Old News: January 18, 2005 to February 16, 2005

1:14 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
16 Feb. 2005 (Wed); Post #556
LASER CURES ALL! An overwhelmingly unsuccessful meme, but I love it.

I saw Fargo on Monday. Immediately after watching it, I was irritated and disappointed. But now that I've had some time to think about it, to let the story and dialogue "gel" in my mind, I think I kinda liked it. There's one question that really bugs me though: What did Jerry Lundegaard need $960K for? I guess it's like "What was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?"
One of those things that doesn't really matter but makes you a little nuts. Maybe it's just me. Anyway.

The Mike Yanagita character (the Japanese engineer the pregnant cop meets at the Radison) immediately reminded me of Mike Sorayama from Venture Brothers (ep. 1x12). Turns out it's the same guy! Not only was Sorayama a deliberate copy of Yanagita, but the character was voiced by Steve Park (the actor from Fargo). The last name, "Sorayama," was taken from Hajime Sorayama who's apparently rather famous for these robot women he painted in the 1970s (which, of course, the Leslie-bots are based on). Just some interesting trivia.

I got all my MP3 ID3 tags edited so they now match the "artist - title" structure I use for the filenames. Did it so I could really take advantage of the Winamp Avalon skin's song info popup and the media controls on my new Logitech MediaPlay Cordless Mouse. It was pretty easy to do since I used Abander TagControl 2.5 (would have taken days to do all twenty-two hundred songs manually).

I finally got a big chunk of my files from G:\media recovered. The whole process took about 34 hours (image below) and got back ~87 GB of data. For some reason, I couldn't successfully recover any of the MPEGs. The AVIs faired better, but I'd estimate about 40% are at least partially corrupted. It's funny how most of the stuff I really wanted to salvage got messed up, but every episode of Dinosaurs and Joey is in perfect condition. Thanks, hard drive.

Well I'm going to make a couple backups onto DVD-R and go to bed.

32:46:08. WTF.

9:25 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
10 Feb. 2005 (Thu); Post #555
Ooo, post #555. After discussing my hard drive woes with ATers and Hitachi support staff, I've come to the conclusion that I need data recovery software. Since no one was sure it would work, I downloaded a demo version of R-Studio (which Jeff7 from ATTS recommended; Hitachi recommended EasyRecovery). After about an hour of scanning, it had managed to find most of my files from G:\media. Casualties include FMA #38 and the 9/27/04 ep. of Daily Show featuring Rosie Perez. Otherwise, everything seems to be recoverable.

Unfortunately, R-Studio NTFS costs $50 and EasyRecovery Lite Individual Edition costs $90. Anyone who knows me knows I hate to pay for software. And worse, this is software I'll probably only use once. So, naturally, I visited LokiTorrent to see if I could find an R-Studio ISO whereupon I was assaulted with this foul, judgmental message:

goddamn MPAA

Of course, you can view it in its full-sized, unholy glory at the aforementioned web site.

foolish round-eye
A still from the American Dad pilot.

6:11 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
9 Feb. 2005 (Wed); Post #554
Had to deliver a bunch of checks this afternoon so various utilities (including electricity for my house) wouldn't get turned off later this week. To avoid a complicated, boring story, I'll just say the ability of Franklin PUD clerks to perform simple arithmetic is less than satisfactory.

On my way to the Benton PUD, I stopped at IF and picked up some stuff. Nodwick Adventure Log Vol. 1, Pirate Club #1, Next Exit #1, The 3 Geeks #10, Geeksville #3, a couple Free Comic Book Day comics (Slave Labor Stories, Amelia Rules!, and The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius), PvP Vol. 2: Reloaded, Skeleton Key #1, Clerks: The Lost Scene, and GURPS Dragons (hardcover).

Sunday's Simpsons had a pretty good quote from Flanders: "I'm like Michael Moore! Except I'm skinny, my jeans are washed, and God loves me." Haha. Hey, and we learned that Comic Book Guy's real name is Jeff Albertson.

Been working on some Jovia stuff. It's not uploaded yet, but last night I made up a page about calendar systems and major holidays.

No progress on my Hitachi HD... I downloaded their diagnostic tools and ran every test available and they all say the drive is working perfectly. And the Windows Disk Management console says the drive is "Healthy," though it also shows that it lacks a file system and has 100% free space. WTF. So I submitted a question to Hitachi tech support and posted a thread on AnandTech but neither's gotten a reply yet.

Hey, I made a high-res 9-cell picture tube of gold coins. Didn't really have a point, but I wanted to familiarize myself with Paint Shop Pro 9, having used PSP7 for the past 3 years. If you'd like to try it out, you can download it here (1.80 MB .PspTube file).

comic books and GURPS Dragons
Comics from Infinite Frontiers.

7:27 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
8 Feb. 2005 (Tue); Post #553
Huh, I suddenly have 50 Gmail invites on my hjo3.net account. I guess they're really trying to test the system now or something. Anyway, if anyone wants a free 1 GB-of-storage Gmail account, email me at or AIM me at hjo333.

Some random stuff: Seasons 1 and 2 of NewsRadio, one of my favorite sitcoms, comes out on DVD May 24th. SJG's Daily Illuminator mentioned this nifty Alphabet Synthesis Machine that lets you generate alien alphabets and download them as TrueType fonts. Did you know there's a forum for ice chewers? Man, the internet really has a web site for everything. Url, ybbx — V pna hfre ebg13 "rapelcgvba."

Saturday's GURPS game was... interesting. Everything was going fine until everyone died in a lengthy battle with some Ixian knights. At least it can be said that the group fought to the last man and Karnot perished defending the ideals of the Taborian religion. Oh, and we learned that Hanwool is not to be trusted when it comes to 4th edition parrying rules. Hah.

For our next session, Ryan (the only survivor) elected to skip a year of time. It seems Justin and Hanwool will be playing wizards, Beefy's making a cleric of Altrusia.

Here's a picture of my new (used) car. Beefy and I were taking pictures for his music CD over at a boat launch in Finley and we thought a couple in front of a semi-sporty red car would be "gangsta." Very "Icy Hot Stuntaz." Anyway, I told him to get out of the way so I could get a shot without him in it and that's when my batteries ran out.

My 1999 Grand Prix GT and some homeless guy from Finley.

1:51 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
4 Feb. 2005 (Fri); Post #552
Got my GURPS Basic Set: Characters book today. The binding in this second printing seems much better than the first's. The Warehouse 23 representative who arranged the replacement was really helpful. Also had a really strange name: Fade Manley. It's one of those names that makes you stop and wonder. Like Rainbow Sun Francks, the guy who plays Lt. Ford on Stargate: Atlantis.

Free 2nd printing replacement. SJG rocks!

I found a really small flathead screwdriver earlier this evening, so I used it to take apart my glasses and clean the hard-to-reach bits. The gunk in and around the nose pad anchors was really gross. Kind of a black, slightly oily grime that stained my fingers. You couldn't really see it before, but I'll rest easier knowing it's gone.

I ordered an external (USB 2.0) 120 GB hard drive from Newegg. This must have angered my 160 GB Hitachi, cuz when I went to look for a PSP9 RAR in G:\media a half-hour ago I got this rage-inducing error:


I really, really hope the drive's not dead. I've got about 90 GB of totally un-backed-up video on there, including the last 15 episodes of Full Metal Alchemist which I never got around to watching. And several un-watched movies I copied from Beefy (Collateral, Sideways, Harold and Kumar, Ray). And every Daily Show episode from 11-18-04 on. And all twenty Stargate: Atlantis episodes. And... well, you get the idea.

Anyway. Picked up Hero and De-Lovely at Circuit City on Wednesday. Also ordered Fargo and Goodbye, Lenin DVDs from Amazon a week ago.

I recently had some problems with Winamp that forced me to uninstall it and do a registry sweep to remove any Winamp-related entries. So I figured I'd try the latest version (5.08) as long as I was reinstalling. While on their site, I browsed the modern skins and found Avalon. It looks really nice. Has some good "Color Theme" options and three different window modes. The corner-notifier thing is really cool (though it'd be more useful if I went through and got all my ID3 tags entered properly).

I've been trading MP3s like crazy. Just yesterday I got a really neat song, a French acapella tune by Malicorne called "La Mule" (1979), from a Buddhist in England (thanks, Padmavyuha!). For some reason, most of the ppl who contact me with song requests are from outside the US.

I realized it's been almost a year since I did a desktop-screenshot post for the blog (post #447), so here's one from a few minutes ago. I like to see how my GUI preferences change over time.

Click for full-size version (1280x1024; 415 kB).

4:17 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
1 Feb. 2005 (Tue); Post #551
Magical Trevor 2 is out. Too bad it's so inferior to the first one.

My new 2nd-printing Characters book shipped on the 28th, should be here Thursday according to the UPS tracker. Speaking of GURPS, I saw a rather humorous typo in Magic (well, humorous if you're a gigantic nerd). On page 113, the listed Prerequisite Count for Shape Darkness is 350 (it's actually 3). Prerequisite Count is what I'm going use to calculate the size and cost of spellbook entries for wizards' tomes in the Jovia setting. Anyway.

My sister IMed me a link to this flash of some goon singing Dragostea Din Tei. It's pretty funny. I saw the same thing posted on 4chan/f, but it cut off after the first 5 seconds or so.

Man, this post sure didn't have much substance. Here are some random images.

Click any of the above for the full-size version. The little girl in the middle picture creeps me out.

1:11 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
31 Jan. 2005 (Mon); Post #550
I think I'm finally over that dumb cold/bronchitis thing. There's still a little coughing, but that's getting better. I hadn't been sick in a long time before last week. Like, three or four years. Well, besides that palsy thing. But not sick-sick. Anyway. Glad I'm done with it.

The Corpse Bride and Fantastic Four trailers look pretty cool. Will definitely see both of those when they come out.

Here's some random weird stuff I've been meaning to post for a while now: Using Linux to create zombie badgers. Truly bizarre paintings by Brandon Bird (he did that Christopher Walken-building-a-robot oil that's been circulating on 4chan/WAKAchan). Some Canadian nut claims he invented a device that lets you see (normally!) through solid objects in real time.

Our GURPS game on Saturday went much, much better than the first session in this new setting. The PCs undertook a suicidal mission to transport an adventuring party to the haunt of the largest dragon on the continent. Their unlikely escape came at a cost however; Lendle, Hanwool's Elf character, was knocked overboard and managed to hold on to the dragon's leg-spur only to be eaten hours later in the beast's hoard-chamber. Later, the surviving members grounded the Liger (their airship) for two months in the city of Ersatz. The ship had sustained significant damage and Corbix had lost his foot to a freak mana-arc, so the party disbanded the crew and got some temporary safe jobs while they healed up and made repairs. Sahl and Corbix earned reputations as a bouncer for high-society affairs and a master airshipman instructor, respectively.

Karnot, the cleric of Tabor, did odd jobs and later oversaw a hurried repair operation while Corbix poached five crewmen from another ship so the Liger could delay a Dwarven Junk from Hrond (part of a scheme for a goblin trading company to beat out Blackstone & Jadecleft for a lucrative lead-supply contract with the Keman Alchemists' Guild). The party succeeded brilliantly in destroying the tradeship, thanks in large part to a well-timed ax throw by Corbix, some crazy swashbuckling from Sahl, and careful piloting by Karnot. There was a suspenseful ten seconds when Sahl fought with the Dwarven helmsman for a grip on the only lifeline to the Liger as the Dwarven Junk fell away below them. It was exciting stuff. The looting afterwards was profitable, but Corbix and Karnot were both badly injured by mana-arcs (the ship had crashed right on the Thracus ley line).

I'm going to bed. Here's a picture from the upcoming HHGTTG movie.

A still from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Left to right: Zaphod, Trillian, Marvin, Ford.

6:17 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
26 Jan. 2005 (Wed); Post #549
Been pretty sick since Sunday night. Monday was especially bad. Coughing, wheezing, mucus, antibiotics, and all that. Not feeling fantastic ATM, so this'll be a short post.

We had that GURPS game on Saturday. The group switched into "loathsome sleazebag" mode pretty quickly, killing two-thirds of a family who were moving to Kemany. For what purpose? No idea. It certainly wasn't profitable. Anyway, we had another unit conversion error... a centimeters/millimeters thing. So the ship was effectively traveling 1/10th as fast as it should have been. Ergo, the 25-day trip from Drefno to Kemany should've taken only 2.5 days.

Burnout 3/wreck x4
Played a lot of Burnout 3 last week.

6:07 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
18 Jan. 2005 (Tue); Post #548
My mom made some really great brussel sprout stew yesterday. I drove all the way to the DOL (which took forever on account of everything being covered in ice) only to find out it was closed because of Martin Luther King day. So I went back today and got the title stuff straightened out. Also talked to State Farm and figured out an insurance plan that's way better than GEICO's offer (e.g. $100 COMP deductible vs. GEICO's $500) for the same price per month.

At some point, Rathergood.com made their original songs available for download as MP3s. Which is good, cuz I've been looking for a good MP3 of Hippo Girl (lyrics) since 2003.

I think I finally worked out all the bugs with my .htaccess/hotlinking stuff. Here's the code I'm using right now:
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(.*\.)?hjo3\.net(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ - [F]
I was talking to Anonymous-San (from 4chan). He always uses these weird emoticons where he substitutes a period for a colon (e.g. .D). Turns out it's because he only has one eye! I thought it was pretty funny. He accidentally mentioned some Full Metal Alchemist spoilers to me, so he offered to upload all the episodes I'm missing (36-51). Right now I'm 91% complete and getting speeds around 160 KB/s.

I got an email from a Warehouse 23 customer service rep. They're sending me a new copy of Characters (second printing with sewn binding). I asked how I should go about returning my original pages-falling-out copy and they said I could keep it! I think that kind of service more than makes up for the printer's screwup.

lenin   edward   waha
An old meme (Waha-chan) plus some more recent variations.

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but, unlike charity, it should end there." — Clare Booth Luce