July 2003 Archives

A gray day, it actually


A gray day, it actually started to sprinkle today.

It occurs to me that while the age of computers does in theory create a paperless office, there are times when you absolutely must have a physical copy of the document to look at. Like when places you want to apply at take submissions electronically but refuse to open up attachments. Cutting and pasting ASCII text resumes is an option, but ASCII text resumes offend my sense of aesthetics. In plain speak, cutting and pasting ASCII text it's ugly, it screws up the format, and you have no idea what it looks like on the other person's computer. If I'm getting my resume looked at by potentially the people who will hire me, I don't want them to think that I don't know the proper places for carriage returns when the resume ends up looking something like this:

UC Berkeley HD&CCS/Information Systems, Berkeley, CA
Programmer/Analyst II 1997
Program and debug code for the McDonnel Douglas Series 18 mainframe computer. Troubleshoot and document end-user problems with the Series 18. Systems Administration of IBM AIX RS/6000 as well as other Linux servers/ Administration of Sybase System 10 SQL Server. Program web applications using Perl.
Designed and created a program to tabulate results from annual housing surveys and generate web pages for university officials to view.

Anyways, you get the point... it looks bad, and it's definitely not something I want passed around like that.

So, succumbing to the need to kill trees and further populate the landfill with empty print cartridges, I went to go look at printers. Having a Mac creates an interesting challenge, since apparently 80% of all high-quality printers under $100 exclusively work with Windows only. Anyways, after looking at the various ink and bubble jet printers, I decided that what I really want is laser printer.

One of the interesting things about technology is that there is a product to fill every price niche. For instance, 10 years ago, we had dot matrix printers filling the $50-$200 range, ink jet printers were in the $125 - $300 price range, and $600+ was laser printer range. Now we have ink jets filling the lower price range niche, photo printers filling the mid-range, and laser printers are still the top end. True, the features of printer that you get today is much more than compared to that of 10 years ago, but if it was a printer with average quality you could purchase for $150 10 years ago, you still get a printer with average quality for $150 today.

I went to the career transition center to get the resume printed, but I had a problem on the PCs because the security settings were such that I couldn't browse my ftp site to download my resume and cover letter onto the PC.

Luckily, they had an iMac there, (which few corporate people know how to secure) so I used the iMac to grab my resume and cover letter and printed them. That iMac saved my job application materials.

God, that almost sounds like an Apple Commericial.

(Apple Logo goes here)

My name is Mike, and I'm Sysadmin.

Maybe I'll try driving along


Maybe I'll try driving along the Alaska Highway next summer.

I've found with most things


I've found with most things in life, you've got to jump in with both feet -- putting one foot at a time into the water usually causes one to jump straight out until conditions are such that the water is absolutely perfect. And when in life are conditions absolutely perfect? Just about never. So I set out today on my new goal -- to write a book. It's probably not the easiest thing to do, but I think it's the one that will satisfy me.

The Road Not Taken Two


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could.

To where it bent in the undergrowth,

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

-- Robert Frost

Making decisions is never easy, but there's always a difficult road, and a easy road. I've always found that in the end, the difficult ones are the ones that I look back on and say, "Yes, it was a hard decision to make then, but I'm glad I made that choice", whereas the easy ones were "I took the easy road, and paid for it later." I've also found that heart also has a big influence on the outcome -- for instance, I will always regret that I didn't follow my heart and major in anthropology or english, and instead took the easy road of finding a major in which I had accomplished a majority of the work. It was easy, but I cheated myself out of something more important than the degree -- personal satisfaction.

This is where I stand, at a crossroads. Where do I go? Shall I follow my heart or my mind? Take the easy road or the hard one?

Whoa! I can't believe ice


Whoa! I can't believe ice cream is bad for you. I mean, really, who knew? (yes, that's sarcasm, folks)

A quick scan of entertainment


A quick scan of entertainment type stories:

Alias Surprises Coming Next Season. Spoiler warning. They don't reveal anything major, but the list of cast members does give away some info.

Joss Whedon at San Diego Comic Con. I'm not a big Joss Whedon fan, but I know lots of people who are avid fans of his work.

Neil Gaiman at San Diego Comic Con. I'm actually much more of a Gaiman fan. Sure, like Whedon, he's written comic book series and scripts to televison shows and movies, but the thing that makes him infinite times cooler than Whedon is that he keeps a wickedly good blog on his website. Yes, he does a fair amount of selling himself via the web, but there are some really great gems in the links that he posts, as well.

Learn Second Languages Early They


Learn Second Languages Early

They are right about one thing though... Going abroad, if you want to survive, you need the language. For me, after entering a country and staying there for any number of days, everything about the language comes back to me. I always wanted to be like Indiana Jones, capable of speaking dozens of languages. No matter what, I'm going to make my kids learn Chinese. It's something that I've been wanting to do for a while too. I guess I can add that to the number of other options I have during my hiatus.

Watching people leave from an


Watching people leave from an airport is always a sad experience to me. I'm not sure why that is, but it's always the way I feel. The morning just flew by today, after I dropped my sister and her friend off at the airport.

I was always told that


I was always told that eating pizza was healthy, and now this report shows that eating pizza can actually cut the risk of cancer.

San Francisco


San Francisco is one of the cities that has the feel of familiarity about it, even when you just enter it. It's partially because it's been featured in film and television so much that it's somewhat recognizable.

My sister and her friend went to go find the house that you see in the beginning of the old TV show "Full House" on Friday. They went all around the city to find it. They did find it eventually.

I don't watch Hitchcock films, but I'm told that a great many of them are in the San Francisco area. Here's a list of locations in Vertigo. I've been to Fort Point, driven up to Muir Woods, and seen the flower stand outside Gump's (though it's not Gump's anymore)

Looks like I'm not the


Most Americans clean their plate


Most Americans clean their plate no matter how full. Most people I know clean their plates. I've never felt comfortable eating American size portions of stuff. If there's too much I just leave it or take it home.

A device to translate meows?


A device to translate meows? It's made by Takara (the same company responsible for Transformers and Micronauts).

As my sister says, I


As my sister says, I make a really horrible lazy bum. One of the things you learn in writing is that action doesn't just happen on its own to the hero. The hero has to take action into his own hands and make things happen. So it is with life... if you stand still and wait for things to happen on their own, you'll be waiting a long time. So no matter what I'm going to make the best of the time I've got in this transition period -- either I'll go to school or find another job or something useful.

Free Slurpees Today


Stories like this one, about


Stories like this one, about the oldest known planet always manages to stir up my imagination. However, in a universe of billions and billions of stars... we only know of 121 planets outside our solar system... which, if anything, should make one realize just how limited humanity's scope is. Randal and Dante's conversation about the Flying Car fits into this whole viewpoint somehow...

Best Museum Exhibit Ever


Article about college game players.


Article about college game players. Personally, I think the students are all in denial... Because in pursuing the gamer life, they managed to cut off their non-gamer relations, so of course their social life suffers as a result.

The evil cell phone strikes


The evil cell phone strikes again. While driving to work today, my cell phone fell out of my cup holder, and under my passenger side seat. As soon as I got work, I started fishing around for it and managed to get my hand stuck under there. I've got two fairly visible scrape marks from coaxing the phone out from uner there. Cell phones are evil, evil things.