Showing posts from December, 2006


We got some snow today, finally. When it is -8 Celsius and the world is still mostly green and the sky is clear, my brain rebels. However, tonight, we got a nice light dusting of snow. Things turned a bit white for a short time.

Everyone is telling me that it will not stick on the ground and will be gone by morning, though. But at least I finally got to see some snow!

Still Not Feeling Well

I did not come to Canada to spend it sick. However, I am still not feeling well today. Coughing, aching, stuffy head (but luckily not a stuffy nose), occasional sneezing, and tiredness.


At least I'm with M, even if I'm not the best company right now.

A Good Christmas

I have been having a good Xmas so far. Spending quality time with M. Got good "loot" for the holiday. Have been a little overwhelmed by the parties filled with lots of people, visiting M's relatives, and other engagements. I am more solitary and small-group oriented than is M or her group of friends, so I will have to get better at being more social when I come here. I am scheduled to participate in the annual Risk tournament this year on the coming Saturday. Am very much looking forward to that.

Today I woke up feeling a bit under the weather. Been coughing and sneezing a bit; stuffy headed and a bit lethargic. Headachy and having some digestive issues. Took some Zicam and need to take some more. Hopefully I have caught it early and can get beyond it quickly.

No snow here. Which I'm a bit disappointed. I enjoyed my first White Christmas last year. There was a chance of snow today, but it did not appear although a little bit of frozen rain has fallen off and on.

M and I…

Back in SJ (Xmas Tour '06)

I made it here safely and soundly. Actually, the two flights here were two of the better ones; fairly smooth and boring, which is good.

However, I always have a tale to tell and this is no exception:

- My Super Shuttle driver arrived a bit early. Rather than being the last person on the van, I was the first person. The driver was wearing the thickest, most cloying, and strongly applied cologne you can imagine! It took almost an hour to go the 6-7 miles up the 5 freeway to Disneyland (around which we were picking up the other 6 passengers at various hotels) and by that time my eyes were watering, I had a headache, and my stomach was a bit upset. I guess my Scents & Sensibilities article was a premonition, eh?

- Same driver decided the 5 freeway was too crowded (although we would be getting over to the carpool lane) so he took the 91 freeway route to get to LAX. Just as crowded. So, the typically hour-long trek from my apartment to LAX wound up taking almost 2.5 hours due to traffic an…

Interesting Biological Note

On Monday morning, I awoke with a start at 5:30 am, an hour prior to my alarm clock’s set time. On Tuesday morning, I awoke at 5:00 am. This morning, I awoke at 4:00 am. I have also been getting tired earlier in the evenings and finding myself falling asleep in my chair or heading to bed much earlier than usual.M thinks it is because I have a strange habit of “preparing” for my trips back east and the 4 hour time difference. Which is as plausible as anything I can come up with!What that hopefully means is that I will sleep on the LAX to Toronto part of the flight, rather than staying awake mindless and numb through the dark hours. For me, the term “red-eye” is an actual fact. Plus, I do not think I stand any chance of sleeping on the Toronto to SJ flight—those prop planes are just too noisy, even with ear plug or music to listen to, for anything close to restful sleep.I have about an hour to go before I head home. A couple of things to do at home, most importantly packing my cell phon…

Scents and Sensibilities

I inherited from my mother a quick reaction to certain scents. For her, it is patchoulioil; I also react strong to patchouli oil (used in perfumes) as well as to certain flowers, herbs, and plants.

As I walked from my cube to the back stairs to grab a Pepsi for the afternoon haul, I was instantly struck by a heavy, sweet scent that gave me an instant headache and made my sinus areas flare. I cannot tell it if it is someone's lotion, the many flowers, pointsettas, and wreaths around the office, or someone's perfume that triggered it, but the reaction was swift and the effects are lingering.

Like many things, once I sense it I cannot get it out of my head. I am now hypersensitive to everything around me with a smell. My boss just made her popcorn, another scent I don't care for, and it is causing me discomfort. The guy next to me has shoes with an oddly rubbery smell (like they have been wet too long) that is bothering me. I can smell the soil in Fred's (my cubicle plant) …


I value Super Shuttle for their ability to get me to the airport safely and efficiently. And, overall, I think it (and other services like them) is a good value for the service rendered.

However, I do have one issue: the required, minimum 18% gratuity. A gratuity is supposed to be something extra, a bonus for doing the job well or above and beyond the call of duty. Enforcing a mandatory gratuity, and one that high, does not allow me to make that judgment.

A gratuity is defined as "something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service" (Merriam Webster Online dictionary). As it relates to these types of services, it usually implies some sort of extraordinary services performed by the one receiving the gratuity. The fact that Super Shuttle makes this an obligatory amount defeats the purpose and is contrary to the meaning of the word. At that point it is a tax, not a gratuity.

Overall, I have not had an issue with this gratuity and it was close to what I would …

Xmas Ques

From M's blog:

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate. Egg nog is gross.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Some of each. I like white outside, in icicle style, because it makes me think of snow and ice. Hey, I come from the desert-- that's a happy thought, there!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

5. When do you put your decorations up?
When I get to it, if ever.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Ham. Turkey. I enjoyed the year mom and I had grilled steak.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
The year we did the marathon Xmas trek. We had Xmas in home town, then drove to mom's parent's house and had Xmas there. Then packed into the car and continued north to dad's parent's house and celebrated there. I didn't like all that driving at the time, but looking back it was fun and we got to see a lot of relatives.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What truth?


Lacrosse Case Again

There is something wrong with our judicial system when all of the evidence points away from those accused and yet the prosecution still pushes forward. I have commented before on the Duke Lacrosse rape trial, and every time new information has been disclosed, that evidence has made the case for rape more remote.

First, you have a woman of highly questionable ethics and a very scant story accusing an entire group of people of a heinous crime with little evidence except her word. The scant amount of physical evidence the police could find on the woman all pointed away from those who the woman accused of the crime. And then witness after witness, including the woman’s friend and fellow performer for the evening, all stepped up to say that the accuser was not alone, that she was never seen with the particular people accused, and that after the alleged rape she was acting “normally.”

Then the initial DNA evidence came back—none was a match to any of the Lacrosse players. And the forensics in…

Followed by an Oh $#!+ moment

As I cruised out to get something for lunch, I decided to go to the local Taco Bell/Pizza Hut and get a PH2. In order to get there from here, I have to sort of zig-zag my way. At one point, I have to come up and around an onramp onto MacArthur, but get over a lane so that I don't merge onto the 73 north.

At just that spot there was a small white vehicle stopped in the lane I need to be in. As I am busy accellerating to join the traffic on MacArthur, and am glancing over my shoulder to make sure I have a clear lane to merge into, there is a car stopped with no lights flashing, no brake lights shining-- just stopped.

I learned something as I slammed on my brakes and steered to avoid killing the occupants of the car-- actually, two somethings: 1. the stupidity of people knows no boundaries and 2. a stopped car that has no other traffic around it nor anything to indicate distress or being stopped (like lights flashing) can fool your brain into thinking it is moving.

As I swerved and scre…

Oh Crap!

I just had one of "those" moments. I had worked on an Alert (a small, directed document that we send out with all our builds to ensure clients are aware of specific changes to the application or of special notices about the build we think they need to know). Took me about an hour or an hour and a half to do the Alert, as it included tables and some key formatting, etc.

Realized that I had created two folders on the network drive on which we work. So I said to myself, "I better delete that other folder right now while I'm thinking about it or else I'll forget and confuse myself later."

I then promptly clicked on the folder, clicked Delete, and clicked Yes to the warning message without thinking. I renamed the remaining folder, then opened it to finish what I was doing-- and was staring at an empty folder.

Yes, you guessed it-- I deleted the folder I had worked on for over an hour.

Just contacted IT and they don't have any way of recovering that folder for me…

New Blog

Welcome to the new, improved John's Omniverse. I decided a change was in order. I upgraded to the new beta system from Google and changed my format and color scheme. I believe this format will be easier to maintain and update. Hope you like it!

Note: All previous posts and comments have been saved and converted to this new template.

Sunday Morning Shopping

It is fun to go grocery shopping early on Sunday morning. It is the only time I feel really comfortable shopping, as the majority of people I see are other individual males looking a bit lost and confused as they wander up and down the aisles.

I am not sure what it is about Sunday mornings, but it seems like a lot of men go. And they are all, generally, getting about two plastic bags worth of groceries. Also, there tends to be many employees roaming around, restocking, etc. This allows us men to ask questions and find our items.

However, there were a few women this time around. And, to my honey, just wanted to let you know: an Asian woman was in the bread aisle, sniffing a loaf. Unless the previous one got an extreme hair cut, this was a new one.

Why do Asian women sniff the bread in the bread aisle? Don't they know I find it rather disturbing that they open the loaf right there in the aisle and snort bread like it is cocaine? I sure hope they do not put it back when they are done an…

Casino Royale

I can admit it-- I had reservations about Daniel Craig as James Bond. I was not rabidly against him, as many Bond movie fans were. As a matter of fact, I saw him in Layer Cake and thought he was a pretty good actor. I just did not think he was right for the direction that Bond had gone in recent years.

However, I was more than willing to put my reservations on hold until I saw some clips, reviews, etc. If the clips and reviews were unfavorable to me, I would be reticent to see the movie even though I am a big fan of the Bond movies in general.

When I started seeing the initial reviews, pictures, and then the first clips from the production, my mind started to change. The new, harder, simpler direction seemed perfectly suited to Craig's acting skills and his "look." Further, they wrote the movie around his talents, taking advantage of his more rugged looks, his ability to explode into action, and his way of smoldering under the surface.

The fact that they did away with Q …


It is tough being a Detroit Lions fan. This season has been particularly tough, as they have been in all but three games until the final minutes. Those three games, a big loss to Chicago early in the season, blown out by Miami on Thanksgiving, and a win versus Atlanta, show just how good and bad this team can be.

However, the fact that they only have one other loss by more than a TD (a loss vs. Minnesota by 9) show they have been tough all year. They have been up in many of those games, too! In their most recent loss, Detroit was beating New England, doing all the right things, until about 8 minutes to go in the game. Then NE got their act in gear, tied the game, and the Lions frittered away the game with some very late turnovers.

In the first game of the season, versus a Championship-calibre Seahawks team, they dominated. Only a bad coach's decision late in the game (punting rather than trying for the FG) allowed the 'Hawks to hold on for a 9-6 win.

I think this new coach is ge…

29 Palms

A little of that home town magic... Twentynine Palms is referenced in a Veronica Mars episode from this season when it is mentioned that Wallace and Pizz have headed there and are staying in a motel there for a hard and heavy weekend of studying.

Let's have a Woot for the home town!