I received my first piece of ASCII art spam. Just for the sheer audacity of it, I have copied the relevant part below for your enjoyment.
Monday Morning Trends, an occasional series.
↑ - Monkeys who like porn.
↓ - Excuses not to eat M&M's.
↑ - Getting back on track.
↔ - Annual work reviews. I'll take "How to ask for a raise" for $400 Alex. Think positive thoughts at 12:30 today for me.
↑ - Democracy. Ignoring for a moment what it took to get to this point, the impact of this picture is amazing.
Nor dying in some ditch somewhere, or any other terrible thing. What have I been doing? Reading about, examining, and solving cypher systems.
You see, last week I read on Wired.com about the Kryptos Sculpture at the CIA and was intrigued. At the time, I was reading The Code Book by Simon Singh in the course of my book journey (updated by the way). So I took a look at some of the online resources and decided to give it a crack.
Since we last spoke, here are a few of the things I have learned and/or re-learned:
And all sorts of other fun stuff. SOono, I am not "wasting time" as one of my faithful readers so gently described. I am learning.
I just discovered upon opening my W2's that my esteemed employer decided to stop taking out Oregon taxes on my paycheck sometime last February, resulting in a $2,500 tax bill for me. Which means I have to take a loan for the amount since Oregon doesn't take credit cards as far as I can tell.
I used to joke that working for a company based in one state, working in another state, and living in a third was a funny thing. Not so much now.
Since Friday night, this story, in its entirety below, has run on KGW's top level news page.
SEATTLE -- Online retailer Amazon.com lost service on its Web site Friday sporadically for less than an hour, a spokeswoman said.
"Some folks had trouble getting to the site and others didn't," said Patty Smith, spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company.
She described the difficulty as "just a sporadic problem (that) has been resolved on site."
First, why is this even news? A website experiences sporadic outages lasting less than an hour. A better story may have been the domain hijack of an ISP in New York that has potentially has led to thousands of users having their emails and account names and passwords compromised. Yet, only tech media seems to have covered the story.
Second, why did it last this long? If you are a news organization and you are going to have a tech section of your website, why not mention the broad reorganization of a major local employer? You even have a sub-section for them directly. Where is the story?
I used the C|Net site for these examples but I found all of them on the AP wire too. I know you subscribe to it since that was where the orginial Amazon story came from. So KGW, why so lazy?
For Christmas, my father bought my mom tickets to the Ice Skating Championships. They went last night and got home fine, but decided to skip today's sessions due to the ice. However, after watching the news they decided that would try to go to the afternoon session.
They made the drive, parked downtown, and rode MAX to the Rose Garden, all without incident. On the return trip home, they made it back to the car, spent 20 minutes scraping all the ice off, and drove home very gingerly. As my Dad said when I talked to him, it was a "challenging" drive, which meant in my father's typical understated way that it was freaking hard.
As they drove into the driveway, they both were relieved they made it home without incident. My Dad told Mom to wait and he would walk around and help her out of the car. As he walked around the car, he slipped, banging his elbow, shoulder, and head just like his son did earlier in the day.
It seems irony has a sense of humor today.