Friday, July 29, 2005

So I tried that new Crunch Wrap Supreme from Taco Bell. It's definitely "good to go," but I think the 'supreme' monkier is more editorial hyperbole than tastiness indicator. There was soo much sour cream and not enough meat. And the taco shell had gotten a litlte bit soggy from all the cheese sauce as I ate my other meal items. I probably wouldn't get it again, I'd rather stick to my chicken quesadilla if I want something relatively clean and easy to eat with one hand.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I like months where I get 3 paychecks, it's like secretly receiving extra money, but not really.

Yay for free ice cream in the lobby! =)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Well that's just awesome. It's 4 pm and they just turned off our A/C. They normally do that at 6 pm. It's already stuffy in here and it's just going to get worse. Now I'm definitely going to try to leave early. In an hour, the temperature usually jumps 4-5 degrees in here, and that's later in the evening... Whee! Misery, here I come!

What in the hell did I do to my elbow? It's definitely getting worse. Probably as a result of using it throughout the day. Based on the description, it defintiely feels like tennis elbow. Obviously, it's not from tennis, but maybe from excessive typing on those crappy workstation keyboards at Lockheed? I dunno. All I know is that being at work is definitely not helping it feel any better. Worker's comp! Worker's comp!

There is something seriously wrong with my elbow... There's a rather unpleasant shooting pain down there every time I extend my arm past about 120 degrees. That's good right?

This is the earliest I've gotten to work in weeks, and I only had to set my alarm for 6:30 am to do it! Of course, I had to make a detour back to the courthouse to take my oath, which I did around 8:15 am and was the least painful thing ever. Until they tried to get me a reciept for my bond. That took 35 minutes. Have you ever read the magazine Governing? Don't. I thumbed through 3 very boring copies while waiting for some guy to make me a reciept. How hard is that? Name, check number, case number, date, amount. Done. Oh well, at least the "hard part" was easy, and I'm now all certified and approved and whatnot to marry Tommy and Steph in a couple weeks. Unfortuantely, the downside of getting up that early is that, despite going to bed early last night (12), I slept very poorly, as a result I don't feel well at all now, but I've been up so long that I'm starving. But I don't want to eat anything, even though I know it's going to be forever before lunch time. My dad is supposed to meet me between 12 and 12:30, but I don't really expect to see him until 1. Oh well. That and I'm going to need a nap around 2:30. Mmmm, nap....

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Adam's Advice o' the Day: "Never argue with idiots. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." I cannot take credit for this, but I did find it to be a sound suggestion after watching Jon Stewart debate Senator Santorum last night on The Daily Show. I'll let you decide which one I think is the idiot.

So there's this new girl who works here. She's probably in her late 20s. Lots of tattoos everywhere, visible through her somewhat questionable selection of work attire, several ear piercings, jet black hair with red highlights. I said hello in the elevator the other day and she ignored me like I was invisible and mute. Well, today I see her pulling into the parking lot in a red Mini Cooper (complete with Union Jack on the roof) that's roughly the same size, shape, and weight as she is, and guess what the license plate says. POSTMOD. My first thought was, naturally, post modification. Because that's simply what mod means to me. Does this mean she had a sex change? She's done getting tattoos and piercings? Her car has a lot of upgrades? Dunno. Then it hit me like a ton of uber-pretentious bricks that it means post modern. Here I was all excited that we'd gotten someone else in the building who appreciated body mods as something more than a way to fit into a egoistic group and might be cool to start inviting to some of our extra-curricular activities. *sigh* Oh well.

I think everyone had a good time at Chris and Tyne's baby shower last night. It is a teensy bit unsettling to only be 24 and going to a baby shower for someone I've known since 3rd grade. But on the other hand, it was nice for the whole group of us to be able to sit around together and have fun just like we used to. They haven't picked names yet (they don't know if it's a boy or girl). I pushed Hrothgar as hard as I could, but Tyne wouldn't buy it. Keeping the Beowulf theme, maybe Grendel if it's a girl. I personally think that has a nice ring to it, Grendel Meyer. Chris suggested Henrietta, since it could go either way. Oh well. I'm sure whatever name they choose in a couple weeks will be vastly superior to anything that was suggested last night. Congrats to both of them. =)

Monday, July 25, 2005


Dave and I had the best idea at lunch. Next time the war machine needs to be deployed for no good reason and it can't muster enough recruits and there's no reserves left because of how disgracefully mistreated they've been by the current administration, I have the solution!

ATTENTION PATRIOTIC AMERICANS: We've just confirmed reports that NASCAR has been kidnapped by (North Korea/Libya/Iran/Syria/Cuba). They've stolen all the drivers and cars and are threatening to blow up the race tracks. Do not attempt to verify this information yourself. Report to your local army recruiting depot immediately if you want to help preserve Dale Earnhardt's legacy.

I promise you that the legion of redneck NASCAR fans would have overrun the country in question by nightfall. When they failed to find the supposedly kidnapped "sport," and actually witnessed it being broadcast via satellite at the royal palace, we'd just tell them that it was a rebroadcast without expressed written consent, and they'd have the place razed and ready for shopping malls in no time. Then we'll just tell them the culripts fled to wherever else we don't like that day and *dusts off hands* mission accomplished! Then you promise them free beer and 24/7 satellite feeds for NASCAR, as long as they agree to never set foot on American soil again. Send them to live in Australia or something. That way, everyone's a winner! The US gets to depose the leader(s) of any country or countries it chooses, Australia gets a new revenue source, fans get a new home, and I get to be rid of NASCAR. =)

I'm still tired, even though I slept until almonst noon both Saturday and Sunday. Oh well. Friday night Emily and I made a Target run after dinner and just relaxed and played with our chinchillas. Saturday we went to Kristin and Rich's housewarming party. We stayed a couple hours, but unfortunately not quite long enough for Erin Leeth to show up. Bummer. But Alcivar showed up about the time we were leaving, so we said "hello, goodbye" and we off to a couple furniture stores. Since I got my hiring bonus for getting Craig a job here, I've decided I want a new couch. Preferably reclining and leather. We hit a few more furniture stores on Sunday, and I finally did find one that I'm pretty happy with that's even on sale right now, so I'm probably going to head back there and work out the paperwork sometime this week. It's not leather, but it does look and feel like leather, it does recline, and it will replace my fouton and POS recliner that I have now. We cleaned out Zoey and Sonja's cage, which they don't really seem to appreciate, but it needed to be done. Zoey decided to go for broke last night and managed to get up on top of the table 3 times (and had probably a dozen failed attempts). Even Sonja made a couple attemps to get up there, but she's much easier to discourage than little miss troublemaker. I think they've realized that's where we keep their treats. But on the whole, they were pretty well behaved while we ransacked their home. They are a handful sometimes, but they're so cute and fun to watch that I think it more than makes up for it.

Friday, July 22, 2005

That was certainly fast.... I got an email today that the judge signed the order allowing me to perform a wedding. Now I just need to go back and take my oath. I will make plans to do that some time next week after I look over my work schedule. Maybe that part will be fast too. I kinda doubt it, but we'll see I suppose.

When I walk out of the building in a few minutes, I will have been working here for a full year. In that time I feel I have learned a lot and have become a valuable member of my team. There's still a lot I don't know, but I'm trying to take on as much responsibility as I can with the hopes of being promoted quickly. (My new boss seems to think I'm some sort of god for handling our integration testing, creating and/or controlling all our training materials, writing all our spec documents and performace verification tests, taking care of our deliverable builds, and creating most of our ship-specific configuration files. That actually sounds like a lot more work than it really is, mostly because it's all very cyclical. We'll have a period where I have to do nothing but documentation for 3 weeks straight (like a couple weeks ago), or a period where I have a ton of config updates to make when we get new info from NSWC, and then it'll just sort of come and go. It's plenty to keep me busy, yes of course, but it's usually not overwhelming.) I've traveled a few times to Groton, New London, Norfolk, Bremerton, and Bangor. And countless trips to LM-Manassas and Carderock. I hope in this next year to actually ride a submarine underway. We've got Seawolf and SSGN trials coming up that I might be able to sneak my way onto. Also, Rob has expressed interest in having me work on some more hardware stuff for him, doing some simple analog (yay!) EMI filtering for some of our high current power supplies. I know that sounds crappy, but I always thought filtering and EMC it was kind of fun. And I really do want to make Senior Systems Engineer before I've been here for 2 years, so it looks like I've got my work cut out for me for over the next 12 months.

My mom's short story that was published in the Foreign Service Journal last month is now available online. Scroll down to June 2005, and it's under Focus on FS Fiction. She also has another article in the July/August issue, but that won't be available online until September. In other parent news, my dad is scheduled to testify before the House Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday. It's the first time a USAID employee other than the Agency Administrator or one of his Deputies has ever been asked to speak in front of the HFRC. I hope it'll be on C-SPAN for me to DVR while I'm at work...

So yesterday the mailboxes were all open. Not each individual door, but the entire mailbox unit. Good work mailman. I didn't have any mail in my box, but I saw a few other people did, so I assumed that no one had stolen my mail from my open box and went abotu my merry way. This morning, leaving for work, I noticed a discover bill crammed into the stair well. I thought this was odd, and when I bent down to have a look see, I notced a huge pile of mail stuffed into the fire department water valve area. Sure enough, I started flipping through it, and it was in perfect order, apartments A through L. My water bill and a piece of junk mail from Strayer happened to be in there. I noticed several other water bills and a half dozen credit card bills in the process. Because all the mail was in perfect order still, I can only assume that this means my mailman was lazy. Instead of putting our mail in our boxes like his job (and the law) requires him to, he just stuffed it into a cubby on the second floor and went on his merry way. I took the remaining envelopes and put them all on top of the mailboxes downstairs and left for work. I'm not sure how to proceed from here though. Who do I call to yell at? I suppose his supervisor at the post office would be a good start. The way I see it, it's 100% the mail man's fault. He's supposed to be the only one with a key to the main mail box. So either he didn't lock it when he was done and someone else stole our mail. Or he didn't lock it after he was done stealing our mail. Last time I checked, tampering with the mail was a federal offense, and whether he took it or not, he's an accessory for failure to lock up the mail boxes. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will keep the postman from getting chewed out by me.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Getting married is entirely too complicated a process. At least Tommy and Steph live in the state they're getting married in and can make the multiple necessary trips to the court house. I made my first trip today to submit my paperwork to officiate. That was a pain and a half. Like all good government agencies, it's, "fill this out, take this over here, fill this out, get this stamped, give us money, fill this other thing out, wait for us to call you, come back, give us more money, go do your thing, come back again, then you'd done." It really is just that simple. I think Tommy and Steph are all set though. I just need the judge to approve my request (pending them checking that I'm a resident of Fairfax County and not a convicted felon), and then I need to go back and take my oath and give them a $500 bond (which I get back upon return of the completed marriage certificate). Gotta love the amount of time, money, aggravation, and effort required to get anything done inside the government. I can't wait until I try to do this same process in Georgia (which, in my opinion, is way less organized) when Emily and I get married and are both residents of Virginia. That should be a blast...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"I jest canno' do it cap'n, I doon't 'ave th' powrr." By which I mean not having the power to fight off the pneumonia on top of Alzheimer's anymore. Ready a photon torpedo tube for the traditional space burial... RIP Jimmy.

Heart-shaped blueberry muffins are still awesome 2 days later. =)

estoy muy consado...

Getting out of bed this morning, I managed to clip my pinky toe on the edge of my bedside table. I hate how nbanging your toes hurts so much. They always feel like they're broken for the first minute. Well, this one (though not broken) turned out to be much worse than usual. I broke the skin in two places, so my toe was rather bloody and gross as I tried to get ready for work. Not such a great start to the day. I even went to bed at 12:30 last night. I think I need a whole day to do nothing but lay in bed. Too bad today is only Wendesday. Too bad also that I might be going to Groton this weekend on business, so goodbye any chance for a good night's sleep up there. Maybe next weekend while helping Emily move out of her apartment I can get some sleep... *sigh*

Monday, July 18, 2005

Now for the bad news. My mom tried to call me yesterday afternoon while Emily and I were out running errands, but my cell phone battery died before I got a chance to give her Emily's number. Unfortunately, it turns out that call was pretty important. Apparently my grandfather's health is more fragile than we thought. He'd been having chest pains and trouble breathing that we thought was probably more heart problems since he'd already had a very successful bypass a few years back. Turns out that he's been diagnosed with leukemia instead. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more information out of my mom tonight. It's not easy watching your architects fall. Pop-pop has kept his body in excellent shape his whole life though, so we're all keeping our fingers crossed that the first round of chemo goes well today.

Some good news about shelling out money: I was paying my bills on Friday and it turns out that my car insurance got $52 cheaper over this next 6 month period! Yay! Also, I signed my new lease for another year at the Jefferson. Although my monthly rent increased about $85, I owe no rent for July 2006 (why they didn't just prorate it is beyond me...), but it means that over the course of the year, I'm actually paying lessin rent than I did this past year. Emily said that maybe this means I'll stop threatening to buy a house next year. We'll see. I've done some initial (and very rough) number crunching, and (especially now that I'm actually saving an extra $275 in rent over the next year, and about $100 in car insurance), I think I could actually afford to buy a house next year in the 3-400K range. A townhouse probably, because most free-standing houses around here are simply out of my price range (try .5M on the low end), but a house nonetheless. How many other 25 year olds in the DC area own their own house? Anyway, I've got 10 months to ponder it over before I have to give my leasing office 60 days notice of my intention to vacate, so we'll see how things play out and what the real estate market does.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Emily and I went to Hershey, PA on Saturday, where, despite the rain, the chocolate was still just as sweet. More pictures from our visit are available here.
There's all kinds of fun stuff inside Chocolate World, including some free samples and costumed Hershey 'characters.'
Like Mr. Hersheybar
The street lights are indeed chocolate kisses!
Even the stop signs have kisses on them!

Pictures of Sonja and Zoey are available here.
Sonja and Zoey like to play and climb and jump on everything, including people.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Who wants to take a road trip to Miami this weekend?

"This world won't break me.
I'll die for my beliefs.
This may seem like to nothing to you,
But it's all I fucking have."
-from Death Disguised As Salvation

My nose is running like a faucet. I hope this means I'm getting sick. That would be, as Craig puts it, awesome. It would explain however why I hit a wall yesterday around 4:30 and why I'm so tired... Rock on.

The thing about 4-day weeks (last week) is that they make 5-day weeks suck pretty badly. Wednesday has barely started and already I'm wishing it was Friday night so I could go home and go to bed and not worry about work for a couple days. Not that anything bad or particularly stressful is going on here, but I'm just really tired.

Happy birthday to Jean Luc Picard, er, I mean, Patrick Stewart. Also to David X. Cohen, writer and producer for The Simpsons and Futurama.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I hate when we try to fix things at the last minute before a build is due. It's always hectic as hell. And to make sure we have time to test the last minute changes in the monring before the build is due, I have to make a test build the night before, so when the changes don't get checked in until 6:20, I kinda get screwed on having to stay late to start the build. Stupid software.

This weekend was pretty nice. We had originally planned to go to Hershey, but decided to push it off to next week since we're scrapping the beach (it's too expensive). Instead we ran a few errands and were generally pretty lazy most of the weekend. We had a dinner party at Alcivar's parents' place on Saturday which was nice. I haven't seen Olen in forever (probably Christmas-time) and I haven't seen Jenn or Caryn I don't think since Emily's spring break. In any case, we had a good time and no one died of food poisoning, so congrats to Jenn.
On the homefront, after traumatically dragging Emily to Home Depot with me last week, I finally got gates built so we could let our chinchillas out of the cage and let them roam around the dining room. They are fast when they want to be. Something startled Sonja when she was munching some hay under the cage and all I saw was this grey streak coming straight at me. They seem to love the table and chairs; it's like a giant jungle gym for them to play on. We don't let them get on top of the table though. We're kind of concerned about the possibility for injury and/or escape from up there. Despite the "no table top" rule, Zoey seems insistent on trying to get up there anyway. I think she knows there's a higher vantage point than where we'll let her go, and so of course she wants to go there. She even tried climbing up the side of the cage to get on top of it on Saturday. She's going to be quite a handful. But they are quite playful creatures and if you sit on the floor with them long enough they'll start hopping up on your lap. Zoey even climbed up onto my shoulder a couple times and then made a daring leap on top of my head. They still won't let us pet them really, but I think that may be only another couple days away. The other night Zoey hogged the bath, which I felt bad about for Sonja, but I think it's just payback for Sonja hogging the igloo. This morning though, they were both asleep in the igloo when I got up, so I hope that trend continues and they can share better in the future. They do look really sad though when I go to bed or leave for work. They hop up to the top level of their cage and just stare at me when I close the bedroom door or the front door. I alwasy feel bad now for having to leave them, but at least they seem excited when I come home. It's nice to have pets who acknowledge my existence again.

Friday, July 08, 2005

*phew* I just got off the phone with a Senior Chief. I hate using the phone in general, but especially when I have to field a call from an angry submariner. Fortunately for me, I could answer all of his questions satisfactorily and I surprised even myself by being able to explain the signal processing he was asking about. Go me! He had called Fred this morning with a question, and Fred wanted backup before he called him back. After 30 seconds of trying to answer Fred's questions about the Senior Chief's questions, I finally just made him hand over the phone and let me handle it. I think mostly I'm terrified of just the title Senior Chief since that's what Latham was when he left the Navy, and he's probably the scariest, most intimidating man I know. But it all worked out and I feel pretty proud of myself right now. =)

We picked up our chinchillas today! =) They're still adjusting to their new environment, but tomorrow we're going to let them out of the cage and let them explore a little bit in a (hopefully) carefuly controlled environment. They're very quiet animals, so hopefully they won't cause me any more sleep disorders than I already have. Emily and I finally decided on Zoey for the black violet and Sonja for the gray standard. They seem very playful too, so hopefully we'll be able to handle them after a couple days once they get used to us. Zoey seems a bit more skittish than Sonja, but also more active in general so far, so that might be why. We'll see. It's exciting nonetheless. =)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I kind of like it when my days go by quickly, but not so much when I have a ton or work to do, and even less when I really just want to put my head down and take a nap. That or go screaming through the halls in frustration over how difficult DM is making it for me to release our System and Software Spec. Reqt's. Perhaps there's a happy medium somewhere, like going to get a soda and having some Spree. I can't be sleepy tonight or tomorrow evening, I have too much to get done. Oh well. Maybe it's just a post-Red Robin food-coma and it will pass in a few minutes.

Finally, someone who understands and appreciates my distaste for spending massive quantities of time exposed to the sun's lethality.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I know the NBA Draft was a while ago now, but I had sorta forgotten about it until I saw ESPN at the bar at Logan's at lunchtime. So Jarret got picked up by the Nuggets along with Julius Hodge. Knowing they'd kill each other on the same team, they arranged a trade a couple hours later to move Jarret over to Portland. Although I'm happy for our awesome point guard that he was picked up in the first round, I'm really kind of bummed for Tech to be losing our only hope of a strong season next year. Without a seasoned leader like Jack, Tech has no one to guide them on the floor. I know we have a lot of young talent, but we're going to get eaten alive next year in the ACC. On the plus side, it will give the younger players time to gel as a team, so maybe the year afterwars, we'll be a strong force again. We'll see. For me, the NBA is like a black hole. Once you enter it, I assume you no longer exist. So this is probably the last you will hear about Jarret from me unless it's referring to his absence from the McTit come January.

Apart from the Saturday sunburn and pollen festival, I had a pretty good weekend. Lots of delicious food, good BBQs, etc. Emily and I spent a good bit of time with her parents at her aunt and uncle's in Bethesda/Kensington. Her little cousins Graham and Julia are so adorable. Julia reminds me so much of the way Tabitha was when I lived with the Tavenners and Graham bears an eerie resemblance to myself at 10. I was much less social, but certainly as mischievous ("Graham, get off the mud." "I'm not in the mud, I'm on the hose.") and inquisitive. We decided to skip the Mall on the fourth and do fireworks in a less crowded setting that didn't involve the Metro and its wacky schedule and station closings. I'm sad I missed the Star Wars performance, but it's on my DVR for me to watch later tonight while we prepare my apartment for the next big thing: new pets!! We're picking them up on Thursday and they're going to be living in a cage we borrowed from Tommy and Steph (thanks guys!). We got a much better deal on them than what the girl was originally asking. They're both between 1-2 years old, so they should have another 8-12 years left. One of them is pedigreed if we were ever to breed them, but right now we're really only interested in pets. They're both females, so we're trying to come up with some good girl duos for potential names (currently, the black one is Nightshade and the grey one is Spunky). Emily came up with Laverne and Shirley and I came up with Sophitia and Cassandra. Go figure ;) Pictures of our fuzzy little friends will be posted after we get them settled in later this week.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The preparation for yesterday on my part was rather poor. As a result, I'm very sniffley and I bear a striking resemblance to a lobster. Stupid glass house full of plants sent my allergies through the roof and stupid sun's radiation has turned me a quite unhealthy hue of purpley-red. This is precisely why I never go outside. Well, that and bears. Note to self: never ever leave the house again without putting on sunscreen.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Also noteworthy today: Nanotubes are the future of everything

From the people who brought you When Bears Attack Picnic Baskets, next week on Fox, it's When Supreme Court Decisions Backfire. What goes around comes around suckers.

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  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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