Thursday, April 27, 2006

One For My Unwelcome Guests

My apologies to my friends and family. This one is just for those who continue to waste our money by wasting their time browsing my site every damn day. They spend more time trying to hide the fact that they're visiting than actually doing what they're supposed to do. Way to combat the waste!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Releasing The Inner Demon

I made an image with the new version of Apophysis. When I rendered it, I didn't uncheck the "transparency" box, and it came out quite different than my original image. I tried getting the colors back, and... things... started happening to the image which took me in an entirely different direction. For example, I couldn't see that human figure in the yellow oval in the original. Plain ol' wasn't there. Sometimes, mistakes turn out better than the original intent.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

Year One

It's been one full year since I resigned. One year since:

* I had to take sleeping pills in order to get any sort of sleep.
* I took at least six Advil a day, every day, just to get through the day. (And all the lovely side effects that went along with that.)
* I had to repeat the same instructions to the same people over and over and over again because they couldn't be bothered to read/remember/write things down.
* I've had to solve the problems of other people.
* I've had a line of people with questions going out of my office while another person is asking me a question on the phone and another is asking me a question by e-mail.
* I've heard my blood thundering in my head as my blood pressure skyrocketed because of the unspeakable stupidity unveiling itself before my eyes.
* I've had to wait 12 hours to go to the damn bathroom.
* I've had an alarm clock wake me up just as I was falling asleep.
* I've encountered people who treat computers the way most people would treat an alien seed pod. (Poke it with a stick or run away screaming in terror. Or both.)

Strangely enough, I miss none of those things. I do miss some of the people, though, and I wish for them to have better luck with and/or tolerance of that place.

As for me now... I get to wake up naturally and look out at mountains. I rarely wear pants (shorts, people, shorts!), and I only get headaches once a month or so. (That's a brazillion times better than feeling like your head is in a vise every damn day.)

I wouldn't trade this year for anything. (Well, maybe a winning lottery ticket or something.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Irony Bored

I've been angry for the last couple days. If you're an American taxpayer, you'll be angry after you finish reading this. Almost one year ago, I started receiving hits on my website from within the confines of my former employer. I complained to the organization whose job it is to stop "fraud, waste, and abuse" of government funds. I assumed, quite incorrectly, that they'd do something about it. The hits started again. I complained again, and I asked that this follow-up be associated with my previous ticket open with them.

The response I received, in its entirety: “What type of ticket do you have open? Who is it open with? What is a ticket?”

Expletives abounded after reading that response, but my vocabulary kicked in and I responded. In that response, I asked to be contacted in writing. I specifically requested not to be called.

I was called the next day.

I did not speak to the person on the phone. There is no record of what is said in a phone conversation unless it is recorded. I want written words, and I don't think that's an outlandish request. Send me a letter, apologize, and say it'll never happen again. I'll be happy with that.

After two more months of silence, I wrote a letter. It was seven pages long, went to a few senators and a couple governmental bigwigs. It seems that the letter has filtered its way down, because for the last two days I've had a governmental visitor for great swaths of time. Visiting every single link on my blog, and every line of comments.

This makes me laugh, because my complaint was that government employees aren't supposed to be surfing websites while they're at work. They're supposed to be *gasp* working! (That's how utterly radical I am.) The only sites they're supposed to view are those with a legitimate business purpose. This blog certainly does not fit that bill. There are far better ways for my tax dollars to be spent than to have people looking at blogs, don't you think? Look at it this way... at a conservative estimate, the person who was looking at my site for the past two days makes $18 an hour. (They probably make much more.) Yesterday they visited for a little over five hours, which equates to $90. That's ninety dollars to look at pictures I made, fractals, and a picture of me at four years old in a bathrobe.

I guess that makes sense. I mean, it's not like the deficit is at record high levels or anything. We've got money to burn! Rack up those blogexplosion and blogmad credits, folks! A tax hike is more than justified to pay for your surfing habit!

It's just high irony that the department charged with stopping governmental waste is now more guilty of wasting funds than the place that sparked my original complaint. Good job!

For those of you saying "so what?", think about this. This is $90 that I know about. So, if just one person wastes 5 hours a day, every day, that adds up to $32,850 wasted per year. If you think there's just one person doing this, I'd like to sell you some oceanview property in Colorado. Cheap.

My message to my new fans? Keep right on visiting! My logs will keep recording it, and it's more proof of how much money you're costing the government. Thank you for providing more fodder for my next letter. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the pics and the stories! Oh, and if you'd bother to fix the firewall like I said, this post wouldn't even be here! Fun!

*Update* - Hi again! Keep wasting those tax dollars! Oh, and nice job trying to hide. ""? I appreciate the entertainment. And what the hell do you keep looking at my profile for? It's changed maybe twice in two years. You expect it to change on a daily basis? Sheesh.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Learned Man of Leisure

My father sent me a bunch of scans of old photographs today. I like this one for several reasons. First, it shows how disproportionately huge my head is. That probably explains my posture in the picture. Way, way too much effort expended in keeping gravity at bay.

Second, I'm reading. Don't be fooled by the pictures on the pages. There are words there, and I started reading words at age two. Luckily, my comprehension kept increasing as I got older.

Third, I'm wearing a stylin' robe. If I remember correctly, it had a little Winnie the Pooh on the breast pocket. Even then, I had discriminating tastes. All I really need to complete the outfit is a snifter of brandy. Or a snifter of Kool-Aid, I guess. And a bubble gum cigar.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Is A Tricky Month

March 31, 1999: I came home from work to find my apartment burned down. (Insurance? What insurance?) Wore the same clothes for a few days, and couldn't get away from the smell of smoke. (Even though it probably only existed in my mind.) Learned that life wasn't about material possessions. (Though I did spend many, many hours cleaning and repairing my computer! Possessions are one thing, my computer is sacred!)

March 31, 2005: We decided to resign and move to Arizona, leaving behind stable (though monstrously aggravating) jobs, friends, friends who are family (not "like family", but family, dammit), and family. Learned that if I had kept on the way I was going, I was on the fast track to a heart attack/stroke/brain implosion/Advil OD. I was living for work, and so was Deb, and there was no end in sight. Or so we thought.

March 31, 2006: Wontar hides under the bed, unsure as to whether the life-changing cycle will stick to its six year pattern or not.