Monday, February 28, 2005

Well, this weekend was really incredible, I have an awesome story to tell about saturday, but it's late, I was stuck at work and just got home at 11:30, I'd write it anyway if I didnt have school tomorrow, but bedtime is saying.. I dont have time. I'll do my monday post on tuesday.

Friday, February 25, 2005

After well over a year of development, Nubbs the alien is complete! Hurrah! Spent some time today putting lids on jars at the office since we ran out and they ordered a whole bunch more boxes, susan asked me to do it, only took me 30 minutes to do a palet 3 stacks high. Had a flow that let me work quickly. Got some school work that I'm going to get done tonight, a couple of tests for Intro to computers, and I have to be ready for my cout date on monday for not signaling a lane change. Meanie Cop. It's houston traffic, NOBODY signals. Signalling lets people know, and when they know, they try to block you.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Well, I'm finishing up my alien. Nubbs is finally getting feet, I only stopped long enough to type this while I remembered to do so. Later I'm going to go see Mike at IHOP. I missed school this morning because of rain and traffic, so I got a little extra sleep. Anyway, I might write more later, but I need to finish my alien.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Man, it's starting to feel cramped in this little office after I spent all day writing a letter to Chris. I'm going to print it out to send it to him tomorrow. It ended up being a full 10 pages long, I mean, wow. It took six hours to write, and after 6 hours of writting, places like this tend to feel a little claustrophobic. Anyway, in about 30 minutes, I'll be headed home where I'll eat a nice big meal, play some games and then go to bed in time to get up for school tomorrow.

I may even read more of Where the Pirates Are. That book is really awesome, I mean, wow, more children's books should just be so amazingly good that anyone can read them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Easy school today, finished reading through Act IV of Hamlet, turned out we were only supposed to read through Act II, and further, we read through I and II in class together, so I didn't even NEED to read that.

Anyway, I'm not feeeling too good right now, it's about time to go home, and I'm kind of hungry. I'll write more tomorrow.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Fairly short weekend. Spent friday evening with my mom till about 9:30 or so. We ate spaggetti, and I met the people living nearby that they spend time with. She gave me skittles for Valentines day, and I hugged her, and we talked about the Bible. I told her that I wasn't sure what to believe about whether or not heaven and hell existed, and that I didn't feel that the bible was clear on it, and that, if anything, it simply isn't mentioned in any place in the bible that cannot quite simply be considered to be metaphorical to the results of how you live your life. And most references to heaven are talking about the sky.

After that, I told her that I didn't think God meant for there to be peace on earth, and she really disagreed with that. She said, certainly not earthly peace. I pointed out that Jesus said he was going to turn brother against brother, and if he hasn't done anything else, history shows that the life of Jesus has most certainly been among the single greatest reasons that people have gone to war over. Moreover, I also pointed out, that people who don't struggle grow fat, people who don't ever go hungry know not what a joy it is to eat, and all life thrives when it's faced with adversity, whereas it stagnates and grows worthless and withers when it's not. Being confronted with challenges are as necessary to us and our souls as food and water to our bodies.

I also told her that even if I believed in Jesus, I didn't think that people had to know about him to be Godly people. Jesus said he was the way the truth and the light, but can't someone know Jesus in a metaphorical sense? I mean, Jesus says that he's an idea, and ideas aren't tied to physical objects, someone can understand what it means to be Jesus without ever knowing about Jesus, but when confronted by Jesus and his ideals, that person can immediately recognize a sympathy between the two concepts is to such a degree that he might as well have known about Jesus all along, for all along he was obeying Jesus' teachings without ever having heard them. Each and every person knows right from wrong in their hearts. You don't need the bible to tell you that murder is bad, or that it's not good to want things that you don't have.

God made us in his own image, and is inside every one of us. We can't escape that, regardless, and so, do we really need the bible? The bible helps, but I don't believe that it's the only way, especially considering that it's an incomplete collection of stories that lacks the compilation and addition of all other writings about that time period. It's a selective point of view writen by a relatively small number of philosophers.

I believe in the Jewish Torah, it is unabridged, and it is complete. And, I do believe in Jesus. The things that he says resonate with me as true, and I just don't see in his words the same things that everyone else says he says. I don't think God feels love. It's not that I think God can't, as I think God doesn't. John says "for God so loved the world", but that's JOHN... it's not Jesus, it's not God, it's a human interpretation. I think John may very well be wrong about that. God is unlimited. That's a statement that doesn't really mean much from a limited point of view.

I cannot make any definitive statements about God, because any limited statements are limiting, and as such, are wrong. Can God make a burito that's so hot that even he can't eat it? A rock so heavy that he can't lift it?

Such a question is meaningless from the point of view of an unlimited figure, it's a paradoxical statement, and unfortunately, the flaw is in the question, not in the lack of a correct answer. The questions fail to take into account WHAT God is, and HOW God works, and it begs concepts that work in relative measurements.

Anyway, after that I spent the rest of the evening cooking beer chili with Jake. When we were buying the ingredients for the chili I told Jake, "You're going to have to cut this, cause I wear contacts and you can't touch your eyes after you've been cutting habanero, so fair warning, after you cut the habanero, DONT touch your eyes, your nose, or even take a piss, it burns. " Jake looked at me and laughed and he said, "I'm not afraid. " I dropped it, I'm a jackass, I gave him his warning and that was that. So, Jake cut up the habanero for the chili and then halfway through the cooking and simering Jake reaches up and rubs his eye with his right hand, which only had secondary habanero that rubbed off his left hand.

Mind you, now, I warned him. He yanks his hand away from his eye and starts to groan in pain, "My eye! My EYE!" And I look at him and tell him, "I warned you. " Then, Jake does something brilliant, he reaches up with his LEFT hand to try to rub the habanero out of his eye... I guess that was the logic, I don't really know, but I guess I don't have to tell you, it didn't work. So I look at him and I said, "What did I tell you? " Oh, and believe me, he remembered it word for word and recited it through tear stained eyes, " DON'T touchn your eyes, your nose, or even take a piss, because that stuff BURNS. " And, being the jackass that I am, I had forgotten what he had actually said in response at the store, I remember things in paraphrases, I remembered he said something stupid, but exactly what it was escaped me, and so I asked, "And what did YOU say? "

Again, through tear blinded eyes, he cried, "I'm not afraid. " To which I replied, "uuuuh huh. "

Poor bastard. Anyway, so after that I told him not to wash his eyes, it would only spread the heat around, and that eye drops wouldnt work, and that the pain would go away soon enough if he just didn't mess with it. It may have felt like an eternity, but after awhile his eyes were all better, and good as new, and we were enjoying the chili. And so Jake learned his lesson.

On saturday I finished reading the Phantom toll booth and hung out with Mike, Jackson, Marcia, and Kayla at IHOP early in the evening, and then I went to Half Priced Books with Mike at nine. I bought a copy of a GURPS supplement, Undead, which should go really well with my Horror source book. Half Price Books has a whole BUNCH of GURPS sourcebooks and theyre all like 5- 10 dollars a piece instead of 20 or 30 that they are retail, it was really hard just buying one. After that, George met us at my house, and we hung out and discussed projects and operating systems until about 2 am, though mike went home around 12:30 or so.

On Sunday, Mike came over and we worked some on our project, and I finished my alien's hands and started working on giving him feet, and after Mike left, I started reading more Hamlet for class, I have to be through Act IV by tomorrow morning, and I think it's possible, only 40 more pages to go. I just finished Act II before I started writing this at 2:30, and that Act only took me an hour, and the next 2 are shorter.

After I finish with that I'm going to work on writing a letter to mail to Chris, who's letter I got last friday, and who is probably eagerly waiting for me to write back to him, and I do need to. I have an aweful lot to say, and it's tempting to do some cutting and pasting from here.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Well, I really don't know how to feel about this. I mean, certainly, in my heart, I know that Vampire: the Masquerade was the only RPG to be released on the PC in over a year, and by all means it was no slouch whatsoever. It was indeed awesome, and it did indeed let you do many things many ways. However, it was buggy, and there were enough points in the game that required you to be so weapon savvy, that it really left you feeling that by taking the sneaky way around instead of killing everyone, you were just being a nice guy.

In fact, all their games feel sort of half made. Lots of good things, but enough bad things that it solidly balances out. Interesting, that. So I guess the best way to sum up my feelings for that is to say that I'm half sad that they're probably going to close.

Which is half better than I feel about how close Interplay is to the brink, considering that there is nothing left of the Interplay I once knew aside from a name that evokes fond memories. Fond memories are perilous, and keeping them means not playing any of the new games from them, which is an interesting dilemma. I hope they at least stop ruining things I love and just start making things that are totally bad on their own merits.

As it happens, I am looking forward to this. Realism is an important thing to me. Enemies spawning and shooting me in the back from rooms that I have just cleared out are not fun, neither are unlimited respawning enemies when you have a limited supply of health and ammo available, and neither are enemies who are a perfect shot every time. Some of you may have guessed that I'm reffering to Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and perhaps agree with me. Here's hoping that Brothers in Arms does all the things that MoH didnt do out of fear of an M rating, and being a good game, and then some.

Speaking of the big double-double-you-too, I'm playing Silent Storm, a science fiction turn based strategy game that takes place during WWII. Gameplay-wise, it's the spiritual successor of the combat in X-COM: UFO Defense. All the improvements are fun, and the game is challenging, the characters are interesting and the gameplay is superb. If you enjoy X-COM at all, then this game is for you. Trust me, it's an underdog that necessitates playing. I'm not going to tell you anything about it, as I believe that whoever plays it will take their own deep joy in uncovering all the facets of the gameplay, and the detail in the environment.

Before that though, I downloaded and replayed through all of Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters. Truly an amazing game by any standard, despite it's age, it is a superb play. If you haven't you should definitely give it a try, and please don't be put off by the initial controls of the main ship. It's not old gameplay, it's because the ship is just a skeleton with only a few thrusters and turning jets, so it moves like a lumberjack on vikadin. It's ported code and it runs excellently on modern computers, though if you've never played before, you might want to look up the intro and ending sequences somewhere so that youre not lost when the game begins, and so that you know what happens when the game ends. Heck, just go and experience everything Star Control. Even Star Control I is a wicked game. Star Control 3 is really just good, not particularly exceptional, but after you love Star Control, you love it anyway.

Chris wrote me a letter, I want to say finally, but I can imagine it's been really really busy for him, and it has only been six weeks. We've been missing him, and it's cool to hear from him, I'm going to write him back ASAP, cause man, it sounds like he needs something to read, badly. Maybe I'll finish my novel and send it to him. That will kill him with boredom, most likely, but it will be something to read. He's missed a lot of things, like my new recipe for shrimp, and potatoes, and the experiments with deep frying, lots of stuff he would have really enjoyed to be here for. Plus, it sounds like he's going through candy withdrawl. No candy or sweet cake food stuffs for him. Gotta get him in peak physical condition. I'm surprised how low the physical reqs are for the PT test he's going to take, 31 pushups, 45 sit ups, and 2 miles in under 17 minutes. I can easily do the first two and I'm in pretty poor shape, and the second I could do if I pushed myself. I didnt have any problem doing a mile in 8 minutes in middle school, and I was not in better shape then.

Should be no problem at all for Chris, he's in awesome shape, maybe not the best he could be, but he's in very good shape.

Tonight I'm going to be spending time with my mom, tomorrow I'll be spending time with my dad, and between it all before the end of the weekend I'm going to read four acts of Hamlet and try out a new Mexican restaurant. I'm sure other stuff will happen, but I'll talk about that on monday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

When one contemplates a single grain of sand, what facet of its existence is to be considered first? Perhaps its shape, or maybe the way that it glistens in the light. It may be considered on the grounds of why it is worth considering. Sometimes I do wonder how significant a single grain of sand is in all the history of man. If such a grain of sand may have significance in something as grand as the history of man, perhaps the history of man may prove to be of actual importance to something as grand as the entire universe.

I like cheese.

So anyway... I finished Star Control 2 last night before I went to bed. Around about 2am I was tempted to quit, but I was so close ot the end I decided, what the hell, there's only one fight left. So I spent the next 30 minutes doing it right. At the end I noticed that Silicon Knights did some work on the game. In retrospect, if I'd known that, I wouldn't have been so surprised that Eternal Darkness rocked as hard as it did. I want to see more games with their work, they're awesome story crafters.

Speaking of story crafters, Obsidian Entertainment.... new kids on the block responsible for Knights of the Old Republic 2. Forced out the door early and cut short. However, what is done right, is done REALLY right to say the least. The first half of the game is deep, and the characters are spread out and each have much more interesting motivations and turns and facets. The main character has much more potential for depth than in the first game through conversations about your past. It blows the first game out of the water. The second half of the game.. is condensed into about 2 levels where it pretty much throws away everything you worked for. I mean, it wasn't totally disapointing, it could be called wide open for a sequel, except that isn't the half of it. It's SO wide open for the sequel, it's pretty clearly cut off in the middle of the story.

What they did with a one year development cycle though.. is amazing. It IS large enough to be a full game. And TONS of it IS satisfying. I can only imagine another six months or a year. These people are clearly dynamos with a yearning to be let out. I wish I cared about their next game. Since it's them, and since I like them, I'll give it a try, I think. I didn't like Neverwinter Nights though, and I don't see myself liking the second one.

Going to try a brand new restaurant tonight. Talk about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Played games and relaxed last night. Vday wasnt so bad this year, I liked it actually. Called my dad today to say happy vday. I was a day late... so sue me. Also turned in my Critical Analasys paper in English. Started reading Hamlet too. I've recently gotten a craving to rewatch the version by Castle Rock that came out in 1996 that was the best I've ever seen.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Long weekend, it felt like. Friday was pretty normal, spent friday night lounging around playing Star Contol 2, one of the greatest games ever made. Then, saturday.. I almost stayed home and played it all day long. But as it happened Mike messaged me on yahoo and said he was leaving right then and that he'd meet me at the store.

I could not in good concience let Mike just sit at the store for forever and wait for me while I played SC2, and so, I got up and ran out the door and drove to the store, ariving there a little late, and so my mind was made up for the day. A grilling was imminent. Shrimp Diablo on a bed of angel hair pasta. It was delicious. The recipe called for the shrimp to be devained but not peeled, however, next time I plan on peeling them. When theyre cooked theyre much more appealing and easier to eat if they're peeled. It was the biggest hitch of the evening, everyone said they should have been peeled. It was a fun joke to say that at least it felt like you had to work for your food, so that when you ate them, it was more rewarding.

They were very delicious, and more people showed up than I expected. Mike, Justin, Steve, Zac, Emily, George too. That's a fair number, though there were enough shrimp for more. I never see Justin anymore, and it was good to see Steve too, I havent actually seen him since Chris left. He says he got a one paragraph letter from Chris that didn't say much, except not to send cookies. They're contraband, and he could get in real trouble for it.

I can't believe after all the fun I had, that I even considered just playing SC2 all day.

Sunday night was spent at a Valentine's Banguet at one of Chuck's jobs. Got to see his routine, and eat some VERY exellent Itallian food and deserts. The act was funny, and it was a good evening. Then I got home, and played SC2 till 3 am, which I can't do tonight, because I have school tomorrow.

This morning Chuck got into a bit of an argument with me about the equality of cleaning up. I do my fair share, and he doesn't appreciate it. I feel like a Jackass because I have to broadcast everytime I clean anything or he wont notice it. He leaves the livingroom and the kitchen messy for days and sometimes a full week at a time, and 70% of the time when I'm cooking, I have to clean the kitchen before I can cook and I leave it cleaner than when I started. I don't always remember to do the dishes, but I take out the trash and I clean up the trash from all over the apartment. I'll pick up his stuff and put it in a neat pile in the livingroom sometimes, when I'm having company over. He says he feeds me and my friends. He offers to share his food, and if he feels that I'm not sharing enough food back, then he should stop sharing so that he's not a martyr. I share food with him WHENEVER I cook, or have any. The food I don't share with him? My last box of cereal I told him not to touch under any circumstances. Why? Because the last three boxes of cereal I bought.. I never got to eat a single bowl of because they disapeared in a single night of the munchies after he was smoking dope. Do I ever tell him not to eat my chips? No. My crackers? No. The last two batches of beef jerky that I made he got to eat a significant amount of, between an eith and a quarter. The second batch wasn't even mine to give. And he ate it anyway.

How much did I get from his last batch? Which was more than mine, btw. 1 piece. 1 lousy piece.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A bit late posting this... Thursday evening. Got my first colony ship in ogame, and it is rocking. Cashed last week's paycheck just in time. I'm living paycheck to paycheck now, no cushion. That means I'm losing money, more going out than coming in, and that is really bad. Taxes need to be taken care of still. At least I'm only a week away from my next check.

Got my first rough draft for my critical analysis paper in 30 minutes last night. That was fun, and it was passable too, even though I missed last class. Anyway, I'm going to go now, I need to do more work on my novel.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Spent most of today playing games, spent last night at my mom's house. She told me that she was moving away with Alan. I don't know how often I'll see her or even talk to her after that happens. I visit her every so often as it is, but if she's out of town. I don't travel well. I could end up going years without seeing her. That's hard to imagine. This could change me as a person. My perspective on people going away. It's never happened to me before.

Eventually it's going to be friends. I really dont like that.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Last night was interesting. The power went out at 8:30 and I had to spend the rest of the night without computer. It's funny, the power only took out the half of the apartment with the tvs and computers, so I was still able to cook, and had plenty of light available for reading. So that's what I did. Plenty of short stories from my english book, read carefully and slowly, and even got to the halfway point in the Phantom Tollbooth.

There are so many wonderful parts to that book, the whole thing is rather brilliant. I can easily see why it would get so many comparisons to Alice in Wonderland, but where Alice in Wonderland is an opium induced fantasy, the Phantom Tollbooth is a brilliant allegory about wisdom and reason and other important aspects to living life.

Missed school this morning cause my computer is my alarm, but power was back up at 10:45 just in time for me to check ogame and email before going to work.

Monday, February 07, 2005

This weekend was good. I grilled fajitas on saturday and had a very good time hanging out with all of my friends all day. I returned my cell phone saturday afternoon because of poor service and a broken phone, as of now I am still cell phone-less. I don't mind, I can make calls from work and I can use Chuck's phone when he's around. I need a phone, but it's not going to kill me to go just a little while without those abusive services. Sunday was spent reading for school, and playing games. In ogame I'm starting to get attacked, and I wish I had an alliance to take care of me.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Last night I stayed home, played games, did a little grocery shopping and decided that I am definitely going to cancel my Verizon contract because my phone doesn't work and there is no way to get the video or pictures off the phone without emailing them, which is abusive. So... goodbye verizon.

Today I haven't done much but work work work. I was busy till 4 today working with hot tar. Nasty stuff. Horrid in every way. I might grill tonight... or I might just fry up some stuffed peppers.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Not much to say today. I plan to do some writing, some reading of the phantom toll booth. Got the prompt for the paper I have to do for english on fiction, and what stories to do it for. Hung out last night at walmart.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

It has been a long long weekend. Vaccation as it happens, getting rid of a week's worth of time that I had left for the year. Didn't have anything special to do, but that doesn't mean I didn't do tons and enjoy (almost)every minute of it.

Things started off slow with wednesday, a day dedicated thoroughly to accomplishing nothing. Nothing at all. Not totally, I got my reading done for thursday and set my alarm and even played plenty of planetside. Thoroughly harmless activities ended in a nights sleep.

On thursday, my true tasks began, with waking up, 6:45 am, cleaning up and shipping out for school. Took the quiz, then packed up after the lecture and headed downtown to deliver the EPA sample from last month. From there, I went even further to south houston, mind you, I left school at 9:20, and dropping off the EPA sample took 5 minutes to get off highway 59, drop off the sample, and get right back on to head straight for the DPS office in southwest Houston. I did not arive at my final destination until 11:00 or so. I spent a good bit of time there waiting, though not as much as I might have, it was clear I was in an easy line and the place was far from full, so I must have picked a fair day and time, and eventually came to accomplish and reap the fruits of my labors and waiting. I payed off the fine for my driver's license, and renewed it so that I am now in possesion of a valid driver's license and all the privlidges of such. Namely, I can drive and not get arrested if I pull over.

After that I headed home, stopping only for a little bit of grocery shopping.

The rest of the day was spent reading, or with planetside, with one or two calls to my dad. I think I might have hung out at IHOP with everyone.

Friday was spent mostly in lethargic waiting, waking up late, and then eating late, and then heading to my dad's house and bringing his birthday present with me. I got there around 4:20 or so, just in time to help Mary Ellen move things around and clean out the upstairs to prepare for company for the weekend. Then, when they were both gone, I watched the food network until Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Karen got here for the weekend. It was great to see them, and I really enjoyed talking to them about everything they had been up to. (Dad didn't open his bday present because we were all opening presents that day, even though his bday had been last week)

We all ate soup that Mary Ellen made for dinner when both she and dad got back home. Presents were opened, dad and Mary Ellen got tons of dishes, and cups and very nice trinkets, I got some soup, and some chipotle peppers in a glass pepper grinder and a recipey book from Aunt Karen, and I got the Star Wars Trillogy on dvd, and a couple of books that I really wanted from grandma and grandpa. Everyone got something though, I got some dishes for Aunt Karen, artichoke styled, and a kangaroo for grandma, and for dad's birthday I got him some cookies(extremely fancy) and a case of the best hot chocolate I could find. He is a chocolate nut, I personally need other flavors mixed with my chocolate to make it palpatable. Then, when everyone was good and tired, I departed, around about 11 o'clock.

I stayed up late and didn't get back till 12:30 the next day. On the way I stopped to pick up a male male hose connector to let me bypass my heater core in my car. It was leaking and letting coolant in the cab. It's really cold all the time in my car now, but better that than breathing antifreeze all the time. When I got there, it was too hot to work on, and only Mary Ellen and Grandpa were there. We talked about maybe using my recipe book to do some cooking for dinner that evening and we ended up going to the grocery store when everyone was back at the house. We ended up buying the ingredients for cooking Shrim Diablo, rosemary roasted and skewered potatoes, and corn on the cob.

It was all awesome when it was finished. I'm going to cook the shrim again this weekend I think, and I'm going to put it on a bed of pasta instead of serving corn on the cob. I might even flambay it instead of grilling it, and do some deep frying of some other small recipes in conjunction with it, adding some rum so that I can light it up in a frying pan. The potatoes were really incredible, since we had fresh rosemary from the backyard, and we used it as skewers too so that it flavored the potatoes from the inside. From now on, when I want fresh rosemary, that was the first time I'd ever had rosemary, I'm going to jump my dad's fence with a pair of scissors and steal it from his backyard. As for the corn... it was good enough that Grandma wrote down the recipe I used for it, which was really simple, butter, black pepper, garlic, and ginger wrapped up in foil and grilled till the foil was darkened and seared.

Went home around ten that night, everyone was tired early, probably cause we ate so well. My dad and I had had a bit of a disagreement about me fixing my truck just as soon as we were starting cooking. I had to do it, and it had to be done before it got dark. We talked it over and we're all better now though.

I got there early enough to have breakfast with everyone the next day, even though I went to sleep at 3 a.m. I stayed for quite a while watching documentaries about star wars with dad after everybody left to go back to Dallas. I got my sister's telephone number and then I went to hang out with Mike, Marcia, and George for the rest of the evening at IHOP, and then George came to my apartment and we watched Star Wars docs.

Monday was spent sleeping mostly, and reading for school on Tuesday. Tuesday was spent getting rejected for title transfer for the truck from my boss to me. That will finally be taken care of later on this month, after a few other things are done, and then there was more card playing with Mike, Marcia, and George, and then George and I watched Return of the Jedi.

At around 3 am last night, I went to sleep and considered my vacation officially over. I loved it. I'd do it again if I could. Work will be nice though. I spent too much money on things like driver's licenses, books, and rent. I need to save.
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