Thursday, October 29, 2009

I went to Whitney's wedding in Alabama last weekend. I'd never been to Alabama but it seems like a nice state. The weather was a little cool (and the morning we left was moderately foggy), but pretty nice for October and the people all seemed very friendly. Wedding weekends are always pretty busy so we didn't have much time to look around. Hmmm, specifics... There wasn't any dancing, because I think Whitney isn't big on dancing, but it was more of a standard house-party reception. It would have been great because I love parties, except I was holding back on the drinking because I had to drive, and there were all these adults everywhere and other people whose names I was having trouble remembering. Actually, I guess I'm an adult now. Or close to an adult anyway. Anyway, it was lots of fun. I wish I saw Whitney and Courtney and my sister and those people more often, but we all live in very different places. There are lots of people I wish I saw more often.. but I think I alternate between being too busy, and then awkward, and then annoying. Oh well.

Tonight is way too cold to be playing kickball, but we're going to suffer through it anyway. Probably a loss because our team kinda sucks. Not that I'm any better, I'm probably dragging our team down. I play the outfield and if a fly ball gets kicked to me I probably won't catch it. I have a hard time telling whether the ball is going to be behind me or infront of me when it's way up in the air. I'd probably be better infield, but we already have a bunch of infielders. If we just skipped right to the drinking it would be fine with me.

Oh, I worked out again Monday, and I'm going to tomorrow also. Eventually I'm hoping to get on a monday, wednesday, friday schedule, but yesterday I was busy with some time-sensitive work. So far I'm not really any stronger, surprise surprise.

Yesterday I watched the Watchmen on blu-ray. I think the combination of my mediocre eyes and my moderately sized tv don't do the blu-ray justice. I can't see the difference between the high and standard definition video unless I'm wearing my glasses (which I avoid doing as much as possible because I look nerdy). Kate said it wouldn't bother her if I got a bigger tv, but the problem is that my current tv is so portable and convenient for whenever I move, which seems pretty often. Maybe one of these thinner LED lit tvs is what I need. I should stop in at best buy sometime and see if 55" is really a noticable change over 43". BTW, I still think Rorschach wouldn't have really been that uncompromising in the end of the movie. (Actually I had here a paragraph devoted to explaining why Rorschach shouldn't have been in a dilema at the end of the movie, but it was too long and you wouldn't want to read it. Also it depends on the character being consistent on his chosen set of moral rules, and Rorschach clearly had other issues. I think my big issue is that in an interview Alan Moore said that he didn't know what was going to happen to Rorschach until he had written the bulk of the story, and then he found that the ending was a necessary result from the character he had created. BS.)

(from article about Alan Grayson)
Saying that he has trouble listening to the former vice-president speak "because of the blood that drips from his teeth," Grayson went on to accuse Cheney of projecting hatred toward the president because he "doesn't shoot old men in the face."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Linux's new slogan should be "Linux: You get what you pay for."

To recap: Kate won her race. Well, not coming in first place, but she proved it to herself that she could run it, so she's a winner in that respect. My coworker Amelia ran in the same race but I somehow didn't see her. (I would question her whole story, but she has some photos to prove it.)

Somehow, since getting comcast to install tv at my new apartment, I've been getting hbo, showtime and startz. So I've watched a little bit of Entourage, which I haven't seen since its first season. The show is pretty much the same as it used to be but now with less nudity. I guess they paid their dues (much like the first few episodes of Rome). Vince is boring, E is boring and annoying, Turtle is funnier and he's less of just a follower and more of his own person these days, and I think Johnny Drama is my favorite character. So much insecurity and machismo is one man. I watched the first episode of Bored to Death, which I guess Rachel likes, but I didn't really get a feel either way. Lots of characters acting strangely. There are a bunch of episodes on on-demand so I'll check out another one sometime.

Today it's finally warming up enough for an enjoyable kickball game. We didn't end up playing the real world team two weeks ago, that was someone passing along inaccurate information to the rest of us. We played some random team. Then last week was rained out, and I'm not sure who today's team is. No post-game drinking tonight though- actually, scratch that. I might tag along for a single beer to facilitate Sarah's date life if she and this other guy on the kickball team are too timid to just head out on their own. After that though, it's back to the apartment to do some writing because Kate and I are leaving tomorrow afternoon for Alabama. Woohoo! Whitney's getting married, and we're gonna eat some southern food!

(Mark doesn't drink milk, and also doesn't like most breakfast foods)
Kate: Mark, what do you eat for breakfast normally?
Mark: Sometimes I eat cereal.
me: Do you put anything on the cereal? Like some people put orange juice or water on their cereal.
Kate: Oh, gross! Who puts water on their cereal!
Mark: You know, Kate, a lot of people put water on their cereal... They call it skim milk.

(added slightly later)
I meant to write about this too but I forgot. Yesterday I used the building's gym for the first time. I was the middle of the afternoon and I was the only person in there, which I appreciated. It's a pretty small gym. I used to be able to do lots and lots of pullups, but now can only do two. I also used to be able to bench press my own weight, but the last time I did that was 7 years ago, and yesterday I had to drop it down to 90 pounds before I could do a few reps without feeling like I was hurting myself. Then I ran on the eliptical for about 10 minutes and felt like I was going to die. I am out of shape.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

(originally written 10/15/09 but unpublished)
I was thinking I should move money out of my checking account and into savings, but then I just looked at my credit card bill and that no longer seems as pressing. Moving service, stuff from ikea, a new computer monitor, rent, and a plane ticket to vietnam. My credit card is getting a workout. Which is more than I'm getting, because there's a combination lock on our building's gym door that I don't know the combination to (and I keep forgetting to ask at the front desk).

Yesterday I played a little MoO2. I suspect I would make a bad leader if the human race were out colonizing the galaxy. About midway through the game, my civilization was ahead of everyone in technological research, but this one species of alien kept stealing my technology with their spies. I would demand from their ambassador that they spying stop, and he would just laugh in my face. It was quite upsetting. Finally, I decided enough was enough. I built a couple warships, sent them to the nearest colony owned by the spying species, and bombed it to obilivion. I felt like it would be a good lesson to parties all involved. Then that same ambassador starts screaming "WTF are you doing!" and his government declares war on me. They can't stand up to my warships though. After destroying their fleet that was baracading one of my star systems, I divied up my fleet into two warships per enemy planet, and sent them off to bomb the species back to the stone-age.

There are several lessons here: Firstly, if you annoy me enough, I will commit a genocide. Actually, if it were real life, beheading the ambassador would probably be enough to ease my frustration about parasitic spying aliens, but that wasn't an option in the game. Secondly, intellectual property theft can be really upsetting for the victim. Maybe that was due to the knowledge that eventually they'd be using this stolen technology to attack me, but it was also partially due to the disrespect shown to my massive fleet of researchers in their being effectively replaced by a lone spy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Today I installed linux. Apparently linux is not for you if you value your time at all. I had very modest hopes for this operating system. I wanted something that would have all the drivers I'd need, had a functional web browser, a basic mp3 player, basic xls use, and to run dominions 3 and dungeon crawl. I can't remember why now, but for some reason I decided on Kubuntu. It had all my drivers, though I think I had to update the nvidia one, but that was quite easy. It came with a mp3 player that was one of those types for organizing your music library. I prefer the basic, "just play the file" type of player, because my music is already organized by album and I prefer to conserve my computer's memory, but after spending about an hour trying to hunt down various libraries to install xmss (which is supposedly similar to winamp) I gave up and just went with the stock media player. Kind of a bummer, but whatever. Kubuntu comes with a "Konquerer" web browser which works well for the most part, except when it would randomly lock up and leave you unable to kill it or anything. I'm not sure what the ctr-alt-del equivalent is in linux, so I had to reboot each time. Then someone on the phone asked me to look at something on facebook, and then the whole thing freaked out and crashed like 4 times in a row. Konquerer does not like facebook for some reason. I downloaded and installed firefox instead, which was a pain but it browses facebook without any problems. (Oh, open office worked just fine for spreadsheet editing, there were no problems there.) Next I tried to install dominions 3. Huge problems. The program extracted and installed fine, but then the update patch requires you to overwrite a few dozen files with the contents of the patch, and old Kubuntu was not liking my overwriting. For every single file it'd ask me if I really wanted to overwrite, and when I said "yes, overwrite all" it would ask me again for the next file. Finally got everything patched up, loaded the program, and found that something about the graphics were buggy. The game played fine at 800x600, but blowing it up bigger caused everything to start glitching up. After it froze twice on me I went online to look for a fix, and then firefox made my whole system freeze up and I had to reboot. I feel like I wasted 4 hours of my life.

Moved into my new place and I like it. It stays very nice and warm unless I turn on the AC or open windows. And it's super quiet, very sunny, and pretty spacious. In fact, I have a whole corner of my living room that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with.

Today Kate is running her half marathon. I'm going up to Baltimore waay early in the morning. Hopefully it won't be raining or too cold (for the runners' sake I mean).

(from a Dungeons & Dragons movie review)
"This film has only three real actors, and one of them just killed another!"