Annoyed Man’s Intersection

I’m waiting for the light to change at Huebner and 10, just at the leading edge of rush hour. I was going to a friend’s house to pick up my Rock Band drum set, as I had loaned it to him (much to the chagrin of his wife) while my 360 was out getting fixed. Anyways, I’m sitting at the light listening to music and BAM I get love-tapped from behind.

I check my rear-view mirror, and the other guy looks more upset than I am. We both turn on our blinkers and get out of our vehicles. According to the driver, his brakes went out. I don’t argue the point, but take a quick look and the Reliant looks okay. I feel fine, so I get the guy’s name and number, write down his license plate, and tell him that he’ll be hearing from me if something ends up being wrong with the car (I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine).

Funny thing is, this is the second time this has happened at the same intersection, though not at the same exact spot. Oh, well.


No Longer Hip To Be Square

I recently got upgraded to dual-monitors at work (the old tube kind, so don’t be too impressed) and it got me thinking that it would be really nice to have dual monitors at home as well, especially since they have become so inexpensive as of late. Curiosity in hand, I go browsing for a monitor to place aside my trusty Gateway 19-incher.

As I look around, I notice something…my monitor is an older “square” type (actually, its not REALLY a square because of the ratio, hence the quotes, but that’s my anal-retentive programmer side talking) and all the new ones are of the widescreen variety. Even the inexpensive ones are all widescreen now.

I abandoned the idea because it would just look weird to have a widescreen monitor sitting next to a square one…its bad enough the ones at work are of different sizes, the last thing I need is to screw up my eyes even more with different aspect ratios…

Of course, I could just buy one HUGE monitor instead…hmm.


Five Words…

I got the news today that I was not picked for a job I had interviewed for. I’ve gotten rejection letters and emails before, but I think this is the first time I’ve actually gotten called by someone to give me the bad news.

Frankly, I’m not sure its much better. The attempts to sugar-coat it and reassure me that “you would have gotten the position…BUT” don’t help soften the blow any…I just kept waiting for the HR gal to JUST SAY IT…JUST SAY IT and get it over with so I can spend the rest of the day second-guessing myself, and next few days being a grouchy jerk…just in time for the holiday, too.

Just spare me the BS and just say “You were not good enough.”


Packing on the Pixels

As if I need Wii Fit to give me a fresh reminder every day, I am a lot heavier that I should be right now. I am making some slow progress in turning that around, but even given the best of scenarios I will continue to be fat for the near future.

Yeah, I said it. FAT. Not “husky” or “big-boned” or any of that other baloney.

Thus, when I play games that have character creation, I like to make a character that looks somewhat like myself, and thus, I’ll kick up the ‘weight’ slider in an attempt to have my fat-assness reflected in game…but somewhere along the way, they stopped letting you create fat characters in games.

I first noticed this in one of the many flavors of The Sims; all of the characters are Ken and Barbie dolls with the heaviest one sporting just a slight pot belly. Disregarding my own situation, what if I wanted to create Santa Claus? There’s no P90X at the North Pole!

I was quite happy, then, to find that Guitar Hero:World Tour allowed me to present myself in all (and I mean all) of my 268-pound glory. I even have him doing the Elvis bit at the end of shows. Perhaps I will slim him up in the future if things go well, but until then I will be happy to see him stomping around the stage like Meat Loaf.

Thankyavurrymuch, Neversoft!


Death Notes…or “Those Damn Otaku”

“Death Note” is the name of a suspense manga series that was been adapted into a pair of live-action films. I learned from San Japan’s website that a special showing of “Death Note II” was scheduled for tonight at a local movie theater. I saw Metropolis on the big screen a few years back and enjoyed it immensely, returning for a second viewing the next week.

I am something of a casual anime and manga fan; I have a sprinkling of anime in my DVD collection, and a few manga sitting among the comic books. I went to the San Japan anime con a few months ago and except for the heat and crappy parking, I enjoyed myself. I was overjoyed to recently see Robot Carnival again for the first time in about twenty years, and think that our friends in Japan make some pretty cool stuff.

I figured, why not watch a live-action suspense film from the Land of The Rising Sun? While I’m not a big fan of the genre, I figured it would be a good way to burn a Thursday evening usually spent playing Rock Band (sorry, RavynX).

So I hopped into the Reliant and headed out to the theater across town, stopping for a quick burger on the way. I was surprised to see the price for the movie was $10, but hey, its a limited engagement and I don’t go to the movies very often, so why not? Of course, for all I know all movies are $10 here in San Antonio now…

Watching the movie, I learned why it was a limited engagement. While there was an interesting story at it core, it had a “Godzilla” quality to it that made it unintentionally funny. I may track down the anime or the manga to get a better idea of how the story should be told.

The experience itself was also ruined by a portion of the audience (the aforementioned otaku) many of whom insisted on making loud snarky comments throughout the movie and laughing and ooh-ing and aah-ing very loudly at certain points. It was like being at a kids’ movie; actually it was worse, considering there weren’t many kids in the audience. It was funny for about the first 10 minutes, but grated on me as it continued. If this was supposed to be something like watching the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” it should have been advertised as such. I paid to watch a movie, not Amateur Night at the Otaku Comedy Club.

Ironically, those who were looking forward to the movie the most ruined it for everyone else. More events like are needed to expose people to anime and manga and Japanese media, but I can’t see anyone ‘on the fence’ wanting to be associated with the otaku after sitting through their poor behavior tonight. I certainly would not want to be labeled as such.

I am still looking forward to future events related to Japanese media, but will think twice the next time Viz decides to come into town.


Agony of De-Notes, Part 2

Almost Got It
Originally uploaded by EdSoliz

I wouldn’t say I’m much of a perfectionist, but if I am playing a music game and I can smell that perfect 100% it just drives me bonkers when I come up just short. My longtime nemesis used to be “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in Karaoke Revolution, which I eventually conquered (well, on Medium difficulty, anyway). The current bane of my (gaming) existence is Jonathan Coulton’s “Skullcrusher Mountain.”

But I’ll get you, Mr. Coulton, AND YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO!

-maniacal laughter-


I Am Not Customer Service

Have you ever caught yourself in a store wearing the same color shirt as the employees? For example, going to Best Buy wearing a blue shirt, or Circuit City with a red shirt? It happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. Of course, this leads to people assuming I work at the store and asking for help. Since I happen to be Mr. Nice Guy, I will point them to where they need to go. After all, my poor choice of clothing isn’t their fault.

Today was just plain weird, though. I went to Target in order to buy a wedding gift for some friends that are going to be married next week. Of course, I first stopped at the customer service area in order to check the registry. I went behind one of the computers and started tapping away, thinking nothing of it. I am facing the inside of the store, and there is a wall that is about 3-1/2 feet high in front of me, and the monitor is peeking just above that wall.

As I am browsing, a woman walks up to the other side of the wall and asks me if I know where the optical department is…apparently she thought I was in the customer service department. I then explain that I do not think there is one in the store, but am not sure. At that point she realized her error, apologized profusely, and walked over to the REAL customer service desk.

I wasn’t even wearing a red shirt.



I’m something of a clean freak and this extends into the computer and video game worlds as well. I don’t like having extra crap lying around, so every time I saw that unused “Player 2” gamer profile on my Xbox 360 it gnawed at me. Well, in a fit of cleanliness, I finally decided to nuke the damn thing, and deleted MY OWN profile instead…all of my save games, gone to binary heaven…FARK!!



This started out as a look at my relationship (or the lack thereof) with alcohol, but that got tossed out in favor of some strange goings-on in Casa De Randomizer9 earlier this evening.

It started out as just another Saturday night, which meant videogames and doing stuff on the computer. After getting my head handed to me in Mercenaries 2 for a bit, I decided to fire up the ol’ PC and browse around the internets for a bit before going to bed.

All was well, I was working on the aforementioned alcohol-related blog entry, when I smelled what my instructors in junior college called “the smell of money.” This is the smell of melting insulation/wires/electronics, and if you are a repairperson, it means you are going to get PAID. Of course if you are the owner of the source of the smell then you will be doing the pay-ing.

RavynX has had some adventures with his machine as of late (i.e. it died) so the first thing that I did when that smell hit my nose was hit the Windows key followed by the “U” key twice. This shuts down my PC (I don’t need no steeenking mouse) and I hoped that whatever was getting ready to give out would hold it together long enough for me to shutdown.

Much to my relief, my PC shutdown properly, so I pulled the power cable and prepared to get a face full of blue smoke as I removed the two thumb-screws that held the case shut. Much to my surprise, there was no smoke to be found, and no obvious signs of blow-upage. I then started checking the various heat sinks (after grounding myself, of course) expecting to find one that was extra-hot to the touch. No dice. Next on my list of “how to find the piece that’s not working” was the ol’ smell test (also handy for determining the ‘wearability’ of clothes, well, for guys, at least). I catch faint wisps of the odor but nothing really stood out.

I figured I would power on the PC again…AFTER disconnecting my main hard drive and booting off the spare, which happens to have OSX on it (more on that later, or maybe not). There isn’t any important data on it, save for a Def Leppard CD I ripped as a test, so I figured if it went kablooey, I wouldn’t lose anything terribly important.

I pulled out my PC so that I could keep close to the power cable. That way, I could yank it out quickly if stuff started smoking, sizzling, sparking, or all of the above. I nervously pressed the power button. I then heard the usual sounds of the fans and drives spinning up, and then the POST beep. Everything looked normal on the screen…well as normal as it gets on a Hackintosh, anyway.

As I’m doing all of this, I keep smelling that smell…and I’m starting to wonder where it is really coming from. At times, the smell even seems to be getting stronger. The freak-out fire in my head isn’t burning yet, but the pilot light is definitely on. I initally dismiss it as the byproduct of opening up the PC’s case, but as time goes by, I am coming to the conclusion that the smell is not coming from the PC.

I then wander around the living area of my apartment smelling anything and everything electrical. Nothing. I disconnect the surge protector my TV and gaming consoles are plugged into and also the UPS. Nothing. I check the bedroom and bathroom. Still Nothing. Then a scary thought enters my head…what if there is a fire somewhere in the building?

I toss on a T-shirt and some shoes, and go outside. I pray that I don’t see smoke coming out of a neighbor’s apartment. I look around the building, and to my relief there is no smoke, no fire, and no smell, either. Bewildered, I go back inside and the smell just won’t go away. I’m getting a little sweaty as well…I check the thermostat. I had it set to 74 (yeah, I know, bad, bad Randomizer) but the temperature reads 75, and I notice that air conditioner is not running. I turn off the air-conditioner, and try to run the fan to circulate the air. Nothing.

I go to the bathroom and partially open up the access panel in the ceiling. Sure enough, I am greeted with a fresh whiff of that blue-smoke smell. Aw, damn, the A/C went out…I think to myself as the pieces fall into place. Curiously enough, I had asked that my air filter be changed a few weeks ago, and also earlier this week. I was assured that it would “only take a day or two.” I would have just bought one myself, but at my last apartment, they used some odd size that I couldn’t find in any stores, and as this one looked similar, I decided not to bother.

It looks like I’ll be calling the office in the morning. I’m not expecting any miracles, but hopefully they can have it fixed by the weekend, as I am expecting guests. There is a cool front coming in tomorrow night that will keep temps in the 80’s all week, so I guess if this is going to happen, this is a good time for it. Oh well.