Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jesus wants me to fail

There is a tiny bug inside my laptop computer screen.

Not like a computer bug.

Like a wiggly, squirmy, one of All God's Creatures bug.

He's just roaming around in there being like "Hey, I think your answer to number seven is wrong!" and "Stop studying for your exam, you'll just fail anyway because I'll change all your answers to 'Bug bug buggy bug bugface.'"

And "Your blog is boring and stupid, get back to work on building me my lair!"

There he is again.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Thoughts from my day so far

First, I should not be allowed to own or wear anything black. Apparently having mostly black cats doesn't keep me from showing up to work / class with gobs of fur on my butt, which I only notice when I go to the bathroom and have been walking around for hours like that, and almost makes me want to get one of these:

Until I remember that they scare the crap out of me because they look like babies and old men at the same time.

Second, about three weeks ago everything in the universe went into bloom around here and then all their petals fell off and there were like snowdrifts of pink and blue and white everywhere and it was beautiful and I was going to take a picture but then it got hot and they got all... whatever the opposite of freeze dried is, which I guess is sun dried, but not like the tasty tomatoes in oil in a jar, like the ones you scoop out of bins at your health food store and they look like Teddy Roosevelt's ear.

And third, Houseboy has developed an awesome new tradition that he calls "Martini Fridays" where he makes martinis and we sit outside and enjoy them and don't even care when the neighbors walk by and are all "Oh, well aren't WE having a nice time!" with that special emphasis that just lets you know they think you're some kind of rich socialite who is just made of time and martini olives

And fourth, I have to go to a meeting now and hopefully it will not be like the dream I had last night, where everyone talked............................................ like.................................. this............................. and I just sat there seething and plotting their deaths.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Self Plagiarism keeps our country strong

I'm lazy and haven't been bloggerating much lately, so herein I reproduce for you an e-mail chain that makes me sound really smart and cool and also doesn't require any rewriting or work on my part.

From Hedgehog:

WTF due! Now I want to procrastinate and enjoy life via the internets with you and you are not here!

I wish I never split this data into a million little SPSS files and then did stuff with it, I wish I had one master file with all the pieces, but I don't want to have to make that master file now. Variables have different settings, I computed variables on some files but not others, I changed the formats, some are aggregated.

Fucking shit!

This is what happens when your boss wants to keep slicing the data into little pieces to look at just this and just that without a master plan behind the whole thing.

I wish I had a master file to begin with and I wrote syntax to do all that shit, but it was always just one little thing and then one more little thing, and inch by inch I have created chaos.

My reply:

Oh boy are you screwed. This is why SAS or STATA are better, because you can easily save multiple files in all the different kinds of slices you want and then undo it and go back to the original and use "if" statements and all that.

I am in a similar chaos with the [acronym] data, which are created by taking in text files the districts send us and then converting them to Microsoft Access tables and then using queries to create class and school-level files, which are then opened in Microsoft Excel and formulas are entered to compute some variables like class size and then those files are saved as .csv files which are read in to Stata, where we impute missing values and create six more files which are then opened individually in HLM and models are run and then output into folders named informative things like "01" and "23." I really really really kind of hate the guy who is in charge of the data for this right now, and especially for NOT BELIEVING ME that I can do ALL OF THAT in Stata, and yes it will take some time to write the code, but for the love of God it will save us about three days of processing the next time data comes in.

Anyway, you at least have a good excuse.

The long term lesson is that there's nothing you can do now but either take the pain in the ass effort to put it all back together, or hobble on the way things are until you don't have to use the data anymore... it's like trying to swim across the ocean... are you more than halfway across? Because if so, don't turn back just because you're too tired.

That damn metaphor fails me every time. The fact is that if you have swum halfway across the ocean you're probably about to die by shark attack or exposure or just plain being stupid, so I can't help you.

Man, I should convert this into a blog instead. This shit is way too good to be wasted on just an e-mail to you. How will I make it in the blog big time if I keep conversing privately with people??



Don't Say the R-word

As usual, the Twins Geek reads my mind:

Why is it that anytime anyone in sports even implies racism, ESPN has to trot out all their black analysts to assure us that that person is just a crazy loose cannon and racism is some kind of vestigial tail that we would all be happier if we pretended doesn't even exist?

Someone disagree with me on this so I can point out all the "scrappy" white players and "violent" black players and "clever" Asian players on your favorite teams.