Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Best of 2005: Movies I Saw

According to me (Eric).

I have to go with Serenity, because Joss Whedon is my master now. Better than Star Wars I & II certainly. Probably the best original Sci-fi movie I have seen since The Matrix. Damn Fox! DAMN THEM FOR DENYING ME MORE FIREFLY!

But Mr. & Mrs. Smith was also great (Angilina Jolie is on my five celebs I get to bang list). So was Hitch, Kingdom of Heaven, Rent, Jarhead, and Assault on Precinct 13. Even Star Wars and Batman finally turned it around this year, which given their previous track record was about as likely as Ashlee Simpson creating a song that I actually wanted to listen to.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Best of 2005: TV Shows

According to me (Eric).

* "How I Met Your Mother" is probably my favorite sitcom on right now. Any show that includes Neil Patrick Harris (DOUGIE!) and Alyson Hannigan is bound to be awesome, right? Sure it is campy and so similar to Friends that only the fact that the show revolves around 5 people instead of 6 lets to you tell them apart. Did I mention it includes NEIL PATRICK HARRIS?!?

* "The War at Home", along with the Simpsons, are the only redemable shows on Fox. Its always both funny and racy. That's all I ask people. Funny and racy. It's a simple formula really.

* "Scrubs" is still my favorite show on TV (can you tell I have a thing for sitcoms?). Sadly the fall season was put off until next year, which made me bitter. Well actually, it just contributes to me remaining bitter at least. Scrubs by itself can in no way explain my overall bitterness at the world.

* Sue and I discovered "Six Feet Under" this year, and while it was not always 100% awesome, the great moments are some of the most gripping and emotional I have ever seen on TV. Six Feet Under is one of those shows that can absolutely horrify you, give you a three second joke, and then go right back for the tragedy jugular. It's not a show to just watch anytime, but it's worth the ride.

* The Colbert Report - I actually think this show is better then the Daily Show. Yea, I said it. What are you going to do about it John Stewart? BIATCH! That's right.

Canada...F#$k Ya! Group sex clubs legalized in Canada

Once again, Canada proves why it is a great place to party:) First you have the drinking age at 19. Second, strippers can get completely naked. Then you have party girls letting go like only girls who have to wear eight layers of clothes most places will. And now you can end the day in a nice private club having legal sex with a stranger? What more can you want? :)

Best quote:

"Labaye, a portly and jovial 46-year-old native of France, said swingers celebrated the Supreme Court victory with a late-night party at L'Orage."

I'll bet!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas in the south

Usually this time of the year we are long gone and on our way to MI for the holidays but since I decided to work we were delayed due to my schedule and we are forced to spend the actual days of Christmas down here in the south. I gotta say that the warmth and the lack of snow and the lack of a need for a coat make me a scrouge. Bah. I can not get in the Christmas mood. I was finishing up my shopping yesterday and I was walking around with no coat in the sun with temps in the 50's. This is spring weather where I am from. Damn it! I miss the snow so much. I don't get how some people can live their entire lives without having a true winter every year. I have become such a wuss up here with the lack of cold. The funny thing is that people down here put on a coat, scarf, and mittens when it is 40 or 50.

Well, Eric and I will try to make the best of Christmas being 600 miles away from our families. We have each other and that is what is important. As long as I have him, then I am happy. Plus with my job, I know things could be worse. A lot of people are very sick in the hospital for Christmas or dying or have died. I have learned that you need to make the most of your life with the ones you love. This will conclude this rant.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy birthday to Bob!

Usually we are in Michigan for bob's birthday with the snow so I thought it would be fitting to show this picture. Bob loves snow! Bob was four on the 19th but I was working hard saving lives at work ;) We love you Bob even though you cannot read human. My little pup is growing up... (tear).

Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

WoW that's addictive

For those of you who don't know, Eric recently hooked me on WoW (World of Warcraft), which is an online roleplaying game. Yes, I know how lame roleplaying is, and [video confession time] at one point I've been into both D&D and Star Wars roleplaying. However, I'm not lame and I've roleplayed, so therefore roleplaying is not automatically lame (how do you like that logic, Socrates!)

So I figured I'd write a bit about my experiences. Feel free to flame me if you don't like boys talking about games or if your eyes glaze over when I talk gamespeak, but I'll try to keep this accessible.

It's very addictive, but not as fun as it is addictive. What I mean by that is I feel myself drawn back to the game more than the enjoyment I get from it would seem to justify. I find it... precious.

As with all video games, it brings out primal rage in me, particularly when I'm frustrated (died and have to waste time running back to my corpse). At these points I curse loudly and violently (just ask Sue). So it appeals to me because I get the thrill of having new powers and advancing and using my brain. However, it also has the frustration I feel for having to do things over (and over) again.

On a side note, I think I like it because I get attached to my character. At some level, he is me and (as you know) I get angry when I die. In addition, I like my role in the game. I am trying one of the most flexible, but challenging classes (druid). This fits me because I enjoy a challenge, but am easily bored. I play as often as possible with Sue and Eric too and I like playing the protector in that group and being able to play a game with friends 500+ miles away. At the same time, though, it's not the quality time that conversation or face2face would be (when most of our conversation is Kill That thing, Heal Me, or Eric why did you piss off every monster in the frickin room?)

Of course, the irony in all this is I now have time to play the game because I (finally) finished my dissertation on (Taaa Daaa!) Internet Addiction! Oh well, at least my dissertation wasn't totally anti-WoW, that would be hypocrisy (my least favorite -crisy).

So if I seem a little distracted lately (my bad) don't worry, it's only because I'm obsessed with a malevolent technology that dominates my life and kills my relationship and free time for 14.99/month =)

Sex Advice from Game Con Girls

My favorite quote:

Can it (video games) make me better in bed?

Yes. Video-game players are used to looking for secret hiding places, secret codes, secret toys. They're very into details.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Software Practices That Piss Me Off Too

R's post about software practices that piss him off was such a good idea that I feel obligated to do the same now. Thinking up original content is HARD:) Maybe if some of the other posters to this blog pulled their weight (*cough* Paul *cough*). But I digress (which is only slightly better than egressing I guess).

My top five peeves are as follows:

5) Repeating the same code over and over and over and over and over and over again throughout your code base: Pst...hey dumb ass...they solved this problem way back in the 1950s. Its called a function. Learn about them. They are your friend.

4) Curly braces: There is one and one way to use them:

//Note: This always evaluates to true, unless the Eric has managed to
//drop some sort of foul smelling sauce on her...
if (Sue.IsASexyBitch)

Any other way is wrong. Its so wrong that we had to put this in our coding standard because SOME people can't just see that it is wrong and need the Nazi-like brutality of the "PROCESS" to stop them (can you tell I have no found feelings for the "PROCESS"?).

3) Writing functions that are more than 80 lines long: I swear to you this is true. I've now seen at least three production systems fielded to the US Army that contain single functions that are FIVE PAGES LONG. Have you ever tried to wrap your brain around five pages of text at once? Try it some time. Its not a pretty picture.

2) Using Object Oriented structures like a f#$king C programmer: I've lost count of the number of times I have seen people who grew up with functional programming try to turn everything else they see into one giant function graph. This is right:

Objects = data + operations + useful abstractions

This is not:

Objects = place to put functions

If you are in camp number two, please don't work anywhere I do.

I know you are all waiting with baited breath here for #1!

1) Using code you don't understand: OMFG I hate when I see this comment in code:

//I don't know why (perhaps because I am too much a n00b
// to understand compilers, or I have a EE degree but I think
// I should be writing code), but without the next line the
// code afterwards does not work.
<Some code that makes no sense>

And believe me, I have seen this way more than I would like. In live systems. That affect safety of flight. Remember that the next time the you get on a plane.

COM was probably the worse. I swear approximately four people on earth (I was one) actually took the time to understand the problem COM was trying to solve and why it was implemented the way it was. Everyone else just blindly starting using it without any idea what the heck was going on. I've seen more butchered ATL code and code that does unbelievely bad things in COM than any other tech put together. Just the other day I saw something like the following:


Even if you know NOTHING about programming, that sort of code should look wrong to you. Very wrong. Like crashing when you have just 10kb left to download of a video of Anna Kournikova and Tina Fey kissing naked wrong. Worse is there was even a comment explaining why this clearly wrong thing to do was the right thing to do! "Because I tested it". F#$king n00bs...

Friday, December 16, 2005

A day in the life of a nurse

Well, as you all know, I am a new RN working in a big hospital. I thought that you all might enjoy knowing what exactly nurses have to deal with on a typical day. This week was a rough one for me. I work on the Respiratory Care Unit. Breathing is quite important. In nursing school and CPR you are taught the ABC's. Airway, Breathing and Cardiopulomonary are the most important in that order. Before you can fix anything else you need those things working. Your heart can't work unless there is oxygenated blood to pump and the lungs can't work unless there is an airway to get oxygen from. So where I work, number one and number two are usually what we are trying to watch and maintain.

Anyway the first thing we do in the morning, at 6:30 am, is get report from the night shift nurses. Then you look over morning labs and review all of the orders for each patient for that day. Then you go to each of your patients rooms and take morning vital signs and do morning assessments (listen to lungs, check pulses, check IV's, etc). While you are in each room you have to suction any trachs, change empty IV bags and find out who needs pain meds. You deal with all of that and then you go back and try to chart all that you did that morning. We do assessments at 8, 12 and 1600. You give meds as they are scheduled. 9:00 am is a big medicine time but some patients have meds every 1-2 hours. You also attend to any needs that the patients call you for. Sometimes your pager does not shut up. Sometimes trach patients need to be suctioned every 15 to 30 min. Sometimes people need pain medicine every 1-2 hours. Those things take time. Sometimes the patients IV stops working and you have to start a new one. There are also some patients that need dressing changes. The doctors come into the hospital throughout the day and order new things throughout the day. Sometimes you have to assist them with minor surgery at a moments notice, like the insertion of a chest tube or a indwelling IV. Fun! On those very special days you get to give an enema. You also discharge patients throughout the day and get new patients throughout the day. A good day is when you do not get new patients because they take a lot of time. You try to find time to eat lunch and then come 6:30 pm you wait for the night shift nurses to come in and you give them report again.

This week, I had two trach patients, and two end stage COPD patients that happened to both have a history of strokes, heart problems and demetia. Fun! Four patients does not seem like a lot but it is. First of all with trach patients you have to suction them if they are coughing up a lot of junk which they usually do. If you do not suction them then their trach (airway) gets plugged and you have lost their ability to breath. One of them was a 89 year old, crabby woman that was hard to please. The other trach pt was a 37 year old vegetable. At least he did not give me any trouble but it was hard to treat a person that is not there at all. He has no quality of life. He is basically a organ harvester. Still I had to suction his trach and feed him through a tube in his stomach. He had to be fed 3 times in the day on my shift. Of course in the middle of the day my old guy with COPD decided to start acting weird. He was very disoriented and did not recognize any of his family and did not know where he was or what was going on and plus he was not eating or drinking anything that day. I had to call the Dr. quick because that is a true sign that his lungs are not working properly and oxygen is not reaching the brain well. He was in bad shape according to all of the tests the doctor had me order so the doctor had me start and IV with fluids, put in a catheter, increase his oxygen and start antibiotics. This guy is not going to live much longer. He is in poor shape so I was not sure what was going to happen with him since all of his symptoms are also the same things you see when a patient is actively dying. The last patient I had that was the same way died within 12 hours. It was good to see him improved the next day. His wife was the sweetest woman ever and she hugged me and kissed my cheek when I left that day he was doing poorly and said thank-you for being so kind and for helping him. She did the same the next day when I left. That is the rewarding part. The thank-yous when you know you did some good for someone's life. Sometimes it is because it was an emergency situation and sometimes it was just because you took time to sit down and talk to a lonely patient or a stressed out family member or because you took the time to get a patient a snack or treat when they needed it or you sat with a grieving family member.

Of course throughout the day you help your fellow nurses in need. If another patient codes we all rush to that room. If another nurse's patient dies you stop for a moment and feel bad and then you move on with your busy day. If it was a patient that you have taken care of in the past then you go and tell them your condolences and give a hug or two.

Monday, December 12, 2005

CNN Rantings

I hate CNN. There was a point in my life that I loved CNN, so it really pains me to say this. But I hate CNN. I hate both the TV station and I'm still reserving judgement on Headline News and the CNN airport channel.

I can remember a time in the not too distant past when you could turn on CNN and really intelligent people would be having really intelligent debates about policy, international news, or whatever. Now, every time, and let me repeat that for emphasis, EVERY TIME I turn on CNN they have replaced the smart, intelligent news anchor with some vapid, blonde bimbo who's only skill in life is reading at a 10th grade level, applying too much lipstick, and smiling a lot


They have replaced the smart, intelligent news anchor with someone who's only skill is pissing their guest off so that we can watch smart intelligent people shout at each other.

Why? Who decided this was the "master plan to save CNN from the evils of Fox News"? Is this network run by the same people who do Survior (the same thing has happened. "Real" people have been replaced with really pretty and/or angry people as a rule)? Like we need MORE empty angry people on TV? If I want to watch empty people reading, I'd tune in to the plague that the non-stop TV/music/video/movie award shows have become. That's what they are for after all:)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Less Serious Topic

Clearly, my previously posts have bummed everyone out, so I think it's time for something more light hearted.

I saw this article the other day for a new fan-made Japanese game, and I just had to share it: Its an all girl fighting game where, "you can't deal out damage to your opponent unless you take a picture of her panties right after you beat her up." The link above has a picture of the game in action and a link to the game's web site (neither is probably safe for work). The Japanese are a weird group of folks. Of course, if you have ever seen "Ghost in the Machine", or some of the truly sick japanime which I won't name here, you probably already know that.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

9/11 anywhere else?

Random thought for today: If 9/11 had happened anywhere else in the world, would we have given a damn? Do ~3000 people count only when they die in the strech of land that your governing body can collect taxes from? Why DON'T we care when 3,000 people die anywhere else?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Schindler's List Thoughts

Unlike everyone of my generation, I had never seen Schindler's List before Sunday. Six million people. Jesus Christ. First off, the fact that my anscetors were mostly German made me sick to my stomach while watching that. I'm so confused, pissed, angry, sad...its like the Skittle's rainbow of emotions over here right now.

What's worse, I was talking to Paul about it right after, and he mentioned that as much as we try to forget, this sort of thing is still going on today. Look at places like Rwanda, Kosov, even Sudan and Iraq today. People wiping out entire groups of people just because their DNA differs by less than 1% or were born on the other side of some imaginary line drawn on some map.

Sigh... I guess what I am saying is that we suck. Its a good thing God does not do the whole smiting thing anymore, because a frog's terminal velocity is not something I care to experience first hand.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another Trip

I'm in Phoenix this week yet again for a work at the Boeing plant here. Right now I am so hopped up on the caffeine in this extra large slurpie that I am shaking in excitement. So to pass the time until I can fall asleep, I thought I might write down my random stream of conciseness.

First, I cannot believe just how many comments I got from my posts about Iraq. Apparently its a subject that brings out responses from the people:) I wonder if I can repro that with another post on a completely different topic. Doubt it.

I'm out here testing with a middle aged woman (she told me here age so it is ok that I call her that) that surprisingly, I'm getting along with swimmingly. Before we left I was imagining us staring at each other across the table and never talking the entire time. Instead, we have talked about the entire gauntlet of things that co-workers are not supposed to talk about: religion, politics, and the great pumpkin. Ok, only two of those actually.

Some how we have managed to hire at least 2 competent people at work so far this year. I'm so impressed. Our interview process sucks. We don't have people write code, which is a HUGE mistake in my book. And we focus too much on the process crap and not enough on coding skills in general. programmed in Ada 10 years ago and in C since the language was invented. Whoop de do. Too much "gut feeling" hiring and not enough qualitative measurements. So when we get good developers, its mostly a crap shoot.