business comments edit

Fucking Lattice Semiconductor took a nosedive today, closing down $4.31. Normally I don’t care a whole lot about that, but Lattice happens to be one of the two companies I hold stock in. I was hoping they’d come out of the slump so my purchase of my stock options might not be in utter vain, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, I will probably have to write these assholes off as a loss, which means I’m totally screwed since I don’t have a house and don’t have enough stuff to deduct to really make any use of losses.

The long and the short of it is, these bitches won’t come out of donkey-suck land any time soon, I’m thinking, since I sold half my stupid options to buy the other half of my stupid options back when they were at $29. What the hell am I supposed to do with it at fucking $12?

activities, gaming comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 25]

I decided the other day that I’m not as active as I should be. What I mean by that is, since I’m not actually required to get up during the day except to use the restroom, I should probably do something about my physical health before I atrophy into nonexistence.

I have tried several different exercise methods, but none of them work. More to the point, none of them are interesting enough to keep my attention, convenient enough to do when I have time, and terribly cost-effective. I considered the whole Rollerblade thing, since I do like skating, but not only do the skates themselves cost a lot, the weather around here is dubious enough to never really allow you to go outside on a regular basis. I can’t run or do anything too repetitive involving feet or legs - I have flat feet, and even with orthotics, it’s not a recommended course of action (besides, it’s boring as hell). I like swimming, but getting the time to go to the gym/club, get ready to swim (shower, etc.), go swimming for an hour or so, get out, shower, and finally return home is just not in the cards. Plus, joining one of those clubs is not the cheapest proposition in the world. Tried the Tae Bo thing and quickly found out that there just isn’t enough room in the apartment for that sort of activity.

You see where I’m going with this.

So I started looking around for something that fits the qualifications I require for exercise.

I found… Dance Dance Revolution! It’s this Playstation game that is apparently very popular in arcades in Japan and Europe. The game plays a song and shows you various moves on the screen that occur in time with the music. You have to push the buttons on the controller that match the moves in order to score points. Sort of a “dance simulation.” Doesn’t sound at all like exercise, right? Well, once you get a dance pad controller, it is. What the pad does is allow you to stand up and step on the buttons instead of just pushing them with your thumbs, effectively making you dance along with the game. Brilliance, huh? Now it’s not exercise, it’s a video game, something my mind can handle a lot easier.

The game even has a “workout mode” that allows you to get an aerobic workout. Now that’s entertainment.

I ordered my copy of the game and a pad yesterday. Got the notice they were shipped today, so next week I should be dancing my way to freedom and leisure. I’m stoked. I hear it’s exceptionally addictive, which is fine by me. It’s probably healthier to be addicted to a dancing game than it is to sit on your ass all day long. Which is what I’m doing right now.

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.