food, humor comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 26]

Before I get going on this, just let me state for the record that I am not a big coffee drinker. It’s just a little too bitter for me, regardless of what “roast” or “flavor” the coffee claims to be. I’m a “three-creams-four-sugars” kind of coffee drinker. Why do you think I’m down with the Ventitm Mocha Frappuccino®?

Some things just set me off, though. That’s pretty much why I even have this blog thing - so I can go off in a semi-public fashion about how totally stupid people are.

Oh, also for the record - I hate people. But that’s a whole other issue.

At work we have these common coffee pots that you can get coffee from any time you want it. There are three different blends: “Viennese,” “Sumatra,” and “French Roast Decaffeinated.” On the rare occasions I go get coffee, I drink the Sumatra. The Viennese is too bitter, even with extra cream and sugar, and the decaffeinated… eh, what’s the point? The thing about the coffee pots is, the employees themselves have to keep the coffee brewed; there’s not someone whose job it is to just brew coffee all day. As such, there are large signs all over the place telling people that if they take the last cup, they need to make another pot.

We all see where this is going.

What that amounts to is that the coffee pots are in one of two states at all times:

  • Half a cup of coffee in the bottom of the pot, cold; or
  • Empty and abandoned

The side product of this is that any time I want to get my seldom-drunk cup of coffee, I get to be the guy who brews the new pot. (I’m getting to be the Coffee-Frickin’-Masta. I gots the mad coffee brewing skillz.)

Apparently, this also produces large quantities of people who drink coffee but don’t have a clue how to brew it. Even though there are directions taped to the side of the coffee maker.

For example, even I knew, before brewing my first pot of coffee ever, that you have to grind the beans. I guess some folks don’t realize that. Grind the
beans! Today I entered upon an entirely new situation - someone decided they wanted to brew coffee into a full pot. This amounted to a pot-full of coffee all over the counter, the floor, under the coffee maker, behind the sink, down the front of the cabinets… you get the idea.

So, for those of you in the cheap seats, here’s how to make coffee:

  1. Get some coffee beans.
  2. Grind the beans.
  3. Check: is that enough to make a whole pot of coffee? If not, you’ll need more [ground] [coffee] beans.
  4. Put the beans in a coffee filter. If you don’t use a filter, you’re gonna get chunky coffee. Most people don’t like that.
  5. Put the filter into the filter holder of the machine. The ones here at work are a separate item, but I’ve seen machines where the filter just sticks right in the machine. I’ll have to trust you to figure out where the filter goes.
  6. Get an empty, clean pot that will be large enough to hold the coffee you’re brewing.
  7. Put that empty, clean pot under (what we will call) the coffee nozzle.
  8. Push the GO button.
  9. Wait until the coffee is finished brewing before you remove the pot.
  10. Dispose of the filter and used coffee grounds. You can not use the grounds again. If you’re environmentally conscious, compost them. Normal people will send them to the landfill. The point here is that you don’t leave nasty, congealing coffee grounds for the next person.
  11. Clean up any spillage. Yes, there’s some there. Use your eyes. Congratulations! You’ve just made a pot of coffee!

    I think my work is done here. I gotta go wash my hands - they smell like nasty cold coffee.

movies comments edit

As I mentioned earlier, I saw Changing Lanes this past weekend.

Changing Lanes is, long story short, about a poor guy who gets screwed by a pompous rich guy. Basically.

Samuel L. Jackson plays a poor guy whose life is falling apart. His wife is divorcing him and taking his kids across the country, he’s a recovering alcoholic, and he just generally seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ben Affleck is a richer-than-God lawyer who claims to uphold the law but really just finds loopholes through which to screw the average person. I’m sure you’ve heard of these people. These people are why like 10% of the people in the world have 90% of the wealth.

Ben Affleck, in a hurry on his way to court to defend his latest $100M pilfering, is talking on his cell phone and not driving, like most of these folk do. He proceeds to basically run Samuel L. Jackson off the road. Samuel L. Jackson, wanting to follow through with things in his life and get things done right, asks for Ben Affleck’s insurance information, which, of course, Ben Affleck is unable to provide. Ben writes Samuel a blank check and shouts “Better luck next time!” out the window while driving off.

This makes Samuel L. Jackson late for his custody hearing, which, in turn, loses him any visitation rights to see his kids. Basically, Samuel’s been screwed.

But what Ben Affleck doesn’t realize, once he’s gotten to court, is that the folder he wrote his name and number on and gave to Samuel L. Jackson is a critical document that is needed to keep him out of jail and ensure he’s rich.

Panic ensues.

Ben Affleck tries to appeal to Samuel L. Jackson and Samuel doesn’t take any of it. He’s still pissed off about Ben making him late for the custody hearing.

Ben Affleck then hires a guy to fix the computers to make Samuel L. Jackson bankrupt with bad credit. Samuel L. Jackson strikes back at Ben Affleck by sabotaging his car. Back and forth, the war escalates.

Eventually, Samuel L. Jackson hits bottom and realizes that the bigger man is gonna have to give in. He goes and gives the file back to Ben Affleck, who decides right there that the life of the lying, rich lawyer is not for him and he’s going to help Samuel get his life and kids back first thing the next day.

I thought the general premise of the movie was great - a rich guy screws a poor guy and the poor guy actually is able to do something about it. I guess I thought there would be more to it, though. I’m not sure what, exactly, but something. Maybe more action. Maybe more intrigue. Maybe a little bit deeper characters. I can’t really put my finger on it.

On the other hand, it did keep my attention the whole time, and I did end up feeling bad for Samuel L. Jackson and hating Ben Affleck, which says something about their respective skills. I like both of those guys, so I’m glad they could pull this off.

All in all, I’d give this movie, oh, like 7.5 out of 10. I probably won’t buy it on DVD, and there wasn’t any real reason you’d have to see it on the big screen - no big effects or anything. But it was definitely worth a rental, so if you haven’t already seen it, I would put it on your list to check out.

tv, gaming, playstation, music comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 29]

I realized this weekend while talking to Jenn that my random and frequent pop culture references have, for some, no context and thus mean pretty much squat.

Why I figured everyone knew what Happy Fun Ball is, I have no clue. But when I told Jenn not to taunt Happy Fun Ball, she just didn’t get it.

I had quite the eventful weekend. Let’s see…

Jenn and I went to see the new Samuel L. Jackson/Ben Affleck movie, Changing Lanes. It was pretty good, though not quite what either of us expected. It looks like a lot more cloak-and-dagger style action, whereas it’s more of an intense drama with bonus intrigue. Maybe later I’ll write up a little review.

On the whole movie tip, we also watched Spy Game and Enemy of the State. For some reason, spy movies just never get old to me. I can’t quite put my finger on why, though.

In the vein of Grand Theft Auto 3, I completed the last major mission (“The Exchange”) and watched the credits roll. I thought it was a pretty cool ending, just like a gangster movie. The really cool thing is, since I hadn’t finished 100% of the game (I still have certain cars to jack, certain stunts to perform, etc.), after the credits rolled I was returned to my hideout one million dollars richer and I can continue playing until I’ve got 100% done. Last I checked I was at, like, 65%. I think I have a while.

I picked up the game Rez this weekend. As if I don’t have enough to do with GTA3. But Rez is pretty darn cool - I got a demo of it from the latest issue of Official Playstation Magazine and it sucked me in. My dad wasn’t so enticed by it, but he’s not a big music lover, either, and music plays a major part in this one. Great techno here, and the way the game works (for those who don’t know), the music is interactive. You make it by performing actions in the game. Very cool.

(I just downloaded the Rez “homepage design kit” from the Rez site. Maybe I’ll whip myself up a little Rez tribute page because it’s so cool.)

For those who care about my turntable issues, I ended up having to take the stupid thing in for professional service at Fred’s Sound of Music. It’ll cost me $30 for a new stylus and between $45 and $75 for the repairs. That figures. But, after all is said and done, even with the $55 I spent on getting a like model to cannibalize (that didn’t work, either), I’m still getting out spending less than it would cost for a brand new turntable of that quality. So I suppose I can’t complain. Too much.

gaming comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 32]

I entered a contest over at Penny Arcade the other day to win an XBox game. Of course, I’m a loser, so I didn’t win, but what else is new?

They did link to me in their news section today, which is cool; maybe I’ll get some traffic now, since I think the only people reading this are, like, Jenn and my mom. I’ve got a bit of mixed emotion going on about where they linked to in my site, though: my Gen13 links page.

The reason I’m mixed is that I’m really not maintaining the Gen13 stuff around here anymore, and I’d hate for folks to come in and go, “Oh, look - another stale links page. I’m outta here!” without coming into the blog section here and checking things out.

I’m not looking the gift horse in the mouth, though. They wanna link to me? I’m down with that. One of these days when I have some money, I’m going to have to send them some. I can say I am the proud owner of their book, as should you be.

I noticed that all the songs on the GTA3 soundtrack from the “Flashback” radio station are from the soundtrack to Scarface. I may have to pick that up for the novelty factor.

media, gaming, music comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 33]

Cruising around today, I found the coolest thing ever.

If you’ve played Grand Theft Auto 3 (as I have), you’ve heard the various radio stations that they play in the cars you hijack. I’ve played enough that I can sing along with the songs. Jenn can too, though she probably wouldn’t admit it.

I have several times lamented the lack of soundtrack CDs for the game since I’d actually listen to the stuff in my real car. It’s great stuff.

Well, on GTA3 Warehouse it looks like someone has ripped all the audio into MP3 format and you can download it all (except for the radio stations “K-Jah” and “Double Cleff”). So I did.

Then I burned them all into audio CDs so I can now actually listen to it in the car. It takes three CDs to contain it all, but I’ve got it all burned now, commercials and all, and I’m good to go. Yay, me!

Along the same lines, you can download the GTA3 ring tone for your phone off of the main GTA3 site. (The link is in the “News” section.) It sounds just like the pager you have in the game. I downloaded it to my new Nokia 3360 and I’ve got it set as my message/pager sound. So cool!