Monday, February 20, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Corrupted poker files.
We had a poker game at Scott's on Saturday night. Scott, Matt, Alex, Tits McGee, Cilarus and I were in attendance.
It was a Mexican Salsabration.
Scott cooked up some taquitos and tacos and served them up with his special homemade guacamole. Actually, he just threw some frozen taquitos and tacos in the oven and squeezed the guac out of a bag. But he did drive to the store and pay for them, and I appreciate that he did that because they were good.
For some reason I was really looking forward to the poker game. I don't know why.
It began with me working on Scott's old computer while sitting at the table. I will now digress into the story of Scott's old computer:
He has this laptop that he bought in the summer of '00 that went down about 1.4 years ago. It didn't actually break, the boot files just got corrupted. Scott wanted a new computer anyway and this was his excuse, but he wanted his data off the old one.
Scott's landlord, Sammy Chan, is an IT professional and volunteered to look at it. It sat in Sammy's apartment for a year. Sammy came back and said: "They used this goofy file compression software, and you can't get the un-compression software anymore." Then Scott's computer sat in Scott's apartment for 5 months with me periodically saying: "Hey you still got that computer? Can I look at it?"
I remembered to bring my gear and I finally looked at it on Saturday. While playing poker I extracted the old hard drive, hooked it up to an IDE-to-USB adapter, and plugged it into Scott's current computer. The files were recognized and they sure didn't look compressed to me. I copied them over to Scott's new computer and reformatted the old drive. Sammy Chan is a liar. He could have just said: "I'm too busy/lazy to look at it and I have been using it as a doorstop." Good one, Sammy. He didn't count on Scott having a friend that's not afraid to rip apart electronic devices.
I now have Scott's old computer up and running and she's purring like a kitten. I installed the latest state of the art operating system: Windows 98. It even plays mp3's and DVD's. I am awesome. Scott offered to trade it to me for my set of poker chips (they are the 11.5 gram "Dice" ones that everyone has). He has a deal.
While the others were playing poker I was slowing down the game with my side project. I didn't really play while I was tinkering, I just got dealt shitty cards and folded everything. When I got done working my IT skillz it was time to get down to business on the felt. I cracked open a Boone's Orange Hurricane and was ready to go.
Apparently, cracking open a Boone's Orange Hurricane causes one to be the subject of ridicule:
"Hey, I didn't know this was an 8th grade slumber party. Did you bring your New Kids on the Block tapes?"
That's not nice. I wonder if this is specific to Boone's Orange Hurricane. I will bring Boone's Strawberry Hill next time. Maybe then they won't make fun of me.
I started out playing well. I had more than doubled my buy-in when the crazy wild-card games started. That's when the wheels came off and Scott served tamales. Actually, they didn't come off. I just started playing bad. I really need to fold more and gamble less with these games. And Scott served tamales.
He brought them out in a cooler for comedic effect (please see Poker night to see why this is funny). At first I thought he made them but he just got them at CostCo (along with some frozen taquitos and a bag of guacamole). They were hard to eat without a fork, and a few of us went back to the kitchen to get some. Tits McGee and I were both done with our tamales by the time Scott realized he wanted a fork. Tits chimed in with: "You can use mine." And then I added this gem:
"Yeah, I mean, it's no big deal, it's not like we're gay..."
"...except for Cilarus."
I have no clue what being gay has to do with sharing forks, or what sharing forks has to do with being gay. I meant to just say: "It's not like my mouth has anything worse in it than your mouth." But instead I thought I would mention that I'm not gay. I'm glad I added the blatant "except for Cilarus," because otherwise there would have been an awkward vibe in the room. Cilarus has already let me know that he doesn't mind when I refer to things as "gay," but maybe he was lying. I want to be able to use the word "gay" without worrying about offending gay people.
The poker continued and I lost all my money on a hand of night baseball. Gay. Then I left with my new computer. The game went on without me. Matt got drunk, lost all his money and threw things.
Or so I hear.
Monday, February 13, 2006
On Friday the Bricks had the good fortune of viewing the comedic stylings of Demetri Martin. It was quite the joyous occasion.
It began with a good ol' fashioned turnstile hoppin'. You see, the entrance to the train stop near our house is pretty small, with only two turnstiles and a little booth where the attendant sits. It is not uncommon for the attendant to be absent. That's a green light for a free ride. Ms. Brick and I are such badasses. She's more of a badass than I am, I'm ashamed to admit. The first time this happened, she hopped it and I paid.
Her: "You dumbass, you should have just hopped it."
Me: "I like to obey the rules."
Now I steal train rides at every opportunity.
One time the attendant was there, and I didn't have any money on my card. Ms. Brick had enough for one ride on her card. When I went stick my card in the card machine to add money to it, it went like this:
Attendant guy: "Where you going? You transferring?"
Me: "South. No."
Attendant guy: "Just give me $1 a piece."
So I handed the guy two bills, and he let us bypass the turnstiles. Super. 50% off for us, $2 in attendant dude's pocket, and no money to the city. I would be careful if I was attendant dude, because if he offers the 50% off deal to the wrong person they will tell on him.
We rode the train on down to the Oceanfront Theatre, which is a little 300-seat auditorium in the homo district. We got in line waiting to get in. You would think that for a 10PM show the doors would open some time before 10PM. Nope.
They finally opened the doors and Ms. Brick grabbed us some seats while I got us something to drink. I was pleasantly surprised to find the bar offered Mike's Hard Lemonade. In addition to Woodchuck and white russians, I love the Mike's. I was unpleasantly surprised to find that they were selling it for 300% more than the grocery store does. Also, if a bottle costs $5, and I order two bottles, and the total comes to $10, and I pay with a $20 bill, and you give me a $10 bill as change, that reduces your chance of getting a tip by about 100%.
The show was friggin' hilarious. Leo Allen of the comedy duo Slovin and Allen opened the show, much to my delight. That was a nice surprise.
I had never seen Demetri Martin before, but I heard he was funny. I saw he was playing, and the tickets were reasonable, so I took the Ms. and told her not to be mad if it sucked. I always feel bad if I take someone to a comedy show and it sucks. 1.5 years ago I told Baldo to come down for this great show. We all spent $40 a piece for tickets to see Stephen Lynch and Mitch Hedberg. I assured Baldo that these guys were comedic geniuses. The show positively sucked donkey balls. I felt bad.
Fortunately, that was not the case here. No donkey balls were sucked at this show.
I didn't know this before but it was a CD recording. He did five shows over the weekend and I guess they either pick the best one or chop them all up and make a CD out of the best bits. If they choose the best show it sure as hell won't be the one I saw. Not because it wasn't funny, but because Demetri had to keep stopping the show to tell two people up front to shut the hell up.
It was interesting, because they weren't heckling or anything. I couldn't even hear them. They were right in the front row just having a conversation with each other. I guess Demetri could hear them loud and clear and they were distracting him:
Demetri: "Hey, you came to a show to talk to each other? That's cool, but hey, we're recording a CD, so can you please keep it down?"
Demetri: "Hey, I'm not trying to be dick but there's a microphone right over your head, and you're distracting me, so I would appreciate it if you kept it down."
Demetri: "Dude, seriously, I usually don't do this, but we're recording a CD, and you're talking on my CD. I can kick you out if I want. I won't, though, because I'm cool."
Demetri: "Get the fuck out."
And the people just sat there and Demetri said: "Seriously, get out. You can have your money back, just get out." And he walked away from the mic. There was a general feeling around the audience of : "Oh shit, he's pissed!" Then a person walked down and escorted them out. That was pretty cool.
He warned them about four times and they wouldn't shut up. They paid for tickets, stood in line to get in, got really good seats, and chose to talk to each other. They must really like talking to each other.
If it was a DVD recording, his exchanges with the talkers would probably have been part of the "special features." Unfortunately, CDs don't usually have special features.
The show was really funny, though. I'm glad I went.
The following joke caused Ms. Brick to actually slap my knee. Seriously. She slapped my knee:
"Earrings are just like sneezes. Two is okay, but ten is fucking annoying."
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Dancing with Tivo.
The first rule of Tivo is:
1. Always make sure "Dancing with the Stars" is first on the priority list.
Never forget that.
I actually did make sure that it first on the list, but sometime after that, I thought: "Hey, I've heard that 'Everybody Hates Chris' is a funny show, I should check it out." So I queued it up. When I did this, "Dancing with the Stars" got bumped from it's number one slot. I must have clicked "Record all episodes" instead of "Record all non-conflicting episodes."
"Everybody Hates Chris" and "Dancing with the Stars" come on at the same time.
I learned the sad reality of my mistake when Ms. Brick got home last Thursday.
Her: "You promised me you would record it!"
Me: "I'm sorry, honey."
Her: "You're a liar!"
Me: "I'm sorry, honey."
Her: "I want a divorce."
Okay, so it didn't go down exactly like that, and Ms. Brick was able to calmy accept that she wouldn't be able to see Jerry Rice and Master P make jackasses out of themselves on national TV that week. She sure has matured from her days of spazzing out like a two-year-old every time she doesn't get what she wants. If this had happened two years ago, she would have informed me, at the top of her lungs, that I would have to travel back in time and change the Tivo settings.
"Dancing with the Stars" is on again tonight. Unfortunately, I don't think Ms. Brick will get to see it again if she doesn't get home in time to watch it when it is on. You see, I don't actually have Tivo. I set up my computer to record TV shows and bought a little box that lets us watch the shows on the actual TV*. On Sunday my computer told me to go fuck myself. I was getting blue screens and random restarts, and it wouldn't boot properly every time.
Since then it has been sitting on the dining room table in various states of disassembly, with me backing shit up and deciding how I wanted to do things, as well as deciding how I wanted to back shit up.
As of Tuesday I had all of my data backed up. Wednesday I finally got the main drive partitioned and formatted how I wanted it, with a clean install of Windows XP.
But it is still far from being able to record TV shows. I might have to use the, what is it called again? The "V-C-R?" I'm not sure I remember how to use a "V-C-R."
I applaud Ms. Brick for her complete understanding in this matter, as well as her complete failure to ask me when I am going to clean the shit off the dining room table.
*In regards to the computer/Tivo thing. I didn't want to be bound by Tivo's terms and conditions, and I like doing dumb projects. I only had to spend about $200 on gear and $100 on software, as well as spend several hours installing and configuring shit on my computer to get it work. Also leaving the computer on 24/7 increases the power bill by about $10 a month. It ended up being way more expensive than Tivo. It is like buying the lifetime subscription, but choosing to pay the monthly bill anyway. Also, it doesn't work as well as Tivo and is harder to use, but I like to make things harder and less convenient and more expensive than they need to be. I'm fun like that.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I just went downstairs to the cafeteria to get a sandwich and the most peculiar thing happened.
After getting my lunch I was waiting for the elevator with about five other people. As the elevator arrived, another person who needed to go "up" got there. He took position closest to the elevator in front of us. I thought this was kind of rude. I don't know why I felt this way, because on the surface it doesn't seem like that big of deal, but as soon this guy walked up his actions pissed me off.
Although there is never a designated line for an elevator, I always thought standard operating procedure was to stand behind a group of individuals that has clearly been waiting for the elevator longer than you have, so that they might get onto the elevator first. But no, this guy took it upon himself to take first position.
As the doors to the elevator opened and people began filing out, this guy decided to hit the "Up" button.
"Nice move, jackass," I thought to myself. But I only thought this to myself, keep that in mind.
About 37 people got out. As soon as the elevator was empty, the doors began to close. It is not uncommon (in our building, at least), after many people have exited, for the elevator doors to start to close before anyone has a chance to get on. In this situation, it is the responsibility of the person standing closest to stick his arm in so the doors open again.
So what does this guy do? He just stood there and watched the doors close, and our ride left. It was a full nine seconds until another one arrived. Doesn't this guy understand proper elevator ettiquette? I guess not.
"How 'bout you just stand there and watch the doors close, jackass," I said.
That's right, I said. Somehow the thinking and speaking wires in my brain got crossed, and for those 3 seconds, everyone standing near me could read my mind.
It sure was an awkward elevator ride. I don't see how I could be so emotionally affected by this guy's complete lack of knowledge regarding proper elevator courtesy, as well as the nine seconds of my life he caused me to lose, that I spoke my thoughts instead of just thinking them.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I'm watching TV and a commercial comes on. We are are shown a dark house at night. It is raining outside. A nubile young woman is alone inside this house. Perhaps she is babysitting children that are sleeping upstairs. Perhaps she is simply alone in this house. The phone rings and she answers. She hears nothing but heavy breathing.
At this point I assume it is a commercial for car insurance or nachos, and as the attractive main character becomes more terrified I wait for the heavy breathing to inform her of the awesome 2-for-1 one deal going on at Del Taco, or that he just saved 15% or more on car insurance*.
Then another voice comes on the phone saying: "We have traced the call, it is coming from inside the house!" So I now assume this voice is going to inform our young protagonist of the awesome 2-for-1 one deal going on at Del Taco, or that he just saved 15% or more on car insurance*.
Then the commercial cuts to a title screen and a voice-over announces:
"When a Stranger Calls...opening Feb 3rd," and the commercial ends.
I was dumbfounded. They were fucking serious? It was a commercial for an actual movie called "When a Stranger Calls" and this actual movie is supposed to be scary? I don't know if it's a good sign if you make a movie that is supposed to be scary and people think the commercial for said movie is a joke. I know I'm not alone in this. I don't see how anyone could have watched that commercial and not think it was a joke.
Didn't the people who made this commercial realize this? Or is this what they were going for, kind of like a reverse bluff? Maybe some kind of beautiful irony was just created.
Instead of watching a commercial for a scary movie thinking: "Ooh, what kind of scary thing is this scary commercial for? What?! Haha! It's just a commercial for nachos! Hey Mom, it was a commercial for nachos! What a humorous way to make me aware of nachos. I want some nachos," we are watching a commercial thinking: "Okay, what kind of dumb joke is this and what are they selling? Huh? It's actually a commercial for a scary movie? That commercial did not end how I thought it would. How puzzling. I want some nachos."
Pure brilliance. Maybe.
That's all I have to say about the commercial for a movie that is probably crappy. However, I must say that the commercial certainly did it's job, as I have thought about the movie for an extended period of time. I have not gone so far as to actually consider seeing the movie, as it is probably crappy. However, I did go so far as to do some research and learned that this is a remake of a 1979 film by the same name. How original. I also learned the names of the actors because that knowledge might come in handy some day.
*What is the deal with that? "You could save 15% or more on car insurance." Why don't they just say: "We might be cheaper. We might not be. Please switch to us anyway." It makes about as much sense as: "50% of the time, it works every time." And how did they come up with 15%? Was that just some arbitrary figure they thought sounded good? Because in the sentence: "You could save 15% or more on car insurance," the "15%" pretty much means absolutely nothing. End.