Online pulse

Some honest writing

Worst. Medical. Procedure. Ever.

There must be something wrong with me. I'm posting far too often.

Been to the doctor's again, this time to take the infamous Tilt Table Test. You'd think, with a name like "Tilt Table", that the experience would be akin to an amusement park ride. But no, they just strap you to a table, and tilt it up about 88 degrees, so you're almost completely upright. You have to stand still - no shuffling feet, no shifting weight, no drastic body movement, for about an hour. Short story shorter - it sucked.

I suppose there would have been a payoff if a problem had been discovered.but alas. I am as fit as an overweight fiddle. Victory is mine! I have smited the foul passing-out beast! Bring on the hookers and booze!

But the worst part about it? Getting the IV setup put in. I am the first to admit that I'm a HUGE baby when it comes to needles - so when the nurses couldn't get the vein after three tries.I was a bit.perturbed. They finally got it on the fourth go-around (up my forearm), but now I look like a junkie with all these track marks. Isn't medical science wonderful? They can do non-invasive surgery with tiny robotic instruments, but they can't pop a needle into a rather visible vein? I'm fairly certain I could train a monkey to do it.

Robby has taken all of this with more than a little amusement at my expense. I suppose you think it's funny?

Funny? Moi? Why would I think you passing out for no apparent reason is funny?

You're telling me that you weren't trying to make fun of me when you told your "friends" that you were having my apartment floor and walls padded, just in case there was an accident?

Absolutely not! I meant that - my only concern is for your safely and well being.

Wow.gee, Robby.I didn't know you cared.

Well, to be honest.I don't. Hey everyone, want to hear my imitation of Brett? Wow, this sure was a good breakfast at Waffle House! I love this place, especially the cute live jasmin girls they have there! They're just dreamy! They make me wanna.wanna.THUD

Ha ha. Very funny. Ho ho. It is to laugh.

Thank you very much, folks, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress!

And now, a vocabulary lesson

Say the words: Super. Bowl. Now, together: Super Bowl. Now, use this in a sentence.

"We're going to the Super Bowl."

Hmm. Needs emphasis.

Oh my God, we're going to the SUPERBOWL!

Much better.

And now, an open letter to PhillyFan:

Thank you.

Thank you for being you, PhillyFan. Thank you for being your angry, disrespectful, intolerant selves. Thank you for not giving us a chance in hell of beating you in your rat-infested, urine soaked "house of horrors". Thank you for thinking we were afraid of you.

And most importantly, thank you for being the absolute worst fans in the NFL. Thanks for turning on your home team in the second quarter - by sitting on your hands when the Bucs drove down the field, and booing whenever your offense had a bad play.

I say thank you because without you, we might not have beat the snot out of you Sunday night. Might not - but we probably would anyway.

Fortunately, all is not lost for you - after all, you can just save all that green dye you bought up for St. Patrick's Day.

Tampa has long been regailed as the team that couldn't. Couldn't win a season, couldn't win their division, couldn't win a championship. Seems that Tampa isn't the only one with a loser complex. Well, wasn't the only one. Feels good to shed that loser image, PhillyFan - real good. Maybe one day you'll get to find out what it's like. Just not this year.

I would have an open letter to the general sports media, all of whom thought we had a snowball's chance in San Diego of winning - but they already know how I feel about them. All I will say is that it's the day after the game, and all anyone can talk about is how Philidelphia lost the jasminlive game to us, because there's still no way in hell we could beat them on our own merits - it was 27 degrees in Veterans Stadium, after all, and those were the cold, hard facts.

In other weekend news, Saturday night was the bachelor party for Ubergeek. Myself, MCG, the Uber one, and the Canadian ate dinner at Dish, then had a lovely evening making pottery and macrame while drinking chamomile tea at our favorite crafts shoppe.

I am not the thickest skinned

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect going into this weekend. Jamie and Ubergeek's wedding had a chance to be either really, really good, or a complete and total disaster. Luckily, enough money was sunk into the planning of this event (by far the most elaborate wedding I've ever been in, much less attended) that everything went smoothly. Frighteningly smoothly.

I could put a breakdown of everything that's happened here on this page, but I think this event requires something with a bit more attention (just like everything else that has gone along with this wedding). It may take me a week or so to get it done, but I think everybody's going to like it. But I will mention a few important things.

When using a tube to dispense confetti, it is wise to hold the tube over your head, and flick with your wrist only - otherwise, you risk injuring those nearby you with giant wads of tissue paper.

Sleeping on a Disney couch is nowhere near as comfortable as sleeping on an egg crate on the floor.

I may snore, but the Other Brother pretty much kicks my arse in the noise department. MCG has the livesexchat video to prove it.

When paying for rooms for your child and his or her ex-wife, it is always a good idea to put the two rooms under separate names, lest the ex commandeer both rooms, leaving your child up the proverbial creek.

They really don't know a whole lot of songs at dueling piano bars.

I think my liver gave out sometime Saturday night. I can't remember the last time I've had that much to drink over the same period of time. Luckily, all my drinking took place at the hotel I was staying at, so there was no need to drive, or attempt to figure out which bus to take back to my hotel in my Jack Daniel's induced haze. I'm taking up water again - at least flouride isn't fatal.

Sinking

I am not the thickest skinned individual. Some events in my life should not cause me the pain that they do. Remembering past embarrasing incidents should not make me cringe with agony. Making mistakes should not be a reason to beat myself up. And the actions of others, no matter how callous, should not make me think to myself "why me"? It is this thought that haunts me right now, as I deal with my arrival at the office this morning to find everything being moved out, computers gone, books boxed, files packed, and a request to drive to the new office to make sure the network works properly. I said my goodbyes to everyone as I worked my way out, then stopped by to see Kerry.

Our CEO, who thought (along with the rest of us) that this move would take place at the end of the month, almost looked like he had been shot. Obviously, he didn't expect this either. He came in with one purpose - to bring us new business and new profits. He had the plan, he had the motivation, and he had everyone's approval. I can't say where it went wrong - as the low man on the totem pole, I was the last to know anything there. I said goodbye, and shook his hand, and he told me, "You're a heck of a guy."

All I could say in response is, "You are too, Kerry.I only wish."

I couldn't complete the thought, but he nodded at me, mourning over the loss of something neither of us could name, but knew could never be replaced.

The entire drive, my stomach gnawed at me from the inside.as the sudden reality of my situation sank in. The immediate certainly of my life seems to have disappeared, and has been replaced with doubt, confusion, and uncertainty. It's fun to feel bulletproof. It's nearly horrifying to find out you're not.

It's not that I don't understand the situation, and why things have turned out the way they have, and that it's not my fault. But that doesn't help my stomach any.

There wasn't much to do at the new office, turned out to be an old glass and graphics shop - small front office with a large garage area behind it. Getting things set up was fairly easy, except for BrightWarner (or whatever they're calling themselves these days) screwing up our IPs - but that got straightned out in short order. I went to lunch with Joe one last time, but I didn't feel like eating much. We came back to the shop, I made a quick fix on a data entry page that was giving us some sudden trouble, and said our goodbyes.

Joe's been my mentor ever since I was that snot nosed punk who wandered into the old Tampa office, looking for work, and not going away until I got it. Hell, it only took me two months to get my first paycheck. In the meantime, I worked in the back, building computers and taking them back again, with Joe showing me exactly how to mount the motherboard in the case, which way the memory went in, and how to automate a Windows install. He brought me back to Tampa when he saw I was stuck in a dead end that lead nowhere in Atlanta, and gave me the time and instruction to learn how to program and design web sites.

I owe a lot to that crusty old coot.

I drove home after a quick stop in Brooksville to set up some software for our accountants (who used to be our accountants before we started up this grand project nearly a year ago to get Groupware going again), and drove home, heavy of heart.

Some people say change is good, and that this change is exactly what I needed. I will admit, I felt stagnant where I was in my life, and needed a change to get past it. So why, now that this change has occurred, do I feel more stuck than I did before?

This explains my issues.

I finally figured out why I hate the company microwave.

As part of my recent return to all things webby, I picked up a few books. Well, OK, 6 books. I've started on what I think will be the most facinating one of the bunch - The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman, a rather interesting (from what I've read so far) treatise on why simple things should not be difficult to use.

Seems Norman has had issues with doors. And refrigerators. And light switches. At first, he blamed himself for these problems - what kind of idiot doesn't know how to use a door? But then, he looked at how the door presented itself. All the doors he had to deal with opened in different ways - they opened inward, they opened outward, they slid into the wall. But all these doors looked exactly alike. How can you tell? What's the big secret? He came to the realization that there was none - the problem wasn't that he could no longer reliably operate a door handle, but that the doors themselves weren't presenting the normal visual cues one might use to know exactly what direction to operate the darn thing in the first place.

Which brings me to the microwave at work. It's got the standard numeric keypad, as well as a prominently displayed Start and Clear buttons. But there's well over a dozen functions that surround the start button, none of which seem to serve much purpose, as far as I can tell. But one of them is the Time Cook button, which allows you to do what most people do with a microwave, which is set a time to cook the item you have placed inside it, be that oatmeal (which I eat most mornings at work these days, the Madre will be happy to know), a wounded GIJoe figure about to succumb to the tortures of his Cobra captors, or that damn cat. Whatever it is you nuke, you typically set the time and go. Most microwaves I have used allow you to either push the prominently displayed Time button, enter your time, push start, and voila! Microwave radiation pummels your selected item with electrons, bringing them to an "excited" state, and warming the contents. Hell, some microwaves don't even require the Time CooK button, just enter your time and go! It's almost magical, isn't it?

Well, I've used this microwave for two months, and more than half the time, that damn Time Cook button hides out among it's rather useless compatriots, impossible to see, so that Warm Chicken and Popcorn can stand up alongside it's one truly useful function and cry out "NO, I AM SPARTACUS!" at me every morning. It's like the designers got so caught up in adding so-called "Convenience" buttons that they forgot most people don't give a rat's ass about them. Designers keep looking forward, adding features and abilities that few want and even less need, all in the myopic name of progress. Well, if this is progress, somebody get me a bonfire and a cast iron skillet. I'll rough it, thanks.

I'm just barely into this book, and already he's got me nodding my head at some of the utter inanities of things. I never quite realized how much time I've wasted in my life just looking at a telephone at various places I've worked, institutions I've attended, not to mention hotels, just trying to figure out how to dial a local number. I'd recommend it for reading to all of you, but as most of you are currently in shock that I can do this much typing at one sitting, I'll forgive you if it slips your mind.

And if that's not shock enough - it's review time! Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

ES makes Being

John Malkovich almost sane.

But damn, it's so good.

And Kate Winslet.rowr rowr.

New Year's Crackhouse

The show, kids, was spectacular. That BNL puts on quite a performance, and Steven Page has a set of pipes that could kill a man, should he choose to use them for evil instead of good. Luckily for humanity, he instead decides to sing about breaking and entering and primates. And the world is, indeed, a better place.

Teh 1 and I decided to get a downtown hotel for after the show. This was more for my convenience and our safety than any real desire to ring in the new year our own little way without destroying our own home, and would allow me to get my drink on in style. So, after checking with our good friends at Travelocity, we discovered that the only hotel with any vacancies was the Ashley Plaza Hotel, a lovely little spot run down shithole right next to the TBPAC. I wholeheartedly recommend this hotel to those of you who, when you vacation, like your hotel room to be mostly uninhabitable. We proceeded to our room, past the out of order Coke machine, and around the corner to the room. Our first warning sign was that the room we were given had both AC units pulled out of the wall and placed almost haphazardly about the room - I might use the word "strewn", but there could have been some sort of Feng Shui reason for the placement. A quick trip downstairs, on the elevator that was actually three inches below the floor when the doors opened, and I secured ourselves a new room, right after the couple that needed a new room because other people were already in the one they were given. This was warning sign #2. We proceed to our new room, passing the out of order ice machine, down the hall with gaping bleach wounds in the carpet, to our dank, musty double that looked straight out of the 50's. You know, Psycho era type stuff. The toilet in our room had a plunger problem, so you had to manually turn the water on and off. Warning sign #3. By this point, we had pretty much decided it was still useful to us as a place for me to get over whatever I would drink that night, so we could get out as early as possible the next day. With that, we headed out to the show, taking the ever-so-convenient trolley-bus-thing that happened to run in front of the slum hotel.

Well, I didn't really get tossed at the show. In fact, I think the words "barely buzzed" applied. And despite gorging myself on free delictables all night, I was riding an energy high after the show ended - BNL did a two and a half hour set, which is damn near amazing to me. So, we proceeded to walk back to our hotel, which was a little over a mile away. Despite the walking, we were growing uncomfortable with our choice of sleeping arrangements. And by the time we arrived at the hotel, we had decided to get our money back and go home. On our floor, we passed what I can only imagine to be a father and his pre-teen son engaged in some sort of wrestling/slap-fight thing (they were after the broken ice machine, but before the bleach incident). We snatched up our bag, and proceeded downstairs post-haste.

Teh 1 went to the car, and I got in line behind a gentleman with no shirt on, who had come downstairs because, apparently, his bed was totally bereft of blankets, soap, and shampoo. The security guard attempted to politely inform the rather large hispanic man with the eagle tattoed across his back that he shouldn't come down without a shirt on, to which the man politely replied to him something about not having to if his room were prepared correctly. I almost told him of a couple rooms that I knew of that had all the sheets he wanted as long as he didn't mind not having AC or a working toilet, but thought better of it. So, while the man and the guard exhanged pleasantries and, most likely, were having some sort of mental brawl communicated with icy glares, I proceeded to get my money back from the short lady with the lisp behind the counter.

The moral of this story? The Ashley Plaza Hotel, despite it's best attempts at looking like a lovely hotel on the website, should be avoided by everyone at all costs. The end.

Happy New Year everyone.

If they start offering free passes to Mons, however...

I still remember the first time I stepped into a Best Buy. Every geek's wet dream of a store, complete with loud music, video games, enormous televisions, PC equipment, tons of CDs and VHS movies (this was 1993, people). It was all I could do to prevent myself from skipping up and down the aisles, grabbing things nearly at random, Homer-In-The-Land-of-Chocolate style. Such joy! Such happiness! Such a friggin' setup!

I popped into Best Buy today to pick up a car charger for my cell phone. I know it might be hard for some of you to believe this, but I actually forgot to charge my phone last night. I know, I always have things together, and never ever forget to do the little things. I'm a shocked as you are. Honest. But I digress.

I opted for a rather elaborate looking model, which was the only one that actually fit my phone. This device apparently doubles as some sort of calculator, or maybe a tricorder; the LCD readout on this sucker (yes, an LCD readout on a plug) is massive, probably tacked on by some engineer with a bad idea and too much free time , and most likely pointless. Being trapped by the forces of necessity and nerdishness, I proceeded to the checkout line, where I was immediately battered by a barrage of sales pitches. Exchange follows:

Clerk: Hello. Do you have a Reward Zone card?

Me: No.

Clerk: If you get one, you can get points good toward your purchases here as well as online. Do you have a Best Buy card?

Me: No.

Clerk: It's 90 days same as cash. Would you like an introductory subscription to Sports Illustrated or Entertainment Weekly? 8 issues free?

By this point, I was starting to feel like I was being presented by verbal pop-up ads, and I felt like clicking them closed with my fists. But I realized the clerk was only doing their job, and was probably being watched at all times to make sure she said everything they had to, or face losing their six dollars an hour.

Me: No.

Clerk: Can I have your phone number?

Despite my reputation as a lady killer, I quickly realized this was not a question that might lead up to a steamy tryst somewhere in the home appliances section. Now they've started collecting personal information.

I remember the first time I went into a Radio Shack, ages ago, and got asked for my address, phone number, and date of birth. I felt like they wanted to do a background check before they sold me a spool of speaker wire. As a result, I now avoid that place at all costs. I realize I don't have to answer their questions (as I won't give that stuff out to just anyone - I'd better know the person, or at the very least, be given large amounts of cash on the spot), but it's the principal of giving up my personal information freely so they can make more money. Some people worry about Big Brother in the government. Well, Big Brother has gone private - and all he's interested in is marketing every last thing he can to you. So I may just be giving up on Best Buy for now, until it's safe to approach their registers again.

Of course, I say that now, but then I'll see another album that I need to buy (yes, I buy albums - I have no use for your iPods and your filesharing), and I'll go crawling back because it's a dirt cheap loss leader, selling out my pride and my ethics for three dollars off.

Hey, at least I'm honest about it.