09 April 2005

Does a Fusillade Increase Entropy?

I was rather pleased Friday morning at work. I had about two hours of idle time in the morning and turned out about four pages of dialogue for 'Resurgence'. [That'll probably turn into one page of dialogue after I transcribe it.] Finally I have the time, and am in a frame of mind to do the transcribing, but just thinking about what I have written, I want to change it during the transcription. Some parts I want to change radically. So now I guess I need to hang on to my rough notes longer than I had intended to, just as a means of preserving the product of Friday's thought processes. Well, I guess this is another instance where the filing cabinet come in handy.

Finally, my weekend is here. As I've mentioned, I work seven straight days, then have off only about 40 hours to change to a different shift for another seven days. And so on. Then after seven days on 'first' shift I get a 4-day weekend. Thats where I am right now.


I spent a good deal of time yesterday and this morning playing Counter-Strike: Condition Zero with my clan mates, as this is also pretty much the only time that I have free time that coincides with people actually playing on our clan's server. Also last night I realised that following my not-so-recent HDD issues, I had never updated the chipset drivers. Since this is a PIII 800MHz system (obsolete), using updated drivers does actually make a significant difference in my in-game performance.
Also: ah, much better.

Off and on I worked on filling the filing cabinet, and other related 'spring cleaning' functions. I think I have a majority of the catalogues filed; a small victory won over the encroaching chaos. I have a sudden urge to give each file a discrete name in order to starkly contrast each one to the other, permanently establishing this compartmentalized order.

My friend Jim asked me if $660 sounded reasonable for a Kimber. I knew that name, but I guess I had not grasped the sheer sleekness of their products. As it turns out, I should think that $660 was a steal, depending of course which model is being considered. The polymer frame models sell for a bit less than the other models. Of course, the real problem was in my seeing these wondrous things, because now I want one. (The Royal Custom II appeals to me, but if there are any examples still available of the 25th Anniversary Custom Limited Edition (2004), that should be a nice peice at a very reasonable price.) Its foolishnes, of course, but that fact doesn't blunt the perceived longing for a new 'toy'. So I'm going to the Kane County Gun Show tomorrow. Hopefully several hours spent looking at the pretty guns will cure me of the new desire. Of course, there are practical purposes for going. My rifle needs proper scope mounts 'smithed on, and I need to locate stripper clips that will fit it in order to chamber the sweet 8x57J goodness. Its typically a good long ride out to the better events, not to mention I work on 3 out of 4 weekends, so I only go to these shows once in a great while.

Which of course reminds me that I need to awaken in 6 hours to get on the road.

05 April 2005

Spring Cleaning

But first, a bit of fun!

Mr. Anon! A. Mouse writes: "Everything that you write is automatically copyrighted by yourself, so there's no need to do anything special if you wish to reserve all rights to your writings."

The legalese goes this way: That is very true for this blog, for multiple reasons. In general, once I "fix" anything onto paper or recordable media (includes HDD's such as wherever this server's storage media is), I secure copyright to it. (Note: What if I lose the media and it doesn't have my name on it? I'll come back to that.) This blog automatically encodes the date and time, and has (sometimes) my likeness over in that area, so there is little question of whom created it when. Thus the copyright is automatically, and obviously, attributed to me.

If my normal website (well.... for certain values of 'normal' anyway) happens to be disorganised, or incomplete, then (this is my interpretation) copyright of material on those pages is automatic, yes, but ownership is a bit vague. You can tell ownership of the web page from the META tags (whoops, those aren't filled in), or the associated "about me" page (oops, it doesn't exist, or the link is broken), but there could be a problem if its not obvious. That's why folks like to use the explicit notices on their most prized work. That leaves no doubt as to ownership.

Fortunately, copyright law allows you to register for a formal copyright with the patent office (providing you act quickly) if any suits or similar issues regarding your work arise. That should protect your work adequately (given the copyright is granted, of course). So if I lose the paper with my award-winning poem on it, I can simply contact the copyright office, only to discover that I cannot remember how my poem goes....

I learned what I needed to know in any event. And perhaps I should clarify - no, I didnt lose a poem.

Another good day for me. The brutal content of my work for the next 3 days took a significant downturn at the end of today's shift. So it turns out I will not be having my rectum used to score a ringer after being propelled skyward to carrom off of the 'stone guy'. This newly revised job workload does actually rank in the 'acceptable' category, a very unexpected but delightful twist. After work I did actuall spring cleaning stuffs. I actually swept up some (not all, I didnt want to overdo it!) dead leaves and twigs in the area where my Ninety Eight resides amongst a throng of random engine parts. Sweeping dirt outdoors: I must be getting old. Then some apartmental cleaning. Again, quite a lot to do in here, but it's happening.

It turns out that the HHW event is a good ways downstate. What this means for me is that instead of breaking even for the refresher training fee, I may actually gain some money due to a fuel allowance. The agency hasn't confirmed that my prescence is needed, but a day off is good too.

04 April 2005

The Eyewashes Have It

OK. Got my HAZWOPER refresher training done and certificate in hand (well, figuratively anyhow).
I used that company last time I needed a refresher, and although their website really falls short of convincing me of their legitimacy, nobody has questioned my certificate (but then, how often do you ask to see a mechanic's credentials?).
That's taken care of anyway.

Mr Anonymous comments: "Everything that you write is automatically copyrighted by yourself, so there's no need to do anything special....."

That sounds good. "Automatic protection" however, doesn't quite sound like the America I know. Yeah, I'm probably just being paranoid, but I'd still like to see the legal-ese on that. Also, I can't beleive that "Mr. Anonymous" is spending his time at work reading my blog. On the other hand, since you're getting paid while you're heading, I'm happy to distract while you earn monies towards your next domicile.
(It is possible that I have mis-identified Mr. A, but my intuition verges on the uncanny, so I really doubt that it is a Mr. E)

I'll call that 1.5 of two pressing issues down and an unexpectedly easy day at work. I only got a speck of foreign matter in my eye once. [Saturday was horrible on my eyes: grit, quicklime and coal dust multiple times. You really don't want to know how painful coal dust is.] Very nice weather too; if I could bottle it I would forge a diction. That would probably be redundant, so I just tried to soak it in while I could. Moving down the laundry list, two items are of moderate importance: more HTML on the website, and I need to finish a draft of "Resurgence".

I cannot imagine why I decided to call the homepage "ground zero". Maybe it sounded progressive. Maybe it sounded cool. Maybe I need a good slap. There's certainly almost nothing happening there, so the Zero works. That phrase is also a designation for the rubble from the World Trade Center. I'm not particularly pious when it comes to cultural icons but thats the sort of sacred cow that I'll prefer to respect: neither milking nor slaughtering it. Perhaps something quite the opposite would be better. "Dead Zone" sounds bizzarre and perhaps pretentious. Doldrum is probably more to the point but... it's one of those words that becomes awkward in parlance. "Welcome to the Doldrum".... So is it a singular doldrum where everything is just dead? Why bother to issue a greeting? Just take a pillow and pass them around. At any rate, change is needed.

Resurgence. I really like that for the title. Not a case of multiple meanings, but multiple ways to apply the same or similar meaning. It makes a nice short story, and I certainly need to get something finished. Because after that I have an alternator to rebuild (still), more filing, multiple expressions of spring cleaning, car stuff....
(hmm.... writes down "order carburetor rebuild kit")
With the sudden spate of fair weather, I'm instantly behind in everything.

.....and thats pretty much it for now. Its way too late again, and I haven't even come up with a title. I thought of one this morning, but I've forgotten it. That title may have been more appropriate for an essay about Vladimir Putin, which I thought I was going to write about - and still will, I think. Another time. So, I'll go with a combination of HazMat and all the crap getting in my eyes on Saturday. Goodnight.

03 April 2005

Is It Safe?

I just got a 4-drawer file cabinet for $40.
OfficeMax lists these for $160 new!
(insert happy dance here)

I was visiting my brother, who lives very near where we grew up. While I was there, I excused myself and walked down the street to the GNC at the mall, to score some melatonin and Chondroitin (I tend to use the latter religiously, the former, less nowadays than I used to... so I guess its appropriate that it was also my birthday). Anyhow, the Circuit City branch that had been there had closed and was gone. Just two guys selling off the furniture & fixtures. A lotta beat up junk, including the file cabinets. And the Brother happens to have a van... YES!

Yeah, it probably shouldn't be such a big deal, but it is to me.
I have been needing this very badly. I make tornado alley destruction look like an anal-retentive's closet. Car parts, parts catalogs, car magazines, old Oldsmobile parts books, old car literature, a pamphlet about how to find parts catalogs (if you can beleive that!). That's only the automotive section. "Pack rat" probably applies to me. I am way more excited about this than I really should be. I even installed a lock on the cabinet. My brother pointed out (correctly) that it really didnt need one. Well jeez, its my parade, damn it! I'll go overboard if I want too. Hell, call it the "bling" for my new toy!
Plus I was impressed at how easy the install was... low-cost ego boost!

So that's been filling my non-work time recently. What to file, and how to file it.
Dammit, I just realised its been keeping me from working on HazMat refresher. Crap. That's time sensitive. I'd like to have it done by Friday. Sooner if possible.

I had to do a quick wash at the laundromat. Left 'Blood & Oil' at the Brother's house, so I was without my usual laundry passtime. Instead I decided to do a little writing. Ended up using the last few pages of my mileage logbook (no great loss, its unlikely I'll ever fill it up) to progress with the Sorrow story. Wrote 2-3 pages, added a new twist that I rather like. [I'm glad that I managed to distance myself mentally from the last "idea" I had for this one. That was so awful.] The experience of writing at the laundromat got me to thinking. That was probably the most casual setting that I'd written in. Sooooo.... when I was returning some filing paraphernalia today I bought a .... uh... what're these things called? Its a leather "pad holder". I had been using a VERY low-rent folder thing to carry my resumes and related certificates around in. This should be able to do double duty as a resume aid. I guess its always easy to justify luxuries if you're just willing to think too much about why you MUST have one. Anyhow, it does fulfill a perceived need. I had been keeping a tiny notepad in the car for capturing creative moments, since I'm likely to forget what the hell it was that I was thinking of. This is much easier and sturdier to write on and fits between the seat and the center console.

And speaking of poor memory, I want to snoop about the net for information about copyrighting what I've written. Is there something that I can do that will cover what I write as I am writing it? Or do I have to finish something (yeah, as if!) before any such protection can apply?

Mitaswell mention the actual birthday. The Brother hosted a family thing oestensibly for me, when in actuality I was like 3rd or 4th on the actual list of attractions. I'm the oldest child, but my younger brother is married with a boy-toddler and a girl-infant. Both of whom rated far higher than I on the scale of my parents attentions. But I showed them! I got food poisoning or something similar and eked out my personal 5 minutes of spotlight for that evening at the mere cost of my own severe discomfort. And mild embarrassment. I haven't been ill like that since before I quit drinking. Fun birthday huh?

I do have a rather pithy political dialogue coming, but I thought I'd put that off just a bit. I can use that angry energy to file more things away!

Must sleep. I'm the day-slave this week.