Archive for November, 2006

Got an email yesterday…

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

…and it was a pleasant surprise. Some of you may be familiar with the Brainbench tests. They purport to measure achievement and competence in many areas, but one area they test for is competency in software testing. A few days ago I took a “beta” test of theirs just for a laugh. It turns out that I got one of the highest scores on it, and the person in charge of their test development emailed me and asked whether I’d consider doing some work on finalising the test questions. When I discovered that it was actually paying work (US$400, plus a $100 bonus if the work is exceptional and on time) I said that, yes, indeedy, I’d be interested.

The woman from Brainbench called me this afternoon and said that I was in the running with a gentleman from India. After speaking with me for a few minutes, she said, “Oh, I think you’ll do very well and you sound like you’ll be easy to work with. Instead of calling the guy in India, I’d like to offer you the assignment right now.”

So I’ve signed the contract and, along with everything else, now have 150 questions to finalise. All the work will be done online, and I can do it at my leisure but no later than December 14th. Of course, that’s the day I’ll be winging my way Bostonwards, so I’ll have to finish it before then.

Sounds like it’ll be interesting. If any of y’all are into software testing, wait until the test questions have been revised, and then take the test. You’ll have me to kick around if you don’t do very well or you think the test is poor quality.

Today’s Deadly URL

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

We are not far removed from the time when people could be scared to death officially.

By fairies, no less.

How much attention did I pay to the teachers in high school?

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006
You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don’t get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
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Of course, the difficulty was that I stopped paying attention when I went to university.

Today’s Unrequited SMS

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I was finishing up at work, just reporting on an interview I had conducted, when my mobile phone vibrated with not one, but two messages. They were both from the recruiter who arranged my interview at my new employer. I thought it odd, but looked at the first one:

Hey beautifull,sorry i haven’t called you today,its been a bit of a hectic day!i promise to call you later?i also was thinking we should do wed night?? X x

Well! He’s a British-Nigerian man, very good looking, and I would probably find him very good in the sack. Then I looked at the second message:

Please ignore that message chris…it was for my girlfriend christina..regards

I sent him back a message saying:

Aw…I thot I had a hot date Weds! Regards Chris not Christina.

I’m so glad that I’m married and that he’s straight. Otherwise, I might get into trouble. HWMBO is behind me right now reading this and going: “Hm. Hm. HM! HM! HM!”

Annoying popups on my website

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I just discovered why there were occasionally popups on my website. It’s the Nedstat/Webstat4U website counter software that’s injecting them. So, off it goes when I get home tonight. I apologise to everyone who might have gone there and gotten a popup.

Negative people

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

This is something to think about when negative people are doing their best to rain on your parade. So remember this story the next time someone who knows nothing and cares less makes your life miserable.

A man was at his barber’s getting his hair cut for a trip to Rome with his friend. He mentioned the trip to the barber, who responded “Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It’s crowded and dirty and full of Italians. You’re crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?”

“We’re taking Continental,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!”

“Continental?” exclaimed the barber. “That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they’re always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?”

“We’ll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome’s Tiber River called Teste.”

“Don’t go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks it’s gonna be something special and exclusive, but it’s really a dump, the worst hotel in the city! The rooms are small, the service is surly and they’re overpriced. Whatcha doing when you get there?”

“We’re going to go to see the Vatican and we hope to see the Pope.”

“That’s rich,” laughed the barber.” You and a million other people trying to see him. He’ll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You’re going to need it.”

A month later, the man again came in for a haircut. The barber asked him about his trip to Rome.

“It was wonderful,” explained the man, “not only were we on time in one of Continental’s brand new planes, but it was overbooked and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot. And the hotel was great. They’d just finished a $5 million remodeling job and now it’s a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner’s suite at no extra charge!”

“Well,” muttered the barber, “That’s all well and good, but I know you didn’t get to see the Pope.”

“Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors and if I’d be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, His Holiness would personally greet me. Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me.”

“Oh, really! What’d he say?”

“He said, ‘Where’d you get the shitty haircut?'”

I can’t claim authorship; I saw this in an email list to which I belong and the only thing I did is change the sex of the person who took the trip.

Today’s Crimestoppers URL

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Someone’s watching ya…

Today’s Political Screensaver URL

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Try clicking and moving the mouse around on the poor sod. Just like the bruising he got last Tuesday…

Thanks to Charles Laquidara for this one.


Sunday, November 12th, 2006

In alt.obituaries today, I saw the following obit: “Joseph Myska, 44, died November 2 in Atlanta, Ga. Joseph was a popular physique photographer’s model in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He also appeared as Kirby Scott in Adult videos. His death was the result of a drug overdose and his body was creamated.”

His body was creamated. Sounds like something you’d reserve to put in your coffee.

Gets 22,100 hits in Google, though.

Being tapped

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

When I was at Columbia, one of the things that happened to some people is that they were chosen by the members of two campus secret societies to join their august clubs. I think they were mostly drinking societies, but as I was never chosen, I never found out. The process of being invited to join was called “being tapped”, as the traditional method of informing the lucky candidate was a tap on the shoulder.

Today at Diocesan Synod, I was sitting minding my own business when Simon, the Diocesan Secretary, came up to me and said, “We don’t have any candidate for Bishop’s Council from the Archdeaconry of Southwark. Would you care to stand?” I had just been tapped.

So I am standing unopposed, and once my term begins, will be on the Church of England equivalent of the Diocesan Standing Committee in each Episcopal Church diocese.

Attending meetings consistently sometimes brings rewards. I now have an opportunity to influence the course of the diocese for at least the next three years.

Of course, on the walk home, I got an earful from another member of Bishop’s Council about the goings-on and derring-do involved in the group. Oh dear. In my opinion, as the Bishop must retire within about 3 years (he’ll turn 67 early next year, I think, and C of E retirement age is 70), preparing the way for a new Bishop to take over in 2009 or 2010 will be the most important task facing Bishop’s Council in its three-year term.

This of course is in addition to being Lay Chair of Southwark and Newington Deanery, a member of Diocesan Synod, a member of the Board of Finance, and a member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Finance. Lots o’ meetings, but worth it. I now not only have the opportunity to discover where the skeletons are buried, but I can either dig ’em up, or bury some more.

Today’s Guy Fawkes Night URL

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Fireworks are lots of fun when properly launched and handled according to recognised safety standards. I’ll bet that this gentleman wishes he’d followed instructions to the letter instead of fundamentally.

Note: Oh, and for those who now are wondering “how could that actually work, from a mechanical point of view,” this video might provide a bit of enLIGHTenment.

DEFINITELY NSFW!! You have been warned!!

Today’s Holiday Spot URL

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

If you feel like getting a little gritty, I suppose this place is for you. Only the name is unique…

Thanks for the birthday present, America!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I woke up this morning to the welcome news that the Democrats have taken the House of Representatives and might take the Senate. I know that most Americans didn’t know that it is my birthday today, but the present is really great! My Representative will become the Speaker of the House.

“O frabjous day! Calloo, callay!” I chortle in my joy!

He finally admitted it

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Well, Pastor Ted finally admitted sexual immorality (as he sees it). I feel very sad for him, his family, and especially his 5 children; his deception has dropped them all right into it. Very very sad.

Today’s Law Enforcement URL

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Carrying a concealed weapons usually requires some amount of clothing, except by this man.

Would have posted this yesterday except that LJ gave up the ghost.

I forgot a certain <lj user=”trawnapanda”>’s birthday yet again…

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

He is now numerically the same age as I am, for about a week. Then I yet again jump ahead.

He’s 53.

That’s FIFTY-THREE, folks!


I love seeing that.

Oh, sorry about forgetting the day (I’m now gainfully employed, so time is of the essence). Many happy returns of the day, oh FIFTY-THREE YEAR OLD…

Today’s Romantic URL

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

The Terminator now has some competition in the termination field.

Doing my part!

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

The airwaves were full of alarm this morning about the coming decline and perhaps extinction of the fish stocks of the world. I am proud to say that I contribute minimally to this decline and I hope that, in the future, I will be remembered as one lone voice in the wilderness crying: “Stop eating fish! It works for me!”

Tried to put in a meme…

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

…that intimated that my American accent was Midwestern. Unfortunately, someone found it difficult to read but wasn’t specific enough as to what was wrong; it looked OK to me when I pulled it up on my machine. I tried some reformatting the HTML but it made it much much worse, so I’ve just deleted it.

As a software test expert of 18 years’ standing, my advice to people who report bugs in LJ code is: take a screen shot of what you are seeing and send the screen shot to the person whose LJ it is (unless it’s something silly like too many carriage returns or something like that). I don’t know what was broken and trying to fix it just broke it for me too.