Finger info for

If I knew that updating a .plan file was this entertaining, I would have
started doing semi-regular updates a long time ago. Oh well. My web space
is located at and I can be reached via e-mail

*09 November 2001 - Just How Dangerous ARE You?*

Version: 3.1.2
GCM/CS d- s: a-- C++ UL++ U P++ L++ E--- W++
N++ o-- K- w++ O+ M- V PS+ PE Y+ PGP t 5 X+
R(++) tv- b++ DI+ D++ G e++ h r++ y+
ma- k F+(++)3(4) x++

This is not just your stock "Geek Code" block. The last line of the block
sports the "Geek Code Weapons Extensions", of which a description can be
found at:

The stock Geek Code block can be decoded via a web-based form at:

Just use the web-based decoder to decode the whole block, and then look up
the last line's worth on the "Weapons Extension" web page. The web based
decoder will just ignore the extensions.

Happy decoding.

*08 November 2001 - Everybody Needs A Hobby, Right?*
Well, the day has finally arrived... the world is either a little safer or
a little more dangerous, depending on your point of view. I was reviewing
my extracurricular "police and worst-case scenario" training to date
(small arms, penal code 832, tear gas...) and doing some checks against
the laws and rules of various states in the US, and I've come to a
startling conclusion:

I now can legally act as a fully qualified freelance bail fugitive
recovery agent in the states of New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Montana.
"Bail fugitive recovery agent" is the official legal term for what people
refer to as a "bounty hunter."

You probably don't need me to tell you that it would be a good idea to
move if you live in one of those four states I just mentioned. If the law
allows a freelance vigilante like me to run around your state with a stun
gun and handcuffs in pursuit of justice, I would sure as hell think it high
time to consider a change in scenery.

This will undoubted irk my family to no end, since they are always afraid
I'm going to end up doing something dangerous and get myself killed. It's
even worse when you consider that the majority of my family still live in my
home town, which is located in upstate New York (which, as you can
note from my little list above, falls within "freelance bounty hunter"
territory). On the bright side, though, I could quite easily make a decent
living by just visiting my parents on occasion and then swinging by the local
trailer park and bringing my ex-high school classmates to justice.

Last I heard, most of them peaked in their senior year of high school and still
live in my home town. And only about half of them have been arrested at
one point or another for "domestic disturbances". While kicking in doors at
the trailer park for $300 a pop doesn't sound like the healthiest way to make a
living, I can at least take comfort in the fact that I'm giving something back
to my old community.

I can also take great satisfaction in stunning and then handcuffing the
wife-smacking ex-star center of the football team that decided it would be
a great idea to give me a wedgie and hang me on a showerhead in the locker
room when I was a high school freshman back in 1993.

Oh, and for the folks living in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Oregon, or Wisconsin, you can rest easy... freelance bounty
hunting is illegal in your state.

*17 October 2001 - The BioWare Strikes Back*
I bet you thought that the Canadian software company BioWare wasn't
going to reply to the "rejection" mail I mentioned in my 04 October 2001
.plan update! Well, much to my suprise, they actually did reply:

> Hello Andrew,
> I have to tell you that is the most interesting acceptance/non-acceptance
> letter I have ever received. It took me a while to figure out what you
> were saying!
> We hope you hang on to the unique sense of humour, and perhaps our paths
> will cross again someday.
> Best to you,
> BioWare Corp.

I have a feeling that my original "rejection" response mail is hanging up
by the BioWare water cooler. Or maple syrup dispenser. Or whatever the
hell Canadians stand around while they talk about last night's hockey

OK, BioWare... you guys are good sports (even if you are a little SLOW
to respond to resume submissions), so I guess your office gets removed
from the list of buildings I am required to pee on each day. It would
have been a rough commute from southern California to Canada every day,

*16 October 2001 - My Blind Date From Hades*
(If you haven't read the 05 October 2001 .plan update, read that before
reading this update.)

I had punched my search criteria into before and come up with
a list of prospective young ladies, but I was somewhat reluctant to try to
contact any of them. I was hoping that I'd never have to cross that line,
but it looked like it was about time to get with the program and start
acting like all the other scumbags on So, I started off at
the top of the list of prospective matches.

A 19-year old Mexicali girl was the closest match for my profile, and she
only lived a whopping 5 miles away. While I was a little reluctant to
date someone that young, her interview showed that she was working as a
medical assistant at a clinic while working towards her RN. She could
actually spell, use punctuation, and capitialize words correctly. I
figured that it wouldn't hurt to send her a message. After all, she did
have an attractive picture posted and she didn't look like an axe
murderer. At the very least, I figured that I'd get a good story or two
out of the experience. And boy did I.

It was a while before I heard back on my message, but I wasn't disappointed
when it arrived. The young lady's name was Paloma, but everyone calls her
Lomi. Lomi seemed very happy to hear from me, and she mentioned that I
'sounded normal'. As she put it, "Believe me when I say that sounding
normal is a very good thing. I've gotten some messages that were just
awful from some people. But you sound like a nice guy."

OK. The foot was in the door. Now what?

The delay on hearing back from Lomi was because she didn't have net access
at her home. She only got a chance to check her mail and surf the web a
few times a week when she visited her aunt here in Tustin. She had
mentioned this in her mail and "emphatically apologized" for not getting
back to me sooner. She also mentioned that she'd be on AOL Instant
Messenger the next time that she'd be online and that she'd like to ask me
a few questions.

Sounded like a plan. Maybe this wasn't so bad after all...

Anyway, I did catch her online and we shot a few IMs back and forth. She
seemed very nice and she was somewhat assured by my responses that I
wasn't insane. After 20 or 30 minutes or shooting messages back and
forth, she asked if she could have my phone number so that she could speak
with me over the phone, since AIM is "great and all, but too slow".
Seemed reasonable enough.

Ten minutes later, Lomi and I were talking on the phone. She had a touch
of a Mexican accent, but her English was just about perfect. And very,
very fast. Boy, that girl can talk. After talking with me for about 20
minutes, she really let her guard down a lot. I could tell by the big
increase in the number of questions she was asking. She was very
friendly, but I could tell that this was not a girl to mess with. At one
point, she asked me to hold a second and then began screaming something in
Spanish off into the background. Then, she came back and talked in the
same tone as before. Yikes.

The upshot of this whole phone conversation was at the end when Lomi asked
me what I was doing the upcoming Saturday night. When I said that I had
no plans, she replied, "Well, you do now!" I guess that I didn't have any
choice in the matter. Not that I really NEEDED one. She gave me her cel
phone number and her pager number.

The plan was to meet up at 'The Block', which is a big outdoor mall, and
go see a movie. 'The Block' is known for having one of the few Krispy
Kremes in California, so it's a popular place with the locals. It's only
about 10 minutes North of Tustin, and I never even knew it was there, so I
guess that shows how much of California I've made it a point of visiting.

Fast forward to Saturday night.

I found myself driving up to meet Lomi while wondering what in the heck I
was doing. I had never done anything like this before, so I was flying
blind on this one. Still, I managed to calm myself down and convince
myself to just enjoy the evening. Oh, if only I knew the suprises that
were in store for me.

Two suprises, actually. Dinner and Mimi.

Since I doubt you've ever dated someone that hails from south of the
border, you probably don't know that it's Mexican custom to have another
girl that is a close friend or relative tag along on a first date as a
chaperone. I sure as heck didn't know. In this case, Lomi's cousin Mimi
was waiting with Lomi when I met up with her at the outdoor cafe at
Starbucks. Both Lomi and Mimi were dressed to kill... Lomi was wearing
tight black everything and Mimi was wearing a tight full-length denim
skirt and a tanktop-type shirt. I had not been in the company of one girl
that looked as good as one of these two did in quite a while. And there I
was, sitting with the two of them. This whole situation was something
that I was NOT expecting.

Another thing that I wasn't expecting was that Mimi was only 18. She
looks at least four years older than that. But, 18 year olds have 10 PM
curfews (Doh!), so the plans for a movie got scrapped in favor of a quick
dinner instead. Of course, I wasn't the least bit hungry, but oh well...
I'm flexible. So, it was off to Wolfgang Pucks for dinner.

After a dinner with Lomi and Mimi, I think I could handle myself if I ever
had to testify in court. I was hit with questions non-stop once we were
seated at the table. One girl would eat while the other questioned me,
then they'd swap. Sometimes, they'd both ask questions at the same time.
Tag team Mexicali questioning threw me off balance a bit since I was on
defense the whole time, but I handled myself OK.

It was becoming apparent through the thorough questioning that I probably
wasn't what Lomi was looking for. There were enough points of difference
between the two of us that I could tell she had already written me off by
the end of dinner. Lomi had a pretty good idea of what she was looking
for, and I sure ain't it.

But, that wasn't all I noticed. Since she had first laid eyes on me, Mimi
had been eyeing me the way a tiger eyes a can of tuna. I had been doing
my best to politely ignore Mimi's flirting, since I was NOT on a date with
her, but it was pretty apparent what was going on.

"So, what kind of music do you listen to?" Lomi asked.

I replied, "A lot of different things, actually. While I'm working or
just spending time at home I usually listen to 80's tunes."

Lomi scowled at me and said, "That's strike number one, pal."

"Now come on... what's wrong with U2, huh?" I said to Lomi with one
eyebrow raised.

"Hey! I really like U2!" Mimi chimed in.

... and on and on. I was now trapped in a bad hypothetical sitcom.

When the bill for dinner came, I tried to do the galant thing and pay it.
I was rewarded for my effort by having Lomi's hand smash into the arm that
was holding the bill. She snatched the bill out of my hand and stated
triumphantly that she was going to pay it. Mimi was trying to hold back a
snicker, and she wasn't doing a very good job of it. I was just trying to
hold back the spreading of the massive black and blue mark. I probably
forgot to mention that Lomi was offered a college sports scholarship for
softball because of her strength and pitching skill with the same arm that
swatted me.

"Hey man... how was your date last night?"

"She belted me!!!"

Anyway, Lomi whipped out her credit card and paid the bill. Chivalry ends
at the threat of physical pain in my book, so at that point I was more
than happy to let her pay it. I'm getting too old for this.

Next Dating Update: The blind date horror continues.

*12 October 2001 - A Whole New Level Of Rejection*
I have come to realize that the computer gaming software companies
have joined forces in an attempt to keep me out of the gaming market.
Not a single one bothers to notify you of your state in the HR
evaluation process for employment without your constant e-mailing and
calling. Most won't even return your calls. It oftens takes a
few weeks to a few MONTHS for these companies to get back to you
with an indication of their interest in you as a job candidate (yes,
I'm talking to those people at Bioware, Black Isle Studios, Blizzard,
Interplay, and Westwood). In fact, the speediest results I've seen
came from a damn web comic:

Normally, <br/>you have to pay to get embarassed this badly.
Normally, you have to pay to get embarassed this badly.

You game companies need to really revamp your HR departments. I know
that you must get flooded by resumes that really aren't up to snuff,
but COME ON people, get with the program! At least Black Isle Studios
apologized when they finally got around to contacting me (three
MONTHS after I submitted a resume) to say that my resume looked great
and that they were eager to talk to me. Westwood replied with a
"well, we were busy... suck it up and deal" type message when they
finally got around to telling me that they wanted me to come in for an
interview. Blizzard takes a "contacting us will make us want you
less" approach (which I can understand, considering that they must get
pestered by people non-stop).

You have no excuse, people... what the heck are your HR departments
DOING? Do you have a stack of resumes sitting around that you never
look at? Do you look at them and then never even give a response? At
least give an auto-mail back or something within the first few WEEKS
after an application has been made, OK?
As for all you fanboys out there that want to "break into the gaming
industry", are you SURE that's what you really want? It's not as fun
as you think it is... trust me on this one.

*11 October 2001 - Requests For .plan Updates Will Be Eaten*
Yes, I know you all want to hear about my horrible blind dates. The
amount of mail I've received ranging from polite requests to out-and-out
demands for .plan updates has been pretty impressive. Don't you people
have cable or something that you could be watching, rather than camping for .plan updates?

I've been rather busy lately (hence the lack of updates). I've been
doing important things as of late, and they've kept me busy. Important
things... like playing Xenogears on the Playstation. Anyway, just be
patient. Updates are coming. Stop pestering me.

Damn you, <br/>SquareSoft!
I place the blame on SquareSoft.
Oh, and Canada, too.

*05 October 2001 - The Scoop on*
I'll spare you the details of how I stumbled upon this site. I'll even
spare you the details of why I decided to fiddle with it. What I WILL
tell you is the scoop on how this "blind date" web site works, and how I
had terrible experiences because of it.

The sanity you save might be your own.

So, on to Normally, I'd make fun of anyone who would even
consider using one of these sites. In fact, I DO make fun of people who
use these sites. I'm an equal-opportunity heckler.

Since you probably aren't familiar with the way these sites work, here's
the scoop. The first step is filling out a basic profile about yourself.
This part is pretty easy, since it's the criteria that the search database
sorts you by. Hair/eye color, age, race, height, religion, education...
on and on. The one zinger category is the 'body type' category.

This category leaves a lot to interpretation because the available choices
are 'slender' (you are a rod), 'average' (you are a few pounds overweight),
'athletic' (you can crush bowling balls with your thighs), 'full figured'
(a few pounds overweight, but all in the right places), 'a few pounds
overweight' (you influence tides), and the enigmatic 'other' (which leaves
everything to the imagination). There are exceptions to every rule, of
course, so there is the occasional person that actually reports truthfully
for this category. By far, the most common one is 'average'. Liars.

Now that we've got the simple stuff out of the way, it's on to the
details. There are two essay-question style interviews that you can fill
out to bump up your chances of having someone bite on your profile. The
first interview is the 'intimate' interview. This one asks you all the
stock questions about what you do for a living, what type of person you're
looking for, what you think you're biggest flaws and strengths are, etc.,
etc.. Pretty standard stuff, and it's primarily what the saner folks out
there use as a guide. The second interview is the 'adult' interview.
That's the interview to read if you are looking for someone that likes to
be tied to the bed or enjoys having sex on the kitchen floor at 2 in the

So, you've done the basic info and the detailed info. What else?
Pictures, of course! If you haven't posted a picture of yourself, you'd
better have a pretty amazing adult interview or no one will even bother to
contact you. In fact, there is an option in the search criteria that
filters out all profiles that don't have pictures. So, if you want to
know what you're getting into, check the box and filter out 70% of the
profiles out there. There's always a chance that there is a
'diamond-in-the-rough' that you filter out by checking 'profiles with
picture only', but that's Russian Roulette dating. Then again, chasing
after some woman because she has a cute picture isn't necessarily a mark
of sanity either. Caveat emptor.

By the way, a note on having pictures in your profile: Apparently almost
everyone searches just the profiles with pictures. Once you post a
picture, you pop up on the radar of a lot of wacky folks. Be forewarned.
I'm not the most ideal physical specimen out there, but I kinda like to
think I look a bit better than average. The point when my picture first
showed up next to my profile was when some interest stirred up and my
stories really begin.

A scant 24 hours after the picture was up, I had my first nibble. From a
woman who worked in the IT/telecommunications field. Who was
40-something. Being only 23 at the time, this was a pretty scary
proposition for me. She said that she really liked my profile and that
she wanted to go out and get a drink in the evening sometime. I sent her
a message back with a very good-natured and polite refusal. The fact that
her picture showed that she had teeth that reminded me of Mr. Ed wasn't
helping her case, either. I held back the urge to ask her if she had any
cute daughters.

A few days later, I received a very odd message in broken English. From a
woman in the Philippines. At least this one was the same age as me.
While the mangling of her sentences was reaching the Zero Wing level of
proportions, I could roughly make out the gist of her message. She wanted
a husband in the United States. I wrote her a nice refusal back, saying
that I wasn't that interested in mail-ordering a wife at this point in my
life. I silently wondered how many other guys she's hit with this request
before. I bet she's the type to search the profiles without pictures,

After another few days, a young lady who seemed to have a lot on the ball
contacted me. She seemed to have everything going for her: good job, only
25 years old, and a graduate degree. Her message said that she thought I
was a good match for her and that she'd like to get to know me. There
were two major snags to this one. Number one was the fact that she didn't
have a picture in her profile, so I had no idea what this girl looked
like. Still, I was willing to give it a shot if her profile matched me
really well. Second, her message said that she was looking for "a GOD
fearing gentleman". Yes, the 'GOD' was in capital letters. The
'gentleman' part I think I could manage... it'd be a stretch, but I could
handle it. The only reason I would ever fear God is if I thought
he/she/it actually had a chance at getting back at me for calling Sister
Kate 'Atilla the Nun' in my Catholic confirmation classes back in high
school. One more polite rejection stating 'agnostic tendancies' was sent
out and was understood and well received. That girl actually sounded very
nice, and I hope she finds what she's looking for. I'm pretty sure that
what she was looking for wasn't me, though. I tend to start smoldering
when I step inside of a church.

Strike three, and I was out. It was time to start going on the offensive.
I had burned a week already and I wasn't getting anywhere. Hanging out in
bars was starting to look pretty good.

Next Dating Update: My blind date from Hades.

*04 October 2001 - You May Already Be a Loser*
This is the e-mail I received when I applied for a job with the
Canadian entertainment software developer BioWare:

> Hi there Andrew,
> We would like to thank you for your application, however, presently we
> do not have any positions available for someone with your
> qualifications.
> We would like to keep your contact information in our files and let you
> know if something should become available in the future that may fit
> your profile.
> Best regards,
> BioWare Corp.

Here is the response that I sent back to BioWare:

> Thank you for your somewhat belated response to my 17 January request for
> a job with Bioware. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you
> that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment with your
> organization.
> This year, I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually
> large number of rejection letters from the gaming industry. With such a
> varied and promising field of candidates it is impossible for me to
> accept all refusals.
> Despite your organization's outstanding qualifications and previous
> experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not
> meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will be starting employment with
> your company in a software development capacity immediately following the
> finalization of my plans to relocate to the Great White North. I look
> forward to seeing you then.
> Andrew Henderson

Hear that crackling noise? That's the sound of bridges burning. I have yet to
hear back from BioWare in regards to my response. I'm guessing that I probably
won't hear anything back.

Lighten up, eh? Hosers.

*03 October 2001 - Moral of the Story*
It just kind of popped in my head this morning while I was making an attempt to not
fall asleep in the shower... I remembered back to my days of my first post-college
job. I was working as a systems engineer at a Lockheed Martin facility in Orlando,

Since I was still living in Daytona Beach at the time, I had a massive commute of 150
miles round trip to work and back each day. Aside from my usual 40 hour per week work
load, I was also doing management training. That meant that I was also taking masters
degree classes at the University of Central Florida after work. So, back then, my
days were about 12 hours long at a minimum. I even slept at my desk from time to

I spent a lot of time working on homework and management project papers in the
evenings at Lockheed Martin. Around 8:00 or 8:30 at night, I'd be the only person
around amongst the vast sea of cubicles that dominated the development area I worked
in. I'd take ten minute breaks and stroll up and down the rows of cubicles, reading
the comics and looking at the pictures that people had posted around their cubes.

One evening, I was taking one of those breaks when I wandered past a sign with
moveable letters that had apparently been part of a tour at one point. Since Lockheed
had so many military contracts, it was very common to have colonels and even one or
two star generals touring through the work areas to see how the Army's weapon
development budget was being spent. This sign's message was pretty simple:


Now, you and I both know that a burnt-out engineer isn't going to leave a sign with
moveable letters alone when no one is around to stop him. I started shuffling around
the letters and after about 20 minutes, I came up with the following:


I even used all the letters.

There're a few important points here. First off, "LMT" is the NASDAQ ticker symbol
for Lockheed Martin. At the time I fiddled with the sign, the company's stock was at
an all time low. This was great for me, since my retirement fund was composed mostly
of stock. So, I was getting a ton of stock for the amount of money I was investing.
The old timers that had been putting stock in their retirement plans for the past 15
years, however, were getting kinda nervous. Talk about the dropping stock value,
possible corporate take-overs, and even layoffs were common watercooler banter.

Anyway, after messing with the sign, I worked for perhaps another hour and then
started the long drive home.

When I got into work the next day, I found out that the sign had been discovered. My
supervising manager didn't even know the sign had been changed, but my manager's
manager heard about it and thought it was one of the funniest things he'd even seen.
Most employees looked at the sign, snickered, and then went on with their work. It
wasn't a real show-stopper at work, but my handiwork was silently appreciated by quite
a few co-workers.

Upper management, however, didn't think it was funny at all. They smelled dissention
in the ranks... possibly someone from Raytheon or Boeing that snuck in somehow for the
sole purpose of lowering morale. For some reason, upper management tends to come up
with odd conspiracy ideas like that. Anyway, they decided to take immediate action to
quell the impending uprising. They sent out a memo. Not just any memo, though...
the memo stated that there would be a company wide pizza party to raise morale. I was
told by several other employees, peons and managers alike, that the memo was a direct
result of the sign getting changed around.

Now, if your stock is tanking, you probably shouldn't spend $20,000 of your overhead
budget on pizza because some yahoo fiddled with a sign. But what do I know? I had
only been doing management for a year or two by that point, and the folks comprising
upper management had been managers since the days when flogging employees was still
considered acceptable business practice.

Moral of the Story:

"The squeaky wheel gets the greasy pizza."

*07 September 2001 - Investment Advice*
If you bought $1000 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49. If
you bought $1000 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all
the beer, and traded in the cans for the nickel deposit, you would have $79. My advice
to you is to start drinking heavily and recycle.

Stick it in the Vogel and go
"Setzen sie es in das betrunkene deutsche ein und reisen sie ab."
(Or, quite simply, "Stick it in the Vogel and go.")

When this .plan was written: 2001-11-09 23:01:57
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