Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Photography Exhibit by Mason Student / DCAWD Member

George alerted me that a DCAWD member that is also a Mason student has an exhibit going on in Innovation Hall:

Hey everyone!!!!

I'm a photography student at GMU. During the spring semester I did a documentary piece on Subaru cars. I had a lot of fun meeting new people and taking pics of subie wrx's. Very Happy Laughing SO, my work is up at GMU Fairfax Campus on the 4th floor of Innovation Hall (building?) take a right as you exit the elevator, out in that long hall. It's going to be up until the 5th or 6th ish of October. Although on the 4th of October will be the showing of the work, 3-5pm. There will be some snacks and stuff. It would be awesome if you guys/girls could come. Laughing If you have anyquestions just PM me.

In addition I want to thank everyone who let me come around and take pics of them.

Photos of the photos don't show well, but I really liked her work (as well as her subject matter).

Two BOYS for every SAG...

Trevin and I started a discussion about Dustin Diamond's sex tape, but about 15 lines into the IM it de-evolved into (what else?) a discussion about SAGs.

theAlphaJohn: i see sags almost everywhere i look trevin
Trevin: me too
theAlphaJohn: "hi boy" sings in my head sometimes
Trevin: i actually had a sagging related question the other day - almost called you
Trevin: just came to me
theAlphaJohn: lol
theAlphaJohn: what?
Trevin: if a sag traps a boy...
Trevin: but that boy later becomes a horriboy or some other abomination
Trevin: is that sag stuck with this boy, or...can she trade in this boy for a "new boy"
theAlphaJohn: well...the boystore has a strict 30 day "no questions asked" return policy
Trevin: ah...but what if it's like a car
theAlphaJohn: but after 30 days, a sag must unload defective boys on the secondary market, like BOYSLIST
Trevin: lol
theAlphaJohn: or a black market sale to an unlicensed SAG
Trevin: ah!
theAlphaJohn: because really, to an unlicensed sag, Horriboy is better than no boy at all
Trevin: so...there IS a place for unlicensed and/or defective sags to acquire boys
theAlphaJohn: indeed

A Tale of Two Soundclips

Occasionally, electronica djs will mix in a soundclip to create something more than blips and beeps backed by beats. They're typically added through production, not live on the tables (even most scratch masters don't do this live unless they're battling). If it's not something being done on the fly, we can be critical of production quality.

Here's an example from DJ AtomX with clips about the Goldstone Observatory that's done well:

this is an audio post - click to play

and here's one that DJ Jon Carpenter spun that's not so good:

this is an audio post - click to play

The clips should blend seamlessly (the second set really don't), and they should accent the song, not be the song. Otherwise we'd just put a techno track behind the state of the union and Americans might actually know what the fuck is going on.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

No, really, I wasn't backing up or anything

Thanks to Starbucks for making the wrong breakfast sandwich this morning, and a special thanks to a woman named Mary (with her Bush '04 sticker proudly on the back of one of her "many cars") for backing into me in the parking lot.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Buzzlife Returns to DC

A new Buzzcast alerted me that Buzzlife will be hosting an event this Friday night at Rock & Roll hotel in DC.

The best part: Age 21+

DJ Dan is spinning at Glow this Saturday. Maybe I'll work the circuit this weekend...

Oops. I need a vacation. Maybe a trip up to Pacha this weekend...

My boss, employee of the month

From the faceless-voice of the ITU:
Kirsten is the newest recipient of the ITU Employee of the Month award. She, "has the ability to listen to those she works with", . and makes "you feel very much a part of a cohesive team". Her positive attitude and ability to motivate others with her enthusiastic approach to the tasks at hand, while assisting in planning and coordinating the functional aspects of the project are just a few of the many reasons that the work on the MyMason portal pilot project has been so successful. She is a "delight to work with and an invaluable addition to ITU and the Mason community".

It must be September

I'm not nearly the Tori Amos fan I used to be (my ranking puts her in 22nd), but somehow I'm always reminded of her music in September.

Driving to work this morning, Pancake was stuck in my head (while I was listening to trance by Cosmic Gate). I heard an O&A bit this morning that made me think of I can't see New York and Not the Red Baron.

When my brain starts free-associating like this, I know I'm going to be in for a long day.

Bring on Eugenics!

BBC News is running this story about how Allerca's selectively bred hypoallergenic cats are now on sale:

What are claimed to be the world's first specially bred hypoallergenic cats have gone on sale in the US.

US biotech firm Allerca says it has managed to selectively breed them by reducing a certain type of protein that triggers allergic reactions.

The company says the animals will not cause the red eyes, sneezing and even asthma triggered by cat allergy, except in the most acute cases.

Despite costing $3,950 (£2,104), there is already a waiting list to get one.

Allerca first started taking orders for hypoallergenic cats back in 2004.

From the CBS early show:

Slashdot first reported Allerca's intentions back in October of 2004, and then again last July when the first back of kittens were born. The big news is that they're now onsale.

I'll take this opportunity to ask again why we don't do this with people, or at least why we don't maintain stockbooks on humans. My concern is that medical records are typically scattered (I've lived in two states in my life, but I've had probably 5 or 6 "regular" doctors), and don't contain the kind of information we'd ever need to build a breeding record. And for humans, it's not just medical records, we'd want school records, sports performance, all kinds of information. The closest thing you find to this now are the preinterviews that are done for sperm donors, and that's only done for the donor.

As much as I'd like to selectively breed humans to tinker with the human condition, I know Hitler has ruined my chances of that ever happening (though he was a dolt -- he was creating another royal family full of colorblind hemophiliacs). I applaud the Genome project and the other research that's been done on the human condition, but so much more could be determined and predicted by looking back over a few generations to see how traits coalesce.

Brother Gregor Mendel and his peas can only take us so far kids.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Crooked Smile in the Journey Toward Academic Apathy

I checked NVCC's online self-service yesterday and my Associates Degree has posted to my academic record. I am now the second in my family to have an AS in General Studies. I ordered official transcripts for Mason so we can finally get my transfer worked out.

Looking over what already transferred, I should have 11 classes left for my BS after my transcript is adjusted for my degree. I'm taking 3 classes this semester, and as long as I don't burn out I'm hoping to continue at that pace. I have enough easy and hard classes to toss an easy in every semester, but what I'm really considering is knocking 4 classes out over Summer 2007. There are three intercessions at 4 weeks a piece, and I could take 2 class in the A session and two classes in the C session provided I don't work (or work as much). We'll see how it plays out, but I might drop to part time or take unpaid leave those 8 weeks to try and bang 12 credits of bullshit classes out (Marketing 301, Finance 301, Management 301, and Business Law).

The only thing that blows in my plan, tuition. I run out of waivers at 12 credits, and I'm looking at 30 credits for the year. I guess that's the price I may have to pay for finishing my BS before I turn 30.

Opie & Anthony: The Fatty Pig Fatty Contest

From Foundry Music:
FATTY-PIG-FATTY CONTEST: (**OPEN TO CLEVELAND LADIES TOO**) Ladies, are you a Big Beautiful Woman (a 'BBW')? Are you sporting some extra baggage? Are you plump? Are you a beefy gal? Do you have a hard time NOT nose-diving into a buffet? Well, if so...WE WANT point and laugh at. Of course, we are willing to PAY handsomeley for the privilege. Here's the skinny... or the not-so-skinny, if you will:

- From now until we decide it's over, haul ass to our Free FM studio (40 West 57th St in NYC)...
- Strap on a bikini (or other revealing outfit)
- Put on a PIG MASK (we have one for you)
- Have a snack...or fifty...

At the end of this contest, the HEAVIEST gal to grace the Opie and Anthony Show with her presence is going to win $10 for every pound on her body. 350 pounds = $3500.00. Now that, a lot of hamburgers. Good luck!

In case you couldn't tell, this was Jim Norton's idea.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

You Are What You Listen To

From Reuters by way of Dance Blogga:

LONDON (Reuters) - Fans of hip hop music are likely to have had more sexual partners in the last five years while many of those who prefer classical strains will have tried cannabis, according to a study released on Thursday.

Psychologist Adrian North from the University of Leicester surveyed 2,500 Britons to find out how their musical tastes related to their lifestyles and interests.

He said the results showed said it was possible to discover clues about what people were like simply from the music they liked.

Almost 38 percent of hip hop devotees and 29 percent of dance music fans were more likely to have had more than one sexual partner in the last five years compared to just 1.5 percent of country music fans.

However they were also more likely to have broken the law, with more than 50 percent of both hip hop and dance music lovers admitting committing a criminal act.

A quarter of classical music fans have tried cannabis while 12 percent of those who liked opera had experimented with magic mushrooms.

"Surprisingly there have been very few studies on how people's age, sex, socioeconomic status and personality relate to the music they enjoy listening to," North said.

He now wants to recruit 10,000 people for a wider study on his Web site

Maybe I'll see in Kayne wants to help me mash up some classical and country, dawg.

People and Pandas play-biting

This may be yesterday's news, but the pictures China Daily added of the guy's injuries are awesome:

BEIJING - A drunken Chinese migrant worker jumped into a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, was bitten by the bear and retaliated by chomping down on the animal's back, state media said Wednesday.

Zhang Xinyan, from the central province of Henan, drank four jugs of beer at a restaurant near the zoo before visiting Gu Gu the panda on Tuesday, the Beijing Morning Post said.

"He felt a sudden urge to touch the panda with his hand," and jumped into the enclosure, the newspaper said.

The panda, who was asleep, was startled and bit Zhang, 35, on the right leg, it said. Zhang got angry and kicked the panda, who then bit his other leg. A tussle ensued, the paper said.

Zhang Xinyan is in Renmin Hospital, and both of his legs are badly injured. "I bit the fellow in the back," Zhang was quoted as saying in the newspaper. "Its skin was quite thick."

Other tourists yelled for a zookeeper, who got the panda under control by spraying it with water, reports said. Zhang was hospitalized.

Newspaper photographs showed Zhang lying on a hospital bed with blood-soaked bandages and a seam of stitches running down his leg.

The Beijing Youth Daily quoted Zhang as saying that he had seen pandas on television and "they seemed to get along well with people."

"No one ever said they would bite people," Zhang said. "I just wanted to touch it. I was so dizzy from the beer. I don't remember much."

Ye Mingxia, a spokeswoman for the Beijing Zoo, confirmed the incident happened but would not give any details. She said Gu Gu was "healthy."

"We're not considering punishing him now," Ye said in a telephone interview. "He's suffered quite a bit of shock."

Panda bites man, no story. Man bites panda, now that's a story.

The Week in Alpha John-ness

Since last week's news cycle blew.

The end of last week was split between a project at work and a paper for school. The project is a disaster that landed in my lap after the person who owned it left a few weeks ago. No notes, no knowledge transfer, just a stillborn piece of garbageware the vendor gave us and its desire to break all rules of common sense. A day of digging and a couple phone calls to Barry was all it took to...well I have no idea what the fuck is going on with it now. We have no concept of project management here, so for all I know the Baby Jesus is the only one making sure this piece of shit doesn't implode and kill all of us.

Monday was our second lock-in for the CMS proof-of-concept. I had a call on Friday to make sure the vendor showed us what we wanted to cover. The call was my idea, which worked out since they were planning to spend hours on some bullshit we didn't care about. Instead the training went very smoothly and we saw everything we wanted to. We have a follow up meeting this afternoon to discuss what we have left to do for this POC.

Also on Monday, I spent time documenting our requirements for George's List, our answer to Craigslist. Yet another project that almost went to the coding stage without any written requirements or design documentation, Amy and I got a draft done [PDF] before the Web Team meeting on Tuesday. The Web Team was helpful in pointing out some things that had been overlooked, something that can only happen when you write your fucking assumptions down before people start coding!!

I've been very distracted at work for the past couple weeks, mostly due to the office full of Bobs living down the hall. Our Director left, and there is a consultant filling in for her for the next four months. In the mean time, the Bobs are here from the same firm doing analysis to figure out why everything is so fucked up. Senior and Executive management have done a piss-poor job of communicating their goals and intentions, and they have not (and probably will not) meet with individuals, only the managers. This has lead to tons of insecurity and doubt about people's own skills, how they fit in, and whether projects they're working on will be cancelled or stopped while others take priority. In short: nobody knows what the fuck is going on, and in that vacuum of doubt people are already jumping ship.

I'm the first to admit that I'm frustrated and unhappy, but I don't want to leave. I didn't take this job to love it, I took this job to finish school. Everything that's wrong here can be fixed, but the issues aren't being dealt with. Since it doesn't seem like these issues are going to be addressed anytime soon, I'd really like to move to another unit while things settle down. I've interviewed for two different positions on campus in the past six weeks, but haven't heard back from either of them (not even to say, "Sorry douche bag, you didn't get it"). I'm not in a position to quit my job and work full time (especially since my expenses exceed my pay here by $2000 a month), and taking another job will mean less time to focus on school.

I took yesterday off to regroup and get some errands and homework done, and it helped a little. I didn't get any homework done, but I caught up a lot of other lingering issues (caulking the shower in my bedroom was such a rush man). I have two exams next week, so chances are good that my weekend will be spent in the library.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

China's Family Planning Paradox

From MSNBC, basically they abort a fetus and rape a panda. Did that Panda want to be a mommy? Should you impose frozen panda sperm on the na-na of someone without parental aptitude who just wants to smoke opium and chew bamboo?

Nature has given us it's opinion on pandas: net zero gain. One panda is born, another is crushed by its sleepy mommy. It's not unlike nature's view of Anna Nicole's children.

Clay Aiken

If Clay were invisible, would I still have to listen to this song?
If ear drums were unbreakable, I'd make CIA prison detainees sing along.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

FELD Entertainment names new Chief Operating Officer

Big (albeit long planned) changes at FELD:

From: Feld, Kenneth
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 2:59 PM
Subject: Announcement
Importance: High

After an extensive search to fill a position that's been vacant for a few years, I'm very pleased and excited to announce that Michael (Mike) Shannon will be joining Feld Entertainment as President and Chief Operating Officer as of September 18, 2006.

Mike comes to us after most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer of REDCATS USA, a $2-billion direct marketing company where he was responsible for redefining key business activities affecting consumer brands faced with challenges such as new distribution channels and ever-changing consumer behavior. Prior to that, he had an illustrious career in key positions at TOYS R US, Mercantile Stores and RAAM Information Systems.

In order for Feld Entertainment to continue to grow by adding new properties to our portfolio and expanding our Disney relationship, my attention as CEO needs to be more focused on strategically and creatively leading the company. This includes developing opportunities with our business partners, and creating new innovative show concepts.

With that in mind, it's important to have a strong team on the ground to increase the existing business, deal with critical issues and optimize the resources of the company to operate efficiently, profitably and collaboratively. Mike is well suited to lead that team because of his extensive experience in executive and operational roles with major companies. Mike and I will work closely with the entire executive team on strategic planning and managing our valuable assets.

Mike has a keen understanding of the complexities we face in our fast paced industry and is coming aboard to ensure that Feld Entertainment remains the leader in live family entertainment. As you get to know him, I'm sure you'll find that Mike's down-to-earth style, great listening skills, common sense and business acumen will benefit all of us and he'll appreciate everyone's candor and insight as he makes his rounds to get to know you.

Mike will spend his first week visiting the Vienna office on Monday and the rest of the week at the circus units with Jim and Graeme. By the way Mike will be the tall guy with them!

The following people and departments will directly report to Mike:

Jim Andacht Circus Ops
Graeme Burman Consumer Products
Scott Dickerson Palmetto Ops
Mike Little Finance
Kirk McCoy--HR
Rob McHugh--International
Jeff Meyer Event Marketing & Sales
Julie Robertson Corporate Marketing
J. Vaught Ice Operations

Please join me in welcoming Mike to the executive team, and as always, let's continue to work together to further build upon the successes of Feld Entertainment.

Meredith transforms into "Team Wench"

You won't see an outfit like this at Medieval Times:

Apparently, Meredith got this getup for some triathlon event that they had. Why she didn't have something like that for my (infamous) house party, I'll never know.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Brad Pitt on Gay Marriage

From some website I've never heard of before:
Brad Pitt has revealed that he and Angelina Jolie will only consider getting married when all Americans, regardless of their sexuality, can legally tie the knot.

I think the next bill before Congress should legalize Gay marriage and ban celebrity marriage. Celebrities have had decades to prove their love lasts until the sheets need to be washed, let's give another demographic a chance.

A Different Way to Remember 9/11

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Masters: Day Two

My first practice with the Masters team last Tuesday was quite humbling, so much so that I skipped the next two and didn't return until Sunday. Prior to Tuesday, the best workout I'd done in the pool was 2200 yards (and that was probably back in May or June), so hopping in with 28 other people to try and crank out 4100 yards took the "gym class hero" right out of me.

I ended up skipping Thursday night simply because I had absolutely nothing to give (it was a long, exhausting week at work). Knowing myself as well as I do (motto: I'd write an instruction manual, but no one would read it) I was concerned that I was already skipping, and was worried might never go back. Skipping the workout on Saturday only added to that concern.

The lights weren't even on in the Aquatic Center when we got there for practice. I shared the last slow lane with an slightly older guy (late 40s/early 50s) who was a little slower than me but had better endurance. When Cheryl started writing the workout on the boards, there was only 1600 yards on it, so I was like "wh00t! It's fucking Christmas"...

Yeah, that was the warmup. Apparently she writes the warmup on each board and then goes back to write the workout itself. I think it totaled out at 4100 yards, and while my lane mate and I only did about 2500 yards, the workout went really well in my opinion. I just need some time to get used to the distance.

Not dead yet, so I'll be back there on Tuesday.

Friday, September 08, 2006

House :: Nick Terranova is Starkillers

As pointed out by Dance Blogga, the current big house track is "Discoteka" by Starkillers (a.k.a. Nick Terranova). It's been burning up the charts at Beatport almost since the initial release in August.

I'm not a huge house fan -- I find it kind my taste is pretty manic. I can get hung up on a really good hook ("Get naked on the floor", "You wanna roll to the club like me?", "I wanna be your motherfucker") and then a week or two later I'm bored.

One young man was so enlightened by Discoteka's hook, "I make the beat go boom, Papi", that he spliced together shots from dozens of other music videos to make his very own Disoteka video:

Welcome to AVT100, please don't enroll unless you already have a hobby. Perhaps instead of using his talents for good (making music videos where none exist), he should them for evil by filming his hookups and post them on X-Tube (not work friendly).

The Week in Pandas

Forget about Paris Hilton's DUI and (Asian-looking) Suri Cruise's pictures in Vanity Fair, this news cycle has been all Pandas, all the time.

First up, the birth of a new cub by artificial insemination at the Zoo in Atlanta.

From Wonkette:
What else do you need to know? Some zoo down in CNN-ville has some low-level pandas that make even average pandas seem like Lindsey Lohan.

But the incompetent mama panda was somehow inseminated — artificially, like all panda moms, even in the wild — and now there’s a baby panda that experts say is ugly and dumb and obviously no match for Butterstick.

Our Panda birth commentary comes from Justin and Dr. Jason:
[via email]
theAlphaJohn: Jason, did you get your plane ticket yet to see the new panda cub?
Jason: 1st I need to find a I can make some gravy.
theAlphaJohn: I have some leftover in my fridge. Get us a couple danger dogs and we'll meet you at the airport.
Jason: Everyone knows they don't allow yeti gravy on planes.
theAlphaJohn: I'll tell them it's personal lubricant

Next up, the exciting news from China that Giant Panda Mommy Ya Ya dropped and crushed one of her twins:
BEIJING - Staff at a zoo in southwest China are in mourning after a sleep-deprived panda dropped her two-day-old baby and crushed it to death, local media reported on Friday.

“It was very sudden, but also unavoidable,” Guo Wei, panda department chief at Chongqing city zoo in the southwestern region of Chongqing, told the Chongqing Business News daily.

Ya Ya, a seven-year-old panda and new mother of twins, “appeared tired” when nursing the younger cub in a patch of grass, the paper said.

Her head sagged, her paws separated and her baby fell to the ground next to her. The panda then rolled on to her side and crushed her baby beneath her.

The tragedy occurred because she hadn’t slept or eaten properly since giving birth, Guo said, adding that Ya Ya lacked motherhood experience.

According to Guo, the zoo had tried on several occasions to separate the cub from its mother for their safety, but Ya Ya “was very cautious” and would “roar and bare her teeth” at zoo-keepers.

The elder of the twins was in good health and being cared for, zoo officials said.

But Ya Ya had proved inconsolable, wailing and looking for her baby after its body was taken away from her.

“Pandas who lose their young tend to be depressed for a month or so,” Guo said, adding that the zoo would assign people to care for her and provide special food to improve her mood.

First: HA HA! You crushed your chillin!
Second: I love that Panda mothers have crushed so many of their infants to death like this, we have a baseline norm for how they behave.
theAlphaJohn: [link]
Mike: awww
Mike: she should be locked up
Mike: oh, she is.....she's in a zoo
theAlphaJohn: LOL
theAlphaJohn: don't be a hippie
Mike: i crack myself up sometimes.

And for the final word, once again here is Dr. Jason: "ha...this is why they belong with the dinosaurs......"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mason: Gunston Controversy Settled (for now DOT DOT DOT)

From The Broadside, Mason's student newspaper:

Gunston to Remain Mascot for George Mason Patriots

Ronnie Anthony Cristobal, Broadside Staff Writer

It was decided that Gunston the Patriot will remain the primary mascot of the George Mason Patriots after two months of speculation and uncertainty regarding the fuzzy, green creature’s future.

On June 2, Associate Athletic Director Andy Ruge announced that Gunston will no longer be the primary mascot for the George Mason. In addition, the athletic department would gather a “mascot focus group” to select possible replacements for Gunston.

However, all indications and reports point to a return of Gunston the Patriot for the 2006-07 Basketball season.

“[Gunston] is still with us,” said Daniel Walsch, from the University Relations office. “After the national attention from the Final Four, it was discussed that he would get a makeover to construct a more visible mascot.”


Others disagree, saying that Gunston is not a mascot worthy of representing a school of Final Four caliber.

The Washington Post reported that a study conducted two years ago found that 40 percent of Mason students did not know who Gunston was and that those who did recognize him wanted to see him replaced.


“Gunston is a green creature of mysterious origin whom no one seems to enjoy seeing,” said Ryan Woodard, a junior management major. “I am frustrated that after being told a new mascot would come to Mason; the old one is just simply being modified.”

Hey Ryan -- Gunston does have a Facebook profile. Show some fucking respect.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Campus Catholic Ministry Presents: Weekend Beach Retreat

Let me gather my sarcastic thoughts while you read what I just read:

So I'm supposed to go to the beach...with the son of God? Who can walk on water? Like my bunk mate's party tricks won't land me outside in a sleeping bag while a little "not-so-immaculate conception goes on".

Which observation proves I'm a moron?

1) That I put on a sock with a hole in the toe this morning?
2) That I have worn this sock several times since finding this hole, and continue to wash it and wear it?
3) That, when coming back from lunch today with my toe poking through said hole, I first thought "I need to throw these socks out" which was immediately followed up with "...or I could darn it".

Who the fuck darns socks anymore?

Target sells Presidential (in)Action Figures

Thank you Wonkette for pointing this out! Target is now selling presidential action figures, and Wonkette has challenged readers to write their own sarcastic reviews.

Under my pal Jimmy Carter is this review:

Man, I wish I could take credit for the Reagan one. I guess I'll write my own. Once again, Will joins me to provide commentary:

theAlphaJohn: wtf: [link]
Will: hahaha
theAlphaJohn: do you think the JFK doll
theAlphaJohn: doll's fingers smell like the Marylin Monroe doll?
Will: haha
Will: i was going finish your sentence and say "do you think the jfk doll has an exploding head?"
theAlphaJohn: lol
Will: if they were ass cheap, i would get a couple for some stop motion video fun
theAlphaJohn: You know they're going to star in a future episode of robot chicken
theAlphaJohn: Does the Thomas Jefferson doll come with a slave he can impregnate?
Will: hahaha
Will: i like how some of the dolls have guest ratings
theAlphaJohn: read the jimmy carter ones
theAlphaJohn: i tried to add a comment but it hasn't been approved
Will: hahahahahaha
Will: "Does the reagan doll allow for the murder of hundreds of marine dolls in doll Lebanon and retaliate by pulling our troops out so fast that it makes your head spin?"
Will: wow
theAlphaJohn: The one I added for Carter was something like, "I love this doll cause they renamed National Airport after him. No idiot would rename national airport after the moron who promised the ATC Union he'd help with their grievences in writing before illegally firing the air traffic controllers, now would they?"
Will: nice
Will: they should have an andrew jackson doll
Will: that comes smelling like whiskey and good times
theAlphaJohn: lol
theAlphaJohn: a Ulysseus S Grant doll that's always drunk and corrupt
theAlphaJohn: or a Herbert Hoover doll that makes barbie and ken live in cardboard "Hoover Doll Houses" and reassures them with claims of "a doll chicken in every doll pot"
Will: i'm saying
Will: they really didn't explore their options with the dolls
theAlphaJohn: so much untapped potential
Will: for real
theAlphaJohn: which president didn't have a first lady?
theAlphaJohn: they could make his doll mom to live with him
Will: James Buchanan
Will: haha
Will: snap
theAlphaJohn: you know he never got presidental whores with mom next door in the lincoln bedroom
theAlphaJohn: he certainly didn't have no vernon jordan to run down to dairy queen and get him some fine-ass hookers

Friday, September 01, 2006

Oh Christ...For Snack's Sake!

Cameron Fucking Manheim is in my English Class!!

A Brief History of (my favorite meal of the week) Brunch

The Nerds at Slate whipped this one up fresh:

Sunday brunch is so omnipresent in New York—extending uptown and downtown, upscale and downscale, and, these days, across all days and hours of the week—that its origins are necessarily hazy. Dozens of Manhattan restaurants can lay claim to inventing some part of brunch: You can trace the mythic origins of eggs Benedict, for example, to Delmonico's, a downtown steakhouse, and the Waldorf, in Midtown. But Sunday brunch's formative cauldron may be this otherwise unremarkable six-block stretch of Amsterdam on the Upper West Side. It is here that Sunday brunch acquired its defining characteristics, its casual manners.

Opie & Anthony: The Letterman Appearance

Fucking brilliant, total home run.

Little Opie is such a twittering ball of nerves, but as one caller said this morning, "It's like seeing your kid walk across the stage at their highschool graduation."

How to be Emo

Emo: The New Goth
Goth: The New Grunge
Grunge: The New Punk
Punk: The New Metal-Head
Metal-Head: The New Hippie
Hippie: The New Sock-Hopper
Sock-Hopper: The New Flapper
Flapper: The New {however the previous generation pissed their parents off}

The (Bill) Joy of Technology

As I previously mentioned, we're doing a proof-of-concept with two Content Management System. The idea behind this is to consolidate all of our websites into a single development environment to standardize navigation, look and feel, etc. There was a project to do this two years ago that imploded (I wasn't involved, but if you ask me the vendor sold us fantasyware) so this time around we decided to play with each system for a few weeks to really understand it before we chose one.

We're winding down our work on the first system, and yesterday we showed our work to a panel of department super users (including the Dean of the College of Science and the Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts) to get their feedback. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction, they were very pleased with the due dilligance we had done (we had an answer for every one of their questions) and they loved what we showed them.

With that out of the way, I started working on the installation of the second system. We start the proof-of-concept on that September 18th. This application does templating using XML/XSLT and is build using Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) that run inside JBOSS. Having followed their install instructions, I was immediately greeted by 2MB of thread dumps (which is about 2 billions lines of "go fuck yourself".

09:48:28,581 ERROR [EntityContainer] Starting failed jboss.j2ee:jndiName=ejb/FolderContainedEntity,service=EJB
org.jboss.deployment.DeploymentException: Error while fixing table name; - nested throwable: (org.jboss.util.NestedSQLException: Could not create connection; - nested throwable: (java.sql.SQLException: Unable to connect to any hosts due to exception: Connection refused); - nested throwable: (org.jboss.resource.JBossResourceException: Could not create connection; - nested throwable: (java.sql.SQLException: Unable to connect to any hosts due to exception: Connection refused)))
at org.jboss.ejb.plugins.cmp.jdbc.SQLUtil.fixTableName(
at org.jboss.ejb.plugins.cmp.jdbc.bridge.JDBCEntityBridge.init(

Alright then. I made a few changes (clickity click) and fired it up again, basically the same mess. I dug through the errors a little deeper and found this:

ObjectName: jboss.j2ee:service=EJB,plugin=pool,jndiName=ejb/Page
state: CREATED
I Depend On:
Depends On Me:
ObjectName: jboss.j2ee:service=EJB,plugin=pool,jndiName=ejb/BaseEntity
state: CREATED
I Depend On:
Depends On Me:
ObjectName: jboss.j2ee:service=EJB,plugin=pool,jndiName=ejb/Mail
state: CREATED
I Depend On:
Depends On Me:

::scratches head::

I had a little chat with Will about it:

theAlphaJohn: i already hate [the second CMS system]
Will: uh oh
Will: did they steal your lunch money?
theAlphaJohn: if only
theAlphaJohn: it just shit out like 2MB of error messages (that's like 2 billion lines of text)
Will: yeah
theAlphaJohn: This is what would happen if Java wrote song lyrics:
theAlphaJohn: [sends error]
theAlphaJohn: I DEPEND ON (dot dot dot)
theAlphaJohn: (DOT DOT DOT) depends on me
theAlphaJohn: beep beep *blink* *blink*
Will: haha

This is one of the things I dislike about cutting/bleeding/clotting-edge technology. Make no mistake fuckers, I am a 1337-@ss mofo right up in here, but 2 billion lines of " exception error: fuckface thread dump unpacking ejb container go fuck yourself......" does not help me find the problem. It's not like I'm stepping through your code in a debugger or working through it in JUnit. And even if I could, why would I then pay you for it if I had to do that?

In the old days (circa 2003), we used to get an exception and the program would abend and leave us a tasty core dump and a stack trace to find our way back to the problem. Most people don't find that helpful, but you can work with it. Volumes of exploding Java methods are not going to lead me back to the missing configuration file the vendor didn't provide me with, now are they?