Old News: June 3, 2003 to June 26, 2003

4:13 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
26 Jun. 2003 (Thu); Post #328
OMG, I just finished watching all the episodes of MashiMaro. It's this weird Korean flash cartoon about a rabbit. It's got to be the funniest thing I've seen all week. It's a little bit naughty. The episodes are under the "gallery" link.

2:31 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
26 Jun. 2003 (Thu); Post #327
Drew and Ryan came over. Drew and I DDRed before Ryan got here. The new setup seemed more agreeable to him (I put the TV up high so that it's slightly below eye-level). The Disney mix is really great... I esp. like Midnight Blaze and the 4-star version of Small World. When Ryan showed up we played a few games of Settlers of Catan and got pizza at Domino's (2 med. cheese for $8.88).

Then Drew left, Phill came over. We played some more SoC. Phill left, Ryan and I went to Wendy's. We ate, watched Leno (he had Ebert and Roeper on; they were hilarious — esp. when Roeper did the subtle-behind-the-couch-two-thumbs-down-move). Played a couple more games of SoC.

I must've played, oh, nine games today. Won every single freakin' one of 'em. Heh. I believe that brings my current record to 14 to 2. Yes, I am the de facto emperor-king of Catan. Obey!

Ryan and Drew related some amusing camping-on-the-Olympic-peninsula stories to me. Apparently, they managed to avoid getting fined when they were pulled over for speeding and it was discovered that JD had lost his registration and proof-of-insurance. Oh, and he told the officer they had alcohol in the cooler (evidently, something like 20 bottles/cans). The policeman just made them pour it all out on the side of the road though. Pretty lucky for them, huh?

I think I'll be seeing 28 Days Later [IMDb link] on Friday. Jones is coming, anyone else is invited. It's a pseudo-zombie movie. It's gotten good reviews (generally, 3-4 out of 5, glancing at the MRQE results). Jones and I are going to IF tomorrow. I think I'll get the SoC 5-6 player expansion.

Today's Haiku:

Last Comic Standing:
Best reality show yet.
(Some accomplishment.)

2:56 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
23 Jun. 2003 (Mon); Post #326
Just got back from seeing The Hulk with Phillip and Hanwool. Well, actually I just finished eating some Taco Bell and watching a Stargate episode w/ Hanwool, but we went to Carmike before that. Anyway, the movie was great. Not as good as X-Men 2, but still very decent. [minor spoiler warning] There's a couple really awesome scenes... like when the Hulk grabs onto the jet and it flies so high that you can see the stars (Ebert says this is reference to the movie "The Right Stuff") and the whole super-jumping tank-smashing bit.

Justin bailed on gaming last night; Hanwool and I just ended up playing one game of SoC. He won (which makes it about 5 to 2, my favor). I really wanna get one of the expansions; prolly the 5-6 player one (if only to play with a larger island). In our last game, I actually managed to get the Largest Army card (I had a large supply of wool and wheat and a 3:1 trading port, so I bought a lot of development cards). I kinda want to try some variants.

Did you know that, for large (i.e. > 1 MB) file transfers, FireWire-400 (400 mbps) outperforms USB 2.0 (480 mbps)? I didn't. Here's an interesting TechTV article on the subject. The things you learn helping people with their iPods on Anandtech...

9:38 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
21 Jun. 2003 (Sat); Post #325
Everyone's gone this weekend. Either camping on the Olympic peninsula or picking up ppl in Seattle. Justin and Hanwool are here though. We'll prolly play Settlers of Catan tonight. It's a great game; Phill, Hanwool, and I played a game last night. Then Phill left and Hanwool and I played 5 more games. Sometime in there, about 3:00 a.m., Hanwool and I went to Shari's where I had the worst service ever. The waiter got my order wrong twice, never even brought me the correct order, and tried to overcharge me, twice, for the stuff he never brought me. So now Shari's goes on my of places-to-never-go, along with Lil' Partners and Go Bowl.

SoC is a fantastic game though. It's better with more players. I kinda want to get one of the expansions (maybe Cities and Knights or Seafarers).

I'm trying to pay for this eBay auction I won, but the seller, "peepscollectibles," won't respond to my e-mails. So far the auction's been over for 2 days and I've sent him/her 4 e-mails. Nothing. Really irks me.

Speaking of annoying online transactions, my Cobalt Flux pad still hasn't shipped. The order will be three weeks old on June 23rd. Gah.

I went to Beefy's site where he's complaining about not having the Federal Way pictures. 'Scuse me, but 16 megs is a bit much to send through my Hotmail account... In fact, it's impossible. And, of course, when I tell ppl to bring a blank CD-R over if they want files, they never do.

ION, Beefy updated his blog with some kind of weird retro-post. Phill has actually started updating again. I'm reading Kress's Probability Sun. It's better than the previous book. Well, I'm off.

12:42 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
20 Jun. 2003 (Fri); Post #324
I really want to play Settlers of Catan, but nobody can ever do anything. (The grammar in the previous sentence doesn't sit right with me but I don't want to fix it.) My car's at Russ Dean Ford right now getting fixed. Luckily, what we had thought was a big problem with the transmission turned out to be some kind of malfunctioning sensor. So that's good. I'm even getting the grill replaced (it's been cracked/ broken since the winter of 2000).

The status on my Cobalt Flux order has finally been changed to "Awaiting Shipment." Hooray. And it only took 17 freaking days. I swear that company's got to be run by a bunch of 15 year-olds and some perpetually stoned frat guys. Geez. Oh well, if the pad works like everyone says it does, it'll have been worth the wait. I've been playing the Disney Mix, but it's painful with my wretched glitch-ridden ghetto mat.

I stumbled onto this fascinating web site simply called "The Tard Blog." It might seem cruel at times... you'll probably find yourself asking why this woman is allowed near special-needs kids, but you have to read the FAQ. It's really hilarious and sad. But I've been reading it for the past hour; it's great. Anyway.

I got a bidder on my crimper eBay auction! Yep, I stand to make a cold ninety-nine cents on this baby. Oh well.

9:40 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
18 Jun. 2003 (Wed); Post #323
Quick note on yesterday's post: It occurs to me that the post doesn't address Ryan's aptness. Just to be clear, the carpet-piddling definitely wasn't Ryan's fault. He put the dogs in/out at the right times; they're just not as well behaved when no one's around them. Anyway, just want to make that understood. AFAIK, I haven't badmouthed anyone in this blog (with the exception of that 40 year-old creep who threatened to kill me and cussed me out at that one TCLP, but even that post was cleaned up to just say he's a dork).

Anyway. I finally made Senior Member at AnandTech! Ooo, behold my glorious title and author icon. Here's the post I replied to:

chibchacan: I recently upgraded from Win98se to WinXP Pro SP1 and I can't find a modem that works properly. Please let me know if it was easy to install and use, what model, where to buy, and how much?

And my reply:

hjo3: Have you ever heard of something called an "HCL?" It stands for "Hardware Compatibility List." Microsoft has a lot of them for various OSes...

Try this link.

[Update: "XP compatible hardware" didn't turn out to be the real issue, but it's a good idea to check the HCL for your OS before installing hardware anyway. This post came out more sarcastic than I intended it to be, but superficially, the answer seemed obvious. Just goes to show, don't assume facts not in evidence...]

201 posts on the AnandTech Forums.

Enough of that. As promised, here're my Washington DC pictures. (149 kB! Choke on that, dial-uppers!) We went to the play/ musical "Chicago" (with real, live actors!) the second night there. It was really good. We saw it at the National Theater.

The highway from Richmond, VA to Washington DC. See all the trees? The humidity there is tremendous! The sweat just sticks to you instead of evaporating. Really made me appreciate Pasco's dry heat.

This scene was just a block from our hotel. On the left is the National Air & Space Museum and the Hirschord Gallery (the round building). In the distance, you can see the Washington Monument.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress. This was taken from a tour bus we took on Friday the 13th. Tour busses are great.

The Capitol. The park this was taken from was right across the street from...

...the National Gallery. Here, we saw paintings by Monet, Cassatt, Rembrandt, and lots of other famous dead people. The main hall in this building is huge. And on the inside they have black marble pillars holding up that dome. A fountain with a bronze statue of Mercury sits in the center.

Me at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial. This thing is really, really big. Actually, all the buildings in Wa DC are. Practically every govt. building has huge columns, balustrades, arches, domes, or some other hideously expensive Roman neo-classical architectural feature.

The inevitable picture of me in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Some canal in Georgetown. We had lunch at an Italian place overlooking it. Our bus driver pulled over later and showed us around.
The National Cathedral in Georgetown. Really huge. And it's right in the middle of this big residential area. Kinda strange. It's 301 feet tall and took 83 years to build.

I think this is the Dept. of Justice. Or the Supreme Court. Or both. I dunno, I'm too lazy to Google it. Impressive though, huh?

The Smithsonian.

Well, that's about it. It was a pretty good trip except for the fact that I took a minimum of two cold showers a day due to the heat and humidity. We stayed at the Holiday Capitol. Some old lady at a bus stop started telling me she was hungry and asked for my doggie-bag from Chiang Charlie's (a Chinese place near the Farragut West metro stop; very good Moo Goo Gai Pan)... it was weird cuz I didn't stop or anything, I was just walking by... and she didn't look destitute or anything. Strange. (Of course I gave it to her.)

All my attempts to have sushi were thwarted by the local places' bizarre hours. But the Air & Space Museum was really cool. They a couple Russian and American nuclear rockets from the 80s on display, and a lunar module from Project Apollo. And we saw the spot at the Hilton where Reagan got shot... and the Watergate... and the Friendship Gate from Beijing. All very interesting. If anyone wants a CD of the pictures (hey, it's possible), just ask.

Oy, long post.

Today's Haiku:

Driving to Coos Bay
on the thirty-first of June
to watch grandpa's house.

5:37 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
17 Jun. 2003 (Tue); Post #322
Okay, I'm back from Washington DC. I'll make a post about the trip later (with pictures... between me and my family, we took 342 megapixel pics [114 MB] on two SONY digital cameras; my DSC-S85 and my sister's DSC-P51). So, what's this post about? Cleaning.

When I returned from the trip, there was a bad smell in my room. Well, that's an understatement; it was stifling and smelled a lot like ammonia. Foul, really. Apparently, at some point during my absence, one of my dogs messed on the carpet. Anyway, day-old dog urine is one of the more difficult odors to remove from a carpet...

So, last night and this morning-to-afternoon was spent shampooing/ steam cleaning/ vacuuming/ treating the carpet. Only just an hour ago was I able to totally eliminate the scent. Below you can see the carpet as it is now (after three bouts of steaming/ shampooing, two of vacuuming, and two of chemical treatment). Below that image is the arsenal of cleaning equipment and powders/ liquids I was forced to employ.

Anyway, the room is once again habitable. Washington DC pictures and anecdotes to come later. I got my DDR and Disney DDR PSX games in the mail, but I have yet to receive my metal pad (evidently, Cobalt Flux is pretty laid back about processing orders... "Matt," the sales guy, guaranteed me that it'd be shipped today or tomorrow).

Today's Haiku:

Dog piddle smells bad.
Purify, deodorize:
Now it's spring-time fresh.

The formerly putrid-smelling carpet. Now, non-stinky.

Vacuum, steam cleaner, shampoo, Carpet Fresh powder, Neutra-Air spray, Kids 'N Pets solution. (Not pictured: 33.81 oz. bottle of Febreze.)

7:17 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
10 Jun. 2003 (Tue); Post #321
This is my last post before I leave for Washington DC. If you need to contact me, call the clinic at 545-9949 and ask for our current contact information (we'll be staying at different hotels while there). I'll try to get to a computer at some point to check my e-mail. Ryan will be watching my corgis. I'll be back Sunday night. The house'll be locked while I'm gone, so if you need to get in for some reason, call Ryan.

3:59 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
9 Jun. 2003 (Mon); Post #320
Okay, I keep referring back to these MSKB articles, so I'm just going to link to them here: Description of the FAT32 File System, Overview of FAT, HPFS, and NTFS File Systems. Virtually every time someone on AnandTech starts a thread involving file systems, I end tracking these articles down. And, of course, I access AnandTech from various systems, so I'd rather not find, then bookmark, those pages on each machine. Or put an exported bookmark file in a shared dir... well, whatever.

I'm leaving for Richmond, VA/ Washington DC on Wednesday morning (5:00 a.m.). I've got 128 MB and 64 MB sticks for camera. I've got to remember to bring the charger too. Things I want to see:
  • The Washington Monument
  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The Smithsonian
  • The White House
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (935 Penn. Ave.)
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • Mount Vernon

We'll see if my family actually gets around to all of those. I was reading the rules for Settlers of Catan last night... I really want to play the game now. It seems to be a lot simpler than it looks. This weekend we played a lot of Lunch Money (even a couple or three games with Phillip's cousin and her SO; Chelsea and Oscar). We also had one very long game of Munchkin. I won, but only with Ryan's help. Oh, and the highschoolers had their graduation ceremony on Saturday. Friday's dinner was exceedingly good, IMHO.

Today's Haiku:

Teriyaki steak,
Medium rare with baked spud
and a glass of Coke.

1:53 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
6 Jun. 2003 (Fri); Post #319
Hanwool showed me this neat web site/article by Scott Fisher: Journey into Kimland. It's about this graduate student and some of his friends and their trip to North Korea. It's very interesting, didactic. Pretty funny too. From page 10:
We finally got a chance to enjoy a couple of beers and even blow off some steam with the guy on the tour who was most obviously the Worker's Party hack. Easily identified by his Kim Jong-il style bouffant hairdo and habit of wearing one-piece jumpsuits. The guy even had the same ample paunch and capped teeth!
Maybe that's not the best quote, but I'm too lazy to look for a better one. Been playing Warcraft III some more. Had a conversation with a kid from Singapore. He said they mostly speak English there. The place sounds a lot like America, to hear him tell it.

Jones bought Once Upon a Time at IF today. I got Settlers of Catan and Lunch Money. Once Upon a Time is pretty fun. Our first couple games were messed up, but towards the end we got really good at it. It'd be great with more ppl (it was just Ryan, Drew, and I). Then we played approximately 52,395,230 games of Munchkin/ Star Munchkin. Okay, maybe closer to 4 with Jones and Drew. But then Drew couldn't stand that I'd won every game, so he played me like 4 more games after Jones left. I got him to bet a double-cheeseburger on the last one. Of course, I beat him every time.

All the highschooler ppl have their graduation on Saturday. I know Beefy and I are going; I think we can drag others to it as well though. My mom's going to Pullman with my sister tomorrow (today) to look at her house. Or move stuff there. Or something. All I know is that they want the digital camera, so I need to remember to get it back before Saturday afternoon.

I'm gonna discontinue my semi-regular "Today's MP3" featurette. I can't remember all the songs I've already done (resulting in duplicates) and it's prolly boring/ clutter/ annoying to the rest of you. So I need a new feature. Maybe "Haiku of the Day?" We'll see how that works. Suggestions? (My haikus suck, BTW.) Hanwool, Ryan, and I watched Treasure Planet last night. A little too mushy, but very nice to look at.

I ran across a TXT file in My Documents. Had my Charter e-mail acct. info in it... I realized I never set that up, so I did so. I'm trying to keep it spam-free, so I'm not going to link it here. Instead, you can type it in manually from this image if you're so inclined: Charter e-mail.

I have Outlook set up to check all my accounts when I open it, so I'll get anything sent there. Actually, chances are that I'll see e-mail sent to the Charter address slightly more frequently than that sent to the Hotmail acct. since it's less likely to get lost in so many megabytes of spam. Anyway. Jones, me, and some of the other guys are going to Rattlesnake Mountain Brewing Company tomorrow night for dinner. I actually got an invitation to Jones's graduation, so I'm buying him dinner (Teriyaki steak! OMG it's so good...). Everyone involved, be here at 7:00 p.m. If anyone else wants to come, call me early in the day and I'll have them update the reservation.

Today's Haiku:

I sit at the desk,
Check e-mail and read Slashdot.
Thus begins my day.

4:23 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
4 Jun. 2003 (Wed); Post #318
I hear Ryan, JD, and all the other highschooler seniors passed their test to graduate. Hooray. Ryan's coming over to party. Or something. Work continues on the TCPC site. I've finished building the internet/wireless PC. Now I just have to do the partitioning-OS-driver stuff. Got my 1000' CAT5 bundle in the mail. It came with an RJ45 crimper and an ethernet/coax tester for free (and the CAT5 was only $38; what a deal). Anyone wanna buy 'em off me before I eBay them?

Anyway. I was bored and I drew this. It's pathetic, I know... but it's still at least as good as some of the Keenspot crap out there. Well, whatever.

Crappy little comic thing I drew.

3:26 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
3 Jun. 2003 (Tue); Post #317
Didn't make it to my free MCSE test yesterday in Moses Lake. Had a lot of work to do (building computers for ppl, making a new website, purchasing stuff for ppl online, etc.). I'm not sure if my car would've made it to Moses Lake anyway. www.tricitypoloclub.org is up though.

Bought a lot of hot dog makings at WinCo for $3.44, so that's what I had for dinner last night and lunch today. They're not bad, but the George Foreman grill doesn't seem to cook them very well. And there's no way I'd boil them... I don't think they're very good like that. Grilling's the only way to go. A few hot dogs with a couple bottles of cold green tea; it's suits my palate.

Been playing some Warcraft III lately. It's okay. Kinda want to LAN again. I'm getting a Cobalt Flux pad. Can't wait. I've also got a couple bids going on eBay for some American PS1 DDR games (though I'm considering investigating how to play Japanese imports). Did you hear they're making DDR for the Xbox? Supposedly, it'll be coming out in late October. According to IGN (yeah, they suck, I know), the game will come "complete with Xbox-exclusive modes, all-new songs and the ability to download tracks, characters and dance steps off Xbox Live."

Hanwool, Jones, and I went to the mall last Friday to play on the dance machine at Fun 'n' Games. It's this weird Korean thing called Ez2Dancer (pictured below). It has 2 dance pads with 3 step spots each and light sensors that you have to swing your arms over/under. It's pretty fun, but more expensive than the DDR at Go Bowl ($1 for 1 game; if you fail, you lose your credits, but you can play 3 songs total if you win). We had dinner at the food court (USA Subs; I had the French Dip). We discussed what it would cost to start an arcade... prolly about $20,000 just for the machines. Seems like it'd be hard to make a profit on it.

There's a lot of "Engrish" in Ez2Dancer... in this one song ("My Summer Love," I think), there's this comic strip playing out in the background. A guy says (in a word bubble) "How much do you love me?" The girl throws her arms up in the air and screams "It's many!" We laughed about that one for a while. Towards the end, we found we'd acquired all these little-girl-groupies. Kind of embarrassing. This one girl kept yelling at us to play again because she wanted her friends to see. Pretty funny, but we left. It's hard to play dancing games w/ ppl watching you.

I was thinking we could take a trip to IF and get some games on Saturday for International Gamers' Day (the first Saturday of June each year). (You might've read about it in KODT #79.) Fluxx, Munchkin, Tile Chess, maybe something like Settlers of Catan, etc. Anyway.

Ez2Dancer: the Korean dance machine.

"The covetous man is ever in want." — Horace