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Well, I'm not a great big ol' fan of George W. Bush, but today when I came home, I had a letter, so to speak, informing me that I'm about to receive a tax refund in the amount of $300...Now, never, in my entire life have I received such a letter from, well, the IRS. I mean they are, after all, the ones who take my taxes...and now they're sending me some money out of the clear blue sky. I'm flabergasted.

In the past, I've even slightly cheated on my tax return, and had to pay penalties and interest that added up to mucho money...and now, out of the kindness of somebody's pea picking heart, I'm getting a tax refund I didn't even ask for.

Boy, I'm glad I live in Florida, where we are free to put whomever we want in the Whitehouse?? Thank you Mr. President.

Well I usually work "extra" of my own accord just to get ahead. However, I found myself with a surprise task put in front of me, and so I needed to go into work tonight after dinner in order to stay all caught up.

However, I got into the office, and found an e-mail from one of our best developers, sent from someone else's account. His computer was hosed (it would not even boot, or do anything when the power button was pressed). So much for the plan. I was hoping for something simple, easy, and quick (e.g. cord not plugged in, power switch loose or one end or the other not plugged in well, etc.). This was not the case. Oh well. We had a spare sitting around with similar (mostly) hardware, so I moved the user's hard drive into the spare... presto! Well, almost. Only thing left to do was switch the network card out so that I didn't have to load a new driver.

Ahhhh well. I didn't get my extra task done, and tomorrow there are meetings I'm required to be at, so I guess I'll be going to work tomorrow night....

I am a confused moron
No really, I am. All of a sudden, I am being yanked in three different directions by three people who all live far away, some farther still soon. And to think I thought moving here would simplify my life.
Randy came home today in a panic. The Lotus Notes developement company he works for is driving him mad, three of his customers (Coca Cola, Delta Faucet, and Johnson & Johnson) are all having problems with software he is the product manager for. Poor kid is pulling his hair out. Makes my simple emotional problems almost pale in contrast, but hell, they're important to me, right?
His trip is canceled, just as well, I'm too beat to enjoy this place alone anyways.
I dug up an old Pharmocognosy reference guide I had packed. I plan on noding out of it soon, this book is incrediable. Plans, plans, plans.
The new job is going well, I innocently made a suggestion today of using spray adhesive instead of hand applying glue, the boss flipped and tried it, ended up saving a hour or two on that particular process. He was pleased, to say the least. Yankee Ingenuity (TM) Inside!

I have now begun the process of totally refurbishing the Double Dragon arcade game that I bought over the weeked.

I have stripped down the cabinet. I then proceded to remove the top coat of black spraypaint. Underneath that was the original Defender painted sideart, (this game was originally a Defender). The Defender graphics were surprisingly intact. I could have masked them off and resprayed them. But a quick check on Ebay for prices for the other Defender parts I would need killed that idea. So this game will have to remain as a Double Dragon.

I have nearly finished the bodywork on the cabinet itself, (you never notice how many scratches something has until you start sanding it). I had to completely replace the back door and the front piece of wood, (the one the coin door is on), due to water damage. After 18 hours of sanding I now have an empty Defender cabinet that is as smooth as glass.

Tommorrow I shall paint it. This game is going to be gloss red. Now a dedicated Double Dragon machine is black, (with a huge Taito logo on the side). But since this machine was a conversion, I can be a little more creative with the restoration.

I have ordered new red joysticks from Happs, along with new red buttons, (one of the original leaf switch joysticks was broken, and neither one had a good "feel" to them anymore). I also had to change the dip switch settings from "hard" to "easy", (that makes it more fun for visitors).

Before I put it back together I am going to find a couple of huge stickers of Chinese dragons for the side. I will probably replace the ancient speaker with a new one also.

This one is going to look great next to my MAME Cabinet and Vs. Golf machines. (The Vs. Golf will soon be restored also).

(If anyone knows of a place that sells huge stickers, please send me a /msg).

Rhapsody in (so totally) Screwed : Part (I can't think straight!)

07.18.01 :: 00:04

My favourite older brother just got put out on his ass, owing some $900 in back rent. yeah, he's an idiot, i've known that for years, but i love him more than life itself. yes folks, this is the very same brother that i would toss myself in front of a speeding train for. looking at that from a more biologically inspired perspective, i can assume it's because his complete ignorance in the ways of hacking life cut straight through my crunchy mercenary shell, right down to the well-hidden nurturing instinct. one of these days, that fool is going to get us both killed.

anyway, luvcraft has decided that he will sell everything my brother owns to repay the debt. i talked him out of a few essential personal items that must stay in the family: the notebooks, the high school tapes, a handful of photographs. i know what things cannot be sold, and i will go to reclaim them. i may have misplaced my brother, once again, but i know he always finds me. sooner or later, he'll realise he lost something...

our other brother, provident fish, plans to come out here soon to talk the idiot's mind back into him -- possibly beat it back into him. as always, i will make things right. if i have to track down dad and beg on my brother's behalf, i will make things right again. it has to be done.

my siblings and my students are all the family i trust; effectively, they are all the family i have. yes, i should leave my brother to his own stupidity, and his lunatic girlfriend, but i won't. i can't. that's what family is for.

I sold a car, registered for insurance, bought a sword, won some spiders, and then went out for ice cream. It’s been a busy day.

Woke up around ten this morning after a restful night’s sleep. As soon as I was clean and clothed I parked my bottom in front of the tv for some Sally Jesse Raphael/The Price is Right action. I stirred long enough during commercial breaks to fetch some cereal and a glass of water to wash down the daily morning meds. After the old guy won the showcase on TPiR, I took off to run errands.

I called my family doctor to get a refill on my previously mentioned mediation. Although I have been taking it every day for three years, I am still required to request a few more months supply every now and again. It’s no big deal, but seeing the bottle diminish to nothing so quickly makes me feel a little too dependent. Happiness in a bottle isn’t natural, but it works.

Took off afterwards to register for insurance at State Farm. I talked to a lady named Tammy, she told me for $135 I could have insurance on my little Geo Metro until I sold it. Depending on how quickly it was sold, I would get a respective refund. I used one of my new checks to pay the bill; it was a Winnie the Pooh sample. Charming.

Having finished this task, I drove the two minutes or so it takes to get to my boyfriend’s house. Surprisingly enough, he was awake and cleaning a bathroom when I arrived. I was definitely impressed. He traditionally sleeps until two in the afternoon or later unless I make a point to wake him up. The death metal was blaring, my ears were hurting, so I retreated to the other side of the house to practice some classical Debussy on the antique piano with real ivory keys. The screaming aftertaste death metal leaves on my brain was soon abolished, and I worked up the energy to ask Aaron to drive me over to Short Cut garage on Aniline so I could pick up the previously mentioned little Geo. He said as soon as he was finished cleaning he would take me there. I agreed, seeing as how cleaning for him is out of the norm. Priorities are important. So I retured to the living room to rest.

I woke up two hours later to the sounds of Unreal Tournament blasting from the tv next to the couch I had slept on. The Sega Dreamcast was fully functioning with four very large boys sitting in a tight semicircle around it. During my accidental nap, people had shown up and needed to be entertained. It happens.

One of the guys who had arrived was the original Jonathan, a good friend to Aaron and me both. Jokingly I asked Jon if he wanted to buy a Geo from me. He said sure, would I take cash? I agreed. So he drove me over to the garage to pick it up, and he took it for a test drive in the rain. Despite his 6’6” of height, he managed to fit inside the tiny space bubble of a car. I told him the compressor is busted, so he could have it for $2500 since he was my boy. It’ll take him a week to dig up the cash, but it is a done deal. So much for the insurance in my name.

After bringing the Geo home, I drove Aaron, Schmoo and Seth out to the mall for lunch. We ate at J.J. Finnegan’s, the all-time favorite restaurant of all those attending. I had my usual chicken finger platter. Seth decided to order the Cheesy Beef due to its humorous title. It was, in fact, a massive amount of roast beef inside some bread covered in cheese. The name was surprisingly accurate.

After finishing lunch, we wandered the mall for a short time. Aaron and Schmoo were interested in investing in some sweatpants from J.C. Penney, so I humored them and walked towards that end of the mall. We didn’t get farther than Aladdin’s Castle, the local arcade. We saw brightly colored plastic ninja swords hanging from a display, and decided we could not leave without each possessing one. Ten dollars and twenty minutes later, we were the proud owners of one purple (for me), one blue (for Schmoo), one red (for Aaron), and one green (for Seth) sword, one old school Disney dog/cow beanie baby, two plastic flies and a handful of rubber spiders. We left feeling completely satisfied. The two employees of an age with us who had assisted in our quest were left to stare in confusion as we fought each other all the way to the parking lot.

As we were leaving, I noticed a Weezer sticker on a car. Then I noticed the car. Then I noticed it was Becky’s car. I was in the process of placing a friendly greeting message beneath her windshield wiper, when the girl walked up behind me with a hug and a frighteningly loud exclamation of “TAY!” We talked, the guys were forced to sit and wait for me. We decided to get together tomorrow and head over to Grandville. We then parted ways, and I reverted back to ninja status.

While driving the car towards James street, Schmoo noticed a bright blue ball sitting well off to the south. I put the car in reverse and zoomed over to it, scaring an old couple who had just parked in the space next to the coveted ball. Having retrieved it safely, we returned home. Later in the evening, everyone went to get ice cream at Captain Sundae’s. It was definitely a crazy thirteen hours.

Today I got up early, got new tires for my car (I had a flat). Went to school and spent all day in the CV Lounge, working on the computers.

I worked on trying to get my website design ironed out. I could never get it to look a way where I way 100% pleased with it. (http://mondrary.com/web). I also RemoteInstalled a computer that went bad. Worked a little on our database of members and then put a sound card in our soon to be mp3 server and got the drivers for it working. Tried a linux jukebox proggie and got disgusted at the quality of the program. Oh, and played a lot of counterstrike.

Krysha stopped by the lounge and I listened to her and a male friend work on debate. It reminded me of the kind of friendships that debate forged, and it also reminded me of Katie. Katie must be good friends with the debators she spent her senior year with.

I, on the other hand, am wondering why I quit debate. (Well, I know that: I couldn't stand up for myself), but I kick myself for not realizing what an opportunity it was, to become well versed in the matters of the real world, to forge social skills and make friends. Maybe I should join college debate, but shit, debate is a lot of work in high school, and it is even more in college. I seriously fear it would put a damper on my graudating.

Anyway, as I listened to them work, as I worked.. I felt like their work was important, and mine was trival. My work was just something to pass the time. Either it could come together or not. Something to do because I don't have people to interact with.

Driving home, I came up with a few more reflections of my day but I forgot them. Maybe I should buy a portable tape recorder.

Damn the morons, Recording fun, and more contractual thrills

Hrmpf. I can really hate the internet sometimes. I recently decided to build a new computer for college, so, yesterday, I began the process of ordering my parts online. Specs go as such:
  • ECS D6VAA Mobo w/ RAID
  • 2x Pentium 3 1000EB Processors
  • 512 meg pc133 RAM
  • 2x Thermaltake fans
    This, of course, sounds fine. However, when I decided to double check my orders again (something I should have done before I ordered them, I'll admit), I had the pleasant surprise of discovering a discrepancy in the listing for the processor I ordered. To my surprise, I saw a big "100mhz FSB" smiling back at me. Knowing a little bit of hardware, this led me to believe that the people running this store either cannot type or have deliberately tried to fool the end user into purchasing an inferior product. (In pentium terminology, the "e" means it was produced with the coppermine process, and the "b" basically means it has a 133mhz front side bus). So, I started writing some emails about it, and eventually found out that it was a typo. A very expensive typo, that is, because when I hit Send/Receive to send them a notice to cancel my order, I also received a note saying, "Your product has been shipped! Congratulations! Huzzah!" In other words, it looks like I've been screwed.

    The band had a decent to good recording session yesterday, and now my job as the band leader is to do all the fun mixing work! Anyhow, here is the track listing:
    Lightning Crashes
    by Live

    The Beauty of Imperfection
    by Soujirou

    by Soujirou

    Basket Case
    by Green Day

    The Dolphin's Cry
    by Live

    Maynard's Dick
    by Tool

    by Soujirou

    And that was that. Noded Today:
  • The Grudge
  • Amethyst
  • Paradoxorum
  • I don't write daylogs. With that out of the way, I'll now write one.

    Today, I had a rash of downvoting on specific nodes relating to Legend of the Five Rings. Wonderful card game with a fictional universe definitely worthy of noding. Is that my opinion? Yes, it is. But, it's one shared by a few other users around here, because I've shared space with at least three other noders. And a few of my L5R nodes have been cooled by yet OTHER people.

    So, I posted a little rant "Please downvote this instead" saying, "Here's some other nodes that I'd prefer you to downvote if you're downvoting me" and "If you're downvoting L5R, please don't. I don't read about drug culture, but I'm not going out of my way to downvote it out of existence." I have faith in the people in charge of this system -- I don't think that they'll nuke one of my L5R clan letters (or other fiction nodes) just because it hits -10 ... So, it's not really serving a purpose to downvote this little pets of mine.

    In the end, there'll be about 80 of them or so. Crosslinked. Characters eventually will get nodes. When all this happens, I'll proudly point it out to John Wick, Ree Soesbee, Rich Wulf, and Andy Heckt... I'll tell them, "Please, correct where I'm wrong, but I feel that this is a wonderful way to tell people that The Grey Crane is actually Kakita Toshimoko, Toturi the Black is another name for Akodo Toturi, etc." The nature of e2 is such that it allows a newbie to meander through the L5R world and learn as soon as he's curious one of these little trivial facts. It makes reading the clan letters so much easier. I find that going back through the clan letters now, I'm still learning bits of trivia. "Oh my! I didn't know that Toturi didn't learn that until the Day of Thunder. That puts a whole new perspective on the story."

    RPG, CCG, and other progressive fictions are a wonderful passion of mine. It brings out the archivist tendency in me. I delve into the story, I learn trivia, and I piece together the "backstory" that they don't spell out for you. And I can tell that story back to other gamers who are also into the game, for hours. Literally. I can tell you the story of the Day of Thunder... I may not be as good as John Wick when I tell it, but I can get the facts mostly right. And E2 allows me to get the facts completely right, when I make up a node, crosslink, and enter it. And I am going to continue to do it until someone who is *in charge* tells me to stop. And I really doubt that they will... I would lose faith in them if they said, "I'm sorry, but your fiction is less important than mine." (Heh. I wouldn't mind if they told me that they wrote better than John Wick, I may be a Wick fanboy to an extent, but I'm a realist -- his specialty was in telling the stories orally, not in making sure that they were all consistant.) So, I'm sorry... I don't write daylogs. I write long rants. My last rant was recommended as a daylog *or* as my homenode. And while I do feel strongly about this, I'd prefer that this not be a person's first impression of my personality. So, daylog it is.

    There's no sense in downvoting a daylog, especially a daylog about downvoting. Since I wrote this, I've deleted the L5R writeups as much as I feel like it. I've also pretty much abandoned Everything2. It just felt easier to write such things on a blog. The unfortunate thing was that the indexing of E2 was somewhat handy, but I will probably find something similar which I can control utterly.
    I really think that humanity is insane.

    There are things that we accept as normal: oxygen, room temprature, and many others. But in all of the universe, how much of it contain those same conditions? And the worst part is, that we raise our children to believe in those same norms.

    And you know what's even more depressing? That maybe about 20% of the readers will understand what I mean, and maybe 1% of those will truly grok what I mean - in a moment of pure enlightment.

    These words are addressed to those:

    Don't lose your grip

    You are human. Therefore, part of humanity. Stick with it, OK? If you let go of the insane notions of mankind, you will go insane.

    This is not part of any reverse-psycology thing. I mean it. Rebeliousness can only be taken so far. And after reading this, you'll probably just think you understand. I thought so too. Trust me, it takes a while to truly comprehend how large the insanity is.

    All I'd like to say right now is that clients who think they know how to do your work better than you, yet pay you to do it while breathing over your neck and keeping you at work untill 10:00pm because they don't want to go home to their wife which I guess they don't especially like, who have been playing this infernal game with you since Monday just because they are friendly with your boss and can get into fights with him about it and everything is ok the next day...

    Should die.

    Thank you all for your time.

    JM229 showed me everything2. i lurked around for a few days reading about Foucault, OLAP, The IRS, etc. and finally decided to register myself. I liked BBs's back in the early years of networked computing and then enjoyed usenet, so this is something I'm really into.

    I am rapidly becoming addicted to this, although I am going away for a few days so I may go through withdawl. I have been doing lots of reports for the suits at my job, and while I enjoy mining data today I am like an information waiter, perhaps because I know I'll be on [west virginia|vacation} soon.

    I listened to Primal Scream and Jonathan Fire Eater today, and I've been trying to contact Jimmy to see if he still wants to buy my Telecaster. I'm glad somebody from E2 got a tax refund, I just got an invoice this week (penalties and interest) and my accountant is working on it while I stress out.

    "fond but not in love"

    Radiohead buzzing in my skull.

    He's like a detuned radio.

    Subject: Artboy. Talks to himself whenever the words break out.

    Observing pattern.
    >Monday. Sitting on chair watching Dexter's Lab. Bird eats out of feeder. Seen through window, approx. 10 feet away.
    >Tuesday. Sitting on chair watching Dexter's Lab. Bird eats out of feeder. Seen through window, approx. 10 feet away.

    Is it the same bird?
    Intersecting mathematical behavior realities.

    Frequent short term memory failures. Unusual. Unknown reason. Sometimes I wish I'd use drugs so I'd have a tangible excuse for the way my brain malfunctions. Possible cause mental inactivity.

    List of Things To Do Today:

    Am noticing internet subcommunities. Tied loosely or closely together with links.

    Close links.
    Frequent linking to a site/person. Typically has some kind of direct verbal relationship with linked person.

    Loose links.
    Rare or singular linking to a site. Impersonal relationship. Mass communication.

    Thoughts deviate in multiple branching paths train of thought and I lose the original path for a new one constantly is hard to think to a destination too many roads and I can't find my way back.

    Am frustrated.

    Need thought map. Intricate map. Anfractuous lanes and passages. Like Venice.

    Venetian glass blowers. Heat. Glowing liquid sand. Colors. Shapes. Glasses ornaments sculpture fragile beautiful. Outside canals people boats sound of water stone little bridges puddles and that day it was an overcast sky. Regular small waves crashing against the tops of submerged stone stairs. Large stone bridges. On the large bridges are shops that have grown like fungi, clinging to the sides. Aggregation of random people flowing like blood platelets through the arterial bridges. Huge stone buildings but not in the same vein as skyscrapers. Old. To think this is where people have been. Centuries. Living pigeon clouds above me. Then later up high at their level. Look down at a medieval organization (no organization at all). Organic construction. Varied like a living thing.

    And when you are self aware you are a tiny part of the universe aware of itself. Self aware matter and energy. When you learn about physics you are a tiny part of the universe attempting to understand itself.

    And when you create you are the universe shaping itself to its desires.

    God loves his children.

    Plastic god loves plastic children in their plastic world

    and you wonder why I don't want to live.

    Another quick update from San Diego, where I've been vacationing for the last 6 days. This city is so beautiful compared to New York! Everything is very spread out, so we have to drive everywhere, but the wide freeways make it easy to get around, compared to the insanity of New York traffic.

    The vacation so far has been a combination of sight-seeing, meeting Allison's family and friends, and just plain being lazy.

    Sight-seeing: we went to Balboa Park, which is a gorgeous park with a bunch of interesting museums. We also took a harbor cruise through San Diego Bay, which had an impressive display of huge Navy ships. We went to the Gaslight District, a historic Downtown area. We visited Oldtown, which is an open-air museum with some very good restaurants. One day we drove up to Orange County (about 2-3 hours north of San Diego), to see Newport Beach (where Allison used to live) and Laguna Beach (to get a tan). We tried to make it up to Los Angeles but got lazy and turned around. We also, to our shame, played mini-golf.

    Family and friends: Allison, my girlfriend, grew up in San Diego, so she knows a lot of people there. We stayed with her parents, who are totally sweet. Her father is a health fanatic and kept feeding us the most wonderful food! I also met Peter, Allison's best friend from college, and his girlfriend Palka and brother John. When we were in Orange County I met a bunch of her friends there.

    Plain being lazy: hey, it was my first vacation in a long time. We lazed around quite a bit, just reading and tanning at the pool and the jacuzzi. I got a nice light tan - a huge improvement over my usual ghostly pallor. I read a good chunk of "The Deed of Paksenarrion" by Elizabeth Moon and am almost done with the first part of the trilogy.

    Random craziness: we went to a San Diego Padres baseball game today, but at the end of the second inning there was an explosion. Apparently a transformer had caught fire causing a whole section of spotlights above centerfield to explode. After waiting for more than an hour, the announcer finally said the game had been suspended until the next day. Bad luck for us, because on Thursday, July 19 we take off for a few days in Las Vegas.

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