Friday Five

  1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why? Spiderman, cuz he could climb walls and shit.
  2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got? Peace
  3. What’s the furthest from home you’ve been? Korea, repeatedly
  4. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t yet? To rollerblade without feeling like a klutz
  5. What are your plans for the weekend? Relax, do as little packing as possible.


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Old in LJ time

I just noticed (looking at invite code generation) that my first payment for LJ was only the 923rd payment ever. I’ve been on this thing a long time.
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New Thoughts

I’ve added a new Random Meandering Thought on my site. It’s relatively short, and could probably have fit into my stream-of-consciousness ramblings on LJ, but I figured I’d make a post on the site to kick off the new year. I don’t write too many lengthy thoughts on there, since starting LJ journaling 2+ years ago.
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current_mood: accomplished

Risk to Reward

Monday

I hesitate to call anything that I do by such a lofty term as philosophy, but that seems to fit as well as anything else. Anyone who has any degree of introspection has, at one time or another, thought about how they approach life in general – the basis for their big life decisions. I call my approach the Risk to Reward Ratio method. I suppose others may invoke more-established terms like opportunity cost, but I’m not an economist and I would rather not muddy the waters too much (unless it’s to the strains of Mannish Boy, but I digress).

So, what is the Risk to Reward Ratio, and how does one use it? Simply put, every major decision in life (and most lesser ones) involves a usually-instinctive weighing of the pros and cons. I.e., "If I do X, I’ll lose out on Y."

I recently had to decide the mid-range path of my family’s lives. Would we stay in Arizona, where a company was offering me 10 grand more to do the same job I have done the past 2 years? This job, while dull as an old spoon, is not too difficult and I’m told I do well at it. Personally, I feel that I’ve been thrashing aimlessly the past two years, glad to have avoided detection as a complete fraud out of his depth. The other, non-Arizona, option was to take a job offer to move back to Texas. This other job is building on the job I did the last two years in the army, and I’m sure I’ll do well at it as well.

The pros and cons started to pile up. First, the plusses for each side:

ArizonaTexas
More moneyMore job satisfaction
We bought a house last yearNo travel ever
 Family in town, so free babysitters (i.e., we get to go out like grownups)
 Cheaper housing costs

And the negatives of each one:

ArizonaTexas
Travel at least 25% of the timeLess money
Feeling lost at workFamily in town, so more meddling possible
Being a part-time husband and father 
Boring work and dull coworkers 

This turned out to be much easier than I thought. However, in any risk-reward consideration, there are some risks that are larger than others. The house is a big risk: conventional wisdom says you’ll lose money if you sell a house less than 3 years after buying it. Fortunately, the market is wonky right now, and our realtor thinks we’ll be able to break even and maybe even get a nice dinner out of the sale.

Anyone want to buy a house in Southeastern Arizona?

Joe

Apparently Joe Millionaire fans are less willing to pay for a silly shirt mocking one of the characters than some people believe. Sold one of those I have no happy shirts, and it was to the person who suggested the design. Go figure.

Wonder how Mike’s bomb-the-liberals shirts are doing…
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I’m Moving On

Got a job offer in Texas, and we’ve decided to take it. So, off to San Angelo again.

Anyone want to buy a house in Sierra Vista?

Store stuff

I’m told there was a bizarre and hilarious moment on Joe Millionaire when a contestant proved her French skills were sub-par.

So, I’ve made a store for it. Don’t blame me, it’s all ‘s fault. 🙂
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Cafepress

Cafepress has now allowed us to set up newsletters to send to anyone who subscribes. So, if anyone is interested in keeping abreast of the latest and greatest from my not-very-succesful stores, go sign up.
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Information Systems Agency

Latest announcement from the LAN admin folks here at the Defense Information Systems Agency:
Update of Netscape Communicator Pro to Version 4.79 scheduled for 6 Feb 03.

Yep, absolutely ensuring that we can’t access half the sites we need to for work, using an old non-standards-based browser. Did I mention, “Information Systems” is the name of the agency?
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current_mood: amused

Good Tunes

This is an interesting new twist on the battle between music downloaders and bands/labels. The new Foo Fighters album has an accompanying DVD (and I think the new 3 Doors Down does the same thing) with cool content, such as a couple music videos and screensavers, etc. Also, the CD will launch you to a website where you can stream cover songs the Foos recorded. Alas, this is where my pathetic dialup connection fails me, but that’s to be expected.

And, I can rip the CD to play on my MP3 player just fine, thank you very much, RIAA.
current_music: Foo Fighters – All My Life
current_mood: happy

World Politics

Is it real or is it satire?

WASHINGTON, DC–With concern over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities growing, President Bush reassured the American people Monday that “extreme force” will be used to remove Saddam Hussein from power if the Iraqi president fails to give up suspected weapons of mass destruction.

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Clie and Flash

The Clie NX and NZ series machines include an embedded Flash 5 player. So far, none of my Flash files work in it. The one that comes with it (some “game” named Zylo) has no instructions and is so strange I can’t begin to guess how I got 2000 points on the darned thing.

Anyone know of any normal Flash apps that will work on the Clie?
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current_mood: geeky

MS introduces Phone software – Viruses follow

As always with MS operating systems, the Microsoft Smartphone 2002 OS has been found vulnerable to security-aware hackers (you may call them virus-writers).

After the story last week about the one-minute boot time of the phone, and its interesting ability to not turn on when you push the ON button, this is pretty funny.

Get an MS phone, and you too could have the same joy of rebooting, crashing, and constant virus-updating as you get at home! Joy!
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current_mood: amused

Rapidly Changing Computing

Following up the earlier post about my cool Christmas present, Sony was showing off a new model at CES last week. It looks considerably heftier than my not-so-tiny Clie, but it includes a camera with the same resolution as my Canon Powershot, as well as built-in Bluetooth (in case you want to use your cellphone to call your ISP I guess). Otherwise, it’s the same machine as mine, both in hardware and software. And how is this appreciably less powerful than a laptop now? Of course, you can get a decent laptop on eBay for less than the $800 this monster is going for. But, for pure geek chic, what could beat having a single pocket-sized (well, big pockets maybe) device that can take good pictures and decent movie clips, voice records, play back MP3 files, control TVs and DVD players, and connect to a wi-fi LAN and surf the web?
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Stop messing with the language

People (particularly business weasels) seem to have an innate desire to re-work the language, changing the acceptable meaning of words etc. One that really bugs me is using “grow” as an active verb, i.e., “We are trying to grow the market.” What is wrong with the other words that actually fit there and don’t require mangling Webster? Examples:

  • We are trying to expand the market.
  • We are trying to build the market.
  • This is an attempt at market growth.

Notice how all those sentences sound more natural? Anyone who thinks using grow as an active verb sounds good – you’re a putz.

This has been a public service announcement from the Opinionated Asshole. Thank you for your attention.
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Friends list follies

After doing that LJ Analysis thing this weekend, I realized that I skim far too many people’s journals. Unlike many people on LJ, I don’t consider any of you friends if we haven’t shared some deep meaningful moment or some such. There are a few people on here that I’ve exchanged emails with regarding important life matters, some that I know (or at least have met) in real life, and so on. The majority of you, even if I enjoy reading your journals, are not my friends, no matter what the name of the page on the server. I use the “friends” page as a way to aggregate content to read at my leisure (A great example). When I find a feed that I am not overly interested in any longer, I stop reading it. This is in no way a comment on you as a person, nor on the interesting nature of your writing. If I am not commenting, and rarely even reading, your journal, I stop putting it on my friends page.

I rarely post things as “Friends Only” so you’re not missing anything if you are no longer my “friend” on LJ. If you remove me as a friend, I really don’t care (in fact I rarely even notice such things unless brought to my attention). Yes, I could do as does, and make filters for my reading convenience. I actually have filters enabled, and I use them for posting and occasionally filtering out posts so I only read RSS feeds, or only IRL friends, etc. But, I don’t choose to add an extra step to my life just to avoid offending people. If you’re that easily offended, get out more. 🙂
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Stolen from Ernunnos

I don’t know where Ernunnos got the list, but it seemed entertaining…

Where were you when?

  1. When John F. Kennedy was shot (11/22/1963)
    I was born 7 years after that.
  2. When Mt. St. Helens blew (5/18/1980)
    Not a clue. I was living in MN at the time, but c’mon, I was 9!
  3. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded (1/28/1986)
    In school, 10th grade.
  4. When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco (10/7/1989)
    I was in Salinas, CA – about 45 miles from the epicenter in Los Gatos. Went back to the base and hung out in the electricity-free barracks for a few days, eating cold sandwiches and having class on the lawn.
  5. When the Gulf War began (1/16/1991)
    I was in Korea, listening for reactions from the DPRK.
  6. When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco (6/17/1994)
    I was in class in Southern Arizona (strangely where I work now), and we sat around the dayroom laughing our asses off, knowing this moron was so guilty that he HAD to get convicted.
  7. When the building in Oklahoma City was bombed (4/19/1995)
    I was outprocessing from Fort Lewis, getting ready to go to class in West Texas.
  8. When Princess Di was killed (8/31/1997)
    Monterey, DLI, refresher course. Actually, the weekend before the class started, and I was lying in a barren barracks room, listening to a walkman.
  9. When Bush was first announced President (11/7/2000)
    Must have been at work in Texas. Didn’t make much of an impression, after the big election night debacle.
  10. When the 6.8 earthquake hit Nisqually, WA (2/28/2001)
    Didn’t know one had hit there.
  11. When terrorists flew into the World Trade Center (9/11/2001)
    Reading LJ at home, noticed all the posts about strange doings in NYC. Turned on CNN and sat on the bed trying to make sense of a completely surreal event. For some reason I thought going to work would actually be possible that day. Of course, the base was closed.