Venting
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 ~ 03:12 p.m.
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Dear Dumbass,

Thank you for finally sending me the files I requested. I was getting tired of jumping through legal hoops and trying to navigate your hopelessly broken phone system. I am pleased that, given my detailed description, you managed to guess which plans were which, despite your assurances that without the specific commercial name of the development (all location data aside) your task was nigh impossible.

However, when I called you yesterday to request a copy of the plans for this development, I specifically asked for AutoCAD files. I stated that our purpose was to modify them for use in the report. Granted, you did cut me off no less than four times, but I repeated myself at least three. So, in answer to your question, NO, PDFs are not "sufficient for my needs." If they were, don't you think I might have requested PDFs instead of specifying AutoCAD?

Now stop screwing with me and send me my damn files before I send Vinny to kneecap you.

Sincerely,

Me

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Medic...
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 ~ 12:45 p.m.
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I think I have the egyptian death plague.

Okay, not really, but I'm pretty sure that right side of my face is going to require amputation, if this sinus stuff doesn't get better soon.

I'm not supposed to meet the TVA rep in Kentucky until 11 AM tomorrow. That's good, because I can leave from here around 6:30 AM, instead of dragging myself up to Nashville tonight. And since it's an existing substation, it won't take but three or four hours to run a couple tests. I can be back in Nashville by 5 and home by 9, if I stop to eat dinner with my parents. Yay!

Oh, and we finally have consistent power at work. Also a very good thing.

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Here at the office...
Monday, June 28, 2004 ~ 02:26 p.m.
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Mmmm...Steak-Out rules. Especially when your boss does the buying.

It's our first working day in the new office. Our new company motto is, "It's somewhere around here." This is a MUCH larger office, with funny twists and turns in the hallways, so finding people has become something of a challenge. Tomorrow we're going to begin fitting everyone with little GPS collars.

So far, our biggest obstacle is the spastic breaker on this side of the office. It trips every two to ten minutes, which starts the curses resonating down the hallways. There's nothing actively causing it to trip, it's just...spastic. My computer is starting to protest the treatment, mostly in language I refuse to repeat in polite company.

Wednesday I have to go to Murray, Kentucky and play under high-voltage lines at the local substation. Four and a half hours one way (with up to six hours for the actual testing) is a bit much to drive all in one day, so I'm not sure what I'll do. I'll probably head to Nashville tomorrow evening and cut down on some of the travel time, but that depends on who I draft to help me.

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Moving Day
Friday, June 25, 2004 ~ 05:49 p.m.
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We're finally (mostly) done moving into the new building.

My new office is nice. It's a bit smaller, but it has windows! I finally got all of Barbara's leftovers out of my space, so there's actually room for my stuff. My books can go on the shelves, and I can bring in plants and pictures and the like.

*nod* Definitely an improvement.

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It is finished
Thursday, June 24, 2004 ~ 09:35 a.m.
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So we made it. I survived, Todd survived, and we weren't convicted of assault or murder.

UAH placed 3rd overall, out of 22 schools. Our placements were as follows:

Design Paper: 1st
Oral Presentation: 6th
Final Product: 3rd
Races: 9th overall
- Women's Distance: 6th
- Men's Distance: 10th
- Women's Sprint: 6th
- Men's Sprint: 12th
- Co-ed Sprint: 10th

(Notice how the parts where the rest of our "team" was involved are all below 5th place. Funny that...)

The University of Wisconsin in Madison took first place. Université Laval finished in second place, only 0.6 points ahead of us.

Dr. Gilbert's only comment to me at the time was, "I guess that's good enough." Me, I'm PROUD. If it wasn't for me, Todd, Jackie, and Mo, we'd never even have made it to Nationals. If it wasn't for me, Todd, Jackie, and Jonathan, we'd have placed somewhere around a distant 11th in DC. We built the boat, we wrote the paper, we put together the presentation. That third place trophy belongs to us and no one else.

It does my heart good that the only parts we did place high in were the ones that Amber, David, and the rest of those shmucks had absolutely nothing to do with. Our men placed embarrassingly low in their races - they didn't even qualify for the petite final in their sprint and they only beat our distance time by 3 seconds. They also dragged Andrea and I down to 10th place in the co-ed. I knew they were going to suck, but it didn't make me any less embarrassed.

I'm a little disappointed that we didn't win overall, but I'm more than happy with third. I hate that I was proven completely right about the damage Amber did for the races and the presentation, but I'm glad a few of us managed to salvage what we could. I will also never work that hard without pay again.

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It's an improvement
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 ~ 09:57 a.m.
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Wow. As of today, Yahoo Mail suddenly kicks ass. 100 MB storage, I can finally send out 10 MB emails, and their interface doesn't suck near as much as it used to. A nice suprise.

So Amber finally quit ASCE, along with her boyfriend. We've only been waiting for them to go away and quit trying to drag us down since MARCH. Our advisors wanted her to come to the competition (even though she hasn't done a lick of work on it), but when 5 of the 7 other people at the meeting stood up and said she hadn't done anything to deserve to have her way paid, the issue was finally (mostly) settled. I'm glad everyone else spoke up - it was getting a little lonely out there on my limb.

Now we just have to get back on track. David and Amber never showed up, but we left their spaces open in hopes that they would. Consequently, things aren't finalized for the presentation or races. We have to reassign people left and right, and that's going to throw us off balance. But at least the attitude that was dragging us down is gone.

DC should be interesting.

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Pending Draft Legislation
Monday, June 14, 2004 ~ 10:48 a.m.
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Twin bills S 89 and HR 163 are currently making their way through Congress, while our attention is firmly focused on gay marriage or John Kerry's war record. If these bills pass, they are timed to be implemented in Spring of 2005, when it's too damn late for us to do anything. It hasn't been on TV. You haven't read about it in the paper. You sure as hell haven't heard anything about it from the administration or from your congressman.

Read for yourself:

HR 163 / S 89*

"A BILL: To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes."

And just so you know, college won't be any barrier. Deferments are only available to high school students.

"(a) HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS- A person who is pursuing a standard course of study, on a full-time basis, in a secondary school or similar institution of learning shall be entitled to have induction under this Act postponed until the person--
(1) obtains a high school diploma;
(2) ceases to pursue satisfactorily such course of study; or
(3) attains the age of 20."

So. Now might be the time to give a damn.

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* I tried to link to the bills, but it's not happening. If you want to read the full text yourself, go to congress.gov and search for either HR 163 or S 89. ______________________________________________

UPDATE RANT 3:18 PM

For the love of all that's holy, I am so freaking tired of the stupid people!!!!!!!!

I know the damn bill was sponsored by Democrats!!! And it's still wrong!

WHY IS IT ASSUMED THAT I HAVE TO AGREE WITH EVERY DAMN DEMOCRAT, JUST BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE BUSH?

Just because you generally find yourself in less disagreement with a particular party does NOT mean you have to be a mindless zombie! Has it ever occured to any of you that maybe I just hate the government in general?!?!?!?! That I'm pretty much just resigned to the lesser evil? Am I not allowed to complain about everyone equally every once in a while???

My list of people to be summarily removed from the gene pool grows longer every damn day.

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Riddle me this
Sunday, June 13, 2004 ~ 05:31 p.m.
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Why is it that, in this world, the people who most deserve it, never actually seem to get what's coming to them?

I am in an especially foul mood today. Nothing's going right and pretty much everyone seems to want their chance to be a part of the problem. My stress level is practically through the roof.

Todd has a new kitten. She remains unnamed. I prefer to address her as "Furwad."



Niki and Nanook have decided that she a direct threat to their job security (being cute and cuddly, unlike Stitch). Niki plans to eat her.



She looks cute enough, but don't be fooled. That fifth toe is a sign of eeeeevil.

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The Perfect Solution
Thursday, June 10, 2004 ~ 12:20 p.m.
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Vice President Cheney's health has always been a little dicey. So for the next run, why not replace him with someone guarenteed not to drop dead (again):

From the FAQ:

Can a zombie even hold elective office?
The Constitution offers no specific prohibition against zombies serving their country. In fact, the majority of the Administration is already composed of the undead. It is a little known fact that Secretary of State Colin Powell is the only cabinet-level member that still has a beating heart.

I know. I'm going to hell.

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I thought I told ya...
Wednesday, June 9, 2004 ~ 09:01 a.m.
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Here's a question that's been bugging me. If you support tax cuts, yet also support military build-up, where the heck is the money for the military equipment supposed to come from? I ask honestly, because both ideas have merit but they just seem mutally exclusive.

I have the sneaking suspicion that I've just shown an appalling amount of ignorance about our government's funding process. But honestly, what else can you expect when the posted budget is 90% propoganda and only 10% actual data. The pictures of the President playing with children and being the American soldier's best friend are nice and all, but they're not terribly informative as to what is actually going on with our money.

This whole week I just haven't really been able to get motivated at work. I've come to the conclusion that I loathe writing reports. I hate it with a fiery, burning passion. My only defense against it in school was to procrastinate. That doesn't work here. I'd rather just be outside working, but no...it's paperwork time.

You know, things would be a lot more interesting here if someone would just stand up and say: "Does this job really require pants?" Not that I'd be thrilled to see my coworkers in their skivvies (I'd hate to have to put my eyes out) but it sure would liven up the day.

So, uh...yeah. I'll start that working thing now.

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Oh, the possibilities
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 ~ 01:00 p.m.
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This new cell phone feature amuses me. LEDS and a motion sensor work together to create visible text when the phone is waved in the air.

Just what we need - teenagers able to express their puerile little senses of humor to an entire room.

Although, even I have to admit that as bright shiny things go, that's pretty cool.

Okay, I'm going to actually work now.

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Stressing
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 ~ 12:27 p.m.
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I didn't realize how worried I was about the FE until I actually had the envelope in my hand last night. See, about a week ago, out of the blue, I had a dream that I'd made a 12%. Ever since then, it's been in the back of my mind. It wasn't so much failing that I was afraid of as having to take such a brutal test again.

Now, everything is good! I just have to go tell my boss that I passed so we can get the paperwork for my raise started. Woo hoo.

I'm dead tired today, a product of working on canoe stuff until 1 AM this morning. As always, only four people are actually showing up to work at Johnson. The other ten are just riding on our backs. As usual.

But this time I've had enough. We have one week left. They can either get up off their asses and work, or they can stay in Huntsville. I'd much rather go with four people than reward ten slackasses. Unfortunately, the slackasses in question don't like my view of things. Such a pity, that.

July 1st is only 22 days away!

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Yay!!!!!!
Monday, June 7, 2004 ~ 11:18 p.m.
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I passed the FE!

That is all. Please excuse me while I go bounce off the walls.

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In a modern America...
Thursday, June 3, 2004 ~ 11:30 a.m.
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I wonder what would happen if someone tried to create a constitutional amendment banning pork and shellfish.

Or an amendment that says I can FINALLY own a Canadian.

You think that might irritate some people?

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Good morning, Sunshine
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 ~ 09:33 a.m.
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My morning began with pain. There's nothing quite like staggering around at 5:30 in the morning, blind as a bat, chasing cats (who know their very lives depend on staying as far out of reach as is possible with only 790 square feet) while bleeding profusely from the attempted ear amputation said cats so kindly provided free of charge. I finally cornered the main offender, a certain little brown tabby, and explained to her that "Let's Play Cuisinart" isn't an appropriate game at any time, much less 5:30 in the morning. Then I went into the bathroom to asses the damage. My ear is still attached, although is it definitely the worse for wear. Hair, hats, and pillows aren't going to be pleasant for a while, but I figure I'll live just the same.

Mutilation by furry ninjas - definitely NOT the best part of waking up.

But the weirdest part of the morning was when I was explaining to Lilo the error of her ways. She was hiding under the table next to my bed and I was yelling at her from across the room, when suddenly Stitch ran out of her hiding place to nip me on the back of the leg. I turned around to see her poofed up and growling, and then she BARKED at me. Not a growl or a hiss. She BARKED, like a poodle. That is one messed up cat.

On the upside, I had a good time at my grandparents' house this past Sunday, and at Greg's impromptu Memorial Day cookout Monday. The ASCE car wash was relatively successful too - we earned $328 washing cars in the rain. I also got to spend some time with Jeff and Jessica, and even finished a couple books Jessica lent me. Yay for three-day weekends.

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