For some reason now, the digital camera that I accidentally put through a washing machine and dryer before noticing is now functioning again. Just for kicks I threw it on it’s cradle and the charge light went on. Go figure. Last night I used Nair on my entire upper torso, arms included. I feel sexy. All in preperation for being transformed into a jolly smurf.




So Knott’s ended up being a bust. Should have bought tickets in advance, but maybe not. When we got there it looked more like the gang rally from The Warriors than an amusement park, not to mention the prices the scalpers were charging. Scalpers? At an amusement park? So we ended up just having a few drinks over at the Claim Jumper across the street. We did go to Medieval Times and had a blast. Our knight ended up being the victor even. Blue knight RULES! Overall the trip was great. Justin also got me a great late birthday gift, a game by Steve Jackson Games called Munchkin! Plan on seeing this bad boy at the next Sparge! or duct taped to my chest for safe keeping.

In other news, I’m playing DAoC still and it’s nice. I need to get the new smaller room.

Music pick: Midnight Syndicate – Who would have thought of making a CD of music designed to play Dungeons & Dragons to?

Movie pick: Matrix: Revolutions – I’m peeing my pants in anticipation.

Game pick: Munchkin! I have a level 7 dwarf wizard with a mace of sharpness and kneepads of allure. Ha!

Book pick: Quicksilver Yes I read books… Sheesh!



Can you hear me now? Ow!

Thanks to this PvP Comic, I now talk to my stapler at work.



American instruments

Someone today told me that the banjo was actually the first and only musical instrument invented in America. I was quick to point out, however, that he was forgetting the milk jug and the Pringles can.




So this weekend and I are going to meet up with Eden, Justin and Jen down south and visit two places. Medieval Times and Knott’s Scary Farm! It should be a blast.

In other news, I am actually moved now and slept for the first time in my own bed in my own room in Santa Cruz. For some reason that was the soundest sleep I have had in two years. I’ll be working now on relocating in Livermore to a smaller room for the work weeks. I am spinning more regularly at The Box now. This Halloween I am dressing up as a Smurf. Vanity Smurf to be exact. I’m not sure what exactly that says about me, but maybe instead of a mirror in my hand I should be holding a laptop editing my website, because after all I suppose a self-promoting egotistical public online journal is about as vain as it gets. The day after that and I will be at the Day of the “undead” Masquerade Ball at the Circus.

Music pick: Grid “Music for Dancing” – The definitive source of Texas techno.

Movie pick: Kill Bill – Can’t say enough about how great this movie was. I thought I would be turned off by an overwhelming “girl kicking ass” theme. Instead I was thoroughly impressed by the stylistic approach of mimicking bad 70′s film-making and Japanese animation style images put to live action. The out-of-sequence chapters effectively pieced together the film and by the end when the credits rolled I was mentally gripping the back of the seat in front of me screaming, “There’s more and I want to see it! Show me! Aaaagh!”

Game pick: Magic: The Gathering Pulled out my boxes and boxes of cards and started up some games with Brian over some beers and an unfortunate tasting bottle of whisky. Planning on future encounters.

Web pick: Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide! Support this worthy cause.



My secret mail fetish

Just a little tidbit about something I like to do in my spare time. So, you know how you get junk mail for credit cards, and home loans, etc… I love how they always have some gimmick to ensure you’ll open the envelope because, hey, getting us to open it is half the battle, right? The important looking envelope that says, “DO NOT DISCARD!”, “DATED MATERIAL”, “IMPORTANT DOCUMENT ENCLOSED”. They make me laugh so much, and the list goes on. The little sticker that you MUST stick on the special spot on the reply form to get the AmAzInG 0.0% finance charge or when it comes with a plastic card already, but the card just has their website printed on it or something. Anyway, the important thing here is that it comes with an envelope inside the envelope that has a special little phrase in the corner where the stamp should go. It says, “No postage necessary if mailed in the United States”. As soon as the full realization of what this means hits, you will understand why I sit in my living room cackling with glee while opening junk mail. Cackling with glee! That’s right. So I started by just taking their dumb credit card offer and stuffing it in the return envelope and sending it back to them, just because I thought it was a surefire way to get myself off their mailing lists. That worked with some of them, but the more persistent ones must have some sort of automated system that actually increases my junk mail when I do that. Capital One is so far my prime offender. You know, those envelopes hold a lot more than they look like they’ll hold. So I would fold up the bigger envelope it all came in and stuff that in there too. Then I started adding other junk mail, the ones that didn’t come with the magic return envelope. Yep, Capital One now has a steady source of Papa John’s pizza coupons, direct from the Aaron household. You are welcome Capital One. Mind you, I am Cackling with glee! So it just gets better and better. I start getting special offers from them that have a special envelope that says, “WARNING: TAMPERING WITH THIS ENVELOPE OR ITS CONTENTS MAY RESULT IN LEGAL ACTION”,Now, I do not know if they started printing this as a result of people sending them envelopes stuffed to the brim with coupons, newspaper, food wrappers and their own junk and thinking the words “LEGAL ACTION” might scare them into stopping it, but it just made me laugh again. Of course they are referring to the law about mail tampering, but it shouldn’t apply to me because I am the one initially putting the stuff into it, which isn’t tampering. Sorry, that was a tangent. So now I get about three offers per week from Capital One and two from Bank One plus some from random companies. That is about 7 offers per week. So I have started a little more than a distraction and more of a production of it. I walk around the office at work here and find all kinds of cool junk. Used pens, ball bearings, pennies, broken computer parts, used batteries and SO MUCH MORE! I stuff them to the brim with trash, heavy trash if I can find it and I tape a little note to the back of the envelope that says semi-clever little quips like, “Stop killing trees!” or “Can you tell I’m not interested yet?” which doesn’t seem to work. What is does do is make me CACKLE WITH FRICKEN’ GLEE! I mean, there are very few things in the world that make me cackle so.

The moral here is that it supports our postal service and discourages junk mail which I believe is a giant waste of natural resources. I hear you can even tape the envelope to a brick and it’ll mail, but I haven’t tried it yet (mostly due to a lack of bricks). I encourage everyone to do the same. Maybe you’ll feel the cackle within as well.




So off to Sparge! we went. Picked up Brian and after a little confusion with who was picking up what kegs where we ended up sipping beer sitting on chairs in the middle of the river. That was the short story, but I could tell you the long story. No, no I won’t. So sitting in the river, mourning the fact that we had no shenanigan to offer our fellow Spargers I had an epiphany. Wouldn’t it be great to float down the river in blow-up dolls? Why yes it would. We asked Steve if there were any adult stores in the Auburn/Roseville/Riverside area and he was able to respond immediately with a solid negative (we didn’t ask exactly why he was such a bastion of instant information in this matter). A quick trip back to Sacremento gleaned us Naughtia the naughty nurse and Pamala the passionate policewoman. Saturday afternoon it was feeling a little hot so we decided to cool off with our new dates.

Hey girls, feel like going for a swim?

Why yes we do!

And off we went into the rushing rapids of Bear River. A little note here that there is virtually endless comic material while holding an inflatable woman with three orifices.

Highlights of Sparge!:

- Pork butt, and the sauce, ooohhh the sauce.

- Playing Magic the Gathering again for the first time in about 5 years.

- You can’t play Risk and not call it in the morning; it’s a commitment.

- Steve seemingly stole away with my date and had his way with her.

In other news, I’m beat and need a nap. Also be sure to check out Mike D’s site and see a great collage of the birthday dinner that him, Meg, Eugene, Amelia, Eddie, Adam and Pardis all threw for me.

Music pick: Blue Man Group “The Complex” – Okay, the first album had some catchy stuff and even some club playable songs, but who would have thought the BMG would be making music like this? It is impressive!

Movie pick: The Two Towers – I can’t… stop… watching it! Isn’t Liv a hottie?

Game pick: Dark Age of Camelot Fired this bad boy up again and liking it, at least until World of Warcraft comes out.



Off to Sparge!

Likely to see a nice update when I return.



Funny tech support stories

Okay, I know it’s an easy pot-shot to take at people who don’t understand technology as some of us geeks do, and I know we even do it sometimes in an unreasonable way. You know like, “Pff, that person didn’t even know you could compile from a command line.” Uhh.. yeah, if you think about it, that isn’t a common knowledge thing to know. So basically we make fun of people for not knowing uncommon things to know. Yeah, we are geeky.

However, since you are reading this site it most likely means you will know how a basic computer works and will still find this shameless poke at the masses a little humorous.

Okay, so at work in the military there is a kid sitting over in my section who just walked in to use our “open” computer, which is just set up there for anyone to use the various military programs available. I notice but don’t acknowledge him fiddling over by the machine and becoming more and more distressed. Finally breaking away from my intense session of sitting there doing nothing, I walk over and ask him if he needs any help. He claims that his “disk” isn’t working. So I look at the floppy drives and don’t see anything in the 3 1/2 and the 5 1/4 doesn’t seem to have a disk in it from the angle I’m looking. “Oh you mean a CD?” I ask. “Yeah, the disk,” he replies as I eject the CD tray. But… the CD tray is empty. “No, no,” he points in the general direction of the front of the computer. This is the point that I wished I had a camera. I tip the case foreword and the CD neatly falls out of the 5 1/4 drive.

Now, here is where I try to justify that people with degrees in paper mache sculpture don’t necessarily need a shiny metal bar on their collar. I get an urgent call from the command center in a field exercise. This always happens from the command center, everything is very important there. Important to the people in it and the people watching the people in it anyway. The urgent call also seems to invariably carry the tone of, “It’s the computer guy’s fault,” also which is appealing as I take my general computer stuff and my rifle and my gas mask and my helmet and my flack jacket over to the command tent to take a look. The lieutenant sees me enter and of course I give the appropriate greeting as he motions accusingly at the offending laptop sitting on a table exclaiming, “My disk won’t go in!” Now another thing about these command post calls is that officers are generally too important to describe their problem to you, especially during a field exercise, which I guess I can understand. Delegate duty, lighten your management detail level and all. In this case though, he would have been better off talking to me on the phone about it because at this point his boisterous exclamation had the whole tent staring at me as I went to work on it. I set down my kit, and eject a floppy disk from his laptop, put it back in, eject it, “Seems to be working okay here sir,” and I turn to him and see him holding a floppy in his hand and a sort of green cringe on his face. I guessed that he was trying put a floppy disk in there without first taking the other one out. The other officers standing around the scene started to curl their lips a little as I made a hasty exit.

Some of the other things perplex me a little. I get a call from an officer who says, “I can’t connect to the internet.” Okay then, I head on over to his office and there is his computer. The monitor, unplugged keyboard, mouse, all the cables are coiled up and piled on top of the case. Ooooh.. there is the problem, it isn’t set up yet! I mean, I’m happy to set it up for him but why is the computer’s lack of internet connectivity the first sign of trouble and not the power cable dangling off the side of the desk?




I turned 28 today. Yay!

Wanted to share a little tidbit that has been running through my mind lately.

So, I was talking to a co-worker. Here where I work I am the youngest person here, by about 20 years. I’m always referred to as “the young buck” or whatnot and my hair gets such ridiculous comments as, “Did you spill ketchup on your hair?” This irritates me to no end because I look at them and just see the struggle to be normal boiling within them. “Maybe if I bought a metallic tan Toyota I would blend in more,” they think to themselves while fingering their baby blue button shirt and tan khakis. Okay, back to the co-worker. So he bought an electric scooter that he used to get to and from the bus stop. I thought it was a great idea, in fact I went out and got my own gas powered one and use it for all kinds of things. Can’t beat 220 miles to the gallon. So it sat in his office for a while and I asked him why he stopped riding it. His response, “I feel like a Klingon.” What is this term you ask? Certainly not that he has ridges on his forehead and a tendency to eat without utensils. No, this guy (who I consider the hippest of the guys I work with) says that a “Klingon” is someone who is older but hangs on to younger ideas. You know, I was just bowled over by this. I was infuriated in fact that such a term exists. I never would have even considered that acting young in your aging years would be looked down on. After giving him my blunt opinion of that, it did make me think.

So when I’m 50, will I be dying my hair blue? Will things really change for me? If I didn’t change, would people think I’m more of a freak than they do today? If I do change will I look like I gave up? I went to the Restoration Ball up in San Fran and saw this guy, he must have been 50 or 60. He was dancing the whole night, dressed in a cross of 80s glam and goth but you know, he was my hero that night.

So that’s when I got a wild hair up my ass. I was worried for about two years what my job would think if I had dyed hair. I told them that I had had it and I was changing it because I like it and if they didn’t like it they could go to heck. Mind you it is only symbolic for me, the hair I mean. It’s a symbol to me that I am remembering who I am. I was afraid I would forget.

My plan? I’m never growing old, no matter how silly it looks.