Tuesday, November 30, 2004

First of all let me start by typing a little note to a little someone I (and Andy) call Skippy. Eehhh hem (that's me clearing my throat). "YOU SURE AS HECK BETTER NOT BLOW THINGS WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND! I ONLY PUT UP WITH YOU FOR 3 YEARS AND SHE'S WILLING TO DO IT FOR LIFE! SHE'S EVEN GETTING YOU CHRISTMAS GIFTS (Stargate SG-1 on DVD might be a good suggestion, just a heads up)!" All righty. The funny thing is said person probably doesn't even read my blog anymore and sometimes I wonder if he reads his girlfriend's. But I still love the guy. Honestly how can you not? You know Andy and were talking about the whole group living in a how together and being our own reality TV show. We obviously have the drama (way more than on other reality shows) but we both agreed it wouldn't meet its potential unless Hillner was there. Just keep that in the back of your mind if you happen to come across this some day.

So here's my other beef (there's a pun there, keep reading and find out what it is). Sometimes it's hard to fathom the world we live in and here's why. Probably one of the most disgusting things that can ever happen to a person is for you to walk into a 50-some colleague's area to talk about work. Said colleague sees you coming and tells you in a very serious tone, "Hey [insert name here]! I have something for you." Then without any warning what-so-ever said colleague squints his eyes, bites his teeth and lets a monstrous one rip! No matter how disgusting this occurrence is, there is nothing to do but laugh your frickin' head off. Why is this so funny? I wish I know but if you can picture this happening to you and you're not laughing out loud just by thinking about it, then perhaps you lost your sense of humor. Which is another thing I find hard to fathom . . .

IM Quote of the Day: What's this tampon doing behind my ear? ... And where did i put my pencil??? -- KerBear3133

Monday, November 29, 2004

So I decided I'd try to appease the snow gods ergo I slapped the ski racks on my car yesterday. We've got the precipitation; all we need is the cold weather. Doug, a fellow Workplace IT guru, and Ski Foo extraordinaire has been doing a snow dance for the past few weeks each morning after he gets up. I figured I needed to jump on that bandwagon as well. I hear The Knob is under new ownership this year. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that yet. I like the back yard feel of the place and a busy day at The Knob is like a rainy day at Ski Roundtop or Seven Springs. There's talk about adding more slopes and some more pizzazz around the place, and I think that could be a good thing. As long as they keep that no-man's country aura and Stembogan Bowl, I'll be a happy boarder myself.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. How 'bout them Stillers!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

I'm not really into giving shout-outs, so I'm not going to. Sorry people. Anywho, today was the big Volleyball Tournament at the ProCare Sports Complex in Bedford, PA. I had a fantastic time! It was a fours competition and there were 10 teams competing. Our team (team Darla named for the captain of the team) did quite well. In fact, come play-off time we were undefeated! This mostly due to our little (not very secret) maneuver called "Set the Ball to Tim!" Yeah, you put it up, Tim puts it down and like none other! Oh yeah, did I mention he also blocks pretty much everything too? With him playing middle front, I took a new place called outside hitter. Needless to say, I feel as though I played pretty well. In fact the whole team did well I thought. It took us some games (okay it took me some games) to get used to each other's locations but once we did we worked pretty well together. Once we got into the play-offs though our not-so-secret maneuver wasn't working too well since the people we were playing against could somehow on occasion block Timmy and even more amazingly not be blocked by Tim. Despite the loss, I had tons of fun and hope Rick James (that would be me by the way; don't ask me why I was being called that, it just sort of came out of no where) can make an appearance again with the same people. Here's to hoping . . .

Friday, November 26, 2004

So I’ve been tasked to discover some .NET coding standards for The Workplace. Today I finally got some time to do some research on the internet for this and came across some pretty interesting things. First of all let me point out that today was Black Friday and I was one of roughly 15 people at The Workplace. Do you know how motivated someone is when there are only 15 people in The Workplace? Not very to say the least. A few of us were ready to go play some football outside come 100PM. But hey, I was able to end the day with minimal work completed. Hey, everybody I’ve been designing software for for the last 3 weeks has been laid off. They’re in no rush anymore, and there are people at The Workplace I can know a little better . . .

Oh yeah, back to my research. So while roaming thru endless documents about older VB standards I kept seeing code snidbits with the variables “foo” and “bar.” It wasn’t too hard for me to get distracted and begin research on why people were using these dummy variables in code examples. If you at all interested in learning about foobar (not FUBAR (there will be no dirty language on this web site!)) then check out this link for an RFC document (that’s a standards document by they way for those of you who don’t know about RFCs) about the metasyntactic variables. Wikipedia also has some interesting insights!

By the way, look for the words foo and bar (but probably not baz or qux or quux or quuux or . . . well, you get the idea) to start appearing in blog entries.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Big layoffs at The Workplace today. Over 130 employees! I should probably not mention too much about this, but hey, it was on The News tonight so I feel I shouldn't get into too much trouble, plus I don't know more than The News stated anyway. The crazy part is, I've been working with a decent amount of those people lately on our newest project and now it seems like our project has been dramatically down-sized thanks to the changes at The Workplace. Wish we would have known before two weeks ago. That would have been quite helpful. But oh well.

In other news, Julie and I went to go hear Barney sing in County Chorus yesterday. I'm told the group as a whole wasn't as good as last year, but I thought they did pretty well. If I could have singled Barney out, I'm sure she did great! However, I couldn't even see her thanks to Big Hair Bun Girl in front of her. Oh well. Julie and I had fun and then ate pizza afterwards. Why Barney refuses to eat pizza is beyond me. I'm one for health foods as well, but you just can't pass up pizza. She'll learn once she goes to college. Although, I guess when Pizza Delivery Guy says to you, "Dude you're going to turn into a pizza," you may be eating a bit too much . . .

Monday, November 22, 2004

Finally an evening of good volleyball playing! I always seem to play better with less than 6 on a team. Then I don't feel like I'm getting in the way. Diving is always fun and I just have lots more room to do it when there are only 5 people playing.

Other than volleyball not much else is going on. Tomorrow it looks like I'll be Solder Slave for a day. I've got about 18 little circuit boards to whip up for new time clocks that are going out to one of our daughter companies (by the way, why is it a daughter company and not a son company?). They aren't really involved. The board is just a proto-board so I've got to solder in all the leads and what-would-be traces. Speaking of soldering boards and traces, it looks like the Messiah Engineering Department got a brand spankin' new circuit board milling machine! How cool is that?! Back in my day, we had to use chemicals and dark rooms to make a printed circuit board. The miller (making no referance to my sister and her husband) is about 1000 times better than chemicals with more reliable traces (oh the problems we had with senior project) and can even do milling for surface mount stuff! I feel like I'm missing out. You feel like I'm a loser now after reading this, so it's all good.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

How 'bout them Lions! What a football game! Just in case you missed the Penn State - Mich. State game, Penn State slaughtered the Spartans 37-13! I was supposed to go to the game with my friend Kate, who's a big Mich. State fan (unfortunate for her), but unfortunately work kept tied to home. I was able to poke my head up from time to time to watch a few plays (all the interceptions! It was great! What high school do the Spartans play for?), but I spent most of the time doing coding for work. Our latest project has Ashley and I quite bogged down and we both took work home to do for the weekend in hopes of being caught up to where people would like us to be next week. I was supposed to go to Erie, PA on Friday for work, but we've been so busy, that has been pushed back to next week some time (hopefully not Turkey Day). I'll most likely code tomorrow as well while I watch the Stillers (yes Janet, I know I spell it incorrectly, but that's how it's pronounced) but I'll be sure to watch enough of their slaughter giving as well.

Friday, November 19, 2004

All right! When's the snow getting here?! I mean it's mid-November and I haven't even seen a flake yet. I guess this just means I have to start doing my snow dance every morning. Lucky you, you don't have video of that, nor does it even exist!

Hmmm, I guess that's all I really have to say right now . . .

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Nothing like a 600AM wakeup page is there? Well, not when you're used to getting up at 700AM. It took me 15 minutes to fix a problem over the phone, and then another 40 to fall back asleep. You do the math, my alarm was not very welcome. But anywho, the rest of the day went well and here I am typing away. Tuesday Ashley and I released a test version of our latest software that allows us to control a plant for those giant I-beams used in making bridge decks and such. The beauty of this new application is the ability to control everything from anyway in the world! All you have to do is access a certain web page and you get live steam temperatures and you can open and close any valve, or even schedule a cure for a minute from now or a year from now. It's pretty exciting to see the tests and the guys using it like it even more. There's still a lot of work to be done on the system, but preliminary tests show great results! It sort of makes the last couple months worth while. Now (and since Tuesday) I've got lots of time to spend at our on-site location. It's a great environment! Extreme heat, high decibels, tons of dust, and I have to be inhaling some sort of gas because the air just isn't smelling right. What can I say, I make things work, and it gives me satisfaction.

In other news, Vikki has reminded me Solstivus has indeed brought its wonderful miracles once again. The beauty about Solstivus Miracles is that they can be personal miracles. Of course, if it is indeed a great miracle such like the original 15 Solstivus Miracles (all I can remember of them is one had to do with a flaming cutting board . . .) then it will be ordained by The Founders of Solstivus, but you can have personal Solstivus Miracles. In fact, some of those turn out to be better (hinting at the 30 odd miracles of my college senior year).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Boy was Peg's Diner open for business today! For those of you who don't work at The Workplace (all of you most likely) we have a small cafeteria there run by a women named Peg (hence the name Peg's Diner) who makes us lunch everyday for free! It's not a fancy lunch, just some soup, salads, sandwiches and/or hot meal. Well, today was a special treat. Peg's Diner was open for breakfast! I'm talking eggs, sausage, ham, pancakes, potatoes, muffins, biscuits, all the stuff! Then, to top that, we had a Thanksgiving feat for lunch! I'm talking turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, the whole works! And yeah body was it good! It'll be quite some time before I eat another breakfast and lunch like that. Here's to working 30 minutes from the nearest restaurant so The Workplace makes it for you!

By the way, if you haven't heard, the first 3 seasons of Seinfeld are being released on DVD at the end of the month! If your not buying them, then either you have no sense of humor or like to think you don't.

Monday, November 15, 2004

This just in. Tiles A and B are the same color! That's WHOHAW you say? See for yourself. Copy the image into MSPaint and move the tile. With pictures like this, it's no wonder men only know the 16 colors in a Crayola crayon box!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. How 'bout them Stillers!!!
Here we are at Monday once again. You'd think someone would do something about that some day. Anywho, this past weekend proved to be pretty fun despite some issues. Saturday I helped my friend Kate move a few miles away from her current place. I'm not quite sure how her new roommate's dad and I compared to the small Mexican boys that brought Kate's queen size bed in her old place, but I think we did a bang up job considering the room we had to work with. Come 600PM Saturday evening I was dead tired. Moved all day with only donuts to eat and coffee to drink in the morning. That didn't stop me from playing some Frisbee with Roscoe and Moose for 2 hours though. Thanks to the FlashFlight we threw well into the dark! Once my throwing arm was completely dead we headed out for some dinner at Damon's. It was a good time. Even ate with Scary Sarah. Sorry Sarah, it's nothing personal, everyone has their nicknames. It could be worse. People could call you Moose! I had some wings and chicken tenders. After a little upset stomach, Roscoe, Kate and I headed back to Kate's new place and played a little Life and had a few drinks.

After I racked up in Life (and I do mean racked up here! Heck they were lawyers and doctors and all I had was a university degree. It's too bad they didn't keep winning the stock market or finding rare art collections worth $120,000!) we all hit the sack. I wasn't laying down for more than 10 minutes when I got this awful feeling in my stomach. To make a long (and disgusting) story short, I spent the next hour or so introducing myself to Katie's toilet and bathroom floor. It's been 15 years since I last threw up due to illness. I was a little upset with myself for ending that streak, but I guess the lesson here is if you think you ate some bad food, don't wash it down with a couple of drinks.

Needless to say, it took me until today to feel up to my normal eating habits (which is basically eating anything I can get my hands on during a meal). Although currently I find chicken completely unappealing, I'm sure it won't be too long before I'm checking out those suicidal buffalo wings again. Let's just hope the next ones I have come out the proper end on the way out.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Okay, so volleyball season one has come to an end and I feel like hanging up the towel. We were the 1st rank team and lost in the semi-finals to the 4th rank team. And we lost in great fashion, two games in a row. The only relief I got from the game was my playing was much better than last Friday (though that isn't saying too much). It was a big disappointment and let down as our team just didn't play well tonight. Sunday better go a heck of a lot better or I'm seriously going to hang up my shoes.

With all the crappy playing I've been doing lately I decided to step it up and start some training. In addition to my running days, I've added sit-up, pull-up, leg-lift days on Mondays, Wed, and Fridays. Soon will be Increase Jumping 101 added as well. But I need to find a sure workout to increase my vertical at least 6". Hey, it can be done. Karch has something like a 42" vertical. And he's 44 years old! Good night!!

On a final note I've seriously been considering growing my hair out for Locks of Love. This is a very risky move, but I have all this thick hair that is going to waste. Might as make someone happy with it. I'll keep you posted. If I do decide to do this, the growing won't begin until 2005. I've got a hair cut next Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

So, I know I'm killing myself with this one, but most of you know, I am a Star Wars freak. And I feel it is my job to inform you all that the new Episode III teaser trailer has been released! You can catch it at StarWars.com! So far it's lookin' good. The final episode in Lucas' long 6 Star Wars episode career (maybe a little too long) should answer tons of questions (like why some Jedi disappear and others don't (this is one mystery that has even plagued the most dedicated enthusiast such as myself)). So in any event, I'm sure I'll get a lot of heat from this entry, mostly from Andy, but hey, I got him on the Stargate SG-1 bandwagon so I don't want to hear it. Okay, so maybe a healthy dose of sci-fi is okay, but yes, I'll be the first to admit, knowing Luke Skywalker's son's name is Ben (named after Ben Kenobi) and that those aliens in the Cantina playing the music are the species known as the Bith doesn't really get you too far.
Well, it was a somber day today. Today there was another IT employee that no longer works at The Workplace. It wouldn't bother me so much if I knew why these people no longer work there. Everything seems to be going great with them, then BAM! They are gone. If things work like they did last time, I guess Ashley and I will be picking up even more projects . . .

Well, I guess that's enough of that. Hmmm, I don't really know what else to say at the moment. I guess some words of encouragement to everyone out there reading this that has had some somber moments lately. Have faith in yourself and trust in the Lord that he will shape and mold your life in a way that is fitting to His plan. He will delivery you and give you all you ever ask for. All He asks for is a little faith and trust.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Let me start off with this: If you haven't read Christen's blog entry for November 05, 2004, you are completely missing out! Maybe you have to know her, but that entry just made me laugh pretty darn hard. And there's nothing more stupid than laughing out loud in front of only a computer.

Second, it seems to me that Fall has completely disappeared! We apparently skipped fall and jumped right to Winter because it's pretty darn cold and windy outside! Today it was about 35 degrees. And that is not Celsius people! I say bring it on though, except add a little snow here.

By the way, how 'bout those Stillers!!??

Monday, November 08, 2004

Oh joyous day! Julie Brady has joined the blogging community! You'll notice her link over there on the right hand side with the others. I'm not a huge fan of the color scheme, but hey, we can't all be perfect. As long as she blogs a little more often that some of those other bloggers...I'll be happy.

Anyway, speaking of Julie. We hit up the Jeremy Camp[Stay] concert last night at Lancaster Bible College. I only own one CD of his, but it's good, and so was the concert. I'm pretty sure I can say that it was the best concert I've ever been too. Now keep in mind it's only the third one I've been to, but it will be tough to beat. Next time I hear he's in town, I will definitely have to go hear him again. We were only about 6 rows back from the stage and it was quite the show. It's great to see artists actually worship instead of just sing. In my mind it's two completely different things. Last night was just pure worship and sometimes that's just really hard to find.

Finally, I was doing the normal reading in the bathroom stall today and came across today's quote of the day. For me, these words seemed to sum up parts of my life. I hope they may be as meaningful for you as well.

Quote of the Day: We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The state traveler has finally come to a stop . . . For a day. Thursday I left for Buffalo, NY for a business meeting Friday morning. The drive was pretty awful. Ever travel on Rt. 219 for 4 hours straight at night an in the rain and blistering wind? I wouldn't recommend it. Anywho, after at least 2 U-turns, we got to our hotel where we checked in and then headed out for some dinner. Luckily, The Boss is a wing fanatic just like me and his theory is the same as mine, "The hotter the better!" So when you're in buffalo, the place for wings is the Anchor Bar, the birthplace of the Buffalo Wing. Luckily, they had 4 different styles of wings, mild, spicy, hot and my favorite, suicidal. The Boss and I got 25 suicidal to split between us and another 25 of hot to cool our mouths down. Those were some good wings! The nose was running, the eyes were watering and the finger tips were burning. Even though The Boss and I were both sniffing for the whole meal, we both agreed we were a little disappointed with the suicidal. I was told there's a place in Altoona that has much much hotter wings. I may need to hit that place up next. In any event, I had great wings and beer at the original Anchor Bar.

So yesterday, after our meetings, we left Buffalo for The Workplace. Then I immediately left for Annapolis, MD to place some volleyball with my head coach from camp, Kelly. After a total of 8 hours in the car, and 25 buffalo wings digesting, I didn't play too hot. In fact, I think it's pretty safe to say I just about embarrassed myself on the court. Here is what I blame my horrfically awful playing on.

1) I was in the car for the last 8 hours straight!
2) It was 1100PM and let's face it, the later it gets, the worse I get.
3) In 3 hours, we only played 2 games to 11. When do you even have a change to get in the grove?!
4) I hadn't eaten since 1200PM while still in Buffalo.

So those are my excuses. We tried to drown the evening out with a little Duck Pin Bowling afterwards, but someone was misinformed about times and we only got to bowl for 30 minutes. Oh well, This morning we're heading out to IHOP so hopefully I'll get a chance to drown my sorrows there. In any event, tomorrow it's back to PA for a Jeremy Camp concert at 700PM! Hillner will be there so it should be interesting.

Finally, Don't forget to root for the Stillers! GO STILLERS!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

So I've been watching Decision 04 for the last 2 hours and 45 minutes and I am still just as clueless about how they project the winner of each state now as when I started watching. Some of these states have only 2% of their ballots recorded and they have a projected winner! Does anyone else find this incredibly inaccurate?? I keep hearing about these computer models. Now, if you don't remember Hurricane Ivan, well you've been living in a dream world. If you know even a little bit about weather technology, you know that computer models also project hurricane storm tracks. If you kept tabs on all the hurricanes this year like I did you would know a new computer model for the storm track came out many times a day! Many times Hurricane Ivan was projected to not even touch Florida! But, eventually you're prediction time frame becomes so small that my pet spider monkey could make an accurate projection. Let's hope these computer models choosing the president are a little more precise (though I don't know how, and keep in mind I am a computer engineer by degree) than my pet spider monkey.
Let's talk about the election, as it is election day here in The States. It's all over the news, so I figured I'd put in my two cents worth, with an outcome prediction to boot. First of all, we all know the results of the presidential election are going to be close, but it's going to be a different close than 2000. Back in 2000, the election was close because no one really cared. Just like any random samplings of two different options results in a 50-50 split, so too did last election. Most young adults my age didn't vote because they didn't care. "What does politics have to do with my life," they would say. Unfortunately I had some friends who thought like that. I won't mention any names here, but I was a little disappointed in them. Anywho, most young adults didn't vote and older adults didn't care. They were just happy to be rid of Clinton, but they knew it was their duty to vote. So the outcome basically turned out to be a draw with the victor going to Bush (Thanks to a little help from my buddy Ralph Nader).

This year, the election will be close for a whole new reason. Finally, [most]young adults are noticing that politics does in fact affect their lives. They have learned the issues that they care about and have finally decided that they can control the leadership of this country with their voice. So, half my friends and millions of others set out to register before the election because 4 years ago they hated politics and failed to see the point in registering. Now, mostly thanks to the War on Terror (in no means am I praising the War on Terror) young adults care about their future so they set out to vote.

Now here comes my prediction. It turns out that most young adults my age have fairly recently graduated from college. As it turns out, I think most of them are pretty darn liberal (in no means am I using this term as negative; like everything else, it's just a label). Heck I'd consider myself pretty liberal on a lot of issues. But most young adults register Democrat, 1) because their Baby Booming parents are Republican and like all kids, they tend to disagree with their parents opinion and 2) because they want to be "part of the group" and not be cast out as in independent (again, I am not criticizing Independents; I myself have no party affliction).

So, after all that, it is my belief that Kerry holds the victory to this year's election. It will be close, not because no one cares, but because everyone cares! There will be record turnouts at the polls and a nation will be divided not by hatred, but simply by opinion. It will be days until we will know the results, but since Generation X has finally made a stand to voice their opinion and stand up for what they believe instead of just watching the world roll on by. Frankly, I'm just thrilled that there will be no more TV ads, radio ads, phone ads, billboard ads, and every other sort of ad you can imagine after today.

To wrap things up, realize that my thoughts on this matter do not necessarily reflect my actual vote. Like the title of this blog reads, this is merely life as Jimmy sees it.

Monday, November 01, 2004

As it turns out, I'm not the only person who enjoys hitting volleyballs at high school girl's heads. One of the many Mikes (I'll refer to this Mike as "Java Mike" (he's a Java programmer, **shudder**)) that works in the IT Department at The Company had the great fortune of doing such a thing for his high school's girl's volleyball team. He said it was a complete blast! Java Mike is less than a year older than I, and when he found out he wasn't the youngest guy there 6 months ago, he was quite ecstatic (as I said before, I am no longer the youngest thanks to another Mike (I'll call him "HelpDesk Mike" since he works the HelpDesk) that started a number of weeks ago). I told Java Mike that if he gets to do it again tonight to be sure to check with the coach and see if they need another person to "help out." Turns out Java Mike's (he's not a coach, just a fan of his old high school) high school girls made it to districts and their coach wants some hard hitters drilling at their heads. I told him to "Hook me up yo!" Okay, so it's not the nicest thing in the world, but hey, they have to learn some time to stop being afraid! Jimmy is always up to teach a lesson.