This Looks Important

You know that standard scene in every action movie where the hero is battling the multi-million dollar mechanized death-machine and somehow finds that sweet, sweet vulnerable spot? What does he do? “I wonder what this does?” he shouts rhetorically as he reaches in and rips out a handful of sparking, colorful wiring. It’s a fun scene and I’ve never before begrudged a director’s inclusion of such well-recycled material.

But, did you know that apparently this is a thing people do? They reach their hands into the dark, horrific bowels of their well-oiled machines and indiscriminately shuffle shit around like one would do when trying to clean spaghetti from a fucking garbage disposal. These self-proclaimed mechanics are then overcome with faux-horror that their once-pristine toy now creaks and hisses like a sad, dying alien. And then, as if to complain that their pizza is later than thirty minutes and therefore gratis, they’ll call up the manufacturer aghast that their super expensive array of tubes and flashing lights is reduced to a frozen stack of silent metal; towering like an ancient monolith at the center of a long-lost, once-great empire.

Surely, they realize that the sad sack of pale flesh on the other end of the receiver is praying, silently and solemnly under his breath, that the mechanic’s entire bloodline terminates swiftly in a sad tragedy? They must understand the monster they’re creating and teasing is chained only by the social contract that one has with strangers in a professional setting. They realize this polite attitude is required, but not deserved.

Please, tell me that we live in a world where such things don’t need taught, but are simply known?

A Heavy Hearted Work of Staggering Genius

We’ve reached the midpoint of Scrabbuary and things are starting to get heavy.  I think 6 out of the 14 games have come to conclusion while the three most-recent games are very much in their infancy.  Additionally, all of my recent talking about Scrabble appears to put a big bulls-eye on my back as I’ve received invites to games from no less than two people with which I have never traded tiles.  If memory serves, those new games are not going well for yours truly.

Based on the recommendations of y’all and a few strangers on the internet, I have ordered and am awaiting on the arrival on a handful of dead tree guides:

The book on .NET I ordered for work.  Things are starting to cool off and it’s starting to look like I’ll have time to do my complete re-write of the software for our flagship product.  This is something I’ve wanted to do for the last two years since I took over this position but there just hasn’t been time.  I’ve been able to do a little tinkering, but I really haven’t had the chance to really get started.  But now may be the time.  Exciting.

Friday it looks like I may be making a trip to a brewing supply store here in Columbus.  I didn’t even realize we had such things.  I’m excited to get a feel for what this is going to entail and hope that my books arrive with time for me to skim a few chapters before jumping in.

I just finished taking apart and reassembling a 5-disc DVD player/receiver that I’ve recently come into possession of.  It was provided as broken and despite my previous trepidations about doing such things, I opened the thing up to see if I could fix it.  In spite of my degree in Computer Engineering, I actually don’t believe myself capable of doing that kind of tinkering crap you’d think would be a staple of my mental toolkit.  But the thing was free and I was bored so we’re looking at a zero-loss game.  And, hey!  Look at that.  It’s working.  I can’t say in any certain terms what was wrong with it, but after I had the thing in a couple dozen pieces and had a theory on how it should have worked, everything just went back together after a few false starts and then the thing just worked.  So!  Fair play to me.  It was a home-theater in a box kit, so of course all of the speaker cable connectors are proprietary (and many missing) so maybe this weekend project will opening the thing back up and soldering my own connectors on there.  What the hell.

OK!  That’s all for now and probably more than you have come to expect.

The Polar Bear is a Sorcerer

New Jersey.  After a four month traveling hiatus, I find myself soon bound for the Garden State.  More appropriately, the Secret Garden State, because if there’s thriving greenery in New Jersey, it’s well hidden.  The trip doesn’t promise any particular irregularities unless the weather acts up and I happen to become stranded there.  The site of the installation is a fair distance from the airport of arrival.  After considering all of the options, it turns out that the cheapest travel option in this case is a car service.  That means, for the first time in my life, I’m going to go to the baggage claim and there will be a well-dressed chap with my name on a sign.  This is the only time I will have something in common with big shot business types.  What up.

My only real regret in taking the trip out east is that I will be missing precious days with the yet-to-be-released Final Fantasy XIII.  I’ll probably get my pound of flesh in the form of taking that Friday off.

I didn’t provide much in the way of context, but I’ve obviously procured a copy of the Penny ArcadeBiography“.  The boys over at PA are fantastic peoples and “The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade” is as good of a look into the mouth of madness as you’re ever going to get.  Their thrice-weekly webcomic has been a staple of my internet experience for the better part of a decade.  It should be in yours, too.  That is, of course, unless you think that “NES” stands for the Canadian National Employment Service.  Then this probably isn’t for you.  I slept a little too long on PAX East, which is disappointing.  If you had the presence of mind to get on board that train, I suggest you ride it and ride it hard.

At this moment, I am watching tonight’s episode of Lost (post-title reference here).  If you’ve the misfortune of getting sucked into that trap too, I need you to explain something to me: why do we do this to ourselves?  It seems they can do anything on this show and I’ll just gobble it up like mystery dick in an Olive Garden men’s room.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m in on this until the bitter end, but they better make it worth my while at the conclusion.  Series Finale: Kate gets into a naked pillow fight with the female cast of Cougar Town.  End scene.

Go see Shutter Island.  Don’t let anyone (myself included) talk to you about it first.  Opinions of any sort can only spoil that sweet, cinematic fruit.

OK!  That’s about it until next time.  The Kobers keep a pretty open calendar, let me know if you want to put some billiards and beers on the books.

Dk out.

Ruby Derailed

On Sunday, I abstained from my recent ritual of shooting pool and watching football and spent some time playing on my Macbook.  I had, sometime ago, downloaded and installed Xcode; the sort of swiss army knife of Mac software development tools.  I found myself stumbling through a tutorial on Ruby.  Ruby, as I understand it, is a neat little web language that I’ve heard about for some time.  There was a time when I would play with something like that for as long as it took for me to make something useful out of it.  After about five hours, I just sort of gave up.  It wasn’t frustrating, or even that difficult.  I just didn’t see the point.

I’d prefer that this single event isn’t the story of my life.  It bugs me that this didn’t bug me.  If you’ll remember, tinkering with this kind of shit used to be sort of a hobby of mine.  Jesus, I hope this isn’t what’s it’s like to get old.

So!  How about this weather?  We’ve been fortunate enough to experience preparing a house for the summer and now I suppose that we have to prepare it for the winter.  Oddly enough, it seems like Winter-preparation is Summer-preparation in reverse.  Take apart patio furniture, kill any plants that don’t go dormant themselves.  I was a bit confused about what to do for the lawn.  On the one hand, there are parts of it that have gotten sort of wild in recent weeks and probably could use a trimming.  On the other hand, we’ve had a sort of tough time keeping the grass alive in the first place.  Maybe a little bulk will give it a better chance or surviving?  We’ll find out come ~March.

At this moment, Tree is beating my ass at Fantasy Football.  My entire team (read: my entire undefeated team) just laid down and died.  Hopefully, they all just picked the same week to suck as and they will carry me forth unto victory after victory until the Stanley Cup.  Or whatever.

I think my work related travels are at an end for the year.  There are still plenty of trips to be made, but I think I have enough to do to keep me at my desk for the next four months without respite.  This is, I’m told, a good thing.  In one of the company’s better decisions, we’ve hired our first-ever legitimate Mechanical Engineer.  You may know her as Pami.  It’s a treat having someone I know and like around the office.  Better still is it to have one more person around there who wasn’t old enough to vote for George H. W. Bush.

OK!  Dexter‘s on the DVR and you don’t keep that son of a bitch waiting.

Take Two and Call Me

The common cold.
See congestion and a cough.
See acute viral rhinopharyngitis.
See Dan spending the weekend on the couch playing online poker and swallowing, spoonful by spoonful, a gallon of a defensive yet repulsive substance known as mucus.

The cure for the common cold is supposedly a mothers love and my favorite over-the-counter narcotic: NyQuil.  Introduced in 1968, NyQuil is the vanguard of over-the-counter hallucinogens.  Despite Article IV of our prenuptial, there is currently no day or night formula of NyQuil in the apartment at the moment.  I’ve since had to resort to my own personal daytime (Dr. Pepper) and nighttime formula (Kahlua Especial).  Despite warnings on both bottles, I’ve not been monitoring my 24-our intakes of either.

The job kept me pretty busy this week.  We had an unexpected employee-departure (no, not related to the economy) and another guy on vacation for a week.  In their absence, I filled in doing some work I otherwise wouldn’t be.  It kept me away from my desk for a bit, which was a nice change of pace.  I got to rock the headphones for pretty much the entire day everyday.  With any luck, this increase in hands-on work will not end up in another trip across the country.  I could stand to remain in the same state for a few months.  Australia in November, Seattle in January and Baltimore in February.  Granted the regular installers go out a bit more frequently than that, this regular Joe is due for a break, no?

This illness prevented me from seeing the return of the great Big A to the stage playing a show with The Great Transparency at the Newport last night.  My evening instead consisted of Chinese food and NCIS reruns.  It turns out that show is the only reason the USA channel still exists.  It was on today from at least 2pm until 11pm making for at least 9 hours of Mark Harmon beating the shit out of guys with shaved heads.

I’ve been playing a decent enough bit of Full Tit Poker in the last couple of weeks.  There’s been a semi-regular weekly game going on in town and it’s gotten me back in the poker spirit.  I’m out a few bucks in real life, but online I’m only down about $0.70 which is not back considering my track record.  If you have the patience and the skill, you can most certainly make a grip of cash on a two dollar buy in.  This afternoon, I placed 28th in a group of like 300 people.  And I’m not even any good at this.  It’s a nice hobby then, no?

OK.  My medicine is starting to make my error-rate for typing a little higher than I would like.  I’m going to focus more on television and 4chan.  Oh, for the love of god, don’t click that link.  I can’t promise what will be on the other side.  4chan /b/ is a perfectly homogeneous mixture of monster fucking, internet memes, suicide notes and child pornography.  It’s an amazing topography for the internet.  Enter at your own risk.

On a mildly related theme, since my switch to WordPress, I’ve installed a little tool called StatPress which let’s me know visitor information and how people found the site.  Including those who stumble across the website through search engines.  You want to know the most popular search term used to find LKDC?  “Jailbait”.  Four visitors today alone have found their way here by typing “Jailbait” into one of their favorite search engines.  I could not, for the life of me, figure out how.  Until I looked at a cached version of LKDC from Yahoo.  Here’s a little something from a post called “It’s a Goddammed Arms Race” from February of 2007:

So apparently, a number of weeks ago, Tim witnessed an episode of the popular Food Network TV show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”. The aforementioned episode featured the popular Bobby Flay “throwing down” with Tony Luke, proprietor of the popular Philadelphia sandwich shoppe that bears his name. So what do we have to do? Get some goddamn cheesesteaks. Well, I had a chicken sandwich. 90 minutes to find the place from here, followed by a few hours trolling around South Street, downtown Philadelphia. If you’re wondering what there is on South Street on a Saturday night, the answer is simple: Auntie Anne’s, the Condom Kingdom, traffic, and jailbait.

You clicked the jailbait link, didn’t you? It was the first one you clicked, too. We’re both going to hell.

That’s all.

Seatbelts.

The Things That Own You

How much can you really know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?  This post will not be a whole listing of Fight Club posts.  But hey, it’s on.  I’ll pretty much watch anything in HD if it’s on in the middle of the day.  Hence my previous viewings of Face Off and Payback.  Ah, the 90’s.  They haven’t made films like that since.

It’s probably already obvious that I did not in fact die in Baltimore.  I can’t even say that I ever really came close.  I did walk 3.2 miles from Johns Hopkins Bayview back to the hotel (the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, by the way) through downtown Baltimore.  I had never been in a city with a legitimate Greek quarter before, but I guess Baltimore has one.

Got to spend my evenings down there with Wojo and occasionally the mysterious Mr. Schlehr.  Turns out there’s a good deal of beer out there.  We explored this.

The job itself was a snap.  No problems, no delays.  Simple to install, simple to explain, lots of spare time to read.

The prestigious Mr. Faeilla is in town for a few days, there’s supposed to be some sort of gathering of great minds this evening.  Well, of minds anyway.

The Watchmen is finally making its way to movie theaters on the 6th of March.  Sight unseen, I still cannot recommend enough that you see this movie.  The book is tremendous.  I refuse to say comic or even “graphic novel”.  It’s a story, and that story is best told through the medium in which this author happened to choose to tell it.  My dead-tree copy of this work is currently being passed from hand to hand and I advise that you make a copy available to you.  Read it.  It won’t take long.  And you illiterates, there are indeed pictures.  Go forth.

That might be it for right now.  Still kind of playing with WordPress.  Got a plug-in for the iPhone!  So now there’s a super awesome AJAX driven iPhone compatible version of the site.  So for the two of you who could possibly give a shit, there you go.

I’m On A Boat (feat. D-Kizzle)

All right!  A few free minutes and a chance to commit my deeds to record.

As you might remember, I was dispatched to Australia for a couple of weeks in November/December of last year to do an installation for work.  A few weeks ago, I was sent on a last minute mission to Seattle’s University of Washington solo to perform similar work.  Tomorrow, I depart for Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Medical Center for yet another installation.  I actually know a fool or two in Baltimore so I might be able to make this trip more than just business.  I thought I remember hearing recently that Baltimore is something like the third most murder-est city in the union.  I think they set some kind of record by actually going seven days without someone getting killed and were excited about it.  I’ll be there for two to three days.  What are the odds of me getting my head blown off?

The wife and I are saving up for a permanent residence complete with white-picket, but despite this, I was able to convince her that we needed to upgrade a few audio components in the Kober Cinema.  For the last 5 years or so, the foundation of my home audio suite consisted of a pair of ~30 year old tower speakers first purchased by Ma Kober for her first college abode.  They have served both generations well, but there comes a time when things like that need passed around again.  So, after promising them to Kevin, the Mrs and I made an investment an entirely new front system.  There are words and pictures that can describe how they occupy space, but I can’t very well plug them into teh interwebz and make you understand what it is that makes them speakers.  Suffice it to say, me likey.

I won’t go into incredible detail here, but if you are a watcher of Lost as I am, I have a question for you: what the ever-loving fuck is going on?  There was a point where that show was in fact a series of unanswered questions, but now they’ve taken this cascaded riddle and force you to view it through the lens of a madman snorting meth in an abandoned paint factory.  The best case ending, for me, will be that everything that’s taking place in Lost is actually the prologue to Battlestar Galactica and it’s Sawyer that caused the nuclear holocaust.

Hell’s Kitchen has started up super early this year in case you didn’t know.  They are only two episodes in right now and you can probably view them at FOX’s website if you’ve missed them.  Get caught up, because this years crew is definitely a bunch of Cracker-Jack motherfuckers.

That’s all for now.  I’ll let you know if anything drops of noteworthy-ness