Monday, February 28, 2005

You win again, gravity

I'm still stuck to the Earth. All my efforts to break these surly bonds have thus far failed, and I'm beginning to get discouraged. Sure, temporary breakthroughs like airplane flights and jumping really high have given me some hope, but those invariably end with me returning to the ground.

Douglas Adams gave a good lead in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, but it turns out that throwing oneself at the ground and missing is exceedingly difficult. I've tried every possible moment of distraction possible in the falling process, and none have proven to be the correct one. Perhaps my research is damning itself, as in the back of my mind I'm probably calculating that if I think about pickles *now* I'll succeed, so I must make sure to attempt the experiment with a blank mind.

The next round of testing will wait until the bruises heal. No sense causing further damage to myself.

I've noticed that when a piece of paper is held over a fan facing upwards, it is lifted. This is a very common occurance, but it led me to a new thought. What if the entire floor was to be covered with fans, and some sort of paper-shaped suit was to be worn? My present body shape is not conducive to being lifted by air currents, but if I were to wear some variety of enlongated flat material, would the floor of fans be able to lift me? The answer will come after I raise the funds to purchase wall-to-wall fans.

Until the next round, this will be my final entry in the journal of gravity defiance.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another post about old video games?

Yesterday afternoon I downloaded Castlevania 5: Dracula X. Some people know of my love for the Castlevania series, in all its hair-pulling frustrating glory. One of the things I liked best was how long each one would take to finish, and if not for the emulator save state function, the importance of carefully writing down passwords.

Last night I beat Castlevania 5: Dracula X. It was 7 levels, and aside from 2 or 3 tough bosses, not very hard. It also lacked a good recognizable end boss. I didn't even know I was fighting Dracula when I got to him. He was just a teleportig boss with one weak spot, who turned into a gargoyle or something when you beat him the first time. Normally a boss's second form is tougher than its first, but not in this case. I beat the gargoyle the 3rd time I got to it, as opposed to a number too high to count for the first form.

Castlevania 4 was better, in my opinion. Over twice as long, and hard as hell, the way Castlevania is supposed to be.

One random point: what is it with Castlevania games and clock towers? Is a clock tower so integral to the Dracula mythos that it's impossible to have a Dracula-based game that doesn't have one? Don't get me wrong, the clock tower level is usually my favourite, but why is it so necessary?

Oh well. Kevin d and Margot got back from their tropical paradise after sitting on the beach for a week drinking rum out of coconuts. Lousy students with their reading week and parents with money.

And they had the unmitigated gall to go to paradise and not bring me back a single picture of a coconut. Can you believe that?

This false indignity stuff is hard to maintain, so I'll stop now. That's better. I still want a picture of a coconut though...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The times they are a-changing

They changed the Jolt packaging. Take a look. Now, I'm a purist in most respects, so I'm not sure if I like this. I don't see anything wrong with a simple bottle, and I think all this energy drink marketing stuff is kinda stupid. Sure you want people to know your drink will pep them up, but is shaping the can like a big battery really the only way to do that?

I don't even consider Jolt to be an energy drink. It's a cola with a lot of caffeine in it. If that makes it an energy drink, then coffee is an energy drink. You don't see coffee being sold in battery-shaped cans covered with lightning bolts.

Maybe one reason I'm opposed to this change is because Jolt holds a special place in my heart. (Geek Alarm) Way back when I first started going to LAN parties, our drink of choice was Jolt. At that time, the only place in the area that sold it was Becker's in Vankleek Hill. We'd drop in there, buy their entire supply if they had any in stock, and over the next 24 hours we'd consume it all. Soon enough a friend's parents' store started selling it at his insistance, and we took our business there for everything.

After that, we wouldn't get as many bottles as we used to. There were more people at each LAN, so we had to divide the supplies up so everyone got some. Normally this would result in each person getting maybe 3 or 4 bottles for the entire LAN, sometimes less. I don't think we ever fought over it, but if we did it wouldn't surprise me.

Eventually the need to have it passed. We managed to get by on regular drinks and coffee, with only the occassional Jolt to supplement the other drinks. Soon we didn't even need the supplement, and I stopped buying Jolt completely.

So what does all that have to do with changing the packaging? Admittedly not a lot, except for the desire to not see something you once loved get changed beyond recognition. To me, Jolt is a 600 mL bottle with a black and red label, the word "Jolt" with a lightning bolt through the O, and a small graphic comparing the caffeine content to a cup of coffee.

I know the drink will remain the same even though the package changes, and there's no stopping the march of progress. I still have my memories, but soon what I used to treasure more than gold will be but a footnote in memory.

This won't be the first memory to be lost to history, but it's the first that I can watch happening. It shouldn't upset me this much, but for some reason it does.


My other friend Kevin got a blog, so now I not only have to figure out which one is which on msn, I now have to keep track of which one's blog I'm clicking on. He's linked from the sidebar, so go read him. He's Kevin G. Other Kevin is Kevin d. The capitalization is important.

It seems AbsO and have disappeared, so I removed that from the sidebar. He didn't tell me he was going anywhere, and it's really weird for him to not be online. I hope nothing happened to him, but I have no way of finding out. I don't think any of our other friends still live anywhere near him.

That seems to be everything in order. Potentially more later.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Greeting cards

My grandmother's 85th birthday is coming up, so today I got her a birthday card. Did you know they don't make 85th birthday cards? They have cards for every x5 birthday except it. 45, 55, 65, 75, but no 85. It jumps from 80 to 90.

So I was reduced to looking through the other cards. All the grandmother-specific ones seemed to be designed to reassure someone that they were still loved despite the fact they were going to die soon, and I don't know who wants to get a card like that. Or give a card like that. Reading them was really depressing.

Eventually I found a decent one that was funny and had space to write a note, so I can't condemn the entire greeting card industry in one fell swoop. It'll take a couple passes to do that.

I had to get a thank you card too, but they weren't nearly as bad. Still pretty bad, but not nearly as bad. At least none of them were depressing.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The lesson is: never try

I've canceled the BABAF. It was a colossal failure, the likes of which have never been seen before. Now let us never speak of it again.

I spent all weekend playing Guild Wars. If you've never heard of it, go to the Guild Wars website to learn more, because I don't feel like explaining it.

After a rough start on Friday (which saw our entire guild getting utterly destroyed because we made level 20 characters specifically for player-vs-player games) we got our act together on Saturday and started proper characters. I now have a level 10 Warrior/Mesmer. If that's meaningless to you, it's basically a fighter who can deal with spellcasters. The trouble with fighting casters is that they tend to stay far away and cast stuff on you, killing you before you can get close enough to hit them. What the mesmer does is cast spells designed specifically to mess up other casters. There's one that makes it so that anytime a caster tries a spell, it blows up in their face and deals a humongous amount of damage. Other spells drain their energy, either by converting it to health for you, causing damage to them, or adding to your energy. The less energy they have, the less spells they can cast.

Even with those cool things going for me, it's a team-based game, and no team is complete without a healer. After having almost no healing in our first incarnation, just about everybody in the guild is now part Monk, so there's no shortage of healing and resurrecting going on for us.

Anyway, the game is in its beta stage, and as a result games only run one weekend a month. After this weekend, I can't wait for the next one to start.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Donations update

So far a grand total of $0.00 has been donated to the BABAF. A total of $10.00 has been indicated as being available from different sources, but initial reports show the entire campaign to be a failure.

Unless this changes severely, the entire project will be scrapped and I'll have no choice but to find somebody to mock me. Or I could cut out the middle man and mock myself. That'll save time and effort.

I was discussing the current job market with a friend, and I came tot he conclusion that I give up too easily on things. With a bit of work I could no doubt learn all the languages and technologies all the employers seem to want, but the fact that "it might be helpful someday" doesn't do much to motivate me.

So I'm turning over a new leaf. Again. I've turned a lot of leaves this year, and they keep turning themselves back. Lousy leaves.

Rambling aside, I'm going to finally crack down and learn how to write in all those languages I've had sitting around not being used. I'm going to think of funky stuff and just write it for no good reason. I might put fancy GUIs on them, I might make networked stuff, I might write scripts that automatically change all my file names to hilarious anecdotes. The future is mine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

We need your support

I've added a Paypal donation button to the sidebar. Allow me to explain it.

I've started a charitable fund, the Broke-Ass Bands Alumni Fund, dedicated to allowing former Bandsies who are currently lacking funds to attend the Centennial Gala in March. Tickets are expensive, so many former Bandsies, myself included, are finding it diffeicult to afford a ticket to this once-in-a-lifetime event.

100 years of Bands tradition is being celebrated in a single weekend, and I know I can't be the only one who can't afford to join the celebrations.

This organization was my life for 4 years. If I miss this because of financial concerns, it'll be the most tragic thing to happen in the history of humanity.

Just so you know, if I don't meet the goal of $100 for the ticket by February 24th, your money will be refunded. Simply hold on to your receipt and send me a copy of it, and I'll Paypal your money back to you, or write you a cheque or something.

If you want to give me money for some other reason, feel free to use the BABAF button and specify it's not specifically for the BABAF.

And yes I just added the Ass to make it a better acronym.


I meant to write something today, but never got around to it, and now I'm too sleepy. Seems like a lot of posts recently have been lacking in the quality department, so maybe I need to stop doing other things and focus on this.

Or get back to writing when the mood hits. Guess that's the best idea. No more getting an idea and then sitting on it until later, hoping it forms itself into something more interesting.

No, the only way to make an idea form is to get it out of your head on onto something else. Then you can fiddle with it and make it better. Stretch it out, make it too wordy, or remove all detail from it. It's your idea, and you're free to do whatever you want with it.

On another note, the Bands Centennial Gala is coming up at the end of March, and I need to let them know if I'm going by the 25th of February. Currently I can't afford to go unless I get a job or put way too much money on my credit card. Some things might be moving on the job front, but it's too early to tell, so I'm considering alternate forms of revenue generation.

The Google ads are a start, but they don't pay for anything yet. I don't even know when I can start to get cheques from them. I have a Paypal account that I never use, so maybe I'll set it up for donations.

Seems I'm not above begging. How sad is that?

Monday, February 14, 2005

More complaining about OC Transpo

More specifically, about route 176, which runs down Merivale. Most stops have a nice little sign telling you when the bus should be there. In fact, just about every stop except the ones along 176 have those signs.

If you can't have a sign up, run a bus more than twice an hour. Or once an hour, or once a day, which it always feels like when waiting for that one. I probably could have walked home before the bus showed up.

I have no problem with other routes, just 176 pisses me off for no good reason.

In other news, I accomplished all my goals for today except getting in touch with my recruiter. If the bus hadn't been so slow, I could have done that one too. Damn you 176, for making me lose my 100% day.

Cooking a roast in the crock pot, and man does it smell good.

Oddly enough

I have nothing to say abput Valentine's Day. None of the normal complaining about Hallmark holidays, none of the lamentations of my love life, not even anything about ugly store displays. The big V just doesn't seem to exist for me this year.

I can't say I miss it, either.

No, this year is all about early Easter. Loblaws near my house is selling chocolate bunnies for 2 bucks a pop, and I'm considering stocking up on them. I bought one on Saturday, and it's nearly gone. Figure if I'm feeling like it I'll grab another one on my way back from the bank tomorrow.

It just occured to me that those might be last year's extras. But I don't care. If year-old chocolate tastes that good, then every chocolate should be aged for a year.

Got a full day on my plate for tomorrow. I have to get out to the bank, pick up a copy of Guild Wars, do a bunch of housework, and hopefully find time to do some writing. I keep getting new ideas to replace ones I already have, and as a result nothing gets done.

Oh yeah, and talk to my recruiter to see if she's gotten word of any jobs for me.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The day after

My birthday was pretty good. Hung out with friends, kicked ass at Axis & Allies, and had a nice meal at a buffet.

Then spent the rest of the night running to the bathroom.

I don't know what it was that bothered me, and I'll spare you the details.

Aside from that little detail, it was a good day.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

And now I rip off Reel Big Fish

Sell out, with me oh yeah
Sell out, with me tonight
Google AdSense gonna give me lots of money
And everything's gonna be all right

A new use for comic collections

Last Christmas I got the Complete Far Side. It weighs roughly 20 pounds.

I just found a great new use for it when it's not being read: flattening posters.

I had some posters rolled up for several months, and I decided I'd get around to putting them up today, finally. They were stubbornly rolled up and refused to unroll, so I dropped the Far Side on them.

Hopefully that'll straighten them out. Otherwise it's going to be tough to put them up.

Lessons learned

The big lesson for today is: If you only have 3 minutes left on your transfer, and you just missed your bus, wait for the next one and spend the fare again instead of getting on a route you're unfamiliar with.

I went to an open house at an employment agency today, got registered, and began the process of getting a government security clearance. On the way back, I was just in time to see my bus leaving. I got to the stop and glanced at my transfer, and noticed it was very nearly expired, so I took quick stock of what buses were sitting there.

Advance apologies to those unfamiliar with Ottawa and OC Transpo.

The route that goes by my house is the 86. The one I got on was the 87. I figured it would have to go somewhat near my place, because the 85 does.

It doesn't.

It follows the Transitway out to the Carlingwood shopping centre, which is a long way from my place. After noticing that the bus wasn't turning off where I was hoping it would, I decided to ride it to Carlingwood. From there I waited for the 85 to come down Carling, and then transfered to the 86 where Holland becomes Fisher, which is fairly close to my house (I live on Fisher). I would have just walked, but it was cold and I was carrying stuff.

In conclusion, trying to save 2 bus tickets so I wouldn't need to wait 20 minutes wound up costing me those tickets anyway, plus nearly an hour of extra waiting and travel time.

My birthday is Friday. I have no plans. I was considering making a trip to Kingston, but people there seem reluctant to get excited over the idea, so I'll just stay at home and be bored.

I'm going to be 24. Yikes.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Doom: The Musical

They're making a Doom movie, where all the stuff about space marines, demons from hell, and Mars has been removed. In its place they're making a swat team fight infected humans.

That's not Doom. That's barely even Resident Evil.

To rectify the situation, a friend and I have come up with the perfect way to bridge the gap: Turn Doom into a musical. I mean the proper Doom, not the craptacular version they're making.

Just picture it: An all-imp chorus line, a big duet between the marine and the Cyberdemon, and a Hell Knight dance-off.

A prospective list of song ideas includes the intro to the show (maybe a duet between the marine and some former humans), an ode to weapons, the imp chorus filling us in on what's happened between scenes, the Archvile song (I scream, you burn. Then I raise the deeeeeeeaaaaaaaaad. You keep shooting, I keep booting. Don't stop or you'll get buuuuuuuuuuurned!), and of course the big ending number.

Yes, the archvile song needs better lyrics. I haven't written it yet, cut me some slack.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Victory day

Today was a good day.

First, I beat Prince of Persia. The original version, on the SNES. I started playing the other day, and after taking the weekend off for a lan party, I beat it tonight. I had 1 health and 11 minutes left on it too. :)

Second, I got dinner basically for free. I had a free sub, and my brother had a free sub, so we figured we may as well redeem them because I didn't feel like cooking. He got some $5 Subway gift certificates for Christmas, so he gave one to me for drinks and cookies.

I got two footlong subs, 2 bottles, and 3 cookies, and it cost me 48 cents.

No progress on the job front, but that's okay. Sometihng will come up.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Law of Conservation of Alcohol

I have a theory that the amount of alcohol consumed in the world stays constant. When one person stops drinking, others drink more. For every person who begins drinking, another has just quit, for whatever reason.

Think about it. I'm willing to bet that for every person you know who has started drinking less, you know another person who has started drinking more. Therein lies my proof.

Not really much else to say today. The interview turned out kinda badly, but that was mostly because the job was different from what they advertised. It was a lot of phone work, and I'm not very good on the phone.