I’ve had lots of cruft building up in my mind lately; now is the time, and this is the place, for me to start cleaning out those thoughts.

On Christmas Eve I opened my front door and discovered an old sock tied to the handle. Inside that sock I found two bottles of beer and a bottle opener that plays the OSU fight song when you open a bottle with it—and a (slightly modified) Christmas rhyme about how the kids were hoping that the Beer Man would soon pay them a visit. I’ve now queried everyone I know who might have been responsible, and have come up short—thank you, Beer Man, whoever you are.

For New Year’s Eve, Brian and I joined Nate, Kevin, and Brooke for a small party that turned out to be a blast. Brian and I savored some “pearl” sake that Brian discovered at the co-op (I’m a fan of sake; I admit it); the others didn’t seem so impressed by it. Kevin and Brooke had both bought Nerf dartguns that more than paid for themselves in the fun they enabled throughout the evening; the prize-winning shot was by Nate, who somehow got one of his darts stuck into the barrel of Brooke’s gun. Pretty much the only somber moment of the evening was when we turned on the TV for the traditional ball-drop, and discovered what that stroke had done to Dick Clark. Damn.

I recently had a dream that I actually remembered after waking up. [This is a big thing for me—I practically never remember my dreams (assuming, of course, that I have them), and those I do remember I generally forget soon after.] I was driving to work, where work was in some giant gray-box building (think Staples), and noticed that we had a new slogan hung (in light-up-lettering typical for stores) on the side of our building, large and very bright: FAILURE IS NOT. I was quite puzzled, until I remembered an event from a few days ago where I kept getting pestered, via email, to fill out some annoying form. I assumed the form was the result of an online purchase I had recently made, and so finally caved and gave smart-ass answers to make the questionnaire go away. Upon further reflection I realized that the form was from Corporate Headquarters, and my response to “what is your store’s motto?” had been failure is not an option. They consequently fit as much of the motto on the side of our building as they could.

(Again, the fact that I remember the dream is the most notable thing, for me. One of my more “recent” remembered dreams was of playing tennis on a court filled with rubber chickens that were running around. Instead of a racquet I held a sword (I would hit the ball with the flat of the blade); each swing would chop off rubber chicken heads—and the decapitated rubber chickens would then ran around spurting blood. That was the entire dream. I asked to have it analyzed in my high-school senior-year psychology class; not surprisingly, I never got a result.)

My neighbor called us about two days ago, to warn us of this odd guy who seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time in the park directly behind our houses. She had also seen him slowly wandering around our street at other times. He’s supposedly (I say this because I haven’t actually seen him) a clean blonde in his early thirties; last time he was seen he had on orange gloves, a small backpack, and a tent. Homeless guy? A clean homeless guy with only a small backpack of stuff? Burglar casing joints? He’s awful stupid to draw attention to himself with what he’s done. City worker checking out water drainage in the park? Why carry a tent? Color me nonplussed, regardless of what he’s actually doing.

Yesterday, mere minutes before my family was going to gather to watch a brand new episode of NCIS (the only TV show I actually watch, now that The Amazing Race is finished), the power went out on us. I was backing up Marin’s computer—and copying files on my computer—at the time. Woo. After lighting some candles and digging out flashlights, we wound up sitting in the living room with darn little to do. Marin asked Mom and Dad what they used to do when the power went out in the past (my answer, for them: sleep), which somehow got me thinking… and I broke out my PSP. I successfully completed a mission in Metal Gear Acid (and made numerous references to head-shots with tranquilizer rounds) before the power came back, and I was able to resume my usual evening routine.

Speaking of yesterday, how about that MacBook Pro? What a godawful name for something that seems to be pretty nice; I do note, however, that previous claims of “5 hour battery life” have been replaced with a footnote about how battery life is a function of the computer’s settings. I’d be worried about that, if I were looking at buying a PowerBook. (Hell, Apple called its portable the “PowerBook” long before the PowerPC was a glint in the AIM alliance’s eye! What are they thinking?)

Today my month-long dance exile was ended, and so I got to spend an hour and a half (I’m always late; the actual practice runs two hours) dancing and chatting this evening. Not much to report, there, other than the Judo club appears to be practicing in the adjacent room during the dance practice. Barry suggested we start a club exchange. Oh, and the club is open to “guest” DJs for the practices; some of my group want to arrange of evening of nothing but polkas and viennese waltzes. (In the great word of Mr. Reid: brutal!)

I’ve begun learning how to program in Ruby, having finally chosen that over Python. (This goes against Eric’s counsel: I am now, as he put it, learning a marginal programming language on a marginal platform. …And loving it!*) My first function returns the fourth word of the string you pass it. It’s a pretty sweet function.

[*Award yourself bonus points if you remember Get Smart. Remove bonus points if you confuse that with the McDonald’s slogan.]


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