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Timmerov's Blog
Saturday, February 28, 2009
  grammar box
so the other day i dragged a folder from a server to a local drive. vista popped up a scary dialog. the next day xp popped up the same thing. it said: do you want to move or copy these files? and the buttons were yes and no. dragging files from one place to another on the same drive means to move them. dragging them from one drive to another means to copy them. well, that's the convention anyways. but windows doesn't always follow the conventions. so when i say yes, is it going to copy the files (good)? or move them (bad)? i hit no. and went with the copy and paste option. frikken computers.
Friday, February 27, 2009
i have a sportline stopwatch 240. it's a nice little stopwatch. i use it to time my bleacher runs in the mornings. it's also a clock. and an alarm clock. and it has an hourly chime. which is really fucking annoying. every hour in the middle of the night. weep. it's not exactly like the bread machine or the smoke alarm. but it's pretty close. the problem is the stopwatch has only three buttons. and a zillion modes. and of course the manual went in the garbage about 2 seconds after i liberated the stopwatch from its packaging. sometimes that damn alarm chime nonsense gets turned on just from the random presses it gets from being in my pocket. and no one knows how to turn the fucking thing off. heh. i figure if i blog about it here, i might save a marriage. maybe even my own. and i'll always be able to find out the magic sequences to fix it. it's really pretty simple. if not intuitively obvious. press the top button until you get to the normal clock. press and hold the left button. press the top button. repeat until the long line of bars at the top disappear. then release the left button. simple, no? anywho, the manual is here. enjoy.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
my buddy at work was telling a story. it's a pretty good story. he walked in on an armed robbery at a convenience store. and didn't notice. and some other funny stuff happened. but it's his story. so i'll let him tell it. which he did. all day. cause there was always someone new showing up. anywho, the amazing thing is, he told the story the same way every time. sheehs. there's no way i could have done that. by the end of the day, my story would have gone like this: i walked into my bank to make my weekly $100G deposit when i notice a half dozen guys in ninja suits. and they all have rocket launchers. and frikken laser beams strapped to their heads...
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
i just get this feeling that the new people in charge are hankerin and slaverin to pass all these new stimulus packages in order to raid the national treasury. heh. it's their turn after all. they've been shut out for the past 8 years. anywho. i think they'll do it. i think they'll get their foxes into the hen house. to find it empty. maybe they'll see the last fat wolf on its way out. good day gentlemen. we'll be back in 4 years after you restock.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
  no coke pepsi
i might switch to pepsi from diet coke. yay! course if i drank as many sugar pepsis as i currently drink diet cokes i'd be as fat as some of the precious snowflakes who signed up for little league.
Monday, February 23, 2009
we interrupt the normal sequence of blog posts for this breaking news. i wrote this post a long time ago. but was not allowed to disclose these facts. until today. we were gagged for incredibly stupid reasons. but anywho. more notes after. enjoy.

* i got a golden globe nomination. woo hooty! well not me exactly. brad pitt got one for benjamin button. and we did the facial motion capture for that movie. so i'm taking the credit. he can keep the shiny. if he wins it. it's kinda interesting. one can argue that since most of the material was computer generated it shouldn't be eligible. kinda like andy serkis' performance of gollum. 'course we didn't do that. that cg was mostly done by animators. they started with andy's performance. but had to manually add the details to make the cg look good. on the other hand... the details used for benjamin button were provided by the actor. the technicians didn't change any details. they just used brad's movements to animate different cg heads. it's more like using makeup to make someone look like someone they're not. really fancy makeup. really fancy computation intensive makeup. *

brad didn't win his golden globe. bummer! i guess it sucks to be him, eh? benjamin button won an oscar for visual effects. i find that consolation prize acceptable. mova contour facial capture is really cool. look for more of it in the future.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
lincoln was a great man who freed the slaves. yeah yeah. check your history. the north wasn't winning the civil war. lincoln needed more soldiers. and what better motivation than emancipation? so he set the slaves free. well, not all of them. just the ones in the confederate states. the slaves in the border states that weren't part of the confederate states were still slaves. yeah, maybe it was just careless wording on his part. from the guy who put together the gettysburg address. heh. not buying it. anywho, pretty soon he corrected this oversight and freed all the slaves. folks compare obama to lincoln. i'd rather compare bush to lincoln. maybe in 150 years some unspecified piece of selfish pragmatic legislation bush signed will end up having fundamentally changed the world for the better. that's the thing about history. you never know what's gonna happen. perhaps when i'm 193 i'll regret being a bush hater in my youth. but i doubt it.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
when exactly did heroes jump the shark? i vote for: give me the light mommy.
Friday, February 20, 2009
  right v left
it's kinda amazing really. when the right isn't witching about how stupid the left is, they can make some pretty good points. and they can be communicated to the people who need to hear them. as soon as the right says, those stupid liberals, those stupid liberals stick their fingers in their ears and go la la la la i hear this buzzing noise. it's kinda amazing really. when the left isn't witching about how stupid the right is, they can make some pretty good points. and they can be communicated to the people who need to hear them. as soon as the left says, those stupid conservatives, those stupid conservatives stick their fingers in their ears and go la la la la i hear this buzzing noise.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
  the game
suppose i was a lying cheating scumbag. yeah, just suppose. and i want to run a pump and dump scam. buy low. pump. sell high. works great. except while i'm pumping i'm at risk of someone hijacking my scam. ie if you enter after i do. ride the pump. then dump before i do, i lose. well, lose in the sense that i didn't maximize my return. so. what i need is a way to lock you in for a period of time. i don't mind if i'm locked in too. because i got in first. and my time limit will expire before yours. i can always get out before you. i don't want to completely lock you out. you are a vital part of the scam. the time limit needs to be short. so you can continue the scam for at least another round. ie your incentive to plow in and help pump. so far so good. but now, let's super charge the scam. couple a tax break with the time limit. not only do i get maximum profits, but i also don't have to pay taxes on all that beautiful money. i can't really introduce a pump-and-dump-tax-cut. of course not. i promote it as something to spur investment in business. nobody could be against that. sheehs. it'd be unamerican. it'd be like being against puppies and rainbows, clear skies and clean water. anywho, my plan's all set. all it needs is a name: long term capital gains tax.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  stem cells
a recently reported study shows that stem cells can reverse paralysis in rats. awesome. other studies have shown exciting results with pancreatic cancer. and dementia. and alzheimer's. unfortunately, it's gonna take another 20 years or so before any of those things can be realized as honest to goodness treatments that honest to goodness people can benefit from. it's quite likely that sometime in the next 20 years someone i know will need such a treatment. if they die because they were unlucky enough to get sick just a few years before the treatment becomes available, i'm gonna be really fucking pissed off. on the other hand, if bush gets stricken, i'm gonna laugh my ass off. banning stem cell research for 8 years is gonna seem pretty stupid. 'course he'll have no regrets. going to heaven is a reward for him. it's something he has in common with all them other terrorists.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
if you're new to my blog and don't really want to read all 5 years of it, i've prepared a little summary just for you. i love my wife. i hate bush. taxes are too high. taxes are too low. there are too many people. everyone who writes about global warming and it's two faced cousin climate change, is an idiot. except me. and a bunch of stuff that's funny to timmer.
Monday, February 16, 2009
  murphy's bailouts
eddie murphy did a skit about sticking things in his butt. with apologies to the artist, it ends with something like, what's this? $100 bill? i get to keep this for sticking things in my butt? step aside. scatological humor. anywho, this extended string of bailouts reminds me of that sketch. yeah our firm has hit a rough spot. no, we'll be fine. really. we'll be fine. leave us alone. what's this? $100 billion bailout? i get this for ass fucking our shareholders? step aside.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
why is it that when i'm away from my computer, amusing facebook quips flow from my head like ambrosia? but when i'm actually at my computer and can type them in the well is dry? maybe i should just take a page from my blog habit and jot them down.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
  face story book
okay, so having joined the facebook, i should probably tell my facebook story. when the company i work for was first starting out we were doing the r of r&d for the mova contour facial motion capture system. which has been used for the incredible hulk and another famous movie that i'm not sure i can mention yet by name for curiously stupid hollywood reasons. so i better button it in case i get sued. anywho, it got 5 golden globe nominations but didn't win any. and 13 academy award nominations. so yeah anywho, we needed to work in the dark. so we rented the conference room and the windowless closets in the center of a floor of a building in downtown palo alto. we bribed the owner with a refrigerator to get the space. a few of the offices with windows were taken up by a consulting firm. and the rest of the floor started empty but was steadily filled by beautiful young people working for this social networking web site called facebook. they had lunch and dinner catered. and drank our sodas out of our refrigerator. and had their security people politely come over and ask us not to steal food from their buffets. jerks. obviously, this was a company that was going absolutely nowhere.
Friday, February 13, 2009
the beautiful and talented alisa has been wanting to paint our bedroom for quite some time. she's between work contracts right now. so she jumped into this project with gusto and passion. it's pretty scary looking right now. but scary comes before better. i can't wait to see the results. joint compound has changed sometime in the past few years. it used to look and feel like runny paste. now it's pink and smacky like bubble gum. you used to be able to roller it onto the ceiling for a particular texture. now you have to trowel it on. so it takes 5x longer. sigh. big improvement there. the pan of the stuff fell off the ladder one time and landed on the drop cloth with a big splut. it looked for all the world like a big pile of pink elephant poo.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
some folks were going on and on about how great a leader obama is. and it'll be nice to have a real leader in the white house for a change. instead of some sort of vacuum. heh. hrm. i don't think that's quite right. there was plenty of leadership in the bush administration. rove cheny rice. these folks have leadership in abundance. bush apparently just let em fight it out. but no one of them could grab enough of the power to cow the others. i'm reminded of some sword and sorcery brain candy book i read so long ago i couldn't begin to come up with a name. anywho, the /good/ leaders listened to advisors and commoners. and rewarded good work. and the /evil/ leaders kept slaves and let the subordinates fight it out. heh. guess that explains the roots of my politics, eh?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
this is a pretty cool little puzzle game. i wish we had done it. link
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
most people at work have nice expensive aeron chairs. i don't like em. for one they're airy. which makes em kinda cold. and they enforce good posture. which i object to on principle. they are adjustable. as near as i can tell there are two settings: fat guy, and skinny geek/hot chick. of which i am neither. they don't have a setting for 6'6" torsos mounted on 5'6" legs. fortunately, work is a bit open minded. so i went to office depot. spent $100. and got myself a comfy chair. actually, it kinda sucks. sucked. i got to work one morning to find my chair all borken. and an iou taped to the ceiling.
Monday, February 09, 2009
  safe torture
imagine a safe. inside is lots of nice fat juicy $100 bills. millions of em. but they're all locked up nice and safe. which one assumes is why we call a safe a safe. anywho, you can open the safe with explosives. but that pretty much destroys all the beautiful money inside. yeah you got the safe open. but all that beautiful money is all burned up and useless. now consider your head. inside are secrets you don't want us to know. we can torture you in an attempt to get them. most likely you'll go insane. then all the information in your head is pretty much useless. and now you're as crazy as a loon loon loony toons. and now what are we going to do with you? if you weren't a homicidal sociopath before, you're quite likely to be one now. but we still want to think of ourselves as the good guys. so we can't just dump your body in the ocean. aw who am i kidding. fukkit. we're torturers. we might as well be murderers too.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
  slow of mind
sometimes i feel kinda clueless. so when i notice something i always have to wonder. has it always been this way? or did i just now notice? anywho, today's slow-of-mind moment came reading headlines. why is it that headlines often say exactly the opposite of what the article says? examples abound. hell, just pick an article. any one. most likely the headline isn't supported by the content. i'm pretty sure this says something bad. but does it say something bad about the headline producers? or the headline consumers? or both? course it's not just the media. it's also the gov'mint. the classic example is the clean water act. the headline suggests it's a bunch of regulations to make our waterways cleaner. strongly suggests. presumably by tightening rules and adding restrictions. in reality, it loosened rules and removed restrictions. wee.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
i find the whole israel palestine thing baffling. on one side you have a bunch of uncivilized barbarians killing people. on the other side you have a bunch of uncivilized barbarians killing people. the difference apparently is we like one group and give them stuff that makes them strong. it seems to be a part of the culture that you have to prove you're strong. even when you're weak. especially when you're weak. so you provoke the the guy who really is strong into beating you up. if you survive, you're strong. follow? i bet if we stopped supporting our favorite bunch of uncivilized barbarians and started supporting the other bunch of uncivilized barbarians, things would be exactly the same. ie the weak-but-used-to-be-strong bunch of uncivilized barbarians would provoke the strong-but-used-to-be-weak bunch of uncivilized barbarians until they get sick of it and beat them up. thus proving that they're strong. nice mess. well, whatever. it's the other side of the world. and it gives us a place to try out new weapons we've made.
Friday, February 06, 2009
  hole diggers
i find myself aligned with folks worried that the economic stimulus package is going to be to pay two guys to dig a hole and pay three guys to fill it in. this particular sentiment happens to be mostly expressed by republicans as a bash on democrats. though it's a valid concern. i don't think the war hawks and their marching army of morons have the moral high ground on this one. i explain. consider war. you pay people to make bombs. you drop the bombs. they make a hole. repeat. eventually you declare victory. now you have a bunch of holes where buildings used to be. so what do you do? you pay more people to rebuild the buildings. ie fill the holes. sound familiar?
Thursday, February 05, 2009
heh. i suppose that if one president can define sex in such a way that she had sex but he didn't... i guess it's not so far fetched for another president to use a definition of success that applies to his legacy. and i guess on a bush scale it was a success. he spent all the money didn't he? there ya go. the country went broke. just like every other business bush ever ran. heckuva job.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
there's a billboard on 101. it's actually kinda hard to call it a billboard. cause it's really more like some sort of giant computer screen. and it's bright. it's really fucking bright. it's so frikken bright sometimes it's hard to see the cars around you. which seems to me like a lawsuit waiting to happen. but that's not really the point of this post. the billboard is made of leds. which the greenies tell me are 10x as efficient as incandescents. so we should be using them. to save the earth. however... one quickly loses everything one's gained by using said leds to make the damn billboard 10x as bright. sigh. unfortunately that's a paradox of efficiency. ie if you make something more efficient you make it viable to use whatever it is for more applications. like hybrid cars. they didn't sell worth shit. until someone realized it's a car with two freakin engines. two freakin engines man. think of the horsepower. and the earth wasn't saved. and the greenies wept to see their beautiful ideals corrupted and turned to the dark side. but yeah. i'd love to see the world switch to green techs without increasing consumption. i'm just skeptical that it can happen.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
  washer buttons
my computers are under my desk. they have nice sleek styling. the buttons are flush with the cases where they look really cool and can't be accidentally pushed. but wait. they're under my desk. i can't see them. and could care less what they look like. i have to find the button by feel. but i can't. cause it's a flat button and flush with the case. uh oh. so here's my latest invention. go to home depot. go to the lawn and garden section. get a package of garden hose washers. take em home. the washer fits perfectly over the button. glue it there. or use two sided sticky tape. we have a roll of stuff that's sticky on both sides. i used that. now i can easily find the button by feel. it looks a bit dorky. but it's functional. which is what really matters after all.

heh. after looking at this a bit. i realized a brand new rolled up prophylactic would do the job just as nicely. and it'd make a nice conversation piece. hrm. we just got a new hr handbook at work. i wonder if there's anything in it about glueing condoms to co-workers' computers.
Monday, February 02, 2009
  open source
one can wonder how open source can possibly work. i mean you work on this stuff. and just give it away for free. it doesn't make any sense. how can you possibly gain doing this? heh. imagine you're a computer user. and the software you need to use sucks. i don't mean it could be improved. i mean it sicks the biiiiiiiiig duck. you could spend your time fighting with the damn thing. and rebooting your computer. or restoring from a backup. but, you're a coder. you could spend some time making a better mousetrap. you obviously don't have enough time to finish the thing. but you publish it as open source. where some other coder finds it. and advances it in his spare time. eventually, a small army of disgruntled coder/users have created a product that can compete with the commercial garbage. now suppose you're not a coder. you're just some guy with a checkbook. you could keep doing what you've always had to do in the past. or you can thumb your nose at the corporate giant. and make a small donation to the open source foundation. the bloated company now has legitimate competition. and motivation to improve their product. everyone wins.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
  price jumps
ever notice that when there's bad news about oil supply, gas prices jump immediately - but when oil prices drop suddenly, gas prices fall slowly? ever wonder why? well fear not. timmer's here. imagine you run a gas station. and you need to bring in $10k/mo. and you make $0.10 per gallon of gas sold. you need to sell 100k gallons per month. you bought the gas you're selling this month last month. now you get the news that the next tanker truck of gas is going to be a $0.25/gallon more expensive. you could leave your price where it is now. and let it jump a lot next month. and immediately fall back to normal the month after. on the other hand, i could immediately raise my prices. you'd sell out all your gas at your low price. then you'd have to buy gas at a higher price. in the meantime, i can sell my gas at a nickel below your price. and this month i make $30k. then wer're pretty even steven again. you can counter my profit grab by also immediately raising your price too. in which case we both make $35k. and we can continue this game for quite some time until we settle on a stable solution. specifically, we collude and immediately raise our prices to some level. in this month we make extra. then maintain that price through the expensive period. in this month we make less, or even take a loss. afterwards we slowly lower prices to their normal levels. all the while we're making up profit we missed out on during the expensive period. at the end of the day... we each make pretty close to $10k/month on average.
most every day i wander the corridors of my mind and open a door at random.

blogs of friends
bad astronomy
freedom to tinker

web comics
casey&andy (complete)
cheshire crossing (complete)
middle age
order of the stick

doonesbury (sunday only)
foxtrot (sunday only)
wizard of id

cool science facts (idle)
exploding unicorn
some ex-intern's
hyperbole and a half

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