I took the car in this morning. Just got a phone call that they've had
it apart. Net total, something on the order of 2400 USD.
I think I'm honored. For what's possiblty the first time ever, it
turns out my name was dropped to get someone a discount at a juggling
I think Monty Python has had a pretty permanant effect on me and movies.
I'm watching the previews for Arthur, and every time I see a sword or hear
someone mention Excalibur, I hear, in my head "You can't expect to wield
supreme executive power just 'cos some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
While I was watching Timeline, every time someone shouted "trebuchet!",
I hear "Fetchez la vache!". Come to think of it, now, I hear that /every/
time I hear the wrod "trebuchet", not just in Timeline.
Watching Americans eat, I can't ever help but think of the scene from
The Meaning Of Life where the large fella is finally eating a minty treat.
It just goes on and on...
I've booked my car in to be fixed on Monday. Finally.
A new engine will cost two to three grand, or getting it rebuilt may cost
2 to 2 and a half, depending. Of course, if the block's properly blown,
it won't be worth rebuilding...
I still fail to understand, in this day and age, why companies insist
on not supporting Mozilla.
The development tools for mozilla/firefox/whatever nowadays manage to
make web development infinitely easier [Web Developer Toolbar, EditCSS,
and liveHTTPheaders to name but three] than I ever remember it being
while trying to debug some stupid table layouts in IE.
Frankly, even if that's all there was to it, "Outline Block Elements",
"Display Form Details", and "Outline Table Cells" would on their own
qualify as a killer app. And they're only the beginning [if you want
a liveHTTPheaders equivalent for IE, it's 50 dollars of shareware,
and shitty with it!]
And then, forget the whole development incentive - what about the
It just boggles my mind. I'm a customer, and I have money. I decide to
give it to comany XXX, and then company XXX makes it fucking hard to
give it to them.
Nowadays, I'm sorry, but whatever it is that you sell, I can get
elseplaces on the internet, too. There have been several cases where
certain companies out there had me shopping, and a whole bunch
of things in the shopping basket, only to fail at the last
Technically all it cost me was 20 minutes of my time. All they had to do
was use some server-side perl to do the same thing [Error! your phone
number contains stupid characters], and at the cost of a couple k of
bandwidth, they could have made a couple thousand dollars off me [one
extreme casse, that really happened to me].
It would even be easier, since, from experience, I know that it's a whole
shitload easier to use a genuine submit button and some perl than it is
I know, I've said this many many times, and am probably boring as
hell. But it really infuriates me, from both my technical background [I
wrote an entire web-based licensing system that even works in Netscape3
and Lynx], and the obvious business sense [I'm /trying/ to give you
money, and you're not letting me!].
Bleh. This is from the category of "everyone who already knows this
is a step ahead of me", and "anyone who doesn't know, or doesn't care,
by this point in time, is already a lost cause".
Wait. Lemme give you a recent, concrete, example [that triggered this
From: Chunky Kibbles [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 9:27 PM
Subject: Site broken...
I just tried to pay for an item I won on ebay using auctionworks, and
everything worked up until the moment I tried to click the "continue"
button on the page that I can enter my addresses on - and nothing
I'm using FireFox 0.8 [User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686;
en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040207 Firefox/0.8]
Just thought you might like to know,
Note the you-must-be-at-least-this-smart-to-use-this-ride bit - do they
notice that I'm on a Linux box?
From: Auctionworks Support <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 12:57:27 -0400
To: 'Chunky Kibbles' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Site broken...
Thanks for the information. Do you have Internet Explorer on your computer?
Try using that to see if that works for you.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, comments, or concerns!
As Greg just put it, "fucking brain surgeons"
I'm in two minds about Nintendo.
I've been playing Zelda Wind Waker [still], and yesterday I got round
to opening the Nintendo Gallery. There's a particularly stellar rimshot
the first time you enter:
"We've been losing members due to our lack of "gimmicky attractions"...
but don't worry, True [sic] fans know we're the coolest"
Something immensely funny about that, to me... Right up until they piss
me off, and the relative merits of that comment wane a little...
Nintendo have recently been demonstrating themselves to be hardware
whores, in the worst possible sense of the word.
I was very much looking forward to co-op Zelda. Just seemed like a
Really Cool Idea(tm) to me, and had so much potential to be amazing. I
have trouble imagining anything much sexier than a bit of split-screen
cell-shaded action. Mmmmmmm *rocks back and forth*
As the obvious aside here, I'd like to point out that Wind Waker's
graphics were a true work of art, and it's just a pity that the marketing
division caved to the stupid kiddiots out there for the next version -http://www.penny-arcade.com/news.php3?date=2003-03-21
for a quick run-down
that I completely agree with.
The tingle tuner in Wind Waker I can pass off as a pretty neat bit of
extra content for anyone who already had a gameboy. Really, I'll let
them get away with that one.
Entry level to Four Swords co-op, if all you have is a gamecube [ie,
me], is the cost of the game [50 bucks], two gameboys [100 bucks each],
and a link cable [10 bucks]. In a fit of generosity, they'll save you
ten bucks by giving you one link cable with the game.
For the mathematically challenged: For me to play co-op Zelda with my
girlfriend, it'll cost me two hundred and sixty dollars.
In the end, it's a huge disappointment. I'd been looking forward to it,
but now Nintendo have lost 50 bucks instead of making a couple hundred. I
doubt I'm the only one that thinks this way.
It's not even worth buying the game for single player, IMHO, since the
basic premise of single player is that you just do the work of four
Ho, hum. Wind Waker still rocks, but unless they quit it with this shit,
I won't bother buying Nintendo hardware next time.
Here's a hint to Nintendo: the Gameboy is offensively over-priced. I'd
pay for it if it were at the 50-dollar price point, and came with a game
and a mains adapter. At a hundred bucks, I'd damn well better be getting
more than just the device - for a start, I'd want a whole fistful of
And I can put a lot of whole bunch of games in my fist.
Seems that it's been a while since I updated, so I thought I'd write
down a few things going on in my life [Liz, Bob, Timmay, this means I
get a week or two while you needn't bug me :-)].
First, something that amuses me every time I see it - On one of the
sports channels here, every time I see it, there's some guy shaving his
head in a wee, pathetic, effort to look "cool" [I can only guess]. Under
the foam, when it comes off, is a logo of the relevant channel. Or
team. Or whatever. It's not like I'm the target audience for the ad,
or even care.
What amuses me, though, is that he's shaving with a straight razor,
and using it completely wrong. He's dragging the blade across his head
in the doesn't-cut direction. Not what you'd consider a whole lotta
Zelda Wind Waker still completely rocks. I've been playing through many
many side quests, etc, so I've not beaten it yet. This is possibly one
of the best games I've ever played. Many people, I'm sure, will find it
too easy, but depressingly it's pitched at about my level. Fun :-)
I can easily beat an average 18.2 mph cycling to work, I have discovered,
if I take the bike path that doesn't go alongside a road and involve
lots of stopping for traffic lights. It goes through some dodgy areas,
though, so it's only good for the morning commute. *sulk*
The last couple weekends have been absolutely fantastic. For the first
time in a really long time, I've had a ladyfriend who doesn't sit there
twitching and convulsing if we're just sitting there doing not much. Just
chatting, or she works while I make maille, or whatever. It's great.
On Sundays, we've been going to a Dog Adoption thummybob. It's really
good fun, but I want to take some of the puppies home *sniff*. You gotta
wonder why people abuse & leave out dogs like that. But it's certainly
fun to meet lots of dogs. I like dogs. Dogs are great.
I'm not normally much of a beach person [think "hasn't been to the beach
for the sake of going to the beach since move to CA"], but on our first
date, she actually took me to a beach in Malibu. That was rather nice.
We even finished off Memorial day weekend by walking down there again at
night [bare feet this time. Makes me slightly itchy since I'm mildly
neurotic about creepy-crawlies, but beaches are definitely better with
She's also a wicked Mario Kart player. Have her riding shotgun, and
beware any bugger driving nearby. She likes the little Koopa guy because
of the evil snigger he has every time he smacks someone [hey - if
you gotta pick a character it may as well be because he sounds evil,
right?]. Great fun, and with her help we've got gold on many levels I've
not even been awarded a cup in when driving solo.
The other weekend we went to the Getty museum [which I've been wanting
to go to for many, many, moons. Never quite got round to it]. I can VERY
highly recommend a jaunt for anyone at all who's anyplace even remotely
near. The gardens are positively beautiful, and the artwork is a joy to
Recently, I've ramped up my work on a maille shirt. I've not yet decided
what I'll be turning it into, exactly, but I know it'll be something I
wear on the top half of my body. I've done about 1/3 of the front, and
am currently working on a basic coif that'll end up being incorporated
It's hardly what you'd call "period", given I'm making it from titanium
and using a way denser weave than is usual, but it sure as shit looks
It may not be much to most people, but it's something to me.
When I started cycling to work [the middle of January], my average speed
was about 10 or 11 mph. Not much, but then it had been about a year and
a half since I did any serious cycling, and I wasn't trying too hard,
After a few weeks, when I put in a modicum of effort, my average was
closer to 13.
This morning, I averaged over 18 mph into work. Pretty healthy increase.
It took me slightly over 14 mins. I can officially cycle to work faster
than I can drive, if there's any traffic on the road.
I'm completely hooked on Zelda Wind Waker. So far, the only thing that's
been annoying me is the woefully small money pouch you start with,
meaning that a couple times I've missed out on 200 rupees because I've
collected it, not knowing what it was until after it's failed to add to
my full 200-rupee-only pouch.
When you're at a juggling thing [be it a club, a convention, or just a
street performer], if you see something really cool you can walk up to
them and ask them how it's done. And they'll show you.
The great thing about juggling is that it's a skill that takes many many
moons of practice, but most people doing it are always delighted to show
you how it's done. There's no problem with anyone else knowing how to do
something - it's all out there in the open already.
Magicians, on the other hand, tend to be really grumpy. If you ask them
how something's done, it's "magic". While it takes a long time to get
the hang of magic, most of the value in it is the fact that other people
don't know how it's done. The very act of spreading knowlege of how to
do magic devalues it, in their eyes.
If you go to a magic shop, and ask the guy there to show you something
really cool, he'll show you - but then won't tell you how it's done
until you agree to pay for it. And often, it turns out you've paid 50
or 60 bucks for something that's actually a really crappy item.
Go to a juggling shop, and everything there is out in the open for show,
tell, and play.
By way of example, try looking about on the internet for how to do magic
tricks. Then try looking about for how to do some juggling tricks. There's
pretty copious amounts of stuff about juggling, but almost everything
about magic is where you can buy an illusion that does XXXXX.
I like going to juggling clubs and finding people there who know magic
stuff. They're always happy to teach you what they know, if they do
magic. One of my friends works at the Magic Castle [anyone who doesn't
know, it's an exclusive magic club in LA]. I met him at juggling, where
he taught me some basic coin magic.
Funnily enough, once you know what you're looking at, a great many
illusions that you see professionals do are actually pretty obvious how
you do it. At the magic castle, I was watching on guy playing about with
a deck of cards, and although he wasn't deliberately showing me anything,
it was obvious to me what he did a lot of the time, and as such I learnt
a few new things :-)
Interesting aside - I actually got my first ever paying job [using...
*hangs head in shame*... FrontPage], appreciably because of my juggling,
I think. It was about a two hour interview, of which I spent about an
hour and a half teaching one of the guys interviewing me how to do 4
ball mill's [a very, very, cool juggling trick].
Bring on the carnie abuse. I'm used to it.
You know, relationships here are /weird/. At least, most of the ones
that I've seen that in some way originated here are. But since I've
finally been given an incentive to believe that relationships in LA
aren't all fucked-by-design, I decided put some written thought to it.
Note that a lot of this may well be the social circles I travel in. Back
home, I spent time around very, very different people to the punters I
socialise with here.
Back home, I think I have probably a net total of 3 friends that behave
in a manner that one could even remotely conceivably describe as
"slutty". Two of whom are in the same "open relationship" - another
concept that I hadn't really even heard of until I moved here. I've been
cheated on in the past, but that was for a variety of reasons, none of
which would incite me to describe her as a slut.
I moved here, and a few months later I found a new ladyfriend. It hadn't
even occurred to me that I'd need to ask, or that we'd have to have
"the talk", in order for her to /not/ be sleeping with other people.
So, since I never asked, she continued. Only when I asked directly
[sideways queries, it seems, are avoidable] did I find out that she'd
not been with me exclusively. That kinda stung.
I don't mean to imply that there's anything *wrong* with this, /per se/,
just that it's far outside my own realm of experience, and something
that in the past I've considered reprehensible behaviour.
All of this just seems weird. If I'm at the stage where I'm going
to sleep with someone, it simply would never even cross my mind to
sleep with anyone else at the same time. Possibly [demonstrably], I'm
faithful-to-where-its-to-my-decrement. In the circles I've previously
travelled, anything beyond a peck-on-the-cheek with anyone other than
my partner has pretty much qualified as cheating, in my book.
I broke up with this lass I've been chatting about here for a plethora of
reasons, only one of which was my whole trust problem thing [you know -
where I expect someone to be with me exclusively?].
To lend some proverbial hope to this whole situation as I see it, I met
a new lady shortly after.
This new lady simply can't understand, like me, the urge to be with more
than one person at a time. It's rather a refreshing change, especially
given that one of my current women-from-whom-all-advice-falls is your
true raging slut, in every manner possible, and is more than happy to
admit this and offer advice to other budding hopefuls.
Of course, now I must gloat about the new lady, since most of
the people that read this .plan are thoroughly geeky [in the most
positive possible sense of the word], and I just can't resist.
She's a geek. Thoroughly. It's great. She has an XBox and a PS2, her PC
is made by Alienware, and she's pretty much always addicted to some game
or another. Between us, we recently beat Halo Co-Op, and it turns out
we make a pretty formidable team on Mario Kart Double Dash.
Ah. Yes. On completely another topic, I bought myself a GameCube.
Obviously, the normally main reason for choosing a console is the
games. I wanted a system whose games I can /actually/ pick up and put
down [MGS VR Missions with your "Bah, this one doesn't take more than
a few seconds to complete each level then I can put it down", Damn
you]. That's targetted at my playing capabilities [I simply lack the
computer-game-related skills to match most modern games requirements]. And
the GameCube is pretty much it. Big, bright colors. Games where your
sole weapons are a very unthreatening modded super-soaker and your
ability to land on someone's head.
So, as the observant among you have already guessed, I now have a pretty
healthy addiction to Super Mario Sunshine. And every single time I get
a new shine, this comic springs to mind:http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2002-08-28
It's like Mario-crack or something. Horrible.
The new lady's response?
"At least I'm addicted to a game for adults"
I also abolutely DIG Mario Kart Double Dash.
And Zelda arrived today.