November 2004


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Archive for November, 2004

The future is here…

Posted in Work on November 30th, 2004

and it speaks binary.

Revelation for the day: it is quite possible that the next person that reads your resume will actually be an OCR scanner searching for corporate buzzwords. In a presentation from a former HR hiring director today, we were told that larger companies have resorted to page scanners to enable them to sift through the hundreds of resumes they receive from on-line aplications and email submittals. So, most resumes that they get are weeded out before ever being looked at by a human.

On top of that, those that are seen by a human are often sorted in a stack, so that only the top third or so of a page is visible, and that page has about 3 to 5 seconds to catch their eye before it gets tossed.

When I was instructed in the art of resume writing the first time around, I was told that it should be basically a good quality picture of your work history, and a longer resume equated to a studio portrait rather than a snapshot. When I started looking this time around, I shrank it a bit to make it more of a picture post card. Now I find out they want more of a thumbnail, and like a personals photo, it had better have tits to make any sort of impression.

To continue that analogy, put all your skills right at the top to get that wonder-bra lift, and using the most current corporate buzzwords turns that turtleneck into a little deep-v-neck number. That thick sweater of bullet points in your job descriptions is now crammed together into a belly shirt to show off that cute navel piercing, with maybe just a hint of a thong coming up over your low-rise jeans to suck them in.

Always make ’em ask for your digits though: References available by request.

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

Posted in Geekery on November 28th, 2004

I’ve been getting alot of spam comments for the past couple of days, and deleting them all from the ‘awaiting moderation’ list has become annoying. Over the next few days, I will be trying a few new techniques to determine the best blocks and deleters. For the two or three of you that actually leave worthwhile comments, I hope this won’t make things screwy for you. To prevent screwups, here’s the comments rules:

  • 1: You don’t have to agree with me to get your comment posted. I’m a big boy now, and can stand a little honest discussion. Vitriolic, hateful comments, however, will be roasted, and I will invite all my friends to chop your ego to shreds as you so richly deserve. You have been warned.
  • 2: Any reference to AOL in either email or URL fields will get your comment promptly deleted – if you aren’t smart enough to get a real ISP, you don’t get to talk to me. Plllbbbt.
  • 3: You may post a single link in the text of your comment, provided that the target is on-topic. Multiple links will get you deleted, and multiple comments to post additional links will get you deleted as well. If you really need to tell me about several sites at once, either post about it in your blog with a link to said page here, or email them to me, and I may write a follow-up post with the additional links.
  • 4: Blogwars: if you feel I have completely mispoken myself and wish to roast me at length, feel free to do so and leave a link to your article on my comments. I enjoy a lively debate.

There you have it. So, how am I enforcing this? Well, I have installed what the author calls “weapons-grade plutonium in the fight against SPAM”. This handy plugin deletes any comment that gets held for moderation. How do you get moderated? Well, too many links, common spam words in your comment, or anything else that pisses me off gets your comment moderated, and then the plugin deletes it.

So, if your comment never shows up, well, guess what: time to re-think it.


Posted in Life on November 27th, 2004

On the assurances that my older brother would spot me the gas money for the trip, I packed up the kids Wednesday afternoon and headed over the hills and through the woods to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. Definitely a good decision. A better decision was equiping my rather hyper daughter with a portable DVD player and several movies for the trip. I would have killed for one of those when I was a kid.

My younger brother is currently home on leave while recovering from a wound received in Iraq – seems some fucktard got himself a rocket launcher and tossed an incredibly well-aimed shot into the compound the family Marine was stationed at, and he took some shrapnel in the ankle. This was just before the push into Faluja, so they shipped him home to heal, since he wasn’t able to fight at the time. He managed to make it back to Mom’s house the day I left, so things worked out rather nicely. It’s not often we can get all three of us boys in the same room nowadays.

While here, he decided to put some of his combat pay to use and grab some wheels to drive himself back to base with. If you see a mostly black 1979 Trans Am with blue stripes on the hood on the 5 in the next week or two, get out of his way. He’s got places to be and terrorists to obliterate. We talked about what he wants to do when he gets back over there, and he says he’s going to volunteer to be a Forward Observer – the guy with the radio and the laser designator, otherwise known as the most dangerous person you could ever face. That laser designator is guiding large pieces of ordinance into your front door. Smile for the camera.

Ma, of course, outdid herself once again with one of the tenderest, juciest turkeys to date. This huge bird (22#) came out of the oven so perfectly cooked that I almost pulled the carcass out of the meat while trying to get it out of the pan – I ended up having to drain all the goodies out and invert it onto a breadboard, then lift the pan off. At that point it was still too tender to flip over manually, so I had to repeat the procedure onto a second breadboard before I could carve it.

Hey Ma – that ziplock of leftovers you sent us home with didn’t make it back to the house – Ratty and I munched ’em the whole way home :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

$5 an hour? Sign me up!

Posted in Geekery on November 24th, 2004

This article discusses what Holo-Dek Gaming is doing for the gamers of New Hampshire.

Holo-Dek is using some existing (albeit high-end) technology to build a better gaming experience. Sure, you’ve played Half-Life at an Internet Cafe or other pay-per-play computer shop, but have you done it on a 13-foot screen?

Using some high-end projectors and Alienware gaming rigs, they are building some very interesting setups, including 180-degree screens and a 20-foot sphere with a flight simulator chair. The best part? They are smart enough to modularize the components to save on build cost and time – the whole system can be shipped by truck to the warehouse of your choice and installed in a minimum of time.

The really best part is so far they’re only charging $5 an hour for play on their 73″ screens. I would absolutely fork over 20 clams for four hour’s time on an Alienware rig with that kind of display factor – but only if they offer Mechwarrior.

Speaking of which, these guys aren’t the first to do something like this as a commercial venture. Virtual World did it first by building ‘pods’ that encase the player in what can only be called a cockpit. Once inside, it really enhanced the game experience, since it made you really feel like you were at the controls of a 60-ton BattleMech. While I never personally got the chance to play before they closed down the Las Vegas operation, I’m told it was great fun.

Looking at the website now though, it looks like they had to fork the game off of the Mechwarrior II code, since they just this year added the Madcat II to the lineup of ‘Mechs.

Bummer – that means they don’t have a Heavy Gauss rifle yet. Nothing says lovin’ like knocking a mech on it’s ass in one shot :)


Posted in Work on November 22nd, 2004

The following is a rather long-winded rant regarding the trials and tribulations of a job-seeker in this ‘booming’ economy. I had originally planned to keep this to myself, but hey, if I can’t rant here, where can I rant? Read on at your own risk.

Read the rest of this entry »

Graumagus is feelin’ frisky

Posted in Politics on November 17th, 2004

My fellow asshole (and creator of the “Blogsniper” graphic) over at Frizzen Sparks is feelin’ a bit frisky tonight, having a good laugh about the “We’re so sorry” website that has been posting photos of people holding signs for the camera.

Graumagus, if you haven’t guessed (and didn’t see the warnings posted on his site) is flapping that right wing pretty hard. Okay, Grau, I have one question for you: in your own opinion, what has Dubya done wrong?

As a Bush supporter, you have mentioned many of the things you think the President has done right in the last four years, and I agree on a few points. Now that he has won by a slim majority (49-51 isn’t much of a gap now, is it?), what should the Prez be doing differently than he has in the past? No man is perfect, and the general swelling of bad feelings the world over towards our country in general and our President in particular have to have some basis in reality. Let’s put aside our political differences and try to change things for the better.

(Hey, if you’re really going to bulldoze all those fences, that means I get to play in your yard, right? :) )

Take your time on this, and give us a full list of the changes you want to see in this administration. When you’ve got it all down, you and I can hash it out and write the whole thing up with both of our opinions and mass-mail it to Congress and the President together.

fair is fair…

Posted in Life on November 15th, 2004

Because I will rampantly advertise my blog anywhere I can, here’s the Carnival of Sin, a bunch of blog articles from all over hosted by Alexa over at A New York escorts Confessions.

Happy reading!

Quote of the Day

Posted in Life on November 15th, 2004

“Many people would sooner die than think. In fact, they do.”
– Bertrand Russel

Too bloody right.


Posted in Life on November 14th, 2004

Today was one of those days when you simply cannot get up the enthusiasm to do anything. For instance, I noticed we were low on kool-aid mix and out of lighter flints, so Pookie and I walked down to the store. We walked because it would take longer, not for any desire to get outside and enjoy the fact that it wasn’t raining.

(Note: Safeway does not carry flints.)

With nothing else to do, we wandered over to the video store and cruised through the stacks for another half-hour or so, and came up with a Batman and a Scooby-Doo. (For me and her, respectively.)

Dinner? That was popcorn. Yeah – that kinda no-enthusiasm. I’ve got leftover steaks, fer chrissakes, and I made popcorn because it was easier. Open nuker. Toss in bag. Close nuker. Hit ‘popcorn’. Watch it spin…

Major accomplishment for the day? Convincing the Linux version of Firefox that yes indeed, I do have java installed, now load up that damn jewel-matching game, ya tosser! Thank DOC that Firefox finally went 1.0, now I can stop upgrading the damn thing.

I did manage to catch my mother online, and set up the preliminary bits of going down to GP for Thanksgiving. She is hyped about that – it’s been over a year I think since she’s seen the kids, and with any luck my little brother will be home on leave. Quite the reunion – she said she’ll try to con Grampa into coming up, too.

I suppose it’s time to burn a disc of updated drivers and whatnot for mom now. What I really need to remember to do is take some damn pictures of the kids for mom. My roomie even has a digicam, and I can just never remember to grab pix…

Scenes from real life

Posted in Life on November 13th, 2004

Like Grau over at Frizzen Sparks, I too am a member of a re-creationist group: The Society for Creative Anachronism. While he’s into the early American stuff, we go back to the middle ages for our fun. Here’s what happens when I get into armor…

So there I am at Briaroak Bash, one of the early years, and there’s a long battle coming up – the King’s men are supposed to hunt down a band of rogues in the forest. I’d love to play, but have yet to complete a suit of armor. I’m kvetching with Sir Paul of Sommerton when I notice the limp he’s nursing.

“Aye – I took a shot in the ankle yesterday, and the chiurgeon’s banned me from the field until it heals.” he says. We both look at each other for a moment, and realize that we’re damn near the same size. “Y’know,” he continues, “if we wrapped an Ace bandage around your ankle, it might scare folks off long enough for you to get a shot or two in…”

I grin back at him, and we scurry back to his camp to stuff me into his armor. I had to turn his white Knight’s belt inside-out since I’m a lowly commoner, but we skipped the bandage. I was young and cocky, figured I’d get at least one good swing in…

Yeah, right. Thankfully, it was a resurrection battle, so I still got some good play in. The part that sticks in my head the best is my death during the siege of Castle Dunlop.

Somewhere in the past, some soul saw fit to dump some 3000 old tires in the woods at a State park. Don’t know how he got away with it, but we couldn’t let them all go to waste. We stacked ’em up Lego style and built some rough castle walls to play around.

So here we are, the King’s men sieging this pile of discarded tires. I’m fighting sword-and-shield, so I have a couple of pikemen in front of me trying to bust through the defences so that I might jump into the fray and wreak havoc for the 0.2 seconds or so that I expect to live. Off to the right of us, a rogue javelineer is tossing some pretty accurate spears, so I’m keeping one eye on him and the other on the battle before me. He’s not pating me much attention, though, so I’m not worried.

The pikemen are stabbing furiously trying to bring down a defender or two, and it looks like we are getting close to a way in. I check Sinkyu the javeleineer – he’s still not looking. One of my pikemen manages to take down a defender – Sinkyu is still not looking. The pikeman jumps the three-tire-tall ‘wall’ and forces a man back, making room for me – Sinkyu is…


Sinkyu had apparently been waiting for me to move. As soon as I did, he slung one of those dastardly spears of his my way, and I just happened to turn and look just in time to catch one straight in the face. I swear the man never even looked in my direction…