Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

So IBM is in the midst of what they call the employee charitable contribution campaign or ECCC. They send around emails and put stuff up on the intranet about contributing to charity. As part of signing up you can at the same time put your name in for a gift drawing. Keep in mind you don't have to donate any money to put your name in. So the grand prize in this drawing is a trip to Cancun. Does it seem odd to anyone else that they give prizes away for giving to charity? Seems like they could use that money for charity doesn't it? I mean some guy could give like $10 a month for a year, register for the prize as a joke, and then go on a trip to Cancun. Something just seems odd about that to me.

Here's another thing. They come on the public address system everyday and announce where the site is on its goal and who won the daily prize. Before the announcement, they play what I can only describe as "fairy music." The first time I heard it I looked around, kinda frightened, looking for little elves or other such magical woodland creatures. It freaks me out every day and its been going on for two weeks. One day last week I was outside waiting for Jerry and it played on the outside speakers. As you can imagine being outside, and under a tree no less, I was especially frightened. I just hope the campaign is over soon.

This weekend was particularly nice since I got to play golf with my father. We played the front nine at Lions and I shot a 45, the best round I have ever played there. My father had a 37, so it seems I play up to the competition. The two guys we played with, brothers and Arkansas fans, were quite good. One of them drove the green on a par four. It was just nice getting to spend my Saturday afternoon showing my father "my course" and now he even has a logo ball for the course to add to his collection.

As a present to myself for my summer promotion, I purchased new surround speakers. I got a good deal, as they have been discontinued. The speakers, and matching stands, came in last Thursday and I was able to set them up that night. It is truly amazing how much better dipole surrounds are at producing surround sound. I played clips from a bunch of movies, Matrix, Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Empire and Titanic, and the speakers really do a much better job at surrounding the listening field with sound. While it is true that you lose some of the direction capability that a regular speaker provides, movies normally use the surrounds to immerse you in the environment, and the new speakers do that job wonderfully. I look forward to watching a movie in its entirety.

Got to watch a little football on Saturday in HD. My sister said it was "scarily lifelike." My father was amazed he could hear the stadium announcer and the band warming up. I was just happy CBS decided to do one SEC game a week in HD.

So Taylor you gonna give me your industry vs academia speech?

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


So the other day while eating crab cakes at Sea Island Oh-My-God-Why-Am-I-Eating-Seafood-Away-From-the-Gulf-Coast Shrimp House I am engaging in my usual mealtime activity, eavesdropping. Now I am not talking about catching a word or two from the table next to me. Oh no. I am talking about listening to every sentence and focusing so hard on it that my friends at lunch ask me if I am feeling well. It's a disease I know. Anyway, the people next to me are having a serious discussion about abortion. Apparently they don't understand how anyone can have the opposite opinion of the one they have. I think I even heard the phrase "Isn't it obvious in this day and age." I wanted to jump over to the table and beat them up philosophically, but I sat back and continued listening. The last part of the conversation I heard was about a student, the woman it seems is a teacher, who changed his mind and now agrees with the teacher. The two of them were very proud of the guy and sang the praises of his intelligence ... because now he agreed with them. And this lady is a teacher. She teaches children! Argh.

On my way back to work, after I had calmed down a bit, I began to think about what I had just witnessed. Do I act like they just did? I mean I'm pretty much an "I'm obviously right" kinda guy, so do I come off to others like those two jackoffs? Where is the line between thinking you are right and thinking anyone who holds the other view is an idiot? I hold some pretty radical views, 4.00/-2.72 on the political compass, and certainly talk with people who don't have the same beliefs as myself. I do not think they are idiots. I do understand how someone can think as they do. But I still think they are wrong.

DVRs rule, Gilmore Girls rocks, and thank God Rachel and Joey figured out what America already knew.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

One day of my life

!= comes before & in the C operator precedence table.