Wow, it’s been a while.

Sorry, this blog is somewhat neglected. We do tend to focus on our furkids over at thechubbyferret.net a bit much, I guess.

But, here’s a post for here! Click the link for a lovely wall of text.

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A Dapper Dinosaur

003

I decided that, since Igor lives at the office now (to stare down a coworker’s superhero action figure collection), he should have a costume for halloween. I was going for Steampunk but didn’t really have anything to give it the edge needed, so we’ll settle for Dapper Victorian.

Just Another Day at the Office, chapter 3

Slinking in, again with the glaring (this time at the tiny triple chime from the door, castigating me for entering late), I see the usual gathering around the watercooler. It doesn’t actually have any water in it, of course. Clean water is far too expensive to waste inside a plastic jug, just waiting for someone to knock over and spill. But it does have a very impressive hologram of water, with a sonic and motion sensor tied into the array. Nudge it or speak near it, or end your employment playing something with a bit of bass nearby, and the faux-water will vibrate just like the real thing. Just don’t try and use the switches to get any out. They’re purely decorative.

Currently, the not-water is vibrating rather impressively, to the tempo of the department manager giving an inspirational speech. I’ll spare you the gory details. Just watch any of the approved classic movies, and you’ll see basically the same speech. A thousand sports coaches, professors, parents, and mentors run their mouths for cumulative weeks in those films, and somehow manage to say nothing at all. And they don’t even say it in an interesting way.

This, of course, makes it doubly impressive that my boss manages to be even less interesting. But at least he does it loudly. Any brain cells that decided they wanted the day off are quickly abused of the notion, at top volume.

I quietly walk up to join the crowd, thankful that the no-slip treads on our jumpsuits don’t squeak. As I settle in behind Jenkins, I put on my motivated face. Vacant eyes, perked up cheeks, the occasional nod. When you know the speech, its easy to tell when things are wrapping up and important information is forthcoming, so I just check out until then. My boss slides his eyes over the crowd, lingering briefly on me. He’s probably noticed my absence in the last sweep, but to scold in public is bad for motivation. The only public punishment received is termination. Let That Be An Object Lesson and all that.

I sense that he’s winding down the peptalk, and quickly refocus my attention. Sectors are being handed out now to each technician. With a barely noticeable sigh of relief, I hear the manufacturing sector assigned to Jenkins today. Might be I’ll scrape the rest of that dust off before a new coat gets applied! And…wait…he’s running out of sectors and still I remain unassigned. This cannot be good.

At this point there are only two options left: hydroponics and floater. Hydroponics is actually worse than manufacturing, of course. At least the dust from manufacturing doesn’t try to grow and eat you, like some of the plant life in hydroponics. I may be exaggerating there, but only a little.

Floater usually isn’t too bad, and is considered something of a plum assignment. You get to float around between each sector and offer assistance where needed. It’s the touchy-feely IT assignment, wherein someone gets sacrificed to the other departments as ‘that guy’ who can fix all those little computer issues that don’t interrupt business, but still just bug you. And all in all it’s not that bad. With some creative walking you can lose yourself for ages in corridors and on slipways, and even when you have to work, you almost never have to crawl into corners. Personal terminals are in far more ergonomic (and sanitary) conditions. In the end, floater is for all intents and purposes a paid daylong vacation by comparison to being assigned to a specific sector.

I’ll just let you guess which assignment I got.

Just Another Day at the Office, chapter 2

I scurry out of my dormitory wing, heading for a slipway. They’re kind of like what you used to see at airports back at the turn of the century. On steroids. With hormone control issues. Grabbing a safety loop by the entry port, I take a deep breath, and swing out onto the slipway. The loop locks into the electromagnetic track overhead, and accelerates me up to an unpleasant velocity, while at the same time sliding sideways to clear the egress zone of the next upcoming port. With a twinge from a particularly surly muscle in my shoulder, I relax my hold on the loop and settle my feet to the ground. The entire process has taken less time than you’d think, and I’ve never been able to wrap my head around how the EM fields they use keep the acceleration from ripping you right off the loop. Suffice it to say, as with any sufficiently advanced technology, it was pretty darn cool.

Cool, that is, until you looked to the side. The blur of buildings whipping past evokes primal images of…something. A cartoon coyote…quick drops and sudden stops…its not the fall that kills you…you get the idea. Fast humans and immobile objects never play well, and despite my conscious brain telling me the safety field won’t let me out at this velocity, my body rebels. As always. Just another exercise in the end, the sudden tension from adrenaline surge helps browbeat my muscles into quiescence. Just in time for me to…craptheresmyexitport.

Having seen the blue notification sign with my department name on it, I grab more firmly to the loop and do my best Tarzan impression. Few people these days seem to know who Tarzan is, but I’ve always been a fan of the classics. Especially the classics that haven’t been gutted and re-imagined as yet more ways for the company to slam its motivational spew into my unwilling eyes. Kicking my feet up and praying I started in time to catch the deceleration zone, I swing back to the exit side of the slipway, slowing down from terrifying speeds to speeds that are mildly unpleasant. And with a slight jolt, the loop exits the slipway and drops me off outside my department building. With a bit more velocity than it should.

Dusting myself off, and making sure everything is still attached after my impromptu tumble, I glare at the slipway.  I know I should exit slipways at a fast walk, to let my body use the momentum rather than forgetting that it will be there and more than ready to interact with the floor and its buddies friction and gravity. But lets face it, the 3 minutes on the slipway are going to be the best part of my day. No forced conversation since everyone else is already at the office, plenty of time to ponder high velocity impacts, or what might be for dinner tonight, or just to indulge in woolgathering. Provided its a small sheep and an even smaller bush.

See, there I go again with the classics. Folks these days don’t even know what a sheep is, and an obscure turn of phrase regarding collecting bits of them from shrubbery…well, lets just say I don’t use that expression around the watercooler.

Speaking of which…if I’m extraordinarily lucky, I might be able to catch the morning peptalk at said watercooler without anyone noticing my tardiness. Not that the door sensors won’t compile it for my boss to review later today, but at least that will be a few minutes, or maybe even hours without anyone complaining at me.

Just Another Day at the Office, chapter 1

1
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I woke up late for work again today.

Third time this month, and it was only the 4th. This was not going to go over well on my monthly review. Deadlines are slipping left and right, quotas are seldom being met at all before a new program replaces them. Every manager exhorting his minions with the old college try speech, 110% effort all around. Extra overtime is all but required. Unpaid, naturally. We can’t make ends meet if we don’t sacrifice for the corporation.

I crawl out of my sleeping pod, taking a moment to stretch my weary muscles. Fixing computers may not require as much grunt work and heavy lifting as some of the guys in the manufacturing division, but no one else has to worm their way into nooks and crannies like the IT guys. Even the janitors have long poles to push cleaning implements back where we seem to spend our entire day. Electricians have trained animals with remote mindlinks, sending them scampering along pulling cable; I hear some of the newest innovations get rid of the animal entirely in favor of robots, but the electricians are an odd lot. I doubt they’ll give up their companions for newer tech anytime on this side of the grave.

Anyways, yeah, I needed a stretch. I’d spent three hours contorted into a corner where someone thought a server could fit, and naturally it had clogged with dust and debris in no time. I had to clean all the circuit boards while the power was cut to that section, replacing two components that had partially melted due to the insulating dust coating them. And because unhooking the machine is against policy, it all had to be done in position. It makes for some serious cramps the next morning, let me tell you.

After doing my best to regain control of my rebellious muscles, I grabbed my kit and jogged for the sanitation room. Water rationing was still in effect on company grounds, so I guess it was good that I didn’t have time for a shower anyways. Sometimes I’d love to live without depending on the company allowances, maybe take a real shower sometime, with running water for several whole minutes. Heh. As if. I’ll never be able to live off-campus and still remain on the team. Especially when I live 5 minutes away *on-campus* and still manage to be late.

Brushing my hand over my scalp and taking a bleary glance in the mirror, I ignore the inspirational slogans posted around the rim. I’ve got to finish getting presentable in a hurry, and I never feel like reading that crap anyways. Which is just another thing they’ll mention on my review. A couple of sanitation wipes later, and I’m feeling like I removed a layer or two of grime. My skin looks almost like…well, skin. I’m no longer quite so coated in the fine debris that somehow managers to escape manufacturing no matter how many door seals and airlocks we used.

Hurrying back to my pod, I pull on a fresh jumpsuit. Time for another glorious day at the office.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Adjust the cumin to increase the heat. We’ve only used this on chicken, so I’m not sure how well it works on beef. Let me know!

TACO SEASONING

Makes enough for over 6 lbs of meat.

Ingredients:

  • 6 T (3/8 c) Chili Powder
  • 4 T (1/4 c) Garlic Powder
  • 6 T (3/8 c) Dried Minced Onion
  • 4 T (1/4 c) Oregano
  • 2 T (1/8 c) Paprika
  • 16 T (1 c) Cumin
  • 12 T (3/4 c) Salt
  • 6 T (3/8 c) Black Pepper
  • 6 T (3/8 c) Onion Powder

Directions:

In the crockpot, use 3/8 c of mix and 1/2 c of water for every lb of meat you’re cooking. See the Chicken Taco post for more information. You made need to adjust the amount of water if cooking on the stove.

Store your leftover seasoning in an airtight jar. I use an old plastic peanut butter jar with proportions for different amounts of meat written on it.

Buzz Buzz Buzz

July 029

A Timmy for Thinkgeek


Recently, Thinkgeek put forth a call for Timmy costumes. We were selected to create Buster from Mythbusters. Our submission:

Bonus picture:

Half-Life (PC – Steam)

Copyright Valve

Half-Life

Platform: PC-Steam

Ratings:

  • Story: 4/5 (I couldn’t hear a lot of what the scientists were telling me, making me miss a lot of plot.)
  • Environment: 5/5
  • Game Play: 4/5 (Some minor but annoying glitching.)

Review:

Half-Life is a fun mix of FPS and puzzler, and the first FPS I’ve ever finished on my own. I enjoyed the game a lot but found it somewhat hindered by its glitches: I could not adjust the voice levels any higher than the environment, so I repeatedly missed what the scientists were saying to me; more than once I found myself jammed into the wall, unable to move; and ladders SUCK. For the second glitch, at least, F6 (Auto-Save) is your friend. Actually, F6 is always your friend: I pretty much hit the button after every jump by the end of the game. I also spent a good portion of my time with 4 HP, so I’m not so sure that I played this game so much as survived it.

Megamind

Megamind

I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did. Pogle and I have already watched it two times, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we watch it again soon. While I wasn’t terribly impressed with the supporting characters, Megamind himself is just awesome. Highly recommended (and highly quotable).

Rating: ★★★★★ 

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