Thursday, March 31, 2005

Welcome to the Machine

Finally got my fingerprints done today. I never knew it was such a complicated procedure. You need to get the ink on the right parts of the fingers, make sure it goes around the sides, and then get the prints in two different ways (one rolling and one pressing). It's also really awkward to do the weaker fingers.

However, it's done now. The recruiter said that mine were possibly the easiest fingerprints she's ever taken, which is kinda cool.

A lackluster effort

I just reread my previous entry and found it to be poorly written and inaccurate.

The message was more or less right, that a lot of changes to programming languages (especially HTML) are unnecessary and tend to be brought about for the wrong reasons, but I said it pretty badly.

I'm leaving it up, but it's not one of my better works.

Also, the page is up to 1999 now, as Mark told me earlier. I also tried something a bit more complicated and it didn't work, so I'm justified in my fears. Hooray for luddites!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

When did HTML get so crazy?

Subtitle: Why I will never be a successful web designer.

Just so you know, every time I reference "the website" in this post, I'm referring to this.

I was working on the website earlier, and Mark told me I should be using the div tags to do layout. I thought that sounded like a good idea, use something more powerful than the useless align tags, and how hard could it possibly be?

I quickly found out that to do anything useful without retyping a lot of stuff I had to use a cascading style sheet. No problem, I've used them before, how hard could it be?

It took me all day to get the thing to look right. I don't want to relive all my frustrations, but NOWHERE does it say that the order of the div attributes is important. Not one reference I found said "put this first or nothing will work". If they had, I would have had a much easier time of it, I'm sure.

So, in the interest of public knowledge, if you're using the div tag to put a text box in the lower corner of the page, you MUST put the position attributes first. If you don't, it might look okay in an editor, but in a browser it'll be wrong.

In the same vein, if you're using automatic padding, that has to go last in the list, otherwise it'll expand itself when you try to see how it looks and mess up all the attributes beneath it. For some reason it'll put the individual padding values in between the parts of other attributes, and I have no idea way or how it does it.

All that said, I've gotten a decent layout going without using too many fancy tricks, and I'm almost afraid to use anything more complicated. If I had this much trouble understanding the simple stuff, I can't even imagine how frustrating the complicated stuff is going to be.

Now, that covers the basis of this post, but how did it come to this? HTML authoring used to be so simple, so pure. You'd just toss a few tags in, and it would look decent. I can remember making websites that used at most 6 different tags, and there was nothing wrong with them.

As Mark put it, the page looks like it's straight out of 1995. Besides the fact that there's no information on it yet, what's so bad about that? It's got information and links to the important stuff. What more do you need?

Seems to be the march of progress, I guess. Everybody wants fancy websites with funky layouts and graphics everywhere. I don't see the point of having a site that takes forever to load and is useless until it does, and there I see the strength of text. In the time it takes your site with all graphical menus and mouseover effects and whatever else you have to load, a user can already have read most of my site. They can get the information they need and be on their way happy, instead of sitting and waiting for a ton of graphics to load.

Granted that's less of a concern these days, seeing how common high speed internet is. However, there's still a large population using dialup connections. You have to fit the technology level to the lowest level user you have, or else you'll alienate some users. Some people are willing to trade the lost users for the fancier website. I'm not one of them.

This is my downfall. I understand the users, but I can't relate to the people in charge.

As the code evolves to allow fancier features, I will fall farther behind. It's inevitable. I have the tools I'm comfortable with. I hope you can hear me from all the way back here in 1995.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

More sidebar fun

I added Natasha, Dan, and Zout (yet another Kevin) to my sidebar. This is Kevin E, but rather than clutter up the bar with a multitude of Kevins, he's being called Zout, as is his nickname.

Nothing else to add, but I'm thinking I should start reading some more blogs by people I'm not friends with, just to even out the link balance. Or maybe remove the friends who never update. Either way works for me.

Qv7 Studios

For all your secret projects. We will bow to your will!

Website for the secret project.

It's on the internet now, so it's not very secret at all. If you're in Ottawa and need your car washed or detailed, give them a call and then sit back and relax.

It's not fully set up yet, but when everything's rolling I'll let you know.

It's that time again...

That's right, it's Random Wiki Extravaganza (volume 3)!

As always, all information is acquired from Wikipedia.

I'm a bit late this week, but very early on Tuesday is almost as good as very late on Monday, that's what I say. Let's see what tidbits of knowledge await.

Gobichettipalayam is an unpronouncable part of India.

Good Riddance is the song by Green Day that everybody knows. It was written in 1997, but somehow it doesn't feel that old.

StunTour would be a great name for a summer festival, but instead it's an SSL plugin for mIRC.

Bannerghatta Road is the high tech centre of Anekal taluk. No, really.

The Showgrounds is the soccer stadium in Sligo, and has been since 1928.

And one extra to make up for the popular music that snuck in through the randomizer.

Nils Johan Semb coached the Norwegian national soccer team from 1998 to 2003.

And there you have it, 5 random new facts and 1 you already knew about. Goodbye, and see you next time for another batch of crazy new information!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Starkly poetic

Her name is Zohra. She works at Tim Hortons. She is beautiful.

She gave me a leaky boston cream. It was a sign.

I may never see her again.

The trials and tribulations of free web hosting

I'm looking to set up a webpage for the secret project, and I know there isn't a lot of money floating around for it, so I need a free web host, preferably one that doesn't plaster ads all over everything. Rogers used to give you some web space when you signed up with them, but they've since changed it to a Yahoo/GeoCities hybrid thing, and that's no good. Since I can't use that, I hit the net.

According to review sites, every free web host out there is either the best ever or the worst ever. There's very little middle ground. There was one where one comment went on and on about how terrible its features were, and the next went on and on about how great all the features were. You have to read between the lines to get an accurate picture of the reviews.

There's one host I'm looking at that requires you be active on their forum and submit your site for approval. That doesn't sound too bad to me, but I couldn't find any information on what they generally approve of. I don't want to sign up somebody else's website for hosting where it might not pass muster.

Maybe I'll just find a cheap host and forget all the free stuff. At least when they're charging money they have to be honest about what they offer, right?

I think I found a good one, just waiting for confirmation from the boss. It's AtSpace if you're curious, or have any experience (positive or negative, I want to hear both) with it.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Soda Popinski is no more

For years I have been unable to beat Soda Popinski in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. Today, after picking up the game again after a few months of not playing, I finally beat him. Took me 10 or 12 tries, but I finally got him.

This is a feeling of accomplishment that may never be matched.

Ninja training camp

Ninja training camp runs from April 15-17 in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.

Who wants to get a group together and learn to be ninjas?

Train wreck

That's what my NCAA Tournament brackets are now. The Method has let me down. In some parallel dimension I'm at the top of my pool, so at least that gives me a bit of hope. Take that parallel everyone else!

I managed to go with only eating once yesterday. I went to Denny's for lunch and felt like I was going to die for a while afterwards. I'm still not terribly hungry.

It's quite an adjustment, because normally I eat at least twice a day. It should be 3 times, but lately I've been combining breakfast and lunch into something that's not really brunch, it's just something I eat sometime during the day. I don't think it's too healthy to only eat twice during the day, but I'm okay so far.

Also, turns out the Steven and I had some miscommunication. We initially agreed on the intersection of Baseline and Fisher, but then he changed it to Baseline station. He said Baseline in message to me, but he didn't say it was the station and not the street, which was the source of the problem. Not too big of a deal, it seemed the job fair was mostly for call centre jobs (or that's the impression I got), and I don't think I can handle a job that's just talking on the phone all day.

In better news I think I got everything for the secret project finished, and if so I've got a free shirt and possibly some money coming my way. Insert squeals of joy here, I love free shirts.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Oh that crazy Blogger profile

I decided to really look at my profile, and according to it I haven't made a post since October. Also, I've only made 12 posts in total. I don't know where to begin explaining what's wrong with that.

If I change my details, it updates those just fine, so why can't it update my stats?

I was supposed to meet Steven and go to a job fair downtown, but after waiting where we agreed to meet for an hour with no sign of him, I gave up. Somebody called my cell, but I think I was in the elevator and didn't have any reception, so I missed it. If that was you, Steve, sorry for missing the call, and where the hell were you?

I probably could have gone to the job fair by myself, but I was going into it blind. I don't like jumping into unknown situations solo, it makes me uncomfortable. Hopefully I didn't make a mistake in not going.

Speaking of not going, no word from the recruiter. Tomorrow I'm just going to go to the office and wait there until she does something for me.

Taking steps

I called the recruiter directly, got her voice mail. The ball's in her court now. I really hope she doesn't drop it.

While we're on a basketball theme, my March Madness bracket is doing surprisingly well, considering I picked it more or less randomly. So far most of the upsets I predicted have happened, and I really hope that keeps going. I'm not doing so well in my pool, but that's gotta change.

Until this year I didn't give a rat's ass about basketball, and especially not about the NCAA tournament. Now I'm somehwat following the tournament, I'm interested in the NBA playoff race, and I actually get some of the basketball jokes my brother tosses out during sportsnetnews.

God I miss hockey. The CHL and AHL just don't fill the need like they should.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

1 2, 1 2, This is just a test

I decided to change the name I sign my posts with. I just realized that it was still the old outdated nickname. I don't feel the need to hide behind one anymore, so I changed it. Don't know if it'll retroactively change it in every post and comment I've made, but here's hoping.

Can't depend on myself either, it seems

I completely forgot to call my recruiter, so I'll do that tomorrow morning.

I also updated my blogger profile picture this morning, and so far it hasn't shown up in the actual blog. Insert complaints here.

edit: There it goes. Hooray for everything!

Can't depend on anybody these days

I have an application in with the government for a security clearance, and they need to get my fingerprints. The employment agency who put in the application for me is handling it, and I just needed to make an appointment with them to get it done. I called on Monday and my contact wasn't in, so the receptionist said she'd tell her to call me on Tuesday to set up an appointment. Okay, no problem.

Here it is almost noon on Wednesday and she hasn't called. I figure if she hasn't called by 2, I'm going to call her. No sense delaying what I need to get done just because I'm afraid of the telephone.

After reading through Matt's blog I found out that a whole bunch of my friends are bloggers. I'll probably eventually get around to finding and linking all of them, but their lives are much more interesting than mine. Pity pity angst angst, I know, I'll be quiet.

I've written most of a short story, but I have no idea how to end it. I know what the end result of it will be, but I have no idea how to get there. The sci-fi has been shortened from an attempt at a book to a short story for practical reasons. I kinda like the universe, so I can set any number of stories into it. Maybe become prolific and get fat and rich off royalties. Buy a solid gold house and a rocket car, yeah, that's the ticket.

Matt Kirkey rules all creation

Kirkey has a blog. I command you to read him right now. Get into his head and you'll never want to get out.

And to make everything just a bit more surreal, he and I use the same layout.

Nothing else to say, just that Matt Kirkey is awesome.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Random Wiki Extravaganza, volume 2

It's very late on Monday night, which means it's time for Random Wiki Extravaganza! Again, all courtesy of Wikipedia. See, the name got better from last week. Let's begin!

Green Bay refers to 5 different places, and not all of them in Wisconsin.

Birkby rests in England's idyllic Grimescar Valley. With a name like that, you know it's nice.

The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra recorded 71 works of underground Japanese ska. My mind is officially blown.

Dick Clark was born in Paris and was a US senator from 1973 to 1979. Not the Dick Clark you're thinking of.

The Leech lattice is a mathematical concept so confusing it made me curl up in the corner and cry. Seriously, it's symmetrical in 24 dimensions. Each element has 196,560 neighbours, none of which overlap.

That last one has destroyed my feeble little mind, so before I lose control of the part of my brain that handles the act of typing real words, I'll bid you good night.

Tune in again next week for 5 more completely random tidbits of knowledge!

Another problem solved

We got a digital camera for Christmas. It had a battery charging cradle with it, but we never noticed that it wasn't actually charging the batteries. It wasn't until very recently that we noticed that the batteries were almost dead.

After a cursory glance at the cradle, no problem was obvious. I tried fiddling with the camera, but to no avail. The instruction manual for the cradle wasn't terribly useful, until I noticed something in one of the pictures.

The cradle has three ports in the back, one for a USB cable, one for a video capture cable, and one for the power adapter. I don't know who decided to make the video and power ports the exact same size, but they did.

For almost four months we've been trying to charge the camera with the power running through the video port.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

What is this, a cookbook?

A recipe for you, for something I just recently decided to name Supergoop.


1 box Kraft Dinner (Mac and Cheese for you Americans in the audience)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can tuna
1 can peas (optional)

Make the Kraft Dinner as normal. Add the soup, tuna, and peas. Mix thoroughly. Season to taste.

It's a simple meal, and it'll fill you up like nobody's business. I'm sure it's not original, but I like the name I gave it (if you do it right it should come out fairly goopy).


Friday, March 18, 2005

Double post

This post got published twice due to a Blogger foulup. So in this space I will talk about coffee.

I love coffee. Strong, black nectar of the Gods. Ruler of civilizations, slave to temperature.

I drink my coffee black. That's the only way coffee exists. Once you add anything to it, it is no longer coffee, by definition. Don't bother arguing this point, I won't give on it.

You can't add something completely new to a substance and still call it the same thing. That would be like adding ketchup to peanut butter and still calling it peanut butter. Peanut butter is not reddish, and it does not taste like tomatoes, so it can't be peanut butter anymore. Same with coffee.

In conclusion, coffee is good.

Dawn of a new age... of Java

I finally managed to find an Integrated Development Environment that I like. It's Eclipse, and so far I really like it. The main advantage it has over most others I've used is that it compiles and runs projects with multiple classes, and it actually runs them properly.

I don't know if my inability to do that with others was my fault, or a setting I didn't make, but it doesn't matter. Eclipse did it all out of the box, which is something I haven't seen since Jbuilder 2.

I didn't have time to write anything neat yet, but I did get my input class working. I'll never have to set up a keyboard reader again :D

I think I might get the C++ compiler plugin, but I'm not sure. I've heard some things about C++ in Eclipse, and apparently Visual Studio is better for it. I can't install Visual Studio right now, and I have no real motivation to get better with C++ (yet) so I'll do my standard method of not doing anything.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

More crap to read

I just realized that I've been living in Ottawa for 6 months now. In that half a year I've done nothing with my life. I got reacquainted with some old friends, made a few new friends, started a blog, and played a lot of video games.

I think it's sad that I can sum up 6 months in 4 points.

On the plus side I've lost weight, but that on its own isn't enough to counteract this feeling of spinning my wheels.

But no time to be depressed, it's St. Patrick's Day! That wonderful time of the year where everybody pretends to give a rat's ass about Ireland. People with absolutely no Irish blood in them wearing puffy green shamrock hats, guzzling down green beer and speaking with the wrong accent.

I'm not Irish. I have no Irish blood that I know of. On St. Patrick's Day I do nothing special. I have no reason to. Most likely you don't either.

Secret projects

I'm making some stuff for a friend's new business, which is why I haven't been writing anything here lately. I'll let you in on it when everything's done, if anyone cares.

I'm still having the language troubles with my bit of sci-fi, and unless I can figure out some better wording, it's doomed to be dreck. I don't want to write dreck. I don't mind writing schlock, but dreck is out of the question.

Monday, March 14, 2005

1913 was a slow year in archaeology

It's true. No major finds, no important people born, just the death of John Lubbock.

How do I know this? From reading Wikipedia, of course! I was bringing up random pages to see what I could find, and for some reason that one stood out.

So I got an idea. A weekly feature, which I call Scotty gets bored and finds random wikis! The name might get better.

So let's begin!

Rana Waitai is a New Zealand politician with a name I'm not sure I can pronounce.

The rubidium standard is significantly worse than the gold standard.

Skazi is an Israeli trance band. I can't make a joke about that.

Airborne Early Warning is the first useful thing I've found since deciding to do this feature.

The Academy of Economics in Bialystok is apparently the place to study economics in Poland. Or I assume it is.

I hope you enjoyed this look into the fascinating world of wikipedia. Five random topics that I'm willing to bet you had no idea about before. If you learned something trivial, my work here is done.

Thank you, and see you next time.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Bad news, everyone

My head is still stuffed with sponges. It sucks.

We tried to go skating on the Canal yesterday, but the ice was awful. The NCC webpage said it was in "fair" condition, which is why we went. The only thing fair about it was that it was fairly terrible. I guess mid-March is a bad time for outdoor skating, but it's been cold every night, so there's no excuse for crappy ice.

To clarify, by "terrible" I mean our skate blades were digging in. My brother said it was like skating through a snowbank, a description I agree wholeheartedly with. In some places it was easier to walk than try to skate.

Also yesterday, there were some hijinks at the grocery store. Recently they changed the in-store pizza, which we used to always get for dinner on Saturday nights. It used to be we'd get the jumbo pizza, all dressed, and we'd have some left over for Sunday. It was decent pizza too, full of flavour and with generally good toppings.

Three weeks ago they changed the pizza completely. It's a different brand, different sizes (small round or large square, instead of a small or large round). We opted not to get one that week. Last weekend when I was in Kingston, Chris tried one, and he's sworn to never eat a Loblaws pizza again. Apparently they're completely tasteless, and once you put on enough stuff to make a difference in the taste, it's inedible.

As a compromise, I decided to get a Delissio pizza yesterday because they were on sale. All the deluxe ones had been picked off by vultures, leaving a lot of cheese and Hawaiian ones, as well as a hundred million pepperoni. Pepperoni isn't a bad pizza, but it's boring. Cheese is useless, and Hawaiian is gross (fruit has no place on a pizza). Luckily I noticed some spicy chicken ones farther down the row.

Spicy chicken saved my dinner from being bland, and for that I salute it.

In other news, I'm still filled with doubt and uncertainty about the future, but you don't want to hear about that any more than I want to write about it.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


I meant to get out and do some jobhunt-related stuff the past few days, but I never got around to it. I've been feeling a little under the weather, but it doesn't feel like I'm sick. It's like my brain thinks I'm sick, so it shuts down and wants me to stay in bed all day.

This morning nothing could wake me up. I drank a pot of coffee, nothing. I took a shower, nothing. I watched some Futurama, nothing. I spent most of the day staring into space and washing dishes.

And yet, I was somehow ambitious enough to make a salad to go with dinner. I haven't made a salad in 4 months. I'm hoping that's a sign of change, and tomorrow I'll be good to go again. I can't do job stuff tomorrow, but I can at least stop feeling like my head's stuffed with sponges. Hopefully.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I've got nothing

I've been sitting here staring at this blank text box for several minutes now. I thought I had something to say, but it turned out I didn't.

Welcome to the most worthless post in the history of blogging.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I need some help

My brother and I were trying to come up with the name of an old game show earlier, and neither of us can figure it out. Google was useless, and I'm stumped.

Details are sparse, but here's what we have: It was either in the mid-to-late 80s or early 90s, and it began with the host walking down a staircase with all the prizes behind it. Usually cars, if our memory is right. I'm pretty sure the background was either black or dark blue.

Not much to go on, I know, but if you can help out, I'll be eternally grateful.

Well that's interesting

Margot sent me some pictures for the Centennial Gala, and I only remember one of them being taken. It was a fuzzy memory at first, but after thinking about it I can remember it pretty clearly now.

The other one is a complete blank. It's an innocent picture, Kevin and I sitting at a table, but I can't remember when we had it taken. I didn't think I had gotten quite that drunk, but I guess my ability to judge my own inebriation isn't quite what it used to be. I guess I need to be careful next time.

I forgot to get my cds from Kevin while I was in Kingston, so i'm going to have to delay reinstalling Windows and getting Visual Studio installed. Visual studio wants me to jump through a bunch of hoops to get it installed, so i figured it would be best to put it on a fresh copy of Windows rather than fit it into the mess of this one I have now.

Someday I'll get this done.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Confines of language

How do you describe a spaceship to someone who barely even knows what a boat looks like?

How do you explain a bulletproof vest to someone who has no idea about projectiles?

How do you describe the feeling of being drunk to someone who has no self awareness?

How do you describe the sound of the English language?

A few of these questions are pertinent to something I'm writing, and I'd like to see what you guys can come up with.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Master of the elements

I decided to go for a walk to the grocery store. My route took me down Fisher, across the Experimental Farm, down a bit of Merivale, and finally down Baseline to the store. It's about a half hour walk in good conditions.

Today is miserable. Heavy snow, and the temperature is hovering around -12°C, but feels more like -20 with the windchill. Only a moron would be out walking in weather like that.

Moronity aside, I wanted to see if I was still tough enough to go for long walks in bad weather. I've walked through worse, but never for a purpose. Granted, my purpose today wasn't a very good one, but it was still a purpose.

I started out by walking to the bus stop. I had originally planned to take the bus there and back, but upon seeing that the bus wouldn't be by for another 10 minutes, I figured I may as well walk down to Baseline and wait for the bus there. The sidewalk proved to be near impassable, but I trundled on to the path through the Experimental Farm. It was surprisingly clear (only shallow snow covering it) so I decided to walk across to Merivale.

The wind didn't seem too bad in the farm, which was surprising. The snow also wasn't being driven into my face quite as badly, and it was actually a quite pleasant walk. Except for the eventual snow blindness (white on white on white makes it tough to see very far) it went without event.

Getting off the farm path on that side of Merivale is tough because there's no sidewalk. A rather large snowbank met me there, and after slugging through it, I finally managed to get across the street. The sidewalk on that side was nicely plowed, but the snow on the far side was piled up nearly as tall as me.

Baseline's sidewalk turned out to be almost as bad as Fisher's was, so getting to the store was a bit of a labour. Kind of sad that the toughest part of the trip was an unplowed sidewalk.

I took the bus back because I didn't want my groceries to freeze, so the return trip is boring.

While I was out I didn't see another person walking anywhere. There was a parked car and a guy walking his dog in the Experimental Farm, and I saw a guy with a shovel on Merivale, but other than that not another person was out walking.

As such, I claim victory over nature. The inclement weather couldn't suppress my urge to go out walking, and I reached my destination with minimal delays, despite the awful day. I braved the elements and succeeded. I am the master of winter.

Or I'm a moron. Your call.

I don't normally do this

I saw a test linked on Margot's blog, and I decided to take it. I don't do a lot of online tests, but this one jumped out at me because it was a test of commonly misused words. One of my pet peeves is when people use words incorrectly, so I had to take it.

My results:

English Genius
You scored 93% Beginner, 93% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 83% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!


My test tracked 4 variables. How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 99% on Beginner
You scored higher than 99% on Intermediate
You scored higher than 99% on Advanced
You scored higher than 99% on Expert

I think that those results mean I got one wrong in each of the first three sections, and 2 wrong in the last one. Still, I feel pretty good about my grasp of this wacky language.

If you want to take the test yourself, click here: The Commonly Confused Words Test

I know that I'm opening myself up to comments describing how many words I misused in this post, but I'm prepared for that.

If anybody posts a better score here, I'll buy them a beer sometime.

Been a while

The madcap romp of the past week has finally come to an end. The Centennial was a rousing success, as was to be expected.

In the days leading up to the weekend, an emergency lan party was called because Derek was in town, visiting from Toronto. It was a good party, mostly because pretty much all we played were older games that are guaranteed to be fun. It got a little slow when we decided to pull out Axis & Allies, but that was mostly because people kept leaving to play other games when it wasn't their turn. I was Russia, and I got absolutely decimated.

We played a lot of Tron, which I'm surprisingly still good at. There isn't much that's more fun that piloting a lightcycle around the grid at very high speed, and I think everybody playing knew it.

Aside from that, we played some Doom cooperative, Quake 2, Counter-Strike, and some Serious Sam cooperative, which got boring because I didn't set the difficulty high enough when I set up the server. 5 guys with infinite ammo and not a lot of monsters leads to boredom eventually. Gotta remember that for next time.

Never heard of Serious Sam? It's excellent mindless fun. In the coop mode it's as many guys as you can get, a lot of big guns, and an endless tide of monsters.

Moving on to the Centennial Gala, my ride was 2 hours late and we managed to miss the Bands performance, but we got there right before dinner. On the way down we thought we had missed dinner but would still get to see the performance, so I guess it worked out, maybe.

Dinner was awesome, and came with unlimited free wine, which I freely abused. The wine guy eventually stopped refilling my glass, which was probably for the best. During dinner there was a slideshow, and speeches between courses. It was a lot of self-referential back-patting, but that's to be expected when you throw a party honouring yourself.

Following dinner there was a dance, during which I got jiggy. I think I overexerted myself, because my legs still hurt. The rest of the evening gets a little blurry, but all the former drum majors who were there had a mace-off to see who had retained their skills, and I got caught taking honey packets from the breakfast buffet table. Why they were setting up the breakfast table before the party had ended is anyone's guess, but the honeys I did manage to get were extra sweet.

Eventually I wound up at Kevin's place, and following some artistic expression in the bathroom (apparently I'm an artist in the medium of high speed mid-digestives on plaster), I slept until early afternoon.

A rude awakening came when Kevin's housemate burst into the room complaining about bits of my artwork that I had failed to wipe up the previous night. Ordinarily I wouldn't bring this up, but if I don't, he'll just make comments about it. Anyway, he was nice enough to clean it up, so I'm extending thanks for that.

After watching some Greg the Bunny, I went for breakfast with some friends, and then came back to Ottawa. All told I was in Kingston for less than 24 hours.

And yes, I got my pillow back. I can't wait to go to bed so I can sleep on it again.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


That fan sitting in my case not doing anything was bugging me, taunting me, making a mockery of everything I stand for. I had to do something about it. I had to fix it. I had to make things right.

I popped it out, oiled the bearing, and threw it back in. Mark told me I could use vegetable oil for the lubrication, but I used sunflower oil. It was all I had on hand.

On the plus side, it worked perfectly. I think it's quieter now than it ever was before, and I don't have to worry about overheating, which was still a small concern in the back of my mind.

On the minus side, it's a fan full of sunflower oil. Write your own joke here.

Regardless, it's quiet and running, so I have nothing to worry about.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


The fan started acting up not long after I made my earlier post, so it's now unplugged.

So far nothing has changed. The computer's been running all day, and there hasn't been a single heat-related incident. In addition, the heatsink on the chipset was more or less the same temperature without the fan as it was with it.

In conclusion, the fan on the chipset on an Asus A7V board is useless. Seems silly to put on a useless fan, especially if it's one that's prone to breaking down.

On the verge of solving one of the greatest mysteries of our time

Some of my frineds are familiar with the terrible noise my computer makes at startup. I'm not so good at describing sounds, but during my research into it I saw somebody describe it as "graunchy". I think that's as accurrate as I'm going to find.

Turns out it's not caused by a wire getting stuck in a fan like I had thought, but rather the sleeve bearing in my chipset fan starting to wear out. It causes some vibration, and that creates the terrible noise I'm so familiar with.

If it was just happening on startup, I wouldn't mind so much, but lately it's been happening more often. It's sometimes started doing it in the middle of the day, or late at night, and never without any warning. I'll be sitting here doing something and suddenly have my delicate ears assaulted by the fan noise from hell.

After some research, I've discovered a range of options. Mark suggested lubricating the fan with some oil, which I might do. I can replace the fan, which will be cheap. I can put a little blob of sticky stuff on the fan to throw the balance off, and thus remove the vibration (I'm not sure how well that'll work). And, most heartening of all, I found some testimonials that say that my motherboard doesn't even need a fan on the chipset. I could just remove the fan and everything would be fine.

Right now the fan's being quiet, but if it acts up again I'm probably going to rip it out of there and see if those testimonials are true.

But he keeps vomiting

Sometime over the past little while I started to enjoy King of the Hill. I have no explanation, but suddenly it's funny to me. Like a bolt out of the blue.

It helps that just about anything becomes funny if you say it like Hank Hill, especially things that are funny on their own. Such as the line quoted in the title of this post, which was about a cat.

From the time it premiered to a few months ago, I thought of it as one of those shows that has its moments but wasn't good enough to bother watching all the time. Recently, I've been making sure to watch it before Jeopardy.

I've been thinking about this whole blog thing. I write, nobody comments, and nobody mentions it to me. I put the address in my msn name for 2 days, and at least 1 person reads it and starts their own blog (Kevin G). He sends out an email about starting his up, and he gets comments on every one of his posts.

Logically I should tell people that I'm writing this so I can get more readership. At the same time, I almost don't want more readers, because that would make me feel like I have to please them with every post.

My philosophy all along has been that if I write it and mention it to people who seem interested, people will eventually start reading. I think I'm going to stick to my phiosophy, even though it may never pan out.

So in this post I resolved nothing and talked about a TV show. I think I'm striking a fine line between originality and being a hack.

Also, Kevin has still failed to produce a picture of a coconut.