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Monthly Archives: June 2009

Bailout of US Banks Gives British Rum maker a $2.7 Billion Benefit

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So I was a tad bit surprised to hear Michael Jackson has passed away in his home. Except for Thriller (yes I’m man enough to admit I bought the album – honestly no clue where the tape ended up – which is funny because while packing stuff up I came across my Def Leppard tapes) I really never have followed his music.

When I was in elementary school Thriller came out and was on MTV. The original music video is really quite long, but for some reason it was pretty cool. Many of my classmates however thought it was gay (the outfit he wore was pretty flamboyant) and guess who got called Michael Jackson on the playground? Yes the kid who had a similar name… I can’t really moonwalk, but secretly wish I could.

Rest in peace Michael – hopefully you find yourself in the afterlife.

Pretty freaky video ehh? They honestly played that every hour on MTV when it came out.

Managed to find my Nintendo DS while packing stuff, and it still works – however I found I’m kind of terrible at it. I was kind of surprised it still works really well.

I remember buying it to play with between called while I was at Stream. When I moved on to GTS Services I really didn’t have time sadly. When I started working on the Adobe contract at Stream there was a huge emphasis on first call resolution – which meant (paraphrasing our trainer Mr. Perkins) you stay on the call until the issue was solved within reason. Interestingly enough doing this only got most of us an average average handle time of around 22 minutes (which was only a bit higher than the mandatory one they use now). So while customers rebooted or did tasks I either was looking up info (to help them), or playing on my Nintendo. Not that this was allowed, and it was probably poor judgment on my part, but finding it in a forgotten box brought back the memory. I also read a lot of comic books – Ah My Goddess being my favorite at the time (I still have all of them!).

An indignant guild member in Dragonfire was upset that all Deathknights (the new class introduced with the most recent expansion) were being portrayed as “easy mode”. Fueling the fire as I like to do sometimes I linked this video:

So this guy bound every single one of his characters abilities to a single button macro (so he runs around swinging his sword repeatedly hitting this one button) using a feature in the client called /castrandom – think of it like a scripting interface for the game. It has a lot of limitations to prevent cheating, but what /castrandom does is it selects from an array of ready spells (in other words – not ones that have been used an are on cooldown) and uses them on the target.

Are they easy mode? Yes – sadly. They have been toned down and nerfed in recent patches, but its the only class in the game I can think of that can silence a player using any one of 4 abilities. Or stun players using blackout with their pet (I think that is what it was called). I actually hexed a deathknight (turned him into a frog) to run away – and his pet came and stunned me – after that wore off he came over and killed me. I do honestly think they were one of the poorer design decisions Blizzard has made for the game sadly.

Long ago when Adobe wanted to hire all kinds of new technicians they asked me what they should look for. I told them that they should hire people with “The Knack” – I was totally serious. The best techs are people who can look at a problem and figure it out through research and intuition alone. In other words – people who can use resources to find answers rather than have all the answers in front of them (like in a knowledge base, or through training) alone. Not saying training and knowledge base articles aren’t important, but very often as a tech neither exist – especially on new products and technologies.

The Knack is basically is basically an extreme intuition in all things electrical and mechanical. Finding people who have “The Knack” like the cartoon below says is like finding the one good rag in a pile of bad ones. Sometimes people find “The  Knack” on the job, and I saw it happen to a lot of people all the time at Stream – those are the kind of people you want to hire I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TirAmOFw_WA

Anyhow its a good episode none the less – even if you don’t agree with me :).

kg090  kg156 kg100

So a nice surprise – you can watch a ton of anime shows (in some cases complete seasons!) on Youtube now. Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/shows?p=None&s=None&b=2

Anyhow I haven’t watched a whole lot of anime in a while, but two of my favorites are Kiddy Grade (all 24 episodes in English) and Moon Phase (only 4 episodes sadly).

Moon Phase was originally called Tsukuyomi Moon Phase in Japan. Not quite sure why they changed the name, but its a pretty interesting series. Best description I can come up with is female Dracula, with cat ears meets a relatively weird boy who specializes in paranormal photography – its kind of horror/comedy – pretty fun, dark and bright all in one show. Sub means Japanese language with English subtitles – which is useful to watch if your practicing pronunciation.

Kiddy Grade is a bit weird I have to admit, but if you like gothic space opera (best I can describe it) with a lot of strange plot twists – its definitely for you. I really like the character design in this show actually – even thought it changes a lot towards the end.

Oh almost forgot – don’t miss Nurse Witch Komugi – a tv series that is almost completely fan service (nurses, naked apron, catgirls, and even references to 2chan – so you’ve been warned).

So keep an open mind – one thing to remember is most all anime is deeply intertwined with Japanese culture so what may seem strange probably has a perfectly normal explanation :).

Kind of a history of North Korean diplomatic relations in a nutshell.

The reference to Cognac btw – apparently their largest customer is North Korea who according to the CIA spends $720,000 US Dollars a year on the substance. Some quick research shows: 650$ per bottle, .7 liters (depending on the year) per bottle = 1143 bottles a year which is roughly 800 liters which is 211 gallons of stuff.

Doesn’t seem like they are getting their money worth does it?

People who know me know that I’m kind of paranoid about everything, but you have to know – its not without reason. For example. I needed to get my Honda Civic worked on, but it stresses me out not because I know the dealership won’t do the job right, but because I’ll have to make 15+ phone calls getting a shuttle to come pick me up.

I don’t think I’ve ever dropped my car off without waiting hours for a shuttle to take me home, or on the flip side pick me back up.

Anyhow they finally picked me up while writing this – they were only an hour and a half late, but better late than never right?

Right? I should have brought my towel

Anyhow I’m going to penny-arcade expo again this year. If you plan to be there contact me and we’ll meet up :).