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Cell Phones are Not Water Resistant

I am well aware that cell phones are not water resistant, I just think that maybe they should be and I am voicing my protest by putting them through the washing machine every year or so. I also know that I should keep my phone numbers in a place other than my water vulnerability protesting mechanism, but then it wouldn’t really have that meaningful oomph! So, if you are reading this it probably means I lost your phone number. If you could please email it to me at aaron@aaronrhodes.org that would be super.

-Aaron

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/Sigh…

So after nearly a year of not hearing from StalkerGirl she contacted me on MySpace. I debated writing about it or not but I figured that one of two scenarios are possible: Either I am over-reacting, as she maintains, and there is no stalking going on at all … or she has my website on her RSS reader subscriptions and checks it daily. Which leads to two possible outcomes: I hear nothing (due to her not reading it or not wanting to confirm that she reads it), or she posts a batshit crazy comment, sends an email, MySpace message or whatnot telling me she’s not stalking me and just typed in the URL of my site by accident. I am taking bets right now.

So she asked me if she could put a character named ‘Fendi’ in her book that she is writing. I guess this is my only chance to be the protagonist in a fanfic novel and who am I to restrict free speech. So whatever. The bad side-effect was that since she has messaged me I have started having nightmares again. I had one where she was wearing Brian’s skin to infiltrate a road trip with me. Then I had another one where I tried to run away but she proceeded to suffocate me with a pillow while yelling, “If I can’t have you nobody will!”

Last time I heard about her a friend of mine was contacted by her and told she was living in Santa Cruz at which point I called the county office inquiring about a temporary restraining order. The county told me to call the Women’s Crisis Center for information. I called the Women’s Crisis Center and they hung up on me because I am male. That was a good feeling.

Well at any rate, after declining her friend request I have not heard back so hopefully this will be the last time (I’m not holding my breath).

In other news I am going to Riverside to go to Justin’s graduation party. Congrats Justin on getting that degree! I am sure the party will consist of a bunch of people talking about their pets over cups of tea. Pretty tame. Yup.

-Aaron

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If I could be a super hero, I would be Out Of Debt Guy

In the past week I have been plagued by financial troubles. A combination of having to replace brakes and a really silly amount of overdraft charges led me to the conclusion that an emergency fund isn’t just for kids anymore. Of course I wouldn’t take the opportunity for granted! I returned the parts I had left over from the failed silly string hand cannon project and took the $17.96 to Safeway and got a sack of potatoes, some carrots, celery, onions, chicken thighs, and cabbage and lived off it for 2 weeks. That was awfully fun! A good thing I had World of Warcraft to keep me busy along with some other healthy distractions.

I mentioned last post that I decided to go with a Comcast package. Now if you have ever heard “Comcast” and “shit” used in the same sentence, I think you might be in the majority. I thought canceling the TiVo and taking the Comcast DVR service would be a good plan. First off they quoted me $70 a month on the phone for the digital cable + internet + DVR. They come and install it and activate it and the installation guy asks, “Did you ask for the Spanish package?” Danger Will Robinson, danger! So I call Comcast to get it straightened out and they kindly inform me that the English package would cost a cool $95 a month. Mind you, the word “Spanish” was never once spoken on the initial quote. Now, I don’t really know what to think of this. Surely the Spanish package includes less channels and would therefore be less money so I guess that could justify the cost difference, but I was told a different number *after* it was installed. That’s just not cool. So I haggle them down to $86 a month. Now on to the DVR. I thought TiVo and the Comcast DVR would be at least comparable. It was not. The Comcast DVR service is shit. There, now you have definitely heard those words together in a sentence. Lucky for me, TiVo gave me the option of getting a month free while I decided and if I did come back they’d give me their service for $7 a month. So I took that offer. Dumped the Comcast DVR and took the TiVo, costs me the same (since Comcast only gave me a $7 price drop for losing the DVR service) but the TiVo is back in its rightful place on the throne of selective viewing goodness.

I also switched my Netflix service for the Blockbuster Online service. This for a couple reasons. The first is that I dislike how Netflix throttles your service if you rent too many movies too fast. Second is because I have a Blockbuster one block away and if you turn your mailed DVDs in to the store instead of the mail you get a free rental from the store for each one, and they *still* send you the movies on your online queue. That’s working out great!

On a sad note, for the third time I decided to test the water resistance of my cell phone. This one was no more up to the task than the last ones. Poseidon, curse you to Hades! I had to call Verizon to get a new phone for a $50 replacement cost (if you are wondering about how much insurance costs, it’s $5 a month plus $50 to replace the phone, so it is in no way worth it). I was also able to downgrade my service to a cheaper one with less minutes because the service representative said I talk for an average of 10 minutes a month. Yeah, you heard me. Yeah, I know. Yeah, yeah, yeah… Okay, moving on.

Currently I am reading Don Quixote, a book that my sister got for me for my birthday a couple years ago. It’s an interesting book so far. This senile old Mexican man dresses up in some old armor and runs around trying to do knightly deeds that are quite mis-guided. I am guessing at the finale of the book being either where he actually becomes a hero to the people through his insanity-induced deeds or it ends in self-inflicted pain and tragedy. I am guessing the latter because nobody cites a book as being a famous classic without people winding up in an unpleasant end. Of course I would wish for the former…

As for my debt, I have paid off one credit card and reduced the interest rate on the other by half! Yay! So at least my efforts putting me near bankruptcy are having some impact on my overall negative worth.

So this last weekend was wonderful. My Mom and Doug came over with stuff to make Tacos and we watched Borat. We had a great time! The new used $60 couch worked out great, it makes the place a much more comfortable place to hang out. I’m really happy to finally be comfortable inviting people over. On a side note, if you ever expel 24 cans worth of silly string within the confines of a studio space and you have a linoleum floor, use some hot water to get the silly string up from the linoleum and you will eventually be mostly cleaned up. Mostly… Also, my Mom and Doug did me a wonderful favor while they were visiting, on top of bringing taco stuff and fruit and everything. It was a very touching and unprecedented event that I am very grateful for. Thank you both very much.

The rest of the weekend was spent playing Wii and Alhambra with Mike, Jackie, Randall and Vinny and attempting to create the worst headache ever invented.

In other news, Jeff Fredrick’s son Andreas invited me to role-play on his site. It’s a novel idea. You create a character based on an anime or manga character and play them as a character. If anyone is inclined, I am playing the honorable Usagi Yojimbo.

-Aaron

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Why DRM doesn’t work

A hacker named Arnezami one day got angry because a commercial copy of a HD-DVD movie that che legally purchased would not play on chez HD-DVD player due to the AACS DRM. Well che in the process of hacking the DRM found the processing code that would allow access to play every HD-DVD and BluRay disk made. Posting this key on Doom9 was immediately followed by a Cease and Desist letter from AACS. I certainly would have guessed this, it was certainly inevitable from a historic standpoint. These Cease and Desists followed this 16 digit number around the internet, but of course not as fast as it was spreading and the lawyers chasing it only made it hotter news, and eventually a whole meme. So the news is out, the DRM that took years to create was cracked in weeks due to the DRM causing a problem for a paying consumer. Okay, guess what guys, this is why DRM will not work. You will never ever be able to keep people who want to steal your stuff from stealing your stuff, that is your base loss margin and they were people that would have rather not had your product than pay a single penny for it so it really never was a loss. The secret is to make it harder to steal it than not steal. As soon as you make it painful for lawful consumers, you will lose a huge percentage of those consumers who will decide to steal it instead just out of sheer frustration, which increases your loss margin. If you were smart, you’d charge for it, but actually let your consumers own it hassle free at that point. That’s how you’ll reel those profits into your greedy little hands, you actually … you know … play nice and divert all those years spent fruitlessly trying to deter thieves into making your consumers happier. Sounds simple huh?

-Aaron