July 2003

All good things…

by Michael Alderete on 7/31/2003

Today was my last day at work; I was laid off, along with a few other folks, in what I hope is the last downsizing needed to get back on track. I worked at Persistence for 27 months, all told, at a time when many people were struggling to find work. It was a good job, with good people, and I’ll miss it.

I know folks who have been out of work for more than a year. Scary thought. In spite of that, I’m looking forward to the time off while I look for work, to re-sharpen technical skills I haven’t used much in the last two years. I don’t want to take on another marketing job, at least not right now. I’ve been wanting to go back to technical work, and make the transition from web developer to full-time software developer.

So I have a long list of technical projects for the coming weeks or months. Rochelle has a long list for me, too, which starts with “clean the house” and continues with dinner ready for her when she gets home from work. At least for the next couple weeks, she’ll be lucky if I’m out of bed and dressed when she gets home, as I intend to “pay down” my sleep deficit.

At any rate, I’ll be signing up for unemployment tomorrow. Updating the resume. Visiting the various online job sites. Etc. There’s a lot of work to do, for being out of work!

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Uh…is this microphone on?

by Michael Alderete on 7/25/2003

I subscribe to a mailing list for Linux news, called LinuxGram. The writer, Maureen O’Gara, has a writing style that could be described as “feisty.” It comes out once a week, and manages to entertain as well as inform. Recommended.

Last week Maureen broke the story that SCO planned to expand their frivolous claims, and use their copyright on a particular branch of Unix source code to levy a tax on Linux users. It’s SCO’s latest move in their campaign of deception to extort money from IBM and other Linux supporters, by pouring as much FUD around Linux as news editors will publish, until somebody cries “uncle” and sends SCO a big check.

LinuxGram issueI called it McCarthyism here a while back, and when this particular story hit my Inbox, I posted those same thoughts onto the discussion board for the story. I did it without much thought, and — no thought requiring less time than thinking — ended up being the first post to the discussion. Ah, fame!

Little did I know! This week it would seem I was writing the news, instead of reading it: my posting was the lead in a special “reader feedback” issue. The e-mail graphic to the right is pretty much exactly what I saw early this afternoon (click for a larger, readable version), with zero warning that my name would be in bold print underneath the story heading “Mr. McBride, Bite Me!”. Yikes!

For the record, it’s the next guy down who actually wrote “bite me”; I don’t know if my posting was more rational, but at least I won’t get teeth marks on my butt because of it.

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Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

by Michael Alderete on 7/17/2003

Rochelle’s a big fan of the makeover show “What Not To Wear”, down to playing the same game with Hilda, our upstairs neighbor. They’ve been spending a couple hours on multiple weekends, going through each other’s closets, trying things on, nixing some, swapping some, and putting the rejects in the Goodwill pile. Overall, about 5 bags of clothing and shoes have left the house.

Now comes a great new show, for men, called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. You may have read about it recently, but the simple concept is, five makeover gurus show up, run a helpless slob through the gauntlet, and in the end, he’s prince charming. The hook is, the five gurus are gay, the slob is straight.

It’s a lot of fun. If you get Bravo on your cable or satellite service, you should give it a whirl. Unlike most makeover shows, this one is 60 minutes, instead of just 30, which gives a lot more time to the different aspects of the makeover.

I doubt if any of this will rub off on my personal sense of style — or lack thereof. But the show’s funny enough, I’ll keep watching anyway.

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Our saviour on the web

by Michael Alderete on 7/12/2003

Well, Jesus has a home page. What’s even better is, you can fill out a simple web form, and be saved! E-commerce meets eternal salvation, another brilliant example of how the internet has made all kinds of transactions more efficient.

Thank god!

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Quotation of the year candidate

by Michael Alderete on 7/8/2003

Complaints about driving speed during our second trip to LA.

“You didn’t give me any credit for driving 85 [MPH] through Santa Clara County.”

“Sure I did. I wasn’t nagging then, was I?”

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