31 May, 2006


Well I said before that I'm seeking change in my life... and I'm definitely finding it. This year has probably had more changes in it than any other year so far in my life... and it's not even halfway through yet!

Last year ended with the closing of the martial arts school that I had basically spent the entire year at. Was I happy to see it close? No, definitely not... I invested a lot of time and money in it? Was I sad to see it close? Again, no. I needed a break. But a break, I have not gotten.

Off the top of my head, I can't think what changed in the earlier part of the year... except that I know that life has been different. It's just not the same, somehow. This past month is where the majority of the changes have been though. I'm starting a new job next week. I'm helping my mom move at the end of this coming month. My sister is going back to school (again).. I know, not a change directly effecting me, but it may well have some effect. Now a large portion of my close friends are moving out of town, so I'm finding myself grasping at straws for where I'm heading. But with my new outlook, I just figure I'll roll with the punches and I'll just make new friends. I don't expect to replace the friends I have now... but I've been wanting to meet new people anyways!

Do I have a point to this post? Not really. Just wanted to say all that. It's funny how life works.

Here's to change! *sips wine*


What a day.

I was originally going to post on here about the wonders of Robert A Heinlein. And I still am going to. He is easily one of the best authors *ever*. But now so many other things are happening today, it's hard to keep my brain organized. Wow, and it's not even 10:30 yet.

First big thing is... well see, I gave my 2 weeks' notice here on Friday. So I've now got until next Friday before my job here is over... technically. Not that they've really got me doing much here at the moment. Obviously, since I've got enough time to sit here and blog. But now, my new job that I've got... well once I accepted the position, they let go the guy who was there. Which means they're VERY anxious to see me start working, asap! Not that I'm not chomping at the bit to start working there either, don't get me wrong... I'm giddy as a school girl at the thought of getting out of here and going to work at my new job! But I did give two weeks' notice here... so I do have that whole moral obligation tying me here for that period. I asked if they can let me go early from that though, and let me head over to the new job. I think they may be talking about it now... I hope. If all goes well, this Friday will be my last day here, and I'll be working at the new job on Monday! *crossing fingers*

Alright, now on to other things.

Oh yes! My sister has like... published artwork, for sale 'n stuff! Check it out! http://www.deviantart.com/print/327721/
It's pretty good... she's getting to be an awesome photographer :-D (They need to add smilies here on Blogger.. especially automagical ones that replace as you type. Woot. That'd be cool.)

Now that all of that is out of the way, I can get back to the original topic here. Heinlein. He really is an incredible author. Unlike any I've read before.

The first of his books that I read was "Stranger in a Strange Land". Since then, I've read "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" and "Friday", and I am currently digesting "JOB: A Comedy of Justice".

...we now interrupt this blog for an important announcement...
They have decided. I just have to write up a new letter saying that this Friday is my last day and it's all done, no hard feelings!
...we now return you to our randomly scheduled blog...

I've also read a few bits of short stories from a collection of his, called "The Past Through Tomorrow". Very good stuff. Next, after I'm finished with JOB, I'm going to be moving on to "I Will Fear No Evil"... after which I will need to go hunt down more of his works. I really am quite enamored with his writing. The worst part of all of it is going to be when I reach the end of his works. I'm not looking forward to that day, for sure.

Alright, that's it for now. I'm off to write another resignation letter! (Isn't that bizarre... two resignation letters from one job...)


26 May, 2006


I just had one of the most amusing conversations, with some random person. See, for some reason, I've been getting a lot of messages on ICQ lately from people ... and I have no idea who these people are. They just strike up a conversation, and I'm like ... .uhh, what the hell? So I've decided to start fucking with these people.

Here's an example from today:

(13:29:13) 231848220: hi, do you speak english?
(13:39:03) Tarken: No sorry, I don't know any English.
(13:39:16) 231848220: why?
(13:39:32) Tarken: I don't believe in the English language.
(13:43:42) 231848220: hm...
(13:43:46) 231848220: :-

They didn't seem too eager to talk after that, I don't know why.

Shortly after this, I got a message from some Russian chick (actually from Russia) saying she wants to have sex with me.... what is with some people's children today? She actually says that she is going to be here at 3pm on a plane. From Russia. And it's 2:04pm now. Right. Yeah I believe you. I just do not understand these people.


This is possibly one of the strangest things I've had to do in a very long time.

Right now, I'm trying to write up a letter of resignation. I mean, come on, I'm a web developer. These things are for high executives and politicians. What am I doing writing one of them? And even more importantly, what the hell am I supposed to say in it!? I'm having trouble coming up with anything that isn't filled with expletives!

I'm also a bit nervous about this. Maybe it's just the freezing cold air conditioner, but my hands are vibrating ever so slightly right now. It's quite nerve racking. I'm making one of the largest steps I have ever made in my life right now. Moving from the safe, warm blanket of job security and people and places I know and love ... into a totally unknown world. I'll be working with a group of people I've as yet only met once ... working on a product that I've only gotten a brief glance at. Do I doubt that I can do it? Not in the least. Even during my interview I was working out in my head how most of it might (or at least *should*) be working behind the scenes.

Anyways, it seems my thoughts have drifted off in a totally different direction. I've still got this problem facing me of ... what the hell do I write? Then once it's written, how do I present it without it sounding like a big "fuck you"?

Oh well, time to suck it up and just do it. Here goes nothing ... and everything.

22 May, 2006

The time for water is now

Earth: Docility, receptive, acceptance
Water: Danger, change

Of the 8 elements that best describe a person's ways, these are the two that have always been most dominant in me. It has always been earth, however, that's been at the forefront. Simply accepting what's given to me, sitting back and watching as everything happened and not actively pushing forward myself.

Now is the time for water. Water is constantly changing, always penetrating, always finding a way through. Put water into a vessel and it will form to the shape of the vessel. Give it time and it will find a way out of that vessel.

Water has taken over. It is time for me to actively seek changes. It is time to take control. It is time to make my own path. It is time to live.

18 May, 2006

Thank you Dan Brown

I just got a thorn up my butt to find a bit more info on my previous post, and here, in the words of Dan Brown himself, are the answers.


Thank you.
That is all.

DaBullshit Code

Alright, so it was inevitable. The new movie, "The DaVinci Code" is coming out... and again, the religious right has their panties in a wad over it. Just like they did when the book came out. Just like they did when "Dogma" came out.

Yes, I just compared this movie to Dogma. And with good reason. They both have one VERY important thing in common: They are WORKS OF FICTION! They are fictional characters! Fic-tion-al characters ... am I ... am I getting through to you? Okay so seriously, all obligatory Kevin Smith references aside... what's the big deal people?

What has got everybody so worried about this book?

Oh yes, it uses real names and real events as the basis for its story. So what's wrong with that? So did "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark". Where's the big riots over that movie? What about "The Chronicles of Narnia"? It's rife with religious overtones. Are we truly to believe that God is a big lion?

If I constrained myself to one of the organized religions whos officials were getting in a tizzy over this story, I would be pissed. Why? Because it's insulting! They are telling all of the followers of their religion(s) not to read this book! And why are they doing that? Because they're afraid. They are afraid that the followers are stupid, that they will think these books are in fact not fictional, and take every word as fact. How insulting is that?

Although on a more positive note, I did gain a lot of respect for the Filipino Roman Catholic leaders in this whole mess. They are the ONLY high church officials I have seen who simply reminded people that this is a work of fiction, and in fact did NOT call for the book and/or movie to be banned. That's how things should be run. If anything, I think they should encourage people to read the book, to see the movie. Then once they've read the book and seen what Hollywood has done to it, come to them with questions. This is a work of fiction. There are many fictional pieces in it, easily pointed out by any monkey with a highlighter. If nothing else, it will at least make people think, make them ask questions. It would lead to education. If the leaders think that everybody is so stupid, why not encourage education?

Okay, I realize I'm rambling on.. ranting, raving, but ignorance and censorship are touchy subjects for me. I despise both of them. And this whole topic is just full of both.

Funny thing is, I had hardly even heard of the book, nor did I have any interest in reading it, until the churches started making a big hubbub about it. Only then did I say, "Hey, this might be an interesting book. If there's this much controversy over it, it's GOT to be a good story." A very appropriate quote for this situation, which I heard in the TV show "The West Wing" is "If they're shooting at you ... you know you must be doing something right."

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

17 May, 2006

More movies...

It just occurred to me tonight that I'll never have enough movies. I've got somewhere around ... I'd say about 90 DVDs. But I'm just not in the mood to watch any of them. And my immediate reaction is "I need more". I think they put crack in the movies these days. Gotta do something to get everybody hooked.

Good thing I get paid tomorrow, cause I think I am going to have to find another movie to buy.

Oh well, that's all I've got for now.
Just as I have said in the past, "music sucks", I now say "movies suck" for much the same reason.

Buzzword Bingo

Alright, so yes... I've been in the market for a new job. Looking, searching, hunting. I need a change. I need a challenge. I need .... fair compensation.

But I've come to realize that I really dislike most employers. Maybe it's just their HR departments. Maybe it's the heads of IT who just know "What's Hot" in the industry... who knows. But they all love their buzzwords. Me? I hate 'em. I keep seeing more of them all the time. And, sadly enough, I keep on adding them to my resume.

Some of these buzzwords I see are based around things I've been doing for a long time, just never really bothered naming it. One of the (relatively) new crazes is LAMP and WAMP development. Double eww tee eff is that? Turns out, it's exactly what I've done for ..... uhh... 6 years? Well, sorta. LAMP generally stands for "Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP".. substitute in Windows and you've got WAMP. Hey, come to think of it, you could also have WIMP (Windows, IIS, MySQL, PHP).. heh, appropriate. Anyhow, back on topic, LAMP is something I'm very familiar with... but it's never been on my resume, and still will never be. That's way too buzzword for me. Anyways, I graduated from MySQL years ago.. been using PostgreSQL for several years. LAPP doesn't have quite the same ring to it though.

So I'm finding all these job postings that require me to know all of these buzzwords... and some of them are just ridiculously stupid. Okay so example, I see a job requiring experience with , XML, and XPath. Okay well I've got XML experience ... great! But hell, I've never used XPath ... have I? So I grab an XML reference from the bookshelf, read for 15 minutes ... okay, I now know XPath! How silly is that? If it's something I can pick up in a matter of 15 minutes, why BOTHER having it on my resume? Because I've seen it on so many different job requirement lists is why. I don't get it. I really don't.

I just wish the era of the buzzword would DIE.

Oh and don't forget "Web 2.0". Grr. Hiss. Spit.

16 May, 2006

Moving Movies

I've just watched one of the most amazing movies ever created. It's the kind of movie that truly takes you to a different world, puts you into the life of the characters... and they become more than just characters on a screen. They become real people. They get cut, you feel the pain; they laugh, you smile; they cry, and so do you. Now, I'm not one to be easily affected by movies. I'll watches the saddest, the scariest of movies, and hardly flinch. In fact, only one movie before this has ever evoked such an emotional reaction in me. That movie was "What Dreams May Come", with Robin Williams. I still to this day can hardly watch it without choking up. This movie I watched tonight ranks right along side that one.

This movie was "Memoirs of a Geisha". I bought the DVD without having seen the movie before, and I'm very glad I did. I would have seen this in the theatre ten times and still bought the DVD at full price. It truly is that good.

Now, for all you macho men out theree, okay it's probably not the best choice of movies. There's no death or destruction and no gratuitous sex. For anybody else, however, this is a wonderful and moving trip into the life of another. It is a movie worth seeing time and again. I know I will watch it many more times myself.


So one of my co-workers discovered some engineer jokes today.. and they were pretty damn funny.. so I decided to find some more. and I just felt like posting them up here. So here's a nice collection of some of the ones I've found.

  • Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said,
    "Where did you get such a great bike?"
    The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday
    minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike."
    She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes, and said
    "Take what you want." The second engineer nodded approvingly,
    "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

  • To the optimist, the glass is half full.
    To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
    To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  • A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him."

    "Hi, George. Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters who lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

    The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

    The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."

    The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

  • There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail.

    In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past. The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. Finally, at the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and said, "This is where your problem is." The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.

    The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark $1; Knowing where to put it $49,999.

    It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.

  • What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?
    Mechanical Engineers build weapons. Civil Engineers build targets.

  • Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body. One said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints."

    Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections."

    The last said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

  • "Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."

  • An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.

    The engineer said, "I like both."

    "Both?" they asked.

    Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

  • An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

    The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

    Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

    The engineer said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

  • A physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician were stranded on a desert island. They were discovered by a passing airplane, but could not be rescued except by helicopter, so the airplane dropped a wooden crate of food and supplies to hold them over until the helicopter could get there. The three eagerly opened the crate, but unfortunately the food was canned and whoever packed the crate neglected to include a can opener. So the three thought hard to devise a scheme to open the cans.

    The physicist spoke first. He said, "We could take these cans over to the cliffs at the other side of the island and drop them off. The cliffs are tall enough that the cans should break open on the sharp rocks below."

    "I don't like that idea," said the engineer. "Those rocks are covered in guano. We'd have to lick the food off of them." "Do you have a better idea?" asked the physicist. "Let me think," said the engineer.

    After a few minutes the engineer said, "We could empty out the crate and take the lid supports off the inside. Then we could put one can inside, put the lid on top of it, and weight it down with rocks until the pressure makes the can break open. The food would still splatter, but it would be on the inside of the clean crate."

    "I don't like that idea," said the mathematician. "We'd have to lick the food off the crate, and we'd get splinters in our tongues." "Do you have a better idea?" asked the engineer. "Let me think," said the mathematician.

    The mathematician thought and thought for hours. He got a stick and wrote calculations in the sand of the beach. Finally he said, "I've got it! Assume the can is open..."

  • The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
    The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
    The graduate with an Accounting degree ask, "How much will it cost?"
    The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

  • John visited a psychiatrist and said "I need help. I go to bed and before I go to sleep, I start thinking that someone is under the bed and I can't sleep". The psychiatrist said "I can guarantee a cure if you visit me twice a week for a year. It will only cost you $200 per visit.". John said "that's awfully expensive, but I must do something. I'll call your office for appointments."

    The next time the psychiatrist saw John was on the street a couple of months later . He asked "How is your sleeping problem?" John said "No problem now. I mentioned it to Frank, my engineer friend, and he came to my house and sawed the legs off of my bed".

15 May, 2006

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

I was sitting here at home, thinking about how things are going, trying to figure out why I'm feeling down despite all the good things that are happening in my life, and this quote just kept running through my head.

I suppose, inevitably, this is what lead me to actually start a blog finally. You see, when I started thinking about this, what it meant, why it was sticking in my head, I sat down here at my computer, opened up Notepad, and just started writing. I let my thoughts pour out onto the screen and just ... let it happen.

This makes my first post a bit of a somber one, perhaps even melodramatic. But here are the contents of what I wrote out. I'm sure it's rampant with errors, both grammatical and spelling ... but I don't care too much really. It's just thoughts. And please do pardon the 3rd person narrative. It's just how I was feeling at the time. Don't ask me, I don't claim to know how my own brain works.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
Those words alone, kept ringing through his head. Things were really starting to look up. Life was finally heading on the right track. Job prospects were better than ever. He was on the verge of bringing home a salary higher than he had ever imagined; higher than any family members had ever seen.

So why this feeling? This feeling of dread, of foreboding.

He was finally living in a nice house, with roommates he liked. Hell, they were his best friends. That he was renting didn't really matter at all. The landlord was one of the best anybody could ask for.

Yet still, things were not right. His mood was not improving.

His friends are moving away now. Where are they going? Back home... but to what? Desolation? The only thing remaining in his mind of home is a grey fog. Home is long gone. Home is a memory left best forgotten. Home is dying, drowning, in its own self defeat.

How can he let them go back to that, with all that they have here? He brought them out of that grey fog, helped them find a life anew, in paradise. He brought them here when they had next to nothing, brought them into a real life, full of opportunities and wonders. Why oh why should they want to go back to that fog, to the desolation and decay?

But yet, how can he stop them? It is their choice. It is their own lives. What choice does he have in how they live? All he can do is spread his influence and hope that, in the end, they make the right decision. The decision that will make them the happiest, take them the furthest in life. That's all he can really do. After all, what more can be expected of him?