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Supernatural "Fan Fiction"

So many thoughts about this episode. I want to focus on one thing though.

Chuck.

So many recaps and comments about this episode seem to think that it's the writers saying "Yeah deal with the last four seasons bitches!" Capped off with Chuck saying "Not bad" at the end. I disagree. I think that there is some of that in there, but not in the "fuck you" sense. I know many writers and they are very aware when they do bad stuff. This seems more to me about them acknowledging it and giving a wink to the viewers and fans.

Now back to "Nod bad."

I've probably watched "Swan Song" more times than any single TV episode ever. I was also aware that it was unclear whether or not Supernatural would be picked up again. The writers did a great job of making a perfect show and giving them an out if they did get to continue the story. With that in mind I was always curious about Chuck's comportment at the end. Dressed well and writing with purpose. Quite a bit different than the disheveled and awkward Chuck of past episodes, not to mention even 10 minutes ago in this episode.

Ever since his first appearance there has been a debate about whether Chuck is God. He vehemently denied it and further episodes seemed to support the case. In my case I was about 80 percent sure he was go. At the end of "Swan Song" though I wasn't sure. Prophets, according to lore, have been subsumed into Heaven before. Kevin seemed to confirm that. At that point I pretty much thought that Chuck was just a prophet. Just a prophet. It is amazing how jaded you can get watching this show.

Now it should be explained that Supernatural has had numerous meta episodes. Each one, while very fun, served to give the boys a kick in the pants. Through out this episode I could hear Bobby saying "Idgits". Of course there was the woman who was playing Bobby practicing her "Idgits" line. The long and the short of the episode is that a muse, Calliope in this case, wants the show to go on so at the end she can take the life of the writer.

"Supernatural has everything. Life. Death. Resurrection. Redemption. But above all family. All set to music you can really tap your toe to. It's not some piece of meandering genre dreck. It's... epic."

That is what Calliope said to Sam. It is pretty clear that Calliope was going to take Marie when all was said and done. But then we get to the denouement. The publisher ticket was claimed and who should show up? Chuck. Oh sure you can chalk it up to meta nostalgia. At the curtain call we, and the brothers, were confronted with Adam. You know the half brother that accepted Michael into his body and has been in the hell cage since "Swan Song"?

Chuck showing up though, as the publisher. Well that takes meta to a whole other level. He obviously is not a prophet, at least any more. He is composed and sure. So either he is an angel or God. I'm voting for God. Remember that necklace that Dean threw away many moons ago? Marie gave Dean a prop of that necklace. Which he put over the rear view mirror of Baby. Who was Chuck talking to? Marie. Also keep in mind that the only parts of the musical shown where the "canonical" bits. No aliens, robots or tentacle beasts. Not to mention the Calliope quote I mentioned above. That is a very Chuck thing. Remember what he wrote in "Swan Song".

"The Impala, of course, has all the things other cars have... and a few things they don't. But none of that stuff's important. This is the stuff that's important. The Army man that Sam crammed in the ashtray--it's still stuck there. The Legos that Dean shoved into the vents. to this day, heat comes on, and you can hear 'em rattle. These are the things that make the car theirs. Really theirs. Even when Dean rebuilt it from the ground up, he made sure all these little things stayed. 'Cause it's the blemishes that made her beautiful."

"In between jobs, Sam and Dean would sometimes get a day - sometimes a week, if they were lucky. They'd pass the time lining their pockets. Sam used to insist on honest work, but now he hustles pool, like his brother. They could go anywhere and do anything. They drove a thousand miles for an Ozzy show. Two days for a Jayhawks game. And when it was clear, they'd park her in the middle of nowhere, sit on the hood, and watch the stars... for hours... without saying a word. It never occurred to them that, sure, maybe they never really had a roof and four walls but they were never, in fact, homeless."

I rest my case. He gave the brothers a kick in the pants in this meta episode. Idgits.

Here is the thing though. I truly don't believe that the writers ever thought that Chuck was God before now. His actions and appearance in "Swan Song" were a nice coda for the story and he was a stand in for the writers saying good by to the viewers. Premature as we now know but it was a wonderful goodbye if that was really going to be the end.

I'm probably very wrong but I think that the writers used this episode as a great way to re-introduce Chuck. Not to mention that Marie seems to be in the know now so I wouldn't be shocked if she showed up again.

I'm back up to 80 percent certain that Chuck is God.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

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Xbox Financial Meeting Minutes

11:20 Phil from sales: Who want's to go to lunch later?
11:20 Alda from client services: I have a lunch meeting with a client. Hope this doesn't go too long.
11:21 Frank from product support: I know this great taco truck down the block.
11:21 Phil from sales: Sounds good to me.
11:24 Steve from development: Aren't there supposed to be donuts here?
11:24 Alda from client services: No dumbass it's almost lunch. It's against corporate policy to have snacks after 10:00 am.
11:24 Steve from development: Why, oh why did I not take the Google job?
11:38 Dave from billing: Heya guys! Sorry I'm late. So we have a concern about profits.
11:38 Frank, Phil: Profits?
11:38 Frank from product support: Go ahead Phil.
11:39 Phil from sales: Er I thought we were doing well. Xbox Gold sales are rising. We have good retention and compare favorably to the PS Network.
11:39 Dave from billing: Well that isn't good enough. The Kinect system is going to require increased network traffic. That means more cost. That means you people need to solve it.
11:40 All but Dave from billing: ................................
11:42 Steve from development: Well the Kinect isn't going to impact us imediatly. The games we are seeing are not going to get much uptake. Plus they are not really Xbox live games, more people playing in their house.
11:42 Phil from sales: Our market analysis tells us that most of our customers don't have the room for Kinect. Oh and they kinda get cramps if they move more than their fingers while playing games.
11:43 Dave from billing: Well that makes it simpler. We just raise the price of Xbox Live Gold. Appreciate all your input people. I'm so happy to work with team players like yourselves.
11:48 Alda from client services: In twelve minutes the company is going to pay me to get drunk.
11:48 Phil/Frank/Steve: I hate you.

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I've been seeing a few opinions about Microsoft's relative performance since Bill Gates left the helm. In addition I've seen more than a few opinions about Apple and Steve Jobs. I'm going to discuss both of these things because I feel that they are related.

To give you a background on myself, I've been programming for close to 28 years. The last 15 I've actually been paid for it. Go me! Another tidbit, my first paid programming job was to write software for the Apple Newton. I was not a happy camper in 1998.

With that being said I'm going to first talk about Microsoft. Through very shrewd business moves they became the de facto operating system on most business computers. For them this was very good. In the mid 90s they seemed unstoppable. At that point they could pretty much dictate what would be on the computer that someone would use at work. Like most corporations they started trying to expand in other arenas, using their strengths to their advantage. This, of course, resulted in the almost never ending legal battle that fundamentally changed the upper management at Microsoft. Instead of being aggressive they decided to put more processes in place to prevent a repeat.

I think that is the number one thing that has prevented Microsoft from doing anything relevant in the last 6 years. But it isn't the only thing.

I'm not a big fan of Bill Gates. Nor am I a huge fan of Steve Jobs. But the thing they both have in common is a sense of vision. Jobs had a better vision in what people might like but Gates had a better vision in what would sell. I'm considering the eighties and nineties here.

This brings me to the other Steve, Mr. Ballmer. From what I have read and what I have seen he is a good salesman. I can't state it as a fact but I am pretty sure that most programmers hate good salesmen. Or saleswomen. Good salespeople succeed at getting a client to pay for something. The problem is that they don't ask why a client wants that something. "You want a button to enter a date? Yes we can do that!" However a better question to ask is "What makes you need to enter a date?" Getting the reason behind the request is critical. I can guarantee you on this, the person asking for the feature cannot contemplate a better solution. They have tunnel vision, "At this point in the app I want to do this." Every time I've ever suggested an alternative, "What if we make it so that the date was relative to the blah?" they go bonkers nuts and wonder why they didn't think of it.

This is why programmers hate good salespeople and why the love great ones. Which brings me back to Microsoft and Steve Ballmer. Because of the success of Microsoft in the business environment they became beholden to it. Their customers no longer were you and I but companies and OEMs. Ballmer being the good salesman he was gave them road maps and promises they wanted to hear. Thus Vista was created. Over promised and under delivered. Trying to solve everyone's perceived needs doesn't solve any of them. So I don't believe that Bill Gates was a genius really, he was very smart, shrewd and made the right development decisions. Steve Ballmer made the right sales decisions but doesn't understand the development process.

Now we get to Apple and Steve Jobs. Since Jobs reclaimed the leadership at Apple that company has completely changed. It used to be that Apple was transparent, like a glass shower wall. Actually a wall implies that they had some barrier. Then the iMac appeared. Everyone, including me, thought it was silly. But remember the vision thing I talked about too many paragraphs above? Yeah. That saved Apple.

The next thing was the iPod. Every time Apple introduces anything this comes up "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." Now why did the iPod grow? I mean it shouldn't have. It was Mac only, Firewire only. But it was the first music player since the Walkman that didn't suck donkey balls and could be used by someone without a computer science degree.

Did Apple or Jobs or Ive (not sure he was there at the time) ask people what they wanted in a music player? No. They just made something that they liked and figured other people would like it as well. Looks like that gamble worked. Eventually they made it available for Windows users and USB. From this time until about the time the iPhone was announced every single music player was dubbed an iPod killer. Including the Zune produced under the Ballmer Microsoft.

Now I don't want to sound like I'm praising the trinity of Apple, Ive and Jobs. Remember the "Mac Cube?" Apple is the other side of the pendulum. They don't seem to ask customers what they want at all. Jobs and company have had a really good run with the iPhone and iPad. Their laptops have found their way into the hands of people that I know were anti-Apple. Hell a guy I work with that complained about Apple to me bought an iPad today.

Jobs has the opposite problem that Ballmer does. He doesn't ask people what they need because he thinks he knows what they need. So far he has a good track record. I'm not convinced it will last though. You always have to ask what people think they need and follow up with why they think they need it. You don't have to design your product for everyone, but it may give you new ideas for something else.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

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Dear Mr. Ebert,

I've read your reviews and watched "At the Movies" for decades. While I don't always agree with you I find that I can always respect your opinion. Which is why I found your review of "Kick Ass" distressing. It was both perfunctory and condescending. Your review boils down to blood, violence, guns on the wall and a child killing people before getting brutalized.

Maybe you watched a different movie than I did. Perhaps the film cut out at key points. Here is what I took out of it. Oh I did not read the comics or even know about the movie until two weeks ago.

This movie is about Mindy. It's about vigilante justice. It's about the lengths people will go to for revenge, even if it rips the childhood away from their daughter. The lengths a child will go to for approval of their parents. It's about the consequences of choices and actions. But apparently that isn't a world you are interested in.

My biggest issue with your review is when you stated "This isn't comic violence. These men, and many others in the film, are really stone-cold dead." So if it wasn't a movie based on a comic those deaths would just be peachy keen? And your next couple of sentences "And the 11-year-old apparently experiences no emotions about this. Many children that age would be, I dunno, affected somehow, don't you think, after killing eight or 12 men who were trying to kill her?" Did you ever consider that maybe that was the point? A child raised and conditioned to be a killing machine would not care about the death. The movie pretty much shows that just might be a bit messed up.

You have every right to dislike the movie. My only wish is that your review didn't rely on canards.

Best Wishes,

Michael
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Shortly after I woke up Tuesday morning I received a call on my cell phone. The caller ID was blocked so I didn't answer it. Then my phone rang again, caller ID was also blocked. I decided to pick up because I thought it might be my wife calling in trouble. Here is the conversation as close as I can recall:
Me: Hello?
Woman: Hey baby how are you?
Me: Uh hey.
Woman: What are you doing?
Me: Who are you?
Woman: My name is Amanda sugar.
Me: Do I know you?
Woman: Oh I want to fuck you.
Me: Ah. That's really great and all but I have to go to work.
Obviously I hung up at that point. I got a several things out of this though. First of all I was kinda rude. I mean if someone paid for me to have a phone sex call I should have at least enjoyed it. What? You think someone didn't give me the gift of a phone sex call? Yeah that is probably more likely. I should have explained that "Amanda" had the wrong number, I mean she is only doing her job. The second is "ZOMG there is still a phone sex industry?" Seriously with all the internet porn? Third is that someone in Colorado is kickin' it old school with his masturbation.

This experience did remind me of another incident, I think it was back in 2007 but I'm not completely sure. divatreasure and I received a late night/early morning call from a heavy breather. Yes another "ZOMG people still do this?" moment. She answered because I sleep like I'm dead. He called twice more before I decided, and was awake enough, to pick up the phone. I vaguely recalled reading or hearing that most callers like this get off on making women feel victimized. Because of this I assumed that he was very heterosexual. So in my best "Mmmm quest" voice I started saying every possible thing I could think of that would squick out a hetero male. Sure enough after about four sentences he hung up and didn't call again.

Of course when I was at the airport at 3:30 am the next day without my card clip it was a bit hard to get divatreasure to answer the phone. The heavy breathing asshole.

Current Mood: amused amused

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Just wow. I wasn't sure where Russell T. Davies was going with this after the last episode but he pulled out all the stops. I have many things to say and some thoughts on the arcs over the past four seasons. Those will be coming in the next post and it will be very spoilerific.

Current Mood: impressed impressed

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Ok guys. I know that the audiophile community has some very questionable ideas about cables but this is just fucking stupid. Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable. The description is just priceless:
Get the purest digital audio you've ever experienced from multi-channel DVD and CD playback through your Denon home theater receiver with the AK-DL1 dedicated cable. Made of high-purity copper wire, it's designed to thoroughly eliminate adverse effects from vibration and helps stabilize the digital transmission from occurrences of jitter and ripple. A tin-bearing copper alloy is used for the cable's shield while the insulation is made of a fluoropolymer material with superior heat resistance, weather resistance, and anti-aging properties. The connector features a rounded plug lever to prevent bending or breaking and direction marks to indicate correct direction for connecting cable.

Oh yeah man I've been wondering why my downloads are so slow, must be due to the vibrations and that I don't have one of those fluoropolymer thingy maggigers. Holy shit! I just realized I plugged in the cable backwards! Boy is my face red. Now my uploads are slow but damn my porn is downloading at a record pace. Thank you Denon!

Whatever marketer came up with that blurb needs to be put up against the wall and shot. Seriously, did they just copy and paste the same bullshit audio cable ad copy and just find and replace analog with digital? If you want to fuck me up the ass, at least have the decency to sweet talk me first.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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The only thing I have to say here is that Steven Moffat writes damn good characters. And story arcs. And Dialog. And, well ok he has joined the ranks for writers I will trust implicitly.
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I had a very long post written about the democratic nomination process. But I deleted it. Why you might ask? Well I finally have watched both Senator Clinton's and Senator Obama's respective speeches from Tuesday.

I just don't have anything to add to that . On the one hand you have someone talking about themselves and what only they can do for us. On the other hand you have someone actively reaching out to people telling them that they can make a difference. The former uses voters as bargaining chips, that latter tries to bring voters together.

The big difference is character and integrity. Obama has it in spades, Clinton has to look both words up in the dictionary. The speeches speak for themselves.
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Yet another Steven Moffat episode that will be a stand out in the season.

I read a couple of weeks ago on The Who-Philes that he was going to be taking over producing Doctor Who. I'm trying to find a downside and failing.

Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic

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Somehow I forgot about The Sarah Jane Adventures. Not sure how that happened but I guess it's because I'm a complete moron. Oh well I watched the first two episodes and pretty much liked them. But I had some questions. Basically where the hell did Mr. Smith come from, where the hell is K-9 and how do these kids know Sarah Jane Smith? Oh right, there is a "pilot" episode. Boy that moron line is gaining credence eh? So I watched the pilot/precursor and had most of my questions answered.

Now it definitely is geared to the younger crowd but there is plenty to enjoy for all ages. Plus sonic frackin' lipstick! Ok I must come clean here, Sarah Jane Smith was one of my most favorite companions. But still a good show so far. They have obviously benefited from the budget windfall that the recent Doctor Who popularity has generated. In the first two episodes the Slythene looked much better than they did in the original Doctor Who episodes.

I will admit a bit of sadness about K-9. Ok I know where he is, but... well crap I can't say more without spoilers. Although his scene in the pilot was pretty funny and pure K-9.

All in all though I like the direction the show is taking. I especially like Sarah Jane's kinder, gentler take on alien interference. I felt like she was channeling The Doctor but consciously and forcibly rejecting the solution he would come up with.



P.S. Oh and where the hell did Mr. Smith come from? The "pilot" did not answer that at all.
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I've never had the desire to get any of the Guitar Hero games. I understand the allure, just wasn't my cup of tea. I felt the same way about Rock Band. I'm not sure what the disconnect was, I mean I spend hours killing orcs or humans on Warcraft, sending minions out to do by bidding in Overlord and I like music. So what's the problem? In retrospect I think it was the guitar thing, I never wanted to play the guitar so getting a game where I could pretend to play the guitar just wasn't appealing. I lumped Rock Band into that mindset as well.

So what happened yesterday was that my girl and I had time to kill near a Best Buy. This is never a good thing for my wallet. We walked in and she saw the TV displays near the entrance. So I did my standard "We really don't need a new TV and we should really spend our money on the wedding." Well it's true, we don't need one and we should keep saving for the wedding.

We walked around a bit and I looked around the Apple section for a iPhone headphone extension so I could use my phone to play music in my girls car. A helpful Best Buy sales guy asked if we needed help and after a bit of explanation he trotted off to see if he could find what I needed. This is where it all went south. Oh boy. I steered us toward the game section, never a good sign. Mr. Helpful BB Sales Guy found us and gave me a pretty good adapter. This is the good part. Of course my girl found the Rock Band display.

Side note here, this was a pretty craptacular display. The drum set was broken, the left drum was hanging by it's wires, the wire on one of the drumsticks was wrapped around the stand and one of the guitars was unplugged. This is not something that will sell a game by looks. So I helped her get it started and held the broken drum so she could play a bit. She wanted to try out the guitar so we got that working and I tried out the drums.

Hmm. I probably shouldn't have done that. Broken drum and all I had a blast. Five minutes pounding away at a run down, worn out display game brought me back to my teen years where I would hog the Apple IIe at the game store to play Tetris. But we had to leave. We also had to walk past the tower, I really do mean tower, of Rock Band game boxes.

Now I would like to blame my girl for us buying it. I really would, but that would be a complete lie and send me to hell forever. What happened was that she said "Why don't we buy it?" I, after thinking on my TV line above, was trying to figure out how I could say "FUCK YEAH!" and not be a complete hypocrite. Then, as is her wont, she saved my bacon. Since she had just got a gift card from work as a bonus she offered to use it. This gift card would pay for the whole thing.

I'm only human. I caved. No that isn't true, I dove into the pit of hypocrisy willingly and rolled around in the muck like a satisfied pig. I don't regret it a bit. We played yesterday afternoon and had friends over this evening to play. Fun was had and, even though I failed badly in front of people, I had a smile on my face the whole time.

I will probably never be a drummer, but god damn can I pretend. Rock Band has the appeal beyond the guitar, to the singer or drummer to be. The bonus? It really is like Tetris on drums for me. Maybe one day I might really get a drum kit and rock out.

Um do drum kits have an Easy Mode? Cuz Medium kicks my ass.

Current Mood: excited excited

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The title is what I said about six times during the season opener of Doctor Who. I would say more but then you would have to kill me for telling you spoilers.

Torchwood and BSG last night. Doctor Who today. This weekend is filled with chewy geeky goodness.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programing.

Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic

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I just started to watch season four of Doctor Who. Is it just me or did they change the music? I don't remember the string section being so prominent. Of course I could just be a clueless reprobate that wouldn't know music if it was blasted in his ears.

Current Mood: curious curious

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I gave Russell T. Davies a pass on the first season of Torchwood when I heard "The face of Bo they called me." So I actually watched the second season of Torchwood. Wow was that a good decision. The cynical part of me wonders if it was my lowered expectation that caused me to think that this season was good. But I don't think that can account for it all. The writing and the overall character arcs just put the first season to shame and were actually worthy of being called good. Oh there were things that made me shake my head but I'm actually looking forward to season three rather than dreading it.

There is one thing though...

Here there be spoilersCollapse )

Current Mood: morose morose

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Doesn't suck.
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Daring Fireball:

Regarding Ryan Block Asking Steve Jobs if SIM-Unlocking Apps Will Be Allowed ★
I have to say, I side with Block on this one. Just because the answer is obvious doesn’t mean it wasn’t a fair question. I don’t have a problem with Apple serving as a gatekeeper with approval over all apps, but if that’s the role they want, their policies should be explicit. In the presentation, they only listed things like porno and “malicious” apps as thing that wouldn’t be tolerated. Clearly, something that impedes on their carrier contracts won’t either.

It’s probably a moot point because of the data sandboxing (iPhone apps only have access to their own files, not the files of other apps), but would Amazon be allowed to write an OS X Touch app for buying songs from the Amazon MP3 store? Again, I’m not saying it’s outrageous if the answer is “no”, but if that’s the case, it’s only fair to get it on the record as to whether Apple plans to disallow any app that impedes on an Apple revenue stream.



Well I have to strongly disagree with Mr. Gruber here. On the one hand we have Apple not allowing an application that will obviously break exclusivity deals with the cell phone carriers they have partnered with. On the other hand we have, based on the examples you gave, applications that have no basis on deals with Apple directly but on the providers of content. Since there was a pretty obvious demo of AIM on the iPhone I really don't think Apple cares about the apps that compete with it. Especially in these categories. Oh sure Apple won't get the minor revenue if a user gets their music from Amazon. They still have that same music playing on the iPhone or iPod Touch. In fact it makes their platform more attractive and they can sell more hardware.



Ok maybe their policy should be more explicit. What will and won't be allowed, although I think they can't be too explicit since it will evolve over time. But the basic fact is that Apple has direct contracts with cell carriers and providing a way to bypass those carries is not going to be something they can legally allow. This is pretty obvious and leads to the quite right derision heaped on Ryan Block's question. If he had actually asked about Amazon (or any third party) music download or video rentals or anything like that I would be in support of him. Even if he asked about more explicit descriptions of what would be allowed for iPhone apps I would be on board. But his question as stated didn't lead to any answer that would even remotely, possibly be anything that wasn't "Er no, der." That is why people are castigating him.

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I was going to title this post "Oh my fucking god, if I have to deal with another fucking, brain dead, mouth breathing moron today I just might go buy a gun then stake out the post office tomorrow. Ya know just to give postal workers a better name." but of course that was too long so waste of biomass is what you get.

I just read this post from Violent Acres. Strangely, although it talks about some chewed carrot for brains asking about adopting a pet (and please if there is a God he better not get one) it pretty much described my day.

Them:
So how do I go about putting the encrypted number on this form?

Me:
Well for all of the forms like that they usually use memory variables or cursors. Check out the function that creates it and do something similar to the way other information is populated in the form. (Translation: we stick shit in places that other things can find them.)

1 hour later

Them:
I can't seem to get the new information to show up.

Me:
Did you figure out how the other information was showing up on the form?

Them:
Yeah, yeah, but I did the same thing and it doesn't work.

Me:
Ok let me take a look. Uh, ok I see the problem. You didn't add anything new to the cursor where all the other data is coming from. You created a new variable that is local to this procedure. (Translation, you put information into a container that was going to be immediately lost, you might as well have stuffed it down the toilet.)

Twenty minutes of explanation and excruciatingly explicit examples later...

Me:
So you see if you just added a new field to this cursor that all the other information is coming from then you can reference it on the form.

Them:
Oh yeah, yeah I see now.

45.32 minutes later

Them:
For some reason this other thing I need to put in isn't being displayed in the form.

Me: ...

Me: ...

Me: Did you add a new field to the cursor?

Them: No I didn't want to change how it was currently working I tried to do it this way.

Me: ...

Current Mood: frustrated frustrated

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Andrew Omsted: Final Post

Why is it you read something and wish you had a chance to know the person that wrote it? Oh yeah that's life. The bitch.

Current Mood: nauseated nauseated

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There are a couple, well several things I want to say right now. But let us talk about yesterday. Not yesterday as in "the ages of yore" but yesterday as in Sunday. That yesterday.

I woke up about six in the morning. It would be nice to say I sprang from bed but it was more of grunt, slouch, shuffle out of bed. Then I went and did some things in the bathroom that I'm fairly sure most of you don't really want me to describe. The one that does, well just kiss off. I charge for that kind of information. Pervert.

A quick drive to Manhattan Beach, a nice breakfast, a walk on the pier and then another quick drive back home. Only one of those last statements is truly accurate. Electric Company, you have scarred me for life, "Which one of these things doesn't belong here..." Welcome to the hell that is my life.

Anyway getting back on track I watched a movie yesterday. Yes THAT yesterday. "Live Free or Die Hard." Very funny, Justin Long completely sold his character. Oh and my girl and I paused just because of the social commentary, the inanity and occasionally because we were laughing so much. Good, fun view that only lost me with the plane. Oh and don't watch the theatrical release. The unrated one is better. Why? One word. Fuck. Let me repeat that...

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Seriously how can John Mclane not say fuck? Oh I get the can make more money from a PG-13 rating but, and I'm being very serious here, what the fuck?

Next movie of the yesterday was "Strictly Ballroom." Now I love "Moulin Rouge" and have heard of the Red Curtain films, but somehow I always stayed away from this one. You know, chick flick stuff. But damn if that movie didn't grab me right away, and if you can get more than five minutes into it and not get the title then you are just dead to me. Dead I say. Still have to see R+J but I'll get there.

Now, as anyone that knows me understands, I like to dance. No really I'm serious here. Stop laughing back there or I just might have to pop you one. I don't have any illusions about my skills, or lack there of, but I enjoy it and love watching skilled dancers. I'm not a big fan of reality TV but I have to thank my girl for letting (ok making) me see Benji Schiwmmer and Heidi Groskreutz doing the, well, the most awesome and jaw dropping swing dance I have ever seen. I will probably never see the like of that again.

So yes, I do want to dance in the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix with my girl even if we do "novel steps." Hell I'll even wear the dress. I haven't even heard of the Paso Doble before yesterday but god damn do I want to dance it at our wedding reception.

The last movie of the yesterday that was the day before is "The Full Monty." This is one I've been meaning to see for a while. Good reviews, everyone liked it, just never actually pulled the trigger on it. All I have to say is my loss.

Ok I lied I have more to say so just suck it up and keep reading.

There is just so something raw about a man that has lost everything. His drive to support his family, his wife, his dog and cat. When he can't even buy nosh for the gerbile in the cage he feels like the ulitmate failure. This movie is not about that. Ok well it is. Only it isn't just sophomoric pretentious angst, it just people. Doing what people do to live, survive and...

Well ok crap. I swore I wouldn't do this... I wouldn't... but damn can't fight the sophomoric agnst... dragging me in... must... gasp... my... last... breath.

Ok where was I? Right people. Well guys in this case, mostly, but there are some moments (my girl had to point most of them out) that truly show why men and women put up with each other. Even, dare I say, love each other. Oh and there is dancing and a really good soundtrack.

Actually it was kinda weird. I came out of watching it loving women more. Oh yes their snide smiles, the shocked looks, the disparaging glances (you will know what scene I'm talking about if you have watched it) might be a put off. But as a member of the audience, oh and a guy, I just thought it was bloody cute. If I can make my girl laugh by shaking my ass or twirling my tackle about and being silly well then hell yeah I'm going there. But the thing that really got me, was their expressions. I don't know if they were random women brought off the street or experienced actors. Either way just brilliant.

So yeah. Yesterday was a pretty good day.



P.S. No they don't keep their hats on.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

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For a long while I've been on the CNN "Breaking News" mail list. I don't really remember when I subscribed but it's been years. Earlier today I received the following:
Ex-Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has died, according to media reports.
I read this twice and both times figured that she died of age or some form of disease. Then I see something else that describes a very different view of her death. Someone shot at her car and then set off explosives that were apparently wrapped around their body.

Hmm. Well I guess "media reports" as an attribution really mean someone phoned in and said "Well them thair things got done dead and such." Maybe I'm just silly but breaking news means that there is actually factual news to be breaking. There is a very large gap between "so and so died" and "so and so was assassinated." Ok technically the fact that Benazir Bhutto died is accurate. The method of death, especially in this manner, really should have been noted.

I guess this is another reason why I don't really like CNN or, really, most US news sources. The motto they seem to work under is "Better to be first than informative!"

Current Mood: irritated irritated

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Ok I don't know if this is a sign of the apocalypse or just one of those random things that happen. Well probably the latter. I made a comment an hour ago on a SlashDot post. I know, I know, tilting at windmills and all that. But by some strange quirk it was marked +5 Informative. Now when I wrote it I knew it deserved that fate but this is SlashDot. I just am in a state of shock.

Now I haven't commented a many times on SlashDot but I do poke my toes in that pool on occasion. However it's been only since last October that I've used my "Official SlashDot Account and Decoder Ring" to do so. This is mostly since I applied for an account about four years ago. And then it failed to get it activated after six months. So I basically I gave it up as a lost cause and kind of forgot it. Between that time and last October I pretty much just read and only posted Anonymous Coward entries if I really felt the need to do so.

However last October someone wrote something so asinine I felt it was my duty (well my ego thought so) to comment on it. Then I was presented with a login screen. I think it might have been due to the continuing comment beta on SlashDot but regardless I tried my account login from ages ago. Lowe and it worked! So since then any time I've had the urge to comment, five times at this point I think, I've used it.

Well apparently the sixth time is the charm and my obvious knowledge has been rewarded and it's about time too. Right now I'm just wondering where the Karma Babes are, shouldn't they show up and shower me with flowers and feed me grapes? I could have sworn that was in the "Official SlashDot Account and Decoder Ring" contract.

Current Mood: amused amused

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Found this link from Jane Espenson's blog. Man are there a lot of 's'es in her name. Or should I write that as essess, or esses. Hmm well moving right along. Ms. Espenson linked to the Cash for the Crew site which seems to be encouraging people to donate to the Motion Picture and Television Fund's Work Stoppage and Relief Fund. I know there are more "fund" words in the previous sentence than I'm quite comfortable with, but the gist is that Cash for the Crew seems to be setting up a raffle for autographed scripts for everyone that donates to the MPTFWSRF. Ok that acronym was bad but I couldn't resist.

The long and the short of it is that actors, writers and producers are a small fraction of the people that work to make television shows and movies. The majority work on building sets, making costumes, putting lights in just the right places, making sure that there is film in the camera, focusing that camera, ensuring that the right people are in the right place, getting coffee, making food, putting makeup on, taking makeup off, ensuring people have toilets to use, keeping power going against all odds... Basically the thousands of names that flash by after a TV show or Movie that few people even bother to read and the names the never even appear.

I know that six big corporations not wanting to pay writers and hurting the lively hood of hundreds of thousands of people seems small potatoes when there are atrocities, starvation and war over most of the globe. However if you are in the US and have anything to spare after giving to the other causes, well give them a look see.
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"In any country, if you don't have countervailing institutions, the power of any one president is problematic for democratic development," Rice told reporters after meeting with human-rights activists. Is Condoleezza Rice making a power play or is she just doing the standard Bush administration thing of saying the most ridiculous and hypocritical statement with a straight face.

Current Mood: cranky cranky

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I hesitate to say that xkcd is the ultimate geek web-comic only because I haven't read every web-comic out there. I will say that it is probably in the top ten if not the top five. Today's entry, Exploits of a Mom, is just filled with awesome. If you haven't encountered this comic before the tag line gives a good intro, "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." I would add science and technology in there as well as a healthy knowledge of sci-fi pop culture. In other words Randall Munroe is my long lost, and very much smarter, twin brother.

Current Mood: amused amused

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