January 29, 2007: Cashier in the Cannibal Supermarket

I am back to my normal schedule this week and I got to stay in bed with Oreo until Dominica was ready to go to work. Oreo was excited thinking that it was going to be a stay at home day and he didn’t want to go to daycare with Min. As soon as she turned her back he ran in and hopped back into bed and put his head on me hoping that I would let him stay home today. It was very cute.

Before going into the office I sat down and paid all of the bills. I hate paying bills. And there are so many to pay. I am looking forward to having the house be sold as that will eliminate several of them. Today I had to pay homeowner’s association fees (which have gone up considerably since we bought the townhouse – about twenty percent up!) and the taxes which are never fun. We are still recovering from Christmas. Paying the bills is always close this time of year. And Dominica had time off during December so her paychecks were smaller than usual and my paychecks are smaller at the beginning of the year than they are at the end so we took a big hit the last few weeks in addition to having more than the usual number of bills.

I had to run over to FedEx to send out some stuff this morning. It is great having a FedEx directly next door. That makes life so much more convenient. There was actually a bit of snow on the ground this morning. I wasn’t expecting that when I came down from the apartment.

I have decided that XKCD is one of my new favourite sites to visit. I read it at work and I have its RSS feed subscribed in my feed reader so I get it as soon as it comes out now. I found it thanks to Wil Wheaton who points me in the right direction of all sorts of cool stuff. XKCD had a comic recently that perfectly describes my wife: Dominica’s comic and strangely just one comic later they had the perfect one for her college roommate: Jenn’s comic. One of my favourite of the older comics there is the Donner Party of Four comic.

I have an important announcement today: Rockstar Juiced Energy+Guava is AMAZING! I am totally drinking two of these today. My head is really close to exploding. (Strongbad: Your Head Asplode)

Today is my day of discovering someone who has the exact same humour as me (Randall Munroe of NASA) and crossing that experience with a LOT of caffeine and fruit juice. I am sitting in my cubicle giggling and attempting to get some work done. But mostly just giggling. He even mentions my favourite SNES game!

After several hours of scouring XKCD comics I finally found the comic that best describes me. This is Scott Alan Miller in a Comic! If you don’t believe me, go back and read the SGL Goed to DisneyWorld posts and listed to the podcast.

Copy Protection - Controlling Your Thoughts
I decided that after working, more or less, straight for a month (I haven’t really taken a day off since December) that I have lost the ability to be productive and decided to completely and totally blow today off. And… I was successful. I managed to do just about nothing. (As productivity approaches zero…) Boy do I feel better. Or maybe that is because I am high on caffeine. But my stress level is way down today. Paying the bills helps that as well.

I once heard a conundrum on the radio saying “There are three words in the English language that end in ‘g-r-y’, one is ‘hungry’, one is ‘angry’ – what is the third?” In reality there is no third work in the language that ends in ‘gry’. This isn’t funny nor is it clever. It is one of those things that dumb people ask when they need to stump smart people and can’t come up with anything. Like five year-olds ending any comeback with “I know you are but what am I?” – even when it doesn’t make linguistic sense (does it ever) and simply shows an immaturity resulting in a lack of ability to speak English properly. So finally there is a comic that answer the question “What is the third word?

And another (can you believe how many comics I read today?) – here is a simple explanation of string theory that finally explains what is going on.

I ordered some free CDs from BMG today (by free I mean I paid for them previously and now selected what they can send me for the money that they already have of mine.) A lot of you may be surprised that I, Internet / computer guy, still buy physical CDs and do not get my music as a download. But this is caused by the fact that I am also a music guy. I don’t want low quality (or lower than CD quality) downloads of my music. I want the highest quality that I can get – CD or DVD-Audio or SACD are even better. But CD is awesome because the quality is really high and I can quickly and easily turn a CD into high quality Ogg Vorbis files to play on my computer or into MP3 files to play on my portable music players. I am not limited to the quality that they allow me to download and I don’t have to do cross format compression ruining quality and size all at once. I also OWN what I buy. It is mine. I have a piece of plastic to confirm my license to use it. I have better quality of sound, more features and better archiving and longevity. My music collection will be intact and I will be able to easily pass the entire investment onto my children without any DRM getting in the way or any bizarre format / hardware requirements making it illegal for them to use it. If I wanted my music to cost $1 per song and only get to use it for a little while I would just get a satellite radio. I want to know that the things I buy are mine until I die and then I can pass them on. My music is an investment – just like my movies – I buy them because I want them to be mine to use whenever I want. Otherwise I would rent them and pay a flat fee for each time that I watch them. Someday there will be lots of good, DRM free music and movies in insanely high quality, standard formats downloadable online but until there is I will continue to go for the REAL “geek” formats or openness and freedom and enjoy my high-fidelity music while everyone else enjoys the squawk of AAC compression. Enjoy. (By the way, MagnaTune and The PodCast Music Network offer tons of awesome downloadable music today is open formats but not mainstream music very often and not high-fidelity formats so far.)

From reading comics today I learned that in 1979 US President Jimmy Carter (the “Peanut President”) was “attacked by a swimming rabbit“. The incident was minor but it was mentioned once too often and eventually became front page news. A White House staffer decided to attempt to make the incident sound more “believable” by saying that it was actually a “swamp rabbit” – that, of course, did not help the situation. XKCD has a great comic to commemorate the event. Maybe the rabbit was just looking for some peanuts.

I decided that after reading through the entire XKCD collection from beginning to end that I had sufficiently killed the entire day and that it was six o’clock and time for me to leave the office. I feel great and happy and ready to take on the world – or at least dinner. I feel so good, in fact, that I intend to go ahead and post early and blow off the evening as well and probably go somewhere for dinner (caffeine makes you hungry you know) and not have to wrap up the daily before going to bed.

Oh, and if you like XKCD be sure to support Randall by buying some t-shirts. They make great gifts. I wear XXXL. My birthday is coming up soon.

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