Bad Habits: Communication

I find lately in conversation, whether it be casual or professional, my worst habit is that I always, in my mind, try to anticipate where someone is going in a conversation and then interject before they end their statement.  Not only is this just incredibly rude, but who wants to talk to someone like this!?  I usually try to temper my speech so that I do wait, but I find myself more and more impatient as people spit out their points.  But it makes me wonder why I’ve developed this habit?

I think to start with, a lot of my communication comes from either instant messages or forums.  Generally it comes in a readable response format where you have back and forth and even if you interrupt someone they can generally continue their train of thought.  It’s a less disruptive form since you’re afforded the ability to ignore someone temporarily and then respond.

My second medium of choice in the verbal warfare comes from ventrillo which is real time voice chat software.  So in real life, you’re confronted with people where you can see literally when they’re awaiting a response or if they’re pausing, you can see why.  For instance, someone saying something, then takes a drink or eats, this is a fairly appropriate time to interject.  However, it’s not perfect, and one usually akwardly interrupts often.  It’s a difficult medium when you remove the human element but still try to maintain the back and forth.  Eliminating faces and expression makes it hard.  I imagine it’s like a conference call gone bad sometimes with everyone yelling over each other and it becomes a battle of sheer willpower to not stop what you’re saying and attempt to be the alpha voice among all others.

Ok so translating those into real life makes me somewhat of a nuisance.  Where I can sort of jot down an idea, see if it’s palatable to the the conversation and then if it is, hit the enter key doesn’t work well in real life conversations.  I did this the other night where this sort of malformed idea came out, but then I had to spend several minutes backtracking it out loud to everyone to see if I could justify my pointless point.  Had it been via IM/text, I would have simply not hit enter and it would have never boiled over into some sort of rediculous topic.  Coupled with the fact that people are trying to disprove my notion before I finish with my counterpoints interrupting them before they finish where they’re going, it was sort of a mess.

I wonder though if I’m not alone though in a sort of transitory period of life where we migrate a lot of our interactions through text/web 2.0/etc..  I feel like the business sharks of the world will hold mastery over conversation while the masses will be dumbed down to text message styles of speech with “lol”‘s and “u r”‘s all over the place.  It’s interesting to me that American English is so far developed differently from British English over the span of roughly 200+ years that I wonder what our next evolutionary jump will be.

Breakfast -1

So I woke up two days ago thinking this exact thing: “You know what, I could go for a bowl of Oreo-O’s.” Knowing it had been a long time since I had purchased said cereal, I jotted it down on my list of to buy items.  Yesterday when I realized I had nothing to eat anywhere in my apartment, I made my trip out to the old Wal-Mart and went up to the cereal aisle first thing.  I went up it once.  Then I went up it again.  Then I decided I lost the ability to read.  I double checked by trying to read my list of goods.

Oreo-O’s

Ok I can still read.  So I did a triple take.  But on this triple take, I decided to scan the price tags to see if I was just really unlucky and someone else had the same craving and stocked up.  To my dismay, said product was completely gone.  So I came home and did what anyone would do in the Internet age.  I wikied it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oreo_O%27s

According to an email from consumer relations, this product was discontinued in 2007.

So now, a part of my late teenage years is gone.  My most beloved and probably unhealthy breakfast ritual is gone and has been gone for over a year!!!!  I’ve idiotically replaced it with OATMEAL!  A sign of old man-ism.  Actually you know what else I added was toasted english muffins to breakfast.  Anyway, goodbye Oreo-O’s.  You were my favorite sin.  I ended my shopping trip with double stuff oreos though in consolation.

Now Playing

The Cab – Bounce
Metallica – The Unforgiven III

Metallica – The Day That Never Comes
Mute Math – Typical
Coheed & Cambria – No World For Tomorrow
Coheed & Cambria – Gravemakers & Gunslingers
Coheed & Cambria – Once Upon Your Dead Body
Fall Out Boy – The Take Over The Breaks Over
Yellowcard – Lights And Sounds
Fall Out Boy – Fame Infamy
Tonic – Jump Jimmy
Sixto Sounds, Zircon – Lunatic Moon
Bang Camaro – Night Lies
Orange Range – Thank You
TiA – Ryuusei
Gorillaz – 19-2000

2008 Election Personal Recap

Ok to start off with, I didn’t vote.  I have one incredibly stupid reason for not voting that I don’t want to tell you about, and one important reason I didn’t vote.  The important reason I didn’t vote was that I don’t live in a swing state, so the vote I would have cast would have fallen in line with how my state voted anyway.  While my friends already chastised me about it, I refer them to my incredibly stupid and secretive reason for not voting.

Ok so now we have Obama as president.  I will admit that yes, this is historic.  But the degree to which we emphasize that we will have an African-American as a president is sickening.  I’m definately part of a new generation where I look beyond race, however maybe my Dad’s generation sees this as a sort of “Oh wow” kinda moment, but not me.  I feel like if there were such as a thing that is the opposite of racist, if there were some word for it, that’s what I’m feeling too much of right now reading through my feeds.  Also if you voted for him solely because of race, shame on you for not being more informed.  If it turns out his agenda matches though with yours then whatever.

Democrats, as far as this election goes, the one person you have to thank for this victory is George Bush.  He did so terribly these last few years, that in my mind, you could have had a horse on the democratic platform and he would have won.  The fickle nature of America is predictable enough to see that when you’re unhappy with the current party, you’re probably going to go to the other for a bit.

Republicans, what the hell were you thinking?  My news sources are crazy biased for Democrats and from what I’m reading, I feel like your whole campaign was set up to attack Obama as opposed to distance yourself from Bush.  However, there is something to be said for how relatively close the election turned out to be.  Last I looked McCain lost the popular vote by 7 million or so out of 110ish million votes.  For an election where I feel was going to be an easy win for the Democrats you still made it fairly narrow, but again, I think the people in charge went with a poor strategy.  In 4 years I hope campaigning moves away from attacking the other guy and focusing more on issues.  The “landslide” could have been much much worse and even I was thinking it could have been something like 70/30.

The election process in general seems really horrible.  We vote on a Tuesday unless you vote early which is weird.  It should be a national holiday so people in lines aren’t pressured to get back to work.  It should really potentially be on a weekend where you have lots of time and availability to go vote.  And the process should be refined anyway to be a quick in and out affair.  I threw this idea out and a few guildies said it was too prone to fraud, but I don’t think it’s an unsolvable problem.  It would be sweet if you could register to vote.  Then vote online which then has the government send you a paper scantron doodad.  This would take you to the regular voting thing on election day where you just drop it off and it gets scanned and matched with your online vote.  In the age of technology, why we do things so archaically makes no sense to me.  Clearly I know that few people trust voting machines, I’d agree that they shouldn’t be closed source and they should be opened up for inspection. However, please note, that I didn’t vote so I don’t know the process or improvements made over previous years.  Reading about how it happens for other people seems really dumb though to me.

Anyway, now that I think about it, this is probably my first and one of very few political rants.  Unlike all the reddit dudes who claimed doom and gloom if McCain got elected, I’ll be staying in the nation unlike a petulant child.  I think Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s recent statements are taken out of context.  She’s not changing sides all of a sudden but clearly saying that despite differences between parties, the most important thing we do as a nation is galvanize so we don’t look like a bickering married couple.  If anything, the most irritating thing is how divided we are in the terms of if my side is right, then your side is wrong.  Though I know one person who reads this will say I just read reddit too much.  Anyway, I’m done.  I don’t like talking about politics and the next time you see anything like this will probably be in 2012.

Election ’08 Coverage

Action Plan #1.1

Well, the power supply I had in reserve was dead, plus it didn’t have the connectors for the 8800 anyway so it wouldn’t have worked out.  Also, I forgot that my completely crappy falling apart case doesn’t house the 8800 very well, so I need a new case and power supply before I continue.

Other than that, it’s looking like Ubuntu had a major version release today to 8.10.  I’m irritated about the case/PS thing but looking at things like this: http://lifehacker.com/5068294/beautifully-minimalist-conky-setup make me think the wait will be worth it.  It should be a very cool secondary box.

Warcraft Retrospective Part 2

New Headphones

Through some curse I always manage to destroy a set of headphones.  Maybe destroy isn’t accurate, but they always seem to stop working through what I consider no real fault of my own.  I didn’t want to use the white iPod earbuds and advertise “Hey, I’m like everyone else with an iPod!!” So for a while I used these headphones that came with my laptop.  The coolest part of those headphones was inline volume control.  However, one day they just stopped producing sound unless the cord was in just the right position.  I had to go back to the iPod earbuds.  I was ok with this for a while until I noticed one day I’m having to keep the iPod cranked to full blast just to hear at a reasonable level.  I almost thought I was going deaf until I realized that I can still hear everyday things just fine.  I looked at the earphones and the connection at the iPod was looking like it was being ripped right out of the sleeve.

So it turns out there are 2 types of headphone connections, you have the straight in type, and the L shaped connection.  The way I wrap up my headphones when not in use really stresses out the straight in connection and I think that’s basically what happened with the first two headphones.  Now this wasn’t really my focus for my new set of headphones.  I was looking for a good set of noise reducing headphones which means that unless I want to have this battery pod on my cord, I have to go with canalbuds.  I wasn’t a big fan intially because the idea of jamming something so deep in your ear just seemed gross.  But I didn’t want to go to over the ear or clip ons.  So I settled in on these Sony Behind the Neck Ear Bud Headphones.

Overall, they’ve been pretty good.  I had to turn on the equalizer to treble boost and they sounded terrific.  I swapped to the large fitting and they do a really great job of muffling exterior sounds.  The reviews speak for themselves and I agree with most of the things they say.  They have a really short 1 foot cord with a 1 foot extension so if I ever got an armband the cord length would be awesome.  Otherwise 2 feet is plenty long enough.  The only downside is now I can’t pocket the headphones, I just have to take them off and put them around my neck.  On the plus side, it has the L shape connector so wrapping it around the iPod should hopefully not kill them.  That’s only on the extension though, the short cord has a straight connection.

Some other things I need to pick up for my iPod are a waterproof kit so I can listen in the shower and a car connection kit.  I think a waterproof speaker was only around $20 but the car kit is around $120.

Diablo 3: Impressions

This will probably read more negatively than one who has played Diablo 2 might expect it to be.  I should probably start out with my background with Diablo 2.  Diablo 2 was my pre-WoW time sink.  I spent hours upon hours playing it.  I had a whirlwind barb, fury barb, firewall sorc, strafe zon, fury zon, some kind of horrible non-hammerdin pally, shapeshifting druid, the list could go on.  I had tons of items that I sold on ebay for a good chunk of change.  So needless to say, I was very familiar with the game sans-cheating.  I could have probably played the game blindfolded.  I knew what items were before they were identified and knew the range of values that would make the item good or bad.  I almost knew the rune system by heart.  It was gross.  So going to play Diablo 3, you sort of expect a sort of familiarity.  A sense of easing right in.  That is actually not what playing Diablo 3 is like from the keyboard/mouse perspective.  Read on to find out why!

Read the rest of this entry

Action Plan #1

In accordance with the new law as mentioned from Thoughts and Action, I will be building myself an Ubuntu box for classwork and to become familiar with the Unix/Linux environment.  From my last upgrade to my current machine I have the following spare parts laying around

  • A8N-SLI Premium Mobo with AMD FX-55 Processor and 1.5GB DDR Memory
  • GeForce 8800GTX video card
  • 80GB Hard Drive
  • Incredibly cheap, falling apart case
  • SB Live! 5.1 sound card
  • Possibly broken, crossing my fingers that it isn’t, cd-rom drive
  • Spare keyboard
  • Spare Logitech MX1000 wireless mouse
  • Couple of spare CRT monitors

So from the ashes will be reborn this unholy beast!  Although asides from class, I don’t know what I’ll do with it.  I may pop on MythTV or something.  Anyone have any suggestions as to what one can do with such a thing?  Also I may need a new power supply.  If worse comes to worst, what I may have to do is buy a new case this weekend and transplant my current rig into a new case and build this tiny dude into my current one.

Secondarily and this is minor, is what to do about keyboard/mouse/monitor.  Do I want to clutter up my desk with a fat CRT?  My Dell 20″ has a free dsub input but the switching time is annoying.  Most people suggest synergy so I don’t have to have a second set of keyboard/mouse laying around.  I dunno we’ll see.