Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dan Senor: Iraq OK Because It Could Be Worse.

posted by John Blanco @ 7:40 PM


The O'Reilly Factor featured a sub again for Bill "Falafel King" O'Reilly. This douchebag is just like all the other Fox News douchebags. First, he's a far-right conservative wingnut. Second, he hosts a debate between a "both sides." Only problem is that he's not mediator, he's IN the debate, so it's 2 on 1, which leaves the psychological impression to the viewer that the conservative viewpoint is "mainstream" and the liberal viewpoint is "extreme."


Paul Hackett, whom I admire comes on. He's the only guy who's actually been in the war in Iraq. These other chickenhawks just want to give their biased opinions. As always, Hackett is constantly interrupted when his viewpoint is not agreed with (and it won't be with the so-called moderator a conservative). The other guy gets to talk all he wants. The so-called moderator talks way too long and when his line of questioning becomes tiresome and Paul starts to answer, he's shouted down again and again.

Listen to the arguments, and only one makes sense: Paul's.

The man he is debating, a chickenhawk named Dan Senor, demonstrates who is truly out of the mainstream and who truly has no idea what's going by offering this line of reasoning on Iraq:

Paul Hackett raises an interesting point, has the bottom fallen out...It is really bad in Iraq -- could it be worse? The answer is yes. 100 Iraqi casualties could easily be 1,000.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Iraq isn't that bad because -- IT COULD BE WORSE. Following that logic, Mr. Senor, you are not a douchebag because you could be a far worse douchebag.

No, check that. You're a douchebag.

Oh, by the way, is he a pundit? Not at all. He's the ex-CPA spokesman. Yes indeed, Fox News is choosing to have the government defend -- itself. Honesty at it's finest.

11:48, Are You Sure Where My Files Are?

posted by John Blanco @ 10:55 AM


It's 11:48 and all my work is checked in. It's due at noon.


Hell Week Almost Over!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:02 AM


I am still barely the song.

By some miracle of the Lord (and over 4 hours of reviewing the entire project source code over the weekend, too), I've been able to get things working For The Most Part (tm).

Our code freeze is at noon today, and I'm here at work just beginning the unbranching to the mainline. I've even accepted the invite to go to Dave and Buster's at 3 PM! :-)

OMG I can't wait for this week to be over. In a few hours, it essentially will be.


Must stay aflo-...


UPDATE: They fucking cancelled the Dave and Buster's party! Now it's tomorrow...during sur-gery. :-(

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'll Live Another Day

posted by John Blanco @ 8:44 PM


InsureWorx progress went well today. Very well. Perhaps I have a future there after all. :-)


In sad, sad news...out of the blue, I got a call from a developer at Lucas Arts -- yes, THE Lucas Arts -- about a game development position. Now, ask any geek, and they'll drool if you told them you worked at Lucas Arts.

But, yes, very sadly, after a couple emails and a couple calls, I had to turn down an interview opportunity. For one thing, it's hard work, and I'm not qualified enough to do it.

Secondly, it's in San Francisco, and maybe in another time I'd be up for it...but with baby on the way, a mortgage we want to keep, and other factors -- it's just not a good time to make a move.

And anyway, I really don't think I'd have been qualified for it. Still, it hurt to not even talk. But, I'm not going to waste time on a cold-call interview I don't have any faith in.


Also, this evening, I finished The Truth (With Jokes) by Al Franken. Another very funny book, but Al definitely hit hard with this one. His previous books focused more on the funny, while providing facts. This book pulled no punches and focused on the facts, with an accent of funny.

Very well done.

I'll next be reading So You're Going To Be a Dad for obvious reasons. :-) This book is about pregnancy and delivery. I already have a book on the first year as well. As of tomorrow, we're 200 days from the due date.

Wow, pregnancy is long. :-)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Last Week @ InsureWorx?

posted by John Blanco @ 9:21 PM


And so, in less than 12 hours, begin what may be my last week at InsureWorx. Here's the situation...

I am currently working on a project I will simply refer to as RFC-11. The work needs to be complete by Thursday, August 31st. The terms "drop dead date" and "finish then or not at all" have come up in regards to it. The reasoning, from what I hear, is that management is afraid that our client will bail if it's not ready by that time.

Pushy client, eh?

Anyway...there is one tiny problem. It won't be done. Not only will it not be done, it is entirely possible that it wouldn't be done by mid-September either. There are many reasons for this:

  • I was sidetracked for over 2 weeks taking over work for the second-to-last Flash developer after he quit.

  • Whilst I was finishing up that developer's work, my Java partner (Flash and Java guys work together on projects at my company) was finishing up his end of the work. When I returned to RFC-11, he was PULLED off as he was done with his work. I cannot go to him with questions now.

  • The person who has replaced this Java developer, as my contact for technical issues, has no experience with this very complicated part of the system.

  • The Java developer for RFC-11 had a week to do analysus before coming up with a design and timetable. I had 4 hours to come up with a timetable, and no time for design. This is completely due to the fact that there are no other Flash developers and I cannot be given that kind of time to do no coding. :-( (We have since re-hired Daniel as a part-time contractor.)

  • The RFC-11 kickoff, a meeting between developers and BA's, was scheduled whilst I was still working on RFC-36 and had yet to even look at the RFC-11 requirements.

  • Email to the BA takes over a week to get answered. One email took 4 weeks to be answered.

  • The area of the code that this RFC deals with is extremely complex.

  • Any and all Flash developers who have experience with this code and who could be available as a resource for me to get help -- have long since quit. There is no backup. There is no one to turn to.

  • I have never received any training on how this area of the system works. As a result, many aspects of the code reveal features that I didn't know existed previously.

  • They have just announced we are un-branching the code...before integration is complete. Any software developers out there -- can someone tell me the *point* of a branch? Isn't it to get a new featureset working BEFORE merging back? Jesus Christ.

A real sob story, eh? So, what if this code is not done by Thursday -- which it won't be? I don't know. The threats are there, but I have no idea.

To add more pressure to the situation, they have...and I'm not joking here...they have scheduled a CELEBRATION PARTY for 3 PM on Thursday. No, I'm not joking. This despite my honest appraisals that this won't be done in time.


Even if I coded at light speed the rest of the week, the turnaround time on server issues -- which would have to be repaired by someone unfamiliar with how the system works -- would take up over a week by themselves.


So, I'm preparing for the shit to hit the fan. I don't know if it will, but someone will be mad (*cough* the CEO...) and someone will have to pay.

Have I sent out resumes? Yes. Do I have contingincies? You bet your ass.

As for my future. I don't know. I'm getting thrown under a bus and this is what happens when you disregard an entire department. The Flash team never sees replacements to those who leave. The UI Design Staff (OK, one woman.) was dumped years ago, leaving us to it.

Developers no longer participate in requirements meetings. The so-called "Base Team" seldomly works on anything remotely "Base"-y. When we do, you can bet your ass it's not anything in Flash. I've done nothing but client work in the last year and a half for the team.

So we'll see where I stand in a week.


In other news, did some volunteer work for Bill Winter today. Vincen and I had a blast delivering yard signs. I played navigator while he drove and was in charge of putting signs in rocks.

Since everyone on the list is a Winter supporter, the response was generally good. The only bad, but funny as hell, experience was when we brought a sign to one supporter...

We asked her if any of her neighbors might be interested. Definitely a smart thing to do, because the more signs in an area, the more impact they have on a swing voter. She says her next door neighbor, Stewart, is a Democrat and would want one, so we grab a sign and walk over.

A woman answers the door. "Is Stewart around?" I ask. (I'm paraphrasing.) "He's eating lunch now," she replies, and then I see Stewart in the kitchen behind her and he says something inaudibly.

"Oh, that's fine. Your neighbor, Karen, said you might be interested in a Bill Winter yard sign and we were wondering if you wanted one," I say.

"I'm sorry, I don't know who that is," she replies hastily as she's slamming the door on our collective faces. :-/

Well, excuuuuuuse me. In discussing what happened later, I pointed out that I should have interrupted her before she closed the door by explaining that he is the Democratic candidate for Congress running *against* Tom Tancredo. That may have perked her interest.

Except one detail. Vincen and I were both wearing our now-defunct Jeffco Young Dem T-shirts that exclaim, in BOLD red letters, "DEMOCRAT". So, she had to have known.


Anyway, a fun day. But, it won't be a fun week. So, here's to paying bills!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Every American Should Read This

posted by John Blanco @ 7:14 AM


This comes from Bruce Schneier's column:

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want.


Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn't engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn't write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn't use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we'd reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

It's time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation---and not focusing on specific plots.


The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. And our job is to fight those politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote 'security theater' that wastes money and doesn't make us any safer.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Can You Hear Us Now??

posted by John Blanco @ 6:52 AM


The Progress Now commercial that a group of us joined in the filming of is now available on the Web. You can find it here:

There are three commercials. My favorite is the top one, and it's also the one you can see me in most of the time. All of them came out really well though and we had a BLAST filming them! :-)

Incidentally, here's me playing the strong, stable bookend role (highlighted on the far left):

I'll be available for autographs next week. ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Double Stars!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:57 PM


Wow, it's been a while since I've updated! Where the heck have I been? Oh, just busy. :-)

OK, OK, I have to gloat, because my buddy Sean -- wait, OK, both buddies Sean -- but only M.O.B.A.T. will read this methinks, but, hey man, I got DOUBLE STARS in New Super Mario Bros. ;-)

That means that I got all the tokens in the game. You get one star for a solve. Two for all tokens. Not sure if there are three, but I'd be up for it. HA! Ultimate gamer.

Now I can finally take on FFIV. NSMB was just supposed to be a quick solve, but it became a favorite of mine. An easy 10 on the ratings scale -- SUCH a good game.

I'm also reading The Truth: With Jokes by Al Franken. I love his books and it should be a quick read. Loving it, as always, so far. (Highly recommended political book for those feint of heart.)

Been busy with work, and work. Yeah, two jobs. Wanna make something of it?? :-)

I also have surgery scheduled for September 1st. The doctor says I may not make it. ..............home by 4:30. And I likely don't need a living will.


UPDATE: And now, ohhhh, Linn is hitched. This is some drastic step just to have a dance partner at the DDR Party. I tells ya.


Also, tonight, Weird Al released his first single off his upcoming's called Don't Download This Song. Feel free to violate the rules, though. :-)

And now I'm sitting here, basking in NSMB glory, ready for bed and wondering why this silly J2ME app won't work. Hummmmph.

This just in, as well: Michele is still pregnant. ;-) She's a quarter of the way through now and luckily her nausea has tapered off. Yeah!!

OK, I just got really tired. Prolly thinking about Michele, who's of in dreamyland. :-) OK, nite all!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Heretic Anthem by Slipknot

posted by John Blanco @ 3:08 PM


8 7 6 6 6 5 4 3 2 1

I'm a pop star threat and I'm not dead yet
got a super dread bet with an angel drug head
like a dead beat winner, I wanna be a sinner
an idolized bang for the industry killer

a hideous man that you don't understand
throw a suicide party and I'm guaranteed to fuckin snap
it evilsonic, it's pornoholic
breakdowns, obscenities, its all i wanna be

if you're 555, then I'm 666
if you're 555, then I'm 666
Well if you're 555 then I'm 666
(whats it like to be a heretic?)

If you're 555 then I'm 666
(whats it like to be a heretic?)

eveybody's so infatuated
everybody's so completely sure of what we are
everybody defamates from miles away
but face to face
they haven't got a thing to say

I bleed for this and I bleed for you
still you look in my face like I'm somebody new
toy, nobody wants anything I've got
which is fine because you're made of everything I'm not

if you're 555, then i'm 666
if you're 555, then i'm 666
Well if you're 555 then I'm 666
(whats it like to be a heretic?)

If you're 555 then I'm 666
(whats it like to be a heretic?)




30 seconds, 16, 8, 4, lemme tell ya why
I haven't the slightest, I'm teaching your brightest
they're listening , clamouring
all the money in the world can't buy me

go ahead, lie to me
tell me again how your tortured
I wanna know how you followed your orders so well
you're full of shit

you had a dream, but this ain't it

If you're 555 im 666
If you're 555 im 666
If you're 555 then im 666
(whats it like to be a heretic?)

If your 555 then im 666
(Whats it like to be a heretic...)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Yogiism #2

posted by John Blanco @ 7:32 AM


Is that a good sign?

- Michele inquiring with the ultra sound technician upon hearing our unborn child's heartbeat for the first time.

Yogiism #1

posted by John Blanco @ 7:28 AM


The Yogiism blog is a special new feature I've been thinking about for a while. These are silly quotes from my wife, Michele, that she seemingly has many of every day. Instead of laughing only with her, I think it should be shared with the world. If we save one life, it's worth it. :-)

I can't believe this song won't be on the album. The fact that it's been on the air-streams of the Internet for this long...

- Michele on Weird Al's You're Pitiful which has been disallowed for publishing by James Blunt's record label.

Friday, August 11, 2006

PS3 vs. Wii

posted by John Blanco @ 9:45 PM


Thursday, August 10, 2006


posted by John Blanco @ 9:07 PM


Sweet mercy, mother of god...I finally finished the Bill Clinton autobiography last night. :-) 969 pages! Holy crap.

It was very good. My first real insight into what being a world leader is like. The detail goes from birth to leaving office, and even an epilogue of 9/11 thoughts. Well done, Bill.


Mobat got a claim to fame today. He got published on Joystiq. Kinda sorta, actually, his nanny-cam work on his R.O.B. made it. It's pretty cool, check it out here.

You can also see his blog here. It's also linked on the left there. :-)

Mobat likes to use the R.O.B. to keep an eye on nannies. NAKED NANNIES.



Say hey, Mets sweep the Padres. We're starting the countdown on a division title. At this rate, we'll be the first team to clinch our division, and look good doing it too! :-)


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Primaries Over

posted by John Blanco @ 11:58 AM


Wahooo! The primaries are over! it is now time to take on the Republican smear machine and take straight aim at the "Do Nothing" Congress which has done nothing to advance America, whilst other countries catch up and pass us by.

There goes China, and India...vrooooooom...Sweden, by everyone! We'll keep sitting on our laurels while you shoot right by. No worries! Republicans in charge here.

So, the big winners yesterday: Ned Lamont, Ed Perlmutter, Hank Johnson, and for the Pugs, Doug Lamborn and Mike Kopp.'s go time. 3 months almost to the day. Election. And what's that...what do I hear?

A Winter Storm Warning!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


posted by John Blanco @ 8:52 PM


Lamont Defeats Lie-berman!

But, now, Lieberman has announced he will run as an Independent. What a weasel move. Many states have laws against this.

They are called "Sore Loser" laws. Lieberman slaps the Democratic electorate of Conneticut in the face. He will run -- albeit stripped of the Democratic title.

A victory for us. But not a victory for Lamont, who will have to compete for votes from Democrats *and* Republicans in Novemeber.


Lamont Looks Solid!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:28 PM


The lead has only risen since the halfway point! Ned is looking great right now!

Lamont ahead 52%-48% with 83% reporting.


posted by John Blanco @ 6:38 PM


We're halfway through!

Lamont ahead 52%-48%, with 50% reporting.

Hang in there, Neddy.

Lamont versus Lieberman

posted by John Blanco @ 6:21 PM


Tonight is a gitty night. It's like NFL Sunday. :-) Precincts are coming in all over the country with important primary numbers, both Democratic and Republican.

The big race, with all due respect to our own Colorado CD-7, is the Senate Primary in Conneticut, with incumbant Joe Lieberman being punished for his anti-Democratic ways.

Right now, the numbers:

Lamont ahead 55%-45%, with 25% reporting.

The other precincts are just starting to come in.

Monday, August 07, 2006

White and Nerdy

posted by John Blanco @ 11:40 AM


Yawn! Been a busy bee the last couple weeks. And even tho it's just Monday, I can use a break. :-)

I've been doing a lot of "extra" work lately. Namely, some part-time contract work that might be a little more part-time than I expected but it's still been fun and challenging work.

I'm doing Java ME development for a side company -- this is cell phone software, essentially. Also, as part of the workload, there's some other cool Web application stuff and even AJAX. For now, though, it's been exclusively Java ME.

It's been a while since I've done it. Remember Bite Size Studios? :-( Yeah, well, the same workforce is back in gear anyway (me). It took only a short while to get back in the Java ME groove again, even though it was called J2ME when I was doing it! ;-)

I look forward to getting in to these technologies again like Java and PHP, and I look forward to learning AJAX from scratch. And up next is some Blackberry work. Sweeeeet.


Michele is doing poorly and resting uncomfortably. :-) She's been saddled with constant nausea for, oh, a couple weeks now. Pleasant. Hopefully in a few weeks it will start to pass as she moves in to her second trimester. :-)


Over the weekend, we played our NES. Whoo! We're playing through a game that I had rented a few times when I was a kid, a real favorite of mine: Crystalis. I never solved it because of my short attention span, but Michele and I are getting closer now. It won't take that long.

Oh, and special kudos to my princess for solving New Super Mario Bros. this weekend! :-D She's a pro, now!


That's all I have to report for now. Have a good Monday, all!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The "Do Nothing" Congress

posted by John Blanco @ 2:51 PM


What? Do nothing? Wh-h-h-hy, they've been quite successful!

Republicans hail its successes, such as renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act and anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act, confirmation of two
U.S. Supreme Court justices and new free-trade accords.


First of all, the Republicans blocked the Voting Rights Act for years...the Dems have been pushing it. Secondly, rushing Supreme Court justices through who are way to the right of mainstream America (Roberts and Sca-lito) does not justify a good term!

Renewing the Patriot Act? Give me a break.

What are you doing FOR OUR COUNTRY? America has rejected Neo-Cons!!! I welcome back moderate Republicans and Democrats come November.

Vote Winter '08!

Republicans Duped Again By Neo-Con Agenda

posted by John Blanco @ 9:53 AM


CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- With 6,000 National Guard troops deployed to Southwestern states, President Bush said Saturday he has fulfilled his pledge to help beef up border security and challenged Congress to give him legislation that will welcome more foreigners into the country.

No, you haven't fulfilled the Republican wish to clamp down the border. And no, they won't be happy that you want turn the faucet on more immigrants coming in than ever before.

They aren't Republicans. They are Neo-Conservatives. And they don't care about Americans.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Listen When They Speak

posted by John Blanco @ 7:38 PM


Friends of mine not so politically oriented like to say, "Both parties are all the same." And I tell them, no, that's not true.

The Democrats are the party of the people, though they have had some shortcomings in recent years. Republicans are the party of the "elite," the very richest and most selfish in society.

While that fact will never change, I know in my heart that the Democrats have inched a little closer to big money interests due to the string of Republican Presidents that drag the country to the right.

But, we can take this country back. We will show the American people that right-wing politics and voodoo economics only serve to divide this country, socially and economically. We must come together, and it will only come with a moderately split government with a Democratic POTUS.


Don't believe me? Listen to what they tell you. Here is Bill Friday, Republican Majority Leader in the Senate:

"This death tax punishes everyday Americans by forcing them to give up their business, to give up their farms," [Frist] said.

Do you know what te so-called "death tax" is? If you didn't, you might deduce it's something we all pay, since he says it punished everyday Americans.

Well, guess what...he's speaking about the ESTATE TAX, which is a tax that goes into effect on land hand-me-downs belonging to the top 1% of the richest Americans.

We're talking BILLIONAIRES. We're talking Bill Gates, Warren you think these are "everyday" Americans?

Yes. They are. If you're Republican Bill Frist. Welcome to the elite. Republican government looking out for themselves and the hell with you.

Pat Robertson on Global Warming

posted by John Blanco @ 7:23 PM


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the most conservative of
so-called "conservatives" now believes in Global Warming. About time, Pat Robertson.

But, here's the reality:

Last year, Robertson said natural disasters affecting the globe, including hurricanes Katrina and Rita that wrecked the U.S. Gulf Coast, might be signs that the biblical apocalypse was nearing.

The issue has divided conservative Christians.

When they say "conservative Christians," what they really mean to say is I-D-I-O-T-S. How one can debate whether the changing climate is human-induced carbon dioxide saturation of the air or *cough* THE APOCOLYPSE *cough* is beyond me.

The so-called "conservatives" who think this is the sign of the Apocolypse should move their motor homes further away from me. Thanks.