christmas and weddings

Huh what?
This weekend was cool. Saturday we went to see Return of the King, which I thought was absolutely incredible. The scenery was breathtaking, the characters were perfect, and the story was well told. I enjoyed it so much, and I can’t wait to hand over my hard-earned cash for the super-deluxe fifteen-disc collectors edition. After that we went to Ben’s crib. It was there that I discovered Vice City. Oh man, my Xbox has been in the closet for almost seven months – but after playing that game for 5 hours Saturday night, I pulled it down from it’s retirement and kicked off a BitTorrent download of Vice City. The game is sooo fun. After all the negative press, I was sure I’d be disgusted by it – but it’s just too rad to deny.

My brother gets married in less than a week, I’m actually really excited about going to the ceremony. I can’t believe both us kids are hitched. It really has been a long time since the days of Saturday Morning Cartoons.

I honestly have nothing to write. Christmas is almost here and we’ll be jetting of to Florida on the 24th to arrive on Christmas morning. I’ll be taking the laptop in hopes of blogging while there, but I’m not sure if I’ll write or not. I’ll at least try to write once during the week, but who knows. Sharaun and I are doing our Christmas on Christmas Eve morning, since we don’t want to haul all our gifts to Florida. I’m actually quite proud of the gifts I got for her this year, more thought and went into it than previous years, and I think she’ll be happy with most of it.

Dave out.


Yum they make you sick!
If Wednesday’s blog was one of the better ones, this is gonna be one of the not-so-better ones. I just wasn’t in a writing mood tonight, and there wasn’t much going on. I thought about writing about how much I suck at wrapping gifts, but then the inspiration left me. So here ya go, a couple straight up cut-n-pastes from the stale section of the “blog_ideas.txt” file. Woot.

Oh man, I rediscovered the greatness that is eBaum’s World last night. I’ve been to this site before, but man it’s got some hilarious stuff on there. I was laughing at the GI Joe parodies, particularly this one and this one. Stupid QuickTime movies, I hate QuickTime. Always stealin’ my file associations. If you don’t do QuickTime, you can use this awesome QT alternative (also grab the nearly all-inclusive Windows codec pack while you’re there, and never have broken vids again). What more could you want from a site? I mean, they got dudes with elephantitis of the balls, and crazy rednecks trying to drive trucks with their feet. My kinda website, you could easily kill an evening at this place.

… too bad your ass got saaaacked.

Public Service Announcement to People I Know:
People, for real now, c’mon, let’s think here for a sec. If you see a mail about some crazy teddy bear virus on everyone’s PC, check it out before you blindly forward it. That one where the stupid bunny always knows my card?, save that crap, I’ve seen it. Oh, and the ones where Bill Gates or Coke or someone is gonna give me money if I keep forwarding your idiocy onward through the internet?, you can keep that crap too. It’s fake. Yeah, that’s right. Sorry to crush your belief that some tourist’s picture was taken right before the planes hit, or that that scuba dude barely missed getting eaten by a shark. It’s all 100% fake man, every piece of internet lore you’re hemorrhaging from your inbox is pure shite. Ahh… much better.

Nice collection of moldy and musty bits I’ve been meaning to post. Hope you enjoyed them. Did I mention I suck at wrapping gifts? I did? Oh, OK.

Dave out.

nobody’s home (as far as you know)

Treehouse.  Hideout.
Why do shirt manufacturers think that as one goes from L to XL or even XXL, the only dimension that needs to change is the length? XL doesn’t mean I’m an 8ft tall giant, it means I’m hugified. Now I have a t-shirt that’s still “queer eye” tight up top, but hangs down to my knees. I’m supposed to wear this? Scale the entire shirt in proportion you idiots! America is overweight, not overtall. Sheesh.

Sometimes there’s nothing more liberating than not answering the phone. I’m not talking about not answering the phone because I’m busy or asleep… I’m talking about not answering the phone for no reason at all. It’s not that I don’t want to talk, it’s not that I don’t like the person calling me, it’s just that I don’t want to answer it. I get this little feeling of victory when I ignore the phone, and it feels even better when the caller ID shows it’s someone who I wouldn’t mind talking to. I just like the idea of not being available at anyone’s beck and call, not having to respond to anything. It feels so good to just sit on the couch and let that thing ring its little heart out. If they’re serious, about ten seconds later I’ll have to ignore the cell phone too. Phones are great, but they’re also a great nuisance sometimes. When I’m in my house doing nothing, I really want to do nothing. Meaning, I want to sit around and do whatever it is that I want to do – without being interrupted. Back in college I used to not only ignore the phone, but ignore the door too. Sometimes it’s fun to just hole up and and be a hermit for a while.

The new Lord of the Rings comes out this week, and I couldn’t be more excited. Ever since I read those books back in high school (and three times over again through college), I’ve considered them the best works of fantasy ever. Jackson has done such a good job capturing the imagery of the books, and thank the lord for the digital recording techniques that make everything look so crisp and clear – New Zealand looks like an awesome place. I can’t wait to drop fistfuls of cash on the super-deluxe full-film edition dvd set, whenever it comes out.

I’ve decided to go into business doing what I love, on the side of course. It’s crazy the way things happen, but my best bud from 5th grade has a business opportunity and we gonna go partners on it. We’re gonna start a webstore (like millions before us). I’m going to handle the technical and webpage part, and he’s the salesman and goods appropriator. It’ll be my pet project until it’s up and running well, and we can actually launch it and see if it floats. I’m excited because I think there may actually be some money to be made with it, but who knows. At least I’m finally doing something with the internet that has some possibility of return.

That’s it. No links in this blog at all, strangely. Dave out.

i’m a leftist rhymer

defend your reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever
Took this test (with a lil’ help from Sharaun) and ranked as a “Pop Junkie.” Combined, we fully kicked this test’s arse. I thought it was kinda fun, but only if ya got a good bit o’ time to waste on it.

If ya noticed, I fixed the comment script. Yup, it was exactly the problem I thought it was. I just needed someone on the host server to reset my permissions page so I could make the comments database writeable again. I had been sending unanswered mails to tech support since last Wednesday, every one of them marked as “level 3: critical site or network outage,” and I was getting increasingly short and kinda ornery with them. So yesterday, I decided to go the other route – and mostly out of frustration fired off this guy:

i tried to set some permissions,
but 404s filled my visions.

“page not found” is all i see,
why would they do this to me?

it worked last week i swear,
but now the page ain’t there.

oh sweet permissions,
how i wish i could change thee,
because right now my visitors,
cannot write to my DB.

i’ve wrote a hundred times now,
always “level 3,”
adaptive won’t you please,
chmod or calcs for me.



Now, I don’t know if it was coincidence or not, but within hours I got this:

We will reset the permissions link immediately.
Sorry for the delay.

After which the permissions page was back in order, and I replied with the following:

you guys are da bomb, sorry if i sounded harsh… not like the fate of the free world hinges on my dumb blog anyway 😉

take it easy!! hope ya had a good turkey day.


Yeah, I was easy on ’em, but they did get it fixed. Don’t think I didn’t entertain thoughts of nastiness. At one point yesterday I had tracked down the name and home number of the dude who owns the server that was misbehaving. I even managed to dig up pictures of him and his extended family. The web can be scary in the wrong hands, but I donned my white hat and took the high road. I’m just glad the site’s working, and you can all leave nice derisive comments again. Ahhh, the world is right once more.

Been seriously hitting the Decmeberists again. I think I’ve moved onto Phase Three of musical enjoyment with them. Lemme break it down for you. Phase One is the “humming” phase. I listen primarily to the tune of the songs, the music dominates and it’s what I remember most. Sure, I might learn a hook or two lyrics-wise, but not much more than that. Phase Two is the “hearing” phase. This is where I listen to and learn the words of the song. At this point I’m mainly concerned with being able to sing along, ’cause you can derive all new levels of enjoyment from a song when you can sing along with it. Phase Three is the “ah-ha!” phase. This is where I start interpreting the words I’ve been trying to learn. I put the song together to pick out ideas and themes, and try to figure out what’s being sung about. I think Phase Three is the ultimate level of enjoyment I can get from music, like being in on the secret message the songwriter is trying to get across or something.

Anyway, I’m in Phase Three with the two (one, two) Decemberists albums now – and yesterday at work these songs sent me to like a hundred times. Seriously, this guy must have an old 18th century thesaurus nearby when he pens his songs. With gems like “stevedore,” “bombazine,” “oligarchs,” “laudanum,” and countless others – he by far out-vocab’s anyone I’ve ever listened to. I even got tongue-tied reading the reviews of the dang albums. But whatever, I’ve talked about a group 90% of you don’t care about (and would probably laugh off as novelty) for too long now. Next subject please.

Anthony and I were talking yesterday about how much we like getting new tools. We both agreed that, the less oft-used the tool, the more we want it. Meaning, I have no problem buying tools I’ll only use once – on the contrary, I love it more than buying tools I’ll use every day. Saturday I bought a staple gun to help hang the Christmas lights on the eaves. I bought the most top-of-the-line model that Home Depot had. Why? Hell, I don’t know why. I’ll probably only ever use it once a year, but if staple guns ever come up in conversation I’ll be able to say “I have a sweet staple gun, super powerful, the best.” I guess it’s also a status thing, the more tools I have the more times I can say “I have one you can borrow” to a buddy lamenting about not owning a planer when his project requires one; to which he’ll reply “Really, awesome. I can’t believe you have one of those.” Obscure tool: check, ego-food: check. Done and done.

Even though I’ve shied away from talking about the blog in person (talking about it makes me feel like you think I write it just so you’ll talk to me about it, and that makes me feel like a cheap attention whore), my pops said something interesting to when we were together over Thanksgiving. I don’t know how often my folks read the blog, but I suspect pops reads it fairly regularly. Anyway, he made the comment this weekend that we think a lot alike. Actually he said something to the tune of “we think a lot alike David, it’s kinda scary.” Pops… I agree! I don’t wanna think like you – you’re insane! Anyway, I thought that was kinda cool. Pop: you can talk about the blog when you want, you’re OK in my book. Makes me wonder though, how many of the millions of things I thought about during my youth did my parents also think about at one time during their youth.

Last night Sara (or Dan? I dunno) and I got to talking about rhymes and I realized that there are two distinct schools of rhyming. I’m what I like to think of as a “relative” rhymer, whereas Sharaun is a very “literal” rhymer. I guess you could say I’m a leftist rhymer, while Sharaun is a right-wing rhyming nut. Us rhyming liberals have it a lot easier than the rhyme-Nazis though, that’s for sure. For me, “away” rhymes with “foyer” and “bacon” rhymes with “naked.” For Sharaun, “away” rhymes with nothing, and “bacon” only rhymes with “Macon” or maybe “shaken.” Literal rhymers need both absolute rhymage and matching syllable count. Relative rhymers are happy enough with similar sounding words like “leanest” and the last ‘P’ of O.P.P. (for the ladies).

Gee, what an eclectic and long-winded blog this turned out to be. I kinda cleaned out some of the “blog_ideas.txt” file and probably put too many unrelated things into one entry, but I was in the writing mood. Sheesh, just re-read this thing for “editorial” sake, I write terribly sometimes. How can you even figure out what I’m trying to say? That paragraph about my dad’s comment… absolutely horrid. Sorry. That’s it for now.

Dave out.

back from the lodge

they hurt from 5ft
Ahhh… the middle child of the year-end holiday blitz has come and gone. Too bad, since I’m thrust back into the loads of work I put off in anticipation of my time off. Now I’ve got to work double hard (which is about 1/5 of a normal person’s regular work) to catch up. Anyway… Thanksgiving was great. I was holed up in the Strawberry Lodge, eating, drinking, and reading by the fire. Oh, and napping… did a fair bit o’ napping too. I came home feeling awesome, rested, full-bellied, and all-around radical.

As you may have noticed, I wasn’t able to blog at the lodge – what’s more, is that I didn’t even want to blog at the lodge. A couple times I pulled out the trusty laptop and thought about powering it on and writing, but I ultimately decided not to. It was nice, but it does mark the first time since the blog’s inception that weekdays were missed. It’s cool tho, I got nuthin’ but love for the blog.

Oh, and speaking of the blog – the dang comment script is still broken. And the lovely people at my hosting company have been ignoring my “critical site issue” support e-mails since Wednesday of last week. Nothing I can do at this point except wait around to hear from them. Now’s the time when I wish I had my own server. Bah.

Got back home on Saturday and watched the Florida vs. Florida State game, that stunk. Then watched a really cool movie about compulsive gambling. Being at the lodge, removed from TV and internet and phone – my reading cycle seems to have started back up again. See, I’m a big fan of reading for pleasure. However, I don’t always do it. I’ll get started on reading, and read faithfully every night for months at a time, devouring book after book. I read fantasy almost exclusively, I just love ’em. I know… it’s way nerdy, but that is the one genre that I most enjoy – as long as it’s quality fantasy and not crap. Melissa always makes fun of me for reading nothing but “troll books” with castles and dragons on the covers. For real tho, they could make the covers less conspicuous… those books scream D&D math-major from 30ft. Owell, whatever. Anyway… I’m back to reading, and hopefully it’ll last. Problem is, sometimes I’ll put down the book for a few days and not pick it up again for months. That’s how my pleasure reading goes: off and on.

Today I’m wearing those dark-as-night jeans again… I really don’t like the way they look. But hey, they fit. And for that they get worn. I’m gonna try and experiment tonight where I throw them in the washer with some bleach, maybe I can tone ’em down a bit. Whatever. Like I care.

Yesterday I invented the impromptu project of putting up Christmas lights on the house. I got me a staple gun and some gutter hooks and a whole mess of icicle lights. Everything went awesome, and the house looks great. I did, however, manage to drop a hammer on my skull – in true my-project fashion. I have this habit of forgetting I left the hammer on top of the ladder, and then going to move the ladder and having the hammer come toppling down. Usually it hits the ground and I breathe a little sigh of relief that it didn’t coldcock me. This time it coldcocked me, right on the forehead. It hurt down into my teeth.

OK I’m off, time to get ready for work. Dave out.

my page is racist

i'm about to warp to level eight
Well, my brain is already on vacation. That tends to happen to me. I start thinking ahead, and my brain goes on vacation a couple days before my body gets to. I’m already thinking of sitting by a huge hearth, reading a book and sipping on a nice beer. Sitting here listening to the Plastic Ono Band album, Lennon’s first solo effort, what a great album. I remember hearing it for the first time back in 9th grade, brings back a lot of memories. I remember liking it a lot better than the Imagine album, which I had been introduced to first. Yeah, well, that’s that topic I suppose.

Last night you may or may not have noticed that the blog was broken for a few hours. Honestly, I thought I could get away with some upgrades while no one was looking. However, ’round about 11pm, the blog was broken and the page was showing a VBScript error while I was working on it. Lo and behold, Sara called me at home to inform me of the problem. I got a kick out of it (people really read this thing?). Anyway, we tried to debug the problem but by then I was totally fed up with the site. The whole thing started when I wanted to add a “search” box to the main page. I gotta admit, I mostly wanted it for myself, since I often need to find an old blog entry to copy some formatting I used. But I guess others could find it useful for finding old entries.

Anyway, I got it working, but decided that having a search on the main page is dumb. So I moved it to the archive page, where it made more sense to me to be able to search. I’ve done some limited testing, and it seems to work OK. Except for one strange bug that Sara found last night. See, I modified a freeware script to get the search on my page – and it seems that script might be racist. No foolin’. Try searching on the terms “black man,” and you’ll get an error. I’ve looked at the source code and it seems fine. Neither “white man,” nor “chinese man” produce similar results. What a strange error… but kinda funny. Hmm… looks like the search also lets you get to places I’ve delinked in the past. More optimizations to come… but for now, it’s working!

It’s almost Thanksgiving. I’m so pumped. Can’t wait to get out of work for a few days. Haven’t decided if I’m going to take a break from blogging or not, as it might not be something I can avoid. If I can’t upload, that’s all she wrote. It’ll be a good writin’ environment tho, so who knows. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

I was reading my new Maxim this morning while taking a rockin’ dump, and they had a Christmas gift guide type thing in there. Guess what they’re pimpin’ as a good gift? A classic arcade cocktail cabinet from Game Cabinets Inc. But holy crap, look at that price tag! They want $4000+ for something I built for $1000, and I don’t even think they ship with MAME or any games (for legal reasons). I should go into business and sell ’em for $2500 each (but then I’d need Anthony to agree to helping build them all). Dang. Anyway, I thought it was cool to see cocktail cabs gettin’ some attention.

OK, I’m done. That’s it until tomorrow. Sorry for the boring blog, but I’m webbed out after wrestling with the search script. See ya.

thiickkeenn your maan11y swordd

i do not know this man.
Holy crap. This weekend I finished the wall. I mean finished for real. I tapered the corners into the fence, and nearly completed the backfill. I’m gonna call the dirt guys this week and see about getting rid of the million yards of dirt I have left, and then it’s on to sprinklers. I’m so pumped that it’s done, I just stand in front of the window and look at it, imagining grass and a patio and pretty plants and flowers.

Sometimes you gotta wonder why spam exists at all. I mean, who the crap responds to this stuff? Obviously, spam sells products – or else we wouldn’t see it. So someone somewhere out there is actually clicking on and reading these things, and spending money as a result. Seems crazy to me, especially considering some of the spam I get. To me, this stuff is some of the least effective marketing I’ve ever seen. I mean, check it out… here’s a capture of my Hotmail “Junk Mail” box:

Let’s take them one by one, shall we?

Christmas Shopping for Record Collectors made…
OK great. See, here’s some good marketing. I might actually read this one. It’s in english, it’s target-advertising to me about something that I am really into. Good job, it’s for this reason that I’ve actually used your site to purchase some rare Radiohead singles.

vvnn |?|-| arm .4 cy hh
Oh yeah, this is what I’m talking about. What on earth is this even? I mean, this guy, khwemah haliniak, isn’t even using real words in his subject. Not only that, there are periods and pipes and all sorts of random punctuation in there too. What is it selling? How can this possibly entice me to look inside? The only thing I can think is that maybe my curiosity to see if it’s a coded message from some alien intelligence might persuade me to check it out. Otherwise, I don’t see the logic.

HLZO Doc (fill in your name) htn
Hey, I wonder if hamidou huwzawie and khwemah haliniak are from the same country? Maybe Randomania or something? This one is almost in English. However, here we see a good example of cheap spam. These spammers didn’t bother paying for whatever that software is that actually inserts my name into the subject and lends creedance to their message. Nay, these spammers simply ask me to personalize the spam for them. Nice. I also don’t know what “HLZO” means, but my brain seems to want to read it as “hello.” That means I read this as: “Hello Doc David htn.” Hmm… still not very effective if you ask me.

Hi;, v1brat0rs!->> 1NTERNEET SSPPEC11^L! oii…
Sal wants to sell me vibrators. But he’s too leet to just come out and ask like a normal person. Here we see another common spam practice: making readable or recognizable words out of numbers and characters that don’t belong. Also, Sal is very redundant with his punctuation. With the use of both the semicolon and comma, there is no question as to whether or not I should pause after reading “Hi.” We also see a lot of letter-doubling. Again, who buys from someone who writes a sales pitch like this?

yblm Thiickkeenn your maan11y swordd vq
Ahh, now this speaks right to me. If we ignore the random opening and closing non-words, we can see that xueyan sebanc (estranged cousin to hamidou and khwemah) wants to “thicken” my “manly sword.” Let’s consider I’m a grandma with a Hotmail account. If, by some stroke of luck, I’m able to decipher the double-letter, number sprinkled, coded subject line – you think the statement “thicken your manly sword” will mean a damn thing to me? Here’s my wallet, take what you need.

ALERT: $10 Coupon Valid in ALL Stores**
DAVID, We Miss You

OK OK OK, here goes some decent spam. I’ve bought from on several occasions. Here they send me a coupon, and what’s better – they tell me exactly that, in English no less, right in the subject. I see who it’s from, I see what it is, I understand this spam. Also, BMG misses me. I dunno if that’s an attempt to guilt me into rejoining their music club or what. Yes, I have, at one point, been a member of both Columbia House and BMG. Under several different names no less. I’ll tell you the scam: Join under whatever name you want, take your 15 free cds, wait a few months and send them a typed letter telling them you’ve joined the Navy and will be on a carrier at sea for the next 24 months. You will be absolved of your commitment to buy more cds with no questions asked, every time. I used to be joined under two or three different names at each address, and we’d all go in the Navy or Army or French Foreign Legion eventually. Built the makings of my cd collection that way.

Almost vacation time. Today and tomorrow and then I’m off, can’t wait. Last night I messed around with some morphing software, and also learned how to DivX compress a video. I’m gonna take all the huge videos currently on my site and DivX compress them, since it shrinks them to much more manageable sizes (especially for the dialup dinosaurs out there). Morphing is cool, I’m gonna start morphing all kinds of stuff I think.

Dave out.