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Archive for the 'Work' Category

2004.07.23 he may be slow, but:

y'know, i really should have known about this for a long time, considering it's been kicking around in some form or another since apparently 1996-ish. i don't think i even realized that the "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game had been around since 1996, but then, the most of 1994 – 1999 is kind of a fuzzy memory at best. those were dark days. well, ok. 1996 – 1999 were dark days, 1994 – 1996 were actually kind of fun. if i miss any part of my past life, it's that part.

anyway, back to the subject at hand. a buddy at work was telling me that he used to hang with Roger Clinton back in the day, and then, somehow almost randomly (as is our wont) we wondered what his "Bacon number" was. that's when my co-worker mentioned the Oracle of Bacon and i just looked at him in bewilderment…

it was one of those moments where you just sit there and think to your self:
"of course there's an online site that has a database on which you can run '6 degrees of kevin bacon' queries… so, if it's so obvious, why had the thought never even occurred to me before now?"

of course, now i know i've a Bacon number of 4, which probably isn't that impressive (2 for Roger Clinton, 3 for my co-worker, making me 4), but now i'm also trying to think of whether i know any actors personally or not…


- 02:46 pm - PL :: 6 Comments
categories ::  Cool Links - Movies - Pop Culture - Work


2004.07.21 locked in, kicked out:

so, no luck on cancelling the insurance. i'm locked in until at least next June… unless i find a better job.

but, i've figured out a way to equalize the situation a bit—i'll just tell them to pay me more money to make up for the crappy health insurance.

also, here's a classic 2000 style weblog link to pad out this post a bit. i'm sure you've seen it making the rounds, but i wanted to point out what a great list of 10 reasons for despising Bush (though not necessarily 10 reasons for loving Kerry) this guy came up with.

personally—and, strangely enough i don't think i've really commented on this before—i'm not a huge fan of Kerry. but honestly, i think my cat could run this country better than Bush. and i mean Harriet—the crazy one. so, i'm firmly in the ABB camp, and so will vote with conviction for Kerry, because however good Kerry might not be, Bush is much much less good. (how's that for an f'ed up sentence?) in fact, if Kerry is good (which he is good, just not great), then Bush is most decidedly anti-good.

well anyway, enjoy the list of discretions.

- 07:57 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Cool Links - Politics - Rants - Upset/Dislike - Work


2004.07.20 little worm on a big fuckin' hook:

holy shit. i feel like a circus dog who's been performing three shows a day…

i went 10 rounds with my employer and the various intermediate companies between me and my health insurance today, and damn, am i pissed off.

first off, the policy that my company offers (and on which my acceptance of the job hinged) is complete and total shit. well, let me qualify that—everything about the policy seemed pretty good except for the fact that the bastards won't pay out more than $5,000 per year (which point they did not elucidate during the enrollment process at all). so, if all i need is preventive care, i'm golden, but the moment i have an accident or fall deathly ill and require any kind of hospital stay or any involved procedure, i'm bankrupt. it's completely ridiculous, and the single worst medical insurance plan i've ever seen.

and now that i've signed up to have it taken out pre-tax, they say i can't cancel it. and the private insurer i've talked to in the last couple days says she's not sure if i can have two insurance policies at the same time, so not only can i not drop the worthless policy, i also can't sign up for one that will make sure i'm actually covered.

so, i'm going to have to get back in the ring tomorrow, and see if i can convince them to let me cancel. i'm debating restarting the job search right now, and just get the hell out any way i can. if anyone has any ideas, i'm all ears right now.

wish me luck.

- 11:26 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Rants - Work


2004.05.18 stumble… hey, it's life!

it's kind of funny how things have a way of happening. last post i promised to write a longer post "later"… a month later is later, is it not? needless to say, however, 'twas not my intent. however, in light of recent events, i'll have to forgo the post that was "brewing" and write the one that has and is happening.

on about the 27th of last month, after events i'll have to provide the details of some other time, the big boss-man called me into his office and let me know that—once again—the company was in dire straights. we'd exhausted every available line of credit a year and a half ago (the last big closing "scare") and had been relying entirely on hard income since that time. Amazingly enough, the last (fiscal) year, we actually made a profit! so, i really didn't quite expect this new announcement of vulnerability.

i suppose i should've seen it coming… the only thing i'd been working on (except very small fix-it jobs) for the past couple months had been either internal projects or client make-work that i'd started on my own. in other words, as far as i could tell, there were no new paying jobs coming in the door. should've been a clue right there, right? well, no, i just kind of assumed that the paying jobs were coming in the door and sitting in the planning and designing room for a while. little did i know that pretty much all of us were sitting around twiddling our thumbs.

nevertheless, the time had come, we'd finally reached the point where our expenses were projected to outweigh our income, which meant we were no longer viable… it was all part of the deal our boss worked out with our parent company last time.

of course, as far as i knew, it was all still hush hush, so i wasn't able to even talk to anyone else about it until later in the week, a couple days before my co-worker was about to head out on vacation (as i'm doing this wednesday). we were both a bit disoriented, but, since "the scare" had happened before, we were a little more prepared (in an emotional sense, if not a job-hunting one). I reluctantly started work on a portfolio site, and on dusting off my resume.

the next week, the boss let it be known that everyone's last day would be on the 7th, the end of that very week. however, because i was one of the only ones who still had some work to do (a signed, but uncompleted contract), my own last day was extended to the 14th.

I put my new resume out a couple places, got a response from a staffing company almost immediately, and had an interview scheduled for the monday of my last week. in the meantime, i was spending almost every free moment working on my portfolio site design and construction. on thursday, i had a telephone interview with my potential employer, and because of my impending vacation, scheduled an on-site interview for the following monday, the 17th.

i continued spending every available free moment working on the portfolio site, and finally, at the hour of reckoning (way past bedtime sunday night) put the final finishing touches on an incomplete but releasable version of the site. if you're interested, and i know you are… check out my portfolio.

when i walked into the interviewer's office on monday morning, practically the first thing she asked me was if i had some type of online portfolio site. so, it was an entirely fortuitous thing for me to make sure i'd finished it beforehand. the interview itself went well—it must have, considering they'd called to offer me the job barely four hours later.

so, from a potential long unemployment period, i now find myself with a new job, even before the old one's completely over (i did come back in on monday to attempt to finish up a few things.) as i said earlier… things have a way of happening.

and now, to top it all off, i'm heading back to France this week, but this time with my favorite girl in tow. we're ready, and certainly even moreso now with today's news, to go enjoy the City of Lights as much and as freely as possible. and i should actually be able to relax when i'm up there, since i won't be having to obsess or worry about having a job or having money when i return… sometimes, things just work out alright.

though i have to admit, it's not something i'm used to.

- 01:57 am - PL :: 2 Comments
categories ::  Cool Links - Happy/Love - Personal Projects - Travel - Wife - Work


2003.10.10 alright! i think i'm gonna score!

well now. the last post sparked quite a round of commentary. it's always amazed me how certain topics in certain circles can be so powerfully mobilizing. equally amazing is that often the most vehement and violent reactions are provoked by those topics that have the least chance of ever truly reaching a universal solution or consensus–abortion, religion, church & state, star trek vs. star wars, capt. kirk vs. capt. picard vs. capt sisko, windows vs. mac vs. amiga.

which is not to say that the commentary on the last post was vehement or violent, it was actually quite stimulating, exciting, and informative. if you haven't read them yet, you should.

aside from taking part in political discussions, i've been keeping myself busy. keeping my favorite girl relaxed and happy during her stressful educational endeavor. and pursuing all those other little tasks that i've outlined for myself.

i've nearly finished the database design for My Favorite Martyr. i've finished reading a few of the many books that have been piled up on my bookshelf for the last year or so. i went home for a visit with the family for my brother's birthday (he just turned 16, so if you're in the vicinity of Princeton, KY, be sure to keep a very sharp eye on any other cars on the road.) let's see… the band has recorded the main tracks of the last song of our album, so now we're getting down to mixing in earnest, adding extra layers, and writing new material. i've bought a flash book and am trying to teach myself that. and by god, now i'm very nearly 30 friggin years old. not yet damn it! not yet. but almost.

finally, to bring this back around to the topic of politics (my pet subject, of late), i'd like to be the first to point out my new 2004 Candidate Score Sheet. i'd like to be the first to point it out, but ironically enough, my friend ben has beaten me to it on the community blog he frequents–Lost in Louisville. He beat me to it, 'cause i've been showing it to him the last few days as it's been developing, and i'm a slow bastard about writing a new post. what does it mean when a veteran blogger gets beat to the punch on announcing one of his own projects? i'm not sure, but it's gotta be something profound.

anyway, check out the Score Sheet, and make note of the fact that there's even a link up at the top where you can get a blank version of the chart so you can do your own. if you're really cheeky, you might even email your chart to me (a completed HTML version would be easiest for those of you who know your way around the code, otherwise, just however you see fit.) and i'll figure out some place to put links to them all. sounds like a fun project for the whole family!

ok. enough with tha jibba-jabba. my boss is letting me leave work early–who am i to argue?!

2003.08.20 noble in defeat:

well, it was almost inevitable. yet another David vs. Goliath story, with David on the losing end.

Hawley-Cooke Booksellers, that local bastion of independent business for 25 years, the annual Best of Louisville winner, and consistent home away from home for the literate elite, has finally bowed to the pressure of competition against national and multinational chain stores. the sale of Hawley-Cooke to Borders has a kind of circular and poetic logic to it, but that doesn't erase the sting and air of defeat.

i worked at Hawley-Cooke for a little over 2 years, and, despite the lousy pay (at least, 'til i landed the "webmaster" position, for a time), it was one of the best jobs i ever had, and the employees were some of the best people i've ever had the pleasure of working with. in fact, if i hadn't been fired from that job, i'd probably still be there ('cause i'm not entirely sure i could've made myself quit, even in my own best interest, and despite the ire i felt for one of the owners).

the plight of the locally owned business has always been one of those personal soapbox topics for me, and if you get me started, i'll rail for hours against the Wal-Marts, McDonalds, Barnes & Nobles, and Starbucks of the world.

i will accede that there are certain benefits the national chain stores can bring to the table–lower prices, better selection, and potentially better quality (except, of course, in the case of McDonalds who'd put cat shit in a bun and call it a "new taste sensation!"). but the only thing the national chains can't guarantee, and in most cases are not likely to provide, is the level of service and "human element" that the locally-owned business must provide as a matter of survival.

as a locally-owned business, it is imperative that you provide uncompromising service with a human touch, so that your customers will pick your business over the other options. a relationship must be established that will make the customer want to support you despite the convenience or lower prices they might find with a competitor. this is something Hawley-Cooke managed to do for many years, excepting, of course, the occasional lapse, oversight, or grumpy employee. obviously however, sometimes even this isn't enough. and really, there is no other way for a local business to compete against a national chain, and as it's been proven time and again, the people of this nation will over time almost inevitably choose the plastic apple over the slightly bruised–but real–one. hell, even i've gone into Barnes & Noble more than Hawley-Cooke in the past two years, because it's closer to where i work. it's a difficult trap to avoid, and the sinister aspects are well-hidden behind the wood paneling and fancy signage.

there is still at least one "major" (if you count 2 smallish locations as major) independent bookseller in this town, so, the next time you're in a literary mood, seek out the nearest Carmichael's Bookstore and support local business. i can almost guarantee that if they don't have what you're looking for in stock, they can order it for you.

thanks to ben for gently breaking this news to my non-media-consuming ass in the first place, and for the ready-to-steal link to the news article.

- 02:49 am - PL :: 6 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Nostalgia - Rants - Society - Upset/Dislike - Work


2002.12.31 stick a fork in it, this year is done:

well folks, it's new years eve… day… or something. it's about time for that yearly wrap-up post wherein we cannibalize old material for new jokes, or just include a bunch of links to old posts so that the old material can provide its own punchline.

i haven't yet started to go back through the posts from this past year, but i have this feeling that it's going to be like a harvest after a drought… not much to pick from. i know i've been negligent this past year (plus some) and haven't posted as much as i should, partially because i've been attempting to develop some sort of social life, partly because some events occurred that took up a bunch of my time without really providing me with anything worthwhile to talk about, and partly because some events have occurred recently that are happily *still* taking up a bunch of my time and i choose not to go into detail about it other than to say that i'm immensely happy.

without further ado, here are the 10 most exciting/interesting things that have happened this year (and that i've previously written about) — (in chronological order, old to new):

1. The France Plan, part 1 — started talking about taking a trip to France early in the year, which eventually became a plan to go for my sisters wedding late in the year.

2. I wrote a story that eventually came to pass.

3. Put my task list up for a vote and released the first public Lucifigous Prick demo track. (which i apparently need to upload to the new server…)

4. I posted some pictures from my and brian's trip to romulus.

5. Spider-Man

6. went to visit nate.

7. Designed some flyers, started revving up for the first Lucifigous Prick show, and continued to make the same realizations about how i really needed to get off my ass and do something.

8. The number of my co-workers continues to dwindle ("Five!" … "Three sir." … "Three!")

9. Lucifigous Prick had our second show.

10. i finally made it to France for my sister's wedding.

and those are, unfortunately, the highlights. that's what i get for being a bum about posting on a regular basis. the majority of my posts are about the fact that i don't post often enough.

but, to stop putting a negative spin on things and reiterate what a great year this has been for anything other than posting to bipolar, the highlights are: Lucifigous Prick gets several shows under it's belt, I get to go to France (and for nothing less than my sister's wedding to a great guy), and i meet an awesome girl who makes me immeasurably happy. all-in-all, a great year to remember, and i think next year will be even better.

so, to all our friends, to all of you who've been reading for almost three years now, and to those of you who just stop by on occasion, have a safe & happy new year!

2002.09.04 dirty boots:

slow day at work today. i tend to like these days about as much as i dislike them.

i've spent quite a bit of the day fighting with my jabber client (or more correctly, the jabber server i use), and have had little IM love going on. another big chunk of my day has been spent perusing the "Photoshop Phriday" and "Comedy Goldmine" threads over at somethingawful. if you like stuff that's funny… uh… you should go check it out.

my most recent obsession has become… polishing my boots. for about 2 years or so, i've pretty much never taken a polish brush to my combat boots (my only form of footware), so, needless to say, they were looking pretty rough. very little actual black left on them, and huge chunks taken out of the leather all 'round the heel & toes.

so, about three weeks ago, i broke out the ol' polish kit and gave 'em a quick once over. since then, i've been polishing them once or twice a week. today (i've now dubbed Wednesday as boot-polishing day–since i don't usually eat lunch on Wed. i can polish them on my lunch break.) i actually gave them a quick spit-shine. they seem to like it. i'm actually thinking about maybe taking some time tonight to finish the job… yeah, we're definitely getting to the obsession level with this whole polishing thing, i think.

ah well, never did seem to have a problem finding something with which to distract myself.

- 05:11 pm - PL :: 10 Comments
categories ::  Computers/Tech - Cool Links - Personal Projects - Work


2002.08.29 socially retarded butterfly:

ok gddamt. it's way past time for another post. only problem with that is, i'm not entirely sure what there is to write about.

i've been a little fucking social butterfly lately, or so it seems. it's weird after having gone a year or so where i barely left the house save for work. so, i've been out of the house quite a bit lately… hanging out.

i did manage to finally get home to princeton to visit the fam last weekend, and had an enjoyable visit there.

a couple old friends have resurfaced and that's where most of my time has been spent lately.

of course, work is keeping me busy, since i now have to be involved in nearly every single project that passes through our doors. no signs of slowing down there, either.

so, in the end, i've got to adjust. i'm going to have to start making more me time if i have any hope of accomplishing my many goals.

and, this is exactly what i did last night. i finally stole some time from my sleep schedule and built a gallery script for the lucifigous prick site. so, we've now got at least one collection of band photos up there. i'm planning on working up another batch tonight also.

i also have to get in touch with the guy that shot video for us at the show… i really wanna see how that turned out. it'll be weird to watch myself playing music, but weird in a fun way (i hope).

so, go check out the photos if you're so inclined. and if you're not so inclined, well, what the hell do i care?


- 09:17 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Family - Friends - Lucifigous Prick - Personal Projects - Work - x:13 Family


2002.08.16 pee in who's butt?:

well, what a helluva week.

i feel like i've just been running around crazy the whole time, accomplishing very little besides running around crazy.

in preparation for the show, the band had our normal practice on Sunday night, an extra practice on Monday night, normal practice on Tuesday night, then, of course, the show on Wednesday.

right now i'm trying to remember what i did last night. i stayed late at work (since i was three hours late going in), had dinner, read a comic or two, wrote yesterday's post, uh… talked on the phone for some lengthy amount of time… and i guess that was it.

tonight… more of the same. except tonight is Friday. this means that tonight is drinky-drink & hangout night at the bar. i missed last week's session because i ended up falling asleep around 10:30pm and sleeping 'til 10:30am on Saturday. This week i'm going to actually go out.

now, since nothing else exciting has been going on this week, and certainly not since yesterday's post, i'll leave you with this little blogger's cliche–the search strings.

August's winners:

i'm getting my ass boyfriend back showing myself off to everybody
pee in my butt
child-birthing photos

(that last one's not all that strange, i suppose, but i had to include one that leads to one of my posts. yeah, you see where i'm going with that comment.)

well, i'm off to visit with Mr. Beam, y'all have a good weekend.

- 09:32 pm - PL :: 3 Comments
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Comics - Drinking - Friends - Lucifigous Prick - Work