Monday, August 30, 2004

A Yule Tide Rant

I am starting to hate Christmas. It used to be that I loved the Christmas music, the television commercials, Christmas morning, etc. But now my job has made Christmas the bane of my existence. The people are crabby, the stores are crowded beyond God's intention, and I am stuck in the middle. To top everything off, my store decided to begin gearing up for the birth of Christ earlier this week. It is still August!!! Christmas is almost four months off and we have a whole aisle dedicated to wreaths the size of J-Lo's ass and a stupid Christmas train set. Beh!

I am not alone in my growing dislike for the holiday season. Most of my co-workers dread this time of year as well. It would not be so bad if the holidays started after Thanksgiving but to have them start before Labor Day is ludicris. By the time Christmas does get here most people wish it would have come a couple months earlier. Commercialism and Capitalism make Christmas suck and that pisses me off. I used to like Christmas.

My Grandma Vs. DMCA

Wierd phone call of the week: My grandma calls me today and tells me that her ISP shut off her service due to a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) infringement. WTF!?

It turns out, that someone downloaded the game, Hitman on to my grandma's computer and either by the game calling home or the publisher monitoring a download site, they found out and turned my grandma in to her ISP. This is messed up on so many levels. For starters, my grandma doesn't play a single game on her computer save Freecell. Secondly, no one in the age bracket that would want to play Hitman has been to my grandma's house in seven months. Yes, I am a bad grandson. Aside from my familial shortcomings, the other thing that bothers me is how this could have happened.

I am guessing there are a couple of things that may have taken place. This could all be a mistake. I am leaning to this outcome solely because I know how computer illiterate my grandma is and how much of a gamer she is not. Maybe they just got the IP addy wrong when they sent it to my grandma's ISP or maybe they have two people with the same name and it was a paperwork foul-up. I don't know.

The more troubling outcome is that it is possible, however unlikely, that someone got onto my grandma's system either physically or over the net and remotely downloaded the game. Maybe a spam email that had a backdoor in it or soemthing, I don't know. My grandma does not do a lot of stuff on her computer aside from email and word processing so I just don't know what to make of the situation. The evil part of me says it was better her than me. :) DMCA is such a stupid law because there are obviously flaws in it that let companies do this to old people that are probably innocent. Unless my grandma is a closet pirate....hmm....

Saturday, August 28, 2004


My parents have two dogs, Lucky and Bungie. These dogs, Lucky especially, are treated better than most humans are. My mom has been known to stop at McDonalds and get them cheeseburgers from time to time. Yeah. So tonight my parents are out of town and they asked me to stay at their house and watch the dogs overnight. No big deal. I get to watch a 50" Toshiba and DVDs all night, somehow I will be able to manage.

The wierd part of the whole ordeal has been the fact that I lived in this house a little more than two months ago and it already is starting to become unfamiliar to me. My mom has repainted different rooms in the house, including my old bedroom. The 10' x 10' space that once housed all of my earthly belongings is now this bright yellow color and has become my dad's office. My brother and I's bathroom has been repainted and remoddelled and new glowing light switches have replaced some of the old ones. It is all very odd.

To top off this unsettling revamping of the house, I have already started to forget the location of light switch panels located on various walls and I have started forgetting which cupboards house what. I haven't been gone that long and yet I am losing the feel for the house that I have spent most of my teenage and adult life in up to this point. It is all very Twilight Zone-ish. Fortunately my brother's room hasn't changed so I am sleeping in here tonight. He is out of town with his girlfriend I think so he won't be needing his bed this evening.

I am tired, yet skeptical of how well I am going to sleep tonight. Not only am I in an increasingly alien environment but I have both of the kids...err...dogs vying for real estate on the bed. I am also not a big fan of the fact that when I wake up in the morning, Mushi won't be laying next to me; something that I have grown very accustomed to and fond of over these last couple of months. It is funny to think that I have been married now for more than two months. Anywho, I am going to try and get some sleep now.

Friday, August 27, 2004

How A Computer Upgrade Can Go Horribly Bad In A Good Way

As you all know, my motherboard died on me a few weeks ago. If you didn't know this, now you do, way to go. Since that time I have been trying to figure out what was going to replace the huge void left in my case from the lack of a mobo. The solution came to me several days ago and I think I have finally figured everything out. Here it goes.

I am part of Intel's RetailEdge training group and as such I get to snag a very good purchase bundle from them once a year. This year, the purchase bundle will become available in October and will be as follows. (1)Intel P4 550 CPU In nerd speak, this thing is the second fastest Prescott CPU Intel has released so far. It clocks in at 3.4ghz and makes me very happy. (2) Intel D915PBL This will be the motherboard that will accompany the CPU. The beautiful thing about this board is that it can run DDR2 533, PCI Express x16 and x1, and SATA hdds. (3) A copy of Windows XP Pro. Not that this matters, I think I have like four copies of this right now, not that another one will hurt though. And how much is this whole bundle, you ask? $200.00 Yup, you heard me, $200.00 for the whole package. XP Pro goes for this amount usually. So in the beginning I thought to myself, this will be a nice upgrade from an Athon XP 2400 and a Gigabyte board. Oh, how I was wrong.

As the hours went by, I started thinking about what parts could be salvaged from my old machine to run in this new one. My DDR 2700 won't work on the new mobo, nor will my Radeon 9000 AGP card. My PSU does not have SATA connectors and my sound card is getting rather old, as are my optical drives. Is all of this stuff a problem? No! It is an excuse. No longer am I really upgrading my system, I am building a new one in the same case I have now.

As it stands now, these are the specs for my new machine that will be built in October:

1) P4 550 CPU 3.4ghz
2) Intel D915PBL mobo
3) 1gig of Crucial DDR2 533
4) Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
5) Sony DRU700A Dual Layer DVD Burner
6) 16x DVD Drive
7) PSU yet to be decided.
8) I would like to get a pair of Western Digital Raptors and Raid 0 them. We will see
how the money situation is before I get these.

You are probably wondering about what video card will be in the machine. You see, there comes a time for every man when they just want to blow a lot of money on something really cool just once to say that they have the best of something that money can buy. Some men like cars and would get a Ferrari. Others like real estate. Me, I like video cards. The video card will be, unless something for the same amount of money comes out between now and then that is cooler, a Radeon X800 XT Platinum PCI Express Edition with 256 megs of GDDR3 on it. Ahh....Half Life 2 here I come.

I am sorry if this sounds like I am bragging but I am. My computer has been nice but never great and this is probably as close to great as I am going to come for a long long time. If anyone has any other suggestions as to what to add feel free to drop me a comment. At this point in time I am open to other suggestions. Just writing about this new machine puts me in a good mood so now I am going to go to bed happy and dream of running Half Life 2 and The Sims 2 in all of their spectacular glory. Nite!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

A Fairly Good Time

Okay, that pun sucked. I went to the fair this evening with Mushi and ate a lot of food that reminds me that I am a mere mortal and my heart will give out someday. Just something about the name "Pound O Fries" gets me every year and I yearn to make those 16 oz. of potato cuttings slide down my throat with a generous helping of ketchup. I like fair food.

We saw many animals this evening including one breed of rabbit that kicks ass, the angora rabbit I think it was. They were furry little buggers but cute. They had this laid back aura around them that let you know that if you owned one, they would just chill and eat some carrots and not raise a fuss or act the fool. We also saw llamas. I dig llamas and alpacas, they are just goofy creatures.

After returning from the fair, I did about an hour of online job hunting to no avail. There is a research position for the Idaho State Historical Society that is a volunteer position that sounds cool. I would reseach given topics and write about them and find answers to them. Stuff I like to do and do very well. There is just one thing that kills me and that is the word "volunteer". "Volun" meaning "no" and "teer" meaning "freakin money". I need money therefore, while the research job would be great, I would still have to work for the dreaded employer I do now. That sucks. I still may apply for the volunteer job though, it would be fun and maybe if I did something fufilling two or three days a week, the other four or five work days would seem like less of a void that sucks a little more of my life away with every hour I work at it. Something is going to have to change there very soon. I am becoming a terrible and mean person because of that job and I hate it. The money is not worth it. So tomorrow, the job search will intensify. Hopefully, something comes up.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

External Enclosures Unite!!!

I had to return one of my Western Digital 250 gig drives today because it crapped out. With the money from the drive I went out and bought 2 external drive enclosures for two of my other hdds. They work very well. As I type this, I have access to almost 500 gigs of data...very nice. I am pleased. I think I am going to do this to my 120 gig drive too so that I may start fresh with hdds when I build my new system. That will take off strain on the power supply and free up room in the case. The external drives also make sense because now I can truck them places and not have to worry about them getting hurt.

I also helped my buddy Ryzel move today. The house he is renting is a nice one and his roommate seems like he will be a nice enough guy. He likes RPG games and collects comic books so he can't be too bad.

Yesterday was the first day of school for Mushi and my brother. Yesterday was the first time in 20 years that it was not my first day of school. It is a good feeling to know that the next time I go back to school it will either be to teacher or get my masters degree. BSU is not that great of a school and I hope most of the staff there chokes but I enjoyed my time there...just glad I don't have to do it again. :)

Tomorrow, Mushi and I are going to the fair. The fair is good for one reason, food. The fair sucks for a handful of reasons, parking, hicks, obnoxious children, noise, carnies, random wierdos that only come out of the woodwork during the fair, and various other things. In other words, the fair makes for good people watching. I will post tomorrow on our discoveries at the wonderful Western Idaho Fair...YEEHAA!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

In Praise of My iPod

Of all of the gadgets I have, my iPod is easily the best. Not only is it the best mp3 player made, it also makes an excellent external hard drive when you need one. Ever since the demise of my big file server, I have been in desperate need of storage space and my 30gig laptop hard drive just doesn't cut it. My iPod does take some of the pressure off of this strain though. Since Demonator has all of my hdds at the moment and I constantly need to cart stuff to and from the dives, the iPod makes an excellent vessel in which to do so.

The one and only downside to my precious white and aluminum piece of joy is the fact that its battery is definitely going downhill. Why Apple could put a good battery into the 2nd Generation of iPods is beyond me. When the batttery levels get annoyingly low on this little guy I will probably just use it for a storage drive which it works well as. I will buy a new iPod the second I retire this one though, that is certain. I simply love this thing too much to be without one.

For those that do not have a ton of mp3s, the iPod's price may be a little much but for those of us that have quite a collection of them(*cough* 52,000 of 'em *cough*) the iPod is an absolute must have. In my opinion, the iPod is one of the few things they have done right. Keep the iPods coming, Apple!

Friday, August 20, 2004

To Make a Good Marinade

According to most people that know me, I am a pretty decent cook. I have always liked to cook. I like food and feel that I should know how to make the things I like. It is just a logical means to an end. So today I have been asked by my brother to prepare my steak marinade. To me, there is no better way to start an evening than with a couple of marinated New York strips sizzling on the grill and a cold beverage. All of my readers should consider themselves among the chosen because today I am going to share something I do not share with many steak marinade recipe.

Mogwai's Mysterious Marinade

1. Get a container to put all of the marinade in. Make it a large one because it is
going to hold the steaks to. I like Tupperware.

2. Dump some minced garlic in the container, followed up by soy sauce, lemon juice,
Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce, and a Fat Tire beer. Other beers can be substituted but I
like amber beers for this recipe. Don't use light beer like Corona or dark beer
like Guinness, they just don't taste right. The reason you dump a beer in there is
because beer possesses an enzyme that breaks down proteins(the steak)and makes
them nice and soft. It basically speeds up the marinating process. Most of the
beer taste cooks out so if you don't like beer don't worry, you will be okay. Also
notice that I don't have specific measurements for everything. I do it all by
taste. I will say that you need a lot of Yoshida's (if you don't have Yoshida's
just use Teriyaki sauce)and a lot of soy sauce. One can of beer is good and use as
much garlic as you want. As for the lemon juice, just squeeze a bit in, not a lot
but enough.

3. Sometimes I will also put in Chinese Red Chili oil to spice it up a bit. You will
find this in the Asian section of you grocery store. Usually, it is in a small
bottle with a black label with red print. Good stuff but be careful, if you use
too much it messes everything up.

4. Let the steak sit in the mixture for at least a few hours. If you want it to be
really soft, let it sit over night. You can never marinate a steak for too long.

Well, that pretty much wraps up the recipe, enjoy it. Just writing this thing is making me hungry so I think I am going to go eat some lunch now.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Job Denied!!!

Well, as you have probably guessed from the title, I did not get the teaching position I was hoping for. Am I disappointed? Yes, but also a tad relieved. The downside is that it would have been great experience, extra money, and a bit of fun. The upside is now I can have a relatively simple life for a few months and just focus on coasting at my job and coming home to chill and hang out with friends. I am annoyed at myself however because I was way too sure that I was going to get the job and got way too worked up about it. I guess I just figured I had a better chance of landing the job than I actually did. Though I also thought I was the only one applying for the job too. Odds definitely deminish when five other people get interviewed that all have more experience than you. Yeah. Oh well, time to move on.

One thing I was looking forward to was the fact that I could actually study and use history and be a historian. I think I am going to actively start writing my book about the history of malls and shopping again. I need to do something history related. We will see. Anywho, my buddy Tony is coming into town this weekend so that will be cool to hang out with him for a bit. Other than that, it looks to be a pretty quiet and normal next few days.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Interview

Today I had my interview at Boise High. In general, I think it went pretty well. When I got there the principal and the chair of the history department were waiting for me and we preceeded to the principal's office. Once in the office they took turns asking me a barrage of questions ranging from why I want to be a teacher to how it makes me feel when a student gets a failing grade. The latter question was fun because a told them that if a student failed it would not be my fault but the students. The way I see it, I have dates that I want stuff turned in by and if the kids can't get their stuff in, that is their own damned problem. Kids must be held accountable for their successes and failures and should be able to face the consequences of each. I have faith in the way I teach and my knowledge of US History, if the kids do a minimum of work they will pass. The two interviews raised their eyebrows to this reponse from me. I think they were expecting me to tell them that I would feel bad because I let the kids down...HAH! Failure is very seldom an external party's fault and to blame someone else for your shortcomings is childish and gutless. Kids need to realize that if they get a bad grade, 95% of the time there is something they could have done to improve that grade be it studying, talking to the teacher, taking better notes etc. Anywho, I will get off of my soap box now.

The principal said I would probably hear from him tomorrow as to whether or not I would get the job. If I do not get it then yes, I would be a tad let down but on the upside, I would be able to just go to work and come home and relax....a simple life for a bit. If I get it then great, I have my first meeting on Thursday. That will be spiffy to go to, my first meeting as a professional teacher. :) That and this will be an extra source of income that will be welcome regardless of its size. We shall see I guess. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow and hopefully I will start class on Monday. :)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Who's Laughing Now, Bitch?

Today was spiffy. Very spiffy. There is a guy at my work that sometimes makes fun of my chubbiness. Normally, this is not a big deal(good pun), I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to this topic(heh another pun), but this kid sometimes went over the line. His name is Jake. Jake wins the award for being the closest I have ever come to ever punching someone in my adult life. He is younger than me, talks like some backwoods hick, and makes fun of me...not a good combo. But today everything changed. No longer is he laughing at me, but I am laughing at him. Today I got him fired.

Jake was a thief as was his buddy, Ben. One of my co-workers got wind that they were up to something and he and I busted them while they were preparing to steal a couple of MP3 players. Management took it from there and earlier this evening both of them were escorted out of the building by managers. There are days when I love my job and this is one of them. Bye Jake! :)

On another good note, I got a call today from Boise High and I have an interview with them tomorrow morning at 11:30. I think this is basically a formality so I am not too worried about not getting the job. I will start teaching this next Monday...WOOHOO!! I will post more tomorrow when I am sure I actually have a job.

Now it is time for me to do some preparatory stuff for tomorrow so I am going to end this post. See you tomorrow and wish me luck.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

You Lost My Film!

At my ever-joyous workplace people never cease to piss me off. We have a send away film developing service like countless other stores and like most of the other stores, the company that handles this service is called Qualex. The people that work at Qualex are not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas Tree of Knowledge and often times will lose some of the film that is sent to them. These mistakes usually go unnoticed by the staff because from what I gather, these people develop somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000 packets of film a day. If a few get lost so what, the other 249,800 packets went through just fine. What Qualex has a hard time grasping is that when they mess up, people like me are the ones that get to cope with their mistakes. Punks.

Just that happened today. A lady comes up to me and says that it has been several weeks and her film had yet to be returned. Average turnaround is usually 2-3 days. I say no problem and ask her for her packet stubs that the top of each packet comes equipped with. It is on these stubs that I find valuable tracking information that will help me trace this person's prints. Of course, like every other head of cattle that come through the store and lose film, this wench does not have her stubs. Her reply to me was, "No, I don't have them. Of course not, you expect me to keep them."

Every person that does not have their stub has the exact same response for the most part. Just because the top of the envelope says to keep your stub does not mean you have to, of course not, that would be too easy and actually require a person to keep track of something...heaven forbid. Odds are most people don't read the extraneous stuff on the envelope anyways. What people don't realize is that in order to trace film, I MUST have that little pointless scrap of paper with the envelope number on it. When I tell people this, 99% of the time they say this, "Well..HMPHF...can't you just look it up by my name?" I then reply that I cannot and I MUST have the envelope number. The next response is, "Well, I can tell you the exact day that I left the film here. Can you locate it by the date?" Again, I reply no and that I MUST have the envelope number. Then comes the best part.

The people realize the futility of talking to me without possessing their envelope number and try to make me pity them by saying, "Oh, well these pictures were of my daughter's wedding," or "These are the pictures from our once in a lifetime trip to Bumfuck, Africa." This is the part of the interaction I love the most. Today, the lady's pity plea was that her pictures were of a big family reunion. After she tells me this there is a pause and I can see a pleading look in her eyes. I then tell her AGAIN that without that envelope number there is no way I can locate her film. The pity story pisses me off because obviously if these people had cared that much about their precious lifetime event, they would have taken the film to a one hour processing shop and paid a measly twenty cents more to have their film done that day by people they can actually see and talk to. Imagine the convenience of it! But no, they send their film off to total strangers that don't give a damned about their film so they can save less money that what it takes to by a stamp. Retards!

The lady then gets angry at me when I ask her if I can help her with anything else and tells me that I already lost her film and that was enough for one day. She is pissed at me because she was careless enough to send her film to total strangers. Usually the customers get angry when they realize I care less about their film than Qualex does. I am a heartless and cold bastard.

I came about a rat's butt hair from telling this lady to "Fuck Off" to her face. The sad part is that I can feel myself caring less and less about the consequences of me doing this and I know that one day I will probably say something I shouldn't. When that time comes, it will be sooo much fun. Once you cross the "nice" threshold there is no reason to come back. If you say one thing that will probably get you fired why not say three or four, you’re still getting fired. One day I will lay into a customer and I pity that person. In the mean time, I will remain employed. Unfortunately. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Angels and Demons

I just finished reading Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" and found it to be a pretty good book. Lots of twists and turns in the plot as well as a lot of history woven into the story. Dan Brown is also the author of this book's sequel, "The Da Vinci Code". I will probably start reading that book soon. Anywho, if you need a book and your into history and conspiracy theory, give "Angels and Demons" a read. Not the best book I have ever read but certainly not the worst. It is a pretty captivating story, I am just not sure how much I like the author's writing style. That is my two cents and I figured I would post it...'cause this is my blog. :)

Friday, August 13, 2004

Ode to The Dude

I must say, I really really like "The Big Lebowski". What an excellent movie the Coen brother threw together there. If I were unemployed, single, and a pothead, I would hope that I lived my life similar to that of The Dude. His life was simple, adventurous, and comical. I would say that my life generally lacks adventure and that kind of bothers me.

Some would say that life is an adventure, and I agree...I just wish mine was more sporadic and lively. It would absolutely thrill me if something happened that would take me to another country to solve a mystery or make me go on a road trip to transport something of great value to a shady art dealer. Anything.

I think sometimes that I am forced to act older than I actually am and that I never really got to be "wild" in my youth. I went to a couple of keggers and that is pretty much it. Never did drugs, never became a manwhore for a summer, never ran away. Not really to say that I would have done any of those things had I had the chance...except maybe the manwhore thing...ladies dig the Mogwai.:) But I just wish I would have taken more time to explore the world when I was in high school, when stuff really didn't matter that much.

Going to college, getting a degree, and getting a career are great things to do and excellent accomplishments that I think people should strive toward if it suits them. But remember, every once in a while forget about the future and just do something for the now. Be random and see what happens. Life should not be about going to work and then coming home. Or going to class and then writing a paper. It should be about adventures. From now on I am going to try to find more adventure in everyday things. I would like to relax and reflect more often as well, though I don't think I will be in a relaxed state for a while and in some ways this blog helps me to reflect. Anywho, everyone needs to go look for adventure and worry less about what will happen to them when they are forty. Live life and be more like The Dude.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

My Archenemy and Bicycling

A while ago I posted an entry about a guy on a bike that swerved over to my car window to yell at me for pulling up too far into the street and then proceeding to fall off his bike. Well, I bumped into him today...again. This time the jerk is riding in the middle of the road that goes into my subdivision and spacing off. He is watching oncoming traffic but does not bother to look behind him when he decided to pull a 180 in the middle of the street and go the opposite direction...which would have been the side of my car had he not seen me in time. Dipstick. At least he didn't fall of his bike this time. I have decided he is my archenemy.

Earlier today, I took a bike ride with Demonator. I haven't seriously ridden a bike for almost eight years so I eased back into the sport by going on a 23.5 mile ride up to a place called Lucky Peak. Needless to say, my butt is killing me...and my legs...and my neck. Yeah, I'm out of shape and my tender bottom is not used to the hard molded plastic of a bike seat with very little padding. I think I will be fixing that soon.

No news yet on my history class but I am still hopeful. They have three more days to either publicly post the position or go into emergency hiring mode. In the emergency mode my chances of getting hired are extremely good so that is what I am hoping for. We shall see. More news tomorrow, same Bat time, same Bat webpage.

Can't Sleep...

It could be that Mushi and I didn't get out of bed until almost 2pm today or it could be that I have a lot of stuff on my mind, either way I is almost 4am and I can't sleep. My head has been filling with all sorts of ideas for the US History class I will hopefully be able to teach in a few weeks and I think that is a large part of my insomnia. I am one of those people that once they get an idea in their head or get excited about something they can't rest until the ideas have been written down or enacted. It is stupid but it almost feels like Christmas Eve I am so excited for that history class.

The one thing that kind of sucks about not sleeping right now is that I have to get up in four hours. Demonator and I are bike riding in the morning. Hopefully, this is something that I will start to make a habit of. It is time for me to get into better shape.

Anywho, back to the history class. I have been thinking about various movies I can show throughout the course of the year and I think I will type up a list of them next. If anyone has any good ideas for movies, please let me know. Suggestions are welcome. One flick I will definitely show is "Atomic Cafe", if there was ever a movie about the Cold War that deserves mentioning it is that film. I love it and I think the kids will too. It is sickly funny how much fun nuclear war can be and what people thought of it in the Sixties and Fifties.

I have also been thinking about weekly things I will have the kids do, like Current Events. I am a big fan of current events because I think it is important for kids to realize what is going on around them and how things in various parts of the globe affect them. I have also been thinking about term papers that I will probably have the kids write. It is important for them to know how to analyze and communicate their ideas in a written fashion. They will be doing that in one way or another for the rest of their lives so they need the practice.

The other cool thing about this class is that it makes me a proffesional teacher and what does that mean? Tax write offs for DVD purchases and other things like that. Now I can get "Band of Brothers" and not feel bad about blowing $90 on it! Anyways, I am going to write some of this stuff down and then try to sleep again. Night Night!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Mr. Mogwai's Class is in Session!

As it stands right now, there is a 95% chance I will probably be teaching at Boise High in a couple of weeks! YAY! It is not a full time teaching job as it is only one class that I will be teaching for 1.5 hours a day except for Wednesdays but it is a start and it is a foot in the door...a big one. I will hopefully be teaching US History which I believe is a Junior level class so that should be a blast. If the principal has his way, I know I will be hired and that rocks. Now I can be one of the few history nerds that actually does something with their degree. YAY!

I also got fifty bucks that I was not expecting today. I helped a guy out with his computer, not expecting to be paid in anyway and today he walks up and says thanks and then proceeds to slip me a fifty. You just can't say no to that. All in all, today was a good day with one exception.

Sadly, I must annouce that Super Freak singer Rick James died today. I think he was 56 years old, which is older than I expected him to live considering his past drug habits. Thanks to Rick James, many kids who wanted to, could not get their grubby Swatch Watch wearing hands on cocaine because I think he hoarded about 30% of the U.S blow intake for himself. Way to keep kids of drugs Rick, just do them all so future generations can't. The odd part to this event is the fact that I saw a Dave Chapelle skit about Rick James about four hours ago and he was a topic that came up in several of tonight's conversations between some friends and I. I can just see it right now, there have to be some Colombian drug kings that are making a small shrine in Rick's honor. "So long Senor, you made us very rich."

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Patient Has Slipped Into A Coma :(

Beh. After treating my system like a fine fine woman and dusting it out, giving it new fans(which work very well) and reseeding everything, my system has crashed again. Upon plugging everything in, the system booted with a red flag saying the motherboard was having an issue and then preceeded to look as if it was going to boot XP. But it was not to be, the system just recycled to the boot screen and so after tooling around in the bios for a second the system locked up on me. Upon another reboot, the system then tried to boot off of my vid card bios....dumbass system. So I am now certain that the motherboard has severe and most likely irrecoverable damage and that whatever I did before to make it work was just an effort to stave off the inevitable. It looks like I will be without a tower for a while.

On the upside, Demonator has agreed to take my hard drives into his care until I get things up and running again. The only other option was to buy external drive enclosures for all of them and make them USB drives which would have cost me more than a new motherboard. Thank goodness I still have my laptop. :)

So the time is 2:25AM GMT and I am pulling the plug on my beloved but comatose Gigabyte GA-7VRXP mobo. May it rest in piece. Sob. Sob. :(

The Operation Went Well. Now We Can Only Hope He Recovers.

Tonight I finally got around to ripping up my computer and rebuilding it to see if I can get rid of my pesky spontaneous rebooting problem. The operation looks to be an initial success seeing that upon turning the machine on, it did not spit flame, smoke, or demonically curse at me in Aramaic. Needless to say, this is good.

While tinkering around in the guts of the beast, I also installed a pair of “silent” fans that are indeed, pretty damned quiet. Unfortunately, the dull roar of the other two fans I have not got around to replacing out spoke their more silent brethren. I will be fixing that very soon. I have also contemplated putting vibration dampening material on the interior of the case paneling to see just how much noise that cuts out. I am skeptical of this but the stuff is rather cheap and I am in an experimental mood. I will keep everyone updated on that.

I also zip tied off some loose cabling. I hate opening a case and having it look like a rat’s nest. After doing the zip tying, I reseeded the CPU and heat sink and also my RAM. Hopefully this whole tidying up was not in vain. One thing I found while in there was an excessive amount of dust around my RAM and in the socket area so maybe it was causing a short of some kind and I fixed it. I kind of doubt this though; I have seen computers with literally an inch of dust in them and they were running fine….scary.

Now for the waiting game; I am going to hook everything up and let the system run overnight and hopefully when I wake up tomorrow it will be exactly how I left it. I do not want to call in an old priest and a young priest to try to solve this problem for me. Well, time to go connect the wiring and hope. Later.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Progress and Frustration

Well, after more than a month of complaining that I live in the aftermath of a tornado, I can finally say that progress is being made on the house. It is getting cleaner with every day that passes and the boxes that once filled the house are growing fewer in number. Today, I finished putting together a new computer desk for the big system and that should be nicer home for it than the kitchen table on which it currently resides.

Tomorrow I am going to rip apart my computer and see why on God’s green earth it keeps rebooting. I have been putting this off because I am not sure if I want to know what the answer is. I tooled around with the RAM settings in my BIOS and that didn’t work so the next step is to reseed the processor and see if that fixes the problem. If that doesn’t fly, I will reinstall Windows (again) and see if for some magical reason that clears up the problem.

On a similarly frustrating note, I finally got to mod one my buddy’s X-Box. I have successfully modded three systems previous to this one and have never had a problem. Tonight however was different. Upon ripping the X-Box open and tinkering with the modchip and the motherboard, I got the thing up and running…excellent. I then proceeded to install the new 120 gig hard drive and the software necessary to do all of the wonderful things you can do with a modded X-Box. This is where everything went to Hell. Everything was working wonderfully and then it just stopped. It just stopped. When I rebooted the machine it came up with an error which led me to believe that the modchip was not seeded correctly. Five or six hours of tinkering later the damn the still doesn’t work and I am pissed. I used the solder less version of the chip and it is a POS. I have used solder less chips on all of my installs but the Xenium chip has definitely been the worst piece of crap ever. If you are thinking of doing an X-Box mod, DO NOT USE THE XENIUM MOD CHIP! I personally like the Executer 2.3 Lite and have never had a problem with any of the Executer chips for that matter. The other thing about the Xenium that tweaks me is the lack of problem solving material that the OzXodus website has. Most of the problems on the forums there are pretty similar but there are very few official workarounds or fixes to address the abundance of issues that this chip has…annoying.

On a lighter and happier note, the rest of the day went pretty well. I went to Demonator’s place today and he fixed up my bike a little bit. All in all, the bike is in good shape considering it has been in an attic for the past three or so years. Was the bike up there because I got a new one? No. Was there something horribly wrong with the bike that forced me to stop riding it? No. Am I a lazy computer nerd that prefers driving everywhere? Yes. I am the most physically active person in the world. In between eating fast food and playing video games, I like to bench press midgets for exercise. After benching the wee ones, they enjoying getting into fuzzy suits and getting tossed at a Velcro wall. If any of this were true and it was P.C. to lift and throw midgets, I would be the most ripped history nerd in Idaho, maybe even Wyoming and Utah. Friggin’ Utah…anyway…I think I am going to go to bed now. Lots to do tomorrow but I will definitely post on here when I get a spare couple of minutes.