Friday, November 14, 2014

Back in the Habit of Destroying Computers, Toilets

About a year ago, dontEATnachos traded me a computer in exchange for some professional services.*  This thing was pretty rad, and considerably better than my jury-rigged old dog from 2008.  I’ve already managed to break the new kid.  Twice.  I shall relate the story of the new kid in rhyme.**

My old dog still had XPpro, and basically worked, if you can excuse the graphics driver pulling shit fits fairly regularly.***  The hdd’s still had space, the graphics rendered at decent enough quality and framerates, and the processor rarely struggled.  My most recent purchase for this computer was Fallout: New Vegas, and that ran fine, even modded.  The problems were that I was getting some signs that the older of the two hdds was sick, and probably on it’s way to the great scrapyard in the sky,**** and that XP was soon to be left behind to history by Microsoft, while remaining in heavy use by damn near everyone.  I was thinking about saving up for a new machine, and at the rate I was being paid, I would have achieved the savings of a decent 2013-2014 machine by 2077.  Just in time to die, like the secondary hard drive.  Incidentally, the dying hard drive has been previously mentioned on this site.   The dying hard drive only holds…stuff, while the still good drive holds music and the OS.  The only important fact is that my music is safe, for now, and that dontEATnachos gave me a cool new computer.

The new kid is neat,
She has three feet.
The new kid plays games,
But not the bad kind of games that involve your feelings. The good kind of games like Dragon Age.
The new kid is light,
Not 780 pounds like this Alienware machine that I still haven’t fixed.
The new kid wears black,
You don’t give a jack.*****

That’s all the rhymes you’ll get out of me.  Back to the interminable saga about how I shouldn’t be allowed to own computers.

dontEATnachos had graciously included Dragon Age: Inquistion (with all DLC), Red Faction: Something, and a couple other games that I didn’t get to try.  The new kid had a better video card with a working driver, and a large pair of hard drives in a RAID.  The only thing the new kid didn’t have was a wireless internet adapter.  I didn’t need this for a while, I kept the new kid safe and secure by not allowing it to connect to the internet, and left my old dog to slowly gather dust as an internet machine.  Eventually, I got bored of switching from one computer to the other to look up information and tips for Dragon Age.  I thought about running a long cord to the router downstairs, but had to give up when I realized that shoving a wire through the gaps in the floorboards was probably not the best idea in case the landlord decided to visit.******  No problem, I’ll just use my wifi dingle dangle from my old dog.

This was the first mistake.  A couple days after installing the wifi dangle’s driver, the new kid crashed on startup without even blue-screening.  Just powered down like I had pulled the plug halfway through start up.   This kept happening with increasing frequency and sometimes the BSoD would flash on the screen for a brief moment. To get past this, I would just reboot the computer and it would usually work.  I might have to unplug the computer and hit the power to empty the cobwebs in the capacitors, but it would usually boot up fine after a crash or two.  After a couple months, I finally got a blue screen that stuck around and was able to write down the error code.

The error code indicated a wireless device driver was the source of the problem.  So I uninstalled the driver, and installed a brand new version of the driver that was only about three weeks old that was supposed to fix this exact problem with W7.  I rebooted the machine after installing, and that was the last time I was able to do anything on the new kid.  The boot process was completely borked and would not complete at all.  I tried a couple tricks, but nothing would work.  I ended up giving the new kid to the trusted IT contractor we use in my office with the specific instructions that he save the data on the drives before doing anything else.

You can guess what the first thing my guy did was.  After wiping the drives and attempting to get W7 to reinstall, he decided that the hard drives had been damaged in all the months of crashing and rebooting and power cycling.  He said that the RAID driver had also become corrupted and that was bad, as dontEATnachos had said it would be if it were to happen.  I only lost a few thousand words of several different stories, the most recent versions of those stories, and the games which were distracting me from those stories.

About five months after I surrendered the new kid to the tender mercies of my guy, he returned to me a working new kid with two new ssds with equivalent storage capacity, W7 Pro, and the full Office suite.  Shortly thereafter, I backed up my stories to the computer, installed ZoneAlarm, Minecraft, Steam, Fallout: New Vegas, the Orange Box, Goat Simulator*******, Fallout, and Fallout 2.  I was happy, I had my computer again, and I had a third safe place to work on and store my stories.  Or so I thought.

With only one month of successful usage and operation under her belt, the new kid crashed shortly after startup one day.  I rebooted and she worked just fine.  Then she crashed after I loaded a save game in Half-Life 2.  I rebooted and she worked just fine.  I thought it was just an oddity.  These incidents were just a hard crash to black when idling in Windows, and involved a video card stutter and total halt during game play.  Then she crashed during startup.  I started seeing blue screens, with a variety of errors.  Nothing seemed consistent, and everything was still plugged in on the inside of the new kid.  After consulting with dontEATnachos and another friendly professional, canadianLUMberjack, I’m guessing that the new kid’s power supply has died.  I’m wondering if the power strip she is plugged into is still good.  There’s a lamp on the same circuit that dims every now and then.  I’m not a forensic electrician, or any sort of electrician, but I’m moving new kid to a different outlet and power strip after I install the new power supply.

I’ll take pictures, I know you’re just dying to see those.

* Barter economy is the best economy.
** No, I won’t. Well, maybe.
*** Save early, save often, vault dwellers.
**** My dusty box of hard drives and other computer parts in the bottom of my closet.
***** Good enough.
****** I shouldn’t have been worried about this, that landlord was a slumlord.
******* Brilliant and ridiculous.  Absolutely wonderful.
******** You’re probably also wondering about the toilets thing, I’ll get pictures of that, too.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Where the fuck is fulsome while all this SCIENCE is happening?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still Alive

BTW, I haven’t forgotten about the blog. Just been really busy trying to get everything ready for my GF to head out into the field.

Once that’s all sorted in a few weeks, I’m going to try to start getting back into things here. I hope.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Don’t Call It a Comeback

So,  I don’t know if this means anything but I felt the urge to post again.  Not that I hadn’t thought to myself, “You should update that blog,” more than a few times in the past howeverlong.  For some reason today I’m actually doing something about it.

I have a few ideas for things to talk about again (not a ton mind you, but a few).  I’ve recently moved back from Wisconsin to the DC area (if you can call barely inside the Beltway the ‘DC area’).

Chuckles and I (and our respective girlfriends) have already caught a movie, gone to the Brickskeller and even talked about going to an Air Guitar competition.  It’s a bit like old times around here.  The difference of course being that I still have exactly the same job, have the same girlfriend, have exactly the same … wait I guess there’s not much difference from last time I was here.  Well, except that I miss cheese curds and Spotted Cow more than before I had lived in Wisconsin … oh, and I’ve got a cat now.

Anyway, not sure if I’m actually going to post more or if this is just one of those fake out, “Hey guys, I’m back!” posts that will exist in solitude and perpetuity after I never come back again.  But if more does come, that’ll be pretty cool.

Of course, I’ve got like a billion video games to play, a bunch of movies and TV to watch, books to read, actual work to do, and people to actually see so I guess we’ll just have to see.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens

I’ll try to keep the internal narrative to a minimum…

As the presumed recipient of a little recent advice about some unlooked for free time, I am trying to push forward and find some lemonade or maybe even a decent margarita.

Slightly related sidebar: There are a surprising number of categories on this blog about my somewhat erratic posting schedule

In my initial attempt to use up some of this free time, and the completion of the annual WRN never-in-one-place rendezvous — details as they are scrubbed free of any information that might out anyone’s jealously guarded cover IDs and memories float up from the blur of activity, allow me to describe the preview screening I saw last night.

A friend managed to get tickets to a preview screening of Monsters vs. Aliens (MvA) last night and agreed to share them with me if I would go sit in line so we could get decent seats. First off, I have to say the new polarized 3D glasses strike me as much better than the older options. Secondly, it’s been a long time since I have seen another 3D movie so the only thing I remember about them (and this may be wrong) was that the 3D experience was much more specific. Namely, that only certain items at certain times were really presented in 3D. With those caveats in place, I have to say that the 3D in this movie really impressed me. It was much more pervasive than I expected and it was done quite well.

Unrelated sidebar: I just watched the “Ultimate Game” episode of Dollhouse while procrastinating during the writing of this post and I was scared to realize that we already have a “Joss Whedon” tag and “Hunting the Ultimate Game”

Overall, I liked this movie. I am pretty much the target audience for the film. It has an inordinate amount of San Francisco scenes and includes voice acting from Will Arnett and Stephen Colbert, two of my favorite actors/comedians. I will admit that the film may be a little to California-centric. Set in Modesto and San Francisco with prominent mentions of the new Peoria, a.k.a Fresno, it really plays to those roots. It does feature a line that I think may well replace “by Grabthar’s Hammer” in my personal lexicon for at least the next six months but I am trying my hardest to refrain from uttering it for at least another week.

My largest annoyance stemmed from the fact that this is a family movie. A four-year-old kid behind spent about fifteen minutes of the movie throwing popcorn at me. That hindered my enjoyment and replaced the fact that it was pretty fun to sit through the first few minutes of the movie where they show-off the 3D magic and the kids gasp as asteroids and comets come ever closer.

The movie doesn’t quite approach the Pixar magic where every scene has some little hidden jewel but instead it feels like the dialogue tries to fill that role and almost every line is a reference to some other cultural moment — E.T., Godzilla, Arrested Development, possibly Peter Gunn — and the possibility for dissecting the dialogue and looking for other little buried treasure references to places in the Bay Area makes me far more likely to go see this movie again than I might expect.

To summarize, go see this movie if you want to see the sci-fi, kid-friendly version of Superbad. In fact, that is a good relation to my feelings for this movie. It has flaws; I wouldn’t give it more than 3 out of 5 stars but yet I will end up seeing it again because there are some superb moments that let the rest of the movie float by on the overall sense of fun and mischief. Also, I am still dying a little bit on the inside from trying not to ruin all of the one-liners while I still can.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moratoriums Enforced

I hereby declare a moratorium on my non-posting.  I also hereby declare a moratorium on using the names Jericho, Stone, Mike, Caine, Cain, Kayne, Valerie, Valeria, Lynch, Slade, Slaine, Slane, Hammer, or Thor for books and videogames.  They are being removed from circulation for an unspecified period of time to be no less than 100 years.

I hope you all like music reviews because I am working on a lot of those.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

blog blog blog

As may have been noticed, I’m not posting a lot.  I think that’s primarily related to the fact that here in beautiful Madison, WI we get 3-4 months of great weather and then it’s back to winter.  I’ve been busy trying to do some biking. Thanks to our amazing number of bike paths/lanes it’s really easy to go a different route every day and not be worried about getting killed by some cars.

I’ve also been busy trying to work through some more games (Stranglehold, MGS4, Blue Dragon) after having given up on GTA4.  That game is just too huge for me to make it through without taking a break.  I’ll probably go back to it this Fall as the weather starts to cool off.

Anywho, I guess I’ll try to update this more.  Chuckles keeps sending me emails asking what his password is so that he can make a post but then after I email it to him he never does.  Maybe he’s busy brushing up to retake his college entrance exams?  Word of advice, they added a horrible essay section to it so uh, it sucks way more to take now.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’ve got something lined up for tomorrow though.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Screw It, I’m Making a New Post

Ok, so it’s been a bit of a break here at WRN.  Fulsome has apparently given up the bloghost (I don’t even see him on GMail anymore) and Chuckles has got his commitments to freelance geniusing  so I guess it is up to me to Frankenstein this baby.

I’m sure part of the reason that Fuls gave up on the blog have to do with the non-rounded nature of the posts by some of us (me).  Part of this has to do with the fact that I don’t have the philosophy or science background that these other guys do.  I’m a programmer who likes video games and dumb movies, proving that I’m not actually as well rounded as these other guys.

Still, I guess I have my niche.  Besides posts about crap I want to buy (what have we covered so far in that category?  video games, tv’s, cell phones, pizza, oompa loompas, etc.) I talk about going the gym.  Since I haven’t been going to the gym lately, it’s been a little bit harder for me to post exciting stories at the YMCA.  Well, no longer hopefully.

In the past several weeks I’ve begun a campaign to return to regular YMCA visits.  My girlfriend has joined with me (Hint: that means no more hitting on me while I’m on the elliptical machine) and we’re going and having fun.  Now that the weather here in Wisconsin is getting nice enough to leave my apartment we should have some good times ahead.

I have gotten a little fat the past year and a half as I’ve tried to deal with moving, working from home, being a lazy bastard, and acquiring an obscenely large TV so (partially inspired by the blogging on 3Bulls! and partly as a desire to document either my success or failure), I may try to collect data samples about my progress in either losing weight or injuring myself at the gym.

Also, this YMCA I now go to may have different inspirational posters.   A full investigation will definitely be required.  So YMCA and Internet, take this as notice.  I (potentially) am not going to be ignoring you anymore.

P.S.  If this post is not followed up regularly for the next 3 months then this latest endeavor has resulted in failure and you’ll be more likely to find me on the PLAYSTATION Network as dontEATnachos or on Xbox Live as imSERIOUSguys.  With GTAIV coming out next week, you’re bound to find me on one of them so feel free to friend me, just mention WRN in the request.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The 2007 Halloween Costume Post That Probably Won’t Be Finished Until Well After Halloween

In an attempt to defibrillate this website that hopefully won’t be eaten by an internet tube snake, I present some shitty jokes about even shittier costumes. Don’t expect more than a couple jokes here as these costumes hang even lower than my prodigious gonads.

Halloween Express: I think these are the same people that sold the Dregolas costume last year with the dude that sorta looked like me. I still want to punch him in the nuts for that. I have had some really shitty jobs when I was poor but I have never sunk that fucking low. Modeling must be a tougher gig than I thought. The “Otis House of 1000 Corpses” costume reinforces my firm belief that Rob Zombie should be eaten by his namesake, sucky or sweet zombie, it doesn’t matter to me. “Cain the Vampire Tyrant” looks like it belongs in some goth’s fan fiction wank fest and the model seems to agree with me. These are supposed to be from classic horror movies but is House of 1000 Corpses really on the same level as Frankenstein or The Wolf Man? Is it even on the same level as Chucky? Oh god, I hope there isn’t a Chucky costume in the kid’s section.

The costumes in the Premium section look like they came off the set of the really shitty movies playing on the SciFi channel. The movies they don’t advertise. The lack of imagination in these costumes frightens me more than the “Out of Stock” symbols beneath some of them. What the hell is the difference between these two ghostly gents? They look like they walked off the set of the stupid episodes near the end of the original Battlestar Galactica series.

How about some misogyny? The Sexy Costumes – Fantasy ought to fulfill your yen for mind-numbingly pathetic costume ideas. The “Gold Digger” could have been called the “Bored Stripper”.

The “Cuddly Lion” will allow you to fit in at any anime convention for the next year, so it has versatility, but it will also attract people who want to have sex with you while wearing a giant bunny suit. Unless you enjoy being sodomized by the Easter Bunny, I recommend you avoid this one.

“Slave Princesses” would be better off shopping at Victoria’s Secret or Night Dreams and buying something that might survive your paramour’s grabbing hands. And by paramour, I mean every drunk guy at the party.

“Captain Booty” is probably the best costume idea ever and so clever. Did you know that pirates called their loot ‘booty’? I wonder how much digging it would take to get to her buried treasure? Depends on the size of your shovel. I had another joke about her chest but thought it was a little obvious.

“Princess” seems to have gotten herself confused with Snow White because I doubt she has ever seen the inside of a toadstool or been kidnapped by some sort of giant lizard-inventor-guy.

“Funky Cat” is actually better than Halle Berry’s Catwoman outfit which is no complement to this getup. If you want to be that one woman who wears the same costume as 47 other women in the bar, by all means, spend 45 hard earned dollars on this.

Ladies, unless you want me to hit on you until you punch me in the face, don’t buy “Indian Girl” or any of the other “indian”-themed costumes on that page. I may have said too much there.

“Bad Kitty” really says it all. The designer didn’t give a shit (and may have been forced to sit through that horrible movie) and the model wishes she had never left that job at Starbucks. I wouldn’t smile if I had to wear that either.

“Heidi Ho”, “Manhunter”, “Neverland Elf Chick”: The AG ICBM is being aimed at you as I type. Expect a firestorm of incoherent fury to land on you in approximately 90 seconds. I expect nothing but a large smoking crater after our patented Shenanigan-Class AG Warhead impacts your content factory.

As for the “300” page under Current Movies, Snyder should fucking sue.

Under TV & Movies – Men, we find a trove of trash, a heaping helping of hellish mediocrity. “Batman” looks more out of shape than Adam West. Joel Schumacher called and wants his dignity back.

“Wolverine” looks about as threatening as a goddam Lolcat.

“Miami Vice – Tubbs” explains where that career went. Compared to the rest of these costumes, this one is spot on. Compared to reality, he looks like a Little Richard impersonator with twice the sleaze and half the style.

“Hulk Muscle Chest”: Don’t forget the frontispiece. The head piece looks like an Original Series Klingon or a really lame Frankenstein painted green.

“Animal House Toga”: Are you fucking kidding me? 35 bucks? Jesus Titty Fucking Chocolate Christ. A quick trip to the Salvation Army or even your building’s laundry room would get you a white sheet and then rip out some English Ivy from some chump’s yard on your way to the party. If I see anybody wearing this costume, I will give my love a chicken with no bones. Or dance with their dates.

“Batman 1997”: This is the costume for flashers. I would expect to see someone wearing this costume when I glance down an alley. The pervert would then show me what his miserable parents gave him. I can already hear him snickering and giggling behind a dumpster while masturbating furiously. Dude, when it is chapped and bleeding, its time to stop.

“Superman Supreme”: If this is their idea of supreme, I’ll take the Burrito Normal, thanks. This costume looks as cheap and ill-fitting as the rest of the drek. It isn’t even bad enough to be supremely awful. Pathetic.

“Aragorn”: You got this one mixed up, morons. Dumbledore is the gay one and he isn’t even in the Lord of the Rings. Aragorn is the last descendant of Isildur and also many generations removed from Elros Tar-Minyatur. He is the bearer of Anduril forged from the shards of Narsil and wears the Ring of Barahir. He is the king of both Arnor and Gondor. He is a ranger and warrior without equal, not some mincing medieval muttonchop. Have some fucking respect.

“Captain America”: You forgot the bullet hole.

“Spongebob Squarepants”: I didn’t think they could top the 1997 Batman costume for sheer creepiness but this one screams pedophile. How can you market this one to adults? The model has taken the ‘Removable Pants’ option to another level and simply left the pants at home. Warning: If you wear this outside and are over the age of six, you will probably be arrested and given lessons in Good Touch/Bad Touch by the other residents of your stay at Hotel Drunk Tank.

Ooooo heynow. What the hell is this? Ummm. I’ll be right back.

Moving on to other websites:

American Apparel: I respect a person that does not take themselves too seriously, but these costumes seems to cheapen a company that I really want to like, even more than their deliciously porny newspaper ads. I mean, I love their ads and can’t wait for them to just give up and start publishing with Flynt Corp or whatever, but these costumes take the fun out of Halloween. When you’re a sexy office worker all year long, does being a sexy office worker on Halloween really count ladies?

Sorry I drifted off into the other shopping areas of the American Apparel site. I was only checking out the ladies clothing because I was gonna get something for someone. Or whatever.

There we have it folks, the Well Rounded Nerds Halloween Costume Roundup.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Costume Post Coming Up…

We have been diligently working on a flood of posts about various nerd shit sepcifically Halloween costumes, but in the meantime check out this creative use of the filth in a highway tunnel and the Man’s response:

Ok, well, I don’t know the fuck I am doing wrong here. I may also not know what the fuck I am doing at all, so the video won’t embed properly. It was a neat video about some dude drawing skulls in the dirt in the walls of a tunnel in Paris or some other European city. I could just make a link to the YouTube page, but I don’t feel like it.

[dontEATnachos adds:]

The WYSIWYG editor hoses up videos. Once you put the video in you have to not edit the post anymore. If you do need to edit it, you’ll have to delete out some junk from the old one and post the code again. I don’t know why WordPress does this.

Anyway, the video: