I learn what I think when I read what I write.
matthew's picture

The Bathroom Stall...

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The following story is definitely "toilet humor". You've been warned; if you are of delicate sensibilities, you may not like it. If you enjoy funny, weird stories, this may be right up your alley.

Mom, that means you! I think it's pretty cute and funny, but you always made bad faces at the dinner table if we told these kinds of stories...

It had been a very, very long movie for five-year-old Zachariah Matthew Barnson; nearly three hours is pretty much his limit. As we stumbled out of the theater last winter where we'd just seen "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", Zach looked up at me with pitiful eyes and said "Dad, I really have to go to the bathroom!"

matthew's picture

Resumé for Matthew P. Barnson

I've had many hits from search engines looking for "OpenOffice Resumé". Here's the template I use. You'll need to right-click and "save as" if you want to have any hope of it working.

matthew's picture

Coolest thing ever...

The Matrix is a pretty cool movie. Now witness the coolest thing ever as you watch a favorite scene in ASCII!. That's right, you too can enjoy ASCII animation. It helps to have your browser font size set very small, or have a high-resolution (1280x1024 or higher screen). Watch it. Love it. Live for the ASCII characters...

Important note: this is pretty big. It takes a while to load, even on fast connections.

Timpane's picture


Well, ladies and gentlemen, the "other summer" has begun with two huge releases this weekend, and there is no end in sight.

Since last wednesday, "The Martix Revolutions" has kung-fu philosophized its way to north of 80 million dollars (domestic), and Will Ferrell's "Elf" has charmed its way to over 30 million in two fewer days. IT HAS BEGUN!!!

So, to honor my new favorite Movie season, I present to you, in order, the notable releases from here until New years..

matthew's picture

The Desert Star Heckling Society Rides Again!

Last night, in the latest edition of the grand tradition, four stalwart friends assembled at Denny's in Murray, Utah (just a few minutes south of Salt Lake City) for a night of fun.

"I don't know," I mouthed around a jawful of green beans and half-masticated chicken, "we did the Hoo-Doggy last time, and it just seems dated, you know?" I adjusted my backside a bit on the not-too-soft, very narrow, short green booth bench next to an outside window under the dim lighting in the greasy-spoon.

matthew's picture

Food: Daikon or Turnip rather than potatoes?

So, I'm in Day Two of my low-carbohydrate diet. Trying to make sure that I get multivitamins, and have a good mix of veggies to keep me healthy. I'm really trying to avoid the diabetes that seems to traditionally afflict my family, and from the diabetic community, this seems to be a really sure-fire winner. It involves lifelong diet changes, though, which may be hard, but as for the weight-loss and diabetes-avoidance aspects, I only have two words to say: Cool stuff!

One thing I've really missed, though, is potatoes. One poster on the alt.support.diet.low-carb newsgroup suggested using daikon for hash browns rather than potates. One also suggested that Turnips work really well, but you have to soak them in water plus a little cream for about 20 minutes before cooking them.

Sammy G's picture

There Is Such Thing As Free Lunch

People never cease to amaze me when it comes to the opportunity for receiving free food.

For those of you lucky enough not to live in the Upper Midwest, let me bring you up to speed on the Minneapolis "situation". I walked into the local sub joint a couple weeks ago. As standard with most walk-in retail food operators, a fishbowl is perched near the checkout register, asking people to drop in their business card for a chance to win a free six inch sub.

Retail value of six inch sub: less than $5.00.

I noticed that next to the free-sub fishbowl, was yet another fishbowl. This second fishbowl had been placed there by another business looking to drum up sales leads. This second fishbowl, placed by the largest Minneapolis athletic club had an pretty cool offer. Somebody's card would be chosen at random at that winner would receive a free year's membership at the gym.

matthew's picture

Heading to St. George!

So, today, I turned in a few resumes. Called a friend in Great Britain (Ahh, IP telephony is so nice!) and asked if he knew of any jobs available, or people I could talk to looking for a job there. No dice, but I'll be talking to him again soon I think, seeing if he remembered any names. Played Planetside for about 30 minutes... didn't even go into the new expansion area. Dead world, nobody on this time of day (11 AM Mountain time).

Answered a lot of emails. Fixed emailing problem from my web site... it turns out that I hadn't synched over the "sendmail" binary from my old system. Using a different version of postfix's sendmail interface really made it unhappy, and every message bounced. Finally fixed the primary DNS on a couple of my domains. All DNS requests for those domains were being answered by the lowly little Pentium Pro 200 in my basement running OpenBSD. Uck.

matthew's picture

Job Hunt: Day 1

Today marks my first day of "joblessness". We have some money in the bank, and a decent severance package, so we're nowhere near out of money... yet. But by the end of February, the savings will have dwindled, the unemployment wouldn't be making up much slack, and we'd begin feeling the pinch pretty hard.

So why don't you check out my excellent resume, available right here at barnson.org, and let me know if you happen to see something that suits my job history?

I've been hitting it pretty hard today. I put in several applications this morning, and I'm planning on making at least one "cold call" a day: that is, a call to an employer who has not advertised they are hiring for a position. I expect to be roundly rejected on these calls, and that's OK! My goal is to build up my sales skills and networks of people who know my name, while also building my research skills in companies, and not necessarily to get a job that way.

Timpane's picture

WHY ARE YOU FAMOUS?? Why am I not?

I think the real problem is that the average performer these days is barely talented and that half of the performers are less talented than that.

I just saw Ben Folds in concert at George Washington University, and he was amazing, incredible.. but the guy who opened for him was just some schmoe playing rhythms and chords on gutiar that I could play, and singing songs not as good as mine in a voice not much better. Its not that I'm super talented, but why in God's green earth was he being paid to play for 5000 people, none of whom seemed enthused by his mediocrity?

I feel this way about a lot I see. I am a professional actor, and blast it, why does Ben Affleck get to live in a mansion and not me? Now I understand, I haven't taken my shot (yet).. but the point is, if I take myself out of it..

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