Zen and the Art of Randomness

My brain is working in incompletion mode, which is to say that I can get a thought formed, but my attention wanders before it gets more than about halfway through. It may make this post a bit challenging to read, but if you’ve been coming here for the last five years or so I’ll assume you’re used to that sort of thing.

  • My co-worker is currently engaged in the most epic battle of support vs. customer I’ve ever witnessed. Sample dialogue, “I understand where you’re coming from, but if you don’t try to understand where I’m at then I might as well hang up this phone.” The crazy thing is, I think they’re both enjoying it.
  • I made dinner last night which hasn’t happened too often lately due to a lot of weird schedules and a general malaise about cooking the same dozen or so dishes that Nik and I have perfected. Actually the cooking isn’t so bad (although even that gets a little dull) but eating the same ol’ stuff gets tiresome which isn’t exactly a great reward for putting in the effort to cook it in the first place. At least if you eat the same crummy fast food over and over again you may be bored but it takes no effort. Anyway I tried something new last night: Apricot chicken. It’s basically just baked chicken breast with a sauce/glaze made from dijon mustard, apricot preserves, salt and chili powder so it was nice and easy but combined with some roasted red potatoes and a batch of crescent rolls it was the best meal we’ve had at home in several weeks.
  • Speaking of best meals, I forgot to mention that my friends have engaged in a new pasttime: Perfecting barbecued ribs. You will note that I have not yet taken part primarily because I don’t have a BBQ grill and also because I’m not that great of a grillman, but I have certainly done my fair share of judging their progress and what a delicious chore that has been. I think HB almost has it nailed, and last weekend he smoked and then indirect-heat grilled a few racks of ribs for something like 10 hours grand total. Before those ribs Lister‘s eight-hour applejuice-basted spareribs were the best ribs I think I’d ever tasted but HB’s probably topped the list. You’ll note this isn’t exactly a competition, it’s more of a collaborative effort as they try different techniques and seasonings to try and get them perfect. They’re very close after the last batch, I think all that they’re missing is a signature sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s is good, no doubt, but I don’t think you can enter a BBQ competition with store-bought sauce… that’s like cheating).
  • The only—only—downside to the rib mania sweeping our circle of friends lately is that it has me really digging ribs but everytime I look at them on a restaurant menu I can’t help but think, “There’s no way these are as good.” I usually end up ordering the fish.
  • So the 49ers lost, which is no great shock, but what was somewhat surprising was how much of an actual game they made it. Sure Alex Smith is still not exactly a dominating presence back there, but at least he didn’t get picked off every drive, and he’s got Frank Gore back there who looked very good (and helped out my fantasy team, to boot). Meanwhile I watched the Monday Night game, mostly to root against the Raiders, and I was very impressed with San Diego. I think they rely on LT a bit too much (note the beginning of the second half when they went three and out a lot, mostly because the Raiders gave up on defending the pass and threw everyone they had at Tomlinson) but their defense looked pretty good and Philip Rivers made some nice plays despite the fact that they didn’t give him the nod very often. Now granted, the Raiders were wonderfully, delightfully horrible and embrassed themselves on national television (which is something they normally let their fans do for them—and they never fail to deliver) but I think San Diego deserved more credit than they got for pwning that game.
  • I jacked up my shoulder somehow. My hip finally seems back to normal and now my shoulder on that same side is tweaked. I think it happened while I was trying to attach a keyboard tray to the bottom of Nik’s desk at work with a fairly heavy drill, some stubborn screws and some very poor planning which required ripping it off and re-doing the drilling three times. But despite my handyman ineptitude, it shouldn’t be killing me to reach out and grab a can of Diet Coke a week later, right?
  • Political sidetrack: There are probably Bush supporters that read ironSoap, and that’s fine. But do me a favor and watch this 4-minute clip from an interview with Matt Lauer. While you watch it, keep this in mind: This is the same guy that has demonstrably and repeatedly lied about motivations, actions and methodologies when it comes to combating terrorism post 9/11. What his whole diatribe amounts to is, “Trust us, we’re not doing anything wrong here. I won’t tell you what we’re doing, but just trust me, it’s for your own good.” I have to ask the question: What reason have we been given to believe and/or trust him? It certainly isn’t the stellar track record, after all. And I for one would really like to know just what these legal but secret methods of extracting information are.
  • While mildly amusing, I really have to wonder a couple of things about this survey or study about attire for IT workers versus non-IT workers. Question one: Who cares? I mean, how does this impact anything? Then the random correlation at the end:

    “Intermedia.NET believes the findings in this study to be very valuable,” added Bradbury. “Both business managers and IT professionals are quickly adopting hosted Microsoft Exchange, and this research helps us to better understand the mindset of our customers.”

    Huh? But when you get right down to it: Was this really necessary? I mean, did you really need statistical analysis to determine that geeks wear black and have ponytails? Puh-leeze.

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5 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Randomness

  1. Doctor Mac

    Uh…. I think the fashion survey thing is a joke. Aren’t they trying to sell you Microsoft Exchange hosting?

  2. lister

    I noticed celery salt was missing from the best hot dog condiments. Yellow mustard and celery salt will give you that hot dog stand taste. I am probably misspelling celery, but hot dogs go great with typos.

  3. lister

    Oh and yeah the ribs just keep getting better…I think it is admirable to start with a store bought sauce base and then spruce it up. I concocted “5 alarms, baby” on my last batch and it was divine.

  4. ironsoap Post author

    Doctor Mac: Uh…. I think the fashion survey thing is a joke. Aren’t they trying to sell you Microsoft Exchange hosting?

    Probably; I guess I don’t really get jokes like that. Humor in advertising is often lost on me anyway but making up fake (and obvious) survey results to sell more Exchange hosting? I don’t follow. It’s funnier for me to think of it as serious and therefore unintentionally humorous.

    lister: I noticed celery salt was missing from the best hot dog condiments.

    I wouldn’t exactly call it “missing,” I’ve never heard of that before. But if it approximates the ballpark taste, I’m (ahem) game to try anything once.

  5. lister

    Mustard’s last stand: 1 x hot dog bun, 1 x hot dog, 1 x paper towel, mustard, celery salt, Microwave
    Ok, you forgot to rustle up some vittels and you are famished. Place a hot dog in a bun and wrap it with a paper towel. Place the entire processed package into the microwave. Hit the one minute button. When it finishes remove the paper towel (smell the familiar hot dog stand aroma from the cooked bun), put a strip of mustard on either side and sprinkle some celery salt. Not much its pretty potent stuff. Enjoy and careful not to drip the mustard.

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