Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Toss Both Sides of the Aisle into the Potomac

I've read quite a bit in the past 36 hours about partisan politics, and I've decided it's time to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Yesterday, The Washington Post ran an article called"When Partisan Venom Didn't Rule", a lovely tale about my least-favorite president, and the perfect, self-less act that Tip O'Neill made after he came out of surgery.

Today I read quite a bit about Hill Staffers defacing the bios of the opposition on Wikipedia. Wonkette has this excellent writeup of everything, but if you want to judge for yourself read Congressional Staffer Edits and the Statement of Dispute

I decided to shoot an email to the author of the Post article:
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 13:02:36 -0500
To: davidbroder@washpost.com
Subject: When Partisan Venom Didn't Rule

Wouldn't it have been nice if you tied your story together with the
mess going on with Hill Staffers defacing the bios of the opposition
on Wikipedia?

It's time to reboot America. Trafficant was right, beam me up.

I will not be enjoying the State of the Union tonight, I have to wash my hair. It's hard enough nailing down your message, but having to remove all the three syllable words and greater from it has to be worse than listening to that giant Muppet deliver it.

Problem: 8 millions babies per year born with birth defects

Solution? Let's try and cut human breeding in 2006 by 8 million babies. It's either that, or eugenics (which you wusses think is anathema to the human condition).

A Message to my Blog-Reading, Dotted Line Boss Tom

Dear Tom,

How is it that every single time you've walked into my office in the past two days, iTunes was spinning "If I Get Locked Up Tonight" (featuring Eminem, Dr. Dre, Big Kap, and Funkmaster Flex)? In fact, as I'm typing this, you just walked by as Eminem coos at me:

Anyway I got down with Dre (What up?)
The first man who taught me how the glock sounded to spray
Running up and down the street screaming, "Fuck the Police"
when you still had your mother's fucking Nipple stuck in your teeth
(fucking baby) Became a role model after Colorado
Now all they do is follow me around and holla Bravo!

It's odd, because according to iTunes, I've listened to eleventeen-hundred songs in the past 36 hours. I'm starting to think that you've hacked my playlist because you're trying out some walking music. If that's the case, I always imagine "One Shot 2 Shot" playing when you roll by:

Believe me I'm leavin a carcus today
I'ma park my car and walk the rest of the way
I'm in the mood to strut, my AK ain't even tuck
I'ma meet you at the club we gon' fuck these hoes up

Assuming, of course, you change "AK" to "Oracle Discoverer" and "fuck these hoes up" with "hold the door for these darling young communications majors in their sorority sweatshirts".

With Big Ups,
The Alpha John

Monday, January 30, 2006

My New Vanity Plate?

From the George Mason Student Handbook:
George Mason vs. James Madison Rivalry

The Patriots and Dukes, located just 95 miles apart, annually meet head to head to compete in 18 sports. Both schools are members of the 10-school Colonial Athletic Association.

With students from many local high schools attending the two universities, the matches offer opportunities for friendly competition between former classmates and often serve as natural high school reunions. As one of the best in-state rivalries, George Mason and James Madison basketball games are hard to match in spirit and intensity. After a James Madison loss, George Mason students can be heard chanting "66 West, 81 South" in reference to how the losers drive home.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Richardsville: Have your wedding in the suburbs of beautiful Culpeper, Virginia

In the kind of "prime time reunion" not seen since Growing Pains, the vast majority of the Rock-It Grill crew reunited today to witness the blessed union of our favorite waitress, Claire, and her gun-toting groom David. Of couse, by "witness" I mean we heard the last five minutes of the ten minute ceremony from the front porch of the Richardsville Rescue Squad building:

"...in the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost."

Didn't the Holy Ghost change his name in the 1940s?

"By the power invested in me, by the state of Virginia..."

Joey suspects that the pastor was really an actor from the Richardsville Community Theatre.

The last time this crew got together was the infamous Redneck BBQ at Claire and David's house in Culpepper. While it was unfortunate that DJ Laurie B couldn't join us from Pennsyltucky, there was definately enough representation from both Old School Rock-It as well as Rock-It Grill: The Fresh Meat.

Above: Brett, Joey, Christina, and Chris Harrison

While many, many, many inappropriate thoughts came to mind during the course of our 258 minutes of stationary existance in Culpepper, I'll share a few that stood out:

"Ten bucks says there will be Doritos at the reception." and then ten minutes later, "shit, it looks like I win."

"You know, in this Rescue Squad Building, with this particular crowd, if you face away from the bride and groom you'd swear you were at a Weight Watcher's meeting."

"Claire's entire family is an ad for breast reduction. It's too bad cousin Punky Brewster couldn't make it."

Claire happens to spend a lot of time on my least-favorite website ever, MySpace. This photo is of her daughter and their friends, or as was pointed out more than once, Claire's "top 8" on MySpace.

There were these Crayola wedding-themed coloring books for all of the kids. My cousin Chris, in an attempt to start trouble, brought one over to me and asked me to change all the captions. There was one with an empty plate and glass which I titled "Where's my dinner, bitch?". Another of a child bride and groom with their backs to each other, "About my bachelor party last night...they have a cure for herpes now, right?". Another of an adult bride and groom dancing together, "David, as soon as you done-shot my boo, I knew you was the man I had to marry." We gave it to Claire as she was on her way into the bathroom to take the garter off. Joey asked her from outside the bathroom, "What do you think?" and her response was, "it's impossible to pee when you're laughing this hard."

Brett caught (picked up off the floor) the garter, Christina caught the bouquet (after it bounced off Joey's chest), the bridal party graced us with the worst rendition of The Theme From Titanic ever (during which I moved the car closer to the building), Joey sang one more song, and we were back in the car for our 68 mile trip back to Leesburg.

A definate contrast to Jennifer and Justin's wedding in October.

Boo Got Shot

In preparation for today's Redneck Wedding, I bring you the infamous audio clip of Boo Got Shot.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Did we get a new Internet while I was at lunch?

I just downloaded 833MB from Apple in less than a ninety seconds. WTF??

The only car worse than a Gold Dodge Stratus

I dropped the WRX off at the body shop this afternoon. I don't know why they're not making the payment on it since they have it more than I do.

I got to Enterprise to pick up my rental, and USAA had not booked one for me. They called over to Brown's and they put it on their account until Eric the manager straightens that out.

Enterprise put me into a Grey Chevy Montecarlo. I want to know what salty, red state, riverboat casino gambling grandmother was deprived of that turd by Enterprise. What a stupid car.

Another Bug in Google News

That is way more Bill Gates than I need before finishing my morning coffee.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Saddest Day in Robot History

Sony is apparently putting an end to it's line of entertainment robots. That means that unless Fluffy breeds with Coinstar, this could be the end of robot kind.

Let "the Vicar of Kid Touching" Kiss His Own Ring

For what I assume was my never-ending stream of questions, I was asked by the Bishop who confirmed me not to come back until my next sacrament (be it marriage or last rights). As such, my next statement might as well be “you can’t fire me, I quit”.

I am done with Catholicism, and the Catholic church has only itself to thank for pushing me away.

It's not about ritual, it's not about dogma, and it's not about priests who are kid touchers (though that is kind of hot). It has nothing to do with transubstantiation or the holy trinity or plenary indulgence.

I am sick of the pope, and I am especially tired of Benedict XVI.

I’ve been told before that I’m an old soul, and there are many reasons in the history of the papacy to despise the very concept of the Holy See. I don’t claim to have lived though The Western Schism (an outstanding time in history to find a better religion, like Zoroastrianism), but even if I did and remembered, the lunacy of my lifetime is enough to give up the vicar of Christ for good.

My crisis of faith was actually conceived during Catechism. For those of you intelligent enough to not be Catholic, you can’t just confirmed without about 10 years of Church School. You have to prove you know all your standard prayers (Hail Mary, Our Father, Apostles Creed, Act of Contrition, The Beatitudes), the four marks of the church (One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic), the significance of transubstantiation, the holy trinity, but most importantly how the Catholic church is the only right and true way to worship, and everyone but the Catholics are going to hell.


"Wasn’t Jesus a Jew?" I asked.
"Yes." Replied Mrs. Poolan, the holiest Church School teacher who wore Nike Hiking Boots.
"So why would Jesus let his father send his people to hell?" I wondered.

There wasn’t really a response.

One day we were discussing homosexuality, which was an interesting topic since our church had a priest who was considered by everyone to be such a dynamic speaker and caring person, someone who made him or her want to go to church. "Look at all the outreach he did, the time he set aside to work with troubled teenage boys in his congregation." Do I need to tell you where this is going? Everyone was heart broken when Father Gary was suddenly called away to because he had been caught kid touching at our church and there was fresh meat someplace else for him to sample.

With all of that behind us, a different church school teacher (I had many, they could only take so much of me) was telling us how “Homosexuals can still be loved by God and go to heaven, provided they never act on their urges.”

: : scraches head : :

I certainly didn’t ask this at the time (I had some restraint), but I have always wondered: if God sends homos to hell, and a homo priest fellates a hetero teenage boy in his parish, does God just give the kid a mulligan?

Once I asked Mrs. Poolan, “Growing up in a world with teen pregnancy and AIDS, isn't it irresponsible for our church to prohibit the use of condoms?”. "No" she answered "you have abstinence".

Huh. Good one, though I much preferred the part where your daughter made you a grandmother before her 19th birthday, with no baby-daddy in sight. I guess abstinence didn't make her hole grow fonder.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

The Catholic Church is the most backward, regressive, irresponsible institution on Earth. Every time I think I’m overreacting and that I should give them a break, they smack me upside the head and prove me right again. Benedict issued his first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est" (God is Love) yesterday:

MESSAGE FROM THE VATICAN: Pope: Loveless sex deceives
Benedict XVI delves into charity and relationships
January 26, 2006

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his first encyclical Wednesday that sex without unconditional love risks turning men and women into merchandise.

I’m sorry, I have to stop for a second. Did a 78-year-old man who has not had sex for at least 54 years (or ever if he’s a "good" Catholic) just speak out against sport fucking? And on my birthday??

I am fully aware that the US is not the center of the known universe, so I’m not going to play the “50% divorce rate” card, but everywhere I’ve been outside the US also thinks that breeding (or the attempt at breeding) is a recreational activity.

Benedict’s 71 page paper explores the relationship between Eros (the love of a man and a woman) and agape (unconditional, self-giving love), which he feels are unified when a man marries a woman.

I’m all for pair bonding, I don’t have any problem with monogamy (it’s one of many lifestyle choices an adult can make), but the Catholics have this fetish for marriage that I just can’t buy into. As an old religion, they maintain their numbers through (1) marriage, (2) prohibition of birth control, and (3) instilling fear on Catholic parents that they are responsible for their child’s soul until the child is confirmed. Catholics make more Catholics through their inability to be abstenate and the guilt of the child not making it to confirmation, and the kid’s immortal soul being let down. Psychologically, it's not only the foundation of a very unhealthy relationship, but it makes for an awkward Thanksgiving dinner.

Remember, these are the find folks who brought you purgatory. Not only is there someplace potentially worse than hell, but if a little baby (who is “born with original sin”) isn’t baptized before (s)he dies, the little soul will float endless in purgatory for all time. That’s the hypocrisy I’ve come to know and love: I can’t have an abortion and end this innocent life that I helped conceive, but if I have the kid and it dies before baptism it’s little soul rots and never gets to know the wonders of Heaven. I’m surprised I’ve never heard that the souls of aborted fetuses float in purgatory, but then again I haven’t been in a church since my grandmother’s funeral six years ago.

Back to the madness:

"Eros, reduced to pure sex, has become a commodity, a mere thing to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself has become a commodity."

Wait…"has become"? What was Mary Magdalen? You’re telling me that sex hasn’t been bought and sold since the beginning of recorded history? (This is where I avoid a segue into discussing [Un]Intelligent Design).

"Those who practice charity in the church's name will never seek to impose the church's faith upon others"

Of course, he’s speaking about 2005, and has completely forgotten about the Catholic Church’s many attempts to take over the world. There is also a whole lot of discussion about charity coming from a man whose toothbrush is made of gold.

We were talking last night at dinner about the current state of America politics, and at what point the right wing is going to wakeup and say "my beliefs are intact, but our President needs to go". There was a comic I read the other day about testing that theory by telling people that Bush needed to kill their kitten, and would they let him.

Practicing Catholics are no better, allowing hypocrites to eschew dogma at them. It has reached a point where they’ve stopped thinking and just swallow the doctrine like a baby bird eating the vomit from momma bird’s mouth (hi Virginia).

The older I get, the more of a secular humanist I become. My crisis of faith sent me in search of another religion, and what I found was that I would never know peace by knowing Jesus. I’m sure that makes many people sad, and they’re going to pray for my soul. I appreciate that, but I hope your faith comforts you while the carbon cycle is making short work of you.

Lyrics: Weatha Beatin Hoochie Bitch (DJ Irene)

Above, DJ Irene checks to see if she smells like mangos...
weatha beatin
weatha beatin
weatha beatin
weatha beatin hoochie bitch
[repeat 3x]

lemme explain what a hoochie bitch is
oh, correction, a weatha beatin hoochie bitch
see, weatha beatin hoochie bitches start out as mini-hood rats
you know what they are?
they're the ones who go door to door in their neighborhood
givin it up to all those cute, sexy, latino boys

weatha beatin
weatha beatin
weatha beatin
weatha beatin hoochie bitch
[repeat 3x]

now i wanna get all the real girls
that's right
all you damn hood rats in training
trying to come up to the damn hoochieness that you wanna be
well me start with those ones who come in those tiny little shorts
those damn Daisey Duke wanna-bes
those tiny little 34-b bras
weighing three-hundred muthafuckin' pounds
bitch, those shorts are like a g-string on you
you weatha beatin hoochie bitch

oh, sorry
i had to take a breath there for a second
all of this, talking about these woman who think they're divas
you know who i'm talkin' about
like that tall, too tall, wearin' platforms, damn braid wearin' black diva
you weatha beatin hoochie bitch

weatha beatin
weatha beatin
weatha beatin
weatha beatin hoochie bitch

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"Go Alpha John, it's your birthday", sang former 2 Live Crew Frontman Luther Campbell

Mom's cookie bouquet arrived this morning. My cousin Joey sent me a text message, my sister sent me an e-card and an email, and my parents also called me this morning (to see if the cookies arrived). All of you haters who are still at Feld better recognize, the cookie bouquet be chillin in Patriot Circle now.

On the Feld front, Michael has been wishing me Happy Birthday since last week, Lien sent me an email, and Ninja Jason checked in this morning.
Ninja Jason: happy birthday
theAlphaJohn: thank you, butterstick
theAlphaJohn: you know what you're missing today?
Ninja Jason: what's that?
theAlphaJohn: cookie bouquet
Ninja Jason: lol
theAlphaJohn: exactly
theAlphaJohn: what did you get me?
Ninja Jason: a baby panda-doodle
theAlphaJohn: can i smother it?
Ninja Jason: sure
Ninja Jason: and eat it
theAlphaJohn: yum!
theAlphaJohn: here's what im wondering though jason, maybe you can help
theAlphaJohn: what kind of gravy goes with pandadoodle?
Ninja Jason: yeti

Several of my lady friends have already checked in:
From: Susann Miller
To: theAlphaJohn
Subject: RE: your mail
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 11:00:10 -0600

I honestly don't think I can live without my BB.

-----Original Message-----
To: Susann Miller
From: theAlphaJohn
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: your mail

----- Miller, Susann wrote: -----
> Happy birthday! At least according to outlook?

Aww...Outlook remembered. ;)

> --------------------------
> Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Not for much longer... :)

Susann, Meredith, even Michael's slice Georgette shot me a note this morning. Annie took me to dinner last night after my slack-ass swim class (not hers). George emailed me and asked when we can go out to dinner, I think we're going tonight after swimming, maybe shoot some stick after that.

I'm not used to all this attention, but like the saying goes "live it up, sinner".

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What if she blinks twice for yes?

I'm playing with Google Earth now that the Mac version is finally available. I'm just dicking around in my hood, but my friend who know me will instantly zero in on which statistic needs some work...

CNN Accuses American Idol of Anti-Fagotism

The crack commandos at CNN are running this article today about the season premier of American Idol, and how GLADD thinks several comments made by the judges were homophobic. In particlar, they discuss Randy Jackson's comment toward a particular mister-sister when he asked "are you a girl?" and it responded "no but everyone asks me that" -- and then proceeded to sing "Queen of the Night".

Buddy, at least change the lyrics, aight? On Opie and Anthony yesterday, Patrice O'Neil talked about how when a guy sings a girl song like that, he has every right to change the lyrics. His proof was to break into a male rendition of "It's Raining Men" and improvised a song called "It's Raining Stuff".

To answer the question that no one is asking, "Is Idol Homophobic?" No, it's just a fucking gay show. Stop watching it and let all of the talentless attention whores return to their karaoke bars. My existence is not one bit richer because Kelly Clarkson or Clay Aiken recorded an album.


Monday, January 23, 2006

The Quandary of Google News

I was pleased when Google News first came on the scene. I remember waiting patiently as the new tool indexed more and more media sources in order to bring me more and more up-to-date information as it broke. I imagined a little block of Google Code infecting some douche's cell phone, and as soon his car was in an accident in Oswegatchie, NY his cell phone would SMS the news to Google and I would read about it.

It sounds bizarre, but my friends can recount for you my crippling CNN addiction from 1999 until December of 2001, when I would sit and hit reload on CNN.com and beg, "where is my new-news??"

All of that has changed though, as I am a much calmer and level headed than I was in my early 20s (not drinking a gallon of Mountain Dew a day probably helps).

Over the past three to six months though, I've built up beef with Google News, and I'm here to speak out against it:

It has several annoying bugs, and I don't like it. I know it's a "Beta" -- everything Google does is "Beta" for two years, but we need to roll back about three versions of the code for this POS because I'm tired of reading the same news story two days later. This bug was introduced at the same time Google allowed you to "personalize" your Google News experience, which is as useless as birth control for an amputee.

What the fuck am I talking about, you ask?

The screen shot you're looking at, as you can see, was auto-generated 11 minutes ago from the New Bots crawl across the face of planet, looking for new and interesting bits of news for me. What it doesn't seem to realize is that the story about the West Wing being cancelled was both new and interesting at 8:00am Sunday morning when I woke up, not at 12:30pm on Monday afternoon. Further, this story was already on the front, at the top, moved down and off the page, and fucking reappeared because the Scottsman finally decided to cover it.

The problem with their algorithm is that it's allowing shitty news outlets to dictate what is "breaking news" at this very moment. Indeed, I could probably publish "JFK Shot Today" on the Atlanta Journal Constitution's website, and Google News would decide that it's breaking news and place it top-right.

Of course I exaggerate, because Google's "secret sauce" uses a variety of things to weigh what is and is not current or breaking news, but that sauce seems to have way too much fennel in it right now, cause it tastes like shit.

Google, on the other hand, doesn't agree with me.

Get yer fix somewhere else, crack(berry) head

This CNN Money Article has wonderful news about those of us who can no longer sit idle while irritating sales-droids sit in the back of the room click-click-clicking away at joke emails from their sales-driod friends:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court Monday turned down a request to review a major patent-infringement ruling against the maker of the BlackBerry e-mail device.

The high court rejected a petition by Research In Motion to review a federal appeals court ruling that could lead to a shutdown of most U.S. BlackBerry sales and service.

Once all the Blackberries are gone, we move on to boisenberries, Boo Berries and Franken Berries.

I should be in bed

George and I have both setup Fire to work with Google Talk over a week ago, but tonight is the first time we ran into each other online:

Football George: omfg
Football George: so it does work
theAlphaJohn: !!!
Football George: cool
Football George: i thought i had it fucked up
theAlphaJohn: what's ur google talk address?
theAlphaJohn: eek...you're on there already
theAlphaJohn: this is like jew magic
Football George: yeah
Football George: it said once that you subscribed to my google ass
Football George: shouldn't you be in bed
theAlphaJohn: yeah i should be
theAlphaJohn: my bed broke again, i just fixed it
Football George: ...
Football George: lesbian fist fight in it again?
theAlphaJohn: fat girls from winchester, what can i say?
Football George: well that's fun
theAlphaJohn: some men are 7s chasing an 8, and some are 7s chasing two 4s
Football George: haha
theAlphaJohn: did you see on my house blog that i have hamsterfied my closet?
Football George: hmm
Football George: i don't think rojo picked it up
Football George: rojo is occassionally having some issues with my feeds and it is causing extreme angst
theAlphaJohn: that is unacceptable
Football George: they don't seem to hit peoples rss feeds often enough like i'll get updates in huge spurts
Football George: very annoying to know a post has been out there for HOURS and i did not know
theAlphaJohn: rojo is fired and deported for burning dinner and forgetting the drycleaning
Football George: yeah
theAlphaJohn: i'll write you and RSS reader in ocaml
Football George: i want that ocaml book that is only in french
Football George: so i can master it
theAlphaJohn: you need to learn french first
theAlphaJohn: neither ocaml nor french are worth learning
Football George: i'll hire a hot translator chick on craigslist
Football George: she'll have bush like you wouldn't believe
theAlphaJohn: "SWM Seeks fluent French speaker for translation, watersports"
Football George: lol
Football George: perhaps
theAlphaJohn: i got your email...what were you and sleeper talking about?
Football George: deviantart.com
theAlphaJohn: is that like myspace?
Football George: no, it actually doesn't suck
theAlphaJohn: umm i'm on there and i'm looking at camera phone shots of teenagers bedrooms
theAlphaJohn: not hot at all
Football George: are you trying to get me arrested?
theAlphaJohn: this picture: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/27975623/

theAlphaJohn: 0% hot, 0% art
theAlphaJohn: awkard teen girls who pad their bra, not so much sexy
Football George: hm
Football George: i should clarify by saying i only browse specific categories
Football George: juste because you immediately clicky clicked on the "hot broads from pittsburgh" link
theAlphaJohn: maybe she's going to be raising a joey kangaroo in that pouch
theAlphaJohn: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/27975612/

theAlphaJohn: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/28035041/

Football George: plz stop now k thx
theAlphaJohn: this is like livejournal, only i dunno what he's listening to or how he's feeling
theAlphaJohn: if you look closely, you can see spiderman underoos with skidmarks on the floor
Football George: you know
Football George: i go to deviantart all the time for backgrounds
Football George: i clicky clicky for maybe 2-3 minutes in categories like "buildings" "sky" "landscape" etc and i find something awesome
Football George: you immediately go to the 15 yo skaterat hangout
theAlphaJohn: i discovered this weekend that i have something to destory before myspace and livejournal...hollister
theAlphaJohn: cotton candy is spun from sugar, and hollister is spun from skaterats and evil
Football George: what is hollister
theAlphaJohn: http://www.hollisterco.com/hol/homepage.html
theAlphaJohn: from the people who brought you abercrombie
theAlphaJohn: only more beach, less...substance
Football George: oh
Football George: gross
theAlphaJohn: lots of teeshirts that say things like "your mom's box"

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Friday, January 20, 2006

Kensington, Maryland Jewish Lightning

Annie: i have to take my f-ing tv back to best buy AGAIN. i'm so mad
theAlphaJohn: why?
Annie: my mom gave me a new tv for my bedroom for xmas
Annie: it had a flaw in the pic like magnetic damage so i took it back
Annie: we stood in line last night for over 30 minutes to exchange it
Annie: i get home, plug in the new one same problem only worse
theAlphaJohn: bitches
theAlphaJohn: what brand is it?
Annie: toshiba
Annie: i'm going back and getting a magnavox but now i've gotta pack it all up again and struggle back to the store with it
Annie: i wonder if i can get best buy to come pick it up and deliver a new one
theAlphaJohn: i think if you call and bitch enough they will. jew andrew can teach you
Annie: i don't need lessons i usually get my way
theAlphaJohn: he bought a grill from lowes and almost burned his house down, they came, took it away, and brought him an insane new grill. his menorah was spinning so fast he almost took flight.
Annie: how did his grill almost burn down his house?
theAlphaJohn: his love of weiners made him turn the heat up too high
Annie: haha
Annie: that's wrong

Accutane is More Funnier

Bad skin runs in my family, and while mine really isn't that bad, my dermotologist tried putting me on Accutane in my early 20s. I didn't have any of the nasty side effects that some people did, but my liver did freak out and I went off it after 4 months.

Accutane comes in burst packs, and in order to pop the pill out you have to first remove a cardboard picture of a pregnant woman with a giant red "NO" slash through it. I used to bring the little cardboard signs into work and hide them places to see people's reactions.

There were also pictures on the inside fold of the burst pack of what a deformed Accutane baby would look like. Supposedly they have malformed or absent nose and ears, and a giant alien-like melon.

I used to joke with my coworkers that I wanted to have an adorable little Accutane baby. I would name him or her "Baby SQL" and only teach it to speak Structured Query Language. Our fictional Baby SQL used to have outbursts and yell "SQL!!!".

Anyway, Trevin IMed me this afternoon:

Trevin: get this
Trevin: I'm listening to a radio report on accutane. apparently, the fda has a new policy that requires all people who take it to register BEFORE they can get the drug
Trevin: despite all that stuff on the medicine, people still take it while pregnant and get the accutane baby
theAlphaJohn: yeah this all went on like six months ago
theAlphaJohn: silly baby SQL
Trevin: wow...you have to have a NEGATIVE pregnancy test if you're a woman if you want it
theAlphaJohn: yeah and you're supposed to keep getting pregnancy tests for it during your treatment
theAlphaJohn: i think if they write you a prescription for it, they should just sew your cooter shut
theAlphaJohn: the FDA would save us all time if they only let ugly hos get prescriptions for it
Trevin: lol
Trevin: true
Trevin: SQL!!!
theAlphaJohn: his deformed ears and nose
theAlphaJohn: his giant alien head
Trevin: SQL!!!

How cute would that be?

The Storm Before the Calm

The myMason Portal, my first project since coming to GMU, goes live on Monday. Everything is in good shape except for a performance problem with campus and personal announcements. That information is written to and read from an Oracle database, and the JDBC connection keeps timing out. We've been playing with configuration settings and db indexes (on an empty table) since October trying to get this issue solved, but today we discovered something so sexy that I may need 5 minutes to myself:
error 604 detected in background process
OPIRIP: Uncaught error 447. Error stack:
ORA-00447: fatal error in background process
ORA-00604: error occurred at recursive SQL level 1
ORA-00904: "DBMS_AQADM_SYSCALLS"."GET_OWNER_INSTANCE": invalid identifier

Unless you're an Oracle DBA, you're looking at that error and you say: "double-u tee eff? I have no clue what the fuck that means." It means that your database has Full Blown AIDS, and if you don't put on a latex jumpsuit it's going to share. ORA-604 is the error message no DBA ever wants to see.

How did it get AIDS, you might ask? Did it open up its legs and let every other little program in the building take its turn, trying to make a giant binary cream pie? No, think 80s blood transfusion -- our wonderful, hardworking database administrators applied a software update to Oracle but didn't read the directions. You're probably thinking "I never read the directions either.", but I'm betting you would if half-a-million dollars in software on hardware almost as expense gave you post installation instructions.

The technote for this problem reads like this:


You applied a patchset and did not run Catpatch.sql on the database
The versions reported in dba_registry should be in sync
with the version of software being used.


Follow the post-install instructions in the patchset readme.

Yes, please follow the post-install instructions. If I take my car to jiffy lube, and they drain my oil but forget to put oil back in, that's not cool.


A fitting end for a short week with a humorless beginning. Apparently every server we have crashed over the long weekend. Why? Well, if you have several hundred servers hooked to a giant uninterruptable power supply, all hooked to a generator, how much run time do you need on the UPS? Well, if the generator was tested in the past six months, and you knew it was busted, probably more than 5 minutes.

On a more positive note, I finished my Luminis User Management system and documented it in a two part series on my Luminis Development blog. | Part 1 | Part 2 |

Do whut?

Silly Baptists.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Bitching Blogger is Never Attractive

I finally decided to send a comment to Wonkette regarding the temporary lineup change:

Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 14:29:21 -0500
From: theAlphaJohn
To: tips@wonkette.com
Subject: Eric Pfeiffer in the center square

While Eric is a swell guy, it's starting to feel like the 80s again when every night I'd pray that Jim J. Bullock was on gone (or on vacation) so someone who wasn't so snide could fill that covetted position.

I'm sure Fox News is wishing they had a well-written, successful young (white) blogger who could come over and wrap the news for them. It's not fair for us to keep him all to ourselves. We could even replace him with someone slightly more conserative than our dear ass-hat analogizing Wonkette. How about House Rep. Burney Sanders? He's a socialst, and red is a color you can wear year round.

It looks like I'm getting my wish.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More than Vitamin C

Annie: why does this immunity defense oj i bought taste like crap?
theAlphaJohn: cause is has tamiflu in it
theAlphaJohn: which is why i don't need a flu shot
theAlphaJohn: i drink the flu every morning with my cheerios

Geektalk :: Mr. Happy Object teaches Java static methods

I'm certainly not a bad programmer (though at one time I was horrible) -- my code is clean and readable in any language. That said, it's not always elegant, efficient, or optimal because I don't program as much as some of my peers, and I do so in several different languages. Basically, I am the king of "Hello World!\n".

I'm working on this Luminis User Management system, which is really pretty straightforward. There are a couple tables, views, and stored procedures in the database to do all the heavy lifting, and I'm trying to write the front-end in Java using JDBC to make all the database calls. I took a Java class (no pun intended) in 2002, and I've done a lot of OOP in C++, so I'm expecting Java to behave like C++ (which Steve Taylor called "an octopus made by nailing extra legs onto a dog" in 1998).

I've been enlisting the help of a couple friends whose Java is much better than mine: Phil Feller (someone I know from the Lawson world), and Mike Hickin (who I've known since grade school). In looking at my code yesterday, Mike mentioned to me that I'm using static methods and I don't seem to understand them, but graciously offered to explain it to me if I called him last night. I didn't see his email until this morning, but I figured Google or one of the other many fonts of knowledge on the Internet(s) would happily teach me all about static methods in Java.

And then I met Mr. Happy Object.

Mr. Happy Object, who is clearly a mouth-breather and gets high on the JVM, uses this program to explain everything:

public class MrHappyObject {

private String _mood = _HAPPY;

private final static String _HAPPY = "happy";
private final static String _ANNOYED = "annoyed";
private final static String _ANGRY = "angry";

public void printMood() {
System.out.println( "I am " + _mood );

public void receivePinch() {
if( _mood.equals( _HAPPY ) ) {
_mood = _ANNOYED;
} else {
_mood = _ANGRY;

public void receiveHug() {
if( _mood.equals( _ANGRY ) ) {
_mood = _ANNOYED;
} else {
_mood = _HAPPY;

If the code means nothing to you, the text of the article should still give you a chuckle:

When obj1 and obj2 first instantiate, they have the same state -- they are born happy. As a result, when the printMood() is called on each instance, each object prints "I am happy" to the screen. However, every object instance has its own state that can vary independently of all other instances of that class of object.

As obj1 and obj2 go through their day, their states can vary independently from one another. Here I hug obj1 and pinch obj2:



Now when I query each instance's mood, obj1 is happy while obj2 is annoyed. While the example is silly, it drives home a point: Every instance possesses its own state, and that state is independent of every other object. Any method whose behavior depends upon the particular state of a particular instance is an instance method. You should not declare such a method as static.

Clearly when the author's mother was pregnant, she overrode the default constructor on him:

smallHuman mySmallHuman = new smallHuman(crackPipe.smoke());

And for those of you non-technical people still reading, that's the part where you laugh.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Curse of the Gold Stratus Part IV

The WRX failed emissions for the second time. I left a message with USAA that they're going to need to put me back into a rental while they fix the leak, the defroster, and return the car when it has passed emissions.

This is bullshit.

The Curse of the Gold Stratus Part III

Which of the following best describes your 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX?

(a) Rear-ended by a woman of the cloth to the sum of $7300.00
(b) Was in the shop for over 40 days being repaired from rear-end accident
(c) Rear defroster has not worked since car was returned
(d) Trunk now leaks like a sieve
(e) All of the above


Badly Penned Lyrics

I should have been asleep three hours ago, but I'm sitting here sifting through Craigslist for a single good "t4m $$$" ad listening to a couple random things I bought on the iTunes Music store last night, I'm wondering more and more what the hype is over Badly Drawn Boy?

To start, "The Hour of Bewilderbeast" is not-so-much a good album title. The song "The Shining", which I hoped to have at least one good loop from the Steven King/Jack Nicholson movie, is 5:18 seconds long but the lyrics do not begin until 1:40 (after a quief from a french horn). The lyrics sound like they were written by a javascript applet, and frankly I don't own a sweater vest so I'm not sure how much of this I'm allowed to listen to.

It reminds me a bit of when Shakira first broke out with "Tango", and while people were screaming and Carson Daily was swooning over her, I was like a human character in Lassie:

"What's the Shakira? You're out of bold hold hairspray? No? Is Timmy trapped in a well? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME??"

Is this the big thang I've been missing all this time? Then I will slink back into my dark, damp hole of chest-pounding hard house and electronica now, because I can do without this thanks so much.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

El entierro del Conde de Lake George

The photograph above is of El Greco's "El entierro del Conde Orgaz" (The burial of the Count of Orgaz) which he was commissioned to paint in the church of Santo Tome in Toledo, Spain. I went to see this painting when I was there in the spring of 1996, and it depicts the popular local legend of of Don Gonzalo Ruíz who received the title of count after his death. The painting shows the heavens looking down on the more corporial world below as this pius man is laid to rest.

Four years ago, a slightly-less pius friend of mine departed this Earth without a chance to say goodbye. Though just as large a character in life as Don Gonzalo Ruíz, I chose to remember Bob Massey as the Count of Lake George, a town he certainly held in the palm of hands for most of his life.

The funeral was very difficult for me, and I wasted little time after coming home to write about the events of those several days. Since Bob died exactly fourteen days before my birthday, I'm given a silent reminder every year as I gear up for another candle on my cake.

I'd be lying if I said I don't go a day without thinking about him -- sometimes it's weeks and months. It's always the most innocuous thing that reminds you of someone, the biggest for me were my weekends in NYC for DJ School. Walking by St. Patrick's while I was with Greta, I remembered when I Bob and I drove down to NYC on Columbus Day when the Pope was there (certainly not to see the Pope), half expecting to see our faces on TV for the Columbus Day Parade. I was probably a Sophomore of a Junior, but Bob was just crazy enough that you could call and say "let's go to New York City today" and he'd be down for that. He certainly was at Christmas in 1996 when we scaled Tickle Me Elmos in front of Toys R Us down there.

It's been at least a couple years since I've talked to Jess (his girlfriend in the picture above) or his brother Paul, but what can you do? We all have to live our lives, and Bob was the tie that binds. Without him, we're all just adrift and doing our own thing.

I suppose it is what it is.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Autistic Software

theAlphaJohn: it only took five hours after turning debugging on for Luminis to crap out and die
theAlphaJohn: i sent my new SCT super tech the dump he needed
Kirsten: huh, 5 hours not bad..
theAlphaJohn: it's our little underachiever
Kirsten: ADHD child
Kirsten: oh and autisic too
theAlphaJohn: ugh
theAlphaJohn: don't talk to me about autistic kids today
Kirsten: lmao
theAlphaJohn: i was swimming last night after class, i do this lap swim class 4 nights a week.
Kirsten: and...
theAlphaJohn: they added an autistic kid our class yesterday because he bombed out of the kids stoke mechanics class (he was interrupting everything too much) but apparently it's ok to fuck with our rhythm
Kirsten: rofl
theAlphaJohn: his dad desperately wants to mainstream him, which is fine if the kid can deal with it
theAlphaJohn: guess what?
theAlphaJohn: he cant
Kirsten: that is too funny

Cereal Killer :: Kashi Go Lean

Annie and I had a discussion a week or so ago about breakfast, and how I wish I could eat oatmeal every day but I can't so I end up eating cheerios or something equally nutritionless. She suggested I try Kashi Go Lean, so I picked some up at the grocery store last week. This morning we once again found ourselves talking about cereal:

Annie: i really wanted fruit loops and ice cold milk this morning for some weird reason
Annie: i haven't had fruit loops in years
theAlphaJohn: i had cheerios
theAlphaJohn: i did get that crazy cereal you suggested the other day
Annie: kashi go lean?
theAlphaJohn: yeah
Annie: am i about to inherit it?
theAlphaJohn: no it's not bad, it'll take some getting used to
theAlphaJohn: if i thought i could put a bananna in it it would be tastier
theAlphaJohn: but i think i'd have to put a soy banana in it
Annie: haha
Annie: i always inherit everyone's box
Annie: they buy it, try it -- give it to me
Annie: that's my master plan to get free kashi go lean

Slow News Day

Dear Internet(s),

Please publish more news on all my favorite news sites so I have something to read.

Hugs and kisses on all your pink parts,
the Alpha John

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bacterial Orgasm

Need a snack before Calculus? Head over to Bread and Chocolate in the Johnson Center for the fucking best yogurt parfait ever made. It has blueberries, strawberries, granola, and rasins (the secret ingredient), and best of all it comes in one convenient size: death by yogurt.


Animal Farm

Scientists in Taiwan have bread transgenic, glow in the dark pigs, which marks the beginning of the end of the human race I suspect.

Two hooves good, four hooves better.

My Space

I fucking hate My Space with the red hot passion of 1,000 suns. Hate hate hate.

Dead Guy Lives

Dead Guy Lives is my new favorite comic. Click on the picture above to read their take on Jew Andrew.

There's no crying in Senate confirmation hearings!

Martha-Ann Alito got a little hormonal yesterday after her husband, Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito, was questioned about his involvement in a conservative alumni group called Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

An article in the group's magazine reads: "People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and Hispanic. The physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports. And homosexuals are demanding the Government vouchsafe them the right to bear children."

I'm sorry, I get the part where this is a nation of whores, but I missed the part that said they must all be white, rich whores. I guess I just assumed with all those wet backs and spear chuckers and towel head terrorists and gooks and butt fuckers and wheelchair cripples and retards participating in everyday society had actually earned their place. Just because I'm a cracker with a Y chromosome I don't feel like I have some kind entitlement that others are taking away from me. Then again, I'm not a Republican.

Next time Martha-Ann, try Johnson and Johnson "No More Tears" shampoo, and get that hypen out of your name you stupid hole.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Calculus is known to cause bipolar disorder

While I was at lunch today, I decided that I'm going to get a tutor and have them come and tutor me Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every single week this semester until I have earned my D in Calculus.

I mistakenly started looking on Craigslist and found this ad:

Get real results w/ an Experienced MATH TUTOR
Reply to: serv-123610072@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-01-08, 1:28PM EST

Need a MATH TUTOR? I tutor all levels K-12, and college.

I specialize in:

Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus

I have over 6 years of experience in tutoring,
I am a relatively young tutor (good for younger children), I have an engineering degree, and an MBA (good for more adult courses).

**I guarantee results!**

Last minute? NO Problem! Way behind? No Problem!

* this is in or around MD/DC
* yes -- it's ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Good for younger children? I expect creepy in Casual Encounters -- that's just nuts.

Urban Planning

I was in a meeting last Wednesday with 20 (twenty!) IT professionals here about Banner, our key enterprise system that handles financials, human resources, purchasing, and all the student information. Two directors, eight managers, and ten senior technical people didn't "have the whole picture" and "couldn't get their arms around all the pieces".

I've been here since October, and I could kick Banner's fat ass in dodge ball.

Some of these same people though are very touchy-feely. There are lots of women here, and lots of discussions about hair and makeup. I came up with a solution and discussed with my boss Kirsten this morning:

theAlphaJohn: what [our department] really needs is that spectacular black girl who gets her hair and nails done every week, never repeats an outfit, and could kill every roach in NYC with her shoes
Kirsten: LMAO
Kirsten: i know that type
Kirsten: that is sooooo funny
theAlphaJohn: someone to really raise the bar around here on personal grooming
Kirsten: god that was great
Kirsten: you are killn me...shit that was great
theAlphaJohn: that would stop all that hair and makeup talk...for real yo
theAlphaJohn: someone to school all the white girls on how unhip they are
theAlphaJohn: all the sudden they would care about how all the pieces of Banner fit together, cause Buhsandra ain't havin any of that computer talk...she got plans to make for this weekend.
Kirsten: lmao
theAlphaJohn: nuh uhh
theAlphaJohn: she be on the phone fighting with her bank: "I shouldn't have to pay no finance changes cause I didn't get no bill!"

If you are that person, please visit hr.gmu.edu and send in your resume.

The Bane of My Existence

My first day of college was 9 1/2 years ago, while I was still a high school senior. Apparently I liked it so much that I'm still there, and still don't have a degree.

Really it's a matter of me dropping out in 1998 and going part time since returning in 2001, but that isn't the point. The point is that I am one class from my AS in Computer Science (which actually does more for me in my transfer than the actual piece of paper), but that one class in Calculus II.

I took Precalc twice, once in 1998 (B) and again in Fall 2002 (A). After three attempts I completed Calculus I in Fall of 2003 (C). This is my third attempt at Calculus II now in Spring of 2006, and given that I don't remember anything from Calculus I and got a 0 (zero) on the practice quiz we took last night with 10 derrivatives and 10 integrals, my magic eight ball tells me I'm fucked.

So now the decision tree looks like:
(1) take Calculus I again as a refresher
(2) try to get GMU to let me audit Calculus I
(3) hire some Asian math genius and teach him to spell my 12 letter last night and sprinkle says like "fist-fucker" into his vocabulary so he can pretend to be me and get me a C
(4) weasel my way back into Mason and get going over there
(5) forget school

If this were stupid livejournal, right now you'd see: "I'm feeling: unsettled and homicidal you dumb cunt".

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Curse of the Gold Stratus Part II

While USAA told me my WRX would be ready last Wednesday (January 4th), it wasn't actually ready until Friday. I got there 20 minutes after they closed on Friday, so I picked it up Saturday morning before I went skiing.

The car came up for inspection and emissions right before it was hit, and my appointment for both was two days after the accident. Two different people told me I'd be fine, so I took it to the appointment where it promptly failed both. At that time (the end of November), they put a 15 day temp inspection on the car.

Once I picked it up, I had to get the inspection and emissions done. I took it at lunch over to a Shell station near my office, and it failed because two of the emissions sensors are "on" yet. Typically the battery is disconnected when body work is being done, and not all the emissions equipment is "Ready" until certain criteria are met (distance, time driven, heat, etc). In a 2001 or later car, if more than 1 computer is "Not Ready" your car automatically fails. Virginia DEQ has a website to explain why your child needs to come back later and take it's standardized test again later.

The problem is that I've already driven 60 miles since I picked it up, and it's been out on the highway, so I don't know how much more I need to drive it before all the emissions computers will be online.

What I do know is that I have 5 days left to mail in my completed emissions and registration payment in order to guarantee it won't expire on me...

Butterstick Birthday

Has it been six months already? Stupid Panda. Though if we could breed one with a Poodle and make a Pandadoodle, that would be spectacular.

Naughty Skylab Astronauts break the rules

The Space Review posted this story detailing an incident in 1974 where astronauts on Skylab photographed Area 51 in Groom Lake, Nevada. This photograph of the facility, which I stole from the article header, was taken by the US Geological Survey in 1968.

The article makes a decent effort at trying to explain the conflict between a civilian agency following orders from a military agency. I felt like the author wanted to take a stab at conflict of loyalty, but I'm really not feeling it.

Like a lot of good little nerds, I had a stong interest in conspiracy theory when I was younger. JFK was probably the catalyst, though I didn't think aliens were putting something in McDonalds to make us more docile like RMS does. I understood even from a young age that many people have an alterior motive, so natually that made me wonder how much of each conspiracy theory I ran across might actually be true.

On the other hand, my short stint at The White House taught me some valuable lessons about importance of secrecy. I would have never known or considered why the schedules for POTUS and VPOTUS are only available on a need-to-know basis. The further in advance someone knows that the President is coming, the more time they have to prepare something dastardly. I find the concept ironic considering 10 years ago you could drive the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue , and 30 years ago there was no fence or gate to keep you from driving up to the circle on either the East or West wing -- you just could. Over time, fear causes us to ever be more restrictive, never less.

The author, Dwayne Day, uses the onion analogy to discuss secrecy:

"Government officials have frequently argued over the need to refuse to confirm even the most basic knowledge about things that have been widely reported in the press for decades. For instance, the existence of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which manages America’s spy satellite program, first became known in a 1971 New York Times article, but arguments flared up within intelligence circles for the next twenty years over whether or not to confirm its existence. Finally, in September 1992 the “fact of” the existence of the NRO was revealed in a terse press release that never even used the word “satellite.” Even after that decision, for several years the NRO refused to confirm that it actually conducted rocket launches, another glaringly obvious fact.

This refusal to admit the obvious was only surpassed by Groom Lake itself. The existence of an airstrip at Groom was first revealed when it was actually constructed. But it was not until 1999 that the U.S. Air Force issued a terse statement acknowledging that the facility did indeed exist, even though photos taken on the ground and overhead had been available for decades. In fact, at least two U.S. Geological Survey aerial photographs of Groom taken in 1959 and 1968 had been available in public archives, but not discovered until many years later.

To be fair, there is a logic to this secrecy policy of refusing to confirm the “fact of” an organization, or even an airbase in the Nevada desert. Intelligence officials often refer to secrecy being like an onion, and each layer that is peeled off reveals a little more of what is contained within. Even if the next layer is visible in vague form, the advocates of strong secrecy want to keep all the layers in place.

This policy is usually given solid form in legal discussions within government agencies. There the concern is not so much with foreign intelligence agencies, but with American citizens and the press, and their ability to request the declassification of government documents through the Freedom of Information Act. By refusing to even acknowledge the existence of something, government agencies have erected an outer legal barrier against requests for information from their own citizens."

The problem with the veil of secrecy, you don't know if the Great Oz is 11 feet tall or a record player that doesn't skip. Are you simply protecting our military's spy plane program (which is fine), or are you hiding something bigger?

The same fear that prompted our government to build a secret spy plane program in the middle of the desert and to insist that a civilian organization not take pictures of it, the same fear that makes Secret Service insist the President's schedule be kept under wraps while they closed off Pennsylvania Avenue, this is the same fear that conspiracy theorists have of our government.

One of the points that Michael Moore makes during Bowling for Columbine has to do with fear -- how people deal with it, and how people manipulate it. Even if you think he's a fat windbag who needs to shave, even if you've seen the movie and you don't agree with what he's saying, he makes a lot of very valid points about fear and poverty.

I wish sometimes that everyone would stop being afraid, even for just a moment. Fear is not a constructive emotion at all.

Blogger O'McGoogle-Firefoxstein Jr.

I downloaded the Blogger extension for Firefox from Google, which is pretty cool. It allows you to see what other people are saying in their blogs about the website you're visiting, and I was able to follow the trail of comments from my favorite sites yesterday to even more interesting sites talking about them.

I thought today I would try the feature that lets you just add a comment from within the little widget, which did not go all that well:

Somebody needs to get their SSL cert up to date it appears...

And then Firefox exploded and left bits of charred browser all over my desk and coffee cup. I'm sure it will kick ass once it's working.

As for the title of this post...every extension written for Firefox deserves the chance to be an Irish Jew.

Monday, January 09, 2006


I have a sort of infatuation with deviant sexual behavior (which is probably why I find Jim Norton so funny). I'm always the person explaining to someone about trannies and polyamorous relationships, and at one time Furries.

Diesel Sweeties had an arc about a character being a Furry, and this is pretty much the gut-busting tail end of it:


Luminis :: Worst Error Message Ever

Error: Invalid product id. Expected the pattern '(\w+)-(\d+\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+)', not ''.


Good Morning Mr. French Press

"Hi John."

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Brunch :: the new black

A very productive Sunday if I do say so myself.

Annie and I met at Spring Hill at 11:30am for about 90 minutes of real intense swimming. There was a whole lot of pulling, though no so much with the kicking after skiing 8 hours on Saturday. We chatted with her brother (who also works there) for a bit before we rolled over to Cafe Deluxe.

I am a foodie, I like food. There are times when I'm starving and I don't want to feed myself because it's too much of a chore, but having grown up in resturants I came to acquire more than just a primal interest in what I put in my mouth. Though I love a good Manhattan Sandwich or an $1186.00 dinner at Morton's, my favorite meal is brunch, and one of my favorite brunches is at Cafe Deluxe.

After a long swim, with a huge pit in your stomach, what could possibly...POSSIBLY hit the spot better than coffee, a screw driver, a ham and cheese omlet with home fries and a biscuit, and to wash it all down we shared an apple crisp ala mode? My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Annie chatted for a couple hours before Annie we went to pick her up a pair of shoes for an interview. We parted ways and I went to Home Depot to get more cedar for the closet I'm working on, then went to Wegmans to get groceries for the week. The foodie in me went a little out of control as usual, then I went home to install my new door locks and deadbolts and do some laundry.

Bawdy Drinking Toasts

I attended another FELD (and former FELD) happy evening last night after work, and I had the opportunity to learn a great new toast from Hunter:

Here's to being single, seeing double, and sleeping triple.

So in honor of that, since there aren't many good bawdy toasts on the Internet(s) (I Googled for hours for Bar Golf 2004 with little success) I thought I would share some others I've collected over the years:

A solider's home is the land, a sailor's home is the sea, but a whisky glass and a hooker's ass is home, sweet home to me.

Here's to the girl with the little red shoes -- she smoked my pot, she drank my booze. She lost her cherry, but that's not a sin 'cause she still has the box that the cherry came in.

I'm not a heavy drinker -- I have one or two at the most. After one I'm under the table, after two I'm under the host.

Here's to birthdays. Birthday's only come once a year. Aren't you glad you're not a birthday?

To lesbians and virgins -- thanks for nothing.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Skilift Chatter

The football and I went skiing today, and the lift proved to be an endless source of amusement. Three guys in front of us on one ride threw about 20 snowballs at the people skiing below us, including two ski patrol and a rather serious gentleman who yelled "jackass" back up at them when he figured out what was going on.

The funnest moment was probably our conversation about my upcoming vacation:

AJ: The thing is, while London would be cool, I've been there a few
times now. The first time was really cool because I always wanted to
see Stonehenge, and I did. The last time was cool because I always
wanted to go to Ireland, and I did. There's not really anyplace I want
to see, no destination within the destination to look forward to.
FB: Really? There's no place you want to go.
AJ: The only place I'd really like to visit that I haven't is Germany, but my German stinks and I wouldn't be comfortable going by myself.
FB: That would be fun, what would you do there?
AJ: I'd really like to tour a concentration camp.
FB: [laughs] What the fuck? I don't think you can tour them.
AJ: I think you can.
FB: What are you going to do there? Cry?
AJ: No.
FB: Laugh?
AJ: Maybe take notes...
FB: [laughs] You're completely fucked up.
AJ: Think about it. What if I met my future ex-wife there? Maybe she's
some kind of documentarian and historian, and she's there taking notes
too. She and I are the only people smart enough to take notes on the

For the record, there are Concentration Camp Tours that one can take, and the notes I was planning to take are for the robot death camps that Fluffy will place us all in one day.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy Evening

A great shot of Jen "Tank" Takach at Happy Evening.

Sungard SCT: As useless as tits on a parakeet

Sungard SCT is the parent company of both Banner (one of, if not the biggest Student Information Systems out there) and the Luminis Portal product. I've been spending the past several days cleaning up the mess that our Luminis consultant left when he half-completed an upgrade from III.2.1 to III.3.0 (he was supposed to bring us up to III.3.1).

Following the pre-install tasks, I started the III.3.1 upgrade and was confronted almost immediately with a useless Java thread dump:

Installing luminis-
backup ...................... done
cache configman data ........ done
prepare for install ......... internal error
Error: internal error

email.host.fullname value cannot be blank

[...] non-sense removed

bash-2.05# cpver
Luminis Platform build 74 (partially installed) build 552 build 692

When I went to the myMason homepage I got this:

Well that's not helpful at all, is it? Earlier this week I logged a call with SCT because for some unknown reason I can no longer log into their support website. They told me they reset my password, but the password they provided me didn't work. They have a "Forgot Password" option that should let me reset it myself, but that has never worked for me, it tells me that the information I gave it doesn't match (like my phone number and my email address). They were supposed to fix that again on Tuesday, no such luck.

But now here I am with an abended upgrade and no website support, so I call the 800 number to log a support call, and even though it's "Priority 2" I get a voicemail box where I can leave them a message and they'll get back to me when they run out of fondue.


I leave them a message, and then I let my boss know. We have someone over at support that we backline into sometimes when we're not getting results, so she told me to give him a call. He instant messaged me the fix in less than 2 minutes. In the mean time I just got an email that my support request was received and will be assigned to an analyst shortly.

Have you ever seen the Underpants Gnomes episode of South Park? They sneak into peoples bedrooms when they're sleeping and steal their underpants in hopes of getting rich. Their motto: "Step 1: Collect Underpants. Step 3: Profit." -- there is no Step 2. That is definately Sungard SCT's mission statement.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mi Telephono es muy bustido

My mobile phone -- which was on the fritz yesterday -- has finally died. I just replaced my phone less than three months ago, and here I am on hold with T-Mobile trying to get it switched out. I was planning to move over to Verizon for a year, but I hate all their phones (including the new Razr, which they've crippled). I'm also not keen on going back to Cingular, I hated them when they were AT&T mobile.

The other reason I'm not using the opporunity to switch to another provider is that I can't find a phone on the market here in the US that doesn't make me gag. They're aweful and they look like they were designed by retards.

This is the email (no one will read) that I sent T-Mobile:

I just wanted to make it known how unhappy I am at the moment with T-Mobile, and that I am shopping for a new carrier. My phone has died for the second time in three months, and I'm again in the situation where I'm without a phone for only five days if I pay the extra $15 for "expedited" shipping. When I was with AT&T Wireless, horrid though they were, that $15 had the phone to me in 2 days tops but more likely the next day (including Saturday delivery).

I made the decision when I moved in April to forgoe a home phone and use my mobile instead. That, however, has not gone well since the service covereage here in Fairfax (a full 15 miles from Washington, DC) is fair at best. I logged a service ticket in September and was told upgrades were planned over the next six months, and within a week got a mailer saying that upgrades had been performed in the area and you were working to improve service. Four months later, have you seen my extra bars of coverage, becase my office (which is at George Mason University, 1 mile from my house) has zero coverage at all.

To add insult to injury, the website performance has been horrible the last month or so, and today when I called in to get my phone replaced I waited almost 10 minutes for a customer service rep who transferred me to support, I waited another 10 minutes for someone to pick up there, he asked me the same question the customer rep did and put me back in queue another 10 minutes for I spoke to someone who could get my phone replaced. I spent 30 minutes on the phone when I should have been able to go online, fill out a form ("my phone doesn't turn on") and have a new phone shipped to my house in 1-2 days for my expedited shipping fee, not 5 days.

Is any carrier better? Probably not, but I still don't have to like it. Not at all impressed.

So don't bother calling or text messaging me until next Wednesday, unless it's at work.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Vacation (all I ever wanted...)

Since I'm going to be at NVCC this semester, I'm taking my usual spring break vacation from work and hitting the road. So far my thoughts are:

(1) London, with maybe an excursion to Manchester and/or Liverpool
(2) Amsterdam, though not for an entire week
(3) A Eurotrash Adventure, fly into Amsterdam and stay 2 days each in Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and London
(4) California, to Los Angeles and/or San Francisco
(5) Skiing (Snow Shoe Perhaps)
(6) A spa/ranch vacation
(7) Watching the first season of The OC on DVD in my underwear


Teany Time

Annie emailed me last night to see if I wanted to swim with her after work, so we rolled over to Spring Hill about 7:30pm. After she worked her magic and got me under the velvet rope (cause that $8 one-time-use fee would have busted me good), we jumped in the pool and spent about 90 minutes going through our workout. We spent some time at the wall chatting, but we did quite a bit of swimming too. A very different (and good different) type of workout than I'm used to in our regular lap swim -- which incidentally resumes four days a week starting next Monday. We're going to try to get another swim in on Sunday, followed hopefully by a 7,000 calorie brunch from Cafe Deluxe.

When I finally left Spring Hill last night, I considered eating the seats in the Gold Stratus I was so hungry, but instead I thought "I'll hit McDonalds and get a yougart parfait" so I survive the trip home. On the 5 minute drive over to McDonalds it became apparent that I was about 90 seconds from fainting, so I decided that maybe I'd get a plain grilled chicken sandwich and maybe just have something light when I got home. I figured that McDonald's couldn't really fuck up a chicken sandwich with nothing on it, could they? To my complete surprise, apparently they have a new (new could be in the last five fucking years for all I know) grilled chicken sandwich that comes on this oval shaped wheat bun, and it was (to borrow a Jew Andrew saying) "completely spectacular". The chicken sandwich and the yougart was exactly what I needed, except maybe an ambian because I couldn't sleep once I got home.

Before the break, my trainer Christina decided that five mornings a week was a bit much for her (my occasionally oversleeping aside), so she and I are getting together Tuesdays and Thursday now and I have a different trainer named Walter on Mondays and Wednesdays (the fallacy being that I will actually go to the gym on Fridays all by myself). I met Walter this morning, he seems very cool. We had a dandy workout where he proceeded to nicely bust my ass for the entire morning. Since this was our first time working together, he sort of picked weight I was used to and we did burn outs to see how many reps I could really do. I am really going to feel this tomorrow. One set of flies I did 45 reps (we normally do 12-15, clearly not enough weight) and I did a couple crazy ab exercises today that I'm sure will make it impossible to get out of bed tomorrow.

Between those two ass-breaking events, and the useless 1:15pm meeting I had today, I went home at lunch and snuck a 20 minute nap. Now I'm just trying to burn the last hour of the day up so I can go home. I just made myself a nice cup of piping hot tea that I bought the last time I was at Teany in NYC with Meredith.

And now a picture of a mean, biting kitty cat to make this post complete.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"Hands off my wallet, ho!" said Hizzoner Marion Barry

My first full month of Google Adsense has drawn to a close.

Don't think of how I'm tainting your experience by whoring my blog up with ads, think about how I can get a free grande coffee at Starbucks once every two months.

The Curse of the Gold Stratus

Enterprise just called me to tell me that when my rental originally went out that USAA told them I had no limit, but that they got a notice from USAA that my rental coverage was only $600 and that we had exceeded that by $400.

I just got off the phone with Wendy at USAA -- who sounded like I interrupted her lunch of chicken-flavored fries from BK with a large grape drink -- and she told me my car will be ready TOMORROW. It's like the text message I sent to Jew Andrew:

Oh no! Look out Jew Drew.
A Gold Dodge Stratus is a rollin up on you.

For real, yo.

The Rieman Sum of (douche chills) == ?

Calculus is totally crunk.

I finally signed up for class, which is excellent timing since classes start next fucking week already.

I've had some people ask me what the plan with school is, knowing that for the moment I need to go back to Princeton on the Potomac and pay some Asian kid to pass Calculus so I can get my stupid Associates degree.

The thing, I honestly don't know what's on deck after that. I will definately apply to Old Dominion University since their portfolio program is so aggressive, their tuition is less than Mason's, and their Computer Science degree requires no more math than Calculus II (except statistics, which is more like recess that Integrals).

If I end up going to ODU instead of GMU, I can take the classes here at GMU through the consortium. The only problem is that I can't use my tuition waiver for consortium classes, but if I'm only $6,000 from that piece of paper, tell me where to mail the check and it's a done deal.

If Mason can get more aggressive with the classes I have left, I may just stick around. I may go back to working for FELD as a Sells-Floto operator and sell popcorn and floss for a living. I don't really fucking now, I'll just see how it all plays out.

Not looking forward to Calculus this semester, not one bit.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Comedian Jim Norton

How have I been unaware of Jim Norton's blog for all this time? And apparently in the last couple months, all the comedians on the planet have gone to MySpace while Opie and Anthony now stream video out of the studio through PalTalk.

Jim Norton on Rich Vos's wedding:

One of the more irritating aspects of this sudden upheaval was that two days after arriving in LA I was scheduled to fly to Edmonton, Canada for Rich Vos’ wedding. I was his best man so I was sort of obligated to be there. I was supposed to be settled and unpacked; instead I am in a small hotel room with all of these fucking dumb possessions and no where to put them. And the fact this dummy had to get married in Edmonton really made me want to decapitate him. There is NO convenient way to get there. Continental has more direct flights to Karachi than they do to this shit hole. I booked a flight from LA through Minneapolis then up to Canada on Northwest (my other options were Air Canada and Alaska Air. I’d sooner mail myself in a FedEx box then get on either one of these airlines, ever). It was a 9 hour trip each way because of the 3 hour fucking layovers. I spent every moment in that awful Minneapolis airport fantasizing about bashing Rich’s brains in with a large rock.


Apparently it’s traditional that the groom give the best man a gift (more of a pay off so you don’t yell, “Don’t do this, you dumb motherfucker!” in the middle of the ceremony.) He gave me a beautiful Tanagro watch. It really is nice (worth $2,500 according to subtle, classy Rich Vos). This watch was one of the gifts from the Oscar gift basket he got writing for Chris Rock last year. It’s filled with great stuff; 5 star hotel suite stays, a $1,500 Morton’s dinner, trips and jewelry and other lovely gift certificates. (He’s lucky the baskets didn’t reflect good material actually contributed or his would have contained 2 prosthetic cocks and a Swatch).

That's my little Jimmy Norton. ::tussle:: ::tussle::

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 :: The Leap Second in Review

It's hard enough trying to grade an essay question, but how does one grade a Gregorian Calendar Year? Do you compare it to the the prior year? To your performance against your own resolutions?

For me, 2005 was probably one of the best years of my life, despite all of the shitty things that happened. My boss and mentor was walked out the first week of 2005 and replaced with a useless tool that betrayed me. I spent three years building my Ottoman Empire -- assembling my political capital, hand picking and shaping my dream team, and proving to myself that a 24 year old could take a piece of balsa wood in a billion dollar company and turn it into the model for how a company should run their back office -- and in October I said goodbye to all of that to take a pay a cut and move back into a cubicle for the first time since 1999.

But for all of the negative events in 2005 there were an equalizing number of positive ones. I bought my first house, I attended my infamous leadership training that produced a poetic postcard ("The weather is hot, but I'm learning a lot. The food in the South tastes good in my mouth.") but also changed my outlook on so many things personal and professional, I attended the wedding of two wonderful people that I introduced, I finally saw the Physics Mobile in person, after a year of "thinking about it" I finally made the jump and went to DJ school, I made new friends and spent time with old ones, and I made the important (and selfish) choice to put myself first in all things personal.

While I won't share my New Years Resolutions, know that I generally keep them.

Looking back at all of those, I can honestly say that 2005 was the year that I was truest to my resolutions. I'm not generally a fan of "I will quit smoking on January 1st", but I think we all need to have reality checks throughout the year to keep us on track. I usually start my "Resolutions" in October to see if I've kept with them in January, and while I'm not a practicing Catholic anymore I use Lent not to give something up, but to try and improve on myself for that time.

I wish I had something thoughtful, funny, sarcastic, or pithy to write that will tie it all together. 2006 could be the year I become the biggest DJ on the planet or get Cancer and die, I could get the call to be the product manager for Oracle Financials or start smoking again. I really don't know, I don't think anyone does. If they do, I'd appreciate them emailing me those winning lotto numbers that Santa forgot to put in my stocking.