8/25/09

Here but for the grace of god I am rapidly going

Mini-microsoft on his annual review process:
I found a bunch of old reviews of mine recently. Flipping through the review forms started with refreshing simplicity from over a decade ago, rapidly turning into confusing churn (company value ratings and all that crap), to now a fragmented collection of task-driven thoughts. While it's nice that the review form has pretty much stuck to the current form now and we don't have new components coming and going (yeah schema?) it really doesn't compare to the first couple of reviews I did at Microsoft.

Of course, I had great managers who knew how to give concise feedback, both daily and as part of my review. Where you don't have demonstrated collective excellence, you have process.

8/19/09

Another day, another insane Dwarf Fortress developer note

Dispatches from a parallel universe of video game development:
I had somebody shoot my toe off with a crossbow, which was cool, because it was after the slash vs. pierce merge. It just happened that the toe was narrow enough to be removed.

I got to test out the sort of reverse compound fracture thingies where a piece is knocked inward rather than out through the skin. Right now the relationships for the ribs are a little too general, so in the example a left rib goes through the liver (rather than a more appropriate right rib, but that's okay for now. The current text: "You bash The Farmer in the upper body with your bismuth bronze war hammer, bruising the muscle, jamming the left floating rib through the liver tissue and tearing the liver!" There are various issues -- mentioning the bruise is a little weird since it's not that important, the mention of the liver tissue vs the liver tear could be compacted, there are actually two floating ribs on that side and it doesn't go into exactly what happened there, and The Farmer is capitalized (which is an older problem), but it works well enough for now so I'm not going to spend a lot more time on the text. This one also demonstrates the body part relationships nicely though -- the rib was struck first, and it shows a compound-style fracture acting between different parts (rather than just a bone through skin in a single part).

8/18/09

Too broad a brush

Drawing a contrast with the complete lack of similar issues from the left wing of our political spectrum, Josh Marshall says what we've all known for some time:
Let's be honest with ourselves: the American right has a deep-seated problem with political violence. It's deep-seated; it's recurrent and it's real. And it endangers the country. It just makes sense to say something the first time they hit the sauce and not wait for things to get really out of hand.

The problem is, of course, that 99.99 percent of right-wingers are peaceful people. And so talking about this real issue is very, very difficult. Statements of fact turn out to be legitimately offensive to folks on the right who would never, ever participate in or advocate for political violence.

It's key, then, when talking about this to acknowledge that we are talking about crazy people, and that, while we may disagree with the political tenets of the right, they are not crazy.

8/14/09

Self-Improvement

I've been persuaded that I will be more successful in life if I learn to suffer fools gladly. The problem is that I simply cannot force myself enjoy the drivel of dunderheads, no matter how hard I try.

Do you think hypnosis would work? Is there a pill I can take that will make me enjoy the company of morons?

Help me out here!

Blasters! Swords! Blonde Clone Girls!


All this could be ours.
Universal have confirmed that Bryan Singer will produce and direct the big-screen reboot of Battlestar Galactica, following up on Wednesday's leak from HitFix.com. Singer will producer the movie with Galactica creator Glen Larson. No writer has been attached yet.

As much as I loved the early seasons of the revised BSG, it got so bad that I am enthusiastic about anything that can bring back that ol viper-ey feeling.

via, img via

8/11/09

That sinking feeling


Not only is Obama doing worse in opinion polls*, by picking Bud Light as his beer of choice, he's managed to deal a blow to sales of that disgusting brew.

--
* Don't freak out people, he's just getting started.

8/6/09

... unless you sell them to gypsies


I am dismayed to read at the consumerist:
The new government estimates are out on child rearing, and now "a middle-income family can expect to spend $291,570 including inflation to raise a child born in 2008 to adulthood" (not including childbirth or college), reports Reuters. In today's dollars, it works out to between $11,000 and $13,000 annually.

8/5/09

Innit


Putin was quoted as saying,"Oi, I bet youse fought oid keep me old dickie dirt on. Cor blimey, Oi fink if de boids wants it, they gets it, now doesn't dey. Watch fo Transportah 4: Pony Bloody Express"

8/4/09

And many more

President Obama took time out of his day to cuddle up with Helen Thomas.



Certainly an improvement over a melted grocery store cake.

But President Obama got it backwards. When I think of presidential birthdays, I picture a sultry singer/actress/model delivering a heartfelt serenade.

8/3/09

Monday funnies

Like I was saying, it might have been the plan.
superpoop.com
superpoop.com

8/1/09

The Fire of Time

T.D. Mischke expresses his ambivalence towards humanity in his latest column for City Pages.

Over one billion people are expected to vote [for the Seven Great Wonders of the Natural World], and they say not a single one will be opting for my candidate.

The global poll to determine the seven natural wonders of the world is underway—seven natural wonders to go alongside the seven manmade wonders. The finalists include the Amazon rain forest, the Dead Sea, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. Millions have weighed in already, online and by phone. But they tell me my vote has been wasted because my candidate was never nominated...

I nominate you, the creature I see out my car window shuffling past the convenience store, picking the quarter off the sidewalk. You with the fanny pack emerging from Walmart with your lawn ornament.

I nominate myself and my brethren—we the people. I nominate us as the greatest wonder of the natural world. We've only been around 200,000 years, yet look at us. We're something to write home about.

Mountains, trees, and waterways are sites to ponder, but what subject dominates bookshelves everywhere? Human life, that's what. We're not just standing there looking pretty. We're on the move. We're going places. The ancient Egyptians were something, but the ancient Greeks were better. And I like Martin Luther as much as the next guy, but have you read Ken Wilber?

Yes, we rape and torture, but it only makes the Minnesota Orchestra all the more startling. We have the dark and the light in us like nothing this universe has ever seen. Even night and day don't have such stark alter egos. Night is as sweet and soulful as any summer afternoon. Our dark side, however, is too horrific to fully comprehend (see Nanking, 1937). So when we walk on the moon and build the St. Paul Cathedral, there is every reason to ask, who the hell are these freaks?

We are the world's greatest show, for better and for worse. We offer jaw-dropping surprises when you least expect it. When the savagery of South Africa's apartheid leaves you ashamed and aching for that isolated cabin in the woods, along comes the staggeringly mature civility of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and damned if we don't outdo ourselves again.

We can vomit on a park bench holding a cheap bottle of brandy and give our lives to save a child we've never met. We can stand with our shirt half untucked, needing a shave, smelling of old cigarettes, and deliver a sentiment that cracks open a steel heart. Our capacity for love is boundless, but we can die moaning of some half-cent sales-tax increase.

What else touches our depravity and nobility? What else comes near our fascinating complexity? We are dust, and we are gods, peerless in our paradox.

|Humankind snubbed on Seven Wonders of the World List (hyperlinks omitted)|


I've been reading the Tao of Physics lately and Mischke's article makes me think about the yin and yang and how several schools of eastern spirituality believe that all people possess light and darkness in their souls, the yin and yang.

So very different from the Christian conception that we're born with the corruption of "original sin" and have to be baptisized, only to later struggle with "sin" our entire lives.

I prefer to think everyone has the potential for light and darkness within them.
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