29 September 2007

Things Which Are Difficult to Do Whilst Drunk

10. Drive. Not to advocate something illegal, but it is damn hard to drive while drunk. Motor vehicles require surprising amounts of coordination to keep either between the lines or even on the pavement. If you can avoid doing it, avoid doing it.

9. Type. This post brought to you by automatic spell-checking and the hunt-and-peck method.

8. Not sing. What is about being drunk that just makes you want to belt out that song that everyone but you hates? Loudly. Because, you know what, everyone else is wrong. Aerosmith rocks.

7. Code. I can barely type, now you want me to string together words, variables, and algorithms. Fuck that.

6. Care. I just couldn't care less about $TOPIC.

5. Not Care. God, that is so damned tragic; I'm not one to get emotional, but that makes me hurt.

4. Play games. I suspect this has much to do with why you can't drive: hand-eye coordination. Seriously, Guitar Hero on whiskey.. I have a new respect for Keith Richards.

3. Read. You know how boring books can be late at night? Yeah, now you're half-way to asleep; good luck finishing that brilliant tome.

2. Writing. Well, ok, to be fair, I actually write better when drunk. It's just that I can't share it with anyone. In the morning, what I thought was a massive success is likely to be more Scott Adams than Douglas Adams.

1. Not use the phone. What is it about alcohol, of whatever variety you choose to imbibe, that makes us want to grab a phone and call someone. This isn't just drunk-dialing-for-ass, this is general use of telephone technology in any form. My theory? So, I'm in this awesome place that gives me alcohol to the point of not being able to do anything else on this list; you should be here, too! And if your being here gets me some, all the better.

This list brought to you be New Holland Brewing's Lucid, Knob Creek Whiskey, and a wedding reception with a keg. Cheers.

A huge page of Monty Python videos

Say goodbye to your Saturday.

Link

26 September 2007

Drink Up - No booze if state legislators can't get their act together

Of all the stupid things, if the State can't work out a budget by next Monday, "non-essential services" will start to be shut down. So, when you can't renew your license at the Sec. of State, you also won't be able to drown your sorrows as package liquor distribution will stop. You can still buy, but if the shutdown lasts, how long will your local store have you favorite bottle in stock?

Wonder if this applies to beer, too.

No booze or bets if state shuts down

25 September 2007

New Wordpress is out

This site is now running Wordpress 2.3, thanks to the new upgrade; check out the link for a huge feature list. Of note (and the reason for this post) is the new native tagging system. After trying to get Ultimate Tag Warrior working on this site, and giving up, WP now has it built in.

So, WP users, time to upgrade again. Beware, the database upgrade took a while for my mini-blog here so you majors are going to have some downtime.

23 September 2007

New Computer + 2 months

Well, 2 months and then some. After buying the new computer, I was all gung ho to be a Vista-guy. I'm no fanboy, but I do like Windows (yeah yeah). It's familiar, it's easy to use, and I have tons of software from work that conveniently ports to my home machine.

So, what's Vista like after a couple months? Frustrating. Congratulations Microsoft, you made the following sentence pass my lips: "If I could sell these machines and come up with the cash, I'd buy a Mac." Vista is essentially the answer to "how do we prevent idiots from installing crapware on their computers and then blaming us?". It assumes that you are a) computer illiterate, b) in possession of a video card powerful enough to render scenes from Lord of The Rings from source and c) willing to put up with incredible amounts of confirmation dialog boxes.

Now, I am not a sysadmin by any stretch. I cannot (yet) pwn your box, forge email headers, or (apparently) get Ubuntu running in a virtual machine (dammit). However, I can build my own machines, hack a registry here and there, and configure damn near anything given the right documentation. So, what was the first thing that I did to "customize" my Vista install? That's right, I nulled the fucking UAC "feature". Yes, I am actually trying to defrag my hard drive; that should not require confirmation. Yes, I am trying to adjust the font size on my monitor; why the hell is that an admin-level change?

UAC is, for anyone who remotely uses a computer either incredibly frustrating or downright insipid. So, the major feature for security on Vista? For me, gone.

Next comes networking. Aside from the claim of easy setup, it's anything but. No one, and I mean no one, can read or write from any shared folder on my machine. As the current powerhouse in the, uhm, house, my machine is the goto box for encoding video. Unfortunately, everything has to be fetched from the machine as I'm unable to get the config to allow anyone to see the damn box, much less write to it. I suppose that's a security feature.

Aside from that, DirectX 10 sucks the big one. J-- bought me Bioshock for my birthday. After cranking down every video setting in the game (for a brand new computer with a GeForce 8600 GT, Windows score of 5.9 of 6), the game still had issues in certain areas. Then, after some digging, it turns out that the game performs better on DirectX9 and DirectX10. 'scuse me, but what the hell?

And, the last complaint, iTunes. This likely has blame to spread around to both Apple and Microsoft, but someone needs to step up and fix this issue. I like videos on my iPod. That means I have add and annotate quite a few files in iTunes. Under XP, this was simple: add video, right-click on it, set properties. In Vista, it goes like this: add video, wait, right-click on it, wait a very long time, enter properties, wait even longer still, repeat. To change the title on one sit-com length video takes (without exageration) at least 90 seconds. For a DVD of episodes, this means it takes 8-10 minutes to change the episode titles. It's enough to stop organizing them.

That said, at least iTunes is stable on Vista, which is a vast improvement over my XP box.

So, I'm not impressed with Vista. For $10 billion in development, I expected way more. If upgrading to XP wasn't such a pain in the ass, this machine would be an XP box. Thank god Virtual PC still works (although unsupported). At least I can have a dev environment.

The Beer Prayer

Our Lager,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink.

Thy will br drunk,
(I will be drunk),
At home as in the tavern.

Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillages,
As we forgive those who spill
Against us.

And lead us not into incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers.

For thine is the beer,
The bitter and the lager,
For ever and ever,
Barmen.

(courtesy of StumbleUpon and Office Humor).

18 September 2007

Food Network Sucks

I used to be a huge fan of the Food Network. Of the very few hours I would give to TV a week, Food Network used to get a substantial amount of them. But, in the last year or so, FN has become as boring as, well, HGTV; all show and no substance. With the advent of Rachel Ray and a bevy of insipid "personalities" who couldn't cook their way into a family diner, the Food Network has sacrificed its mantle as a cooking network to become a food entertainment network and, worse, a reality TV network ("America's Next" + futureShowNameStr + "Star")

The basic night is now packed with contrived competitions (cause cooking is all about head-to-heads), "celebrity" chefs rehashing the same crap they have for years, and Emeril. Props to Emeril for sticking it out this long because I can't imagine what a soul-sucking experience it must be when the network you helped make starts tossing talent left and right.

For example, Mario Batali, the oddly fascinating Italian chef didn't have his contract renewed by Food Network. Must have been hanging with the wrong crowd again. You know, foodies. Which leaves Alton Brown and Emeril (maybe Giada if you're into her) as the only things worth watching. (Thanks to Ashley for the tip.)

So, my occasional Good Eats viewing will sustain me until someone figures out that what cable really needs is a cooking network. Stars will make themselves if the shows and the cooking are good. Maybe I need to pick up another season of America's Test Kitchen on DVD. Or Anthony Bourdain could finally get to be the ultimate chef and run a network. Can you imagine?

17 September 2007

Shaky Jake dies Sunday at the age of 82

A fixture in Ann Arbor, Shaky Jake, died Sunday of an unspecified cause. If you know someone who knew Jake, they're probably lying.

Shaky Jake dies Sunday at the age of 82 - MLive.com [via DataWhat?]

15 September 2007

Random news and links

Bits and pieces in no particular order:

  • I joined the Chelsea Wellness Center; I need to lose weight, J-- gets a discount through the hospital, and it's easy to use.

  • I love wikis but don't get to use them enough. U of M IT has begun offering installation of MediaWiki for use around campus. My project team is now converting our development docs over to the wiki. I'm taking meeting notes. It's a good thing.

  • Bats sucks (the flying ones, not the wooden ones). Rabid bats suck even more, especially when you have to get the shots.

  • J-- and I are getting the shots.

  • Lawn mowers are ridiculously expensive for what they do. Seriously, it takes balls to say you should pay $300 for a machine to cut grass for a 20x16 patch of earth?

  • I miss Douglas Adams. I'm re-reading Salmon of Doubt, a collection of his works culled posthumously from his computers and the sad thought hit me that there are no more books of his to look forward to.

  • Heroes is awesome. Almost as good as Battlestar Galactica. We have the last two discs of Heroes in the house now so we can finish season 1 this weekend.

  • I have a new favorite word, courtesy of William Tozer via Alan Gutierrez; Coshirking: "A coffee break lasting more than one hour where local industry gossip is exchanged over open laptops."

  • IT Crowd, Season 2 is showing up on the bittorrent sites. Definitely worth the download.

12 September 2007

BioShock

Zero Punctuation reviews Bioshock (video with crude language).

Yep, that about sums it up. Bioshock is a solid FPS, a weak RPG, and more overhyped than the PS3. Ok, not as much as the PS3 as the game actually delivers some of what was promised, but.. just watch the video.

Oh, and don't play it on DirectX 10; apparently the performance is better on a DX9 system.

The Escapist : Zero Punctuation: BioShock