Columbia, MO

April 23rd, 2007

I went to Columbia this past weekend with Kristen. She’ll be moving there in August. The main reason for our trip was to check out a few apartments. It looks like she’s happiest with one that she found online during a roommate search. Her potential roommate seems friendly, and the apartment was definitely one of the nicest we looked at. Since her internship next year will be paying her peanuts, she pretty much needs a roommate to split expenses anyway.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do much else in Columbia. It turns out that it’s a 7 hour trip once you factor in the mandatory refueling, restroom breaks, and meal break. If you could drive straight through without needing gas (and perhaps wearing a diaper), you might be able to reduce the drive to 6.5 hours, but that’s pretty much the minimum.

So basically, that trip is going to suck next year. We’re planning on seeing each other about twice a month, once in Oxford and once in Columbia. We’re pretty much going to have to take vacation in order to spend much time together. Or get used to driving at night. It could be worse. Josie’s going to be in Albuquerque, 16 hours from Oxford.

You know, I understand how my post on The First Rule of Productivity got Google ads for cleaning products. I totally get that. I used cleaning as an example.

But tell me, why does my post on Judging Based on Appearances have ads related to things like women’s stockings, and panties, and drag queen dresses?

Google Ads

Campus Speed Limit

March 19th, 2007

You know how the speed limit on the Ole Miss campus is 18mph? And you know how everyone thinks it’s completely retarded? It’s apparently 18 because that was Archie Manning’s jersey number.

Am I the only one who thinks that it’s silly, and maybe a bit embarassing, that so much of our University revolves around one family of athletes, only two of which even attended Ole Miss?

So, I finally got around to scraping a razor across my face today, after over two weeks of facial hair growth. I was going to shave on Friday, but I realized I was out of shaving cream and fresh razor blades.

It turns out that two weeks of growth leaves me quite scruffy looking. Kristen told me I looked homeless. If my clothes weren’t at least clean, she’d probably be right. The hair outside of my goatee area (which I’d trimmed a couple of times in the past two weeks) was getting pretty close to a half inch.

It was surprisingly not too bad shaving it this morning. Normally if I’ve got a lot of facial hair, shaving is a pain (literally), but this morning I lathered really well, used a fresh blade, and made short strokes. The hair came off with pretty much no pain. Of course, it turns out that I missed a few hairs on my neck. I didn’t notice them until a half an hour ago. I guess I’ll be doing a touch-up shave tonight.

I’ve been thinking about switching to a proper safety razor. The people who use them swear by them, and the blades are cheaper to boot. I could buy about 20 replacement blades for a safety razor for the price of just 4 Mach III blade cartridges. The safety razor itself would only cost a little more than a 12-pack of Mach II cartridges.

When I actually take the time to look at the actual cost of using Mach III blades, it’s not that costly. Each blade costs ~2 dollars, so if I replaced the blade every day (which I don’t) and shaved 7 times a week (which I obviously don’t), it would only cost me $14 each week, which in the grand scheme of things, really just isn’t that much. Still, plunking down 20 bucks on a pack of cartridges hurts, especially when the the 12 pack of Bic disposables is right there, and only costs $3.

What is it with people being afraid, or ashamed, of putting certain words into text form?  Is this really the behavior of mature adults?  Now, I’m not saying that it’s necessarily appropriate to fill an article with obscenities, but if you’re going to curse, then do it right.  Don’t go bowdlerizing yourself.  It makes you look silly and childish.

It’s bad enough that people type “sh!tty” in their blogs when what they really want to say is “shitty”, but newspapers do this stuff, too.  From the associated press:

Derogatory terms for homosexuality have long been used as insults. But the landscape has become confusing in recent years as minority groups have tried to reclaim terms like “queer,” “ghetto” and the n-word.

Seriously, “the n-word”?  Who decided that “queer” is okay, but “nigger” isn’t?  Is suppressing certain words really supposed to help society?  How, exactly?

Grow up.  If you want to use a “dirty” word, just use the word.  Don’t censor yourself.  It makes you look like an idiot.  If you aren’t comfortable using the word “fuck” in writing, then just don’t use it.  Don’t turn it into “f*ck” as if that somehow changes it.

If you want to quote someone who cursed, then leave the curse in there, spelled out.  If you’re uncomfortable leaving the word in, then don’t use the quote.  You’ve got no business changing someone else’s words.  Jimmy called Sue a “bitch”, not a “b–ch”.

Just don’t use the words if you aren’t willing to use them correctly.  No one’s going to think less of you for saying that some movie was “excellent” instead of “fucking great”, or “horrible” instead of “shitty”.  But if you say the movie was “f—ing great” or “sh*tty”, it’s not exactly giving off a great impression.

Slacker Stuff

February 11th, 2007

Well, after making the frontpage of Reddit, Digg, and Popular, it looks like the traffic to Former Slacker has finally died down.  All told, the site got over thirty-eight thousand visits over the past three days.  I put up a post discussing how Reddit and Digg killed the server over there.  Traffic continued to flow in after that post, but at a much more manageable rate.

On another note, I’ve put up Google Adsense ads on that site.  I tried to make them as unobtrusive as possible.  I’m not sure if they’ll really make me any money, but I can’t see any real reason why I shouldn’t put them up.  Just for reference, if the average visitor were worth one cent, I would have made three-hundred eighty dollars from the surge.  I have no idea if the average visitor is worth a penny in advertising revenue, though.  Maybe I would have only made a buck fifty.  Nonetheless, I’m going to see what happens.  It’d be nice if I could get enough from them to cover my hosting fees, at least.

Also, please don’t go clicking on the ads trying to make me money.  If Google starts seeing anything that looks like fraud, I’ll get my account terminated.

I’m getting rid of the subdomains. They don’t do anything useful for me. So now, instead of or, it’s and I’ll leave the subdomains working for now, but I’m probably going to kill them in a week or so. (Actually won’t really work, starting now, but that’s really an issue with ZenPhoto.)

So basically, update your bookmarks, links, feed readers, whatever.

Sorry for the hassle.

I started a new site about a month ago: Former Slacker. Basically, I’m intending it to be personal development, productivity, etc. Yesterday I posted an article entitled 9 Resume Tips That Should Be Screechingly Obvious (But Apparently Aren’t), and submitted it to Reddit. It climbed to the Reddit front page yesterday, and since then, it’s gotten about 9000 visitors, and around 700 feed subscribers. It’s managed to make it onto the front page of popular, as well, along with some exposure on several other sites.

All in all, I’m pretty impressed, and quite happy. The site is barely a month old.

Just thought you might find all this interesting.

I ran 3 miles yesterday, nonstop.  Unfortunately, I didn’t actually do the math to figure out that 5km is actually about 3.1 miles, so technically I fell short of my goal.  Nonetheless, I did get in 3 miles, which is nothing to sneer at, I don’t think.

On a related note, my foot is killing me.  Just one foot, the right one.  I don’t know why it hurts.  It’s done this predictably as I’ve increased my total running length.   I only ran once last week, because my foot was still really sore the next time I was supposed to run.  I need to figure out what to do about this, because it’s more than just a little bit problematic.  Running when my foot already hurts, well, hurts.  I’m a little afraid of causing some real damage if I keep running with an injuring.

Also, all my pants need to be taken in now.

Cold in Here

February 2nd, 2007

Why is it 64 degrees Fahrenheit in my office right now?