At last.

To my few Republican friends, I offer the following solace: Thus is the nature of American politics. You’ll have your chance again.

But in the meantime, we have an eloquent, thoughtful man coming into power. I caught the final moments of his speech on the drive home from work, and I got chills. Tears sprang to my eyes as I realized “It’s almost over.”

I remembered the last time I had such high hopes for a president…

Maya Angelou had just read “On the Pulse of Morning,” and William Jefferson Clinton had been inaugurated. I sat at my little secretary’s desk at Wileden-Cullen Printing and had wild inspiration soaring through me as I listened.

My friend Dan came out of his office with tears in his eyes, as astounded as I was this event could provoke such profound emotions.

It’s been a long time. A long, dark time.

President-Elect Obama – you carry our hopes upon your shoulders. I believe you are worthy.


I walked up to Sev’s desk last night on my way out of work. He gave me this crazy, intense look.

Me: …wat?!
Sev: Nothing, I’m just reading your mind.
Me: Oh good. Cuz that’ll be a lot easier than trying to bring my words down to your level. You can just suck it all out of my head in pictures.
Sev: Erin, every time I step in there, I just get covered in cobwebs and lesbo porn.
Me: (Walking away) Love you!

Ad Logic

Erin: OMG
Severin: what?
Erin: so i was mousing over a link on my lj
Erin: and the preview thing comes up
Erin: with ads at the bottom
Erin: i am not even making this up
Erin: the ads are:
Erin: badgers
Erin: michigan state
Erin: vegetarian recipes
Erin: red bull
Erin: active directory
Erin: burger king
Erin: ROFL
Severin: lololol
Erin: there’s a market for….badgers?

For My Birthday, I Gave Myself….

.. A Break.

I realized this huge thing: I don’t have to take Physiology this term. I can take it next term, without any detrimental effect.

My professor? Not good. Not good at all.

Thirds? Way not good. I don’t really sleep anymore… I just sort of spastically nap.

However, I’d gotten it into my head that I had to take Physiology this term, because it was Next In The Sequence. Must do!

And, I’d been pretty insistent upon getting onto thirds at work, too, because of the class schedule I had, and because of the money. Plus, it never dawned on me that a.) I couldn’t hack it, and b.) I’d be dating anybody anytime soon, and would have another human’s schedule I’d want to consider.

Wrong on all counts.

So, Physiology next term, and two unscheduled, online (but still program-relevant) classes this term, and I’m switching back to seconds.

The relief is huge.

The class impacts only me, so not a big deal. The shift switching… I feel like an ass about, and rightly so. “Put me on thirds, put me on thirds, put me on thirds! Yay thirds!!” “Oh, um… please put me back on seconds… I am a total puss.”

This company is made of awesome: “You’re unhappy on thirds? Ok, then we won’t make you stay there,” even though I’d been so “please please please please please.” Course, they also need bodies on second shift, so it’s convenient timing. Also handy is the apparently good impression I’ve made on the supervisors, which means I bring at least a little something to the table.

So, in a couple of weeks max, I should resume normal sleep and social functioning.


But this whole admitting defeat thing… man. Suck.

More Reasons Why I Love My Job

Most notably, the “Third Shift” variation:


It seems to have come to this since some people were raised in shoebox in t’ middle o’ road and sucked tea out of a damp rag.

Variations to these methods exist, surely. It is not a definitive guide, merely a collection of suggested processes.

Drip Coffee

I have seen French Presses floating around but generally we use the old school industrial Bunn.

First Shift Strength

Your regular cup of coffee, not to strong, not too weak.

1. Remove coffee hamper and dump old filter and grounds
2. Rinse pot thoroughly with water and replace empty pot on heating element
3. Insert new filter into hamper
4. Add 12 heaping plastic spoonfuls of coffee (12 tbs.) (This is my personal opinion of a balanced cup of coffee)
5. Replace hamper in coffee maker
6. Take water container to one of the filtered water dispensers and fill to the line (NEVER use tap – and if you *have* to, always use cold water)
7. Open water cover on the top of the machine and pour in slowly
8. Please make use of the post-it notes on the fridge. Write down the brew time and stick the post-it on the coffee maker
9. Wait and Enjoy

Third Shift Strength

Pour coffee into filter until full.

Raise brewed pot up to light, if you can see light shine through the batch dump out and repeat process.

Also from our wiki:

Detroited (possible Verb, coined 2008) Detroit, located on the lower right hand corner of your palm, is the largest city in the state of Michigan, also one of the baddest cities in the United States. It has become so bad, that people began to use it as a verb. If you’re here you’re probably as confused as I am. If someone say I will detroit you, this is what it means, interpreted by one of our customers:

I consist that you give me a compensation because you waste my time and push
me in trouble with my clients. If you would like to fix the situation you have
to give me a compensation and this is your mistake not mine. Before a month or
more you Detroit me by 2 failure HD by RAID5 and this is impossible and now
you restored an old backup without a permission from me, what is this company
exactly? is it a solutions to destroyed the biz of customers or what?

You did a bad thing at all for me and you have to fix it. This is your fault.

Thanks for trying to Detroit my biz.”

My, Oh My; How the Times Do Change

At the beginning of spring term this year, I walked into Anatomy, Micro, Micro Lab, and Phlebotomy already owning those classes in my mind. Ok… maybe not phlebotomy, which was marginally terrifying. But still – mentally, I had already conquered them all, because they had to be done, and done well in order to accomplish my next goal – getting A Career.

I was there – I had them. It was a done deal, even though I more than occasionally freaked out about an exam or two.

This term? Not so much.

There is less of a sense of urgency now, there is less necessity, because maybe I’ve already found a sustainable career. I’m definitely less excited about the actual learning this term; anatomy is fascinating – physiology, not as much so, at least, it hasn’t historically been the case for me.

I’m walking into this term reluctantly, grudgingly, and with an air of slight resentment. Class is cutting into my sleep time! Class is cutting into my overtime! Class is cutting into my Mike Time! Class is cutting into my EVE time! Fuck that class.

Well I can’t fuck that class, because I have student loans and a scholarship to which I must pay my respect, however grudgingly.

We’ll gloss over the fact that I got my days confused and came to “the first day of class” on the second day of class. Let’s focus on what I walked into. Statistics. The Maths.

You all know how much The Maths and I get along. My professor seems to be a wonderfully nice man, who is very knowledgeable of the subject matter; however, he is teaching this class for the first time, and I fear he may not yet realize how new all of it is for us. He dismissively mentioned the calculation for standard deviation as if this were something we had all been doing for years.

Two words: Community. College.

Most of us have no earthly idea what a standard deviation is, let alone how to calculate it. It’s been over 12 years since I had stats. Oy.

We breezed through a review of an entire semester’s worth of the physiology we learned in anatomy in about 45 minutes today.

Oh man.

I’m not into this.


But I’ll do it, anyhow. Because I just can’t bring myself not to.

One interesting thing I noted today, though, that never happened to me throughout my entire seven-year undergraduate career at Umich; this whole “courses building on top of each other” thing – it actually works. My class subject matters and attendance were so scatter-shot at Umich, I never really had the experience of something being reinforced over and over again so I actually learned and remembered it.

It’s nifty.

Bed soon. But first… maybe an EVE mission.

Why I Love My Friend, Severin

Because he takes so much shit from me, and gives it right back without holding a grudge. Because he is funny and intelligent. Excerpts from recent chat logs:

Me: I am going to stab you in the larynx. And then maybe rip out your trachea.
Sev: Making up body part names isn’t going to intimidate me, Erin.


Me: You know I am always here for you.
Me: Provided it is not inconvenient.
Sev: LOL




And This


Me: so let’s say, purely hypothetically, that i got two ships totally destroyed by guys on the first set of training missions. 0.9 secured space. how likely is it that my stuff will still be there when mike neir logs can maybe help me go get it?
Me: they kill me in like 2 shots.

(He doesn’t respond for a few minutes, because he’s, y’know, at work.)

Me: OMG severin – this is SRS business! 😀
Me: severin severin sevein
Sev: I’m reading, I’m reading! Sev: Well, hypothetically, nobody could be so n00bish to lose ships on training missions, so you need not worry
Me: lol whew
Sev: but, lets say somebody with a brain tumor the size of a golfball was playing
Sev: who was blind
Me: i’m listening.

Ticket Shenanigans, Part Deux

Not that our tech did a fantastic job with this… but OMG – Batman! Clouds?

I mean, seriously….BATMAN?

Why card Batman refused my right and I did not change my card number
Today the company has reserved a range of other
These are my right and the card every time you paid for it”

Could you please clarify what you are attempting to say?

“You alkalinity that the problem in the Master Card did not accept my right
amount Why?”

We do not get a reason as to why it does not accept your right amount. You
would need to talk to Master Card and ask them why it did not.

“Master Card my right there how much the amount now ????”

50.00USD is currently amount.

Because you are not drawing amount
Do you have a problem in the clouds
You know that these are my right, Master Card”

Would you like us to remove your server? Please let me know.
“I do not want
I want to take the amount of 50”

Who are you taking the amount of 50 from? We have not taken it from you, why
would you take it from us? We have done no transgressions to you sir.

“Wait for review, a top bank on Wednesday next

Lessons from the Seventh Grade

me: so last night, i got the stupid buggy thing in Half Life 2
which is so twitchy as to be exceptionally irritating
but shooting it with the grav gun every time it flips over is somewhat satisfying
just as i was about to burst into flames from being annoyed at it…. HL2 totally, TOTALLY made up for everything because i got to kill a bunch of dudes with that giant crane swinging around a cargo container. 😀
mike: stupid buggy thing?
oh dune buggy?
me: yah
it’s fun, but the lack of traction is infuriating
pretty stinking realistic, tho
so i’m guessing at some point in your education, you took a shop class, right?
mike: yep
me: we had ours in 7th grade.
plastics, metalworking, woodworking, etc.
what’s one of the biggest rules they teach you?
mike: don’t put your finger in the band saw?
me: lol
true – maybe the second biggest.
mike: don’t put your face against the belt sander?
me: lol
wow – your teacher was WAY more specific. 😀
“never wear loose clothing or jewelry. always have long hair tied back.”
so, currently, i have a dremel attachment… attached…. to my head.
mike: huh…
that doesn’t sound very good
me: no, it’s probably going to take awhile to unravel
i was trimming the dogs’ nails and forgot The Rule.
mike: trimming the dogs nails with a dremel??
me: yup. way better than clippers. takes longer, but no sharp edges and doesn’t pinch the quick.
sander attachment
mike: seems like they wouldn’t like that
I wouldn’t
me: they’re getting used to it. as long as i’m careful not to let things get hot. i tried it on myself first, it’s fine.
they’re just nervous about the sound/vibration. but they’re good about it.
i daresay bell looked amused as it grabbed ahold of my hair and proceeded to embed itself in me.
me: “stupid human.”
mike: remind me to never let you cut my nails
me: lol
they hate it way less than the clippers, tho.
they’re very ouchy.
plus, it’s easier to overdo it and get the quick.
i’m going to go extract this thing.
mike: have fun 🙂
Sent at 8:38 PM on Monday
me: that wasn’t too bad. 🙂
mike: what did we learn?
me: we learned to pay attention to the nagging feeling that we should put our hair back. 🙂
Sent at 8:51 PM on Monday
mike: very good.
me: thank you.

Things We Are Not Allowed to Do in the IT Industry

Scott R. sent me this link today. I rofl’d.

It’s Monday, and we have another, fairly large, batch of things not to do, courtesy of the IT industry.

(Submitted by Warlock)

* No longer allowed to rip apart old hard drives to salvage absurdly powerful magnets.
* No longer allowed to use salvaged magnets to attach small coworkers to large metal objects.
* No longer allowed to come up with names for servers.
* No longer allowed to create passwords that average people cannot remember.
* No longer allowed to create obscene mnemonics to assist people in remembering their passwords.
* No longer allowed to sing.
* Or dance.
* That includes walking like an Egyptian.
* And headbanging.
* Or glowstick. Yes, it’s dancing.
* No longer allowed to bring in music by that weird punk cabaret band.
* No longer allowed to bring in music by that weird folk band.
* No longer allowed to bring in any music from weird cover bands.
* No longer allowed to bring in any music that depresses people to tears.
* No longer allowed to bring in music at all.
* No longer allowed to build scale models of siege weaponry.
* Especially at scale 1:1.
* No longer allowed to add enough sugar to my chai to make the average hummingbird ill.
* No longer allowed to add sugar at all.
* Or take caffeine pills.
* Red Bull is right out.
* No longer allowed to use the plotter.
* Or the color laserjet.
* In fact, all print jobs are to be vetted by a superior.
* No longer allowed to sharpen anything.
* No longer allowed to wear breakfast cereal on a string necklace.
* No longer allowed to wear shirts with more colors than the average box of Crayolas.
* Must leave all hats at home.
* In general, no longer allowed to come up with creative ways to subvert the unwritten dress code.
* No longer allowed to improvise weaponry with the contents of client’s desks.
* No longer allowed to start fires.
* No longer allowed to modify anyone’s system sounds.
* Or desktop wallpaper.
* Or homepage.
* Not allowed to design own business cards.
* Must not install program forcing users to solve a Sudoku before they can use their computer.
* No longer allowed to make up own radio alphabets.
* No longer allowed to bring kung pao calamari for lunch.
* Yes, even if I brought enough for everyone else.
* No longer allowed to run workorders through Babelfish loops “a few times” before submitting.
* No longer allowed to label computers in Japanese.
* No longer allowed to send a new coworker for the “counterclockwise CD-RWs”, the “left handed trackball”, the “WLAN cabling” or anything involving the word “radioactive”.
* Condoms are not water balloons. And vice versa.
* There are three basic responses to receiving an assignment: “Will do.” “That’s a bad idea because…” or a request for further clarification. Hysterical laughter, blank stares, and attempts to “beat the stupid out of the client” are not acceptable.
* The proper response to an impossible customer request is to find another way to accomplish their objective, not to ask them if “they are out of their fucking tree” or to “go away and take their stupid with them”.
* Not allowed to reprogram anything to use Metric Time.
* While traveling on company business, no longer allowed to break the sound barrier, have anyone not a long-term close friend in the hotel room, or pay for anything in pennies.
* No longer allowed to quote entire scenes from Top Gun, Clerks, or Office Space.
* Not authorized to inflate anything (except a car tire that actually is on a car).
* Not allowed to answer phone with bad Indian accent, with the name of any business not this one, or in the persona of any cartoon character.
* In fact, no longer allowed to answer the phone.
* No longer allowed to pun “just the fax.”
* Must not engage in Primal Scream Therapy in public.
* Not allowed to find out the LD50 of common office substances.
* Not allowed to practice voodoo.
* Not allowed to chant menacingly.
* Not allowed to speak Ebonics.
* Not allowed to photocopy anything without adult supervision.
* Not allowed to challenge anyone to the field of honor.
* Not allowed to use blunt trauma on customers or their computers.
* Not allowed to register my objection to command decisions by goosestepping, giving the Hitler salute, or humming the Horst Wessel Lied.
* Salt is not to be placed in the sugar bowl. Sugar is not to be placed in the salt shakers. Flour is not amusing.
* Going to San Francisco does not necessitate wearing flowers in my hair.
* Not allowed to accept compensation for work in any way, shape or form except check made out to employer.
* Not allowed to wear steel-toed fuzzy slippers.
* Not allowed to recreate any famous movie scene.
* Not allowed to hijack forklifts.
* Not allowed to speak in pirate.
* May not wear any hairstyle stolen from Bob Marley, Wayne Static, or any anime character.
* Not allowed to make saving throws, skill checks, or to-hit rolls.
* Not allowed to perform the bounce test on any-thing or -one.
* When out of sick days, not allowed to call in “temporarily dead for tax reasons.”
* Not allowed to wonder if the ground will be friends with me.
* Fingernails are a luxury, not a right.
* May not use language that would cause a sailor to burst into flame.
* Not allowed to adopt mannerisms and voice of “Igor”, E.T. or B.A. from the A-Team.
* Not allowed to convene a board of inquiry, a court-martial or a firing squad.
* A meterstick is not a sword and is not to be held like one.
* Tai chi is a strictly at-home activity.
* Backup tapes are not to be juggled.
* CDs are not frisbees.
* When the Active Directory is misbehaving, there is neither unrest in the forest nor trouble with the trees.
* May not break any arms limitation treaties.
* May not use the soldering iron or any power tools without adult supervision.
* My phone number is not eight six seven five three oh ni-yine.
* No longer allowed to have cell ring tones that no one would ever expect from a cell phone.
* Am not allowed to incite civil unrest.
* Must at all times obey local and federal statutes regarding possession of weaponry, medications and lasers.
* The Rocky Horror Picture Show is only funny in context.
* May not perform amateur medicine, including but not limited to chiropractice, massage therapy and acupuncture.
* May not quote ancient racial proverbs to justify any course of action.
* Not allowed to blackmail anyone with the contents of their browser history, email, or laptop bag.
* Victory laps are unprofessional.
* Not allowed to reenact any Monty Python skits, including but not limited to the Cheeseshop sketch, the Vikings sketch, the Dead Parrot sketch and the Crunchy Frog sketch.
* May not carry a flashlight that would not look out of place as a Star Wars prop.
* When faced with a difficult situation, Option J is not an option.
* Mocking people for their choice of password is unprofessional.
* I am not here to kick ass and chew bubblegum.