An excercise in futility.
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My Archives: December 2002

Monday, December 30, 2002

Book about all these amazing computer programmers. It is "a sort of Iliad for the computer age". Paul and I were initially impressed my this in the bookstore because the first page we opened to looked like this:


Cappuccino maker
Something I've been really wanting. Since I have very shabby coffee-making skills I figured that I could dazzle people by steaming the milk in the really shitty coffee I make for them. It comes with an instructional video that will hopefully give me the knowledge I need to make a palatable cup of coffee.

Applebee's gift card

Borders Gift Card

L.L. Bean Shirt
Because a man can never have too many shirts. My shirt to pants ratio has easily got to be 10:1. I have a bunch of shirts that are really comfortable and fit well and look good and I have about three pairs of pants that I can wear and most of them are second hand from my friend who's about 6" taller than me. It is unfortunate that "rocking a peg cuff" isn't quite so fashionable these days. Ten years ago I would have been the coolest guy on the block.

Rugrats Candy
Because my grandmother is a weirdo.

Far Side Calendar

Early Maps of the Internet Poster
I hope Jen doesn't break up with me because with this hanging on my wall I would be certain to die single. It shows maps of the way the various computer wide area networks were laid out in the early days of the internet.

The Ape Man/Monkey Trouble double feature
The Parents Redcloud felt that my DVD collection was lacking in the ape department. Harry Ape would be proud.

Utena: The Black Rose Blooms DVD

Back to the Future Trilogy DVD
Having to wait an uncomfortable number of years for this to come out on DVD makes it all that much sweeter.

Electric Razor
Just in the nick of time (pun not intended). Someone peed on my old electric razor on Christmas eve. Seriously.


Grab bag with Catwoman keychain
And other assorted goodies.

Rudolph doll with squirt gun
Why, of all the misfit toys, the squirt gun? I don't know.

Nate the Great
A truly touching gift considering how I worshiped the ground that Nate the Great walked on as a child. Perhaps I will be able to acquire the remaining books in the series some other time. If you haven't read this book you really have to. He is a young boy whose powers of observation are only surpassed by his undying love for pancakes.

Posted by chefelf @ 09:50 PM EST [Link] [9 People Love Me!]

Monday, December 23, 2002

In response to Laura's blog entry about Back to the Future II:

Part II is certainly the weakest of the three movies but you must take into consideration the way that it was made...

Part I was released in 1985, much to the delight of my seven year old self! Parts II and III were released within 6 months of each other in 1989 and 1990 respectively. They were filmed together and usually relate to each other much better than to the first movie. At the end of Back to the Future II there is even a trailer for Back to the Future III. Even though it was coming out in six months this served to REALLY psyche the young teenage Nate.

There are many problems with the Back to the Future Trilogy but in many ways it is also one of the best executed time travel stories ever made.

I can perfectly understand any problems one would have with Part II but what really surprises me is how many people consider Part III to be the lowest quality of the three movies. Part I is the classic, Part II is (to me) possibly the most fun of the three while being the least valid and Part III is the most serious as the trilogy concludes. Much like Luke Skywalker takes a back seat to the story about Darth Vader in "Return of the Jedi", Marty McFly takes a back seat to Doctor Emmet Brown in Part III. In Part III Doctor Emmett Brown experiences love and heartache as well as professional failure blended with personal success. Doc Brown's heart gets in the way of his rather overly analytical nature and thusly the true dangers of time travel are revealed! The seemingly stock character "cool dude" nature of Marty McFly is also changed and we are shown that while the past is in the past, the future is what we make of it.

Of course these movies are not without their faults. They suffer from problems that most any contemporary 80's movie would have and some of the science is implausible but all in all I think these movies stand out as one of the more truly fun and watchable movie trilogies of the 80's.

Posted by chefelf @ 02:02 PM EST [Link] [14 People Love Me!]

Thursday, December 19, 2002

At work there are many many computers. I have my own cubicle, my little slice of heaven, where I can work diligently on updating records, inputting data and playing the Michael Jackson Baby Drop game. But sometimes my my temp job requires me to fill in for others and, unfortunately, use their crummy computers. My computer has been, over the course of three months, highly customized to suit my particularly snotty ubergeek needs. I am extremely particular about how my computer is set up. Everything from the size of the Internet Explorer Icons to the length of the system tray and the width of the Quick Launch Toolbar must be exactly how I want them or I just cannot function.

So when I go to anyone else's computer I am forced to deal with their crappy settings (I wouldn't want anyone messing with MINE) for the time being. One thing I've noticed is that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, sets up as their home page. Now since Windows ships with Explorer's home page as I would figured that people just never got around to changing the home page but I have evidence to prove otherwise. When I change this rather embarrassing home page on anyone's computer then return to their computer days later they have changed the page back to Even when someone uses my computer (anyone!) they tend to change the home page to! is not a good site. Maybe at home if you have MSN and Hotmail it's an okay home page at home but not at work. This is even more unacceptable since at work the program we use most on our computers is a web-based program for managing accounts. I prefer to have my home page set up to be my login page for that program in the interest of getting some work done. is just lame even in the scope of portal sites. I would much prefer or or my personal, favorites: or Google News.

I have no respect for a human being who voluntarily chooses as their home page. It is of the same level of disrespect that I reserve for people who have Gator installed on their computer. These are just unacceptable flaws in a person's character that cannot be overlooked.

I spent a great deal of time during my lunch break today looking at the possible plans for the World Trade Center site. There is a site, that highlights these plans. They range from the boring to the absurd but it's really quite interesting looking at the possibilities of what the New York skyline could look like in a decade's time. There is expected to be a decision on what plans to go with by the end of January. That is unexpectedly soon. Some of the plans are shockingly futuristic. I think I like the idea of a kinda futuristic looking building where the WTC once stood. Shouldn't the future look like the future?

Posted by chefelf @ 08:58 PM EST [Link] [17 People Love Me!]

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

My parents gave me a pear. It was a wonderfully juicy D'Anjou pear. I admired it while at their house last night and they told me that I could take it. Excellent, I thought. I will bring that into work for lunch tomorrow. After my sandwich I reached into my brown lunch bag and released the autumn fruit from its paper prison. As I bit into the pear juice ran from it and coated my computer keyboard in a natural fructose syrup. It was so delicious! Almost TOO delicious for in my glee the half-eaten pear squirted free of my grip and hit the floor. Without any time to react or think I simply blurted out a "Fuck!" instinctively. Then I felt silly because my office was completely quiet. Then I remembered that you can just wash a pear because it's only fruit.

Boy, these blog entries just keep on losing quality as time marches on.

New York was a lot of fun this weekend. We didn't end up going to the Met as planned but we did hang out up and down West 34th street, watch Christmas movies, have the world's best coffee and go to Caolan's lovely Christmas party where she made a wonderful looking egg nog in a giant ornate brass serving goblet. I didn't want to say anything but the only reason I didn't have any is because it looked exactly like the first goblet in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Momma didn't raise no fool. I was prepared to watch the partygoers as their faces began to turn to skeletons and then explode!

Jen's roommate, Pixy, showed us videos of her comedy troupe, Jimmy's Traveling All-Stars. They were hilarious! Their website seems to be down right now but I wish there was some other way I could tell you to go check them out and love them but apparently at the moment there is not. I wish I could be in a comedy troupe! Unfortunately my lack of knowledge of the medium coupled with my nonexistent effort to try to break into it have been holding me back for some time now.

Everyone keeps asking me "How was New York?" and I say "It was great. I had a great time!" Then they say: "Did you go to Rockerfeller Center and see the Christmas tree and go skating?" To which I reply: "Shit."

Oh well. There will always be next year.

Posted by chefelf @ 01:17 PM EST [Link] [17 People Love Me!]

Thursday, December 12, 2002

There is a girl in Rhode Island (the home state of 3/5 of the Brothers Redcloud) who has recently gained much attention in the press. The girl, Julie Cahill, is a National Honor Society member, former class president, member of the school band, drama club and assistant editor of the school's magazine. She is active in the community, volunteering time for her church and offering to tutor fourth graders on drug-abuse prevention and decision making.

The principal of the school where she was volunteering has refused to allow this bright young girl to tutor the children. Why? Because she has pink hair! Yes you heard correctly... PINK HAIR!!

Thank God the brave principal of this school spoke out against her. Imagine if this girl was allowed to slip through the cracks and tutor our children! Sure it would be a rewarding and enriching experience for the fourth graders as they learned from such a smart and accomplished high school senior as Miss Cahill, but at what cost?

Is America ready to have people with just any color hair traipsing through classrooms, making lasting positive impressions on youngsters? I maintain that it is not! America should accept no less than standard hair colors from its young mentors. If we do then the future will be a place where people’s hair color won’t matter and rather people will be judged on the strength of their character and the morality of their work. That, my friends, is no future I want to live in!

America is based on the idea that everyone, everywhere should immediately be judged on nothing more than their outward appearance. Some wacko liberals may say that “Something as inconsequential as hair color shouldn’t matter.” But if we allow something as “inconsequential” as hair color not bother us then what will be next? Earrings? Makeup? Blue jeans?

The next thing you know these poor children are going to grow up and begin experimenting with drugs, or worse, wanting to actually engage in S-E-X! We cannot, nay, must not allow children to be exposed to a wonderful smart young woman with pink hair for the sake of the future of this beautiful and glorious country.

Note: if you are older than 35--or a Republican--and are confused, the above text is referred to as “sarcasm”.

Posted by chefelf @ 12:25 PM EST [Link] [11 People Love Me!]

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

As I prepare for a weekend of early Christmas festivities in scenic New York City, I can't help but feel rather saddened at the unfortunate position my country is in. President Bush made it known today that if he feels that the United States or it's allies feel threatened by Iraq at all he would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons to quell any such threat. Put that in your pipe and choke on it.

In other news: What's the deal with ring around the collar? Anybody? Remember in the 80's when every commercial for every laundry detergent wouldn't stop talking about ring around the collar this or ring around the collar that? You couldn't go five minutes without someone shoving the latest remedy for ring around the collar down your throat. What happened? When's the last time you heard a peep about ring around the collar. Do laundry detergent companies even care about it anymore? It must still happen just as much as it did fifteen or sixteen years ago.

Weekend plans:

  • Go to the Met
  • Exchange Christmas presents with Jen
  • Christmas part at Caolan's
  • General merriment

Posted by chefelf @ 03:15 PM EST [Link] [10 People Love Me!]

Thursday, December 5, 2002

I made a Christmas List and it is here.

On another note: I'm sure this has totally been mentioned by a million Dave Barryesque / Christ Livingston types but I feel that it needs to be mentioned again. I don't actually so much recall reading anything like this but it just seems like something that people would write about. And those people would probably be a lot funnier and more insightful than me.

What I would like to say is that nothing in an office ever gets done! This is new to me because I have worked in production based work my entire life. Now I am working in a place where you have to be there from 9-5 (or 8-4 as the case may be) regardless of what there is to do. There is work to do, but no one really sweats it.

Here are how the days usually work out:

Nothing gets done because "it's Monday". People are "recovering" from the weekend and just walking around being tired all day.
Things approach normality if that can even be defined. People still do nothing but they have woken up enough to look busy.
The bulk of the work is accomplished on Wednesday. People spend the first three hours of the day getting the work done. After lunch they begin gearing up for the weekend.
All of Thursday is spent gearing up for the weekend. There is minimal participation in anything work related.
Does it even need to be said? Friday is just a time to screw around and BS with the co-workers. You can't start any big projects because it's Friday. You can't start any small projects because it's Friday. You spend the entire day just getting ready to leave for the weekend.

I can't wait until tomorrow. TGIF!

Posted by chefelf @ 09:44 PM EST [Link]

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