Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If you look on amazon.com for Driver San Francisco for the ps3, apparently my review is the only negative one there. And game fans are hating it. Every few days I get an email from amazon saying there's been another angry comment on my review. It's keeping me mildly entertained.

I've sorta loss steam with this blog after watching a King of the Hill episode where Hank is forced to read an employee's exhaustive blog about every petty issue in her self-centered life. "It's no wonder she didn't get any work done!"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I spent a long weekend driving around Texas. Texas, where the weather is beautifully warm and the highways have unavoidable surprise tolls. I dig that southern hospitality too. People say it's a fake niceness, but at least they pretend to be nice! Try to talk to a clerk in DC and you'll get nothing but passive hostility.

I got pulled over by a cop because the ticket I had wasn't the right ticket to get through an automatic toll. So I had to back up and find a new lane and the cop thought I was backing up too far. He didn't give me a ticket though, just stopped me and checked my license through his computer. Luckily he didn't notice that "must wear glasses" provision on the back of my license because I definitely wasn't wearing them at the time. (I really only need them at night, and when I'm trying to read signs.)

I have a new grey hair. This one is on the side of my head and is not very flattering. I'm not happy about it.

More later.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm watching The Family Stone. It's sorta like Meet the Parents except the family is super liberal and the guest girl is very up tight. I saw it in the theater with my family 5 years ago and enjoyed it then. Upon a second watching I'm not so sure.

The family in this movie is ridiculous. The mother tells one son that this year's Christmas will not be clothing-optional because they have guests. Umm, gross. Thank goodness. There's an 8 year old granddaughter walking around and you're going to have a clothing optional Christmas?? And then the mother makes condescending remarks about their guest being silly when she says she'd be uncomfortable sharing a bed with her boyfriend in the boyfriend's parents' house. Have a little empathy. I've never met a family that gossips and makes fun of someone behind their back to this extent. Even the grandparents in this family are like little kids.

Sarah Jessica Parker does make some bad moves. She stiffly holds out a hand to everyone she meets like it's a diplomatic event. She speaks really loudly at the deaf brother (though to be fair, I'd probably just not talk to him because that'd be so easy to mess that up). And she makes an insensitive comment about gay parents hoping for straight kids. She immediately starts backpedaling afterwards but that doesn't work. This would cause a awkward silence at most tables, and the gay son was a bit offended, but instead the grandparents start yelling. Sarah Jessica Parker keeps trying to backpedal until finally grandpa bangs his hand on the table for silence. This whole family is out of control.

I don't think my dad has ever banged his hand on the table, actually I can't even remember a time that he's yelled because he was angry. Maybe that's why I have so little patience for impotent outbursts of anger. I'll tell you right now, if anyone ever bangs their hand on the table, I am out of there. I will not be bullied into silence by anyone's childish hand banging. Well, I guess I would be, but I would also immediately leave in silence. Always have an exit strategy.

(talking about the groom's brother at a wedding. I'd been the only one to meet him.)
Lauren: Is Dave short?
me: Umm, he has the proportions of normal man.
Kristen: What, you mean he's not a hobbit?
My hair stylist yesterday said that she could tell from the texture of my hair that I'll have a full head of hair until I'm 50. Score! At this rate though that'll be my greatest achievement as a 50 year old. I just have to hope that men continue to be self-conscious about their hairlines and that there are no new breakthroughs in hair rejuvination medicine in the next 20 years, then I'll be sitting pretty.

The work calls to me. Another 58 hours!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm watching a little Teen Wolf. I was looking at something else on wikipedia and found a link to the show, and noticed it had received mild approval from critics. So today I watched the first two episodes. Some observations:

-What kind of person hears that there has been half of a dead person found in the nearby woods, and decides they want to go look for the other half??? Why would you want to do that? And why would you let that person be your best friend? In high school my best friend wanted to go see a bad movie and I refused to go. Hunting a corpse is absolutely out of the question.

-The main character has an awful lot of hair. He's reminds me of John Travolta in the '70s. People who have a lot of hair are usually really into brushing and styling it, but this guy is more of a "run to school wearing whatever" kind of guy. Maybe it's a Justin Bieber influence on kids today.

-Lots of "I can't control my emotions" and "I can't control my werewolf transformation" moments that don't interest me. I realize it's occasionally hard to control yourself, but grunting and rolling around on the ground is not how real people handle these moments. Man up teen-boy!

-None of the girls are hot. I'm not sure if this is my fault because I'm just too old for high school girls now. But there are only two female character and I don't find either of them to be particularly attractive. They remind me of the girls on the OC. Angular chins and long wavey hair. At least the popular one is competent at Algebra II. Friday Night Lights had some hot high school-ish girls. Let's get it together, Teen Wolf!

-Do most people know how to play lacrosse? I certainly don't. I was going to call BS on there even being lacrosse in California, because we didn't have it at my high school, but apparently there is a small league out there. I know I hadn't even heard of the game until seeing it in American Pie. What exactly are you supposed to do when someone has the ball in their- ...basket-stick-thing and comes running towards you? Apparently "tackle" is not the answer. But not knowing what the defenders are even trying to do makes the guy's spins and leaps less impressive. Lacrosse is heavily featured in this show. I wish they'd included a scene explaining how it's played.

-I like how the "super speed" isn't conveyed using fast motion film, the way it is in Vampire Diaries and True Blood. That never looked very convincing.

(Trent Reznor, to fans after finding out his new album was retailing for $30)
"You know what that means. Steal it. Steal away. Steal, steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealing."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello, All. (Rachel, Sarah, family.) This month I need to do work, so I won't be updating again here until October, but I should update now while I'm thinking about it.

I made it to NYC two weeks ago just in time to get hit by Hurricane Irene. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but all the buses shut down 24 hours before the storm. So I couldn't get back to DC and ended up unexpectedly spending a few days at my cousins Brian and Linda's place. They were very nice about it and power didn't go out or anything. It would have been fun if I wasn't stressed about late work and if I had more than a single change of clothes.

Then last weekend I was in New Orleans in time for tropical storm Lee. That was really just a lot of rain but I think it was the first storm since Katrina and a lot of people were worried about flooding. We had sandbags ready, but I was unconvinced as to their standing-water effectiveness, which my host did not appreciate. Apparently blind optimism is preferred in some situations.

I'm buying some Vietnamese coffee equipment from Amazon because Linda showed me how to make it in NYC. It's surprisingly easy, but my order is $2 short of Amazon's free shipping. Now I'm looking at videogames to add. How did I not hear about a Donkey Kong Country sequel being released for wii? I thought about buying that, or Super Mario All-Stars, or Punch-Out, but in the end bought none of the above. Next month though I'm hoping to redbox rent the new Deus Ex. It's gotten good reviews but I've been fooled by glowing videogame reviews before. Instead I'm going for a $3 mouse pad. I spilled a drink on this one and it's all gross.

Oh, according to facebook Julie is getting married this weekend! I hope to spot photos on facebook later.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There was an earthquake yesterday afternoon. Lots of west coast jerks on facebook thought it was funny that we got worried over a 5.8 earthquake. "Out here we eat 5.8 earthquakes for breakfast!" Har, har, har, asshole. You must be really popular. The difference is that California buildings are designed to handle earthquakes so you can sit pretty, comforted by your rigid building codes. If I was in the middle of the desert I wouldn't care about any sized earthquake. It's collapsing structures that are the cause for concern, not the possibility of falling and bruising your ass. Dumb ass. If there was a little tornado in California I wonder if the Midwest would say "I eat F1 tornadoes for breakfast! Just go to your basement!"

My apartment building was built in 1926, and is made out of concrete that is older than the freeway that collapsed in Oakland in the 1989 earthquake. (An earthquake which I remember, and it didn't scare me nearly as much as this one because I was at my parents' solidly built house in the CA woods when it happened.) I didn't crawl under my desk, but for 20 seconds I stood in my 4th floor apartment's doorway, listened to the building creak and groan while swaying, and thought "If this keeps up much longer, it is going to collapse and I am going to die." And any of you would have thought the same thing. It was a little traumatizing.

Now I have some deep cracks in the concrete in the hallways of my building. You can see spots where the wall is no longer flat because I guess part of it has moved. The water and gas and everything still works so I suppose its fine as long as there's never another quake, but still I'm not comfortable with it. Large buildings this old should come with a warning in the lease.

"I have studied geology and therefore earthquakes and know that a 5.8 is not the end of the world." My esteem for geologists just plummeted, because you are an idiot. The earthquake started as a subtle tremor and got progressively stronger. During the quake nobody knew how strong it was going to get. And I'm sure you're not qualified to look around and tell how strong an earthquake these different east coast buildings will withstand.

I don't think I've ever been more angry at idiots.

Phil: Joe, it's tall, dark and handsome. Two out of three isn't bad.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I've been reading A Game of Thrones and am now on it's sequel (can't remember the name). The HBO series does actually cover the entire first book, and does it pretty well. I didn't notice anything really missing except some some minor battles towards the end. So you can probably skip that book if you've watched the whole tv season.

The books have much less sex than HBO, though there's still a little of it and it is occasionally more graphic than most fantasy books. Also there's less of a rivalry between Littlefinger and Varleys the eunuch. The book makes it clear that Varys the eunuch is the sneaky spy master while Littlefinger is just a nobleman who for some reason sits on the king's counsel, while in the tv series the two both seem to have extensive and comparative networks of spies. Finally I think the king's brother is gay in the HBO series but none of the characters are mentioned as being gay in the books. Maybe that'll be made more plain later in the books though.

I like most of the characters and it's an engaging, though slow-paced story. I have two complaints. First, the female villains are all two dimensional pseudo-characters and the female protagonists are only slightly better. I also don't care at all about the woman across the sea or that silly mish-mash barbarian culture. I should have just skipped her chapters. The other thing I don't like is the chapter structure. It seems like the author purposefully ends one chapter just when it's starting to get interesting and then jumps storylines to the least interesting storyline possible. Or maybe he only does this sometimes, but it just seems like every time because it's so incredibly annoying.

Penny: Has Leonard ever dated any regular girls?
Sheldon: Well, I assume that you're not talking about digestive regularity, because I've come to learn that such inquiries are inappropriate.
Penny: No, I mean has he ever dated someone who wasn't a brainiac?
Sheldon: Oh, well there was this one girl who had a PhD in French Literature.
Penny: How is that not a brainiac?
Sheldon: Well, for one thing, she was French. For another, it was literature.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What is the name of the phenomenon of light bending as it travels from one medium to another? Answer: Refraction! There was a physics question at last night's trivia and I was all over it! Though I think Rachel knew the answer too. This makes up for me confusing Ohm's law and Ampere's law a few months ago.

It was a busy July and now it is a busy August. I went to Courtney's wedding in Texas and then Rachel's wedding in Cape Cod, then spent a week in Mississippi doing construction, and then a week in New Orleans relaxing. So, very briefly:

Courtney's wedding was a great time. I was at a ranch near Houston and then out in downtown Austin. I really like the Dickens side of my family and am happy to hang out with all of them. They're just so friendly! Maybe it's a fake southern hospitality thing, but I'll take it! I was originally just going to do a Thursday-Sunday trip but then extended it because Courtney has been living in London for the past few years and I haven't seen her at all. So after the wedding I stayed in Austin with Courtney and Phil, and a bunch of their friends. Staying in a downtown hotel and wandering the downtown Austin bars is almost like being in DC, except everyone there is very laidback and beers are 1/3 the price. Also we have no dueling pianos in DC.

Rachel's wedding was also fun, but more rushed than I would have preferred. I drove up with Puja and Sunjeev, and what was supposed to be a 8 hour drive turned into 12 hours, which is longer than any drive should be. So we arrived Friday night, got lunch and went swimming on Saturday, Rachel's wedding Saturday evening, and then we drove back on Sunday. It was busy. Driving with Puja and Sunjeev was fine (when Puja wasn't checking my alertness by asking me to explain the entire Rent storyline), but I really should have flown. And then I should have taken an extra day or two to relax on the cape. But I got a photo with me and Rachel when she was all decked out, which was all I really wanted, and I bought a drink for Diana, and I discovered that while I can dance just fine to club music while intoxicated, more alcohol will not enable me to hand jive or whatever to oldies songs. And there were a lot of oldies songs at this wedding.

I wish I'd taken more photos at both events. You see dozens of people everywhere taking photos and think it's unnecessary for you to take your own, but then it turns out that nobody wants to share their photos! Everyone is privacy-paranoid with their facebook photos.

The construction at Mississippi wasn't too exciting. I met some nice people, some people I didn't appreciate as much, and had a very stress-free week. Construction each day, and the Hearts card game and ice cream trips each night. It turns out that I really don't enjoy being both sweaty and covered with dirt/sawdust. The combination of the two is 10x worse than either being dirty or sweaty on its own. I guess that much like Jesus, my contribution to the world will not be by following a parent into carpentry. I am good at hearts though, especially when playing conservatively I can pretty consistently get the fewest points.

New Orleans was a lot more fun that I thought it would be. Alcohol is dirt cheap, everyone is eager to give you a to-go cup, and you can just walk around or even drive around while drinking. Also pretty much every meal had something surprisingly delicious. I'm not normally a food person but this was all great stuff! I had some fried oysters and actually enjoyed oysters for the first time. (Raw oysters are inedible.) On the downside, the weather is routinely hot and humid like the very worst days of DC summer, and it only gets hotter at night for some reason.

I'm going to be working hard this biweek. I'm hoping to meet up with Dave in NYC at the end of the month.

And I'm posting from my office so no quotes this time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Megamind >> Despicable Me

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I've been watching The Walking Dead. It's okay. Some moments of good writing and a few of pretty terrible writing. A lot of characters I don't care about. Especially the female characters who tend to alternate between breaking-down crying or getting really bossy. Maybe I'm sexist, or the show is.

The secret to surviving a zombie attack is the same as in real estate: location, location, location. It is not sticking together, which is what the characters on this show like to tell each other. "We've got to stick together!" The number of people is a moot point if you get swarmed with zombies, which is more likely to happen if you're sticking with noisy, dumb people. I guess if you know you're incapable of surviving alone then you should find someone who is competent to latch onto. But that's how life is for some people, zombies or no.

So location. Just be where the zombies are not. Take your supplies to the middle of the desert. Zombies don't drive, and if they do you'll see them coming 20 miles away. Or if you're near a coast take a boat out. Zombies won't swim.

I wonder if part of the zombie appeal is the average sci-fi geek knowing that he could easily take out a string of zombies with just a shovel or a hammer. It's so manly! Just a man and his trusty shovel, breaking bones of aggressors who can only clumsily try to grab at him.

And how could zombies possibly overrun a military base? Every man with a gun can take out dozens of zombies without a problem. I guess they didn't know at first where to shoot, but how long would that really take to figure out? After the first zombie didn't die until his head was blown off, I think I'd start aiming for the head. Heck, a lot of those macho military guys could probably take on endless zombies just using an improvised club.

The last episode of The Walking Dead is weak. Some extremely contrived events and poorly thought characters. It's funny that one guy introduces himself as "Doctor Edwin". Even after the apocalypse, doctors will cling to their titles.

There's a moment near the end where the doctor says "Before you go..." and he leans in and whispers something in the main guy's ear while everyone else is just watching them. I find myself not caring at all what he said. But from reading a couple online reviews, I guess I'm the only one who isn't actively pondering what one adult man might decide to whisper into the ear of another. They tried to pull a Lost trick and I'm disappointed in the writer's cheap tactics.

(comments about a news article about LightSquared's wireless network causing GPS interference)
kdavis: GPS's are so useful to me that I'm very biased here. I travel a lot for business, maybe 15-20 business trips per year, and get lost easily. The GPS has improved my quality of life more than any single device invented in my lifetime. Frankly, if somebody found a way to eliminate HIV but it would wipe out GPS's, I would choose saving the GPS's.
NotContinuum: kdavis: I will now kill you, bury you, and piss on your grave.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm thinking of changing a flight next month and American Airlines is screwing me. There's a $150 change fee!!!! Crazy! I can get an entirely new one-way flight for less than that! Now I'm trying to figure out a way to not use my return ticket while also screwing AA out of giving away my seat.

(from a forum discussing whether King of the Hill makes fun of the South)
Drocket: Seriously, just look at the characters in Kind of the Hill:
Hank: A staunch Bush supporter, Hank is constantly misunderstanding just about everything that goes on around him because he's stuck in a fantasy-land of 'traditional American values.' Every other episode has Hank spend the first half failing to notice a problem until it smacks him in the face.
Peggy: A smarmy know-it-all who's a complete idiot.
Bobby: Also an idiot, Bobby wants to be an actor/comedian, which horrifies his father. Bobby regularly gets into 'liberal'-type situation, which cause Hank to freak out.
Luanne - a blond idiot
Dale - a paranoid idiot
Bill - a bald idiot
Boomhauer - unable to say anything even remotely comprehensible. May or may not be an idiot

Monday, June 27, 2011

I saw X-Men first class yesterday. I would have skipped on it and tried to see Thor instead but Kate Reid wanted to see X-Men. It was okay. Actually, I'll go ahead and say it was decent. Marvel comics movie tend to rely heavily on CGI and comic book fan pandering. Xavier makes a stupid joke about his hair, or Xavier and Magneto walk into a bar and Hugh Jackman (as an unnamed Wolverine) tells them to get lost, and the theater audience ate it up like a new episode of Seinfeld. That and there was a tedious 10 minute scene where all these characters are sitting together and they go around in a circle showing off "what they can do." Ugh, shoot me now. 10 minutes of bland "stand back!" dialogue and CGI, but luckily it was all inter-spliced with scenes of Xavier and Magneto actually moving the plot along somewhere else.

My biggest problem with the movie is this character called Banshee. He's sort of a weird looking guy, and I remember him a little from the comics but I never paid much attention to him. His talent is to make noise, and I guess he has some internal sonar too, okay whatever. But he can also fly by making noise at the ground. One of the characters says that so long as he makes supersonic sounds, it'll let him fly. How could you even think that is plausible? Supersonic means faster than the speed of sound. How do you make sounds of different speeds? Well, you don't. There is only one speed of sound. Unless you're controlling the air temperature/pressure. And how would a sound keep you afloat? Answer: it couldn't. The comic book writers have confused sound with wind, and the two are not at all the same. Sound is just a vibration, it won't push things over or kickback at you like shooting a gun. If your mouth was blasting the air that carried the sound in it, then it would take a noticeably long time to even hear the person talking from across the room.

So I didn't like Banshee. Beast's feet were super gross and they were heavily featured. Mistique's constant self-pity was boring, but I guess that was necessary to have her shift from Xavier's sister to working for Magneto. The whole "everyone's mutation is different" premise has seemed stupid since high school, as has having a mutation that lets you do physically impossible things like control magnetic forces or read minds. But the movie only threw these things in your face some of the time. And there were a few inspired moments, like with the Navy captains who are reluctant to start world war 3. So I'll give it a B for what it was, a comic book movie. I don't have high hopes for Green Lantern, but I still want to see Thor at some point.

(from a star trek forum)
Bryan: I still chuckle over a scene in the "Gambit" episode when the Enterprise detains and inspects a small Klingon transport on fairly flimsy legal grounds. At one point, Worf tells Crusher "we could claim [his] computer was generating unusual signals" as a pretext for a more thorough search than the law allows. It's nice to see situational ethics aren't limited to humans.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I watched Something the Lord Made, which I thought was going to be a Christian movie, but it's not. It's about doctors at Johns Hopkins. Some good acting by Alan Rickman and Mos Def and some decent dialogue. Nothing super memorable. For me, the most striking thing is how important it is to these doctors that they be referred to as "doctor".

When Mos Def is first talking to Alan Rickman he calls him "sir" a few times, and each time Alan Rickman says "call me Doctor." Mos Def couldn't be called Doctor because he hadn't gone to med school, and his honorary doctorate at the end of the movie was like the tear-jerker Rudy moment, because until then he could not be addressed as Doctor. Mos Def stuck out because that's how doctors talk to each other: "Hello Dr. _" "Dr. _, would you hand me that tool?" Never a first name. It's like a mutual ego-masturbation orgy when a bunch of doctors get together at the water cooler. "Hello Doctor!" "How are you, Doctor?" They kinda do the same thing in The Big Bang theory, where the PhDs all look down on Howard as not being a doctor. I get that it takes a lot of time and study to get a MD/PhD, but it seems very dumb to ascribe that much importance to your name.

I guess you can ascribe your sense of self-importance to anything you want. I know mine is entirely based on a combination of this full head of hair on my head and how good I am at Tekken. If all my hair falls out in the shower one day that will be exceptionally traumatizing. (I'd have to practice extra hard at Tekken to compensate.)

Puja said I could call her Doctor Puja if she ends up getting a phd. Funny, but I never will. I don't call anyone "Doctor" unless I'm talking about my doctor to other people, and it's because the function is more important than the name (in the context of the conversation at least), just liked I'd say "my boss" or "my mom" instead of giving out specific names. Nor do I call my coworkers "Examiner" though some of them are weirdos and insist on that when talking to attorneys. I've never been in the army, but they take their titles very seriously. I'm not sure how I'd handle that. There's a lot about the military culture I'd have problems with.

They should start making up titles for more things. People who have run a marathon should be granted a "Marathonus" title. And people who are better than me at Tekken should get a "King of the Iron Fist" title. (In the game story, the "king of the iron fist" is the belt you win when you beat the tournament.) King of the Iron Fist that will be the best title, obviously, because it takes good reflexes and a lot of years of practice to get this good at Tekken, and we could use the prefix "King" for short. -King Schell

(from Zombieland, caught this on tv today on Encore, which I didn't know was part of my cable tv package)
Tallahassee: I'm not great at farewells, so, uh, that'll do, pig.
Colombus: That's the worst goodbye I've ever heard, and you stole it from a movie.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I sure hope the beeping noise that the tractor across the street makes when it's put into reverse has saved lives somewhere. The beeping is louder than my alarm clock and the driver is just sitting with it in reverse, not even moving. If I had a knife I would stab something.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I watched the first two episodes of The Killing. I had read some good reviews but wasn't totally sure what to expect. The first episode was good and the second episode was decent, when it's actually about the murder investigation. For some reason they devote a major subplot to a mayoral candidate rooting out disloyalty among his staff. It starts out totally unrelated, becomes potentially slightly related, and then becomes totally unrelated again. But we keep following his campaign drama for like a third of each episode. And it doesn't amount to anything and it's boring. I also feel like the show's just getting asymptotically slower to drag the murder investigation out over an entire season. It's like the movie Mystic River, but in Seattle and 10 times slower.. and 1/3 of it is about this random unrelated guy running for mayor.

Also the main character lady detective is a smiley near-albino that you have to kinda squint to determine that she actually has eyebrows. But I won't let that affect my score.

Episode 1 (two parter, so technically the first two episodes): 7/10, Episode 2: 6/10. I'm not gonna watch any more of them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I wish I could smack whoever decided that every single desk in my office has to have a little pull out keyboard tray. That thing sticks out uncomfortable far, provides no wrist support, and kinda shakes because it has a flimsy hinge attaching it to the desk.

I would also lecture whoever decided that it needs to be 68 degrees in here. I know it's 90+ and humid outside, but we're inside! And we sit all day. I would be comfortable if I was 50 pounds heavier and on a high-sodium diet.

My final complaint: the permenant workers here have leeched all the good chairs from our temperary offices. I come into the office and end up sitting in something that has broken armrests, or today my chair has a back that's about half as tall as a normal chair. I don't mind it too much because it keeps me from falling asleep, but it's still not right to be only given the chairs that nobody else wants. I should take the worst chair down here up to a random office upstairs and switch it with a good one each evening.

I haven't written anything here in a while. Some quick movie/tv reviews:

127 hours - Pretty good movie. 8/10. I was worried it would be like Buried, but it turned out much better. Mostly because somehow the main character never broke down in dispair. He was like Hatchet, methodically going about surviving and trying to free himself.

I am Number 4 - This movie was terrible. Though the title is terrible and the preview is stupid, so what were you expecting. It's based on a series of kids books, and you can tell. Even Timothy Olfant cannot save it from its premise. The only good thing I can say is that things kept exploding and I didn't fall asleep. 3/10.

Tangled - Unmemorable but not bad. The male lead is the charming rogue, sorta like Aladdin, and the girl is like the little Mermaid or even Princess Jasmine. She doesn't really have much character. Neither does the guy actually, he's no Gaston. It had a few funny bits though, and I liked the horse. 6.5/10.

Star Trek 1 - I fell asleep watching this. Too many sweeping shots of, what in 1978 were probably good graphical effects, but are pretty terrible by today's standards. And the original Enterprise has to be the least asthetically pleasing thing floating in space. The plot felt like 2 or 3 episodes squished together, none of which were very interesting. 2/10. 4/10 if you're a star trek fan or 6/10 of you're a ToS fan. I've heard that only the even numbered star trek films are good, and that might be true.

Justified - I really enjoyed this show. It's like Nash Bridges, or even Walker, Texas Ranger, but Timothy Olfant plays the main character as being so smooth and friendly. Even the people trying to kill him like him. The first few episodes where he talks about having killed a guy as "It was justified" in that southern drawl will win you over. Season 1 is too episodic but season 2 is much better, and I liked the support characters in season 2. Season 1: 8/10, Season 2: 9.5/10.

I was looking through Amazon reviews of the movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and found one guy who game a detailed, positive review. And he sounded very reasonable and convincing. Then I click on his "other reviews" link, and find 12 pages of super long reviews of ANIME! Okay, I take it all back, clearly he and I have nothing in common. I'm not going to take movie advice from an anime fan. It's like getting tv show advice from someone who loves soap operas. I don't mind people watching anime, I just wish they would stay off the mainstream internet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I've been watching Workaholics. I caught an episode a couple weeks ago because I was watching something else on Comedy Central and there was a commercial for an upcoming episode where the guys visit a gathering of Juggalos. I have a tender spot in my heart for ICP so I set my dvr to record the show and watched it later.

The show is surprisingly good, in a very crude, juvenile sort of way. It's like Aways Sunny in Philadelphia but the characters are slightly less malicious and much more focused on drugs.

I'm not really seeing many clips online but here is a really short one. If you can get past the super annoying, super loud comedy central ads. (Rogain ads for me, clearly not being seeded by my google search history.)

(forum about Achron, a strategy game where you can issue commands into the past)
Vexing: “After a classic pincer movement from 50 seconds into the future and 10 seconds in the past, Red counterstrikes with Aerial… no! The factory was destroyed 20 seconds ago, annihilating the future assault!”
Murray: As long as I get to say “Marty, you’re not thinking fourth-dimensionally!!” multiple times while playing
Malibu: The only winning move is not to play?
Daiv: Actually the only winning move is to already have won.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I watched Due Date. The movie went from bad, to very bad, to almost turn-this-off bad, and then back to just bad. There weren't a lot of funny parts and the beginning was just a series of authority figures physically attacking Robert Downy Jr for no reason, something I tend to not find very funny. Getting shot with rubber bullets by an air marshal: not funny. Getting assaulted by a crazy handicapped war veteran: also not funny. And Zach Galifianakis playing his usual weirdo, digusting character has gotten old.

But I did enjoy Zach Galifianakis doing an impression of the Godfather, and there were a few times that Robert Downy Jr was making fun of Zach Galifianakis that were kinda funny. There was also an interesting scene where Robert Downy Jr is trying to prove that Zach Galifianakis is a bad actor, and tells him to pretend that Zach is a football coach whose wife is divorcing him. Zach does such a good job it's almost like it was bringing up issues from Zach's character's past. But they never touched on it again.

I guess it's just the physical humor in the beginning that was lost on me. I wasn't raised on the three stooges.

(from a guide about building your own computer)
Watch out for money-saving opportunities. For instance, many items come with a rebate offer attached. A rebate works like this: the manufacturer promises to give you money if you buy a product, and then once you buy the product, they do not actually give you money.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I had two nightmares last night. Right in a row! I haven't had a nightmare in like a decade. I think it was because I bought a Chop't sandwich/salad, ate it too fast, fell into a food coma while watching tv, and then went from sleeping on my couch straight to sleeping in bed. Usually I'm alright with the food coma sleep, but I've heard it can be unsettling sleeping while digesting... or something. Dang, Chop't! Let's get it together. Expensive and subconsciously disturbing.

(from xkcdsucks)
There's really nothing to be said for this one, except that some people are praising it for some reason--I think people are so used to Randy's godawful walls of text that when he produces a comic without words they feel such a wave of relief they mistake that for a well-made comic

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I've been experimenting with blending some fresh spinach into my smoothie. Sarah suggested it a while ago. Yesterday I did a strawberry smoothie with a small handful of spinach and today I made a banana smoothie with a medium sized handful of spinach. In neither smoothie can you taste the spinach, but both smoothies had little bits of spinach that you can kinda feel on your teeth. There's a small chance you can taste a tint of greenery flavor. I'd need to do some direct taste tests to be sure.

(forum about a mythbusters error)
EJanitor: Anyone who watches Mythbusters for scientific reasons should maybe start watching Star trek instead. This is all entertainment, it has nothing to do with scientific accuracy.
Overly Critical: Hey, they're teaching kids to go out and prove things for themselves rather than believe them off the bat, and that's never a bad thing.
syousef: The Mythbusters basically piss on the scientific method in every show, drawing wild conclusions from a single ill thought out experiment, often with no controls (or weak ones), and often testing a single instance or brand and then generalising for all of that type of product.
evwah: not to mention that they always try to prove stupid crap like "a rolling stone gathers no moss". I'm waiting for them to try "the grass is always greener on the other side", or "it takes one to know one".

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I watched The Prestige yesterday, and I figured out everything about half way through. Usually I'm like the last person to figure out a mystery, probably because I tend to read while watching tv, so it makes me think that the Prestige was more predictable than the director thought it was. It was entertaining though.

(about Apple suing a guy over selling "White iPhone" kits)
PlushLish: So wait...He sold a kit which made the phone look white. Not changed the software, not sold knock-offs from his trunk, not sold real iPhones at recess...what's the problem? I can put a bedazzled cover on my phone but Swarovski can't sue me.
Dude: Anyone can sue anyone. Winning is something different. Apparently Apple's case is so bad that this teen doesn't even need a lawyer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I got this ASUS EEE PC just before Christmas and I hate it. Its keyboard is too small for my fingers to type on and it has some kind of problem that will slowly corrupt whatever operating system you install. I've installed Windows twice and linux once, and each time the OS works for a week or two and then slowly ruptures, eventually falling apart like a very old car driving down the highway. I'm pretty sure that the problem is either corrupted BIOS or faulty RAM, but I'm not motivated enough to actually fix the problem, because the keyboard is such a pain even when it does work!

So today I went to BestBuy and type-tested a bunch of laptops and netbooks. There are some uncomfortable ones, but by far the worst is that 10 inch ASUS I bought. I don't know how I got so unlucky. I'm leaning toward buying a ThinkPad X120e. Cheap, capable, and with a promising keyboard.

If you want a netbook, and we're on good terms, you can have this almost-working ASUS. I can even tell you how to reflash the BIOS and replace the RAM. Kate Reid has a similar netbook and really likes hers. You'll just need fingers or hands that are smaller than average.

In other news I spotted Kate W's sister and mom on the metro and resisted going over and saying hello. I just blended in with the crowd, which is something I'm pretty good at doing. If it was just Amber (the sister) I'd buddy up and say hello without a thought, and I have in the past when I've run into her. But Kate's mom was always so welcoming and friendly, it'd be weird if she gave me a welcoming hug now, and it'd also be weird if she was suddenly more distant. Plus Kate has probably told them some bad breakup stories about me, just like I'm telling everyone about her. Such is life. Puja once called me Mr. Awkward and liked to say that I'm insensitive to awkwardness, but evidently she's totally wrong. (I was congratulating myself about that as I lurked on the other side of the metro car from Amber and her mother.) I should rename this blog Mr. Sensitivity.

(Mr Garrison teaches algebra on South Park)
x = salagadoola mechicka boola
y = bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
x + y = y
x = 0
Mr Garrison: X equals zero. The song is badly written.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rachel and Peter recommended A Game of Thrones, so I've been watching it recently. I think I've seen 5 episodes now.

I think there should be a limit about the number of characters you can introduce in an hour, because the first episode goes way overboard. Like 20 characters are introduced and I can't remember any of their names.

There's a whole lot of talking and very little action. So far like 6 people have died, so we're averaging a little over one per episode. Despite its medieval setting, it's not an action show.

I feel like they go out of their way to make it an "adult" show. I appreciate the more brutal combat scenes, but then there's a lot of the show that's just weird. Every episode has scenes that take place in a whorehouse with random naked girls. Fine, whatever. Then the most recent episode had a scene of dialogue during which a lady breastfeeds her adolescent child, and another scene of dialogue while a guy has his chest and armpits shaved. With a random closeup on his nipples. I wonder if the Game of Thrones book is like this. I realize that a lot of people don't have the patience for a whole lot of dialogue, but putting the dialogue during a chest-shaving episode is not a solution.

I always thought the books were about Machiavellian scheming, but there's surprisingly little of that. I enjoy the scenes with the dwarf. He's the most witty and insightful of the characters. I don't like the blond prince and princess because they're just way too blond. The prince is the unlikely combination of cruel, unintelligent, and basically living on the lam, and the princess is the same except less cruel (or at least we don't see it). They're so blond, they remind me of the Girls Next Door, or the elves in Lord of the Rings. Speaking of Lord of the Rings, somehow those movies managed to imply that a character was crazy, without submitting the audience to scenes of a grown child breastfeeding. Ugh.

Note to self: never order kung pao chicken. Pictures on the internet make it look tasty, but it's 90% inedible squash and peppers. I feel like I've fallen for this trick before. These chinese food dishes need more descriptive names. Kung Pao = peanuts, peppers and squash. Doesn't sound as good now, does it? Stick with what you know, Joseph.

(from facebook. Sarah is a girl from my jr high. She's married now with a son and daughter)
Sarah: Well Zane finally pulled the Christmas tree over on top of himself last night. Thank god it's just a small fake one, and the ornaments are not glass. Can't wait for a real tree to topple over in my living room.
Ian: Such a lil' monster!!!
Sarah: You know it. I think he gets it form his dad. Too much muscle packed into such a little man.
Sarah: I mean Zaks not little, I was talking about Zane there.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Irene's visit was a success. We did a lot of things I wouldn't normally do and it was kinda exhausting. We went to an artist open house, toured the National Cathedral, and I saw Eastern Market for the first time. Kate R has made fun of me for years for having lived in DC without seeing Eastern Market, but I gotta say, it's not very spectacular. It's just a large market of homemade whatnots. Maybe Kate sees a different side of it.

I ran into Lindsey at Safeway. She's moving out of DC in a couple weeks, headed for Indiana. Bummer. We never really hung out, but I'd run into her occasionally at Courthouse or around Adams Morgan and would always be happy to stop and chat with her. But everybody leaves DC eventually. From facebook I gather that Kate W is moving to New Orleans this summer for school. I wonder if it's possible to reach a point where you don't actually know anybody in a city.

(The rest of this entry is about St Elmo's Fire, you can skip it if you want.)

I watched St Elmo's Fire today. Mehrnaz is a big fan and once tried to get me to watch the movie, but I only caught a tiny bit of it with her and was never interested enough to go out and see the rest of it. I spotted it on the cable schedule and on a whim I recorded it on my dvr. Verdit: it is better than I thought.

I don't remember any of the characters' names, but I really enjoyed Emilio Estavez's character who finds a woman he likes and proceeds to stalk her with the single-minded fury of a middle schooler. He was a high point of the movie. Judd Nelson plays a hill worker who bullies his friends and cheats on his fiance. (I'm not sure I believe that a lingerie saleswoman would ever offer to model something for a customer, but I've never been lingerie shopping so I guess it's possible.) Rob Lowe was a very unconvincing sax player, but sorta convincing as a fratboy loser who hits on every woman he sees and is incapable of holding a job. That seems like how Rob Lowe would be if he wasn't an actor. Demi Moore sorta played the same character, but the female version, and with a little more subtlety. Their stories were not as interesting.

Andrew McCarthy plays an annoying passive listless writer who is so casual with the local prostitute that he lets her flirtatiously stick her fingers into his mouth. Gross! I guess nobody worried about anything in the 80s. That's another one of the movie's themes. Nobody worries about anything, be it jobs or relationships or their friends. A lot of the movie is pretty predictable because we've all seen how these things end. Various bad moves include: stalking a girl through the rain on your bicycle, being secretly in love with your best friend's girlfriend and then confessing it all the night they've broken up, cheating on your fiance until she accepts your proposal... it's a long list.

Anyway it was an interesting movie. Not my favorite, but better than the 47% rotten tomatoes has given it. And I enjoyed some of the shots of DC. The Tombs looks similar in some scenes, though it's totally different from the outside. And the Georgetown shots look pretty accurate. The only weird sets are the various apartments. Two of the characters live in some kind of expansive loft. Something you might find in NYC but not in DC. Though DC was definitely different in the 80s. So maybe if you went to a sketchy neighborhood you could get a gigantic loft back then.

Just reading a rotten tomatoes review. Apparently there's a Demi Moore sex scene that my cable tv version didn't have! Screwed by basic cable!

Sheldon: I've written a new and improved roommate agreement that benefits me greatly. I'd like you to sign it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tonight I read through some xkcd. The xkcd hatred will never die.

895 isn't funny, but it is interesting because I've often heard space-time described as being like a sheet being distorted by the gravity of massive objects. But this wouldn't be part of an "understanding gravity" lecture because it has little to do with explaining gravity. Instead it explains space-time. I'm glad I'm not a teacher because I would have little tolerance for smart-mouth students who raise non-issues just to be disruptive or show off. And if any kid announced "boooooring" during my lecture I'd give him detention in an instant. Damn kids. Randall sometimes likes to draw comics where one snarky kid derails a lecture with his pointed questions. It's the student he wishes he could have been: too cool for school, and everyone would have known he's super smart without thinking he's a kiss up who participates constructively.

894 is not funny. It's just.. puzzling. Guy thinks we need to feel some collective sense of pride as a species for being good at things. He asks a stupid rhetorical question that implies that he thinks computers are a competing species. And the girl says we're good at teaching, which I guess means programming, which technically computers are significantly better at anyway. (That's why programming has gotten more and more abstracted.) Obviously there are no other species that are capable of programming computers. And then the guy says something stupid. Anti-education, anti-understanding that she's using "teaching" to mean "programming"? I dunno. Put two dumb people in a room, feed them the tech news, and record resulting dialogue as they struggle to understand humanity's relationship with computers and to communicate with each other.

893. This was the real reason I started typing about xkcd tonight. At first I read this and thought, are we really sending that many people to the moon? It seems to imply that we've been sending 10 people a year for the past 40 years. Or is it a cumulative count, but then shouldn't it just keep going up? The number of people who have walked on the moon can't decrease. I ignored the caption's use of the phrase "living humans" because obvious dead humans don't walk. That was before I knew that "actuarial tables" meant "lifespan statistics". Okay, so it's a misleading graph. We sent 12 people through the 60s-70s and haven't gone back since. That's what I'd expect. (No real reason to go back, I mean there's nothing there..) And Randall has predicted and graphed the astronauts' lifespans. Not a very polite thing to do. And where's the joke? Maybe the alt tag qualifies as an "interesting point" but it's an old point, and still not funny, and has nothing to do with the graph of moon-walker lifespans.

I should do a detailed graph of xkcd comics' quality over time. Then you could actually see the decline.

(comments from a youtube video of a guy's enormous full-scale model of the Starship Enterprise built in minecraft)
F0ll3nHero: Ok usualy I would troll hardcore on someone for doing something involving the starship enterprise, but this is simply to damn amazing,I can barely make a damn smiley face and you made a 1:1 scale of this megacreation..
demen6159: ill help u if u still need help
Funazzachick: That is absolutely incredible, I'm not sure where you got all of the squares for that but it must have taken AGES. Ingenius really, I couldn't have done it. Time well wasted :)
ih8makinusernames: I hope you feel accomplished. Normally I'd call you a no lifer but I just got done watching a video about a guy who spent 4 years building the "perfect" city in Sim City 3000 so nothing will ever really constitute a No Lifer comment compared to that.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's been the most stressful week of my life since college. Yesterday I got a notice that tomorrow I have a mini-hearing/interrogation where the office HR department is going to grill me about my work habits. Then the HR rep is going to try to argue that I'm defrauding the government by claiming to have worked hours that I didn't really work.

First, to be clear, I am an honest person. I do not skimp on my taxes, I do not twist the truth. If a cop ever asked me how fast I was driving I would tell him if I knew. I'm pretty sure that I have never defrauded anyone and it seems like I should know. They haven't told me exactly what data they have that makes them think so, but I have a few guesses and I'm trying to prepare a non-hostile counter-argument based on them.

The bigger concern is that I talked to a union representative (just because my notification email said I had the right to do so), and he was concerned that maybe management is out to get me and is just looking for an excuse. I guess they do that for marginal employees. I'll have to talk to my supervisor a bit, but I don't think that's the case. At least I'm really hoping not.

I had a stomachache all day yesterday and it's been coming and going today. It's quite stressful knowing that someone is out to get you. And then not knowing what she's dug up to base her accusations on. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

I'm picturing something like Bill Gates' deposition in 1998, except my interrogator will also be the one writing up the penalty recommendation so you don't want to upset her. And I don't really have anything to hide (unlike Microsoft's financial assault of Netscape).

The union guy said if they decide that I've been falsifying my timesheets it would result in a suspension. I suspect I can convince them that I haven't done that, but I will have to admit that I'm not always logged into my phone service when I work (which apparently is a serious work-at-home rule that I've always ignored because I get like 1 phone call a month, you get a little email-like notification in outlook when someone leaves a voicemail, the VPN is already slow without needing my telephone software making it worse, and nobody has ever complained that I'm unreachable). I've also broken a rule about requesting vacation time 3+ days in advance, and it's possible that I've been subconsciously counting hours worked between 10pm and midnight, which you're not supposed to do. They seem like small things but rules are rules. I might still get suspended. Honestly, I have no idea what's going on, and my supervisor says he doesn't know either. I guess I could get fired. Yikes.

They could make this process much less stressful with very little work if they wanted. It's been really tough getting work done this week and I have lots of work due before my sister shows up on Friday. And I still have to clean some. Oh, Irene is visiting me this weekend! The first family visit since 2005. I see family in CA, they just don't often come this way. I'm not sure what we'll do here.

(this exchange occurred over a series of emails)
me: Hey what's your cell number? I lost my phone two weeks ago and all my numbers with it.
Spittle: [sends his number]
Spittle: gotta love that. reply within 1 minute.
me: you're quick with that number. if you were a girl i'd call you a phone slut. or a tease if you're one of those girls who gives out the number with no intention of responding to a voicemail. slut.
Spittle: I'd be the girl that says "okay ready? 2-0-2 - 2-2-2 - 2 GOOD FOR YOU! AHAHAHAHAHA"

Friday, April 22, 2011

I was watching an episode of Smallville the other day. Not a great show, barely watchable actually. I think that if I didn't like superman I wouldn't like the show at all. It's not very well written, there's no main villian, Clark's parents give dumb, feel-good advice, and I couldn't care less whether Clark and Lana ever get together. It's a bad show but I keep watching because I have a silly hope that each episode will be better than the previous. But I didn't bring up the show just to bash it. Yesterday I watched an episode where Clark got some red kryptonite that turned him into "evil Clark" who wasn't actually evil, he was just slightly more selfish and impatient than the normal boyscout Clark. He asked out Lana and took her to a bad boy bar full of rebels and no-good frat boys. And you know it was a bad scene because they were playing Andrew WK as dance music (though the dancers were pretending it was something slower). What bar plays Andrew WK? I would go there every day!

Wednesday was Kate Reid's birthday. It was a combined birthday party with one of her housemates. I got the evite and was confused because it was for Jeff's 30th birthday and Kate's Sweet 16. I don't know anyone named Jeff, nor do I know anyone who is 16 years old. Later I figured out that Kate was re-doing her sweet 16 birthday. Apparently guys do not get sweet 16's, something I didn't know. Also I thought it was going to be a quiet birthday since it was midweek, but it turns out that Georgetown spring break starts this week, so Wednesday was like a Friday for the dozens of Georgetown students who were there. So I stayed up too late and drank too much, and spent Thursday nursing a hangover. Today I'm ready to work though!

(Peter comments about the random people who wish him happy birthday on facebook)
Sarah: I wished you happy birthday on facebook!
Peter: I don't mean you, you stay here with us. It's people I never talk to. People who, if they told me they were coming to DC, I'd be like "Eh. Have fun."
(I know he's not talking about me because I definitely didn't wish him a happy birthday on facebook)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saturday was Peter's birthday party. I took a cab and rushed over early, just because Puja had told me she was going to be leaving early, and then it turned out she had cancelled without warning me. So I spent a bit of the night sending Puja pointless text messages, because I know she hates them and they cost her 10 cents each.

Rachel suggested I invite Micros, but I don't have his phone number, nor Eric's phone number to get Micros' phone number. Maybe this whole "get numbers as you talk to people" idea wasn't a great one. So far I have Puja, Rachel, Kate & Kate, and then all my sisters and their husbands, and my cousin James, and the local chinese food place. I guess I don't see a lot of people.

Sarah figured out how to add punctuation to my text messages. It's a very slow process. If you get a text from me with punctuation then it means I really care. (If it's a question, you darn well better answer it.) Except a period or a smiley face, my phone likes to do those. I still can't figure out how to change the auto-completion when it suggests a word. I'm going to be sending a lot of form text messages from now on.

Oh and I spoke to Diana briefly and it wasn't a disaster. It was more successful than I was even hoping.

I got a terrible haircut at the hair cuttery last week but everyone had the good taste to not mention anything. I even had a pretty good story, if it had come up, about how the stylist and I ended up yelling at each other in the middle of the salon because she was cutting it wrong.

(walking with Kate when it's a little cool out)
Kate: I would have to take my hands out of my pockets and I don't want to do that.
me: I've heard that putting your hands in your armpits is warmer than your pockets.
Kate: That's true, for body heat... Or you can cut open the belly of a tauntaun and crawl inside.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I finally finished the Next Generation. Bought the set on dvd 2 years ago and have been slowly watching the episodes. I didn't watch quite every episode, but I gave each one a chance. If I could tell it was going to be bad 20 minutes in, I'd skip. Like that one where all the characters turn into kids. No Patrick Stewart! I could tell right away it was skippable.

The series finale wasn't as good as I was expecting, based on all the critics' raving I'd read. The time-backwards phenomenon was interesting, but it didn't really make a lot of sense. And considering that they were trying to tie this episode to the Encounter at Farpoint premiere, I was expecting something more dramatic.

I think my favorite episodes are the Wounded and Sins of the Father. Pretty much, as soon as Klingons show up, you'd know the episode was going to be a good one. Q is also a pretty good indicator of a good episode, and the borg, though neither is quite as good as the Klingons. I'm not sure now whether to start on DS9 or go back to the Original Series. Haven't watched much of either of them yet.

(from the episode A Matter of Honor, when Riker visits a Klingon ship as part of an officer exchange)
Klag: If Klingon food is too strong for you, perhaps we can get one of the females to breast-feed you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm eating a late dinner and rewatching that episode of Vampire Diaries where both the witch guys get killed. Puja told me that she was surprised that they killed off both characters so quickly, but for me it was like Christmas came early. Both of those characters were annoying. Now I'm mostly just really, really hoping that the brother will die. Ugh, that whiny brother. I've never been much of a bully, but he really provokes the bully-side of me. Every time he's on screen I wish I could punch him in the stomach and stuff him into a locker.

I'm not a huge fan of the girl witch either, but she's really more of a deus ex machina plot device than a person. It bugs me every time she says "my powers" as though she has a specific quantity of spells to work with. When really, she can make feathers float, do a vampire dog-whistle, make water catch fire, and whatever random thing they have the special-effects budget for. Instead she could call it "my magic" or "my reason". As in, reason for being a part of this show. Now she's dating the brother. Maybe they'll go driving together and get in an accident. Then we'd finally have a show free of annoying characters.

I'm surprised Elena, being a doppleganger and all, doesn't have a list of "powers". The girl in true blood can read thoughts and shoot white light. Maybe they'll reveal something later.

My final thought about VD: the wiki is almost unreadable (I was trying to look up the doppleganger powers). It's like a sixth grader wrote this thing. I'm really hoping this isn't because it's directly quoting dialogue from the tv show, but that's very possible.

(Paul Barnett talks about a Nokia presentation at a technology festival)
Nothing more frightening than realizing there’s groups of anthropologists in a room having bananas thrown to them and hooting and throwing leaves in the air who are coming up with how we should use telephones.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I watched Dead Ringers tonight. It's a movie about creepy twin doctors and their crazy issues due to being twins. I was going to make a tasteful, hilarious joke here about how, if you happen to have twins, probably the best thing for everybody would be to drown one of the babies in the bathtub. But then it occurred to me that Ravi is having triplets, and they will probably be creepy. He should put each one in a different daycare, encourage them to develop their own personalities. None of this completing each others sentences creepiness. I also have two uncles who are twins, but they've both been very different for as long as I can remember.

Dave Reynolds sent me a great mug from Micronesia. It's a mug with photos of the governor of Micronesia's face on it. And apparently the mug shots are sort of a forced tradition because he does not look at all happy to have his photograph taken. One photo has him glaring at the camera and the other has him giving a very forced half-smile. If this was a tumbr I'd post photos of it on here. It's really quite funny.

(comments from a provocative news article about how 25% of married women wish their marriage proposal had been more romantic for various reasons. Guys not having rings is one of the cited complaints. Male readers came out of the woodwork to criticize.)
Dubs: "If you like it you should of put a ring on it" so she can lord it over him and constantly remind him how she deserved to have the picture perfect proposal, the perfect wedding, the perfect marriage, the perfect family....and ultimately the perfect divorce...all due to delusions of grandeur and an over inflated sense of entitlement and unrealistic expectations.
Doug: I had the ring when I proposed. I had it made up beforehand. I caught hell because I "should have" proposed then taken her out to buy a ring that she liked. Can't win for losin'. The first gift of many which were unsatisfactory for one reason or another. Oh well.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last Friday I lost my phone in a taxi. Called it a couple times but nobody ever answered, and then the battery died so I gave up. I went to AT&T on Saturday and told the saleslady that I wanted her cheapest phone that had decent battery life and text messaging.

So it's my first flip phone, cost me $10, and the battery life is outstanding! My old phone would last like a day, this one has gone for 3 days now and is still at 5/6 full! Also it's super, super light. I'm pretty pleased. The only downside is that texting is slow and I can't figure out how to put punctuation into my texts. There's going to be a lot of run-on sentence texts from now on.

I don't call the parents for weeks, call up this evening, and get quickly hustled off the phone because I'm interrupting them watching the Boondock Saints! What!?! I'm the first born son!

(from Deuce Bigalow: Male Giggalo. Deuce picks up a woman at a bar.)
Deuce: Maybe we should take care of a little business first.
Claire: If you prefer.
Deuce: I don't have a set price or anything, but I have been getting ten dollars.
Claire: I'm sorry?
Deuce: Well that's my going rate. But I'm willing to negotiate.
Claire: [chuckles] That's funny. But the price is five hundred.
Deuce: You're gonna pay me five hundred dollars?
Claire: No, honey, you pay me.
Deuce: Oh, I get it. This is some kind of role reversal. I'll play along with this.
[deep voice]
Deuce: Okay, 300, 400, 500, you're my hooker. No, seriously, where's my ten dollars?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I watched Buried last night. Could also be called "Ryan Reynolds lies in a box and gets emotional on the phone". There were some moments of excellent acting and some interesting camera work. The reviews I read talked about how you just couldn't stop watching it after you start. And it was like that, but not in a good way. It's like my attention was being held hostage. It wasn't fun. Not great dialogue (though not bad either), and only one character on the screen the whole time. The only reason to watch is to see what happens to the guy, and that didn't really pay off in the end. One review compared to to a movie called Open Water, so I'm going to skip that one too.

A lady posted in the laundry room that she's looking for someone who will walk her kid to school in the mornings. It would be nice to have something to wake up for besides shuffling over to the computer and reading the news. But I don't have any babysitting experience, and I probably don't fit the expected profile. Plus if it's raining and cold out (like it was today) I'd probably try to call in sick, and if the kid had any symptoms of illness I'd instate a 6 foot rule. I'm not your mother.

me: I probably wouldn't join your food group.
Eric: We'll have an O'Schell night! We could make hot pockets... and poptarts!

Monday, March 21, 2011

This morning I set up my regular alarm clock, and then also set my phone's alarm to go off on the other side of the apartment at the same time. It's like training a monkey here. It's sorta working.

Some useful trivia for you: triangulation versus trilateration. This caused me some problems last week because pretty much everyone incorrectly describes GPS and other locating systems as using triangulation, and I end up with the one guy who thinks his system is novel because it uses trilateration.

This week is quite busy for me, I'll be back on here next week.

(From the last time Whitney was off visiting Europe 18 months ago. She's there again right now.)
(4:29:07 PM) me: you're gonna be missing out on doug's last concert in nyc. i'm bussing up tomorrow for it.
(4:29:16 PM) whitney dickens: i know :(
(4:29:22 PM) whitney dickens: im a loser sister.
(4:29:28 PM) me: yep. bad sibling.
(4:29:30 PM) whitney dickens: but, once you get married you have better things to do.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I had another post written up about hairstylists at the hair cuttery, but it was very cynical so I deleted it.

I'm watching some of Good Will Hunting. One of the biggest mysteries in the history of film: how did Matt Damon and Ben Affleck manage to write a good script? I guess if you set a million monkeys typing in a half million rooms, two of them somewhere will type out a good script. Though Ben Affleck also wrote Gone Baby Gone and The Town, so he must carry a brain somewhere above those gorilla shoulders.

It seems more than a little mean to tell someone that the best part of your day is in the morning before you see him, when you're hoping to not see him. I don't think I'd tell my best friend that. Even in the context of that scene it seems mean. Sure, I hope my friends lead successful lives. But even if I was stuck in prison with a friend I don't think I'd hope to wake up each day to find him gone. Well, in prison maybe I would, if I really wanted what was best for him. Hmm. No, I think a last goodbye is always nice. A meaningful handshake to conclude an experience. That always makes for a much better parting.

(from Deadwood, when Richardson is caring for a sickly Farnum, who despises him)
Farnum: Could you have been born, Richardson? And not egg-hatched, as I've always assumed?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For the past year I've used an electric toothbrush and I've always thought that the little light on it is light-sensitive. When you turn off the bathroom light it knows there's nobody in the bathroom and it automatically turns off its charging light. Handy, right? It's like a little reverse night light. Then today I set up a fan in my hallway, where the nearest power outlet is in the bathroom, and I discovered that the fan powered off when I turned off the bathroom light switch. Duh! I can't believe I never knew this. In two seconds, so many mysteries were solved! This is the reason that my razor is sometimes curiously uncharged when I leave it charging over night. And that other electric razor that I got frustrated with and threw out because its battery refused to charge, it was never given a fair chance.

(from a washington post article's comments)
not worth the finger strength I used to click on this article

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm listening to Fiona Apple. Remember her from the 90s? Dan once tried to tell me that she was good and I think I instinctively called him a girl (this was high school). This is the first time I've given her a chance and it turns out that it's pretty decent stuff. She kinda drawls on but it's very smooth, sorta like jazz, which I usually don't have the patience for but I'm exceptionally tired today so maybe that's helping.

(comments about the X-Men: First Class trailer)
The best part of the trailer was seeing Magneto in his full gear and watching Azazel Teleport. I also like the way Magneto was crying when he was trying to lift that ship at the end. I totally understand how he feels, I tried doing that before and got a real big headache.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I just found out that Ravi, my old freshman year roommate is having triplets. I got invited to the baby shower, which is irregular because I'm a man, but Puja invited me to her baby shower too. So maybe it's co-ed in Indian culture. The baby shower invite said nothing about triplets. I had to find out through facebook hints. I was thinking of dropping off a present and skipping out on the baby shower, but I'm not going to buy 3 presents and not get some Indian food out of it.

(from a user review of Prison Tycoon 4, talking about trying to signal the guards that a prisoner's escape hole is behind a pillar)
I clicked the pillar, and I get the building edit screen... grrrrr..... Get the Guard selected again, and try to click the hole.... WORKED. He runs over to the hole... then STOPS. IT's time for his coffee break, so he turns around and walks toward the bunk-house! You would think stopping prisoners from escaping would over-ride his break time.... They must be UNION Guards.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I tried watching Amelie tonight. I really tried. Watched about an hour of that nonsense. This is probably what the rest of the world thinks when they try to watching something like Ace Venture with subtitles. Just a bunch of weird characters being weird and none of the humor gets across the cultural barrier. Do we really need voice-over telling us what random things each character likes and dislikes? I guess someone thought it would add more depth to the characters. "This old man loves de-boning chicken with his fingers! Look at the satisfaction on his face!" Oh, French people. Also it seems unhygienic to allow passing people to stick their hands into your sack of wheat. Even though Amelie likes doing it, she should show a little self-discipline when walking through the market. Maybe that's just me.

Apparently it's difficult to do work and watch a movie with subtitles. I'm reorganizing my netflix queue now to postpone any further foreign movies until April.

Also, I've decided that I'm switching to diet soda. The pepsi I just drank has 300 calories of sugar. That's more than I'd burn if I went down to the gym tonight and used the elliptical until my shirt was dripping sweat. Something I'm definitely not going to do tonight.

(comments about a copyright infringement lawsuit defendent who wrote an impassioned not-guilty plea in response to claims that she downloaded the movie Far Cry)
mogbert: She doesn't sound like she has kids. Also doesn't sound like the type of person who would enjoy an Uwe Boll film, as she used complete sentences and didn't appear to be lobotomized.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This entry would be titled "Joe goes suit shopping" if I were still titling blog entries. My godfather has given me a few suits over the years but many of them don't fit me anymore. I've gained 25 pounds since he first started giving me suits; it's a trend I'm going to have to stop if I want my clothes to continue fitting. Anyway, I've been doing some online suit shopping, which seems like it'd be less time-consuming but I'm not entirely sure that it is. But it's easy to do because my measurements appear to be fairly standard, for a tall skinny guy.

I kinda like the speckled wool suit look, but those are hard to find right now. There's this one from J. Crew, this from Brooks Brothers, and this from Jaeger, but none of them are available in anything close to my size. I especially like how J. Crew pants sizes top out at a 30 inch inseam. (I'm sure they had longer pants before, but why not just include the full length and let people get them hemmed to fit?) I know they're more fall-style suits, so I'll check again in the fall if I'm still interested.

Instead I got this rust-colored suit. (My credit card rewards are exceptionally efficient for brooks brothers, so I got this suit on a heavy discount.) I like the material but I'm not totally sure about the color. It looks good on that white guy but I'm not sure about how it meshes with my complexion. Maybe I'll post a photo of it.

I also got a couple darker suits from Macys.com. Macys is supposed to have decent suits with a very hassle-free return policy, and the mall is on my way to work so returns are convenient. There's a pretty big sale going on now too (my order was 40% off), so I ordered a few things.

I got this Sharkskin suit, and it fits well but I don't really like the material so I'm going to return it. This other Tommy Hilfiger suit also fits well, and I like the subtle striping. The jacket had a white thread sticking out near a button that I tugged on and a 1/2 inch dangling white thread turned into a 2 inch dangling white thread. I could almost hear the jacket unraveling from the inside out. So I'm exchanging the jacket. Finally, I got this DKNY 3-piece suit. It's, eh, okay. Nothing really great about it, and compared to the Tommy Hilfiger suits, the underside of this suit's armpits are very low. You can kinda tell from that photo if you look closely. The jacket restricts your arm movement, which I don't enjoy. So I'm returning this one too.

I'm really going to be pushing the boundaries of Macy's return policy. If it turns out to be really hassle free I might order this three-piece suit after I investigate the complaints one reviewer had about the pants' pattern emphasizing the zipper seam. The Tommy Hilfiger trim fit really suits me. I've been thinking about ordering this cotton suit from J. Crew in case it's brutally hot at Courtney's wedding, but J Crew is definitely not inexpensive and no suit material is going to make 100+ degrees comfortable, so I'll wait on that.

(I'm running late on a case so Micros suggests that I just ignore it and "accidentally" send out the same response I sent before)
me: yeah they'd call me, i'd be like "ooh, mistake, sorry". then like a 50% chance they'd call my supervisor and tell him I'm incompetent.
micros: Nah, we wouldn't do that, as long as you agreed to withdraw it and reset the response date.
me: but i think if i was the attorney i'd complain. you're being too forgiving on someone who isn't doing his job. if someone just sends you the same action for totally wrong claims he's wasting everyone's time
micros: In my experience complaining about examiner incompetence doesn't get you anywhere.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I went to visit Puja today and Sonya vomited everywhere. Apparently she was borderline sick and Puja thought about calling to warn me away but then decided against it. I probably wouldn't have believed her anyway. Puja got all flustered but Sonya was pretty happy, and it didn't really bother me because I was sitting on the one piece of furniture that she didn't puke on.

I watched most of the Lightning Thief, and I feel stupider for it. It is NOT like the first Harry Potter movie. It's more like a teenage boy's version of that movie where the teenage girl discovers that she's a princess. Can't remember it's title. They never explain why everyone is so certain that Percy stole the lightning. And the Athena's daughter girl was kinda cute, but Athena is Zeus's daughter, which makes Athena's daughter Percy's first cousin once removed. Sketchy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some excerpt comics from Buttersafe:

What it means to be alive
Serving the queen
Morning inspiration

(commenting on a news article about prohibiting D&D in prisons because it encourages gang activity)
DarkUnderlord: I'd have thought the Dungeon Master of a D&D game in prison would be more likely of getting stabbed, rather than organising a stabbing. But hey, I guess that's why they've got experts on gang activity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today I did lots of errands downtown. Got my booster shot, finally, for Hep-A. I didn't ask the doctor about whether the fact that it'd been 13 months since the original shot made a difference, since you're supposed to get the booster after 6 months to a year. Hopefully I'm immune now. I'll make sure to ask him if I end up traveling again to somewhere with Hep-A.

I brought a whole bunch of change into Capitol One and used their change machine to exchange it. Ever since my days of having to use the local laundry mat I've kinda saved quarters in a little bag. Sometimes I use them to buy sodas from the vending machine in the basement but otherwise they just kinda sit there untouched. And I finally got around to exchanging them at the machine in the bank. It sifted through and counted them in about a minute. $106 worth. Woohoo! Maybe I'll buy some nicer beer tonight!

I tried to write a check from my capitol one account to my citibank account, and it got marked as "fraudulent" because my signature isn't the same as the signature on file from 6 years ago when I opened the account. So both banks freaked out because they thought I was laundering money or something. I had to make 2 trips to both Capitol One and Citibank (thankfully they're right next to each other downtown) to get everything cleared up. Yes, my signature is not now the same as it was 6 years ago. They could have called me to check on it, or they could have compared my signature to the previous check I wrote, or even looked at a few checks and seen how my signature has kinda evolved over time. The teller at Capitol One admitted that they could have done those things, but sometimes they just don't do their due diligence for some reason. He apologized, said it happened to him once with his rent check and he even works at the bank. If Capitol One wasn't so super convenient I'd switch banks. I have no loyalty.

(at the Three Moves Ahead DC meetup)
me: Is that a Kindle?
Josh: Yeah.
me: How do you like it?
Josh: It's great for reading print. If you read magazines you might want something else.
Troy: This might be a personal question-
Josh: Are you going to ask me whether I take it into the bathroom with me? Because I do.

(Oh, at the 3MA meetup I sat across from and talked to Jon Shaffer, lead designer of Civ 5. Kind of a big deal. Didn't really talk about anything too exciting though, Civ 5 wasn't my favorite game. He said they couldn't avoid the whole "it takes 50 years to explore the other side of the hill" aspect of the game. Eh, I don't believe that but I didn't want to argue with him. Said some other things "off the record" but nothing super juicy, I can't even remember any of it. He's working on revising Elemental's UI right now, he probably said some negative things about it's current UI.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm watching Love Actually, in honor of Valentines day. (Happy VD, everybody.) I have a love-hate relationship with this movie. There are a bunch of stories and they cover the whole spectrum for me. The storylines, as ordered by wikipedia:

Billy Mac & Manager: I really love this story. Billy Mac is a great character, he's like Jack Sparrow but more likable and more real. I love how he's sorta flapping his arms like a hippy when he's singing in the intro scene. As far as I know, Bill Nighy is always fantastic. And this storyline about maturing beyond the rockstar mentality and appreciating your friends warms my heart every time.

Juliet, Peter and Mark: Otherwise known as the weird third-wheel story. I'm not a big fan. The creepster friend likes his best friends' wife so much that he's awkward around her and does... weird stuff. Kiera Knightly is cute but too skinny, and she can't save this storyline. None of the characters are really fleshed out. I did enjoy, the first time I watched the movie, how it kinda tricks you into think the weird one is acting strange because he's gay for his friend. Because that might actually be kinda tragically touching. Instead you find out that he has an unhealthy fixation on his friend's wife. Let down. Maybe if we knew that he somehow knew Kiera Knightly from someone else. But you can't have your friend introduce you to his girlfriend and then decide they you're going to love her too. Or I guess you can, but you're an idiot.

Jamie and Aurélia: I didn't much like this storyline. Some male writer's wish-fulfillment fantasy of having a hot Portuguese maid fall into his arms despite his buffoonery. The end of the story is like something out of a broadway play or a fairytale. They don't even try to make it believable. The story also glosses over how discovering your brother fooling around with your wife will completely destroy a family. That would be a less-than-happy Christmas reunion.

Harry, Karen, and Mia: Kind of an interesting story, and well acted all around, but perhaps too abbreviated. It just isn't given enough time to drive home the drama. And what is up with that scene where Mr Bean takes 10 minutes gift wrapping the necklace while Alan Rickman is trying to rush him the whole time? Is that supposed to be funny? It was just oddly absurd.

David and Natalie: This story was okay, but also clearly a male writer's wish fulfillment of some kind. The young, single prime minister is awkward around women, and happens to have a hot, personable maid working in the white house (or the brit equivalent) who randomly confesses her love for the guy in a Christmas letter. The part about how the president's flirting with Natalie caused David to make a political stand against the USA was clever. But I'm not sure Hugh Grant makes a believable prime minister.

Daniel; Sam and Joanna: Liam Neeson is excellent, as he usually is. And I liked watching him try to connect with his step-son. The Sam and Joanna storyline was ridiculous. First, there's the random acrobatics in the airport at the end. They might as well have made the kid fly like superman. Also the kid looks like he's 12, and is in love with a girl who is 16. Plus she's American. Even if he plays the drums like a rockstar he doesn't have a chance, and that is how it's supposed to be. I'm sure half the guys in high school had crushes on hot senior girls when they were freshmen, and it never amounted to anything because freshmen boy don't really have anything to offer, um, anyone. The writers have stretched reality way too far. At least make the kid likable for some reason. Maybe he's super poetic or witty. Give me an excuse to believe he has a chance with a 16 year old rock star singer girl.

Sarah, Karl and Michael: Gah, this story was depressing. Girl has issues because her brother has serious issues, and you try to help her but you can't. Michael is essentially a non-character and his haircut was like something out of the 80s, and why doesn't he have a british accent?

Colin, Tony, Stacey, Jeannie, Carol-Anne, Harriet and Carla: What a random story to throw in there. It's like they threw in a surreal dream sequence where hot girls are falling out of the sky, but then at the end instead of waking up, the character says "I was awake the whole time!" Again, give me an excuse to believe this story. Milwalkee, Wisconsin? And that has to be the quietest bar I've ever seen. Who knew that's where the hotties go to slum it. It's like the writers went out of their way to make this storyline unbelievable. They could have just inserted this storyline as a cartoon, where all the girls are identical copies of Jessica Rabbit, and it would be equally believable.

John and Judy: Who is this? Oh, the stand ins. I guess a writer thought "wouldn't it be funny if people who are naked together every day for their job still feel awkward about making romantic overtures?" And it turns out that it really isn't that funny. I don't mind them adding boobs to the movie, but I could have easily done without this whole storyline. And then the movie might have been more successful with conservative people. I was at a college church group when they were discussing this movie. The review I got was "That movie is basically porn. I had to walk out." Later I discovered it was because these two characters mime sex as their job and we watch them trying to talk to each other while they do so. Anyway, a mostly boring subplot.

Rufus: Mr Bean. I'm not even going to comment on this non-storyline. Two appearances of a character does not a storyline make.

(comments about a torrent of The Room. No, I didn't download it, I own the dvd.)
djTeka: Thanks! Gonna check this out, thanks to Tim and Eric making me interested in this movie!
seanhart213: I definitely have breast cancer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I started watching Boston Legal. It has some funny parts, but not as many as I'd like. Is James Spader really that good looking? He's not super witty, definitely not very nice to people, and every girl at that office is all over him. William Shatner is pretty funny and there are some absurdly funny moments.

I've also started season 2 of Breaking Bad. That show just gets better and better, I think because it's giving more screen time to the inept drug dealer kid. I'm not a big fan of all the marital drama.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kinda bored so looking through meetup.com to see if there's anything interesting. There's a bunch of things, but I'm not really sure what interests me. I'm not an enthusiast about anything. There's lots of sports, scrabble, concerts, writers support groups, things like that. I guess any of it might be fun with friends, but with random people it could so, so easily be a mistake. Also:
-Tapes n' Tapes at Rock n Roll hotel. I have a bunch of Tapes n' Tapes here some reason, I'm not sure why I ended up getting it. I really enjoy a few of their songs and some of the others are kind boring. But I haven't been to any concerts in a while now. And I don't think I've ever been down to the Rock n Roll hotel. That's way out on H street.
-Microcontroller Mondays, where a bunch of dudes get together and talk about their microcontroller projects. Sounds sorta interesting, but odds are it would be a bunch of guys I don't want to listen to talking excitedly about their homemade dvr or robot. And I'm not working on any microcontroller based projects of my ask anyone about. I was not impressed by their homepage's video about a cupcake they mailed to another hacker club in Canada. Being geeky for its own sake is not something to celebrate. Button that down and rejoin normal society.
I will be attending the Three Moves Ahead meet up tomorrow afternoon. A bunch of people (i.e. pretty sure all guys) are going to talk about strategy video games over some beers down in chinatown. Since I like strategy games I'm going to see if they have any insights or anything interesting to say. If it all gets too nerdy I'll just my beer drink faster.

Oh, I watched the Town. It was really good. Surprisingly good. I was expecting to fall asleep because it was right after eating a big dinner. But instead it was pretty much interesting all the way through. It was Ben Affleck's first believable role since Good Will Hunting. I guess he's suited for playing the seedy hoodlum types.

(from 30 Rock, after Jack misses the secret emergency meeting)
Devon Banks: I tried to call you, but not on a phone, so you may not have heard me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I fell asleep watching Winter's Bone. How did an IMDB reviewer make that movie sound promising? Basically a girl walking around the woods asking people if they'd seen her drug dealer dad. And the backwoods people reacting guardedly or being openly hostile. Boring, and not many hot redneck girls. Surprise. (Looking through some other imdb reviews, I think they're written for movie makers or something. Lots of emphasis on atmosphere or artsy aspects. They need to put more emphasis on the "this movie sucks" aspect of the reviews. Lesson learned: don't believe imdb reviewers.)

And today I booted up my xbox to find that my saved game of Batman: Arkham Asylum was gone. I was going to write a glowing review of the game because it's really quite good. But apparently it has saving issues and lots of people online have had their saves corrupted. (And then other forum deadheads tell them "you can't shut down while it's saving," or "you can't switch to game of the year edition" or other unrelated banalities. Forum bottom feeders almost never have any answers, especially in video game related forums.) I wrote a scathing 2-star review of the game on Amazon, so I'm not feeling as frustrated about it any more. I'm just not sure if I want to replay the first 10 hours of the game.

soulpainter: Me too. I was standing in the main square. Batman had been standing still for a couple of minutes. I then decided to quit, which I did, correctly, through the menus. The game was not saving, and I did everything correctly. Next morning when I went into the game. Guess what, its stuffed. If anyone wants a copy of Arkham I think mine is still half way up the street...