2008 Oct 30 celes

Guy Blade Guy Blade---06:03:00

Social Graph Manipulation
Firstly, I should note that the lab coat situation was resolved without incident. My meeting took all of 10 minutes before it was clear that whoever reported me was somehow confused.

I was able to get the original email reporting me (or at least as original as the person from occupational safety still had) and I present it here in its entirety:

Some JPL employees told me about a person who likes to wear his lab-coat into the 303 cafeteria. It appears to be soiled. You might want to talk to the food-services supervisor and have him/her keep an eye out for this person. There's no telling what chemicals this person is dragging into the cafeteria.

I take issue with several things in this statement. I am greatly irritated by the word choice in "soiled". I take care to keep my labcoats clean and bleach them at least monthly if not more often. Also, there's not "no telling" what chemicals were on my jacket--a five second discussion with me could identify the only possibly dangerous chemical (detergent grade bleach) and recognize that the odds of it contaminating food were nil. Furthermore, who are these "some people"? If this email was on Wikipedia, I would put a [Who?] tag on that in a second.


I've decided to attempt to use Facebook as a tool to build a map of my life as defined by the people that I knew. In that sense, I've decided to be very liberal in adding people as "friends". This doesn't mean that I'm going to add people who aren't people that I would consider friends, but it does mean that I will seek out people from my past to add. Eventually, I think it would be interesting to use mutual friend graphs along with some sort of autobalancing tool to draw an history of who I knew. Of course, the membership of facebook doesn't represent the entirety of people who I know and have known, but it does provide a large enough sample size to be interesting.

This idea was sparked by me doing a full export of my livejournal (the only was I could find to see posts more than 380 posts ago) and seeing some posts/comments from people who I had not talked to in years. I thus began hunting up people who I knew back in my highschool days on Facebook and found a few. My theory is that by bridging between my social graph and the graphs of people that I have been isolated from, I can build something interesting. We'll see how this goes.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 29 celes

Guy Blade Guy Blade---03:34:00

Occupational Hazard
So, today I went to lunch as I usually do. When I was checking out, the cashier (who is also the manager of the cafe) said that he needed to talk to me when I had a free minute. I found this odd for any number of reasons. After eating my lunch, I asked the staff to point me to said person. It turns out that the manager had been contacted by lab occupational safety to "find the person in the lab coat" and get that person (me) to talk to them (occupational safety). Trying to find someone using the cafe managers seems like an inefficient use of resources as we have such helpful things as public safety for quickly finding a person, but nevertheless, I took the contact information given to me by the cafe manager and, once I had returned to my office, went about getting into contact with said person.

This occupational safety person was, of course, out for the day. I chose to take the route of calling her on her cell phone as it seemed a fitting response to her conscripting the lunchroom staff to find me. Upon contacting her, she explained that someone had sent her an email about me. The sender of said email was concerned that I "wore the labcoat that I'd been using in a chemistry lab to lunch and that it was stained with chemicals that might be hazardous". Now, this characterization was so ill-informed that it made me laugh out loud while talking to her. I informed her that, no I didn't work in a lab (aside from JPL itself) and that my labcoat, if dirty, was only such due to the various vagueries of life. She was, unsuprisingly, confused as to why exactly I was wear a labcoat if I had no need to as part of my job and that there was "an appearance of an issue" which might, despite the lack of an actual issue, require some sort of mitigation. Despite my repeated reassurances that there was no issue, she insisted that we needed to meet, in my working area, before she could "make a decision". What that decision would be, I have no idea. Thus, I have a meeting scheduled with her tomorrow to discuss my lab coat.

I find this whole matter to be completely ridiculous. I've been wearing a labcoat to work for 16 months (more or less) without any issue. What really irritates me though, is that someone decided to report me to occupational safety rather than taking the two minutes to find out if there was really an issue. Because of that, I had to waste half an hour today and I'll have to waste at least as much time tomorrow resolving this idiotic situation.

It makes sense to investigate every report of safety issues--that's just called due diligence--but this seems to be going a bit far. To a certain extent, I almost hope that I'm ordered to stop wearing my labcoat. I think it would be highly entertaining to contest a ludicrous order up the chain of command. I don't know if I would necessarily quit over such a dispute, but I wouldn't rule it out. Hopefully, all this talk is premature and people will act rationally.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 25 harle

Guy Blade Guy Blade---13:27:00

Trinity Limit
This post contains three logically disjoint sections held together only by their temporal coherence.

For the past few weeks, I've been having periodic border skirmishes with the local ant population. They'd send a dozen or so troops to attack some random fixture in my apartment--the toilet, the bathroom sink, my kitchen counter top--and I'd quickly destroy them all by physical crushing and send them to a watery grave. Today, however, they made a large scale assualt. When I arrived home after work, they had put well over one hundred troops to the mission of invading my kitchen sink. I considered this act to be the final straw and, after killing them all in various ways (mainly smashing and drowning as before), I decided to resort to chemical weapons. Hopefully, the use of these won't be considered a war crime. More importantly, I hope that this solves the border dispute once and for all.

Earlier today, I finally went to my dentist (Dental Plus+) to pay to have my fillings done. I had originally been told of the need to have the fillings done nearly a month ago, but between homecoming and various other things, I had been unable to find time to make it there to pay (I'm going with the Resins after all) until today. I arrived at approximately 2 minutes of 5 (they're open to at least 6, so no issue there), but I was forced to wait to talk to a "payment counselor" for over 50 minutes (my clock read 5:54). I found this wholely unacceptable and made my feelings known to the "payment counselor". I further told her that this would be the final payment that Dental Plus would receive from me. I intend to find a new dentist so that I may switch as soon as this last work from them is done. I should not have to wait to pay someone. At most, maybe I should wait less than 5 minutes in the off chance that there are people waiting to be handled by a receptionist. Anything over 20 minutes is completely unacceptable.

I've been thinking a bit about how I'm going to handle Xmas this year. Of course, there are various machinations that I may go through in an attempt to visit the TX initiation, but that may or may not be possible depending on scheduling. Aside from that though, I'm considering taking an alternate travel root home: Southwest Chief. It is a 2200 mile Amtrak train route that goes between LA and Chicago (plus another jump for me from Chicago to Indianapolis). I think that such a trip would probably be a one-way affair (with an airplane on the return trip), but I'd like to try it at least once to really have a lot of time to just veg out, relax and see the "fly-over" states. The total trip would be a full two days (just under 28 hours from Union Station, LA to somewhere in Indianapolis) and would cost about the same as airfare for the same distance and time of year (about $250 one way). I've never gone any real distance by train and think that it might be an interesting learning experience.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 22 rinoa

Guy Blade Guy Blade---11:45:00

Vivec's soul in Azura's Star is worth 5,000,000 gold. I find this information useless due to the fact that there is no merchant with more than 10k of gold in the game. I doubt that there is any merchant who carries 5 megagold worth of equipment. I'm not sure that, even with all the junk that I collected, I was worth 5 megagold. Also, it turns out that, if you've already become "king of the world", you can skip about a third of the main quest when an NPC asks why you're dawdling in your quest to save the world. Dagoth Ur is substantially easier to kill than Vivec, though Vivec was rather easy as well. It turns out that the correct answer to all damage related questions is "Daedric Katana + 75 fire damage on strike". An alternate valid answer is +75 ice damage. Having both makes things even easier since it effectively doubles the charge time and doubles the recharge rate.

Well, that's done. I think I'll go to bed now.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 21 harle

Guy Blade Guy Blade---18:31:00

World Domination
As I mentioned previously, I've been playing through Morrowind. My goal was to become the head of every possible faction before I began the main quest. Completing this goal has left my character as the head of the Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Theives Guild, Imperial Cult, Tribunal Temple, (local branch of the) East Empire Company, Imperial Legion, and House Telvanni. If UESP is to be believed, I may yet also become the head of house Hlaalu. Performing all of these quests has made doing the Main Quest terribly easy. I essentially just run (jumping run actually because it is faster) across the overworld from one mission to the next. Even with leveled enemies, I have equipment broken enough to strike down most foes that aren't immune to magic in two to three hits. It look me maybe an hour to do half the quests in the main quest and that's because I wasn't making proper use of Mark/Recall to set up portals to go immediately back to quest givers.

I do think that I've finally figured out why I couldn't understand (and thus disliked) Morrowind when I attempted to play it several times in college. It seems as though the game drops you in the wrong place with insufficient direction. Firstly, you're dropped in a city that has none of the major factions in the game and in which there are few, if any, worthwhile quests. Secondly, although the game tells you to "Go to Balmora", it gives very little indication of how to do such a thing and doesn't really provide the equipment to do it successfully. Oblivion manages to fix this by providing a (Patrick Stewart narrated) tutorial and drops you into a major city where most factions are represented. I probably wouldn't have had any chance at playing through Morrowind unless I had previously played through Oblivion.

One other side note with respect to Tom's talk of "breaking the game" at the 004 show, I saw no need to break the game money wise (his information on Skill leveling was very helpful, but not game breaking in my opinion). Just doing some mild heuristics on picking up random drops (my heuristic is to pick up anything with value/weight >= 20) caused me to have 130k of money by the time I started the Main Quest plus enough random, high-value loot to purchase anything else in the game as a 1 for 1 swap.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 16 anthy

Guy Blade Guy Blade---04:35:00

So, a while back I posted some images that (if you were paying attention) you could tell came from some sort of LJ stats program. Well, what those came from was a little toy that I've been working on called (creatively) LJ Adv Com Stats. It produces various rather useless, but perhaps interesting statistics about the comments on an LJ and produces them in graphical form. I haven't decided what all I'd like to add, but it has reached a point where other people might find it useful or at least interesting. If you want to see what a set of results look like, you can take a look at mine.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 15 terra

Guy Blade Guy Blade---05:46:00

Power Failure
So, a few days ago my gaming computer started randomly shutting itself off. Initially, I thought it was some sort of thermal issue, but after investigating more it seems as though it may be a dying power supply. I've ordered a new PS from neweggg and hopefully that will be sufficient to fix it. If the powersupply isn't the right answer, I fear that I will have to replace the motherboard or the processor--either of these would certainly invalidate my Vista install and annoy me to no end.

This is very annoying because I have been playing Morrowind recently and am making good progress towards becoming king of the world (top of a ludicrous number of factions) and this is causing undue delay.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 14 aya

Guy Blade Guy Blade---07:35:00

Metal on metal
Yesterday morning, I was awoken by a periodically recurrent sound of metal hitting against metal. The clang was shrill, but very very brief and loud enough that it was difficult to ascertain direction. Once I was awake enough to attempt to locate the source, it seemed as though the noise had vanished. I attributed it to perhaps some bizarre failure beginning to occur in my bedframe or perhaps box springs. This morning, I was again awoken (at about 5) by the sound's return. This time, it occured a few times then seemed to fade and I was able to sleep until around 7 when it came back with greater vigor. After attempting to ignore it for about half an hour, I gave up and got up. A search of the room turned up no obvious sources of the sound and attempting to fix any possible source originating in the bed itself appeared to have no effect. When walking out of my bedroom, the sound recurred such that I was able to positively identify the source as the smoke detector in my bedroom. This was quite a shock to me as I believed the smoke detector to be non-functional (I certainly had never taken any steps to make it anything else). Apparenly, the sound my detector makes sounds exactly like someone hitting a long piece of thin metal with a hammer. I have no idea how they emulate such a sound, but I have since rectified the problem through removal of the device's battery.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 11 peach

Guy Blade Guy Blade---04:25:00

No More Heroes 2 was announced at the Tokyo Game Show. This is good for society.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 10 tifa

Guy Blade Guy Blade---10:23:00

So, on Sunday evening before I left Rose, I and a monotomically decreasing number of people marathoned the 26 episodes of Gantz. I should preface my further remarks by noting that Gantz is not for children, it contains nudity, sex, four-letter words, and ultraviolence.

The following may contain spoilers:

So, the premise of Gantz is that some people, when they die, rather than simply turning into a corpse are teleported away. Once they've been teleported, they are completely healed, provided access to firearms, and are instructed to go out and kill something by a large Orb. What makes the show compelling is how the series slowly brings out the rules of the world and provides believable reactions for the people in it. Unfortunately, the last 5 or 6 episodes are non-canonical, so it might be best to skip them and read the manga instead.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 09 tifa

Guy Blade Guy Blade---06:44:00

Hair Tie
So, yesterday evening I found my Microsoft Points card that I had recently ordered from Amazon waiting at my doorstep. I had purchased said card with the expressed intent of purchasing Braid which I proceeded to do a bit later. It was fun. It was original. It was not, however, the end-all be-all that some have inflated it to be.

In an unrelated query, why does McCain insist on repeating the "Obama will meet with the president of Iran without preconditions" line? It isn't clear to me what his goal is there. I happened to speak to some people while waiting for food earlier today and they didn't know what the word "preconditions" meant. I know they can't be the target demographic, but the people who are the target demo probably know enough to not be swayed by arguments focusing on semantics of a single statement. I suppose fundamentally, there may be a brewing argument as to the utility of the silent treatment as a method of international relations.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 08 namine

Guy Blade Guy Blade---03:30:00

Cost benefit analysis
So, I called the DMV this morning to get my stupid tags. It turns out that, because I didn't notice their absence within 90 days, I will be forced to pay $17 in order to get them to send out new ones. I was incredibly irritated and asked if there was any way they would waive the fee and was told that only a manager in one of the individual brances would have the authority to do that (though they probably would). Unfortunately, the calculus still doesn't come out in my favor because it would take more than 30 minutes to go to the DMV and get it sorted out. Thus, I am once again forced to pay as the cheapest way to get the issue resolved.

When I wrote my check to LA for my ticket, I wrote in the "for" field "The DMV's failure".

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 07 terra

Guy Blade Guy Blade---10:45:00

Home again
I just made it back to my apartment. My flight got in early, so I actually managed to be inside my apartment before it was midnight local time.

Overall, I think homecoming went pretty well. We had a very solid 004 show and it was nice to see many of the people that I hadn't seen for either 6 months or a year. Unfortunately, I have discovered that being around RHIT (or perhaps merely the people I used to hang out with at RHIT) makes me excessively nostalgic, perhaps to the point of making bad decisions. Luckily, few such bad decisions were made by me over the weekend. I took a (very) few pictures and put them up on flickr. For reasons that I don't fully comprehend, Trevor has a dispraportionate representation in my pictures.

In an unrelated issue, my card had a parking violation in the LAX parking lot. Apparently, my license plate has out of date tags. I am incredibly annoyed by this because it made me realize that I renewed my registration in May (they were due in June) and I haven't yet gotten my new stickers. I even have the credit card receipt to prove its renewal. I intend to call the DMV tomorrow and force them to send me updated tags. I'm not going to bother to fight the ticket itself as it is only $25. Fighting it would require me to go to court which would be a losing proposition if I had to take any more than 43 minutes off of work.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

2008 Oct 02 aeris

Guy Blade Guy Blade---14:57:00

Sailing Away
So, I'm currently heading out of my apartment on my way to the airport. If everything goes according to plan, I should be landing in Indianapolis sometime after 4 and be in Terre Haute sometime around 6.

Published by XPost

Permalink to this post     Com/0

Copyright 2002-2019 Blade Libergnosis//Powered By Blogger