Old News: September 26, 2003 to October 10, 2003

10:40 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
10 Oct. 2003 (Fri); Post #386
Spent 6 hours driving and taking pictures and picking/ editing pictures... oy. Yakima's nicer than I thought it was. Benton City I've been to before. Wanted to stop and snap landscape photos a few times, but I was on the clock. The pictures below (except the pumpkins) were taken at the property locations, just in different directions.

Phill, Hanwool, Ryan, maybe Justin, and I are going to go see the 9:40 pm showing of Kill Bill tonight at the Carmike. Anyway, my pizza just got here (from Lil' Brick House Pizza - the new place next to Hayden's).

The pumpkins Phill and I got.

A view from somewhere in Benton City.

A view from somewhere on Summitview in Yakima.

10:40 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
10 Oct. 2003 (Fri); Post #386
Yesterday I went and bought burger-makings at Yokes. Cooked the patties on my George Foreman grill; very good. I like my burgers with tartar sauce on them. At about 8:00 pm, Phill and I went to Yokes to buy pumpkins. Get this: pumpkins are only 9¢ per lb. there and, because their scales don't go over 30 lbs., the most you can pay for a pumpkin (whatever the size) is $2.70. We each got an extremely large pumpkin. I'll post pictures later.

This morning for breakfast I used the hotplate I got from my grandma to grill some mushrooms, zucchini, and Polish sausage. Then I mixed in two eggs and some black pepper (I don't know how to make omelets, or I would have done that). It was very good. Had it with some of the orange juice Drew/ Ryan left here last week.

Now I'm gonna take a shower before I drive out to photograph some properties in Yakima and Benton City.

Cheeseburger. Tastes much better than it looks.
Cheeseburger with lettuce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, and tartar sauce.

9:44 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
7 Oct. 2003 (Tue); Post #385
So I was asleep for just an hour, having a weird dream where I was in a Super Mario video game, when I was awoken by a phone call.

      Me:       Hello?
Kid: It's still hot.
Me: Pardon?
Kid: It's still hot.
Me: What?
Kid: Oh. Oops.

Anyway, then I had an appointment with Patty Cooper (Bill's widow), so I was at her house for three hours and change installing stuff on her PC and showing her how to use her new scanner. It's really amazing; it does a 200 dpi full page scan in less than 3 seconds (had to install a USB 2.0 PCI card to take advantage of its great speed). And it can scan slides and film negatives, which most scanners can't.

A new Law & Order: SVU is coming up, so I'm gonna go watch that.

1:04 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
7 Oct. 2003 (Tue); Post #384
From a Penny Arcade post by Tycho late last night:
What should I see on CNN Money this morning but an announcement by Vivendi Universal that Half life 2 will be delayed until April 2004, reportedly so they can rewrite the code that was stolen. Curses!
Argh. Why do they need to rewrite the code just because it was stolen? To stop ppl from using it to hack and cheat, I guess...? If that's the case, they should just leave it alone and concentrate on getting the game out, then release a patch later on for that purpose. Let me spend the time it takes you to rewrite playing through the single player missions and having LAN games. So far the release date has gone from September 30th to February 04 to April 04. All in the space of about two weeks. At this rate, HL2 should be out sometime in the 2040s.

A quote from a very recently posted message on the Transhuman Space list:
If it helps, I had this conversation with my friendly local game store owner (who's also a huge TS fan), and while he was sort of in agreement, he also rolled his eyes and said "You are _so_ a Duncanite."
It made me laugh. Signing up for the Transhuman Space list is easy, even easier if you already have a Yahoo account. There's some really interesting messages on there. Sounds like a PBeM campaign may be starting up. Another super-neat THS link: the TeralogosNews Archives. I kept overlooking it every time I pulled up the THS web site. Good stuff.

Anyway, I'm tired. Gonna go read some THS stuff and take a nap.

10:59 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
6 Oct. 2003 (Mon); Post #383
This is a historic day: I've finally moved my web site to a paid hosting service and have claimed my own personal domain name. The new URL is www.hjo3.net. I'm tempted to design a new template in honor of this event, but my desire is tempered by the recent discovery of a nasty Dreamweaver 4.0 bug that prevents me from applying changes to all my templated HTML files simultaneously. Anyway. Eventually, I think I'd like to switch the site over to some PHP system or something, if only to reduce the odds of producing errors mucking around with the code every day.

Here's another picture from Sunday's scenic flight; Ice Harbor dam. (I found a combination of image filters that really cut through the haze.)

Ice Harbor dam from 2,000 feet up.
Ice Harbor dam from 2,000 feet.

Don't forget to update your bookmarks! www.hjo3.net!

6:30 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
5 Oct. 2003 (Sun); Post #382
At 4:00 pm, Drew, Phill, and I went on this airplane ride around the region (out 'round Burbank, Ice Harbor dam, West Richland, etc.). It was really cool. Our pilot was this guy named Justin Wolf. He's also an instructor there at Bergstrom Aircraft. Anyway, it was pretty cheap, only $69 for all three of us (max capacity for the plane we used). We saw this fire over near one of the railroad tracks; you could actually see the flames. Pretty neat. Here are some pictures.

Walking out to the plane. You can just barely see the Medistar helicopter coming in to land in the background (upper right).

Our shadow while taking off.

Drew looking out the window. He and Phill were in the back, I got to ride up front.

Instruments, gauges, dials, switches, etc. According to the altimeter and speedometer, we're going about 130 MPH at 1,900 feet.

Richland and the Columbia.

After landing.

For some reason, my domain name hasn't propagated yet. Gonna contact the guy at Comic-Host about it.

8:06 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
1 Oct. 2003 (Wed); Post #381
I got this really great web hosting deal from some guy on the Anandtech Forums; 100 MB storage + 3 GBs in transfers for $1 per month. And I'm gonna get a domain name through Namecheap, so expect to see something like www.hjo3.net in the next several days.

Okay, have to go shower and get ready for school. It's a lab day!

12:04 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
30 Sep. 2003 (Tue); Post #380
Finally set ObjectDock up the way I like it on my main system. The only thing it doesn't have is a digital clock readout (the only clock docklet I can find is the one that simulates an analog "handed" clock). I think I might use Samurize for that though. Anyway I really love it. In fact, I put up a screenshot (link under the thumbnail below).

Okay, it's late and I have to get up at 7:00 am tomorrow to go switch my laundry over to the dryer at my parents' house. None of my desktops have ever looked this good! And I didn't have to use stupid XP!

BTW, I'm thinking of moving this site to another hosting service (I'm using more than 90% of my allotted Geocities space). Right now, I'm think of using 3-95.com ($3.95/month for 300 MB space plus 4 GB xfer). They also have this $8.95 for 6 months plan that I might be able to use. I doubt I go over 1 GB in transfers per month... (This was a kinda scatterbrained post.)

Full Screenshot (1280 x 1024, PNG) [476 kB]

12:53 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
29 Sep. 2003 (Mon); Post #379
Classes so far have been pretty fun today. In my Unix class, we finally got our login stuff so we can, uh, log in. I spent most of the hour playing with ObjectDock, surfing bookmarks off my thumbdrive, and playing the nerdy linux text games through PuTTY. Then in Novell, Drew and I palavered and complained about how slow XP and the NetWare stuff was (NWADMIN32 literally took 20 minutes to start!). Phill was absent. He and Drew both PayPal'd money to me for Wendy's meals we bought Friday night.

Oh yeah, Phill's site is finally back up. Or at least it was (I just tried it and it seems to be down again). It's been down for like a week or two. Anyway, I have a FS (For Sale) thread going over at Anandtech FS/FT. Basically, I wound up with a nice new heatsink that I have no use for. Finished the Mars section of In the Well. The Mercury, Venus, and Inner Belt sections were pretty brief (not that there's much to say about those... i.e. Venus — what can you say about a mostly-useless planet with lots of acid, 800 F surface temp, and 90 atmospheres of pressure?).

Seems like everyone's got thumbdrives now; even this Jamaican woman (who I wouldn't have thought was very tech-savvy) in CS222 had one. Hah. But they're great. Now if only everyone would have front-mounted USB ports, or desktop hubs, or keyboards with hubs in them... some of the lab computers don't have USB ports on the front. Very annoying.

Gonna read and see if I can take a nap before my 5:00 CS224 class.

8:47 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
28 Sep. 2003 (Sun); Post #378
LOTR: Return of the King trailer (25 MB, Chinese subtitles). Watching 10-8 on ABC right now. So far it's pretty good. Had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

3:58 p.m. [GMT-8:00]
28 Sep. 2003 (Sun); Post #377
Had a weird dream last night. I was running through the streets of some neighborhood in Pasco (like a block from the high school) and I started jumping. Each jump went longer than the last until I finally figured out I was flying. For some reason, in my dreams there's always some trick to flying, something you have to concentrate on. In this one, it had to do with sort of pushing the air below you with your hands and keeping above a "stall speed." Anyway, I tried to see how high I could go but something bad happened and I fell out of the sky into this barn way out in the middle of nowhere. Someone I knew was there, but I can't remember who it was. Then all these gray zombies start tearing through the walls and they caught me and started ripping chunks of my legs off (the chunks weren't bloody or anything though... it was like my flesh was the same color as my skin all the way through and it had the consistency of cheese). While this was happening, the person I was with kept fighting off zombies, then said it was too much work and left.

That's when I woke up. I was really confused and it took me like a minute to realize I was in my room and the beeping sound was coming out of the alarm clock. I think the whole "zombie" thing might have been because I saw a House of the Dead trailer on TV last night. Anyway.

2:18 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
28 Sep. 2003 (Sun); Post #376
Okay, I finally beat Final Fantasy Tactics Advance! 44 hours, 52 minutes. The final battle was pretty hard; it took me five tries. I mostly just used three good characters (ironically, when I got to the end of the game, I didn't realize it until too late and two of my best characters — a Viera Sniper and a Moogle Gunner were in jail at the time). The primary team was made up of a Baanga Templar (using a good spear and the Cheer Sacred Technique), a Nu Mou White Mage (probably the most essential character, if only for Curaga and Auto-Life), and my main character, a Human Ninja (he has an attack value of 410 and the Double Sword support skill, so he gets two normal attacks per turn; usually doing about 120 dmg each). There was also a Baanga Warrior, a Baanga Monk, and a Moogle Animist in the group. They were pretty worthless... their main purpose was cannon fodder, soaking up damage to buy time for my Ninja and Templar to attack Remedi (or, rather, the thing she turns into... Li-Chung or some name like that).

Anyway, once you beat the game there's a ten minute "movie" where you get to see what happens to everyone and all that. You also get a little yellow star next to your save game and can continue playing with "expert missions" turned on (they're Rank 7 and higher). Kinda neat.

Been reading the Transhuman Space source book, In the Well. It's very good. High Frontier got a bit old after a while (I started losing interest when I got to the Vacuum Cleaners section). But the detailed history of Martian colonization and terraforming (in In the Well) was really interesting. Okay, it's late and I have to help build fence tomorrow.

45 freakin' hours.
Scene from the final battle in FFTA.

11:49 a.m. [GMT-8:00]
26 Sep. 2003 (Fri); Post #375
As I'm sure you all already know (via Penny Arcade, Slashdot, or whatever), the Matrix: Revolutions trailer is out (BitTorrent). After watching it, I really do have high expectations for the third film despite my relative distaste for the second.

I'm pretty far on Final Fantasy Tactics Advance now. Right after you find the fifth crystal, the difficulty of the game really seems to spike. Suddenly my uber-powerful Sniper and Fighter aren't as effective in battle. And the laws! Argh, there's so many of them. Things are worse now than when the [spoiler] Judges still worked for the palace. Anyway. The classes I'm working on getting now are Gadgeteer, Alchemist, Defender, Assassin, and Sage. I've gotten most everything else except Ninja. The human totema was brutal; when I finally beat her (on the third try), my entire team was dead except for Marche (Fighter), and he only had 22 HP left.

"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." — Sir Winston Churchill