Make no mistake about it, this site is still fairly heavily under construction. Broken links, half-finished pages, unappealing layouts are all telltale signs of work that still needs to be done. These pages use DHTML and Javascript so if something's not appearing correctly, it might not just be that I haven't finished working on it, it might also be that your browser doesn't support these languages.


News, Comments, Rants, Parole Violations, and such-and-such

New things will come here soon. Mainly pictures and albums, I've just been lazy about putting them up because I want to create a custom theme (I'm using the album Perl script that n00v used to use) but I haven't been able to find certain image that I need. Then you'll see the horror that is Pennsylvania.

My semiconductor physics professor (mistakenly) thinks I'm some sort of Unix guru. When asking if there was anyone who was running an operating system other than Windows, I naturally raised my hand. So, he got the Unix version of PISCES for me so I could run it on my Linux box. Of course, I didn't feel the need to mention to him that I *also* have a Windows system here. Then later on he asked if everyone was familiar with PSPICE. I said no, only HSPICE. He replied "Oh, right, you're the Unix guy, I should've guessed you'd know the command line version." However, speaking of my Windows box...

I had to reactivate Windows XP for the 3rd time this semester so far. "Significant hardware changes" my ass. Listen up folks, here's some advice that'll take you far: resist the urge to go legit. Don't buy an actual copy of Windows XP unless you never ever plan to change any of the hardware inside. I hereby encourage you to get an illegal copy, and if you need Service Pack 1, installed the cracked version. I only spent $40 on my legitimate copy of WinXP, and its the worst $40 I've ever spent.

Joe and I have determined that there are few things more painful in this world than calls from home. They call for no reason, they ask silly questions ("Are you eating?"), and they (mothers, mainly) continually remember questions they were going to ask you as the conversation goes on ("Oh, I just remembered what I was going to ask...are you eating? Are you sure? You're not forgetting?"). It is indeed a strange ritual.

My greatest victory this week? Acquiring 2 for 1 swiss cake rolls. w00w00. Last week's was scoring 2 for 1 deals on rotisserie chickens. I am content, though I'm doing more work than anticipated for a school where I'm arguably one of the smartest people in at least 2 out of my 3 classes. For those who recall my miraculous 30-minute 100 in Fontaine's DSP class, I pulled off a similar feat in a surprisingly easy circuits test by finishing a half-hour test in under 10 minutes with a perfect score. The scary part was that other grad students were still hurriedly scribbling down answers eve as the professor was collecting the papers. I'm not sure what breeds incompetence in Pennsylvania, but I'm hoping I don't catch it.

It's been made apparent to me from various sources that the peasants with torches are demanding I get off my lazy ass and finish my Appalachian Trail journal. I'll work on it in bits and pieces in the coming weeks (yes, I have my journal with me here), but the final details will have to wait until a monkey gives me the guides and topo maps over spring break (in about a month). Yes, we've all heard that tale before, but this time I plan to make sure he doesn't forget them, lest an unfortunate fate befall his bananas.

I'd been meaning to do an update sooner, but my network connection has been too fickle. You see, I got this lovely notice a week ago:

1st Limit Violation for Downloading Activity - 56K restriction until Saturday
You have exceeded the 1.5 gigabyte weekly download limit (to sources outside of the psu.edu domain) and are in violation of the Residence Hall Network Connection Acceptable Use Policy.
This is your first violation and your Network Connection speed has been restricted to 56Kbs (kilobits per second) until Saturday at midnight.

So, I guess downloading those three RedHat ISOs (~700 MB each) wasn't a good idea. In other news, the weather continues to freak me out here. I walk out of class, and I'm greeting with hail pelting me. Yes, it's hail, not show; snow doesn't BOUNCE. But by the time I get back to my apartment 10 minutes later, it's just a collecting of large, slowly falling snow. And I do mean large, each chunk was about the size of the tip of my pinky. I can't figure out whether the weather changes that quickly here, or if different parts of the campus are experiencing different results.

John (because I know you're reading this) you should come down here and be my lab partner again. These insolent fool-boys are, well, fools. One class I'm taking is an elective for 4th year EE students, but it's also an acceptable class for grad students. It's linear circuit design, and I figured it'd be an easy thing to take. Except for the lab portion. I got teamed up with this one whining little simp who makes labs go even slower than they normally do. "Oh no, these results for the BJT and MOS current mirrors are about the same! The MOS setup is supposed to be better. I'd better go ask the TA about this." No, little maggot, you should shut up, write down the numbers, and move on. It's even worse because the TA for the class can barely speak English, yet he insists on "briefing" us about the lab, which is just him reading off the instructional sheets we all have. We're not allowed to work on the lab while he's "teaching", so it's a wasted 30-40 minutes sitting there listening to him struggle to pronounce simple words.

As a closing note, I've begun to toy with the album Perl script that the n00v uses on his site (or used to) for photos. Once I get a suitable theme done, I'll start using it to finish out certain parts of the site that have gone ignored (My Rig, anyone?).

The Windows box is alive and running again. w00t say I! 9 hours of stability testing under Prime95 has convinced me it's rock-solid again. Yes, I did do the Atlantic City thing last weekend. I didn't take pictures of the actual event because they'd look pretty similar to last year's. I did take a photo of myself with that certain someone who accompanied me, but I dare not embarrass the poor girl by linking the picture here. Don't get me wrong, SHE has nothing to be ashamed of - except the spaz standing next to her.

So my Windows system is temporarily out of commission. I, uh, did bad things to the processor. It's all good though, I should be up and running early next week again. I wouldn't have been doing anything much with it this weekend anyhow, as I'm heading back to Jersey to attend a martial arts banquet with a lovely lady.

I'm about to demand that it never snow again in PA. I've had enough. Between this weather and cable, I have little reason to go outside right now. Go out into the freezing, windy cold, or stay inside and watch Knight Rider? We got a "severe weather alert" - a wind chill advisory for the weekend. Apparently it's frostbite season out here. Ah well. I might have pictures from the Atlantic City trip, if I don't forget the camera.

Some useful info, some ranting. First, more on the folks in this odd state. I've finally seen some "people", if you can call them that, cross the road when no cars are around, even if the red hand is telling them not to. But even so, they RUN across like they've just committed a crime, or are ashamed of their actions. For cryin' out loud, THERE ARE NO CARS AROUND. They also seem to have this freakish resistance to the weather. It'll be in the 'teens outside (weather.com will say "feels like 6 degrees" when they really should say "feels like DON'T GO OUTSIDE") with the wind blowing, and they'll be wearing nothing but a sweatshirt or a light jacket. WTF? Who ARE these people? My nose is about to fall off, I'm all bundled up, and they're dressed like their body temperature ISN'T 90 degrees above what they're currently walking through.

Enough of that. At the prodding of the n00v, I've acquired a little domain for my FTP purposes, so anyone who wants to FTP into my Linux box won't have to remember my IP address. If you don't have an account on my server but want to putz around, just let me know. All my illicit files (videos and replays, for example) can be found by FTPing into spidey.homelinux.net.

Yes, I've been in PA for a while now. Why no updates? So many things come to mind that I want to point out. When I think about them all, I get intimidated and lazy, deciding I'd rather not do all that writing. I've taken a few pictures, and one movie (no sound) of my apartment. Actually, the pictures are just of my bedroom, the whole apartment is significantly larger. Anyhow, you can find it all here, since with the above-mentioned laziness kicking in, I didn't feel like making any sort of page or interface for it. And, yes, Hydro is an important part of the room. It'll take me a while to fully rant about Pennsylvania, so I'll just start with a few things:

  • People are too damned timid here. They refuse to cross the street even if there are no cars coming.
  • As with any school that's located in the middle of nowhere, I've found, as someone put it, "a hotbed of incompetence" with the computer tech people. They were stopped in their tracks when I was trying to get my network connection set up and told them I was running Linux. They couldn't even tell me how to enter my IP, gateway, and DNS info - even though I know how to do it (I'm running Linux, c'mon, I'd HOPE I could do that), it's apparently part of their routine to walk me through it, regardless.
  • At orientation the professor went out of his way to point out that they don't have anyone who specializes in VLSI right now, and they're "looking for someone". Well, that's great, considering I'll be needing an advisor and my intended focus is analog circuit design. Yeah, for all those folks who thought I was going to stick with signal processing, I changed my mind. So there.
  • Proof that I'm in the land that the world ignores? I have this wall-mounted clock that adjusts itself periodically by remotely syncing up with an atomic clock server. Up until today, it insisted that it was -:-- January 1st. That's right, it took four, count 'em, FOUR days to acquire the proper time. Whenever I've taken this clock to a new location, it synced up in less than 15 minutes.

There's much, much more, but again, the laziness, and blah blah blah. WHY IS IT SO COLD HERE!?

Almost time to ship out to Pennsylvania. In the meantime, I thought maybe you'd find this as amusing as I did. I noticed several hits on my site were as a result of searching for "violated girls pix". Needless to say, I was a little curious. I searched with this string through Google and discovered something interesting. First off, the result is for my LAN Party Pix page where I talk about girls being there and fire hazards being violated. Secondly, my site comes up on the very FIRST page of the search results, and not only that, I'm the only non-porn site result. w00t say I, w00t say I indeed. Or something.

Stop sending pages from your cursed Microlab systems. I'll destroy you Farhan. My completion of the trail journal rests on what the monkey can send my way.

Visited Ari's lovely abode yesterday, as did Joe. We cowered in fear of his freaky lamps (my dad later informed me that my grandmother had the same touch-activated lamps - I was unaware) and his farm of monitors. We talked, we laughed, we smirked, we ate lunch. Afterwards we headed over to a local pub for drinking where we encountered a frightening old woman who was literally dumping hundreds of dollars into some electronic card game machines. And these weren't even the types of machines that paid out - they specifically say "for amusement purposes only" on the front. Ari successfully destroyed two of the flies that seemed interested in our Guinness, while I simply caught one and let it go. When we were each ready to go our separate ways, we discovered the best, and really only useful, purpose of Bud Light: a doorstop. After driving through part of what Ari goes through each time he heads to work, I think he must be very dedicated...or crazy. Either way.

HELP ME. I think I gamed too much. I just looked out the window, which has a wire screen in front of it, and my first thought when seeing the house on the other side of the street was "man, I can see the pixels. Need a better resolution."

Various things celebrating the day of my birth have almost now concluded. I started out by heading over to another of Shawn's wicked LAN parties Saturday night and playing, almost literally, until the sun came up. After some heavy sleep I resumed my b-day shtuff, which included getting a free carwash. OooOOoooh. Tonight finishes up with a viewing of The Two Towers. I'm probably the only person in the western hemisphere that hasn't seen it yet. Info and pix from the LAN party is up in the LAN area of the site.

And, lest you all forget:

When you want to flash the BIOS, you will meet a lot of inevitable situation. For example: Out of electronic power temporary will cause the failure updated , and can not boot the system again.


Prevent to be hurty by the sharp I/O shield, please MUST wear glove before you want to install the shield into your chassis.

(from a packet label in my motherboard package - go Epox)

BestBuy has so many great things that I need. Last week I picked up that GeForce4. This week I got a woman there. Is there anything they don't have for me?

So Black Friday has passed. I managed to snag the GF4 4200 128MB deal at BestBuy, something everyone wanted but few actually got. My nForce2 motherboard should be here Monday, Tuesday at the latest. Then I shall be in possession of a r0><0r gaming rig again. S'more work on the site might come soon, should I feel like it. A small (OK, not THAT small) Warcraft III rant of mine has been written.

For those of you wanting to do the Staples deal I mentioned just below, if you don't end up getting the rebate printed at the register for some reason, you can take care of it here. "Gorge yourselves, you...moochers!"

What's better than 'crafting? 'crafting on a projector. 1 | 2 | 3 First one is with a flash, to show you the surroundings - the latter two are taken without any flash. Toss in a cordless, optical mouse (the MX700, to be precise) and pledge your life to Ner'zhul. Zug zug.

Run, don't walk, to your nearest Staples! They have the Cendyne 32x12x40x CD burner on clearance for $39.50. There's a $50 mail-in rebate that's good until the end of the year, which will print out when you purchase it. Don't be daunted by the $79.99 price tag on the shelf - if you're unsure, ask someone who works there to scan it for you to check the price. From the Anandtech forums, it's clear that this is going on nation-wide, not just a local store that happened to go insane on its pricing. I just acquired one for myself not 10 minutes ago - this is NOT available online at Staples.com, in-store only. GO!

The beginnings of the karate pages are up. Navigation menu has been tweaked. Junk yard coming.

I finished the transcripts and layout of the Quake 2 sounds area. My "For Sale" page will soon be up as well. In the meantime, I'm looking over the membership benefits of being in PETA - People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.

So, no updates for the longest time because my main system has been down (motherboard slowly died, likely because of the overclocking I put 'er through). Since the nForce2 mobos are just now coming out, I figured I'd wait until a good stream of them came in so I could nab one instead of settling for another VIA chipset. In the meantime, I've been playing with my Linux box that has been sitting on the sidelines for the longest time. I've gotten it functioning pretty well, and I'm rather amazed at just how much one can do with Linux. I even spent a bit of $$ to stick a 15,000 RPM SCSI drive in there. Hey, if it's going to be my server, I'll make sure it can handle it!

My War3 skills have leveled off because playing the game from a 4 GB 5400 RPM drive with a TNT Vanta card for video support doesn't let you handle much micro'ing in large games. Or, anything with more than 4 units on the screen. I've been getting ready for Penn State in the meantime, trying to land a research assistanceship so I don't have to teach (questionable). As for this site itself, I haven't been updating because it requires doing old-school FTPs with changes done in a text editor. I can handle that, but saving directly to the server with FrontPage was just so much easier. So can now stop bugging me to update the site.

On a related note, I'll be finishing my online trail journal soon. Nothing's been touched since August 28th, IIRC. When I snag the topo maps and trail guides from the Monkey, I'll have the resources I need to fill the holes in my accounts and have a readable story online. More people than I knew have been on me to finish this part of the site, and it should be done before I head off to Pennsylvania. Until then, find something else to read. At the very least, I fixed the bug with non-IE browsers in the navigation menu. I think I'll be replacing that menu soon anyhow.

n00v and I went into the city today to sit in on a Siegel class, and chat a bit with him afterwards. We followed that up with lunch at McSorley's. As we were well into our burgers and about done with our first rounds, Tom came in. He seemed glad to see us and heartily shook our hands. A few minutes later he returned with another round for each of us, and shook our hands again. I thought that was damned awesome since we were about to ask for another, but hadn't just yet. When we were done and asked how much our tab was, it became clear that Tom had given us that round on the house. Unfortunately he wasn't there anymore so we couldn't thank him, but, hell, his presence alone had made my day - this just clinched it.

If there is a title higher than The Man, Tom definitely has it.

n00v felt the need to point out to me that if you search for "wtc towers light memorial" on Google, his picture and site come up as the 7th or so result. If he thought it was neat enough to point out to me, I suppose it's neat enough to mention here.

As I pointed out to him, though, if you search for "wtc towers light memorial staten island ferry", it comes up FIRST. Not that anyone would likely do that, but, still.

She is mine, and we are very happy together. Took a bit of work to get her so cheap, though.

BTW, I saw John Valentine at WorkOutWorld if that means anything to any Mets fans. I personally didn't much care one way or the other.

Why won't it stop raining?

By this time tomorrow, she will be mine. My precious.

Maxtor has sent out my replacement drive, should be here Monday. Rock.

Hope to finish off the design on the Quake II area before the weekend is over. Trail journal will have more in it soon as well.

For those who ask "Why didn't you troubleshoot your system?" - I did, and every time I tried to rule out a cause, the results seemed to indicate something else was the culprit: a device I had previously ruled out. My train of thought went in order something like this:

  • My drive cables are damaged.

  • My hard drives are faulty.

  • My motherboard has gone bad.

  • The latest BIOS is causing this.

  • My memory is defective.

  • My motherboard has gone bad.

  • My soundcard is on the blink.

  • My motherboard has gone bad.

  • My RAID controller is shot.

  • My Windows CD is damaged.

  • My drivers need updating.

  • My motherboard has gone bad.

  • My system is possessed.

  • Farhan did this.

  • I wonder how many licks it takes to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

Just today one of the drives in my RAID setup failed Maxtor's diagnostic test, so I'm having it RMA'd. Hopefully this was the root of my problems. If not, well, spoony.

No updates for a while because my system has been unstable ever since I did a fresh install of WinXP. I blame Farhan.

Went to a martial arts banquet last Saturday. As always, food is bad, company is good, and we get to laugh at something. Jason Franks, the original Green Power Ranger, was there. Why? No clue. He didn't get an award or anything. It's fun to see has-beens weaseling into these martial arts conventions, trying to get some recognition.

By the way, you all know that lawyer from Seinfield, Jackie Chiles? Picture him without the glasses, doing martial arts. Yeah, that's right, he's a big gung-ho martial artist. I see him yearly at the Atlantic City banquet in January. Very very odd.

Warcraft 3 is like an abusive relationship. Some days I'll have a really bad string of luck. For example, yesterday, my system, for who-knows-what-reason, decided to blue screen twice on me when a game was starting up. That's two losses for me, and even worse, my opponents had lower levels than me, so I lost more experience than usual. I go for a third game after running ScanDisk and I get matched up against a human. Midway into the game he assaults me with a huge army. I move my shade deeper into his base and see that he's using the farm glitch that Blizzard has fessed up to and promised to fix in 1.03. Well hell.

So I tell myself I'm just gonna play team games with my friends, no more of this 1v1 ladder crap. But then I get tempted. It calls to me. My army wants to destroy things. They want me to lead them to victory, outmaneuvering the opponent and outsmarting him. I give in and play a match - and what a match it is. "Aw, I can't stay mad at you." Thus, I'm tempted to return to my regular game or two a day, despite my earlier denouncement of 1v1 matches.

Baby, why you gotta make me hit you?

OK, it's ranting time again. This time I'm pissed. I went onto B.net this afternoon to find a ladder game to play. First two were match-ups against much lower levels (4 and 6, I believe), and they quit the game almost right away. Sure, I got the wins, but it wasn't any fun. I went again and this time got matched up against another level 10 player. I checked his stats and he was 31-5. Not quite as good as my 34-3, but I knew I'd have a challenge on my hands which would be good.

The game began, and when my first troop went out to hunt with my hero, I ran into the other guy. Since he had only his demon hunter and 3 archers, I killed everything. Early lead for me - I figured this was a very good thing considering his record. Continued hunting and some odd lag showed up. I didn't get the screen "waiting for players...", it just slowed down and stopped for a while. I could still select and hotkey things, and even chat, but nothing else was moving. He said "weird lag". At that point I began to wonder - this guy didn't seem that good, he let his hero die without portaling out. There's no way he could have that kind of record; unless his name, "Gamekiller" meant something I suspected but hoped it didn't.

The game resumed after a few seconds. He attacked my expansion, but it held. He also sent a ballista to my main, which my goblin lumber harvester destroyed. He attacked my expansion *again*, and I held him off. At this point I used a Crystal Ball I had to peek where I had seen him hunting before - he was building an expansion. I had acquired a Goblin Zeppelin so I loaded my small army in there and flew down to it. Just as I was doing so, he attacked my main. Thankfully he had to go slowly since I had a few Spirit Towers - he sent his lone ballista to try and weaken me up. Gave me just the time I needed - I dropped in his expansion and began attacking his Tree of Life. His army retreated from my main and ran to the other side of the map, as he had already used his Town Portal scroll to retreat from one of the assaults on my expansion. In the time it took him to get down there, I had almost killed his Tree of Life. Just as he showed up, I put my hero back into the Zeppelin (who was quite low on health, as the Tree had been attacking back) and sped him away while my two remaining ghouls and a necromancer finished off the tree. The tree died JUST before my last ghoul did - the timing was absolutely beautiful. It was a surgical strike against an expansion the likes of which not only had I never accomplished before, it was one I'd never *seen* before, period. Now I was set. I'd had my second expansion going the entire time and I was ready with fully upgraded abominations and necromancers, set to storm his base. He had not only lost many things during this time, but he didn't have an expansion giving him money. I was ready to finish this game and claim another victory - one I was proud of, at that.

And then the lag began again. I knew it. That's how this guy acquired so many victories - he'd force a disconnection on the other person. I sat at the non-moving screen for about 20 seconds, then got a message "you were disconnected". I couldn't even save the replay because of it, so I have little grounds for reporting him to Blizzard. Another loss on my record for no good reason. As soon as I hit "Quit Game", I logged back onto B.net and whispered to him that he was a pathetic little man who couldn't ever win a match legitimately so he had to force disconnections on people. He told me that I shouldn't get upset at him just because my system sucks. HA. Anyone who remotely knows me is aware of the fact that my system will pretty much own anything these little War3 twits play on, but hell if I'd waste time explaining it to him. Now, I know this has happened before, but I figured with the last round of CD-key lockouts people would learn their lesson and go do something else. Apparently not.

I have very little motivation to return to playing WC3 on B.net. Damn it, I'm good at this game. Exceedingly good. I don't say that about a game very often - hell, I don't remember *ever* saying that before. I wanted to be able to prove it to people I know by saying "Hey, look at my record!" I wanted to see how I fared against good players - the ones who know what they're doing, not just newbies who are still amazed by the fact that ghouls can somehow beat grunts. If anyone has any ideas for me, encouraging or not, please lemme know ( ). Yeah, wah wah wah, I'm complaining about "just" a game, but that's not the point. This is something I enjoy, and you can't tell me not to be upset when people purposely go and ruin something I like "just because".

Somebody feel like buying back part of my childhood for me?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...wait, no, it ain't gonna happen. Certainly not in Warcraft III. Human players have been recently trying a rogue Gryphon-based strategy that threw me for a loop the first time I encountered it. Every counter I thought of was shot down. But yesterday it came to me - and as if to tell me I was doing the right thing, the first player I got matched up with today was a human who I saw was rushing to gryphons.

I started pumping Gargoyles. In the immortal words of Peter Venkman: "We came, we saw, we kicked its ASS." Goodnight sweet prince. May you SUCK IT.

No updates for a few days, system has been down as I've been reinstalling XP. I got to hit up a sick LAN party on Friday - Shawn, our gracious host, put had his residence turned into the single biggest fire hazard on the east coast and was sucking current out of his outlets like crazy. It was good to be around people who appreciated good hardware and a well-built system. Through it all I learned a few things.

  • I cannot land a damned helicopter in Operation Flashpoint for the life of me. It's better for me to just eject and land on the island while sacrificing the chopper. Who knew landing a helicopter was complicated?
  • Similarly, when piloting a ship to an island, it's best not to ram up the shore at full speed and attempt to jump out. Surprisingly you end up DYING.
  • If you're playing the Black Hawk Down mission for OpFlash, and a man with no weapons comes running up to you seemingly flailing for help, do not shoot him. That would be bad. JerryO ended our mission by filling the pilot with lead.
  • If you do anything that results in you dying before the mission even gets underway, expect to be beaten down by people because you're forcing them to sit through the opening sequence again. We were nice that evening, but other people might not be.
  • Dell designs their cases with intricate locking mechanisms to keep even the most stalwart of souls from penetrating them. These damned things are like puzzles - which isn't much help when you're trying to fix someone's system. I really don't need more reasons to kill that Dell kid, but they keep coming.
  • When at a LAN party and the action dies down, don't be thwarted! Go online and find friends from college to play Warcraft III with. The gaming MUST GO ON.
  • Discussing the differences between NTFS and FAT file systems is a sure way to get bitches.

Of course, what good are words without some pixx0rs to accompany them?

One last comment: who comes to my site by searching for "joe's crab shack drinks fishbowl" on Google?

Ah, the warm, sweet sensation I get when my nose bleeds. How I've missed you. Good fights, good fights.

In other news, my constant shock at how stupid people are continues to grow.

There are few things in this world lamer than selling your Warcraft III ladder account. A person who would buy them is one I can think of. All of you out there will have to let me know if there's something even lamer, because I can't really think of any off the top of my head. I shouldn't even need to describe why this is, by far, the stupidest attempt at making money from online gaming. If you have any questions, please, let me know ( , of course).

I have a feeling this item will be a lengthy one, but with reason. I need to vent about people's ignorance, arrogance, and overall stupidity.

I was watching the door at the dojo after teaching my second class of the day - making sure none of the runts scoot outside without a parent. After most of the parents and kids have left, an unagreeable old woman comes up to me and asks if I was the one teaching class today. I told her I was. She then asked me if I was the one teaching last Monday too. I told her I was. She proceeded to tell me:

"Well, then there's a problem. My boy said that both days the instructor wasn't nice to him and he wasn't enjoying himself."

At this point Shihan overheard what was being said and came over, asking "What do you mean?"

She replied, "It must be a personality conflict, he must not like my boy. It has to be with this teacher."

I tried to explain to Shihan what had been going on. You see, the kid was either terribly undisciplined or slightly retarded - I honestly couldn't tell. He was about 12 or so. His misbehavior was one thing, I dealt with that the way I normally do. But when I had them all sit down and try jumping front kicks one at a time, he would always make fun of any kid that messed up. He'd call them stupid and such - yell it at them, really. When he wasn't doing that, he was just screaming at the top of his lungs. Not screaming, really, but an overly forced laugh that sounded like a howl. I was angry - who the hell was he to insult other kids as they were trying to do this? I told him to be quiet and fold his legs. I didn't want to hear a peep out of him until it was his turn. Five more times in the span of 14 minutes I had tell him that again. The last time I told him he was the loudest one in the dojo, and that I wasn't going to tolerate any more. I promised him repercussions if he acted up again. He just stared at me silently until the end of class.

Anyhow, like I said, I began to explain this to Shihan, but he cut me off right away. "No, Gene, stop. You don't have to justify yourself to me. That's the last thing I'd ever ask." He then turned to the old woman. "This guy's been with me since God-knows-when, he's one of my very best instructors. With all the children he's been teaching through the years, if there's a problem with your kid, it's his fault, not Gene's."

"Well, he didn't have a problem with the Saturday class. It has to just be this instructor," she stated.

At this point the kid ran into the building and yelled to me "I'm gonna punch you in the mouth!", and ran out.

"No, it's not," Shihan told her. "We have a set of rules here, he has to follow them. We're not going to make exceptions; he plays by our rules, not his."

I had to chime in at this point. "He was picking on other kids and making fun of them when they were trying to get a technique down, and wouldn't stop when I told him to. That is one thing I will NOT tolerate."

"I mentioned this to you before," she said to Shihan. "He's a special case."

"Special case or not, he obeys the same set of rules that everyone else does. I'm not going to give him lenience to do as he pleases in my dojo, especially when it involves doing things to other kids."

She threw her hands up and headed for the door. Just before she left, she turned and said "Well, you just lost yourself two students. Too bad."

He very literally laughed at her. "You think that's a bad thing to me? You think I'm so hard up for students that I'll be upset if a troublemaker leaves? You're doing me a favor!" She left, and I could only laugh. His is, after all, the largest martial arts school on the east coast.

Shihan then turned to me and told me that he had problems with HER before, not just the kid. She was making trouble (he didn't specify what kind) with some other parents in the observation part of the dojo.

The parents in the area were telling me that they stood behind me and that they couldn't believe that woman. I wasn't surprised by their reaction, but it was nice, anyway.

Bill came in for the next class and I told him he always misses the good stuff. I related the entire tale and he was upset that he missed it, because he had a few choice words for her as well. Shihan then came over and asked me what exactly happened out there. I told him, and he blinked at me. "That's it?" he asked. I nodded. "Oh, I thought you at least punished him. You know, put him in a corner or something."

"No," I told him. "I wanted to do a helluva lot more, but he was with the other kids throughout the entire class."

"In fact," I continued, with a smile, "I think I might wanna start coming in to teach on that Saturday morning class he's in."

"You know what, I think you should," he answered. We weren't sure if the old woman's threat to remove her children was an idle one or not, but if she was just full of shit, which is highly probable, I want to be there next time she is. Most parents stay during the class to watch what their kids are doing - she doesn't. Then she has the right to complain about how the brat is being handled? Why even bring him into a martial arts studio in the first place? If you're not seeking to get discipline into your kid, then what?

At the end of the third class, as I was watching the door again, a guy came up and introduced himself as one of the kid's parents. He told me that I handle the kids very well, at which point Bill snuck up and said, laughing, "That's not what I heard!"

Go Gene! Go Gene!

Went on Battle.net tonight for my first Warcraft III round against another live human being. We were both undead and, well, it was an interesting battle. A very memorable experience for my first real fight. If you're the curious kind, you can check out the replay. It's entertaining - he turns tail and leaves the game as soon as my Dreadlord hits level 6. I guess he doesn't like Infernals. Yes, I was a lamer for not noticing that tower, but I was focused on the creeps at the time.

I'm now listed on B.net, however temporarily. It's been a good day. First I get to give two new, hot girls some private lessons at the dojo, now this. Everyday should be this good to me!

Update: The link I posted earlier to a cheap Warcraft III here is now at $19.95 +$5.95 shipping! Good lord. Deal is good only two days, won't be able to get it at this price after the 19th unless they rerun this sale. I know a few people who want but still haven't bought this game, so, gorge yourselves.

A moment of silence, please, as the boys are no longer mine. May they be happy at the reptile zoo.

In other news, I have met my arch-nemesis. Her name is Zoe, and she is 4 years old.

7: Take the I-280 exit- exit number 145- towards NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE/THE ORANGES/NEWARK/HARRISON. 0.34 miles
8: Keep LEFT at the fork in the ramp. 0.14 miles
9: Keep LEFT at the fork in the ramp. 0.36 miles
10: Keep LEFT at the fork in the ramp. 0.21 miles


I love MapQuest. Of course, I'm not the first to complain about Internet driving directions.

HA HA HA. I told a credit card company that I was "self-employed" and they gave me a $7,200 credit line. I don't need anything remotely that large, but, I now I get to laugh every time I see my statement. I can say 'so long' to my crappy $500 MasterCard.

Anyone feel like buying a 52" plasma flat-screen TV with me and returning it in a week?

I want my MP5. I need to shoot people (just friends of course). A mini roadtrip to Delaware to pick up Airsoft equipment was enough to get me wanting for my own AEG and get going with everyone else. However, I had to pump my own gas. I'm a spoiled Jersey boy, the attendants are supposed to do it for me! BTW, the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo is honestly better than I thought it'd be, but not by much. I mean, how much can you do to a standard first-person shooter?

You find some very interesting things when looking for case modding equipment. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to...caffeinated soap! You know you've been looking for this.

People at karate were making fun of a fella who works at BestBuy, and one of them related something he heard an employee tell a customer. "See, this monitor has .28 dot pitch, and this one has .29 dot pitch, that means it has more dots and the picture looks better." Good lord. I suppose it works out in the end though: stupid, ignorant employees sell things to stupid, ignorant customers. As long as they let me do pricematching without taking rebates into account, I'm fine with it.

The girls...they have more poles than zeroes! Get it? Get it? Oh, hell, where are the Cooper people when I need them? Next I'll be describing a certain girl's tendencies using a Smith chart. Is it possible to go through dork withdrawal symptoms?

Well this is just silly. I can't believe this law passed, however temporary it may be. Check this out. All I can say is, I won't be going to Greece anytime soon.


"What is this crap? I get sick looking at you people. Your form is so bad it makes me want to vomit. It's starting to look like Tiger Schulman's in here."


"I'm going to install these spacers between your teeth. You'll feel pressure and they'll be uncomfortable. Why am I doing this? I had an unhappy childhood and now I like to inflict pain on others."

It's not very pretty right now, but here, I found a bunch of old recordings from freshman year. They were almost all done in secret while we played Quake 2 over the dorm's network. Many of the files speak for themselves. I'll spruce the page up a bit later. I can almost guarantee you it's worth your time to listen to them.

A woman has recently begun toying with my mind. Nothing new there.

n00v bought an iPod. Weak little man! His response: "STFU SAMPFAG"

BTW, for those of you who need it, NothingButSoftware has Warcraft III for $24.95 plus shipping! ($5.95 for shipping in most cases)

I want my Marui M4A1!

O Bash 2002 was last night (and this morning). So many notable moments. Sequence of events from my view of the party took place as follows:

  • Arrive at Jerry O's, immediately start drinking Heinekens. Jerry goes around to all neighbors and informs them that a band will be playing in his backyard and promises there won't be any noise past 10. Discuss Airsoft guns with GQ, worry about it raining on the band, prompt BJ to steal Craig's parking space.
  • Band decides to brave it out and play outside. GQ enlists me to help handle security and keep the peace during the party. Meantime, Bill & Shawn show up, I catch up on things with Bill and inform all of my imminent joining in their Airsoft endeavors. The disease is spreading, as Jerry O puts it. Was disappointed to find out, though, that the old houses in Edison are being torn down. Field play is still doable, but no indoor action. Hopes held out for a fellow getting permission for us to play in an old, large abandoned factory. r0><0r!
  • Bill, GQ and I make ourselves screwdrivers rather than focus on beer. GQ suggests another bottle of vodka and some cranberry juice to go with it - I second the idea, seeing as the two kegs are Coors Light and Bud (yes, I have been spoiled by McSorley's). We hit up the local liquor store - man working the register asks GQ for ID, but says he doesn't need to see mine, pointing to the Detective Sergeant card in my wallet. I'm not sure if he thought that was my name on the card or what, but, was amusing nonetheless. We proceed to Pathmark to get the cranberry juice, where we invite the cashier girl to the party.
  • We return, people slowly start filtering in, half an hour later the band warms up. Twenty minutes later the cops show up because neighbors (not the local ones, ones from two blocks down) are apparently complaining about the noise. Cops are incredibly chill about it, saying such things as "We understand - you're about a 15 right now, just bring it to a 10." "What band is that? They're really good." "Yeah, it's Saturday night on Labor Day Weekend and those people are bitching - they're anal."
  • Band plays (exceedingly well I might add) two songs, cops arrive again half an hour later. They say they don't want to, and they understand the situation, but if they have to return a third time they'll be issuing summonses. At that point the band is sadly told they can't play anymore.
  • A while later, BJ presents JO with a proposition - let them jam in the basement. He doesn't care if anyone is there to see/hear them, he just really, really wants to jam. All of them went through the trouble of bringing all their equipment over and, understandably, want to use it. BJ states that if the noise is more audible outside than the stereo system that's currently playing to fill in the music-deprived void, the band will stop. Shawn, being as loyal as he is to JO and not wanting him to get into trouble, advises against it. JO decides to let the band have a shot - we listen from outside and it's definitely workable. The band plays on, and they play well.
  • Hours pass with mingling and partying inside - beer pong is the game of choice. I stick Tacquitos in the oven for the requisite 10 minutes after letting it preheat, but some still come out cold in the middle. I had already put them on plates and placed them out, so I wasn't about to reheat them - people could deal with it. About 60 bodies are at the party at one point. JO stays outside to make sure everyone stays INside - no boisterous activity is needed at this point. I head in and out of the basement, listening to the band play. At one point outside Bill's sister is hitting him for his claim to hit on her friend. I step in to defend him and she punches me a few times in the stomach, but soon ceases saying "It's no fun to hit you, your abs are too hard." Ha.
  • I hang out in the basement for a while with a few people as the band clears out their equipment (to keep it safe, last song they played finished at 11:20). BJ does an honorable thing and brings us all beer, though he drops mine. He was even good enough to get a replacement. Talk of ordering from Domino's is circulating, but after a while, we come to our own plan - to hit up the diner. BJ has an insatiable craving for a gyro and the rest of us simply want something better than crappy, spongy, disgusting Domino's pizza. Being the only one sober enough to drive, I volunteer my wheels as a means of getting there.
  • Take a picture with Bill passed out. Heard later of an incident with a cucumber. Much much later, sometime just before 1 a.m., we actually get going and leave for the diner. Jerry attempts to stop me from driving, concerned that I might have had too much to drink, but I tell him I haven't had anything in 3-4 hours. My buzz is long gone. We then have the necessary person move his car out of the driveway so I can get out. BJ directs me toward the diner while Craig follows in his car a few minutes afterward.
  • BJ asks for extra meat on his gyro and will unknowingly get charged an extra $2 for it. I notice the cashier from Pathmark is at the diner. As people inspect my WKU Hall of Fame ring we receive our "not listed on the menu" items of cheese and gravy to accompany the fries. Craig gets horribly shafted on his cheeseburger, but the rest of the food is good. <girl> gets jizzaki all over the table and leaves an overly generous tip.
  • We return to the party and sparks start to fly. Craig had given Ron the keys to the van before he left with us for the diner. Ron claims he never got any keys from Craig, and the two argue rather loudly outside. JO and I try to keep them quiet so as not to annoy the neighbors at 2:30 a.m. Another kid verifies Craig's story - he saw him give the keys to Ron. Ron is obviously wasted and is the type of individual who can't handle his liquor. Despite it being his fault he continues to insult Craig and lash out at nearly everyone. His mistake is calling Shawn an asshole when Shawn and his brother tell him to calm down. Ron backs off after a minute when Shawn's brother approaches him intimidatingly and tells him to calm down, sit down, and shut up. Shawn also corners him and it seems a fight is averted - which is a shame, I'm ready to put his ass down. People like Ron shouldn't drink if that's how they get - especially if they look like a girl. Shortly afterwards the keys are found - someone else had them, along with the van. Apparently, not only did Ron not remember being GIVEN the keys, he didn't remember LOANING them to someone else for a quick trip to Wawa. What a piece of work.
  • People slowly filter out and the party dies down to under a dozen people just sitting around, relaxing. It's about quarter to 4, and I had brought a sleeping bag because I thought I'd be too tired to drive back, but I'm just fine. I bid farewell to Jerry, Shawn, Bill, BJ, Lynn, et al and head back home. Of course, I had told my parents that I was staying over, so the door in the garage is locked. Not having my house keys on me (smooooooth) I call my sister to come open the door.

So the family and I hit up Joe's Crab Shack tonight after moving my sister into her dorm room. I'm familiar with most restaurants' gimmicks when it comes to their hard drinks, but this place surprised even me. I had some sort of fruity concoction (I can't remember the name - flavors of banana, lime, lemon, cherry, and other things swirled about the liquor) that was served to me in...

...a fishbowl. I shit you not, it was a FISHBOWL with a large straw thrown in. Yes, yes, it was the type you keep FISH in, if I really need to clarify - it was certainly large enough, too. What will I be drinking out of next week? A leather glove? (apologies to those who don't get the reference)

Is anyone else REALLY annoyed by that "Sketchers Adventures" commercial? Not the full version, the short one. The reason I loathe it is because they play the commercial, play two different commercials, then play the Sketches one AGAIN. I've only ever seen McDonald's do this, but then again, perhaps I don't watch enough TV. I'm very content to be watching Yu-Gi-Oh, and then this has to happen and ruin my afternoon. Lord.

Anyone who is unfortunate enough to come here had best well head over to DVDtoons and vote for the Real Ghostbusters! Oh man...if only I could get those episodes on DVD. Speaking of DVD's...Spider-Man is coming out soon, as is the second season of Stargate: SG-1. Seems my collection will be growing.

Finally, the main page is somewhat presentable. Took long enough! Contact page is now also in working order, and it showcases the true dork power that I possess.

Have you all brushed up on your Clinglish? We called it Zhenglish back @ Cooper. You know what you doing. Move Zig, for great justice.

Thanks to a $67 Geforce 3 (courtesy of CompGeeks) and a $66 AthlonXP 1600+ that I run at 2100+ specs (courtesy of NewEgg), I've nearly doubled my system's gaming performance, as evidenced by my new 3DMark2001 scores. Never have I experienced a CPU so willing to overclock with so little effort - air cooled, no bump on the core voltage - and the memory is taking the 166 MHz FSB just fine (it's not even 2700 spec DDR). Unreal Tournament 2003 here I come!!