Coffee and cigarettes…

January 15, 2010

happy new year… is it over yet?

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 12:28 pm

Oy. Here we are just two weeks into the new year, and I’m already so very, very over it. It even started out so well… but how quickly do things change. I would appreciate it if the universe could stop throwing bad stuff at me and mine, just for a while. Not asking for forever… I know better than that. But a breather would be awesome. kthxbai!

The latest is a phone call from my credit union this morning, asking about a “few” transactions on my credit card the other day. Someone scarfed my CC info and used it to load up on WoW and Warhammer/DAoC subscriptions.  So, disputes are being filed with the CU, the card’s been cancelled and a new one is on the way (but until it gets here, I get to live on cash). On the upside, the nice lady at EA actually giggled and said “oh boy, fun time” as she took the banhammer to the little thieving shit’s accounts. As she whacked away, she confessed that this was her favorite part of the job.

Still waiting to hear back from Blizzard.

The good news, and there is some: the wedding planning continues apace, and AB and I are making steady, if slow, progress in figuring out how to shuffle her life deck with mine and make one whole one. Miss Kidd has her moments, but overall she’s still a good girl. (Also, I know you’re reading. You know what moments I want stopped. Stop them.)

Is it bad that I really just want a boring life for a little while? Is that really a lot to ask?

December 2, 2009

A Final Address: The Zombie Threat Must Be Defeated

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 8:11 pm

We, the living, are locked in a war with the dead. The fate of the world, or at least the world of the living, is in jeopardy, and it is up to we few survivors to end the zombie menace. I realize that some of you are afraid. I know that some of you are unsure that we can actually turn the tide, much less win, this mortal struggle. And, if we’re honest, there are many who wonder if it’s even worth trying to fight anymore. After all, they are many and we are few. But, my friends, it is precisely that fact which is why we must find the resolve to win this war. If we, the living, fall… that’s it. The dead will rule the planet. Life – and the truth is that, as far as we know, Earth is the only life-bearing world in the universe – will be ended. Whether we believe in God or not, we all believe that life is precious. Life is incredible. And life, when given a chance, will endure great upheavals and cataclysms – just ask the little mammals who survived the end of the dinosaurs. But now, in this moment of our greatest despair, it is up to us to create that chance for life to endure. We have the knowledge necessary to end this threat. We have the tools to do what must be done, however unpleasant. And we, each of us individually, have the power to save the human race. The zombie threat must be ended, once and for all, if we as a species are to endure.

We have the knowledge. It’s something of an irony that much of the knowledge of how to fight this very real danger came from a creation of entertainment – the zombie movie. George Romero led the way, and many others shared his vision over the last half century. Little did we know that one day, fantasy would become fact. Thanks to the Internet – which still endures to this day – we have these resources from which to draw strategy and tactics. Odd as their unlife may be to us, zombies are still human-shaped, and vulnerable to many of the same injuries as we are. Not only do we have the resources of fantasy, we also have the resources of fact – humanity, you will all agree, knows many ways to inflict bodily harm. We must now turn this knowledge from a means to harm one another, to a means to save us all.

We have the tools. Man is a creature that has always been driven to invent. A fallen tree becomes a club. A tree branch becomes a bow. Charcoal, sulfur and bat guano become gunpowder. Much of the great industrial power in the world now lays fallow, but its fruits still dot the countryside. Warehouses, stores, caches all contain pieces and parts of the things we need to continue the fight. Libraries contain vast stores of data from which we can derive improved implements of zombie destruction. Armories, military bases, and militia camps across the country and around the world contain truly mind-boggling quantities of weapons and materiel. For centuries, generals and admirals and presidents and kings have ALL believed rightly that superior technology is a powerful force multiplier – and a force multiplier is exactly what we need in order to take back our planet.

We have the power. Though they are many, the zombie hordes are greatly limited in what they can do. Their mindless, instinct-driven hunt for the living does not allow for creativity. They shamble onward, seeking only to slake the insatiable hunger within them. They are slow. They are stupid. They are clumsy. We, the living, are fast, and bright, and nimble. We can literally run circles around them – our children play Ring Around the Zombie even now in order to learn basic evasion tactics. We have the power to build fortresses and other defensible positions so they cannot reach us, but we can reach them with tools of destruction. Here in Fortress Tampa, our walls keep them out, and the ground outside the walls is littered with the broken forms of neutralized zombies. But we cannot live in these walls forever – we cannot forfeit the bulk of our world to the hordes. We must take back this planet.

The only thing we lack is numbers. Unlike any war we have experienced as a species, in the war against the zombie menace, the attrition rate is significantly lopsided. When we kill a zombie, their numbers decrease by one. When they kill a human, not only do our numbers decrease by one, but quite often their numbers increase by one as well.

But numbers alone do not win a war. Resolve wins wars. Determination wins wars. Courage wins wars. Faith wins wars. We must fight smarter, with more tenacity and creativity, if we are to persevere. We must do this for our sake. We must do this for our family’s sakes. And we must do this for humanity’s sake.

Borrowing the words of the poet Dylan Thomas, we must not go gentle into that good night. We must rage against the dying of the light.

September 15, 2009

RIP Dr. Norman Borlaug

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 8:29 am

The world lost its greatest treasure on September 12th, and I’d wager just about anyone reading this has never heard of him until now. (Offer void if you’re on my FB friends list.)

Dr. Norman Borlaug is credited with having saved, during his career, over a billion lives. No, that’s not a typo. Dr. Borlaug’s work in agricultural improvements has ensured more than 1,000,000,000 people worldwide have enough food. That, my friends, is a stunning figure, and I’m honestly hard-pressed to come up with a scenario that could possibly improve on that number.

You who know me know I am not easily given to wibbly sentimentality. But this man, from the moment I first heard of him and the work he’d been doing, instantly became a part of my personal pantheon of People I Want To Be Someday. He exemplifies that which I seek to grow in myself. He saw a problem, he thought of solutions to that problem, and despite all criticism and naysaying – of which there was a considerable amount – he made those solutions happen.

He’s widely credited for starting the Green Revolution – improvements in farming techniques and applied selective breeding to improve crop yields, shorten growing seasons and otherwise make it easier to extract more from the earth and put it into people’s bellies. His motivation wasn’t fame or fortune – in fact, he actively eschewed these things. He just wanted to do something to make the world a better place.

Look him up. And then look up to him.

September 4, 2009

double negativity

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 10:02 am

Recently, while driving between the Eastern Fortress and the Geekplex, I wound up behind a giant, sticker-festooned SUV. This being Tampa, I didn’t consider this terribly uncommon. There were the usual “NObama” and “My kid’s an honor student” adornments, but one in particular stuck in my head.

The back window was dominated by a drawing of a very angry-looking Pit Bull Terrier, and surrounding it were these words:  “If it ain’t a Pit, it ain’t shit!”

What we have here, basically, is the statement: “If not A, then not B.”

The rules of logic are vicious and unforgiving. If the statement evaluates as true – and we must assume it does because it’s being stated in an axiomatic manner – then it’s a logical necessity that the contrapositive must also be true. Flip A and B,  take out the nots, and we find the contrapositive to be: “If B, then A.”

Plug back in our terms, and the statement becomes “If it’s shit, it’s a Pit”.

Moral of the story: double negatives are bad. And, quite often, they’re unintentionally funny.

April 6, 2009

woohoo! i finally remember a dream!

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 8:55 am

I wound up, apparently, kicking myself awake this morning, and the timing was apparently quite good because I actually remembered dreamstuff long enough to jot it down. I almost never remember my dreams, and I’ve generally wondered what they’re like all of my life. Even on the best of occasions, I only remembered fragments. This morning’s had a good bit more fidelity left, and I was lucky to have a recording device handy that I could dump it out into for later retrieval.

There were ants. Lots of ants.

Standing in a pasture with AB, I’m studying the ants. They’re doing… odd… things. (more…)

March 4, 2009

oops…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 9:37 am

Apparently, the C&H-inspired graphic from a few posts ago has gotten some attention. As in, national attention.

{waves to Reddit visitors}

Sorry there’s not much content. I’m kinda boring. ;)

January 29, 2009

It has begun!

Filed under: brain candy,the precious — techrat @ 2:04 pm
Caution! Zombies Ahead!

Caution! Zombies Ahead!

Be on the lookout, folks! The uprising has begun!

January 10, 2009

whee! domestic bliss…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 1:51 pm

This weekend is composed of a lot of downtime, so I’m catching up on things to do at home that need doing.

The most interesting on today’s agenda has been the inventorying of the freezer’s contents. (Yes, my life is just that exciting.)

I have a lot of food stockpiled. Now to actually do something with it.

Off to the meal-planning!

January 8, 2009

the heads be rollin’… they hatin’…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 9:51 am

Good times here at the Fun Factory. The pros from Dover have been in town for a few days now, and they’re starting the head-cutting today. So far, six. Rumblings of more to come.

Da Boss says he hasn’t heard of any plans to whack my position. Also says the moment he hears rumblings like that, he’ll let me know rather than let me get blindsided. So I at least have that going for me.

Happy New Year.

EDIT: Apparently, someone enjoyed the news so much, they decided to make our day more exciting with a bomb threat. Good times…

January 7, 2009

oh, sweet sweet stolen cake…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 4:52 pm

I go a-wandering through the office just about this time every day, because I always forget to pack a lunch, and I never get to go anywhere. Sometimes I come up empty, but not today. The front office here at the Fun Factory is about 90% female, and there’s also enough people in total that birthdays and other felicitous occasions happen fairly regularly. As a result, there is usually some form of food lying around begging to be eaten.

Happy Birthday, whomever you are. Because of you, I now have cake.

And in the process of getting it, I got to look all pro-active and stuff.

It’s all about appearance management, don’tchaknow.

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