Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: May 2003

Friday, May 30, 2003

I've spent my time the last couple of days reading webcomics, I've found some pretty good ones, pretty much all of them geeky, they all have something to do with anime, video games, computers, Dungeons and Dragons, and other geeky things. Some of them I have posted before, but a couple of them I have just recently discovered.

MegaTokyo. This is one of my favorites. It's a manga-style comic about two gamers and anime fans stuck in Japan. Though some of the gaming focus does seem to have left the comic, it's still great for fans of manga, anime, and Japan.

Penny Arcade. This one is great also. It's a comic strip about console and computer games. Not only is it a funny comic strip, it's also a great news site for information on all things gaming.

Nodwick. I just discovered this site early yesterday, and I've already read every cartoon on the site, and there's a lot of them, that's all I did yesterday was read Nodwick. It's a Dungeons And Dragons themed comic about a disfunctional group of adventurers and their poor, mistreated henchman, Nodwick, who they often use to spring traps or as dragon bait.

Nuklear Power. The home of 8-bit Theater. 8-bit theater is a comic featuring the pixellated, 8-bit characters from the first Final Fantasy game.

PVP. Another comic about computers and video games.

Dork Tower. Another geeky comic.

There. Now don't say I never did anything for you.

Wow, the cottonwood is really bad this year. There's so much cottonwood blowing through the air, it almost looks like it's snowing. One side of the neighbor's house has a "snow drift" of cottonwood almost a foot deep. My dad is outside my window right now hosing the cottonwood from the air conditioner, if you don't it gets clogged up, and will eventually burn out.

I'll be glad when Monday gets here. The stuff I ordered is supposed to be here Monday. I bought a boxed set of every episode of Cowboy Bebop, one of my favorite anime titles of all time. I also bought two soundtrack CDs of music from Cowboy Bebop. The music is one of the best parts of the show, it works excellently with the scenes, and is great to listen to even by itself. I got all this swag for only a little over $70, normally the box set alone would have been $100. I found these great deals at one of my new favorite sites. This site is great, you can get anime DVDs, soundtrack CDs, manga, wallscroll posters, and other anime related materials for a fraction of the usual price. I got the box set for about $40, less than half the usual price, and the CDs were $11.99 each. The only bad thing about the site is that you have to pay through PayPal.

Speaking of PayPal, don't forget that I am now accepting much needed donations, seeing as how I've been out of work for so long now. Just click the link below to send me money. I've seen people much better off than I get money online from these types of things. A few months ago I read about some rich TV producer woman that had run up a $10,000 plus credit card bill by going on a shopping spree, and didn't want to pay it herself, even though she easily could've, so she set up a site like this, and people sent this already rich woman several thousand dollars. Many teenagers are also doing this to get money for college, and some receive several thousands of dollars, so keep in mind that any money you send me will maybe be used on educations, as I would like to resume my schooling sometime soon. I'm not asking for thousands of dollars, though that would be nice. Right now, though, I can't even think about spending money on school, I have much more pressing issues to use it on. So, any amount you want to send will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Hey, cool. I finally set up a Paypal account, so now people can send me money. I seriously doubt it will happen, but who knows? As you know, or maybe not, I've been out of work for almost three months now, and I could really use some help. I really need the money, I had to move back in with my parents because I could no longer pay rent, and I had been planning on maybe going back to college, or some kind of schooling next year, but now I definitely won't be able to. And, hey, if I can't buy stuff, I won't have much to write about on this blog. So please, send me some money, it doesn't have to be much, send as little, or as much, as you want. Any contributions will be greatly appreciated. Just click the little Paypal icon, and fill out a little form, it's not hard to do. And hey, wouldn't helping someone make you feel like a better person?

The iPod has been out for a while, but has now become the hot new must-have item for the summer. The reason for this is accessibility. Macintosh has recently released their new line of improved iPods, that feature many changes and improvements which make the little gadgets even easier to use; also, iPods aren't just for Mac addicts anymore, they are compatible with both Mac and Windows. The awkward rotating "wheel" of the former iPod has been replaced by several easy-to-use touch-sensitive illuminated buttons, eliminating any moving parts which could break down. The entire module has been given a slight image upgrade making it look even cooler. Featuring an ultra-modern titanium and glass look, with illuminated buttons and a back-lit LCD screen, it just LOOKS cool. There are three different models, the 10GB, the 15GB and the 30GB, the 30GB model holding up to 7500 songs. The 10GB model, which holds 2,500 songs should be all the space any sane person would need, but the slightly more expensive 15GB model, which holds 3,700 songs is the better value. Besides having more storage space, it also comes with several accessories that the $299 stripped-down model does not have, that make the extra $100 on the price tag worth it. The 10GB iPod comes with just the iPod, the necessary firewire cables, AC adapter, and headphones. The 15 and 30GB models come with everything the 10GB model has, plus a wired remote, a cool-looking protective carrying case, and the new iPod dock, which makes connecting to your computer and transferring files easier, and also features an audio line-out, allowing you to connect your iPod to speakers or a stereo system.

The iPod still has one main drawback, however -- the price. Costing between $299 and $499 they can really lighten your wallet, but it seems this is a sacrifice thousands of people are willing to make. The NY Post recently wrote an article detailing the way in which the iPod has taken over the NY social scene:

"There are two types of people in New York: Those who have an iPod and those who want one," write Mary Huhn and Maxine Shen in the New York Post. "The power to cram a jukebox worth of tunes into your shirt pocket is revolutionizing the New York social scene. There are iPod parties, jackets, fan clubs and Web sites galore. People are using the portable MP3 players as alarm clocks, address books and surrogate pets."
Full story here

"O" magazine also wrote about the iPod, listing it as one of Oprah's favorite things, and saying that it "will revolutionize your music!"

The iPod has also won several awards, such as ZDNet's Editor's Choice Award. And has even been written about in several online comics, such as PVP.

The iPod is also for more than just music now, it also features calendar and to-do list software, and several games, such as solitaire.

If I had the money I know I'd get one.

If I see one of those damn Matrix Powerade commercials one more time, I'm going to fucking kill someone. They are some of the most irritating commercials I have ever seen, and they show them constantly.

Monday, May 26, 2003

For some reason there was a tarantula in our bathroom today. An actual, real, large tarantula. I've never even seen a tarantula around here before, I didn't even know there were any around here.

I got my results back from the test I had to take for the prison job. I scored a 94.17. Out of the 297 people statewide that have taken it, my score is number 8. Which means I am 8th on list to be hired, so maybe I'll have a job before long.

Other than that, there's not really anything for me to tell. My day's are still the same. I just sit around the house watching tv or surfing the internet all day. I haven't even left the house for several days now.

I'm bored.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Yeah, I haven't been writing much lately. And I don't really know why, I've been so bored with nothing to do, so I should write. I've been spending most of my time in Japanese and Anime themed chat rooms. I'm also studying Japanese language again, trying to learn to speak it, and I'm learning the writing now too. Ummm, did I mention before that I am trying to get a job as a prison guard? The prisons around here are desperate for people, and the job pays really well, and has really good benfits, since it's a state job. I don't know if I'll like the job, but I'm going to at least try it. I've got to do something, I've been out of work for a long time now. I have to get up early tomorrow morning and go take some tests for it. Then hopefully I'll know in another week or two whether I'm gonna get the job.

My mom's been back from the hospital for a while now. Her surgery went very well, even the doctors were surprised by how easily the surgery went. She went and got the staples removed from the wound today.

I'm tired. I've been really tired lately, and sleeping a lot. I've been so bored, and lazy. I really need to get up off my ass and do something. I've hardly left the house since I moved back in with may parents. I haven't even been by Carl's Jr, or seen or talked to Alicia or Daniel or anyone. All I do is sit around the house, either in front of the computer, or watching anime. I've been so lazy and tired I've been sleeping like 10 hours a night.

I saw Matrix: Reloaded, the day that it came out, and I just have to say that it sucked! Almost everyone I've talked to online agrees. I'm not good at writing long movie reviews, so I will just make a few quick points. The special effects rocked, and most of the time they were in the Matrix was cool, but there wasn't enough of it. Most of the movie was spent in the real world, or was taken up by extremely long, complicated exposition. And half the fight scenes weren't even real fight scenes, they were just throwing a few punches, and then flying off. The only cool parts of the movie were when Neo was fighting the army of Agent Smiths, and the car chase freeway scene. The freeway scene was really cool. It was so cool I may go see the movie a second time just for that scene. But for the most part, the movie was shit. It was really pointless too, the way in the end it was basically a wild goose chase. They thought they were going to accomplish something, but in the end, accomplished nothing at all. And then the ending sucked too. Right as the movie is really getting good, BAM, "to be continued."

Well, that's it for now. Sayoonara, minasan.

Friday, May 09, 2003

I just realized that two of the major airports in Oklahoma are named after two people who died in an airplane crash. The main airport in Oklahoma is Will Rogers World Airport, and the other is Wiley Post Airport. Both of these men died together in the same plane crash.

The Tornado just barely missed Baptist Hospital. That's not the one my mom's at though. She's at Presbyterian Hospital. The tornado lifted up briefly, but then touched back down.

Fuck, this is kinda scary. There's a huge tornado going through Oklahoma city right now. It just got the Xerox Factory. The base of the tornado is over a mile wide. The scary part is that it's only a few blocks north and a few blocks west of the hospital that my mom is in. It should pass plenty north of her though, because it's moving slightly north I think. By the time it gets as far east as she as it should be a good ways north of her, if it doesnt change course or anything.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Major tornadic storm system moving through Oklahoma right now. For a while it was following almost the exact path of the infamous "May 3rd" tornadoes four years ago. It took out many of the houses that had just recently been rebuilt. Then at 5:11 pm, it crossed I-35 right in the middle of major rush hour traffic. The news channels said there was a "terrific amount" of traffic where it crossed. Then it veered north slightly and just narrowly missed Crossroads Mall. Then it headed in the direction of Tinker Air Force base, but did not get too near that, but it did do some major damage to the GM plant, where my parent's have been telling me for years I need to try to get a job at. Now it's off the ground, but the storm is still rotating and moving fast towards the north-east. I expect there will be many casualties from this storm. The GM factory still had workers inside and suffered heavy damage, and the reporters have said of several buildings that there "was no hope for anyone inside." And they just showed footage of a greyhound bus that has been completely destroyed, they don't know how many people were on it.

Well, here I am at my parent's house. My move went fine, and quickly, but not as quickly as I had expected. I was completely moved in by 2:00. There's only two things I forgot and will have to go back and get sometime, my dead bonsai tree I had sitting outside, hoping the sun would resurrect it; and my kettle for boiling water, which I do a lot with all the tea and instant ramen noodle products I consume.

Damn, I don't know why I'm so tired. After I moved yesterday I was really tired, I could barely stay awake past 9:00, but I figured that was just because I didn't get much sleep the night before, but today I'm really tired too, even though I got plenty of sleep last night.

I managed to find a way to get almost all of my many video games systems into my little TV stand thing. They used to always just sit in the floor and get all dusty. I still couldn't get all of them in there, but I was able to get the X-Box, the Gamecube, the old Nintendo, and the N64. I could probably also get the Playstation 2 in there, since it's a front loading system instead of top loading, I could put it under one of the other systems, but I didn't bother because I need to send it off for repairs. It's been broke for some time now, and I called the tech-support, and they told me to send it like a month ago, but I've been too lazy and poor to send it off. It won't play certain disks, some disks it will still play. There are several different formats of disks, Playstation games have black backs, Playstation 2 games usually have silver or blue back, and music CDs and DVDs have silver backs. The Playstation 2 has several different laser disk-readers in it, one for each type of format, and apparently the one that reads the blue-back disks is broken, because it will still play all the others.

A few days ago I spent three days creating a Japanese dictionary, by culling words and definitions from the various Japanese information newsletters I get, and from my Manga comics and other sources. It's pretty cool, it's up to something like 11 pages. I'm on version 2.0 of the dictionary. Everytime I send it out or post it to my website, that's a version. But then I go back and edit it some more, and add more entries, and that's a new version. Version 1.0 was pretty small, and only went out to one person, my friend Chris. But version 2.0 is much larger, and has many more entries. I just posted it on my site, and if you are interested in it, you can download it here. It's in .rtf format, created on a Mac, but it should still work on most computers. Warning, it does contain definitions of Japanese profanity and sexual terms

My mom goes to the hospital for her surgery tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Well, I hate to do this, because it's like admitting defeat, but I'm gonna do it anyway. I'm in the middle of packing because I'm moving back in with my parents for a while, at least until I finally get a job. They need me at home right now anyway. My mom finally got her diagnosis, it's not cancer, but she's got a huge ovarian cyst, bigger than a large cantelope, but smaller than a watermelon. Whatever you want to compare it to, it's fucking huge. She's goes into the hospital Friday, and they're going to remove it and do a complete histerectomy, or however you spell it. She's gonna be in the hospital five or six days, so they need me to stay over and watch my sister, and get her up for school and stuff, because my mom will be in the hospital and my dad works from 4 am to 4 pm. So while I'm at it I may as well just move back in anyway, before I have to pay any more rent out here.

I've been unemployed for quite some time, and my wallet is starting to feel the effects. The Temp Agency I signed up with a couple of weeks ago hasn't even called me with any offers. I applied for a job yesterday that I stand a good chance of getting because a relative I have that works there says they are absolutely desperate for help. It's a state job, working as a prison guard. It pays very well, and has good benefits, like any state job. But even if I do get the job it will probably be a month or two before I get it. You can't just go in and fill out an application, or do it over the internet or anything. You have to go to the website and print the application out, fill it out and mail it in to the state agency. They they mail you back and tell you when you can come up there and take your tests, then you go take the tests, and they mail the results back to you, and then if they decide to hire you they mail you again, and blah blah blah. So this will take some time.

I hate moving out, especially since we've got this cool DirectTV out here, that thing rocks. But I do miss the internet. I shouldn't even be online right now, we're gonna get a big fine. We got a new long distance plan, but you can't use it for a modem or fax. At my parent's house I can be online 24 hours a day. I just decided that I was going to move back in with my parents a couple of hours ago, and now I'm moving tomorrow morning, because my dad is off work tomorrow and can help me move.

Well, I better go, and get my stuff packed. I guess I'll be writing on here a lot again now, since I'll have internet access again.