2011-1224

Most of my time has been occupied by Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, work, and hassling over experimental meds for my Essential Tremors problems.. so..

A project I’ve begun (and by begun, as with most of my projects, means essentially gotten started and continually forgotten about until I find the whim to take it back up again and not get distracted by CityVille) is KWip, the Kennamer Wiki Project. I’ve got a copy of The Kennamer Family, a book published in 1924, which details all of the then-known relatives of Hans Kennemer, whose children came across the Atlantic from Germany (theorized to have come from Holland into Germany in order to travel) in the 1700s and eventually settled in northern Alabama. My grandfather is listed in the book at age 2, which explains my specific interest in the project. I am generally interested in such endeavors and once having transferred the information from book to wiki, I hope to embark upon discovering newer relatives that the book omits..

I’ve been subscribed to the Wall Street Journal (header credits here) for a couple months now and have mostly saved every copy — originally to give them away to someone who might want a bunch of newspaper, but have instead decided to make the Ultimate Bathroom Reading Book, from articles I’ve clipped from WSJ that were interesting. There’s a My Little Pony article in there, for instance. I can already see the producers of Hoarders rubbing their hands in anticipation of paying me a visit =P

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0929-2011

I’ve finally begun auctioning things off from around the house, like I’ve been meaning to as partial rationale for paying so many garage sales a visit. I think one of the big obstacles was that I had been trying to make Sunday be the auction-stuff day and could never make that happen, when Tuesday arrived and I caught the whim to start — looks like Tuesday will be the day, then. Here is a list of things currently up.. two wall calendars from Star Trek TNG and one from Star Trek V. I’ve already got one bid! I’m starting them all at $0.01 to (a) see what they go for out of curiosity, and (b) to get them out of the house and to someone who wants them. I’m not really in it for the money so much as the lottery-like wait-and-see variable and the not-having-it-anymore aspect.

The new header is from the game BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (re: video) that may fill the niche for the 1v1 fighter I’ve been looking to fill since my days with One Must Fall: 2097 that I’d gotten so well into that I completed on the hardest setting of the hardest tournament with a deep sense of accomplishment. I haven’t been able to get into a 1v1 fighter like that in a long time, and everything else I’ve tried just wouldn’t click. Incidentally, it was the linked video that sealed my decision to give it a shot, and it’s been worth it so far. It’s got a story mode that’s proven interesting to navigate, in discovering how each of the story holes are filled by another character’s history as you gradually play as each character, encountering all the others along the way. Plus, the training mode is especially enjoyable. A cow-orker I mentioned it to, secretly rented it, liked it, and then bought it pretty much so that he could practice it and then when we battle online, he will make me rage-quit from trouncing me so hard. However, we we played, I employed my button-mashing technique and bested him a few times purely from luck — even managing to get a few achievements in the process, totally accidentally =)

Speaking of games, I’ve just been loaned an avid gamer’s entire PS1 game collection, since his PS1 is out of commission and just learned mine’s been freshly set up. Included is the coveted Final Fantasy 7 that I had intended to buy one day but all of the copies online I’ve found have been pretty pricey. That alone should be reason enough to give it a shot.

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2011-0922

I decided to link each new header in its original post so I wouldn’t have to explain it twice. The old one, of dearest HANNA, can be found hither while the new one of a hacker girl’s messy battlestation can be found thither.

My mother came over Saturday and Sunday to my notoriously messy house to help with a little autumn clean-up marathon, and now I’ve got more space than I know what to do with. It was quite a bit messier than hacker-girl’s domicile shown above (and the oscillating fan pointed at the boxen below her bed is a nice touch), and now more closely resembles hacker-girl’s. Threw out arm’s-full-worth of canned veggies that expired sometime in ’08, offloaded a bunch of magazines, and decided to give away a few things like a lamp and a big stack of recent Wall Street Journals. I like how hacker-girl has her non-frozen groceries still in the bags on the floor, she has to climb into bed, her bed isn’t made, she has a collection of empty weird-shaped bottles, has stacks of computers, and piles of projects on the floor currently being ignored or distracted from.. all aspects pretty much like me.

Two things recently reminded me of my Kenya trip in March 2008: There was a big oil/fuel pipeline burst in the news that burst into flames right in the middle of a slum region near Nairobi and killed around 100 people (WSJ article), and a bio-ingenious product for waste disposal call Peepoo which is essentially a coated bag for going into that not only neutralizes the bacteria within, but biodegrades into compost entirely. Waste management was a crazy-big problem there, temporarily solved by communal outhouses buried over and dug afresh repeatedly. Troughs through the slum neighborhood “carried” (if there was ever even current to carry it) excrement through the open dirt passages between rickety tin-and-pole shantytown neighborhoods and into rivers.. and was powerfully smelly at times. I’m not sure how great the bags would be at diminishing odor, but at least it would be a better opportunity to discard the waste in someplace more safely and more beneficial such as a garden.

On Monday (2011-0919) invented a new word, duoapostrophic, to describe a type of contraction that contains two apostrophes, which offers the possibility of other similar words as uni- or monoapostrophic, and then trio-, quadro-, etc. I only know of a single duoapostrphic word, though, which itself is a self-created spelling of doesn’t in the way that many of my geographical region pronounce it, doe’n't (sounds like “dudn’t”). Today I invented winkforce to describe the process of pushing down a skyscraper by the unassisted power of one’s eyelids.. as an illustration to demonstrate that a word’s inclusion in a dictionary does not imply that the word’s common use’s legitimacy. The discussion came up in the comments for a BoingBoing post about a woman’s humiliated reaction to TSA agents patting down her fro. The headline suggested TSA “humiliated” her, but I asserted that humiliation is a reaction to stimulus, and it is thus impossible to “humiliate” someone or directly cause them to react. Someone attempted to defy my assertion by quoting “humiliate” from a dictionary, demonstrating they didn’t understand the fundamental nature of dictionaries.

Taking inspiration from Fark’s video, Waxy.org’s Links section, and Wimp.com‘s design, I’m trying to develop my own video posting section here, for the moment called videoTHL, but made entirely from Notepad.. including the header logo being within an HTML table surrounding from <pre&gt>-defined ascii characters. I’m still fussing with overall design scheme, but here‘s the most up-to-date functioning model (and super-basic) so far.

My grandparents gave me an old computer of theirs that was running slow (very, very slow after testing it out once home) and I determined that its RAM was the primary problem — only 128mb! I looked up some specs online to discover it would support up to 2GB, except that the board only supported two chips with a max of 512mb each =P After posting a plea online for anyone with that small of chips lying around, I decided to rummage through some old boxen in my back room and discovered another machine with almost precisely what I was looking for.. two 256mb chips. Not 512mb by any means, but quadrupling the previous amount, and now it runs like a dream =) During the aforementioned cleanup, a CAT5 cable was unearthed that I was completely unaware I had, so now I’ve got two desktops in the living room I can operate from =P

If you’re the sort, please join me for a game of Barren Realms Elite on this board. You sign up, you send the system operator a greeting message, and then you get to play. Once you get to the main menu, just hit X for the games section, 4 for BRE, and then 10 for the 777 network that I’m on currently. I’m the realm named “thehomeland” naturally, and I’m planning to win unapologetically..

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2011-0913

Last entry’s header was a /wg/-glomp wallpaper of an anime girl’s battlestation, the full version of which can now be found in my /img/ section.

Today’s header shows brave teen-assassin HANNA — which I refer to in all caps as HANNA because of (a) how great the film is and (b) how sheepishly twitterpated I am with the character, and (c) because of the all-caps white-on-red banner at the end. Go see this film. Really. It had me on the edge of my seat for a lot of it, and I became genuinely worried about the end — and that doesn’t really happen often with me. I existed as this character during the entire film, and it’s not really that common that I can so quickly pick that up. I think I’m definitely going to buy this. The music in the trailer, oddly enough, is music from the film itself (which is not a common practice) and so perfectly matches this film..

You can even watch the first 10 minutes of the film for free on Xbox Live, in HD if you want. Of the 43 films I’ve seen this year for my New Year’s Resolution to watch 100 new-to-me films, this one will very easily win the game, despite having not seen 57 more to go. This film, perhaps appropriately, was #42. 43 was The Book of Eli, which was pretty good despite having basic knowledge of the final twist (but not how it was revealed) without having seen it yet.

Speaking of Xbox Live, there’s a nice game out there called Harm’s Way (video( that is free to play without having to pay to unlock anything, and contains single and multiplayer features, both. There’re only 3 levels, and it appears to be some Doritos-related promotional game released for some contest that ended in 2010 that I completely missed.. but the game is still good and multiplayer (which requires 8 players to join a match) went well without a hitch and random people joined almost immediately. It’s an offroad-ish racing game with turrets. There are four teams, with two per team — one driving the track and the other manning turrets that shoot the other drivers. The turrets are mounted around the track’s outer edge, and the non-driver can scroll through them (as long as it’s not occupied by another player) and shoot the enemies out of the way of the teammate, blowing tires and causing general race interference. There are powerups along the way for the driver to grab Mario-Kart-style, that upgrade or downgrade turrets, provide a shield from turret shots, add boost, and others. Plus, the Harm’s Way logo is a four-part mixture of H and W, plus doubles as the loading meter. The video linked above shows how to get an easy 200 gamerscore. Well worth the cost of nothing =)

So, I’ve modified my ramen-sandwich recipe to now include a quarter-bag of frozen broccoli. My favorite bread (split-top wheat from Market Street) costs around $1.59 per loaf, and with 22 slices/loaf, 6 slices comes to $0.43 of bread. A can of cheapo-tuna costs $0.60, bringing the total to $1.03. A bag of chopped, frozen broccoli runs $0.98, and a quarter of that is $0.25, for a total of $1.28, and the ramen goes for $2.16 for 12, or $0.18, for a grand total of $1.46 per meal. And this meal fills me up big time. I could go without the bread on occasion, and drop it down to $1.03/meal, which is even better. I think the puppy food I buy is $1.25/ea on sale.. so I could be spending more on puppy food per-meal than on my own, in that case =P

I’ve said it to others a dozen times, and I think it’s high time I started actually putting it into action — I want to start eBaying something off every Sunday, just to see what I get and to get rid of stuff. I have a ton of totally random things I could put up, too. I’ve got more than ten real bowling pins, so I could sell the extras. Around here somewhere I’ve got a vintage ink pen that clothes/undresses some lady depending on which way the pen is tipped so the ink drains.. a bunch of old board games like 1950s Sorry, Clue, and some Barbie game.. books I bought at the garage sale of some weird trippy uncle that had just passed from that family and had left a bunch of rare “pyramid power” type books of very limited prints.. oddball electronics like an old retail PDA (video was made by me) that used a dial-up modem physically placed in proximity to an old-style telephone’s handset in order to connect to the home office’s database.. an assortment of large battery-op calculators that use lighted (instead of LCD) displays.. a collection of neckties that each have a theme (instead of a generic pattern) like circuit boards, Spock, Santa, saxophones, etc. I can never seem to get started, and have it in my head that SUNDAY is the day to do it =P

I’ve been trying to drum up ideas of what I can do with a stack of 15 pizza boxes. It seems like I could do something duct-tape related with them and make a useful something, like a chair of some kind, but can’t piece it together well enough in my head first.

I have officially decided to stay up late tonight. There’s a Facebook game I play called CityVille, where you layout a small city with farms that grow goods, businesses that sell those goods, and you negotiate between investing enough to planting certain goods versus the profit margin of stores that sell less goods for higher — and I just discovered a store that’s on a time limit for availability, with only 6 hours left. This store has a really high margin.. a few hundred goods for wicked high sales compared to other stores that sell the same number of goods. The object is to expand and be able to offer more business and more goods production, and to expand you need population. You can build several kinds of houses, and a really expensive house that I want to buy costs 1,000,000 (a tough savings goal) but takes up fairly little space. One problem is that larger houses with larger population allowances tend to take up valuable space, but this expensive one takes up a tiny amount of space. My goal is to have a high population and crazy space available, using only tiny houses. One major step to accelerating that goal is to have rows and rows of this particular store. Wouldn’t you figure — I had *just* purchased a 1,000,000-coin house, wiping out my savings, before I discover this store! Had I not bought the house, I could have bought a zillion of them and made back the difference really fast. But for that reason, I’m scraping up as much goods and using those businesses to sell them as quick as I can within the next six hours. “It’s just a game.. It’s just a game..”

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2011-0910

I’m trying out a new version of the regular meds I was taking, as a cost-saving strategy. I admit I had a bit of an attachment with the previous version of my Proporanolol (extended release, 1/day) — it had revolutionized what I’m able to be active and do now because of my wrestling match with Essential Tremors. I’ve reasoned now that my previously revolution-justified $68, 30-dose prescription is time for a change since it’s been a year of experimentation with it, and I’m now shooting instead for the $6, 90-dose version. I had been taking the extended release pill (avg $2.27/ea) only on days that I work so I could stretch a 30-day refill over about ten weeks, as I’m working 3 days per week. The newer 90-dose refill is for taking 3 times per day, so I might be able to slip by taking one just for my short shift and as-needed at home (if ever) ideally making a refill last 90 work days. At 3 days/wk, that’d be around 30 weeks, or 7.5 months between refills, at only $0.07/dose. We’ll see how it goes, though, before my hopes get too high.

Not only do I have this lovely new WordPress installed, but I also managed to install a few other free tools to fool around with, including the new image manager at /img/ now, not to mention another app that really blew me away that I could even acquire.. a /wiki/ app. This weekend is just getting better and better.

Speaking of /img/’s, the header for last entry was a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic wallpaper I glomped a 4chan /wg/ thread, and can be found here. The header for this entry is another 4chan/wg/ thread pilferage and features a delightful NES original retail package (one of which I own).

After having eaten the same thing for so long (months at a stretch) I’ve begun gradually rediscovering things I used to eat for stretches at a time before, and mixing them together. I used to eat a lot of toast, tuna, and ramen (unmixed) and have now begun to make toasted ramen-and-tuna sandwiches. I’ve just realized, after reading this article off Consumerist (of which I’m a twice-ish weekly reader) that I can bring in yet another ingredient to the mix: reheated, frozen broccoli.. I’ll have to go shopping again and pay attention to the specific prices to calculate my approximate cost-per-meal, which I had been trying to keep under $1 each until tuna came into the picture. I can’t imagine adding a fourth of a bag of frozen broccoli would be that much more, but I am cheap..

I’ve been listening to a bit of streaming British comedy radio lately. Current favorites include:

The News Quiz, a panel discussion show with comedians similar to British TV’s Mock The Week in many respects, including a segment similar to Jay Leno’s old “headlines” bit.

Another Case of Milton Jones, which is a comedy-drama by comedian Milton Jones, who acts out a new adventure each episode in a convoluted twist of puns and silly one-liners.. like as if Steven Wright had written one giant adventure and spoke with a British accent and a bit more emotion.

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, which was previously a British TV show, involving host Marcus Brigstocke who interviews a celebrity guest who has tried several things completely new to them, describing their experiences, and rating those experiences. It’s a lovely mixture of humor and trying new things, in a kind of vicarious way. One guest, for instance, had never purchased or worn a pair of jeans to his knowledge..

The Unbelievable Truth is a panel show where comedian contestants are previously assigned to write a silly report that contains a handful of verified facts to mix in with complete fabrications. As each panelist reads their creation, the others interrupt to buzz in their suspicion of one of the genuine statements slipped in, gaining points for slipping facts past the others, buzzing in for correct ones, and losing points for guessing incorrectly.

That Mitchell and Webb Sound is a raw sketch-comedy programme of segments back to back and portrayed in standard radio-drama format with appropriate sound effects (like crumpling a piece of paper to mimic fire). A lot of the segments are drastically random, such as a distraught woman being interviewed by a detective who believes he’s a tortoise. There’s a British TV version that is brilliant also and occasionally touches on religious topics in a totally hilarious way.

There are a few others (perhaps for another post) that I can’t recall at the moment or for some reason I missed from the giant BBC radio list I scoured looking for titles I’ve only randomly caught when available.

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2011-0909

At last! I’ve got a new domain host with GoDaddy that offers better features (including a free, automated WordPress install) for three years of hosting that would normally cost slightly more for only two years.

Since this WP theme has a handsomely large header graphic and I had grievous trouble narrowing down which header to affix, I’ve decided to make a new header graphic per new entry, as well as to cite the previous entry’s header’s source image.

I’ve got a copy of Deus Ex: Human Evolution on loan from a cow-orker, and although I knew absolutely nothing about it until I held it in my hands when working receiving one day, as it had come in and had not yet been released.. I think it looks pretty good in a vaguely Mass Effect kind of way, with its purported sci-fi action/RPG category.

Speaking of Mass Effect, I’ve got a 26-(28?)-part complete main story walkthrough that just recently, after three years of being up online on YouTube, got flagged as a copyright violation. I figured, “Hmm, maybe they released the soundtrack or something,” before realizing it was for only like part 10 or something, a ways in. Turns out there’s a rapper named The Cipher, who made an album wherein the first track is pretty much a straight sound rip from the game’s main story, voice over included, that I’d naturally recorded in my series. So my video got flagged, despite being 3 years old, for a 1-week-old rap album that ripped off the game I had recorded from. I contested the flagging, and haven’t heard back from them at all yet.

I’ve been experimenting with a few new-to-me churches in the area looking for a new home-base as it were, and decided on a whim to try Pentecostal this time around… Not. My. Thing. I won’t go into the whys, and it wasn’t like it was the Blues Brothers kind of church where people were doing cartwheels, but there was yelling. Mostly by the pastor. However, the personality type of the pastor is, shall we say, not the sort I would generally associate with normally anyway, so looks like Legacy Church of God is a no-go. I didn’t really have any Pentecostal experience to compare it to, and it wasn’t a terrible first impression, but just not my thing, I believe.

Through a local Freecycle email list, I have now come into the possession (thankfully without getting a ticket on the way to and fro as I realized as I got out to load it in the pickup I’d left my wallet at home) of a student school desk, the kind with the chair and desk as one piece, shaped loosely like an artist’s palette minus the hole. It wasn’t totally as I expected though — it’s a little smaller, has no under-the-chair stowage, and was painted several times in white and weird large polkadots. Nonetheless, it’s now a potential writing spot for handwritten journal entries.

Now that the cooler months are upon us, I plan on getting out to do some walking again. I’ve got a 5-mile route planned (planned, as in, walk down the nearest major road to an easily distinguishable intersection 2.5 miles away and walk back) to try out on my off-days early in the morning. I think I’ve put on some pounds lately after a particularly lengthy foray into the realm of Little Caesar’s Hot-N-Ready $3.99 large cheese pizzas on Mondays.

I’ve got more than enough stuff to watch coming up this fourth quarter. I’ve completed #41 of a New Year’s Resolution to watch 100 movies I’ve never seen before, leaving 59 more still to go. Another cow-orker has informed me he will be giving me (outright) season 2 of the Bullwinkle series, in addition to still another cow-orker’s decision to give me a few discs loaded with old Looney Tunes episodes after a brief reminiscing conversation about the joys of the jokes we pick up in watching them again with adult eyes.

Today while day-dreaming while eating my ramen-tuna-salt-sandwich creation, I happenstancially created a possible new Rube Goldberg-ish perpetual motion machine, utilizing a ratcheting action of a pendulum swinging back and forth. A large even-armed cross with a little bucket on the end of each, would each, per turn, receive a heavy ball into the bucket and gradually swing down, back and forth, clacking a single-direction ratchet with each motion, building up kinetic energy to possible generate electricity somehow. As the bucket finally comes to rest, the ball will roll out an aperture, and over a kind of water-wheel device that is connected to multiplying gears that slowly, step by step, raise a ladder of heavy balls back up to the top compartment ready to swing back down again. It’s not totally worked out, and I don’t know any of the math necessary, but it was an enjoyable exercise.

It’s been a while since I reviewed a Morning Musume PV, and that ends now, with their latest double-single, “Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo! / Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!”

My first impression is that Takahashi Ai’s final single is going to be like the cuddly Ai Araba It’s Alright PV, but then it soon turns into something that reminds of the Berryz space green screen PV, combined with Chokkan 2. Mitsui actually looks a little cute for once in her life, my fervor for little miss superstar Riho has waned a bit and creeping in to take that place is Erina Ikuta (esp. with the whirl-around we get at 2:52). I’m not really thrilled with the get-ups, as they’re a little on the bikini side, and I don’t generally connect space (or perhaps the Rainbow Road from Super Mario Kart 64) with swimwear. But then suddenly we’re teased with the possibility of Takahashi leaving us out the door, when things turn to the bizarre with a somewhat scary, floating, disembodied Michishige and Reina’s not-really-at-all-cute-to-be-honest yellow framed glasses. Mitsui has reverted back to her last-place cuteness (now that Lin Lin is gone, Praise The Lord). Takahashi *gasp* finally makes an appearance — I was afraid she wasn’t going to be in it — and totally RAWKZ the drum major uniform. I’m going to pretend that the fruit tree Kanon II picks from is the same tree the Eggs planted way back in that one other PV when Maki Goto was queen. And.. we’re headed now into the cotton candy acid trip section, onto Honey I Shrunk The Idols, followed by too many scenes of not-Takahashi that she remedies by pointing a gun at people, and clearly Michishige has frequent dreams (and sleep-singing) about Reina on a cell phone. I was really hoping for a long final stare like we got from Yossi’s final PV, but no dice. Overall fairly entertaining, and sitting at around a 6-8 out of 10, depending on the portion (more 6 on the second half)..

^_~|/

Categories: church, food, freecycle, J-pop, NYR, weather, web nerd, x360 | 2 Comments