Archive for the ‘mechanical man’ Category

Bar Trolls

August 6, 2006


Some men need a real kick in the pants. I met my friend at a bar last night. I had left my purse at home yesterday before I drove over to UC’s. She was coming into the city and was able to bring it with her. She was going to see her “mercy fuck” and his band play. To be honest, I hear he’s quite a musician and owns about 40 guitars. I was pretty elated when she said to come by the bar and hear him play. I could also get my purse while there.

I went alone because UC is out of town this week. I wasn’t in the bar more than five seconds and my thigh got grabbed. The culprit was about 50-60 years old and looked like the poster boy for bar trolls of America. When I slapped him away and shook my head, he replied with some sort of “Hey baby” comment. With that, my friend grabbed me and I went to her table. We walked out of the bar to get my purse out of the car. In so doing, another man who I swear could make Fulsome look short, commented on my friend’s dress. He then proceeded to put his head between us. I ended up getting my purse in about three minutes flat and did not return to the bar last night.

I have to say that some men are real assholes. The grabbing body parts has got to stop. It’s 2006 and our bodies, ourselves. You are my witness, the next guy who grabs something of AG’s is getting his hand and parts of his arm handed back to him from a doctor in a hospital. There is also no promise that he won’t require surgery to reattach something downstairs.


Phone Phun

May 9, 2006


Do you know what your telephone number spells?  No lie, AG’s spells ‘adorable’!

Go here to find out.


“What do we want?!” Your bullhorn out of my ear, cobag!

March 25, 2006

This morning, I attended San Antonio’s 10th Annual Cesar Chavez March for Justice. I probably would have attended on my own, but that’s beside the point, since my boss required us all to go. (How can she do that, you ask? Well, a) Texas is a so-called “at-will employment” state, which means that your boss can make you do whatever the fuck she wants, since she can fire your ass for no reason at all, and b) non-profits treat their employees like toilet brushes or staplers…just tools to get a job done.)

Directly behind us, an activist group lead by a white guy with a bullhorn chanted “There’s no power like the people’s power, ’cause the people’s power don’t stop!” Which, you know, yeah! Awesome! But also, fuck, man! That bullhorn is three inches from my left ear!

I am totally misunderstood, dude!

This cobag wasn’t there, but 97 others just like him were!

Other slogans chanted by this group:

“Peace in Iraq, justice at home!”

“What do we want?” (Social justice!) “When do we want it?”

…wait for it…


And my personal fave:

“Racist, sexist, anti-gay! Bush and Cheney go away!”

This was the one our staff joined in on, and here’s why I crapped my pants over that: we were actually being paid to be there today. We took a half-day on friday to work this morning. And we all get paid, in case I hadn’t mentioned it, out of government grants.

We justify our participation in events like this as “community outreach”, and have testers on hand, etc. That is reasonable because we are funded to prevent the spread of HIV. However, I think that you could only consider calling the president a racist “HIV prevention” in the same highly theoretical sense that performance art pieces get called “cultural interventions”. Mostly, it looked like federal funds being used for political advocacy. In front of cameras. So that got the ol’ acid reflux going. One of our younger employees was up in front of the banner, jumping around and yelling “fight the power!”. I’m thinkin’ “if we lose this grant up behind some political bullshit, the only thing either of us is gonna be fighting is the line at the unemployment office.”
So yeah, other than that, it was pretty much a bunch of poor people marching through a poor part of town and into downtown, which pretty much only contains tourists during the weekend. Which is all well and good, I suppose, but I think if they really want to protest, they’d march up N. New Braunfels St. into Alamo Heights, or into the lobby of the Marriott River Center, an enormous hotel charging $200 to $300 a night in off-season, but staffed and maintained mostly by immigrants making minimum wage with no benefits. Or held the march on Monday, without permission, to tie up traffic and get the attention of the many people who work at AT&T, Frost Bank, and in the city and county governments.

Also, frankly, lefties have been shouting stuff that starts with “What do we want?!?” since like 1962, and the patriarchy still seems to have its fist firmly implanted in America’s cornhole, so I dunno. It’s fun, but the people who need to hear it are never there when you’re shouting it, and we all know that no matter how passionate and spontaneous and awesome a protest is, it looks utterly fucking retarded on television.

So anyway, 2 cheers for the Cesar Chavez March for Justice. One major ‘Baggie nomination to my boss for forcing us to go.

PS, I tried to mobile live-blog this event as I was marching (that’s LivMogging, for those of you too stupid to know), but WordPressticle is too cobaggy to let me do it from my SideKick.

Windows Vista is constantly degrading me

March 23, 2006


Microsoft’s recent announcement of (yet another) delay in the retail roll-out of Windows Vista reminded me that I never wrote anything about my adventures with the Build 5308 beta (or I guess they’re “Community Technology Previews” now) version of Vista. I probably didn’t write about it because you don’t give damn, but whatever.

I am Jack’s total lack of surprise at the most recent delay. I expected 5308 to be more or less finished, but I had severe problems keeping it running (or to be more accurate, keeping applications running on top of it). My laptop eked by the hardware requirements, so I got to play around with the Aero Glass desktop theme. I will say this: It’s beautiful. Really beautiful.

And then I’ll say this: so what? It took 5 years and like a bazillion trillion gillion dollars in development to deliver…translucent edges on the windows?

Also, the much-hyped security improvements look like a train-wreck to me. The OS may in fact be much more secure – I didn’t do any security testing beyond learning that I couldn’t get any antivirus product in the universe to install and operate in a normal manner. What I mean by “train-wreck” is that it asks your permission 98 times before doing any single little task. I mean, when I double-click on an application’s icon, I pretty much figure that’s me giving that application permission to load and run. Vista apparently does not share this assumption. And maybe that’s a good thing, but tell me this: what’s your grandma going to do the first time she clicks on something and Vista pops back with “Running this DLL as an app requires your permission.” No, I’m not kidding. The pop-up message actually said “DLL”. I can’t wait to explain dynamic link libraries to everyone I know, and then watch them glaze over as they realize how sorry they are to have asked.

Another fun thing: the “Control Panel” now has like 74 icons on it. Which is kind of neat, in that the GUI’s will give users more control of their systems. On the other hand, it’s kind of horrible, in that the GUI’s will give users more control of their (soon to be unbootable) systems.

Drivers are a serious problem at this point, but I guess that’s not entirely an indictment of the OS. It is still a beta, after all. That said, I was most displeased with the seizure-inducing screen-flashes that accompanied log-on and log-off. Also, iTunes (which you may have heard of, since one or two people use it) is somehow incompatible with the “desktop compositing” that underlies the new transparency/3-D stuff. That means that when you fire up iTunes, the desktop is dropped from Aero Glass to just plain ol’ sucky poor-people’s Aero. I wouldn’t mind that at all if it were not accompanied by several of those god-awful screen flashes.

I finally got my soundcard to work, but (???) only through the onboard speakers. Vista thought my headphone jack was an audio-in port, so no speakers or headphones for me.

After several days, my biggest disappointment came in the realization of just how little is really new in Vista. There are enough changes “under the hood” that it would be unfair to call it Windows XP SP4 or anything like that, but still…one can’t help but think of all those spiffy things that WERE going to be in Vista, until they got postponed to Windows 2098 or whatever comes next. The de-WinFS-ing of Vista was pretty sad.

Anyway…beyond the UI, I wasn’t very impressed. I mean, if they fix all the problems with it before they release it, it will be pretty spiffy. I might personally upgrade at home. But recommend that my boss spend a fat wad of taxpayer cash for upgrades at the office? I don’t think so. Especially since Windows versions are generally more like a merlot than a Beaujolais Nouveau – they benefit from a few years of aging. To my mind, Windows XP is reaching the point of being a mature, reasonably secure and stable platform that is well-understood by developers and administrators alike. I also suspect that XP fully meets the computing needs of over 80% of Windows users, especially in the business markets. I don’t envision IT shops clamoring to be the first to migrate their organizations to Vista. Many are just now starting to move to XP, and there are still a lot of Windows 2000 desktops out there.

I’m much more interested in the enterprise-level technologies in the works at Microsoft. I think Workflow Foundation is an idea that could go a long way, but that’s another post (that you won’t be interested in either).

So, now that I’ve made a short story long, here’s the creamy climax: on Monday, I reinstalled Windows XP on my laptop. Here’s hoping Microsoft makes good use of the extra time they’ve bought themselves.

P.S. The Windows Vista SideBar can kiss my big white ass. And that’s all I’m saying about that.