Old News: May 26, 2005 to July 16, 2005

1:32 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
16 Jul. 2005 (Sat); Post #602
First of all: Fantastic Four sucks. It is, without a doubt, the worst movie I've seen this year. Beefy and I saw it while we were in Bellevue (right after dinner at I Love Sushi). Poor acting, horrible dialogue, a lame plot, and it ends with an obvious setup for a sequel. And it's not like it gets bad towards the end; it's terrible from the very beginning of the film. About 30 minutes in I was already thinking about leaving the theater. Man. Do not see Fantastic Four.

Saw my grandma Scott, uncle Bob, and my cousins in Buckley. I'd driven my parents' Denali up with Beefy following in the Explorer (a new vehicle for my grandma since her mini-van is on its last legs). The Explorer had some fairly major problems as we came into Bonney Lake/Buckley, but Beefy kept it under control. Got it to a repair place in one piece. Spent the night at my uncle's. Weather was very nice on Thursday, overcast and raining a little on Friday.

Driving in Seattle was an interesting experience... pretty scary and a bit frustrating. It's especially strange to me to drive on freeways three stories high. We got lost some, but managed to eventually get where we wanted to go without asking directions. Luckily, Beefy and I have some amazing navigation-fu ninja skills between us. For future reference, the hierarchy of mapping sites (from most to least accurate) is this: Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, MapQuest. IME, anyway.

Something weird was going on in Bellevue Thursday night... tons of cops everywhere blocking off seemingly random streets. We saw this one guy get caught between the railroad-crossing-arms around 9:00 pm because he didn't know how to deal with the police car turned across the road on the other side. He nearly got hit by the dinner train.

Anyway, the AIS interviews went well. Great facilities, interesting courses. Extremely expensive, however.

Most of you have probably already seen Google Sightseeing, but check it out if you haven't. As of the 12th, it has support for the Google Earth program.

Mountain Palace
An impressive mountaintop palace... found it on WAKA.

10:55 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
13 Jul. 2005 (Wed); Post #601
Okay, so I'm very likely moving to Seattle at the end of the summer. Beefy and I are going up tomorrow for interviews at the school and to look at apartments. Will be coming home Friday night.

Probably shoulda posted this around the 4th, but whatever. This collection of fireworks labels amused me. One image towards the end is a little NSFW.

GURPS Powers got pushed back; won't be released in September after all. But it sounds like GCA 4 is coming out really soon (Armin D. Sykes did a "Designer's Notes" feature in the latest Pyramid). Speaking of Pyramid, there was another S.E. Mortimer article that I really liked in the July 8th issue — "Pulling your Weight: Ropes and Cordage." Really interesting stuff with lotsa crunchy stats at the end.

Didja know Girl Genius is turning into a webcomic? I'm not really pleased... hopefully they'll still produce trade paperbacks.

I got almost all of my DVD collection entered on DVD Profiler. 247 items, not counting dupes. The program itself is really neat... produces charts of distribution by genre, average SRP (Suggested Retail Price), DVDs per MPAA rating, etc. BTW, did you know you can get the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead movie on DVD at Walmart for $1? Apparently it's public domain now... you can actually download the whole thing at archive.org.

Saw War of the Worlds with Beefy last Thursday. Fantastic movie! Really loved the whole film. The schmaltz level was entirely appropriate (something I'd worried about at the beginning, what with Dakota Fanning and the whole divorced-dad-trying-to-connect-with-his-kids thing). Surprisingly scary. The tripods look really, really cool.

My mom gave me a couple T-shirts and a Motorola m500 MP3 player (5 GB) upon her return from New York City. Pretty cool. I loaded up the player with all my favorite songs, but there's still 1.57 GB free on it.

EternaBeef could be a reality. This article discusses producing lab-grown meat on an industrial scale. I like this part: "... meat makers may one day sit next to bread makers on the kitchen counter."

Thought I'd mention The Impulsive Buy. It's basically a collection of funny reviews of cheap stuff you might find in a convenience store. The Message Whore is a similar review-blog run by a guy I know from AnandTech (Lord Jezo), but he mostly just reviews food products. Both are updated pretty regularly.

Started going to Club 24 again; I'd stopped because I had to watch a bunch of pregnant mares between 10 pm and 5 am for like a month and a half. They added these devices to all the machines where you can plug in headphones and select different audio channels like on an airplane. Kinda neat.

Cool Flash animation.

Whale biologist!

For this, you die in your sleep.

Suddenly, ninjas.

7:38 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
7 Jul. 2005 (Thu); Post #600
Whoa, post #600.

I've been meaning to add a blogroll to this page, but couldn't decide how to without having to edit the actual template. So here's my temporary, improvised blogroll:



The Blogging Incident
Blog of Doom
Publick Nuisance

Ordered the Red vs. Blue seasons 2 and 3 DVDs. Really liked the first season, but I haven't kept up on downloading the episodes. I think the last episode I saw was #35. Also picked up the Shawks DVD (contains eps. 1-14).

Here's a really awesome Beatles medley (.RAM format) by a group called Vocal Majority. About 11 minutes long, very enjoyable.

And here's a page of Latin quotes and phrases that I had fun skimming through. My favorite: Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum.

This Flash about the growth of the United States was fairly interesting. I liked it, but the narrator could've used a little more practice IMHO.

Heard about Scott Haring's accident via the Illuminator. Really sucks, he was injured and and his 13 year-old son died. I exchanged a number of posts with Mr. Haring when I was just getting into GURPS, probably around 1997 or 98. He went by "sdharing" on the OpenRPG forums, IIRC. Didn't even know he was affiliated with SJG till much later when I noticed his name in Reign of Steel. Anyway, very sad business.

So last weekend Jones kind of screwed us. He never showed up for the game he was supposed to be GMing. Justin called him around 6:00 pm or so to find out what the deal was and Jones basically said that he didn't come because he didn't feel like it. Justin asked him if he'd be coming at all and he said no. Did he plan on communicating this to us at all? Nope. Then he asked if we should even bother keeping our characters and he said no. Both Justin and I had spent a bit of time on our characters too, so it was especially disappointing. Since I'll never get to play it, I scanned my character so it wouldn't be, like, a total waste of time and effort. (Pages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; JPEGs, ~50-100 KB each.)

Hanwool has apparently moved to California without telling anyone... he got a job down there. I think he's staying with family ATM. Won't be back for quite a while. More on this story as it develops.

Charles Darwin has a posse

5:40 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
30 Jun. 2005 (Thu); Post #599
Summary of the day's events thus far: Got up, checked/replied to email, went next door and ran off a couple checks for the clinic, mowed the front lawn (and set sprinklers out/turned on the pump afterwards), came inside, did my web-browsing ritual (Slashdot, SE, blogs, Audioscrobblers, blogdex, Wikipedia's main page, a few webcomics (since it's Thursday, only Able & Baker, PvP, Natalie Dee, Toothpaste for Dinner, and the usual syndicated stuff was new), 4chan/b, PostSecret (nothing since the 26th), PSPupdates.com, SJG Forums (nothing in my subscribed threads), Daily Illuminator, SlickDeals), tried to stitch up a tear in one of my shirts, went back to the clinic to run off a garnishment-correction check, picked up my September 2005 issue of Analog which had just arrived, came home, had a peach Snapple, AIMed with Beefy about tonight's plans.

Found another useful Wikipedia entry: Recent Deaths.

One of my comments on Slashdot actually got modded +5 Insightful. Woo. It was from the article on France building that fusion reactor.

Have you seen the latest King Kong trailer? Just came out today. The movie looks pretty cool, but I have a hard time buying Jack Black in a serious role. Well, one much less comical than his others, anyway.

I bought the Hazzards' CD, "So Pretty." Only $7 plus shipping. I'd have bought the Amateur Transplants CD too, but it requires me to fill out a mail-order form and write a check. The Hazzards' process is much simpler, just a few clicks in PayPal. Wish these bands would sell their albums as MP3s instead; after all, I'm just going to rip the CDs and then put them on the shelf forever. BTW, you can download an MP3 of the Hazzards' Let's Get Romantic for free on their site.

I did a backwards-link check for my site and noticed I was on the blogroll of the Blog of Doom, Michael Shaffer's site. I read his recent entries, plus a few older ones at random; I deem him entertaining. I especially got a kick out of June 25th's "maaan-porse" anecdote. Need to add a blogroll to this site.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine
The first issue of my 1-year Analog subscription. That's my new comforter it's lying on... has a lot of satin and faux-suede on the quilted side.

6:35 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
28 Jun. 2005 (Tue); Post #598
This news.com.au story on "zombie dogs" has been linked to a lot. Originally saw it on Slashdot, but it's since been mentioned on SE and a lot of the blogs I read. Basically, these scientists developed a technique for killing dogs and then bringing them back to life after they've been dead for an extended period of time (i.e. a few hours). Supposedly there's no ill effects after the animals have been revived, no brain damage or anything. They said they plan to test the process on humans within a year, but I don't see how it could be done legally in the US... after all, the person actually dies in the process. But the whole thing is still pretty cool.

I had to talk to Netscape tech support a lot today in the course of trying to fix someone's DUN connection. Unsurprisingly, they use an Indian call center for the service. Anyway, I made a number of calls and talked to Mike, Janet, and Nicholas. At the end of my call to Nicholas, he asked if I had any other questions. I said, "Well, just out of curiosity, isn't Nicholas kind of an unusual name in India? I mean, it's a little weird that I never get anyone named Sanjay or something when I call here."
He laughed and said, "It is the, ah, name I am given."
"So it's not your real name?"
"Ah, no."
So Netscape makes their Indian call staff use Anglo-American names. Somehow, that seems kind of wrong to me.

Been playing Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War lately. Probably because Jones has been talking about getting into the miniatures game. I told him if he started playing it I would too. Checked out the official web site; I think if I end up playing, I'll start with a Tau army.

Loved Monday's Penny Arcade. My friends and I can identify with that just a little...

Brick (from Anchorman)

3:30 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
27 Jun. 2005 (Mon); Post #597
Okay, so there wasn't any GURPS on Saturday. Jones had a last minute wedding he had to attend or something, plus he was sick. Beefy won't come over on Saturdays anymore unless we're playing RPGs and Hanwool had to go fishing with his dad, so Justin, Paige, and I hung out and played games. After some games of Uno (Paige won twice, IIRC) and Star Wars Trivial Pursuit (Justin won by a lot), we went to Kennewick and got Scrabble, Apples to Apples, and some really good ice cream from MaggieMoo's (I had Better Batter and Udderly Cream mixed with almonds). Jones arrived about halfway through the scrabble game, so we dropped it to play Apples to Apples (it requires a minimum of four players). Scores at the end of the Scrabble game were P-112, J-69, and H-182.

Apples to Apples is great. We played about four games of it. There's a bunch of variants listed in the rules, most of which are actually interesting and fun.

Decided to keep reading Roma Eterna. The ending to Faustus' story was actually pretty good and I really liked the entirety of Horatius' account about being exiled to Mecca. Everyone seems a bit too aware of the Hebrews though... like they go out of their way to comment on how quaint Judaism is. It didn't make sense to me until I found out the first six chapters were originally published as individual stories. I like Silverberg's style; it's easy to read, but sometimes his choice of words is a tad bombastic.

Been playing the Battlefield 2 demo this week. Seems a lot more realistic than BF1942 (esp. with the sprinting/fatigue stuff) and the graphics are better, but I don't think I prefer it to the original game.

It really irritates me that Steve Jackson Games made Armin D. Sykes (the guy who made GCA) remove the 4th edition data files so early. They disappeared April 14th and here it is, almost July, and still no "official" GCA program. I've got the full version of GCA 3 since I bought GCA 2, but it's useless to me without the 4th edition GDF/GDS file. I could understand removing the files a week before the release, but 2+ months? There's not even an official release date for SJG's GCA. AFAIK, there's no other program for 4e-compliant character creation... looks like GURU and Character Maker don't get updated anymore. Bah.

I saw Land of the Dead on Friday. In the context of George Romero's other zombie movies, it's terrible — definitely the weakest of the four. It's the "wookie Christmas special" of the Dead series. As a standalone horror movie, it's decent; slightly above average. I don't have much else to say about it except that John Leguizamo and Robert Joy (Charlie) were both really good at playing their parts. I wonder if the Charlie character was an intentional Flowers for Algernon reference.

I got a 1 GB memory stick for my PSP. Thanks to SlickDeals, I only paid $90 for it which is an amazingly good price for them. Now I'll have enough space to store a few TV episodes or a whole movie. Woo.

Participated in an MIT survey on weblogs. Here's a link:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Apparently Alan Moore got mad at DC comics over the way they're handling the "V for Vendetta" movie and severed his ties to the company. At least there'll still be one more Moore League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel (Dark Dossier). Sposed to be out later this year.

Thought this little email exchange was pretty funny.

Man, that Tom Cruise is a nutball, eh? I saw that clip of him on the Today Show on VH1's "Best Week Ever"... what a freak. "NO MATT!" is a meme on the chans now, heh.

An amusing Simpsons quote I saw on Slashdot last week:
Prof. Frink: Let the commencement beginulate!
Beefy, Paige, and Jones in front of Beasely Hall
A good picture from May's Pullman trip that I hadn't thought to use before. This was taken in front of Beasely Hall on the WSU campus.

3:21 a.m. [GMT-7:00]
24 Jun. 2005 (Fri); Post #596
I finished reading Haunted earlier this week. Whittier's second story (towards the end; second to last chapter, I think) is really good. IMO, this is Palahniuk's third best novel (Lullaby and Invisible Monsters are better). But I even liked Diary, which I'd rank seventh, so that's certainly not an unkind assessment. I started reading Roma Eterna, but it's a lot drier than I thought it would be based on the short story I'd read in that science fiction compilation. If it doesn't pick up in the next fifty pages, I think I'll switch to something else. Ordered a used copy of David Brin's Kiln People on Amazon, partially because of this thread on the SJG forums. I liked his "uplift" books so I have good expectations for this one.

Forgot to mention that we played GURPS last Saturday. It was a one-shot game where everyone played mundane characters. Really mundane; like 25-45 points. Kind of a horror/ mystery thing. There were some complaints about having to play such weak characters, but the group performed very well. Not a single casualty (though Jones did have his left arm blown off with a shotgun). Good role-playing all around, IMHO. Beefy's review was favorable. This Saturday we're playing Jones' game, which he's said is going to include elements of steampunk, magic, and swashbuckling/piracy. I'm looking forward to it... I have a basic character design, but haven't gotten past that since the point limit was a bit hazy when we last spoke.

Watched a bunch of movies this week (and am seeing at least one more tomorrow). Beefy and I saw American Psycho (the director's cut) and The Life Aquatic on Tuesday and Jones and Paige joined us Wednesday night for A Fish Called Wanda. Can't wait to see Land of the Dead later today. I've loved all of Romero's zombie movies... even the remakes of Night and Dawn that he wasn't really involved in.

Got a working NES emulator for my PSP from psphacker.com. Must've played three hours of Zelda and Dragon Warrior III on it this evening.

June 22nd's Daily Show was really great. Samantha Bee's nerd impression was the funniest thing I'd seen on the show in a long time. Beefy called it the best Daily Show ever. Gotta download it for that clip alone.

teh br1dg3t (animated GIF; 464 KB)

7:04 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
21 Jun. 2005 (Tue); Post #595
Stopped posting for a while again. Meh. Looking forward to a couple movies coming out this week: Bewitched and Land of the Dead. And next week, War of the Worlds. Beefy and I saw Millions last night. Really good. Only very slightly schmaltzy towards the end, well within the limits of acceptability. The stuff with the saints was all pretty funny, especially the bit with Saint Joseph in the nativity play.

I was involved in a discussion on the role of the federal government on the SJG forums and needed some information on the federal law enforcement agencies. The "Major Agencies" section of this page proved enlightening. Who knew the US Postal Inspection Service was the oldest federal law enforcement agency still in existence?

I went to Seattle on the 10th and came back late at night on the 11th. Went to the aquarium with my uncle and cousins, had sushi, and did some computer work for my uncle. Helped my cousin Celina set up her iPod Shuffle. The sushi was really good. My mom and I went to "I Love Sushi" in Bellevue. I had yellowtail sashimi, salmon and tuna sushi, green bean tempura, and deep-fried green tea ice cream. It was all extremely good; the ice cream and salmon were especially scrundelescent. Got a bargain-priced encyclopedia of mythology at Borders in Sumner. Stayed at a Red Roof Inn near the airport in Seattle.

Here're some pictures from the trip:

Seattle aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium (lower left) and some of the skyline.

King Street Station, clock tower
My grandpa Scott used to work as a soda jerk at this place when he was 14. It was supposedly the tallest building in the city at the time.

Seattle wharf, cargo ship
The wharf. We had lunch near here (The Fisherman's Restaurant) and met Andi's friend Kiki and her little sister. My salmon fettuccine was very good.

When I got back that Saturday night, everyone was occupied (bachelor party, sleeping, etc.) except Justin. We played Uno and Gloom. He won the former and I the latter.

The following Monday night Jones, Paige, Justin, and I played Trivial Pursuit 6 and Uno. I can't quite remember who won TP6; I think it was either Paige or myself. We've played a lot of it lately, actually. I've played against Beefy and Hanwool singly (beat 'em both, hah) and we had one 2 vs. 3 game (Paige and I vs. Justin, Beefy, and Jones; we won). I really hate that Sports and Leisure category.

I started playing Pirates of the Spanish Main. It's a fun miniatures wargame. I've got about twenty ships now. Beefy, Jones, and I had a good match the other night with Beefy playing the El Acorazado, this crazy five-masted Spanish juggernaut. Very hard to derelict.

Found a neat date calculator on timeanddate.com. They have some other stuff there that's kind of nifty if you're bored, like a birthday calculator that tells you when you will-be/were 1,000 weeks old, 300,000 hours old, etc. I turned 200,000 hours old a week ago today.

I started watching Lost last week. By episode three I was hooked. Can't wait for season two. Lost's Wikipedia entry is pretty interesting if you follow the show. If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you download season one. It's only 8.5 GB, not counting the special.

I'm trading MP3 collections with this guy in Australia, Adric. We're cross-sending three DVDs each. Should be pretty awesome. He has a lot of Tenacious D. Speaking of MP3s, I started using Audioscrobbler. Here's my page, but it's not really working properly ATM — their servers are really overloaded.

Need to wrap this up; Beefy's coming over and I want to get some dinner.

Here's an incredible collection of music from Super Mario World as performed by this guy who calls himself XOC. Of the twenty-one tracks, I added fifteen to my collection. My favorite is "Forest of Illusion."

Didja know there's going to be a Family Guy movie?

Huge jellyfish
Ginormous jellyfish.

10:53 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
5 Jun. 2005 (Sun); Post #594
More downtime last night/early this morning. There was a hard drive failure on the server and I had to update my DNS. There's a whole thread about it on the HostPC forums if anyone cares.

There was some discussion on Slashdot recently about the possibility of a future manned mission to Mars. In the comments, arguments against funding such a mission began to crop up. Some users kept repeating that tired assertion that we ought to "fix things" on Earth before spending money on space exploration. I've always felt that sort of reasoning was fallacious. One could apply it to practically any pursuit they were against... Like, "Why waste money trying to cure a rare paralyzing disease when you could invest it in research to cure a common but deadly one?" or "Why spend time watching TV when you could be helping out at the homeless shelter?"

The "charity-instead argument" is stupid. No matter what you choose to invest your time or money in, there's almost always going to be something nobler you could be doing with those resources. But if you funneled all your effort towards altruistic works, you'd have no life. And if everyone did it certain important advances would never be made. A lot of technology that's ended up saving lives/improving the quality of life was developed because the creators and those funding them were motivated by greed and opted to invest their resources in it rather than some kinder charitable act.

Anyway, I wouldn't have a problem with the government increasing NASA's share of the federal budget to, say, 1% (compared to the 0.67% they received in 2003). That would be more than enough for the proposed lunar outpost and the manned Mars mission (estimates, adjusted for inflation, put the cost at $725 billion over 34 years, i.e. $21.3 billion per year). A lot of people in the media and congress have incorrectly pegged the cost much higher than that.

There was a great article on light sources ("Lighting the Way" by S.E. Mortimer) in May 27th's Pyramid. It has a useful darkness penalties table and detailed stats/descriptions for 29 light sources from TL 0-8. There're stats for five different kinds of candles alone! Wish they'd do more articles like this.

I've been playing with Context Free. It's a (freeware) program that lets you edit and render "design grammars." Really, it's for making grayscale pictures out of circles and squares. I wish they'd add a way to end recursive rules after a certain number of executions. Like, for-next loops or something. Anyway, it's kinda fun. Here's a rendering of one of the scripts (source) I wrote:

Context Free rendering

There are four Jokes with Einstein flashes now. Good stuff. Ordered season two of Home Movies on Amazon. I'd have started with season one, but the episodes I've seen from it weren't very memorable and squigglevision drives me nuts. Did you know Home Movies was originally unscripted? The original five episodes of the series, back when it was on UPN, were completely improvised. After Cartoon Network bought it in '99 they started using scripts, but a lot of stuff was still adlibbed.

11:45 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
3 Jun. 2005 (Fri); Post #593
Those of you who checked this site Tuesday evening might've encountered this ugly little notice:

HostPC account suspension message

Seems I went over my allowed bandwidth for the month.
At midnight, the site was back up; only a few hours of downtime. Today I checked my site's stats and found it'd already gone through 744 MB in three days. At that rate, the site would've been dead on the 24th. So I looked around about getting a package with higher bandwidth limits. Turns out the good ppl at HostPC had doubled the quotas on all packages $25 and up on May 14th. All I had to do was submit a helpdesk ticket with a copy of my receipt to get the upgrade. So now I've got 12 gigs of bandwidth per month and a half gig of storage. Pretty sweet for $25/year. Anyway, now I can handle up to 390 MB per day... since the site's "only" doing 248 MB per day, there's adequate room for growth.

Blah, enough hosting stuff. I happened across Natalie Dee's site a few months ago when someone posted the "dogs are awesome" entry on 4chan/b. I did a little sleuthing (i.e. Googled) and discovered that Natalie Dee and Drew (creator of Toothpaste for Dinner) are siblings, which explains the otherwise uncanny similarity between their sites. Drew's came first (in September of 2000), Natalie's showed up about a year later.

Another follow-up to something mentioned in the last post: Found this Contagious Media index of their most popular sites. Maybe something to check along with Snopes before you forward that next "amazing, real" web site link.

Did you know you can watch a lot of PBS shows on their web site for free? As an example, here's a link to the Scientific American Frontiers show archive. I love these... switch output to the TV, right-click, Zoom > Full Screen, bam: edutainment for an hour with no waiting. Especially handy because you can't BitTorrent SAF eps or buy full seasons on DVD. Speaking of DVDs, I bought the complete Black Adder collection and seasons 1-5 of Are You Being Served? from Amazon. Also got Roma Eterna and Haunted, both in hardback, for under $20 total. Oh yeah, and I signed up for a year-long Analog subscription (really been enjoying the SF short stories in the anthology I'm reading ATM).

PostSecret is an anonymous confession site like grouphug.us, but with better content more consistently. Instead of accepting submissions via the web, they require ppl to mail them on postcards which get scanned. I assume there's a screening process too since none of them seem too lame. Their legal notice is pretty cool; it says you can't use their images without written permission etc. etc., but also says "If you are a blogger, you may post one image as a link." So here's one I liked:

PostSecret confession from 9:39 pm, April 17th, 2005

Apollo Pony is big collection of nifty videos with no ads and a very simple layout. Fast server too. MetaCafe is a similar site, but less awesome. Looks like everything streams.

Found a stock.xchng link on some lame site that was using a plasticboy photo as part of the page template. The idea of the whole thing is really neat... thousands of high quality stock photos that ppl can use freely, even in commercial products. Good for desktop backgrounds too, though you have to register (free) to access the high-res images.

Gaming tomorrow.

Hole in a lake
Hole in a lake. Click for full-size version (840 x 660; 94.9 KB).

9:10 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
30 May 2005 (Mon); Post #592
K, here's a link dump. News at the end.

Saw this Snopes report on a guy whose brain was infested with maggots when someone linked it off 4chan (they were arguing about zombies or something). Anyway, it's really gross but interesting if you can stomach the pictures. I think it's amazing that the guy could live with his brain exposed like that for a significant amount of time.

De-animator is a flash game where you shoot zombies. Based on some short stories by H.P. Lovecraft. (These ones, specifically.) Great art, fun to mess with for a few minutes.

Here's a funny true story by Scott Lynch from the "Customers Suck" LiveJournal. Has a little bit of language.

The Chapman brothers were on All Things Considered about three months ago. (They're the guys responsible for Homestarrunner.com.) The audio clip is 7m:32s. Light stuff... it's mostly the NPR correspondent talking. Mildly entertaining if you've ever seen the Strong Bad Emails animations.

Toothpaste for Dinner is a... well, I guess you could call it a webcomic. By some guy named Drew; updated daily. I bought one of their shirts.

This Ultimate Flash Face thing is kind of like the facial composite programs they use instead of sketch artists in police investigations. I made this one, which I think looks a bit like me without freckles.

GURPS Powers comes out in September. Link has a pic of the cover plus price and a summary.

I thought these tiny houses were pretty nifty. You can actually order one from this guy, Jay Shafer.

Here's another funny business-related story from JayPinkerton.com: Multi-Platform Just-in-Time Point-and-Click e-Commerce Productivity Solution. Really liked this one; well written.

Superdickery.com's Superman Is a Dick gallery has some hilarious old comic book covers and comments. I especially liked #13.

The Contagious Media Project is an interesting attempt to popularize fake web sites through viral advertising. I must admit I hadn't realized Fundrace 2004 was a hoax until I stumbled across CMP's main site. BlackPeopleLoveUs.com, one of their creations, is pretty funny.

Apparently some ppl are buying into this UFO prophet, but to me it looks like he's got a friend in the trees somewhere releasing weather balloons that get tossed around by the wind. The nut says there will be many more sightings in the next week.

Was going to link Cartoon-Fridge here, but it's since gone down. Was really neat though — you could watch episodes of Family Guy, Futurama, etc. through this streaming video Java app.

Weekend happenings: Another of the mares (Marcella) had her baby (male) this morning at about 4:45am. She and her foal are less difficult than Jasmine and her baby. This was her first pregnancy and my dad had to give her a sedative so she'd let the baby nurse. Anyway, now we're down to one pregnant mare. After she goes I can start sleeping (more) normally again.

I got to learn to work a backhoe Saturday night. It's pretty fun. I dug a hole in the field next to my house that was probably three or four cubic yards in volume, about five or six feet deep. Used it to bury some stuff this afternoon.

Won some stuff from the "Choose Your Destiny" game Burger King's running... a small shake/hamburger and a small hash brown/small soft drink.

Sadly, that's all I have to report since this weekend was so dull. Paige/Ryan didn't return my calls, Beefy had to watch his younger cousin, Hanwool's suffering from crippling laziness... hopefully things will pick up when Justin comes back from Alaska. I'd really like to play Gloom or have a big six-player game of Starfarers. Wouldn't mind dusting off Pimp: The Backhanding either (though I wish WW would produce a FAQ/errata for it). Oh yeah, and we haven't played enough Alhambra IMHO.

9:16 p.m. [GMT-7:00]
26 May 2005 (Thu); Post #591
Ummm, so I haven't posted in a long time. I only vaguely recall what happened between the first of May and now, so here's a hazy recap (with a few exceptions, most of the following happened in the last week). Some of us went to Pullman for Hanwool's graduation. Pictures:

Everyone at the McDonalds in Pullman

Hanwool and his dad

WSU graduation at Beasley Hall, Pullman

It was fun, though apparently Beefy was sick and thought everyone was grumpy while I got the impression that we were all in high spirits albeit a little sleep deprived. Lotsa laughs. Hanwool's dad bought us all Chinese food and it was good. I had the asparagus beef. We stayed overnight and had to sleep in the basement at my evil scary lovely sister's house, though this turned out to be a good thing cuz the upstairs smelled funky. Anyway, the Pullman trip was enjoyable. We cheered and blasted air horns when they announced Hanwool's name at the ceremony.

Three pregnant mares were due to foal last Saturday night and I got the job of watching them every night till each has given birth. Not very fun... have to walk around in a dark field every half hour between 10pm and 4am. Only one of 'em actually foaled Saturday, still waiting on the other two.

What else? I got a PSP and some games (Untold Legends, FIFA Soccer, Lumines). It's fun. Need a bigger memory stick so I can watch movies on it... it only came with a 32 MB. I want a 1 GB version, but everyone's either out of stock or charging way too much (i.e. up to $150 over MSRP). I had purchased one through Amazon's Used & New market system for $100, but they refunded my money a couple hours later ("the seller is currently unable to accept payment"), which probably means the seller was doing something shady.

Hanwool, Beefy, and I have been playing a lot of WoW. My main character is now a level 24 Night Elf druid on the Dalaran server. Cat Form is pretty awesome. Hanwool and Beefy are playing hunters (a level 24 Night Elf and level 22 Dwarf, resp.).

Saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Both good. All the critics are saying ROTS is the best of the prequels, but I liked Attack of the Clones better.

Got some stuff at Barnes & Noble... The Ultimate HHGTTG (reread the last part of Restaurant and all of Life about a week ago), Hellboy: Wake the Devil (volume 2), and The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction. Reading the latter right now. A few of the early stories sucked hard, but the last six have been really good. One was a Roma Eterna story by Robert Silverberg. Really liked it... plan to read that book after Palahniuk's Haunted.

Arrested Development got picked up for a third season, which is great. Also, I heard from Beefy that The Office was renewed but Law & Order: Trial By Jury wasn't.

Oh yeah, the MPAA is going after sites that host TV show torrents now. BTEfnet went down and there's talk about MySpleen shutting down their site. Very irritating. And not easily justified either. Shutting down sites that hosted movie torrents, like Suprnova.org, was vexing but understandable; that's actual piracy. But TV-only sites? This stuff is freely available. I'd be getting the exact same end product if I bought a TiVo. And yet ppl who provide the service for free (BTEfnet) are getting sued while those who charge for it (TiVo) aren't. How does that work?

Just got a notice from my web host that I've used up 83% of my bandwidth for the month... my account could actually get suspended until June 1st if I go over the limit. Looks like one of my pages, the O rly? gallery, became much more popular than I had anticipated. It's actually responsible for 5% of all the hits I'm getting from search engines. (Somehow "giant catfish" is still the number one phrase for this site with 8.4%.) 'Course, it's not the only reason for the traffic increase.

The whole thing isn't too much of a problem... the worst that can happen is that the site might see some downtime on the 30th/31st. If I come close to the limit again in June, I'll move up to a better (but more expensive) hosting package.

I downloaded the 2003 Battlestar Galactica mini-series and the more recent first season. Really great. It's a little like Firefly with more complicated plots and a lot less comedy. Season one left a lot of stuff unresolved and had a huge twist at the end, so I'm really eager to see season two, which starts on July 15th. I dislike the theme song however. What is it with recent sci fi series and bad opening themes? Enterprise, Stargate Atlantis... bad songs. Everyone hated Voyager, but at least it had a great opening theme song and video.

I've got a bazillion links I was going to post, but this one's way too long as it is so I'll just add them next time.

"There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it." — Bertrand Russell