Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Monday, May 31, 2004
Up until about 10pm (PST), the contact form was configured wrong. I doubt anyone actually used it, but just in case, if you did, I didn't get your message.
Just in case anyone was wondering what drives this site, I thought I'd put it all together for you. It's actually been fairly simple to set up, though it has taken some time to get it just right. If you'd like to learn more, read on...
It's a new record and the month isn't even over yet. As of this evening, I have received 33,312 spam and virus messages.
So many, in fact, that Eudora was having trouble handling them. Everytime I got mail or dumped some spam, Eudora had to rebuild the table of contents for the spam mailbox.
This got rather tiring, so I went ahead and archived the messages. The mailbox took up more than 100MB of disk space, plus an additional 7MB for the table of contents.
If you thought that spam was just something that one should delete and forget about, think about how much wear and tear on my hard drive thirty-three thousand messages in a single month represents. How much sooner will my drive fail because of a hundred megs of spam?
Since it's Saturday, I only had to work about eight hours. That, plus the fact that my class is over, gave me a bit of time to implement comments, something that another journal author had suggested.
Go ahead and click on that little "comment" link on the right down below and give me a piece of your mind. Please, though, make it an intelligent bit, or at least a polite one.
The place we get burritos (Taqueria El Farolito on Mission at Onondaga) is right next to a bus stop. It is not unusual, on a busy evening, to see two or even three cars parked in the bus stop while their owners visit one of the many restaurants in the immediate area.
Of course, this is strictly illegal, carries a big fine, and has been a source of bursting outrage among the political and law enforcement community in recent years. (Never mind that the buses rarely pull into the bus stops anyway; that's another rant entirely.)
Tonight, a single vehicle occupied the bus stop. What was notable was the type of vehicle. It was a large police SUV, a chevy blazer or suburban, possibly.
Sure enough, I spotted the officer, in full uniform, going into a restaurant.
A lot of people can't seem to figure out why a lot of communities don't trust the police. Well, here's your answer. It all comes down to the police not being held accountable to the laws they are supposed to uphold.
It turns out I'm now a famous mathematician. First, you have to read the original proof.
Yesterday, I got my paystub and idly opened it to check my vacation and sick leave balances. The latter will be important once the impending rugrat arrives and the former in case I'm suddenly overcome by a need to "retire".
I took the number of vacation hours (208) and divided it by eight hours per day. I then took that number (26) and divided by seven days per week to get the number of weeks of vacation I had available to me.
I was both surprised and upset when the total came out as a little over three-and-a-half weeks.
It took me a while before I realized that I don't need to use vacation time if I don't work on the weekends.
Last night, before I went to bed, my total earnings at iStock were $9.90. This morning, I checked again and I have earned $10.20! I'm over the ten dollar mark! Double-digit earnings!
Does that make me a professional photographer?
In case you're wondering, it was my picture of an empty cafeteria that sent me over the top.
The joy of coming home after a long, hard day's work, scooping your son up in your arms, and having him throw up all over you.
I used to think I knew everything. Then I had kids. Now I know I don't know shit. If you think you know it all, then I can tell you two things about yourself: one, you're full of shit and two, you don't have kids. Because if you did, you would know you don't know shit.
Yesterday was my English final. I think I did okay. It was a lot of writing, and some of it took a lot of thinking, but I made it through. There were only two questions on The Bonfire of the Vanities, and I had an answer for one of them.
I came to the conclusion that Dr. Brown is good -- too good. I think a lot of students -- and some professors, even -- believe that City College courses should be easier than those at Stanford, Berkeley, and other such schools simply because it is a community college.
If, however, City College is to be treated as a valid stepping stone to four-year universities, then the courses at City College must be wholly equivalent to those at the top universities. Nevertheless, some students want to coast through their City College classes without having to do college level work. When they encounter a professor that treats them like the college students they are, they get upset.
Personally, I have to say that even though it was a real challenge, I did enjoy the class and Dr. Brown.
I was contemplating my upcoming final exam in English 1B, specifically the short answer section. My memory is so bad that I knew I would do poorly in identifying poets and such.
Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary. We were going to spend the weekend in Sacramento, going to the birthday party of a niece in Folsom on Sunday. I booked us a room at the Marriott Courtyard downtown and, upon the recommendation of a coworker, made a reservation for 7:30 at Paragary's.
Sometime between noon and 1:30pm, someone took the dollar bill. At least they were paying attention.
Friday, mid-afternoon, I came across a dollar bill lying in the middle of the floor near the bathrooms at work. While a dollar is not an insignificant amount of money, I felt honesty and a clear conscience were certainly worth more than a single dollar.
I picked it up and put it out of the way. There is a decorative pattern of square holes in the wall at that point in the hallway. They open into the main lobby, making what could otherwise be a closed and oppressive hallway a little lighter and open. I slipped the dollar in one of those holes, thinking that either the original owner or, more likely, someone less honest or more in need than I would find it and claim it. I expected it to be gone shortly, of course.
This morning, I was on my way to get rid of some used coffee when I noticed it still there.
The conclusion, naturally, is that my coworkers are either very honest or oblivious to their surroundings.
Rather than go out to dinner last night, we ordered in for Mother's day. Rachel's mom had had rehearsals and it's challenging, sometimes, to sit in a restaurant with young children. It's more fun for the kids, too.
Yesterday, Jared demonstrated that he can get out of his crib by himself. He had not wanted to stay in his bed and take his nap, so he had ended up in his crib. Eventually, he did fall asleep. Meanwhile, I was working upstairs in my office. I came down and glanced in to check on him. I didn't see him in the crib at first.
Either I need new glasses or less spam.
I was scanning message subjects before moving spam into the spambucket when I read "Be a girl in 10 minutes flat." Surprised, I stopped and read it again just to make sure I had read it right.
The third time around, I realized that the next message was "BEIL Small Cap Promo Mover" and that I had read that "BE" instead of the word "Get" in "Get a girl in 10 minutes flat."
Sometimes, what we think we read is much more interesting that what we actually read.
P.S., no, that was not a Freudian slip!
Have you ever given a performance for or a lecture to an audience hidden in the obscurity of a darkened auditorium? You know they're out there, but you can't see them. In reality, the auditorium could be completely empty and you'd never know.
That's the way it is a with web-based journal. You write your entries, post them, and that's it. You don't know if anyone is out there listening. Even if you have your journal set up to allow comments to be posted, the number of people posting comments does not equal the number of people reading entries. You can, of course, turn up the house lights and check the logs, but even that can be misleading, what with robots and directories and so on.
Personally this suits me. It doesn't really matter to me whether or not anyone's listening. In fact, I would almost prefer it if no one were listening -- it gives me more freedom to blather on without the fear of offending someone or, even worse, wasting their time.
Parents hear things that no one else can.
Jared and I were waiting for the streetcar this morning when I spied a fire truck coming from the opposite direction. I turned Jared around to see it. When he saw it he called out "Fire Truck!"
At least, that's what I heard.
What's neat is that the firemen saw Jared and waved to him. Even cooler, they also rang the bell a bunch of times.
I was listening to KGO a bit this morning (I just listen for the traffic, honest!) on the way in and caught a bit of the Ronn Owens show. The topic of the moment was a bill, AB 2997, that is quietly making its way through the state assembly that would make it illegal to smoke in a car when kids are present.
You can get complete information about this bill online, including the text of the bill as of April 12, 2004. It was introduced by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh from -- believe it or not -- Los Angeles.
I am fully in support of this bill.
I encountered (I almost said ran into) a bevy automotive problems on the road this morning.
After class last Saturday, I was unlocking my bike when one of my classmates walked up to me. He asked me if I had the professor's contact information because he forgot to write it down.
Yep, that's right. Today, I took my five thousandth photograph. We were at the first birthday party of the daughter of one of Rachel's friend's when I hit 5k.
Jared has been saying "bye!" for quite a while now, generally accompanied by a little wave. It's cute, and one of his few literate accomplishments.
This morning, however, as I was leaving for class, he stood in the doorway, waved, and said "Bye, da-dee!".
A new record was set this morning, although it is not one I am particularly happy about. For the month of April, I received over 27,000 pieces of virus-laden and unsolicited commercial e-mail. That's more than twenty-seven thousand spam and virus e-mails.
I hope it is a record that will remain unbroken for all time.