mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (music at the coffee shop 2)
Ready to be done, and we're only halfway through.

I really hate where I am right now. Not life in general, but this place in particular, specifically the downtown Hilton in St.Louis. I hate the Hilton hotel chain: overpriced and not nearly worth the money they charge. I dislike full-service hotels in general, but it seems that every bad hotel experience I've ever had has been in a Hilton. Why the feises insist upon using them is beyond me. Maybe other people are less critical than I am. That's a distinct possibility.

Seriously, though, give me a Hampton Inn or even a Motel 6 any old day of the week. For the kind of money we're spending we could rent a fucking house for a week. That might be worth looking into if I can break Michelle out of the hotel habit. Yes, there's much to be said for having crashing space in the same facility as the event, but damn. Dafuq, as Katie would say.

I running on very little sleep. The beds are small and Michelle and I aren't. I got very little sleep overnight and Michelle, god bless her, left me in the room to sleep while she and Katie went downstairs but it was fitful. I finally got up not because I was rested but out of frustration.

On the bright side, the chair I'm in is comfortable and I have coffee and WIFI - an emenity you have to earn, apparently, like frequent flyer miles - and the Starbucks in the lobby charges suburban prices. Soon we'll go hunt down some lunch. Maybe eating will make me less crabby.

One more feis tomorrow - same hotel. Katie will be done probably about this time then we'll load up and go home. Home after dark, but that's okay. At least it'll be home.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Just for the record: I'm getting really sick of the anti-Columbus stuff that goes around this time every year. I'm not saying that what has been done to Native peoples isn't reprehensible, but Europeans did not invent slavery, expansionism, chemical warfare (a.k.a. disease), etc. To suggest that native tribes were living in the Americas all peaceful and idyllic in this White-free utopia is asinine. You can say, "Man, I sure wish those Spaniards hadn't come over and destroyed their way of life and stolen their lands and put our people into slavery" all you like, but you're ignoring the fact that those same natives had reason to say the same thing about other tribes in the region long before the Europeans showed up.

White guilt. I don't has it.
mapsedge: (White Star Underwater)
I broached the subject of virtualizing the office to MoneyGuy, hoping, 1. to isolate myself from the bullshit that seems to orbit this place, and 2. to save some money on gasoline, and received an answer I do not like, but understand.

It comes down to control: MoneyGuy's need to control what happens here at the office, and at least in some areas I agree with that. He wants - needs - to keep DataGuy close. At home, DG could follow any tangent he wanted to, and isn't disciplined enough to stay on the path to any long term goal. MoneyGuy also uses me as a kind of barometer: as my frustration level rises, he knows that something needs to be addressed.

On the more negative side, I also got The Lecture of how the company is costing him money, how he's giving us free labor to run the company - he talks like it's mine and DataGuy's company, and he's just a hired gun instead of a principal -- no, THE principal partner. This dance is old, and the carpet beneath our feet is worn with the number of times we've done it. I was warned - once again - that if sales don't pick up, I won't get a paycheck.

Who's the salesman? Him. Who isn't out selling stuff? Him. 

So, in my head, I've set a time limit for this business. I've always been good at spotting patterns, and this pattern is familiar. Eight years ago, Data Reporting  was going to make the difference. Six year ago, Contact Management was going to save the company.  Four years ago, Websites were the hot ticket. Two years ago, Texting was The One. Six months ago, Texting Phase II was It. 

We don't have any more products. 

The clock is ticking, boys. 

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
 Dear Internet Community,

Is it so hard to answer the question being asked? If I ask, "What is the consistency of pool salt?" I don't need a half dozen lectures on what kind of pool to buy, why chlorine is so much better, how there's no such thing as pool salt, or that I should never try to use it in my water softener. The single individual who answered "granulated" won the prize for the day probably just for being lazy.

There's something deeply wrong with that.

Likewise, the question "how do I do X on a Windows PC" shouldn't devolve into a flame war over how Linux and MacOSx does that same thing a hundred times better. I don't have either, and you still haven't helped.

You people are assholes.

 - Bill

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Yahoo! Instant Messenger,

We've been friends a long time, and I'm sorry, but it's time to let you go. Your forgetfulness drives me mad: when I say I don't want notifications about anything, I mean it; no matter how important you think it is, trust me, it isn't.

...and do I really need to click the "Sign In" button when I just right-clicked the icon and selected "Sign In"?  Seriously? 

You're just too high maintenance. I'm switching to Pidgin. It just works. You should take a lesson.

 - Bill


mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Quite a mixed bag of a weekend, but ultimately it ended up on a good note.

Side Work is a bitch, sometimes.

I'll try to keep this story brief. I've been doing the website for The Stage Coffee House & Deli. It's not a huge money maker - hell, neither is the coffee house - but it's a few extra dollars here and there in cash. Grocery stores don't mind cash. 

Actually, yeah, it got kinda long. )

Seamlyne

It's been very quiet, and I'm kinda glad. Flu-B (yep, officially) makes it tough to keep up on orders, so I'm heartily glad there haven't been any. There were two to finish up, and they're a few days further out for shipping than I'd prefer, so I finished both up today.

More general update-y stuff... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Quite a mixed bag of a weekend, but ultimately it ended up on a good note.

Side Work is a bitch, sometimes.

I'll try to keep this story brief. I've been doing the website for The Stage Coffee House & Deli. It's not a huge money maker - hell, neither is the coffee house - but it's a few extra dollars here and there in cash. Grocery stores don't mind cash. 

Actually, yeah, it got kinda long. )

Seamlyne

It's been very quiet, and I'm kinda glad. Flu-B (yep, officially) makes it tough to keep up on orders, so I'm heartily glad there haven't been any. There were two to finish up, and they're a few days further out for shipping than I'd prefer, so I finished both up today.

More general update-y stuff... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Head desk...now I understand what that means.

MoneyGuy calls me into his office to look at his screen. There I find a big message with "Security Tool" at the top. In big bold letters it screams, "Your system is infected."

Yeah, no shit. With "Security Tool" a bit of malware designed to look legit whose only purpose is to make you spend money. If not directly, by forcing you to purchase it, then directly by stealing your keystrokes the next time you log on to your bank's web site.

I try CTRL-ALT-DEL to get Task Manager. TM shows for a second, then closes spontaneously.

I said, "I'm surprised Avast didn't catch this."

He's gone all Pointy-Haired-Boss on me, and looks confused and angry. "It did. It wouldn't let me open this thing in my email, so I saved it to My Documents and opened it from there. I have a conference call in fifteen minutes. I need you to fix this."

The window pops open again.

He points, "Isn't that Avast?"

I try not to be condescending, but I only half succeed. "Does it say 'Avast?'"

He doesn't answer. I do what I can to close the windows so he can do whatever it is he needs to do, but I know they're going to just keep popping up.

"Tell you what, " I offer, "do your thing, and when you're done I'll see to fixing it."

I guess my other projects - the projects for paying customers - will have to wait.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Head desk...now I understand what that means.

MoneyGuy calls me into his office to look at his screen. There I find a big message with "Security Tool" at the top. In big bold letters it screams, "Your system is infected."

Yeah, no shit. With "Security Tool" a bit of malware designed to look legit whose only purpose is to make you spend money. If not directly, by forcing you to purchase it, then directly by stealing your keystrokes the next time you log on to your bank's web site.

I try CTRL-ALT-DEL to get Task Manager. TM shows for a second, then closes spontaneously.

I said, "I'm surprised Avast didn't catch this."

He's gone all Pointy-Haired-Boss on me, and looks confused and angry. "It did. It wouldn't let me open this thing in my email, so I saved it to My Documents and opened it from there. I have a conference call in fifteen minutes. I need you to fix this."

The window pops open again.

He points, "Isn't that Avast?"

I try not to be condescending, but I only half succeed. "Does it say 'Avast?'"

He doesn't answer. I do what I can to close the windows so he can do whatever it is he needs to do, but I know they're going to just keep popping up.

"Tell you what, " I offer, "do your thing, and when you're done I'll see to fixing it."

I guess my other projects - the projects for paying customers - will have to wait.

Work rant

Jul. 7th, 2010 10:09 am
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Wow. Frustration this deep is not a good way to start the morning.

Customer #1: too busy to provide assistance in setting the calculations for his application, but complains bitterly that he's not seeing the numbers he wants. Dude, if it's wrong, it's because your instructions to me were wrong. I've verified three times that the calculations are being performed according to your specs. You want it "fixed", you gotta help out here.

Customer #2: didn't read the email that he asked me to send that explains how to change out graphics on his homepage. Calls and complains that he can't figure out how to put a new ad in column three. Did you read the email? No? Read the fucking email you fucking asked for, you stupid tit..

Some days I love my job and can't believe I'm actually paid money to do it. Other days, like today, not so much.

Work rant

Jul. 7th, 2010 10:09 am
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Wow. Frustration this deep is not a good way to start the morning.

Customer #1: too busy to provide assistance in setting the calculations for his application, but complains bitterly that he's not seeing the numbers he wants. Dude, if it's wrong, it's because your instructions to me were wrong. I've verified three times that the calculations are being performed according to your specs. You want it "fixed", you gotta help out here.

Customer #2: didn't read the email that he asked me to send that explains how to change out graphics on his homepage. Calls and complains that he can't figure out how to put a new ad in column three. Did you read the email? No? Read the fucking email you fucking asked for, you stupid tit..

Some days I love my job and can't believe I'm actually paid money to do it. Other days, like today, not so much.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
An open letter to the engineers who design home espresso machines:

My understanding of an espresso machine is this: it makes espresso, natch', and it steams (presumably milk, but one never knows). The overall purpose is for the average Joe like me to make coffee-based drinks like lattés and capucchinos. 

Kvetching to follow... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
An open letter to the engineers who design home espresso machines:

My understanding of an espresso machine is this: it makes espresso, natch', and it steams (presumably milk, but one never knows). The overall purpose is for the average Joe like me to make coffee-based drinks like lattés and capucchinos. 

Kvetching to follow... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Did you know the Earth's core is several million degrees?

When, o when will we stop listening to Al Gore? How much junk science do we have to swallow?

Article at Newsbusters.org
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Did you know the Earth's core is several million degrees?

When, o when will we stop listening to Al Gore? How much junk science do we have to swallow?

Article at Newsbusters.org
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I just finished The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

My god. This was a ninety minute movie stretched out to two hours thirty eight minutes. (This is down from it's original screen time of nearly four hours! )

Visually beautiful but ponderously and unnecessarily slow, I'm rarely relieved when a movie is over and tonight I'm not only relieved but I'm grateful we have no straight razors in the house. This movie is cinematic Prozac, including all of the nasty depressive and suicidal side-effects.

Remember what a cool movie Tombstone was? Its evil twin, born a year later, was Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp: where Tombstone was polished and kept the story moving with action and compelling relationships, Wyatt Earp bludgeoned you for just about twice the running time with just what a bunch of assholes the Earps were. (It didn't help having Dennis Quaid in the cast.)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was like that, but there isn't a cooler movie I can fall back on. I'm sure that looking at forty-five seconds of Brad Pitt's right eye twitching looks like character development on paper, but it doesn't make for good entertainment.

If you must rent this film, fast forward to about two hours in. Everything you need to know - including all the character and relationship development the movie has to offer - happens from that moment on. The rest is just directorial and cinematographic masturbation.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I just finished The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

My god. This was a ninety minute movie stretched out to two hours thirty eight minutes. (This is down from it's original screen time of nearly four hours! )

Visually beautiful but ponderously and unnecessarily slow, I'm rarely relieved when a movie is over and tonight I'm not only relieved but I'm grateful we have no straight razors in the house. This movie is cinematic Prozac, including all of the nasty depressive and suicidal side-effects.

Remember what a cool movie Tombstone was? Its evil twin, born a year later, was Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp: where Tombstone was polished and kept the story moving with action and compelling relationships, Wyatt Earp bludgeoned you for just about twice the running time with just what a bunch of assholes the Earps were. (It didn't help having Dennis Quaid in the cast.)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was like that, but there isn't a cooler movie I can fall back on. I'm sure that looking at forty-five seconds of Brad Pitt's right eye twitching looks like character development on paper, but it doesn't make for good entertainment.

If you must rent this film, fast forward to about two hours in. Everything you need to know - including all the character and relationship development the movie has to offer - happens from that moment on. The rest is just directorial and cinematographic masturbation.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
So, yesterday we decided to splurge and took Jami to T-Rex Cafe. Katie was with her grandmother seeing a movie and can't go to restaurants like that anyway. The website is shit - gives you no flavor of the place at all - but I don't want to waste the time describing it. Think Rainforest Cafe with dinosaurs, and you've got the idea.

Never again. Even Jami, the target audience for the place, hated the experience. The tragedy is that we knew going into it that the food would be overpriced and probably not the best quality, but you don't go to themed restaurants for the food, right? Unfortunately, the experience wasn't worth it either: the place was cramped, too dark, too loud - rather than being immersive with a surprise behind every corner, the "theme" was totally muddied - ocean here, volcano there, ice age up there, blah blah blah. The dinosaurs - life size, for the most part - were animated in only the most rudimentary fashion, little better than large rubber sculptures.

We couldn't get in to sit at the table without moving it away from the wall. We couldn't see to read the menus - even Kent, whose eyesight is pretty good, struggled. The music from the bar competed with the sound effects and made it impossible to have a conversation without nearly shouting. The "meteor shower" that happens on the half-hours was - at least from where we were sitting - nothing more than two minutes of a few flashing lights and sound effects like camping at the end of an airport runway. Jami covered his ears, and I considered it.

The food - the place has the word "cafe" in the name, but for no reason I could discover - wasn't just overpriced: it was overpriced and awful. The appetizer plate - at about twice the cost of what it was worth - arrived cold and mostly bland. My food was under-seasoned. I can't speak to Michelle's or Kent's, though both had some left over and neither took any home.

It was a relief when it was over and we left.






mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
So, yesterday we decided to splurge and took Jami to T-Rex Cafe. Katie was with her grandmother seeing a movie and can't go to restaurants like that anyway. The website is shit - gives you no flavor of the place at all - but I don't want to waste the time describing it. Think Rainforest Cafe with dinosaurs, and you've got the idea.

Never again. Even Jami, the target audience for the place, hated the experience. The tragedy is that we knew going into it that the food would be overpriced and probably not the best quality, but you don't go to themed restaurants for the food, right? Unfortunately, the experience wasn't worth it either: the place was cramped, too dark, too loud - rather than being immersive with a surprise behind every corner, the "theme" was totally muddied - ocean here, volcano there, ice age up there, blah blah blah. The dinosaurs - life size, for the most part - were animated in only the most rudimentary fashion, little better than large rubber sculptures.

We couldn't get in to sit at the table without moving it away from the wall. We couldn't see to read the menus - even Kent, whose eyesight is pretty good, struggled. The music from the bar competed with the sound effects and made it impossible to have a conversation without nearly shouting. The "meteor shower" that happens on the half-hours was - at least from where we were sitting - nothing more than two minutes of a few flashing lights and sound effects like camping at the end of an airport runway. Jami covered his ears, and I considered it.

The food - the place has the word "cafe" in the name, but for no reason I could discover - wasn't just overpriced: it was overpriced and awful. The appetizer plate - at about twice the cost of what it was worth - arrived cold and mostly bland. My food was under-seasoned. I can't speak to Michelle's or Kent's, though both had some left over and neither took any home.

It was a relief when it was over and we left.






mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A tip, should you ever take it into your head to make your own cappuccinos and lattés:

The drink should have a stronger flavor than the container it is served in.

McDonald's has now managed to dumb down coffee. A drink of coffee and milk in combination that tastes of neither, particularly, but is in fact rather bland.

Now, before you gasp out, Dear God how did our friend sink so low?, it should be noted that I did not purchase said "coffee drink". Rather, it was purchased for me and since the one essential ingredient is there in full force - caffeine - and as I am rather in need of such, I didn't turn it down.

It's not bad. It's just not all that good.


mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A tip, should you ever take it into your head to make your own cappuccinos and lattés:

The drink should have a stronger flavor than the container it is served in.

McDonald's has now managed to dumb down coffee. A drink of coffee and milk in combination that tastes of neither, particularly, but is in fact rather bland.

Now, before you gasp out, Dear God how did our friend sink so low?, it should be noted that I did not purchase said "coffee drink". Rather, it was purchased for me and since the one essential ingredient is there in full force - caffeine - and as I am rather in need of such, I didn't turn it down.

It's not bad. It's just not all that good.


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