Friday, January 28, 2005

The Things That Matter Most

I have started to play Sims 2 again. I love the Sims but what strikes me as somewhat fascinating is the fact that the game is based for the most part on materialism. Yes, you can get married and have kids but the main part of the game is acquiring stuff and making bigger houses. There is no religion, no companionship (though Sims 2 tries harder at this), and though you have lifelong goals, the most fun part of the game is getting new crap and building bigger crap. So this got me to thinking, out of all of my material possessions, which ones do I cherish the most? For no really good reason, here are my top ten most loved material possessions. The order is irrelevent as long as I have them around me somewhere. BTW my Gameboy Advance SP floats in and out of this list as well....just not tonight:

10. My Coca-Cola lighter from the 1950s. It was my grandma's and it looks like a
little Coke bottle. It has never worked but I have always kept it around.

9. My Garmin Gecko 210 GPS. It is little, connects to my laptop and is waterproof.

8. My trenchcoat. Everyone needs a nice, warm, dread inspiring, black trenchcoat.

7. My grey hoody sweatshirt. I have always liked non-descript grey hoodies.

6. The homemade pen and pencil holder that Mushi made for me out of a soup can and
stickers. It was one of the first things she ever gave me and I have never gotten
rid of it. It has stickers of Gizmo from the Gremlins movies and other stuff on
it. Very cool.

5. My Samsung cell phone. Everyone needs a good phone.

4. My ten gig, second generation iPod.

3. My computers. Nuff said.

2. My brown sketchers shoes. I have wide, hobbit-like feet and these are the only
shoes I have ever found that have fit me very comfortably and lasted more then
five months. The pair I have now, have been around for the better part of four
years and look it. The soles are cracking and the leather is starting to fall
apart but they have been great shoes. I am going to have to retire them soon in
search for newer shoes. They will be missed. Best part, I paid $25 for them at

1. I carry a Commodore 64 "restore" key in my car. I have had it since high school
and it has always managed to stick around. It is in my car right now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

General Malaise

The past few days have kind of sucked. I am sorry I haven't updated but I have been in a generally foul mood. Today was better though. I woke up in a better mood and dropped off my volunteer application at the Idaho State Historical Society. I am hopefully going to be put to work in the archives and library portion of the society. I am a good researcher and have always found the act of research a calming one. We will see how this goes. If anything, it will be a positive inclusion for my resume.

I am also kind of looking forward to work today. We got a new person in the department and she is closing the store with me tonight. I have never met her before so I am looking forward to at least working with someone new. Hopefully, she doesn't suck.

I have also been working on two different computer setups for people over the past weekend. Basically, I have installed Windows XP on three systems in as many days. Fun. The one thing I will give to XP is the fact that it is a breeze to setup and get everything running. Anywho, I think I am going to play some video games now and relax a little.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Over the past couple of weeks, I have been doing a lot of thinking about a multitude of topics. One that keeps popping up even if I try to avoid it, is the thought of someday being a parent. Thats right, little munchkins that look like some strange mutation of Mushi and I shrunk down and toddling about my house. At first, it is a rattling thought that verges on the edge of horrifying but the more I think about it, the more I think I want kids someday.

I think back to this last Christmas and honestly, it wasn't very thrilling. That is not anyone's fault but I thought to myself and mentioned it to Mushi, that Christmas would be a lot more fun if we had kids. I remember getting so excited for Christmas when I was little. I used to get so wound up that I would actually go into a coughing fit so bad I would puke. To this day, when I get anxious, nervous, excited, or whatever, I cough like I was a chain smoking fifty year old. Nervous habit I think. Anywho, back to the kids. I think it would be fun to be able to make Christmas magical for a kid. To get them so excited they can't sleep but not so excited that they puke, to me, would be very fufilling come Christmas morning.

Yesterday, I was wandering past a table of clothes at work and noticed a freaking cool bath robe that had pirate stuff all over it like treasure chests, boats, and whatnot. I thought to myself, "This robe will be mine someday." Then I found out that they only came in kids' sizes so then I thought, "This robe will be on my kid someday." Moderately satisfied by this answer I went about the tasks of my meaninless job but I still wonder whether or not I should buy that robe and hold on to it. I think this would be kind of weird seeing that Mushi and I are still a few years from the "having kids" part of life but hey, my mom has already started buying stuff for grandkids she doesn't have yet. Then again, my mom is odd sometimes.

I guess I have made a 90 degree turn in my thinking about kids. If you would have asked me a couple months ago if I wanted kids, I would have said if they happen cool if not, cool. But now I definitely think I want kids, two, I think would do. I don't like the idea of raising an only child. The single positive example of only children that I can think of is my buddy, Ben. Every other only child I have known was warped.

Now don't go thinking that Mushi and I are going to have kids anytime in the ultra near future but in the next couple of years....I think that is a definite possiblility. Before we have kids there are some goals that I would like to achieve. The first one, we must have a savings account set aside and being added to on a regular interval for that child's college fund. I am not going to bring a life into this world and not have the money to educate them properly. The savings account is a must. Secondly, I want both Mushi and I to start our careers. That will be easier for one of us more so than the other. Mushi is well on her way to achieving that goal but I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up. I think that is the next big thought I will ponder. I need to figure this stuff out now. The next chapter of my life is when I step into a more permanent career track. I am not even in the stadium right now, let alone the bleachers that overlook that track.

The third and final goal before the kids come, is that I want Mushi and I to be happy in our marriage and with ourselves before we create mini-Mushi and Mogwais. I would like us to both travel a bit and to get moved into a bigger place before we have kids. I also want to make sure we are both comfortable in our relationship with each other before we start relationships and responsibilities with another being that the two of us have brought into the world. Mushi and I haven't even been married a year yet and we still have some stuff to iron out that can only be done with time and patience. Anyone that says marriage is an easy thing is high. Marriage is hard but it is the good kind of hard that pays dividends over time. I love being married to Mushi and would not have it any other way, but we are just getting started on this grand journey and we need to work out the details of where that journey is going to take us. This will only come with time and effort. After a bit more time, I will be ready for kids. But until then, I still have the other goals to work toward. I feel older and somewhat more enlightened. Sorry if that got long-winded and wordy, I do that from time to time but writing is the only way I can get stuff out clearly and to my own satisfaction. Now it is time to vacuum and then go to sleep. :)

An Uplifting Experience

Since my department got a new manager, he has been wanting me to get forklift certified so that I can help stock the department at night. In a car, I am not the best driver in the world; I am not horrible but there are better people out there than me when it comes to driving cars. Now this guy wants me to drive a forklift! Hehehehehe.

Today, I passed the written portion of the forklift certification test. Now I just have to pass the driving one. The fun part about that is the last time I drove one of those two ton beasts, I hit the side of an aisle so hard it bent the steel shelving six inches in on both sides of the shelf. I have always liked going fast, be it in cars or otherwise and sometimes I forget that I should ease into things and go slower. My bad.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Revenge of the Repairinator!

Today was a long day. Yesterday I posted about the couple who's wireless network was being a pain and the bad wireless adapters that they had. Well, today I went with the husband to CompUSA and basically stood there as he bickered with two different managers and one or two other employees for the better part of half an hour over how he was getting ripped off. Which he was, but that is beside the point. CompUSA held their ground as I predicted and would not even give him instore credit. They switched out identical adapters with him but would not do anything more than that. I hate to say that I told them so but I knew this would be the outcome. In the end, I had him buy two Linksys PCMCIA cards that worked beautifully.

That is not to say that the day and night went off without a hitch however. The cards worked very well and the install was very fast. The Netgear USB adapters were pieces of crap that I would not suggest getting. The wierd part of the evening came when I kept getting a screen from the internet provider asking to register the laptops. This is normally no biggie, I have had this problem myself and a simple clearing of cookies, temp files, and the history from my web browser will fix the problem. Not so with these two laptops. I tried everything I could think of and then exhausted the ideas given by tech guy for the ISP. Nothing worked. The odd thing was, each laptop would have problems with different sites than the other. I could go to Google on one but if I tried to on the other, it would kick me to the ISP registration page. Somewhere in these laptops, there is a gremlin that is keeping a firm grasp to that tiny bit of DNS information that is messing the whole thing up. I am going to put Service Pack 4 on both machines and see if that fixes the problem. If that fails, I will resort to putting XP on the machines. I do not want to do this. These computers are not the newest and I quivver at the thought of running XP with 128 megs of ram. Only time will tell.

On the upside, progress is being made. At least now the computers are talking to each other and the internet (though randomly) so I don't feel too bad. I just wish this wasn't taking so much work. I feel bad for these people and I feel like it is making me look bad because of the amount of time I am devoting to these computers. I just want to keep saying, "Usually, stuff goes much smoother than this and I do know what I am doing." Fortunately, the family is very nice and understanding and most importantly, just grateful that I am helping them. The thing that bothers me is what if this was a stranger that was paying me to do this for them? This repair has just been one of those troublesome ones that people get from time to time. I just feel bad about it. But so far I am doing all of this for free though I think I am getting a Hastings gift card out of all of this. More movies!!!

On Monday, I am going back over there for hopefully the last time. Or at the worst, the second to last time. :) I am also taking in another computer to work on but I am not concerned by this one. It is a typical, format the hard drive and reinstall Windows gig. And it is on a relatively modern system. Easy.

Anywho, I have to go to work earlier than usual tomorrow so I am going to hit the sack. Nite!

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Repairinator!!!

So tonight I played the computer repairman again for some people my mom works with. They have a wireless network that needed fixing and two laptops that needed to be integrated into the network. What I thought was going to be a half hour job ended up taking almost three hours and it still isn't done.

The router is a Netgear and I know it is funtioning properly because I can access it and jump on the net with it from my own laptop. But the other two will not jive. They are both Dell Inspirion 4000 systems and the wireless adapter I am trying to use is a Netgear MA111 802.11b antenna. The systems are running Windows 2000 w/sp1 but do you think I can get the goofy antenna to work on either of them? NO! I tried everything I could think of to make those little buggers get on the network and my reward was one of them getting on the net for about ten seconds and then dying. I have no clue why. I followed the installation instructions to a tee and nothing. I think it may be the adapter though because I then plugged it into my laptop and it still didn't work on there.

So tomorrow, I am supposed to meet my client at my favorite place, CompUSA to see if we can get a PCMCIA card instead of the USB one. The fun part is that he is going to try to return both antennas and knowing how the CompNazis are with their return policy I already know how this is going to turn out. The one thing that sucks too is that the sales goon that helped these guys gave them one 802.11b adapter and then sold them an 802.11g adapter and told them it would work with the 802.11b router....WTF?! I hate those people. I wish Fry's would decide to come to Boise just to run the punks out of business. But then again, if it weren't for CompUSA, I wouldn't get half of the computer repair work that I do. So go for it my CompNazis, you mess up peoples' stuff and I will be there to fix it. And take away your customers. :) The one thing I will give to Best Buy is the fact that their Geek Squad guys are at least competent and make far fewer repair mistakes than the CompNazis. They also get paid a ton more too so I guess you get what you are willing to pay for.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Running Man

Not only is that a fun movie but its what I was tonight. I decided to go to the gym and jump on the strider for an hour. The thing that shocks me is that my heart did not explode. I was on the machine for over an hour and burned almost 800 calories so I think I did alright. I feel good and thats what counts. That and the fact that I didn't die.

I have not had a pop for going on six days now and I think my body is thanking me for that as well. The first three days were one constant pounding headache but now I think my body has detoxed itself. Caffiene is a mean drug. I am not sure whether or not I am going to make the "no Coke" rule permanent or not but for now I am sticking to it. The one thing that sucks about my self-imposed purging is that it is weird to order something at a fast food place and get something other than a Coke or a Pepsi. Hamburgers just aren't the same without a carbonated beverage. Then again, I am not eating a ton of hamburgers nowadays either. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Taking Inventory

By the title, this sounds like it could be a deep heartfelt entry about me taking a retrosective on my life. But its not. I had to do inventory at work tonight...WOOHOO!
Inventory at my job cracks me up because after you do a couple of things, you can basically just walk around and talk to people and as long as you look like you have a purpose, everyone leaves you alone. Which is just what I did tonight. I counted the couple of aisles that I had to count and then goofed off, but it looked like I was working. Toward the end of the evening, I actually helped my boss do something constructive so the night was not a total waste.

I also finished up my resume for the most part. When compared to my friends, I really don't like my resume. I have only ever had three jobs and I just have my bachelor's degree. Nowadays, it seems like you need a Masters in order to stand out and I kind of wish there was something I could go ack and get a Masters in that would help me out. Anywho, my resume is done. I don't like thinking about my resume because I am not fond about thinking about new jobs because new jobs mean change and change is something I am not terribly happy about for the most part. I am a person of habit but I am trying to break that. Ok, I am worked up now and am going to play Civilization 3. :)

I'm Lost!!

Ok, I am not a huge tv fan and frankly, I think most of what is on tv today is garbage. With the exception of a couple of shows, one being, Lost. I love Lost and every week I can't wait to download new episodes. The show just keeps getting weirder and weirder but I must confess, I am hooked.

If you haven't seen the show, it is the story of how almost fifty people survive a plane crash and get by on an "unihabited" island. Every week some mysteries get solved but for each question answered, ten more pop up. Anywho, this is my plug for that television show. If you haven't seen it, go watch Lost.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Back to The Gym and Other Self-Improvement News

I went back to the gym tonight after taking a few weeks off for Christmas. Yes, it is a lousy excuse but....well...yeah, it is just a lousy excuse. Anywho, this time around I think I am going to focus more on cardio (running, rowing, biking,etc.) instead of weight lifting. Cardio will burn more weight and build up endurance, both of these things are a plus. With the weights, I was pressing myself too hard and not getting much of anywhere. Toward the end of my last workout spree in December, I actually blacked out. Oops. My mind is much stronger than the body it occupies and I can force myself to do things I should not do physically. I need to learn to curb that.

In other news, I found a job at Micron Technology that I may apply for. I would be developing training worksops and the like for employees and management. They actually want an education degree so if it works out, I might actually get to use my degree after all. I am still trying to figure out how to structure my resume for this job. It is kind of a non-tech job in a tech business so I am unsure what the best format for me to use would be. If you have any experience with resumes please chime in, I would love advice in this area.

Jim and Keith and I are still reviewing and studying for the A+ Certification stuff. It is going pretty well. Tomorrow we will start on the fifth cd in the set of eleven. At this rate we will finish the training cds next week and will probably be studying and reviewing them for a week after that. Then I think we will be ready for the test. If I can take and pass the exam, which I am pretty confident about, we will then move on to another techie certification program. I am not sure what the next certification would be but we have a ways until I need to worry about that. I figure that if I get one or two of these under my belt in combination with my degree, it may increase the chances of me getting a better job somewhere. It can't hurt anyway.

I also found an interesting and free diet while cruising around on the net. I am going to read it a little more before I say too much on here but the first couple of chapters I have read sound pretty promising. I will post more about it later when I have ambition. For now though, I think it is bed time.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I, Robot AKA: Another Will Smith Movie

So I watched "I, Robot" last night and have mixed feelings about it. First off, the story was kind of fun but it lacked depth and was very predictable. Secondly, if you have watched any other Will Smith action movie, there is no need to watch this one. It is a cookie cutter action flick about a guy, a gal, and a robot.

That having been said, it was a fun action movie. I am glad I rented it and would advise against buying it but if you do, don't say I didn't warn you. Then again, if you do buy it, you are probably the person that bought "Bad Boys" 1 and 2, "Independence Day", and "Men In Black" 1 and 2 so you may like it.

Overall grade for the movie: C Nothing groundbreaking but it is pretty.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Bargain Book Day

I love books. I always have. But, what I love more are cheap books. Hastings, my local video store and all-round media store has a section of books that they call "kudzu". For those that do not know, is a Japanese weed that was imported in the late-19th Century. It was promoted as good forage vegetation for wildlife and an excellent weapon against soil erosion in the 1920s. The problem with Kudzu is that under ideal conditions the weed can grow vines up to sixty feet long each year. It is difficult to control and can quickly take up niches of habitat that were previously occupied by weaker plant species. Basically, it is a pest.

So after going off on that tangent, Hastings discounts books that they have a few of that do not sell very well and occupy space that could be used for more popular and newer books. One of the biggest forms of kudzu that I have found are history books. For one reason or another, Hastings does not sell history books very well. This could be due to the fact that the demographic of Hastings customers ranges from teens to mid-twentysomethings. Usually, if a person goes to Hastings it is to buy the newest Jessica Simpson album or to rent movies, most of which suck. So in this instance I am lucky. I like to go to hasting because they have a huge dvd selection to buy and they have super cheap history books. Most of the books are hard cover and under five bucks, my version of literary heaven.

Tonight, I picked up two books. The first is a history of the VW Bug. It was kind of cool because I was thumbing through the paperback version of it that was around twelve dollars and thinking to myself that I wouldn't mind reading that book sometime. Ten minutes later, I had its hardbound brother in hand for a whopping $3.99. I rule. The second find of the night was a book called "Lab 257", about our military's top-secret chemical and biological weapons lab in upstate New York. I love the mythos surrounding Area 51 and stuff like that so I figured this would be a moderately interesting read, we will see.

Earlier today, I started studying for the A+ Exams. Jim and I made it through the second disc and by the looks of it, the exam should be a breeze. We took the little test at the end of the section and scored well aboving the passing score. With any luck I will be A+ certified by March. I just wished the tests were not so frigging expensive.

Well, I think I am going to watch I, Robot now and see if it was worth the hype. Having heard mixed reviews, I am not expecting much. I did not read the book so maybe it will not be such a let down to watch. I will let you know what I think about it later.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

An Annoying Night at Work

Admittedly, I am not overly happy about having to go back to work and I definitely felt that way today. I was in a less-than-happy mood upon arriving to work. It did not get any better after clocking on for my shift and finding out that a ton of stuff that should have been done way before I arrived was now getting dumped on me. Everyday when new jewelery comes in we have to display it. Despite the fact that my department is the electronics one, somehow jewelery falls into our realm of knowledge. Don't ask. Either way there were 50 (yes 50) new pieces to be displayed and that job fell on me and another guy. After about two hours we got all of that stuff kicked out and were ready to go about our other daily tasks...that was until a stupid ring came up missing that we had put on display.

In order for you to understand the stupidity of my co-workers I have to explain how buying jewelery works at my job. When a customer wants a piece of jewelery, they fill out a little sheet of paper with the item's number and a brief description and take it to the checks stands. Once the person has paid for said piece of jewelery, that sheet is then taken to a manager who goes into a big locked walk-in closet where all of the sell units of our jewelery are stored, matches the number on the sheet to the box the jewelery is in, grabs it, and takes it to the member. Easy right....wrong.

The managers can never manage to keep the walk-in closet organized and end up misplacing jewelery and other items quite often. If you want a solid number I would say that about 25% of the stuff that goes in that closet ends up getting misplaces. The number is probably lower but the only time I get involved it seems is when there is a problem so I may be a tad jaded. Either way, I displayed a ring tonight that we supposedly should have had out already because our computers showed that we had one on hand before receiving today's shipment. Where was that ring? God only knows.

So, for the next hour everyone is searching for this ring and somehow it gets started that it could have possibly come in today's load and then everyone starts to wonder who stole the ring. Who's name gets mentioned, yours truly. This is the retarded part, I have keys to the jewelery case for eight hours a day and I have been at my job for almost seven years. If I wanted to take something, I think I would have done it before now.

The part that ticks me off is the comment made by one of my learning disabled managers, we will call him Rhett to protect his innocence. I am coming out of the jewelery closet and he says, "Hey man, where is the ring?" I then say, "You tell me and if you do have it you better split the cost with me?" He then replies, "Heh...split...well, your name is floating around quite a bit." What the hell is that supposed to mean? I don't like being threatened and I especially don't like taking veiled threats from a guy that can never get my name right despite the fact I wear a name tag and have worked around him for almost seven years. Oh yeah, he never looks you in the eye when he talks to you, he just stares at your chest. Idiot. How that man made management is a testiment to my company's stupidity. Later, after that comment, he was seen talking very hush hush like on his cell phone. That means he was talking to loss prevention about all of it. The funny part about that is I have caught more shoplifters than the tool that is supposed to be doing that for his job.

Anywho, we also log all of the jewelery over a certain dollar amount everynight and so I go to the log to see when the last time we carried the ring in question was. It has been at least a full week if not longer. That pretty much eliminated all of the suspicion that I stole the ring because I was on my glorious vacation then. It just drives me nuts that they were so quick to place blame and on something that happens quite regularly due to management's stupidity. The reason I get bothered by this is because they have fired employees for simply being the last seen with a certain item, regardless of proof. Beh, I need to find a new job.

On top of all of the night's entertainment, the customers were annoying cocks. Then again, when aren't the customers annoying cocks? I definitely need a new job.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Behold, 2005!

So I am doing my New Years post a couple of days late, sue me. I have been playing a lot of Half Life 2 and that has taken top priority. I have an odd compulsion that makes me beat games once I start them. That is why I like the Sims and Simcity, I know I can't ever beat them so I do not make these huge pushes to play them.

Anywho, New Years was ok. Mushi had to work which left Jake and I to go to my company's New Years/Christmas party by ourselves. It is a pathetic situation when you need to drink to tolerate 90% of the people you work with. It is also pathetic when a place charges you $4.00 for a bottle of beer and I am talking Coors not some fancy import stuff. To remedy this, Jake and I smuggled in a half gallon of Malibu Rum and a fifth of Jager. Trenchcoats rock for some stuff. After being there for a little bit we were everyones' friends. I also won a $25 gift card so that was cool.

I have to go back to work tomorrow and that kind of sucks. I like being on vacation...but then again...I like to make money too. Now that the holiday season has past it should be rather relaxing at work. This is considered our slow time of the year so to save money, everyones' hours get cut way back. I am working these cheesy five hour shifts but that is cool, they are later in the day and so I won't have to deal with people as much. It should be nice.

Back on with the New Years theme, I am not overly excited about the new year. I turn twenty-five next month and that means my insurance will go down but other than that not a whole bunch is happening this year. I do have some resolutions however. First, I will be in better shape at the start of 2006 than I am at the start of 2005. Second, I am going to get some tech certifications under my belt. Third, I am going to try my hardest to find a new job. Fourth, Mushi and I are going to get a new and bigger house. That is about it.

Oh oh, since every site it seems is having their "Best of 2004 List" here is mine.

Top Ten Movies of 2004:

9. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
8. Oceans 12
7. Meet the Fokkers
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. Dawn of the Dead
4. The Village
3. Shaun of the Dead
2. The Incredibles
1. Napoleon Dynamite

Ok, you may be asking where the 10th place movie is and to be honest with ya, these are the only movies that I saw this year that were made this year. I don't go to the movies often. If I did, Oceans 12, Meet the Fokkers, and Sky Captain probably wouldn't be on the list at all. Sky Captain was a good movie in the sense that it was trying to emulate old Sci-Fi films but I really didn't care for the story. As for Oceans 12 and Meet the Fokkers, I don't see what the hype was about, especially with Meet the Fokkers. The jokes were predictable and the whole movie felt to me like they tried way to hard to make things funny. Oh yeah, I did see Dodgeball and I thought it sucked too. Maybe I am just not a ben Stiller fan. Anywho, there is your list.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Or Give Me Death (AKA Happy New Year!)

Ok, so BSU lost the Liberty Bowl. That sucks but on the upside, it was a very good game. 44-40 is a decent score seeing that the spread favored Louisville but 14 I think.

In other news, Spyder and I went to our company Christmas party. Am I buzzed, yes, but trust me, you would be too if you had to tolerate the co-workers that I do. I won a $25 gift card though and that is cool; it will help me to buy some random DVD. I am not sure which one yet but it will probably be either "Return of the King SE" or the "Star Wars" trilogy. Not sure yet. In a totally unrelated train of thought, it is amazing how much alcohol you can cram into a trench coat. Not only is the garment fear inspiring but it can also carry a half gallon of Malibu rum and a fifth of Jager...go figure.

So now it is 2005. Woohoo! What does this mean, probably not a lot but it is a new year. 2004 had a lot of really memorable moments and I don't think 2005 will top it but we shall see. I am hoping that the new year brings me a new job and maybe some tech certifications. We shall see. Anywho, I am going to go and sober up a tad more and maybe post some more serious New Year resolutions when I am totally with it tomorrow. Happy New Year and may it bring you many happy memories! What the hell am I saying....have a good night.