Tuesday, October 28, 2003

RIP 'The Beast' 1999-2003

It's official. The Beast is dead.

I have determined what happened. A faulty file on my computer caused the CPU to bomb, aborting the entire computer. Unfortunately the video card was attached to my television at the time - an electricity spike made it back into the video card, instantly frying it, the mainboard, and the CPU. I am unsure of the integrity of my hard drives or the operational capacity of my optical drives but suffice it to say that for at least the next 6 months I am computerless.

I am still in shock a little bit but have managed a temporary solution by slaving my work laptop to my home monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers which were untouched. I won't be able to check my drives until I get a new mainboard/cpu which will be months down the line because I have to pay off my debt to mom.

The Beast was purchased as a college computer in late 1999 by my parents for ~$3500. On the day I knew it was arriving from UPS, I played hookey and gleefully assembled the components and installed Quake 2. At the time, Alex and Graham had much better computers than me but even Alex's could not handle the hardware lighting at resolutions above 640x480. I started playing the game at 1024x768 on it's built in ATI 8mb AGP card and visions of my friends' jealousy filled my head and danced around next to the hours of Quake2 and Decent I would be playing.

Since it's arrival in my life, I have poured approximately $6000 into it, encompassing 5 video cards, 3 new mainboards and CPUs, 2 sound cards, 2 mice, a keyboard, a Network card, 4 hard drives, 2 optical drives, about 9 sticks of RAM and somewhere on the order of 50 video games. The only thing left of the original was the case, the dvd-rom, and the IDE ribbons.

Rest in peace, Beast. You have served me well.

Monday, October 27, 2003


So minutes after I posted that my computer bombed and I had no way of contacting the outside world all weekend. Fortunately my phone is reconnected. Anyway, a whole shitload of work just dropped in my lap this morning so I'ma update later once it's all been managed a bit.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

*Embarrased Grin*

So apparently my first month's phone bill got misplaced which meant that my practice of leaving bills unpaid until the last possible minute got my phone disconnected. I sent the check 4 days ago but service stopped yesterday around 5pm. Anywho, it should be back asap but if you need to get in touch with me, the email is on.

Saw Scary Movie 3 last night with friends from work. It's definitely the best of the 3 - David Zucker's comedic style melded with a blisteringly fresh understanding of current pop culture makes for a movie that relies more on comedy and less on dick/fart jokes. Also, during the previews I saw why Stu wants to see Bad Santa. Now I want to see it too :^P

Thursday, October 23, 2003

This makes me sick.

Another lawsuit claiming videogames foster violence. There was teen violence before video games. There was teen violence before rock 'n roll. There was teen violence before television, movies, and radio. But someone's always looking to place the blame. I think eminem says it well:

"Don't blame me when lil' Eric jumps off of the terrace
You shoulda been watchin' him
Apparently you ain't parents."

Now granted, the people bringing the suit have a legitimate grievance - their family members were shot by two kids shooting up the highway. But Sony, Wal-mart, and Rockstar games are not to blame here. The teenager's videogame 'defense' is more like an 'excuse'. So the reason they're going after the corporations and not the teen's parents is pure and simple: money. Obviously the parents don't have any money so there's no point suing them in civil court. But where's the criminal negligence suit?

What do you think? Is the reason I can play ridiculously violent games and watch movies like clockwork orange and new jack city and yet not go on a vicious killing spree somehow related to my parents not letting me use those products until I was mature enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality and right and wrong? Or is it just luck? Or however else these 'parents' explain away the fact that out of the 5.7 million people worldwide who bought a copy of the game, their kids are the only ones who then went out and shot people.

Stu, thank you for getting me hooked.

Spike: "Is this the part where I say 'Who's there?' and something creepy happens?"

*creepy shadow flits past in background*

Spike: "Thought so."

This is why I love this show.

In real life news, I'm doing interim work data mining a huge database to get statistics for my boss, Kaye, until my next project kicks in. It's not glamorous, but it definitly makes the days fly by. Friday I'm taking Tom rock climbing at the gym and then we're going to the Scary Movie 3 premier. I hope he finds some women to bring along.

Just to give you an idea of how fun this database analysis thing is, I'll give you an example. There's this question on the application that asks if the applicant is a student. It's a yes/no answer. But instead of having one entry in the database which represents yes or no, there's two entries: one for whether or not the "yes" button was clicked and one for whether or not the "no" button was clicked. Guess who designed the database?



Monday, October 20, 2003

Good Weekend Karma

So Saturday morning I went to brunch with my grandparents, which was very nice. Then later that afternoon I went pumpkin-picking with David and Kary, two other of my numerous cousins, and their kids who are 2-6. It was a lot of fun, and the karmic upshot was that today I found this website. Go there. Be amused.


P.S. Ladies, make sure to check out the video entitled "Woman's Health - Wrong Phone".

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Hilarity in Politics

This story speaks for itself:

"WASHINGTON - Concerned about the appearance of disarray and feuding within his administration as well as growing resistance to his policies in Iraq, President Bush - living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge - told his top officials to "stop the leaks" to the media, or else.

News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately.

Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he "didn't want to see any stories" quoting unnamed administration officials in the media anymore, and that if he did, there would be consequences, said a senior administration official who asked that his name not be used."

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


So I forgot to mention that on Sunday while Stu was at work, Lee and I went bowling and I bowled an appallingly miserable 38; however last night I went bowling with Annie and a few of her friends and shot a much more respectable 105. I also downed 4 beers which made this morning a tad shady, but hey, that's the price you pay when you're livin' la vida loca.

In work-related news, we wrapped up a huge milestone on the project I've been working on for the past 2 months, pushing all the pieces to the Integration server and linking them all together like some kind of electronic patchwork bit-quilt. It's very exciting to be done, tomorrow I have a meeting for my next assignment but in the meantime I'm just reveling in a "jorb well done" .

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Lee's 21st Weekend Extravaganza!

So about a month ago I decided that right about this past weekend I'd want a nice vacation, and since it was Lee's 21st birthday I'd surprise her by flying out. Stu and I labored long and hard to make sure that our communiques remained secret. I booked the flight and, Thursday night, drove to O'Hare and flew out to LAX where Stu picked me up.

Sadly, all our efforts were for naught - Stu had cleaned the apartment, which naturally aroused Lee's suspicions. Then when he left, he told her he was "going to pick something up", in an attempt to divert her attention from the possibility that he was going to pick someone up. Sadly, Lee is too smart for her own good (wench!), and deduced that either I or Stacy was arriving. Then when we arrived, she apparently eavesdropped on us and heard two people coming.

Still, I was very pleased by the giddiness and jumping that occured when I came in the door. "I knew it!" she exclaimed, and then proceeded to squeal for at least 5 minutes.

So we all sat around talking for twenty minuted and then Lee wanted to go drink, understandably. After the aborted attempt to walk to the bar (because she forgot her ID), we drove there and she had her blowjob shot, courtesy of Stacy, while Stu and I drank Grey Goose.

(Mom: a blowjob shot is a shot of Bailey's covered with whipped cream which you must drink without using your hands.)

I took a few pictures with my camera phone - they're kind of hard to make out, but the first one is Lee licking off the whipped cream, and the second is her downing the shot:


As you can see, she cheated a little at the end - Stace, that gives you license to demand a re-shot next time you see her.

On Friday, we all tooled around Burbank and went to see School of Rock with Jack Black at the movie theater, and then at night we went to a nice restaurant where lee got plenty of drinks and her friends all showed up to eat TGIF-style food. It was a lovely evening. Stu gave her a very nice Leatherman which she squealed over almost as much as me. (All right, far far more than me.)

Then came Saturday.

Saturday AM we drove to Vegas. Lee's website has a nice account of most of what went on, so I will stick to my gambling.

First of all, roulette is definitely my game. I understand it better than craps, poker, blackjack, etc. Casino war is also easy to understand, but nowhere near as fun. Anyway, Lee and I started off playing nickel slots but that quickly became stupid, so I went over to the $5 roulette table. I started the day with $100 in chips, and had a simple system for roulette. Stu had told me that everyone says when you get to a table, have a system and stick with it no matter what. I really should have listened, but I'll get to that later.

So my system was easy - bet on a color, and if the number comes up even, stay on that color. If it's odd, switch to the other color. On greens, (0 or 00), repeat what should have won. And if your bet loses, follow the system on whatever won.

I started at the first table with 20 bucks and walked away with 80. My system was working! We followed Stu to the blackjack table halfway across the casino hall ( I should mention that we were in the MGM Grand at this point ) where, unfortunately, it was not his day. Then we decided to leave for King Arthur's buffet at the Excalibur.

I should mention that it was an absolutely gorgeous day in Vegas. It was in the high 80's and I could have used a pair of sunglasses, but we were mostly inside the casinos so it was ok. Vegas is surreal - it's a giant adult playground. There was something to do everywhere, and there were adds for all kinds of shows - Wayne Newton, Siegfried & Roy, Bette Midler, everything. Plus there were adds for sex shops and shows all over the place. Before lunch we went into M&M headquarters which has 5 floors of M&M merchandise, including a 5th floor with an entire wall of rainbow hued M&M's in colors you can only get there. (They were $8 a pound, but there were the most gorgeous shades of deep blue and slate gray...) There was also a giant rockcliming wall, it must have been 100 feet high. I was tempted to climb it but it was 15 bucks and there was no prize for getting to the top.

So anyway we go eat delicious food at this buffet and then head into the basement of the Excalibur, where there is a kiddy game room. Lee and I played air hockey and I got on the dance machine, and then we headed back upstairs to the roulette tables again.

So I'm betting money on my system and at one point I've got 350 in chips, I'm on fire, and I pull away from the table with an amazing high. I was just so heady with success. We head over to play slots and video nickel poker, and after half an hour I look at Lee and we're both like "more roulette". I wish that at this point I had called my mom as I had been thinking about, because she undoubtedly would have told me to quit while I was ahead. But my greed got the better of me.

So I go back to the table and start placing $20 bets on red and black, and my system is in a bad streak so I blow $100 bucks in 5 minutes. Then I decide, fuck it, its vegas, and place a $100 chip on black. Lee looks at me and goes "Weber-Flink, you're nuts," and both our hearts are pounding and the ball rolls up ... BLACK! So now I think I am a god and start making huge bets, I think my largest was $175. Eventually I run out of chips so I pull the last 70 out of my wallet and look at the table.

Here is where I wish I'd listened to Stu. I'd played my system, up or down, all night. But now there had been 4 blacks in a row, all even. My system says stay on black, but I'm like, the odds are much better for red. Now, mathematically I know the odds are even, but my fear of losing says red! red! so I put it all on red, and bam, it comes up black.

Anyway, despite coming away 200 bucks down, I had probably the best weekend of my life, so much fun, and I was super-glad I flew out to see my best buds, Stu and Lee.


Huge Mega Super Awesome Update Coming Later Today

With Pictures!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Where am I?

Lots of stuff happened. I'm busy, tired. Rock climbing is awesome, tonight I got up the 45 degree inverted incline.

More later.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Blatant Lie

Jeremy Bent is a werewolf responsible for the deaths of at least 38 elderly french people.




Wednesday, October 01, 2003


I am feeling much better today, the anti-biotics have kicked in and all I had this morning was a light headache. Thank you so much to everyone who wrote or called to say "get better"; both of you are nice people whereas the rest of my friends are heartless bastards.

I'm getting close to finishing up my first major project here at Fortis Health. The backend is in place, the functionality of the frontend is complete, and I'm just waiting for a document from upstairs telling me which action items to implement (translation: which colors to use).

On a side note, if you haven't read Julie's Blog lately, go there immediately - she has sprung a funny leak and damned if it isn't staining everything the color hilarious.