Monday, April 28, 2008

Yours For Now in NYC, running through a downpour, and computer issues

I went to NYC last weekend, from thursday through saturday. It was a good time, I saw a bunch of cousins and a bunch of my sisters friends whose names I didn't remember, and probably won't remember again next time. That's the problem with having only met people when you're drinking. My brother in law Doug and his friend and my two cousins Brian and Linda are in a rock band up there called Yours For Now. And they were really good. I was expecting more garage-band level stuff, but they were like standard indy-band quality like you'd hear in a paid-for concert. Maybe some day they'll be my claim to fame, since Eric's musical aspirations have apparently petered out (I'm still uncertain about Banjolina Jolie, but that might be just because it's not my style of music).

I got dinner with Dave Saturday and tried to go to Kate's birthday at Marvin aftwards. On the walk to the bar it started raining, brewing itself into an unbelievable downpour in like 5 minutes so that we were half-soaked by the time we had run to the bar. When we got there Jamie gave a disbelieving "Is that the line!?!" A good 20-30 people were waiting outside in the rain to get into the bar. It was pouring down super hard, and most of these people didn't have umbrellas. In retrospect maybe I should have stuck around for the wet t-shirt contest which was sure to follow. But instead I huddled for a few minutes under a tiny overhang around the block with Dave and Jamie, and then ran home and worked on my computer for the rest of the night. But I finally fixed it.

The computer was doing this thing where it'd get about 1/3 of the way through installing Windows and then power shut off. I unplugged everything, tried installing on different hard drives, tried with different Windows cds, reflashed the BIOS, but nothing worked. I was confused becsause the computer had been working fine until I uninstalled Windows, so it didn't seem likely that it was a motherboard issue. I was frustrated for a while. Finally, Saturday night, on a whim I took out the second RAM chip, leaving only the primary, and then it miraculously installed smoothly. Apparently this motherboard can't cope with dual-channel memory without special windows-level driver software installed (I had assumed it'd be in the BIOS), and it can't just ignore the second memory either. Anyway. Now I just need to find the right driver for this onboard network card. I love how foxconn doesn't collect, mirror, or even link to the drivers you may need for their motherboards, they instead tell you to go hunt it down from the manufacturer. I don't even know who manufactured this thing. I'll figure that out later.

Maybe I should start tagging some entries "nerdy" or "computer" when I talk about that kind of thing. I know you're all anxious to get my collected technical wisdom onto a single page.

(from a netflix user review of Dead Man Walking)
Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn are sensational in the lead roles. (Sarandon won an Oscar and Penn wuz robbed). By the end of the movie, when you look at Susan Sarandon you see a nun, which is an achievement in itself.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

stormy sunday

Interesting article in the washington post today about John McCain's temper problem. Apparently he has a long history of blowing up and jumping to within an inch of peoples faces and screaming over political disagreements, in addition to trying to get people fired when they try to correct his facts. It all sounds a little immature for someone who is... no longer in high school. He will be a great president. Maybe this time I'll refrain from voting because I honestly don't like any of the candidates, instead of just because of my usual laziness. Though, to be fair, most of the events cited are from like 10-15 years ago. And 15 years ago I had temper issues too. He might have reformed since then.

Tonight I will reformat my computer. Somehow it picked up a virus. Though it still runs faster than my work computer. I wish I could kick every single one of the IT guys who has contributed to pushing software updates onto my computer square in the nuts.

(From a forum arguing about independent game reviews vs. professional game reviews)
"What constitutes a reputable source? A huge site paid for primarily by ads from game companies, and one that caters to players of every type? Or a site devoted specifically to RPG players and not audiences who also play sheepware like Madden and The Sims?"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Had to wait 2 hours yesterday while my ps3 downloaded and installed a system update. First of all, I'm worried about the frequency of these updates. I just updated the ps3 last week, and it took 2 hours then also. Is this going to be a weekly event? I sure hope not. Secondly, why does it take so long? My computer can download an install an update in one tenth the time! The ps3 has some kind of bandwidth overhead issues. And third annoying thing: after running and installing the update they give the little notice about what features were updated. And the only feature listed with this one was the Sony Store. They updated the online store interface. Awesome. I couldn't play tekken online because my sony store wasn't quite up to date.

My sunburned face is peeling. I look like a lizard man.

(Comparing the "factory" star forge from KotOR and the Death Star)
"I feel that a factory is a better use for a giant space station then a super laser that destroys planets (seriously, what was the Emperor thinking when he heard Tarkins idea for that?). Seriously, what strategic value would the Death Star have? Now compare that to the value of an ever growing fleet that can still destroy a planet if it feels the need too. Oh and the Star Forge wasn't destroyed by 2 hits to a two meters wide hole. Oh and the Star Forge uses the force, something the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

cousins weekend

This entry is a little discombobulated because I'm not working today. I'm just back from cousins weekend in California. It was a fun time. It was later in the spring this year than most years, and the days were like 65 degrees. Snowboarding when it's warm out is the only way to go snowboarding. I only went snowboarding for a half day but that was enough for me. I'm still sore from it.

Hmm, there was lots of drinking. I ended up losing the game of Kings and had to drink the bowl of beer. It was 2 or 3 beers worth, but at least it wasn't a mixture of different drinks. Sometimes the Kings players pour in from whatever foul whiskey or voda or light beer or dark beer until what you have left is a barely drinkable alcoholic concoction. The bowl I drank just had Coors Light in it so it wasn't too bad. I accidentally napped through the poker tournament. That was a little disappointing.

At one point, early in the weekend, I asked my cousin Peter which kids were his. This is something I should know, but a few of my cousins have had a bunch of kids recently and I've only met like half of them. When I asked, Peter waded out into the crowd of running kids and came back with one on each arm. "Say hi to your uncle Joseph," he told them (they call us uncles and aunties even though technically I'm a first cousin once removed). Yes, I am a bad relative.

I'm watching the Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut. I had to wait to watch it on blu-ray because I refuse to switch dvds mid-film (the directors cut is 2 dvds long). Such a great film, I don't know how people can dislike it. I think the only reasonable explanation is that some people just have bad taste in movies. It's definitely better than Almost Famous. Yes, it is.

me: yeah. well he was a little slow
ya, kinda retarded
wow so non-pc
africa has turned you vulgar
i know. what can i say?
do you spit when you're walking around also?
you don't need to feel bad, i'd start spitting if i lived in africa
ya, and i also pee anywhere i want.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Another day, another dollar

Someone upstairs is sneezing every 30 seconds. While I can empathize because I get allergies myself and I know it sucks to have a constantly runny nose and watering eyes, I wish he'd shut the hell up already.

Asian people are weird. I've noticed from sharing a work bathroom with them that a large minority of the time, when an asian guy is in there, at some point in the process of washing his hands he'll bring his face down to the faucet and spend 30 seconds alternating between splashing water on his face and drinking it. It's a little disturbing when you're trying to wash your hands in the next sink over. I always want to mention that there's a drinking fountain right outside the bathroom door, but I don't want to be considered rude. You never know, with these older asian guys, what's going to set them off. And I don't want to have to cut off any of my fingers, I use these to type! Okay, that last part may be slightly racist.

(One doctor's response to the American College of Physician Executives survey)
"I find it necessary about once every month or two to stay in bed for 24 to 48 hours. I do this on short notice when I get the feeling I might punch somebody.”

Saturday, April 5, 2008

review: Arcanum

Yesterday I spent a couple hours playing Arcanum. It's an older computer RPG that I had played a little of a couple years ago but then got bored of it. So I reinstalled it recently, and tried to play it yesterday. I remembered from my last try at the game that you don't want to play as a "technologist" unless you're in the mood for a frustrating experience lugging around lots of generally-useless junk looking for the perfect spring to complete your 19th century musket. Instead I played as a gnome magician, with some special background so that he was really ugly, but more intelligent. It sounded like a good choice for a magician- I wasn't going to be picking up chicks or trying to smooth talk shopkeepers so I didn't need to be good looking.

Most reviews praise the game's use of multiple dialgoue options depending on your character stats, but they apparently didn't try playing as an ugly character. Good God it sucked to be ugly in the renaissance age. Every shop I walked into I'd be greeted with "What do you want, assface?" Or "You're not welcome here." Nobody had any manners. I was paying customer! How totally unprofessional! What kind of person sees a poor, deformed man enter his shop and jacks his prices way up? I was forced to kiss everyone's ass for a few minutes every time I talked to them before they'd even sell me anything. Even the one follower I had who thought I was the reincarnation of a legendary hero could barely stand my presence. Forget that game.

Just got my ps3 today. It's taking like a half hour to update the software. There must be some kind of internal lag or filter inside the console because it's definitely not utilizing all my bandwidth here.

I'm watching My So Called Life. Love the narration, it's like listening to an emo high schooler's internal monologue.

kate: isn't it great that you have a girlfriend who loves to explore new things
kate: so you do by association
joe: yes, it is great
joe: secretly i've been wanted to see the cherry blossoms, but it's just too touristy for me to make time for myself
kate: are you being sarcastic or serious?
joe: haha
joe: a mixture of both
kate: you jerk
joe: i'm a complicated character
joe: my dialogue has many layers
kate: layers of jerk