Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Welcome to the Jungle!!

I picked up the first official piece of hardware for my new system today, the Thermaltake Jungle 512 CPU heatsink and fan combo. Maximum PC used it in the Dream Machine 2004 and Thermaltake usually makes a pretty good product; so when I saw it sitting in the computer store for $5 less than what Newegg was carrying it for I happily picked it up. There are two things I really like about this heatsink, one being the fact that it is a tooless design meaning that I will not have to pry the heatsink on to the CPU with a flathead screwdriver and risk the screwdriver shooting off and smacking my mobo. YAY!! I have always hated that part of building a machine and now I don't have to worry about it. The second thing that I love about this heatsink is its name. Just say it, "Jungle 512." It just rolls off your tongue..."Jungle 512" ...soothing yet powerful..."Jungle 512"....Ahh.

Ok, enough of that. Anywho, if you care to see what it looks like. an image is posted below as well as a link to more info on it....not that there is a lot...it is just a heatsink after all.

Jungle 512

Jungle 512 Info

Sunday, September 26, 2004

All Rested Up

After not sleeping yesterday evening and then being active the entire day, needless to say, I was drained by the time I went to bed last night. I think I slept about ten hours so I feel much more refreshed now.

The garage sale went okay, nothing spectacular. Mushi and I made a little more than $60 on the sale so thats not too bad. I think most of the money will go toward the new computer. YAY!! It is wierd what stuff people will buy when at yard sales and garage sales. I have been going to them since I was tiny. My family has always been about going to garage sales. My mom loves antiques and collects all sorts of wierd things. I think this is where I picked up my love for antiques. Anywho, people will buy things that I never thought would sell like, small ceramic heart-shaped boxes with a deer painted on them, or packages of left over pagoda pails from Mushi and I's wedding. I am not complaining though, its all money.

After checking prices the other day, my DDR2 533 has dropped another ten bucks. Go DDR2!! Drop like a whore who has just been shown a ten spot! The end of October is looking to be about the time when the system will really come together so I don't have too much longer to wait.

Well, I get to go to work for five hours and stand around. That should be the usual bundle of joy. Isn't it odd how and eight hour workday can fly by but a five hour work day just drags on and on. Time is definitely relative. Einstein once said while being asked to simplify his theory of relativity, "When you talk to a beautiful girl for an hour, it seems like a minute and when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, it seems like an hour." How true.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Still Awake and Kicking

It is now about 6am and I just finished doing the dishes and puttung the coffee cake into the oven. I would say I have been pretty productive. I feel pretty peppy and think I have caught my second wind...we will just have to wait and see how long it lasts. The upside is that I only have to work five hours today so that should not be a problem to my sleep inhibited body. Though, I am supposed to be roleplaying tonight but we will have to wait and see. One of the other members of the group has a cold and I don't know if he will be able to make it.

Well, I need to keep active and get some more stuff done before I go. I will post later on today...that is of course, unless I am dead asleep. :)

I Don't Need No Stinking Sleep!!!

So my family, Mushi's family, and Mushi and I are having a garage sale tommorow morning at my parent's house. This is great! It frees up room in Mushi and I's already cramped house and makes us some money to boot. The really nice part is that a portion of the garage sale proceeds go to benefit the "Mogwai Needs His Bigass Computer Foundation"....screw the ghetto children. :)

The downside to garage sales is the time that they start. Our garage sale is starting tomorrow at 7am. This means that I must be up by a little after 6am. This is not happening. I hate getting up at the butt crack of dawn and so I have decided I am not going to. I'm just not going to sleep tonight, sleep is overrated anyways. What I am going to do is take a nice relaxing bath, mark some more garage sale items, sort some stuff on my hard drives, and finally as morning draws near, make a blue berry coffee cake to take to the garage sale for breakfast.

It has been a while since I ahve gone all night without any sleep so this should be amusing. It will at least make work a little more...uhh....well it will be work. Automatic point deduction. :) But what does this mean to my loyal readers, you ask, simple...it means that I will probably post a couple times tonight just to keep myself awake. But for now, on to the hot relaxing bath. Yes, that probably sounds quasi-gay but I do enjoy long hot baths. It is relaxing....yeah I am going to stop talking now because the more I type, the gayer this is sounding. Later. :)

Friday, September 24, 2004

My Newfound Relationship With Sports

Bottom line: I have never been a sports guy. The last time I played an organized sport was in the sixth grade when my mom made me play baseball until I started to fake throwing up to get out of going. It isn't like I really even played when I went anyways, they stuffed me in right field where I had plenty of time to chew on my baseball glove and contemplate life. Again, I am not a sports person normally.

This has changed in the past couple of years and I think that is largely due to my brother. My brother is the polar opposite of me, he was on varsity basketball, varsity golf, and when he played baseball, was on the All Star team as a pitcher. My bro has more athletic skill in his pinky than I do in my entire body. I envy him for this. Sometimes I consider myself lucky that I have the coordination to walk let alone shoot a hole-in-one on the golf course.

Anywho, I have really gotten into college football this season. I like listening to the football games in which the Broncos, Boise State's football team, plays. So far this year they are 4-0 and are ranked 21st in the nation. This is kind of cool seeing that BSU being ranked was unheard of until a couple years ago and now we have ESPN covering some of our games. Anyways, we beat BYU tonight because BYU missed a field goal attempt that should not have been a problem for them. I just find it funny that I am actually considering going to a football game, something I haven't done since high school and even then it was just to listen to my friends that were in band play.

Basketball season is fast approaching and I am getting excited for that as well. I have always tolerated basketball better than all of the other sports and am hoping that the Celtics have a good team this year. We will see....they kind of sucked last season.

In other news, there is a small chance that I might become a loss prevention specialist for the company I work for. This would be a friggin' cool job. Basically, I would come to work dressed in steet clothes and just wonder around all day looking for shoplifters. This would be the life. I have been looking for a change in my job and this could be right up my alley. I hope I get the position.

Giving the Laptop a Fresh Start

I just finished reinstalling XP on my Vaio and that was fun. What cracks me up about Sony computers is the sheer amount of crap they load on them. I think I uninstalled almost 20 programs from the system (not including stupid Windows apps like IE) before I was happy. Anywho, I love having a clean install of everything on a computer. It just feels faster and fresher, like when you get out of the shower.

Pretty much everything is up and running now so I think I am going to go to bed.


Thursday, September 23, 2004


I am bored. I am getting tired of almost every aspect of my life with the exception of my relationship with Mushi. She at this point in time, is about the only thing in my life that keeps me stimulated and on my toes. I never cease to be surprised by her in almost every way. That is good.

As for the rest of my life, there needs to be some change and quick. I hate my job for starters. I am bored with it and the people I interact with while I am there. I have been looking for a new job and that is just depressing. It seems like every job I get an interest in either A)Requires a degree higher than a Bachelors B) Pays half of what I am getting paid now or C)Requires some kind of certification that I do not possess. Part of it may also be the fact that the job market sucks right now too. Anywho, somehow I need to switch things up a bit at my job or I am going to go nuts there.

I am bored with myself. What do I mean by that? I mean I am almost 25 years old and do not truly know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to start on a career that I can stick with for my entire life. I am sick of jobs. Pointless jobs that will go nowhere. I also weigh 235lbs. and am getting sick of that. I want to change my looks and my style and I think that may change my outlook on other parts of my life and it would make me healthier to boot.

Lastly and least importantly, I want my new computer because I am getting sick of using my laptop for everything and not being able to play any good games. I miss gaming and crave doing it again soon. I must have patience. I think I am going through withdrawals. I find myself going to CompUSA and Best Buy like twice a week along with any other computer store I can think of. Why, because at least they have computer stuff to look at. I don't even like CompUSA or Best Buy...I just want my fix.

For those of you that read this that are still in school and haven't received a degree of any sort yet, let me tell you this. Do not get your hopes up that you will have a wonderful and awesome job right out of school. Odds are, you won't. I think I expected this and have been severely let down. A degree has done very little for me other than to make me realize that I should probably go back to school to start on my Masters. I did not want to do this this soon but I want to go to school again, I miss it. We shall see.

In other news, yesterday, Dylan and I went Geocaching and that was good. I forgot how much I enjoyed Geocaching. If you do not know what that is, do a Google on it and you will see. It is like a nerd treasure hunt.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Fable: All Good Things Must Come To An End....

...VERY VERY QUICKLY!!!! I beat Fable for the X-Box about ten minutes ago and figured I would post my thoughts on the game. For starters, the game was way too friggin' short. It took me less than eight hours of gameplay to finish the storyline. Despite the shortness of the main story you CAN continue once you beat the game. I first reported that you could not do this in my previous edit of this post. You can continue on after you finish the main story but you have to sit through all of the credits to do so. Be warned, the credits are almost half an hour long. Once the credits are over, your mission accomplished screen comes up and then you can go back to playing the game like normal. This makes me happy.

With the biggest gripe out of the way, on to the praise. There are a ton of great things that can be said about Fable. The graphics, humor, and character development are awesome. Other RPG makers should take note. I also enjoyed all of the possible side quests, NPC interactions, and the lore that went with the Fable world. Lionhead did an excellent job in thinking out this game...then again, when you delay a game as long as Fable was, that tends to be an upside. I will probably play through the game again and try getting married and having sex. Yes, you can have sex in Fable and the game actually keeps track of how many times you get laid. It also keeps track of how far you can boot a chicken too. You may think that is an obscure stat to keep track of but, you have absolutely no idea how many chickens felt the wrath of my size thirteen plate boot striking their egg laying asses. A lot.

If you have ever played Knights of the Old Republic, you will be familiar with the way that the moral system of Fable works. You do enough bad stuff and eventually you get small horns and people run from you in fear. On the other end of that spectrum, you do good stuff and people adore you. When I beat the game I was pretty deep into good territory...this will be remedied the second time around. :)

One thing that I will speculate on in the future of the Fable franchise. I am absolutely positive there will be a sequel for the game. There is just too much that can be carried on into a sequel for this game. And there is always room to improve on the general concept of the game. One thing that I can defintely see happening, is the likelyhood of Fable becoming a MMORPG. I think Fable has all of the elements of being an excellent MMORPG and I for one would play it. You have quests, PVP, and ownership and customization of all sorts of things. If done correctly, Fable would be a lot of fun with a few thousand other people to play against.

Overall, if I had to give Fable a rating, I would give it an 8.5. The shortness of the game kind of pissed me off. There is definitely a replayability factor to Fable and it is a compelling game. I haven't sat in front of a TV for that long in that short of a span of time since Super Mario Brothers 3 came out for the NES when I was 9. If you like RPGs take a look at Fable, odds are you won't be let down. Just be prepared for a short game.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Chips 'N Bits

Tonight was fun. I signed up a couple of weeks ago for a seminar given by Intel called "Chips 'N Bits" and it was held this evening. All in all it was pretty much what I expected, a room full of about twenty guys and two women all geeking about and talking about Intel's new processor numbering system.

The big reason I went, was to get enough points in Intel's training program to put me over the top for their purchase plan next month. Mission accomplished, I am most definitely getting the chip and mobo combo for $200. YAY! On top of the points, many other freebies were to be had. The complete list is as follows:

1) Can of Mountain Dew

2) Cans of Pepsi

1) Cheeseburger

1) Little piece of chicken

2) Five dollar gift cards to McDonalds

2) Glasses of water

1) Intel baseball bat pen

1) Intel baseball cap (baseball was the theme of the evening)

1) Intel 16mb USB Thumb Drive

1) Bag of Intel flyers and charts

Overall, I made out like a bandit though I did not win one of the three chip and mobo combos that were given away. I was one number off, oh well, I will buy it next month. :) Most of the guys at this thing were from either Circuit City, Best Buy, or CompUSA. There were only two of us from the "Big-ass Warehouse Store" but we represented well, when it came to quiz time that pitted us against the other stores, they soon realized that I had the ability to school them and school them I did. All of them came to realize that there were only two people on my team that knew anything and relied on me to answer the questions. I rule. :)I am just glad I made Best Buy come to depend on me. The day is mine!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Why Homeschool? It Keeps Your Kids Safe From Witches

On the day this article was printed, it must have been a friggin' slow news day. This guy homechools his kids and has bars on his doors to keep the witches that are trying to kill him out. Ok, I live in Idaho and we have our fair share of crazies in this state, especially in Eastern Idaho where all of the hardcore wierd Mormons live, but this guy raises the bar for all of those aspiring religious fanatics and wierdos. Way to go sir, you are now at the top of my nut list.

One Wierd Dude

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Who Wants A GMail Invite???

I have four gmail invites to give away. I don't need them and I seem to just keep getting them, so the first four people that email me at the following address will be the lucky winners of a gmail account! There is one catch, in return I want you to mail me a link to your favorite website (non-porn...I can get enough of those sites on my own thank you. :) I am getting bored with my usual slew of sites that I visit and am looking for something new and figured this may generate some suggestions. If you want to mail me more than one link go for it! As I said, the first four emails gets the gmail invites. For those that miss out, I am sure I will get more so just be patient.

Mail me here: neoeccentric@hotmail.com

Good luck all!

Edit: Okay for those that have a hard time reading, NO PORN!!!!! NO SPAM EITHER!!! I have already denied one person for being a fucktard and trying to spam me. GRRRR!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2004

I Got My Games!!!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that yes, I am still alive, just been playing a lot of games lately and blogging got put on the backburner for a day or two. My buddy The Sandworm brought over Fable night before last and let me copy it. That game rocks. That is all there is to say about it. There are so many choices and things to do and see, it rivals Morrowind for the amount of choice you have in the direction the game goes. If you have an X-Box get Fable.

I also picked up the Sims 2 yesterday. I actually legitimately bought this one. Maxis is one of the few game companies of which, I actually go out and buy their games. As for The Sims 2, I haven't even played the game all that much. I have made a couple of characters based on my friends and I must say that if you played the original Sims and did not like the character design phase of the game, try Sims 2. It has been totally redone and the amount of realism I was able to achieve in building a couple of my friends is scary. For the first time, I can say that the three Sims I created actually look like the people they are supposed to be. As for actual gameplay, the game runs like ass on my laptop so I probably won't give it a full review until I get my desktop together and start plying it on there. What I have seen though rocks and I am impressed.

I stayed up until 5am this morning playing Fable and am kind of dragging now. Yes, it is dumb for me to stay up that late playing games but every once in a while it is kind of a fun thing to do. Well, off to work now. It is going to be a long day unless I get some caffiene.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I Want My Games!

Well, all of the last post's anticipation for the Sims2 and Fable was for nothing. I was at least hoping to get one of them today but alas, it was not to be so. The Sims 2 is supposed to be released on the 17th which is an odd date because the typical North American release days are Tuesdays. Oh well.

I should be able to get my hands on Fable by at least this weekend if not sooner. The second I see someone I know that has the game or a rental store that has a copy on the shelf, that game is going on my X-Box's hard drive. Yes, I could buy it but........no. I can't break my record now. I have a ton of X-Box games but I have never actually bought a game for the system. I did not blow $150 on modding my system to actually go out and buy the games...you mod an X-Box to pirate games and emulate older consoles. End of story.

Meanwhile, it looks like the prices for the parts of my new system are coming down somewhat. The Sony DRU700A Dual-Layer DVD burner is now at Best Buy for $120 after the rebate or check or whatever the gimmick to get people in the store on that day will be. That drive used to retail for $200 so this is a good thing. My 1gig stick of DDR2-533 from Crucial is staying at $350.00 but maybe it will start to slowly descend from Mt. Expensive soon. The X800 XT Platinum PCI-Express video card is proving to be extremely hard to find, especially under $600 but there is still at least a month to go before constuction of the beast begins so I still am hopeful about that going down in price. I think that when I get the Intel D915PBL mobo I am going to sell it and get the badass Asus P5AD2 Premium board instead. I figure that yes, the Intel board would be fine but if I am going to make this system truly badass and futureproof I may as well go with the best. So if you need a new mobo and you want a deal, I'll have one to sell soon.

Monday, September 13, 2004

A Day of Anticipation

I have been excited all day. Why, because tommorow is the release day for Fable for my X-Box and I think possibly Sims 2 for my PC. The crappy part is that I can't play Sims 2 in all of its glory due ot a sever lack of my good computer. I must be patient.

Speaking of anticipation, I realized today that I am becoming my father in the sense that I have an overwhelming urge to check for and retrieve the mail everyday. My dad has a keen sense for when the mail arrives. If you have ever seen a dog perk up at the sound of a passing car, it is kind of like that. My dad knows the sound of the mail man and makes haste to grab the mail the first moment he has free. It is funny but now I am beginning to understand why he does this. First, I think he likes the pattern and the reliability of the mail. I too like to know that when I wake up the mail will be here and I can get it. I get very annoyed on Sundays and other holidays in which there is no mail. Second, I think it is kind of like a surprise for him. Sometimes you never know what you are going to get and it is fun to see what is in the mail cubby when you open it up. For me, it is a good day when I get one of my magazines in the mail; I subscribe to Wired and Maximum PC. I have no clue what my dad expects to get other than bills and junk because he doesn't subscribe to anything. Oh well, whatever floats your boat I guess.

As a follow up to the North Korean nuke thing, the official word from N. Korea is that they were demolishing a building and that is what caused a mushroom cloud and the explosion. I guess it is plausible though I am not sure if I believe them. I guess I am just paranoid.

Not much else went on today. Mushi got a desk for her laptop and my parents bought a friggin' huge Winnebago today. Maybe tomorrow will be more eventful but I am not holding my breath.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Creepy News Update

So the explosion that happened in N. Korea has been addressed by several government officials and news outlets and honestly I am kind of peeved by the whole thing.

You have Colin Powell and another guy saying that the explosion and the mushroom cloud that followed was not a nuclear detonation but their ideas as to what is was seem to falter a tad; the same goes with the media outlets. Here have been the explanations for what happened in N. Korea that I have heard so far:

1) It is a forest fire. While forest fires are common in N. Korea, I have a hard time buying this explanation. There aren't many forest fires that leave craters and create big mushroom clouds.

2) Yes, it was an explosion but it was not nuclear. Ok, then what in the world was it? It is obvious that there was a large explosion and I am aware that mushroom clouds can be created by any kind of big explosion, not just a nuclear one, but the question still remains, what happened?

3) It was an accidental nuclear detonation. I can buy this explanation. Maybe a core detonated in transport or a small missle was accidentally activated. Mistakes happen and I think this is feasible.

4) It was a chemical explosion like the one that occurred in N. Korea several months ago. I also think this is a logical explanation. It is pretty obvious to me that if it happened once it could happen again.

5) I have also heard that it was a volcanic explosion but I am not sure I believe this one either. While it is possible that a dormant volcano erupted I just get the feeling that this isn't the reason for the explosion.

There are some facts that back up the possibility that the explosion was NOT a nuclear blast. The first being that with a nuclear detonation you get a "spike" when seismographs pick up the vibration from the detonation. There was no spiking from the explosion in N. Korea. Secondly, if it was an intention nuclear weapon test detonation don't you think the North Koreans would have released a press statement bragging about their latest accomplishment? Kim Jong Il likes to release these statements about missle tests and what not so why not a nuke, you've got me there.

I'll bet when all is said and done, it was either a chemical explosion or an accidental detonation of a low yield nuke. Both make sense and both would go to explain why North Korea would be embarrassed about reporting such incidents to the international community and especially the rest of Asia. Simply put, they do not want to lose face in the eyes of their peers. We shall see as the days pass I suppose. Unless any big news breaks on this, this will probably be the last I post on the topic.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Slightly Creepy News

It has just come across on Slashdot that North Korea may have detonated a nuclear weapon during a test within the past 48 hrs. This bothers me.

Out of all of the countries in the world that possess nuclear weapons or are doing nuke research, North Korea is the one that I would hope the least to get a nuclear weapon. The dictator that runs N. Korea is a man named Kim Jong Il. Kim is kind of a nutty guy.....a really nutty guy. I don't want to get too wordy with this post but if you don't feel like taking my word for it, do some research yourself.

Earlier today on the news, I heard that the intelligence community had been getting info that was leading them to believe that N. Korea was getting ready to test a nuclear device and to hear this news tonight almost cements the fact the N. Korea may have nukes in my mind. Something else that may back up this test is the fact that N. Korea celebrated its 56th anniversary on September 9th. Kim Jong Il has a history of using the countries anniversary as a stage for making announcements and testing missles and what not. This would definitely fit that bill.

If N. Korea has nukes what does that mean for us in the U.S? Probably not much but if I lived in S. Korea or Japan right now, I would be getting a little antsy. N. Korea is not being led by a stable person right now and his sucessor is worse. If the situation is not handled correctly by China and the rest of Asia, this new event could have scarry and catastrophic consequences. I have done a lot of research on N. Korea and the rest of Asia for that matter and feel comfortable in getting a tad creeped out by this news. Hopefully, cool heads will prevail in the weeks and months to come and hopefully this doesn't turn into an international issue. On the upside, all of this news is somewhat speculative The only solid facts that are present to the public is that on Thurday there was a large explosion within the N. Korean border that edges China and that a 2.2 mile diameter mushroom cloud arose from the area of the detonation. There is also a crater large enough to be seen by satellite where the explosion occurred. I will post more news and facts as I get them from reliable sources.

Friday, September 10, 2004

The First Part of the New Computer Has Arrived!!

Technically, its not real a part of the computer...more like window dressing. A couple days ago I ordered a case badge off of Ebay and it came in the mail this morning. It is a skull and crossbones or otherwise known as the Jolly Roger for you pirate history buffs out there.

Specifically, this was the Edward England's pirate flag that was flown on the mast of his ship, The Pearl. England normally sailed in the waters surrounding Africa until the British Navy drove him from the area in 1718. He continued to sail until the mid-1720s when his crew turned against him and made him relinguish control of the ship. For the rest of England's life he was dirt poor and lived off of the charity of other pirates. As far as I can tell, he died a pauper on the island of Madagascar.

Below is a picture of his flag and also THE FIRST PICTURE ON MY BLOG!!!!! WOOHOO!! I said I would do it someday...it has just taken a long time to get done.

Edward England's Flag

The Ability to Cry

For as long as I can remember, I have been able to cry at the drop of a hat. And I am not talking about the oligatory crying at funerals and weddings, I am talking about crying at stupid stuff. For example, the Olympics, there were a couple times when people won that I had to hold back tears. When Lance Armstrong won the last Tour de France, the end of the movie "Big Fish", various television commercials, when my little brother used to play high school basketball and he made a good play or his team won are all examples of times when I have cried or had tears well up in my eyes.

The ability to cry in people is something that has always amazed me. My mom cries at the slightest emotional tinge. I have only ever seen my dad cry once and that was when my grandpa died. Mushi very seldom cries and I don't know if I have ever seen my brother cry in his teenage and adult life. Yet, it seems like there are days when I can't stop. Maybe my wiring is messed up or maybe I am just a very emotional person...dunno. It just seems that whenever I get emotional be it happy or said, the first thing my body does is shed tears.

The only reason I am writing about this is because I just finished watching "Big Fish" and I cried again at the ending. The people that say boys shouldn't cry would hate me, but then again, I think they are full of crap. Neither men nor women should have to hold back or alter their emotions just because society says so. Societal beliefs are a joke when speaking about norms for the two sexes. Be they men or women, there is no reason they should have to act according to some psychologist's views of gender roles. The downside, is that during this day and age, if a young boy or girl does act outside of the norm, they are ostricized by their peers and this sends that individual further from society. Yet another reason people are more like cattle than humans, if you don't fit in you are left on the outside of the herd.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I'm on Blogshares!

A few months ago Cypherxero posted an entry on his blog about this website called Blogshares. The site is basically a stock market simulator that uses blogs as the stock to be traded. The idea is a cool one seeing as just about everyone and their dogs has a blog these days and there are thousands of them listed on Blogshares.

As you may have noticed, there is a Blogshares button on my sidebar now. If you click on it, you will be taken to the stock market analysis of my blog. Even if you do not have a blog of your own you can still play the game just by registering. I have to admit, it is kind of fun but then again, I have always been intrigued by the stock market.

One other spiffy feature this site has to offer, is the idea of "chips". You earn chips when you answer these goofy little questions off to the side of the page and with these chips you can do three things. 1)Give them away. 2)Buy Raffle tickets with them. 3)Buy advertising space with them. Option 3 is the best buy in my opinion. Not only do you attract potential buyers of your blogs stock to your blog but you also get a free plug for your blog. The ads definitely work too, I bought twenty ad credits which will get two hundred hits for my blog. The cool part is that they are almost all used up and I only bought the credits half an hour ago. Pretty sweet.

Well, if this entry doesn't sound like an advertisement for Blogshares I have no clue what would. But to all of the people that are actually clicking the ad to this blog:

"Welcome and hopefully you will check back in occasionally as I do update quite often."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Father (In Law) and Son (In Law) Bonding Day

I had the funniest experience last night. Mushi and I went over to her parents' place to eat dinner and to work on her parents' new computer. The computer is a Compaq(beh) with the standard sub-standard Compaq parts. The specs of the system aren't bad but it lacked a floppy disk drive and that is something Mushi's mom could not live without, so I went to the local toy store...err...computer store and picked up a cheap black disk drive to install into the system.

Since my big computer is in the pre-production process, I yearn to work on any system, mine or otherwise, I just need to get my fix, so the floppy drive installation seemed to be right up my alley. I get to open a computer and tinker with stuff and make everyone happy in the process. Yay!

This is where a routine hardware installation took a memorable turn. As I went into the room where the computer was, Mushi's dad followed me. I take a seat in front of the new machine and Mushi's dad takes a seat next to me. Now is a good time to describe Mushi's dad.

Dale is a pretty cool guy. He is tall and lanky and vaguely reminds me of Art Garfunkel with a mustache. He and I have very similar senses of humor and he likes “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”. Dale and I differ when it comes to our mechanical and technical inclinations. He is very good with his hands and a set of tools. The guy can fix dang near everything from cars to sprinkler pipes and has a broad knowledge of how most mechanical things work. I envy him for this.

My dad is not a "hands on" person when it comes to auto repair or really anything of that nature. He is a great guy and I love him to death, but when something breaks around the house he throws it away and gets a new one or sends it somewhere to be fixed. If a car's oil needs changing, he takes it to a Jiffy Lube. There isn't anything wrong with this style except for the fact that my dad did not teach me a damned thing about tools or mechanical stuff when I was growing up. Around my parents' house, if something broke someone else would get paid to fix it. I have decided that this way of living has put me at a distinct disadvantage now that I am a homeowner. I do not like having things break and not knowing why or what to do. This has happened a few times and Dale is usually the guy that gets called. Dale and my dad are polar opposites when it comes to fixing stuff.

Anywho, back to last night. So I am sitting there inspecting the internals of the Compaq and Dale is watching me the entire time. I explain what different stuff on the motherboard does and show him how everything is hooked up. Dale is not a technological guy but likes to learn about computers as much as he can. Thanks to Compaq's ingenious crackwhore-esque case design, installing the floppy drive was much harder than it should have been. The new Compaqs have this mounting bracket that secures all of the drives in the computer by having a little plastic thing click down in front of the screws that are holding the drives to the mounts. This prevents the disk drives from wiggling around within the case. This works great for the drives that are already in the machine but sucks for drives that are being installed. In Compaq's infinite wisdom, they decided that no floppy disk would ever need to be installed into the machine so they made the mounting bracket incompatible with 3.5" disk drives. Nice.

So I ended up needing to break off a piece of the tab in order to get the drive in there properly. All the while, Dale watched as I worked. I told him I was going to shorten the tab and then use the piece of plastic that I was going to cut off to slide in behind the screw. That way when the shortened tab clicked down, it would secure the screw from the front while the little piece of plastic that was behind the screw in the slider would secure the screw from the rear; a nice solution to the problem if you ask me. As I was cutting the plastic tab it became apparent that the scissors I was using were not going to cut it. Dale then said he had something that would work better and went out to his shed to get it. He brought back a tool that looked like it was designed to cut metal and so it went right through the plastic with no trouble at all. After that, everything went smoothly and the disk drive was in soon after. The drive made the front of the case look weird because it interrupted the sleek black design of the exterior but Dale said he was going to try to cut the exterior panel to fit the drive. All in all, the install was fun because it actually made me think a bit. The thing I thought was really cool was the fact that I think Dale was impressed by my solution to get the drive installed. I think I taught him something and the installation seemed to be a bit more of a cooperative effort just by having him sitting there. I thought it was cool when he helped me out by getting the metal shears as well. In contrast, my dad doesn't usually care too much about how something gets fixed when his computer dies, just so long as I can fix it. This is something I have always liked about Dale and it was cemented even more so tonight, he likes to know how stuff works and he likes watching other people in order to learn a little bit more for himself. I think that really says something about him as a person and I think it is an admirable quality.

The other thing that struck me as weird is how I responded and how I feel about the whole event. I have never been a person to go out of my way to get praise or to be overly affected when praise is given to me but I find myself trying to impress Dale and feel a sense of elation when I think I have. He is one of the few people that I feel has a genuine interest in my tinkering with computers and electronics in general and that makes me feel really good. It’s all very odd, even while typing this, I get a sense of pride in the fact that he and I connected tonight and that I think I impressed him. Odd. :)

All of the television shows that portray In-Laws as these evil soul sucking beings that stay at your house for weeks on end and annoy you are dead wrong, at least in my case. I love my in-laws and enjoy having them around. Maybe I am lucky, I don't know. What I do know, is that I had a father and son bonding moment with a guy who up until five years ago, was a total stranger to me. My dad and I have known each other for almost 25 years now and I can count on my hands how many times he and I have connected like Dale and I did yesterday and my dad and I have a very good relationship. When you make that kind of a connection with someone you usually know it and remember it for your entire life. Yesterday will go down as the night that I connected to my father-in-law just by installing a twenty dollar floppy disk drive. It is odd how mundane tasks can become memorable and meaningful experiences due to the interaction between two people. Life is funny sometimes.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

ARGH!! The Pounding!!

So help me, I think our neighbor is hosting a freaking hippy drum circle! There has been this constant pounding coming from his house for almost four hours and I don't think it is techno or any kind of electronic music. I think it has to do with hippies. Why can't they quit their drumming long enough to drop acid or smoke a bowl? At least either of those options would be more productive than drumming. Do you halucinate from drumming, no. Do you get a nice mellow high from pounding on a little bongo, no. Then why in the hell do hippies insist on drumming?! Why?!

Speaking of hippies, I found out that this kid I went to high school with is now in a hippy commune. A commune! He belongs to this East Winds commune in Missouri and they spend a good portion of their time making rope sandals, growing veggies, and making hammocks to sell to companies like Cost Plus. So if you bought a hammock from Cost Plus and thought it may have been made by ten year old Malaysian children in a sweat shop, you are wrong. It was made by pot smoking hippies. What gets me about this commune is they make their members work forty hour work weeks and they gross over two million dollars a year so I am told. These are the most industrious hippies I have ever heard of. And for being communists, seeing that they live in a commune, they make quite the bank for being a group of about 150 people. They are very capitalistic communists, hence I think they are confused. Then again, they are hippies and many of them would vote for Nader in the upcoming election. People that vote for Ralph Nader make me laugh. What they do not realize is that when they vote for Nader they are splitting the votes that would normally go to Kerry and giving Bush the upper hand. So really, people that vote for Nader are actually voting for Bush. Way to go guys! At least I am knowingly voting for Bush, though I doubt he minds getting help from the polar opposite of what he stands for. Voters need to research their candidate and know the consequences for electing the person they cast their ballot for. Freaking hippies.

BTW if you want to check out the website for the hippy commune my friend now resides in, this is the addy:


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

September: The Joyous Month

Ok, today is September 1st, the beginning of the month that looks to be the biggest month for me when it comes to entertainment. Lets have a run down of what is going on this month.

As far as movies go, Steamboy, Ghost in the Shell 2, and Howl's Moving Castle are all set for US release this month.

What about DVDs? This month is the month that I have been waiting for for a long long time. The original Star Wars trilogy is released on September 21st. WOOHOO. Though Lucas has redone them yet again and added more stuff, I am excited for the trilogy to finally come out on DVD. Clerks X will also come out this month along with the remake of Dawn of the Dead and that will be good. I don't know how I feel about Kevin Smith making a sequel to Clerks but we will see.

Finally, games. Fable comes out for the X-Box I think around the 10th. And Sims 2 comes out on the 17th. Needless to say, I have already prepurchased the DVD edition of the game and Mushi and I will probably be playing that game for the next six months.

September definitely looks to be a fun month, one that makes me glad I am no longer in school. I must remain strong however and remember I am saving money for my computer. Must not buy DVDs...must not buy DVDs....