Sunday, February 26, 2006


Missing: Three $100 bills

I can't for the life of me figure out what happened. I did a money check today because, for once, I actually had all of my cash on me. My paycheck, minus one car payment, one electricity payment, one pizza order, and one cookie order, did not equal what it should have. Friday was two days ago and I saw all of my paycheck cashed and counted right in front of me, but now I'm $300 short. I'm very meticulous about making sure I give out the right amount of cash when paying for stuff and I can even recall what type of bills were given for each transaction. I don't have the missing cash in my one safe-keeping spot at home. I don't remember anyone getting close enough in the last two days to pickpocket me, and if they were going to do that then why not take it all? That unfortunately means that I'm not going to be able to file the divorce paperwork like I was planning to do tomorrow, I can't take the car in for repairs on the half-broken power windows, and I'm not able to buy my ticket to the Ra concert until next paycheck. *sigh* The "why" and the "where" of the mystery just makes no sense, so I'm just left $300 short. =(

Thursday, February 23, 2006

New music

Maynard and the boys of Tool have been busy lately fine-tuning their latest album, and apparently it's in the final stages of production. The current rumors circulating are pointing to previews being done in small pubs in Europe, including this leaked article reviewing the album, which was pulled from its original website (but not before being recirculated). Looks like we'll be rocking on to another fresh hour of goodness from these guys in the next few months and it sounds like it was worth the five-year wait since Lateralus.

In other news, Ra, one of my all-time favorite (but sadly lesser-known) bands, is headlining a show on March 22nd at the Martini Ranch here in Scottsdale. Visit their band page here on MySpace. Listen to their music and love it. Show up at the concert and show your support to these guys. They make awesome music and they are not primarily in it for the money, but they have their hearts in their music and do it because they love it. Let's give them a massive turn-out at next month's concert!!

Currently listening to:
By Ra
Release date: 21 June, 2005

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sweet lust

For some, it's coffee or cappuccino or whatever the trendy thing of the day is at Starbucks. For others, it's a cigarette. For me, it's cookies. It's one of the first things you have in the morning to get your blood going and the brain cranking, and it's one long and grumpy morning without it.

I used to be able to buy a soft and massive cookie from the vending machine here at work for a buck, but for almost two weeks now they have been mysteriously absent. I fear the worst... they will never make a return, despite how well they sold. (This was probably in no small part due to my efforts.) So for almost two weeks now I have been fiending for cookies, and apparently my lust for the sweet has also made me a semi-celebrity up in Minnesota with the other half of our department despite none of them ever having met me.

So I've been having to settle for the occasional fresh-baked cookies from Subway when I get lunch there, or something else like S'mores Pop Tarts from the vending machine. Don't get me wrong, fresh Subway cookies are wonderful and so are Pop Tarts (except the strawberry ones), but nothing beats a humongous cookie first thing in the morning. Thank the gods for Fry's Food which had a box of massive fresh chocolate chip cookies on sale yesterday for $2.99 which has satiated my hunger temporarily. I have one more tempting me on my desk right now, so I hope they keep selling these as they normally haven't been carrying ones of this size at the one close to my apartment.

Viva la cookie!!

Currently listening to:
Operation: Mindcrime
By Queensrÿche
Release date: 03 May, 1988

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Surrounded but alone...

Even as a child, every year on Valentine's Day, I made my rounds and all of my teachers received a small box of chocolate candies. Regardless of their gender or how much I liked or hated the teacher, every one of them received a Valentine's Day gift every year from me.

Fast forward to real life after graduation, and the tradition continued only the recipients changed to those close to me (friends, girlfriends, wife). It's just been a generous tradition in my life since I was quite young to show your love and appreciation for those close to you on this day. Last year sucked, having just moved out and being completely broke meant nobody got anything.

This year in continuance of my tradition, six women in my life received mini-roses as a token of my appreciation for their hard work and help throughout the year. Valentine's Day doesn't have to necessarily be to show your love to your partner, it just made me happy to know that I had a positive effect on someone else's life by making them smile first thing in the morning.

I recently heard a saying that has been stuck in my mind for weeks: "Chivalry isn't dead." I'm hoping that my act of kindness has somehow managed to help rebuild some women's dreams and restore faith in the male half of the species. I've heard so many things from women lately that guys have done that just make me sick and downright embarrassed to be a man. Not all guys are selfish pricks with the single goal of getting in every beautiful woman's pants. But why do they still end up with all the girls and nice guys like me end up just friends and left all alone at home on Valentine's Day?

Currently listening to:
By Tristania
Release date: 01 February, 2005

Monday, February 13, 2006

Another year older

Well, my birthday is over and I'm now officially another year older. While it wasn't quite the big deal I was hoping it would be, it was definitely more than what I did last year... absolutely nothing. Big thanks go out to Manda for the idea, and much appreciation to her, Chris, and Tarmin for showing up at Chili's for some yummy food and conversation.  Yay, I feel loved, despite the small number of people that actually showed up, but I know lots of you guys have families or other plans and some weren't even in-state this weekend.  The person I was actually hoping to hear something from only disappointed me by staying typically silent... my father.

Yeah, the bum that left me and my mom before I was even a year old and hasn't played a part in my life at all ever.  Out of all the people here on MySpace, that was the last one I expected to find, but here he is.  It's eerie looking at his profile and seeing how much I have in common with the lazy bum, and trust me I've looked over it many times since I found it over a month ago.  It took me a month to finally decide to contact him and let him know that he is a grandfather now.  I suppose being a bit less abrasive in my message might have helped, but I expected at least some sort of reply, even if it was just as abrasive but all I got was silence instead.  My family always said to just forget about him and leave him alone, but I guess it's curiosity and human nature to want to at least try and make contact... guess I should have listened.

Well, it's the start of a whole new week, so I shouldn't let it get me down.  There's lots of hope and possibility, so here's hoping the fates are kind to me this week.  Happy Monday everyone.

Currently listening to:
By Tool
Release date: 15 May, 2001

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pizza Hut Cheese Bites Pizza

Meh. I think mine was a little bit overcooked, but even the kids didn't like it--they usually love to tear apart their food and play with it. I'll stick with my favorite Stuffed Crust Pizza instead. The Super Bowl commercials for it sucked, too.

Currently listening to:
The Black Halo
By Kamelot
Release date: 15 March, 2005

Stormreach impressions

Well, I was looking forward to playing in the stress test for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach this week. I managed to get signed up within the first ten minutes of the 2-hour window on Tuesday night, but waiting in line to download and the actual download of the client itself (1.5 gigs!) took about 3-4 hours, then another 10 minutes to unpack and install three gigabytes of game data.

Finally at about 1AM, I managed to see the title screen of the game show up on my box. After creating my character (an elven rogue, for those who care), I was taken through a neat intro to the game's mechanics by way of a few miniquests and training rooms. So far so good. Upon completion of this primer, I set sail on the ship that would take me to the real world of Stormreach where the full game takes place. The first place I was suggested to visit was the inn... *lockup* *grr* *reboot*.

I looked at the clock and realized it was already 3AM. Any game that could hold my attention that long without me realizing it must be pretty good, right? I logged back in, talked to the NPCs in the inn and received my first mission soon thereafter. I did a really quick run through the beginning of the quest to kill some zombies and skeletons to get back a set of daggers, and went back to the inn to recover before logging out... *lockup* *grr* *power off*.

So in total, of the nine times I've gone into the inn, only twice have I been able to keep playing without the game freezing, so that shot the whole experience down a big notch. The visuals are really nice with all kinds of fancy textures and models filling the world realistically with flashy stencil shadows and framebuffer effects generously thrown in--all of which my GeForce 6 series card and aging AMD Sempron 2400 handled quite well. Here and there, DM text appears to further enhance the experience to make it feel more like the pen-and-paper game accompanied by well-done voiceovers.

The bad? Well, aside from the frequent lockups in the abovementioned location, some busy areas make take a few moments to catch up and load all the other characters running around. Also, coming from a more console-oriented game experience, the controls were a bit awkward and the sheer amount of things you can do and have to keep track of seem to clutter the interface up. Running below the default resolution of 1024x768 also resulted in some dialogs and UI elements running offscreen.

I see lots of potential, and being that the game is still in beta for a few more weeks, it may improve even more. The spirit of the pen and paper game seems to have been maintained. Another nice thing that sets this game apart from the rest is that experience isn't awarded for killing everything in sight, but rather for achieving goals in quests. At the moment, I just don't have the time and money to spend on the game when the retail version hits shelves at the end of the month, but from my limited stint in the stress test, I'd want to wait a while for the experience to get smoothed out more (and maybe upgrade my system a little more). With the potential this game has, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for anyone already addicted to other MMORPGs, if your system can run it.

Currently playing:
Dungeons & Dragons Online: StormReach
By Atari
Release date: 28 February, 2006

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Random music notes

Random snippets of music-related stuff that caught my attention today:

  • 30 Seconds to Mars visits Phoenix on April 22nd, I picked up my ticket today for $18 at the box office
  • Vision Divine sneaked another release out late last year (The Perfect Machine) and I just found out. It's another awesome prog-metal album with some deep concepts behind the music. Check out the official lyrics and notes!
  • The ProgPower USA concert in Atlanta this September has four of my favorite metal bands playing: Vision Divine, Evergrey, Nevermore, and Epica (their first US concert!)... if it weren't $104 and all the way across the country, I would love to go, but alas...
  • Tarja, former lead singer of Nightwish, is being a sorry-ass bitch about the End of an Era DVD--get over it, you're just making yourself look desperate and angry!

And that's what's important to me today in the music world. =P

Not the mama!

Earl and Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs

Ah, this news brings back fond memories of good times. The wave of classic television shows being re-released on DVD doesn't show any signs of slowing, but at least an old favorite of mine has finally been selected for the digital treatment: Dinosaurs! How could you not love the award-winning muppet dinosaur family? Earl, Fran, Charlene, Robbie, and the baby are getting a second life on May 2nd with the 4-disc set full of both the first and second seasons thanks to Walt Disney Video. This one is going straight on to my "must buy" list!

Thursday, February 02, 2006



Just a quick (and late) post to wish fellow pagans a blessed Imbolc. (For those not in the know, here's a link to more info on the BBC website.)

The wheel of life continues its eternal cycle, but it sure feels from recent events that I'm being squished by a giant wheel... so here's hoping things settle down soon. I don't know how much more crap and drama I can take. ;)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Stargate Atlantis season finale thoughts

A few observations after watching the season 2 finale episode of Stargate Atlantis:

  • I still love this series more than SG1
  • McKay still has his remote at the end of the episode and will probably MacGuyver his way out of the cliffhanger using that in the season 3 premiere
  • They seriously need to give the show an extra half hour for the finales and premieres because the story is always so rushed and jumpy in just one hour
  • The Hive Queen had the coolest tattoo on her neck, but I get the feeling that there's more they aren't telling us because she was the least pale Wraith yet
  • Where is Lt. Ford? I figured he would be a guaranteed season finale character
  • Damn, have to wait until July for more...