Our local Anime retailer in Bend is Anime Mountain (yeah, the site seems to be closed just at the moment tho). Charlie sells and rents anime on Video DVD, sells Manga illustrated novels, and some various Japanese niceties like figurines, candy and gum.
Recently while I was down there, I asked about the Tenchi Mouyo anime series on OVA that he used to have around. He said it's gone. He sold it off since there seemed to be zero interest in it.
I always thought that Tenchi was like the most popular anime television show of the late 90's, like Ranma ½ was in the 80's. Is this incorrect?
Who out of you guys watches anime, and then who out of you has seen Tenchi? Is it a good series or not worth keeping in stock?
I cann'uh cook. My specialty seems to be water flambe. As a result I've lived off of a mixture of TV dinners, fast food, and IHOP for the last decade. Darla can't really cook either, she's on equal footing with me.
We stock the freezer up with lean (blech) cuisines, Michelena's and Budget Gormet pastas, Totinos or Jeno's party pizzas, corn dogs and burritos. Our fridge is 90% full of various beverages.
So, just out of curiosity, among those of you with no cooks in your household, what do your fridges look like? Eating out all the time is relatively spendy (to the tune of $600/mo if my last bank statement has anything to say about it) so I'm imagining our fellow frugal american's have to have some tricks up their lazy kitchen sleeves. :)
Anyone who was paying attention to WiFi and simultaneously watching TV last year knows that Oregon Trail Internet toyed around with offering wireless internet access to fixed-point and to roaming customers downtown. Their signal was unusuably weak everywhere I tried, they used no encryption so anyone could sniff your traffic, they didn't even use SSL so you could sniff other people's login credentials. They gave you 128K (twice the speed of dialup) roaming for $20/mo, and charged businesses $130/mo for a half megabit wireless signal. Here is their ratesheet. They were recently bought out and have deprecated their wireless service. Eg, I dunno if they plan to leave present customers in the lurch, but they are not seeking new business or avenues of expansion.
Webformix (where I work) is also currently deploying WiFi downtown for roaming and fixed-point service. Unlike OTI, we are offering 1 megabit synchronous fixed-point connections for only $25/mo, residential or business (or whoever, we don care :) We are currently covering the northern part of downtown, but will soon expand over the rest. Our infrastructure is amazingly less expensive to deploy, while providing magnitudes better coverage than OTI did.
One thing we have not decided on is a price point for roaming customers. We will make it cheaper than OTI's roaming deal, and it will probably be a megabit of bandwidth, maybe half a meg, but we are still open to suggestions. What I want to know is, for you guys, what would you pay to have roaming internet access downtown? Your connection will be as secure as the computer on your end is capable of doing (open with SSL login, or WPA with SSL login, or WPA-Radius.. with WPA2 available next year) with cable-quality bandwidth and 60ms ping times. You can sit down in front of merendas or barcelona or out in the park and get a connection every bit as good as you get at home. And secure, unlike Beletazza's, so you can't be airpwned and people aren't reading your webmail. What would you pay to have that? Monthly, or anually? (It is so inexpensive that I'm leaning towards annually)
I was recently discussing RSS with DeAnn, which proved to be very similar to discussing it with Simone, insomuch as the conversation starts with my "where is your RSS so I can aggregate j00", eventually someone finds it (there usually is one), and then they ask "Cool, great, so what is this RSS doohickey anyhow?" So I forsee the value of making my answer a blog entry.
DeAnn put the question very well. She asked:
But I don't understand how to use it or what to use it for. Is there a purpose? Is it something I should advertise? Huh?
So I said
RSS is essentially a file that your blog creates which summarizes the last half dozen or more entries in XML, which is a format that can be understood raw by both computers and geeks. Anyone who slurps up your RSS file can display your articles or excerpts of your articles on other websites (like ORblogs for instance, that is exactly what they do) or people may personally slurp your RSS into their News Aggregators, which are like news reader clients that sort articles from a bunch of sources (including your blog) for the viewer just like so many emails. They can keep track of what they read, and be notified when you post something new.
If you advertise your RSS file you are likely to increase your traffic a bit. Random visitors may just add you to their newsreaders if they can easily get to your RSS, while if they can't they might pass by your site and not see it again for a long time.
Imagine, for instance, if you liked reading the blogs of 2 dozen of your friends. You could put their blogs in your favorites menu, and visit each blog to see what was new, but 75% of them would not have anything new when you went to check, and it might be hard to keep track of whether you've already read one of their stories, and it would get very difficult very fast. If instead all of your friends have RSS and you put them all in your aggregator, it can go out and check everyone's RSS file like every hour while you are doing other things and notify you when someone has a new entry.. and keep track of what you've already read.. and you don't have to visit someone's blog unless/until there is new content.
RSS is kind of what has made blogs as practical as they are, kind of like guns made cowboys practical and batteries make a laptop practical.
A good news reader to start off with, in case you want to try one out, is SharpReader. There are plenty of others, that's the one I've been using tho. :)
I love blogs. I never really read the news before RSS came about. Yeah, sure, I worked at my high school newspaper, and the only time I've shown up in photos in yearbooks aside from the student listings was in every photo on the journalism page that year. Sure, I sysadminned a news website for four years, I was production manager and eventually layout editor for a newspaper for two years, but all of these jobs can be accomplished just fine without actually reading the news. In my case that strategy worked fine.
My problem is that news has always been the same. Since I was a kid and my grandparents flipped the dial over to ABC every evening at six, some detached monotone has been droning about things that haven't mattered to me. At the time I figured it was an acquired taste, that by the time I left college, I would be listening to the news on the radio, watching it on tv, and/or reading the paper every morning. But no, I didn't. I also didn't stop watching cartoons or listening to 80's music, so maybe it's just me.
One way or another, news and I just didn't get along until one day when Jon challenged one of the few shreds of ego that I posess — that of being the best coder in the room — by saying that if bend.com didn't put up an RSS feed soon, he would just open up a can of skizzle and make one himself. So I jumped into the world of RSS that I had only a slantwise view of before. (hey, in '95 I used to argue with Bob Dorr that this "webpage" thing was crazy and unsustainable, and gopher was the way to go :) Soon I had hooked up the blogs of all the local rabble-rousers, and Wired and Slashdot (which I later boycotted) and was reading the next generation of news religiously every day.
It has actually gotten to the point where I've wound up with more time/interest to read news than news to read. Gmail likes to plug Google News when I empty my inbox, but that's the 6 o'clock variety that holds no interest for me.
One thing I have heard more than once about blogs is that they are a great way for people to publish things, and whatever you want is out there, but the greatest challenge is to find what is worth reading in the millions of personal outlets available online. My tack will be the same as it is for any media — books, movies, tv — I always trust the sources I find reputable to deliver the content I will be satisfied with.
I like certain authors so I read all their books. I like certain directors so I watch all their movies. I like certain channels (spike, comedy central, cartoon network, sometimes abc family) so I hover around them looking for tasty morsels of show. I intend to do the same for blogs.. but where do I find the good blogs? I'm not looking for the good entries among all the blogs, I'm looking for the good blogs and trusting that that's where I'll find all the juicy entries.
I currently have all of the local blogs who have feeds and a few non-local ones (because I know you all and you all rock and if you didn't I would bitch about it until you did :) and Wired. Outside of locality I would look for some shared interest or subject matter. Are there, like, blogrolls sortable by category or any such beast out there? I would like to be able to trackback something that scoops Jake every now and again.
Thanks in advance :)
Yeah, just like DeAnn said, I don't have anything to blog about either :) Well, either that or I am being sensitive to my audience, who probably doesn't want to hear about antenna polarization and ODFM signal rectification or the space requirements of cubic vs bezier shape descriptions as they pertain to constant figures, such as font ligatures. So enjoy the silence :)
Yep, today is Darla and my 6th anniversary. We will probably go out somewhere nice for dinner. I can't think of any other cool things to do though, dagnabbit. Any ideas? :)
So yesterday I went to my grandparent's house, and I helped Grandpa chew up some bushes and trimmed tree limbs in this new wood chipper thingy. Armed with safety goggles, gloves and a large plastic object designed to allow you to jamp objects into the device while keeping your hands clear, it continued to remain obvious to me that this machine was the single most dangerous object I'd ever seen.
You have to keep your hands clear of the inlet, because obviously you don't want to shove your arm down there and pull it back out missing anything.. but yeah, all of the objects you do put in there feed themselves in at brownian rates. One moment you are pushing to get it in, the next moment you are pulling wildly to get yourself free of snags feeding themselves into the machine at mach 20.
They tell you to keep clear of the outlet too. It makes sense, since sharp chips of wood fly out of there at muzzle velocity. They don't tell you that sharp chips of wood also fly out of the inlet at muzzle velocity in every direction like a giant blunderbus, or that when you throw a large limb into the inlet, it is likely to thrash about like a set of posessed nunchucks. Indeed heavy clothes, protective eyeware and gloves and keeping your hands out of places they don't belong is not enough to keep you safe around this thing. Right through my jacket I still got about a dozen lacerations on my arms. It's just a nightmare machine in so many different ways.
Oooh, I promised myself I wouldn't blog about this since I didn't have anything nice to say, but it keeps bothering me so I've got to.
Ryan's Deli is across the breezeway from the new Bend.com offices downtown. I'd always thought to myself "wow, a deli just a few feet away from the elevator, this is going to be sweet come lunchtime". Unfortunately it isn't so sweet :P
Firstly they are only open from 8am to 4pm. I get in late afternoon on Tuesdays to start laying out The Bugle, work until late night, come back early am rushing deadline to finish layout, and I'm leaving so I can drive anywhere I'd like for lunch after that. What I need is a place open Tuesday Evenings that can market sandwhiches at me.
Next problem: Cash only. They accept no checks, no debit, no credit, no pencil shavings, nuthin.
Finally, I paid six bucks and all it got me was a 20 ounce drink and a 4 ounce sandwich. Half of the sandwhich was this rediculously thick slice of tomato. They tried really hard to sell me on some soup or a whole sandwhich, upwards of 7 dollars, but I was really looking to spend about $5 for lunch. I could have got a quarter sub and drink at New York Sub shop for $4.25, the quarter sub would have been toasted and weighed twice as much as this sandwhich, but I'd have had to walk like 4 blocks to get there. Same price for a drink and a bean/cheese/rice burrito with sour cream at Super B's that weighs like a pound, just one block away. Both of them guys accept credit/debit and are open until 6 or 7.
So that's my take. Trendy tourist traps peeve me.
Oh, and a note for Dane about our new offices, we have like 2 different patios overlooking belatazza's, so we could totally egg the everloving crap out of all of your livejournal friends.. if you laze the targets for us. :)
I recently got to see a movie on DVD that I had missed catching at the theater when it was out. It was about this crazy kid who figured out how to travel through time, or see the future, or something like that. It was ultra violent and somehow side-lighted child pornography. The crazy guy had to make a choice about whether he would let events unfold a certain way, so that the girl that he loved would die, and all of his friends' and family's lives would be messed up, or change things so that he never met her in the first place. I had a very difficult time understanding what was going on and I think the kid was simply psychotic and that most/all of the time-travel hoopla, and decisions made, were a bunch of bunk. I'm of course talking about Donnie Darko.
Jim's pals weren't able to make it either, but he heted aloft his 90 lb monitor and 80lb (?) computer (#~!$) and we tribed and unrealled all evening.
Furthermore, he's just closed a deal on a house here in town and intends to wire it up all proper and may host LAN parties there in the near future.
And, I guess the Disk Space hosts LAN parties every other Saturday at 6 or something to that effect.
So, what percentage of my readers care to lan-frag on a regular basis? Do you already have gatherings that you attend, and/or would anyone like to get down on some of this? We all (being Darla, Jim, Randy, and I + loads of other folks) used to go to Dawn Miracle's house every wednesday for movie and gaming night back in the late nineties. I'm looking to see some revival of that sort of bitchin' shindig.
Jim and I have planned a li'l get together at my place. He's bringing a few of his friends, so we're having a LAN party. (sorry guys, it was too last-minute for me to really usefully let any of y'all know about ;)
They shall be here in a little bit, and I've been cleaning up the house and rearranging tables for the placement of computers, and trying very very hard to set up a network of small fans that will allow the air-conditioner upstairs to have some impact on the environment down here. I've got chips, dips, and a wide selection of beverages. I've got over a hundred geekily geared dvd's (and at least a dozen Darla-approved ditties like Baby Geniuses ;), console games, and I guess really that's about it.
I shall let allayall know how it goes after the festivities conclude. Wish meh luck, this is the first such suare I've hosted. :)
TxtMob is apparently another exciting, new, flash-mob related text-messaging-based communications technology that lets people sign up for text-based mailing lists. It was used at the Democratic National Convention to organize protests and evade the police. It could be used by companies with scattered agents on the field who could keep one another abreast of who's going where why etc. It could be used by bend bloggers to organize impromtu gatherings and provide vital intel on egging livejournalists.
It just can't be used by me, apparently, since I am on Cellular One and they are not listed as a supported service provider when you log in and try to enter your phone etc. It's a bummer, seeing as how I can send and receive SMSs', but who knows.
Dane just unintentionally reminded me of my swf2xml project. I've been making this mean app that will be able to decompile an swf file into xml which describes all of the details of what the swf binary file is up to. This file can be muddles around with by hand by xml experts and editing software.. cut up and pasted back together, whatevah.. and then recompiled back into an swf file.
So what do you lot think of this project? I'm lacking the internal oomph to go forward on it. Would you use it? Do you know XML? Would it just be a geek utility that translates geek into geek even as appraised by geeks? I figured it could be applied netpbm-like to convert from one flash version to another (for instance, batch-compress a bunch of SWF3.0 files); remove the broadcast protected flag; steal art, sound and movies from out of swf's (don't sue meh!); and of course assiduously test for easter eggs in Homestar Runner cartoons.
In other news, it is now obvious what MT-feature is preventing me from using curse-words on Jake's blog.. gives the same error msg and everything.
So my Subaru Justy has a corrosion problem. Gaseous battery acid apparently seeps out of it's battery very very slowly, and recondenses in crystaline form upon certain surfaces near the battery.. like the terminals, exposed cable wire, etc. It can get in the way of connectivity and render spliced battery cable useless over time.
After a certain period of meager connectivity, when it was challenging to start the justy for a couple months, it stopped starting at all. I suspected the connectivity to have given too much, so I went and got a new battery cable and .. "plugged it in". but the car continued making the same noise while the lights etc. shined that much brighter.. so I realized the starter went kaput over the low-juice abuse.
Now I have the challenge before me of getting the car to a mechanic to fix it. Yes I know it's simple to buy a starter and plug it in yourself, but my justy's built like a laptop and I would rather pay a wad of money and not have to get my hands dirty just at the moment.
One thing I wanted to try is clutch-starting/clutch the vehicle. I am parked on a gentle hill but I was parked backwards, so I tried rolling back into a U turn to get oriented the right way. Whilst paying attention to not catching my tire on the curb, I caught my driver's side door on a large rock. It later took two of us to muster the elbow grease required to push the car uphill and free the door from being wedged against the rock, and now it's not lined up right.
Needleless to say I had no luck clutch-starting the car and now I'll probably have to toe it. Soobaru Guru refused to work on my car, refering to it as a "disposable" model, and now I'm hoofing it out in the heat.
Adult Swim is a project of William Street Productions (no known website?) to put PG-13 cartoons on Cartoon Network late at night. I'm impressed they know there is a Homestar Runner and here they are marketing against him :)
Yesserday ewening a bunch of us blogger guys and one of our wives (the cutest one *grin*) fell tempestuously upon Timers South. Amidst the street signs, crusty eggs, chicken gizzard blizzards, eurythmics, and sinking cue balls — I scratched like 6 times. Dane scratched once, one out of 3 balls he sunk that evening, another being the 8, and Jake's scratch heard 'round the world — a fairly geeky time was had.
The participants were: me, Darla, Jon, Jake, Dane, and betterlatethannevver Barney. Simone couldn't make it due to a terrible feline tragedy. Spencer couldn't make it due to an acute case of having better things to do.
Some things I've learned from this night:
Anyone who has dealt with personal electronics knows the frustrations of rechargable batteries and battery packs with short lifetimes that just get shorter over the months.. or weeks. Ok, so most of you don't, but I sure as #@$ do.
Every portable electronic device I own.. my laptop, my pda, my cell phone, my car, my watch, seems to go through this eerie maximum-of-3-year life cycle. First, it's rechargable batteries, when fully charged, last a respectable amount of time. After several months they stop doing so, and new batteries/battery-pack are needed, so I get them. Oddly enough the new batteries do not start out nearly as good as the previous set, and become useless twice as fast. After 3 or 4 battery changes, it becomes obvious that the device's very ability to rechage it's own batteries has gone to hell, or else it has slowly developed a short or leak which imposes artificial load and I have to get a new device.
For my watch the scenario has nothing to do with battery recharging of course, but due to the natural longevity of it's static batteries, it takes a battery the same amount of time to be decommissioned.. which grows geometrically shorter through tie, probably due to some sort of a short or charge leakage.
I'm developing a new flash game that is similar to those mazes with marbles in them where you have to tilt the maze in order to maneuver the marble through.. and there are little holes that you must avoid, or start over.
In my variant you "tilt" the maze by clicking on it, and dragging it. a gradient ramp and some arrows show you the direction and magnitude you've tilted things. There is of course a marble, and it will roll around in a natural fashion.
I've just (mostly) finished my algorythmn to make the marble bounce off of the maze walls, and I've posted my work thus far to fish for comments as to playability, whether it's easy to understand, intuitive, and whether or not anyone can get the ball stuck, or push it through a wall to where it don't belong. Currently I can get the ball slightly stuck on certain corners, this is a bit of a nagging bug, but I can't get it seriously stuck or seriously ou of bounds.
So give it a try and I'll take all of your comments into consideration as I carry on with the game, which will have multiple levels/mazes and sound effects and possibly music.
Thank you :)
I was thinking about making a new flash version of the old TI-99/4a version of the ancient UNIX version of the decrepit dice version of the game, but I have found some other people (for real, check it out) who have already done the deed admirably in Java. So I'm working on a new project now.
Hunt the Wumpus originally hit the internet as a text adventure game on UNIX. Allegedly, it was the first computer game ever written for a microprocessor. The original version involved a static network of linked rooms done up like the faces of a dodecahedron, but variants quickly began making the room-network quite random.
There is usually a Wumpus, one or more pits, and one or more bats. You can stumble upon rooms containing bats with no warning, and they will carry you off to a randomly selected room.. quite possibly into the jaws of a wumpus or right over a pit.
You would have one room of notice before entering a pit, either because in the text adventures the narrator would announce that "you can feel a draft", or in graphical versions because you can see slime covering the walls of the room.. in either case, it is wise to heed the warning, and you cannot fall into a pit without passing through at least one room warning you about it.
The Wumpus, on the other hand, gives you two rooms of warning. Either you can smell it in advance, or see the blood stains along the walls of rooms.. either way you cannot walk into the wumpus' lap without passing through at least 2 defiled rooms first. It is nessessary to decide where to aim your arrow (effectively disclosing the Wumpus' whereabouts) without actually visiting the fatal room in question, and in most versions of the game you only have one shot with which to do it.
We saw the trailer for it come out a few scant weeks ago, and now it is here!
Homestarrunner.com in cooperation with Videlectrix has produced the short-awaited "Peasant's Quest" graphical text adventure game. It is largely a homage to the old "King's Quest" series, based upon the plot of Strong Bad's pet dragon TROGDOR the BURNiNATOR, and his favorite food.. lightly toasted peasant.
I've finally won the game, which is pretty $%^&ing hilarious, and quite reminiscent of Sam n' Max Hit The Road except with the Chaps' sense of humor instead of George Lucas'. There are many many ways to die and at least as many ways to be both simultaneously depressed and dumbfounded at the everyday exploits of a peasant in this universe. I mean, you're so poor you're middle class again! :)
Check out the wiki for walkthroughs, easter eggs, other users' opinions and alla dat. Also check out the origional TROGDOR arcade game for some more fun, and an idea of why wearing a robe and being on fire are so important to the identity of a peasant.
Christian Lee Thompson (aka "boy", "goofball", et al), b Feb 26 1999.
This picture is a year old, but he's still just as cute.
He is tall and skinny, smiles a lot, likes to get his own way.. he's sneaky, very sharp, rides on his charisma. He can figure out anything he puts his mind to (cliche, of course) but he is remarkably finicky about what he sets his mind to. He has no problem getting gold cup in the 100cc special tracks in Mario Super Circuit, breezes through all of the levels in worlds 1 and 2 of Super Mario Bros 3, Worlds 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Yoshi's Island, he can type anything he sees in writing (including complex punctuation) but barely knows his alphabet, can't count, and can barely write his first name.
Likes: Chicken (baked, fried, grilled, sauteed, stir fried, deep fried), Corn, Tancakes, Steak, Cherries, Nanas, Pickles, Cucumber slices (?), Onya (lasagna), Enya (effective lullabyes, go fig), Winamp Visualizations, Most of the anime on Cartoon Network (he can pronounce more zany things in Japanese than I can), an inordinate amount of wresting and pillowfighting, Bowling, Sliding, Homestar Runner, Jumpaline, Carnival Rides, Tricycling, his friends and family.
Dislikes: Rice, pickle slices in his hamburger (he'll pull them out and give them to me or to Momma), soggy cereal, dehydrated milk, white bread (?), messes, having to be have (yes that is two words in our family, for some odd reason :), being in trouble, being bored, any televised entertainment that fails to be animated, doing work when he's not in the mood (sometimes suprisingly he is), getting the sun in his eyes, hurting himself trying to pull off some stupid stunt, things scaring him.. ghosts, witches, banshees (the noises made by the wind), monsters, etc.. when interviewed as to what he is scared they will do to him...
Me> Are you afraid they're gonna hurt you?
Me> Step on you?
Him> No (laugh)
Me> Take away your toys?
Me> What are you scared they will do to you?
Him> Scare me, Scare me and make me run away
He's adorable and he'll probably make you say "Awwww" :)