N'awlins at heart

Monday, April 28, 2008

...and then Dr. Seuss cooked us some dinner.

It's the start of my final week in my current lab. It's going okay I guess, although things are still failing left and right. We also have an interview for my replacement tomorrow. Hopefully that also goes well.

One of the new guys is sitting at my old desk. The 2 available desks were side by side and they wanted to split the new testers up, and put them with more experienced testers. makes sense to me. Although I had to move to a new desk for my last 2 weeks. Coworker D seemed a little bummed that I was #1 moving to a different desk, and #2 moving to a different lab. So he won't have me there to BS with him.

Well, the new tester sitting in my seat could be my twin (except he's black). He's tall, skinny, from New Orleans (Pre Katrina) and he likes to chit chat. Dare I say he's my doppelganger? I don't think Coworker D will be quite so bored after all.

Back with the flashbacks. Last Thursday we were at the grocery store. We passed the steaks and saw a London Broil on sale from $16 to $5. We just couldn't pass that up. So we bought one and put it in the freezer.

Saturday I put on new blinkers and we rode around for a few hours. When we finally got home we pulled out the steak to thaw. Around 8:30 that evening we realized there was no way it would thaw in a decent amount of time. So we made something else. Now, we have never cooked a London Broil, so W1 looked up a recipe online. It said to marinate it in a bottle of wine for 4 hours then grill it for 20-30 minutes. We decided to marinate it over night while it thawed. All in all I think it marinated in the wine for about 30 hours. When I finally took it out to cook it was purple! I am serious, it was stained purple.

And it was one delicious purple steak I must say. I would definitely recommend it. I'm trying to think of a name for it. Maybe eggplant steak. I dunno... Any ideas?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Walk with the animals, talk to the animals..."*

I rode home from work Thursday and all was good. It was a nice peaceful ride. Pretty windy, but all in all decent. Once I arrived home we headed out to the mall. Once again not bad, pretty uneventful. Until we got home. That's when we pulled up and I noticed my blinker was dangling. I had done some minor repairs with silicone in the past (And subsequently crunched said blinker in the plastics putting it back together.) I guess the wind was the final straw. It was barely held on by a small dab of silicone and the wires were seared. So it's beyond repair. Looks like I'm shopping for new blinkers this weekend. I'm thinking I want something along the lines of these, but I'm going to check a few shops locally first.

I was looking through some old discs last night and stumbled across a few pictures. I remember S1+o asked about these a few weeks ago and I could never find them. Well, now I have. Just remember, they looked a little more "authentic" on a 14" CRT than they do on today's HD Flat Panel monitors and laptop screens etc...

* I think it was on an Audubon Zoo commercial.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Let me go ahead and eat some crow.

Okay, I don't have anything to "take back", and I was not suddenly "proven wrong", I just thought that title was funny.

Response to s1+o's question on W1's blog, no, it was not the same cop. The one behind me yesterday was a sheriff's deputy. The ones who "have it out for me" are the constables. The information I received was as follows. Approximately 3 years ago they were finally given the ability to write traffic tickets and they took it to heart. Or something like that.

Work is work. Jeannie 2 has been out the last 2 days so that has been nice. I'm more or less counting the days now. I was given a really crappy assignment and / or project to work on today. But I am looking on the bright side. #1 it could have been audio testing (which for some reason makes me want to shoot myself in the face) and #2 it pulled me away from the last test on the project I was working on (at least temporarily) and I really hate that one test. Okay, there are a few I REALLY hate but this one in particular sucks. It's basically to help the blind. You should be able to navigate through Windows via the keyboard with a voice telling you what icon or program you have highlighted. This, however, is usually not the case. The previous trouble call written up has 57 screen shots of errors. And my boss asked in the notes "Does this error still occur with the newest driver?" What do you all think? Did they amazingly fix 57 issues all at once? Highly doubtful! I almost want to answer "Yes!" but not elaborate. Why not? I'm short timin!

W1 and I seem to have a new addiction. Stupid people shows. Mainly involving cops. I think one of them is called "What the @#$% Fridays". No, like seriously, that's the name. It's people running from cops, and crashing. Doing crazy stunts, and crashing. Operating heavy machinery, and crashing. You name it, they're crashing. It's awesome!

Finally, blowing off some steam. W1 has been having issues with her blog. 2 of the pictures disappeared. And they brought up errors stating "Image could not be found". So she emails the chick that set up the template. Who says, basically, her laptop crashed and she lost a bunch of stuff. But for $150 she will redesign the site. Now, the 2 pictures that no longer come up where hosted on imageshack.com. On the interwebs. So they would have nothing to do with this girl's laptop at home crashing. Not to mention 6 other pictures that were also hosted on imageshack.com still show up fine.

So I guess simultaneously her laptop crashed, and the servers online that had no connection with her laptop, randomly deleted 2 of the main pictures from W1's site. But all this can be fixed for the low low price of $150. Yeah, okay, whatever.

But I hate ending on a bad note, so here are some cute kitties.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

He's still the king.

I was going to go off about my drive home, but I'm too shitty to bring it up. I will say one thing though, I'm glad i didn't take the bike today. The way these idiots were driving I would have been haulin' ass to get home. And sure enough, there he was. The king of shake shake. Same place, shooting radar. And I don't think he would have let me slide twice. I'm just sayin!

On another note, I went to check the mail yesterday. And on my way I walked past the pool. And I noticed something. There is a knife in the pool. Let me say it again. THERE IS A KNIFE IN THE POOL. I mean really? Seriously?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bikini car wash!

Well, minus the bikinis. But we'll get back to that.

Last night went well. W1's friend Julie (Pronounced Joux-lee) came by for dinner. We made lasagna (Pronounced lasagna) and it was delicious. After I finished a slice I wanted one more, but I didn't want to look like a pig. So imagine how happy I was when Julie asked for seconds. Not only was I able to get more, but it also let me know she really liked it. It was nice to have company again as it has been a while. R is working on moving so he hasn't been by in a while. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have alone time, but coming from NOLA there's always that urge to entertain. Plus I can't wait for leftovers.

We slept in this morning. (More me sleeping in anyways.) Once I dragged my lazy ass out of bed, we went out on the bike. We went to Mission Burrito which was delicious as always. Then we went out and cruised around for a few hours. It was a nice ride. Afterwards we came home and took a nap. Nightmares ensued. For real. W1 dreamed someone stole her car, and I dreamed I reenlisted in the NAVY. WTF? Like for real.

After that we decided "She who is of Thunder and Lightning" needed a bath. In a bad way. Dead bugs from the NOLA trip, mud from the NOLA trip, ashes from different trips, and just plain bird crap. The truck and the bike didn't get a bath this week, but all energy needed to be put into W1's ride. Which is once again sparkle fresh. Bling Bling!

While at the car wash I had to laugh. As we're drying, cleaning, vacuuming (you get where I'm going with this). As we're working on the car 3 guys pull up next to us. While one guy starts drying and cleaning his car, the other two light up a blunt and watch him work. I'm sorry, but that's funny stuff right there.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Why do they keep updating technology?

A couple of years ago I did a website for a friend's shop. (Which at the moment is not up again.) It was pretty basic, and I did the whole site with notepad. It wasn't bad, just basic information about his shop. A few tweaks here and there and it was up and running. And then came Katrina. This was the downfall of many things, my friend's website included.

All the account information was sent to my home email address. It was due for renewal in February 2006. Unfortunately, we moved to Houston, and I no longer had access to my old home email address. So when they sent the renewal notice, I didn't get it. It hadn't crossed my mind again until around April of 2006 when I got the phone call saying the website was no longer there.

I went back to check, and sure enough, the domain registration had expired. In comes some 3rd party get rich quick Jerk Faces! They paid the $15-$30 and took the domain. This is how these assholes work. They get lists of domain names that expire, buy them at a low price, then when you contact them to get your domain name back, they charge you hundreds of dollars. Big companies can sue them, little people like us, well, we're just screwed.

Luckily the shoe was on the other foot this time. From time to time I would check back and see that they still had the domain name. Fast forward to last weekend. We made our trip to NOLA. Friday night we went by a friends house and another friend happened to be there. He worked at the shop that the website was for. He mentioned that the guy would like me to contact these people, and see how much it would cost to get his domain name back. I told him when we returned to Houston I would look into it. Well, I guess the earlier mentioned Jerk Faces paid for the domain for 2 years. After blowing (presumably) $70 or so, and never being contacted by us, they decided it was a waste of money to retain (and pay for) that domain any longer. Due to this, I was able to buy the domain name again for the next 10 years (that's the longest I could get) for $150.

This brings me to technology. Being the pack rat that I am, I still had a copy of the original website on my hard drive. So it's just a matter of uploading it again, and doing a few tweaks to it. (Removing pictures of mechanics that no longer work there, etc...) But of course, technology has to screw ya! When I originally created the website, I was playing around with "Flash" to make the buttons animated when you pass the mouse over them. Then, when the button is clicked, it loads a different page in the frame. Due to hackers and other such bad people taking advantage of security flaws, all the latest browsers do not allow this. When you click a button you bet an error message is your browser that says it blocked an "ActiveX" control. So, basically, we're back to square one when it comes to the website design. There are 3 positive notes though. #1. I already have the "skeleton" to work with, so it will be easier than starting from scratch. #2. It will once again force me to educate myself on the latest website software and coding. #3. I was able to handle the hosting (4 years) and domain registration (10 years) for less than it would have cost to buy the name back from the Jerk Faces who took it.

So things aren't all bad. As far as regular work goes, the last I heard I will be moving to the new lab in the beginning of May. That is all.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Good times were had by all.*

Like it says in the title, we had an amazing weekend. We both had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. Thank you all for the gifts, the food, the company, the shelter, and anything else I left out. My family rocks! We love and miss you already!

The drive home was not bad. W1 drove most of the way and I relaxed. Towards the very end (like inside the belt before hitting 610) a car and a truck flew past us in the left lane. The truck was riding the cars rear bumper and they had to be going 90-100. I have no problem with speeding (obviously) but tailgating someone that close at those speeds is just stupid. I don't know if they were playing games or what. I can, however, tell you how that game played out. It was less than 2 minutes later when we saw the truck again. This time it's back end was smashed into the left guard rail, both sides were scraped up, the windshield was busted, and the front end was crunched with smoke / steam pouring out from under the hood. My only guess is the car got tired of the game and "brake checked" the truck. The truck in turn failed.

Then as a bonus they shut down I-10 right inside of the 610 loop. I exited and took a left thinking we'd just turn on the GPS and go from there. Instead a few blocks down we ran into Memorial Park. We knew right where we were. It's a nice windy back road to our apartment. We sometimes take that way on the bike on the weekends when we just want to ride but have no place in particular to go. So it was pretty peaceful the rest of the way.

On the subject of cars and / or driving, I was thinking of something that happened about a year ago. W1 and I both love Arby's. One of the great things with our apartment location is that anything you can think of is right there. Everything except Arby's. (Although they are building one next to the Chick-Fil-A as we speak, or I write. Whatever!) Anyways, a while back we were heading to the closest one we could find. W1 was driving. As we got to the street we had to make a left onto it. Unfortunately there was a "No left turn" sign. Before I could even say anything W1 went through the intersection and made a left into a gas station on the corner. She cut through the gas station and was going to pull out onto the road. Right as I started chewing her ass about how and why that was illegal and unsafe, I noticed a cop was backed in behind the building. He pulled out like he was going to pull us over, saw I was chewing her ass, and backed into his spot again. It makes me laugh thinking what was on his mind. Most likely he was going to chew her ass and let her off with a warning, so I guess since I took care of that for him we were good to go.

*Monty Python

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

That's what makes them Great!

Since we are making the trip to NOLA this weekend, we decided taking a full day off Friday is the way to go. Due to me being an hourly employee, I have been trying to work 10 hour days to get as close to 40 hours as I can. Which is why I am still at work right now.

The project I am working on is flaky to say the least. The issues I was having originally I can no longer reproduce, the things that were working, aren't working any more. It's a mess. As a bonus, I still have Jeannie 2 drama to deal with. She was working somewhat late (and I use the term "working" VERY loosely). As usual, she spent all day running around goofing off (and getting others to do her job) then the last 30 minutes she is running around freaking out about issues she is having. Being the nice guy I (sometimes) am, I listened to the issue she was having. I have seen this issue before (just last week actually) and told her there are 2 solutions. #1, she can use a different system to accomplish the task (which is what I did when I had the problem) or #2, she can add the switch -1 instead of -0 to the command she is trying to run.

Her response: "It use to work fine the way I've been doing it. I'll just check with Ben in the morning because he has gotten it to work before. I could stay here all night fighting with it but I'm not going to."

After that, I put my headphones back on and turned back to my own work. I hate when people ask advice then argue with the answer. I also hate it when people don't realize that I am always right! (Most of the time. Hee Hee.) I can't wait to get out of this lab. Russell said they talk about me every day in his lab and said "You're the most anticipated hire I've ever seen over here." I guess that's a good thing. Hopefully I live up to the hype. Either way, I'm out of here and Jeannie 2 can kiss my entire ass.

On a nicer note, I went out back to have a smoke around 7:30. As I was standing there I heard noise in the woods behind the building. Then this huge Brendal Great Dane came out followed by 2 tiny dogs. Then the owner. I ended up chatting with him for about 20 minutes. The Great Dane was gorgeous. I honestly couldn't even tell you what the other 2 dogs were (breed wise). It was nice to see the puppy and chat with the guy about them for a while. It really helped relieve some of the stress Jeannie 2 gives me on a daily basis. Did I mention I can't wait to get out of this lab? Well I can't.