Tuesday, 19 November 2002

Haven’t had much to say lately. The new job has been keeping me busy and I just don’t get on the computer much once I get home in the evening. I spend most of the time reading. I’m also getting out a bit more but, for the most part, it’s just same old same old.

Oh yeah, I decided to stick with the original “In Heavy Rotation” sidebar design—I couldn’t come up with anything else I liked as much. Now it pulls the images from, and links to, my CD database.

Friday, 02 August 2002

Guess who got a new scanner and has been putting it to some use? Count on seeing a couple test versions in the next week or two—I don’t 100% like the current “Heavy Rotation” sidebar. The problem is that it doesn’t line up with the “What’s New” section. Aesthetics are everything (since I haven’t been adding much in the way of content) and this one is just a bit off.

Sunday, 05 May 2002

Since I started with my new employer just over a month ago, I figured it was finally time to retire the “Geek for Hire” section on the main page. The new job keeps me incredibly busy, but I’m having fun.

I’ll keep my résum&eacute on-line (as part of my FAQ), but I’m not looking for anything right now.

Now if I only had time to finish a couple stories and bring on-line a couple ideas I have for the site.

Friday, 01 March 2002

As we were leaving the bathroom at work, one of the guys told me about an office party he once attended. They had arranged for some games and needed to divide into two groups. One person stood up and said “Crumplers on the left, folders on the right.” Then he sat back down and refused to explain further.

Eventually it dawned on people as to what he meant. One person would figure it out and whisper it to the next. There would be the occasional “eewww” or disgusted look, but as word spread quickly around the room, people started to gather.

The surprising thing was that the group was divided almost perfectly 50/50. On each side there was a good mix of young and old, men and women, managers and worker-bees.

I’m left wondering what the guy from the party thinks about in quiet moments. Imagine sitting across from him at a meeting, he appears to be listening but really he’s thinking about weird stuff like crumpling vs. folding.

About 5 seconds after I get back to my desk, an IM comes in: “So, are you a crumpler or a folder?”

Thursday, 28 February 2002

James Lileks, a local writer, recently wrote a good piece in response to an article in The Guardian that portrays the USA as somewhat bland and having no interest in anything outside our borders.

My favorite part comes at the end:

And if we seem arrogant when it comes to beating fascism, forgive us once more, for we have something you don’t. Practice.

Friday, 01 February 2002

Added a link to my whiz-bang database thing running on a machine at home. This one is a dynamic version of my CD list. The link is the little headphone guy on the last tab.

Yes, there are a couple titles I should probably not admit to owning, but every collection has a few, so why bother bother hiding them?

Thursday, 31 January 2002

I don’t normally do this, advertise or recommend software, especially on the front page of the site, but I really like these guys: Cerulean Studios. They make a fantastic multi-medium chat clent. It handles AIM, Y!, MSN Messenger, ICQ and even IRC.

Why does this matter to me? Why the promo? What are my chat ids?

Friday, 18 January 2002

Since I registered the domain names a few months ago, now www.etherdust.net and www.etherdust.org point here too. This is mostly to save a few friends some hassles because they never seem to remember that the real thing is .com.

Monday, 14 January 2002

Today, I hate the world. I hate everyone in it…at least the ones working for the State Department of Health.

Now that I find myself looking for work, I also have to be concerned with filling out new-hire paperwork when I actually do find a job. The I-9 form is especially annoying because it requires a photo ID and some proof that you’re entitled to work in this country: citizenship papers, work visa, social security card…that kind of thing. But I don’t have a photo ID.

It’s a long story, but I don’t drive. My license expired roughly two years ago and I never bothered to renew it because I have no interest in driving. In the mean time, the ID card itself has gone missing. Best thing for my purposes is a state ID card. There’s paperwork involved, but no written or road test.

In Minnesota, when your license has been expired for more than a year, you have to start from scratch and, like any good beuracracy, they don’t make it easy. There are several possibilities, but for me the best option was going to be a certified copy of my birth certificate and my social security card. All of the other options were things like a passport or military ID. Now, if I had one of those, I wouldn’t need the state ID card, would I?

Then again, I don’t have a copy of my birth certificate, let alone a certified copy.

Through the State Health Department’s Web site, I figured out where to go. They made it seem like you just went in, filled out a form and got the certified copy of the certificate. Easy. I could do that and stop off at the DMV to fill out that paperwork on my way to work.

Once I got to the office, the folly of my endeavor became apparent. The form required every imaginable bit of information regarding my birth: name of parents, mother’s maiden name, birth date, city and county of birth and so on. When I handed the form to the registrar, she asked to see a photo ID. You know, the very thing that brought me there in the first place. I explained the situation but she wouldn’t budge and didn’t really see the fault in the logic.

Finally, she volunteered an alternative. Bring in someone I’ve known for over two years with their photo ID so they can vouch for me. They’re only open from 8:00am – 4:00pm, which means not only do I have to take more time away from work; I’ll be causing someone else time away from their job as well. Luckily they’ll be open Monday (Christmas Eve) and the day after Christmas, so I might be able to get a friend or someone in my family to help me out. But that still meant it wasn’t going to get done today.

I have a silver card case that holds my credit card, a couple business cards, and today it also held my social security card. When I got to work I discovered my card case was missing. I don’t normally carry my Social Security card, but had my original plan actually worked, I was going to need it at the DMV. I was freaked out. If getting a certified copy of my birth certificate from the state was this hard, imagine how painful it would be to replace a lost Social Security card. A frantic call to the Health Department confirmed I had left it there. Great. While my current nightmare was over, it meant another trip down there without completing my original mission.

Luckily, my boss (of over two years), offered me a lift back to the health department so I could retrieve my card case. He also volunteered to vouch for me. Excellent! At least I could get one thing done today.

While everything more or less worked out in the end, I understand why people go postal.

Friday, 04 January 2002

I moved the job search stuff to its own area in the right column. It seemed like the best way to keep it on the front page as I added more news later on.