Roommates looking for Roommate

My roommates are looking to fill my soon-to-be-vacant spot in a spacious and surprisingly affordable Medford/Somerville (Boston) area apartment. If you know anyone looking for a room in the area who doesn't mind cats, please point them at me!
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Fun With Nihilism

The Nietzsche Family Circus really brightened up my day. Although I'm not sure if "brighten" is really the right word to use here.

It's kind of terrifying how well they go together! To be fair, they did have a few things in common to start with: They were both preachy, and extremely creepy, albeit in different ways.

There is a Random Generator page, but you can also combine them by hand to comic-trageditastic effect for treatises on various subjects:


Love (also makes a great mother's day card!)




Thoughts And Feelings




The Abyss


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Professional Billing Disservices

I haven't dealt with Comcast in a while, but they don't disappoint.

Collapse ) But they did send me what I wanted the most, after a month of radio silence: A bill for almost $400, and an friendly yet stern admonishment for my lateness, and my failure to cleverly guess the amount and (somehow?) manage to have already paid it before the bill or Online Account Establishment PIN number arrived.Collapse )

And I thought my company's own home-grown billing system sucks! (Turns out, it is so far in advance of regular human billing systems as to seem Magical in comparison.)
  • Current Music
    Röyksopp - Eple

Branching Out

So, while I try to keep this journal personal and very much separate from anything that might lead back to my job, I do have a vaguely work related question for you guys.

Very work related, I guess, but phrased vaguely.

My company makes business management software, and for a long time, we were specialized to a particular industry. But for a variety of reasons, we've been trying to branch out... The problem is, we're not really sure where to start knocking.

After all, there are a lot of cheapo options out there these days... Quickbooks is probably the best known, and one of the most popular, as it is fairly affordable and covers accounting as well as the basics of inventory management, sales, statistics, and so on.

The thing with us, though, is that we're really good at customization. Thanks to more than ten years of dealing with clients with their own bizarre ways of doing things, we have learned to deal with a lot of different methods of business. Maybe you also manufacture or assemble things, and need to order parts in different ratios based on the demand for your finished products; Maybe you resell things and need to keep track of their value over time. Or maybe the value (or some portion of the value) of your inventory varies over time due to exchange rates or gold prices... Or you might be selling hours of service (at different rates!) by various employees or other sub-contractors as part of, or along with your goods. Or you're interested in having a touchscreen kiosk display in your office that ties into your system, so customers can search through your inventory without bugging your staff to loot through the boxes in the back room.

It also gets interesting when you want a website for your business that ties into all this stuff. With the proper permissions, of course, so your employees can track their accounts and orders, or at least the parts of their accounts that you want them to. Or you might also be interested in tying parts of your business into other websites or online services... Listing items on Amazon or EBay, or tracking events and appointments through Google Calendar. Whatever you got, really, because unlike the business software you can buy at Staples, we wrote it ourselves, and we have a lot of experience with people who need to do things "differently". Oh, and we support MacOS. And Linux. And Windows. All together on the same network, even.

Recently, we've talked to some boutique clothing shops, a high end shoe store, and (I really should have thought of this one earlier), a tattoo parlor.

If you have any other ideas, or you know someone (or some company) who might be interested in our services, please let me know! While we're definitely more expensive than some of our brand name competitors, we're interested in expanding into other fields... And if you can introduce us to the industry of courier services, piercing shops, or alpaca farmers, or whatever, really, we can probably make it worth their while.
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Moving Sucks.

Originally, it seemed like an unfortunate waste of money to start moving into a new apartment on February 1st when February at the old place was already paid for. Now, though... I'm not sure how any other schedule could have worked.

And as is the case seemingly every time I move, I am astounded at how much crap I own. You wouldn't necessarily know, because while there's stuff on the desk, and stuff in the bookshelf, the other 100 cubic feet of junk is very efficiently Tetrised into the closet. It never gets old... I try to take everything out of the closet for inspection and packing, and it always boggles my mind that, spread out, it doesn't all fit in my room.

And I always run across some forgotten item or paper that makes me feel nostalgic (or depressed, or old, or all of the above.) Invitations to weddings, old letters from friends, jotted down diagrams and ideas that seemed extremely awesome at the time... And various and sundry other things that probably wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, but that I lose several entire minutes to in a staring contest, when I remember what they are.

(Like that playbill to A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester... It would take a long time to explain, but, wow. Back in the day.)

I guess things are moving along pretty well, considering; All the furniture and heavy stuff (except my home office itself) have been professionally moved to the new place, and everything got there in once piece, and up either the incredibly steep (or 60s-batman-villain-lair-esque half-spiral) staircase into the new place. Well, except for certain pieces of Ikea furniture, but they got up in pieces, and eventually they will be whole again. (And thank you again,, for satisfying all my Furniture Assembly Instruction PDF needs.)

But I still feel pretty depressed. I am going to miss having my own bathroom, central air conditioning, a garbage disposal, and the really nice view of the Boston skyline from my bedroom window, which I now wish I had pulled up the blinds on and enjoyed a little more often than I did.

The new place is cheaper, though, and it has more space... Two porches, an attic, and a storage area in the basement. There is the small issue of the utilities (it needs natural gas, oil, and electricity for everything to work), the absence of three prong outlets in the room that was supposed to be my office (whoops) and the moving expenses, setup fees, and other charges, which are starting to add up impressively. But in the long run, I'll be saving money, even if it doesn't really feel like it right now.

But everything considered, it's a lot of progress for four days.
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Breast Chaser Galvion

I am not familiar with this model kit, the giant robot it represents, or the manga, anime, or video game it hails from... And yet, I feel that Galvion and I have a lot of interests in common.

Breast Chaser Galvion

Well... At least one, anyway.

  • Current Music
    Clutch - Land Of Pleasant Living

Moving On Up (or maybe, down.)

While I have enjoyed a very fancy apartment for almost two years now, circumstances have encouraged me to look for newer, cheaper places to live.

On the one hand, I was pleased to see that there are quite a few apartments in and around the Boston area that are more affordable than my current one. On the other hand, quite a few of them are ass nasty.

Here's a good example of a Pro/Con list I made this weekend for (Address Omitted):

Spacious Living Room and dining area
Two Bedrooms, one full bath
Front balcony (with sitting room!)
Rear balcony! (also with sitting room!)
Access to fenced back yard
Funky retro conical lighting fixtures in the stairwells
Less than $1400 / month!
Overpowering sickly-sweet/seafood odor throughout (?)
Steady leak of foul smelling water through kitchen light fixture (!!!)
Sputtering, sparking light fixture (from the leak)
Big puddle and warped floor in kitchen (from the leak)
Mysterious, viscous yellow buildup on ceiling (from the leak?!?!)
Cracked windows, torn screens, holes in walls (fixable)
Rusted out front gate, windowsills, and fixtures (less fixable)
Approximately 1.5 miles from any non-defunct businesses

So, yeah. At least I'm feeling retroactively lucky about how lucky I was to land my current apartment and keep it for so long.

I could probably turn this into a fun series of posts... I was going to add something like "baleful, one eyed landlord", but actually she was really nice to us. Though "friendly" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

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  • Current Music
    28 Weeks Later: Theme 7

Antikythera 3G

Christmas season work sucks.

But I was pleased to find out, as reported on many geeky/tech/history sites, that work has been completed on a functional recreation of the Antikythera Mechanism, the fabled "world's first portable computer".

Sadly, it isn't a difference engine, but (as expected after the first round of x-rays and analysis), more like world's first astronomical calculator. So while "εὕρηκα!" won't be replacing "lol, cuneiform" as the world's first text message (or "Sumerian Cat Is Sumerian" as the first internet meme) it is still an interesting footnote on the evolution of technology.
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Yes We Did.

In lieu of a Halloween party, I ended up having a sort of Electoral Party at my place, with halloween cupcakes and Candy Corn and other such post-holiday-discounted badness.

And thankfully, for us all, the Blue States have represented, and it did not turn into a misery fueled Palin-hating cupcake eating contest.

We still aren't Palin fans here at the Bachelor Pad, but it was hilarious to compare the Concession Speech to the Acceptance Speech. While McCain remains my "favorite Republican", and he was a good sport about it, his crowd was booing (and swearing?) in less than classy fashion whenever he mentioned Obama. (And to a certain extent, when he mentioned his Vice Presidential candidate. Ouch.)

I have to say that Obama really impressed me with his speech; We have seen thoughtful, dignified, and well spoken Presidents in the past, but not all at the same time, at least not since I was born. He was very humble about the challenges he's inheriting, and had nothing but nice things to say about McCain (and even Negative Nancy over there), and it was also great to hear his crowd cheer for them right along with him. I have had mixed feelings about voting Democrat, as an alternative to Republicanism rather than a genuine trust in the party, but between the representative crowds on TV (and my own resident poorly informed "I'm not racist but I don't like black people" pro-McCain co-worker), I definitely feel like I have done the right thing, at least as far as our two party electoral college system is concerned.

I am not so idealistic as to believe that our President can be a good enough example to us all, that we can all become better Americans... But even in his acceptance speech, the time when politicians are allowed to whoop and jump up and down a little, he refrained from tooting his own horn. He was humble, and, as CNN even put it, "somber", about the shit we are going to have to go through; He was definitely accepting responsibility, rather than claiming victory. He didn't mention God and Gay people and Republicans in the same sentence, but they all got some positive air time, which I think is awesome.

Because despite all the comments about "real america" still lingering in the air like stale farts, he was respectful and conciliatory, and pointed out that running America is about bringing together an incredibly diverse population of people. (Not just sucking up to the richest, most easily offended ones, apparently.) He took time to reach out to the people who didn't vote for him, and seemed genuinely concerned about winning their trust. It was like one of those Presidents you only see in sci-fi and disaster movies, the kind who genuinely gives a shit about his people and the issues facing his country, and doesn't lose a lot of time choking on pretzels and falling off segways.

And the voting statistics seem to agree... Not only is this the highest voting turnout in American history, but a vast majority of these people signed up for the first time to vote for him, and It's a pretty resounding victory in opinion polls as well. It has certainly restored some of my faith in America; I'm sure there are people who voted Obama for the wrong reasons, but I have to assume that his voters suffered through the same debate and stump-speech footage that I did without being swayed towards "real america" or freaking out about "socialism". (Hey, kids! It turns out that there's actually a Socialist Party, and they don't endorse him.)

It sounds like he's already put a lot of thought into his agenda and staff selection; Some have called that presumptuous, but he may surprise us by putting more work and consideration into his job by the end of the day tomorrow than our current president has done in the last... Fuck, seriously, what has Bush done in 2008? Anything? (Commenting on stuff and endorsing Republican candidates doesn't count.)

It's going to take me a while to adjust to having a president that I actually respect, but I am willing to make that effort if he, in turn, is willing to continue to be the kind of person who actually deserves the position. I am going to miss the snark and the America jokes, but with time, I could probably get used to not despising my executive government.