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Holy jeezus   
12:29am 14/11/2007
  So, like, WTF?

If you saw Return of the Jedi, you know approximately how I'm doing right now. There's this part that is rather infamous amongst the fanboys. Han Solo is slowly recovering his eyesight on one of Jabba's skiffs on his way to the Sarlac Pit. They're actually at the pit, and fighting Jabba's minions. Chewbacca does one of his guttural moans, and Han says, "Boba Fett? WHERE?!" and then turns with a big axe or something in his hand, and hits Boba Fett's backpack.

This is where we get to how I'm doing.

Boba Fett is sitting there, with a Jedi Knight lined up in his sights, and has the upper hand. Then, out of nowhere, some asshole hits his jetpack with a vibroaxe. This turns on his jetpack, which is apparently activated by sudden impacts from powered melee weapons, and sends him flying into the air. He spirals out of control into the side of Jabba's Pleasure Barge, screaming like a little girl, smacks off a closed hatch, and falls down into the Sarlac Pit, where he's destined to be digested over the course of a thousand years.

It doesn't matter that Boba Fett is wearing the most technologically advanced battle armor in the galaxy, or that he's one of the most competent and feared combatants in the known universe. It doesn't matter that he speaks to Darth Vader as an equal. It doesn't matter that he has faced insurmountable odds in the past, and not only survived, but come out on top.

Bonk. Fizzle. Fwoosh. AAAAAAAAAH! Smack. Scraaaaaape. Whump. Sliiiiiide. Munch.

I hope Dengar gets here soon.
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Semi-annual random post   
08:16pm 08/09/2007
  I certainly haven't been utilizing LiveJournal. Or anything, really. I don't have a blog right now that sees any real use. In the past, I have used blogging as a venting tool more than anything, sometimes as a means to connect to people. I don't think it's necessarily good in either respect.

With the venting, you never know who is going to catch wind of what you're venting, and regardless of the spirit, given the passive (aggressive?) nature of blogging, there is no chance to clarify before impressions are made.

And no, that was not directed at anyone. It's just something I have been forced to consider numerous times.

As for connecting with people, once again, it's passive. It's easy to rely on the thought that someone who cares will come along and read your blog, respond, and validate you. I haven't felt a need for that lately, but it has definitely been a motivation for posting in the past.

I don't want to vent here, and I don't want to garner attention, and I have yet to discover my own way of doing anything different here. I feel the medium is lacking in the dialog generation department (mainly due to my own lack of participation, and smallish circle), and ultimately, I'm just not "into" it any more. It kind of sucks, because I really do care about a number of people here. But I've been kind of self-absorbed lately, or deeply involved in my own problems, and the priority to come see LiveJournal just hasn't really been present or immediate in my head.

I'm looking at resurrecting www.furiousninja.com. Instead of a business site, it'll most likely manifest as a web development R&D sandbox, and as a personal blog to write about stuff that isn't necessarily personal in nature. I am finding that it would behoove me to actually look into other flavors of blogging...discussion of funny things, personal/professional topic discoveries, etc. That way, even if I don't have any readers, it will act as a personal repository of knowledge.

I could, in theory, find a purpose in LiveJournal, even if it was just to be a dumping ground for my day-to-day whining. But at that point, whey should I subject other people to reading that? It does nothing but give the impression that everything is bad. So, those'll likely become private entries. Once again, LJ serves very little purpose.

Anyway, update for those who care and wouldn't find out otherwise...I'm alive, in good health, and happy with all the things I should be happy with. I'm trying my best to affect change where needed, and taking steps to shore up my weaknesses.

If anyone knows anyone looking to rent or buy a condo in South Orange County, lemme know.

I hope everyone is well.
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Makes me want to laugh and cry.   
02:17am 13/11/2006
Keeps getting better   
08:30am 15/08/2006
  So, I make a complaint about the coffee, yet I continue to go buy it.

So I got my cup last night, and am sitting down at my computer to keep working, and in the process, I try to take the lid off of the cup so that it can cool a little bit. In doing so, I squeeze the cup a little, and a splash of hot coffee spills over the edge, and onto my hand.

The resulting pain causes a reflex action, where upon, before thinking, I jerk my hand to one side, spilling more coffee on myself, and on my desk. Then, in a ridiculous dance of "OUCH HOT! DO NOT SPILL ON COMPUTERS!" conflicting thoughts in my head, I manage to shake my hands around in a ridiculous herky-jerky, exacerbating both problems.

Ultimately, my solution was to go all Kung-Fu/Fight Club, accept the fact that my hands were burning, and calmly place the still mostly full coffee cup (kudos to me) on my desk, while screaming "FUCK THIS HURTS!" at the top of my lungs.

End result: scalded hands (now better, though still tender), an office that smells like abominable snowman butt, lots of stained miscellaneous papers and books, a night of not drinking coffee, and no broken computers/office equipment.

Why does it have to be so god damned hot???

So anyway, in a continuation of the evening, and what I ultimately took as a portent that I should not be drinking coffee last night, I decided, after receiving some considerable level of sympathy from my fiancee, to make a pot of coffee at home (*gasp*). I took out a filter, filled it with some kind of old coffee grounds (not used, just old), and as she and I stood by the coffee maker while I opened the little hinged compartment where you put the filter and coffee grounds, we both visibly jumped as it became obvious that the last time I had made coffee, I had neglected to remove the old grounds.

It had been a while.

There were multiple mushrooms growing in the coffee maker. It was...unusual. Like, something you would see in a documentary about fungus.

I closed the compartment, unplugged the coffee maker, and, without ceremony, took it to the trash.

So I need a new coffee maker now.
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They call it Yukon blend...   
10:56pm 11/08/2006
  So apparently Starbucks has some policy about having mild coffee available after a certain hour. I think the set time they stop making it at is fifteen minutes before I arrive at the store.

So I'm drinking Yukon blend. So far as I know, coffee beans don't grow in the Yukon. Given that, and the flavor of the coffee, my belief at this point is that Yukon Blend is actually just glacier water filtered through the Abominable Snowman's ass hair.

The more I use it, the more I like it   
01:20pm 29/06/2006
  I used to be one of those people that screamed about how horrible Microsoft is, and how much I hate them, and all that. At this point, while those feelings aren't completely gone, I do have to say that they've managed to do something right.

.NET is just crazy. There's a lot of good stuff in it, and the more I work with it, the more I see that is just GOOD stuff to have access to. They really give a developer a lot to work with.

I dunno. I guess that's just one of my realizations lately. I'm going to be working on some fairly large scale projects, and I kind of am glad I get to do it in .NET. Just have to hope that the servers are able to hold up, because Windows is still kind of a piece of shit OS.
Things I sometimes do.   
12:02am 30/04/2006
  So, tonight, I watched Bobobo-Bo Bo-BoBo. It is a Japanese cartoon. It's about the weirdest shit I've ever seen. And, yet, strangely, it still made sense to me.

The protagonist is a large blonde man with a perfectly round afro. He has a small mustache, and is muscularly built. He wears fairly tight clothes, and enjoys fighting. He often employs his prehensile nose hairs in combat against villains.

Prehensile. Nose. Hairs.

In all truth, there wasn't much of the show that stuck with me after I realized that this man was using his nose hairs to fight. They had some kind of bad guy that was a knockoff of the Pillsbury Dough Boy. There was a sequence where they sang a song about honey butter, and ate it with a spoon (though they made horrible faces after eating this concoction). One of Bobobo's main companions is a small sun with arms and legs that has a propensity for cross-dressing. The Pillbury Dough Boy knockoff was in command of a large army of bald muscular men that didn't like him very much.


I just don't understand. And even in the fact that I didn't understand it, I still found it enjoyable to watch. What the hell? Is this what babies experience when they watch Barney? Or Teletubbies? I mean, seriously...I do not get it.

One of the plot points was that they were looking for a bag to store boogers in. I guess it was kind of like Ren & Stimpy meets Dragonball Z with a little better animation than both of them.

I really don't get it. I guess this journal entry is me trying to reconcile what i experienced with my expectations of reality.
Two thing:   
10:00am 29/03/2006
  1) Sorry if I haven't been responding to journals and stuff. Been very busy, and it turns out that I wasn't logged in and couldn't see "friends only" filtered stuff.

2) Welcome to Mobile. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nda_OSWeyn8&search=leprechaun
OMFG...this is...interesting...   
12:54pm 16/03/2006

Holy shit...
09:48am 23/02/2006
  So this morning, I had a thought: "I sure am glad I've never pissed blood."

Then I was all like, "FUCK!"

Empire Strikes Back, Luke talks to the guy in the back of the snowspeeder, and the guy is all like, "I feel like I could take on the whole Empire all by myself!" Then two minutes later, he's stepped on by an AT-AT.

And then the ever famous, "I can't wait! Only three days until I retire from the force!" Only to die while unknowingly protecting a criminal from an undercover cop.

So then I thought, "Hey! There is probably a meme in this! You type up five things that could 'jinx' you, and then people tell you how you'll get jinxed, and do their own on their own journal!"

And then I thought, "That's retarded and morbid."

And then I made a journal entry about it.
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More hate.   
07:39am 17/02/2006
  I hate it when I leave my cell phone at home, too.  
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It is embarrassing...   
03:32pm 14/02/2006
  I hate it when I realize I've been walking around and talking to people for the past half hour and my fly has been open.

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Stories from the donut shop   
07:49am 13/01/2006
  So, I go back to the donut shop where the woman, also to be known as The Donut Lady, doesn't understand me. I walk in, and her daughter and The Donut Lady are both working, so it's basically a crapshoot whether or not I'm going to actually get what I ask for. As it turns out, though, I get The Donut Lady. Well, I'll give you three guesses who I got. And it wouldn't be a story if it was the daughter.

Upon hearing, "Can help yooooo" gently crooning from her lips, I give up any chance of getting what I want, and simply say, "Yes. Three dozen assorted please." Her eyes light in a typical fashion, knowing she's probably making like ten bucks profit off this order, and she happily begins placing donuts in boxes.

"Can I get two of these plain ones?"

"Yes yes. You want anything special?"

I mentally roll my eyes. "No thank you."

She puts two plains in the box, and keeps going. She gets over to the "special" bin, and says, "You want custard filled?"

Now, there may be someone here that likes custard filled donuts, but it's really not a safe bet, and if there are two people, that is the kind of donut that people get their nose out of joint over. I say, "No thanks." And into the box it goes.

"You want raspberry?"

I just find raspberry filled donuts to be vile. "No thank you." Into the box it goes.

So anyway, someone else can eat those donuts. I'm getting a little sick of the things anyway. But they ARE good. Even if they make me want to vomit as I eat them.

On another note, and I've mentioned this before, it really bothers me when "religious" people, mostly Christians in this country, see fit to put pithy one liners extolling the virtues of their faith on bumper stickers, licence plate frames, and t-shirts. Personally, I don't care who you worship. I even applaud you for it, and hope it brings some peace and harmony to your life, and I sincerely hope you're right about the afterlife, unless it means that I'm going to Hell. In any case, the one I saw today was kind of funny. It was the "WWJD" at the top of the license plate frame, and in case the reader was not familiar with the overused and often parodied four letters, at the bottom of the frame, it said, "What Would Jesus Do?" in really cute and bubbly letters.

Well, I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't drive a Mercedes.

But who knows? I could be completely wrong. Maybe when he sees that kind of stuff, looking down from the pinnacle of Heaven, he says, "OH SNAP! Dad, do you SEE that shit! That heathen behind the Mercedes right there just got SERVED. But if it was me, I'd have some spinners."
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10:05am 10/01/2006
  It turns out that burned CDs are only good for a few years. They have some kind of dye that they use, and it starts to break down after a few years, and you start to get errors.

So, this could actually have some pretty serious implications on data storage. I mean, if the world ever WERE to go dark, we wouldn't really have any kind of storage media that would survive a long time.

What if that is what happened with Atlantis? Huge society, catastrophic event, all storage media destroyed, no record of civilization left.

We should set up a better storage system. =^P Like punchcards.
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Today's triumph thus far...   
08:22am 06/01/2006
  I want to state that I have gained some ground today. I have successfully infiltrated and garnered valid intelligence (as a man, I have precious little, it turns out) from the vast and insidious Conspiracy of Womanhood. And this doesn't qualify to the lesbians out there, as they only turn their weaponry (and other goodies) on each other, which usually has quite amazing and spectacular results (in both cases).

I'm not going to go into specifics, but I have gained firsthand knowledge that my assessments are, in fact, quite accurate. The information I have gained tells me exactly why there is nothing more terrifying than a girl-fight, why movies like Mean Girls, Heathers, and Fatal Attraction exist, and that the things that so often leave men wondering "WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM?" are practiced and premeditated.

Gentlemen, we cannot win. So, what we should do is all convert to homosexuality, use sperm banks to carry on the human race, and join our enlightened and like-minded brothers in their perfect world where the blowjobs come freely (no pun intended), and there is no catfighting, drama, or emotional blackmail. I may as well take it in the ass physically and consensually, since the emotional punitive ass-rapings that are almost guaranteed to come from a woman are likely MUCH worse, even though we'll keep going back and asking for more.

And before you get offended, ladies, that is truly a testament to your skill and superiority in manipulating the social arena, whether you realize you have it or not. Society may be set up such that you pretty much have to have a penis to get to the top of the professional/power ladder, but that penis is USUALLY wanting some vagina pretty badly, and is willing to surrender pretty much anything to get it. Which, when you think about it, does put the vagina ABOVE the ladder altogether. It's like the ladder goes up the vagina tree, and the penis is grabbing for whatever it can get.

EXCEPT for the penis that just likes whatever else is on the ladder. It shocks me that only 10% of men have gotten it right so far.
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On donuts...   
07:19am 06/01/2006
  So, there is this phenomenon wherein people will discover a "hole-in-the-wall" sort of place. Usually it has to do with food, but it'll be some dumpy looking place on a corner that nobody ever goes to, and it'll have like the best food ever. I've found a place or two like that in my time, but as with really good shows on Fox, they usually don't last too long.

For the past several weeks, I've been bringing in donuts on Fridays. I've made it clear that I don't mind covering the cost on payday weeks, because it's a stupid/fun thing to do, but that I would like to get some form of contribution for the donuts on the off weeks (we are paid every other week). It's not too hard, really, as each donut comes out to about 50 cents, and people could throw a buck into a paper cup to cover their donut costs.

The place I have been going to is a little bit out of my way. I have to go past the freeway on-ramp a couple of streets, get the donuts, deal with a woman who doesn't speak English too well, and who, no matter how specific I get, cannot get my order right and loves dumping the crap donuts into my 3-dozen order, and then go back to the freeway on-ramp. And if I get there after 6:30 AM, it's busy as the reception gates of Hell after the bombing of a lawyer convention.

This woman...I swear...she's freaking crazy. Last week when I was in there, I watched her pour coffee from one pot into another pot to top the other pot off (blasphemy), then she pulled out the grounds on the coffee machine, glanced at them, apparently determined they were all right for another pot, and ran the machine again (BLASPHEMY!). She has a demeanor that makes me think "Harpy", and that makes me a little scared in my heart. She's a little bit like Landlady from "Kung Fu Hustle". But not as attractive. Her husband, and what I assume is her daughter, are awesome, though. They just never seem to be the ones that assemble my order.

Aside from the coffee thing last week, it was like pulling teeth to get my order done, so I figured I'd go to this OTHER donut store that I spotted that is between me and the freeway, and that is often much less busy at the same time of morning. It makes sense, as it's out of the way, and not on a main street or anything. And, who knows? Maybe this will be another discovery, where I find the world's most awesome donuts in a place that nobody has bothered to look.

The guy behind the counter was awesome and helpful. The service was excellent. But the donuts...they look bad, and taste worse. It's amazing how people can fuck up a donut. I mean, isn't it like pre-mixed? Even if it isn't pre-mixed, is the recipe THAT rough? How can there be such a disparity between two versions of the same food? And they were more expensive, too, by about 5 cents per donut.

I dunno...maybe it's just similar to people using ketchup in their spaghetti sauces. If you are one of these people, you need to stop. I'll post a recipe for a good tomato sauce that does not include ketchup. Ketchup does not belong in meat/marinara sauces.

So, the discovery was "Oh, so THAT is why..." And next week, I'm going back to The Landlady. But since nobody chipped in yesterday, I'm considering the shit in the pink boxes to be "penalty donuts".

That'll teach them.

But, God dammit, I really wanted a good donut this morning.
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Beating a long dead horse...   
01:18pm 15/12/2005
  Okay, so I saw another reference to the "Woman That Sued McDonald's Over Hot Coffee, Isn't That Just INSANE?" situation in another journal, and my thoughts on the matter were not appropriate for that venue, so I decided to pack up my toys and bring them home.

Anyway, if you live under a rock, and HAVEN'T heard the story, the way I heard it was something like this:
A woman was in a car, and ordered coffee from McDonald's. As she was pulling away, she spilled the coffee in her lap, and got burned. She sued McDonald's, and won over two million dollars.

Sounds ridiculously "American", no?

Typical responses of disbelief are along the lines of "Well, it IS coffee, so DUH", "Maybe she shouldn't have been driving while she was drinking it", "The cup DID say it was HOT coffee", and so forth. Those were along the lines of my initial reaction as well.

Then, a while back, I read a copy of the comic Too Much Coffee Man, which had some further details regarding the whole incident.

This article provides a great deal of information regarding this case in particular.

Some significant points:
  • The coffee was served at 190 degrees Farenheit, 22 degrees below the boiling point of water. This temperature will burn your mouth and throat. Severely. Chicken is considered by Red Robin to be cooked and fit for consumption at 160 degrees Farenheit (known because of my recent "rare chicken" episode). Most restaurants serve coffee at a "substantially lower" temperature, and coffee brewed at home is typically at about 135 to 140 degrees.

  • The car was not moving, and the woman was not driving, at the time she spilled. She was trying to take the lid off so she could add cream and sugar while her grandson kept the car parked and still for her. McDonald's CLAIMED that they assumed people took their coffee home to drink, and did not drink it in the car, but the case showed that they had done research showing that they knew people bought their coffee for consumption in the car.

  • The woman received third degree burns over 6% of her body...pretty much everything in her groin area. Extensive medical attention, including skin grafts, was required to treat her.

  • The woman wanted $20,000 before the case went to trial, and McDonald's refused. This was enough to cover her medical bills. The case was deemed to be worth $200,000 in compensatory damages, which ended up being $160,000 awarded to the plaintiff, because she was found to be 20% liable for the incident. Punitive damages were equal to two days worth of McDonald's coffee sales, which came out to $2.7 million. This was reduced by the judge to $480,000.
    NOTE: "Punitive damages" is the part of the civil case that is supposed to sting the defendant. The scale on which they are typically awarded is a sliding one, based on the ability of the defendant to pay. $480,000 was probably not very severe "punishment" for McDonald's.

  • The case was eventually settled out of court, and the final outcome is under some kind of confidentiality agreement.

The article provides more information. Knowing the facts helped me realize that something used so often as an example of why the legal system in the United States is a joke was actually a testament to the effectiveness of holding powerful corporations accountable for negligent acts. Of course, that effectiveness is undermined every day, both by people that abuse it, and by people that seek to castrate it, but it is my sincere hope that we, as a country, wake up and learn to protect the things that protect us.
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Okay, so this is a few days old...   
10:24am 06/12/2005
  If you haven't seen it:
The internet is for porn.
Interesting article on Slash-Dot   
09:04am 30/11/2005
  Interesting article about the effect(affect?) of the internet on printed periodicals.

Kind of interesting to see social evolution and whatnot based on more efficient and ubiquitous information distribution methods.
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I am thankful for...   
01:02pm 22/11/2005
  Hi everybody. Welcome to another journal entry by CommunistGnome. Today's format is going to vary a little bit from the normal format, mostly in that there isn't going to be a whole lot of bitching about random things going on. I'm not planning on bringin up the stupid train that blocks the road on my way into work, or how rude people in SUVs are, or anything like that. I'm not even going to mention any negative things about my job at all. In fact, this is going to be mostly kind of positive and weird.

First off, holidays are coming. While I do not want or expect presents from anyone, really, I think it's important to point out some awesome holiday ideas that might otherwise go under the radar.

First on the list, Stickfas are an amazing and inexpensive gift for toy-lovers everywhere. Even the most expensive kits are not that expensive, and the modularity, flexibility, and universal appeal of a "generic" toy should not go unnoticed. Yes, they have no faces, but really, what do faces do but get us in trouble anyway? I really have to say, these toys are AWESOME.

Second on the list...well, I can't think of anything that is as good a value as Stikfas. You may think "electronics" or "clothes", but after you've spent that $200 on a new TiVo, you could have just as easily bought a veritable army of faceless poseable action figures with a variety of snap-on accessories.

Some people will suggest the new X-Box 360. I say, "Sure, if you want to spend $500 on the first-to-market platform that will likely be out of date within a year or two anyway, go for it. I mean, I'm sure all those bells and whistles, like the ability to play a DVD or MP3 files will be very handy for all of you out there that don't have a DVD player on your TV or a computer. And the fact that there are like no games out for it is awesome too."

Another great group of gifts, if you happen to know any Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game addicts, like myself, is subscription cards. For fifteen to thirty dollars, you can insure that the lucky recipient of your gift not only continues to eschew any semblance of social adjustment or a life, but also that they do so on your dime. Hey, that's three less hours a month that they have to work which they can spend getting their fix posing as an elf-woman with a nice rack/ass combo slaying the Goobergons of Planet Rexxar. I mean, who needs sex? Am I right?

Speaking of sex, porn also makes a great gift.

Finally, the greatest gift of all, just spend time with those you pretend to care about. It makes them feel good, and important, it can enrich your own life, because they'll usually feed you, and it's damn cheap. People will seriously fall all over you if you just act like you give a damn, and spend fifteen minutes listening to them ramble on and on about whatever bullshit they find important. "Oh, I got this present..." "Oh, I got a promotion..." "Oh, our baby took its first step..." "Oh, we're getting married..." "Oh, here is a fat stack of dollars..."

I actually suggest listening for the last statement, as it is sometimes accompanied by enough money to get some booze to put on top of the food they gave you.
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