Monthly Archives: August 2005

Post expo

I’m back in Ithaca from the expo. I thought today was a bit better than yesterday, but both Beth and Marty ended up skipping the con entirely to goto a museum (well, Beth lost her badge, but she was planning on skipping it anyway, I think).

I didn’t do anything even remotely animesque today; instead I saw Zombie Night, which is pretty much the worst zombie film I’ve ever seen (really this time!). It featured zombies that only come out at night, “gore” falling out of a zombie’s mouth (actually, gummy worms [at least they were orange and red]), horrible acting (while being bit by a zombie: “Ahhhh.” [louder] “Ahhhh.”), inconsistently stupid plot hoes, and gems such as the following line: “Under normal circumstances, I may have hired you to tile my bathroom floor. At best.” (keeping in mind that at no pont was the non-speaking character’s profession disclosed). It was so completely bad, it may even have been worth missing the ‘Toxic Zombie Workshop’ to catch the end of it and the character yelling “Answer me, Goddammit!” to God during a funeral prayer.

I went to the dealer room again, too, but didn’t buy too much this time- just a plushie and some other small stuff :)

A bit after that, I caught Jhonen Vasquez’s ‘unplugged’ talk, which you may recall I was looking forward to. Jhonen wasn’t really what I expected… don’t get me wrong, he was still hilarious and abrasive, I just kinda expected him to be a bit more openly anti-fan than he was, but he really hid it quite well. He started his talk by telling us he felt sick because of Toronto’s hotdog stench (which I previously hadn’t noticed), and that to him Toronto would always be associated with cigarrette smoke and weenies. Then he got tired of answering the interviewer’s questions halfway through the first one, so decided to ask the audience instead: “You- what is my inspiration for my work? …. No, that’s wrong. You?” and then went straight to answering mostly boring audience questions. I oftentimes think that these things would be more interesting if the questions could all be forwarded to the interviewee ahead of time and they could pick the most entertaining ones to answer, but meh. It was worth the questions just to hear him refer to some guy as “You, in the grey shirt. With the face.” and to hear his anecdote about drawing aliens as a child and not growing up to explode out of people’s chests :)

The last thing I saw at the con was a showcase of short horror films, some of which were really quite good, and some just left everyone going “Wha?”. I didn’t get to see all of them because Beth wanted to leave, but out of the ones I did see, one titled Oh My God was particularly entertaining. In it, a redneck returned home to work to find his wife, and later his son, both brutally murdered. He managed to get his fingerprints over all the murder weapons (including all the bullets from the gun), stab his already dead wife again (trying to stop the bleeding), stab himself in the leg with the same knife, and accidentally shoot his already dead son. The entire time he repeats “Oh my God! … How did this happen?!” ever three seconds or so. The next time you see him, he’s getting the chair. The film ends with an “educational” message along the following lines:

Every year, it is estimated that 6 Americans are wrongly executed.

3 of these are from Texas.

Of these, one has an IQ under 70.

STOP KILLING INNOCENT RETARDED TEXANS

STOP THIS INSANITY

I’d love to buy a copy of the disk that had these short films on it, as I really want to see the rest of them!

Oh, and on the way back to New York, we went to Niagara Falls. Sorta. We didn’t get out of the car, actually, as parking was way too expensive for just a quick jaunt. But, the others decided that since I had never seen the falls before, I proably should. And I did, just from the window of a moving car :)

And on the way back into New York, the border nazi (Can I zee yer paaperz?!) searched our trunk. Marty blames the hair. Whatever. The guy also thought Beth‘s NY license plates were from Ohio, so chances are he couldn’t see well enough to note the hair color (or, he was just testing us… hmmm…).

I want to go to another convention soon, though I think I’d like to go to a horror convention next- if the way this convention compared to other anime conventions is any judge, I think I would really love a real horror convention. Unfortunately, Beth and Marty hated this trip so much that they’ll probably never consider doing anything I suggest (even though it wasn’t my idea) ever again, and I don’t think that any of my other friends are even vaguely into horror (‘cept Peter, but he has to work all the time) so I may have to go it alone next time :(

Canadian National Expo

I’m in Canada (first time!) and just got back from my first day at the Canadian National Expo. I’m a bit disappointed, actually- they’re not really showing much of anything, because out of the five combined conventions they only have 6 viewing rooms. Also, there is only one workshop room, where all the panels and workshops for all the conventions are, meaning there’s even less of them.

The only anime I got to catch today was Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, which I thought was quite fun. I saw a bit more horror, namely, Feeding the Masses (which had both the overacting I love and the zombies I crave, with a bit of dystopic politics, to boot) and Happy Tree Friends – Overkill (which I was previously familiar with thanks to Peter. Other things I caught include the first bit of the Toe Tag Effects Make-up demo (which was boring as you couldn’t see any details from the back of the room and they didn’t give you many verbal cues about what they were doing) and the second half of an interactive with Clive Barker. Tomorrow I have a few things I’m looking forward to, mainly a Jhonen Vasquez talk (w007!).

One thing that really sucks about this convention (besides the general lack of stuff compared to other cons I’ve been to) is the program- each separate convention just has a list of events with start times and locations- no end times, and no easy comparison to other convention’s events. So basically, it’s nearly impossible to effectively plan what to do (also, the program doesn’t give event descriptions, which doesn’t help). Since there are only effectively seven rooms where stuff happens, it wouldn’t have been particularly hard to make a graph of everything… Also, nothing interesting happens past about 20:00, which is when the masquerade started (like I said earlier, the schedule didn’t say when things ended). Speaking of which, you needed tickets to attend the masquerade (they were free), and I didn’t get them in time (shame, ‘cuz I really wanted to go and see some more sci-fi and horror costumes, but meh…).

On the other hand, one good thing about this convention is the dealer “room” (actually, it’s a whole floor, effectively making up a full half of the convention center centre). The prices were all at normal list prices, but as this is Canadia they expected to recieve Canadian monies, which is effectly a 20% discount on everything for Americans. w007! I cleaned up a bit, buying a few awesome figures (Vash and a McFarlane dragon) and the Full Metal Alchemist collectible box set and the first four discs.

ipod lamentation

Probably because I’m going on a long trip tomorrow, I broke my ipod today. Well, maybe “broke” is a bit extreme… I just somehow made it lose 20% of its disk space, which means all my music no longer fits on it. What happened is, while gtkpod was copying stuff, the ipod seemed to crash. I had no choice (believe me, I tried plenty of other things) than to reboot, because gtkpod became a zombie even my skillz couldn’t take care of, and I couldn’t even unmount the ipod. When I was able to get back into gtkpod, I noticed that I didn’t have the right amount of disk space- and by comparing the output of du and df on the mounted ipod, I saw that du said I was only using a few K of disk space (after removing all music) and df said I was using over 700 M.

Anyway, I tried to fix it via mundane means and then turned to running the super-sekret diagnostic tools build into the mini (hold select and menu for 6 seconds, then start some synchronized tapping of previous and select when the apple logo appears). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any info on the tools listed there, so I tried them in this order: CLEARBLKS, DISK SCAN, ad then a bunch of other tests. None of them actually did anything useful, so there’s no point going into more detail.

I ended up apt-get installing dosfstools and mkfs.vfat-ing the ipod device, then copying files back over. This fixed the disk space issues at least, and luckily didin’t seem to break anything else. So my ipod seems to be in happily working order again :)

In completely unrelated news, I got the bestest Beatles album today- Beatles for Sale. After listening to this, I forget why I ever liked the other Beatles albums :)

Geek/Nerd/Dork-Test

From Gina via LC live:

Computer Savant
47 % Nerd, 86% Geek, 56% Dork
For The Record: A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia. A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one. A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions. You scored better than half in Geek and Dork, earning you the title of: Computer Savant. People confuse you with a Nerd all of the time. You aren’t some genius, like some people have said, and didn’t/don’t really like school all that much (and you especially hated some of the social aspects, like getting mocked). It’s just that you have some passions and interests that you’re extremely into/good at, and this has placed you in circles with other social outcasts, some of whom are exceptionally bright (and brighter than you are, you know). The awesome thing about being where you are is that you get to hang out with an elite group (though you’d probably rather be alone, or with only the closest friends and family) and you can make quite a good career for yourself in your particular specialities. Common to this group are people who are highly into electronics/computers as that is where the money lies, today. Congratulations!
My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

   
You scored higher than 31% on nerdiness
   
You scored higher than 99% on geekosity
   
You scored higher than 93% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid

This isn’t too much of a surprise to me, really. It probably isn’t to anyone who knows me, either.

Anime (watching and conventing)

Last night I watched the first disc of Final Fantasy Unlimited which isn’t that good (“The soil is my power!” WTF?), but nor is is that bad. It just is. And it’s probably worth watching just for the chocobos and the Final Fantasy victory music, at least if you’re half as big a Final Fantasy dork as I am.

Tomrrow afternoon (originally it was going to be today, but sh^H^H class happens) Beth, Marty, and I leave for the Canadian National Expo, which is a combined anime, horror, sci-fi, comic book, and gaming convention in Toronto, and the largest convention of its kind in Canada (but really, how many combined conventions like that can one country have?). Eve ended up having to cancel at the last minute, and happicow, Peter, and Mike had to cancel a long time ago. I hope that everyone in the remainder of the party has fun, as everyone besides me who is into the whole convention thing seems to have already cancelled :/

Thrift fu

Tonight the local Salvation Army was having a half-off day, so Beth, Marty, and I went down there, where we met up with our co-worker, John. It’s official- I love thrift stores. Ours is especially cool- when I was there over the weeked (I’ve been there a lot recently) I overheard that they stock more clothing every day. I’ve heard it’s normal for thrift stores to stock new items once a week, if that. Ours is also in a really nice, big, new, department store-like location (it moved last year froma more traditionally cramped locale). Anyway, I ended up spending about $8 and coming home with:

  • CDs, two
  • Spice rack, one
  • sweater, red and black striped
  • ghost-shaped candy holder (or dog dish… it’s a bit ambiguous)
  • a coffee table book all about paper airplanes… or something
  • a plastic penguin holding some toiletries

After finishing our business there, Beth went off her own way and the rest of us headed up to campus to catch a (surprisingly crowded) showing of Kung Fu Hustle. I think this is the best kung fu movie I’ve ever seen. Granted, I haven’t seen too many (and that number includes one very special Bruce Le [not a typo] movie) but still, this movie was amazingly good. It managed to be extremely funny, extremely action-packed, and not too predictable (but that may be from my aforementioned lack of other kung fu movie experiences). I mean, it was predictable, but less so than most other movies in this genre, I think. The movie also made a few references to other awesome movies, and that never hurts :)

Welcome Weekend sillyness

I got an email this wekend about Cornell’s ‘Welcome Weekend’. Apparently there’s a big fair thingy going on in the Arts Quad staring on Wednesday. Looking for more information, I decided to view the website: http://www.rso.cornell.edu/welcomeweekend; lo and behold, suddenly the address turned into an IP: http://132.236.145.11/welcomeweekend/ Lame.

Noticing that this wesite was mostly just a container for a frame (doublelame), I decided to see where the frame contents lived, and discovered Phuzzymath, where no less than five blogs reside, one of which looking like someone ate a rainbow and then sneezed. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the effect at the top and sides of the page, it looks kinda cool there; it just needs some tinting or something between the dots and the text…

Anyway, I just found it incredibly silly that all of this was easily accessible for anyone who poked around at a URL obtained from an email which was presumably sent to a largish portion of the Cornell community. And out of some bit of voyeuristic curiosity, I think I’m going to add these blogs to my bloglines under the subcategory “regenboog slijm” (rainbow mucus). Or I would, if I could find feeds for the other 80% of them. Eh, it’s probably not worth it… (Who reads blogs without feeds these days?! Sheesh!)

Friday

Today I saw some Shakespeare (Richard the Third) in the park after work. It was good, if you can get over the fact that it got dark out before the play ended, and since it was outisde that meant that you could hardly see what was going on.

After that, I went to Wegman’s where they refused to sell me a really cool bottle of nail polish just because it was a tester (they had no other bottles of the same color in the store). Bastards.

At some point, I watched Videodrome. That movie made no sense to me, and neither Beth or I could figure out what the point of it was. It had nice effects, though.

Now, I’m dying my hair green. Beth helped a bunch, though now she’s gone to bed and I’m just sitting around with the dye in my hair before I wash it out. I’m sooo tired…

Oh, here are this week’s bike stats. My times are much better this week, but I’m taking some time off cycling to let my back injury heal properly (it acts up the next morning every time I bike down Hanshaw Road [ironically, the 27 mile “Slow” ride complete with many large hills didn’t seem to aggravate it]).

“Slow” ride

Beth, Marty, and I rode in the slow ride again (well, for some of us) tonight. It was much harder than last time, even considering that last time we apparently climbed 1400 feet and rode much harder than the other cyclists with our roundabout route (so say my leg muscles, so it must be true). I don’t even think it really fit the definition of “slow ride’ they present on the website (there were some quite big hills, and my mountain-bike riding ass couldn’t keep up at all), and some of the others agreed with me. We didn’t even get to stop and take a break at the falls this time :(

Marty and I nearly died. Well, maybe not really, but we did have to walk our bikes for a ways (even Beth had to!) and we did get very achy.

After the ride, Mitch gave me and my bike a ride home, as I wasn’t about to ride back to the Commons (even downhill, it would have been too much). It was a good thing too, ‘cuz apparently happicow had forgotten that I’d asked him to stick around to possibly pick me up, and was on his way out to a bar in Cortland.

Anyway, since I left work I’ve biked a total of 26.978 miles in 2:28:28, averaging 10.9mph.