February 23, 2005

An update on the events of the past few weeks is still forthcoming. For now though, I'll share a little timewaster that has occupied my time for a couple of days. =p


Yep, it's a mirror of the "NANACA†CRASH!!" Flash game, since the original seems to be down for the moment. I have some translated information from the game up there too, courtesy of Danj.

Posted at 09:49 AM | Comments (3)

February 11, 2005
Court results...

Whoever is, my website is not a stalker's tool. Suspicious searches are not welcome. Thanks.

And for once, I don't have a single comment spam to clean off. I've been hit with less frequency lately as well. Whenever I get around to upgrading to MT 3.x, I'll be moving the comment script too, so hopefully that'll further discourage some nasty spammy habits. =p

Anyways, some of you probably knew that today was the day I was to appear in court for the speeding ticket I received back in September. The day started out with two bad signs; today's calendar page contains a negative (black bg, white lines) image of Yomiko with a rather scared expression on her face. And one of the first songs to play in the car after heading out to the courthouse? angela's "The end of the world".

Not to mention it was biting cold in the morning and I managed to forget my checkbook despite making several mental notes not to forget it.

After finding out which courtroom I was in (and making use of the restroom), I sat down and waited for the trial to start. The trial didn't start on time at 9am, but instead we ended up waiting until around 9:15 when the judge finally walked in and began throwing out sentences.

I didn't see his face, but I was pretty sure the officer that wrote the ticket was sitting a few aisles ahead, even though I could only see the back of his head. Turns out I was right. He was there for at least 10 people, all pulled over for almost identical reasons. It also turns out that he wrote the other tickets the same way mine was: actually in range of a 2 point speeding violation, but cut down to a 1 point violation on the ticket.

Naturally, the judge didn't believe in cutting down things further when it was already cut down as such. And there were so many people there that were pulled over at the exact same place I was pulled over at, for the exact same reason, that he didn't even bother listening to explanations by the time it was my turn. He just handed out the sentence right after I pleaded and the officer stated the actual speed (which I swear was a reflex action by then). >.>

So, I ended up having to pay the same $65 fine, plus $23 in court costs, plus at least $4 in ATM costs (since using a credit card would have incurred at least $8 in surcharges). And I still ended up with 1 more point on my license, and just when I was about to have some or all of the points from the accident two years ago expire. Sigh.

So, after that disappointing court visit, I made my way back out to the parking lot to just barely make the one hour parking rate ($3, at 58 minutes in). I then spent the next several hours getting some much-needed work on the car done. First, I went to Costco to get a free tire rotation, and spent the 1h 40m it took to get done wandering around inside the warehouse. I bought some food too, and for once ended up getting more than I could comfortably eat, and I only spent $5.02. (It would have taken me $10 anywhere else to fill me up.) I was going to buy stuff too, but I found out at the register that they only accept American Express. Argh.

After the tire rotation was done, I headed over to a Merchant's Tire and Auto Center to get my oil changed. Spent another 40m waiting for that to get done, but at least I had a good view of the work being performed. Changing oil is definitely much easier when you have a lift.

After finally getting home around 1:40pm (taking some time to try and clean all the shop grease off the steering wheel >.>), I pretty much went off to take in the last three DVDs of Last Exile, to finally finish watching the series. Lots of cute moments. :3

Aside from last weekend, not much else of note has happened. I'll write about last weekend later (though it was mostly Chris, Alison, and I watching the first four DVDs of RoD the TV in his basement).

Posted at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2005
Up late again...

Taking a nap somewhere around 9 or 10 pm messed up my sleep schedule again, so I've been awake for about five hours now, unable to get back to sleep. So, did a few somewhat productive things.

Finally got around to watching the Tutu DVD1 commentaries. It was nice to hear Shoko and the, uhh, writer guy, talking about what work goes on in the backend in the staff commentary, while the voice actor commentary was silly fun as usual.

Finally got around to fixing the lack-of-bot-at-ETG problem. I've been without a bot at ETG for about nine months (when Eryxma went sour), which has caused some inconveniences. So, tonight I finally got around to digging out Kagayaki's old configs, user and channel files, and custom scripts, adjusted them a bit (of course forgetting to change something as usual and so having to adjust a bit more on the fly), and got what is now one of only three bots I have online. I don't re-use the nicks of "dead" bots, so the new bot was named Kozue-chan, after the character from the Mahoraba manga (and now anime). I also actually got around to linking all the bots together (which is really easy when all three bots are running off the same server, in the same directory), though they don't really pass much information to each other.

Okay, that was all more wasting time than being productive. Anyways...

Friday was my last day working at the calendar kiosk, as that was the day the kiosk was scheduled to be taken down and removed from the mall. I arrived at the mall half an hour early to take care things (like getting food and depositing my second-to-last paycheck), and ended up helping with loading up some calendars to move to the store before starting work. This would be a regular pattern for the next few hours, as more and more calendars were removed from the kiosk and placed on display in front of the store. At around 7pm, it was decided that the kiosk would be closed permanently then and there, instead of waiting for the mall to close. (It's not like there was anything left at the kiosk at that point anyways.)

Now, the mall frowns upon any closure before mall closing hours, so we had to make it seem like we were still in business. Even though the entire cash register wrap had been rolled away. So, aside from that, we had a minimal load of calendars, all the store lights still on, and I was still greeting customers (but mostly because I had to immediately tell any customers to go to the store and not attempt to purchase anything from the kiosk, since I had no cash register). And I had to keep this up for a little over two hours.

Naturally, things got boring, and I had taken my camera with me. (I took my camera with me the day we broke down the Suncoast store too.) I had jokingly remarked to a few coworkers that I could cover an entire quarter of the kiosk with Tim McGraw calendars, since by my count we had about 90 of them at the time of the kiosk's closure. We simply had way too many, and it had become a running joke of mine. So, after the cash register was taken away, I began, and actually did cover one of the four A-frames (for lack of a better term) with nothing but Tim McGraw calendars.

But it didn't stop there.

When Chris (the store manager, one of four Chris's working at the store) came back down with the register-less cash wrap, he noted that I should cover an entire side of the kiosk with the calendar. By the time he came down again, I had done just that. Even further, Chris also added some of the calendars to the inside shelves, and thus from a certain angle, it appeared that the kiosk contained nothing but Tim McGraw calendars. The sight was rather hilarious, though I think you really had to be there.

I'll get the photos of that up at some point.

I continued doing absolutely nothing until closing, when we took the remaining stock up to the store. Contractors were supposed to arrive at 9pm to take the kiosk itself, but they hadn't arrived as of 10pm. I assume the kiosk is long gone regardless though.

Got home, tried going to sleep, but ended up getting caught up in a game of Panel de Pon, the Japanese puzzle game that would later be chopped up and dumbed down to create Tetris Attack. While I can eat Tetris Attack's "hardest" difficulty for breakfast (highlight "Hard" and hold left trigger and up as you select it), Panel de Pon's smarter AI gave me a lot of trouble. A LOT. I spent two hours and some 40 continues on the second to last boss alone. (In Tetris Attack, I've never needed more than 18 continues to beat it even at my worst, and I've rarely lost before the final boss.) I don't even know how I beat the last two bosses. Maybe I just got lucky.

Well, if I ever decide I need to get my Panel de Pon skill back to where it used to be, I know how to improve it.

Anyways, this little adventure left me with about two hours of sleep before I was woken up to take a quick shower and dart out of the house to go to New Jersey for the weekend. We went up and stayed at our grandparents' condo as usual, to celebrate my grandfather's 88th birthday. So, it was the usual late lunch with them and my cousins (though Andrew didn't make it down this time), followed by a trip to one of the usual restaurants. The singing dessert tray made a return too. ^^;

After returning to the condo, George, my brother, and I tried out a short game of Monopoly. I'll just say, I don't like the short game rules at all. After dealing out the free properties, my brother somehow ended up with two of the brown color group, and I ended up with the third. Naturally, starting a game where one player had a monopoly and $1,500 to build hotels with (since in a short game you can skip the 4th house) is a situation that had to be avoided at all costs. So, it made the game rather un-fun and I pretty much gave up when I ran into having to pay rent that was greater than the amount of cash I had. (I could have made rent by selling hotels and mortgaging property, but I just didn't feel like it.) We later started a proper game without the crappy short game rules to mess it up, but George had to leave before we could finish. Thus, I continue my streak of never making it through an entire game of Monopoly. (You know that we're going to have to fix this, Kevin. =p)

Slept over at the condo, and woke up as Angela and her parents were preparing to leave. My brother went out to Home Depot to pick up some stuff to fix things up around the condo, and managed to fix up the long-standing problem of the toilet not refilling properly after a flush. (Although I'm not sure how long the fix will hold... to really fix the problem, the entire plunger/stopper assembly would have to be replaced.) With this done, we packed up and headed out to visit family from the other side who lived nearby. So, I got to see Kimmy, Sammy, Alex, and Jackie again. ^^ I hadn't seen any of them since Morgan's wedding (which happened almost a year before I started this blog). I think both Kimmy and Sammy are taller than me now. =p And I even played cards with Jackie... Egyptian Ratscrew, I think the game was. (I can't even keep up with all these weird card game variations anymore...)

We spent around three hours there, from looking at the studio photos of my mom and aunts from Taiwan, to Othello matches (I lost to Sammy, even after dominating the board for most of the game) to rubber band battles, to rubber band firing ranges, to 3-D puzzles that no one could figure out, to who knows what else. =p We ended up hurrying out after realizing how much time had passed, though we weren't in -that- much of a hurry to get home. I don't know if we had programmed the VCR to tape the show that my mom usually tapes on Sunday nights though...

Stopped twice on the way back. We first stopped at a service area off the NJ Turnpike, not long after starting, to grab a quick dinner. It turned out that the Burger King coupons we had weren't valid at rest stops (which makes sense, as I had brought the coupons with me with the standard Burger King restaurants rather than the express rest stop ones in mind), so we ended up getting two overpriced personal pizzas at the Pizza Hut Express. My brother also picked up a cup of coffee and a $7 bag of beef jerky. This held us over until we got close to home, where we made our second stop at the Popeye's in Olney to pick up some not-spicy-enough fried chicken and some soup-like mashed potatoes.

Man, that really was a night of crappy food. No wonder I had so many stomach problems yesterday (Monday).

Nothing much really happened yesterday, I just went to my afternoon class, but didn't make it to the night class because I didn't feel like trying to drive through our driveway-turned-ice-skating-surface. I'll have to try and get in touch with that professor soon.

And I think I'm going to actually try sleeping now, after writing this gargantuan entry. This only took about an hour longer than I intended. =p

Posted at 06:07 AM | Comments (0)