Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

9Apr/140

The Future Is Huh

I'll admit it (even though I'm easily twenty years older than most people who identify as millenials) -- I've become increasingly apt to just do things that aren't particularly well suited for a four inch screen on my phone. Why? Because doing something on an actual luxury sized laptop would mean waking that machine up, waiting for it to ponderously reconnected to wireless, open the appropriate applications, and then try to remember what I was thinking about when I first touched my laptop. This seems like a lot of steps to employ for a single operation. Ugh.

The NanoDot idea seems like a good answer to the additional problem that plagues what I mentioned above. Despite the fact that you've got an extremely powerful machine albeit in sometimes dauntingly miniature dimensions, if you're not spending the majority of your time at a desk or something you're going to suffer from abyssmal battery life. I slap my Nexus 5 on the wireless charger at least twice during a workday and will see it hit the fifty percent mark by end of day if I haven't. The ability to take a phone from a low charge state to full in a few minutes seems like an exciting alternative and beats the hell out of dragging around (and probably losing) a charger all the time. The only problem: I'd like this in my current phone today, please.

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25Nov/13Off

A Week and a Half Into the Nexus 5

Somehow I managed to skip the Nexus 4 entirely (contracts, fuck them) so I’ve been waiting around for my current contract with Sprint to expire so I could latch my proverbial wagon to a phone that wasn’t languishing at its end of life. When the pre-launch rumors were circulating about which carriers would actually support this model, the big panic among the pre-availability speculators was whether there would be native support for LTE networks. Well, despite the teeth gnashing on every Android rumors/“news” site, it does and doesn’t seem to suffer a significant impact on battery life as the forum trolls insisted that it would. After logging into the Sprint website for the first time in forever (the last time was to chuckle about my absurd mobile data usage due to Netflix and MLB At Bat), I discovered that my upgrade eligibility date magically migrated an entire month sooner — you know, like, that day. I ordered the phone (16 GB only from Sprint at least for now) and bailed from work to go pick it up at a Sprint store a couple miles from the office. 

I’m not a box opening video kind of guy, so I didn’t bother with that or even taking any pictures. The box is pretty fruity looking with the same color scheme as the promo crap The dude who helped me at the Sprint store (who was as condescending and incompetent as you would expect) was trying to give me a hard time about it and I told him I would likely recycle all of the packaging 20 minutes after I left. I asked him if he saved boxes for his phones and got no answer. I assume that he lives a in an underground bunker filled with phone boxes. Transferring my contacts took like 25 minutes which amazed me because I have less than 20 contacts. Not sure what the time sink was there because the fella took off with both my old phone and the new one to copy them over. I like to think that he ended up hand copying them which may well have been the case as the images associated with contacts didn’t appear until I synched the phone with a Gmail account. Whatever, dudes. The only thing found in the actual box was the space where the phone used to live, a bunch of crappy paper I wished was never included, and a charger. 

The Nexus 5 doesn’t necessarily feel much heavier than my old Galaxy Nexus, but it feels much more dense and is way thinner and more slippery. I’m wondering when a phone people actually want will add less glassy smooth materials to the outside edges of smart phones. I didn’t have a case for the first 2 days and it felt like that phone was ready to slide out of my hand like a wet bar of soap any time I used it as a phone. I dislike the fact that phones are intended for immediate encasement because the Nexus 5 looks pretty fucking cool outside of a case. The new toggle buttons on the sides for power and volume feel a lot more substantial than the ones on my Galaxy Nexus and so far that additional beefiness also keeps my phone from toggling my volume all the way up or down so I’m either missing calls or blasting the unfortunate and innocent souls trapped in meetings with me with Bobby Hill at far too many decibels. Despite the reported issues with the cameras included in this guy I’ve found the rear camera pretty damn impressive when compared to the elder hardware/software of the Galaxy Nexus. I haven’t played much with the front camera because I’m not 17 and the panorama software seems to work about as well as other external panorama-making software I’ve seen. The rotating view of the panoramic end product is pretty cool, though, if a bit vertigo inducing. The first time I ever used that particular function I was bit hung over so include that in the grains of salt you would normally use for anything that I’ve written under the patently false aegis of ‘factual.'

Kit Kat is a substantial upgrade in terms of polishing and refining earlier versions of the OS. I suppose I felt about the same way when Jelly Bean was released, but with an uncluttered phone with week old specs Kit Kat hauls ass comparatively. Again, it’s hard for me to discreetly separate hardware from software in this upgrade, but most of the applications (excepting the Facebook app which is still a balky, battery hogging, and crashy piece of shit) were magnitudes more responsive and seemed less intent on using as much battery power as possible. Battery life, so far, has been stellar after the first overnight charge cycle. The first charge worried me half to death as software was reporting my percentage charged dropping by the second. This might have been initialization happening in the background or the early stages of calibration or something, but it cleared up after that first empty-to-full charge. This version of the Nexus doesn’t have a removal battery (which I kind of like since I won’t meet the challenge of every OS glitch by popping my phone out of the case and immediately lobotomizing it instead of being a patient grown up [note: the being a grown up part doesn’t actually happen] about it) which means you can’t swap it out for a get-really-hot-and-catch-on-fire variety of after market extended life batteries. I tried this with my Galaxy Nexus because its battery life was slim after using an iPhone 4 for a few months, but the perpetual ‘phone is so hot right now that it is uncomfortable to hold in a bare hand’ feeling freaked me out and got that battery recycled pretty quickly. The apparent difference between me and people who review technology shit for a check is that I’m pretty okay with the idea of device’s battery using more of its stored charge when it is in active use. I likely should read more science fiction or something because I have semi-reasonable expectations of a battery powered device that uses various types of wireless to connect to the ‘Webs. When you’re using your phone all day you should not expect crazy battery life unless it’s one of those Motorola phones that was developed to have extended battery life with a kind of crappy screen and is awkwardly heavy — I have a friend who is complete freak about not wanting to ever charge his phone and bought one and the first time I tried his phone I nearly dropped it because its weight was so weirdly awkward. I bought a wireless charger that I can dump my phone on top of while I’m sitting in front of my computer at work and just kind of ignore until I need it again. Given that newish ability to wireless charge and my own willingness to drop $35 on a charger that works that way I have no concerns about battery life. 

To summarize or TL;DR: This phone + new OS is ridiculously fast and inexpensive. Other folks have taken issue with battery life and the quality of photos taken with the camera, but neither of these alleged shortcomings effected my use too much. My battery life got better with each recharge and the camera is a phone camera and I never assume that my phone camera is going to perform like a SLR or something. It’s a perfect device for me and really highlights the refinements of Kit Kat over previous versions of Android. I’m hoping this will keep me happy for most of the next two years of contract. 

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27Oct/13Off

The Glacier Moves (A Little)

The Grey Lady has finally updated her stylebook to something that doesn't seem like a 1997 Wired style book and only a dozen or so years later. The MLA guides still seems to favor the stupid hyphen, but the APA is apparently all over this shit like only a couple of years ago. Despite these radical changes geared towards an indifferent audience, the Internet is still a country. Simply amazing. 

15Oct/13Off

That Way No One (In Management) Gets Their Feeling Hurt

Man. As much as I've disliked some of the jobs I've struggled with over the years, all of those places sound head and shoulders above the average employee's experience at Amazon which sounds like an unrepentant shitshow unless you're just grinding your way through a year or two of resume fodder. The OLR thing sounds like a project devised in a Management 101 class to illustrate how dystopian the workplace can get when your plan to defuse office politics actually codifies it formally into a steel cage match that pits you against your manager, other managers, and upper management (carefully distanced via plans, of course) in any hope for promotion. Chew on this craziness:

With everyone reading printouts of a six-page “narrative” detailing the meeting’s agenda. After your boss’s fellow VPs quietly sit and read the pros and cons of your promotion, a debate follows, with various execs weighing in with their own experiences working with you.

The discussions can get heated. Only a limited number of promotions are handed out every year, so if you get bumped up, someone else’s favorite subordinate might have to stand still. Anyone in the room can sink a promotion. Thankfully, you are not present for the showdown.

More than a little Kafka-esque? Does your cheese feel like it's being moved so constantly that now it's just a greasy blur in your peripheral vision? Ugh. 

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8Oct/13Off

This Hooved Thing, It Ushers In The End Of All Of Everything Else

This gives me the fear:

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8Oct/13Off

OpenSUSE and Btrfs?

I can't say that I'm floored by the news/rumor that OpenSUSE is weighing Btrfs as the default filesystem as SUSE has often leaned towards the experimental even when they were selling boxed sets for use on the desktop.

I personally haven't had great experiences with btrfs on desktop machines, but that was mainly due to the lack of tools included in distributions to deal with things like hard freezes and the like. It sounds like OpenSUSE users have already run into this issue in the recent past regarding the lack of file system utilities as dependencies for using the file system. My phobias regarding file systems that aren't JFS aside, I'm glad to see btrfs getting more coverage (and hopefully more help in development and testing) and perhaps is eyeballed by more distributions for potential inclusion. I'm glad that it's happening and hopeful that other distributions that I'd install for purposes other than 'wonder what this looks like these days' will eventually include it in their repositories with a full set of tools behind it.  

1Oct/13Off

I Like This

Since I only seem to visit this place on a semi-annual basis, most of the feeds in my reader are largely skimmed over or just plain left unread. I've grown increasingly platform agnostic and although I still love and use Linux I'm not prone to deep reflection on much related to either its use or development. I'm not a Microsoft fan and never have been despite far too many years supporting their products on the desktop and swearing through gritted teeth at the sloppy incompleteness of their server products. The Microsoft wailing wall isn't the panacea for all that currently ails me in the technology sphere, but this Register article about MSFT's board plotting to push out Bill Gates makes me smile. 

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21Jul/11Off

Clipped And Forgotten

I have too many goddamned machines these days and start writing local drafts in MarsEdit only to forget and abandon them minutes later. This is my nature. My WPD (that's words per day for you folks that haven't used one of those horrible pieces of writing software) would be stellar if my computer use wasn't so fragmented and terrible. Plus, Angry Birds in Chrome isn't fucking helping.

Some Things

Oscar turned three. That is pretty weird. He's not even a baby anymore. The thought it makes me have a low key mid-life crisis. We have miniature conversations about super heroes. Weird.

I upgraded a bunch of machines to Lion today. I have a few complaints (now there's a surprise), but they're mainly confined to things like the default scrolling schema (which, by the way, totally blows for the several minutes it took for me to figure out how to stop it and turn my machines back into computers and not iPhones) and the utter inability to properly configure Spaces anymore. I imagine that future updates will address the concerns of folks who depend on some kind of workflow on their computers once the oohs and ahhs have subsided a bit and people return to using computers to get things done and stop spending time thinking about how different the scrollbars look or whatever. I route around brain damage by default so I just adapt however sullenly. I also really hate downloading multiple gigabytes as the default installation method. Even on my stupid fast work connection that amounts to a fair amount of time spent having a staring contest with a progress bar. Fuck that. I don't have a formal opinion on the system wide spell checking quite yet. It's annoying as fuck and I really want to stab my finger at the screen a la iOS, but at the same time it's pretty effective. I'm easily annoyed so my opinion about that particular feature/bug is disposable.

Total Terminal is my new home as it's predecessor Visor no longer works. Strange that it takes an OS upgrade for me to notice that there are new versions of software I use all day on every day. I've never had a complaint with it until it didn't work for me today. Drop one tool and pick up another, I guess. They're from the same developer(s) so that may be a moot statement.

Liturgy is rapidly becoming one of my favorite bands. I'm unsure about transcendental black metal as a genre that I can utilize without cracking up, but their musical output is fucking amazing. The accelerating/decelerating drumming takes a bit of getting used to and is really stunning (in the literal sense and not the 'america's next top model' set sense) live. I talked to a couple of 'em after they played here recently and walked away feeling like they were people I'd like to talk to more. That's the highest recommendation of any band I can come up with.

New job is still awesome and I really dig using AgileZen on a day to day basis. I've tinkered with a huge pile of project management software in the past and always felt like the tool necessitated way too much learning specific to that tool before it was of any use. I had AZ figured out in a few minutes without knowing anything about kanban beforehand. AZ isn't the main product my employer sells, but they're part of the company. I should probably mention that even though I have next to zero stake in selling anything to anyone. I guess mentioning it has more to do with the kanban methodology making sense to me than as a software recommendation. Take as you will with as many grains of salt or cyanide capsules you deem necessary.

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24Jun/11Off

Because It’s Like A Piggy Bank Waiting To Be Smashed Open

The Globe and Mail has a simple but very telling article that questions Pixar's motivation for producing a Cars sequel. Why? Because they sold a fuckton of merchandise and look forward to doing it again. Surprised? Me either. Here's hoping that it isn't an epic piece of shit because I'm fairly certain that I will have to see it more than once.

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23Jun/11Off

Go Wyoming, I Guess

It looks like Wyoming is the first state to standardize on Google apps for government which is super duper cool because most government organizations are pretty closed systems in terms of circulating documents and whatnot and GA also allows for access restrictions that are simple to control.

The problem, of course, is that like twelve people live in the state of Wyoming so the dollar amount of savings is less dramatic than other states where population density is anything more than a Babbit-esque dream of roping more people in. Petty jabs at places where tumbleweeds outnumber people aside, this is a pretty smart move.

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4Jun/11Off

Make Way For The King

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4Jun/11Off

When It’s Time To Steal From Better Thieves

I read this this article about Kaiser Permanente's 'Thrive' advertising campaign earlier today and have intended to come back to it since then as I've had my fair share of interactions with KP with some mixed results including Oscar's birth which wasn't handled by a Kaiser facility directly, but covered under its plan.

The funny and timely part for me is that I'll be signing up for KP again in a few days despite being offered something like eight other health care options with my new employer. As an aside, my new employer is pretty badass when it comes to benefits, but I'm not talking about that directly here. The reason that I'm choosing that plan instead of the others is simply cost and convenience. This becomes especially important since the entire family is going to be on my plan which gets prohibitively expensive when you start looking at the smaller deductible plans that aren't quite as HMO-ish. I'm not 100% stoked on the plan, but with its smallish cost I can afford to go wherever I want if KP's typically conservative recommendations don't tug cherubically at my heart strings and I can still get the drugs I need to take daily in order to avoid dying mailorder.

Now, to the article above: I agree with the author that KP isn't exactly the source of all evil that it is often characterized as. It also is not the all smiling and huggy organization that the ad campaign suggests. The one smidge of truth about the entire campaign is that (and this carries over into even the el cheapo plans I think) is that preventative care costs nothing. This makes perfect sense because, after all, "KP is a business above all and is much happier when you're covering the costs of routine exams with office visit payments. This makes you feel better about paying them money and makes KP more profitable at the same time. It's almost like we're working together towards a common goal. Just like the voice over said, man!

The larger point that is being made by Clayton Lord is that KP is winning the public relations war by using the PR methodology that organizations that perform functions that are genuinely and only in the interest of the public good should be using. They're successfully feeding us our own dog food and actually influencing educated (well, sorta) opinion in their favor and not resorting to outright information to make these points. Another thing that Lord nails that hadn't really occurred to me before reading his article was the capitalization on the idea that KP is a non-profit organization (it isn't; not-for-profit is another ball of wax entirely). I really like the way he summarizes his feelings about it:

Where this gets me in terms of New Beans is more abstract, maybe. There’s something vaguely aggravating to me about these organizations, which, while technically nonprofits, are hugely successful business enterprises without a true social welfare mission, co-opting public value arguments that we should be making. And at the same time, given that we don’t really spend a lot of time making them, maybe having someone else do it isn’t the worst thing. And, at least in terms of Kaiser, it’s not just smoke—they also have a thriving theatre program that takes health-themed short plays into local schools to teach kids about being healthy through art.

So, sadly, folks who do work in genuinely non-profit arenas have something to learn from KP (or at least their agency) about projecting that good outward. How frustrating.

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3Jun/11Off

CloudFlare (For The Hell Of It)

I decided to give CloudFlare a whirl as I've heard only good things about their service, it costs nothing to use the basic service, and I was curious how it would interact with my convoluted DNS setup. Page load speed seems to be the principal reason that most folks are using CloudFlare. I'm as interested in the built in threat protection as I am anything else if only because I like having as close to a zero maintenance site as humanly possible.

A bunch of time goes by as I watch most of a baseball game

Now I've had time for the DNS changes to propagate out and I'm really impressed by how much faster everything seems to load. I don't have a reasonable way to test out the security features, but a quick look at the dashboard for threat protection already had a few spammers and a botnet zombie. Oooh. Exotic. After poking at it for an hour or so I'm going to keep it up and running for the time being.

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2Jun/11Off

A Project Proposal For All Of My Masochistic Friends.

An idea occurred to me the other day that sounded fun but next to impossible when I initially mulled it over. I've been super excited about recent articles like this one from Smashing about building media sites using WordPress and other how-to-ish stuff like it that explores the topic in some depth and doesn't drop the subject with a bullet pointed list of features and hints at possible uses for the default features. That stuff gets linked and twittered endlessly, but at the end of the day, it isn't useful other than as device to hype a given CMS or an attempt to hitch your wagon to $stuff.

I had a different idea and, as always, to do anything remotely like this it would require more than just me driving and a fair amount of scheming on infrastructure, etc. Here's what I would like to do: A website (weblog variant would be fine for the sake of presentation) about doing real world projects in different CMS's. An errant thought occurred to me regarding doing this work for non-profits and organizations in need, but I think I'd like to keep the focus of this unimplemented and poorly considered idea on doing medium complexity website projects involving different CMS's, sharing what we learn along the way, and generally being truthful about how the process worked or didn't. This theoretically would include sharing code customization, plugins or external resources used, and the whole shebang. I realize this is beyond ambitious and staggers right into the realm of biting off more than a person or two could possibly or responsibly chew.

The killer for me about the traditional 'Make x CMS into z really cool and useful thing is that the process of adaptation is almost never covered in any depth by folks who present the aforementioned types of articles. I'd always stumble on them and wonder while reading through the write up why the folks playing with it made their decisions or how you might make slight changes to achieve something completely different while using most of the same steps. Why? I dunno, but I know this would require a fair amount of commitment from its participants and wouldn't be easy by any means.

Anyone interested? Let me know either in the comments or by sending me some mail goneaway at this domain here. If you've got a better or less sprawling idea or alternative I'd be interested in hearing about that as well. If something like this already exists I would love to help out.

2Jun/11Off

I’m Seriously Not Watching Any More Fucking PowerPoint Slides.

I'm awash in a ton of sit there and listen and then sign things not-so-busy work so I've been doing a lot of reading that has nothing to do with intellectual property. I guess that is sort of guaranteed given the utter lack of giving-of-shit on either side of the equation. I'm ready for this week to be done and to get started for reals.

Glenn Beck is sharpening up his repertoire as our country's leading satirist and is expanding to new markets. He is founding a publishing company which is allegedly going to publish real books that aren't the religious themed picture menus I'd assume his target demographic is more comfortable with. I suppose I should be pleased that at least he's attempting to create something that has tangible value instead of scams that prey on paranoia and ignorance. I suggest doing some stretching to accommodate the coming deep belly laughs that are no doubt forthcoming.

So, here's a good example of being completely crazy and daring to be very public about it. After you've finished being completely horrified be sure to read the comments because they're not only hilarious, but a bracing affirmation that you, as the reader, are not the fucking crazy one. To be fair, there is a vividly embarrassed follow up that addresses both the comments and attempts some light hearted self-diagnosis.

Tennessee's governor made 'broad' sharing of Netflix (and other premium streaming content) a crime in his state. Christ. Fuck the South again and again.

1Jun/11Off

Shit. Nine Years.

I just realized while looking at the calendar that the ninth year has passed since I started up this infernal machine. Looking back at some of my older and oldest posts I realize that the last few years have been close to non-years in terms of anything other than posting random 'oh shit. it's been a long time' posts that only serve to keep the sidebar from outpacing the content. Still, nine years is a long fucking time. That's a quarter of a lifetime spent puttering around with words here.

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31May/11Off

The Hush That Falls Over The Conversation In The Room When We Mention Your Shitty Politics

There are a sparse number of people I number among friends who watch Fox News as an actual source of information and legitimate political analysis. I have no idea where to place blame for this or how to reconcile the fact that the aforementioned handful of folks and I cannot venture anywhere near certain topics without the stress of it on the surface tension of civil conversation being threatened by pogo sticks on thin, Spring ice. I'm hoping that one person might read this Rolling Stone article about Roger Ailes, the man behind the curtain at Fox News. Give it a thoughtful read, please.

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23May/11Off

Confirmed Monkeys

After wondering about the choice of Xamarin for a few minutes, I read this interview with Miguel de Icaza and discover:

"We've used monkey themes for many years," de Icaza said. "Ximian was a play on simian. Mono is Spanish for monkey. Xamarin comes from the tamarin monkey. And we kept the X, though to tell you the truth, I can't remember why we used it in the first place."

That is exactly what I suspected.

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23May/11Off

Listen To Raymond Scott

I cannot remember where I bookmarked this article from exactly, but this is an article from West 86th about a 1967 film collaboration between Jim Henson and Raymond Scott which kind of blew my mind.

I'm a big fan of Raymond Scott and have always felt like the larger music community outside of archivist-minded record collectors and purveyors of the oddball should really be more acquainted with him as he invented a good amount of the technology and methodology that pre-date electronic music. Most of the modern interest hasn't ventured beyond Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights. All that said, that compilation was my introduction as well and most of my ventures beyond that have been motivated more by the ubiquity of file sharing than earnest effort. Still, go read Scott's impressive Wikipedia page and dig in a little further if his name rings no bells for you.

19May/11Off

Another X Company, Eh?

I'm actually pretty excited about Miguel de Icaza's announcement of the birth of Xamarin and the departure of Mono from Novell. I'm not an enemy of Novell per se, but it is good to see a stack with a bright future expand beyond its initial reason for existence (to compete against MSFT) and concentrate on being an awesome set of tools for the people actually writing code.

The Xamarin site is active and is currently hosting a survey about which features users would like to see prioritized. I'm guessing that expansion of Android efforts is under heavy consideration if only judging by the number of Android-related questions on the survey. I guess there are a fair amount referencing iOS as well. This is very cool to hear.

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18May/11Off

A Short Experiment From Which Absolutely No Conclusions Should Be Drawn. Ever.

I've never liked any of the tracking devices that most laptops are equipped with. Even with an inordinate amount of tweaking through whatever utilities are available, I've always resisted using them whenever possible. The mouse has undoubtedly done its fair share of cumulative damage to my wrists over the course of too many years spent entirely at keyboards and spending at least some of that time standing at workstations and typing around people while they refuse to move.

An Aside: Speaking of which, if you work for a company that I also work for and need my assistance with your machine and then suffer under the delusion that I'm going to dictate instructions to you while you putter around and click pointlessly be prepared to have your stupid ass shoved aside

Aside aside, I've often embarrassed myself by being a fumbling moron when forced to use a trackpad in front of people who spend less time in front of a machine and consequently much more comfortable using the trackpad (don't ask for evidence of correlation here because I have none other than violent and irrational dislike). In the interest of proactivity, I've decided to try working exclusively with the trackpad on a couple of my laptops for a few days. Hopefully I will learn something from the experience and won't just fire up Ion to avoid using a pointing device entirely.

One immediate and happy discovery is that Chromium is a more mouse-optional browser than I imagined. The point wasn't to abandon mouse use entirely, but I feel like I'm already moving towards a less mouse driven use of the browser. I don't know if this is a good thing necessarily (less wrist fatigue! yay!) or moving towards terrible-ness (I can only browse the web using vi keybindings. Also, get off my lawn!). We'll see if I don't abandon this experiment altogether.

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17May/11Off

Getting Out Slightly Ahead Of The Wrecking Ball

For those (none) playing along at home, I ended up getting the job I was sweating over. This is good news because not only is the new company one with a great reputation, but I'm seriously losing my shit at my present job. I look forward to a future that involves neither Exchange nor Outlook. How it all actually works out is best left until I've actually begun working there, but I'm already a whole lot less stressed out and a lot more hopeful.

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11May/11Off

What I Do Instead Of Ditching Out Of Work Early

So, I'm still at this job that I despise and I seriously don't want to be here anymore. So much so, that I feel as if being fired would be a sort of relief. I'm waiting to hear back on a job that sounds like they're pretty much ready to offer contingent on my flakey-ish former managers returning phone calls. This is a terrible posture to assume because it nearly always ends in crushing defeat and the despair that inevitably follows. Sometimes, for the sake of maintaining sanity, it's almost beneficial to have a deep pessimism and distrust for all deus ex machina routes out of what seem like unbearable situations.

So, venting accomplished, go read Merlin Mann's Cranking is it is the best thing I've read all week and addresses many of the mental traps I've set for myself as a parent who also moves some of the gears of technology for a living. Reading things that involve children and hardship, no matter how relative that hardship might be, is a lot more difficult for me these days.

Another thing: The Cone mail client is rapidly climbing the list of things that I didn't think I needed much before and now I feel like I couldn't live without. Mail can be fast and your interactions with it don't necessarily have to be cryptic or involve key bindings you've either forgotten or never wanted to know. I'd nearly forgotten that. I especially like freeing up one of my virtual desktops and just sticking Cone in a Guake until I'm ready to look at my mail or need to. The psychological benefits of removing a mail client with its notifications and other visual hey! I'm here! features is oddly liberating.

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8May/11Off

Write Some Bullshit Because I Cannot Sleep Yet

I'm not going to explain why I haven't posted anything for months because that shit is frankly more boring than a nine year old weblog that never receives new posts. That, at best, is completely tedious.

So far I am not a fan of Gnome 3 . I've worked with it a bit on both Arch and Ubuntu and have found myself regretting either enabling the PPA to install gnome-shell or being stupid enough to allow it to upgrade. I've long since adopted Gnome as my default desktop on pretty much every platform, so having that stripped down, but oh-so-functional work flow completely disassembled has been nothing short of disastrous for me. Only one of the machines is actually a 'real' machine (it was a test beta install of Natty that flipped over to a release while I was messing with something else for a couple of weeks) and I've been able to route around the damage by just installing Xfce4 and pretending that it is a functional Gnome. Close enough for hackery, I guess. I am annoyed at having an old, reliable friend relegated to the dustbin for a gimmicky, phone-like interface. Sorry, but I need virtual desktops that work around applications not more context menus. Maybe next release or maybe I'll just switch permanently to Xfce on all distributions. I don't take useless stabs at usability for thumb typers at the expense of people who've used the environment for years as lightly as I probably should.

Baseball has also been a pretty huge distraction for me, at least since opening day this year. I signed up for the MLB.tv deal instead of the cable package ($100 less for a lot more flexibility) only to discover that the only real time streaming works (and god help you if you're interested in local teams - ie. the Colorado Rockies in my case) is during the week as MLB fucks its users over with blackouts for most weekend game times. I may just do the stupid cable package next year despite the $200 price tag and the additional $15 a month just to watch Rockies games. I am, on the other hand, watching a fuckton of Rangers, Athletics, and Giants games.

In theory, I should hear about a job I really want either tomorrow or the next day. This waiting is more or less the impetus for the spastic need to write something here. I'm really hoping for some good news although the potential commute is going to be terrible (Boulder is not close) and I'll be accepting a informal demotion from a system administrator who spends all of his time working on desktop support issues to a desktop support admin who crosses over into server-side problems whenever times allows and coincidentally is paid more money and has access to better coffee. I'm sure someone would tell me that this is career suicide, but my present job is already doing a fine job of making technology tedious and panic attack inducing so I think it's kind of a wash. Look for utter silence here for a while if I do get the job or bitter whining if I don't.

13Dec/10Off

Things I Read

I just added my very first static page to Team Murder. It's a list of the books I've recently read or am currently reading. The differentiation I'm trying to make here is that I am basically endorsing these books. I've read probably four books in the last couple of months that I've despised. I'm not going to bother listing those. If you're short on things to read check it out. I didn't bother putting Amazon links because it makes me feel like kind of a dick.

7Dec/10Off

Broken-ness

I just ran screaming from my previous hosting provider after a bunch of service interruptions (only one of which was my fault) so I'm in the process of migrating everything over. DNS being DNS, this is taking longer than I'd actually like it to.

If you've got something hosted here, it should be up this afternoon. If you need me, I'll be in the coffee maker.

Filed under: General No Comments
22Nov/10Off

Flagrant Attempt At Getting More DropBox Space

I'm going to post my Dropbox referral link here in hopes that you'll sign up and we can both suck up some more space. I keep an unholy amount of crap there. Help me keep more crap around!

15Nov/10Off

No Pain, No Gain?

All class, these folks