actually been warm this week, which has been nice, and I hope it stays cool throughout the weekend while I'm at home, but it will inevitably become warm soon, and having cool air will be excellent.

Three years

I've worked at Microsoft for three years now. I brought in cookies to celebrate yesterday, and someone asked me if it felt like it had been a long time. Some days it does, and some days it feels like I was just in college not long ago. I've spent 39 months at Microsoft, including my internship, and I spent about 36 months in college... I've actually been working here longer than I was in school.

Whoa. I have been here a long time.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

You gotta keep it circulated

I just found out this afternoon that hot water recirculators exist. In a nutshell, once you've turned off a hot water tap, these things will take the water back so that it can be reheated. Then, when you next turn on the hot water, you get hot water, instead of cold water for a minute.

It's an interesting idea... sort of seems like the ultimate in laziness. Waaahhh, I don't want to wait for my hot water. I want it now! But, it does save you a little money on water. In about a decade it would pay for itself for a family, and during that time you've had the convenience of always-ready hot water.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Volcano Insurance

I'm always very skeptical of products that advertise incredible results... as long as you keep using the product for months. If I don't see results in a couple days, I get annoyed. There's a large mental hurdle for me, and it takes a lot to get me to buy a product with these kinds of claims; there are too many scams in the world to not be very careful what you buy.

One product that got over that hurdle for me is this Tilex shower spray that claims that if you use it every day, you'll never have to clean your shower. This product is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and if it actually does make it so that I don't have to clean my shower, it's a big win. I absolutely hate cleaning my shower.

A product that did not make it is Rogaine. To actually get to the point where you're supposed to expect results, you have to buy quite a lot of it, and use it every day for a long time. And you're not even supposed to expect results, "some people" see results. After a couple months, if it doesn't work, I'm sure they have some kind of satisfaction guarantee, but I can just about guarantee that it wouldn't be worth the hassle, and I'd be out a lot of money.

I just have a soft spot for instant gratification. Now!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


The weather today was glorious. I awoke to temperatures in the sixties, cloudy skies, and light rain on the way to work. Near perfect. It really improved my mood, too.


I have an extremely difficult time believing that any of the people who support requiring government entities to use OpenDocument file formats (ODF) instead of the corresponding Office versions have any motives other than: (1) stickin' it to big brother Microsoft, or (2) purely selfish financial reasons. Now, #2 I can completely understand. Obviously IBM and Sun want governments to pass laws that require government minions to use file formats that IBM and Sun back and sell software for. #1... whatever. There are legions of nerds who want nothing more than for Microsoft to fail. These people occasionally grow up and become IT managers and carry their weird vendetta with them to their position of power, which is somewhat disturbing, but oh well.

The reason that people who back these kinds of laws always give is that it's a way to ensure that documents written today can be read long in the future. It's impressive that people can write this without cracking up, even on the internet, because it's hilariously dumb. If you want your documents to be readable long in the future, the only logical choice is to either store them in a format that is plain text or trivial to convert to plain text, or to use a format backed by a large organization and already used in thousands of huge enterprises. There are trillions of dollars' worth of information stored in Office documents. It will never be hard to read those documents. It just doesn't make sense. As long as there is valuable data in those documents, there will be companies willing to sell you a way to open them. If Microsoft was blasted into oblivion by a nuclear missile this Friday (three-day weekend!), all its source code backups were destroyed, and the company ground into dust, there will still be people making viewers and converters for Office documents long after my dust is providing valuable nutrients to the daisies planted above me. Capitalism works.

And though no one will believe me, it has nothing to do with Microsoft being involved. I have some minor concerns with choosing a read-only format for storing even archival documents, but regardless, if we have to have an archival standard, PDF makes almost as much sense as the Office formats. PDF viewers generally suck, but PDFs are still ubiquitous. Microsoft's similar XPS format would be a poor choice because nobody uses it. Maybe someday, but certainly not today.

However, I don't think we need a mandate. The magic of capitalism, and just how file formats work, is that whatever people use becomes popular. Whatever is popular now will be supported forever. Perhaps in the past this was not necessarily true, but it is today. Perhaps you don't remember when JPEG files and GIF files were nontrivial to open. That's almost unbelievable today. Do you think that it's going to be hard to open JPEGs and GIFs in the year 2100? I don't.

If we do need a mandate, it's that documents aren't unnecessarily encrypted.

Anyone advocating mandates that only OpenDocument and its kin be used by government agencies does not have your interests in mind. They are acting completely for their own selfish reasons. That is, unless they truly believe that ODF is a logical choice, in which case they may be only insane. If either of those is true, I don't really want those people making policy decisions that affect me. Our government is clueless enough about technology as it is without any more batty nonsense like a file format mandate.

Currently listening: Rihanna—Umbrella

Monday, June 4, 2007

Seasonal affective disorder

This weather is absolutely killing me. I don't feel like doing anything. I'm constantly exhausted, and the very idea of undertaking any activity that is remotely cerebral is displeasing. I just feel depressed and bored all the time now.

It looks like the weather tomorrow should be much nicer—about twenty degrees cooler. That's my ray of hope. Maybe if it cools down and stays wonderful and cloudy, I won't feel so awful between now and next Monday when I get my heat pump installed. Having my house be not sweltering should help out a lot; the past couple summers weren't as bad when I had air conditioning.

Perhaps I have seasonal affective disorder or something similar. It's generally the other way around; people experience mild to severe depression in the winter. But, I get depressed every summer. I hate the summer. I want it to be cold again.

Currently listening: Enya—It's in the Rain
More applicable: Nelly—Hot in Herre

Friday, June 1, 2007


I'm feeling pretty distracted right now at work. I've got a case of the Fridays. I've got stuff I need to get done, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I think I'm going to just go home, relax, and then finish it up tonight. Then, I can come in relaxed on Monday, and then frantically do all of those things I didn't do over the weekend. This seems like a very good plan.