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Journal: Does anyone know... 8

Journal by Zirnike
I was just re-reading The Forever War. They mentioned a sexual position called the 'French Corkscrew'. Google comes up with a copy of the text of the book, a bunch of sites selling actual French corkscrews, and one woman on a site called 'rate me nude' who's favorite position is the French Corkscrew.

Does anyone have an idea what the position would be?

Current temperature in my room: 77 degrees. Weather is freezing rain outside. My parents have the temp set for (I think) 66. Man, my computer puts out some heat.

Dan Aykroyd has really fallen. Now he's doing commercials for Charter cable. Sad, isn't it?

Another thing: Anyone have a topic they want me to talk about? Could be about me, something scientific you're interested in, or whatever...

Movies

Journal: The best thing about movies... 2

Journal by Zirnike

...is that you can stare at a woman's breasts without looking like a jerk.

More journal below meme.

Name: Yes.
Age: 30
Current Location: My bedroom
Status: Online (AIM, ICQ, MSNM)
Number of Sibling Units: Younger sister (also an engineer. Counterintuitively called a 'civil' engineer)
Parental status: Almost never online, or even on the computer. Plus their computer has a bad NIC, I think.
Handedness: Varies. Right normally, left for drawing (but not writing) and eating.
Pets: One computer, one car*
Height/Weight: 6'5", and large (as in, the doctor's scale is insufficient)
Hair/Eye Color: Hair black, curly, where it exists. Brown eyes with gold flecks. Pale skin, which means that I look like I have 5 o'clock shadow about 15 minutes after I shave.
Hair Style: 1/2-3 inches long, depending on when my last haircut was. Most of the time, a black haired version of Patrick Stewart's hair. With a goatee, though.
Scars/Tattoos/Piercings: Yes - one operation, one from an iron.
Vision: I visualize myself owning Black Dragon Enterprises, a engineering firm specializing in general mechanical solutions to all sorts of weird problems. Plus weapons development.
Googleable?: Yep. Zirnike here, and with my old CTF clan. By real name only by my senior design project, and buy another guy with the same name in the same state that referees pro hockey games.
Shoe size: 13.5
Average tv time per week: A lot. Mostly because I listen to the TV while web browsing.
Average COMPUTER time per week: Over 100, easy.
number of alarm clocks: 3, generally.
childhood nickname: My only nickname was used by only one person (who I happened to have a crush on...)
childhood pet/stuffed animal/imaginary friend: Not really.

I can't find a bunch of my CDs. They have to be around somewhere... I thought sure they were in my car (they were in the case I keep there as I listen to them often). I distinctly remember finding my copy of Milla Jovovich's album (The Divine Comedy... It's actually quite good), but now it's missing. Sigh...

It is now 6 degrees warmer in my room than in the rest of the house. Hot enough that I need to keep the fan on (74, hot for me). In some ways, it's good... easier to sleep for me.

And, as a final bit of annoyance, I spend New Years Eve trying to fix my Playstation 2. I had to totally disassemble it and clean the laser lens (they're not all exposed to a standard CD cleaner). It works a lot better now, at least. Nobody seemed to be doing anything this New Years.

I finally got the 5th Malazan Book of the Fallen (Midnight Tides). Man, Steven Erikson is a good author. I highly recommend anyone interested in decent fantasy novels go and grab Gardens of the Moon. It might be a bit hard to find, but it'll be worth it. I also just finished Ian Banks' Complicity, which is typical Banks, in that it is extremely readable, and very good.**** Also read The Hero and Cally's War, both by John Ringo (with another author). Cally's War (that one with Julie Cochrane) is fairly good. The Hero... Well, is like the rest of the Legacy of the Alldenata books. It's noticeable that he's a fairly new author in terms of style, but the plot, ideas, etc. are all pretty cool. You should be able to find A Hymn Before Battle (you could ask me, I might be able to find my electronic copy) online. The books came out on some CDs that Baen put out (I think in the War of Honor hardcover, which I have, somewhere).

* Currently with transmission problems. I shouldn't have declared my car was female... Now every once in a while she gets grouchy and makes me spend a lot of money on her.**,***
** Said from inside my bunker.
*** but as I said before, I would feel odd riding a guy...
**** Some good sex scenes, too, not that I noticed...

User Journal

Journal: All sorts of random 5

Journal by Zirnike
RPG thing: The Demigod.

A quote TMP sent me. I think it suits me, actually.

Dr. Peringo told me that there are two kinds of people who don't talk much. One kind likes to keep quiet and think about nothing good; the other kind of person knows not to say much because he is always thinking and his actions will be based on his thoughts and experiences. - Dan, Vampire Hunter D

He also sent me a song by the Lords of Acid. You know, I really need to hear more from them. This one ('Pussy') is really freaking funny. And good, too, which is important. The lead singer has an interesting voice (and according to the pictures, is fairly attractive). Must find more, determine if I want to start the collection...

I made some Gumbo tonight (my dad and I like spicy, mom doesn't. Mom has a knitting class on Tuesday. Break out the calculators for the math, people!). Used some polish hot sausage. The gumbo is HOT. I don't mean the 'hey, try this salsa' hot, I mean I went through half a bottle of diet coke, 2 peices of bread, and a good 2 cups of rice hot. It was fine until the sausage... for once, when they said 'hot sausage' they meant it.

It's still GOOD chicken gumbo. The leftovers will not go to waste.

Tomorrow I will be trying to determind exactly what is causeing one speaker connection on the back of my receiver to not work (the speaker is fine). I have a Sony STR-DE725. Anyone have a schematic or a repair manual, by any chance?

Aside from that, settling in. Need to find my DVDs (and a place to hide a few of them...), and a couple of my Playstation games that are missing... Few more things. Move my end table so I can put stuff on it, that kind of thing. Getting used to it, I guess.

My parents made me sign up for free health care, which is annoying (in that I need it), but probably a good idea. What's more annoying is they're also making me see a doctor. I hate doctors. That's why I haven't seen one in years. It bugs me more than any problems I have do.

My windshield is cracked. A truck kicked up a stone, and it's been spreading. Gotta get that fixed, too. 1st replacement windshield in 8 years, they shouldn't have a problem paying for it. Just gotta find a place that does it (probably ask my insurance agent)

Spam

Journal: Review: The Capital Grille 3

Journal by Zirnike
(/. doesn't have a 'reviews' section. 'Spam' is the closest I could find...)

The Capital Grille (Chestnut Hill, Mass location. One near you, maybe)

Type of food: Wine, steak.
Price per person: $50, with a side, drink, no desert or appetizer. $30+ for just the steak.

My friends brought me to the Capital Grille for my 30th (a bit late, but that's OK... we've all been busy). I tie isn't strictly required, but you definitely need a dress shirt. Complimentary valet parking. A couple wine rooms. It looks like you can rent (or something) small lockers for personal bottles of wine (there were small lockers with brass nameplates by the door). Multiple wine rooms, the 2 of which I saw were larger than my bedroom. Sommelier. Waiters in bow ties. A trainee waiter that's better than most 'normal' waiters.

I've been one other place like that in my life: Italian place called Carmelina's which serves carpaccio (don't look that up unless you really want to know)... generally not my kind of place.

On the other hand, sometimes change is good.

I had (we got an appetizer selection, so there's a lot here) lobster/crab cakes, shrimp, lobster bisque, pan fried calamari*, actual lobster (claws, tails) (mind you, I didn't have any... not really my kind of thing), raw oysters (not me, either), and some of the best pumpernickel bread I've ever had. Dinner was a Porterhouse, with (again, we had a selection of sides for the table) fries (or a sort... sliced fried potatoes - think the potatoes from au gratin except fried instead of smothered in whatever that awful stuff is), onion strips, mushrooms (not normally a fan of fungus, but these were good), mashed potatoes (very good), and asparagus with hollandaise sauce (being green, I didn't have any). I know, I can hear you asking - despite the linear nature of space-time - if a $35 steak it worth it.

Why yes. It is worth it. It's even worth the tie.** Best steak I've ever had - very tender.

They have a selection of wine, etc. that really needs to be seen to be believed.*** The dinner wine list is on 2 (very large, with small print for the wine) menu pages, with the rest of the menu being on one. There is a separate desert wine and liquor list. I had a Pyrat XO Reserve on the assumption that a company that makes a $300 bottle of rum knows how to make a rum that's a bit less expensive (the XO reserve was $10, the Cask 23 would have been $35...). I was correct on that assumption. I don't normally drink rum 'raw', but I think I'll make an exception here. The weirdest thing I saw was that they had 1) 'fruit liquors', with Bailey's Irish Cream on it, and 2) 'Herbal liquors', with jagermeister (people actually drink that?). They have a selection of scotch, cognac, etc.

Dessert was a cappuccino cake (with raspberries and a candle...). Quite good, but I probably would have had the white chocolate mouse if it weren't the birthday cake. :)

All in all, it was quite good, excellent service and food. Rather pricey, mind you (8 people, $675 not including tip... but that includes drinks and 2 (to me) ridiculously expensive bottles of wine). I'd go again, but probably only get the steak and a side, or maybe the calamari.

Now, just need to get the money and someone to go with. :)

(aside: Watching Megas XLR. They're fighting in Los Vegas. Coop just got knocked into the Jersey City Casino... shaped like a smoking nuclear reactor)

* If you go there, get this. Trust me. Normally calamari is 'eh, whatever' for me. I would have eaten theirs as a meal by itself.
** this is rare.
*** I suppose it's normal for more upscale places, but it seems excessive to me

Politics

Journal: Er^Hlection day. 14

Journal by Zirnike
Just in time to see whether we elect an idiot we know can't do the job of president or an idiot we suspect can't do the job of president, I present my comments on what I would do if I become Supreme Dictator Zirnike.

I actually probably would use that name.

First: Most of the constitution would be used. The problem is re-writing it for clarity, and attaching a 'commentary' section so that the intent cannot be misinterpreted again.

Number of senators goes to 3. Senators are elected by the government of the state, most likely by the equivalent of the House of Representatives. The government should have been elected no later than 1 year previous to the election. Each senator's election date 'rotates' (one senator voted in every other year, 6 year terms).

Increase number of representatives to something more representative of the people. Each should represent no more than 250,000 people. Representatives for a state are elected in a parliamentary fashion (i.e. if you get votes in a state with 50 reps with 40% Lib, 20% Republican, 20% Democrat, 10% green, 10% reform, then you get 20 libs, 10 reps, 10 dems, 5 green and 5 reform representatives).

Bills must concern the topic of the bill. A bill on reforming education, in other words, will not have a increase of appropriations for health care, for example. Amendments to the bill are not allowed without the consent of the writer of the bill. Amendments must follow the 'on topic' rule. Yes, I know (to quote) 'this is how our democracy works'. It needs to change - I don't consider that an argument.

President is elected in an instant runoff country-wide vote, no electoral college. The president has the following powers, and THAT'S IT: He may veto bills. He may veto a bill and send it to the supreme court for review (constitutional challenge). Vetoes must be overridden by 3/4 of the house and senate. Challenges must be overridden by the same margin, but the SCOTUS decides on constitutionality. He may introduce bills to the senate to ratify treaties (the only bills he can introduce). He is in charge of the armed forces (but the senate still declares war with the House approving) He may sponsor committees that may recommend options to the house and senate (the equivalent of having a non-voting position or appointing a non-voting position on all house and senate committees)

The first amendment will be rewritten to explicitly rather than implicitly have the separation of church and state. The gov. shall not say 'in god we trust', or 'in no god we trust', but 'e pluribus unim'. No state sponsored prayer, and no banning private prayer in public places, etc. The right to privacy will be made explicit. Consensual crimes being legal will be made explicit. The fact that 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State' is justification for gun ownership, not a requirement for it, will be made explicit.

Interstate commerce: Phrasing on that will be hard. Probably something like adding the phrase 'direct effect', disallowing the tortured 'he grows corn for his own use in one state, and therefore doesn't buy corn from out of state, having an effect on interstate commerce, so we can prevent him from growing corn on his property' logic the government uses currently (and that is actually a SCOTUS decision, BTW)

Courts are explicitly told that in any case where the rights of the people and the powers of the government are in conflict, and the conflict is not explicitly decided in the Constitution, the people win.

Taxes and finance: All money costs in any bill are computed on a 'today-dollar' basis. If the law says minimum wage is $5.00, and there's 100% inflation, the next year the minimum wage is $10. The deductible part of your salary is equivalent to the average cost of living in the area you are in plus 10% (add 1/2 this for each dependent). Taxes are stepped, but not much (in 2004 dollars, I'd say 15% (states limited to 1/2 federal rate) to $100,000 (after deductions), 20% to $250k, and 35% after that. Deductions for charities, interest on mortgages, medical expenses, retirement plans (this requires more definition), salary for employees (for companies), R&D (for companies) business expenses (for self-employed and companies) are allowed: no others. Companies moving overseas must pay taxes equivalent to taxes on their last year's revenue (no deductions, however) plus an additional 10% of the cost of their capital investment. Companies entering the country have 2 years tax free. (this applies to main offices only, not branches). Companies may not own subsidiary companies, and must comply with their articles of incorporation (which states the primary purpose of the business): If they buy a company, it must be integrated within 1 year (no mega-companies that have 30 different unrelated products. AOL-Time-Warner would be 3 companies: A ISP, a magazine company, and a TV/Movie house)

Workers: There is no such thing as an 'exempt' employee. All employees are entitled to overtime. Standard work week is set at 40 hours. More than 40, Saturdays, and Sundays are all at time and a half. 3 weeks paid vacation is the base required vacation (1 week for part time), with an additional (4? 5?) days sick time. Companies will be required to maintain at least 2 seats on the board for employees. One must be an engineering/product development/etc. representative (voted on by the employees of that part). The second must be voted for by the equivalent of the line workers (this would need to be fleshed out somewhat to add acceptable replacements given various corporate purposes). They each have votes total to the voting shares of the member of the board with the most shares (this needs to be tweaked to prevent 'I don't own any shares, but the company I represent does' crap). (management and finance employees are already represented on most boards)

Minor things: Marriage, consensual crime, etc. and things like it are not affected by the government. The Gov does not approve marriage. The gov. cannot ban pot. The government cannot grant tax-exempt status to churches, just to their associated charities. The gov CAN regulate companies strictly - they are explicitly not people and do not have the associated rights. One thing I will probably explicitly state is that a corporation's highest paid person cannot have total compensation greater than (we'll make it open - this is a max, it may be lowered later) 70X that of the lowest paid employee (or maybe 'standard line worker', or something. The exact definition will require a bit of work). Unions may be formed, but may not require all people, or even all in a certain job position, to be members (but the union negotiates salaries across the board, no saying 'let the non union ones take a 10% cut to give us 1% raise). Unions disband unless 50% of the members explicitly vote to maintain the union (abstain=disband, in other words). Amendments to the constitution may be challenged as against the intent of the constitution (an amendment to create a monarchy would be able to be dismissed by the SCOTUS)

Any other ideas? I'm looking to simplify. A lot of that is longer winded than I would use. The 'commentary' section of the constitution would have a lot of it (for example, if we had that in the current Con, the founders would have written "Second Amendment: blah. Commentary: We feel that the people must have a right to own guns to protect themselves from the government running amuck. Weapons equivalent to the arms available to the government should be available to the people" (yes, this is the kind of thing they would have written, and I feel they are correct).

Classic Games (Games)

Journal: Old timer 13

Journal by Zirnike
Sunday was my second annual 29th birthday. Nothing much happened. I did get a nice pack of cards with nude women on it (from my parents, of all things... Based on a joke I made to needle my mom. She's mellowed if she went out and actually got a set (which she did... it wasn't just my dad)). Also got some sneakers. My old sneakers are over 3 years old (and I wear them every day, for the most part... Timberlands wear great), but the soles are hosed... It's annoying, the sneakers are more like slippers now, incredibly comfortable. You know, I've wanted to be able to cast certain spells (heal, cure disease*, Eagle's Spendor, Magnificant Mansion... and even some spells from here, even) but never really wanted a simple 'mending' cantrip...

Prestidigitation, maybe.

And mage hand could be a lot of fun with a woman in a crowd... Teasing a girl in public without visable means. Pay for it when you get home, but still.

I just finished the first book in the Riverworld saga. Pretty good. Anyone have an opinion on the rest? Should I get them?

Now, for sports: I was already annoyed at pro sports. The riots at the last set of games, and the expected riots for today or whatever, irritate me even more. I don't like government interferance, but as long as they're banning all sorts of things that don't cause serious harm (drugs like pot, porn, gay marriage) and even screwing with things protected by the constitution (free speech, search and seizure due process (more problems related to drug laws), gun ownership), then you'd think they'd ban something that's a huge drain on the economy with no real positive benifits (pro sports). Yeah, yeah, 'bread and circus', and the gov. is just trying to keep the populous fat dumb and happy, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

* there are a lot of friends I'd want to cast this on. A diabetic or two, some with worse problems.

Anime

Journal: Drunken Rambling 5

Journal by Zirnike
As I don't have anything to do tomorrow, I decided to drink tonight. (not the only reason, it's been months since I drank, and it's not like I've had anything to do tomorrow for a while now...) This may result in oddness, incoherence, and general head-scratching, so consider yourself warned. This entry may be less coherent than usual.

First: Watched the Stargate episodes tonight. Maybe I'm just odd, or whatever, but I rather enjoyed seeing Carter strapped to a bed... Ok, I'm definitely odd. In this episode, it wasn't exactly voluntary, but my general suspension of disbelief deferred itself. Just in case people think I'm TOO odd - Yes, I prefer my bondage to be purely voluntary.

Ref: Bluefairee- Ok, I hate to say it, in case people think badly of me, but I'm of 2 minds. One, I tend to think that Mr. Dubious is a decent enough judge of character from what I've seen, so I'm willing to take his word as to personality, et. al. In that case, I'm rather glad that she was unsuccessful. However, I do have my general belief that it is the choice of the person to live or not. (I'll note that neither Dave or Blue have me friended, and are therefore unlikely to see this). Blue is responding from an emotional rather than logical desire to kill herself... However, it is a moral dilemma for me. Which do I support, the person who is obviously trying to save the life of a person who is most likely a decent person, and 'just' has some emotional problems, or the person who has made a choice, no matter how irrational it may seem, to make a choice we would disagree with?

Myself, I wouldn't choose to kill myself for an emotional reason. I try to make sure that logic governs everything I do. I don't agree with people using emotional reasons to make decisions for anything. However, it isn't my decision, and my personal moral code says that I should disapprove of interference in other's decisions in how to run their lives (up to and including the decision to stop living...)

Needless to say, while there are certain points in BF's journals I'd like to address, I'm not sure how to put things together in a way that wouldn't be seen as advocating her attempt to kill herself... The equivalent of trying to separate the public (you have the right) from the private (you shouldn't use emotional decisions, I think you shouldn't) aspects of my response.

There are also certain aspects of my personality that I actively dislike. For example, sometimes I find myself having to control rather powerful surges of depressed feelings when I see 2 people (presumed in love) expressing publicly their affection (PDA). This really bothers me. I know I'm never going to be in a situation where I might be the cause of similar responses in others, not that I'd necessarily think that's a problem (I don't expect other people to change their behavior just because my emotional response is screwed, so I'm not going to change my behavior if (hypothetically) I do the same thing), but the fact that I can't feel happy that other people are in love seriously irritates me.

Why can't I just be happy for people? Instead, I just see it as a reminder of what I won't ever have. That's stupid. People have a right to be happy regardless of my inability to be so. It's petty, and I don't want to be petty. I want to be happy that my friends (or people in general) are happy.

That also results in a discontinuity between reality and my mental state. I know that I'm not going to 'get the girl'. Despite this, I sometimes find myself commenting on things as if I will. (heh. See above comment on Carter. :) There are women I would be interested in asking out, in the general sense*. Sometimes, when talking to someone, I find myself thinking I might actually do so. Not from any real belief I'll get anywhere, but from a desire to believe I will. I know it's frustrating to people when I 'slip' in my understanding of my situation and end up moping about not being able to date anyone, but somehow, I can't get it fully under control. I think I should stop talking to people even to the extent that I still do so I don't inflict my depressed state on others.

New topic: I'm currently running a D&D campaign set in Greyhawk. I'm using the module "Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil". The party is evil. However, there have been discussions to the effect that (unlike every good party I have heard of) enemies are to be captured alive if possible. Of course, in the case of an evil party, this is to sacrifice them for magic items, but still, I've never really seen a good party try to take prisoners if not absolutely necessary. I find the contrast to be very amusing.

I'm probably going to regret posting this tomorrow (um, today)...

Dreams: Here's something that shows just how neurotic I can be, not that there was really a question... Question for guys: Have you ever... visualized a particular woman, if you know what I mean? I (nearly always) don't. I've actually managed, for the vast majority of the time, to prevent myself from imagining a particular woman in situations where the woman might be... distressed to be in the actual position. Or, to be less obscure, if a dream I have involves nudity, I've managed to 'train' myself to not visualize anyone in particular. Sometimes, I slip, I have to admit. Most of the time (well over 90%) I can 'abstract' what I see, however.*** I don't like even pretending to be with a woman without her permission (and it's not like I'm going to ask any woman if she'll let herself into my dreams, after all...)

I suppose it's related to my problems with pictures... There are no visible pictures in my bedroom. Even the books I read are placed face down. I seem to have an instinctive low level reaction that doesn't like having even images of people see what I do in private.**** (no, I don't mean that (specifically), I mean even sleeping - anything I wouldn't want a particular stranger (associated with the picture) to see)

I'm really going to regret posting this...

* The problems with the specifics are large. There's the fact that I'm not exactly what I'd call attractive**, my mental stability issues (well, not stability in the common sense... I'm very stable, but not very close to the general conception of stability), the fact that I am currently unemployed, etc.
** I've been told I look 'cuddly', though. Kinda like a big teddy bear. Except less furry, and without 'how to launder' tags.
*** Maybe I'll see a woman with short hair, or long hair, with different physical attributes, or whatever. But nothing that is identifiable. Maybe I'll see a tall, busty redhead with long hair (I'm thinking the picture on this book for example, or a short, slender blond, but never a (specific) face to go with the body, and no identifying marks (unless I end up thinking about tattoos or piercings, for example... but nothing specific to a particular woman, at least))
**** Hey, where ya going? I'm not insane!

Role Playing (Games)

Journal: Spin the wheel, name a topic 4

Journal by Zirnike
Yesterday, my mom (she's working only 30ish hours a week, and so has Monday off) came over. I met her in Worcester. Went grocery shopping, and out for lunch. Did you all know that Campbell's makes a taco flavored soup? That's weird... I also have some hot sausage I'm going to add to some hamburger and make pasta sauce with.

DS9 is on. Jadzia Dax just died, they replaced her with Ezri. Terry Farrell is rather pretty, but Nicole de Boer is very, very cute. I like her better. I've always liked 'cute' better than pretty. Not sure why.

Anyway, my Friday game has been AWOL for a while due to... well, all sorts of things. Now one of the people is leaving... So I'm going to be running (rather than playing). Module called Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. I suggested the party be evil, as when I played through it we had an evil party, nearly died a number of times, and the module is designed to be anti-good. I really can't see how good characters could get through it... and anyway, playing a bunch of unscrupulous people is fun every once in a while.

I need to tweak it. I'm asking them to start off higher than the module calls for (as we did when I played through before), but the problem is that the adventure difficulty scales more rapidly than characters gain power. Early on, a bunch of 8th level characters won't have much problem, as written... but if you start them off at 4, about 1/2 way through, they're going to be totally outclassed at their then-current level. I'll just have to scale up the early encounters a bit, I think.

I've been reading 'Programming Python' and the Honor Harrington books. I recommend both the book and the series.

User Journal

Journal: Cribbage and other things 16

Journal by Zirnike
I went to my parent's place for the weekend. My sister was supervising some work that needed to be done for drainage (she's a civil engineer), and I figured I would hang around. I also needed an oil change.

Taught my dad how to play cribbage. I had the best scoring run during the play... I can't remember the exact sequence of plays, but I scored a 4 point run, a 6 point run, and a go (11 points) on one string. Dad got last card, though...

I seem to recall a bunch of people complaining about how the Big Dig is a huge drain on the resources of states everywhere. I recently found this, which is interesting in general, but includes:

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:
1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

Which kinda disproves that whole thing.

I don't want to lose track of this post. I think it's amusing. Anyone want to join my religion?

I'll continue the trend of topic hopping... this is funny. Seagull president.

Does anyone know why I bother with reality anymore?

User Journal

Journal: Questions and Answers 19

Journal by Zirnike
bltzoo2u, err, btlu2z, err... Smoochy-bear said: "Zirnike, for his stubborn will to not succumb to emotions :)"

This is a bit off... I don't mind succumbing to emotions, depending on what they are and where they're directed. I just don't allow emotions to affect my politics: politics involve too many people of too many views to make the mistake of allowing emotions to govern decisions. The only time emotions are reasonable to use as part of a decision process are when only you (or your direct relationships, i.e. friendships and significant others) are the only one involved. More people means more emotional types, and it means using emotions will leave someone being hurt. This is bad.

So, a few questions. First, I got no responses in my last journal. I thought it was fairly funny. Did I just post it at a bad time? Did no one read it? Guess I'm feeling a bit insecure.

Secondly, I'm having a strange problem with Firefox. I'm using 0.9.3 When I try to save a picture I want to save for... errr, future inspection, or if I try to save a file, it will peg to as close to 100% CPU utilization as possible for about 15-20 seconds. If it's a large file, when it completes, it does the same thing. Does anyone have any idea why it might be doing that, and/or what I can do to fix it?

Apple

Journal: Apples and Spice 5

Journal by Zirnike
As Sol needed some groceries, I head into Boston on Fridays, and I consider myself I nice guy, I went to a natural food store yesterday. While I find this kind of store amusing (What do I want, processed or 'organic'? I don't know, which has all the contaminants FILTERED OUT?), there are certain things you can only find in that type of place. They make a most excellent chocolate that I've only seen there, for example (Green and Black's). Another is some interesting sodas. One I spotted, and was instantly curious about: Reed's Spiced Apple Brew. Sol commented that it tasted like drinking pie.

Sol was wrong. It's more like drinking apple crisp, unadulterated by such frivolities as crust.

"But Zirnike", you ask, "we kneel before your vast repository of knowledge, but still, we must ask... Is drinking carbonated apple crisp that good?"

To this my reply is twofold. First, there is no need to kneel. Groveling is sufficient. Secondly, yes. Yes, it is that good.

Something else I acquired, due to sheer bizarreness and Sol not wanting to add to her clutter (not that mine is any better... if you combined her stuff and my stuff for some reason, you would need an extra house for storage), I am now the proud new owner of a stuffed hyena.

You would think the Cornell Lab of Ornithology having a part in making a 6 inch long stuffed hyena would be enough... but then things got strange.

If you squeeze the body of the hyena, it makes the most disturbing laugh I have ever heard. It claims to be 'with authentic sounds'. I can say that if that is true, I never want to do stand up comedy in the African savanna.

And now for something completely different: Why do men like lesbians? Because women are like beer. Two are better than one. (probably SFW. Scantily clothed, but clothed, women kissing)

PC Games (Games)

Journal: Been a while... 10

Journal by Zirnike
I love this guy.

Anyway, my sister got me a copy of Sledge Hammer season 1. Watched most of it over the weekend. Funny show... I'd like a .44 revolver like he has.

Went and installed a bunch of floor at my parent's place this weekend. Pergo. Nice stuff to put together. My mom chose 'green' for the living room and the main hallway... a bit lighter than puke green. The best thing I can say about it is it's light enough to be easy to paint over. No one else who saw it has any taste, though, apparently. Everyone else seems to like it, or at least are too impolite* not to mention their dislike. Monday I went and met a friend who was back from San Diego for a little while with some friends. Firefly's is a great place for BBQ, BTW.**

The weekend before I went to Vermont for a friend's birthday (his parent's own a... I guess winter... house up there). I totally forgot to pick up some maple sugar candy while I was there... The place was quite nice, except it was 85+, humid, and only one room had a fan. And I'm the sort of person that keeps the heat on at about 60 when I'm up and about. Less, while sleeping.*** I also met someone who might have a lead on a job... I hope so.

There's a CSI marathon on today. I think the one I've liked the most was one where they were investigating a dominatrix' place. They didn't show enough to give me any ideas, darn the luck.****

There's a game coming out later this month I really want. It's called 'Evil Genius'. It's kinda like Dungeon Keeper set in a 60s spy movie. I played the demo, and it's quite fun. And it's right up my alley. I am an evil genius, I just need better funding.

* Yeah, I know. Most people would say 'polite'. It is not polite to allow someone to think whatever they're wearing/painting/buying is great when it's really tacky and/or ugly. It's downright inconsiderate.
** But I'm guessing not for a first date. Eating large amounts of meat with your fingers probably doesn't go over well. Still, good food.
*** I can take things hotter if the humidity goes away and there's a breeze.
**** Not that I have anyone to practice with. Any women out there want to tie me up? :)

Toys

Journal: Laziness found good for you

Journal by Zirnike
Everyone should print this and put it on their office/cubicle wall.

Tasty.

The air conditioner in my living room is annoying at times. Today, I'm freezing. Other days, I sweat. Not that I've changed the setting... I'm guessing it's somehow related to the outside temperature, but you'd need to add humidity to the equation (2 hot days could have different inside temps), and that doesn't make a lot of sense. I think. I admit, refrigeration cycles wasn't my strong point.

I really would like to play Theif 3 and Doom 3. Of course, both of them require more video card than I have, and I can't spend the money on a new one. That's kind of annoying, although I hear Doom 3 isn't really good (and who thought a max 4 player MP was a good idea, anyway? Lousy game of CTF, that would be...) Looks like Half-life 2 will accept a 'mere' GeForce 2, though, so that's nice.

Has anyone else noticed that the cat they use in the new Jaguar commercials is a chetah? Or at least it sure looks like one.

Here's a question for people: I've got a motorola v60 phone. The cables to connect one to a computer is $20. The software is $30, and I can't find anything like a review. Is there free software to do it? I'll wait if I need the software.

Update: I just watched Monster Games. The javlin thrower they built made 577 feet. I have a new project.

Sci-Fi

Journal: Brainy sex 8

Journal by Zirnike
So, I like the study reported here. Any women out there want to be smarter? I can help.

I'm surpised this didn't happen in Boston...

I love the look of this car.

And prepare for the Earth to be destroyed.

My mother got me a couple toilet bowl fresheners. This was a hint of some sort, but as my parent's haven't been here in over 2 years and this is the first time I've gotten them, I'm at a loss as to what it's supposed to hint at... Anyway, I 'installed' it. I guess I should have sniffed it first (but who sniffs that kind of deoderant?). My entire apartment now smells like a freaking public urinal. That weird chemical scent. One flush, and I've moved into a McDonald's bathrooms.

I'm not going to use the second one. Here. I AM thinking of installing it in my parent's master bath for revenge...

Stargate Atlantis is fairly cool so far. I mean, I am giving it a bit of first season leeway, but still. Dr. Weir is moderatly attractive, but I don't like the other woman all that much. You'll have to ask the ladies about the other side of the cast. I don't understand why, when they invaded the Wraith citidel, they didn't take the weapons of the couple they killed. I mean, it is tech that hurt the ancients, you'd think you'd want a sample or two. I like the 'ring, Mk 2' as well. Interesting effects. Good use of LEDs in a prop.

I still think that when I get my house, I'm going to put a mockup of the Gate on one wall. Maybe hook the deep 'thunk' of a chevron locking in place into the doorbell...

And if the lady* who played Hathor wants to hang out, I'm totally OK with that... Mmmm...

Where was I?

* Suanne Braun

Programming

Journal: Journal compilers 4

Journal by Zirnike

Well, if you've read The Mad Poster/s journals you'll see he's working on a journal entry archiver. He's trying it out in perl. I don't do perl... However, I have been trying to learn Python. So I've started trying to pull one together.

I might have bit off more than I can chew... My programming is rusty.

Ok, everyone got their snake heads thinking caps on?

I've defined a function called 'exclusion' that takes 2 lists and figures out what's in one that isn't in the others. That'll be used to automate entry archiving later, and it gave me a chance to do something simple first. It works fine. Now, though, I've got the problem of the journal class itself. Here's the stuff I've got so far:

Screw it. Slashdot keeps striping the whitespace out. Morons. I can't post python code and expect it to work. Can anyone tell me how to force /. to post without stripping vital information out?

You'd think on a site with so many programmers they'd have fixed that... If anyone wants to see the code, please write me (my name and gmail, or ICQ, or AIM, whatever). Of course, the whole damn point was to get help, so if you know how to trick /., it would be nice if you posted it...

Update: Thanks, Blazin, let's see if this works now:

import urllib
import pickle
 
class Journal:
      def __init__(self, name, Parser)
              self.name=name # name of person
              self.parser=Parser # object with parsing logic
              self.jdict={} # initialize dictionary of entry -
                  # {numbers:(title, entry, comments?)}
              self.entries=[] # will be a list of entry numbers
              self.url=self.parser.prefix + "/" + self.name + self.parser.suffix
                # may have to be made more generic will work for /.
      def __add__(self, newJ)
              newentry=urlopen(self.url + "/" + newJ) # returns full journal entry page
              newJournal=newentry.readlines() # creates list of lines
              parsedJ=self.parser.parse(newJournal) # parse returns a tupple of
                                                    # (title, entry, comments?)
              self.jdict.append(newJ:parsedJ) # add new dictionary item
              self.entries=self.jdict.keys() # replace old list of numbers with new numbers list
                                                    # should be the same as self.entries=self.entries+newJ
      def parse(newEntry)
 
              return((title, entry, comments)) # returns (title, entry, comments)
 
class Parser(self, prefix="slashdot.org", suffix="journal"):
      self.prefix="http://" + prefix # offloaded here in case Parser is rewritten for non /.
      self.suffix="/"+suffix # same as above
                # code of doom goes here. Pulls title, entry and comments from
        # NewEntry (which is created in class Journal)
                # title might be better pulled from the journal list for /. ...
 
def exclusion(lseq, sseq): # tells you what is not in sseq that is in lseq
                          # (short and long sequences)
      res=[]
      for x in lseq:
              if x in sseq:
                      pass
              else:
                      res.append(x)
      return res # Returns list
 
def saveJ(savefile='Journals'):
      file=open(savefile, 'wb')
      pickle.dump(Jbase, file)
      file.close()
 
def loadJ(loadfile='Journals'):
      file=open(loadfile, 'rb')
      object=pickle.load(file)
      file.close()
      return object

Sorry about the sloppy spacing on the comments, but it looks fine in my editor, and it'll take forever to fix for /. And it looks fine in the preview pane, I don't know what's screwed up the spacing this time...

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.

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