Thursday, September 28, 2006

Trust the Fungus

As I type this, I am at my friend's house watching what my brothers consider to be the greatest movie of all time. It stars the uniquely talented Samantha Mathis, along with ever-dependable Dennis Hopper, and Mr. One-Man-Broadway-Show himself, John Leguizamo. Oh, and let's not forget Bob Hoskins ("Stalingrad!").

Yes, that's right, I'm watching Super Mario Bros. and believe me, if you've never seen it, you've been deprived of one of experiences ever. It's full of cheesy acting and a terrible plot, but when you have two plumbers struggling to save a city from an evil ruler while the former ruler, who has been transformed into an ever present fungus, also struggles to help the plumbers as they go on their quest to find Princess Daisy and a rock, which will reunite, that...ah...has nothing to do with video games.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I learned a while ago that many foods are acceptable when purchased in "off-brand" form. There's plenty of off-brand chips available, as well as juice, condiments, and even home cleaning products. They pretty much offer the same thing you would find in a regular brand, but without the fancy packaging and TV-friendly ad campaigns. But some foods are simply not acceptable in off-brand form. Martha Gooch macaroni, for example, traumatized me when I was a kid, and even now I can still taste that rubbery, not-quite-cheesy stuff that formed hard crusty edges on the side of my plate. It was nasty, but cheap, so we had it a lot while I was growing up.

Well, the other day at Cub Foods I found a box of cereal that doesn't really fit into either category. It's neither gross nor good, and even the name defies comprehension. It's a knock-off of Crispix called "Crispy Hexagons". At first I couldn't believe my eyes, seeing a product whose name was nothing more than the basest possible description of itself. But there it was, a box clad in blue and white with pictures of (what else?) crispy hexagonal cereal pieces, enlarged to show texture. My friend Sarah had told me of this very phenomenon many months ago, but to actually see a box in person was something of a singular experience. And being a fan of Crispix, I snapped it up and eagerly awaited the next morning when I would get to enjoy a bowl of crispy hexagonal goodness.

And the result? A food that is neither especially tasty nor exceptionally foul. It 's the orphaned stepchild of off-branding. A tumor carved from the body of all that is off-brand, and set aside as an anomaly to ponder. I think I'm going to keep buying it, though, possibly because I get a kick out of eating a geometry lesson in the morning, but possibly because I just feel sorry for the poor box. :)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lazy Sunday

Aside from being a really cool SNL video, it describes today rather well. Not the adjective, perhaps, but the image it conjures. Today was rainy and cold when I woke up, but after church it got to be quite nice out. As I write this I can see the clear blue sky, the trees rustling in the breeze, and even though the chill of autumn is just around the proverbial corner, it's nice to enjoy the last nice day of summer while it lasts.

I used to take the bus to college, and about this time each year I would have that same thought as I walked home from the drop off point: this must be the last nice day of summer before winter ushers it out entirely. And you know, it always amazed me at how another nice day inevitably followed. A few days of grey skies might come to pass, but the sun always managed to chase them away, if only for a short period of time. So we'll see what happens, and in the meantime, it sure is a nice day out today.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Holy cow, Eddy and I recorded another Square2 show tonite, and it was awesome. It was kind of a last-minute idea that neither one of us really planned on doing, but it worked out great nonetheless. I even got a cool track from Nick to play as our intro music. :) We talked about all kinds of Apple stuff and even the new Microsoft Zune, which could be the kick in the proverbial pants that Apple needs in order to keep its edge sharp. As I write this the show is being encoded, and will soon be uploaded for all to enjoy. Yah!

For dinner tonight I had a massively huge plate of homemade spaghetti and, while enjoying its deliciousness, finished Disc 1 of Ben-Hur. At 222 minutes, that is one *long* movie, but wow, it sure is good. Highly recommended, in case you need a nice flick.

In other news, tomorrow is Friday, which is awesome no matter how you slice it. Sweet!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


One of my favorite things to do is pick out desktop artwork for my computer. I'm a huge fan of 3-D landscapes, and just recently I found some great new ones at Shifted Reality. I've been using stuff from this guy for years, and there's some great stuff up there. I also stumbled across the images of DarthMagus.

There's just something cool and exciting about having a virtual landscape on my computer. It makes me think of times from long ago, perhaps in a galaxy far, far away... ;)

Sunday, September 10, 2006


It's cool to get away sometimes, even if it's just for a weekend. And incidentally, this past weekend I got to spend time with friends at a cabin about three hours away in Wisconsin. No internet, no phones...just lots of lounging, watching movies, and playing Super Nintendo. And for the record, Contra III is a hard game! It makes me think I've been tamed by modern video games. ;)

I don't know why, but tonight I was browsing Darthmagus' Flickr gallery. I really dig 3-D scenery like this, and that Darthmagus dude is a pro!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Free Meal?

How cool is this? Check it out...

Several months ago I bought two cases of oil from Checker, which were on sale with an additional mail-in rebate. I figured I would spend the time (and the stamps) and mail the rebate in, but had no hope of actually receiving any money. As far as I'm aware of, most mail-in rebates are like the tube thing at the bank drive-up: It takes stuff to a magical place, and hopefully you get something in return. Only the mail-in rebate tubes lead to a basin in the Mojave.

But shortly after writing my previous post, I went to check the mail, and lo and behold, I received two checks for $3.95 each! A shifty mail-in rebate form worked!

Very cool.

New Record?

I don't really keep tabs (as my dad would say) on this stuff, but the Square 2 we recorded last night already has 10 downloads. Now, that might not seem like a lot, but it's nice to know so many got it so quickly. We usually get about 30-40 downloads per show, and for one show to have 10 downloads in less than a day, well, that's pretty nice. :)

(for those still not listening to the podcast, you can get it here.)

It's now 5:20pm and I'm having my first Mountain Dew for the day. refreshing... I had a Sprite earlier, but it's just not the same (sort of like when one tries to make a Wendy's Frosty at home). Oh, and Netflix says "Space Cowboys" is coming tomorrow. Yes!

Friday, September 01, 2006


When I was a kid I wanted a CD-ROM drive bad. Like, really really bad. Our Mac LCII was fine, but its tiny internal 80 megabyte hard drive left many things to be desired. So I spent a long time researching drives and decided I really wanted an NEC 3XP:

It was super fast, as the "3X" in its name implies, and spun discs at three times the usual rate. There was even software written to specifically take advantage of the 3X speed of the reader (incidentally, 1X implies a transfer rate of about 150K per second, which is the rate needed to transfer CD audio, but is generally far too slow for most software applications nowadays, which is why CD drives now typically run at 32 to 48X).

Trouble is, these things advance so quickly that everyone started manufacturing 3X drives, and soon thereafter, 4X, 6X, 8X, and faster. I ended up suckering out and getting a regular old 2X drive, which served my needs just fine.

It was, in fact, the only CD player I had, which meant it served to load computer software and play music CDs. Despite the awkwardness of listening to music at the computer (and the computer alone), I went and started buying music anyway. The first CD I bought was They Might Be Giants' album Flood, which I am listening to now, which prompted this blog post. :)