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hotel internet topology

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Internet service at the Moorpark Hotel in San Jose was abysmally slow. I could only imagine this to be the cause:

moorpark modem internets

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file under "where are they now?"

Thursday, May 07, 2009

file under "where are they now?"

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IQ, others don't

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This morning, I got a first hand taste of this sense of entitlement that afflicts so many young people these days. A couple of co-frogs and I are standing in line at The Hideout, a local coffee house a couple blocks from where I work, and I'm awaiting my turn to purchase one of the breakfast tacos they stock every morning. The line is unusually long, but moving at a reasonable pace.

When I'm around the third customer from the register, a female about 25—let's call her Missy—enters the store and sort of hovers in front of me, but a little off to one side. It's apparent to me that she's trying to access the breakfast tacos sitting on the counter, so I take a small step back.

Missy moves in and begins rifling through the breakfast tacos, desperately searching for one that might bear satisfactory labeling. I figure that once she finds whatever taco she's seeking, she'll move to the end of the line, which is still just as long as when we had walked in due to a steady influx of customers. After all, why should she waste her time standing in line if they don't have her favorite breakfast taco?

So she eventually finds her taco. I even feel a mild twinge of relief as I revel in the leavings of her minor victorious moment. Except—she doesn't go to the back of the line. Instead, she turns to face the register, her back to me, with money in hand. Okay. I turn around to give my co-frogs the obligatory quizzical WTF expression and turn back to face this horrible, horrible person who has just cut in line. Does this young professional-looking woman really think she is going steal my spot in line? Really?


She turns slightly and I crane my neck to make eye contact. "Really?!" I repeat.

"I'm sorry?" Missy asks, surprised and confused.

"I'm sorry. The end of the line is back there," I point toward the back of the store.

"But I'm not ordering coffee," she explains. The Hideout, being a local establishment and not having a small squad of barristas at its disposal, is... well... slow at preparing its espresso beverages. So Missy has a system. In her system, non-espresso orders are faster and therefore should have a higher priority than espresso orders. I'm sure that in her mind, everyone in line would query one another and sort themselves accordingly. Non-espressos up front, espressos in the rear.

Aside from this generally being a shitty system (as systems go), Missy is the only one using it. She believes in her system and she defends it by saying things like, "But I'm not ordering coffee."

"I'm not ordering coffee either." I smugly proclaim. Guilt makes a sudden deep impression across her face.

The system that Missy designed, which was meant to bring harmony and efficiency to local coffee shops around the globe, has failed. She apologizes and relinquishes her spot and takes the one directly behind me...


(A shout out to Gregg Wygonik for the awesome image above.)

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fried rice

Monday, February 11, 2008

A recent post on V's blog reminded me of a time some co-frogs and I went to Mekong River downtown for lunch. One of us ordered the C8 (combo fried rice) and another ordered the C9 (chicken fried rice). The other orders are irrelevant to this story, but I ordered the B6. I always order the B6 because it is savory and delicious. Anyway...

After a short while, the server appeared next to our table with the first plate of food in hand and declared, "Fried rice," expecting someone to stake his claim.

Immediately, I attempted to disambiguate the situation by asking one simple question, "Is that a C8 or a C9?"

The server looked at me for a good long while, unblinking, like I'd just asked her to do long division without the aid of a calculator, and I'd swear she began to gradually go cross-eyed before responding slowly and deliberately:

"Fried rice."

Instantly, I was reminded of the "two weeks" scene from Total Recall and the Leon interview from Blade Runner. I will try using less-threatening interrogation techniques in the future.

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meebo makes computer geek's day

Friday, January 18, 2008

I just noticed for the first time that my favorite chat client, Meebo, has support for a language called "Code Monkey" (located after Chinese and before Creole at the bottom of the page). Who says localization can't be fun?


PS: There's also a language option for the dyslexic crowd.

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next generation ui

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I submit for your approval the following ATM user interface concept:

Screen 1

Swipe your card to begin.

Screen 2

Enter your PIN:

> ****

Screen 3

Select a language:

  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. Zork

> 3

Screen 4

You are using an ATM. On the screen is a prompt: "Swipe your card to begin." There is a suspicious man standing behind you.

> swipe card

Screen 5

You swipe your card and are prompted to enter your PIN, which you do. At the language prompt, you select English. You then choose to withdraw cash from your checking account. The ATM is currently displaying the following prompt: "Enter the amount you would like to withdraw." You can't help but notice the suspicious man behind you reaching into his pocket.

> enter 100

Screen 6

The ATM grinds and churns for a few moments, mechanically counting out five twenty-dollar bills. You see the bills quickly emerge about half way out of the cash slot. Before you can take your money, however, the suspicious man dives for your cash, knocking you out of the way. As you confront him, he pulls out a gun and kills you.

You are dead.

You scored 0 out of a possible 192 points. This gives you a ranking of "total n00b."

Restart, Restore, or Quit? >

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burning kitchen

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It seems like only yesterday that World of Burgertime was a mere glimmer in my eye. It's been such a whirlwind that I apparently forgot to announce the release of "The Burning Kitchen" expansion. So, for the dozen or so people who don't play WoBT, here's a screenshot of what you're missing:

The Burning Kitchen

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world of burgertime

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I had this idea for a classic videogame-themed MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game, for those of you that are Karen) called World of Burgertime. Naturally, it takes the best of the current hot trends in MMORPGs and mashes them together with nostalgic 8-bit bliss like so much boiled potatoes. What you get is a retro, colorful world that hearkens back to the hey-day of quarter-activated amusements... The early 80's.

A typical conversation between players might go something like this:

LettisSuks9: "What's your WoBT character?"

FallingPatty: "Level 39 egg. You?"

LettisSuks9: "I'm a level 60 pickle slice. Almost have a complete set of epic condiments."

FallingPatty: "Cool. What pieces you missing?"

LettisSuks9: "Just Mayo. We're fighting Chef tonight, so hopefully he'll drop it. Last time, we wiped right at the very end... his pepper AOE spell's a bitch. Stunned our main hotdogs, then took out the rest of us with sliced tomatoes and sesame seed buns."

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austin lockdown

Monday, January 08, 2007

Well, if the mysterious (possible gas leak) death of 63 birds downtown doesn't get me blogging, I don't know what will.

The drive to work this morning was rather uneventful, that is, until I encountered the barricade while heading east on 5th Street at Colorado, one block away from Congress Avenue, where I work. Whacky bicycle parade? Gay pride march? So I cut way over and took a right down Colorado all the way to Cesar Chavez where I hung a left. I crossed Congress Avenue, catching only a glimpse of the quiet, blockaded road leading up to the capitol building. By then, I had turned on the radio and was searching in vain for any news on what was happening.

I continued east on Cesar Chavez and took a left at Trinity and made my way north to my regular surface lot at 7th. I didn't encounter any heavy traffic and I still hadn't heard anything on the radio, so I figured it must be a parade, but I called home anyway.

"There's something going on downtown. They've shut down Congress. Have you heard anything?"

"Really? No."

"Yeah. It must be a parade or something. You might want to check the TV to see what's up."


"I'm walking towards work and I'll let you know what I find out. I'll come home if it's anything life-threatening."

"Haha. Okay."

I huffed it west on 8th Street as I normally do, but this time I was greeted by another barricade at Brazos. There was a motorcycle cop keeping an eye on a police line. This was the first time I realized that all pedestrian as well as vehicle access to Congress had been restricted.

I called one of my colleagues, Bryan, who told me of the dead birds and of speculation that there might be a gas leak. He said that e-mails were circulating about company employees working from home. I said thanks, turned around, and headed back to the car.

That's when I noticed the zombies...

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