Still moving (hah!)

The only nice thing about this move is that I’m not forced to hurry everything up; it’s not like my current lease is ending tomorrow and I better have all my stuff out if I don’t want to pay blood money. Other than that, it’s a giant PITA: work has suffered, this blog has suffered, I’ve suffered.

Most recent task: attempt to remove all the dust that pervades my place. New apartment = nobody’s ruined the place already = nice, but new apartment = just built = construction dust. That task continues tomorrow, as does the moving of stuff. I was amused, this evening, by the fact that a random piece of my new silverware seems to weigh as much, if not more, than one of my Corelle plates.

I’m not quite sure how to feel about the observation, recently underscored, that all I need to survive and be productive to society are my clothes, a bunch of necessities (e.g. soap) that I’ve had to purchase, and my computer with an internet connection. Everything else is pretty much entertainment icing on my life.

Thursday turned out to be a reasonable eventful day—or, at least, a day that had events that weren’t directly related to moving. During our regularly scheduled trip to the Beanery, Brian and I had the opportunity to have an extended chat with (yet another) Beanery staff-person. Sophie (Sofie?*) is a personal hero to both Brian and myself. [*I shall alternate spellings throughout, as she seems the type of gal who would approve of such a technique in the face of uncertainty.] A couple weeks ago, Beanery Staff-Gal A—who had been stacking chairs on tables—was stunned when the seat of the chair she was trying to stack fell to the floor while she was inverting the chair. She then asked what she should do, and Sofie advised her to put it back and pretend that didn’t happen—that someone else could deal with it. On Thursday we learned that Sophie was a language student at OSU (she’s at least tetra-lingual, including English**). We also were able to help her (however minorly) deal with a potted tree that was intent on taking its own life (i.e. fall over), as well as advise her on how we’d seen other Beanery types stack chairs. (Sofie’s approach was to invert one chair and stack its seat on that of another chair, and put both chairs up on the table; we had always seen one chair inverted on the table, and the other inverted and placed on the first chair at a funky angle. [Thrilling, no?])

[**I must give respect to anyone who can manage more than two languages. I’ve found that I have two language buckets: “English,” and “Everything Else.” The only foreign languages that I know more than a handful of words in are Spanish and Japanese—and I mix them up all the bloody time.]

After the Beanery, Brian and I adjourned to Brian’s house for further chat. Brian kept the front door open as we chatted, as it was an extremely pleasant evening (made even more pleasant by contrast to the heat we had just experienced). Then nature attacked.

A fucking hummingbird Mothra giant moth breezed through the door, and made a beeline towards us. Which also happened to be towards the overhead light. (The thing really was as large as a hummingbird, and it made a hell of a noise as it flew around. There was some serious meat on it.)

The light apparently toasted the little ginormous bugger pretty well before Brian got to the switch to turn it off. His hope, of course, was to get that mutant out of his home. Instead of flying off, the moth had some difficulty getting out of the light’s shade, and then had a barely-controlled flight to the floor. After struggling on the ground for a few moments (complete with multiple aborted attempts to take off), the poor thing finally got going again, and disappeared into the darkness of the dining area.

And then we heard a THWOK.

Brian and I shared a horrified laugh at that; not only had a plus-sized moth just paid us a visit, but it seriously injured itself in our presence—and then it flew straight into a wall.

After a few minutes of silence, we went to investigate: Brian found the creature clinging to the wall. He marked how large the moth was (body length of two inches—two very meaty inches—and I believe Brian’s measurement was conservative), and then cupped and released it back into the wild.

The moth barely put up a resistance to the entire procedure; it obviously wasn’t doing well. All the same, it’s probably not in the human race’s interest to encourage the existence bird-sized bugs.

On Friday, Brian, John and I watched the modern classic anime film Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture. FF:TMP was one of my first introductions to anime; I watched it many years ago, when the Sci-Fi channel would play a random anime movie at midnight on Saturday—i.e. Sunday morning. (Best TV viewing ever: MST3K would be on earlier in the evening, and then I’d just dink around until midnight arrived.) I remember also watching Tenchi Muyo in Love, Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer, and Galaxy Express 999 in that same slot; good times. (I was horribly tired when I saw Beautiful Dreamer, and to this day I really only feel like watching it when I’m otherwise ready to fall asleep… not the worst state of mind for the movie’s subject, actually.)

My initial impression of the Fatal Fury movie was that it was a fun romp around the world. When I watched it a second time, I realized that I’m not a good judge of quality after midnight.

I can’t say that FF:TMP is good. The entire movie revolves around a random girl who asks for Terry’s help—but she doesn’t want to tell Terry about why she actually needs help until later. Based on that, Terry, Andy, and Mai agree to help her—to wander around the world without first knowing why. Only Joe gives a reason—and that reason was what the heck, I don’t have anything better to do.

Not the strongest plot ever.

Nevertheless, I still grin from ear to ear when I watch it. It’s fun, even if it’s not good.

Moving on

I, like most of the Pacific Northwest, am critically weak against heat-based attacks. This most-recent string of 100-plus degree Fahrenheit days combined with un-regionally high humidity has been a real drag on my psyche, let alone my productivity. I’ve made it through the nights by sleeping on top of my bed with the fan on, but I know I haven’t actually been sleeping well.

The gears of time pay no heed to the weather, however, and have once again begun to turn. There’s quite a bit happening at the moment—most all related to my rental of an apartment (!) and the subsequent need to buy stuff to fill it with. I don’t even want to think about how I’m going to cart my stuff over there (and we’re only talking about across town—not far at all).

The apartment is brand-new, and word is that it’s been mostly populated with graduate students. (I suppose I’m actually closer to PhD-student age, these days, but hey. […]) Jury’s still out on whether or not grad-student neighbors will be a good thing, though I understand that the general graduate-student lifestyle involves essentially living in your office or lab.

Tomorrow: the joy of getting both electricity to, and insurance for, my new home. Woo.

(Ominous sound)

So I started getting spam in two of my email accounts yesterday morning, within a period of about an hour. (How did I escape it until now? They’re relatively new accounts.) Only problem is, I’ve only used the second account on two occasions, ever: both times I provided it to financial institutions I use.

Oh shit?

I’ve emailed both places with my suspicion, but I’m not terribly happy about the possibility that someone’s hacked a place where I have money stashed.

Got an email from Apple support today, saying that my repair is on hold for an out-of-stock part. That part is either the main logic board (which should almost certainly fix my problem, as the MLB is inseparable from the processor, and replacing it will require the reapplication of thermal paste), or spit. In the first case the delay will be however long it takes to get a spare MLB; in the latter it’s as long as they want to take.

Needless to say, I’m hoping for the happier resolution.

One step forward, one step back

I traded more pointed barbs with AppleCare on Thursday—an experience that left me furious for the rest of the day. That’s nuts, ’cause I just don’t fly off the handle like that—it’s been years since I was last that angry.

I’ve now sent my MacBook in to be diagnosed, based on the argument that I felt my MacBook was slowing down excessively—because, as the representative reiterated, all MacBooks throttle their processor when under load. (Once again: WTF?) I assume, after the latest unpleasantries, that this diagnosis will consist of opening up my MacBook, spitting on it, and sending it back my way.

In happier news, spending my PSP money has finally paid off. The latest version of SNES9xTYL (weird name, I know) is a marked improvement over whatever version I last tried—SNES games are actually playable, finally. Also, last Thursday a version of DevHook was released that allows old PSPs to fake having a more-current firmware: I can play games that require newer firmware than I actually have.

For the first time since I bought my PSP, I can actually emulate—and happily play—NES and SNES games, and still play various PSP games I’ve bought that require newer, non-emulation-compatible, firmware. I was beginning to fear that this day would never come; I’m so glad that it did.

…now if only my MacBook could have as happy an ending…

The Fourth

(Yes, I’m a bit behind.) Brian and I hit the bridge for the evening fireworks display, as usual. They were both pretty and fun, as usual. Lots of people on the bridge and in the park, like usual.

Not like usual: no Walk Like an Egyptian played in the pre-show music. (!) Did somebody actually get a clue?

Andy came down on the second; Twilight Imperium, Guitar Hero, and Mahjong were the main events. I’d never played Mahjong before, and I found it unexpectedly fun. Everybody loves Guitar Hero; personally, it has rekindled my love of Iron Man. Twilight Imperium is a giant mess of a game in general, but for various reasons this particular game (my second) took a small eternity to progress. Not that it was a big deal—it was a slow Sunday, anyway.

Side events consisted of playing New Super Mario Bros. on Andy’s DS, and (unexpectedly) watching the aftermath of Andy slicing his finger while cutting french bread. Watching friends bleed: good times!

A game

My parents bought a Prius last week. It’s a nifty car; too bad it’s not mine. (sob)

My town has a plethora of liberal, environmentally conscious people. I suggested to Brian and John that it might be a fun game to watch people’s heads explode by putting a Bush ’04 sticker on the back of the Prius; John in turn suggested that Cheney ’08 might be an even stronger choice.

…I yearn for the days when everybody would see the humor in that…

A real post

More seriously, though, I seem to have lots of buns in ovens (unfortunately thankfully in entirely non-sexual ways) and little inclination to go about taking care of them. That condition can’t last for too long, though.

Most importantly, I’m beginning the process of thinking about moving. This is where I acquire lots of things (vacuum cleaner, anyone?) that are all-too-boring, all-too-expensive, and all-too-necessary for survival. Once a critical mass of goods for self-survival have been amassed, I then put them somewhere else and live there.

The runner-up in use of my conscious thought is my frickin’ MacBook. My AppleCare contact is apparently extremely busy, on vacation, dead at the bottom of a river, or avoiding me. (It’s been a day and a half, so all four possibilities are really quite likely.) I figure I start harassing his voicemail if I don’t hear something back from him tomorrow. Then, when he still refuses to exchange my computer (who’s heard of a 2.0 GHz machine that runs at 1.0 GHz—for any length of time—and is “operating normally”?), I then move on to Apple’s Customer Relations department… and, if they don’t do something, the BBB.

I really don’t like being a pain in the ass to others, but I also really don’t like paying for a lemon of a computer.

And, finally, I really have been just exhausted lately for no good reason. My back started aching last night (ironically within hours of my noting that my back hadn’t been hurting lately) as well, and the one-two punch has been a primary factor in my being curt with others. On the positive side, I have tried out the iTunes radio idea I noted earlier; though I haven’t yet accurately rated my music, I think it’s going to work well. It’s certainly better than plain-old shuffle, if nothing else.

Grumpy Brent

Not sleeping enough. Back hurts. MacBook situation grim. No dance.


iTunes “radio”

This is the most awesome idea, ever.

Nobody wants to die

I unwittingly walked into a tense scenario at work on Thursday. Not, as those who are familiar with my office might guess, because of a tiff between employees and management—but because there was a crazy-psycho man screaming at people.

I somehow avoided all the yelling, despite arriving, photocopying UPCs for a rebate, dropping that off in my car, and then returning inside… apparently words were exchanged both before I arrived, and when I was dropping stuff off in the car. I didn’t even see the guy when he left. Brent <– totally oblivious.

Then he came back. It was at this point that I was run over by the clue train: I saw coworkers peeking around a corner at the entrance to the office—and other coworkers watching those coworkers from a safe location behind the corner. When asked what was going on, the only response I got was that he’s back! (Brent: Who, Michael Myers?) Further interrogation of other people finally got me fully on-board with what was happening.

Usually the crazies get shunted to the office manager, who’s quite skillful at calming people down. Not this one—he got passed onto The Boss proper, while everyone else hid. After the guy left for the second (and final) time, The Boss commented, jokingly, on how everybody ditched him.

Doi. Nobody wants to die. And people especially don’t want to die because they work in a billing office.

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