Monosyllabic Pedantry

Friday, September 29, 2006

Poker-face Schwartz

We went out to breakfast. I got us completely lost, leading us deeper and deeper into the really bad part of the ghetto. Finally, after much consulting of the map, I got us to the diner.
After we ate, Mrs Schwartz, who cries incessantly about her sinus problems (especially after shoving a bottle up her nose), was whining that we had to stop at the walgreens to get her more drugs.
We get there, and she discovers that they still have the Sudafed with pseudoephedrine! We can't get it in GA anymore because we're all meth cooks. She starts freaking out right in front of the pharmacist. Then she says to me that she wants it to kick in faster, so maybe she should grind up the pills! Then she grabs a pill crusher to buy with her ephedrine!
I try to quietly say that, "It'll be fine the way it is."
The pharmacist gets a box. She asks if she can buy two boxes and he sternly tells her that state law only allows her to buy one box. She turns to me, right in front of the pharmacist, and says to me, "You buy the other box for me!"
I declined, but I ended up going back to same pharmacy later that day to buy another box.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Four Days

OK, maybe I just had a bad SF experience. Actually, that's not true; we had a great day,overall. My work finished by noon. We walked to Chinatown. Mrs Schwartz and I are the sort of people that prefer to stay off the guided tours. We prefer to get into the neighborhood, like a local.
We walked through Chinatown, looking for a place to eat lunch. We must have looked at ten places, before settling on one on a side street. The place was filled with chinese locals. We sat down. A chinese girl walked by our table.
"Shrimp Roll?"
Uh, ok?

So I got four huge shrimp rolls. They were delicious. Throughout the meal, other girls would walk around the restaurant with different foods. They would come out, yelling something in Chinese.
Let me tell you, most chinese food is not well-suited for chopsticks. Stirfry? Yes? Everything else? No. Most of the time, the chinese lean way over their plate and shovel the food into their mouths.
Four huge shrimp rolls are not designed for chopsticks. I struggled with it for a while before one of the waitresses took pity on me and brought be a fork.
From there, we walked to the curviest road in the universe and took pictures of it.
Then we went to the Fisherman's Wharf, which is the touristiest part of town. That also means it's the area most plagued by deadbeats.
For those of you who are unclear on my perspective,
I think homeless beggers are breathing air that should go to a good dog.
They are worthless wastes of space. They should never be given money or food, so that they are free to make the choice to work for their livelihood, or die. Either option is fine by me.
I tolerated them nagging me for money. I even tolerated their stupid scams: The let-me-guess-what-city-you're-from, The here's-a-ticket-for-not-smiling, even The I-hide-and-jump-out-and-yell-to-startle-you (I swear to god, that was this toothless idiot's scam. Who the fuck would give him money after that? I almost killed him)

We came upon a guy dressed in a dog costume, who had three poor dogs as props. The dogs all were old. They had hats and sunglasses tied on them, that especially the dalmation was continually pawing at to remove.
Mrs schwartz sat on one bench and I sat on another. I was going to take a picture of the dogs, but when I raised my camera, the new memory chip needed configuring (time, date, etc)
I was configuring it when dog-boy came over to me and said, "Do you want to take a picture with the dogs?" Not if you're going to nag me for a dollar.
At that point, I went about fussing with my backpack and my camera.
After a minute or so, dog-boy came back to me.
Dog-boy: Do you want to take a picture of the dogs?
Exador: No
Dog-boy: Because I saw you pointing your camera at them
Exador: I didn't take a picture of your dogs.
Dog-boy: You're a lying #%@&*!
Exador pointing and laughing at him.

We got up to leave. He continued calling me everything but Jesus.
What amazed me is not that he was bitching at me; he obviously had no sale with me anyway. He had completely offended the crowd of old lady tourists that were gathered for his formerly-cutesy shtick.
Exador: "You're a hell of a businessman."
Dog-boy: ^%&*@#$
Exador: I guess that's why you're in a dog costume.

After that, I was on edge. We got on the trolly car that would bring us back to our hotel. Of course, it's crowded, and there's always at least one stinking homeless loser. The car stopped and didn't move for several minutes. Some girl worked her way through the pack, then announced, in her best Rosie Perez voice, "The driver's gone!"
It turns out there was some problem with the car in front of us and the driver decided to go and pitch in without mentioning anything to us.
We waited for several more minutes. People started getting off the car.
We finally got off the car and started walking. The car caught up to us and we rode it for a while, but got off early because our driver chose not to announce any of the stops, and we had to guess. We still beat the car to our corner.

Monday, September 25, 2006

On the Road

Monday 2:30 PM EST
I'm liveblogging from the Airport bar. Our flight leaves in 15 minutes. hopefully enough time for one beer.

Monday 8:30 pm Pacific time
We're settled into the hotel room. It turned out that my watch was running about 15 minutes late. We approached the gate and the gate agent yelled out to us, "What's your last name?"
It turns out we were the last people to get on the plane.
I checked into the convention, which I'm here for all week, then walked around the neighborhood, and had some great chili at a little bar around the corner. The jet lag is getting to me, so I'm going to bed.

2:00 pm Wednesday
I'm hanging out in the hotel room. Intel does a "meet and greet", which is basically a big trade show. The idea is that you can network with vendors. They really push that part of it. You have the opportunity to shmooze from 6pm to 8pm each night. I guess if you're geeky enough to want to hang out with these dweebs, you could fill that time. Me? I make a loop through the room. I stop and make contact with the vendors that I need to. We trade contact information. After that, I leave. The whole thing might take me 45 minutes. That is what I did last night. I don't need to do it again.
Because they push it, they added two hours in the middle of the day today. That's why I'm hanging out in the hotel room, drinking a beer.
The shitty thing is that I have two more classes to go to later today, so my evening is screwed up because I'll be working until 6. If they had done it the other way around, I could have been done today by 2 and had the rest of the day to hit the town. Losers. At least I got a cool yoyo that lights up.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Anniversary Frivolity

Yesterday was our 11th wedding anniversary (also Mrs Schwartz' birthday was on thursday). We went back to Medieval Times to celebrate. It was just as fun as last time. Some highlights:

  • Our waitress saying, "Some very nice bread for you tonight." Mrs Schwartz heard, "Some very nice breasts you have tonight."
  • Mrs Schwartz ran to the edge of the "arena" to receive a flower from the knight, only to have him completely diss her. Although he did say to her "I'll see you later.", she was pissed. Oh, the walk of shame back to her seat! She fumed until the next part of the show, when he did throw a flower right at her.
  • We were on our way out. She was definitely feeling the six or so glasses of wine she'd had. She slurringly babbled something to one of the workers. After responding to her in Old English, he looked at me and did the universal thumb-and-pinkie-extended,-thumb-to-the-lips signal for "she's loaded". I burst out laughing. She vowed to get a job there just to hunt him down and seek her vengeance for the slight.
  • I was jumping in bed for some wild anniversary action, when I heard a thunderous crash from the bathroom. I flew from the bed to see what was the matter. Mrs Schwartz was lying in the tub, tangled in the shower curtain, with the shower curtain rod and the towel rack laying on top of her. I'm not sure which she leaned on first, but it gave way. She then tried to save herself by grabbing the other one.

Fast forward to this morning.

Mrs Schwartz: At least it's not like the other bathroom, where the curtain rod is bolted into the wall.
Me: Both curtain rods are, or were, bolted into the wall.
Her: But it came down so easily.
Me: It's a curtain rod, not a monkey bar.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lunchbreak Tranquility

I haven't been going to the gym during lunch, since hurting my back. I've been eating my lunch at my desk. It's nice. It gives me a chance to check the blogs, read the news, etc.

What inspires my coworkers to come in and ask me about work stuff, when I've got food stuffed in my mouth?

It's my lunch. Leave me alone, or at least cut it short. That's what I do, when I walk in on a coworker eating. "Oh, sorry. No big deal. I'll talk to you about it later."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another Hardworking Illegal

Child Rape Suspect Says He's HIV Positive

POSTED: 9:36 am EDT September 19, 2006
MOBILE, Ala. -- Police say a Fairhope man charged Friday with raping a minor admits he is HIV positive. Thirty-two-year-old Julio Cesar Cruz Martinez sits in the Baldwin County Jail today accused of rape, sexual abuse and sodomy.
Sheriff's investigators said Martinez confessed to the sexual assault and said he knew about his infection at the time. The child was attacked Wednesday.
Authorities said the young victim, said to be under 12-years-old, and her mother were Hurricane Katrina evacuees and had been living with Martinez.
Bond for Martinez was set at $750,000 and he is believed to be an illegal alien who has lived in the U.S. for several years.

Monday, September 18, 2006

No Gin on Sunday!

We had such great plans. We were going to wake up early and go for a hike Sunday morning. But Mrs Schwartz woke up with a sinus headache. Since the meth cooks got the idiot, convervative politicians in a huff, finding Sudafed in your local drugstore has gotten harder and harder. Apparently, whatever pollen that kills her, is active right now.
I went online and ordered five boxes of it, but it won't be here for a week.
Those of you that are married, know that when your wife feels like crap, you can't just say, "Well, sorry honey, I'm going for a hike." So we were stuck at the house. She slept all day while I putz'd around. I surfed the web. I watched tv. All the while, I had my favorite gin-based adult beverage handy.
The dangerous thing about gin is that it sneaks up on you. You're hanging out, watching Hidalgo, one minute, the next minute you wake up on your livingroom floor and realize you have 30 minutes to get to work.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Blessed Silence

What is it that makes women feel the need to fill every moment with continuous conversation?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Near Death Experience du Jour

Gainesville, GA is the city where I work. Nowadays, Gainesville is populated almost exclusively by old hayseeds, who've been here for generations, and Latinos.
Given this demographic, driving through Gainesville is a frustrating experience, at best.
Today's fun was brought to you by the old guy who turned his Cadillac left, directly in front of me. It was in a 45 mph zone, so I was doing about 50 mph. I had to slam on my brakes to keep from killing him, maybe me. Now, he's only got about 3 good years left in him anyway, so no big deal, but I was kind of hoping to keep going for a few more decades.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Welcome to the Jungle

I came home from work. After a few minutes, I could hear a helicopter outside. No big deal. The occasional traffic/news helicopter flies over. After a while, I noticed that it sounded really loud, and it hadn't gone away. I went out on my back deck, and there he was; hovering about 100 feet directly above my house.
Huh, I exclaimed to Mrs S.
I'll bet it has to do with that chicken-coop-looking building down the street that has all the illegals in it. I saw a cop walking away from there at about five today. He was talking into his radio, and he looked upset.", she replied.
Me: Let's go check it out.

So we got in my truck and drove up the street. Sure enough, there were about six patrol cars, lights flashing. The house had yellow crime scene tape stretched around it, from tree to tree.

Mrs S: I'll bet it's a meth lab.
Me: I'll bet it was a murder.
Mrs S: We need to move.
Me: Sure. We'll move to a place where there's no crime.

I then discovered a website where I can listen in on the Gwinnett County Police Scanner. How cool is that? They even have a table that shows the meaning of all the code words they use.

I listened for a while, but by the time I started doing it, I think that the whole thing was over with.
So I checked the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Docket, which shows all the people being booked into jail, but nothing looked like our incident.

UPDATE: I was right! Here's what the news said:

Woman Found Dead; Police Search For Neighbor
-- Gwinnett County Police are looking for a neighbor in connection with the death of a woman at her home.
Investigators are not releasing a possible motive or saying how the woman died, but they identify the victim as 64-year-old Jenny Rider Neville. The woman was found dead Tuesday.
Authorities have filed a murder warrant against 33-year-old Alvenio Johnny Culpepper, who lived next door to the woman.
Investigators believe Culpepper fled the area and is driving the woman's white 2003 Toyota Corolla, which has a specialty Georgia Tech license plate S-T-5-8-9.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My 911 post


It was Frank Miller on NPR.
Here's the line I was trying to remember:

For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years.
Patriotism, I now believe, isn't some sentimental, old conceit. It's self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation's survival.

Read the whole thing.


In honor of 911, I have read the 911 comission report (585 pages) and watched the discovery channel special that pretty much tracks it.

My conclusion? Holy shit, Bill Clinton, did you drop the ball on that one.
From ignoring one attack after another, to letting the lawyers hamstring every counter-terrorist effort. You completely fucked that up. You worried about things like your own popularity, to the detriment of actually being a leader. This reinforces my idea that the Clintons basically looked at the presidency as their own personal Tonka toy.

And it's not that "we just didn't know any better". Every indicator was there.

I'm curious to see ABC's movie tonight, to see how it jives with other sources.

By the way, many people will comment on America's re-hashing of the 911 attack. My response to this is as follows: It's a part of the American mindset, that we will analyse this attack over and over again. We will disect every aspect of the attack; the strengths, the weaknesses. Our strengths, and failures.
I think this tendancy is one of our greatest strengths because we will strive to learn as much as we can from this. That is what makes us stronger.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Picking on Witnesses

I was at my computer, playing a game, and Mrs Schwartz was on her laptop, also playing a game. We had the front door open. Mrs S told me there were people on the porch. It was two Jehovah's Witnesses.
Another great part about having a big dog is that he keeps the witnesses at a safe distance.
Most people hate it when they come by. For me, it's entertainment. I went out on the porch and debated the inconsistencies of their superstition.
I think I opened with something like, "Have you ever played telephone? How could you think that a story that was retold for hundreds of years, finally being written down by a bunch of men with a serious political agenda, then being rewritten countless times over the next 1500 years, has anything to do with the original? We've got people who dispute if Elvis died the way it's recorded, and that happened 30 years ago, and you think the Bible is the word of God?"
They were friendly. They kept trying to change the direction of the discussion, rather than answering my points. Finally, the guy said, "Well, I wish you felt otherwise." and we parted amicably.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Buy me a drink!
Yes, today is my birthday. 37. That's getting to the point where you don't really get excited about being older.

A friend of mine has been nagging me for months to go out drinking with him, so I called him last night. His apartment is a decent walk from a good bar. Mrs Schwartz was a trooper. The low point of the evening was either when the two of us, locked in an embrace, tipped over backwards in my barstool (those things are high), or having the Jager girls calling to me and wishing me happy birthday moments before I slipped around the corner and threw up behind the bar. I got a Jager T-shirt and hat, which actually look cooler than your typical promotional products. Them germans know their stuff.

The birthday gods have blessed me, since I don't have a hangover. Go Me!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Atlanta Drivers

This happens frequently enough that I haven't bothered mentioning it before. Today, there was a girl reading while she went down the interstate. She looked like a college student cramming for an exam. I only mention it today because she drifted far enough into my lane that I had to honk my horn at her to prevent her from running me into the median.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Crazy Cat Lady

My mother is turning into a crazy cat lady. She lives alone, except for her 5 cats. (it could me more. I don't know). Her birthday just passed, so I got her a Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure. She called me to tell me how much she loves it. She's going to put it on her mantle. Like I said, crazy cat lady. She also wanted to know how much they cost, because she wants to buy a bunch of them and donate them to whatever cat rescue organization she's become associated with.

"Cat people are a strange bunch, Exador. They'll pay a lot of money for these dolls."

No kiddin'

Frustrating work

I'm struggling at work. It's very frustrating. I designed a backplane, Rev 0. Everything worked ok with the prototypes, except the regulator circuit was a teensy bit small for the current we were drawing. So I beefed up the regulator circuit without changing anything else. It was a small enough change that my boss decided to buy 50 boards.
So Rev 1 comes in, and a big section of it doesn't work. So I've spent the week trying to figure out why, and I'm getting nowhere.
When we placed the order, the boardhouse, that makes the bare printed circuit boards, had a hard time meeting my impedance requirements. They had to scrap their first two lots. That's very unusual and costly to them.
I can easily see some manager saying, "We are not eating the cost on this again."
My theory is that they fabricated the board with either borderline impedance or flat out bad. When you're dealing with GHz frequencies over several inches, this is significant. I am already pushing what is allowed by the spec. The last thing I need is a faulty board.
But I've been troubleshooting like it's not the board material, but I'm getting nowhere.
The pressure is on. If I can't prove that the problem is in the boards, the owner will suspect that it's something I did. 50 boards are expensive, and we've already lost a customer because we couldn't deliver on time.

Monday, September 04, 2006

An Open Letter to Liberals

I'm not trying to be snarky here. I'm really farming for ideas.

What do people on the left side of the political spectrum propose we do differently about Iraq?

Should we pull out now?
Should we establish a schedule for withdrawal?

What do you think we should do, that the Bush administration isn't doing. I promise I won't make fun of you. You're a smart bunch, and I'm looking for different viewpoints.

With the upcoming election, it's an important topic. How would the left run things differently? All I hear from the democrats are empty statements like these from Hillary Clinton's website:

We must deny terrorists the prize they are now seeking in Iraq. We must repair the damage done to our reputation. We must reform our intelligence system so we never go to war on false premises again. We must repair the breach with the Muslim world. And we must continue to fight terrorism wherever it exists.

Please be specific. Talking points and protest signs are not a plan.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Buy Flowers


Buy your woman flowers for no reason, every now and then.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Music Downloading

I am looking to improve my music collection. I'm thinking of joining one of those download sites.

Does anybody have any recomendations on a good one?

counter stats