Archive for March, 2005

Should We Blame It On Y2K?

Y2K Mistake?

At work today, we got our new petrol cards, which expire in 1008. Wait, what?

I Got Boinged!

Well, sort of. An update of mine made it. Check out the article in question.

In an interesting bit of coincidence, Kevin Fox also has an update listed. Long time ALLO readers may remember Kevin as the person who ran the original Cameo Project (now called Randompixel. His is decidedly more successful than mine was).

Friday Funday XXX

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

This week, however, I will be serving up a list of non-work safe links (save one) for you to, *ahem*, enjoy. Why am I doing this? Because it’s Friday Funday XXX, and that only comes along once.

Sublime Directory [del.icio.us]

More than just another porn site, Sublime Directory brings you a movie of the week and a picture of the day (both are usually pretty funny). And then there’s the porn. Lots and lots of free porn. Be sure to check out Sublime Thumbs as well.

Booble [del.icio.us]

In case you live under a rock, Boobs + Google = Booble. It’s exactly what you think it is (but not as cool as Google).

Post Your Beaver [del.icio.us]

On a site devoted to beavers, you wouldn’t expect to find very many snakes. Sadly (for some), that’s exactly what seems most prominent on this amateur pic post site. Get your exhibitionist (or voyeuristic) freak on and, er, give em a hand. *AHEM*

ErosBlog: The Sex Blog [del.icio.us]

A directory of sex-related blogs.

Paris Hilton Pics [del.icio.us]

Did you miss out on those pics of Paris Hilton that were nabbed from her cell phone? Fear not, here they are.

Adult Engrish [del.icio.us]

Laugh out loud funny, these Japanese porn magazine covers have hilarious phrases on them written in Engrish (yes, this link is WS).

Tigger Fucking Tickle-Me-Elmo [del.icio.us]

The only work safe link in the lot. An oldie, but a goodie.

Wow. Look at all that red. And on the eve of Easter weekend too. I’m going to Hell. Have a fun weekend. -)

Spring Break Part 3

Sunday morning. I had slept on the floor all night with a blanket that only half covered me. I’m surprised how good my back felt the next morning. I had always thought that sleeping on your back being good for you was an old wives’ tale, but my back felt great. I’ll have to try it again sometime.

Kris and I ran over to Safeway and bought a few things for breakfast, which when we came back, Lindy cooked. Breakfast wasn’t terribly exotic, but Lindy’s fruit-filled wheat pancakes were excellent.

The big caveat of the morning was that Kris was scheduled to go to work at eleven. Luckily, Kris works with some cool people and he was able to get the day off.

We went down to the Pike Place Market and wandered around for a bit. There’s a little piroshky joint down there called Piroshky, Piroshky. I had a beef and cheese piroshky that was =so= delicious. After I bought the piroshky, I wandered around near the shop and found a whole area of the building with cool shops that I had never known about.

Kris noticed some guys singing in front of the Starbucks next door, so we wandered over and listened to them sing. Kris pointed out that it was the first ever Starbucks and that the logo hadn’t been changed from it’s original form.

As we walked away, we were joking about how none of us could remember a time when those guys weren’t standing in front of that Starbucks and belting out some tune. Moments later we noticed a painting in the market of the Starbucks. The painting featured the singers, doing their thing.

We wandered around some more and checked out a few shops, but really there wasn’t a lot to do. We headed back to Kris and Lindy’s flat and hung out for a little while before Morah and I left.

In a brief lapse of foresight on my part, I didn’t think to get instructions from Google Maps as to how to get back to the freeway. Kris tried to explain it to me, but being a visual person, I wasn’t sure I would be able to follow his instructions.

We made it without any trouble, and so began our longest journey of the trip. In total, our driving time from Seattle to Spokane was about four hours, but we did stop in Northbend again for dinner. Of course, my mind wasn’t on dinner as we pulled off the freeway. I wanted to go back and look for that ENG mic. I wandered around on the onramp for a few minutes, but I couldn’t find the mic anywhere. I suspect whoever left it there realised their mistake and returned so as not to get fired.

And that’s about it. I had to go to work at six the next morning, but it was a relaxing and enjoyable holiday overall.

Spring Break Part 2

Saturday morning found us eating yet another too-large breakfast. We left Morah’s grandparent’s house rather full, which had me worried that I wouldn’t get to eat a ton of good Seattle food. It’s a real toss-up, since Morah’s gran’s food is also really good.

Before we left Yakima, I called Kris to let him know we were on our way. He told me that he had a day of food planned for us, which left me excited, but further fueled my fears of being full (how’s that alliteration for you?).

After another long, boring drive, we made it to Seattle.

Wait, before we got to Seattle, we stopped in North Bend (I don’t know where that is, either). The only reason we stopped there was to use the bathroom at the McDonald’s. As I was getting back on the freeway, I spotted an ENG microphone on the side of the onramp. I thought about pulling over and picking it up, but, for some dumb reason, I just kept driving. As soon as it was too late to pull over, I regretted not having done so. After all, even if the mic was no good anymore, at least I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life wondering about it!

Okay, back on track. So we got to Seattle. I was nervous about driving in the city because I’ve been there before and I’ve seen how people there drive. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do any driving downtown while we were there. The roads we were on were either residential roads, not-as-busy main roads, or the freeway. In fact, the traffic didn’t seem so bad this time. Then again, I haven’t seen it during rush hour on a weekday, so…

We made it to Kris and Lindy’s place without any trouble, courtesy of Google Maps. We arrived and got the grand tour (the building they live in is pretty cool and they have an awesome office “nook” thing). By this time, I was starting to get hungry again (somewhat to my surprise and much to my relief) and Kris suggested we head out to lunch.

We headed over to the international district and to a dim sum restaurant called Purple Dot Cafe. I’m glad that Kris knew how it worked, because I would have been completely lost. We sat down and I noticed that we were the only white people in the place.

The food started coming around immediately (yet another reason to love dim sum), so Kris and Lindy chose a few things that they knew were good. One of the things they chose was rice. The rice came wrapped in some kind of leaf (I don’t remember what it was. I’m sure Kris will post a comment and let us all know) and had a bit of meat in it. It was amazing. In fact, pretty much everything I ate was incredible. Considering how full I felt after breakfast, I was surprised at how much I was able to eat at lunch. We stuffed ourselves silly (I mean, damn! I thought I was full after breakfast, but this time I was fuller. Or something) and headed out to see the rest of the city.

On our way back to the car, we popped into a grocery store and bought Japanese food. I got wasabi doodles (crispy wasabi cracker things. A bit like wasabi flavoured arare) and Morah got Japanese gum and whistle candy. I was the only one of us who had ever seen whistle candy before (living in Hawaii tends to expose you to crap like that). Whistle candy looks a lot like Life Savers, except that the hole in the middle is smaller so that you can blow (or suck) air through it and make a whistling noise.

Yes, it is =very= annoying.

I had never been up the Space Needle before (at least, not that I’m aware of), so we went downtown and did that. At the top, they were having a wine tasting, so Kris, Morah and I partook. Lindy didn’t want to, but there were commemorative glasses and she wanted one of those. Kris paid the extra five dollars (the cost to taste two wines and take home a commemorative glass) and had a bit of a time explaining to the people working there that he only wanted the glass, not the wine that he paid for. The people seemed to have a hard time understanding that he didn’t want two more glasses of wine, he just wanted one more commemorative glass.

As it turns out, buying the glass for five dollars upstairs was a good idea. The exact same glass down in the gift shop was $6.95 and didn’t come with a two-glass wine tasting.

After the Space Needle, we went to the EMP and visited the Science Fiction Museum. It was pretty damn cool. There were props and costumes from films that I had seen. Seeing them up close and in person was, as a filmmaker myself, so damn cool.

We were pretty much just killing time until dinner, which wasn’t until nine o’clock. Kris had gotten reservations at a place called The Melting Pot. Now, I’ve always poo-pooed fondue, calling it “dead” and “dumb”. I felt rather like a hypocrite as we walked in and sat down. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fondue episode of That 70s Show, where the fondue party turns out to be a disaster, but Kris and Lindy assured me that I was in for a real treat.

Aaron, a friend of ours from film school, also joined us for dinner. I was glad to see him again and catch up on the fact that, since we last saw each other, not much had changed in our lives.

I could go on forever about how amazing the food was (appetizers of cheese, bread, fruits, and vegetables; a dinner that included stuff like beef, shrimp and lobster with about a zillion dipping sauces; dessert that had us dipping stuff like fruit, cheesecake, and brownies into hot, gooey chocolate), but I’ll spare you all the delicious, melty details. Suffice to say, I am now a fan of fondue.

The only downside to The Melting Pot is the price. The bill for Morah and I came to over $100 (I won’t say how much over, but not a lot). That’s just Morah and I. The entire bill was almost $300. Still, the food was amazing and there was a ton of it. So, once again, I was stuffed silly.

We all went back to Kris and Lindy’s flat and chatted until about two in the morning, when we decided that we had better get to sleep as Kris was supposed to go to work at eleven the next morning.

I’ll leave you with that for now. I’ll post part three (the last part) of my spring break story tomorrow. And Kris, if you’re reading this, don’t forget to tell us about the leaves at the dim sum place.

Spring Break Part 1

I was busy yesterday, which is why I didn’t tell you about my spring break. Today, however, I have nothing but time.

Morah and I managed to both get Thursday through Sunday off so we could relax. Four days doesn’t seem like much of a holiday, but when you only get two weeks of paid leave a year, every day off is its own holiday.

We decided early on in the planning stages that we wanted to get out of town and go… Anywhere else. Morah suggested that we visit her grandparents down in Yakima and I wanted to see Kris and Lindy in Seattle. We scheduled a trip that would allow for both and set off in search of adventure.

Adventure, it seems, contains a lot of driving. All told, we probably drove for a total of close to ten hours, which was boring as hell. Washington is a beautiful state, but I think the reason for that is because all of the roads go through ugly places.

We left Spokane an hour and a half later than I wanted to (*ahem* MORAH. That’s right, I’m looking at you) and, accordingly, got to Yakima about an hour and a half later than I wanted to. In fact, we =barely= made it to Yakima because neither of us had thought to stop at a petrol station before we left. I spent a fair portion of the drive into town coasting down the hill. Our first stop in Yakima was the first petrol station we saw. So we ended up making it, but the needle was sitting on empty.

Upon arrival at Morah’s grandparent’s house, Morah’s gran prepared lunch. Morah always tells me how, when you’re at her grandparent’s house, her gran won’t stop trying to feed you. Lunch was apparently small (but still filling, don’t get me wrong). We spent pretty much the rest of the afternoon sitting around talking.

One thing I managed to do was tune-up their computer. Her grandparents own a fairly old Dell computer that’s running Windows 98. Through a general lack of care (as a result of a lack of know-how; nothing to be ashamed of as her grandparents are significantly more computer proficient than most people their age), their computer had been bogged down to the point where even trying to delete a file required the better part of the afternoon (okay, okay, it wasn’t quite =that= bad).

It turns out that they only had 40% available system resources (!). Morah’s cousin had already installed AdAware, so I ran that, as well as a performing an error check and defragging the HDD. I noticed that there were a ton of programs running in the system tray, so I used MSConfig to turn off a lot of the non-essential processes.

After all was said and done (and the computer restarted), they were running at 80% system resources. Not too shabby. Not the greatest, but it’s not like they’re trying to render 3D video or anything.

That night we visited Morah’s aunt’s house (she also lives in Yakima and her new house was recently completed). We stayed only briefly before going home and having dinner. A huge dinner. My mum cooks about that much food when we have two or three extra people at table. This meal, however, was prepared for four people.

After dinner we played Mexican Train dominoes. I hadn’t ever played that version before, but it was almost exactly the same as the version I usually play, and I won the game by a fair margin.

The next morning we had Spambled eggs (you know, scrambled eggs with Spam in), toast, muffins, fruit, you name it. I prepared the eggs and everyone enjoyed them. The Spam I used had bacon in it. Did you know they make that? I sure didn’t until that morning. In fact, not only did I use the bacon Spam, but I fried the Spam in bacon grease. Mmm… Those were some damn good eggs.

After lunch (it was more of a brunch) we drove out to a couple of vineyards (in case you don’t know, Yakima valley wines are quite popular). The first vineyard we stopped at was Sagelands Winery. We tasted several of their wines, including a port. They were all pretty good, especially the Malbec.

Next we drove to the Windy Point Vineyards, which was the coolest winery ever. They had these really comfy chairs in front of a huge TV and big speakers, and the kitchen there rocked. Their wines were pretty good, though dry. Morah’s grandad bought a bottle, but I wasn’t as inspired.

After Windy Point, we decided we had better head out to the Dairy Gold Cheese Factory, which was the real reason we had headed out in that direction to begin with.

Morah told me that the Darigold factory had a huge sign on the side of the building facing the freeway that said, “Cheese Tours”. Sure enough, it did have a =huge= sign. We parked, ran inside, and were promptly disappointed.

I knew in advance that the tour would be self-guided, but I hadn’t realised how much it would suck. The entire tour takes place on the second floor in an L-shaped hallway. There were barely more than half a dozen windows through which you could see cheese “being made”. By being made, I mean doing its thing in huge vats where you couldn’t see the action, not that there would be much action to see (actually, what you would see is white liquid. Cheese in its original form is not yellow).

At the end of the hallway were a couple of windows that looked down onto some conveyor belt, which were running. There was even a worker turning knobs and pressing buttons, but no cheese. We must have stood by those windows for five to ten minutes waiting for anything to happen, but still, no cheese. We watched a (crappy) video about how the cheese is made, but no cheese was actually being made. One woman opened a couple of vats and did a few things, but that’s the most we saw.

What kind of cheese tour doesn’t show you any cheese?

After we loitered around upstairs for, oh, twenty or thirty minutes, we went back downstairs and wandered around the cafe/gift shop area. Now, you tell me, what kinds of things would expect to find in the gift shop of a cheese factory? Cheese related items? Dairy related items? Cow schwag? CHEESE? I would venture to say that only about ten to fifteen percent of the crap they were selling there fit into the above four categories. The rest of it was garbage that I can’t imagine anyone would actually want. Not much of it was cheese-related.

Worst of all was the cafe area. In my estimation, it would have taken one girl, two at the most, to run the cafe. There were four girls, however, and none of them were doing a damn thing. The cafe was dirty, the garbage needed to be emptied, the girls were extremely inattentive and none of them seemed motivated to do anything. At all. There were both food and garbage on the floor. It was a pretty lousy experience and we were all somewhat disappointed. Morah felt especially let down since she had been wanting to take the tour for years.

The night found us eating another huge dinner. We didn’t eat lunch on account of the fact that breakfast was so big and we ate it somewhat late in the morning. After dinner we played an interesting game that, while fun, required little skill and was mostly left up to chance.

One of the highlights of staying at Morah’s grandparent’s house is that they have two adorable cats. I’m not sure what kind of cats they are, but they have long hair and are so cute. One of them wasn’t terribly friendly (she seemed a bit dodgy about strange people, but I managed to get her to be okay with me to where I could pet her and she wouldn’t run away), but the other one loved me. She would come sit next to me on the floor whenever we were eating and loved to have me pet her. Morah’s grandparents suggested we take the cats home with us (what is it with everyone trying to dump their cats on us?), but, of course, we couldn’t.

They also have a dog, a chocolate lab, which Morah and I took for a walk. The dog does this funny trick where she perches on rocks and salivates while she waits for you to give her a treat. It was pretty funny to watch.

And that’s about it for Yakima. I’ll tell you about Seattle tomorrow.

Death and Cat

Be sure to check out my ill-conceived web-comic, Death and Cat.

Friday Funday Fix

I fixed the Friday Funday entry for 11 March. The missing image is missing no longer.

Hacking the Apple Store

So, Kris and I are here in the Apple Store in U-Village (I mean, I’m =literally= writing this in the store) and Kris just found a nifty little exploit. So here to explain it, is Kris:

I just wanted to show Thomas the Terminal app in OS X, but they removed it from the demo accounts on their machines. Simple fix: just restart the computer holding down Apple-S and BAM. Not only do you get to access Unix, but you also get ROOT access. Mwa. I wish I knew more deadly commands.

So yeah, Kris is 1337. That or the Apple Store employees are lamerz. Or both.

Friday Funday XXIX

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

Blink O Rama [del.icio.us]

A photoblog of celebrities caught “mid-blink”.

Web of Letters [del.icio.us]

Now a handy tool for making ransom notes via the Yahoo API. Be sure to check out this guy’s other tools.

amaztype [del.icio.us]

A funky Flash “utility” along the same ilk as the Web of Letters, except that this one uses Amazon Web Services to create an author/actor/director’s name using the books/music/videos they’ve made/appeared in (you get the idea). It’s pretty cool, if completely useless. Be sure to click on the individual titles to see more info about each one (a =very= cool feature).

andy46477 Leaves Hilarious eBay Feedback [del.icio.us]

And it seems like he doesn’t even complete most of the transactions. Sadly, he’s no longer a member, but his feeback lives on.

Plustech (A John Deere Company) [del.icio.us]

Okay, first person to buy me Plustech’s walking machine becomes my best friend for life. Be sure to check out the aptly named futuristic sketches.

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