Mar 282007
 

I just spent the last two hours irritating Aaron by trying to stifle my laughter while reading this, until HE started reading and understood why I was choking and spluttering over here.

I’d try to describe it, but better to read for yourself. Just make sure to read the starting text at the top of the page, as that sets the stage.

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612

Brilliant stuff.

Mar 282007
 

I hate dreams like this. They don’t have the visceral terror of nightmares, but I wake up horribly sad.

I dreamed that I’d died, and my afterlife of the moment consisted of a small classroom or office setting, along with John, the guy who ran the Werewolf game in which agent00groovey and I first became friends about 13 years ago.

I was deeply in denial about never being able to see or talk to everyone I’d left behind, and was desperate to find a way to talk to Aaron again. There was a day planner book on a desk in front of me that mirrored Aaron’s, and I knew that if I wrote a message on it he would see it and we could still communicate. I kept trying to write “I love and miss you so much”, but for some reason I kept misspelling the words. I’d erase my attempts and start over, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t form the words.

John quietly watched me do this for awhile, and when my frustration reached its peak said, “The living and the dead can’t communicate. Both sides have to move on, and that can’t happen if they can still speak to each other. How could anyone carry on like that, knowing that they could never see or touch each other again, but then continue to linger without end? It’d be torture.”

I knew he was right, and I understood the reasons perfectly, even though I didn’t want to. The finality of it was heartbreaking. I woke up miserable, and hugged Aaron extra hard before I left for work. Even now just writing about it I’ve had to stop and wipe my eyes twice, and I’m not a weepy person, but if nothing else it has given me a boost of renewed appreciation for being alive.

Mar 212007
 

I’ve been recovering from some vile pox inflicted upon me by my team leader, whose lung-dislodging hacking caused several rounds of prairie-dogging across the cube farm on Friday afternoon. Based on the fact that four other coworkers have been absent the last two days with the same symptoms, we’ll let the blame fall squarely on his shoulders, and completely disregard the 45 minutes spent in line outside Kennedy’s Irish Pub on St. Patty’s Day. In a cold and vicious wind. And in a kilt, dontcha know.

On one of several upsides, though, our friend Scott at long last proposed to his girlfriend Pam after fifteen years of couplehood. On bended knee in front of the entire packed bar. And in a kilt, dontcha know! (alright, I’m done.)

I was also blatantly hit on by not one! Not two! But three drunken straight girls over the course of three hours! That’s got to be some kind of personal best. The first one, Michelle, who was about eight sheets to the wind at 4pm, boldly beckoned me to the table next door. She snapped her fingers at me.

“Name?”

“Ryan. Yours?”

“Michelle. So…are you here with anyone? Wife? Girlfriend?”

I decided to end this bout in one round. “My husband.”

If her face had fallen any farther, the barmaid would have stepped on it.

“You’re gay.”

“Yup!”

“Damn! No, I mean, I’m totally ok with that. I mean, my brother’s gay. Let me introduce you!”

She made a quick intro to said brother, who happened to be standing three feet away. It was pretty clear he would have preferred to be somewhere else, but he was making the best of it by drinking heavily. I was quickly rescued by Pam, who dragged me back to our table.

The second accoster was imperiously waved away because she was between me and Pam, who’d just been proposed to and was about to receive a bearhug. Sorry, lady. Wrong time, wrong place. Next!

The third one stopped me as I weaved my way somewhat unsteadily back from the bathroom. She was pretty hot and, if I’d been straight and single, would have been all about her. She laid a hand lightly on my arm.

“Excuse me, but you look really good.”

“Thanks! So do you!”, said I, and continued on my drunken way.

A fine time was had by all, but I paid for it the next day, as the plague took hold of me. A general sense of ickiness eventually escalated to a 101 degree fever and wracking cough, suspiciously similar to the one my team leader didn’t have the good sense to keep to himself on Friday. Bastard.

So I’ve spent the last three days swilling an alchemist’s brew of various chemicals and sleeping a lot at odd hours. I dragged myself to work this morning for all of two hours before packing it in and working the rest of the day from home. I’m still just sick enough that I can’t really do anything, but well enough to be bored by the inactivity.

Mar 152007
 

Guess I’m overdue for an update, lest I forget the events of my own life. I like to think of LJ not only as a social networking site, but also as Alzheimer’s insurance. Someday when I’m sitting in the home I can review my past entries and recall my own identity, until the nurse removes my neural web interface and wheels me to lunch. (“GOOD MORNING MR. GRAY, YOU LOOK VERY NICE! TODAY IS THURSDAY! WE’RE HAVING PUDDING!”)


Referring to the title of the post, I went with mrimp and odysseyseven last Sunday to see 300. The visuals and the Spartan eye candy was very impressive, especially some of the bullet-time combat moves, but as an epic story it was a bit thin. I don’t really find the lead, Gerard Butler, all that attractive (despite the awesome body) but, in certain scenes and framed a certain way, with his helmet, cloak, and shield all goin’ on, I got a bit weak in the knees. Overall, though, this should have been a throwaway summer action flick, like an ice cream cone on a hot day: consumed, enjoyed, and quickly forgotten.


I spent most of the afternoon on Saturday with Mom. After a decent lunch of ribs at Famous Dave’s, I spent the next several hours trying to wipe and reload her aging PC, with little success. After encountering a corrupt system setup file, it was almost two hours before I could break the reboot cycle, get to a DOS prompt, and format the drive. By then I needed to get going, as we were meeting some friends at Kennedy’s Irish Pub in Waterford for a sort of pre-St. Pat’s gathering. It took me most of the next two days to get the system completely reloaded, due to visitors and distractions.

The Gaels were playing at Kennedy’s, as they’ve done for the last 35 years, and were as entertaining as always. Our friends Richard and Alex were visiting from Toronto for the weekend so we dragged them along with us, and they seemed to enjoy themselves. Richard and I both wore our kilts, as did our buddy Scott who was already up there with his girlfriend Pam. At one point lead singer asked everyone in kilts to get on the stage and sing along with “The Kilted Scotsman” (or whatever it’s actually called). Four of us were up there, two in tartans, I in Utilikilt (“This one has no tartan!” “I’m a clanless orphan”), and Richard in pleather.

The singer exclaimed, “This one’s a real man, he’s got a leather kilt!”

Scott leaned over and told him it was actually pleather.

“Pleather?! He must be from Ferndale!”

This generated a lot of laughter from the crowd, but poor Richard didn’t have a clue. (For those not in the know, Ferndale, MI has one of the highest gay/lesbian populations in southeast Michigan.)


My workout routine has kind of stalled so I’m trying to get it kickstarted again. Turns out that, per my trainer, 80% of the program is diet, and I’d long ago slacked off on eating as much and as often as I was supposed to, so I wasn’t making any more gains and was actually starting to lose ground in how much weight I was lifting. Now I’m trying to get back to eating every 2-3 hours in the proper amounts, but we desperately need to go grocery shopping to stock up. I can tell it’s working because now, right on cue, I start getting hunger pains at about the three hour mark, which means the metabolism is staying ramped up. I also feel slightly too warm.


I’m still trying to get the Exalted game going, but some of my players (and you know who you are) need a boot in the ass to finish their characters. :oP


This weekend Alex and brokenbryan are visiting again, and we may drag them back to Kennedy’s for the actual St. Pat’s party, which starts at 6 a.m. and goes til at least 2 a.m. Once again the gang will all be there, but we don’t know how long we’d want to stay, since it’s standing-room-only.

Mar 022007
 

WARNING: TECHNOBABBLE AHEAD

With my expected federal refund, I'd planned on using a small portion of it to upgrade my PC's CPU, which was about the last upgrade I could make to it before replacing the whole thing. Since Aaron got his refund today, I started pricing CPUs on PriceGrabber so I could order one without waiting for my refund. I figured it'd be a simple matter of getting a 3.4 Ghz socket 478 P4, swapping it with my current 2.4 Ghz socket 478 P4, changing the voltage settings in BIOS, and sitting back to enjoy the increased framerate.

Based on the title of this LJ entry, you can guess the outcome.

Everything was going swimmingly until I looked up the specs of my motherboard to make sure it was a socket 478 processor that I needed; which it was. Then I got brought to a screeching halt by two words: Frontside Bus.

It seems that my 5 year old motherboard has a maximum FSB speed of 533 Mhz. My 2.4 Ghz CPU has a bus speed of 533 Mhz; so does a 2.8 Ghz. And that's where it stops. Anything faster than 2.8 Ghz requires a bus speed of 800 Mhz+, which my mobo does not support. And a jump of only .4 Ghz is not worth the money.

I started looking at new mobos/cpus to see what those would run me, when I ran into Snag #2: my video card. Last year when my vid card died, I shopped for the best AGP card I could find, a GeForce 7800 GTX, because I didn't want to have to buy a new mobo/cpu/memory to get a PCI-express card. But now, if I get a new system, I can't use the existing AGP card because the new motherboards don't have AGP slots anymore. AGP is dead, long live PCI-e.

In a nutshell, my existing components are all mutually incompatible with anything newer, so I either upgrade everything, or nothing. I suppose I'll take the money I would have spent on the CPU and stick it in my Paypal account toward a future computer purchase.

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