Comment Spam Haiku

Thank you, Auto Loan and Texas Hold ’em for your love­ly com­ment spam poet­ry, which you bom­bard me with on a dai­ly basis.

Thank you, Auto Loan and Texas Hold ’em for your love­ly com­ment spam poet­ry, which you bom­bard me with on a dai­ly basis. Exam­ple:

Name: auto loan | E-mail: main@texas-holdem.us | URI: http://college-loan-424.blogspot.com/ | IP: 139.130.62.132

justice, disdain of frail-fleshed
hill-constructions lasted house-passage on the marsh-plants and race-courses.
I oversea you fear for me, but may you not sui (sic) secreted the cause of alarm to yourself
auto loan

Fan­tas­tic stuff.

Here are some more, from some old spam mes­sages:

poker games Know thyself.

Kind of a spam Greek philoso­pher, that pok­er.

There is always something wrong, if one is straining to make the commonplace incomprehensible.

Was­n’t that on deep thoughts with Jack Handy?

The blind willingness to sacrifice people to truth, however, has always been the danger of an ethics abstracted from life.

A quote on ethics, from a spam­mer hock­ing cheap phen­ter­mine. Oh the irony of the autonomous script quote-gen­er­a­tor.

Here’s a great one that just came in Fri­day after­noon:

Among them was a half-starve nurse-maid moss-oak and his sun-glow, who had often scooped the abolitionists might as well tesselated to his persequar and stigmatize his horse or wheat as to keep slave-holders out of their semi-publicity property.

Isn’t that Har­ri­et Tub­man?

Lists Galore

Ama­zon has kind­ly added the abil­i­ty to use mul­ti­ple lists under you account.

I’ve made my love of Ama­zon’s wish lists no secret. Heck, I’d like it just because it’s a list and I’m all about mak­ing lists. How­ev­er, this is a great life­hack (to use a buzz­word), too: use a wish list not for net­ting gifts (although you can always buy me some­thing if the mood strikes), but rather as a list of you back to-be-pur­chased cat­a­log. This is hard­ly a con­cept I’m new to. I’ve had an Excel spread­sheet titled Items to Acquire for about sev­en years now which includes all sorts of dif­fer­ent things that I’d like to spend my mon­ey on when some extra comes around. Movies, books, sport­ing equip­ment, gad­gets, albums, etc. You see, sad­ly, I’m the kind of per­son who draws a men­tal blank when mon­ey is avail­able for that sort of thing and ends up buy­ing the bright-shiny’s inside the store I’m at. Hard­ly being a smart con­sumer.

Enter my list. Noth­ing’s more sat­is­fy­ing to us OCD-types than cross­ing an item off of our lists. We even do it with rulers on graph paper for added joy. Okay, I actu­al­ly just use the strikethrough for­mat in Excel, but what­ev­er. It’s still sat­is­fy­ing. I’ve resist­ed putting all this into my Ama­zon wish­list since it’d just all get dumped into one big long, unwieldy list. I’d be just as over­whelmed with choic­es as is I was star­ing at rows of shelves and end up run­ning; drop­ping my $20 on a shiny bauble on the way out the door, no doubt.

No, Ama­zon has kind­ly added the abil­i­ty to use mul­ti­ple lists under you account. (Okay, this may have been around since over the sum­mer, but I’m just now fig­ur­ing it out. That hap­pens. A lot.) I can now have a wish list titled Book­shelf for all my movies, books, and albums (although music most­ly comes from iTunes Music Store these days, due to the instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion fac­tor). I can also sep­a­rate out my tech­ni­cal books for work in a list titled Engi­neer­ing. I can have one for Soft­ware and for even Gift Ideas. These lists can be anno­tat­ed, ranked, and sort­ed to my lik­ing. Sure, Ama­zon does­n’t car­ry every­thing that I might want to put on a list like this, but it goes a long way. It sure does help me from buy­ing anoth­er lemon like The Best Of James. Now, the next step is to make sure that the list is with me when I’m out and about.

Just Twenty Miles

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, on a sun­ny and cool day, Angela and I ran togeth­er for 20 miles.

I’ve held off writ­ing much about run­ning the past few weeks. Okay, so I’ve held off writ­ing about much of any­thing the past few weeks (up until this week­end any­way). Well, that was main­ly because I want­ed to wait until after this morn­ing to write about what we have accom­plished so far.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, on a sun­ny and cool day, Angela and I ran togeth­er for 20 miles. We fin­ished in 4 hours and 45 min­utes, which won’t exact­ly break any records. How­ev­er, the point is that we fin­ished and we did it togeth­er. It is real­ly hard to write just how proud of her I am. Just a few years ago, not being a run­ner as a kid or in col­lege, she ran her first 5k. Just this past Spring, she ran her the Mon­u­ment Avenue 10k, anoth­er per­son­al record for dis­tance. Now, she has reached what is con­sid­ered by most to be the longest train­ing used in dis­tance run­ning. That is no small feat and it requires real ded­i­ca­tion to achieve. Fur­ther, while it may seem counter-intu­itive, run­ning slow­er on those long runs means being out there for just that much longer. Near­ly five hours of stren­u­ous phys­i­cal activ­i­ty is tough on any­one, and she fin­ished with her usu­al big smile, as if we’d just been walk­ing around the block.

Because of the way our train­ing was set up, Angela was on the novice team which would have one 20 mile run. My team, which was for some­what more advanced run­ners (which I do not claim to be; it was decid­ed for me), ran three 20 mile days, the last coin­cid­ing with the novice group. I ran the first one at a rel­a­tive­ly slow pace, as it was a first for me. The sec­ond, I real­ly want­ed to see what I was capa­ble of doing, so I ran faster. I had thought all along that run­ning this last one with Angela might be fun, espe­cial­ly to keep her com­pa­ny. One of the coach­es agreed that using the mid­dle 20-mil­er as the more stren­u­ous test run would be a good idea, so I went with that plan. I have to say, that although the com­pa­ny I had on the first two was great, the one yes­ter­day with Angela was so much fun.

Way to go, Angela. You proved to the run­ning group and every­one we know that you can do it. What’s more, you fin­ished with a smile and then took me to lunch. Who could ask for a bet­ter part­ner to run with and hang out with for the rest of our lives? You’re awe­some.

Aaron & Mary’s Wedding Party




Wed­ding Par­ty

Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by syn­thrab­bit.

So, imag­ine my sur­prise when I was look­ing through Trey’s pho­tos of his broth­er’s wed­ding par­ty and I come across this pho­to. Appar­ent­ly I was there, enjoy­ing Don & Dav­e’s com­pa­ny and com­plete­ly for­got about it. But wait a sec­ond, I don’t own any gray pants…

Who is that guy, and how did he know that I would have one hand in my pock­et and the oth­er hand hold­ing a beer cup while stand­ing off in the cor­ner at a par­ty? Who knows my man­ner­isms that well and why are they mess­ing with me like that?

Katrina’s Windfall

Almost every­one I’ve talked to says, ‘We’re going to move to Hous­ton.’ What I’m hear­ing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Every­one is so over­whelmed by the hos­pi­tal­i­ty.
And so many of the peo­ple in the are­na here, you know, were under­priv­i­leged any­way, so this, this is work­ing very well for them. — Bar­bara Bush, Lar­ry King 2005

I’ve laid off com­ment­ing on Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na, or rather the human response to it, up until now. I sup­pose that I’ve just not real­ly had any­thing to add to the sub­ject that seemed worth typ­ing. While I’ve had a cou­ple of friends who have been affect­ed (to say the least) by it, I can’t say that I know any more about the sit­u­a­tion than any­one else who’s not direct­ly involved. My friends have no weighed in with any sort of polit­i­cal com­ments, and I don’t real­ly expect them to (when your lives under­go major changes, I think pol­i­tics take a back seat). How­ev­er, Angela and I had some dis­cus­sion last week some­time and I’ve been think­ing about the inter­ac­tion between nat­ur­al dis­as­ters and the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment since; some­thing that goes beyond Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na to the larg­er con­text of how Amer­i­ca will be pre­pared to respond to nat­ur­al dis­as­ters in the future.

Although the for­mer First Lady was refer­ring the vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na in the quote above, I think that the Repub­li­can par­ty might be in the same boat. While every­one is lament­ing on how bad things look for them, per­haps theres a sil­ver lin­ing. The true Rea­gan Repub­li­cans are in the posi­tion to reap mas­sive long-term ben­e­fits from this storm and the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tions actions after­wards. They now have a per­fect exam­ple of big gov­ern­ments fail­ure to point to and quote Rea­gan:

The ten scari­est words in the Eng­lish lan­guage are ‘I’m from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment and I’m here to help.’

Fur­ther, they have the added ben­e­fits of being able to all but com­plete­ly ter­mi­nate fed­er­al social pro­grams. By spend­ing fed­er­al mon­eys on hur­ri­cane repair (hard­ly any­thing I’m com­plain­ing about) with­out “rais­ing tax­es1″, they can assure them­selves that these pro­grams will sim­ply die of neglect. After some­time of the pro­grams doing noth­ing from lack of funds, the Repub­li­cans can point and say that their mere exis­tence is wast­ed fed­er­al mon­ey and kill them off com­plete­ly. In our atten­tion-deficit soci­ety, it will be long since for­got­ten if these pro­grams ever did any­thing effec­tive.

2005-10-20 Tony Auth, from WashingtonPost.com

Auth, by Tony Auth. Pub­lished on Octo­ber 20th, 2005. WashingtonPost.com

I don’t real­ly give any­one (from either par­ty) the cred­it for plan­ning this sort of thing. How­ev­er, that’s the thing with a wind­fall. You don’t plan for it, you just make use of it when it hap­pens. Sad­ly, the same impov­er­ished Amer­i­cans who are get­ting hit the hard­est from the hur­ri­cane will also suf­fer in the long run. I feel strong­ly that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has not the right, but rather the duty to help the peo­ple dur­ing times of dis­as­ter as well as in the dai­ly lives of Amer­i­cans. The gov­ern­ment should not be a web woven into our lives, but it can and should be a net through which no Amer­i­can falls through. We need to keep a close watch to ensure that the social pro­grams stay in tact, whether they are for respond­ing to nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, threats on pub­lic safe­ty, or sim­ply assist­ing the Amer­i­cans who are unlucky enough to fall at the end of the curve.

10-21-2005 Update: And so it begins…

  1. Of course, no tax­es would need to be raised at all. Sim­ply doing away with the upcom­ing tax cuts set in place a cou­ple of years ago will go an extreme­ly long way in off-set­ting the cost of rebuild­ing in the after­math of the storm. Sad­ly, doing away with any future tax cut is brand­ed a tax increase. []

Make-up Post

This is the kind of blog post where-in I talk about why I haven’t post­ed any­thing for the past three weeks.

Well, it has been two weeks since Angela and I returned from vaca­tion in Hawai’i with our friends Meg and Travis. That all feels like just yes­ter­day, actu­al­ly. Work has been suck­ing up so much of my time and ener­gy since return­ing. I think there is a set amount of work that must be done, and it real­ly does not care if you leave to go have fun in the Pacif­ic or not. It patient­ly waits and gath­ers it strength until you return.

The very day we left, two rather large sets of shop draw­ings came in for my review. On top of that, a cou­ple of projects came back into focus through some calls from clients. Fur­ther, some of the projects which I had hoped my boss and col­leagues would find time for while I was absent went untouched, as they were even more swamped than I was. The one excep­tion was attend­ing an all day sem­i­nar on changes in the 2003 Inter­na­tion­al Build­ing Code last Fri­day, which seemed like a nice break, odd­ly. Any­way, this just meant some extra hours over the past cou­ple of week­ends as well as just try­ing to stay a lit­tle more focused while at the office. That of course takes its toll men­tal­ly, result­ing in me doing a lot less sit­ting in front of the home PC typ­ing blog posts.

Actu­al­ly, it has result­ed in Angela and I both doing almost noth­ing oth­er than watch­ing TiVo a cou­ple of hours each night and then going to bed. We met at the local Barnes & Noble last night to buy a cou­ple of books for a friend. Sit­ting down over a cou­ple of cups of cof­fee was the most talk­ing to one anoth­er we’ve real­ly done in the last cou­ple of weeks. I guess Ange­la’s sched­ule is even worse than mine, what with flu-shot sea­son begin­ning. I real­ly don’t work the long hours that I did occa­sion­al­ly at my old job, but she still works well over 40 hour weeks, every week. I’m down to around 45 hours per week, which includes some dai­ly slack­ing, I sup­pose, so I think I have it quite nice.

As I’ve pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned, I have a cou­ple of posts in draft that I’ve been try­ing to find time to work on. This week­end looks rainy, and I don’t need to spend too much time in the office, so I plan to put them up soon. You won’t find your life com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent after read­ing them or any­thing, but at least you’ll have some­thing to do while you’re down­load­ing some tele­vi­sion or upload­ing some pho­tos.

Is It October Yet?

Per­haps you could look at my lack of posts as the inverse reflec­tion of my life in the past week or two.

Per­haps you could look at my lack of posts as the inverse reflec­tion of my life in the past week or two. That is to say, I haven’t been post­ing because so much has been going on in the ana­log world of my life.

Angela and I just got back from vaca­tion, a week spent roam­ing two of the islands of Hawai’i. We were in some pret­ty rur­al coun­try, where the inter­net has­n’t yet tak­en to the air. How­ev­er, a break from work, house chores, and the online world has been entire­ly a good thing for the both of us. We trav­eled with some friends, which only made the trip that much more fun.

I also have a post or two wait­ing in the que, which I’ll get around to putting up. They may feel a lit­tle out-of-date, but what else is new around here. Last­ly, we took some 1,570 pho­tos while on vaca­tion (not to men­tion Travis’ 35mm pho­tos), of which maybe 50 or so are worth post­ing on Flickr, so look out for those if you’re inter­est­ed in such things. The write-up on our trip will also be found here soon, as well.

Note: If you haven’t been read­ing their blog, friends Katie and Kevin are blog­ging dai­ly their trip across the coun­try from Cookeville, Ten­nessee to Port­land, Ore­gon. Kev­in’s posts are great read­ing and they have some ter­rif­ic pho­tos of their trip and var­i­ous nation­al parks along the way so far.