July 30, 2004
False start...

Yeah, so I -was- in Baltimore, but some circumstances I won't go into caused me to end up back at my house. I remembered just now that I probably could have called some people who were already in Baltimore to see if I could crash, but it's probably better that I didn't try to burden anyone with all five of us.

So, if you're wondering what happened to the updates, that Monday (the 19th) was when I started working. It didn't leave time for much else, and I'm sure Zarx wants to kill me by now.

Picking up Curtis and Laura from the airport was an interesting adventure. Their flight arrived at 3:55pm on Wednesday, so I planned around picking up Josh and getting there at 3:30 to wait for them.

First, I leave slightly later than planned. But shortly after I left, I realized I had turned the alarm system on with its motion sensors and everything, but I had left an oscillating fan running immediately underneath it. So I had to double back and change the alarm settings so that the fan wouldn't cause the police to raid my house or something. (This is what prompted the random PhonePost on Wednesday.)

This set me back about 10 minutes in the time to double back and get back into the house. But it wasn't the only setback... I realized, this time quite a bit further along, that I had failed to take the flight information with me. This realization came with a very loud "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!", conveniently let out the moment I was passing by a church. So, for a second time, I doubled back to my house, this time costing me some 15-20 minutes. I was now on schedule to get to Josh's house at about the time the flight was going to arrive.

Naturally, I ran into 4 or 5 speed traps, so I couldn't even speed to regain lost time.

This obviously caused a change of plans, and for Curtis and Laura to wait at the airport for about an hour before I actually arrived to pick them up.

I swear, airports are cursed. Something always goes horribly wrong in my airport runs no matter how well I plan for it. Some of us still remember the Air France fuckup from a couple years ago. If I didn't have Josh with me in the car, I would have probably gone completely nuts before reaching the airport.

Other than that, a couple extra people (Cav and Nexus, aka Jeff number 3 or Jeff from WPI) are here for two nights, which I so didn't plan for either. Thus, so far absolutely NOTHING has gone anywhere near as planned.

At least, the trip to Baltimore got me my pre-regged badge, so I don't need to wait in the line to get it tomorrow morning. In fact, I can take my time going to the convention now. Too bad the badge designs suck (as usual), and I ended up with the Gravion design.

So now, I should probably get as much sleep as possible, considering we're leaving in like 5 and a half hours now. Just doing some last minute preparations, like doing all the cell phone and camera charging that I meant to do in the hotel room that we don't have. >.>

Posted at 01:46 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2004

Short on time, so check LJ for Otakon-related updates. If you're coming, contact info is there for friends too. See ya there!

Posted at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2004
Look ma, no sleep!...

A whole bunch of packages came in earlier this week. I'm far too tired right now to list the contents of all of them.

One common fact - if I get really wrapped up in a game (which doesn't usually happen unless it's an RPG), I tend to forgo things like eating and sleeping in order to keep playing. So, I'm writing this after effectively 8 straight hours of playing .hack//Mutation (and this is after a short break after the first 2 hours). At this point, I'm going to have to sleep if I want to wake up in time to mow the lawn (and this is only if weather permits - it's been so humid I didn't want to go out and kill myself doing it). I'm probably not going to be able to pick the game back up for a while, since I promised I'd time a bunch of Spica too.

But even though it's been something like a year since I finished .hack//Infection, I managed to pick up where I left off pretty well. It took two or three dungeons to get back into the full swing of things, but I'm pretty much breezing through it now - except for one sidequest I attempted twice and died twice on, so I skipped it and went with the main storyline for a while instead.

I did actually forget that Piros came with his own theme music, though. I don't think I'll be bringing HIM along on that sidequest. Most of my gameplay strategy relies on having a Wavemaster around, anyways... and no, a triple Twin Blades party did -not- work in the slightest, either.

Posted at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2004
Melting in the cuteness...

In case you were wondering what my old IP was before I lost it thanks to this incompetent router, it was I didn't want to have to memorize a new IP already >.>

I just finished watching to the end of Futatsu no Spica (Twin Spica). I can't really talk about it without spoiling the whole thing, but the way the ending was done was just enormously cute. ^^ It was definitely very satisfactory, and finishing the last run of episodes 17-20 today made me go to Amazon.co.jp and preorder the DVD-box that comes out in just over two months. ^^; (If you prefer CD Japan, click here instead.) As I said on IRC, I was never known for my sanity...

Haven't been doing much other than playing lots of HoiHoi-san... (And I swear I -will- track down the LE version of that game - must have the figure!) Also went to Dave's yesterday and basically did stuff with HDLoader. We didn't do our usual multiplayer FF:CC/Zelda 4 Swords thing, but instead played some GGXX #Reload/HoiHoi-san/Wipeout Fusion/R-Type Final.

I'm missing ONE puzzle piece in HoiHoi-san still. I looked in -every- level and still couldn't find it. It annoys me, because that and a few other things missing like the gothic dress is keeping me from 100% completion. I'm stuck at 97% >.>

I'm probably not going to be doing much this week, either. Zarx tells me he wants to have all of Spica fansubbed by Otakon, meaning he wants me to time 14-20 as fast as he can get me the scripts for them. I wonder I ended up being the main timer for the series, when I'm not even IN that group. o.O

Posted at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2004
Oh, I was gonna write stuff, wasn't I?...

I suck at playing the Guilty Gear games. Completely. If I put our bunny Petey on the controller, he would beat me.

But -anyways-...

I left the house with my parents and my brother for my grandparents' condo in New Jersey. We rode up in the M3, and I had Rockman (Mega Man I should say, since it -was- the US version) Zero 2 on hand. I ended up starting it while in the car, which is always a bad idea since it always makes me dizzy, but I ended up doing it anyways...

But mostly, I slept for the ride. As usual.

Didn't do much when we got there except eat far too little dinner, watch some TV, and sleep. I ended up staying up much later than everyone else as usual, thanks to my now completely irregular sleeping habits. I mostly watched chibihack and Cyborg 009 on CN, then put in Hanadan DVD5 (only a few months after marathoning DVD2-4), then put on Food Network for me to fall asleep to. Since Iron Chef happened to be on, this didn't happen anytime soon.

Of course, I end up getting woken up at some ungodly hour considering the time I actually fell asleep. Turns out a rough plan had been made considering what I wanted to do - I would get dropped off at the Break, assuming it was under half an hour away (it actually was a bit farther than any of us thought), while everyone else would eat lunch and go shopping, and then I would get picked up for dinner before we leave to go home. (It would have actually been problematic for me to stay with my family over the day, since the M3 only seats 5, and we had a total of 6 people...) Naturally, we end up having the nav avoid highways, which places us in quite a bit of slow-moving traffic, so it takes us almost an hour to get to...

... a still-closed 8 on the Break.

Yeah, I got there before opening. The signage inside said opening time on Saturday was 1pm. It was 10:40am or so.

So we start leaving. Pondering plans, I look through my cell, and find I actually had Aldrich's mobile phone number stored. I called him to see if anyone would be able to pick me up from Manalapan later, and found...

Since it was a tournament day, the Break would open at 11am.

Okay, so we had gotten there 20 minutes too early, and now we were halfway back to my grandparents'. We end up phoning back, mentioning how far behind schedule we now were, and we turn around and head back to the Break, again. This time, I'm actually dropped off, an hour after we arrived the first time (and with the gas consumption to show it). Because we were behind schedule, I was now going to be picked up after dinner to go straight home, so I would have to deal with the food situation myself. Considering where I was, that was hardly a problem.

Making use of my time there, I played some IIDX, some In The Groove (which doesn't seem half bad, if half the steps weren't just plain stupid hard), a tiny bit of Amplitude, and a bunch of fighters. In all my visits, I have to make note of the cabinet marquees and artwork forever not being of the actual game it contained, and this visit found me staring at Guilty Gear Isuka installed in nothing less than a Gauntlet Dark Legacy cabinet. The instructions to block and perform Turbo moves were still mounted along with the large marquee and the character profiles on the control panel itself. That had to be one of the most impressive mismatches since IIDX was put in using the Pump It Up cabinet as its screen.

As for Isuka's gameplay... I didn't think it would work when I first heard of the 4 player concept, and after seeing it in action, I still say it doesn't work. Especially problematic was the fact that you have to turn around manually, even if it's a 1 on 1 match. 2 on 2 matches just make for way too many things going on the screen at once, and more often than not my teammate and I kept attacking each other instead of the opposing AI-controlled team. I think I'll just stick with GGXX...

That, and seeing some of the people up there again were really my only goals in being there. I really need to head up there more often.

I got picked up at around 7:40pm, so I spent about 8 hours there. Once again, I slept for most of the ride back.

On Sunday, I made the decision to go ahead and purchase a PS2 Network Adapter and an HDD from Best Buy to try out HDLoader at Chris's house. So when I finally set out from the house, I picked those up and headed over. I didn't run into much traffic at all, even at the Springfield interchange thanks to the greater separation between the northbound and southbound split. Too bad it didn't work nearly as well as it should have - even after going through the trouble of formatting it in Chris's computer. It appeared to work once, even running Front Mission 4 for us, but then it never worked again. So, it was basically a big waste of money.

Otherwise, it was a pretty good gathering of people, though we were missing Kp, Billy, Dre, and a few others. We ended up eating hamburgers, just shortly before the steak was done, so we were already full by the time we found out they were being cooked. ^^; Most of our time was spent with the emulators on Chris's modded Xbox, and tinkering with my PS2 before we finally gave up and played some IIDX, pop'n, and SF2 on it. As usual, I ended up staying late at Chris's and sleeping there again.

Getting up, I did little more than work more at unlocking Chris's Xbox SC2 save. He's only short a few dungeons and the Edgemaster quest now.

Later, we decided that Pakman, Brice, Chris, and I would go see Spider-man 2 together, even though Chris and I had already seen it. We would be getting better seats at a larger screen, though. We ended up getting some of the worst Wendys' food I've ever gotten beforehand, and this was after they told us to pull forward to wait for one of our orders of chicken nuggets then forgot about it completely. (I think I'm going to stick by the Wendys near here, since I've only had one major problem with the food there so far.) After the movie, we headed back to Chris's, and from there Brice and I drove ourselves home.

Yep, that was the weekend. Thankfully, I sorted out the HDLoader problems today, though I still can't seem to get DDR MAX JP and Party Collection working with it still. >.>

Got another package from DDD today, too... it was the chibihack LE, which I wasn't really expecting them to actually obtain for me. Unfortunately, the disc was loose in the packaging, and thus scratched to all hell. Impressively, the bonus card inserted into the case managed to be under the disc, between it and the hub. I'll have to take the single disc to Suncoast for a replacement.

One more thing - the webcam should now be working again. Not that there's anything interesting on it, except maybe for my calendar image for the next two months...

Posted at 04:00 AM | Comments (4)

July 06, 2004
So much for that...

Yeah, I ended up falling asleep instead of updating again yesterday.

The Seagate 120gb HDD I was trying to get working with HDLoader never did work again. After finding out a Seagate 6.4gb HDD I had lying around worked fine, I ended up exchanging it for a Maxtor 120gb early in the afternoon. Thankfully, the Maxtor drive has been working with it without problems today, except that the load time for the HDLoader menu seems slightly abnormally long. It works fine once it's there, though.

Going to toy with it some more, so I'll put off writing about the weekend for just a bit longer. =p

Posted at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

Back from everything...

Well, that was some weekend. I meant to update somewhere in the middle there, but I ended up getting caught up in fixing up Chris's computer instead. I'm sure he appreciates the fact he can see grays now and that there aren't several spyware infestations bogging everything down and making IE unusable. (Yeah, I wouldn't care about that either, except that it's both part of the OS and the only way to run Windows Update.)

Naturally, sometime around 3:06pm on Monday (so, only a little over 11 hours before I am writing this), there must have been a power outage or something, because when I got back, everything had been rebooted. I also lost my IP, since this POS Linksys router is incapable of fixing itself in a timely fashion (I'm usually around to do it manually). I've put in the required changes on DreamHost's DNS servers, but it'll be a few days before the changes propogate, as usual. This only really means that the webcam won't be viewable for a couple of days. You didn't miss anything anyways, since the power outage or whatever took that down too.

In any case, I'm going to toy with HDLoader some more and see if I can get it working, because I actually ran out and paid up $120 for a Seagate HDD (and $40 for the PS2 Network Adapter since I didn't already have one), and I really don't want that to be money wasted. It worked ONCE at Chris's house, then never again, so I need to figure out if there's some way I can make it work consistently. Otherwise, I'm going to end up testing out Best Buy's policies on exchanging hard drives.

I'll write about what happened about the weekend later. I'll probably do that before I sleep, since if I don't I'll likely never get around to it.

Posted at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2004
Going away...

Looks like I'll be going to New Jersey for the next day or so after all. After that, I'll be going to Chris's house, so I'll effectively be gone for most of the weekend.

Anime Expo is in full swing this year. At least I'll have plenty to keep me busy.

And yes, I just ran out and bought Rockman (Mega Man) Zero 2 to keep me busy over the next day or two.

Posted at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004
It's July...

If you're wondering why you usually end up seeing a map of the world on the webcam, it's because the camera gets repositioned when my brother gets on that computer. (The webcam is still attached to Gateway, when Spare is the computer I primarily use at the moment. This is also why when the camera is positioned properly and I'm at the computer, you get to see the back of my head.)

Of course, I'm not sure if people are even watching the webcam anymore. And, if I move Spare to another room as I eventually plan to, I don't know if I'm going to move the existing webcam, make it a double-webcam page (I'm still not sure if it's really a good idea to put a webcam in my bedroom), or take the webcam page down entirely.

But anyways, enough of that...

I went to Kevyn's workplace to talk to his boss about the job he was offering. He basically talked to me a little bit about what my future goals were and such, which is what any good employer would ask. He also gave a demo of the job, which was basically, well, packing a box. The methods of packing are a bit different though, in which they don't involve packing inserts, but rather cutting custom form-fitting packages out of empty boxes. I ended up giving it a shot myself, and managed to pull it off, albeit slowly and with some help. I guess I didn't do -too- bad (though I would disagree), but I was offered the job anyways. So, I'll be there starting July 19, packing boxes.

And to think a job like that still pays more than selling DVDs at Suncoast. Heck, I might make more than some of the floor managers there now when I start this job.

The only questions left are how much time I really need to take off during Otakon and the week after. Being a smaller company and working out of their own home, they don't exactly have a fleet of employees on standby to replace anyone taking time off, so I need to find a way to keep the time I'll be away to a minimum. Most likely, the plans will revolve around sending Jascii and Aya sightseeing or something. >.>

I haven't decided what to do about tomorrow and Saturday yet. My family is going up for a brief visit to NJ. This doesn't interfere with July 4th plans at Chris's house, but I'm not sure if I really want to go. Plus, the Break is having their thing on Saturday and I won't be able to go, even though I would be in the same state. I'm not sure what else I would do, either...

Posted at 10:13 PM | Comments (4)