work { Resume

I've been updating my resume for sometime now. Not necessarily meaning I'm thinking of leaving my current employment, its just a habit I picked up from my old job. I update it or at least review it every six months whether it needs it or not.

But today I received an email from my new boss (who is in FL) asking to see a copy of my resume. Its odd only in that the culture of where I work, requests like this usually are never made. There are some on the team whom I'm willing to bet have not updated their resume in 30 years.

Major re-org at work. Not necessarily bad, but we will see what the future holds. The cynics, paranoids, tinfoil hats and doom-n-gloom crowd are already saying the end of the world is nigh. I don't think so. I've seen a lot of shake ups, hell my old job at the end was doing them as much as people change underwear. I'm not feeling/reading a malicious vibe in this, I think it may be genuine that the new boss just wants to get a feel for us. But new bosses are interesting, they're blanks. You don't know their seriousness, their humor. I think some at work will be burned by this and some will probably do CLMs (Career Limiting Moves) because they haven't realized the organization is maturing and with maturity comes harsh realities. You either adapt with them or your continued employment becomes optional.

casual_friday, part 2 { Because I feel like it...

'Akuma to tenshi no kiss' from the Bubblegum Crisis series (also Hurricane Live! 2034)

(Bubblegrum Crisis (both 2033/34 and 2040), with Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, Patlabor, is one of my favorite anime series.)

art { Monsters by Mail

My zombie is on the way!

I ordered an original work of art from Monsters by Mail. When I saw this, I knew I had to have one for the home office.

He's awesome. He's entitled 'Zombie Shawn'.

Its eerie...like looking in a mirror after drinking heavy the night before...

casual_friday { 'Pray For Daylight'

(made by Stone Soup Films)

(note this is similar, but not the same as the version of the film I watched last night)

Last night I had the honor of being invited to the big screen premiere of 'Pray For Daylight' a work of love made by my long time friend and old co-worker Avindair of Northern Misfit.

(sorry my cell phone camera sucks Avindair)

I remember when Avindair started making movies. I was immensely happy for him (and his wife, it was a family and friends affair) and supportive. He inspires me to perhaps someday make my own movie (which like writing a novel, is a secret ambition of mine). One of my favorite movies is 'The Thing That Happened'.

An absurdist black and white comedy, in french, spoofing the pretentious art hose movie. 'Pray For Daylight' started out as a 26 minute short. This was the movie I thought I was going to see last night, but Avindair and his cast and crew had redone the film into a feature length (72 minute) film. So when Nerdwife and I (and Allthingsspring) were invited to the new version, on the big screen at my favorite theater in the world, of course we were going to come, despite living over an hour away.

5 word review: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

Nerdwife and I found the movie to be great, and campy, and funny, and serious. All things it was meant to be. I thought the story was interesting and the cast, despite being amateurs (as in they don't do this for a living), breathed life into their characters and their dialog. It looked great on the big screen. As an aficionado of the genre (vampires, horror, B movies, etc.) I give this movie an A+ and thank Avindair and GeekGoddess for inviting us and making this film.

Good work guys!

It was a beautiful night with a full moon.

A perfect night for a vampire movie.


machinima { Guards

Some of the best WoW machinima I've seen yet.


Linking {Thought blogs

Have recently discovered the following, presented for your inspection:

an interesting discourse in defense of the arts, and other things

a political manifesto created by Norman Geras (see first link) and others

Observations {Thinking too hard

On our recent excursion to parts south, we drove through Carthage (Missouri), named for the old-world site which was subject to the Punic wars and a subsequent involuntary amnesia- most primary historical documents were lost. Carthage, MO was itself been the site of two bloody Civil War conflicts, and is now the proud home of the Precious Moments Museum. I think accidental postmodernism is the saddest, and truest, kind.


1st Time Blogger

This is my first time blogging. I didn't want Geistx dropping me from the blog again for being quiet and anyhow this might be a good way to vent. So you might be hearing more from me . Later.


investigative_reporting { Undercover at Rochesterfest

Every June the city of Rochester is afflicted by a whirlwind of food, music, 'fun', and sweets. Its called Rochesterfest. I went two years ago and was not impressed, but this year Nerdwife had heard rumor that there was a vegetarian stand and asked if I would take her. So we went. I had the beautiful leg of turkey pictured here.

Nerdwife had an excellent vegan burrito, which I had a picture of, but due the clunkiness of my cell phone's save menu, I lost.

We finished the foray with a chocolate malt from the Olmsted County dairy association.

warcraft { personal gripe


Ah I feel better and can move on.

work { I think I've become stupider

I haven't been able to stand being in the office for the last few weeks. They have been recarpeting the floor and something either in the carpet, the solvents or the glue makes me feel weak, short of breath and gives me massive headaches. That can't be good.

casual_friday { 'I feel like a child in a cold cold war'

Frente, 'Labour of Love'

(I miss early-mid 90s music)


solstice { Its the first day of summer...

Today is the Summer Solstice. Nature celebrated by dumping on us copious amounts of rain in the form of a violent thunderstorm that waxed and waned all night. We even had hail, thankfully small, around 2am. Nerdwife and I went to see Ocean's 13 (it was an ok movie). When we left the theater, it was 9:30pm, just after dusk but you could see a dark delimiter in the sky, half of it was dark as pitch with what appeared to be balls of lightning rolling through it. The other half had a soft, fuzzy blue glow. It was spectacular. The rain started in force after midnight. Lots of thunder, lots of lightning, but little wind and lots of rain. So much that our gutters could not keep up, and once again this year we had the canals of Rochester in the street. I enjoy watching storms and the raw power of them. It sounds like the counties west and north of us were hit a lot harder and the Cities had a pretty violent show too.

I'm glad I cut the grass before we went to the movie.


eat_club { Mushroom Gnocchi

I cooked mushroom gnocchi for the first time last night. This is a dish Nerdwife can make in her sleep. I had a bit of guidance from her, but here is the recipe:

Items you will need:
1large saucepans
1 pot large enough to boil 2 packages of gnocchi in
1 knife
1 strainer
2 packages of potato Gnocchi
1 bottle of white wine
a little rosemary
1 small onion (red)
1 small head of fresh garlic (but dried will work too)
1 cup of vegetable broth
some pepper
some salt
some olive oil
1 bunch of large spinach (or chard, any tough green that can been cooked)
copious numbers of crimini (baby portabella) mushrooms, I used ~25, sliced

What you do:

Put some oil into a large saucepan with some salt and pepper, dice up the onion and garlic and add as well as all the mushrooms. Do not go overboard with the oil, as the mushrooms will absorb it rather readily. Cook this for some time, until the mushrooms are hot and soft, maybe even slightly rubbery, but not crisp. While the mushrooms are cooking, boil water with a little sea salt (or regular salt) and add the gnocchi. Boil until the gnocchi float to the top. When this is ready remove the gnocchi from the water.

Once the mushrooms have achieved the desired tenderness (and some stuff should also have blackened to the bottom of the pan), quickly dump in 1 glass of white wine and the cup of vegetable broth and stir. This should deglazed the goodness off the bottom of the pan and into the liquid. Boil this mixture on high heat until about 50% of the liquid has evaporated off. At this point add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts (only a few minutes). Once the spinach has wilted, add the gnocchi in and stir and mix until hot. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese grated over the top and the rest of the bottle of wine. Enjoy!

Other ingredients recommended to mix things up:

red pepper for a kick
red wine instead of white wine
broccoli or carrots instead of spinach
bok choy, ginger, orange and soy sauce

You can basically experiment the hell out of this recipe. Note though this is a vegetarian recipe (we use vegan vegetable broth) so if you decide to meat it up, you will need to watch the olive oil.

blog { Young Stranger

Another friend and member of the nerdpod has a blog. Check out Young Stranger.


casual_friday { 'Code Monkey'

'Code Monkey' - music by Jonathan Coulton, movie by Mike Spiff Booth


differences { US vs Europe...bang vs boobies

Today while ingesting my morning bit of OmniNerd where they were discussing Vermont's rumblings about becoming the American version of Quebec (as in a state that wants to cede from the Union). I noticed a sidebar discussion titled 'The Trans-Atlantic Divide Over Gun-n-Boobs', and well I had to click it.

I thought the poster made a valid point. America is obsessed with repressing sex, yet we openly embrace violence, alpha-male mentality, and the assorted 'macho' mannerisms. I know a lot of this must stem from the earliest foundation (and European colonization) was put together by a bunch of Puritans who though Europe was too decadent and the love appendage(s) are for procreation, not recreation.

Make love not war.


news { the Italian Ninja Menace


Though the immediate danger has subsided, Interpol is worried this ninja may be part of a larger ninja conspiracy. Experts fear ninjas have infiltrated numerous aspects of society and are waiting for the proper time to unleash their reign of terror. When asked about their goals or motivations, Interpol ninja expert Robert Hamburger said "the purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people." In the U.S., Congressional Democrats remain skeptical, and have asked that America open a dialogue with samurai and pirates to help resolve the impending ninja crisis.

(note: I read the 'Real Guide to Ultimate Power' by Robert Hamburger, I recommend it if you want to learn how to 'flip out and kill people'. I think I did a review of it...well ok not a review, I basically say the same thing then I say now...I'm becoming derivative...)


politics { 'Enhanced Interrogation Techniques'

Video speaks for itself:

'No on expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

warcraft { a day with my flying mount

On of the main things I looked forward to when turning level 70...the flying mount.

Krieghund and I on our first flight.

I flew mine all around, seeing new things, and some old things, from a new angle.

The attention to detail is well done. In Nagrand where chunks of the earth float, some have skeletons.

I soared with dragons.

In Netherstorm, the zone is almost destroyed. The remains of a sea and a port float in the Twisting Nether.

Nearby a spaceships hovers ominously.

If you search hard enough in Nagrand in the mountains, you can find the Warcraft day care.

I decided to finish my tour with my cat watching the sunset in Nagrand. Perhaps one of my favorite zones, certainly one of the more beautiful.

I have many more and I will share them over time.


lunch_break { musings about things, part ???

While I sit eating lunch, I have my office free to myself, something rare since I share an office. As I sat munching I decided to take the opportunity to catch up on some blogging. These will be kinda of random and will cover a wide range of things.

Because of the laws of conservation of energy and matter. You are what you eat. Literally. At our most base we are the things of stars, that is cosmic dust, hydrogen, arranged in interesting ways to form who we are. Eating is the most intimate thing we can do with an organism. Be it flora or fauna. We take bits of it and incorporate it into ourselves. The fat is used to make our fat stores, or broken down to provide chemical energy to allow us to exist. But the atoms that made up that food, make up us. From our mother's milk to the ham and mayo wrap I am eating. This concept is something I've pondered for years. This is also why I try to buy food that is organic, or at least if not organic, I know where it came from and how it was made. This is especially the case while I eat this ham and mayo wrap that comes from Sodex'Ho. I don't know where the pieces that make it up come from, nor do I know who made it. I do know, if the label can be trusted that it is 776calories and 46.5g of fat. I assume the bulk of this fat comes from the good things in it, the cheese, the mayo, and the fatty ham. I'm eating this and water, though I make make some green tea. I'm trying really hard (which is very hard for me) to have a diet of around 1500-1700calories (~25% of normal diet, basing off a 2000calorie daily diet) and I'm exercising more, granted not as much as I did last year. So with breakfast, which I am ashamed to say was a caffeinated, skimm mocha, I'm probably at if not close to my 1500cal limit. I don't plan on doing those hardcore diets where you do less than healthy things like cut out carbs, but rather just be more aware of what I eat and reduce the amount. This will be hard for me on Nerd Night where we prepare feasts of good things for us such as mountains of fruit, meat, cheese, gummis, etc. But I will try.

A lot of things have been happening in the weeks I have been silent on the topic. Some good, most bad. Here's a roundup of a few things:

  • Immigration - stalled, not defeated. Depending upon where you live and what news sources you consume, this issue has different meanings for you. I myself lean towards the accepting those who are here, making them legal (and charging them taxes, giving them benefits, education, etc.) because a rising tide lifts all boats. Then provide a reasonable guest-worker program. Anything to abolish this neo-feudal indentured servitude that we have now, where employers exploit workers for cheap, workers who work in dangerous conditions (like meat packing) and whose children go to school, but often can't go into higher education. From a global perspective education is fundamental to our continued existence. Also we need to challenge this fallacy that undocumented workers are doing jobs Americans won't do, that's pure BS. They are doing jobs that American companies won't pay a livable wage to do, and the companies are being rewarded, not the workers.

  • Iraq - still a shitty mess.

  • World Bank - I can't believe Wolfiwitz got off with a severance package and the ability to say he did nothing wrong. WTF?

  • Paris Hilton - scratch that, she's already received more attention that she deserves. But this fiasco has illustrated the disconnect in our justice system. We've come a long way, but this shows we have a long ways yet to go.

  • Well this about ends the time I have to blog, I need to finish eating and get to a team meeting.


    wow { So it happened...

    DING! 70!!!

    Tonight when I logged in, I was 242k/779k experience from level 70 (end game in World of Warcraft). I thought it would take me all weekend at least. My friends on line though felt it could be done and we're encouraging and helpful. At 02:22 6/09/2007, I dinged level 70. (Wow, I just realized what day it is too, 6/9/2002 was the day I went into the hospital with an unknown illness that was diagnosed on 6/11/2002 as AML, but I digress). Much awaits me now as Pernox in the game. Flying mounts, end game instances, attunement quests, helping out lower level guild members, fun.

    Many thanks go to:

    Nerdwife - for understanding and putting up with my hobby.
    Krieghund - my chum and questing buddy. The bulk of tonight was because of him. He helped me quest from 242k XP to 743k.
    Mcshammikins and Jm - the two guildmates who were there when it happened and helped quest with me the final quest to gain that last step. It was the 'Wanted: Annihilator Servo!' quest from the B.O.O.M. Mechanic in Area 52, Netherstorm.
    Beefyweefy - another guildmate and grouping companion who was there for parts of it.

    Ah now to bed.


    casual_friday { because I'm in that kind of mood

    Loreena McKennit, 'Mummer's Dance'


    wow { lvl 69...one more to go

    I'm there, 1 level away from 'end game'. I'm 1/3 of the way to 70 (thanks to a successful run of the Mana-Tombs). I'm looking forward to life at 70.

    Flying Mount (aka Windrider): Tawny Windrider (its a 'wyvern', but wyverns in Warcraft are not dragon-like, they are more like flying kitties with scorpion tails, more like manticores in my opinion)
    Epic Flying Mount (aka Swift Windrider): Purple Swift Windrider (they basically look like the regular windrider with nice looking barding added); I also plan to quest for the Netherdrake. But that will require about a months worth of daily quests.

    End Game Instance and phat loot. I have two daggers I have my eye on: The Ashtongue Blade, and Claw of the Netherwing, bot quest rewards in Shadowmoon Valley. This is until I can get the epic blade from the Scryers.

    Epic gear. I've never had any gear better than blue (rare) level. My guild doesn't run instance except Karazahn, so I've never had any purple gear. I can attain reputation with factions, mainly the Scryer, that have purple gear I would like.


    work { sense in you much fear

    New interns start this week at work. They're so cute when they're young. Then somewhere along the line they grow up into bitter cynics.

    Time to get the soul-sucking machine ready.

    event { Buffy sing-a-long

    On Saturday, June 2nd, at midnight the members of the nerdpod went to the 'Buffy: The Vampire Slayer' sing-a-long at the Riverview Theater (of all the theaters in all the world I've been to, this is my favorite). It was at midnight, so we went over after a particularly brutal D&D session (1/2 of our party was killed). We were thinking it was going to be maybe 40-60 people. The Riverview can hold around 700 people...and it was almost full. The energy in the room was amazing. The Buffy sing-a-long was put together by a group that does this weekly in New York, but this summer they are touring. Think 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' except much more fun. Props were handed out, and audience participation was required...and FUN! I sang along, the rest of the nerds sang along. It was about a 2 hour event, so I rolled into home back in Rochester around 4am, still jazzed.

    It was an amazing collection of people from all walks of life, gender, race, income, age...singing together, in perfect nerd.

    investigative reporting { origins of the WoW female Night Elf dance

    For those who play WoW did you ever wonder where those dances came from? Well in some cases its easy, MC Hammer's dance is ubiquitous, and it is the male orc's. The male undead dance is a generic rock out. The female Blood Elf is Brittney Spears' 'Toxic' dance. But has anyone wondered where the female Night Elf's dance originated? Well I had that question and we at Team CubeZoo rarely shirk from a challenge, especially ones regarding useless pop culture trivia. I had to 'suffer' through many YouTube videos in french to find the right one from the singer Alizee that would adequately demonstrate the moves. Here it, Alizee 'j'en ai manne', note the actually moves occur towards the end of the video, so you will have to 'suffer' through it.


    musings { the labels I've had

    Sitting here, downloading a myriad of music from iTunes to scratch my audiophile itch (after having downloading a wide selection of 'Wizard Rock') to acquire more music I miss from the 80s I sat pondering the many names I've been called over the course of my life. Why did I do this? I have no clue.

    In no order:

    smarty pants
    know it all
    cliff claven
    four eyes
    nice guy
    'friend' (as in I only want to be friends)
    best friend
    good friend
    lead (as in team lead)
    problem solver
    trouble maker
    well read (what?)
    short sighted
    long sighted
    Senior Systems Administrator/Engineer/Architect
    Help Desk Operator
    Technical Analyst
    Senior Systems Engineer - Engineer (OS)
    Senior Systems Programmer
    drop out
    huggy bear
    has been
    special ed student
    special K
    cancer patient

    And many many many many more. I don't know really where I was going with this, I'm sure I will be called more as my life goes on. If anyone is reading, share what you've been called. Every label above has a story, but most of those stories will only be told over a beverage.

    casual_friday { 'got a letter from the government the other day...'

    'opened it, read it, it said they were suckers...'

    Tricky, 'Blacksteel'

    (its a cover of a Public Enemy song, and it kicks ass!)