Because Scholl has been slacking, it is up to me to provide some of the Disturbed Links I found on that beacon of Truth and Light, Pravda.
Some deep questions for the mid-week.
Why does it never rain when I bring my umbrella along to work?
Why are tomatoes hard to slice?
What did they put in Mountain Dew that makes it so necessary?
Why does my cubicle lack a back wall, while every other cubicle has one?
Is it lunch time yet?
These days I have a lot of questions (as listed above), and not so many answers. Fortunately, life continues, answers or no. Thus the weekend will be here (soon, I hope) and questions may be put on hold for more diverting activities.
Thus, I shall leave you with an intriguing quote.
"Imagine if your clothes generated electricity!" - Becky Castleberry
I had a great weekend traveling to Joliet to see Sharon. After two weeks, I missed her a lot.
We are now less then 3 weeks from getting married. Hurrah!
However, it was a tiring weekend with travel and traffic and such. Definitely worth it though.
I've acquired some more games, specifically a creature creator for the forth-coming Spore, and a Sliver deck for Magic. One of my friends has picked up Settler's of Catan and five expansions for it. Much amusement should be the result.
I'm still a little tired and sleepy from the weekend, so I shall leave you with a quote:
"When Wheeler wants shaking, he has places he can go. But when he wants shimmying..." - Moore
"I go to Uncle Doug!" - Wheeler
General Warning: This post is exceeding geeky: proceed at your own risk.
One of my favored pastimes in my undergrad years was hanging out with Pavlov and his Magic Decks. Magic is a collectible card game developed by a mathematics professor. Based on a slightly complex set of rules, it allows players to face off with a controlled, but variable set of resources and combine strategy, luck, and bluffing to subdue their opponent. Its lots of fun to come up with new decks and ideas for existing cards, and a great way to hang out with friends and pass the time.
Unfortunately for us poor college students, gathering a significant number of cards was expensive. So, for the most part, we all used Pavlov's colossal library.
Since Sharon and I have acquired jobs, we started acquiring Magic cards on Ebay: 1000's of used cards are available very cheaply in bulk. We've enjoyed playing with each other and friends, and generally devising new decks and strategies. However, Magic has always required physical proximity in order to be played, something all too often not available due to our travels and jobs.
Last week a friend introduced me to a computer program that allows people to easily play Magic on the Internet. It is free, and legal. Know as Apprentice, it acts much like a virtual table on to which we can drop our cards and track game state. It enforces no rules, and its very much like simply meeting a friend with decks in hand. Naturally, you aren't restricted to cards you own in real life.
While I could yammer about its pros and cons, I would rather give some basic instructions on getting it set up. They are below ye fold!
Also, they end with a good old quote (yes, I'm trying to get my fuzzy friends to scan it).
1) Download it here.
2) Update it decks with this. Be sure to read the readme file, not all files go in the same place.
3) Unless you are a computer guru who can set up port forwarding in your firewall, you will want to use a VPN, or virtual private network, to play with us. Go here to get Hamachi.
4) Leave me a comment or AIM or email me, and I'll get you our little network name and password.
5) Start up Apprentice, enter some decks, and get playing!
I also strongly advise you pick up a copy of Skype, a Voice over IP program. It makes chatting and playing much easier.
For card searching and deck building, use the official Gatherer.
And finally, an appropriate quote from the little book.
"Scholl and I were very happy together." - Toad
"Then I got married and things got much better." - Toad
Here's another batch of quotes from my most excellent book. Most of these are from professors we love... so for their sakes, most names are left out. I'm sure many of you will know who said it.
"I went to the Doctor this morning and he gave me more drugs... they make me wierd."
"You just had to be in Germany to understand this. These people are all walking around like a forest."
"I have a theory, Doctor Solganick!" - Sharpton
"Its about time." - Dr. Solganick
"If you love children but don't want to be a mother yet, this is a great opportunity." - Isaiah Koh
"They showed me the Hamster Dance. The corrupted me!"
"That's why I previewed it, because I thought they were going to get it on... the flesh is willing, but the spirit is weak."
"I don't think Russians should be allowed to be romantic." - Wilson
"I'll call on all of the women first, because they understand me."
"Who is is a women?"
[To Wheeler] "You want to get in with the women?"
"It was sticky, but I was singing." - FBC Pastor
"My poor younger sister, she's still in therapy."
"It has a rather racy reputation. But settle down, its not as good as you thought."
"There's an honest-to-goodness freak in it. Ahhhh Yes!"
"Hahahaha! Not quite perfect." - Dr. Erickstadt, upon passing out homework
"There's another way to look at it, a tortured, perverted approach." - Dr. Erickstadt
There's plenty of more good stuff to be had, but I wouldn't want to expend my easy posting content all at once. So enjoy the fun, and be sure to speculate on the un-specified posters if you think you know who it is.
I promised some time ago to share with the inquiring reader (I know you're out there) more information about my interesting license issues.
It all started last October, when I received a short letter from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. It informed me that all drivers who received two tickets within the space of two years were required to take a driver safety course. If I failed to do it, I would have my license suspended in December.
I dutifully signed up for an online course, which amounted to a Java-based slideshow with a voice-over. Although very technically deficient, it did sport a nifty piece of code which paused the system if you tabbed to other windows. Lacking a second Internet-connected computer, I was forced to actually listen
to the droning for four hours. Figuring I had fulfilled my debt to society, I went on my merry way, and the issue was forgotten.
Months later, May 26th I signed up for my own car insurance in preparation for my move to Milwaukee, and my new job up here. Other pertinent plans included renting a moving truck for the drive up here so that I could transport furniture for the apartment Sharon and I will be sharing come July. Geico was more
then happy to be my insurance provider, but also notified me that I had a suspended license.
Some further checking on the on-line safety course revealed that I had lacked 20 minutes worth of final form futzing for it to technically finish out. I completed the course and called the BMV. They told me I would need to wait 8 to 9 days for them to receive and process the information. With some help from my family, and lots of bus rides, I got to Milwaukee and managed to get back and forth to work for the first 2 weeks of my job.
After two weeks and no update from the BMV, I called them again and discovered they didn't yet have any information from the safety course I had taken. So I called the safety course and harassed them last Saturday, and obtained a promise that my information would be electronically sent to the BMV yesterday (Monday). Thus, I'm now hoping that I'll be able to drive by this weekend.
The moral of the story?
Always be sure you live across from a Baker's Square: I don't think I would have survived if I could not walk to a cheese-cake producing establishment every day.
My question for you, dear reader, is this. Have you encountered any slow and inefficient government bureaucracies recently? If not, what country do you live in?
Old Link of the Day: Moore attempts to get himself killed. Again.
As I sifted through stacks of papers and letters, searching for some important document, I came across a little paper book.
The book's original purpose? It was given to Themelios members, to aid them in chronicling their journey as student leaders.
Well, my little book was put to use about 5 minutes after I received it, but the journey written in its pages is not exactly what administration had in mind.
I will share with you, dear reader, quotes from this little book. But, lest those now-mature individuals fear for their reputation, I shall omit names (mostly).
However, I encourage guess-work in the comments, and will reward Mountain Dew (or possible other drinks, for those so inclined) to those who guess correctly on a significant number.
[Notice! I found 2 Loxodon Warhammers amongst it pages! My little book is truly a blessing.]
"No one who valued their hobbit would put it on the table." - Yours Truly
"That was really dumb because now everyone thinks I've been drunk... I'll get a chick now!!!."
"Neutralize the body!" - Steve (Leaderspeaker)
"We started thinking in bigger terms about what student leadership is about." - Bill Reinklin (another Leaderspeaker)
"Let's reframe the question for our own purposes." - Kent (You guessed it... another leaderspeaker)
"We cannot see in some huge, generic, sense." - Kent (This guy made a lot of sense!)
"My own weakness, my own uncomfortability..." - Kent (He was on a roll.)
"I don't want to hurt you." [Maniacal Laugh] - SC Member (and fellow student leader)
"I hope that they will all perform at levels that excite us all in ways we haven't been excited for a long time." - Bud
[Admissions is asked how we plan to attract females.]
"Have you seen our three hot new male admissions counselors?"
"We could have classes where students learn how to do some of the artsy things." - Bud
"Go hang yourself, Moore. You are no longer fit to eat!" - SC Member
"Wilson's got his female RA'ness on." - The same member
"I'm getting married to a scratching post!" - This one isn't hard
"I've gotten Corey [Ross] addicted to a drinking game!"
"They were in stark black and white." - Our favorite ex-hippy Prof.
"I didn't mean to get into the lesbo world, I just wanted to know if there were any prayer requests." - Guess again
"There are now!" - Wheeler
Lest I expend my supply, I will halt for now.
Old Link of the Day: Ok, I know this is cheap, but it works
I have touched briefly in the past on the nature of my work here at Astronautics, but I feel that my job can be best described by sharing a gem from our design documentation.
Dear reader, have you ever found a single image with perfectly expressed your present circumstances? If so, can you tell us about it or link it? If not, can you imagine what such an image would contain?
If I were a module,
Within a big PC,
I'd hide my code from prying eyes,
So no one could run me.
My arguments would be arcane,
Return value unknown,
Running time? Undefined!
Memory leak prone.
But if I ever felt the need,
I'd boot up and I'd make,
I'd get things done and still have time,
For a slice of cheesecake.
My question for you, dear reader, is this. How would you find life if you were not a person, but instead, your own source materials. Not a student, nor an engineer, but a thesis or an engine.
Old Link of the Day: Moore sleeps through his own birthday party
I have finally accomplished something productive at work!
Yesterday I tracked down a bug that a first-semester coder should have caught, and quickly fixed it. That is, I spent 4 hours hunting it and 20 minutes fixing it.
For those familiar with coding, it was a character array over-run in a system reset service command.
For those not familiar with coding, it was like driving a bus full of screaming children through a drive-through ice cream shop manned by a college drop-out who can't write, and expecting him to remember 42 orders at once.
For those not familiar with ice cream shops, it was like eating too much cheesecake.
For those not familiar with eating too much cheesecake, may God have mercy on your soul.
Today's more exciting task was equivalent to teaching a child to say "Yes Ma'am" to older women, instead of screaming "WENCH!"
With any luck, tomorrow's task will have an equally diverting parallel.
My question for you, dear reader, is this. What social experience would you liken your otherwise technical/dry/impersonal job tasks to? Do they involve cheesecake? Why or why not?
Old Link of the Day: The Weasel Mill
There are so posts that were just some good, they deserve reviewing.
Today's post will be one such post, and in the future, I will try to include one link to an old post which merits reviewing.
So, from March 2004, I present:
And the Wench spoke all these words:
"I am the Wench thy Wench, which brought the out of the land of Singleness, and into the House of Bondage.
1. Thou shalt have no other Wench before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any other wench that is in year above, or that is in the year beneath, or that is in the year thou art in.
Thou shalt not talk thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Wench thy Wench am a jealous Wench, visiting the iniquity of the male upon their children unto the third and fourth generation of them that ignore me. And shewing food unto thousands of them that serve me, and keep my whims.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Wench thy Wench unmannerly*; for the Wench will not hold him guiltless that taketh her name unmannerly.
4. Remember the Wench's day, to keep it faithfully. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy homework, But the Wench day is the day of the Wench thy Wench: in it thou shalt not do any homework, thou, nor thy room-mate, nor thy suitemate, thy friend, nor thy Professor, nor thy fish, nor thy Previewer that is within thy room: For in six days the Wench let you do homework, let you do schoolwork, and let you work at your job and all the work that is in it, and she appointed you to take her out on the seventh day: wherefore the Wench blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.
5. Honour thy Wench's father and thy Wench's mother: that thy days may be long upon the home which the Wench thy Wench may give unto thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill thy Wench's siblings.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery with/against thy Wench.
8. Thou shalt not steal food from thy Wench.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy Wench (only for thy Wench).
10. Thou shalt not covet any male's wench-house, thou shalt not covet any male's wench, nor his wench-food, nor his wench-candy, nor his wench-pictures, nor his wench**, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's and wench-related."
And the male saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the Wench, and the Wench smoking: and when the male saw it, he removed, and stood afar off. And he said unto the Wench's friend, Speak thou with me, and I will hear: but let not the Wench speak with me, lest I die. And her friend said unto the male, Fear not: for the Wench is come to prove you, and that her fear may be before your face, that ye sin not.
- Wenchedus 20:1-20
*This word intentionally left ambiguous
**Repeated for emphasis
I should also note that I have learned a lot in those 5 years, and the ideas expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of its author.
This weekend I experienced something I had thought I escaped in Texas: steady, drumming, soaking, mundane, constant downpour.
Sure, there were occasional breaks of sunlight, but for the most part it rained hard and long all weekend. On the bright side, I wasn't in southern Indiana or western Wisconsin, so I wasn't fearing for my life.
However, I am still in limbo for driving until my license clears, so my weekend was largely apartment-constrained.
Early Saturday morning Sharon and her mother came by, and I was very happy to see her again. However, due to time constraints they left soon, taking with them my younger brothers, who had been my main source of entertainment and forced labor. Left alone, transportationless, and rained in, I resorted to making good use of AV weekend, and Eating Pizza.
However, during one brief break in the rain, I headed across the river (yes, into that part of town, on foot and obtained 60 feet of speaker wire from Radio Shack. I was happy to discover that my Crown speakers and 200 watt amp worked quite well, and I can't put them over 25% for fear of destroying the building. For now, I drive them with a MP3 CD/DVD player, but soon I shall hook them directly to my PC. In time, I hope to get my keypad from home and connect them in to the Linux-based MP3 player I built several years ago.
I'm looking forward to getting to a good bookstore, to obtain more reading material soon (perhaps Arthur C. Clark?) but that shall be delayed until I can drive again.
My question for you, dear reader, is if you were able to get out this weekend, or were as well bounded by weather and circumstance.
Well, not exactly. But the login servers bit it early this morning, so everyone's waiting for the backups to be restored so many standard services are again available. Meanwhile, I shall bring informative trivia and general merriment to my blog.
One of the "highlights" of last weekend was Scholl's foray into Wisconsin. It took him about 10 minutes to start getting Longview flashbacks, mostly due to the previously mentioned "ghetto" area of town across the river from me. Later excursions into the better part of town allayed most of his concerns.
However, my younger brothers will forever carry with them his "in the ghet-TO" chant, and have been seen to respond "its hard out there for a pimp" when unrelated comments on the difficulty of some operation are mentioned.
As you may have inferred, dear reader, my younger brothers, Peter and John, have been hanging out with me for the week. They aided in the move up, and have been driving me to work and generally being useful minions (why they are driving me is a story for another time).
As a just and benevolent older brother, I have endeavoured to give them useful, but not over-taxing, jobs to carry out during my employment from 8 to 4:30. Early in the week they accomplished such tasks as filling out apartment condition reports, and getting food. Today I have issued a request for something slightly less... customary. It is AV weekend, and for those in the know, this means the opportunity to grind honor points with mindless clicking. With any luck, my directive to run AV no less then 3 times an hour, for 8 hours, should net me significant ingame rewards.
I have also taken the liberty of introducing the twins to Final Fantasy VII, a game which, although I have not played, is generally regarded to be a classic adventure of high standing. Between directives to play WoW, sharing in classic games, and a healthy stock of Heinlein books, I think they will find this a productive week which they can look back on as well-spent.
Also, I have eaten much cheesecake this week. So my question for you, dear reader, is have you read any Heinlein? If not, you should. If so, which did you favor most?
After much wanderings of the internets, I have returned (at least until my wedding) to this literary device as a method for communication of both relevant information and general blatherings.
I am newly installed in my apartment in Milwaukee...
The area is nice, along a major route through the city with regular bus lines. The river to the west is very much a line of demarcation: crossing it places one rather squarely in the "ghetto", and although I am not in that area of town, I am close by.
The selfsame river, however, hosts many pleasant park paths and fields. Two miles to the east my street T's into a pleasant lake-front park, complete with a beach. Thus, as the weather improves, I may find myself indulging in Lake Michigan's cool waters as the summer heats up.
Food is plenteous and convenient, in the form of a Baker's Square and a Culver's across the street from me. So far I have been amply supplied in cheesecake by the former, and plan to indulge in Lemon Ice's from the latter, as climate dictates.
Internets are... suspect, as it appears I share my cable internet connection with a wide variety of whimsical souls in the same apartment building, and my activities are often hampered, albeit temporarily, by their surfing habits. However certain gaming activities have proven themselves to be resilient and not prone to error, despite the underlying flakiness of the network.
On the subject of Flakiness, I have also discovered an excellent Bagel Joint named "Einstein Brothers' Bagels", which is a frequent fixture in Milwaukee, and provides fine cuisine of the round and holy type.
And now, it appears my superiors have succeeded in providing me with direction once again, and I must return to my labors.
Have you found any excellent bagel or cheesecake sources in your area recently? Are they sufficiently abundant that you can share them, or must they be hoarded? You may provide directions and gift certificate codes in the comments.