Oct 29, 2003

So, Katherine works in pharmaceutical sales. One of the greatest accomplishments in this field is to get one of your drugs into regular rotation at a hospital. Basically, once the drug has been accepted by the hospital, smaller practices near the hospital will pick it up. Once it's spread through one area, other hospitals may pick it up soon after. Getting a hospital to accept your drug is no easy process. A representative doctor will get drilled about all the details on a drug for hours on end in front of a huge committee. Kat's father is a cardiologist. By basically his idea, his impetus and his work, he got one of her drugs approved at the local hospital. The hospital was not in her territory, so she knew that some of the credit would naturally fall to the territory owner.

Last night after a hard day of work, she got home and checked her email. Her boss sent out an email to the entire west coast staff including her great great grandmanager. The announcement basically gave 110% of the credit to this other person and practically put Kat down! The wording of the email stated that this other person did all of the work, Kat basically helped the morning of the final presentation (implicating that she was late with the work and lazy) and gave very little credit to her father. Naturally, she was appalled. It's going to be hard to repair all of the damage that single email has done. I suggested it was time to start becoming a backstabbing, credit-grabbing bastard like the rest of her coworkers.

Oct 27, 2003

So, I decided to add a car to my list:

The Porsche 911 Carrera.

So, here are the updated numbers:


Evo VIII Carrera
Horsepower 287 250 200 227 271 320
Torque 274 159 142 217 273 273
0-60 Time 5.5 5.9 6.1 5.6 5.3 5.0
EPA City 20 18 24 20 18 18
EPA Highway 26 23 31 27 26 26
Price 32136 29900 26907 28540 30529 68800
Seating 2 4 4 4 4 4
Transmission 6 6 6 5 5 6
Wheelbase 104.3 106.3 101.2 99.4 103.3 92.5
Weight 3188 2933 2775 3140 3263 3020
Wheels 18 18 16 16 17 17
Looks 10 9 8 7 7 10
Power/Weight 0.0900 0.0852 0.0721 0.0723 0.0831 0.1060
Torque/Weight 0.0860 0.0542 0.0512 0.0691 0.0837 0.0904


Evo VIII Carrera   WEIGHT
Horsepower 8.969 7.813 6.250 7.094 8.469 10   0
Torque 10 5.803 5.182 7.920 9.964 9.964   0
0-60 Time 9.091 8.475 8.197 8.929 9.434 10   8
EPA City 8.333 7.5 10 8.333 7.5 7.5   5
EPA Highway 8.387 7.419 10 8.710 8.387 8.387   4
Price 8.373 8.999 10 9.428 8.814 3.911   7
Seating 5 10 10 10 10 10   6
Transmission 10 10 10 8.333 8.333 10   3
Wheelbase 8.869 8.702 9.140 9.306 8.955 10   2
Weight 8.705 9.461 10 8.838 8.504 9.189   0
Wheels 10 10 8.888 8.888 9.444 9.444   1
Looks 10 9 8 7 7 10   11
Power/Weight 8.496 8.044 6.802 6.823 7.838 10   10
Torque/Weight 9.507 5.997 5.661 7.645 9.255 10   9
TOTAL 574.8 548.8 549.7 540.5 559.2 597.9    
RANKING 2 5 4 6 3 1    

Oct 24, 2003

My apartment complex is comprised of four seperate buildings that share a single underground parking garage. When Russell and I moved in, we took two of the last parking spots available. They were over by building B while we lived in building A but it is just a short 30 meter walk across the garage. Last night after working out, I followed another car into the garage. They parked over by building A while I parked by building B. We crossed paths as we went to the opposing building. I didn't think anything of it, but she called out to me just as I was about to enter the building. We traded contact info and decided that we should trade parking spots.

She was quite attractive as well; maybe that is why I didn't say anything in the first place.

I no longer like investing. MSFT posts improved earnings and profits, beats the street estimate by a cent and our stock goes DOWN $2 the next day. Sigh.

Oct 21, 2003

Hmm, factoring in employer contribution, my 401k currently has a return of 57.02% and my stock currently has a return of 32.03%. I like investing!

As of today, Windows Mobile powered Smartphones are available in the US! AT&T Wireless is carrying the Motorola MPx200. This is a monumental leap forward for my department. We have been working on the Smartphone platform for years and we are now in the US market! The AT&T site is selling the phone for $299, but until 10/28/2003, Amazon has the phone for $149.99 (after $150 mail-in rebate).

It is difficult to explain just how powerful these phones are in words. First off, it's a great phone. Reception is rarely an issue, audio quality is fantastic and all the features of a regular phone are there. Combine that with a full-fledged PIM (calendar, contacts, tasks, email), MP3 and video player, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, and more! An additional feature that not many people know about is you can use most of these phones as a wireless modem as well! Anywhere you go with your laptop, just connect your phone with the provided USB cable and now you are on the internet!

The longer I am in this department, the more I love the products.

Oct 20, 2003

BBC Top Gear: "I'm told that on a track, any track, the [Focus] RS is faster than a Subaru Impreza. Better looking too, but that's not hard." Haha, I'm starting to agree with all the reports about the looks of the Impreza. Sorry, Jeff and Joe, it really doesn't look all that hot. Then again, I almost bought this and even I know it looks like crap.

Oct 19, 2003

My god, look at the travel on this suspension! The wheels have to be a good 8-10 inches away from their default height. The expansion pressure on those shocks must be enormous.

Seems like fall in Seattle (taken from my balcony).

Oh, yesterday's flag football game? We lost, 52-7.

So last night was the big go-karting event at Champs Karting. Racers: Katherine, Russ, Jeff, Jeff's sister, Jeff's sister's boyfriend, Lee, Mark, Andy, Kevin, Joel, Dennis, Rob and another Jeff. It's a shame that Champs online results system is broken because then I could give actual speed numbers. At Champs, each race is 18 laps and because of the staggered start, the winner is whomever has the fastest single lap. I raced with Katherine, Mark and Lee. Mark set the fastest lap of the night (for our group) with a 20.00 flat. Lee was second with a very close 20.03 and I was third with 20.30.

The track was fairly small but I didn't fully figure it out until about half way through. As you can see on this map, there are a few hairpin turns. The worst was turn 3. No matter what I did, I couldn't seem to get enough exit velocity. If it was a real car, I would have changed the gear ratios for faster low-end acceleration. I figured out how to gain some serious velocity through turns 1 and 2, but 3 was my down fall. I'm sure another go at it and I would improve by at least .3 seconds a lap.

Overall, I think everyone had a good time. Jeff and crew had to leave early since they had just gotten in from across the country that morning. His sister honestly looked like she pulled two all nighters. You know that glazed, watery look? She had a textbook case. Jeff will probably drag me back there, no worries.

Afterward, Katherine, Russ, Lee and I went to Belltown Billiards. We were supposed to meet up with Lee's friend Craig, but he never showed. Everytime I go to the bar, I can never think of a cool mixed drink to order. I need to work on a list.

Oct 17, 2003

Endurance races in Gran Turismo 3 are a bitch! The easiest one, im my opinion, is the Roadster race. All of the cars are stock roadsters, so it's fairly easy to get a useable car from the start. I used a Mazda LS with super-slick (AKA high-endurance) tires. It took over 70 minutes to complete 40 laps, but I demolished the competition! I lapped everyone and almost double lapped the slowest car. There are four possible cars you can receive after winning this race (F688/S F1, Mazda Miata, Mazda Miata 1.8 RS or Mazda Miata RS) and of course I got the worst one (the plain Miata). Sigh.

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne Review for PC at GameSpot. Jeff and I were going to split the cost of a copy, but then he realized his computer couldn't handle it. Looks like I'm flying solo!

Oct 16, 2003

The combined score for my flag football team thus far is 9-184 (0-42, 0-28, 7-35, 0-51 and 2-28). Pathetic!

Oct 15, 2003

Temple of VTEC Rumors and News - Honda HSC Concept foreshadows '05 NSX. Comments later.

Update: It looks like this is definitely going to be the prototype for the next NSX. It's a shame that Honda is probably going to keep HP in the sub 400 range, and probably closer to 300 HP. It coulda been a monster.

New Edition Announcements. Comments later.

Update: That is a link to a new model of Miata. A lot of people get into car racing through Miatas, so I'm keeping an eye on new model developments. I can't really fit into one, so it won't affect me.

Another night, another crazy dream though I can only rememeber a few details from this one. Basically, I was a spy and my boss was the developer lead for my team. My first task was to assemble a disguise that would let me infiltrate the ranks of my target. It required some sort of black cape, weird black boots, a wig and makeup to look like an old woman and four old, silver coins. I started to assemble this disguise and eventually realized it would not work and came up with a different one. I had on tight black pants, black dress shoes, a beige collared sweater (sort of like this one but with a collar) with the collar up.

Now that I had my disguise (if you can even consider that a disguise), I had to infiltrate the target location. From my surroundings, the locale was possibly the city of New York, but checking my maps showed St. Petersburg. So, yes, I was infiltrating a Russian installation. From here, the rest of the dream is very fuzzy. I do remember getting onto an elevator and having a woman roll her eyes viciously.

I do remember some of the emotions that I felt. When I was performing the first task, I knew that I was taking shortcuts and that my boss would be upset if he found out. I believe the same thing happened when I was actually on my way to the base. I was using some sort of device to track my location (probably a Windows Mobile powered device, naturally) and that was against the rules of engagement.

Oct 13, 2003

So in the past two weeks of flag football, my team has lost 58-0 and 28-2. Last week, my QB didn't remember how to hand off the ball and I plowed into him. The starting QB and the starting RB, plowing directly into each other. Too bad I was the taller of the two as my nose connected to his forehead. The blood started flowing immediately. This week, I jammed my middle finger on my right hand before the game started. That wouldn't have been that bad but I was starting QB! I couldn't feather out my floating passes like I wanted to and the team can't catch bullet passes. I gave up five interceptions, I believe.

I just realized that I have never attended class drunk. Oh well, there is always grad school!

About a week ago, I sent out an email to just about everyone in my address book that didn't live in Washington. The email outlined my new contact info for both home and work and that's about it. Well, some people didn't seem to appreciate this information:

From lwashnoc@yahoo.com

Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 18:04:05 -0700 (PDT)

From: Laura Washnock-DiPietro

To: mbibik AT umich DOT edu


I want you to stay completely out of my life, that is, after all, why I broke up with you. This means that I do not want to hear from you and I do not want you contacting, in any way, my friends and family. Trust me, they do not want to hear from you either. I did not email you earlier because I did not want to talk to you. I don't care about your new address and phone number. I don't care about your new job. In short, I don't care about what you are doing with your life. I also do not care for you to know what is going on in my life.

If you are looking for closure, here it is. I broke up with you because you made me miserable. You were emotionally abusive and controlling. You put me down and made me feel stupid for being myself. When I broke up with you, I was too afraid of you to be this direct. I am not anymore and I am sick of you trying to weasel your way back into my life. Leave my friends alone. Leave my family alone. Leave me alone.


Seeing as how a regular reply might not be appreciated either and I always need to get the last word in, here is my open letter of reply:


First off, relax. We have not talked since the beginning of this year. I sent two emails over that period of time inquiring about your well-being. I love how that is considered me trying to weasel my way back into your life! I send an email to everyone in my address book about my new contact info and this is the reply that I get? That is just a bit dramatic!

Twice you mentioned leaving your family and friends alone. I can only assume that you brought this up because they received the same contact info email as you did. Had I known that would upset them so much, I definitely would have reconsidered sending it to them! Sarcasm aside, I will not trust you when you say they don't want to hear from me. A few of your friends didn't like me while we were together and I'm sure a few more switched sides when you broke up with me. I do know that certain people, including at least one sibling of yours, think differently. You may have requested that they all shun me but that cannot affect their true feelings. Who is being the controlling one now? It's a shame that you cannot trust them to make their own decisions.

I made you feel stupid? I'm sorry; I must have acted as a mirror of some sort, allowing you to see yourself for who you truly are. It does not take much for someone whose only intellectual hobby is to watch VH1 for hours on end to think of themselves as being stupid. Try reading a book. Better yet, try challenging yourself! Outside of your required courses, did you take anything difficult in college? I know you didn't make it into the honors program, but there are some difficult classes offered to the rest of the school as well.

So, you broke up with me so that I would stay completely out of your life? Is that how it works? Why is it that so many other people have the ability to break up and at least be cordial? Actually, if I remember correctly, you have no contact whatsoever with any of your exes. Why is that? Do you understand how to forgive people? Are your emotional abilities so black-and-white that once you break up with someone, all emotion toward them must turn to hate? Do you even understand how to separate the concepts of friend and significant other? Hopefully you will learn with Alex. Hey, he was one of my good friends back in elementary school. He was probably one of the main reasons why we broke up and still I do not hate him. Forgive and forget.

Here is my take on the situation as a whole. You met Alex while we were together and while our relationship was having problems. Having a small shred of morality, you knew that you couldn't cheat so you decided to break up with me to be with him. Though we did have problems, there was still some good in the relationship. While you were with Alex, you had to channel that emotional energy somewhere. The easiest emotion to channel into is hate, so there it went! It is much easier to hate someone with support from people you are close to so you slandered me enough to gain this support. When you saw my latest email, you felt a slight twinge of interest but you had to kill it. Instead of forgiving and forgetting, you redirected that twinge into the anger spewed forth in your email. For that emotional outburst, I applaud you.

Even if I am completely wrong, know that you have now proved yourself as the paragon of emotional puerility you were destined to become.


Oct 9, 2003

EMusic.com is changing drastically. Gone are the days of 2000 downloads a month for $9.95 (well, $14.95/month for 3 months). I had a subscription and I'm now glad that I cancelled it. The new plan is $9.99/month for 40 downloads or $14.95/month for 65 downloads. Given that Emusic.com mostly carries indie, most of my downloads were hit-or-miss. I'd try something out just because they suggested it and sometimes it was great but more often it was deleted. Now that the downloads are so restricted, usage patterns are going to be changed drastically as well.

The site should be euthanized.

Wow, the Wings season begins tonight! Being out in WA now, I'm curious as to how many games I'm going to be able to catch. Tonight's game is on ESPN2, but I have flag football practice at 6 PM and the game starts at 4:30 PM (PST). I'm curious as to how the goalie situation is going to work out and how Hatcher is going to fit in with our team. I doubt we are going to win the cup, but I'm still going to follow the Wings heavily. Since Seattle and even WA doesn't have a hockey team, I'm completely allowed to root for the Wings!

I'm remembering at least portions of my dreams every night this week. Last night I know that I got stung by a bee on the left side of my torso, but that's all I remember.

I can't find my favorite Windows Media Player 9 visualization! For some reason, I'm almost positive it was just like Battery:sepiaswirl but with color. Gah, something so simple yet it's driving me nuts! I guess Ambience:warp will have to do in its place.

Oct 7, 2003

Ok, so in light of the car rental fiasco, I decided to add car rental coverage to my insurance. I got a bit curious as to what my insurance rates would have been had I purchased a different car. I used Progressive's online quote service and got some interesting numbers. Note, the quote I got for my car was $1,439 while in all reality I pay about half of that. For comparison purposes, I'm going to take $700 from each of the numbers I got. That should be more realistic:

2003 Ford Focus ZX3

2003 Ford Focus SVT

2003 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan

2003 Subaru Impreza WRX Sport Wagon

2004 Mazda RX-8

2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

2003 Nissan 350z








So let's see. If I had actually purchased the Evo, my monthly payment and insurance cost per month would have totaled about $800. In contrast, I'm spending about $520/month for the Focus. That is $280 savings per month on just basic costs, let alone the additional cost of premium fuel and speeding tickets had I chosen the Evo. Since I started keeping track of how much fuel I use, I've gone through 126.23 gallons of the stuff. That's only a $25 difference if I was using premium instead of regular. Maybe I should have gone with the Evo...

Oct 6, 2003

Alright Lindsay, let's see if I can match your dream posts.

The first dream I had was more of a nightmare. Basically, two shady guys were going door to door trying to sell Smartphones to people. They had about 40 of the phones just tossed into a big plastic box. I don't remember actually letting them into the house, but all of a sudden they were both in my parents kitchen trying to sell us AR11s. As a side note, the AR11 is our most hated device. It would never see a retail market because it has so many problems.

Anyway, at first they were lackadaisically trying to get us to each buy a phone. It seemed that they were both very tired, worn out and just wanted money. It also seemed as if all the phones were stolen, obviously. When we refused to buy a phone, they started to argue and yell at us. Eventually, I took things into my own hands and started to beat on the leader of the two guys. I didn't hurt him too much and suddenly he was gone. I shoved his companion out the door and he rested against a parked car.

Now this is where it starts to get weird and will be hard to imagine. So picture that you are looking out the door of a house onto a driveway. From your vantage point, you can see just the backend of a car parked in the driveway. The second bad guy that I tossed out of the house was leaning against the car, facing the door. He wasn't looking directly at me, but basically looking at the ground. He seemed exhausted and looked to be resting a bit before moving on. Suddenly and without warning, you see just a glimpse of the first shady guy come into the picture as he drops an axe down on the skull of the second guy, practically cleaving it in two! For some reason, I busted out of the house and ran past both the man wielding the axe and his now-dead accomplice. I felt that I was being chased a bit and then I felt everything had changed. I looked around, and the man with the axe was now laying on his back on the hood of a different car. His axe seemed to have bashed him directly in the face. I focused past that and saw my mom's friend Evelyn holding a smoking gun! I can only assume that while he was chasing me, she shot him in the back, he fell back onto the car and then his axe fell onto his face. I woke up after that one.

The second dream is fairly hazy, but I know some details. The scene was the last day of class in presumably high school. It was more like a boarding school because not only did we have to clean out our desks and say goodbye to students and teachers but we had to pack up our bedding and clothes as well. I'm sure this has something to do with me reading so much Harry Potter lately. I know there was some crying and there was a dark haired female teacher that we were all sad to say goodbye to. The next thing I know, I'm getting married! I don't remember much of the details, but it seems that in the dream I had a wedding and got married to Jamie, then we divorced, then I was getting married to someone else not a month later. Weird.

Oct 5, 2003

Ok, let's play with some numbers. Here are the current WRC standings:

(57 pts) Richard Burns

(55 pts) Sebastien Loeb

(53 pts) Carlos Sainz

(48 pts) Petter Solberg

(43 pts) Markko Martin

(38 pts) Marcus Gronholm

Burns is on a downward slope. If his performance in Italy is any indication of his desire to win the championship, we can all but write him off. Expect Burns to score maybe 8 more points over the last three rallies. Loeb is hot now, but he is also inexperienced. His car is sick, so if he can avoid a major retirement in Britain he is going to pull down at least 15 more points. Sainz is too experienced to drop out of this championship without a fight. He won't partake in any major gambling, but he will be consistant. I'll give him 12 points. Petter knows he needs to score some serious points to vault into the championship, so he will twist his natural talent into desperation. At least two early retirements will keep him below 8 more points in the final rallies. Markko is going to destroy the next two rallies. Expect a first and a second place finish. The final rally in Great Britain is going to decide this championship. Gronholm has retired from the last three rallies. Expect another two retirements with a third place race to finish off the season. The final standings and points:

(70 pts) Sebastien Loeb

(69 pts) Markko Martin

(65 pts) Carlos Sainz

(64 pts) Richard Burns

(56 pts) Petter Solberg

(44 pts) Marcus Gronholm

You heard it here first.

Deciding to change my own oil may have been a bad call and I haven't even done it yet! After calling around to four different oil change shops in the area, I decided to do it myself. The cheapest I found was $25 and that was at a place I wouldn't trust. I ran to Napa auto parts and purchased six quarts of Mobil 1, oil filter, filter wrench, funnel, shop rags and wheel ramps. $70 in initial costs and an estimate of about $31 per additional oil change means I'm going to spend more money to do it myself! Granted, the prices that I was quoted for an oil change was not for synthetic oil. I guess it is more respectable to change your own oil... nah, I screwed up.

Car update: So, you all know about the damage to my car (original condition, information, damaged condition). For some reason when I signed up for auto insurance, I didn't elect to add rental car coverage. My thought was simply that I doubt I will ever need to make a claim and if so it would only be for a couple of days. I figured that if I needed to rent a car, paying for two days wouldn't be so bad. Sigh, such stupidity.

I took my car in two Mondays ago (09/22/2003) and expected to have it back by Wednesday. When I dropped it off, they said it would be done by Friday at the latest. Oh well, what can I do, I need a car so I will just pay for 5 days. Friday rolls around and the car is not ready. That sucks because the shop is closed on the weekends meaning at least three more days of renting the car. Monday comes and the car is not ready. Tuesday comes and the car is not ready. Finally I pick up the car on Wednesday (10/01/2003) and they got the wrong fog lamp in so that wasn't replaced. Total charge for renting a car for ten days: $375! All because I didn't want to pay the $60/year for car rental coverage.

Dan owns a timeshare on a plane; a plane! Man, I really need to learn to save my money.

Oct 3, 2003

Damn you, AT&T Wireless. So the new Smartphone is finally coming to market and it is being heavily marketed. AWS is going to have a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal on launch day and everything. The new phone is being sold for under $300, which is actually a great price point for the hardware and services being offered. The device is being sold internally to Microsoft at a 45% discount, which is also amazing.

The problem is that AWS plans are so expensive! Internally, the two plans being offered are $76/month and $95/month for 700 and 1,100 voice minutes respectively and 30 MB of data. That is just WAY too much. I thought spending $50 on my Sprint phone was overkill. For unlimited data and 1,100 voice minutes, the price jumps to $109! Come on. Also, get this, those are the Microsoft discount rates! For 1,100 minutes, it is normally $120 without data! I feel like screaming.

No cellular service is worth that much.

Oct 2, 2003

Ugh and double ugh. My current project at work has proved next to impossible and the deadline is being to peek over the horizon. Basically, I need to categorize various bug fixes. The difficult portion of this project is that I'm given the updated source code for each bug fix but the report needs to know the final location in our image of these fixes. From what I've seen, there is no way to trace a source file to the eventual binary file in the image.

I thought I had a good idea to build the image, apply the changes, rebuild and see which files changed. I did that to a very small bug fix and 10% of the files changed (~1000)! I figured that had to be wrong so I compiled the full image, made no changes then compiled again. I saw that roughly 10% of the files had changed again. This is going to be tough to figure out.

A few nights before she left, Jamie and I made a great dinner. Nothing quite like steak, red skin garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli and a bottle of Pinot Noir!

I'm starting to enjoy wine for quite a few reasons:

  1. If it isn't cheap, it almost always tastes good. There are thousands of varieties and I have yet to find a (non cheap) bottle that I didn't like!
  2. It complements the flavors of so many foods. I'm not going to start drinking it with pizza and burgers but it works with most everything else.
  3. Maybe it's just my lack of wine drinking experience, but that stuff hits me hard! Two glasses of wine has the same potency as six beers to me.