Thursday, June 27, 2013

More ideas that will never get made

TV Show:  Drama around the lives of intelligence agents that run missions from a central location (like CIA headquarters).  Usually spy shows focus on the agents that actually go around the world to run the field side of the ops, but this doesn't really make sense from a budgetary standpoint.  The field agents would more likely be local people, or at least stationed in the region, that run ops in those areas.  So, this focuses on the people directing these field agents, who will be recurrings and red shirts, from Langley or wherever.  Not just the spying side, but the politics of the office and how the stress and secrecy of their professional life effects their personal ones.

Movie: A virus infects the entire world.  Once a person is infected, if they go to sleep, they die.

Technology:  Touch screen technology integrated into synthetic skin, paired with a low powered shock system to stimulate the nerves of the related area on a person.  This would allow for transmission of touch sensation from an android to a human operator.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Increasing the speed is fun

It's always interesting when I crank up the speed on the treadmill.  I never know how I'm going to take it, no matter how long I've been at the lower speed.  Today, after about 10 minutes of bland 3 mph, I said, "heck, why not".  I cranked it up to 3.5.  It was nice for a while but after about 30 minutes I was like "yea, I'm not making another 30 minutes" so I went back to 3.  I might start working toward 3.2 again but I think 3.5 is still a bit off.  I hope to eventually get up to 5 and decrease my time on the treadmill (60 minutes @ 5mph ~= 90 minutes @ 3mph). 

Course it doesn't help that the humidity in the room skyrockets while I'm on the treadmill.  No matter how low it is when I get on it, my humidity/temp thingy says it's 60 something percent when I get off.  I can pretty much handle any temperature as long as the humidity is low.  60 is not low.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Another couple ideas that will never get made.

TV Movie: A famous pop star is going out with a normal person (secret girlfriend or newly met).  Girl gets pregnant.  All about how he freaks out and stuff.

Book series: History as told by a cyborg that lived through it.  A cyborg gets sent back in time and experiences some of the greatest events in history.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My weightloss is slowing

So much for this blog hitting the big time, showing everyone it's so easy to lose 80 pounds.  When I started, I was losing 3 lbs a week.  This week? .6 lbs.... Honestly, it's been dying over the past 3 weeks.  So not hitting my target by September.  My new, adjusted ETA is November, and that might be just as wrong.  For all I know, I'm not getting past 53 lbs lost.  Yes, I'm better off than I was 19 weeks ago, but still, I can't really expect to keep it up much longer if it goes this slowly.  I'd be surprised if I still have enough momentum to carry on past July.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My CableCARD stopped working again

So, as I've said before, I'm a TV addict.  I often have several shows on at the same time.  So, a few years ago, I got a TV tuner card that can record 4 channels at the same time.  There are only 2 problems with it.  One, it requires me to use Windows Media Center to watch live TV and record anything.  Windows Media Center SUCKS.  It sucks so much that pretty much no one uses it that doesn't have a CableCARD tuner.  So few people use it, Microsoft decided you have to pay $100 for it in Windows 8, when it's been free with Windows since it was created.  Second, it uses a CableCARD, so it relies on a component that you have to get from your cable provider (so you can't steal cable with it, not that I would).  It's not really a problem except once a year when it stops working; like it did this week.

It started a few days ago.  My tuner would stop working over night so I'd have to reboot to get it to work again.  I had this problem happen before that was unrelated to the CableCARD so I just scheduled a daily 4AM reboot and called it solved.  Today, I got off the treadmill after one episode of True Blood (rewatching last season cause of how odd it ended) to turn on Windows Media Center.  See, when I schedule back to back recordings on the same channel, there's a hiccup of a few seconds while WMC switches from one file to the next.  Usually I just watch the channel live in those cases and there's no hiccup then (there still is in the files though), so I turned it on so I could watch another ep of True Blood and not miss the beginning of the second ep of Save Me (I scheduled the first ep even though it was listed as a rerun in case it wasn't; the guide has a tendency of not updating when channels change their scheduling).

Anyway, long story short (too late) I turned on WMC and it said it had no signal.  Figuring it was just the tuners again (it's happened) I rebooted.  Still nothing.  So I had to call Verizon.  They're sending a new one.  Fortunately it's only going to take a couple days so it'll be here for the 10 hours of TV on Monday.  In the mean time I'll just use the TV top box.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Oasis is Gone

So, back in late October, there was this thing that hit my area.  They called it Sandy.  I was lucky, compared to some.  I lost power for a little over a week and had an accident that was only slightly related (was trying to turn off 17 only ended up in a gas line instead; got hit by a truck as I was turning out of it to get around).  Work never lost power but for the first couple days it was "essential personnel only".  During that time, the only source of power I had (other than my car) was a Verizon store that was on 17.  They never lost power and I was able to charge my phone there (the lack of reception killed the battery in it overnight the first night).  I saw "was" because I noticed, on the way home today, that it's closed.  Granted, I only went there for a couple of the nights of that week, the rest of the time I either put up without power or went to the McDonald's a little further down 17 that got power back soon after (or never lost power, but I didn't see it having power before that), but still, it's a bit of a shame.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Annoying Guy at Work

So, a while back, they were starting to hire a new guy at work.  I had only just started a few months before this.  They were looking for someone who could serve as a maternity substitute for one of the perms on the team.  I kind of got the impression that I could manage to take on the responsibility of this new role, without it overly taxing my current one, or they could more easily find someone to take my position and I could go into this new role.  I didn't say anything though, in part because I didn't want to draw attention to my limited workload and partly because I never saw the actual job description and partly because I had only just started there a few months prior.

Anyway, they hired someone long about in September.  The guy is from the Dominican Republic; English is one of many languages he speaks and his humor doesn't translate very well.  I honestly found him rather annoying from the first moment I met him, but I got used to him over time and, as long as I limited my exposure and was never alone with him for longer than a few minutes at a time, we got along fine.  Most other people got annoyed with him over time, to the point where they just couldn't stand him.  The four of us temps would still go down to get breakfast together and eat lunch together, despite nobody really liking him.

To make matters worse, he was rather incompetent at his job.  I'm not saying he was incompetent at everything or anything like that, but at the job he was hired to do, he was. He was meant to be a semi-collaborative developer but whenever he edited code or queries, he completely forgot what changes he made so people couldn't replicate it on the final products or test the code he did.  When he was given other tasks, they had to be explained to him several times and often he'd do something the way he incorrectly interpreted it.  It was almost like he wasn't that fluent in English.

Granted, most of these issues I got second hand.  Work wise, the only involvement I had with him was near the end and I was only having him test out some of my code because he got a later version of laptop (64bit to my 32bit) so it ran through it about 4 times as fast.  I also needed someone outside of me to test it out as this would probably be used by more people more often than some of my other code.

So, the point of this whole thing is, over the past couple months they've been trying him out on some of the more redundant tasks in the hopes that he'd be at least semi-useful at those.  He wasn't.  It got to the point that, except for running a few macros that are completely point and click (open this file, run this macro, copy files here), he wasn't doing anything.  This culminated in his being fired on Friday.

I got in to work today and found an email from one of the leads saying that Friday had been his last day.  It's always weird when someone is let go off of a team when they've been there a while and there wasn't really much definitive warning.  Yeah, I kind of figured he was going to go as they had been asking me to pick up some of his daily macro runnings, but no one straight out said "yes, we're firing him, he'll be gone by x".  That's the thing about contract work.  You hardly ever get any notice you're going to be let go (except occasionally when it's for cause, or maybe by rumors that I never hear), no severance, no nothing.  One day you have a job and things are fine, the next you are editing your resume.  One of the many reason why I either want to get on salary somewhere, win the lottery, or marry an aristocrat.  As it is, I'm stuck on contract work, and probably will be until I retire, cause that's the way the job market is heading.

I know, woe is me, he's the one that got fired.  I do feel sorry for the guy, but I won't miss him.

I've Been Absorbed (Spore)

So, I haven't really posted anything in a week or so.  This is partly due to nothing noteworthy happening and partly something else.  Every once in a while I get so involved in something that pretty much everything else (at least everything that isn't specifically scheduled) falls by the wayside.  I've still been going to work, walking the treadmill, eating, and sleeping; these things are in my schedule and as long as I keep that schedule they get done.  But everything else, including my TV watching, usually goes out the window.

This time around it's a game called Spore.  This is actually the second time this game has gotten me.  For those of you not familiar with the game, it's from the makers of the Sims, with similarly addictive tendencies.  The game basically takes you through a few stages of the evolution of a species and you get to control how it looks and what tendencies it has (within certain limits similar to how the Sims' person builder is, but with more options and slightly more control).  It's not as good as it sounds, it basically amounts to 4 minigames that have very little barring on the space age stage which has the most material.

Basically, I started playing it again cause the first time I played it I never got everything done in the space age I wanted.  There's the race called the Grox; their the only race that's not randomly generated, they live in the area around the center of the galaxy, and they're apparently the source of all evil in the galaxy.  They have about 2400 colony systems and I am currently working on destroying every one.  I've gotten at least 60 of them (I didn't start counting from the start) and intend to take the rest out.  It's a long term project so I'm going to not let it consume me as it did the first time around.  It got to the point where I was reluctant to play the game because that's all it was about and I was tired of it.  So, I figure as long as I limit how often I play it, and do a set number of systems while doing it, I won't burn out on it like the first time.