Archive for July, 2009

Thanks, kid.

Posted in Funny! with tags on July 27, 2009 by hotpoo

I was getting my son ready for bed last night, after a long day of swimming in the neighbor’s pool. At one point, he reaches up and begins petting the hair on my bare chest. He then looks up and informs me, “You have very nice breasts.”

Funny and wrong, all at the same time. I’m feeling self conscious for some reason…

–edit–

My wife informed me that he said something similar to her the other day. He was trying to pet her breasts, and she asked him to stop. He told her,

“But I like to! I do that. I do. It looks like fun!”

That’s my boy. They are son… they are…

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The Ill Fated Montana Trip, 2009 – Part I

Posted in Funny! with tags , on July 10, 2009 by hotpoo

Have I ever mentioned that I’m an asshole? Well, I am. Not the “road rage,” “parking handicap spaces,” “pissing on public toilet seats” kind of douchbaggery, but more of a general “not paying attention to what you are saying,” “inserting myself into random conversations,” “taking advantage of the stupid” kind of thing. It’s just who I am. I’m a reasonably calm person most of the time, and generally deal well with stress without snapping. I learned a long time ago to bend like a reed… my Kung-Fu is strong. This is my lame attempt at literary foreshadowing, for those of you that took the short bus to school today.

Earlier in the year, an old college friend of mine asked me to be the wors… er… best man in his wedding. I agreed, and began formulating a financial plan to make the trip to Montana. As I get to see my family very rarely (once ever 1 to 2 years), my sisters came up with a plan for holding a family reunion (I come from a very small family, so having 5 of us there is practically all of us) while I was in the area. I isolated a couple of days for travel, 3 days for the wedding, and 5 for the family. I worked out the travel plan / itinerary, and was able to sell my car right before the trip. Nice! Financial bases covered!

A week before we were set to take our trip, my wife decided to make a last minute request. She wanted to go camping with one of our mutual friends, which overlapped with the latter half of the family visit / return trip. I wasn’t happy about the idea of shortening time with my family, but she doesn’t get adult time very often (stay at home mom). So, grudingly acquiesced, and decided that I would just need to fill as much time as possible with the family.

We took off Wednesday morning, at about 10am. This was 3 hours later than I was hoping, but exactly the time I expected my wife would be ready. I’ve made this trip many times before, and I knew how long it would take to get to our destination (Missoula, Montana… about 550 miles away from Portland). I’m one of those types of people that likes to leave at the butt-crack of dawn for long road-trips, and will drive as long and as fast as is humanly possible to maximize “vacation” time. Or my perception of the amount of vacation time, as the case may be. You know, one of those starry-eyed dreamers; the insipid optimist. However, I’ve known my wife long enough to have learned how these things will actually work out. I wasn’t really sure what kind of time we were going to make leaving that late. To add some complexity estimation, we just finished potty training my 4 year old son. This would be his first really long trip in big boy pants. My hope was that we could make it to Missoula by late supper time (drive fast enough, and limited stops), but I figured that we could always stop in Spokane or mid-Idaho (like Kellog or something) if we were just moving too slowly. I wasn’t too worried about it… the wedding wasn’t until Saturday, and as long as we were there by Friday afternoon for the rehersal the brides head would not explode.

Before I push forward, let me delve briefly once again into the shadowy land of foreshadow… delve forth breifly… briefs for shadows… meh… stupid prose. A week previous to our departure, I took my wife’s truck to our normal mechanic. I wanted them to fix the AC (needed a recharge), fix the lighter socket (so we could plug my son into my favorite electronic baby sitter, the portable dvd player), fix a bit of chop in the engine, and to make sure the breaks were roadworthy for a 1,300 mile round trip. Dun dun dun. AC was recharged and didn’t seem to have a leak, lighter socket was a snap, choppy engine was caused by idiot mechanics not gapping the spark plugs when they installed the new engine for us last year (they fixed that for free and came clean with me), and confirmed that the front pads looked fine (about 65%) and the rear shoes were acceptable (40%). Dun dun dun! I checked the air pressure and inspected the tires the night before we left, and all seemed well. DUN DUN DUN!

Back to the present… er… past. Whatever. Once we actually hit the road, we made pretty good time. We were about 30 minutes west of Umatilla, Oregon when my wife felt an odd vibration in the truck. We pulled over, and took a look at the wheels. Nothing seemed out of place, so we pressed on. DUN DUN DUN!!! About an hour later, we were pulling into Kennewick, Washington. As we came down the hill to the first stop light, my wife hit the breaks, and the driver’s side front wheel goes sailing towards the intersection ahead. That’s right, the FUCKING. WHEEL. CAME. OFF. DUN DUN… oh enough of that. As we felt / heard the steerage assembly thumping into the asphalt, a dreamlike quality decended on the scene. I turned and yelled at my wife, “HEY HONEY! WE JUST LOST A TIRE!.” Thanks Captain Obvious! Without skipping a beat, my wife responded calmly with, “I know that, Bill.” The truck ground itself to a stop at the side of the road, and we watched as the wheel (apparently content to continue the journey without us) sail through the intersection at 45 mph. It barely missed two compact cars (I shudder to think what that would have done), and opted to end its brief solo journey by smashing into the front of a commercial class flatbed.

No one was hurt, with the exception of the flatbed’s shattered bumper. Insurance information was exchanged, and insurance companies were called. I jacked the truck back up from its precarious angle, and inspected the bolts for the lug nuts. Nothing seemed wrong with them. The bolts weren’t stripped, bent, or sheared. Weird. The lug nuts were no where to be found, but there was a tire shop nearby that had the correct size. The steerage assembly looked ok to me (it was actually damaged, but more of that later), so I re-mounted the wheel and tightened it back down. I inspected the other 3 wheels, and made sure that the bolts were tight. Satisfied and thankful that this didn’t happen when we were going 85 mph, we decided to keep going. As you might imagine, this was a bad plan. We decided to pull off at the last exit in Pasco (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco are called the Tri-Cities locally, due to their extreme proximity to one another) and gas up. As we pull onto off ramp, IT FUCKING HAPPENS AGAIN!!! This time, our wheel decided it has had enough of this journey. In an explosion of lug nuts and silt, it bounces, skids, and hops over 4 lanes of highway into the sagebrush, never to be seen again. I spent about 40 minutes strolling through the prickle weeds and sagebrush (cheap foam bottom sandles and shorts were a bad plan for this trip, apparently),  but could not find it. Insurance was called again, and a tow truck driver was located. A nice police officer came by to slow traffic on the off-ramp (no one bothered to stop or slow… asses), probably because he was wondering what the bald, sunburned, dipshit was doing wandering across his highway. Eventually, we get towed to a mechanics shop.

*sigh* Ever the optimist, I’m still calculating this into our travel time. “It’s ok, self,” I tell myself. “We’re only 3 hours behind now. We’ll just spend the night in Idaho.” A the mechanics shop, we wait another hour for them to inspect and make their assessment. Fuck. Four hours behind now. Maybe we can make it to Spokane. Bolts are definitely shot now (threads are full of aluminum), and we are out wheel with custom rim. Turns out all bolts on both front wheels were broken free from their mounts… probably due to a goddamn phneumatic hammer being used to tighten the nuts by the last mechanics during the brake inspection. All 12 will need to be replaced.  *angry choking* In addition, the steerage assembly is shot, as the majority has either been ground down to a shiny nub or bent out of shape. *grinding of teeth*. ETA, tomorrow morning, at best. Shit…

So, after spending 2 hours at the mechanic’s shop, we get a cab ride to a local Super 8. It’s now 6ish, and the day is shot. We get a room, drop off our bags, and go next door to Applebees for some supper. Burgers and beer later, our outlook on things is better. I take my son for a swim in the pool, and we call it a night.

The next day, we wait. And wait. And wait. I made a trek up to a Value Village (kind of like a goodwill… cheap used crap kind of store) to replace my shredded and thorn filled sandles and get a coat for my son (we forgot to bring his in our haste to leave the house). Finally, we just check out of the hotel at 11, and go down to the shop. They still aren’t done. 2 hours later, they are. The manger takes the truck for a spin, and is gone for about 10 minutes. When he returns, he doesn’t look happy. Ashen is a good word. He tells me that he needs to show me something, and asks him to take a ride with him. About a block away, he says “Watch this,” and slams on the brakes. The truck lurches suddenly and violently to the right. *urge to kill, rising* The new wheel is the same size, but the rim is a little smaller than the other tires. However, he believes that this problem is being caused by damaged brakes. “How much, and how long?” I as, wearily. 2 hours or so, he says. Fine. Whatever. Just get me out of here. Today.

They drop us off at the local mall so we can eat, and keep the kid entertained. 3 hours later, they are finished (4:00… we can still make it, but it will be very late). Turns out the rear shoes were disintegrating. Looked kind of like marbled cheese. Stress fractures throughout both, and you could pick it apart with your finger. One more test drive to confirm the issue was resolved… much better now. $1700 later and 27 hours behind schedule, we finally get to continue on our trip.

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone there was great. The mechanics busted ass to get us out as fast as possible, and with a minimum of unlubricated shafting. The cop kept us safe. The tow truck driver was an interesting conversationalist. The waitress was sweet (Will kept calling her Gramma). The clerk at the Value Village with the cleft buttock gave me a 20% discount because I am so drop dead sexy to… uh… other guys, I guess. It’s the most time I’ve ever spend there, and I have to admit it was a pleasant experience… if I close my eyes really tight, and leave out the whole hemmoraging cash thing.

We make it to our destination 6 hours later. It could have been 4. My buddy mentioned that they were doing road construction between Missoula and Arlee (very near the place they rented for the wedding), and that the highway was a “little rough and torn up.” Ha ha. Just like I’m a little bit bald, the Hindenburg was a little bit burned, and George W Bush is a little bit of an idiot. Christ on a crutch, as my father liked to say. They mechanics did a good job. If the thrice-damned wheels were going to come off, that would have been the place. Wasn’t sure we were going to have any shocks or even an oil pan by the time we located the place. It was 11ish pm at that point, and I was just so damn happy that we made it with most of our vehichle still under us.

Greetings were made, beer was guzzled, and sleep was attained. Albiet, briefly. It would seem the blushing bride to be is also a practicing slave driver, and that this wedding would be perfect… no matter the pain!

To be continued…

Powder 111 Released

Posted in Game Stuff with tags on July 8, 2009 by hotpoo

This is actually “old” news, but I needed to make note of it anyway. Especially considering Ilya has ported it successfully to Windows CE! Nice work! There go my grand plans for reading on the train…

http://www.zincland.com/powder/index.php?pagename=release

Game Time!

Posted in Game Stuff with tags on July 8, 2009 by hotpoo

Not that long ago, I used to be a very avid gamer. That was in the BW/BC period of my life (BeforeWife/BeforeChildren). As a general rule, I simply don’t have the time for it anymore. When time allows, I give my Wii a bit of love. However, I hate most of the games for the system, so I either find myself playing old 8-bit / 16-bit emulation games or continue slogging my way through RE4 (love it, and have played it far too much). I recently picked up Coduit, and I’m a bit disappointed. A nice concept that falls flat on it’s face, and is just as pretty as it is vacuous. The controls are very nice, however…

Lately, I’ve been playing some browser games to occupy myself in the mornings (i’m on a lot of 1 -2 hour conferance calls with european teams in the morning). These meetings don’t really require much from me other than an occasional clarification, so I find my mind drifting easily.

Legends of Zork

I’ve been playing this for a few months now, and I’m still on the fence about it. I guess I expected something more… Zork-like. Silly me. The game pretty much plays itself (much like a standard MMO, only you have a whopping 2 options… explore, or return to base… fighting and selling is done for you automatically…), and is slightly more exciting than Progress Quest… and half as amusing. Here are some sadly accurate comics on the gameplay:

http://somethingpositive.net/sp05102009.shtml

http://somethingpositive.net/sp05112009.shtml

And that’s pretty much it. Not really sure why I keep playing, other than I’m near the top of the leader board (220 something out of 40k), it’s mindless (which is great for me in the morning), and I’m curious to see if it goes anywhere. Like most games of this ilk, they never bother to build out any upper level content prior to release. They never thought we would move as fast as we did, I guess. The moral of the story: always have an endgame in mind. This goes for all of you silly book and screenplay authors as well. Damnit…

As a happy accident, I discovered something wonderful while reading a review of Legends of Zork on Rock Paper Shotgun: the brilliantly meaty Kingdom of Loathing!!! Simply put, one of the best games I have played in a decade. It’s a “fantasy” based text adventure, with limited graphics (mostly stick figures and such). If your cup of tea is sexual innuendo, potty humor, and obscure cultural references, this game is for you! The game has a high level of replayability (doubt that is even a word, but work with me here) as there are areas that can only be accessed by certain character classes, and items that can only be created by combinations of skills from different classes. I’m not normally an OCD type, but there are a lot of difficult to acheive trophies and items that have me totally hooked. I like the fact that you are limited to 40 “adventure points” per day, and that this can be augmented a bit by finding / crafting better equipment, crafting better food, and drinking better cocktails. Otherwise, I’d probably be playing the farking thing all day long, which is not so good for the whole productivity thing.

Did I mention it was funny? It is.

This is a golem made out of a loaf of bread. You find him crusty and his wit stale. Having thought the previous sentence, you almost hope he manages to kick your ass.

Or…

This swirling amorphous blob is actually the intersection of a higher-dimensional lifeform with our three-dimensional space. It’s pretty horrifying, but from its point of view, you’re probably not real pretty either. I mean, it can see inside your guts! Ew!

Or…

This room of the dungeon is dominated by a double-line of oversized, metal gloves. They raise themselves to the ceiling and slam into the floor, over and over again. You see an old man in a long robe and pointy hat standing in front of the gauntlet gauntlet and approach him. “Let me guess,” you say, “I have to walk through all those smashing gauntlets to get through here, right?”

“Yes, my child,” the wizard responds.

“Wow, looks like I’m going to take quite a beating. Can I have a snack or something first, to get my strength up?”

“Sorry,” he says, “there was some food, but that stupid valkyrie shot the food. It sucks, because this wizard needs food badly.”

Or…

In the center of this room sits a tiny table with a glass of water and two pills on it. Remember how your mother always told you not to take pills you find lying around in strange basements? No? You don’t remember that? Good.

Or…

This robot was designed to “help out” around the house. You know, say you’re a lonely housewife, and you’ve got a “light bulb” that needs “changed.” Or maybe your “drain” is clogged, and you need someone to “plumb” it. Or your “lawn” is covered in “leaves” that you need “raked.” Or your “kitchen door” is “loose” on its “hinges” and won’t stop “squeaking,” and you need someone to squirt “oil” in them over and over until you’re “satisfied” the job is done. He has plenty of “attachments” to handle every “situation.” So, y’know, he just does “odd jobs.” Why are you blushing?

You get the idea…

In the center of this room sits a tiny table with a glass of water and two pills on it. Remember how
your mother always told you not to take pills you find lying around in strange basements? No? You
don’t remember that? Good.In the center of this room sits a tiny table with a glass of water and two pills on it. Remember how your mother always told you not to take pills you find lying around in strange basements? No? You don’t remember that? Good.You get the idea. If you do decide to play, send me a message in game and I’ll hook you up with some meat and useless crap. I’m sure you can figure out my account name, if you try hard enough.

Knowing is 1/8th of the battle…

Posted in Funny! with tags on July 8, 2009 by hotpoo

It occurred to me today that I haven’t quite killed my computer off when I visit my stupid blog. Thus, I figured I would add some more embedded YouTube videos. Ha! Take that, stupid computer!

Where the hell have you been?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 8, 2009 by hotpoo

Sorry for the lapse lately. I’ve been… preoccupied. A great many things have changed recently in my life, and not all have been for the better. At least not in the short term. Here is a breakdown:

My wife and have decided to commit double financial suicide. I’m not going to go into any detail on this, but it’s probably exactly what you think. We are currently about 85% the way through the “data acquisition” phase, and are just about ready to file. Ironically, we had a little vehicle trauma on our way to MT for a family “vacation” (more of that later… was an amusing and painful trip, in both the financial and emotional sense), which put us behind a bit financially. Meh. The clock is ticking, and I just want to get this over with.

Since we reached this decision, however, our relationship has improved greatly. Things were more than a bit rocky earlier in the year, and I wasn’t really sure where I would be right now. For the moment, however, we seem to be doing all right… with some exceptions, of course. More of this later when I write about the “Ill Fated Montana Trip of 2009.” Good times, I tell you… good times.

As a result of this, I opted to sell my car so that we could keep my wife’s precious money-sink of a truck. Don’t get me wrong… it’s a good truck that has been reasonably reliable over the years. However, it’s over 16 years old, gets horrible gas mileage (even with a new engine), and has causing me to hemorrhage cash for over 2 years now. Oh well. The wife loves her truck, and would never give it up. The little car was a good commuter, fun to drive, but… just a car. They make more everyday. I miss having it a bit, but mostly for the convenience and the shortened commute time. Now, I take the train to work everyday. It’s about 4 – 4.5 hours round trip, which sucks the mighty dick. I also have to be up by 4am and out the door by 4:30am to make it to the station. Which sucks an even greater dick. However, it is making me leave work earlier (rather than getting to work at 6:30 and leaving at 5:30, I’m getting to work at 6:45, and leaving at 4:00), and giving me a healthy amount of time to read. I’m pretty stoked about the latter, particularly. I’ve been remiss in reading for about 4 years now (pretty much ever since I got married), and have a giant stack of books that I’ve been meaning to read.

Anyway, here is to you, my splendid little car. I’ll miss you about as much as I miss any machine, and I’m reasonably pleased that you at least went to a good owner. May your forehead grow like the mighty oak… wait… may your your blinker fluid never leak… or something like that…

Little vroom vroom

Little vroom vroom

Someday, I’ll get something else. I’ll stick with mass transit for now. Once the rains come, I may be less happy about this situation, however. I’m planning on getting some flaky early/mid 80’s compact beater. It’s about time for DeathPod III.

Work has been good, albeit extremely busy. I had my first review since I shifted departments last year, and I did smashingly. I’ve been feeling like the proverbial 5th wheel in the department for several months now. I still have practically no idea how to use, let alone troubleshoot, our microscopes. I’ve been slated with a lot of pseudo IT tasks… SharePoint administration, ticketing systems, and fighting off conficker to name a few. The bossman (bless his blackened, haggis-filled, scottish heart) is more than pleased with what I’ve done and continue to do for the deparment, and is very excited about shackling me with work for the next year. Cool! He promised to remove the manacle of IT from my neck at some point (I’m not holding my breath about this), and giving me a lot more tool, training, and travel time (I am holding my breath for this). We’ll see what the future holds, but I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got for now. Sure beats being unemployed!