Pew Pew Laser Blog

Code. Glass art. Games. Baking. Cats. From Seattle, Washington and various sundry satellite locations.

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I've got 2 interviews in Seattle today. I showed up for the first one at 9am, but the fellow said he had it scheduled for 9:30, so could I come back in half an hour? Sure, I said, so I went back the elevator. I suspect that I'd be the only female employee in this small organization. All the restrooms in this multi-story office building have keypads and are locked to keep the rabble out. The interviewer I met briefly doesn't have the code to the ladies room.

I went downstairs and across the street to Tully's Coffee. Their ladies room was out of order, so I waited for the men's to become unoccupied. It was a pleasant wait. They have a living-room like atmosphere, including a grand piano. One of the patrons was playing a fine rendition of 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'. Then he went onto 'Something '. Hoorah for the Blue Album. Then I noticed that the men's room had a 'Key at Counter' sign. Crap. I think I'll lean on Starbucks across the street..

Later: Whew. The gal at Starbucks was very kind and let me use their restroom. Mad props to SBUX.

Later: The interview went very well. They're going to send me an offer. Score!

Riding the Rails.


I'm on the train, going to Seattle, using a laptop borrowed from work. Working with this hardware is giving me an appreciation for how irritating alternate input devices are. I'm quite unadept at using the nipple mouse, and I end up circling around my target in ever decreasing orbits before I can reach it. This is only aggravated by the neutered keyboard on the laptop. There's no Windows Key, there's some unknown Fn key where Control should be. Just another lesson along the lines of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Here's what I was really thinking about. My picks for the top 3 hottest kids toys for this shopping season:

No, you don't get URLs since I'm 'going commando style' as I write this. You'll just have to Google 'em yourself. Time to find me a power outlet.



Wow, it's been a whole week since the last post. I've been busy - partying, scoring job interviews, making cookies. Anyhow, onto the content.

I dislike reality T.V. I find most reality shows are freak shows of dishonesty and deception that make me uncomfortable. I quite like one notable exception however, the Biggest Loser. It's often uplifting and quite inspiring, and occasionally tugs at my heartstrings just so. I was caught by the premier, and it was more of the same good stuff, broken up by irritating cliffhanger commercial breaks. I was so excited and inspired that I did pretty much the opposite of what the producers would have wanted. I turned off the T.V. and pulled out the DDR mat. I hopped about for about 35 minutes and got all sweaty. Yay me!

It's not just for hooking up.


As I've been preparing to move, I've been getting rid of extra stuff. Sometimes it's difficult - I decided I no longer needed my roughly 8 cubic feet of childhood legos. I decided to give them to my sisters or something, and my mom said she'd keep them. Sometimes it's easy - we traded in a bunch of DVDs to Hollywood, and used the store credit to buy some new video games.

The best way I've discovered to get rid of stuff is through Craigslist. From my point of view, people there are a little nutty, and will buy practically anything. I've sold a broken PS2 for $20, a computer cart for $50 (I didn't pay more than $70 for it new), and a papasan for $10. The papasan was the best sale. I bought it for $10 years ago, my husband has always hated it. I couldn't give it away to my sisters. But someone on Craigslist wanted it. And now I have $80 more than I used to!

PS - I've noticed uses Google Analytics too.



I love having a gas tank on the right (passenger) side of my car. I went to fill up the Forester on Friday. ($2.69 a gallon, thank you very much.) The super cheap station I use is naturally very popular, ecpecially on a Friday afternoon. As I pulled in, there were lots of cars with the tank on the driver's side of the car just waiting to get to the pump. But there was ample empty space for passenger side oriented cars, so I pulled right in. I was in and out in a very short time. I mentally waved bye bye to the suckers still waiting for gas. Ha ha!

Internet News.


Microsoft will be releasing IE7 as a high-priority update via Windows Update. This means that, theoretically, the vast majority of Windows users will be automatically upgraded from old, freaky, non-standards compliant IE6 to new & shiny IE7. [Upon hearing this news, web developers simultaneously go eeek!] As a developer, I feel I'd better keep using old freaky IE6 as a standard test until Google Analytics assures me that the majority of my viewers are upgraded. Also, the hubby's recent experiences with the new version of iTunes make me concerned about installing any new software, no matter how well vetted the manufacturer assures me that it is.

The good news is that Microsoft offers a utility to disable this Automatic Update. You can read all about it at the link back there. I have installed this, and I'll be keeping an eye on things when the update goes out.

Also, it turned out that the conditional comments I was lauding previously are a bit controversial. Some people feel/felt that using conditional comments was going back to the bad old days of JavaScript browser detection and different pages for different browsers. But I think that, at least in the way I've implemented them in my resume, it's a terribly convenient way to protect the compliant browsers from all those hacks that IE needs. So, I'm sticking with the conditional comments. Paul Boag approves, at least.

Dial a Clerks.


A few weeks ago, the husband and I watched Clerks II in the theater, and Dial M for Murder on DVD later in the weekend. Both movies had some curious similarities, but Clerks didn't quite deliver on the same level as Dial M for Murder.

Dial M was originally a stage play, and then Alfred Hitchcock put his spin on the film version. As a play, virtually every scene takes place inside the apartment. But as a viewer, you never feel trapped in the apartment, because so much excitement happens right inside the apartment. The movie is also filled largely with talking heads - a super dialog-o-rama. And, as usual, the cinematography was quite fine, every shot of added to the visual and emotional telling of the story.

Clerks II is the sequel to the popular profanity and vulgarity filled indie film Clerks. Clerks II really was much of the same, but entertaining nonetheless. It was, of course, filled with Kevin Smith's prototypical heady dialouge. It seemed that Clerks II the movie was a vehilce to present the dialog, as opposed to being a primary driver of exposition or plot. Also, Smith (or his cinematographer) strained to make the many talking head shots visually interesting, and the change from the major location was pretty forced.

I think that Clerks II might be the right story, but in the wrong venue. With that much dialogue, it really should have been a play. This has happened to other artists in the past. Neal Stephenson was originally writing Snow Crash as a graphic novel, but discovered it had just too many works, and had to be a novel. When Mel Brooks first wrote the script for The Producers, it was a play. He was informed that it had too many locations, and that what he acutally had on his hands was a movie.

Hooked on The Office.


Usually I don't watch much T.V. Working on the computer or playing video games are too appealing for T.V. to win much of my time. But last night, the husband was home early, so we watched a few episodes of The Office (on NBC) together.

I'm sure you've heard all about it, so I will only say that Jim is cute, and Dwight is icky. As we were watching, we began commenting on how the HR guy had a very nice car, and how could he afford it since wasn't he getting a divorce and living in the car several episodes ago?

That's when we knew we were in. Hooked. This was confirmed when I later looked up the HR guy's MySpace and tried to find out how his marriage was. (No answers, by the way.)

Thank you Penny Arcade.


Many thanks are owed to Penny Arcade for explaining certain things to about me to my husband. (In addition to an awesome comic, of course.) Case in point, the recent Disgaea 2 comic and blog entry have somewhat legitimized my newest addiction. Also, we could have had this exact conversation, with myself as the tall chap in blue, thank you very much. Brust's Jhereg series is fine, fast fiction, and if you can't get around a few little bitty dragons, I pity you.

Other random internet thoughts:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some penguins to 'splode.

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