December 30, 2003
The usual form...

Yeah, I got back from Michigan in the early evening of Saturday. As usual, not much time to update.

If you didn't watch my LJ, we ended up leaving a day earlier. My grandfather ended up in the hospital with some form of pneumonia shortly before our visit, and because of that, we didn't really do the grandiose out-to-eat-dinner thing. We visited him at the hospital, and they played Mahjong a little bit, but that was pretty much it.

There were some random moments, like the fact that they had a pair of Topway DDR pads for some reason, and wanted me to hook it up for them. Naturally, they lacked anything to put the pads into, except the PC (they were they dual PSX/serial or parallel type plugs). I used my PS2 there for the time being, but I left them a list to buy a used PSX or PSone with Konamix if they wanted to set something up themselves.

When I got back, started working on Gravion some more. Also, as I had failed to mention it before, my bro and I purchased a 15" flat-panel LCD TV for the breakfast area for my parents. We initially purchased and actually set up a Samsung LTN1535. But on Sunday, my brother decided he wanted a superior model to that, and went ahead and returned it. Unfortunately, the model he wanted was out of stock, so we're short one TV for now.

Monday, I came into work for the last time. I was there for the purpose of helping break down the registers and whatever else we needed to unhook from the area. Pulled off some rather dumb antics with the empty sales floor, too. Not sure if I want to mention exactly what here...

Somehow, I walked away from the store with the RF amplifier (which was used to get the signal from the VCR strong enough to output it to 7 different TVs), one of the TVs (a 25" Sanyo set with only RF input), the office chair we used in the back (which actually belonged to Calvin, but he didn't have room for it at his place), a Suncoast-branded clipboard, and a whole bunch of cables. Only the TV really cost me anything - and it was only $25. Would have taken more if I could actually safely fit more than one in my car.

The TV ended up replacing the older 19" Sony set that was in the master bedroom. The Sony is now in my room, though I'm not sure if it's going to stay there.

Fell asleep at some point, but can't remember for how long, but ended up coming down here to work on more Gravion. Need to finish this batch relatively soon, so I don't think I'll be doing much else for a while. Considering this is now my sole source of income, I probably need to be more careful about purchasing.

Naturally, I still need to put in another CD Japan order. x_x

Posted at 04:40 AM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2003
Off to Michigan...

Well, we're about ready to leave to go to Michigan... I took the Grand Rapids LJ PhonePost number with me, and I still have the number here too, so I should be able to PhonePost if something interesting happens. ^^;

If you were wondering, I did take the Dreamcast in and got a new cable, which provided audio, but not video... until I took a pin to the input port of the console. Seems like something's jammed into it --;; I got enough of it out to be able to get an (unstable) connection... oh well. I still have no games for it, and it's not coming with me for the trip, so...

Yep, again, this is the same post that's on LJ. I'm short on time =P

I did get MT 2.65 upgrade installed, but the version number didn't change for some reason.

Posted at 06:21 AM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2003
Die Westfield...

Holiday mall hours suck. A lot. Really.

But anyways, Saturday was a little get-together at the mall to celebrate Alison's birthday. I don't think I had seen her since the Ocean City trip. Even her hair was a different color. x_x Oh well... in an lame attempt at a last-minute present, I went down to Suncoast (with Chris and Brice tagging along) and ended up grabbing an "atashi" (Chobits) plushie and a bag of Hello Kitty "kawaii cookies" for her. Even though I have no idea what those cookies taste like. Since I had to get my discount, I ended up waiting for a manager to get free, then took up his time when he called over to my store to verify that I still worked there, since I had neglected to bring a paystub with me. All was good, though, even if Jon (who answered said phone call) told me later that he was tempted to say he had no idea who I was. x_x

We all had the dinner gathering at Bennigans, probably violating a few fire codes in the process. People kept coming and adding to the already over-the-table's-capacity group. We all gave Alison her presents, did the obligatory weird picture thing (hopefully I'll be able to update the gallery before I leave tomorrow), selected our Secret Santa targets for the year, and had the waiters do the embarrassing birthday song parade thing they love to do. Alison and Kevin needed to go home right after dinner, but most of the rest of us ended up at the Pak house watching either the TV (Family Guy, then Monsters Inc. all recorded on their PVR) or Chris play Wolfenstein. o.O I left before they finished the movie, since it was getting rather late at that point and the others were leaving anyways. (I have a tendency of leaving with the crowd, I guess.)

Naturally, got home and didn't get much sleep at all, since mashadar was about to leave for about a week and we decided to try and catch up on Bottle Fairy before he left. Luckily, we finished both eps that night (though it was afternoon for him). But it also meant I didn't get to sleep until around 9am. Naturally, my sleep schedule is still screwed up thanks to that. (As evidenced by the fact that I'm writing this entry NOW of all times.)

There were indeed plans on Sunday, kind of. Cristina and Adam were visiting from NJ and birthday plans were made, with an open invitation for after 5pm at their place. After visiting Josh and taking care of a few things, I got there at around 7pm to find Cristina and Adam weren't even there, nor did anyone else come. They had apparently just stepped out to eat as no one had come, so I waited inside, and set up pop'n 8 with Adam's ASC. (Maybe I should have brought my ASC too, but I'm not sure if the Tenicila house could have contained the both of them.)

Ms. Tenicila called John over, and Cristina and Adam returned. I also called Hanna, and gave the phone to Cristina, as apparently they were all eating dinner together. Eventually, that entire group (Hanna, Kevin, Billy, Clara, etc) came over too. They stayed until around 10 or 11, and John and I stayed until closer to 1. o.O Learned that the reverse-boost mod in DDR is made easier if you use sudden and/or solo with it. Also learned that playing R5 another in IIDX with a pop'n ASC is a very bad idea. It sounded very much like a woodpecker on speed was trying to tunnel through the house. x_x

So yeah, I got home, did some more stuff, slept, etc. Wanted to do a post office /food run before work, but didn't get up in time to get ready, and left. Even worse, found out that I was scheduled for 3:00 and not 3:30, so I ended up 20 minutes late. Urgh.

Same pattern next day. My LD of On Your Mark came in, which woke me up at about 1:40. Went back to sleep until around 3:40, and once again didn't have enough time for a post office run getting up that late. Got to work late again, by 10 minutes. I swear there's some cosmic rule that I can never arrive to work on time no matter how early I leave.

Also did something strange and unexpected - I went and purchased one of the used Dreamcast bundles at Gamestop. Also ended up getting an extra controller, VMU, and 3rd party memcard for free with it, thanks to a slightly botched trade-in. Naturally, I have no games for it, and I need to go find an S-Video cable somehow.

Of course, it would be great if it actually outputted any video or audio. After cleaning it up, I plugged it in, and it seemed to work fine except for it not outputting anything at all. It was like nothing was plugged in at all. The DC's behavior seems to strongly suggest it's just a faulty cable, so I'm hoping it's not the DC itself that's defective. It'll be kinda hard to replace it if it is...

Sleep is good. Would be better if it was at anything resembling normal hours.

Site updates: Movable Type version upgrade will have to wait until I actually get some sleep, but I should get that done before I leave. Grabbed the new XML template finally (we're up to RSS version 2.0 now), so now the standard XML feed (as well as the LJ feed) have been upgraded to the newer spec. Killed the link to index.rdf (as I'm not sure if anything really uses that), but it will still be kept up to date as RSS 1.0.

Posted at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2003
3 updates a month, huh?...

Yeah, seems I alternate every month in whether or not I consistenly update. x_x

Not much really of interest has happened, regardless - I got Party Collection in, and been playing that... also trying to get back to the upper ranks of UltraMix on Live after being sent down into the teens from not playing for weeks... holiday hours at the mall suck for making me get home past midnight...

Finally got my copy of Pretear DVD1+box on Thursday. It uses the new subtitle font! Even though the vertical spacing is weird (but I'm told the spacing can't be changed for some reason), it looks a lot better than the font still in common use. It's still a little large for my taste, but it's pretty! And the interviews are fun. I need to see Lauren's interview (different Lauren) on the 4th disc...

More Gravion scripts came, so I've been taking a little time to work on those. The show is as bad as I expected, but at least it's somewhat light on dialogue, so it's easy money. ^^;

Twin Spica ep6 had more dialogue than I thought it would, but still finished it. You guys watching it have probably seen it by now. =P (If you're not watching it, go watch it! Now! It's much more interesting than this journal!)

Today (Saturday) I'm going to head to SF again, and hopefully be there at a regular hour (yeah right). Not sure if anything is going on Sunday or not. Monday and Tuesday I have work, Wednesday I'm also not sure about, and Thursday we depart for Michigan, to arrive back by next Sunday night. LJ just so happened to get some Michigan PhonePost numbers up, so maybe I'll do the PhonePost thing again... but of course, my chances of having internet access up there are much greater than they were in NJ, so who knows? =P

Posted at 02:53 AM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2003
Coughing up one's lungs...

So, yeah, didn't have a very good week there.

Last Monday morning (hours after I wrote that last entry), I somehow forgot to set the alarm properly - it was set to wake me up at 1pm - but I needed to be at work at 11am. So, instead of being woken up by the alarm clock, I got woken up by my cell phone, the 2nd time Calvin tried to call me. (Thankfully it wasn't on vibrate - I never would have heard it going off!) So, I ended up at work an hour and 10 or so minutes late. --;

Can't remember what happened Tuesday, aside from starting to get sick. By Wednesday morning, I was pretty much unable to walk properly. I had to call out sick as I probably wouldn't have been able to drive properly, either. Felt generally low in energy and had a bit of a headache most of the day.

After that, the headache went away, but I've had a constant stream of phlegm stuck in my lungs since then. It hasn't been pretty. So, I've constantly had to cough/blow my nose/etc. for the past 5 days.

I've also managed to use up some 6 tissue boxes.

I pretty much stayed home trying to recover, or to try to get things done. (Hey, I did manage to finish off the current batch of episodes I have scripts for.) We did go out on Sunday, though, as we decided to celebrate my mom's birthday. We ended up going to one of those Japanese grill-on-the-table places. Apparently, the chef we got was having a bad day... he messed up the egg trick twice, first accidentally sending an egg to a kid in the other family sitting at the table, the second just sending it backwards towards him. I think this is why there was so little egg in the fried rice. ^^; He also undercooked parts of my mom's steak - the piece she gave me was completely raw in the center (ick), and when he was trying to throw pieces of shrimp into our mouths, he showed a complete lack of aim. x_x

Got home, ended up sleeping late again x_X

So, the time came to go to work again... I gave myself an hour to try to get to Giant to pick up some Comtrex (still wasn't feeling well enough to work unmedicated), and pick up some food. Naturally, I ended up 20 minutes behind schedule - so I ended up about 20 minutes late to work. I'm 0 for 2 this month. x_x

Work was kinda bleh, not having much energy to move. I did manage to pick up Sword of Mana, though.

So yeah, still not feeling so great. Have some timing to do tomorrow, too - filling in and timing an ep of Twin Spica while I have a gap in work.

Posted at 05:25 AM | Comments (1)

December 01, 2003
Month of unproductivity...

So, yeah... it doesn't seem like I got a whole lot of work done the past month. Even this weekend, it was pretty fun, but I got a whole lot of nothing done. --;;

On Saturday morning, the well pump guy came in, and spent a little over two hours fixing everything... leaving us to wonder how much of the work was actually necessary. The well pump was replaced, as was the well cap (understandable, since the shield over the line had long been broken). Apparently, a lot of valves were also changed, and the lines had to be purged of a lot of iron. Further, Montgomery County requires any well or water source that has been opened for repairs to be filled with chlorine. So, when we got water back, first we got a burst of dirty iron polluted with iron. Then, we got a whole lot of clear, but chlorine-saturated, water. So, we actually had water on Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't usable at all.

I think now, we finally have usable water again (the chlorine needed to sit overnight, then we could flush it out of the system).

So, later in Saturday evening, I left, bound for Springfield Mall to check out a DDR MAX2 with memslots that randomly showed up there. Kevin and Brice were there, and apparently had been there for quite a while (I didn't actually get there until like 7:30pm or so). Found out, the hard way, that the shoes I had obtained were great for running, but horrible for DDR. Going to need to bring my old shoes with me to DDR with. (Two of the four sensors in the 2p up arrow being out didn't help either.)

After deciding to eat, we find out Kp and Hanna wanted to come, so we dropped off the cars at their place and went to the magical world of IHOP... okay, that line was just dumb. After our usual IHOP craziness (including my meal with all-potato sides), we drove to Brice's house the long way, then back to Kp's place... so yeah, we did a complete loop all the way around Springfield. At least we had Kp's torture CD and other CDs to amuse us. So, yeah, all that trouble just to grab Brice's copy of Finding Nemo, even though Kevin couldn't stay to watch it.

Watched a lot of other random videos after we finished the movie... Brice left while I somehow ended up staying and sleeping (as usual, I don't remember when I fell asleep)... woke up in the early afternoon, took a shower, ate a little bit (wow, steel chopsticks are HEAVY), and left so Kp and Hanna could pack to go back to VT.

You know, I don't think I ever commented on the VT trip we did a few weeks ago. More on that later.

Anyways, I got home, and tried to get some actual work done. Of course, Kururu happened to come first. ^^; So, yeah, people would be surprised how much earlier that episode would have come out if I was actually home, since I'm one of the two main bottlenecks of HnK (guess who the other one is). When I was actually set to do some work, my mom announces we were going out to dinner. Argh. So, once again, work remained not even started.

And hour and a half later, I kind of start working, but end up paying more attention to Cartoon Network. Big surprise.

And now, I'm writing this entry. And I got all of 23 lines of dialogue timed. That's probably about 2 minutes worth of work there. What a productive weekend. --;;

Anyways, back to that VT trip... the plan was for Dan, Kevin, David, Kevin, Brice, and I to go down to check out the Culture Festival that Hanna was performing in. They were originally set to leave on Friday night, but I was working until close, and Dan didn't want to do the drive late, so we ended up doing it the next morning instead. Somehow, Brice dropped off the face of the earth in the few days leading up to the trip, so he was MIA and we ended up going without him. After a stop at the Country Buffet, we continued on our trek into VT. David mysteriously had the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack with him. We had it playing for all of 6 minutes before we collectively decided the entire CD was crap. David will be shot for that someday. =P

It turned out that Brice had been asleep until Hanna tried to find us while we were on the road - she called our phones, and when she called Brice, he was still asleep... so she eventually got through to us when she called my phone. We were an hour away at that point... Brice is probably the only person that sleeps in later than I do other than people who work graveyard shift.

We got there some time in the afternoon, in time to watch some of the groups practice, and to get a little DDR in. Naturally, VT's DDR machine happened to be... a MAX2 with memslots. ^^;; (Literally the day we left, they finished the upgrade and it is now an Extreme with memslots.)

We watched the culture festival, which was quite a nice performance. Though it was somewhat amusing to see a blatantly Japanese name in the list of performers in the Korean "modern" dance Hanna was in. U.S. Bear (one of the two stuffed animals I got from City Place Time Out quite a while ago) got around, too. ^^; During the festival, Allison called, and although I could barely tell what she was saying, I found out there was a lunar eclipse happening that day. We didn't really get to see it very much, though - we took a look as we were leaving the building to go find food, but that was it.

The food hunt was interesting. We were actually carded in the first place we tried. Dan and I were the only ones that were actually 21 or older, so we got handstamps. The rest got little X's drawn on their hands in marker (though some of them looked more like T's). Of course, after all that trouble, we ended up leaving and trying to find another place since there was no room. So, that was definitely an exercise in futility. We ended up going to a place to get deli subs and the like. Pretty good, and it's interesting to see a gigantic meat-cutter in action. (Yeah, I'm weird, and I had always wondered how those things worked.)

After we got back to Kp's dorm (where everyone except David had a sleeping bag... even -I- had remembered to bring one!), Dan stayed behind while the rest of us went back to the DDR machine to get some more play in (and more link data and edits in) before the place closed. I -finally- AA'd CSFIL -speed- heavy double on an arcade machine again, though with some 56 greats - nowhere near my record of 15. As we were returning to the dorm, my leg cramped up fiercely, requiring David to actually carry me part of the way back. My leg didn't fully uncramp until sometime on Tuesday. It was kind of strange that it happened while climbing stairs on the way back, rather than while I was actually playing.

Kevin played IIDX when we got back. Decided to give Night of Fire a try on Light7, just to fail it miserably. You'd never think I actually own the game and a controller from how badly I play.

Fell asleep at some point, but sleep wasn't very comfortable, since my stomach was exploding. I guess it doesn't like it when I combine a deli sub with a hot dog. So, between dreaming of stomach pain, waking up to stomach pain, shifting to try to avoid pain, then finally stumbling to the bathroom twice over with a cramped up leg, that wasn't a very fun night.

Kp was actually the only one still up at that point. At least he finished that project he was working on. He was in the middle of commenting his code when I did the bathroom runs. That was at about 5am.

His project was due at 8am that day. I think he just might be a better procrastinator than I was.

In the morning, we went to rape Hanna's little food card thingy in our quest for breakfast - but we all paid her back in cash, so I don't think she really minded aside from standing there and swiping her card over and over again. ^^; I ended up getting breakfasty foods, although I probably should have gone for that hamburger instead. I don't get chances at not-fast-food hamburgers very often.

So, we departed for home... when we stopped at a gas station on the way, we found there was an adjacent Subway (not quite attached, but right next to the station). The sign below the gas prices claimed Subway was serving soup. This was not the case, so we left Subway soupless. Oops.

We passed this big freight rig with military markings like three times on the way back.

And holy crap this is a long entry. If you're still reading this, congratulations. I actually have to be at work at 11am tomorrow (the hell?), so I should probably sleep, but I'll probably end up timing as much as I can until I get too tired to time more.

Posted at 01:40 AM | Comments (0)