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I have broken my streak of not daylogging to present the following paragraph, which appeared at the bottom of a spam e-mail about credit rates that I received today. Anyone who can tell me what they're talking about will receive several days' worth of upvotes from me.

As a resultant implication, a subset of English sentences interesting on quite independent grounds effects a significant implementation of a general convention regarding the forms of the grammar. Based on integral subsystem considerations, the descriptive power of the base component appears to correlate rather closely with the strong generative capacity of the theory. However, the appearance of parasitic gaps in domains relatively inaccessible to ordinary extraction may remedy and, at the same time, eliminate any normative concept of the linguistic/holistic continuum.

Now my head hurts. Will I ever again be able to delete spam, without wondering whether its advertising pitch is accompanied by an ontological brain-teaser? Must I now scour my junk mail for critiques of Nietzche and Freudian analyses?

Man, those spammers will stop at nothing.

UPDATE: 1010011010 has informed me that the paragraph is a randomly-generated glot of pseudo-English, unique to each spam message, that will foil anti-spam systems looking for huge numbers of identical e-mails. Well, I like my idea better.


Today was a good day...

Despite the fact that our Oracle server was on the fritz and nobody really knew what to do about it. (Though it magically fixed itself eventually.)

I was playing volleyball with Edward today, for the third weekend in a row. Today, he was joined by his girlfriend, whom I met for just a second yesterday, in name but not in station, when Edward and I were out at lunch. Tomorrow, we're going to play tennis for the first time.

This evening I was at a birthday party for a co-worker. The only other people there from the office were Edward and his girlfriend, and Nolan and his girlfriend. As is not always the case, Nolan's girlfriend was civil and friendly toward me, and even joined me for a few minutes while I was off making friends with one of the dogs (Molly the bloodhound), and attempting to get the attention of Viking, the horse who was two fences away. Shortly before I left, Edward's girlfriend asked me if I'm a bowler -- something about the way I was standing, she said -- and after receiving my affirmative, said I should join her and Edward for bowling.

I realized it was a particularly good day when I was driving back from the party at about 8 o'clock. The birthday boy lives in Santa Ynez, and I was coming back via the San Marcos Pass. That route is on the dangerous side at any time, and the pea soup tonight didn't make it any less so. It has been the case for years that, while driving through such areas (the Pacific Coast Highway between San Luis Obispo and Monterey in particular), that thoughts of suicide often pass through my mind. It would be so easy to just not make that turn and, after the cartoon-character pause, plunge hundreds of feet to my death on the rocks or in the sea below, or just take a header into an ancient redwood tree.

And tonight, those thoughts emerged from the dark corners, and I said No! I have good things in my life now. I still do not have a girlfriend, a boyfriend, or a dog, but I am making friends. There's Nolan (even though it's become very rare this year that I see him outside of work), and WolfDaddy, who has become my friend this year (after we worked together for several years, ending about two years ago), and Edward is coming into the picture (of which I am particularly proud because that is happening solely because I took the initiative), and there is another good friend of ten years, whom I love dearly but have never mentioned in this forum. Life isn't perfect, and I am generally aware that there are many people in this world who have it a lot worse than I do (which the imminent Thanksgiving holiday would remind me even if I forgot it), but I'm happier, on a day-to-day basis, than I've been in a long time.

And to everyone who's into such things, happy Leonid watching!

B5 watch
Four episodes into season 4.
The year is 2261.

Its was to become one of the least expensive weekends in the last 2 years as I almost did not go out and chill for a bit until tonight. I went out tonight with a friend, and I bought 20 bucks worth of chinese food. Mind you, I did it simply out of gentlemanly manners and conservative traditions, not because I wanted to get at her "goodies." What disturbs me is the redundant fact that I encounter when I become the target of violent behavior simply because I care. Whether this is a weakness or a strength (depending on one's viewpoint of the world), I find it disturbing. Moreover, I am disappointed that I am not able to stay up to watch the meteor shower tonight simply due to sheer fatigue. But that's okay. I have other things to do.

Work, as expected, was dull due to the fact that people didn't know Ikea would be open on Saturdays until 9. Frankly, I don't understand the motivation to buy furniture on Saturday nights when there are definitely more exciting or more productive ways to spend one's weekend evening, but there are people there, bored enough, who simply wander in awe at the variety of items that I would like to consider junk. I can't really complain much, especially since these are the people that pay my bills but still, I would like to be able to understand the idea behind Saturday night furniture shopping.

Jenn was working tonight and of course, sly as I am (HAHAHA), I tried to spend as much time around her as I could. On the basic level, I felt like a stalker but I didn't have much else better to do anyways. We were talking and she was playing around with my name tag, but Paul told me to "not to touch her." I was wondering whether I gave out the idea that I was some sort of player or a literal touchy feely type of person but that was weird. All in all, it was a day where my confidence went down more and more as I felt as if she's out of my league. While others don't think as highly of her (she's apparently the smartest pea in the pod), I don't really mind. I'm not known for making the best decisions anyways.

With Mike out clubbing last night and MrFurious playing Counterstrike, I was left alone. Tonight, nothing really happened until I offered to pick up my friend from UBC. We went to dinner and chatted it up for a bit. Now I'm home. Fun fun fun.

I miss certain people that used to call me. I don't know why they haven't lately but that's okay. They're busy. Most people are. Still doesn't leave a good taste in my mouth that they aren't talking to me much though....

Tomorrow will be another dull day. I was to have a day off but due to lack of hours next week which in turn becomes a lack of funds, I had to bypass sleep to make money. Maybe I actually will have a weekend where I don't drink some form of vodka, play pool, or play counterstrike. Maybe. Only time will tell.

Aftermath nodes are so American, we wouldn't want to be American now, would we? - heyoka

So here we have my tired hungover musings on Will Ya Ride Me Like A Monkey Missus? : An Anglo-Irish E2 Get-Together

Just before departing for Yo! Below (no it's not a pirate ship, we (jobby and I) were dissapointed too) I called the bar to leave a message for the guys in case they left before we got there. This was primarily based on advice from #e:

<Great Neb>: We're gonna be later for the get together, do you think they will stay in the bar or do something "crazy and impulsive"?

<Eraser>: Assume crazy and impulsive.

So we arrived in this bar that still didn't have any pirates in and we looked around. The groups of people that were there, squatting on the floow because chairs are just overrated according to Yo!Below, all had too many girls (sorry heyoka, (darsi), sm957 and idoru's girlfriend) with them so we did a good line in looking lost for about five minutes. Luckily our earlier call had paid off and bol had left his mobile number with one of the barmen so a quick call later and he was on his way to meet us and bring us into the fold. Jobby suggested that an easier method would be the implementation of an E2 Bat Signal that could be flashed up for every node meet.

So we arrived in the new pub and settled nervously down. At first siddling up to The Oolong Man and idoru and being made to feel slightly more at home we solved any problems that may have been arrising by having a drink. After that the evening began to flow wonderfully. I met wertperch who was dissapointed to find that I was not the African Totem God Tribal Chieftan that he had pictured. I pointed out in return that he was not the hard working academic that I had pictured and all was well again.

I then moved on to be introduced to ascorbic, tallroo and heyoka and the remants of the Monkeys! Lesbians! Soy! meme that had been collected earlier in the form of a beer stained cudly toy (no it wasn't the lesbian you freaks!). roo and I worshipped heyoka for a while as she told of travelling across the big blue desert and meeting the ones known as wicker nipple, perderdor and even yossarian.

Then I bumbled upon tiefling and we had a fascinating conversation about religion, the church and anglicanism. Luckily (at this stage) I was only slightly tainted by the mark of alcohol so I was able (tiefling better back me up on this or I'm screwed) to hold an intelligent conversation with him.

By this time the ass feeling had enthusiastically begun with idoru as chief feeler and wertperch as chief feelee. (darsi) obviously started with an extremely unfair advantage but some did hold their own. I had brief but interesting conversation with gnarl who was looking very arty and I felt that I was bound to say something very uncultured by mistake so I didn't talk for too long.

11pm and closing time seemed to sneak up on us all of a sudden and we were being sheppered, rather unsuccessfully, out of the pub. Once outside there was much hugging and shouting all round. I started to barge fight spinyNorm which was, in retrospect, a mistake but I was disqualified by jobby and wertperch who judged I had been using too much shoulders, curses!

So noders tottered off into the night with fairwells echoing around Soho and we walked to the buss stop and travelled home in a large red object and alighted from the bus and walked to my house and ascended the stairs to my room and fell into bed with the final summary from jobby:

That was a pretty good night

To which I replied, "Yeah, yeah it was, wasn't it". And thus ended the Will Ya Ride Me Like A Monkey Missus? : An Anglo-Irish E2 Get-Together for Great Neb and jobby.

Overall noders rock and I had an excellent time. Most importantly I beat everyone to the first aftermath w/u except ascorbic who cheated by getting everyone else to write his in the pub.

Ah... the perfect weekend. How I love thee. Lets see. I've been doing absolutely nothing saturday. I woke up about 3pm after a restful 11 hours of sleep. We went and shopped for my father's birthday present which happened to be a pair of skis. I'm slowly being pulled into buying a pair of skis myself. I'm not quite sure if it's my thing and $200 seems like quite a bit. On the other hand I was told that since I enjoy my Katana (i'll talk about this later) I'll probably enjoy skiing. Who knows. I've finaly decided that I'll try it this winter. So we shall see. The rest of the day passed rather quickly and fruitlessly. I played a bit of Counterstrike. The game frustruates me to no end sometimes. It's really a team game and sometimes (most of the time) I have no team. The end result is: I rush. Woops nobody is there to back me up. One dead MrFurious. Some people (yeah yeah I'm talking about you Stromgald39 you bastard!) prefer to employ "Operation Human Shield"! Anyway it's rather lame. I finaly turned on the OpenGL drivers in my Half-Life so the game play is extra smooth on my aging celeron 466. Then I went and downloaded some crappy Russian science fiction. And boy was that a shitty read. Some extra lame plot involving time travel, good vs evil and religion. I feel embarassed really.

Of course I missed the meteor shower. I dutifuly went outside but didn't see anything. Maybe I didn't wait long enough. hyacinth gurl lives couple of blocks from me and she told me she saw quite a few meteors. And so did Lani. Now I really feel stupid. Shrug.

Yeah I bought myself a motorcycle! No, I'm not trying to kill myself; I'm taking it slowly. It's a lot of fun. The bike is a '92 Suzuki Katana 600cc. A smaller version of GSX-R if you will. I'm having a blast with it. Just replaced the rear tire; and the brakes need some tweaking. Other than that I can't wait till summer is back and I start giving people rides. You know what they say: "Two wheeled chick magnets".

The whole depth of my lameness become apparent when some of my actions are considered...or rather inactions. I've had a conversation with the receptionist at work this past friday. She's very cute and happens to be only a year older. For some reason she was really suprised to find out i was only twenty. For that matter people always seem to think I look older than I really am. It's rather ironic that I still feel 17 ;p. We had a really nice conversation; looking back at it now for some reason i was the one doing most of the talking. So I still don't know much about her. (my dog just woke up. he's looking at me funny.) Soon I will be past this friggin' block that won't let me approach people. Soon..!

That's it, i'm burned outTM. It really sux! I dont want to do anything! I can't believe I'm doing so well in school. I'm seriously thinking of taking the next term easy and taking summer completely off to relax and chill with friends. The graduation from university (if it is to happen) is postponed for another three years. Is it a problem? No..but... So who knows.

New year's is approaching! Tis the season to be jolly and all that. I honestly can't wait. First time in the last 3 years there's nothing majorly bothering me. I love it. I've decided not to have anything in my house, because everything at my house before, well, sucked. Unless more ladies come it's not at my house. Period.

Shrug. Nothing more to say here. Hopefuly I'll write couple of nodes about my limited motorcycle experience. Good time of day, whereever you are gentle reader.
A brief report on the Leonid meteor shower:

Here in the Seattle area we got up to around an average of 1/min during the 10:00-11:00 UTC (2-3 AM local) time frame. One estimate predicted a later, larger peak around 13:00 UTC but it was cold, and we were very tired. (We were up then because most of the predictions I found on the web showed the peak then for this area. The universe in it's typical perversity seems to have chosen the lone outlier as the correct prediction.)

Most of those we did see were near the zenith and left fairly long (10 degrees), spectacular trails. Based on what I've read elsewhere this was probably the leading edge of the storm. Even missing the peak, it was beautiful and worth the cold and the wait.
Asus success!

After months of crashes and lockups whenever I rebooted into windows the problem has been diagnosed and solved! Turns out that my motherboard, an Asus A7V didn't want to play nicely with my video card, an Asus 7700 (NVidia Geforce2). The fact they are from the same manufacturer doesn't seem to make a difference. After my buddy Tiggersol mentioned that the lockups might be caused by this, a quick trip to groups.google.com and then to http://www.geforcefaq.com revealed that the I/O voltage was wrong.

According to the website and the motherboard manual, the voltage default is 3.56V, and it should be dropped to 3.35V for better performance (ie: not having windows (xp, 98, 2k) lock up completely while surfing for no reason). For some reason my motherboard was already jumpered to 3.35V... moving it to 3.56V resulted in it locking up even faster, but moving it up one to 3.65V, and a BIOS update (to 1009) resulted in..... stability! I actually spent the whole day in windows, playing games, surfing..... doing things that I used to do with fear as I knew that any second my box could lock up.

Reference Links:

Now if I used Windows more than once a week or month this problem probably would have been solved long ago :)

In other news, the new kitten is still un-named.... she's got a definite personality, but neither I nor my SO have found a name that fits that so far. Fleabag doesn't work anymore, and the only other ones I've thought of were "Chewie" (she's teething, mostly on my fingers) and "Sandy" (short for Sandpaper Tongue of Death, which she uses on my fingers before teething on them). Neither of these seem quite "Right" yet.

I saw my uncle today. He's dying of AIDS. We went up the garden path to the sight of half a dozen oxygen tanks stacked up in the porch. After a brief reunion with other family members, I was finally allowed to see him.

Of course, I had thought about this moment before... what would he look like? Would he be able to walk around? To laugh? I knew he had some form of pneumonia, blocking his alveoli and that he was on oxygen all the time now, but nothing could have prepared me for that moment.

Of course, I knew about HIV and AIDS, I knew the kind of things that could happen to him and everything, but up until this week, my only (somewhat dubious) experience of the syndrome was the film Philadelphia. Up until this moment, AIDS had been something which happened to other people, like the AIDS memorial quilt or the junkies.

The room was dimly lit as we walked in, but in the half-light I recognised his features. He was wearing a nose-mask of the kind one normally only sees in hospital dramas. In the background was the gentle hissing of the oxygen canister supplying his frail lungs with the pure life he needed to survive on.

He invited us to sit on the bed. I felt awkward for my younger sisters, now wary of this man they once adored, but had just found out on that day to be homosexual. I did my best to jokingly encourage them, but it was hard even for me to get close to him in his state.

At last my grandmother told him he had a telephone call. He changed his mask over to one which supplied oxygen through his nostrils. It was at this point that I could fully take in his appearance.

To be frank, I thought he would look a lot worse. Philadelphia had conditioned me for facial deformations and blotches, but to me he just looked about ten years older than the last time I saw him. I couldn't help but be reminded of Return of the Jedi - his wide eyes and the hissing of the oxygen keeping him alive were so reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker.

After that, it was much easier to accept that he was dying. I suppose that before I was in a state of numbness mixed with a tinge of grief, whereas now I was slipping into acceptance. I don't know if the five stages of grief apply pre-emptively, but I suppose I'm around the end of them now.

Before we drove up, I had thought over what I would say to him - a moving speech comparing him to his wonderful father, assuring him of his place in Heaven, and countless apologies for a relationship not cultivated. All of this would no doubt have encouraged him and settled my heart, but the initial shock knocked all my high-flung words and poetry out of me like a well-aimed blow from an unexpected adversary.

Instead we just had a normal conversation and left sooner than expected. In the end, I felt grateful that I didn't say my rehearsed lines. The hypocrisies of my day and much of my life, along with my continued difficulty in accepting that he has a seat in Paradise, would probably have choked the words from my mouth anyway. Nonetheless, I couldn't help feeling guilty for not saying them, and I felt even worse for continuing to think about Louise through all of this. My self-indulgence pains me and I was convicted of this by the in-car CD player, which followed Jim Croce's I'll have to say I love you in a song:

Well, I know it's kind of late 
I hope I didn't wake you
But what I got to say can't wait I know you'd understand
Ev'ry time I tried to tell you 
The words just came out wrong
So I'll have to say I love you in a song
with the Hollies' He ain't Heavy, he's my Brother.

What is it worth anymore when I say to you I still want to be friends with you? The words I've used and reused and a promise to commitment I've broken again and yet again makes it the overused cliché it is.

Maybe it's not what I want. I just want to run away, run away and away so that my world doesn't have to involve you. Does this mean I still can't deal with losing you, although I don't want you as a lover anymore?

Running away is not something I can do, we're both stuck here and we're bound to see each other more often than not. It's not the thing to do because I'm supposed to be an adult and deal with the fact and not be childish in public and be miserable because of it.

So I just messengered (that's not a word "IM'ed" isn't a lot better either.) you. I guess that's the way it's going to be between us from now on, two strangers trying to be friendly to each other.

2.47 years until you're 10000 days old. I have plans to surprise you with a gift then. I wonder how it will be between us, and if in fact we'll even still be meeting each other then.

Some guy tried to buy drugs from me last night.

Actually, a bunch of people tried to buy drugs from me last night, but this one was special. He was a NYPD Narc.

I was a bit insulted, actually, seeing as he either had really bulky sneaker tops on his right foot, or a concealed department-issue 9mm. What the Marine-style buzz cut didn't give away, the clean, pressed slacks he wore to a warehouse party did.

"Hey, my friends said you had some Ecstasy. Do you have any I could buy from you?"


Hey guy, normal people say, "Got any E?" Anything more than seven words to ask for drugs and it's even odds that's the same phrase typed in your pre-printed arrest reports. And oh yeah, "my friends" aren't morons that would tell random strangers if I were carrying something illegal, and they all know there isn't anything here.

But okay, I admit it, I'm a prime target.

I love playing with rollers. The way I figure it, it's almost as much fun as rolling without the post-trip depression. Plus your chances of getting a nice kiss or decent backrub are just as high. I'm carrying 30 pounds of water, supplies and toys on my back that, sadly, nobody wanted to play with because somehow in this bizzare vortex in the middle of Brooklyn there aren't any drugs to be found.

Twenty-something guy wearing an old backpack, safari hat, dirty cargo pants with pockets stuffed to the brim with bottled water, hard candy, candy bars, no shirt and a bright orange hunting vest. You got me! I'm a drug advocate, a drug proponent, a handy spirit guide, and a card-carrying ACLU member. Sadly for this poor Narc, not a dealer. And also not carrying anything more illegal than a modified ham radio.

I want to shout, "HellOOOO! Look a little more carefully, jackass. I'm wearing a Baltimore City Police pin and a pair of decorative handcuffs. I carry a two-way radio to a party. This gold nametag I'm wearing? It's a standard issue uniform nametag. I used to work in a police department for a year. You think I don't know how to play spot-the-Narc?"

It was amazingly insulting in my caffiene addled and menthol clouded but otherwise completely substance-free brain.

But I don't shout anything. It's late and I'm too tired and too far away from home to have some fun and either distract him with suggestive statements or follow him around the club for the rest of the night for fun like I would any other time. I just give him a smile, touch his shoulder (they hate that) and say, "Sorry, dude, I just haven't got anything."

I take a sniff from my handy Vicks Inhaler and a spash of water from my canteen case, pop a hard candy and walk away with a smile. I think he's going to have a long night.

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