Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Many people are familiar with my theory that the worse a band is, the louder they play. Distortion and volume effects in the human ear cover up sloppy mistakes, lack of instrument proficiency, and overall suckiness. However, is the reverse true? The louder a band plays, the worse they are? In general, I would say yes, but is it causal? It's kind of like the chicken and egg debate. However, let's examine two of the bands who have held the Guiness World Record Book title of "Loudest Band on Earth:" Manowar and Motorhead. Certainly, loud bands have some good company. Now, I think you'd be hardpressed to accuse either band of suckiness. Therefore, loudness does not necessarily imply suckiness, but suckiness tends to produce loudness. This is a good thing, because it seems like I just can't listen to Undoing Ruin at a low volume. Come to think of it, I couldn't listen to any of Darkest Hour's records quietly. From the very first chords, you gotta crank the volume and bring the mosh.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

At long last, my pictures from Israel are available for viewing! Enjoy! Here's a couple preview shots:
Sea of Galilee
Mount of Beatitudes
The wailing wall
Dome of the Rock
Damascus Gate
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
I'd appologize for the slow load time, but, well, I don't care.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I just read this article in the Post about black lawmakers having problems reconciling their religious beliefs with their traditional support of civil rights over the issue of gay marriage. This is stupid. First off, as an elected law maker, your personal beliefes (religious or otherwise) should have nothing to do with any decision you make; you should be following the will of the people you represent. Second, your religious convictions are not supposed to directly influence your judgement as a law maker, despite the current administration's example. Furthermore, the whole issue of gay marriage is retarded. I'm sure someone's brought it up before, but it's never gotten any coverage as far as I know. Modern science is doing amazing things. Let's say that man-on-man marriage is illegal. Now let's say I want to marry my life parter Jake. What's to stop Jake or me from getting a sex change, then getting married. Then, after having legal documentation of our marriage, changing back? Does this nullify our marriage? What about couples who get married and then the transsexual finally comes to terms with the fact that he is really a woman trapped in a man's body. But his wife and best friend support him all the way through his gender reassignment and want to maintain their marriage. Is this going to be illegal now too? Or do they forfit their 25 years of marriage? Can a court nullify a marriage if both parties want to stay married? Can hermaphrodites get married at all, or even better, can they marry whichever sex they want, can they marry a man, divorce him, and them marry a woman? Is there a legal precedent to establish what sex a person with both sex organs is and therefore forcing them into a nice neat little quantifiable package? If you're going to outlaw gay marriage, you'd better make sure you close all the loopholes or you going to wind up making marriage law so convuluted that no one is going to be able to get married anymore. I of course think the whole thing is preposterous in the first place. If two people think they love each other, and are claim to be commited to each other, let them get married. With a divorce rate of 50% already, whats it going to hurt if a few slap fights ruin a few more marriages, gay, straight, or otherwise? "Think of the children! Won't somebody think of the children?" I'm no child psychologist, but I'm willing to bet children suffer more through a divorce, or as a result of daddy and daddy not being able to get the same tax breaks as mommy and daddy, or mommy and mommy not being able to get decent medical care because they can't afford the insurance premiums that would drop if they were married than they do as a result of growing up in a loving home with same sex parents.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

CMMI is the devil. For my team to become CMMI compliant with the guideline set forth by way the hell up there management requires at least one person full time to handle just the process documentation. We barely have enough people to do the project we're tasked with, let alone handling all the system documentation and dockside support. I barely even understand the CMMI documentation that already exists for our office, and I'm sure that took 10 people 3 years to compile. Now you want us to either say we'll follow those guidelines, make necessary ammendments, or write our own, and then follow them to the letter by the end of February? Fat chance. Things like this are what me me think that me taking an MBA program would be completely worthless. I either wouldn't understand it, or I would fight it kicking and screaming the whole way. It just seems so counterintuitive and mostly pointless to me as an engineer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Will this month never end?? I swear, 10 days ago I thought the month was practically over. Now there's only 6 days left but it feels like Emily will never get here...

Monday, January 23, 2006

I found thing on Steph's LJ and tried it myself with eerily accurate results:

Your Birthdate: April 25

You excel at anything difficult or high tech.
In other words, you're a total (brilliant) geek.
It's difficult for you to find people worth spending time with.
Which is probably why you'll take over the world with your evil robots!

Your strength: Your unfailing logic

Your weakness: Loving machines more than people

Your power color: Tan

Your power symbol: Pi

Your power month: July

Happy National Pie Day! Brought to you by the American Pie Council. Mmmm... π...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I DVRed THX 1138 in HD the other night and watched it last night. This is the movie that made Star Wars, Indiana Jones, American Grafitti exist. It's the namesake for THX audio processing. I gotta say, Lucas is a genius. I know I wasn't alive in 1971, but I imagine that seeing THX 1138 in a theater back then would have totally blown people's minds the way The Matrix did back in 1999. For his first full length theater release, this movie is impressive. Also, who knew Robert Duvall was such an attractive man 35 years ago?

In other news, I watched Greg Behrendt is Uncool the other night. I might as well have been looking into a crystal ball at one of those carnival gypsy fortune teller tents. What I saw through the fog (dust) in the ball (tv) was my future. I am going to be 40 years old, still wearing metal t-shirts and a studded belt, with tattoos of my kids' names on my arms, and trying to rock out. I'm already pretty close to being "that creepy old guy" at shows. But rest assured when I'm 40 and still trying to mix it up in a hardcore pit, I will find myself thinking back to this stand-up routine and wondering, when did I get old? I don't feel old yet. Maybe it's because I haven't turned the "dreaded" quarter century yet. I have probably a half dozen friends who've gotten married since I graduated from college. One of which has a baby already, and the other is expecting one in about 2 months. Does this make me old? Hell no. Rock and roll forever! As long as no one takes away my t-shirt and as long as Scandinavia doesn't sink like Atlantis so there will always be good metal, I will not grow old. Call it Peter Pan syndrome if you must, but I prefer to call it Keith Richards syndrome. Music has kept him alive for at least 250 years, even if he looks like a leather muppet by now...

More "I hate the post office" stuff: I ordered some things off Amazon last week and did the free shipping option, which is USPS. Both things left Capitol Heights, MD last night, so I expect them to be delivered today. Before I left for Erin's baby shower, I saw the mail cart pull up, watched the mailman get out with mail, put it in the boxes, then get back in his truck and drive off. Sadness! No amazon package for me until Monday! And it's got the newest Throwdown and Darkest Hour CDs in it too! But wait, there's more! So I went down to get the mail, and lo and behold, do my eyes decieve me, why, what is this? Yes my friends, it's PS Form 3489. What is this form you ask? It's the "Sorry we Missed You!" notification. WHAT??? You didn't miss me asshole, you didn't even fucking try to find me! I watched you get out of your damn cart and back in your damned cart without any boxes and you sure as hell didn't walk up the stairs and knock on my door. Now, the mail man still has half the apartment complex to get to before he gets to the main office to drop off the packages for people who are "unavailable." Since I'm already pissed off at the post office, and I'm feeling somewhat on the spiteful side for having been slighted, I went down to the office and stood outside, card in hand waiting for him to show up. No sooner did he pull up than I lit into him about doing his job. No doubt, I won't get any mail for a week now, or at the very least, I'll never see my bills or packages again, but I certainly feel better. I mean, sure, during the week, the chances of someone being home during the day are pretty slim, I'll give you that. But at 1:30 pm on a weekend? And for you to not even try? What kind of crap is that? Apparently, even though rain or (not both, you'll note) sleet won't keep him from delivering my mail, a flight of stairs apparently will. Conspiracy I tell you... A consipracy of incompetence...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Too much work, not enough sleep... Since 10 am Wednesday, I have worked 26 hours. Whee!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Follow up post to this entry: After the power went out in our building, again, and didn't come back in 45 minutes, I decided to run out to the post office until the power came back. Of course, because of MLK Day, the PO was closed, but the lobby is open 24/7 for people to check their boxes. Their simple "put in cash get stamps" machine only had the new 39 cent stamps, so I sidled up to the super fancy machine terrified that it might devour my soul or some such thing. I mean really, it's very big and shiny and doesn't really have any buttons. And who knows what's really lurking behind that "touch screen." Besides, if that's not what one would expect a soul-eating machine to look like, I don't know what is. So after deciding to risk my fingers and touch the screen, I found out that I could not purchase the stamps I desired from this worthlessly futuristic pile of junk. You can get 39 cent stamps, express mail stamps, precise scale-calculated postage more than a $1.00 and some other option which wasn't 2 cent stamps. This made me rather furious. I think the whole USPS is part of a vast consipracy requiring you to waste 35 cents by using two 37 cent stamps simultaneously to mail a letter by making 2 cent stamps completely unavailable, even at their own locations. Safeway not having them I can understand, not agree with, but understand. But the post office not stocking their own machines with the necessary stamps?? Conspiracy. In the end I bought some new 39 cent stamps to mail my bills, then went home and threw my 37 cent stamps in the back of a drawer until such time as 2 cent stamps become easier to obtain than cold fusion. Damn you John E. Potter! You've won this round...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

From my Nov 11 - Dec 10 cell phone bill:

Anytime Minutes - 105.0
Night and Weekend Minutes - 306.0
PCS to PCS Calling - 4,044.0
Total Minutes Used - 4,455.0

That's a lot of talking!

Monday, January 16, 2006

I miss being in the south where no matter what you would get MLK Day off. I mean, god help you if you were based in Atlanta and didn't give your students/employees the day off. "But Adam, Virginia is in the south!" Perhaps, but the DC Metro most certainly isn't. Meanwhile, our customer (the Navy) has the day off, so we can't even call them to make sure that everything is setup on their end for our testing at LM tomorrow and Wednesday. Is today a postal holiday as well? I really need to pay some bills and I need 2 cent stamps, which Safeway doesn't carry apparently. Hopefully the building lobby will at least be open so I can use the vending machine to get some ugly stamps.

Israel updates are coming, I promise. I'm probably 60% done with my photos, so those will hopefully be up by the end of the week. Other related posts will probably have to wait until this weekend.

In related news, my dad is in town for some congressional meetings, so he came over on Saturday to watch us lose to NC State and then go say hello to my cousin Emily in the blinding snow storm for her 21st birthday. Yesterday we went to see King Kong. It was better than I expected. I guess I gave Peter Jackson too little credit. It could have been shortened easily 30 minutes, maybe even an hour though. Otherwise is was pretty good. Kong acted like you see real gorillas act, and the CG was well done if perhaps a bit overused on the fight scenes with the dinosaurs and on Nicole Kidman's eyes. No one's eyes are naturally that color, I'm sorry. Afterwards we hit up Red Robin and then talked about diabetes with uncle Bobby. Talk about irony... It was a pretty good weekend all around though.

Q: How awesome is this Lego harpsichord?
A: Very much so.

Although, technically, he cheated by reshaping pieces and by using glues. But still, a playable musical instrument made almost entirely from Lego is pretty much badass. Credit Manish with finding this beacon of awesometude.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Turn out al this Friday the 13th hocus pocus isn't just superstition after all. My family was flying back from Israel today (Ben for school, my dad for congressional meetings, my mom to help her dad with his next round of chemo). They made it into Newark with no problem, but then all hell broke loose. Of course it would have been in Newark... My mom and Ben's gate changed, their bags took forever coming off the plane, customs was a disaster, the bag rechcking conveyor got jammed, Ben and my mom missed their flight to Cleveland, my dad barely made his flight to National, then Newark fogged in, so the rebooked flight to Cleveland couldn't leave, apparently National fogged in around 10 am, so the plane aborted landing twice and circled for two hours before landing at Dulles. Yikes. This is why Emily and I flew in on a weekend and left 4 hours before our connecting flight to Dulles. We had no problems other trying to stay awake at the airport and an entire family of obese human-locust hybrids who held up the line at the coffee shop for 25 minutes and ate all the good pastries. Damn locusts...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My long awaited NCAA College Football Division IA Rankings for 2005 are available! I really like the formula I came up with, and my final results seem more or less on par with what the AP and coaches poll came up with, and the end results more or less make sense to me as well. TCU seems like they're ranked a little higher than they deserve, but that's because of the high emphasis on win percentages. I thought the SOS would knock them back down, but I guess 15% doesn't compete with 50% very well. And VT is probably too high up there despite not winning any big games during the regular season (except perhaps WVU), but I think that's because they have a ridiculous points margin in the remainder of their games. GT is also pretty high on the list due to our 5th toughest strength of schedule in the country. I might play with the weighting a little bit and see how things shake out. But I hope to make these rankings a weekly fixture next year, so we'll see how that goes. Once I get everything set just the way I want it, I'm going to not adjust anything and see how everything shakes out over the course of the next season. That will either show that my formula makes good sense or was only designed well enough to handle the most recent season.

Mmmm, Jelly Belly's.... *drool* I don't know whether Emily meant to leave half a bag on my kitchen counter, but that bag is now sitting in my desk at work where I can easily enjoy it when I need a mid-afternoon jolt of sugary deliciousness.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Marcus Marcus Marcus... Further proof that being the kid brother of one of the most exciting college QBs of all time doesn't make you a good person. Whereas Michael earned his own respect and paid his dues, Marcus has been riding on his coattails. Having watched him play, yes, he has a lot of talent, but what NFL team would want to sign him, let alone draft him, at this point? You thought the Eagles were having a problem with TO? Marcus has an ego the size of Owens' but can never seem to keep himself out of legal trouble. Check the ego at the door, play hard, stop being an immature baby. Go play in the Arena or Canadian league or something until you can prove that your talent is worth something more than bail bonds and court hearings. Michael, your brother needs an attitude adjustment, not a blank check. I know you want to help, but find the right way to do it. Money and fame doesn't solve everything.

Nothing beats fighting jet lag and a cold simultaneously. I fell asleep at 9:30 last night, so of course I was wide awake at 6 am. I watched sportscenter and then decided to just get up and come into work. I got in at 8 and have been wiping my nose since I got here. My trash can is getting dangerously close to a kleenex avalanche. At least that should be amusing.

Monday, January 09, 2006

So sleepy... I managed to stay at work until about 5:15 today, and actually got some things done, so today was already a huge success by comparison to my expectations. Unfortunately, I didn't do any of the housekeeping things I wanted to do today, like clean the chins' cage, the fish tank, or the bathroom. I ate my dinner, read all my mail, paid my bills, and let the girls out. Now I'm ready for bed. I've got to stay awake at least a little longer though. I know it's already 3:30 in the morning on my body clock, but I can't go to bed until at least 9:30 if I ever want to get back on schedule. Also in the plus column, I think I might be getting what my dad had last week. My throat was really scratchy last night and today my nose was getting runny. "Hi, I'm back from my 10 day vacation, I'm going on sick leave now!" Oh well. I assumed at first it was just dehydration from the 12 hours on the 777 from Tel Aviv to Newark. But it's all starting to fall into place now. The lack of sleep, the stress of travelling, the uncomfortableness of airplane seats, the recycled germy air of 300+ people, the exposure to my dad's germs in a couped up Honda Civic... *sigh* Maybe a good night's sleep tonight will cure me.

Well, here I am back at work. I dropped Emily at the airport this morning, so she's off to Savannah until February. I've still got 35 emails to sort through and a bunch of catching up on what's been going on. My poor body has no idea what time it is. I made it until 9 pm last night before crashing, so that will help a lot with the readjustment. Unfortunately, my body still thinks it's 5 pm right now, so at least lunch will occur around dinner time. But it'll be interesting to see what happens at 3 or 4 pm today and how much I'll actually be able to accomplish. I have a ton of pictures and lots of stories to post, so hopefully that will get done in the next couple days while the experience is still fresh in my mind. I had a great trip and I would really reccomend Israel to anyone as an alternative Mediterranean destination.

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