1/14/2004

Good thing I wasn’t in Holland the other day when I wore white socks
in my dress shoes.
“The fashion police have taken over in Holland, where the
Finance Ministry has declared that wearing white socks on the job is indecent.
‘They transgress the limits of decent dress behavior for ministry
employees,’ a new edict to employees points out.”

I was in the Super-Walmart last night getting some groceries.
(It’s all that’s open late at night.) They were stocking
and I noticed that the boxes said, “Each box costs the company about $0.75.”

1/13/2004

A coworker just got a super-evil spyware program. It was throwing up popups
all over and even opened his CDROM drives to show him its awesome power
and get him to buy their “spyware cleaner”. I suggested he run
Spybot immediately.
We have Norton Antivirus at work and it did nothing.
One thing you can look for is, under Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs,
see if you have ShopAtHome Agent. If so, run spybot. (If you try to
uninstall SAHagent from control panel, it will lie and say it’ll be gone by
the next reboot.) You should
run spybot anyway. Did I mention spybot? I seem to do that a lot.
Grrr, the web is getting so evil.
update: Now his system was using 100% of system resources. A sysadmin
came and ran Adaware
(the other reputable spyware remover) on his machine and it’s working now.

I finally got around to installing
virus protection
on all our comps
at home. Found a couple of minor viruses. And then there was the spyware.
I hadn’t scanned the auxiliary computer in a while and it had
aquired the rather nasty SAHagent spyware as well as something else. Ran
Spybot
and did some manual cleanup. I finally got around to
questioning all the running processes on that computer and cleaning
them up and it actually shuts down properly now.

1/12/2004

Just realized my sleepy mistake of the day.
I’m wearing white sports socks with my dress shoes. Nice.

I was reading this
account of the Mars six-wheeled lander robot. It’s amazing how slowly
and carefully they have move the robot around. They’ll take one day just to move
a meter. Just one little unexpected bump or snag and the poor lonely little robot will have to
send a message that says, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Reminds me of a PL/SQL script I’m working on today that has to navigate
the huge number of erroneous names in the database to fix a few of them.
One unexpected JR., SR. or DR. and somebody’s account becomes very hard to find.

We played amateur veterinarian several times this weekend.
Cookie kept shaking the bandages off after a recent ear surgery
so we’d have to keep redoing it. She’s quite a vicious dog
when you’re trying to mess with her ears. The vet sedated her
when they bandaged her (at quite a handsome cost.) We had to do
it several times without the benefit of sedation. I cut the bottom off of
a huge plastic glass and put the muzzle in it so that we could
get it on her without getting bitten. Lemme tell ya, mamas don’t
let yer babies grow up to be vet assistants.

12/30/2003

Back to work today. My uncle is really into board games
and last night introduced us to a game called Finster Flure.
A monster chases your 3 pieces through corridors with various
obstacles. The one to get the most pieces out wins.
The monster has a particular algorithm for his
movement and escaping him requires some strategy.
My uncle said that families in Germany own about
30 boardgames on average! I guess a great number of good
board games come from Germany. This particular game
was by Friedemann Friese. Apparently, there are
famous boardgame designers whose names might sell games.
We also played a bit of Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube
as well as some 4-player GBA games.

On Christmas evening we went to a friend’s house where there
was a big Filipino gathering. We tried to follow the karaoke
in Tagalog, which is pretty difficult at higher speeds.

Recently, we stopped by Babies R Us (my first time.) Well, it’s Best
Buy for babies, I guess. I amused myself with some baby
electronics. Vanessa introduced me to the technical terms
for baby items, such as “onesies”.

12/22/2003

Microsoft Word’s auto-formatting is quite amazing. I could format a
document better if I had to arrange the metal letters by hand
in a huge printing press. For example, in this document I’m dealing
with, I try to paste a bit of text in before another bit
of text. Microsoft Word helpfully puts in a random amount of space
between
the two lines. Thanks, Word!

We stood in line for ROTK Saturday morning at 10:30 AM before the
theater
opened. You sorta begin to miss the pause button in the theater
when the movie is longer than three hours.

12/19/2003

You think you’re a nerd? You aren’t a nerd. These
are nerds. (6 MB mpeg) It’s the old lightning bolt! lightning bolt!
video in case you’ve never seen it.

Looks like BBC has started a new Asian Radio
Network
.
(Realaudio or Windows Media) By Asian, they mean mainly the Indian
area.
Hear the latest in Bollywood music, pop and cricket scores.

On Radio 1, I just heard this hilarious cover of J. Lo’s “From the
Block” by
G-Form. Alas, I have no way to show you what it sounds like, but
suffice to say, it’s sounds like a Brit with a ukelele.