A rare situation

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I don’t have a girlfriend anymore

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…because I have a fiancee!

Courtney’s ring – green sapphire, 3/4 carat brilliant round, in a white gold setting.

More pictures on Flickr.

Written by Chris

August 9th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Posted in General,Photography

Some pictures from around the house

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We got new living room furniture!

Bookcase, coffee table, loveseat. The big bushy plant on the left of the bookcase is a prayer plant, the smaller one is a dwarf umbrella tree.

The loveseat and dining room table. Also pictured: French horn and spider plant.

The couch and a small palm tree (I think) on the wall facing the bookcase.

Our new vacuum (thanks Bed Bath and Beyond gift card contributors!) and one of the reasons for it.

Written by Chris

August 3rd, 2009 at 8:57 am

Posted in General,Photography

Upping the Nerdiness Ante

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I was working on some database stuff today when I had the greatest (read: dorkiest) idea for an avatar / custom text combo:

A Big Nerd
Posts: too many

E. F. Codd
I smoke two JOINs in the morning


Written by Chris

July 21st, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Development,General

Observations on the Unmentionable Acts of g. bear haribo

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From the co-respondence of C. B. Sammis, this Twenty-Ninth Day of June, Two Thousand and Nine:

To my colleagues at the Ministry of Gummi Studies:

First let it be known that, though the subject of this letter is most lascivious, I do not apologize for writing it. Those who are familiar with the corpus of publications under My Own Name are by necessity also familiar with the purpose of my life’s labors: to catalog thoroughly and without exception the behaviors of g. bear so that the public, yearning to hear of the wonders of our Science, may be edified and enlightened. It is noted among learned men that I do not shy away from any topic which advances the accomplishment of this ideology! This having been said I am sure that my closest friend, the gentleman-bastard A. W. Haasbeck (who is no doubt already in a drunkerous stupor even at this early time of postal delivery), will derive much puerile humor from the contents of my upcoming publication. Gentlemen, I present early notice of my findings so that Mr. Haasbeck’s head may be covered with a sack for some time following the release of this letter. It would not serve the interests of this Ministry to have him capering about and hooting lewdly, a situation which the following discovery is sure to provoke.

Reproductive mechanisms of g. bear haribo
I recently accompanied the lovely C. A. Hansen on an expedition by motorcar to her own Ministry, located in a neighboring state. The purpose of the expedition was to increase and augment Ms. Hansen’s already vast knowledge of her Science, and I found myself wandering the paved streets for hours while this admirable goal was underway.

Immersed in a work of literature, I found myself desirous of a coffeed beverage and so made my way to a store dedicated to the sale of foreign delicacies. The vendor of same, gibbering out of his mind with liberal notions on the nature of payment for services rendered, caused me to redouble my attentions toward the printed word. So vigorous was my reading that I scarcely noticed a collection of cylindrical casings enclosed within a glass container until I had almost passed them. It is indeed fortunate that the zeal of my research into the genera gummi has given me what the layman might call a “sixth sense,” for at the last moment I turned to examine the vessel with all the attention to detail known to exist in my publications.

I could not ascertain at once what lay before me; they appeared as shapeless discs no larger than the eye of a seeing-hound. A swift investigation revealed that the composition of these discs was the same as that of a g. bear species, specifically haribo! I abandoned my reading, paid the vendor for his wares – here I must request that the Ministry promptly investigate the man for Contra-band Sale of gummi, Disreputably Obtained – and sequestered myself and the curios in a private cubicle nearby.

A photo-graph of the unfamiliar discs.

It was not long before I began to consider that the discs represented a prototypical member of the g. bear species. Flustered though I was by the indecent path that my increasingly strong hunches were following and though my writing arm pains me still, I produced from memory a rough sketch of a haribo.

The sketch of haribo, included here for posterity.

Examine the attached sketch, gentlemen, or retrieve a detailed lithograph from the archivists, and see here what I have seen – and do not look away or scrub at your eyes! – see that there are no re-productive ducts as exist in a red blooded beast. As the evidence of our own surveys proves that there are increasingly many members of the g. bear species, I am forced therefore to conclude and report that the mysterious discs are in fact eggs!

Rest assured that I stowed the vulgar drawing and disposed of the eggs before Ms. Hansen returned from her studies, lest her thoughts be made less than pure by the wanton depiction I was obliged to create. Let me forestall the objections of R. Y. Ginns, the government’s Chief Examiner of Gummi Propriety: yes, I was indeed obliged to create the enclosed sketch in pursuit of the truth! The subject of the research may not be the most chaste, but I maintain nothing less than utmost professionalism and exacting precision regarding the studies conducted under My Own Name.

And here’s my marque to prove it. Gentlemen, I remain:

C. B. Sammis

Written by Chris

July 9th, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Posted in General

csammisrun – now in stunning HD!

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Written by Chris

June 21st, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Posted in General


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Ever heard of the “Anal Game”? Yes, it sounds like a terrible pickup line, but also it’s a keen new driving game a la License Plate Bingo (not really). Courtney’s friend told her about this: You take the model of a car that you see and put the word “anal” in front of it. Nine times out of ten, this results in lollin’. Take for example the Nissan Pathfinder – “Anal Pathfinder” yields some reasonable guffaws.

Tonight Courtney and I were driving around Champaign and marveling at how great Isuzu seems to be for this game (Amigo, Rodeo, Trooper, Ascender, and Hombre being the ones we listed). I said that Courtney’s car, a Honda Accord, seemed rather regal-sounding.

Courtney: “There’s a Honda Prelude, too. That one’s kinda funny.”
Chris: “Heh, yup.”
Courtney: “It doesn’t make much sense though, because I don’t know what it’s a prelude to.”
Chris: “Yeah, anal seems like more of an endgame.”

It’s a good thing we were pulling into a parking lot, because we were close to tears with laughter.

This post brought to you by the Illinois Commission for Chris Blogging More Often!

Written by Chris

June 14th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Posted in General

Lock ‘n’ Roll 1.1

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A stunning update to Lock ‘n’ Roll 1.0.1, this version includes the following changes:

  • New: LNR restores statuses that it replaces when the workstation locks
  • Bugfix: LNR no longer replaces Unavailable, Offline, or Invisible statuses
  • Misc: Documented the source code
  • Misc: Updated URLs to point to the specific LNR category at my site

Thanks to O. D. for submitting a patch to accomplish the new feature and the bugfix!

Download locknroll-1.1.zip, source and binary included. To install, copy “locknroll.dll” to the Pidgin plugins directory. To activate it, restart Pidgin and go to the Tools menu, select Plugins, and tick the checkbox next to “Lock ‘n’ Roll”

Written by Chris

June 14th, 2009 at 2:41 pm


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Gather ’round people, and hear the tale
of a toilet repair that caused a hail
of glass and water and epic fail.

Courtney and I moved into our new place on Sunday [ed: five weeks ago, this post massively delayed by forgetfulness]. The move went swiftly, thanks to a great bunch of people helping us out, and soon we were unpacking and discovering the little quirks of the townhome. One of those quirks was the upstairs toilet, which filled very slowly after flushing. I looked at it and figured that there was a blockage in the fill valve. “Bah!” I said, “Why should I replace the entire thing when a simple fix might be all that’s required?” Armed with screwdrivers and pliers, I started to take the valve apart to find the blockage. Once I found the block, I decided that I could just hold my hand over the top of fill valve to prevent any splashing while I tested the fix. “It was very difficult to get the valve apart in the first place,” thinks I, “and I don’t want to put it together only to possibly have to do this all again.” Courtney came in to observe my progress and, eager to show off that I am a handy man, I twisted on the water full-bore.

This turned out not to be a good idea. At all. See, when you remove a blockage from a thing and then send water at high pressure through that thing, there’s no reason to expect that the water would be slowed down any more. My hand was thrown off the valve by the jet of water, which hit the ceiling and splashed two light bulbs over the sink, which exploded all over the place. I spluttered and turned off the water right away, but the damage was done. We picked up a lot of tiny pieces of glass, and I decided that there was no way a brand new single-piece fill valve could be expensive enough to justify this chicanery.

They cost seven dollars. The new valve went in without a hitch the next evening.

Written by Chris

June 10th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Posted in General

DJ Jazzy Jeff thrown out of Kansas City’s P&L District

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Kansas City Star article

Shame on you, Power & Light District! It is only okay to throw DJ Jazzy Jeff out of a place if this man does it:

Uncle Phil

Written by Chris

June 9th, 2009 at 8:40 am

Posted in General

Chitchen Corner With Chris and Courtney

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When a recipe calls for three Thai chilies, substituting three habeņero chilies is way too much.


Written by Chris

May 16th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Cooking,General