News: April 18, 2003 to April 29, 2003
I'd mention this; my family's taking a vacation to Virginia and
Washington DC in June. Leave on the 11th, get back on the 15th.
I kinda picked the location (nobody had any other real opinions,
though Canada was mentioned). Choke had a kind of disappointing
ending. Well, not as bad as it could've been, but still not
that amazing. Like, Lullaby had a great ending, IMHO. I think
I'm going to go buy some tuna fish and bread at the store and make
sandwiches for lunch. Tuna and ramen. That could be good.
2003 (Tue); Post #292
Today's MP3: Tom Smith - I Want to be Peter Lorre.mp3 (3:03).
good (at least, IMHO) GURPS session last Saturday. To sum it up
quickly: Mala turned out to be on Duke Letta's side (he was a traitor
to Umbriel) and pulled something like 20,000 troops though a portal
into this world. Most of Umbriel's troops were either killed or
defected. I tried to save Sgt. Nephe, but he wouldn't leave his
men, so I took his cousin, Pvt. Niss. (I now speak Mirandian and
English.) Torvald was captured and is being held in the seaside
mountain town. We managed to rescue Mishkel (Umbriel's mate) and
Alrach (Drew's Elven rune wizard). Currently, we're camped out on
a small island about 60 miles out. Oh, here's the good part: I killed
Commander Mala. Shot him in the throat, then stabbed him in the
brain with my spear (he wouldn't die). My spear was christened
Mindseeker because of this. Woo. Also, I got a miniature
copy of the crystal bowl that lets people communicate across language
2003 (Mon); Post #291
I assume you've heard about the whole Strawberry Shortcake-American
over at Penny Arcade.
Of course, anyone with half a brain and access to the Google
search engine can find the now-censored strip. Anyway, there's some
interesting commentary from Tycho in today's edition, plus a hilarious
I can't believe they had the chutzpah to publish.
The SARS problem seems
to wrapping up. It seems to be the only thing on the news lately.
Well, that and silly stories about invincible dogs and 4-inch terriers.
The war is pretty much done with. At least, the exciting parts.
I'm like 20 pages away from finishing Choke (which I mistakenly
called "Choker" earlier). It's been pretty good, but the
last chapter (where Victor meets the redhead on the plane) really
dragged. Background and explanation is good, but it could've been
done in fewer pages. It was pretty obvious anyway. Lullaby
was much better, but Choke is still better than average.
I'd put it on the same level as Hit List (but not Hit
Man) by Block. I think I'll read Probability Sun next
(I think I could OD on Palahniuk).
Portfolio is doing well. Amazon is up an amazing 96.3% since I bought
it. Of course, overall, my ROI is presently -27.7%. That's still
better than what it was 6 months ago. I updated the links
section. Today's MP3: Dance Dance Revolution - Mr. Wonderful.mp3
An Invader Zim graphic. Why? Running low on web space (recycling),
plus I've been watching it a lot lately. Delishus Weenie!
got back from dinner with my parents and sister. It's my dad's birthday.
We went to that restaurant out on Clover Island. I had the seared
Ahi tuna w/ baked potato and clam chowder. Then rainbow sherbert
for dessert. All very good. I got him the Rusty Humphries CD "Bomb
Iraq." (He'd mentioned it a couple times a few months ago.)
2003 (Fri); Post #290
I went to Barnes & Noble earlier today (mostly cuz my family
has a discount card there). I got Choker, Survivor,
and Probability Sun (Palahniuk, Palahniuk, Kress, resp.).
Can't wait to start Choker. It looks really good. If it's
half as good as Lullaby, I'll be thrilled. I almost picked
up The Uplift War, but then I thought about how Startide
Rising wasn't especially gripping.
Olivia's registry keeps corrupting itself at the drop of a hat.
I blame that damn rev. 2.2 GA-7DX mobo. (I know the connection seems
tenuous, but the HDs are perfect...) I just bought a Gigabyte
GA-7VKMP over at NewEgg.
While I wait for that, I'll be Dance Dance Revolutioning on DeadLois.
Well, Law & Order: SVU is on, so adjø.
the Charter crisis seems to be over. I have full access once again.
18 hours. Geez.
2003 (Thu); Post #289
I've been almost without internet access (no e-mail, no geocities,
most web sites unreachable) for about 16 hours now. At least I can
still get to Slashdot and use
AIM. I'm drinking a mocha frappuccino
link, b/c I can't get to the decent ones]. Need... Overclockers.com...
THG... Pete's Compendium... aaaaagh. Stupid, stupid Charter. Oh,
how I despise their incompetent technicians. Wrath, pain, etc.
2003 (Thu); Post #288
stupid Charter! One of their major routers is broken so I can't
do some things (like check my e-mail or browse the Slashdot forums)
and my ping is about 50-70 ms higher than it normally is. I've
called the company twice (at least they have a 24-hour 800 number),
the first person I talked to said it'd be fixed by 11:00 p.m.
Of course, she was wrong. The guy I just talked to was even more
2003 (Thu); Post #287
thought the service was supposed to be restored by eleven.
it might not have happened exactly that way, but you get
the idea. Oh, they will feel my wrath. Or something.
Level 1 Tech Support Monkey: Uh... yeah, me too.
M: Do you know exactly what the problem is?
L1TSM: Some router thing. The router that connects you
to the internet broke. So you can't get to some sites.
M: Ah. Does your chest hurt?
L1TSM: A little. Why?
M: 'Cause I'm stabbing the heck out of this voodoo doll.
How about now?
L1TSM: Auuughggh!!! Oh my god! Aaaagggh! [gurgle, gurgle]
M: [steepling fingers] Excellent.
Hanwool and I have been playing DDR since around eleven thirty.
I scored 5.8 million on Kick the Can. Hanwool came near his 16 million
top score a couple times. Hasn't beaten it yet. Found out Beefy
(who I vaguely remember) has been updating his site, but
he changed the blog page file name. Of course, I always link past
the splash pages on my bookmarks, so I didn't notice the change.
color scheme hurts my brain. Red, green, black... it's just
so unnatural. Aren't those Iraq's colors? (After a quick Google
Images search...) Why yes, they are. Tch, Beefy. At least he's not
out gassing Kurds. Today's MP3: Those Darn Accordions! - Hotsy Totsy
Beefy: PHS student by day, Saddam Hussein body-double by night.
finished watching Adaptation. I was going to save it for
(probably) this Friday or Saturday and try the whole projector-computer-white-sheet
thing, prolly outside. But then I thought to myself "Aw, none
of your friends are going to like this movie. Ebert & Roeper
loved it. Come on. You know how much they loved About
Schmidt. Just save yourself the torture of their whining and
watch it alone."
2003 (Wed); Post #286
So, about half-way through the movie, I begin to realize I was right.
The movie is slow, a little boring at times. A little frustrating.
I almost consider turning it off. But I decide to finish it. Well.
It turns out to be absolutely amazing. I don't want to give anything
away, but it is totally worth it. Up to the half-way point, you
might be thinking "Yawn. So what? How depressing." But
in the end you realize it's all necessary. Not the best movie I've
ever seen, but I'm sure it'd make my top ten. (My favorite, of course,
being The Royal Tenenbaums.) It's really, really good.
The bad part is that through the first half, the main character
talks about bad movie cliches, devices, etc. and how pathetic writers
are that use them. But then a lot of them end up getting used towards
the end. So I'm afraid I might have missed one of the subtle, but
major, points of the film. Or maybe it's just meant to be ironic.
Except you really sympathize with the main character when he complains
(or just implies that he dislikes things) about chase sequences
and thriller-type staples. I dunno. I choose Ironic.
My parents got me a first year German textbook from 1905 for Easter.
It's really cool. Kinda got me interested in the language again,
so I've been reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning German
on Your Own to try to brush up on it. Es ist nicht so schlect.
Today's MP3: Andrews Sisters - Bei Mir Bist Du Schon.mp3 (3:00).
Adaptation. Ein sehr guter Film.
update, things I've meant to mention: Justin got a Radeon 9800.
I scored 1,402,300 on "Get
me in your sight." Beefy's posting on other
ppl's sites, but not his own (10 days now). BTW, Nick's site
was in my links section, but I took it down because I thought
he'd stopped serving it (every time I tried to go there, for like
a week, it was down). If it stays up, I'll re-add it. The "Jesus
Christ, P.I." play at Pete's Compendium is getting pretty
good. That "eat two, Brutus" line was mine. I just noticed
that ppl are starting to talk about processors (well, their circuitry,
anyway) in terms of nanometers instead of microns. I watched Good
Will Hunting last night. Vaguely depressing, for some reason.
I did like the part where Damon put down that epigone
in the bar though. I do not care for Desert
Combat. The graphics, the idea, the mangling of a perfectly
good WWII game... I'm using the Brain.
It is good.
2003 (Tue); Post #285
Okay, I'm done. Excuse the poor formatting. Today's MP3: Violent
Femmes - Blister In The Sun.mp3 (2:24).
was yesterday. Um. I don't really have anything interesting to say
for this post, except that I put up a page for My
DVD Collection. A picture, IMDb links. Also linked the Misc
section-page to it. Oh, Slashdot
just posted a link to the 2002
Nebula Award Winners. American Gods won Best Novel. Today's
MP3: Elbow - Independent Woman.mp3 (1:56).
2003 (Mon); Post #284
My desk: where the magic happens.
fast session synopsis for Hanwool's 3rd: Me (cuttlefish psi), Phillip
(TL9 Roman), and Jones (Black & White det. from 60s) do a lot
of diplomatical-pseudopolitic stuff with Umbriel. He's keeping secrets,
doing some odd stuff militarily, and keeping us from speaking with
everyone. Upshot: we can talk to most generals, commanders, and
sergeant now. We hang out for a few days, then go through a portal
to some new world with "a magical material." We'd know
more, but Umbriel & co. lie to us a lot.
2003 (Sun); Post #283
Anyway, we investigate. We find ourselves on an island/peninsula.
There's a town cut into a mountainside. We go, it's abandoned. For
some reason, the fish-men (Mirandians now, I think) send 5,000 troops
through the portal. Oh, but it's not an invasion! Ri-i-i-ight.
A flying ship "lands" (hovers) at the wharf eventually.
Buncha guys with muskets and flintlocks get off (like 900). I create
illusions of a gigantic (20' tall, 6' wide) Umbriel-monster(s) attacking
them and climbing onto their ship. There's much confusion. Lots
of guys get back on the ship and it flies away. And fires its 40
cannons at us as it does so. Jones takes 10 damage to the torso.
We get back. Commander Mala tries to "dress us down."
He insults me, calls me a liar in-so-many-words to my face, etc.
I tell him, without sugarcoating it, that I did a lot more for his
people than he has (he had fires going in the camp, easily
visible from the air). For some reason, he refuses to believe that
900 men with guns and cannons and a flying ship are a threat
to 2,000 fish-men armed only with bronze swords and crossbows. Oh,
and later that night he tortures his own scouts for information
on the commotion in town.
Well, we have "words" a few more times. Sgt. Nephe lets
it slip that this really is an invasion. We basically get
kicked off any official mission activities. We go investigate some
nearby islands (about 10-30 miles out). Nothing. We go back to the
island, then around it (turns out it's a peninsula). We find another
city built into the cliffs. We also see (from under the cover of
my invisibility shell) Sgt. Norel's team sneaking around near it.
And that's where we ended the session. It took a long time
because JD and Justin kept talking to the GM about their character
details, then kept interrupting our session to get GMed through
the arriving-on-fish-world part of the game. Yawn. They come out
on Duke Letta's side (he's not dead after all). They cause all sorts
of havoc. I wasn't really paying attention for their parts.
In other news: I got Olivia (the media server) working properly.
Transferred a lot of stuff to her new 120 GB HD (about 60
gigs). Been making my own iced-tea. Very good. Ryan's still on the
codine. Phill's car has been having some kind of battery trouble.
Hanwool scored 16.3 million on DDR (Dam
Dariram). 150 max combo. Yow. I'm just doing three and (sometimes)
four noters like Pink Dinosaur, Keep Me in Your Sights, and Kick
the Can. I like Eat You Up. Still, I keep confusing up and down.
Finished a polo brochure and web site.
BTW, here's a good DDR site,
if you enjoy such things.
Today's MP3: Jimmy Rogers - Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.MP3 (2:19).
a bunch of stuff in the mail. My network tester (a while ago), my
mounting-kit and blue-LED fan (a little while ago), and my 120 GB
IBM hard drive (very recently). Installed the HD; it detects and
partitions fine, but I've been having some trouble formatting it
(tried FAT32 twice, both failed, now trying NTFS). My mom got me
a nice Casio digital watch. It's the G2210.
It even has a day-counter (only 125 days until my birthday!) and
a 25-entry databank, among other things. I took the band assembly
apart and put the watch on a string so I can wear it around my neck
(which I am doing now). The band was okay, but I don't really like
having things around my wrists or fingers.
2003 (Fri); Post #282
Hanwool GMed the second session of his dimension-hopping campaign
on Thursday. It was a very long session. The skinny: Justin (vampire)
died, Ryan (were-lion) died, Phill (TL9 Roman), Drew (reptile-man),
Ryan (now as a black-and-white detective), and I (cephalopod psi)
went to another world, traveled about 300 miles over 6 days, met
some rat-creatures in a bizarre stone monolith (~40 stories), saved
Umbriel's ppl from Duke Letta's army, returned to our own worlds.
I'm going to get my anime CD binder back from JD so I can copy some
of them over to the media server (now with 180 GB of space). I think
the main things I'll transfer are Mr. Show, Invader Zim, Sealab
2021, some Azumanga Daioh, Chobits, Cowboy Bebop, and GTO. And of
course, all the movies spread out over other systems (~25 GB).
Got some new DVDs to add to the collection: Drum Line, Harry
Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and LotR: FotR (Platinum
Series Extended Edition; 4 discs). Been playing BF1942 quite a bit
online. Debating whether or not to install Desert
Combat. I don't really care for the premise, and the screen
shots aren't that impressive. Then again, I could say the same things
about Counter-Strike, which I do enjoy. Lately, I've been
playing Wake and El Alamein a lot (I esp. like CTF on the latter).
Gazala CTF is good too.
Only 17 or 18 days till the MS
thing in Spokane. Good thing we registered early. Oo, free legal
software. Hooray. Today's MP3: Jesus Christ Superstar - Heaven On
Their Minds.mp3 (4:22).
"Umbriel pauses in his speech to describe the process by which
his civilization's mud bricks are made. First, they find the right
mixture of clay, then, if the season is right, wooden forms can
be built and left in a sunny spot to cure. The mud is sometimes
mixed with sand to... blah blah blah, etc., blah blah blah..."
percent of success is showing up." Woody Allen