Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's to all!

And what shall I be doing this New Year's Eve? The same thing I've done almost every New Year's Eve for the past.. 9 years or so - absolutely nothing noteworthy! (The exception in the past 9 years being one New Year's that I spent at a law school friend's parents' house with her, another law schooler - now her husband - and her relatives.)

Where have I spent other past New Years'? Errr.. at home, in my apartment, in a game world (DAoC, SWG, WoW). Yep, that's about it. I'll save the post about me being generally depressed in December-February (inclusive) for another post, after New Year's. For tonight, you party!

By the by, I was invited to one party tonight. (Said invitation having been given about 35 min. ago or so.) The party is 1 hour away (travel time-wise) and I would know one person there, the host. Although I appreciate the invite, no thanks. I prefer the individual loneliness I'm accustomed to than the loneliness found in being alone amongst others.

Quick Note for any friends reading this: I'm still on the lookout for anyone to go see The Dresden Dolls with me next weekend. The Lawless One is busy that weekend (and I am busy the following weekend) and I am awaiting word from The Actuary (said word forthcoming tomorrow, hopefully). If anyone else is interested, send me an e-mail asap at the e-mail address listed here.

ADDENDUM: The Actuary, his girlfriend and I are there. If I remember, I'll post a review/report/whatever. (5:01 PM, 1/01/07)

Friday, December 29, 2006

This Week In Miscellany II

This Week's Album/Anthem: Guster's "Ganging Up on the Sun"

From this Newbury Comics advert I learned about a series of performances by The Dresden Dolls in Boston. While I am not, as such, a huge fan of theirs, I would still like to go see them, preferably with one or more friends. Desafordunatamente (unfortunately), their music (I've listened to snippets on iTunes) is rather avant-garde (somewhat goth), thus limiting the number of friends I would ask to accompany me. I think I'll call The Lawless One tonight (Tues.) and see if he and his fiancĂ© might be interested. Plus, he's over halfway to Boston as it is – might not be much of a stretch for him to go.

A blog – Overlawyered – that might be worth following and/or adding to my links column (plus the Lowering the Bar guy is guest blogging there this week).

This Slashdot post lead me to an interview with author Gerard Jones subtitled 'Sex, Violence, Tension and Comic Books,' in which the author of "Killing Monsters" eloquently discusses violence and games.

This BoingBoing post which led me to find this Terra Nova post about Second Life's misrepresented population numbers. Can't say as it interests me terribly other than in consideration of good metrics to use. I'm not convinced that such numbers must be standardized, though I suspect it would make for much better comparisons if they were.

This BoingBoing post led to this Wired article which describes how NOT to disable your new, RFID-laden passport. I certainly do not endorse, support or suggest any such course of action. At all. ...Although I will note that I am no fan of this particular RFID initiative and that the post discusses various applications of a hammer that may or may not have to do with RFID-laden passports. (I'm just sayin'.)

This BoingBoing post relates how the DOD created a Gilgamesh-based training video that describes post-deployment health evaluation procedures.

And this BoingBoing post led me to Devout Dolls and Stuffed Oddities By Sara Lanzillotta. They look pretty interesting. May have to get one at some point.

Kristopher at Half Pixel discusses The Death of Politeness (primarily in relation to the internets).

xkcd has a funny comic on dreaming. Reminds me of a quote from Sandman, from vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes, "The Sound of Her Wings":
DEATH: ... gets me down, too. Mostly they aren't too keen to see me. They fear the sunless lands but they enter your realm each night without fear.

MORPHEUS: And I am far more terrible than you, my sister.
SpikeTV will be debuting a new cartoon, Afro Samurai, on Thursday, January 4 at 11:00pm. I want to check it out. I think Samuel L. Jackson provides the voice for the main character (or at least he's associated with it in some manner).

Overheard 1:
Manager #1: So, what do we do if any of our employees don't show up for the mandatory Ethics Training?

VP: You direct them to the supplemental Ethics Training, online.

Manager #2: Couldn't we just write their names in on the sign-in sheet and say that they were at the ethics thing?

Overheard 2:
Project manager: Man, my partner nailed me in the ass last night! [Shocked coworkers stare.] Tennis... We were playing doubles tennis!

Overheard 3:
Coworker over intercom: It's been brought to our attention that there is a downed power line in the courtyard. Please avoid it when walking between buildings.

[Five minutes later] An addendum to the last message: Please avoid walking between buildings if possible.

[Five minutes more, fire alarm going off] Okay everyone, we're going to evacuate Building One*. Everyone please calmly make your way to Building Two*.

Boss screaming in background: No, no! The other door! Not that way!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Year One

Technically, my one-year mark came up towards the beginning of this month. That is, I've been with this patent firm for one year now and I wanted to write a post with some of my reflections and thoughts.

I found my current job by sending a mass mailing to almost every patent firm in Connecticut. This is the second time I've done such a mailing in search of employment (the first being Winter-Spring of my first year in law school). This is also the second time I received one response that led to an interview. And this is also the second time that the one response and one interview has led to gainful employment.

Technically, I think that means I have about a 2.5% interview return on the mass mailing (around 40 pieces mailed each time), a 100% success rate on interviews and a 100% success rate on locating employment.

I will be the first to admit these figures and employment opportunities were fantastic coincidences of luck and skill. Which played a larger role is a question I will leave to the historians.

I was hired at my current firm to draft and prosecute (i.e., get issued) patent applications. This was something with which I had absolutely no prior experience. Furthermore, since my background is in Physics (B.A.) with a side interest of computers (a C++ course in college and general life-long interest), I had no prior experience with telecommunications systems and equipment.

Translation: I had a lot to learn. (And I mean a lot.)

But that was why I was hired – to learn. The position was billed as a learning position with possibilities of advancement and growth depending on how everything worked out. The partners at the firm, as with every other associate, would review my work and approve of things before they went out to the client and/or were filed. There are two primary partners and I was told I could expect to mostly work with Partner A though I would also probably have cases with the other partner (Partner B).

And so it began.

I spent the first few months (1-3) learning what things meant and how they worked. Patent prosecution (i.e., working on patent applications) is a whole other area of law. It has its own rules, its own practices, its own conventions, its own qualification exam (the patent bar). A lot of what we do, at least with respect to the mechanics and conventions, is particular to the field and completely useless elsewhere.

But I learned. I learned by drafting things and getting them returned to me covered in red ink. I learned by sitting down with one partner or the other to discuss something I had drafted. And I learned by looking up the answers when I could or asking a friendly associate when I couldn't. Over time, the number of drafts for a document diminished. The art of claim drafting (and truly it is an art) became more apparent and easier to grasp. I learned to regurgitate important language and phrases that improved the applications. It truly was a slow task that required inordinate amounts of patience from everyone – the partners, myself and the friendly associate. Looking back, it's borderline amazing that everything worked out as it did given how many mistakes and errors it took for me to learn.

But it worked. In the end, nowadays, I feel confident about what I'm doing. I can take an invention report and draft a (presumably good) patent application covering the invention. I can take an Office Action on a file I've never seen and figure out what a good course of action is. Are claim amendments necessary? Will argument suffice? Does the cited reference read on our invention? I can take a scenario involving patent law and generally have a good idea of what to do. Granted, this is all limited to drafting patent applications, filing them and getting them issued (what we call "patent prosecution"; "patent litigation" refers to the trial end of things), but it's still a lot to have learned.

I had some problems this year. My health was an issue for a long time, as evident by a week spent in the hospital in January-February. Prior to and subsequent to the hospitalization, I was working part time. I also had some issues learning how to manage cases (i.e., my own docket). At one point, I got behind on quite a few items. In addition, and at least partly due to my health, my billable hours were low this year.

But I learned from these. I'm on different medication for my health issue (stupid ulcerative colitis!) and I've learned to stay on top of my workload. These days, I have a very good handle on when things are due and when they must be done. I've also brought my billables up to a better level. All of these are things that I am still constantly aware of and working to improve and, so far, with which I have been successfully improving.

This post is focusing on work so I won't say much about living at home. I will note that there are tremendous advantages to living only 15 min. from work. Some other employees here live over an hour away (e.g., Manchester, Hartford). It's easier to be flexible when I spend one-fourth the time commuting that they do.

Dealing with clients hasn't been an issue for me. I generally have good communication skills and I like to think before I respond (though in my private life I don't do nearly as much of that as I should). I'm generally well-spoken and well-written so communication is easy for me. Though I do reread every e-mail I send.. twice, I also reread the papers I draft.

Recently, I've been getting more comments from inventors about the applications I write. Comments along the lines of "nice job" and "excellent work," that is. So I think I'm doing pretty well in drafting quality applications that reflect the invention. As noted elsewhere, that's the best comment a patent agent/attorney can receive – praise from an inventor for a first draft.

I'm also sensing greater levels of confidence from my supervising partner. Sometimes he only gives cursory looks at my work, presumably because he has confidence in it. Other times he gives it a quick-but-thorough reading, often finding about 1-6 minor errors. (I'm amazed that based only on a brief review he can find minor corrections I should have spotted.) Some of my recent applications (provisionals and nonprovisionals) have received no comments or edits from the partner (Partner A) who reviews them. I'm also getting more urgent cases from him, such as provisional applications with draft deadlines of 1 week or less. All in all, I think my improvement is evident and that the partners are aware of not only how much I've learned but that I produce quality work product.

In other words, I'm doing good work and the partners know it.

So what do I think is in the works for the next year? (After all, that's the real question, isn't it? In light of what I have learned and experienced, what will next year bring and what changes should be made?)

Well, I don't think much is going to change. My overall goal is going to be to keep on track with my billables. That has been a problem for portions of this year and although I'm currently doing immensely better with it, it's something of which I am constantly aware. For me, staying on track with them is really an effort. Add to that the fact that this firm's billables requirement is at the absolute low-end of law firms and that's not a good sign. But I'm working on it, successfully, so it's just a matter of effort and focus.

I'm constantly learning. That is, I'm constantly trying to improve my output and learn from my mistakes. I don't think that will ever change. It's part of my nature, really. I'm often reviewing what is in my past and attempting to glean new nuggets of information or insight or discoveries from my memories. 20-20 is a bitch.

I doubt I'm going to move out of home any time soon, for reasons previously stated. When do I think I will move out? (Good question, especially since this time last year I thought I'd be out within a year.) I honestly don't know. I want to save up some money. I want to help out my mom. But I also want my own life. And I know I can have all three even given living at home, it just makes the third one a little more difficult.

I truly believe I can overcome almost any problem by suitable application of thinking and willpower.

And I think it may be a "simple" matter of honestly working on having a social life.

That is one of my goals for next year – to honestly meet women and go on dates. I'm still only giving it a half-effort, which is approximately 50% too little. If I'm going to do it, I better really try, otherwise it's just not going to work. And this is what I keep thinking and not doing. It can be difficult to change one's ways.

It would also be good if I exercised a bit more, got a little bit healthier. Tennis once a week was an excellent start, these past few months. When I started, I felt as though I wasn't even in shape to get in shape. A little jog up the front walk would have my heart pounding. But now, I'm much better. That same jog is nothing to me now. So it's time to up the ante and do more™. Again, it's a matter of focus, willpower and choice.

It's all a matter of will for me.

I may simply try to up the tennis count from once a week to 2-3 times a week. That's probably my preferred avenue. Like I've said to others, if I could, I would play tennis every day of the week. And there's the rub. I probably could do that if I really wanted to. But instead, I spend my time as I do. And so it goes.

It could be amazing to see what would happen if I really tried to do something, anything. I'll have to think on this more.

As for game-playing, something I often spend my off-time doing, World of Warcraft's Expansion, The Burning Crusade (TBC), comes out in a month or two or so. It's a very good thing that I stopped raiding in WoW. It was eating my life alive. For some reason, my drive was captured by the raiding and it consumed my life. Literally and seriously. Stopping raiding was one of the best things I did this year. I miss it terribly sometimes, but I am immensely better off for its absence. I love MMOGs but I'm not truly convinced I can handle the engaging nature of them. To me, they can be like crack (or at least what I presume crack to be like, i.e., the effects of regular partaking thereof).

But I will probably get TBC and play it. As it is, I'm currently sort of getting into PvP with my 60 Paladin. I just have to stay away from regular raiding and integrate the fun playing with the not-so-fun working. Then again, maybe I'll try to drop the whole thing. It really is one massive hamsetr-wheel.

2007 will probably see me spending more money on CDs and music. Since I listen to my iPod at work, fresh music is cool. I may even end up getting a good iPod speaker system instead of the tinny iHome 2go that I currently have. It costs more money but the tinny-ness is grating, oh so grating, at times.

I need to read more. Only of late have I truly focused on this enjoyable interest of mine. It would be good to further focus on it. I love reading. And I should then be reading more. And more.

Although I had originally envisioned getting a new car (a Shelby Mustang Cobra GT500) after this Winter, I doubt I will. No need, not yet, and I would rather save some money.

I still need to sit for the CT Bar Exam (again). I had contemplated sitting for it in February 2007 but I don't think I will. I'm not ready yet and I don't want to get ready in time. I'd rather work on getting my hours up for the first few months of 2007 and relaxing a bit, enjoying myself. Maybe go skiing, maybe do more, maybe find a date or two or seven.

One other thing to do in 2007. This year, I barely connected with friends and, more or less, only of late. I need to see them more. There's no good reason not to and plenty of excellent reasons to do so.

Oh yes, in August 2007, my friend The Lawless One gets married. Major goal will be to have a date at least by then. I better.

Otherwise, that was 2006 and those are likelihoods of 2007. 2006, thank goodness, is nearly over. 2007 heralds a fresh slate upon which I shall seek to write the next chapter of my story. I think it's time I tried some different things. Minor ones like dating and getting out of the house at least once a week and living my life. Time's a-passing and I haven't progressed much in the past year. "The future is now." (The Hudsucker Proxy)

Monday, December 25, 2006

More on eHarmony

This morning I had six more matches. I don't know if it's because I changed my looking-for radius from 60 mi. to CT or what, but I'm regularly getting matches. The good news is that most of them appear to be members, having pictures available or saved for a later stage. More good news is that of my 40 matches so far (40!), only 1 has indicated that she's a dedicated Christian (i.e., hopefully nice way of saying die-hard Christian). Apparently eHarmony is heavily skewed to white/non-Hispanic Chistians. *shrug* No big deal to me.

I feel a little bad though, as this morning also saw the first time I closed a match who wanted to communicate with me. She had her photo up and, (as I've said before) while I'm not apologetic for it, I feel a little bad for judging her by her photo. But I, too, can be callous and shallow. No matter how I feel, appearance does matter. That's one reason I'm a little hesitant with one of my matches. We're on step 3 and her photo is still hidden.

For the record, my photo is hidden until 1st questions are exchanged. I figure I want someone to be interested in me for who I am, for what's in my profile, and if they close it after we exchange 1st questions, fine. But at least be willing to give it the first stage without a photo. I am.

Two observations about my matches. I regularly get matched with dog-owners even though my profile says absolutely nothing about my two dogs or such. Granted, I checked boxes saying I like any animal though I don't own any. (I count the dogs as my mom's. When I move out, they're not coming with me.)

The other observation is that I regularly get matched with do-gooders. I'm talking about teachers, special Ed. teachers/workers, counselors, social workers, etc. It's kind of odd, really. I don't know that my questions indicated any such preference (I haven't been able to access my personality profile), though my profile is certainly oriented that way.

One of these days I may yet post my profile here, just to share it. I like to think that it's very reflective of me. It states some things I truly believe, that are probably apparent or known to my friends though not verbalized. I also tried to phrase it so my answers were indicative, for example, of extensions to what I say there. I'm a bit old-fashioned in that a woman will never pay for a first date unless she makes a big deal about it. I hold doors open. Those sorts of things. I suspect you could glean similar inferences from my profile and that's what I was going for – the subtle insinuation of me.

That's a cool quote – The subtle insinuation of me.

By the way, I do purposefully not communicate with some women if their profile contains numerous spelling and grammar errors. I guess I'm pretty picky like that. If your profile is going to be what other people see, what they initially form an opinion based on, then I want to see that you've put some effort into it. I certainly put some effort into mine. In fact, I'm constantly rereading it and making minor changes and some updates (e.g., as I finish my current book). But good lord, please don't have three misspellings, no periods and no capitalization (even of the word "I," and yes, I get matches with profiles like that). I also don't initiate communication with women whose profile is substantially incomplete (e.g., 6-word-sentence answer to an open question or no answer to any open questions).

Nearly every woman lists friends & family under both "three things _____ is most thankful for" and "five things _____ cannot live without". I ended up putting references to friends & family under both of those, just so I wouldn't seem out of place. Realistically, in my opinion, 90%+ of those on eHarmony (and more likely 99.5%+) are both thankful and cannot live without their family & friends. Definitely does not need to be stated in the profile, but what are you gonna do?

I did put Douglas Adams and Hitchhiker references in my profile (direct, not insinuated). I also included one obscure reference to Garden State.

I do not mention the action figures or living at home. The former can come out only after they've already fallen for me. The latter can be discussed in person, where I can explain why I'm there and defend it. (Because I truly believe it is defensible and should not present an obstacle to the woman I'm looking for.)

I'm wary of women who put exercising down in their profile. I'm not that active and I'm not convinced that I would be well-matched with someone who is. That isn't a disqualifying offense, just one that sends up a yellow caution flag.

You'll note above that I talk about initiating communication. If the woman initiates it, I'll give her a shot, at least for a while. It's just that I won't initiate it if I spot a red flag or "disqualifying offense."

Under "five things _____ cannot live without," one woman put "a good bra." While not disqualifying per se, it's certainly... odd. If she initiates, fine. Not going to be me, not with a woman who cannot live without "a good bra." (Or does that just mean she's stacked? See, it's a little confusing and only indicative of weird oddity. As opposed to the kind of oddity I am and/or could easily deal with.) I suspect she was trying to be humorous or sarcastic or some such. However, to a guy, who has no good frame of reference for that topic (other than removing such items from said person, and that can hardly be called a topic of conversation, more likely an intermediate act on the way to the home stretch), it's a bit too off.

I'm also wary of women who list the beach in their profile. I'm not a beach bum. Not sure I'd be a good match with one. Again, not a red flag, just a yellow one.

There's one match whose profile has a few spelling mistakes, lots of ellipses, a few smiley faces (one is okay, more than one is dubious, ditto for IM-speak like "lol") and a beach reference. But she's honest and open in it and she looks attractive. And I'm not going to initiate because the downsides indicate a lot to me.

I don't know, am I just being shallow but in a different way? Or can I call this being "selective?" I'm looking for a woman who is thoughtful and intelligent, two qualities that I can begin to glean by things like spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammar. On some level, I almost feel elitist. *shrug*

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Of eHarmony & Online Dating

I signed up for eHarmony yesterday. I've got about 6 months to see if the site can live up to the hype for me. A few quick points for this undoubtedly lengthy post, some of which I'm posting here instead of in a comment to someone else's eHarmony hate post.

Want to know why I signed up for online dating services (including eHarmony)? I live in a suburb where there are relatively few options of meeting people (2 bars within a 5-10 min. drive). I suck at the bar scene anyways. I don't get out much (I'm in the office for over 45 hours/week). I don't meet (new) women very often. I can be shy. Online dating sites at least have the potential for helping me meet women.

I've been signed up with eHarmony for less than 48 hours. I have 2 open communications and have received over two dozen matches. Granted not all of the matches are within my geographic limits or other considerations, but it's a start. These alone put me ahead of (roughly) 75% of the eHarmony-hate posters.

Honestly, at this point I don't care how others have faired with eHarmony, since I've already given them money. I also don't care too much about their overall success rate since I'm now interested in *my* success rate.

Okay, on to the linkage! And oh what linkage there is.

A comment here had me laughing:
I like to use a combination of techniques to find the perfect date. I don’t have to be bothered with all those messy online forms or banner ads either.

It’s a little something I call speed-stalking. After three-minutes of following a prospect in a store or other public place, I’ve developed a way to read if they’re worth pursuing long-term or not.

It's a win-win.
Interesting approach. +2 for creativity, -50 for style.

"One is never a failure, until one stops trying to succeed." -- River (in a comment here)

"Options, even if they turn out to be the wrong ones, are better than having none at all." -- me (in a comment here)

This eHarmony Blog post led me to this page which purports to have a number of questions one should ask another. Too many questions for me, though I do not doubt their relevancy at all. I link the page more for the essay at the bottom of the page. An interesting read.

This eHarmony Blog post shares one guy's secrets to skipping the Open Communications stage. I do no. 2 implicitly. I refuse to do no. 1. (I'm going to stay completely honest. If I include something like no. 1, it's because I honestly want that in a person. Or I may not include it because I consider it to be implicit. Whatever.) His no. 4 is utterly fantastic. I have little doubt that I will use it. It is what you should do by that point or after an open communiqué or such. Must remember this.

This eHarmony Blog post has a good affirmation ("She'll be here today." -- Richard Bach, "Bridge Across Forever") and an interesting quote attributed to D.H. Lawrence:
Those that go searching for love, only manifest their own lovelessness. And the loveless never find love, only the loving find love. And they never have to seek for it.
Unlike the post's response to this quote, I don't think I'll ever turn this into a game. If that were my goal, I'd have my own apartment and be at the bar 4-6 nights a week, trying to pick up one-night-stands. That's not me. That's not what I want. What I do want is to meet someone and develop a meaningful relationship. Where it goes from there I cannot say, but if I even get that far it will be further than I've managed in 3 years.

I may have to ponder that quote more. May be another blog post in it.

This eHarmony Blog post allegedly describes the two (differing) fundamental goals behind male and female eHarmony users:
Men from eHarmony have two goals: They want pictures of you. They want a date this weekend.

Women from eHarmony have two goals: They want a husband. They want the safety of prolonged "Open Communication."
I suspect this isn't too far off. I eventually do need a picture, though it's really only to see if she is remotely attractive (i.e., to ensure that I might, in some respect or other, be even remotely physically attracted to her). If I think she's hideous, then it's a no go. A long time ago I got over the fact that, yes, I can be shallow about these things. I'm not apologetic about it, even though I want to be. But I also try to keep an open mind and, as long as she isn't hideous, I will give her a shot to see what her personality is like, what she is like. That's my philosophy on that. And I do want a date this weekend. But I'm patient and willing to talk for a bit if that's what she wants. I'm very easy-going (which rarely, if ever, works out for me).

By the way, can you tell I've been perusing that blog?

This eHarmony Blog post links to a number of other good posts. Good information, good reading (for me at least).

"The secret of being interesting is to be interested." -- Bill Carruth (from here)

This eHarmony Blog post describes The eHarmony Match Circuit. Down the road, I just might try that, especially since my geographic goal is skewed to CT (i.e., more towards North and East of me, rather than extending all the way Southeast into The City – NYC, that is).

I may have to (or want to) do this at some point. If not for security reasons (which I'm honestly not too worried about since, I believe, the credit card company assumes the risk should the card number be stolen), then to avoid automatic renewals.

I don't think this is true any more (" only matches women with taller men"). One of my matches is 5'8" to my 5'6".

This post is friggin' hysterical! Not for the premise or lead up, but for this final paragraph (emphasis added):
Unfortunately I will never be an eHarmony Don Juan. It just wouldn't work out. The paradox of being a good Husband/Father and being in the dating scene can not be resolved. Also, were I to actually become single, I'd likely revert to my previous state of frustration and annoyance at the hands of the female population (Idiots, the lot of you). After a few years of this, I would then develop a healthy contempt for women, leading to a cold unwelcoming persona that only the keenest eye could see through and get to know the great guy I could be deep down. Without my marriage I’m no better than any other guy. This is just another example of how life is unfair, I only become desirable to wide swaths of the female population when I’m no longer interested or available to them. Sorry ladies, you can soak me up with your eyes to use in your fantasies, but no touching.
Why can I picture myself as that description in 3 years' time?

"Oy, I’m back on the saddle again. Broken hopes here they come." -- The eHarmony Blog (9/13/06)

Good tips and tricks for Match Settings.

As I was reading someone else's eHarmony blog, I realized (or, more accurately, remembered) why this eHarmony thing (and dating in general, let alone "online dating") feels so adventurous to me – it's completely outside my comfort zone. I've been living in that zone for ..well, I was about to write something like 1.5 years, but truth be told I've been living in my comfort zone for longer than that. I don't know when it started or if it ever wasn't. Sometimes I do things to prove to others and myself that I can do them (e.g., joining a fraternity). I haven't done anything like that lately. What I want to do, some day, is just go. Where and what and when aren't questions for that. Just go. But I can't do that, not yet, maybe not ever. And if never, that's okay. I think.

Anyways, I deviated from the point. This, for me, is breaking out of my comfort zone. It started with that first blind date a few weeks ago. It will finish, or at least this phase of it will, when I go on my last first date.

"How can I build a harem?" -- The eHarmony Blog (7/18/06) (Note it was a humorous question.)

Mental Note: Do not consider the stages of the eHarmony communication process as elimination rounds. View them as getting to know the person. Learn from them, do not reject for them.

No closing here. Move along.

Friday, December 22, 2006

This Week In Miscellany I

Happy 8th night of Channukah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Holidays!

I've decided to start grouping together the random miscellany I come across during the week (including quotes and Overheards) and post it in one massive post on Fridays. The change in format is for two reasons. First, I dislike the often-daily postings of miscellaneous, non-timely things. Second, it should free up space for daily (or every-other-day) posts. And I really would rather provide additional "quality" posts (where "quality" means non-miscellany).

By the way, in looking up "bi-" (as in bimonthly or biweekly), I came across this helpful AskOxford FAQ. The other Q&As in the section look rather interesting, for example:
Apart from 'angry' and 'hungry', what other common English word ends in '-gry'?

Are there words that contain the letter 'q' without a 'u' following it?

Is there a word for a baby hedgehog?
And so on. Go check it out for some amusing and informative Q&As.

Apparently, there is a 1% CT state sales tax on electronically delivered software (e.g., downloaded music). I was not aware of this until the helpful Apple Customer Assister Person Jobber pointed it out.

Web changing art world (CNN). Should check out STUART (standing for student art) as available via a link at this gallery.

Dale Norvell's Deviant Art page, as linked to by Scott Kurtz.

Diesel Sweeties: May Contain Up To 20% Angry Robots By Volume (i heart pixels)

MMO Blogosphere Pervasion Rating (linked to from Tobold).

Evan linked to's The 40 Best Albums of 2006 and BTQ's Best Books 2006.

Scott Adams discusses failing a gender test and proposes a 7-question gender test of his own.

PoxNora – an online game I want to look at.

Today's PennyArcade News discusses the CTS (or Cardboard Tube Samurai, for the uninitiated), whom this holiday's bonus story arc will feature. I like this CTS comic. (The News features the colored version of it, incidentally.) Would be pretty cool as a poster or some such. The News also has desktop backgrounds for this Winter's CTS special. The News also linked to this 2004 PA Winter special comic line. Looks awesome.

"Your sarcasm bounces of my marshmallowy shell." – Ctl+Alt+Del (12/22/06)

Paul Southworth (of Ugly Hill notoriety) knows The Truth About Christmas.

Should law firm bonuses give credit for blogging? (Yes.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I know

...that I said I'd cool off with the daily posting but... well, even though the bar for posting has been raised (ever so slightly), I'm still going to post things I'd like to have a chance to look at later or things I'd like to add to other parts of this place.

"You are a man too lazy to fail" -- Kristine Blauser Scalzi (courtesy of Dylan)

"Your insolent mind will never rule this world!" -- Athena Scalzi (courtesy of Dylan)

"NO MERCY" -- A staff member from my firm (also a phrase I would like to see printed on a bumper sticker)

A Sherlock Holmes Game that apparently crosses mystery-solving with Cthulhu.

And an Overheard that had me laughing hysterically. It's almost difficult to believe that such people exist.

By the by, I retook the eHarmony test. Lo and behold, I am not completely unmatchable by their 27-point (?) system. Even so, I have reserved consideration as to whether or not I'm actually going to pay them and fully sign up. I'm just a little bit dubious over the change in eligibility from my first test to the second.

It reminds me of the time I took an over-the-phone multiple choice test to work at FYE (an entertainment store with CDs, DVDs, videos, action figures, etc.) in the Trumbull Mall. (It was required as part of the employment inquiry.) In true irony, I actually failed the test. I was probably too honest when they asked questions like "Have you ever lied?" or such. Honestly (hah hah!), the test was worthless. Anyways, my parents made a small stink about it and I was given a second opportunity to take the screening test, this time having received admonitions from my parents that I should try to give answers I thought the system was looking for as opposed to honest answers. The second time around I passed the test. Needless to say, I didn't get a job there regardless. (I ended up working for K.B. Toys, also in the Trumbull Mall.)

I don't know if it's that eHarmony changed something the second time or that I varied my answers substantially from the first time. And if the latter, does that invalidate either taking of the compatibility test thingamajig? *sigh* Doubt creeps in.

Tonight is night 5 of Channukah (my preferred spelling). Probably my least-favorite spelling is the intentionally-off "Chanookah." Some of my fraternity brothers thought that spelling made for mild entertainment on party flyers. Whatever.

Y'know, I should consider scanning in some of my old fraternity party announcements to post here. I'm rather proud of the ones I did. Full color, cool graphics, and what I like to think is some artistic style or consideration. I swear, in another lifetime, I was a successful artist.

...Alright. A teaser that I have a story developing (possibly). Or it's over already, I can't rightly tell which. It depends if she continues the e-mail "conversation." Oh bollocks, I'll just write it quick. Remember that mail that incited me to sign-up? She and I exchanged photos yesterday. It sounded like we would continue e-mailing. Guess we'll see.

In the meantime, I really need to get better/more recent photos. Probably won't get to that until later on, though. I'll likely need/want help from a friend at least in managing the camera-end of things.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

iPod on Shuffle Mode I

1:21 PM
"It's Alright, It's OK" by Leah Andreone

"Seven deadly sins, seize the hour seize the day."

Easily one of my favorite lines from all songs.


2:07 PM
"Running" by No Doubt

This is one of my favorite songs. When I first heard it, I would listen to it incessantly for car rides to and from wherever.

"Don't let me fall out of love"

I remember reading Bono opine on what makes a good love song. One of those love-themed numbers that really captures something. One part of his answer was that it had to be bittersweet in some respect. I think he referred to U2's "The Sweetest Thing" by example. "Running" reminds me of this as it is hopeful and love-entwined but just a little troubled by an injection of doubt. Lines like "Do you think we'll make it?" and "Keep holding my hand so we don't get separated." are a little bitter, a little wondering whether it will hold. And that is the essence of bittersweet – a song that could be too sappy and otherwise ignored, except for the tinge of bitterness that brings a great flavor.

I love it.


2:15 PM
"Push" by Matchbox Twenty

Just another great tune from one of my favorite albums (Yourself Or Someone Like You).


2:39 PM
"You" by Breaking Benjamin

A good beat – slower at times but electric and still powerful. I would classify this song as more mellow than other "heavy" music I occasionally listen to.

"Promise me you'll try to leave it all behind..."


3:04 PM
Music tends to get me working faster and working happier. Truly.

"Who Are You" by The Who just came on. My toes are tapping.


3:10 PM
"Little Sister" by Jewel

"We've got to start feeding our souls..."

"My little sister is a zombie in a body..."

A calm acoustic gem.


3:13 PM
"Too Far Gone" by Sixpence None The Richer

"Why do I do this to myself, there's really no one else to blame. So could you reach down and pull me out or am I just too far gone to be saved, or am I just too far gone to be saved..."


3:35 PM
"Bleed Like Me" by Garbage

I've commented on this one before. Such excellent lyrics.

"Hey baby, can you bleed like me?"


3:58 PM
"Du Hast" by Rammstein

"Du. Du Hast. Du Hast Mich."

Mmmm... German industrial music. So gripping.

(No other thought-provoking music came on thereafter to provoke additional responses.)

Overheards Briefly

Overheard 1

Overheard 2

Overheard 3

Monday, December 18, 2006

Woodcuts of Ice Tea Bottles

One Overheard, Two Overheard.

"If we start restricting Miss USA’s right to party, the Taliban has won." -- Scott Adams, The Dilbert Blog (12/18/06)

3:41 PM – "The Dolphin's Cry" by Live (from the album The Distance To Here) just came on my iPod (shuffle mode) and sent shivers down my spine.

"Love will lead us, she will lead us. Can you hear the dolphin's cry? See the road rise up to meet us?"

An acoustic version of "Duvet" by Boa (from the album Twilight)? Very, very cool. Highlights the lead singer's vocals rather nicely. And you can hear some impressive guitar playing as sub-melodies and such.

"Who will save your soul?" Yeah, but does it need saving? And according to whose definition of "saving"? Great song, tough premise.

Let us speak briefly of hypotheticals. In a hypothetical law firm, my friend recently quit. I will not list reasons here but I will note that he did not give 2 weeks notice. He showed up that day, spoke with a partner that night, and he was done.

In another hypothetical law firm, from a friend at said firm I recently learned that there may be a sexual harassment lawsuit on the horizons due to questionable conduct from an associate towards a secretary there. My friend mentioned the word "e-mails" which begs the question why someone would send anything even remotely sexually suggestive by e-mail to anyone other than a good, good friend or S.O.

But diet Snapple Peach ice tea is this side of godliness. Or was that cleanliness? Or piousness? I forget now. It was certainly some –ess or other.

We're out of chocolate in our kitchen goodies at work. This is a travesty of the worst kind.

Aaaaaand I'm done for today.

Paperclip Stampede

I'm going to change the subtitle in a few minutes. This one managed to hold on for two weeks, largely due to my forgetting to change it last Monday.

By the by, the old quote, here preserved for addition to the quotations page:

"Beloved by humans, envied by trolls." -- Honda (car commercial)

That quote just struck me as an odd bit of marketing. It's a commercial that features a troll envying the humans for their car, which is, obviously, a Honda. Yes, because I base my car-purchasing on the opinions of trolls. Relevancy? -11. Even so, a mediocre-enough commercial, especially for providing me with a quote.

The soon-to-be-new subtitle:

"I'm very discreet... but I will haunt your dreams." -- The 40 Year Old Virgin

I was watching that movie on Saturday night, while sitting on the couch with the two dogs. I love the movie, though some day I have to see from 0:15 to 1:00 (time-wise). I've seen the first 15 min. and the last 30-45 min., just not the middle part before that. It's kind of bothering me. Some day I'll buy the DVD and just watch it.

In response to zuska's question left in a comment to this post ("So, are you gonna get your own place?"), chances are that I am not or at least not in the next 6 months or so.

I've been thinking about this on and off – when am I going to move out? And while there are plenty of good reasons to do so, there are plenty more for not moving out. Truthfully, the savings on rent and the extra perks (e.g., mom making dinner, helping me out with some errands, doing the grocery shopping) do play a role, but they're not the main reason. I'm home because it helps my mom out a lot. And I mean a lot with all sorts of bold, underline, italics, etc. I'm giving her a rent-like payment (less than actual rent in the area, though) every month so that's helping her meet ends. I help with the dogs and running errands. And we're also just general company for one another. It's a little bit sad but neither of us has a particularly strong social life and there really isn't any other family nearby. We are our family, her and I. I've lived on my own before for 3 years and I know where that road leads (e.g., dirty kitchens, not buying groceries for 1-2 weeks on end, lots of take-out).

Besides, the dogs would miss me.

And, again, truthfully, she's not pressuring me to move out and I'm not regularly feeling like I need to. So, for now, it's not urgent. I know that this could (probably will) affect my attempts at dating, but being home with my mom is important to me now. It was important during the year off between college and law school. It's important because my dad isn't here (he died in '01). It's important because otherwise she's on her own. Almost completely. And I don't want her to have to deal with that, not yet, not while I can be home.

So I'll stay for now. I can't stay indefinitely, I know that, but for now, since I'm already here, and since there's no huge pressure to move out (no great reason that overrides the reasons to stay), I will stay. And I'm going to maintain that I'm not a "momma's boy" or such. I think my reasons are valid and they're not just for mooching, for the benefits it provides. It's more for the benefits I can provide her. (Hey, the dogs can be rough to handle on one's own!) And if some woman (more likely, women) I meet or date can't deal with that based on my reasons and background, too bad.

I will move out. Probably within a year or so. Just not yet.

Also, I signed up with The e-mail was real (or seems to be). Just strikes me as terribly odd. But I'll reply tonight and send her a photo of me (and put some photos up). *shrug* More on another time. Back to work!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Why You Should Already Be Reading Diesel Sweeties

And just to be absolutely clear, this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Secret Satan contest. Nothing whatsoever, damnit!!! And I am definitely not writing this post today because said Secret Satan contest ends today. Nope, not at all. Wouldn't dream of it. The merest thought hasn't crossed my mind. However, all that being said... rstevens Clango *


"Why You Should Already Be Reading Diesel Sweeties" by Alan

Because it is pixilated robot romance incarnate.

Because you like poking things with a stick.

Because you wish you knew a robot like Clango.

Because she owns an orbital laser and isn't afraid to use it.

Because you too already use machines for pleasure. (Okay, okay, entertainment at the very least!)

Because she's a tatooed ex-porn star turned lesbian with a drinking problem. (It's true!)

Because it's Friday and you're done working for the week (even if it is 3:30 in the afternoon).

Because the author is a little bit crazy. (But in a good way, not the cross-the-street-to-avoid-him one.)

Because androids do dream of electric sheep (and so can you).

Because the titles alone can be entertaining .

Because with your ass and my brains, we're gonna make millions.

Because there's a character called "Nipples the Bear".

Because bacon is a vegetable.

Because it can be dirty.

Because one day the machines will take over.

Because Chewie is my co-pilot.

Because it can be punny.

Because I'm a rocker, I rock out.

Because it's festive!

Because I could go on surfing through the over-1600 comics in the archives to keep linking you excellent ones that you should read when you should be doing that yourself.


*For the record, I actually did consider a non-asskissery post except the comic is just that good and entertaining and you really should be reading it.

Quickly First

Smurf 'n Turf is funny. (Get Fuzzy, 12/15/06)

I should probably be reading Dandy & Company.

Tycho of Penny Arcade clued me into Pirates Online, an online game from SOE based on the Pirates Collectible Strategy Game.

Sohmer was a little pensive over at LICD:
It’s an odd thing to do I think, when you’re forced to look at who you are, who you’ve become. It’s even weirder to try and piece together how you became that way, this way. A thousand little forks in the road, a million tiny events are all responsible for who you see every time you look in the mirror.

I think it’s something important to think about, and it’s also something I’ve forced myself not to do for a good many years. I’ll be sharing more thoughts in this vein as the storyline continues, which is far, far from over.

In any event, let me thank you folks for giving us the opportunity to do this arc, it’s important to me, more so than you’ll know.

Oh, and it is true what they say about me by the way, I do have the soul of a poet…the mouth of a sailor after 11 months at sea, but the soul of a poet.
He speaks truth.

End this post, begin next.

The Lowdown

Because "updown" just sounds funny.

eHarmony reset my test so I can take it again and see if I'm truly unmatchable by their system.

Someone on sent me an e-mail only since I'm not a subscriber I can't read the damned thing. I find it difficult to believe someone e-mailed me there considering I didn't even post a photo. Even so, because it would drive me crazy otherwise, I'm going to end up giving them money and signing up for 3 months just to see who e-mailed me. (I'd sign up for 1 month but their pricing is so skewed that for only.. $21 more I get 3 months.)

Yesterday, the partners took us out to lunch at a local restaurant. Very nice lunch!

And I have to put up a DS post for Secret Satan today. Ugh.

Also, the Painkiller Jane movie on the SciFi Channel stunk. Absolutely.

However The Lost Room miniseries was excellent!!! Very good.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Le Sigh

I've been shying away from the midday break posts but today needs one.

Link to Little Comic

This has been a crappy, crappy, crappy, crappy, crappy day for me. Dogs go on the floor this morning so I have to clean that up. That means I get into work later than I wanted. And I get comments on a nonprovisional application draft back from a foreign associate. I really, really don't like the comments or the changes to the claims but I have to grin-and-bear it 'cause it's the client and you do what the client wants, as long as it's not illegal (no matter if you disagree or not). So I spent hours making my nonprovisional application worse. And that hurt me. It actually caused me pain. I'm in a rotten mood and I'm sick and fed up and just really foul. I haven't decided if I'll leave early. I may, just because I don't think I can be anything close to productive. I'll give it at least another 30-45 min., see how it goes. But I'm really just tired and pissed off right now. I think part of it is that it's actually hard for me to produce bad product, especially if it involves making (what I consider to be) bad changes to an otherwise good product, as per instructions from someone I don't know and don't trust and where said instructions are, at times, counter to what I've been told to consider as good practices.


I need more than 1 album of Rammstein for times like this.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

iMix Coolness

An iMix list of songs that (so far) sound excellent. I'm not sure how to save a link to this otherwise (except for reminding myself that I found it from the page for Angelzoom).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Online Dating Warmup

I've been avoiding this post because I don't really want to admit it. Because even though it's not really frowned upon, it is a little odd and most of my friends have not met their current S.O. through online dating. But I am writing this because I'm going to try something "new" for next year.

My New Year's Resolution is to honestly try and meet women. And since I'm not a barfly and I live at home with my mom and two dogs, online dating it is. Well, that and speed dating (which I do have to look into).

My efforts to find a date in the online realm can barely be termed efforts. I've posted here and there, sent 3 messages (total). Part of the problem is that I haven't really given it a solid effort. I also need to get some decent photos of myself as, well, I really don't have any. I'm not sure how exactly I'm going to work that one out but I'm going to have to try (probably with help from friends).

So tonight I gave it a first pass by trying to choose sites and/or learn more. Apparently I'm unmatchable by eHarmony (thank you very much) and so my first pick is dead in the water.

By the by, I'm probably going to look for a pay site, preferably a reputable one, as that alone will help filter out random passer-bys and such. I'll also give some free sites a shot, just because, but I won't rely on them. Likely free sites includ OkCupid and JDate (since I am Jewish).

Good lord, this article is damn funny. I hope I don't ever reach some of those stages.

As I'm writing this, I have about 8 other websites loaded and I'm reading some of them (hence the above link). This guy sounds like he's got his head screwed on straight. Sounds like a Jewish guy who's on JDate. He also recommended as another free Jewish dating site. And as for writing a profile, he recounts a time he helped a friend spruce up her profile:
One thing I explained was that the typical person hates to sit down and write about themselves. They just want to get into the site and look around and not have to essay homework. Meanwhile when people do write their essays they do it as just that. Writing an essay, which isn’t really an accurate description of themselves. If someone asks you to tell them about yourself, you’d say a few things and perhaps give examples. Unfotunately these aren’t the things you’d write in your profile - but it should be. Instead you sit down and write a bad homework.

If you want to write a decent profile, try to answer a few or even any of these simple questions:

* What inspires you? What makes you happy? Why do you exist?
* Who is your hero? Why?
* What was the last thing you did that you enjoyed. What was the last books you read, movies you saw, places you’ve been. Don’t write what you like to do or want to do - that’s fantasy. What did you do last sunday?
* Convery what you are missing and what you are looking for.

Try to be original and unique. What makes you different than all the other people here that have different photos but also like long walks on the beach?
Pretty good advice. I like to think my profiles are written with a smidgen of that kind of thought, though I doubt they're as eye-popping as I'd prefer. Maybe I have to give this whole thing a good second try instead of the medioce first tries they've been getting.

Back to other business. I also briefly looked for guidance about pay sites. There's this Online Personals Watch which does link to an article that compares some sites. The skinny? I should probably try and maybe

PlentyofFish is another free site.

Other pay sites include Perfectmatch and Chemistry. AmericanSingles is another pay site.

Hrmm. Maybe I should really try to get some decent-to-good photos and give the free sites a shot (possibly with one pay site, True).

Sheesh. Well, I haven't really gotten anywhere here. But I do think I might have a direction. Step 1: Photos. Step 2: Profile (and I have some good starts here). Step 3: ... Step 4: Profit! Errr.. Girlfriend!

In reviewing this post, I can see I've already flipped at least once or twice on the pay sites or free sites thing. Ugh.

Alright, it's 10:30 at night and I need to be in bed. More on this another time.

Different Smiles

For lunch yesterday, I purchased a barbecue bacon cheddar cheeseburger from Duchess, down the street from work. (Yes, I went to work for a few hours, yesterday and today.) Having obtained my food and drink, I returned to my car. A woman was getting into the car next to mine. When she looked at me, I flashed her my hello-I'm-harmless smile as I got into my car.

I have a variety of smiles I use for an array of situations, emotions and reactions. These include: the hello-in-passing smile, the smile-with-head-nod-to-show-I'm-listening, the wry smile (difficult to explain but oft-employed) and the smile-while-you-talk-to-make-you-think-I'm-paying-attention-but-secretly-I'm-contemplating-unspeakable-acts smile. There's also the genuine-smile-for-something-I-find-genuinely-amusing-or-funny smile but it's a rather rare one.

I don't think we, as a society perhaps, are very good at interpreting most smiles. Fake or forced laughter, yes. Fake or forced smiles? Not so much. See, I just smiled a wry smile there and I bet you missed the non-existent sarcasm! More seriously, I smile fake or forced smiles all the time – when a co-worker is being particularly insipid or insufferable (though, of course, my co-workers are never insipid or insufferable), when a relative is telling me about something in their life that recently occurred but which I really don't care about and which I will promptly forget either in 10 min. or after the trip (though, of course, I deeply care for all my relatives and listen with rapt attention when they speak), when my boss says something he presumes to be funny (though all my employers, past, present and future, are comical geniuses who I can only hope to one day mimic).

Have you smiled yet while reading this? I bet you gave a half-smile of mild amusement. No? Maybe I suck at interpreting them too. Or maybe you're an insensitive clod who would not even merit being served as llama-chow.

Hmmm... An electric llama. I wonder if there was one in Philip K. Dick's book.

But I digress.

We all have a plethora of smiles that we use in various occasions for various purposes. How horrible would it be if other people were actually capable of interpreting these different smiles? "Your smile says you found my ant joke amusing but I know you really regret the past 2 min. of your life." That's one thing to be afraid of – people actually learning all your smiles. Your significant other may learn many or most of them, but I would bet dollars to donuts that she/he can't interpret all of your smiles.

I mean you always have to have a few mysterious ones in reserve, even if it's only an I-went-to-Home-Depot/the-shoe-store-and-purchased-an-expensive-tool/pair-of-shoes-I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-about-yet smile. (He writes while smiling mysteriously and oh so enigmatically.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Slight Change

Well, due to various things (like work), I am not going to make a solid attempt to post once a day.  I will try to ensure that there are at least 2-3 posts per week, hopefully more like 4-5+. 

This also means that the posts will likely be less regurgitation of links and more substantive.  Expect more random posts on random topics that happen to flit through my mind at random intervals.  (It happens more than you think.)


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Must Go Faster

Tim of CAD relayed that NBC has all 11 Heroes episodes available for viewing (free).  If you haven't been keeping up, now is a good time to remedy that.  The show is on hiatus until Jan. 22 so you have some time.

Brad at Evil Inc. has a number of news items.

CBR has an interview with Scott Kurtz about PvP: The Animated Series.

Spider-man 3 may be it for Tobey Maguire.

Chris Eliopoulos has an essay about perception in and of the comic book industry.  (Not a bad read if you catch his comment.  It identifies the overall direction he intended for the post and places his whiney rant in a much better context.)

Richard at ds is asking for write-ins (to newspapers) from his readers.  I've gotta do this one before I forget.

LICD is featuring a live Dear Rayne Show Friday night at 11pm EST.  I'm going to try and tune in for this one.  It looks to be as "provacative" (i.e., raunchy, crude, crass, amusing...) as the comic series.

Tobold highlighted GuildCafe, a social network for online gamers (currently in beta).

Evan at LU links to a Rolling Stone interview with Sacha Baron Cohen (not in character, e.g., as Borat).  (Evan also has some other interesting links on that page.)

LTB discusses an accused serial pig-tosser.

And two Overheards, quick - one and two.

¡Adios muchachos!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Good News!

The good news I spoke about in my previous post? Well, today I had my annual performance review with the managing partner.

Summary: They like my work, good quality, they want to keep me around, I need to increase my hours, I need to be better about deadlines.

The punchline? I get a bonus for this year.

...and a substantial raise for next year!!!

WOOHOO!!! YAY!!! WOOT!!!!!!

I won't post numbers here but let's just say the raise is a bit more than +10%. Quite a bit more.

And so I do my happy dance! (Drinks are on me!)

Getting There

I eventually want to comment on NYC banning trans fats.

I should visit Rotten Tomatoes more often for my movie information needs.

And I want to blog about Pathfinder (which is due out on January 12).

I should visit Comic Book Resources more often for my comic book information needs.

Brad Guigar clued me in that Bill Amend (of Foxtrot fame) is only going to do Sunday (starting next year I think). Rather sad, really. Foxtrot is an excellent comic and I thoroughly enjoy(ed) reading new ones on a daily basis.

I also have good news to announce but not right now.

"Because if you stop wearing shirts, you'll probably stop wearing pants, and nobody wants that." -- Ctrl+Alt+Del (banner ad)

"There's something wrong with you." -- xkcd (12/06/06)

My things-to-do-this-week was modified a bit today. I'm down to two conversions, two Office Actions and one nonprovisional. (But I now also have more things to do next week.)

And I'm gone.

ADDENDUM: Whoah. I just moved the blog to Blogger beta. I've been holding off for a while for no good reason. But then I read that all blogs will eventually move to the beta so I might as well do that now. Looks pretty cool. A lot of new, pretty buttons to push. I wonder what this one does... [8:54 PM]

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I was looking for synonyms for "addition" and learned that "adjunct" can also mean "something added to another thing but not essential to it." Thus was born the title.

Quotes to add:

When you're lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you're made to feel as if your love's a crime
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight

-- Barenaked Ladies, "Lovers In A Dangerous Time"

Cause I'm kind of like Han Solo always stroking my own wookie
I'm the root of all that's evil yeah but you can call me cookie.

-- Bloodhound Gang, "Fire Water Burn"

Only the Lonely

Know the way I feel tonight...

Man, I should get a Roy Orbison CD for my iPod. Maybe my mom has one somewhere.

Only a few today and probably not much more. I have six things that need to be done by the end of this week: two conversions, three Office Actions and one nonprovisional. Today I turned in the first conversion and am working on the second. Shouldn't be too bad if I can keep up the pace and work late.

Last night on Heroes, one of the heroes suggested that the phrase wasn't "save the cheerleader [and] save the world" but rather "save the cheerleader [then] save the world." From previous rants, you might correctly suspect that I think this to be utter bullshit. Last night's episode also clued you in to what or who will cause the city-devastating explosion. I won't spoil it but that alone was cool.

No new Heroes until Jan. 22. This makes Alan sad.

Studio 60 was very nice. I like how they're adding in a Danny-Jordan romance from absolutely nowhere. I hate how they're dragging out the Matt-Harriet romance. Get together already, will you?!?

And today's (brief) assortment:

gapingvoid relayed a Fred Kambo post on networking:
I don't bother "networking" anymore, instead, I try to build relationships with people I find interesting, and who I think are doing interesting things. And I make it my mission to help them in any way I can to achieve their mission. I find this much more satisfying, much more honorable, and much more fun. And this is the cool thing about people....When you help them out in this way, they help you out. Not because it's a tit for tat deal, but because both parties are engaged in a mutually beneficial relationship that extends beyond the next favor.
I also like Thom Singer's response:
Yes this is correct, but to me this IS the definition of networking. People who think networking is going to an event and trading business cards are mistaken. Meeting someone does NOT make them part of your network, it makes them someone you met. The real "work" in networking comes after you meet someone you find interesting...and it is just what Fredd is helping them achieve their goals and dreams without concern of "whats in it for me".
I'm pretty poor at networking, having found my jobs through dumb luck and self-created or self-discovered opportunities. That being said, one facet of finding "the next thing" (if there is one for you) is to be open, observant and engaging.

For example, a co-worker of mine is working on pitching software he and his brother wrote. It's a truly amazing product and, once it takes off (if it does), it will fly high. I'm very interested and supportive of the enterprise. Why? Some of it is support for my co-worker and his excellent product. Some of it is self-interest in that I would love to work for a company (that as yet barely exists beyond my co-worker and his brother) based on the production of the product. Will the product take off? Will the company take off? Will I find new employment there? The answer to all three is "I hope so" but I'm also banking on my current interest in the project as a springboard for personal involvement in it.

Seems like a good example of the neo-networking discussed above. I call it "neo-networking" because it's not based on large, social nets of six-degrees (as, in my opinion, traditional networking is). Rather, it's not the number of people you know but how well you know one. (Not the number of relationships but the quality of a relationship.) And that is something I truly believe in.

Non-sequitor: Hugh also recommends a Forbes article on Cory Doctorow.

And lastly, an excellent Office:
Customer: Hi, I'm looking for a climbing plant, but I'm not sure what it's called. It sounds like 'clem'-something, or 'clam'-something?

Employee: Right... Ah, 'chlamydia'?

Customer: Um... No, that's--

Employee, yelling over the crowd: Hey, Linda*, I have a customer looking for chlamydia. Do we have that?

Linda: That's a venereal disease -- she probably wants 'clematis.'

Employee: Hey, she left!
And away we go!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mis primos le gustan el queso.

(If my memory of Spanish is correct: My cousins like the cheese.)

Bucky has an excellent admonition for his roommate, Satchel: "Satchel, if you ever put a clown suit on, I'll take you down like a Florida congressman."

Paul Southworth clued me in to a Harvard University comic/gaming convention called Vericon. It's coming up in January and it looks like something that could be a lot of fun. I don't have many friends who are into gaming (maybe 1 or 2?) but maybe I can rope one of them into hitting this thing with me.

Scott Adams:
Don’t forget – music is a gateway drug to harder stuff. Music attracts dancing. Dancing attracts alcohol. Alcohol leads to unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abortion. If you believe life begins at conception, you have to believe that music kills babies.

And then there’s the corrosive effect of hip-hop music. I enjoy a lot of it, but after hearing three tracks I have an urge to slap a ho. That can’t be healthy, especially for the ho.

Just to be clear, I don’t think music should be illegal. I just think it’s somewhat random that it isn’t.
"Accountability breeds passion and desire." -- Pamela Slim, The Work Manifesto

Hugh recommends a movie.

Hugh also had a number of posts following up the Threshers viral coupon. This post of his has a nice wrap up of his thoughts on the "campaign."

I didn't have time to read this post yet but I'd like to.

The new Vista MS Office will have a new UI dubbed "the Ribbon". I watched the video on it and have changed my mind. It looks like it might be a nice, more intuitive design. At least worth a look and a try before dubbing it the coming of the Antichrist.

American Express is in the middle of a huge promotion. They offer various items at incredible deals in very limited numbers at certain times of the day (a different item each day, three times a day). Today was a 2007 Porsche Cayman Coupe, three each at three times today. List price: $49,400. AmEx price: $5,000. Needless to say, I tried twice and won none.

I still haven't further replied to the Humanism debate. I want to..

But not now. Now I leave. Go home. Heroes later. And Studio 60. ¡Hasta luego y Salud!

Happy Dance!

Twice in the past two days I received The best compliment a patent agent can receive.™ Here's the best part: It's not from my boss.

The best compliment a patent agent can receive™ is when, in response to a first draft, an inventor compliments the drafter/application and suggests very minor (if any) changes to the application.

What that indicates is that based on the invention disclosure (which almost always does not contain the correct language or form nor the entirety of what the application should contain), the patent agent was able to draft an application that almost perfectly reflects the invention as envisioned by the inventors themselves. It's that last part that truly makes such a compliment The best compliment a patent agent can receive.™

Two in two days! Woot for me! I R TEH BESTEST!

Friday, December 01, 2006

As Quick As I Can

'Cause then I'm out of here.

eboy pixel posters.

"I like my wine French, my beer German, my vodka Russian, and my judicial system American." -- Chief Justice Roberts (second-hand source: TVC)

"A very interesting exchange between Seventh Circuit Judges Posner and Easterbrook in the majority, and Judge Evans in the dissent, about what courts should do about certain kinds of procedural errors by lawyers." Also known as "learning about diversity jurisdiction the hard way." (Volokh at TVC)

In case you ever wondered about the etymology of the word "bootylicious", TVC has got you covered.

The Economics of Long-Distance Relationships (TVC) -- applying economic theories to long-distance relationships. Rather interesting.

Nails (PopSci) you should build your house with. Seriously.

What's your seduction style? (I haven't had a chance to actually take the quiz yet.)

"Fantasies Shattered Daily" -- Greystone Inn by Brad Guigar (5/13/04)

i heart pixels -- A blog by the artist of diesel sweeties. Has some pixel art.

Sohmer of LICD:
I don’t know why they call them bachelor parties, I really don’t. If it was up to me (as everything should be), people would refer to these events as “seeing how drunk you need to get your friend in order to convince him that sleeping with a prostitute is a good idea while filming the whole thing” parties.
LtB: Class Action Alleges Guacamole Dip Was Insufficiently Avocadoey

Scott Adams at TDB recalls a conversation with his wife, Shelly:
Last night we were having some quality time alone at home and I made the mistake of writing myself a note while Shelly was still talking. She asked me what the note was about. I proudly told her it was about Vladimir Putin and how two of his critics were recently poisoned. It would make a great blog topic. I was quite pleased with myself, until Shelly asked, “Is that what you were thinking about while I was talking?”

Now let me explain something to the single men out there. If you think there’s an easy way to explain to your wife why you were thinking of Vladimir Putin while she is telling you about her feelings, you would be totally wrong. And I hadn’t practiced that conversation so I was caught unprepared. I think I said something along the lines of “I only think of Russian politics during the gaps between your words.” But apparently I’m supposed to be using that time just waiting around.
J!NX has WoW goodies for sale.

An article/interview over at about "Make Love, Not Warcraft," the South Park episode on WoW.

I'm outta here. So long suckers!