Look! A White Elephant!!!

Sorry I have been away for so long. Lots of stuff going on – some good, some not good – but I finally had some stuff that I really wanted to get onto my blog, and this is a quick and silly one.

So, the company had a Christmas party this year and we were going to do a White Elephant gift exchange. So, I came up with a creative idea for it and began the necessary work to implement it. Then, 3 days before the party, the gift exchange was cancelled. So, since I had already invested a decent amount of time into this gift, I decided not to stop at just 1 gift, but enough for everyone at the party (well, employees at the party). The following is what I came up with – each were framed individually, wrapped, and randomly selected by my coworkers (with the exception of 2)… (and of course, clicky to embiggenate)

Do I make you horny, baby? Yeah!!!

Eat your ham, Tina
It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed… bred for its skills in magic.

I am the Walrus
Sargeant Yarsh’s one and only Lonely Hearts Club Band

Leonidas never looked so happy
Yarsh… In… SPARTAAAAA!!!!

Freedom, anyone? Anyone?...
I look good in a kilt… with Mel Gibson’s pre-alcoholic body…

I'm sorry. That last hand... it nearly killed me.
Bond. Yarsh Bond.

It's cold outside!...
Duuuun dun dun dun Duuuuun… SuperYarsh!!!

We named the monkey Jack.

Throw me the idol...
Asps… Very dangerous. You go first.

[tags]Photoshop, Movies[/tags]

Immature Geek Humor

While at lunch today, we discussed how one of our clients actually understands what we do: why we may be more expensive than your typical web haus, but are ultimately better. The answer is because your average web design company knows little-to-nothing about backend development, whereas our expertise lies primarily in the backend of software design (granted, we have a large amount of website creation experience as well). Sure you can get it cheaper, but chances are that it will not be better. We like to think of ourselves as software developers who happen to put a web-based user interface on a product (we don’t focus primarily on web development, but most of our clients thus far have wanted their product to be web-enabled).

This discussion launched some interesting one-off quips about ASP.net development. The funniest, I now present to you. Of course there may only be 1 reader who actually gets this reference…


Technically, CodeBehind is deprecated now with the .NET 2.0 and 3.0 frameworks, but it’s still f’n funny to me (and probably other ASP.net developers).

Someone needs to make a t-shirt of this… Jeff will wear it.

[tags]ASP.NET, CodeBehind, Funny[/tags]

Carry on, Wayward Son

It’s been an interesting week. Since my last post has run its course, it’s time to move on. Let me catch you up.

Last Tuesday, Guitar Hero 2 finally came out. I handily beat the medium difficulty, but the hard difficulty is already giving me some issues (not to mention Expert level). They definitely ramped up the difficulty levels on this one. But it is fun with lots of killer tracks. Co-op playing is sweet too – having 2 separate tracks (such as lead guitar and bass, or lead guitar and rhythm guitar) to play in 2-player mode is much more fun than having 1 track that gets divided among 2 players.

On Wednesday, Mark went out and got GH2 as well. His son liked the game when he tried it out at the local Best Buy, and Mark seems to enjoy the game as well. Oh yeah, he didn’t have a PS2 so he bought one of those as well. Since we had the console and the game, we played it for a bit in the office (after hours – not that it matters) before heading home.

On Thursday, I was believed to be gay. (Some back story: There is significant construction going on in our office to split up a large open space into a couple of individual offices.) So when the construction crew came in on Thursday afternoon to get some work done, it was a convenient time to head out of the office for a bit and go to Mark‘s son’s first basketball practice. Besides, the practice was literally only 2 miles away from the office so it was a no-brainer to head there and get away from the noise and what not. Shortly after our arrival to the practice, the coach asked us (Mark and I) which one was our son (I’m summarizing because I don’t remember exactly how he worded the question). Yikers. After work, we went back to the practice to pick up Mark’s son and at one point the coach asked how many kids we had… If it wasn’t for the fact that I was going over to Mark’s for dinner and to show off my l33t Guitar Hero sk1llz0rz for the kids, I wouldn’t have been there and the “mistake” would not have been made. I think Mark eventually set the coach straight (by saying that I was his business partner, not his life partner), but it was definitely an eye-opener. I think the coach may have seen my earrings and jumped to conclusions. Just because I have not had a girlfriend in 3+ years does not a gay man make.

I went over to Mark’s place and had some Kobe beef burgers (yum) and jammed out some Guitar Hero (although I probably didn’t impress them as much as I could have if I had a bit more practice with the new game). John MacLeod thought everything I was playing was easy. I can assure you that it is not. Regardless of difficulty, it is a fantastic game. If you have a PS2, or want a good excuse to get one, get GH1 and GH2 now.

On Friday, it was Veteran’s day. We didn’t take the entire day off, but one thing led to another and I took off from work at about 2:45. I headed over to Albertson’s for a wedding card (see Saturday below), and ended up getting there right when Rickey was getting off of his shift. We ended up heading over to his place for a bit while he changed clothes, then headed to my place so I could change clothes, then finally to Randall’s place for pizza, wings, Ghost Recon, Ghost Recon: Advanced War Fighter, and Guitar Hero 2. We played games for a while, and then Nayt, Scott, and Sean came over from the wedding rehearsal dinner. We had a few beers and a few laughs and finally headed home around 1am. Saturday was to be a fun, and at some points brutal, day.

On Saturday, my friend Matt was to be wed. It turned out to be a Looney Bin family reunion. There was Rickey, Randy, Nayt, Scott, Sean, Mike, Ian, Jarrod, and myself – all original members of the LB. Plus there were Matt (the groom) and Jason, the honorary members (or West Side LB). The only people missing from this group were Ben Parten, Ryan Anspach, and Jason Surguine. Let me tell you, we had one hell of a time!

Mike Iles was hysterical. He was wearing his Class A’s (Army Dress Greens), as was Jarrod. As a back story, Jarrod was always the bitch. Always being picked on. He was also the youngest of the group. Fast forward to Saturday: So, considering that Mike was always the cut-up funny guy with a razor-blade-like wit, he took it upon himself to verbally destroy Jarrod – like old times. And the guy did not let up the entire time he was there. Man, is he missed. But being stationed in Texas (I think) and having a mean hag of a wife and 2 kids does not help him get out here so often. But any time I hear that he is around, I will make sure not to miss out on him.

As for the party atmosphere of Saturday… it didn’t stop but for 3 hours total all day. After the wedding, the LB went across the street to a bar and had a drink or 2 (or 3), since we knew that there was not an open bar at the reception and that booze prices would be rediculous at the Marriot. Once we arrived at the reception, we got more drinks. And drank with lunch. And afterward. Once the reception ended around 4pm, we decided to… get some drinks across the street at Friday’s. After leaving Friday’s, we went to relax for about an hour and change clothes (I didn’t go home so I didn’t change). Then we headed out to the west valley for a party, where we drank. The drinking finally stopped at around midnight (nearly 12 hours of drinking total). I was happy when the day ended and I could get those dress shoes off of my feet, because damn. But it was a great day for all of us.

On Sunday, I chilled. I needed a break from drinking and my feet still hurt. I watched some football, turned off the Cardinals game in the 3rd quarter, watched Jedi, watched some more football, cooked some Mac & Cheese, and had some more champagne. Mike K., one of John‘s friends, came by to celebrate his purchase of a new residence. We had champagne. Then I watched some more football, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Cars (which was a good movie). Finally, I went to my room and caught Empire (which I saw several times this weekend due to Skinamax airing all 6 movies back-to-back-to-back… -to-back…), falling asleep when the Millenium Falcon attempted its departure from the asteroid and the mouth of some monstrous asteroidal creature.

So, how was your week?

Update 08.16.06

I don’t have much on my mind right now. Actually, that’s not true – I have tons on my mind right now, but the limited ability to express such things in words at this time. So instead of just posting another “Mr Clean” photoshop, I figured I would kill a few birds with one post.

Reminder: Ben Araiza is having the second annual “Perfect Day for a Cure” this Saturday night at Alice Cooper’stown. Show starts at 8. All proceeds go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Go here for more information, or contact me.

A perfect day.

And (like this is an afterthought)… I made yet another Mr. Clean Photoshop. I have created a Mr. Clean page in the blog where you can see all of my Mr. Clean images. It is also linked in the left sidebar under “Miscellany”. Enjoy them, for I know that I am having fun creating them. If you have any suggestions for other Mr. Cleans, let me know via comments.

Avast! (see, that’s a hint about what the newest Mr. Clean image is…)

[tags]Mr. Clean, Ben Araiza, Music, Jack Sparrow[/tags]

Small World…

Friday night was a lot of fun. Of course, it was also one of the most fucked up nights of my life…

Disclaimer: This may be a long post

Anne Short asked us (Randall, John, and I) to come out to see a friend’s band. John wasn’t able to make it, but Randy and I oblige, and get to see a very cool band – Chamber 8. Anne introduces us to Gary, Amy, Sommer, and Yazmin (along with some other people whom I have forgotten). Also joining the party: Dave, former guitarist for Phoenix Down; and Dominique, former girlfriend of Dave.

So here’s my story.

Yazmin: She seems to be a nice girl, and attractive to boot. She hangs out with Randy and I for most of the night. Of course, we soon find out that she is really only interested in one thing: persuing her budding career in alcoholism… for free. Yes, Randy and I ended up paying for most of her drinks all night long. Final bar tab (for Randy & I, plus a few for Yazmin): $96 (not including the $10 cover charge).

Sommer: She is the lead singer for Chamber 8. That alone turns me on (I am attracted to women who can actually sing). Add to that that she is extremely cute with a fantastic personality… Yeah, Yarsh likey. Sommer led a few of the mosh pit sessions (consisting of 3-5 people) throughout the night, after she had completed her tour of duty onstage. We hung out and shot the shit for the majority of the night (except when we were watching the other bands or moshing). Randy and I ended up going to Denny’s after the show with Anne, Gary, Amy, and Sommer – a few more details about this later.

Dominique: Small world, part 1. I had this premonition that she would be there. Not that I knew of any reason that she would be, but that she would just show up… And she did. It turns out that one of her favorite bands, Hard 8, was also playing that night. Hard 8 was killer; I liked them alot. But back to Dom… She was snapping pics left and right, which is all good. And was acting like we were all good friends. I was able to play nice the entire night, talking when being talked to, etc. But Randy had to get something off of his chest. Towards the end of the night, He walked right up to her, flipped the bird right into her face, and yelled “FUCK YOU”! Then he walked out. I didn’t know that this had happened, but found out shortly after when someone asked me where Randy was and I didn’t know. I found him chilling at my car where he told me what had happened. There was a lot of anger and hatred released for Randy in that single moment. It was probably one of the most therapeutic things he has done in over a year. And he spoke for all of us – including Dave (I think). Besides that, we had a slew of offers from our entourage of hot girls to beat her up. But we told them not to. It’s better that way. She’s moving to Florida. I’m not going to miss her.

Dave: Small world, part 2. Dominique walks up to me and asks how long I had been planning on being at the show. I ask why, and she says that Dave just showed up. I see him – “DAVE!!!,” as I wave to him and then shake his hand. He’s there to see Sectas, another great band. We shoot the shit for a few minutes. There is definitely tension in the air between Randy & Dominique, Randy & Dave, and Dave & Dominique (there was some tension between me and all parties as well… except for with Randy). Of all the places in Phoenix, and all the people to run into, we run into the 2 people that we would prefer to see the least… Just wow.

At Denny’s: Time to go to Jack in the Box for some grub, but we get invited to hang out at Denny’s with Anne, Gary, Amy (who is Gary’s wife, btw), Sommer, and Yazmin. I say it is up to Randy, who has to work in the morning. He says that we go. We get to Denny’s and eat some drunk food. Yazmin is so drunk that she doesn’t come in (which is good because Randy doesn’t want to see her at the time). We chat some more, and eventually I mention that I saw Jeff, bass player of No Rule Six, at the show. Small World, part 3. As some of you know, Nayt – first lead singer of Phoenix Down – became the singer for NR6.

This night, which happened to have a full moon, was quite a trip. It was fun, theraputic, bizarre, traumatic, and just downright fucked up. And I wouldn’t have expected it to turn out any differently.

PS: Thank you Randall, Anne, Sommer, Gary, Amy, Yazmin, Dom, and Dave, for a night I will surely not forget.

UPDATE: Here is a pic of Randall, Yazmin, and me – provided by Dom.

The DCtm – Episode 1.01

Jimmy was beginning to hate his newly appointed position. He was definitely the most qualified to fill it, but Jackson’s micro-management was getting in the way. It was begining to piss him off. The SQL server crashes and lack of space issues were just magnifying the pain.

Max Enterprises seemed to specialize in server instability. If it wasn’t the air conditioning going out in the Data Center, it was the roof leaking into a sea of exposed high-voltage wire after a late summer evening storm. And if not that, running out of electronic storage space.

Or database servers crashing due to extreme heat.

But therein lies the problem: Jimmy couldn’t get more servers if he couldn’t get the temperature of the DC down below 70 degrees. And due to the rising heat, regardless of the crisp fall air outside, he couldn’t keep the servers currently residing in the DC from commiting seppuku.

“I’m tired of seeing Peter and Karen in there without any assistance from one of us IT guys,” Jimmy was saying to John. “What’s the point in having RFID badges, preventing access to the Data Center, when we leave the doors wide open?”

John Smirked. “In case you haven’t noticed, the AC is off in there again. In order to prevent – well hopefully prevent – another server meltdown, we need to leave those doors open to increase cool air circulation.”

“Of course I noticed, John. And when Bored comes to the office in 2 weeks to do their security audit, they’ll notice it too.”

“Looks like we better get these servers to the new off-site Data Center. Like, immediately.”

“Heh. You and I both know that this move is going to take a month or more to complete. The question is, when will we be able to convince Shiney of this?”

“I’d say about halfway into the first week of the move,” John fired back immediately.

To be continued…

The DCtm

I got a tv show that I want to pitch to the execs at Fox – especially considering some of the goings-on in our data center today. I can see it now…

Coming soon to Fox: From the creators of The Simple Life, American Idol, and Nanny 911 comes the all new, laugh out loud, comedy: The DCtm.

The verdict is in:

The DCtm “just doesn’t get any better when it comes to watching sorry ass, over paid, certifiably retarded IT professionals. – TV Pride 

If The DCtm wasn’t reality television, I never would have believed it! – US Meekly

I laughed. I cried. I ate some Cheetos. – High Times

Everything they do (and don’t do) seem like Resume Generating Events. How do they ever survive? – Yarsh

Catch an all new DCtm Thursday night at 8, right after new episodes of So You Think You Can Dance and Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy – Only on FOX!

Of course, not to be outdone, The Discovery Channel will release American Data Center (which will be showed on Monday nights after American Chopper and before American Hot Rod). 

Nootch. Mad Props go out to Mark, who made these images for me while I was still in “Crisis Mode” at work today.