Have a Cookie

I just fixed some problems with the code at work, mentioned so doing to someone I was intermittently chatting with on AIM and received a response along the lines of, "give yourself a cookie". I was about to respond that I don't have any cookies when someone walked into my cubicle and offered me a cookie; that folks, is synchronicity.

Beware the White Elephanoceros

<dream>

I first learned of the White Elephanoceros' existence when I saw him appear from nowhere, brutally slaughter someone and then disappear like a ghost in the fog. After witnessing his terrible might, I sought out information regarding the White Elephanoceros and was able to ascertain only that he had a hit list he was working through. Learning of the White Elephanoceros' hit list and further managing to ferret out that a friend of mine was on the list, I set out to end the White Elephanoceros' rampage of death. From what I had witnessed, it appeared that the White Elephanoceros was very much corporeal but also very ninjalike in methodology; obviously, I needed a very large elephant gun. Knowing I must be prepared for the hunt at all times, I kept my gun with me at all times.

Of course, few people know of the existence of the White Elephanoceros, so I rapidly attracted unwanted attention carrying an elephant gun around with me and was eventually accosted by an officer of the law. The officer said something very much akin to, "What the Hell are you doing wandering around with a huge rifle like that for?" Making the safe assumption that this officer knew nothing of the White Elephanoceros, I carefully explained that one of my friends was in grave danger and I needed to protect him from a very large white elephant (on first inspection you cannot tell that it is an elephanoceros so I simplified the description). Surprisingly, the officer responded by telling me that if I looked closer, I would have noticed that it has the hindquarters and hide of a rhinoceros. I explained that I had neglected to refer to it as an elephanoceros because I did not expect him to follow my meaning and inquired as to how he knew of its existence. The man explained that in his time with the police he had encountered many cases of the White Elephanoceros' violence, becoming a bit of an expert on the matter and invited me to discuss the matter in greater detail. Following the precept "know thy enemy", I took the man up on his offer.

Hearing the officer of the law's explanation of the White Elephanoceros created more questions than it answered. The most interesting matter was that the White Elephanoceros was an agent of his own direction and had not been hired to work through his hit list. The hit list was the central enigma to the workings of the White Elephanoceros; by killing the individuals on his list, the White Elephanoceros was engineering the future in a very specific manner. The specific origins of the list were not entirely clear, but the leading theory was that it had been sent to the White Elephanoceros from a possible future in order to either prevent or cause that future from coming about. A slightly less popular theory proposed that advanced predictions had been run to generate the list (a la Foundation Series). There were, of course, other lesser theories but the common theme was that the White Elephanoceros was carrying out targeted killings to manipulate the future. The discussion then turned to the matter of the ethics of interfering with the White Elephanoceros; if he was enacting the planned will of a superior system, my interference would inevitably cause more harm than good. If the White Elephanoceros was an agent for preventing the apocalypse, killing him would be the doom of us all. The discussion was quite lengthy and ended with disagreement between myself and the officer. The officer believed took the fate approach, figuring it unreasonable to alter the proper course of events, whereas I don't see the ends justifying the means. Being a reasonable man, the officer said that in spite our disagreement, my actions were mine to make and he wished me the best of luck in whatever I decided to do.

I will continue to hunt the White Elephanoceros because I consider him a malignant force that must be stopped. And you, should heed this warning, he is out there and he can appear without warning; you may be on his list.

</dream>

Side note: It occurs to me that the White Elephanoceros can, to some extent, be considered an allegory for the Divine Plan.

The Super Secret Value Meal

Super Secret Value Meal

McDonald's would like to have you believe that Value Meals are what you want and that they're cheaper than other options but they're pushing forward half-truths; Value Meals are what you want (or at least what I want when I'm not going for the sole purpose of buying fries) but they are not cheaper than the alternatives. The key to getting a good value at McDonald's is realizing that the sandwiches in Value Meals are really expensive (>$3) and that double cheeseburgers are on the dollar menu; in case you want a little wtf, a normal cheeseburger is more expensive at $1.09. The price of a regular sized Quarter Pounder Value Meal is $5.09 pre-tax and the price of a double cheeseburger, large fries and large coke is $4.38 pre-tax, so where's your value now, Value Meal? Yeah, that's right Value Meal, you got nothing, punk.

This however is not the end of the story, we haven't gotten to the Super Secret Value Meal yet. Ok, so about how I was just saying that Value Meals aren't a value, it's not entirely true because there's an exception. The exception is what I've decided to call the Super Secret Value Meal, which is a bit of a misnomer because it's not so much super secret as just kinda secret, but Super Secret Value Meal sounds a lot cooler than Kinda Secret Value Meal. I discovered the Super Secret Value Meal when I looked at my receipt and noticed a funny line that said VALUE MEAL SAVINGS -0.49; you save money when you buy a sandwich, fries and drink combo, even if it's not listed as a value meal. George: 1, McDonald's: >1,000,000,000 served.

Minus Six

Well fancy that, it's -6°F out this morning; we've definitely got a rather superlative winter on our hands.

Caffeine my old friend, how've you been?

I decided to bring my tea pot and some of my tea to work today and the result was, of course, that I drank a bunch of tea today (three pots). The first two pots I brewed were of Russian Caravan, which is a very good, dark, high caffeine tea. Now, I've been living an almost caffeine-free life for the past few months and so my system reacted rather strongly to two pots of strong tea, leaving me rather on the wired side by noon; my reaction was a little stronger than I would like, but it's not unpleasant and in the past it's been fantastic in improving my performance in a given day. I guess, in short, I've rediscovered caffeine and oh man, is it great.

Negative Two

When I left my house today, the temperature was -2°F, which is pretty darned cold, especially for this early in the winter. Anyway, I noticed a few interesting kinetic side-effects of the temperature; aside from normal things like my truck taking an extra second to get started, my car CD player LCD was doing some funny stuff. In case you don't know how LCDs work, the display itself is polarized and there's a charged, polarizing liquid crystal in the display, when no charge is applied, the polarization matches up and it appears clear, but when you apply an electric field the liquid crystal reorients at 90° to the display making things black. So, like I was saying, the low temperature messed with the kinetics such that the liquid crystal became viscous and slow-moving, which resulted in a display that morphed from one number to the next as my CD progressed second to second. The whole effect looked really neat and makes me wonder if there might be a market for high viscosity liquid crystal displays.

Goodbye Burlington Taco Bell

There used to be a Taco Bell in the little mini-mall across the street from the Burlington Mall; it has been replaced with a Wendy's. I consider this terribly unfortunate because I have quite a fondness for getting Taco Bell on random occasions and this particular Taco Bell was the closest Taco Bell to Concord that I knew of. I have good memories of trips to that Taco Bell with various friends: there was the time a fat chick was checking out Geoff, there was the time I busted the radiator on my Accord and plenty of others; it was a good Taco Bell. Ugh, an to be replaced by a Wendy's, I don't even like Wendy's. Well, at least there's a Quizno's in the Burlington Mall Food Court.

I will miss you Burlington Taco Bell.