11:00 pm update

USA (the TV station) has decided that golf is more interesting than House? What is up with that?


Holy crap. It’s 10:25 pm on a Friday night and I just learned the ninja whip in west coast swing. How awesome is that?

It’s pretty awesome, I say.

I also learned a supposedly sassy way to do a single-handed sugar push, and greatly enjoyed Ashley(#2)’s demonstration of a decidedly sassy end to the ninja whip.

Jenny sassed me (yes, there was a whole lotta sass tonight) on my intention tremor, saying that I should (nodding towards my hands) lighten up; it was with great humor that I explained the only way for that particular aspect of me to “lighten up” is for me to drink.

At the end of the evening, I even snuck my way onto the start (!) of the waiting list for next term’s west coast swing II class, meaning I’m basically guaranteed a spot. Booyah.

The sass of the evening has definitely infected my brain; I feel more mentally quick (the only way you can really sass, IME), right now, than I’ve been in weeks. Months, maybe.

Dancing really is my salvation.


Today I had the pleasure of walking into work and being bombarded with fifteen-thousand things to do. In the process of doing those things, I discovered that a major assumption I had made, back in the day, is horribly, horribly wrong.

Not the news I really wanted to hear on the first day that confirmed I am slowly becoming more sick. (Oddly, I’m still not all that sick; today featured a slightly more drippy nose, and me being spacey and detached.)

Tomorrow, assuming I still have a head, I get to start fixing things. Again. The good news is that this means I GP up!; the bad news is that it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that this program is going to fall apart when I stop maintaining it (even if that assumption I made had been good). While my individual functions are generally clean and comprehendable, their amalgamation starts turning into a pretty complex beast. Add on top of that hospital files that spontaneously change format, and my coworkers—who mean well but tend to explain things in ways that send you off in the wrong direction—and I’m not betting on whoever tries to maintain things after I leave.

I am tired of my work, too. That doesn’t help.

Enough about that, though. For a dose of childlike wonder, have a look at this flickr library of Lego Video Games. I’m proud/sad to say that I recognized every game but Katamari Damacy from the tiny preview pictures. (There actually aren’t that many games, so it’s not that hard.)

Think you’ve got what it takes to tie me?

Me NOT griping

I was greatly humored on Friday when I read an op/ed in the Wall Street Journal written in part by Ron Wyden, one of my state’s illustrious senators. Seems he and some other senator (one I didn’t immediately recognize) have recently introduced flat tax legislation to the Senate, and the editorial in the WSJ was to drum up some support. His bill (which includes the term “flat tax” in its name), however, sports three tax brackets.

GG, Mr. Wyden.

Yesterday Kevin and Nate invited Brian and me over for pizza and gaming; after wearing our thumbs out on Guilty Gear X2 (still an excellent game) and Capcom vs. SNK 2 (which, as Kevin noted, really hasn’t aged well), we got serious and started playing Mario Kart: Double Dash.

Our preferred track? Baby Park.

Tonight I attended (late, as usual—I love naps!) the second of the term’s three ballroom dances.

The oddity of the evening was having one of the dance instructors—the one who’s never been all that impressed by me (probably something to do with being a slow learner of moves and, back then, excessively apologetic)—come up and be quite friendly to me. I didn’t actually think she was talking to me at first, it was so strange. (I somewhat suspect it was because I was chatting with Robin at the time, and Robin’s one of her elite dancers. Enh, whatever.)

Pleasant happenings of the evening included having Robin all but glomp onto me when I arrived, Sofie dragging me out on the dance floor, and chatting while doing a west coast with (engaged) Jenny.

Jenny later asked me, on the sidelines during a rhumba, why I wasn’t out there getting all seductive like. I explained to her how, if I were a character in an RPG, that “getting all seductive like” wouldn’t even be an option on my movelist.

(I believe that explanation is one of the strongest ones I’ve ever given, inasmuch as it is as internally consistent as anything could ever be. Jenny appreciated the humor of it, at the least.)

The other odd event of the evening was having Barry breathe in my face and ask me if it smelled like he had been drinking (it didn’t, nor was it offensive—thankfully); apparently two different follows had both commented to him about that. I dunno; at most, it faintly smelled like he had used mouthwash.

I’m sure we all know how guys who are of age will try to get drunk off of mouthwash. It’s disgusting, really.

Me griping

I was going to complain about how we went from highs in the sixties to highs in the thirties (Fahrenheit, of course) in the span of a day or two, but others have me beat in that department. […] I’m still cold, even if I’m nowhere near as cold as others are. Bah!

I know things have been quiet around here lately; that’s mostly because I’ve been hanging on the edge of illness for the last week. My folks have both fallen, and now sport absolutely horrid coughs; I occasionally get a cough or two, but so far haven’t kept pace with them. If I have any say in the matter, I never will.

The fact that I’m only slightly sick is really puzzling to me: I’m traditionally the first to go down when a new bug arrives on the scene. (I might suspect that I’m somehow immunocompromised, but my immune system always seems to win in the end—it’s just slow getting going.) Nevertheless, I’m a touch more spacey than normal, and getting anything done is a bit more difficult than it normally is.

Getting things done is normally difficult, though. Oy. I’ve forced myself to start maintaining a list of things that I need to get done, because otherwise those things never actually happen.

Eudora (my email client) has been pissing me off lately. I normally run in “sponsored” mode, which means I tolerate a small on-screen ad when Eudora is in the foreground in exchange for a full-blown (save for spam filtering) feature set. I’ve been using Eudora since I first connected to the internet—nine years ago, according to my archives—and it’s worked quite well for me: no lost email, no corruption. No pretty interface or HTML viewing, either, but I’m one of those types who prefers text-based email anyway.

What I can’t stand, though, is the friggin’ Eudora hasn’t been able to retrieve ads in quite some time and will now revert to Light mode dialog that I’ve recently been getting on a daily basis. I have a (non-hackerly) way to get back to sponsored mode, but it’s a PITA to do every day.

Worse yet is that I’m not doing a darn thing that would keep Eudora from getting ads. That’s the deal with sponsored mode, and I’m more than willing to live up to my end of it. If only Eudora felt the same way!

As it is, though, I’m pretty much set to move over to Thunderbird. It doesn’t quite act like a native Mac application (then again, I’m not so sure that Eudora does, these days), but it’s pretty much the only other email client out there that both has all the features I want and doesn’t seem to suck.

I am grizzled

Marin has the pleasure of writing a paper on business in France, and therefore has the additional pleasure of trying to make her paper pretty. (As we all know, you learn a lot about business by spending a good chunk of time on the layout and formatting of text and pictures.)

I have been to France. She has not. Consequently, two days ago she had me pull out my photos—where we discovered how much I’ve aged, physically, in the last five and a half years.

That is a non-zero amount.

I mean, I was young back then.

As in, I should now be complaining about young whippersnappers and waving my cane around.


Hot sex

I’ve just realized that I can play a movie full-screen on one of my computer’s monitors—while working on the other. I’ve just started watching Dawn of the Dead—and, damn, I just totally forgot about the extended intro sequence. Wow.

(Can you tell that I have this Valentine’s Day thing down cold?)

Nick used Neil’s birthday as an excuse to throw a small party last weekend, which was thoroughly entertaining. All the important people—save Kevin and, of course, Eric—were there. The Olympics made for decent background noise, while conversation ranged from the amusing to the horribly, horribly wrong. Brian, Andy and I continued our quest to find a cheap sake comparable to the variety that Proprietor-san served us in Japan; the evening’s attempt was SakéOne’s Momokawa Diamond, and was our closest hit yet.

The Sunday follow-up was a game of Puerto Rico at Andy’s; I found the game more accessible than I expected it to be, and a good bit of fun.

Phoebe, the gal who works behind the counter at 7-Eleven, today wished everyone a Happy Single’s Awareness Day. (She also mentioned her friend who had sent her a care package of chocolate and “movies where lots of people died.”) I had completely forgotten it was Valentine’s Day up to that point; that wasn’t the worst way to be reminded.

Still, my favorite VD (and unicrons!) memory remains that of griping with Rachel in the UHC basement: me griping for fun, she not so much. Good times.

MGS4 Trailer

Supposedly real-time, according to GameSpot. Download (be warned that it was quite slow for me) and drool.

(If you’re using Mac OS X, you might need some help to play the WMV file: try installing the newly-sanctioned-by-Microsoft Flip4Mac Windows Media plugin, if you haven’t already.)

I know I’m looking forward to the adventures of Old Snake.

Linky Linky

I’ve found that my RSS reader actually lets me keep up with more sites than I could manually, and do so in less time. The downside is that I start associating links (not so much news…yet) I find with NetNewsWire, and not with the actual site that the link came from.

Anyhoo, some random site on my list of feeds linked to an article on Game Set Watch, which was about the “world’s smallest website,” guimp, featuring many flash-based retro-game experiences (Pong, Pac-Man, etc.) in an 18×18 pixel screen. The games are actually playable (though, of course, reduced—e.g. Pac-Man features only one ghost), though I find them a bit hard on my no-longer-spring-chicken eyes.

Definitely worth a play, though.

As I already emailed Brian (yes, I’m being horribly lazy and copy-and-pasting the bulk of my email): The gals in my office are getting all giggly and are planning to do elementary-school-style valentines for everyone on the 14th. I’m not going to participate, but if I did… I’d be sorely tempted to print these cards out and use ’em.

Best Photoshop Phriday in a while, IMO.

Little News

I, uh, picked up a second monitor over the last weekend. I now have an awe-inspiring (::cough::) 2560 x 1024 total display, and my sister now has monitor lust. I actually keep more applications open now that I can see more of them at once—the first time I’ve broken from my old Mac OS habits of quitting an application when I was done with it.

I spent an entire evening trying to color-match the monitors. It did not go well. (They’re now a whole lot closer than what they were, but are still miles apart.)

This evening I danced with the (self-professed) most beautiful follow in the room, who kindly wrote off my mild fumbles—I haven’t actually been dancing much lately, and it somewhat shows—as my being awed by her beauty. All said in good fun, though the idea did tickle me.

Big News

No, not from me. You should know better than that.

First, a warm welcome to Calvin, and a hearty congratulations to both Tiffany and Tyler! Yes, my friends aren’t just getting married, now—they’re becoming parents. (I do feel old when I think about it.) From the tales my folks tell me about my childhood, I’m gonna bet that Tiffany & Tyler will be mighty tired for the next couple years. Of course, theirs will be for an awesome reason, far removed from my usual “tired because I didn’t bother going to sleep” shtick.

(I am, incidentally, confused about how such a large baby could have come from such a petite Tiffany….)

Speaking of friends getting married… my other bit of big news is Anna’s engagement! I fall firmly into the camp of those who don’t have a clue who the lucky stiff is (outside of his first name: Doug), but I’m sure he’s a good man.

Hot Damn

So there I was, poking around the internet in bored fashion as I am wont to do, when I discovered the first thing that brought a big fat smile to my face today: Hop Step Jump!

Jeff’s blogging about anime again! I love the clean layout and the use of big, fat pictures with posts. It rouses a combination of envy and lust in my graphic-design-al region.

Zombie Brent roams the Earth

Protect your loved ones!

A peculiar side-effect of sleeping all the bloody time is that your internal clock gets horribly, horribly confused. I seem to be more mentally awake right now than I am during portions of the day.

And yet, at the same time, my physical body is horrendously tired. I can’t wait until I’m both healthy and on something even resembling a normal schedule.

Not fun

I did not, by hook or by crook, go to Sunriver this weekend as planned; instead, I slept. Problem was, Brian and I were going to ride together; the first wrinkle in our plan came when we learned that Brian’s car would be in the shop all weekend. [I called Kevin, the other C-town driver, on the off-chance that they were still around and could at least squeeze Brian in; not only were they in Eugene at the time, but their car was apparently stuffed.] Our only other method of transportation, then, was to borrow my sister’s car—the only one we switch over to snow(-like) tires—and scrounge chains for it. We’d have to leave Saturday, though, to have the sun working for us.

Saturday arrived, along with a string of storms that meant goodly snow for the passes: now I had Brian on one side, who quite obviously wanted to go, and my folks on the other—who (to put it mildly) aren’t terribly fond of snow and ice. This resulted in all sorts of fact-finding about the condition of the passes, what the weather was going to be like, etcetera… and a whole lot of stress for me.

I’ve been sick the last two weeks, with something that causes extreme fatigue and not much else. [No, it’s not mono.] I’ve done a decent job of continuing my social life (such as it is) in the interim, but that’s been at the expense of work—when you’re sleeping twelve-plus hours a day, and generally out of it another eight hours a day, most things have to give. (Fortunately for me, I was at a good stopping point with my projects—and nobody likes to pay for a groggy employee to half-do work.)

So, stress + sick = Brent shuts down. It’s not every weekend you can let down the vast majority of your friends simultaneously.

On the upside, I seem to be getting better; today I managed to get through a half-day of work without collapsing. woo.

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