Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Skeleton People

More of The Onion... this one is just a classic. I remember seeing it a while back, and sure enough, it's republished from 1999:

Archaeological Dig Uncovers Ancient Race Of Skeleton People

A March... By Oil Executives

I normally don't go for The Onion, but this is a pretty good one:

Oil Executives March On D.C.

I also noticed that my last post was the 100th on this blog... I guess there are a lot in there that are just single pictures, but that's still pretty many.

Bored at work

After a disappointing weekend, I was thinking on Monday night/Tuesday morning that, at the very least, I will get to code up something interesting at work... and then, a few hours into Tuesday, hear that my favorite feature, the one I had been looking forward to working on, may get cut (or may not... things change daily, sometimes hourly). Having heard this, I felt license to get a little distracted at work, so having read a few comics and then making myself stare at some javascript, I put this up as my Gmail chat away message:

Once, walking down the street, I saw a man. And then another one. And another, and another! They were everywhere! Cities are such curious places....

I don't feel much liberty to act weird at work. This does make me sad. I wear funny t-shirts, and almost nobody ever says anything about them. I get comments like "you look good in all black." I guess it's a nice thing to say, but... what about my turtle socks? Or my Scotty shirt?

I think the away message was inspired by the Seattle Underground Tour. I'm not sure why, but I'm pretty sure that was it. Um, yeah.

The People Who Run The World Are Insane, Part III

Fight Club For Techies

Notice this implies Silicon Valley runs the world... hey, this is my blog, I can say what I think :-)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Round and round about...

We need some of those engineers to come to Seattle:

Magic Roundabout, Swindon

(Click on the 'more info' link on the pushpin popup)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ah, I miss Frisco...

Only in the Bay Area: a 12k run... in costume:

Bay To Breakers

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Random thought

The American level of financial awareness:

What's this 401(k) thing, and who's Ira?

Another variation:

401(k)... that's what, about 300 miles? And is Ira going to run that far?

My, this sounds familiar....

I don't know how long this will be available (maybe only a month), but take a look while you can:

Dilbert 5/20/2006

I go to meetings with 50 people, and everybody has a laptop. There's nothing secret about it. Some people are looking at the meeting slides, or taking notes, but most are doing email or other work during the meeting. And there's nothing at all seen as wrong with this. I like that :-)

Of course, you can definitely argue that there's something wrong with the meeting if you can do something else while it's going on, but most of them are at least sort of optional, and there are definitely meetings where everybody is completely engaged (you tend to need claws and fangs to get through those, though).

Three months

It's been exactly three months since my first day at work. I also spent almost exactly three months at my internship at Google, and I've been thinking how different it's been in many ways.

In three months at Google, I...

  • made a big group of friends (probably around a dozen) that I knew well enough to call up on the weekend

  • made a couple of really close friends

  • generally knew everybody... I figure by the end of summer, there were probably 50-75 people I knew well enough to say "Hi" to if I passed them in the hall

  • made a couple of excursions to Great America

  • improved my skills at pool and volleyball

  • played in the ball pit

  • had eaten lots of really good free food

  • biked to work almost every day

  • had a project that, while intellectually interesting, would probably never have had much (any) external visibility

  • had an awkward relationship with my manager, one of the very few people I didn't hit it off with there

  • wrote some code...

In three months here, I...

  • have made a good enough impression on my coworkers that several of them have sent out nice visible thank you notes about what I've done

  • biked to work a couple of times

  • went to Canada once to hang out with a friend who happened to be up there

  • learned a hell of a lot about web technologies, especially considering I knew absolutely nothing about them when I got here

  • am getting to work on a really awesome project that millions of people will see

  • am working on the exact part of the project I've wanted since I heard it existed

  • have an awesome mentor (who has become my manager in the time since I started), who's basically the guide I've needed and wished I had since I got out of high school

So, my social life isn't as good here (I was going to say "maybe," but there's no comparison), but my professional life is orders of magnitude better. Sure, there are tradeoffs, but as much as I loved being at Google, it was the toys I loved... not my job. Here, there are no toys, but I can hardly think of better work I could be doing.

There's a lot to be said for a job where you get to go to work.

ps. One side effect of this is that I wonder, when I post, if I'm just talking into a void... but then, the Internet is where having friends in other states is just as good as having them here :-)

Friday, May 19, 2006

More on the Evils of Laziness

Piaw has a good start on that essay on American laziness I keep meaning to write (but don't, because, in the few hours I'm not working or biking, I'm drooling over sports cars):

There is no such thing as talent

I remember a friend of mine in high school talking about a mutual friend we had who was very good at drawing (and art in general). She commented that she'd never be as good as our friend, because she had some kind of natural "ability." I think I disagreed too violently to make a coherent point at the time, but the main thing I was trying to say was that the reason our friend was good was that she spent all her time drawing, and that if either of us did that, we'd be that good too. The idea of "talent" should not be used as an excuse.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My goodness, it must be fast...

Good Lord, it's the real-life Bat Mobile:

Carrera GT

Just for some perspective....
My little student car: It does accelerate, if you're determined: 82 HP
My parents' old 78 Caddi: When you hit the gas, that thing went: 185 HP
Mid-line BMW, like the 330: 240 HP (a few of the heavier ones, like the 7-series, go up to 400)
This thing... six hundred

Porsches are like crack. People sell their homes and ruin their health for them. Maybe I should just stay far, far away.

My count is up to four...

I have now officially seen four billionaires in person. I still haven't seen Bill.

Today, there was a Big Meeting, and I went early since I heard that you won't get a seat otherwise... so I got there early enough I was in the second row. This resulted in me being on the webcast of the Big Meeting. When I got back to my office, everybody said they saw me. Nuts. No wonder I'm always late to things, if this is the kind of reinforcement I get.

Even Dilbert....

Wow, now Scott Adams is taking shots at Google:

5/16 strip
(Check out 5/11 - 5/12 and 5/15 - 5/19 as well)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Really Good Music

One thing that made me like Seattle better was discovering that there's a techno station. I've never found one anywhere else. Music is one point on which Seattle beats the Bay Area, and for me to say that, it takes a lot. Maybe I'm feeling sorry for them in their pleas for funding - the station is run by a highschool, by highschool students, to educate them about broadcasting, and has no advertising - but I figure a little more publicity for the first station I actually prefer to my own music collection can't hurt...

C89.5 Worldwide

Some songs I've discovered by listening to this station:

"Kiss You" by Iio - has some really impressive vocals; effortless yodeling...
"Hung Up" and "Sorry" by Madonna
"Nice Day" by Persephone's Bees
"SOS (Rescue Me)" by Rihanna - kinda ditsy, but it's better if you hear the remix version that doesn't have the bit of talking at the beginning

Oh, and if anyone was wondering about that version of "Dragostea Din Tei" I was looking for - it's not by O-Zone, like the other versions I have, but Haiducii; I didn't find the exact version from that Flash video, but the "Haiducii vs Gabry Ponte [Extended Version]" by Haiducii and Gabry Ponte is pretty close (found it on iTunes).

Ps. The station has a webcast, so you don't have to have a radio to listen :-)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thinking outside the box

This makes me feel better about my history of not playing along with authority figures:

An Interview With Oracle's Larry Ellison

I need some prodding to work on this essay I have in mind, The Glorification of Laziness, And How It Will Be The Downfall Of Our Generation.