Holy crap, Jones got a blog! I guess he's officially awesome now.
10:47 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
9 Feb. 2006 (Thu); Post #635
Didja hear there are going to be four Futurama movies?
I can't wait... too bad the first one won't be out till early '07.
I found an MP3 I'd been looking for forever (thank you, Jordan Spencer!) — a clean recording of the choral version of The Sign from the movie Slackers. Sadly, it lacks the drums the original had, but it's still pretty awesome. Slackers - The Sign.mp3 (3.52 MB).
This story I saw on BoingBoing was pretty interesting (and more than a little creepy): Wasp performs roach-brain-surgery to make zombie slave-roaches. Short version: This particular variety of wasp injects a venom into a specific part of a roach's brain to erase its fear response and make it highly suggestible to the point where the wasp can lead it around by an antenna. Then it seals the roach in its lair, lays some eggs, and lets its larva burrow into the zombified roach to eat and mature.
I got an ISO of Tokobot running on my PSP with UMD Emulator 0.8c. Really cool stuff. The settings were kind of tricky to work out though... here's a text file I made so I'd have the right info in case I had to format my memory stick or something. Anyway, it's one of the better platformers I've played in a while. I had some gripes about the camera positioning, but then I found out you can reorient it by pressing L1 or select.
Been doing some cooking lately... here are some dishes I made: spinach and fried/baked chicken breast (pic), fettucine and cheese tortellini
pasta with olive oil, sauteed mushrooms, snap peas, and spinach and chicken (pic), and chili (pic). These Emeril spices my mom got me when I moved in were very handy.
playing The Movies (PC game) the past couple days. It's okay, but it gets repetitive after a while. I really like designing the studio lot, but the custom script writing feature has too steep a learning curve for a game, IMHO. I'm trying to find something new... thinking about giving Fable or PoPoLoCrois a whirl.
Almost up to 6000 posts on AnandTech... kinda scary.
"Wedding Cake Hill" in Campania, Italy. (1600x1200; 529 KB)
I drove to Spokane this past weekend to see my friend Brett. Lots of fun, played Amplitude for the first time, had a really great turkey/apple focaccia sandwich. But on my way back to Seattle Sunday night the Dept. of Transportation closed Snoqualmie pass for avalanche control and I ended up having to spend the night at a motel in Cle Elum. Actually, the Stewart Lodge was really nice... much better than what I'd expected for the money. The pass reopened at 10am on Monday and I got home just a bit after noon. Apparently that was the longest pass closure thus far this season.
9:53 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
2 Feb. 2006 (Thu); Post #634
I ordered the Blanks CD...
they're the acapella group from Scrubs ("Ted's Band"). Really looking forward to listening to that. I love their version of the Charles in Charge theme song.
BTW, Brett showed me this really awesome musical artist, Matisyahu — he's a Hasidic Jew who does reggae. Really great stuff. Check out the "King Without a Crown" video on his web site.
Random interesting links:
Funny USB drives. A gallery. I think the roe sushi one is pretty cool.
The MPAA actually pirates movies themselves.
News from Ars Technica. Looks like they had a Senator Orrin Hatch moment.
Clikclak. A really neat CG QuickTime movie. It has robots and Rube Goldberg machines. How can you lose?
Bunny Suicides. A really amusing collection of single-panel comics about suicidal rabbits.
Bullet Pictures. High speed photography done with bullets and cards and chalk at the Edgerton Center.
Fear of Girls. A really funny/pathetic short movie about a couple D&D nerds. Google Video, 11 minutes.
Sie and Hir. An interesting Wikipedia entry I found about gender-neutral pronouns. I've been seeing this a lot in science fiction dealing with AIs. IIRC, it's used a lot in Transhuman Space.
My TiVo recently locked up on me and I had to power-cycle it to restore functionality... turns out when you do that you lose your 30-second skip feature if you've programmed it in. So here's the button sequence just in case I need to do it again:
Okay, here're some random pictures I liked.
Batman would've been much cooler if he had been Lenny Briscoe's partner.
A huge sketch of Laputa ("Castle in the Sky"). (3543x2499; 2.48 MB)
High-res photo of the New Horizons launch. (2000x3008; 544 KB)
For some reason this reminded me of Jones.
So back on the 4th my host, DreamHost, gave all the customers with
a certain service plan a huge boost in bandwidth and storage; I
now have 20 gigs of storage and a terabyte of bandwidth! Granted,
my server-side CPU time is limited, but I don't have any databases
or complex scripts, so it doesn't affect me much. Anyway, if anyone
needs some temporary hosting, let me know.
Jan. 2006 (Tue); Post #633
A couple people asked me to post my schedule since it's kind of
weird this quarter, so here:
Did you know Chuck Norris actually
responded to the "random Chuck Norris facts" sites
and emails? He used the opportunity to hawk his books, but I still
thought it was pretty cool of him.
I started doing distributed computing again. I'm using the BOINC
client... currently devoting 23% of my resources to Einstein@home
and 76% to SETI@home. I'm on the Anandtech teams for both projects.
Kinda felt bad about leaving the computer on all the time while
I'm not using it. (Now that I have TiVo, I hardly even BitTorrent
I downloaded and played with MegaMek.
It's an unofficial online version of the BattleTech board game.
Robert and I had a 60-ton-limit skirmish using level 1 tech... it
was a close match, but he beat me with a lucky critical hit on my
Spy a simple Flash game. You move around by clicking on the numbered
boxes... the goal is to cross as many boxes as possible without
running into a "used" box, a bomb, or an edge. Remember,
you can move diagonally. So far, my high score is 6500.
Speaking of Flash, this animation, The
Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny amused me. The music is
nice... kind of an alternative/emo part-acoustic semi-rap thing.
You can download the song (by Lemon Demon) here.
Real quick, to summarize recent Hank-related events: I've been watching
Scrubs season 2 and class started last week. CIM (essentially "advanced
Photoshop") is the most intimidating; apparently the instructor
almost never gives out A's and our first project is pretty tough.
Been helping Brett with a web site he's working on... it's basically
but for the Washington state legislature. Ordered the YMCK
CD. Been drinking a lot of ginger ale.
|Arrested Development Star Wars parody poster.
Really amazing work on Gob and Lindsay. (1000x1432; 191 KB)
Arg, been putting off updating this thing for a long time.
2006 (Mon); Post #632
Here's a really basic summary of events from the last post: The
gang and I played GURPS (one adventure set in Reich-4, took two
sessions to complete), my family had Christmas (I got a TiVo
it's awesome, plus some DVDs, office supplies, a knife set with
woodblock, and cash from my grandpa), I got some great (and surprisingly
cheap) clothes at the Burlington Coat Factory in Kennewick, and
I did some computer work for a couple people (there was another
I never got to, unfortunately).
I came home right before New Year's. Snoqualmie pass got shut down
for three hours while I was on it... then I had to put on tire chains
when it was reopened. I shouldn't have bothered; I just had to take
them off a few miles later. Doing that in the snow, in the dark,
with no gloves really sucks. Practically shredded my hands and forearms.
Made it to Seattle just in time to take a quick shower (I was pretty
muddy) and pick up Brett from the airport. Jones and Paige joined
us at my apartment for New Year's Eve and Day. Beefy would've come,
but he was afraid to take a bus home. Brett left on Friday and I've
been watching DS9 season 5 and waiting for school to start. I have
Argumentation and Debate tomorrow at 12:00pm.
Oh yeah, finished Counting Heads. It was really good; has
a lot of Transhuman Space elements in it VIs (called "valets"
and "mentars"), clones (treated basically the same way
as bioroids), ubiquitous surveillance, an L5 jungle, shadows ("proxies"
and "sims"), and cybershells ("arbeitors," though
in CH they never really interact with people; they're just mute,
remote controlled appendages for "houseputers"). Marusek
throws a lot of new artificial terminology at you, which I really
enjoy... each one is kind of a linguistic puzzle that you're given
hints for in the next few lines, pages, or chapters. I remember
a couple words where the definitions were very well hidden and didn't
even appear until many chapters later. Anyway, there were a lot
of different characters (maybe thirty? all together; about a half-dozen
of those being really important), but they were remarkably easy
to keep track of since they were all so different (even in the case
of the same-germline clones, funnily enough). The book had an oddly
abrupt ending though. It seemed to me like it ought to have been
about fifty pages longer. Still, a really fun read.
Dunno what I'm going to read next... I have three or four graphic
novels waiting for me, plus a science fiction short story collection.
All caught up on The Walking Dead, Y: The Last Man, KoDT, and PvP
though. Right now I'm in the middle of the first Fables trade paperback...
it's kind of like Top Ten but with fairytale characters instead
of superheroes, robots, vampires, cybernetic dogs, etc. Actually,
it's a little more like the Smax mini-series, but set in modern-day
New York City. It reminds me of the slower parts of the Sandman
Here's a really neat Java simulation I've been playing with for
the past few days: Falling
Sand. It doesn't really have a point; it's just a really basic,
abstract particle-physics engine that lets you draw in different
materials. Here're a couple "environments" I made with
it (they're only about 12 KB each): biosphere,
|I don't know if this is a real sculpture
or not, but it's pretty awesome regardless. If you're not
familiar with Miyazaki, it's one of the worker/defender robots
from Laputa: Castle in the Sky. (980x1470; 220 KB)
Okay, so the quarter's done at AIS. Yay.
Dec. 2005 (Tue); Post #631
Paige came down from Bellingham last Thursday. We went shopping,
had sushi, and played Trivial Pursuit and lots of Super Monkeyball
(mostly golf and billiards). Lots of fun. Started driving to the
Tri-Cities around noon on Friday. The pass was totally clear, roads
were good. We listened to Dane Cook’s "Retaliation" comedy CD (highly
recommended by Beefy) on the trip — very funny. Especially
the baby-punching and ice-cream-smashed-into-face bits. Actually,
the baby-punching part nearly killed Paige. Good stuff. (The jokes,
not Paige almost dying.) In my personal hierarchy of comedians,
I think Dane Cook would rank fourth, behind Patton Oswalt, Daniel
Tosh, and Maria Bamford; slightly ahead of Elvira Kurt.
Jones, Paige, and I hung out at Beefy’s a lot Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday was Beefy’s birthday party. His grandma Buella (hereafter
"Thundercat") made a truly scrundelescent ice cream cake. Lots of
gaming, great entertainment. Sunday’s Family Guy was possibly the
best episode yet; so many nerd references. The Lumberg cameo was
amazing. Beefy and I played a truly sick amount of Trivial Pursuit
Monday night I hung out at Beefy’s again. Played more Trivial Pursuit
90s. I’m awesome at the yellow questions. Then we watched this really,
really awesome movie, The Baxter. The first half of the movie is
a lot better than the second, but the ending wasn’t too bad. I was
a little disappointed that they caved to convention and gave it
a happy one. Beefy and I are in agreement that Michael Showalter
is a genius. I think Beefy nearly wet himself at the Paul Rudd appearance.
Which reminds me — the deleted scenes on the 40 Year-Old Virgin
DVD are phenomenal. Maybe the best “special features” material I’ve
seen on a DVD.
Been preparing for an Infinite Worlds/ISWAT GURPS game; I’ve finished
Beefy and Paige’s characters, will do Jones’ tonight. Hopefully
we can game Friday night or sometime on Christmas Eve. If not, there’s
always next week.
Did some Christmas shopping with my sister tonight. I also got some
good pants at American Eagle Outfitters, a book on Blackberry hacks,
and a ZipZaps RC car (the
Aston Martin DB5). The ZipZap is a ton of fun to play with, but
I can’t get the chassis to sit right without interfering with the
steering, even after filing down part of the frame. Oh well, it’s
faster without the chassis anyway. Great for chousing the cats.
Dec. 2005 (Tue); Post #630
My friend Brett was in town this weekend we had sushi, went
to the Pike Place Market,
and saw the Chronicles of Narnia at the AMC theater in Pacific Plaza.
The sushi was good; Brett hadn't had it before and especially liked
the tempura-style Las Vegas roll and eel. I'd only been to the Pike
Place Market once before (when I was here for a convention in 1999)...
tons to see. Definitely going back there to do some Christmas shopping
later this week. Brett
showed me this amazing doughnut place (pictured below).
Daily Dozen Doughnut Company. (1200x900; 330 KB)
We hit a few other shops in there. I picked up some soy sauce and
pocky, he found a good deal on an REM vinyl record. The movie was
pretty good. My only complaints were that some of the phony English
accents were a little grating after a while and a couple scenes
were too cloying (but I guess that's inevitable in a Disney movie
with child protagonists). Overall, it was decent. A little better
than Aeon Flux, IMHO. Surprisingly violent. We were about a half-hour
early for the film so we had some drinks
and fries at Johnny Rockets before heading into the theater. That
place has really good service for a burger joint.
Paige is coming down by bus on Thursday. We're going to have sushi
and drive to the Tri-Cities Friday afternoon. Hopefully the old
group (unfortunately sans our loud Korean and scary MiB) can do
some gaming Saturday night. And I think Sunday night is Beefy's
birthday party, so that'll be fun. He and Jones might come up to
Seattle after New Year's which would be awesome cuz we could all
go see Jesus is Magic.
It's directed by the same guy who's directing the Tenacious D movie.
Oh yeah, also, Robert Richter, a friend from grade school (and possibly
the person most responsible for my geekitude) IMed me; apparently
he's in the Tri-Cities again. Hopefully I'll be able to get him
to do some gaming with us. I'm sure he'd really like Settlers of
Saw this funny (and slightly mind-bending) exchange from Rosencrantz
& Guildenstern Are Dead posted on Slashdot in the comments about
a poll on "nothingness":
Rosencrantz: Do you think that Death could possibly
be a boat?
I caught the pilot of Saddle Rash on Adult Swim last night
Beefy and I both liked it. Loren Bouchard and H. Jon Benjamin (better
known as Coach McGurk) are both involved and there are some obvious
similarities in style to Home Movies. Even though it's a western
about an armless cowboy. Pretty funny and I loved the animation.
Oh yeah, and Sarah Silverman does one of the voices. I hope it turns
Guildenstern: No, no, no... Death is "not." Death
isn't. Take my meaning? Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being.
You can't not be on a boat.
Rosencrantz: I've frequently not been on boats.
Guildenstern: No, no... What you've been is not on boats.
James (another AnandTecher) sent me this link to an article about
tattoos. Some pretty amusing images in there. My favorite is
the Megaman tattoo about 3/4 down the page.
Next time I'll post the Firefly cosplayer pictures I found on WAKA.
But for now here's an image of scenes from the Pike Place Market
(I love this little Exilim camera):
(1200x900; 319 KB)
I got a call from my doctor this morning; she'd run a more thorough
culture on my throat swab from last Friday. Apparently I did
have strep throat, it was just a Group G streptococcal infection,
which she tells me is pretty uncommon. The previous swab only tested
for a Group A infection, so that's why it didn't show up.
Anyway, I've been on antibiotics since Sunday and haven't felt any
symptoms since Monday. This Dr. Heinen seems to be a lot better
at her job than Dr. Tsai, who I saw two weeks before her.
2005 (Thu); Post #629
BTW, just ordered a used copy of Counting
Heads by David Marusek off Amazon. Looks promising. I really
enjoyed his short story, The Wedding Album.
Some interesting links:
of Texas Inmates' Last Meals. The last meals and offender information
for about three hundred criminals executed between 1982 and 2003
in Texas. My favorite menu: #271.
Random Facts about Chuck Norris. To wit: "Chuck Norris
once ate three 72 oz. steaks in one hour. He spent the first 45
minutes having sex with his waitress."
Some really amazing pumpkin carvings by Scott Cummins. I especially
liked the Napoleon Dynamite carving.
Good Inc. Live. A "live" video of Gorillaz playing
at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Nifty CG, Quicktime format.
Fold a Shirt Out of a $1 Bill. Mildly amusing, something to
try if you find yourself bored out of your skull.
Well, I saw Aeon Flux Monday night. It was so-so. Would've been
a lot better if the writer had taken 8th grade science. Plus there
were a couple little details they never explain (the four hundred
year old man who could turn invisible, the device that apparently
sent people to alternate dimensions). Still, the effects were good,
Charlize Theron isn't a bad actor, lots of gadgets and nifty sci
fi doodads, interesting fight scenes... cheesy dialogue, but that's
to be expected with that kind of movie.
2005 (Thu); Post #628
On Tuesday night I saw Mamma Mia with my mom and Laura. Really great.
Act I was definitely better than Act II, but the encore songs the
whole cast did at the very end were also great. The best part was
this number where the guys came out doing this hilarious high-kick
line dance in flippers and snorkel masks. Fantastic music (but,
then, I've been an ABBA fan for some time). They didn't do nearly
enough with Take a Chance on Me... the Thank You for the Music song
was really well done though. When the thing first started with these
three girls reading this other girl's mom's diary I was afraid it
was going to really suck, but it was great. Really corny, but in
a good way. I guess all musicals are a little corny... it's a pretty
ridiculous idea after all people just bursting into song
over every little event. Oh yeah, I wanted to make note of Laura
Ware and Robert Pendilla; they seemed especially talented.
Anyway, I ordered GURPS Powers and GURPS Banestorm from Warehouse
23. Really looking forward to them. Hoping to GM a couple GURPS
games when I'm home for Christmas (driving home next Friday, woot).
Oh yeah, Paige might be coming with me. Hope she likes Dane Cook
and ABBA, haha.
The last Arrested Development episode was sooo funny. Only seven
more left in the whole series...
And now, a random sampling of images I enjoy before I go to bed.
Hank Azaria as The Blue Raja.
Just thought it was a really weird expression.
Still sick. Sore throat got worse (really swollen; breathing, swallowing,
and speaking is difficult). I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow
at the UW Medicine place on 2nd. There's a really great little cafe
next door to it that I've been eating at lately since Biofournil
(the downstairs bakery/cafe) has been closed for remodeling. They
make really fantastic fries and a very good roast beef and havarti
2005 (Fri); Post #627
Oh, yeah, so when I was driving home for Thanksgiving last week
I saw this bright orange flash reflected off the tops of the trees
surrounding an apple orchard on WA-243 near Desert Aire. I kept
driving for about a mile or mile and a half and saw a car burning
in the orchard about forty feet off the road. I stopped and turned
on my hazard lights and shouted to see if anyone was alive before
calling 911. It took the fire chief about twenty minutes to get
there... here are some pictures I snapped while I waited:
(1200x784; 422 KB)
(1200x900; 602 KB)
I exchanged email with the Grant county fire chief, Dave Hargroves,
and he told me it was stolen from the Tri-Cities nobody was
inside when it caught fire. Anyway, kind of exciting.
Some more pictures:
Thanksgiving dinner. (1000x654; 171 KB)
The fam from left to right, Dad, Mom, Sister, Grandma, Grandpa,
Thanksgiving day night I went over to Beefy's dad's place on Rd.
64 and he, Jones, Kevin, and I played darts, billiards, Fluxx 3.0,
and Apples to Apples. In Apples to Apples there's a point where
the judge for the round reads off a word and its synonyms... Jones
got "delicate," so he goes "Delicate: fine, dainty,
fragile," then, in a soft, high voice, "Paige."
If you know Paige, this is quite hilarious. Anyway, much fun was
had by all.
Jones and Beefy playing darts.
Friday night I drove up to Spokane after wishing my grandparents
a happy 50th wedding anniversary. Spent the weekend with Brett,
Justin (different Justin), and some other folks. Went to a party,
played videogames, watched movies. Lotsa fun. When I drove back
to Seattle on Sunday the pass was totally clear.
Oh yeah, speaking of weather, it snowed here yesterday. Of course,
it all melted when it hit the ground, but it was coming down pretty
hard for a while.
Ummm... so here's what's been happening lately: Finished Thud!
(ranks about the same as The Fifth Elephant, IMHO), saw the
Harry Potter movie (it was okay, maybe not quite as good as the
previous one), switched to boxer shorts, watched all of the UK version
of The Office (including the special; personally, I like the US
version better), got this really cool shirt at the army surplus
store, got a haircut, made some really good chili
(always best the second day, I say), listened to a really great
comedy CD by this guy named Daniel Tosh, saw the doctor about my
persistent sore throat (the strep swab came back negative). Oh,
and I've gotten quite good at making grilled cheese sandwiches.
Nov. 2005 (Sun); Post #626
Took this PoliticsMatch
Quiz my friend Brett was talking about. Kinda neat. Here's my
Going to see Mama Mia at
the Paramount on December 6th. Looking forward to that.
Three really awesome songs I've only recently discovered: Pink Martini
- Let's Never Stop Falling in Love, Weezer - This is Such a Pity,
and Transiberian Orchestra - Wizards in Winter.
Lots of construction in Dubai... (1024x768; 178
"It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety."
— Isaac Asimov