Sunday, May 28, 2006

your or you're?

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture? And no, it's not the missing "o" in school.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

pointless design

A couple days ago, I was getting into my car after being forced to spend money on groceries and there was a Toyota Avalon parked next to me. I'm very troubled by what's going on by the rear doors. I'm down with the chrome (or whatever it is) trim around the door windows which seem to be all the rage in cars that are striving for being upper-middle class as seen here and here. Personally, I like the borderless look, but I might be biased. However, observe how the edge of lower half of the door doesn't line up with the chrome strip. Unlike the VW Passat from above, you can see how the chrome strip surrounds the door as opposed to being a part of the door. I don't like it. It doesn't line up.

The whole situation is made even worse by this bizarre plastic spacer. They seem to be going for one of three things or possibly all three. The cheap plastic spacer could be an attempt at making the gap from the door line to the chrome edge large enough such that the discontinuity is no longer a distraction and is instead an attempt to give more visual length to the windows. That in turn leads to making the C-pillar look smaller which would help driver visibility if it actually made the C-pillar smaller. And finally, it lends a more trapezoidal shape to the rear quarter window which seems like something one would see in an up-market sedan, or the VW Phaeton. The problem with all those things is that none of them actually improve the car. They merely look like they improve the car.

While I'm ripping meaningless automobile styling, it can't hurt to lay into this Mercury that I always park next to at my apartment building. What on earth is that glued on plastic piece for? Hey, look at my car again. It's got some plastic trim to break up the height of the car, but it ties in nicely with the front and rear bumpers. This Mercury trim is the same color as the rest of the car except for the chrome at the top. Why not just lay a narrow chrome strip all the way across instead. It's even worse at the front where there's some sort of confused, unresolved corner. Bah.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

fine china

I bought a new digital camera. It's not so much of an upgrade as much as a change of pace. And I'm shipping my old camera to my brother. I've moved from a Canon S410 to a Canon A700. It's less compact, but it's still small enough to be easily carried around. There are a bunch of other differences but that's what the link is for: so I don't have to explain them because I'm lazy.

Anyway, there's one thing about the camera that bothers me and that is the wrist strap. See here, that's the old one on the top and new one on the bottom. Do you see what's missing? The little slider that allows you the cinch the strap to your wrist so that the camera won't slide off! This is a big deal because it's one of those small but very useful features. I thought the strap might have had the slider break off or that I got a bad strap. Nope, it appears that this is part of the normal package. The other very subtle difference is how pliable the small end that loops around the hole in the camera is. The old one was soft and bended easily so the knot could be cinched up to the camera. This new one is much stiffer (even accounting for being new) and doesn't cinch up as well. And this is also different. Coincidence? I think not. Pinching pennies everywhere.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

connection troubles

There, was no Monday post because I had internet connection problems that I've been trying to troubleshoot. Maybe they're resolved, maybe not.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Read this amusing article on what the BBC did. There is a link to the video clip of the interview that is a must see, especially the man's reaction when he is first introduced.

Hat tip to The Volokh Conspiracy which in turn acknowledges one of its readers for the pointer.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

"These go to eleven."

Nothing should be judged on a scale of 1 to 10. There's simply no symmetry there, no middle number to denote something that is perfectly average. 5? That's not halfway between 1 and 10 you dolt. I can accept a scale of 1 to 5 because 3 is right in the middle. As such, I can accept a scale of 0 to 10 or 1 to 9 because for those scales 5 is in the middle. Frankly, 0 to 10 is optimal and we can save 11 for really special occasions.

Now name that movie.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

out of touch

I just went about five days without checking my e-mail. This is definitely a record since I started college (not counting vacations) and far from the days when I was a compulsive e-mail checker and writer. It is also a symptom of a much larger behavior change when it comes to my interactions with the world beyond Farmington. Other symptoms include not calling people, not e-mailing anyone for about a month, and basically not making the time I should be for people who aren’t named . Any pledge to change would be hollow and empty, at least for now. We'll see.

night person

I am chronically a night person. I like staying up late doing whatever it is I do around here. This is why I usually post late at night. It is also why I don't get enough sleep. However, this job is not necessarily conducive to being a night person. It's more that I need to be an anytime person, though anytime is often early in the morning and I am not a morning person.

Monday, May 08, 2006

major exposures

I think that this article on big oil's vulnerabilities highlights the problems the majors will be facing in the future. Interestingly enough, as I mentioned on January 3, oilfield service companies are not AS exposed to those problems to the same degree. Service companies service national companies just as much, if not more than many than public majors.

Friday, May 05, 2006

glad I didn't go

See, I was right not to go. And alcohol may have been involved. What a surprise.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

unintentionally funny line (to me)

Unintentionally funny line from work: "Is that really necessary?"

I uttered that a couple weeks ago out on location to a company man. We weren't going to finish the first day so we were discussing when and where to meet the next day. We had met at their field office the first day, but now we knew where the location was so we could go straight there. Apparently not. When the company man told us that we had to go back to the field office to sit through their rather pointless morning meeting again I uttered my line and one of the guys on the crew just busted out laughing.

I'm not sure why he laughed. Perhaps it was the incredulous way in which I said what I said. Or the sheer audacity that I would basically imply through the way I asked my question that I thought it was a poor idea (since it would require them to pay for more overtime). Either way, we still had to go back to the field office early to sit in their morning meeting. I probably should have come up with a more persuasive argument for not going to the meeting.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

another store to not go to

Oh boy! The second Wal-Mart opened on the other side of town today! Is everyone as excited as I am? It can be another store that I don't go to.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

week 18: sort of

The places you'll go!

Cuba, NM. Aneth, UT. Monticello, UT. Dove Creek, CO.

Hooray! I just love going to places that are more than 100 miles away from the yard. You know, since nearly three hour drives are so much fun and all. By the way, that would be three hours one way. As luck, or the lack thereof, would have we have managed to draw the short (or perhaps long) straw on several recent jobs. By the way, that isn't the royal we either. It's the crew I've been rolling with since one of the supervisors has been out of town.

While the cities I named are all outside the San Juan Basin there is still oil and gas work to be done around them. They are certainly far, but Farmington is still the closest city with the sufficient oil and gas service companies to work on those wells.

The worst part about going far from the district is the going part. The drives are boring. There's only so much sweeping scenic majesty that you can look at and still watch the road. Then again, that's also one of the better things about going far form the district. It's like taking a mini road trip with a little bit of work in the middle. Plus, working in those places usually means working for clients we don't normally work with. That makes for an educational experience to see how some companies go about their operations. It also means that we sometimes do some ridiculously stupid things at clients' requests.

The best part about going far from the district is that these are relatively new places to go. Dove Creek and Monticello are reasonably scenic in their own ways though we received some suspiciously bad service in Monticello at one restaurant we tried to eat at. So we ate at a very good burger place in Dove Creek since that's where our motel rooms were. Cuba isn't so bad either. It has a McDonald's and is a good stopping place when going to Albuqueque. Aneth is, well, it pretty much sucks. The one place there is to eat other than the gas station closes at 3 PM. Plus, since there's sulfur in the oil produced there the whole town and field next to it smell like hydrogen sulfide. The one good thing about Aneth is that it produced the classic line (well, classic to me) of "Is that really necessary?" I'll explain it one day.

Monday, May 01, 2006

week 18: tapped out

I'm pretty tapped out right now from running around all over the basin and beyond. I'll write about my last couple days as soon as I can and perhaps spin it into some rambling commentary on the places this job takes me.