Mar. 28th, 2008

goldenmean: (Default)
Today was an offsite day at work, which is in theory a fairly grand thing. It is relatively difficult to complain about getting paid to not work, but I have a rare talent for taking the pessimal (HAH!) view of things, and it seems a shame to waste such a talent (though it's quite possibly the *only* talent I've ever chosen not to waste, channeling Heathers: "Now I use my grand IQ to decide what color lip gloss to wear and how to hit three keggers before curfew" (though I'll note that the latter example there is actually a traveling salesman problem, though admittedly a trivial one, regardless, it's still from an NP-hard class of problems)). Hey, while I'm being incredibly tangential, if you google "pessimal view", you only come up with one source (though admittedly, three different references to it), a game theory reference in a book entitled The Balance of Power: Stability in International Systems. It's not even vaguely a googlewhack, what with the quotes and all, but still, neat.

ANYWAY. So, yes, the offsite involved bowling. Bowling is one of a very long list of things I just completely fail to grok. Having seen the Big Lebowski on any number of occasions, I've got a pretty firm grasp of how to play. You pick up a ball, lick it lovingly, throw it at some pins, exclaim excitedly to your teammates, and get ignored in favor of a conversation about pedophilia. After the match, you are jumped by nihilists (It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue). It's all quite simple, but I'm not entirely sure why it's meant to be fun. Here are just some of the gaping flaws that I see in the game.

1. A complete absence of experience points! How can you even call yourself a game?
2. The pin-setters do not have lasers. Come on! The thing is a damned robot. What sort of heartless bastard makes a menial robot and doesn't even give it one laser. How's the poor thing even meant to revolt properly come the robot uprising? All of the other robots will laugh at them.
3. Your ball enters a dungeon of pneumatic tubes, and you don't even get to see the action. Even if it's only a one level dungeon, there's probably at the very least a handful of kobolds in there. What a rip off.
4. I, like so many of my generation, suffer from Marble Madness related post-traumatic stress. Anything involving spheres is pretty much out of the question.

And this doesn't even touch upon the added host of problems with blacklight bowling. I don't know about you, but I was presciently sick of black lights and fog machines sometime in the early 90s before I ever actually stepped foot in a night club. And then the music, oh dear god the music. I tried to be social, I really did. But the second I found myself thinking "Man, I really hope they go back to playing Abba cranked up to 11 on this stereo. That was way better than whatever this is", I knew I could stand no more, put on my headphones and went to read my book in a corner. Which I believe makes for pretty much a perfect run of offsites I have attended in my life in which I ended up looking like I was just a smidge autistic. At least I didn't fall asleep in the corner at this one. Ah well. Eventually I found a Dance Dance Revolution machine, where I was happily ensconced until I realized everyone else had left and I had the rest of the afternoon free to roam about.

There's something singularly pleasing about wandering around on a workday wearing an xkcd "I'm not slacking off, my code's compiling" t-shirt. I expect to receive a similar pleasure the first time I order a sandwich while wearing my "Sudo make me a sandwich" shirt, or when I breathe demiurgic life into my army of nano-bots while wearing my Stand Back, I'm going to try Science! shirt. xkcd truly does have a shirt for all occasions. All the occasions that matter that is.

Hey, speaking of things referenced by xkcd shirts, and work in general, I made an amusing bug this week. I was writing a form validator for a comma separated list of two letter combinations, and I set up the regular expression in such a way so that it would only accept the input if you put a space after every comma, because, you know, *everyone* follows style guides when entering data that isn't even a sentence, right? Right...? My checkin comment for the fix consisted solely of "Silly Joshie, you should know by now that the internet is no place for proper grammar". Then I went to wikipedia grammar and realized I probably should have said "orthography" instead of "grammar". It's not like anyone will notice though. I mean, these people don't even punctuate properly! Also, I admit that I giggled at the heading "Clitics in romance", because I am apparently five.

In other news, my sister redyed my hair tonight. Woo. It's even back to its proper color, thanks to a mass hairdye order Tinny made. Oh Blue Velvet, I've missed you so. Speaking of, they finally put out a proper DVD of Lost Highway this week, so you no longer have to suffer with the poorly aspected, generally lousy Canadian version. On an altogether unrelated note, does anyone want a Canadian version of the Lost Highway DVD? Also on DVD this week, one of the better movies you probably didn't see last year, Wristcutters: A Love Story (the other movie I particularly liked last year that was only in theaters for about a millisecond was Rocket Science. Why do people have no taste?). Oh, also on DVD this week, Frisky Dingo, which is pretty much the best adult swim show ever. I'm so sorry I didn't listen to you earlier, Jason and Sasha.

And for those worried about my current musical leanings, this week has mostly been about the Neofolk, mainly Death In June and Current 93. Supposedly spooky, but come on, the subgenre even has folk in the title just sitting there laughing at me. Not out of the woods yet. The choice of video for that Current 93 song is excellent by the way. Disney really needs to go back to scaring the hell out of children. Well, ok, I guess I *do* find the fact that they're making a movie entitled Beverly Hills Chihuahua more than a little terrifying, but not in a good Black Hole/Something Wicked This Way Comes way.

Ok, now for something completely different.

Edit: Oh man, I almost forgot to mention that there's now a Shrine of Lilith flickr community if you haven't already seen it. Meeeeeemories!!! Revel in pictures of me and many people from what is still my primary social group from two lusters ago.


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