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.
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
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
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
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
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:
- The two-continent-spanning Mexican dictatorship with TL6 weaponry.
- TL5 Korea; specifically, a secluded prison in the mountains.
- 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.)
- 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.