Old News: January 2nd to January 17th, 2002

2:05pm [PST; GMT -08:00], 17 Jan. 2002:
GURPS game tonight. I do not hold high hopes about the outcome, but I don't really have anything better to do tonight. My portfolio isn't doing so well... see the summary below (click to enlarge; 6.06 kB GIF). I'm tempted to dump that AMD stock while I can, but I think it'll even out in a fortnight or so. AEOS is doing okay. Oh, I made my GURPS character yesterday. You can see it here (3.74 kB TXT); he knows a little magic and has some really kewl cyberware (armed arms and chip slots) as well as Luck level 2. I put his native language down as Swahili... is that what they speak in India? I couldn't remember. Anyway, I modified the timestamp above; it now gives the timezone in two formats after the hour. Had two tests today; Criminal Law and PC Hardware. Both went well, though I forgot "Police Power" for #19 on the Criminal Law test.

4:37pm, 15 Jan. 2002:
Forgot about the Ameritrade delay/timezone thing. Turns out I got the stocks at $27.07 and $19.55. Today, I made $1.35 on the AEOS shares and lost $9.20 on AMD. I already wish I'd put everything in AEOS... but I'll give AMD a month or so to redeem itself. Learned about Price/Earnings ratios today. Anyway. Slashdot still has their Flash Memory poll up; 14,000 votes so far (from 3k yesterday). I did another 9.51 kB grey-scaled GIF below (click to enlarge). Going to add some more to the Links section tonight. Circuit City got their warehous picker working, so I can go get a new satellite modem tonight. Matt and Justin want to start a Shadowrun/Cyberpunk GURPS game, w/ Matt GMing. Eh. I said I'd make a character if given the parameters, but I haven't recieved any yet. At any rate, I'm not very eager to start role-playing again. I'd much rather play Tile Chess or Proteus or something, but even those arn't much fun b/c I basically cream everyone I play against. I'll have to start handicapping myself. Okay, gotta go get the oil in my car changed and get the new modem. Later.

11:39pm, 14 Jan. 2002:
Added a new section to the site: Links. It'll replace the "PGP" link on the left. Of course, this means I have to re-upload every single freaking HTML file to my Geocities acct. to change the menu. Not fun on a 22600 bps connection. Anyway. I think I figured out what was wrong with the satellite dish for my computer; the external modem for it seems to be damaged (it was the floor model at Circuit City). It won't acknowledge that the dish is hooked up... that means either it or the dish reciever is busted (or my coax cable, but it's brand new). Anyway, I'm exchanging it for the newer model for free at the store when they get their warehouse picker fixed (the thing that let's 'em reach the really high shelves). I played a lot of Obi-Wan on the X-Box tonight. I wasn't very excited at first, but now I see that it's an awesome game. I even unlocked the first 4 secret Jedi for the Jedi Battle mode (my sister and I have been playing that a lot). Very fun. I still havn't finished the Links section, but most of the important stuff is there. It doesn't displease the eye terribly, either, if I do say so myself. Go look at it.

7:32pm, 14 Jan. 2002:
Carrot Cake Soup. Priceless. New link from NY Times: On This Day. Bought 15 shares of American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) and 20 shares of AMD (AMD) at $26.81 and $19.15, respectively. Insane dentist from Vancouver became obsessed with Mercury (the liquid metal)... read it in this "The Province" article. New ZZZ online today (it wasn't that good, this time). Interesting poll on Slashdot today; "Best Flash Memory Format." I got a screen capture below; I grey-scaled it as a GIF, so the actual full size image (click the thumbnail) only takes up 9.35 kB. The pic next to it is the thumbnail for a photo I had to take of a bulldog's deformed mouth/jaw/teeth today over at Animal Hospital of Pasco with my Sony digital camera (84.9 kB). ThemeXP.org is still down -- apparently, from what I've heard in the TweakXP forums, they kept crashing their old server, so they're moving to a new one. I have to buy books for my PC Hardware class tomorrow. Vrry 'spensive.

9:40pm, 13 Jan. 2002:
Ran the coaxial cable for the DirecPC dish today. I had to download AOL 7.0 (AOL is the only provider that I can get broadband through here) and some special software... it took about 5 hours total. My dad and I finished the horse shed across the street too, mostly. The roof is on it now anyway. The family had dinner at Billygan's Roadhouse. The cheeseburger was very good. Oh, and we picked up an X-Box at Circuit City for its DVD playing ability. Also got Star Wars StarFighter: Special Edition and Obi-Wan. Decent games. I still can't get the dish to pick up signal though... I'll try some more tomorrow. DirecPC/AOL software has issues with Windows XP, so that may be complicating matters.

2:37am, 13 Jan. 2002:
Worked on hooking up the DirecPC dish today. Haven't run the coaxial cable yet. Read a really good article over at Salon.com... you can find it here -- it's about the philosophy and true meaning of Seinfeld (the NBC series). I found out that I have about 279 shares of the Franklin Utilities mutual fund (FKUTX); if I sold it now, I'd make a profit, but it was higher last year than it is now (around $12 compared to today's $9.73). Anyway, I was thinking about the movie AI. It really was a lot better than I had said at the time; I really want to get it on DVD now. I saw The Royal Tenenbaums at the Columbia 8 tonight. Very good movie. It's directed by the same guy that did Rushmore (another movie I really liked; have it on DVD). Ben Stiller and Gene Hackman are excellent in it. All the actors are. It has a lot of strange anachronisms though... everywhere, you see rotary phones, big tape recorders (like, actual tape), record players, and old grainy TV sets with dials. But it's set in the present day (you can even see G4 Macs in a couple scenes). Anyway, I drew up two different revisions of a membership application today using the WordPerfect 9 that came with the Vaio. It's a little more limited than the version I'm used to. Well, I'm going to go read a couple chapters in Caverns of Socrates and go to bed.

1:52am, 11 Jan. 2002:
No more games for a while. Ppl are unhappy w/ what I do, even if I follow the rules... so, why bother? It used to be my favorite thing, to play games, but now it's boring or it makes ppl dislike me. I have very little use for other ppl if I'm not gaming, so what else is there? It disgusts me. Books and computers don't involve winning and losing, so I'll do that.

11:03pm, 9 Jan. 2002:
Just finished watching L&O. The priest ratted on Ortega. Good episode, though it seems like they use this whole 'confidential confession' stuff a little too liberally in the series. I've seen at least three other episodes that involve it. I was reading an article at CNN Money, and I think I might buy a few shares of American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS)... I saw a couple other ppl recommending it in various places. Pepsi (PEP) also looks good (according to this). I have to wait till Ameritrade gets my paperwork tho, since I sent it thru snail mail. Have you seen this Jim Jubak over at CNBC? He writes well, but his stock picks arn't that great. Look here; Global Crossing Ltd. (GX) has fallen 98.53% since he picked it! Wow. His best pick was Dell (DELL), which has risen 29.76% to date since his pick. But geez, GX was $45.438 when he got it -- now it's 67 cents. Oh, and it fell 3 cents today. Hahaha. Speaking of failing stocks, my parents lost another $67.08 today in their mutual funds chosen by the broker, Ty H. (esp. the Putnam OTC Emerging Growth which fell 5 cents). So far, the value of that group (of mutual funds; the Putnam ones) has dropped about 6% since 1998, though one in particular (PGSMX) has risen 34%. Too bad they only had ~370 shares, eh?

9:04pm, 9 Jan. 2002:
Guess what I got today... Satellite internet access at 400 kbps! Yep. We went to Circuit City and got the DirecPC dish and hardware (pictured below) for $107 (discounted from ~$150 b/c it was the floor model; they only had the 'modem' on display), plus it only costs $31 per month. Very good. Then I had dinner at Hayden's Place (cheeseburger and fries). Also good. Um... oh -- Penny Arcade was sooo funny today. I actually laughed out loud. They mention the new iMac (or as some of the readers at Slashdot call it, the iMuffin). Oh yeah, Slashdot had a poll today on how ppl connect to the internet... only 10 (like, actually 10, not 10%) use satellite connections! And, only 16% use modems (well at about 4:00pm, anyway). I have a screenshot of the poll results below (click to enlarge). Been talking to this lady, Linda Ellis, via e-mail; she's trying to pick out a new video card and wanted my thoughts on the Radeon 64 mB DDR -- apparently, she saw my system stats over on the TweakXP forums. Oh, have you heard of Bernard Shifman? Go read Bernard Shifman Is A Moron Spammer. It's long, but really entertaining, and recent too (some of it happened just over a week ago). My Computer Hardware class (taught by Tony Sako) was pretty fun today. He talked about overclocking and chip design. My favorite MP3 for Wednesday is Smashmouth - The In Set. Anyway, there's a new Law & Order tonight.

8:55pm, 7 Jan. 2002:
Just read an interesting post by Geoffery Fagan. Read it here in TXT format (3.56 kB). Basically, he outlines some simple rules for PCs wanting to buy items of a particular control rating. Clever. Had turkey, spinach, rice, and Coke for dinner tonight. It was good. Turkey on a Ritz cracker is really good. Of course, it's hard to get it all on there -- the rest of Europe keeps sticking to the sides. Hah. Anyway. I built a computer workstation desk tonight; entirely metal, on rollers. There's a picture below (click to enlarge; 64.5 kB JPEG). It, too, is good. I think the 1.4 GHz needs a new mobo, so I'm going to order one tonight or tomorrow... even if that's not the problem, I can always use it in another machine (or build a new one around it). Oh, and have you seen the new iMac? There's a pic below. It looks so kewl, I almost want one. Anyway, there's an article over at Wired, here.

4:26pm, 7 Jan. 2002:
Okay, okay, I've missed some posts. It's only been 5 days, though. Anyway, my classes are working out pretty well; Investments is really fun... I just opened an account at Ameritrade. They have this offer right now that lets you sign up for only $1,000 (normally $2K) and gives you 25 free internet equity trades. I sent the check thru snail mail (want this type of stuff on paper with as many records as possible). Hanwool went back to UW on Sunday -- he came over and played Munchkin and Tile Chess on Saturday. We also tried out Car Wars on Saturday... it's okay, but it needs some heavy duty house rules to be really fun. Justin called me today to say that he's just moved into his new home (a tri-plex in Kennewick). His new number is 374-2881. Hmm... what else? Doing race write-ups for the upcoming Fantasy/Steampunk campaign and still working on the world generation rules. Penny Arcade has a really good strip today. Gabe always says the truly hilarious stuff. There was a new Futurama, Simpsons, Malcom in the Middle, L&O:CI, and The Practice yesterday. All very good (well, The Practice kinda suxxored). Futurama ran another one of their Tales of Interest episodes which I especially like. GURPS game Thursday night.

5:34pm, 2 Jan. 2002:
Ah, first post of the new year. Started CBC classes today -- I have one class with both Matt and Stacy. Anyway, Matt, Justin, Hanwool, and I have been gaming quite a bit in the last week. Tile Chess is awesome! Below are our game pictures (starting board: 35.3kB; ending board: 27.5 kB)... I won, but this time Justin was the last to die (it was Matt last time). I ended up capturing Matt's king and got all his green pieces (tho Justin had those pretty well cleared off by that time). Oh yeah, these are from New Year's Eve. We had a long gaming thing out in my dad's workshop (Justin brought a card table and folding chairs) -- we played The Works, Proteus, Pass the Pigs, Munchkin, Tile Chess, and a long GURPS session. It was really fun. The GURPS session was in this world-hopping campaign where Matt and Justin have characters from TL9 Shinpi Nokori (roughly 2350's) with experimental cyberware personal teleporters that malfunctioned and apparently send them to a new dimension every two and a half days. Anyway, so far they've been to:

  1. The two-continent-spanning Mexican dictatorship with TL6 weaponry.
  2. TL5 Korea; specifically, a secluded prison in the mountains.
  3. A moderately advanced TL7 world ruled by a theocracy centered around the will of a bizarre god baring a remarkably similar appearance to Cthulhu. (Clerical magic seemed to work here.)
  4. TL8 Canada controlled by corporations. (Included cyberware in daily life; N and Zeratul happened to look very similar to the city cops.)

But anyway, it was a kewl game. Justin and Matt did slaughter about 40 people in the Korean prison however (well, 5 were guards and 1 was a sergant). Hanwool couldn't come because he and his relatives have this tradition where the kids get money on New Year's just for bowing and saying some junk. Point being: he likes free money better than gaming. Oh, and in the pics below (click to enlarge), I'm gold, Justin's black, and Matt's green. Okay, more to come later.