I got my first ever security alert emailed to my OSU account this morning. First ever not because there’s never been a security alert, but because they never email them to the entire student body.

At 6:30 am today, someone tried to grab a gal on the OSU campus. Damn close to where Brooke Wilberger was taken last spring. Fortunately, this one broke away and ran.

I dunno if it’s the same guy, but I’m all for hanging him/them high once we catch ’em.

Cruisin’ for a bruisin’

Well, I’ve once again sent my monitor back to Sharp for warranty repair; it now displays that accursed line constantly, so I have no fear that they’ll miss it a second time. (The first time I sent it in, the line would appear and disappear at random—so I can’t blame them for not finding anything wrong.) Once again, the process was painless (aside from the necessary pain of losing my monitor for a week) and they paid for shipping both ways. In short, I think Sharp’s treated me quite well—and consequently I’m recommending them to y’all. I like companies that have my back.

The dance of the day was west coast swing, and it’s obviously the most convoluted of the dances I’ve been exposed to. I have some advantages—e.g. I can actually lead, if I remember to—over others, and I think that’ll make some difference. At least, I hope it will; I’ll never be the fastest to pick up a new dance. Marco and Earl both made appearances, and a respectable number of the follows I recognize from previous dance classes. It should make for some good times.

I even saw Barry (my friend who shares “wallflower” status with me at dance practices), and we’ve renewed our competition to see who’ll dance more—starting tomorrow evening. I know I’ll have my game face on.

As I drove home from west coast swing (an evening class), I passed my dad walking Yoshi. On a whim I jogged out and joined them, catching up with them in front of a house. Yoshi then started scratching himself for a while; this apparently left us lingering in front of the house long enough to cause a man to come barreling out:

Man: WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING? [very aggressively said, and this guy is big]

Dad: Huh?


Dad: We’re just walking our dog.

Man: [pause] Do you have a dog with you?

Brent: He’s black. [Dad trains the flashlight on Yoshi]


[We are eventually allowed to continue walking on the sidewalk without getting the crap beaten out of us]

Brent: hahahahahahaha

Secrets and lies

Now I reveal (one of) my deep, dark secret(s): I’m taking dance classes at OSU again. (Translation: “I am a damned fool.”) My final round of classes will introduce me to night club two step and west coast swing, which will make me into a perfect dancing machine. If you ignore samba and lindy hop. And polka.

Night club was today’s class, and I was quite surprised at the composition of the students. I was far from the only crazy person taking dance classes after graduation, for starters—and then there’s the fact that essentially all the kick-ass leads I know are in the class: Earl, Jimmy, Tak, and Marco. Stiff competition!

I left OSU with half a spring in my step, and half a glint in my eye—and that’s a whole lot better than I’ve been managing lately. I really think these dance classes will do me some good.

They sure didn’t do my strategic gaming any good, though. I picked up a copy of Fire Emblem the other day, and this evening attempted to command a small band of five heroes against some bandit scum. I am pleased to say that my team emerged victorious. I’m not so happy to say that my team also emerged more…uh…svelte. As in two less in number.

And I’m sure as hell not going to mention that this was in one of the tutorial matches.

Math and sex don’t mix

If you have $2.25, a copy of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and a handful of video games (namely Twinkle Star Sprites and Soul Calibur II), you can have an entertaining evening. Provided that you have friends that are game, of course.

It’s not really the type of thing that anyone who wasn’t involved would find interesting, however.

Perhaps of more interest is the disc golf variant I learned of this afternoon, which is: play four holes of disc golf, and then go make out with an attractive girl. The guy who played ahead of Brian and me (at least through hole four) appeared to be playing under those rules, and it definitely looked more fun than the game I’ve been playing the last couple of years.

During this game I also introduced Brian to the concept of the whore score, which is supposedly equal to the number of people you’ve been intimate with, divided by the number of years since you became sexually active. The interesting thing about this idea (if you’re a math graduate, or just interested in math) is that your score starts out undefined (remember, 0/0 is dangerous territory) until you have sex, and then jumps up (effectively to infinity) the instant of first intercourse. As time passes, that score will drop until you have another sexual partner, at which point it will jump up some, and then start dropping again.

The lesson from all of this: unless you are luckier than is physically possible (and this said by the lone male who traveled across Europe with twenty college-age females—and, no, you needn’t get any ideas about randy times had), you’ll never be more whorish than the instant you first have sex.

Actually, this might be a great way to discourage underage sex: if the infinite whore score doesn’t scare ’em away, the fact that sex can be linked to math (however tangentially) might. Hah. [The people who wind up at this blog as a result of search terms found in this entry might also scare me away from this topic for all eternity, as well. Time will tell.]

Continuing to move

More progress to report: my computer monitor now finally demonstrates that blasted white line across the bottom without fail. This is excellent news, because now I can send it in for warranty repair without fearing the receipt of another “didn’t see anything wrong” note.

Adobe was kind enough to consider me a “creative professional” and provide me with a free issue of their 16-page “journal,” entitled creative designer (no caps—how like a creative designer!). They were also kind enough to provide me the chance to pay $67 for twelve more issues of this 16-page journal.

Those better be some of the most powerful pages that have ever been put to print, to justify that price. (I can’t say one way or the other; I haven’t looked at it yet. I’m almost afraid to peek.)

For the first time in quite a while, I made time in my evening to watch some TV. Tonight was the season premiere of both CSI and Without a Trace, the two shows that my family is most likely to gather and watch. Not much to say about either, actually, except that I’m unimpressed with tasteful love scenes. If the dumb TV rating puts an “S” in the corner, I want action!

HAHAHAHA. I want action! I just remembered where that came from.

If you know as well, I’m sorry. If you don’t, you’re a better person than I am.

For sound clips that might not make you cringe horribly, check out the progress made by the people playing the I Love Bees game. I have no idea how those audio clips relate to Halo 2 in the end, but they’re quite intriguing on their own.


Ran around campus this afternoon to try and get some of the unnecessary vagueness of my life cleared up. Oddly (sadly?) enough, it seems that the ominiously-titled Applied Statistical Methods class that will soon be required by the actuarial societies might be satisfied by (of all things) BA 275.

And I never thought that a sophomore-level business statistics class would ever be consequential to me. Heh.

This evening I prepared to send away for my fixed version of the Stand Alone Complex OST, and then made more progress in entering data into Quicken. The fact that I’ve gotten something—anything—accomplished is quite refreshing. It’s as if I’ve finally gotten some traction after spinning my wheels for a week and a half. I still tire easily, but I now suspect that’s more due to the unusual level of stress I’ve been experiencing than to actual illness. And I can accept “high stress” as an excuse much more easily than I can “sick again.”

I also watched the first disc of the comedy Dokkoida!? this evening, and have decided that Dr. Marronflower is my (anti-) hero. Any villain who goes all-out just to steal an LE copy of the latest dating sim is OK in my book.

Journal Entry #1

I’m tired and it’s late, so I’ll keep this focused* on the two things that have recently struck me.

First off, Subway now has a little oven that they can use to quickly toast your sandwich (pre-veggies, of course)—they’re obviously trying to take some of the air out of Quiznos’ (Quizno’s’?) sails. I gave it a go for lunch today, and found that it made for a damn tasty sandwich. And Subway, while not the cheapest place around, is still more price-competitive than Quizno’s.

And secondly, yesterday I started trying to remove some of the detritus that I’ve collected in my room. During that process, I ran across a whole bunch of letters I received from people over the years; most of them were from Brian (we have a pseudo-tradition of writing to each other when we travel), but a surprising number of the others were from (prom-date) Megan after she headed off into the world (aka “Colorado”). I had completely forgotten about those notes; it was nice to revisit them. There’s something warmer about handwritten notes that just isn’t captured in computer-generated text; it feels like the same difference between hand-drawn cel-based animation, and new computer-drawn animation.

In some ways (i.e. the ways that aren’t me making a desperate attempt to store some of my memories before I lose them forever), this blog has a similar purpose to those hand-written notes. It is partially an update on the happenings in my life—with the critical flaws of having too much detail in some areas, not enough in others, and the need to take additional care due to the nature of the internet. (I’m probably a bit too cavalier with respect to that last flaw…)

And, despite that similarity of purpose, this thing is a hell of a lot more cold and distant than a real-life letter. Part of that, I imagine, is that the message can’t be personalized; the rest is probably because of the comparative ease of creating these posts. It’s far too easy to “think on paper” when you type, as any errors you make can be corrected without having to start anew; handwriting even short notes, in comparison, can take multiple attempts.

The internet also reeks of transience—and this blog is thusly permeated with that sense—whereas a note can survive ages tucked away in some corner of a drawer. You can take notes with you, too; the ability to physically hold something in your hands shouldn’t be underestimated. Computers and hard drives die; the bits and bytes of this blog, or your life, could be easily lost to the ages. (Sadly, thanks to web archiving projects, it’d be easier to lose your personal data than all copies of My Creation…) Yet, on the other hand, I have lots of things—calendar pictures, say—that I am forced to eventually throw out, and wish I could save in a digital format for posterity. And data can be backed up; if the knick-knacks in your house burn, there’s no way you’ll ever see them again.

I’m not even sure where I’m going with this, any more. Probably best to consider this a stream-of-consciousness snippet (something you might have seen in my 12th grade journal, say), and move along.


Nice break

For reasons I can’t (and shouldn’t) disclose, last week I experienced the psychological equivalent of a swift punch to the gut—equivalent in that it knocks the wind out of you and sobers you up real quick. And while nothing has actually changed since then, I’ve now had the time to come to terms with recent events—and that’s made all the difference in the world. When I posted my last message, I hadn’t yet recovered; now that I have (to some degree; life really did set me up the bomb) I think I might be able to pick up where I dropped off.

That’s a convoluted way of saying that maybe I won’t need to drop back to sporadic posting after all. With any luck, this weekend was the break I needed.

I spent Friday night playing Soul Calibur II, Virtua Fighter 4 10th Anniversary mode* (awful, low-polygon-count characters and stages), and Twinkle Star Sprites** with Nate, Kevin, and Brian. We then capped the evening off with a midnight showing of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. The showing was marred by a really, really bad subtitle track; seems the fansubbers were more interested in getting their copy out fast, rather than translating for comprehension or timing their subtitles to when the characters were talking. The movie was visually stunning, and the plot seemed to make more sense in retrospect… though it did wind up being mostly a cop/buddy flick.

[*I somehow figured out a devastating combination that led to many victories: a punch-punch-punch-kick combination would knock the other character to the ground, and you could follow that up by jumping and kneeing them in the groin. It was great.]

[**Twinkle Star Sprites remains the greatest non-street-fighting two-player competitive game with the most awful name. Some of the characters you can choose are comprised of two people—Macky and Pentell, or Tinker and Linker—which gave me ample opportunity to blather on about being able to handle two girls at once. Most of the time Nate trashed us, though, which led inevitably to comments about not being able to handle that.]

As for the rest of the weekend: er, well, I slept a lot. (I don’t think I slept all that well this last week, and some opportunistic bug seems to have attacked me as well.) I’ve also started the slow, painful (did I mention slow?) process of entering my various account information into Quicken. It’s absolutely thrilling—trust me.

Fair warning

I just really don’t feel like posting, these days. Normally I’d just let it slide, but this might continue to be the case for a while—hence this entry. I have faith that y’all can cope.

I current envision just having a more-sporadic schedule (yes, that’s possible), but that may fall on its face, too.

Quick reviews

Mountain Dew Pitch Black: the taste is somewhat reminiscent of Dimetapp (not that that’s necessarily bad—I did chug Dimetapp once as a kid because I liked its taste […]), but even that is overwhelmed by the carbonation. If they toned that down, it might be a decent drink. As-is, there’s still only one Mountain Dew in my book.

Yes, that’s right. I’m not a fan of Code Red, and I won’t get to try out the other flavor (whatever it is)—forgetting the variant that’s only sold in Taco Bell—until after I finish off my bottle of Pitch Black.

Miracle: Pretty good movie, even though you already know the ending. I’d have to buy this before I bought The Mighty Ducks… and I did enjoy The Mighty Ducks.

What? The Mighty Ducks is downright decent compared to some of the horror movies hosted by Joe Bob Briggs that I used to watch back in the day. And anything is better than that other movie featuring “duck” in its title. (Well, OK. There’s always Critters 4.)

Something Corporate–Leaving Through the Window: The first CD of my latest attempt to find new music that I like. A pretty good find, actually, though it wasn’t until I heard the piano solo in the middle of the song “Hurricane” (a song that is otherwise reasonably loud) that I was sold. I am a sucker for piano music.

My musical tastes now include alternative rock (though I can’t take too strong a dose of punk), it seems. I figure that’s the last hope for good new music…. Now my iPod holds a combination of oldies, ’80s,more-recent pop/rock, alternative, latin, ballroom, female country, musicals, and anime music. It’s an eclectic collection.

Bad, bad day

I wish I could say that the worst thing that happened today was that I had to shell out for an extended warranty for my computer (the first time I’ve ever felt like I’ve needed to do so, even). As it is, though, I’m milking that for all the bitter humor that I can [that is the most expensive cardboard box I’ve ever bought] without actually caring all that much about it.

Right now I have a much bigger monkey on my back to worry about.

My 9/11 Ritual

I did take some time out of my Saturday to remember the events of 9/11; my memory is such that I would forget if given enough time without stimulus, and that’s something that I shouldn’t forget.

I remember Marin waking me up that morning. We rushed downstairs, where I caught the first replay of the second tower collapsing (Marin apparently saw it happen live, just before she came to wake me) and then was glued to the TV for the next couple hours. Marin and I finally found it within ourselves to head off to work, where everyone was—at best—putting half-hearted effort into their jobs. Everyone who had a radio was glued to it, and everyone else was glued to those that did have radios.

I had an order from Anime Jungle that was supposed to ship on that day; instead, I got an email noting that the package would be delayed until the US reopened its ports. At the end there was a little note: Please keep your spirits up!

That evening, still feeling horribly numb, I watched the TV ending of Evangelion. (I would have watched the movie, but it hadn’t been released at that point.) It, of anything I owned, seemed most similar to the feelings I felt.

Hence, my 9/11 ritual: listening to Normal Blood, from the third Evangelion OST. (I would uncharacteristically link to the song, but the copy on my computer is encoded as an AAC file.) It’s only two minutes long, but embodies all of the horror I felt on that day.

Long weekend

Not that I did anything all that exciting, but the last couple days have consistently left me exhausted. Put that together with my tendency to update late at night, and you have my absence from the online world.

On Friday I was too tired to do anything, so I wound up sitting down and watching Medical Investigation with Dad and Marin. The show actually has an interesting plot—a random collection of people mysteriously become ill, and people from the NIH get dispatched to determine the common link between the sick and thereby try to learn how they became afflicted—but is hindered by some remarkably ham-fisted writing. People get angry at others for no good reason (not even stress seems plausible) other than to increase tension; parents get fed up with the idea of a brain biopsy (??—I’d be questioning that, too) even when not doing so appears to mean certain death for their child.

The show did have a few inspired lines, though, such as this exchange between two of the investigators:

A: Meat is murder!

B: No, meat is delicious!

Saturday I played Guilty Gear X2 (horribly) and Soul Calibur II (well) against Nate, Kevin, and Andy. I also observed Andy play La Pucelle Tactics; his party was eventually decimated by his chronic underestimation of his hippo opponents. (Andy: “Why are there hippos in the forest?”) Needless to say, Andy was disappointed that he was unable to overwrite Nate’s saved game with this lost game.

In the evening I ate Arby’s with Eric, and we debated (argued?) over whether or not I should/will watch Fahrenheit 9/11. Though I didn’t/won’t argue over the time of my life it would waste (a bitter way to say that I don’t mind seeing the movie in and of itself), I did/do have this conviction that I don’t want any money to go towards that movie on my behalf (withholding money being the one way to show lack of support)—which Eric found frustrating. I don’t know if it’s reasonable, but that’s the way it is.

Sunday, spurred on by a $3 off coupon for CDs, I decided to try and expand my musical tastes. This presented a dilemma: how does one get to hear—and like—new music, if the radio only seems to play junk? My solution, for now, is just to dive into random groups based on what I can read about them and the tiny clips that Amazon and the iTunes Music Store provide. It’s really not that great a system.

Then it turned out that, even with a $3 off coupon, most of the CDs I settled on were still cheaper online. Argh. My musical horizons will have to wait a little while to expand.


Had a dream last night that Andy had converted an old warehouse into a club, and this club was frequented by the people of my life. The dream ended just as the police raided the place and I realized that Andy had let me in without checking my ID—meaning I had left my wallet in my car. (^_^);;

Took my car to Les Schwab today, where its alignment was marginally tweaked for the princely sum of $70 and one hour of my life. ouch!

My car still seems to veer right. Next up: checking my tire pressure. Let this be a lesson to you: check your tire pressure before you have your alignment tweaked, because it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. (The trip wasn’t a total loss, though, as I did manage to read a chapter of Price Theory while waiting for the repair. sigh)

This evening I was consumed with lust for a cheap PC (2.8 GHz Pentium 4 with 800 MHz FSB! 512 MB RAM! 40 GB HD, CD drive, passable video card! No OS! All for $298 after rebate!), but my desire was tempered by the fact that I wouldn’t really do that much with a PC.

And then I realized what I would do with it: dating sims. And that was enough to kill the idea—I don’t need to add those to my list of oddball interests.

Tastes like ashes in my mouth

Can I just write off these last few months, please? If it wasn’t bad enough that my monitor displays a white line across the bottom of the screen (for me, but not for the service technician!) and my computer doesn’t always start up (which now forces me to buy an extended warranty), a stupid SUV driver forced me to maneuver in cramped quarters while trying to get out of the Subway parking lot for lunch today—and I wasn’t up to the challenge. I managed to jump a curb, and thereby screwed up my car’s alignment. I get to visit Les Schwab tomorrow afternoon so that my car will stop veering to the right.

And, even more annoyingly, my right hand’s index finger feels arthritic from repetitive mouse clicking at work. (Believe it or not, I click more at work than I do at home—mostly because the program I use believes that “more is better” when it comes to the number of dialog boxes you have to wade through to change settings.) Now that I’ve injured it, it gets irritated by the smallest things. And “smallest things” includes typing too much.


Consequently, my desk is now set up for left-handed mousing. I’m nowhere near as bad at that as I might have guessed, though I can tell that my body doesn’t like the idea of flailing my left hand around a mousepad anywhere near as much as doing so with my right hand. In other work-related news, Susan was once again singing Another One Bites the Dust around the halls. This means, of course, that another coworker has given two weeks’ notice. Yay us.

In actuarial-study-related news, I’ve managed to crack my Price Theory text and have begin my reintroduction to the thrilling world of microeconomics. I’m guessing I’ll be able to get a decent bit read while waiting at Les Schwab tomorrow, provided that I’m not distracted by banal chatter like last time.

Antihistamine, or anticonsciousness?

I started feeling rather congested this evening. I’ve been rather congested on and off the last couple days, and Sudafed didn’t seem to do much to help me—so this time I took Benadryl.

I’m no longer “rather congested” (just “mildly congested”), but I am now ready to go to sleep. Oi.

While I curl up into a little ball, you can have a look at a flash animation that Marin stumbled across earlier today: Final Fantasy A+.

Spanked with moon rocks

So I tried taking the first of my three practice “Course 2” actuarial examinations today.

Turns out that it took me. Completely. I gave up after the first twenty-five questions, because I hadn’t been able to answer enough of them to really make looking at the second half of the exam worthwhile. (End results: five correct out of the eight I answered, of the twenty-five I looked at.)

So now I have two months until the next exam, and a whole lotta book-learnin’ to accomplish before then. I think I underestimated this one.

Mid-Labor-Day-Weekend update

I keep getting sidetracked these days…

Thursday was Kristina’s last day at work, so she celebrated (?) by eating dinner with Eric and me at Mcmenamins. We had a good long chat; I’ll miss her. In this pseudo-celebration process, Eric and I discovered that Mcmenamin’s “happy hour” food pricing is quite competitive with the likes of Shari’s. We’ll definitely be back.

Friday Eric was a girly-man* and decided he was going to sleep rather than participate in Movie Nite. Due to other constraints, it became obvious that Movie Nite wasn’t going to happen this weekend—in its place we held Twinkle Star Sprites Nite. My Dreamcast also had to suffer through some Bust-A-Move and some Super Puzzle Fighter, so we had some variety in our two-player gaming. The highlight of the evening was probably found in Bangai-O, where I managed to kill the first boss by standing a short distance away and pumping him full of missiles.

[*I guess Arnold’s rubbing off on me…]

Today, so far, has been noteworthy both for recycling the garbage bags (yes, that’s plural) of cans that had accumulated in our garage and for the absolutely awful (excluding the case where we lose discs) game of disc golf that Brian and I played in the afternoon. Yee-haw.

This is our office. It’s a good office.

A new—and fairly reasonable, I’d say—policy was implemented at work this morning. Apparently people didn’t take kindly to it, though…. One of the resulting emails sent to the entire office read as follows:


My reaction was to respond to everyone with a simple LOL or ROTFL. Marin, however, had a much more ingenious idea—every day, for a week, we should send a message along the lines of the following to the entire office:




And then I had the brilliant idea of relating the people in my office to characters in The Lord of the Flies. It’d work, I’m sure, although I don’t want to know who would end up being Piggy.

Final summer dance

It’s already late and I’m tired, so I’ll keep this short. Last dance practice of the summer was fun. I spent some time reminiscing with Marco about how things have changed in the five (!) years that we’ve been dancing at OSU—people, music, classes offered, weekly events where people can dance. Of course, Marco’s memory was much better than mine… and he’s right. Things really have changed since I first took Ballroom I my sophomore year; and, with the exception of the people who have left, most of the change has been for the better. It’s neat to think about, really; there’s a lot more dancing occurring in Corvallis than (probably) ever before.

I then got involved in a competition against Barry for who would dance more times in the evening. He cleaned my clock, taking an early lead and maintaining it throughout the evening, but both of us did dance more than we historically have. Before this competition, Barry noted that next week we’d have to figure out a new place where we could do nothing for an hour and a half. I could have argued that watching others dance and trying to glean their moves isn’t “doing nothing,” but wisely decided to stay silent.

And how about that new iMac? At first glance I’m much more impressed with this model than I was with the introduction of the G4 iMac… but, then again, my sense of style (yeah, yeah, “what sense of style?”) tends to be a bit more conservative. Though the messageboard posts I’ve read (Ars and MacNN, the latter of which is down at the moment) seem quite negative, I think Apple’s price/performance ratio for these machines is pretty darn nice. (My only personal gripe—since everybody seems to need to have one—would be that the iMac can only mirror video to a second monitor, not use a second monitor as an extended display.) Should be interesting to see how they sell.

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