Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh my!

On a training call at work, as we were waiting for everyone to dial in, one person had clearly picked up another line and had the, let's call it the hey-baby voice going. We heard (essentially, I was not taking notes)
"Hi...Yeah, I hear ya...Oh, really?...Yeah, that sounds great. I wish we were off an island right now. In fact let's just run off to an island together....Yeah...We should, we should."
Now, several of us were a little worried the conversation was headed in a NSFW direction. At the mention of the island, one person said loudly, trying to get dude's attention, "I'll go to an island with you." No clear response. Shortly after, the facilitator - again loudly - reminded everyone to mute their phones and that seemed to work. Either that or someone who knew the voice had IM'd the person to let them know.
But, at least (or, who knows, it might have been more entertaining) he wasn't leaving a nutbar message like these!
H/T to Smart Bitches.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Barter is back!

Of course, bartering was never really gone, there were just areas where it was less accepted in these modern times. One of my first "real" jobs, I worked for a company that, among other things, did a lot of menu printing for restaurants. The boos had accepted restaurant credit as part of the payment for a number of these places, which meant getting invited out to dinner with the boss was pretty fun. Even then, though I did wonder how employees were getting paid salaries if the business was accepting such payment, so it isn't a terrible surprise that, well, it turned out not everyone was getting paid, and the business ended up being sold.
Apparently, it has been suggested that in Italy banks could accept more goods as collateral (apparently cheese is already common, they are considering also accepting wine and ham). Bank vaults could turn into high tech food and wine storage. Just think of the holiday parties.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh, Knitting!

I finished this a bit ago, and , well, like much of the knitting, didn't quite get around to blogging about it.
When I saw the Blooming Flowers Cotton Scarf in Interweave, I was intrigued. When I read through and realized it was knit in the round and later severed, I was more intrigued. Now, I bought new yarn for this, but other than the base color (and depending on the stash, even then) it really doesn't use large quantities, so it could be a great stash-buster pattern.
I used a combination of Rowan Handknit DK Cotton and Frog Tree Pima Silk. The scarf is knit length-wise and, because of the later cutting means very little attention needs to be paid to how the yarn gets carried for the color work. The color work is achieved with slip stitch knitting and works very similarly to the Ballband dishcloth. It was an easy pattern and only required real counting every few rows.
The beginning/end looks like this:
the ends
And then you break out the scissors and do this:
cutting it open 3
Just tie off the ends and you have something like this:
Blooming Cotton Scarf 1
For those with a fear of steeking, this is not really steeking because in steeking you are trying to preserve the knitting you are cutting apart. Here, less so.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Don't Light a Match

I hesitate to make fun, particularly since water engineering is not an area I understand (beyond when I turn the tap, water should come out), but WASA's response to repeated concerns about water pressure, particularly in light of another major fire where firefighters were hampered by less than desirable amounts of water, that topography is an issue crack me up. So- anywhere there's a hill we just have to hope there's no fire? Are the aware that DC is almost entirely hills? I mean, we may not be San Francisco but pretty much if you go north, it's uphill until you hit Tenleytown (which is the highest point in DC). So, WASA has released a list of places where water pressure might be an issue and basically, it's kinda big. Fortunately the fire department states they have a contingency. But, maybe lets just not have any fires, mmkay?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dear Folks #23: The Job Hunt

Dear College Graduates,
I have to imagine that some of you know this already, but apparently some of you, this one in particular, are a little confused. College will do many things for you. It will give you the opportunity to hone skills in research and writing and analysis. It can give you greater access to knowledge pertaining to a certain field. And for some fields it is even a requirement. Here's what you are guaranteed when you get a college degree: a college degree. That's it. Sorry, if you thought there was also a magical portal that led to riches.
I wouldn't trade my college experience anything, but when I graduated I still had to put together a resume and pound the pavement. And I was fortunate that I was not doing this at a time when unemployment was reaching new heights, and I was fortunate that my parents were willing to let me move back in with them until I got everything stabilized. And I interviewed and took tests and talked to folks about my job search and I took some childcare jobs so I had money to keep me going until the magical big job arrived. (And there wasn't one magical big job - there was one interesting job, and then another when that first company got bought out, and then another and so on.)
So, if you were say, an average student, and you've been looking for three months,
that isn't a failure. Not of you, certainly not of you career advancement center.
And, by the way, now when prospective employers google you (and they will) they are
going to find that you appear to be a bit fast with the lawsuit. So, I wish you the
best of luck in your job search. I'm not sure how suing the people who were helping
you solves the job problem, but you certainly have boosted your web searchability.
Wishes she had the luxury of being "above" the jobs that are available.
H/T to the Rubbernecker who provided this link.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Context is King

Or it's all about the juxtaposition. I make liberal use of a blog reader to keep track of all the stuff I am reading. I am a big fan of feeds that give me the full entry in the RSS feed to reduce my need to click should I be viewing on a work break. And sometimes, as I scroll through, it creates its own funny moments. Such as when i scrolled past "The hot new sausage" to find the next article was, "The joy of nude musicals".
Oh, and apropos of, well, phalluses, Lynn Viehl has this response to those who disagree the sci-fi contains a number of phallic symbols.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Books: Through the Fire

Through the Fire by Shawn Grady was a book that started big, and then, it stopped working for me quite so much after that. I've spent a lot of time trying to pinpoint what about it didn't work for me. I think the issue for me was that it is told in first person through viewpoint of Reno fireman Aidan O'Neill, a character who isn't big on introspection. So, stuff happened and most of the time I didn't know how he felt about it.
Aidan is an instinctual firefighter who's instincts don't prevent a rookie from getting hurt in a fire. He get's put on administrative leave and so decides to go to Mexico. And while in Mexico he rescues some children from drowning and ends up in a coma. And then he wakes up from the coma and immediately leaves the hospital and goes back to work since an arsonist seems to be picking on Reno and the department can't afford to be without him. Now, it may seem like I'm giving a lot away, but all this happens in the first 30 pages, which sounds sort of action packed.
I ended up confused.
After that the story remained in the Reno area and stabilized a little. Aidan talks to a fire investigator Julianne, who thinks that the fires may be targeting the fire department. The back cover describes this as teaming up. They talk several times. but it didn't seem like teamwork for me. Also some descriptions mentioned romantic suspense, I don't think it qualifies as a romance, but that could be because I don't really know what they think of each other. They seem to like each other, but I couldn't tell you more than that.
The arsonist story was sort of fascinating, although I found the resolution unsatisfying. Also, out of the blue on page 99 there is a reference that Aidan's life would be all better if he just accepted God. While I don't object in theory to inspirational story lines, this felt tacked on to me, especially since it disappeared for another huge chunk before being brought up again.
I did like most of the writing, and I thought there were parts that were just great, but overall I was left tired. There is a lot of fire jargon, most of which is not explained. I really enjoyed that, but others may wish for an interpreter.