Thursday, August 26, 2010

nothing much

Looks like the last post here was on August 16, well over a week ago. Why nothing since then? A combination of being busy and not really having anything to write about.

We just had our official software conversion at work on Monday - that is, switching from one main system to another. This is something that was supposed to happen back in February but we weren't ready so we postponed it to May but we weren't ready so we postponed it to August. And we probably still weren't ready but then if we waited for that day it would never arrive. You just have to go forth and do it, and those who step up to the plate will step up to the plate and those who don't will fall by the wayside, haha..

The reaction so far: overall people hate it. They hate change. I think I am the only one in the entire company who loves it. I think it is great. It is designed so much better than our old system and has so much more capability for making tasks more efficient with better reporting and information.

The rest of the people, well, they just don't like change. They like things the old familiar way and can't think outside of that framework. Instead of thinking of the possibilities of the new system and how to get things done, they focus on looking for where the button on the old system is on the new system, instead of thinking in terms of why do we even need that old button, or what replaces it that is better.

It's that way all the time - no matter what. It comes as no surprise, though - I could pretty much predict how people were going to react. The thing is, it is what it is!

Monday, August 16, 2010

the worst

I went over to the Chowhound.com board the other day and came across a thread entitled, "Gardens of Taxico (sic) - Worst Mexican in LA." (Note the correct spelling is Taxco)

Back in the mid-to-late 70's that used to be one of my favorite restaurants so naturally I had to find out why the original poster made that statement. I noticed that most of the responses, while not exactly agreeing it was the worst, said the food was awful and so was the decor. Someone also said it was an astounding $30 per person for dinner now.

In case you've never been there, this is a place where there is no menu. Or maybe there is but you have to get into a big fight with them to see one. Instead, the waiter introduces himself and tells you how they want to make your dining experience like eating at nice meal at a home in Mexico City, then makes a recommendation based on (1) if it is your first time there, and if not, then (2) what do you like to eat. The only bad meal I ever had was the first one, because that was just like a regular Mexican restaurant taco and enchilada combo. Their other dishes, I thought, were much more imaginative and not like any other Mexican place I'd tried up to that time.

Well I don't know if my tastebuds were simply out of whack or the place went downhill, but people sure did slam the place left and right, while offering up their own nominations for places even worse.

One of the other places mentioned was El Coyote.

I hadn't thought of that place in a long time but when I saw that, immediately I remembered that it was the absolute worst restaurant I've ever been to. Not just worst Mexican food, but worst, period.

So I posted that opinion as a reply to the thread, and received some responses telling me to trust the people who replied, there was worse than that out there!

I guess I should count myself lucky, then. Now, in my mind El Coyote sticks as the worst sit-down place. Yoshinoya is horrible too, but that's fast food. Then I remembered there have been some really bad Chinese places I've eaten at, especially those Hong Kong style cafes, the worst being the one on Baldwin just south of the bowling alley. I can't remember the exact name but that place just might have taken away the honors from El Coyote.

Haha.. what a subject for today's blog. Don't ask me why I chose it, I just happened to be thinking about how everyone seems to hate Gardens of Taxco now so I thought I'd speak up. Or write up.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Finaleee

I just found out today that the complete Star Wars series is finally going to be released on Blu Ray. It's about time!!! Unfortunately it won't be out until sometime in 2011 but better late than never.

To me the original that came out in 1977 was the best, and they went downhill after that (although the worst of the series is still better than most other movies). I can imagine the whole set is going to be expensive and I'll sit there wishing they had only the first one, or the first three available by themselves but then who am I fooling - I have to have all of them.

That's it - now you can go back to your regular programming..

Saturday, August 14, 2010

weird thoughts

So continuing on with yesterday's mindless thinking put into this blog, here's something else I was thinking about.

Humans are pretty adaptable to things. A lot of stuff you just get used to. Like for example, now I pretty much just drink water instead of anything else, and at room temperature. Before, I didn't care much for water at all and if I did drink it, it had to be cold. Room temperature water? Yuk. But once I started drinking it that way I got used to it.

Now let's say that you were to get a movie or video that had a lot of directional cues in it. For example, there is lots of action on the screen where things happen off to the left or right (or behind you) or the action and the associated noise goes from left to right - like a car roaring down the street. Or people who are on one side of the screen, so that their voices come from that side of your speakers.

What if you reversed all of the cues so that what showed on the screen on the left side had sound coming from the right side, and vice versa. So the sound wouldn't be coming from where the objects making that sound were positioned on the screen.

If you sat there watching this video for a long time, would you get used to that? And then how would that affect you in the real world?

Like I said, just writing down the crazy stuff that comes to mind, haha..

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lazy

Just a couple of stupid things to say today.. it's Friday so what the heck.

I was thinking about how to be really lazy and came up with these two ways:

You live in a condo complex that has the mail delivered to boxes at the front of the complex. Every day you get in your car, drive out to the gate by the box to check your mail, then drive back to your condo parking spot.

You are at home expecting a package being delivered by UPS that doesn't require a signature so they just leave it at your doorstep. Rather than getting up to check if it has come, you check the tracking info on your computer to see if it has been delivered to your house yet.

Speaking of waiting for a delivery - I hate it when Amazon sends my orders by USPS because the tracking information is pretty much worthless. For example, I received an order on Wednesday but when you check the tracking info, this is the message that still comes up:

The U.S. Postal Service was electronically notified by the shipper on August 09, 2010 to expect your package for mailing. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date. Delivery status information will be provided if / when available. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.

I wonder what would happen if I tried to make a claim saying I never received my order?

Well that's all.. told you today I had some stupid things to say!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

new blog

Things have been quite hectic for me at work. We've got a software conversion coming up later this month and I thought I'd finally have a nice block of time to work on that but then today several things came up out of the blue that took away that block of time.. typical, I guess. So I haven't been writing much here, partly from being busy and partly from a lack of motivation.

I did find out about a blog that I found interesting. It's called "Los Angeles Revisited" and, as the title would suggest, it's focus is on various topics dealing with the the City of Angels. Personally I like reading about the city's history and like even more to see pictures and that's what you can find on this recently started blog.

If you want to check it out, click here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

shakeout

One of my passions is audio gear. I don't have real expensive, esoteric equipment but I think it's pretty decent. I've been known to have an obsession with speakers..

I notice when I read various audio forum posts that many folks have a passion, even an obsession or fetish for huge quantities of bass. They aren't satisfied unless they have a powerful subwoofer that can make everything in the room rattle, the walls and floors shake, and cause the neighbors to complain.

When they watch a movie, it's got to be lifelike. The more shaking, the better.

They'll comment about various scenes in movies that had extreme amounts of bass and the effect on their rooms and house in general.

Now, in their quest for life-like effects, don't these people realize that in real life, explosions and crashes and earthquakes and everything else that generates thunderous bass also generates huge amounts of damage to things?

So if you are thirsting for life-like bass effects from your movies, when that explosion in the movie causes the walls of the buildings to fall down, is that what you want to happen to your own house???

Some people sound like they do.

I think they long to be able to post something like, "man, I'm missing the whole living room wall but it was awesome!!!"

Monday, August 2, 2010

contest

I had lunch at El Pollo Loco today. I ordered a medium-sized drink and noticed that the cup was different from the usual one; it was a Dr. Pepper cup that was promoting a contest in conjunction with EA games and the side of the cup proclaimed, "EVERY CUP WINS!"

I peeled off the game sticker to see what I won and found out that you have to go to the Dr. Pepper web site and enter the code on the sticker for the results.

When I got home, that's what I did. I entered the code, and was then presented with three questions with drop-down answer boxes. The first question was what size drink I bought. The drop-down box presented several choices and I guessed it must have been the 32 oz size although I wasn't sure since the menu doesn't tell you how many ounces are in which size.

The second question asked where you bought the drink, and there were quite a number of possibilities. After scrolling through the list, naturally I found El Pollo Loco at the very bottom.

The third question asked what flavor I purchased. Well, I filled mine up with Diet Coke but that wasn't one of the choices. The choices were limited to flavors of Dr. Pepper. For the sake of hurrying up to find out what I had won since it had already taken so long already, I just clicked on Diet Dr. Pepper.

Okay, so show me what I won since every cup is a winner!

But no, now I was presented with a screen to register myself, asking my name, address, e-mail, birthdate, etc. Forget it. This is just too much trouble!!

The people who plan these contests ought to get a clue that people want instant gratification and don't want to jump through hoops, especially when the prospect of what you can win doesn't sound all that great to begin with. McDonald's has the right idea - you peel the sticker and right away you find out what, if anything, you've won.

Next time I order a medium drink at EPL, I'm gonna see if they have the old version of the cups.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

urban legends

Akin to urban legends are those things your parents tell you when you are growing up that make no sense but since they're your parents, you believe what they say. Even when you grow up and others point out how ridiculous these beliefs may be, you still have trouble being rational about it.. either that, or you feel like a fool and wonder why you fell for it.

I just remembered when I was little and kept asking for more raisins to eat my mom told me I shouldn't eat too many because it would make me have to pee a lot. Since we were in the car, eating more raisins didn't seem like a good idea.

I actually believed this for a long time; I may have even psychologically forced myself to demonstrate this "fact." Then when I told someone about it they looked at me like I was crazy.

"How does that make any sense???"

I just shrugged. "I dunno, that's what my mom told me."

"Well that's really stupid. Why would raisins make you have to pee?"

Of course it made no sense but still, I wondered why she would tell me something like that if it wasn't true. I can only conclude it was to make me shut up and stop asking for raisins. It worked.

Just like the time I couldn't find my Silly Putty, something I had begged for that my folks really did not want me to have but finally relented and bought one. After a few days, it disappeared. My mom told me that I must not have put it back in its little egg shell carrying case and it rolled, or ran away. Very authoritatively she informed me that if you leave it lying around, it will roll away from you.

All these years I've had an image of a ball of Silly Putty rolling away from our house.

I wonder if I ever told Greg or Katie something like that? The only thing I can remember is telling them that people are limited to speaking 1 million words during their lifetime after which they go mute. They believed it but then after I started laughing they knew I was joking. I hope they remember the joking part; of course, what adult would be dumb enough to believe something like that? We might wish for it, but would know it couldn't happen.

Yet, when you find out some of the things that other people believe, it makes you wonder..

And with that, welcome to August. The year has flown by, hasn't it?