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Archive January 2002
Wednesday 30 January 2002
This entry is for me, and will probably not interest anyone else. Endicia are a company who do internet postage, and apparently print proper official-style labels with barcodes and all, which, apparently, will make shipping a book non-internationally cost 60 cents less. Except that it will cost $10 a month, and requires a specific type of labels. Mm. Or there's PitneyWorks that's cheaper per month but a bit less sparkly. [08:08] [12 comments]
The other day, we drove through a human corpse. Which was surprising and entertaining. We were driving behind a large truck, so we couldn't see what was approaching. A police car was flashing lights on the shoulder, behind another car. I assumed it was just that someone had been pulled over. As the truck passed the police car, it wavered violently in its course. We slowed, in case of maybe having to do a sudden lane-change. The truck pulled away ahead a little, revealing, just over the line to the left was a smooshy red blob. Smooshy, gooey, but still identifiable as the top half of a thoroughly dead person. Red splattered across from there, through our lane, leading to some splattery legs on the shoulder. We both raised eyebrows as we drove through, too late to safely swerve. I am suitably proud. Who else has driven through a corpse? [01:16] [25 comments]

Tuesday 29 January 2002
Have you ever used AudioGalaxy? Fair enough, it is quite handy. However, you should search your Windows directory for a "vx2.dll". If you find it, go here and poke around a bit to find out what it does, and how to get rid of it. It isn't nice. Eperdu recommends Ad-aware to detect and aid in the shredding of any such unpleasant software. [23:47] [3 comments] I just unthinkingly made up a really terrible phrase with which to describe being dumped; "The transition between double-you and ex". Fear my leet punning skillz. Shudder. [23:42] [2 comments]

Monday 28 January 2002
Funkie Da Mouse wrote me perhaps the most inoffensive bug-report I've ever encountered. As a result, I finally got around to fixing some of Motepad's little glitches. If you use Motepad, and the unruly behaviour of its scrollbars and word-wrap has annoyed you, get the new version. [22:18] [1 comment] The beginnings of rewiring the house to enable DSL, and to enable me to be online in bed, have begun. The internal phone wiring has been upgraded. In the process, it was discovered that the external phone wiring sucks just as many donkey legs as the internal did, so the DSL is unlikely to be functional soon. Grr. On the upside, I realise that I can probably legitimately include that, and the DSL monthly fee, as business expenses for novel-selling, since such will require much online activity. Which effectively doubles as a lovely 30% discount. And to your left, you see swings and roundabouts. [22:17] [0 comments]
Yesterday, I watched the movie Cruel Intentions. I'm afraid this will have to be a short review - those of you who are regulars will know that when I review movies, I dwell on the things that sucked. Mostly, this movie does not suck. I was amused and entertained throughout. The bloke plays the role very well, and Sarah Michelle Geller is passable, if a bit typecast. I found myself sympathising vastly with the bloke - even though I'm not a manipulative bastard, I have the skills to be, so I found myself cheering on the guy and lamenting when his timing on a particular piece of manipulation was suboptimal. Mm. It's a chick-flick, but it's a good chick-flick. One of those rare occasions, now, in which I recommend it. There. [04:07] [9 comments]

Saturday 26 January 2002
Due to beginning a game, incessant player of games that I am, I decided to add the rules of Treasure Hiding to the games section of my website. Treasure Hiding is one of the best games to play by email, in my opinion. [21:16] [3 comments]

Friday 25 January 2002
Well, this looks promising - I think I can reasonably self-publish Revelations, doing all the work myself, at $8 a copy plus shipping, using a proper self-publisher for the printing, and, well, the video game quiz as the marketing platform. Hopefully within a month, I'll be set up for selling. Time for cover art. [10:09] [7 comments]

Thursday 24 January 2002
Today I was woken by what I thought was my roommates having a loud conversation just outside my bedroom. I was wrong. It was a very loud conversation downstairs. There was no yelling or anger, it's just the ridiculously loud speaking voice that seems to be common in America. Well, there was yelling, from me, which went completely unheard - the implication being that the speaking voice of the roommate is significantly louder than my yell. Admittedly I'm not much for shouting, but even so. He was talking. To someone in the same room. I wonder whether, if I spent a day with cotton balls in my ears, it would be like experiencing being an American. Shouting would sound like talking, and I would probably talk louder due to not being able to hear myself. AND I'LL BLOG LIKE THIS. Maybe it's not obnoxious to every sense in places less urban. DC and Baltimore consist of pure obnoxiety, though. [23:36] [5 comments]

Wednesday 23 January 2002
In a demonstration of my most excellent whoring skills, the first few chapters of Revelations are now available to read online, doubling as a vague sort of feasibility study and some marketing insanity. Several hours of vague coding, and thus the word-count for G-Men remains unchanged today. I am naughty. [03:37] [7 comments]

Monday 21 January 2002
I should make clear that I have no complaint against people who took the flavour quiz and linked to it other than the first person who did so - the rest of you had no way of knowing it wasn't supposed to be released. I am only annoyed with one person. Not that I know who that one is. [06:45] [1 comment]

Sunday 20 January 2002
Does coffee have some active ingredient other than caffiene? In the last few days I've been drinking a Mountain-Dew-like drink which does contain caffiene, in an attempt to draw writing focus from it, with no success. Today I drank a couple of cups of coffee, and acquired the focus I had been seeking. What differs between the active ingredients of coffee and those of caffienated soda? Further incidental observation about the effects of coffee: it enhances my focus for creativity, but destroys my multitasking facility - several times I was spoken to, and could only respond with "Uh?" or "What was that?" because my attention was elsewhere. Also, I became distracted in the middle of several minor activities and resumed writing instead. This is good from the point of view of my far behind the target novel-word-count, and somewhat entertaining from my own point of view, but also rather unnerving that I can so completely forget what I'm doing. Mmm, coffee. [19:59] [8 comments]
A link, because I haven't been entertaining much recently; Spider Silk Fibers Using Biotechnology - transgenic goats are enabling humans to finally do something as well as small insect-like creatures have been able to do for millenia. Go, humans! [07:58] [3 comments] Grarh. The taste test was not supposed to be released to the public yet. Naughty person who passed it on, whoever you are. Now look what's happened, I've had to disable it, which will cause aggravation, and when I do release it, it'll fall flat because the quickest test-takers will have already taken it. Tsk. [05:43] [11 comments]

Friday 18 January 2002
Another mumble in the road-sign sagas. Latest amusing road-signs are three consecutive variants on HUMP. First comes "HUMP / OBEY SPEED LIMIT" followed by just "HUMP", then... er... another one. Unfortunately I can't remember the third one because it's been displaced in my mind by the imaginary sign "HUMP / LIKE YOU'VE NEVER HUMPED BEFORE". [19:39] [7 comments] It should be noted that the best way to waken a heavily-sleeping spouse is to burst into the room frantically yelling "Mushroom soup! Mushroom soup!". I'm not sure if it was taken as desperation or terror, but it did wake her rapidly and with much sitting up and panicking. [19:37] [8 comments]
It's reiteration time! Lots of new people have been coming to my blog via the quiz, and then emailing me "how do you code feature X?". Those of you who are regular readers know that "How do you code?" questions annoy me a lot. Those of you who wish to ask me such questions, be aware that I will not answer without an offer of some sort, and of some value to me. Cash is good. Anything I could get or create for myself in less time and with less expenditure than it would take me to answer your question is not a good offer. To explain clearly; my time is valuable to me. Strangers are not valuable to me. Thus, to offset that balance, you must somehow increase your value if you wish my time. I will be pleasantly surprised if anyone actually does make a worthwhile offer. I expect this entry functions more as a rant to show my annoyance than as any sort of behaviour-changing device. [19:14] [5 comments]

Wednesday 16 January 2002
An interesting form of real-time Chess, similar to Killer Chess, but time-limiting the individual pieces rather than the overall ability to move, which is probably more interesting. Mm. [06:21] [3 comments]

Monday 14 January 2002
The video game character quiz has appeared in NTK and in memepool.com in the last few days. I'm glad this server isn't too shabby, because that thing's brought in a lot of traffic. [09:06] [2 comments]
The reason for the driving northwards which caused us to be the victim of useless drivers in New York was to visit the lady's mother. She cooked far too much food. A three-days-worth vat of chilli, a two-days-worth vat of soup, a tray of roasted vegetables, a tray of roasted potatoes, some home-made tortilla chips, and vast quantities of two sorts of salsa-type dip. There was also exchange of christmas presents, which, at my end, included receipt of three things - a strange tea set, a black leather shirt, and a Kodak DVC325. Surprising splenditude. The food was good too. Mm, food. [09:03] [1 comment]
More fun with America - recently approved by the FDA is Olean. Apparently it's like fat, but you can't digest it, so you don't get fat. Observation from a user; because you don't digest it, you end up defaecating grease. So you get a lubricated arse. "Not in a good way," they say. From someone else; "I had a friend who tried that when it first came out. I felt sorry for her, because she promptly shit herself." [08:48] [3 comments] Shortly before the car scrunch, I stumbled upon a DVD of The Five Doctors for $20, which I hadn't been able to find online, in VHS or DVD format, for less than $30 a couple of months ago. So that's nice. [08:41] [4 comments] Oh, and presumably upon hearing the screeching metal of people crashing behind him, the cream-coloured van quickly drove away before we thought to take the license number. Tsk. [08:38] [0 comments]
On Saturday I was in my first ever car accident - hooray! Even if merely as a passenger. Someone in a cream-coloured van stopped ahead of us in the fast lane of an interstate, signalling right. It appeared that he was hoping to cross two lanes of 65mph traffic in a single car-length. We stopped behind him. Pause. Sounded horn. Pause. Sounded horn. Pause. Crashed into from behind. That was about two and a half seconds between stopping and being crashed into - I assume that means the person behind was not paying sufficient attention, or they surely would have had plenty of time to stop. No injuries or anything. Front of the other guy's Cadillac Fleetwood looked pretty bad. Back of our Volkswagen Jetta has a dent in the bumper and scratches on the bumper stickers. Chortle. However, even though the lady's insurance doesn't have to pay out (because the other guy is responsible), her insurance premium is probably going to increase because of this. That doesn't make sense to me. Surely it should only increase if you do things that cost them money? [08:37] [3 comments]

Saturday 12 January 2002
Time for a joyous tale of terror. Any regular readers will recall the picture of my wife with big hair on her prom night from the 24th of December. It was only five days before that that I created the Pre-1985 Video Game Character Quiz. It was less than four days after that that the quiz, through the power of incestuous internet linkery, made its way to her place of work. One of the people at her place of work recognised my name at the bottom, and clicked the link, thus finding their way to my blog. Which had a picture of the lady with big hair. A modicum of suitable workplace mockery ensued.

Ah, but the tale gets better; someone, possibly the same person, delved further into my site and found the MP3 sample of her cursing at my answering machine, several years ago. Said person proceeded to play the sample at high volume in the office. A manager emerged to berate the lady for swearing. She denied it was her. He pointed out that he could hear her voice. The person chose that moment to loudly play the sample again, thus proving her innocent and causing hilarity for all. RavenBlog, source of all torment. Splendid. [11:29] [5 comments]
Oh yes, I forgot to mention the point - it was the final carload of stuff. The old apartment is now officially vacated. We, and all our stuff, now live in the new place. Also, my cough was gone earlier, and then returned due to renewed inhalation of cleaning materials - hoorah! [11:17] [0 comments] Fear my leet Tetris skillz! No, I'm not about to boast about a high score, I'm about to boast about the volume of stuff I just fit in the car. Since I had collected it in pieces from several rooms, it wasn't at all obvious at the start. After unloading, it was obvious. A lot. Really a lot. Admittedly the volume was probably vastly increased by the fact that I shoved a plastic bin full of stuff in front of the passenger, and all the long thin things were stretched along the ceiling from back seat to front, but still, my packing skills are to be admired. Go on, admire! [10:43] [2 comments]

Wednesday 9 January 2002
Speaking of getting less work done, my computer crashed and lost a thousand or so words of G-Men, which has disinclined me to write more. Tsk. I shall resume in a burst later, once enthusiasm returns. [21:09] [0 comments]
Also, due to my lung-raking fun I have played Baldur's Gate a lot. I dislike the interface, I dislike the slowness, and I dislike the programmers - there is no way that a game like that requires 5 CDs. And yet I continue to play. Damn you, completion-drive! Still, I suppose it saves me money - by always playing games to the end, I need fewer games. And, unfortunately, get less work done. On the upside, I much enjoy that one of the voice options for your character has a battle-cry of "All Will Die!" - similar enough to my own preferred phrase of "All Must Die" to entertain. [21:08] [2 comments]
I watched Requiem For A Dream at last. I wasn't particularly impressed. It wasn't bad, I didn't wish to switch it off half way through, but it wasn't particularly interesting either. Mm, nice artistic camera-play. But it's drugs, much like Trainspotting. Yes yes, I know drugs have the potential to fuck you up, I don't need a movie to bludgeon it into my head. On the other hand, the people who make The Anti-drug commercials should take a lesson or several from Mr Aronofsky, because if I didn't already have no inclination to take drugs, Requiem would do a much better job of disinclining me than the commercials would. [21:07] [14 comments]

Sunday 6 January 2002
Another random entertaining thought, because I've been ill and thus have little more than random entertaining thoughts to work with; All acronyms with an 'A' in should have the 'A' word replaced with ass. Thus we would have the RAF, the USA, and the USAF. From the more surreal end, there's NASA, PETA, and the RSPCA. The only acronym I could find that wouldn't benefit from becoming an asscronym was TARDIS. [19:18] [17 comments] More entertainingly foolish things I have read in the last couple of days: "Notice Large Trucks" and, on food in a supermarket, "Broccoli Wokly". Speaking of supermarkets, our shopping the other day was punctuated by much bitter amusement as half the food I like was not there, and the other half was of reduced price. Which would be great, except that the reason for reduced price was "discontinued item". I'm getting more convinced that bonus cards exist for the sole purpose of learning what I buy, and then ceasing to stock it. [18:57] [2 comments]

Wednesday 2 January 2002
A new year, a new novel, and no proper internet connection. I can get my email, I can get at my blog, but I can't get at anything else because I need to set up DNS and lack the required information, which I can't get because I can't get to any websites other than at ravenblack.net. Hoorah. Still, that'll probably help with writing more novel, which is what I'm likely going to do with most of today.

As for yesterday and the day before, those were days of carrying things. Carrying lots of things. Many of the things being 18" x 18" x 16" boxes full of books. That is too large a box to carry when it's full of books, incidentally, so don't do it. Really. [19:22] [5 comments]

Monday 31 December 2001
Near our new house is a childcare centre, by the name of "Redeemers". I can't think of anything that would sound more like a scary cult. Even "The Cult Childcare Centre" would sound more innocent - perhaps suggesting that they encourage appreciation of TV shows such as The Prisoner or Red Dwarf. Redeemers is either a cult or a superhero trio. [01:45] [10 comments] I recommend cleaning the inside top of your microwave. If it's anything like ours, it'll be a humbling experience. To be almost defeated by scum - scum which closely resembles shit, once removed from its wide spread and compressed into a scoury-thing, with one major difference - it's sticky as all hell. Really really nasty. Really. Nasty. [01:42] [5 comments]
The moving house has now approximately reached the critical point - internet connectivity is attempting to move today, which means I may or may not be around for the next few days (internal line quality at the new place is currently not up to DSL standard - a bit of rewiring may or may not fix that. Failing that, we may or may not be able to run with dial-up in the interim. Failing that, temporary silence shall ensue. Bad for the blog, but good, I suppose, for G-Men (the novel and the people)). When I return, I fully expect to be one hundred percent insane. Hooray! [00:37] [0 comments]